Understanding Our Pandemic – Economy Predicament

The world’s number one problem today is that the world’s population is too large for its resource base. Some people have called this situation overshoot. The world economy is ripe for a major change, such as the current pandemic, to bring the situation into balance. The change doesn’t necessarily come from the coronavirus itself. Instead, it is likely to come from the whole chain reaction that has been started by the coronavirus and the response of governments around the world to the coronavirus.

Let me explain more about what is happening.

[1] The world economy is reaching Limits to Growth, as described in the book with a similar title.

One way of seeing the predicament we are in is the modeling of resource consumption and population growth described in the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, by Donella Meadows et al. Its base scenario seems to suggest that the world will reach limits about now. Chart 1 shows the base forecast from that book, together with a line I added giving my impression of where the economy really was in 2019, relative to resource availability.

Figure 1. Base scenario from 1972 Limits to Growth, printed using today’s graphics by Charles Hall and John Day in “Revisiting Limits to Growth After Peak Oil,” with dotted line added corresponding to where the world economy seems to be in 2019.

In 2019, the world economy seemed to be very close to starting a downhill trajectory. Now, it appears to me that we have reached the turning point and are on our way down. The pandemic is the catalyst for this change to a downward trend. It certainly is not the whole cause of the change. If the underlying dynamics had not been in place, the impact of the virus would likely have been much less.

The 1972 model leaves out two important parts of the economy that probably make the downhill trajectory steeper than shown in Figure 1. First, the model leaves out debt and, in fact, the whole financial system. After the 2008 crisis, many people strongly suspected that the financial system would play an important role as we reach the limits of a finite world because debt defaults are likely to disturb the worldwide financial system.

The model also leaves out humans’ continual battle with pathogens. The problem with pathogens becomes greater as world population becomes denser, facilitating transmission. The problem also becomes greater as a larger share of the population becomes more susceptible, either because they are elderly or because they have underlying health conditions that have been hidden by an increasingly complex and expensive medical system.

As a result, we cannot really believe the part of Figure 1 that is after 2020. The future downslopes of population, industrial production per capita, and food per capita all seem likely to be steeper than shown on the chart because both the debt and pathogen problems are likely to increase the speed at which the economy declines.

[2] It is far more than the population that has overshot limits.

The issue isn’t simply that there are too many people relative to resources. The world seems to have

  • Too many shopping malls and stores
  • Too many businesses of all kinds, with many not very profitable for their owners
  • Governments with too extensive programs, which taxpayers cannot really afford
  • Too much debt
  • An unaffordable amount of pension promises
  • Too low interest rates
  • Too many people with low wages or no wages at all
  • Too expensive a healthcare system
  • Too expensive an educational system

The world economy needs to shrink back in many ways at once, simultaneously, to manage within its resource limits. It is not clear how much of an economy (or multiple smaller economies) will be left after this shrinkage occurs.

[3] The economy is in many ways like the human body. In physics terms, both are dissipative structures. They are both self-organizing systems powered by energy (food for humans; a mixture of energy products including oil, coal, natural gas, burned biomass and electricity for the economy).

The human body will try to fix minor problems. For example, if someone’s hand is cut, blood will tend to clot to prevent too much blood loss, and skin will tend to grow to substitute for the missing skin. Similarly, if businesses in an area disappear because of a tornado, the prior owners will either tend to rebuild them or new businesses will tend to come in to replace them, as long as adequate resources are available.

In both systems, there is a point beyond which problems cannot be fixed, however. We know that many people die in car accidents if injuries are too serious, for example. Similarly, the world economy may “collapse” if conditions deviate too far from what is necessary for economic growth to continue. In fact, at this point, the world economy may be so close to the edge with respect to resources, particularly energy resources, that even a minor pandemic could push the world economy into a permanent cycle of contraction.

[4] World governments are in a poor position to fix the current resource and pandemic crisis.

In our networked economy, too low a resource base relative to population manifests itself in a strange way: It appears as an affordability crisis that leads to very low prices for oil. It also appears as terribly low prices for many other commodities, including copper, lithium, coal and even wholesale electricity. These low prices occur because too large a share of the population cannot afford finished goods, such as cars and homes, made with these commodities. Recent shutdowns have suddenly increased the number of people with low income or no income, pushing commodity prices even lower.

If resources were more plentiful and very inexpensive to produce, as they were 50 or 70 years ago, wages of workers could be much higher, relative to the cost of resources. Factory workers would be able to afford to buy vehicles, for example, and thus help keep the demand for automobiles up. If we look more deeply into this, we find that energy resources of many kinds (fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, burned biomass and other renewable energy) must be extraordinarily cheap and abundant to keep the system growing. Without “surplus energy” from many sources, which grows with population, the whole system tends to collapse.

World governments cannot print resources. What they can print is debt. Debt can be viewed as a promise of future goods and services, whether or not it is reasonable to believe that these future goods and services will actually materialize, given resource constraints.

We are finding that using shutdowns to solve COVID-19 problems causes a huge amount of economic damage. The cost of mitigating this damage seems to be unreasonably high. For example, in the United States, antibody studies suggest that roughly 5% of the population has been infected with COVID-19. The total number of deaths associated with this 5% infection level is perhaps 100,000, assuming that reported deaths to date (about 80,000) need to be increased somewhat, to match the approximately 5% of the population that has, knowingly or unknowingly, already experienced the infection.

If we estimate that the mean number of years of life lost is 13 years per person, then the total years of life lost would be about 1,300,000. If we estimate that the US treasury needed to borrow $3 trillion dollars to mitigate this damage, the cost per year of life lost is $3 trillion divided by 1.3 million, or $2.3 million per year of life lost. This amount is utterly absurd.

This approach is clearly not something the United States can scale up, as the share of the population affected by COVID-19 relentlessly rises from 5% to something like 70% or 80%, in the absence of a vaccine. We have no choice but to use a different approach.

[5] COVID-19 would have the least impact on the world economy if people could pay little attention to the pandemic and just “let it run.” Of course, even without mitigation attempts, COVID-19 might bring the world economy down, given the distressed level of today’s economy and the shutdowns experienced to date.

Shutting down an economy has a huge adverse impact on that economy because quite a few workers who are in good health are no longer able to make goods and services. As a result, they have no wages, so their “demand” goes way down. If the economy was already having an affordability crisis for goods made with commodities, shutting down the economy tends to greatly add to the affordability crisis. Prices of commodities tend to fall even lower than they were before the crisis.

Back in 1957-1958, the Asian pandemic, which also started in China, hit the world. The number of deaths was up in the range of the current pandemic, relative to population. The estimated worldwide death rate was 0.67%.  This is not too dissimilar from a death rate of 0.61% for COVID-19, which can be calculated using my estimate above (100,000 deaths relative to 5% of the US population of 33o million).

Virtually nothing was shut down in the US for the 1957-58 pandemic. When doctors or nurses became sick themselves, wards were simply closed. Would-be patients were told to stay at home and take aspirin, unless a severe case developed. With this approach, the US still faced a short recession, but the economy was soon growing again. Populations seemed to reach herd immunity quite quickly.

If the world could somehow have adopted a similar approach this time, there still would have been some adverse impact on the economy. A small percentage of the population would have died. Some businesses might have needed to be closed for a short time when too many workers were out sick. But the huge burden of job loss by a substantial share of the economy could have been avoided. The economy would have had at least a small chance of rebounding quickly.

[6] The virus that causes COVID-19 looks a great deal like a laboratory cross between SARS and HIV, making the likelihood of a quick vaccine low.

In fact, Professor Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus and winner of a Nobel Prize in Medicine, claims that the new coronavirus is the result of an attempt to manufacture a vaccine against the AIDS virus. He believes that the accidental release of this virus is what is causing today’s pandemic.

If COVID-19 were simply another influenza virus, similar to many we have seen, then getting a vaccine that would work passably well would be a relatively easy exercise. At least one of the vaccine trials that have been started could be reasonably expected to work, and a solution would not be far away.

Unfortunately, SARS and HIV are fairly different from influenza viruses. We have never found a vaccine for either one. If a person has had SARS once, and is later exposed to a slightly mutated version of SARS, the symptoms of the second infection seem to be worse than the first. This characteristic interferes with finding a suitable vaccine. We don’t know whether the virus causing COVID-19 will have a similar characteristic.

We know that scientists from a number of countries have been working on so-called “gain of function” experiments with viruses. These very risky experiments are aimed at making viruses either more virulent, or more transmissible, or both. In fact, experiments were going on in Wuhan, in two different laboratories, with viruses that seem to be not too different from the virus causing COVID-19.

We don’t know for certain whether there was an accident that caused the release of one of these gain of function viruses in Wuhan. We do know, however, that China has been doing a lot of cover-up activity to deter others from finding out what actually happened in Wuhan.

We also know that Dr. Fauci, a well-known COVID-19 advisor, had his hand in this Chinese research activity. Fauci’s organization, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, provided partial funding for the gain of function experiments on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. While the intent of the experiments seems to have been for the good of mankind, it would seem that Dr. Fauci’s judgment erred in the direction of allowing too much risk for the world’s population.

[7] We are probably kidding ourselves about ever being able to contain the virus that causes COVID-19. 

We are gradually learning that the virus causing COVID-19 is easily spread, even by people who do not show any symptoms of the disease. The virus can spread long distances through the air. Tests to see if people are ill tend to produce a lot of false negatives; because of this, it is close to impossible to know whether a particular person has the illness or not.

China is finding that it cannot really contain the virus that causes COVID-19. A recent South China Morning Post article indicates that roughly 14 million people are to be tested in the Wuhan area in the next ten days to try to control a new outbreak of the virus.

It is becoming clear, as well, that even within China, the lockdowns have had a very negative impact on the economy. The Wall Street Journal reports, China Economic Data Indicate V-Shaped Recovery Is Unlikely. Supply chains were broken; wholesale commodity prices (excluding food) have tended to fall. Joblessness is increasingly a problem.

[8] If we look at deaths per million by country, it is difficult to see that lockdowns are very helpful in reducing the spread of disease. Masks seem to be more beneficial.

If we compare death rates for mask-wearing East Asian countries to death rates elsewhere, we see that death rates in mask-wearing East Asian countries are dramatically lower.

Figure 2. Death rates per million population of selected countries with long-term exposure to the virus causing COVID-19, based on Johns Hopkins death data as of May 11, 2020.

Looking at the chart, a person almost wonders whether lockdowns are a response to requests from citizens to “do something” in response to an already evident surge in cases. The countries known for their severe lockdowns are at the top of the chart, not the bottom.

In fact, a preprint academic paper by Thomas Meunier is titled, “Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic.” The abstract says, “Comparing the trajectory of the epidemic before and after the lockdown, we find no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, or reproduction number trends.  .  . We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures (as opposed to police-enforced home containment) experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic.”

It appears to me that lockdowns have been popular with governments around the world for a whole host of reasons that have little to do with the spread of COVID-19:

  • Lockdowns give an excuse for closing borders to visitors and goods from outside. This was a direction in which many countries were already headed, in an attempt to raise the wages of local workers.
  • Lockdowns can be used to hide the fact that factories need to be closed because of breaks in supply lines elsewhere in the world.
  • Many countries have been faced with governmental protests because of low wages compared to the prices of basic services. Lockdowns tend to keep protesters inside.
  • Lockdowns give the appearance of protecting the elderly. Since there are many elderly voters, politicians need to court these voters.

[9] A person wonders whether Dr. Fauci and members of the World Health Organization are influenced by the wishes of vaccine and big pharmaceutical companies.

The recommendation to try to “flatten the curve” is, in part, an attempt to give vaccine and pharmaceutical makers more time to work on their products. Is this really the best recommendation? Perhaps I am being overly suspicious, but we recently have been dealing with an opioid epidemic which was encouraged by manufacturers of Oxycontin and other opioids. We don’t need another similar experience, this time sponsored by vaccine and other pharmaceutical makers.

The temptation of researchers is to choose solutions that would be best from the point of their own business interests. If a researcher gets much of his funding from vaccine and big pharmaceutical interests, the temptation will be to “push” solutions that are beneficial to these interests. In some cases, researchers are able to patent approaches, even when the research is paid for by governmental grants. In this case they can directly benefit from a new vaccine or drug.

When potential solutions are discussed by Dr. Fauci and the World Health Organization, no one brings up improving people’s immunity so that they can better fight off the novel coronavirus. Few bring up masks. Instead, we keep being warned about “opening up too soon.” In a way, this sounds like, “Please leave us lots of customers who might be willing to pay a high price for our vaccine.”

[10] One way the combination of (a) the activity of the virus and (b) our responses to the virus may play out is as a slow-motion, controlled demolition of the world economy. 

I think of what we are experiencing as being somewhat similar to a toggle bolt going around and around, moving down a screw. As the toggle bolt moves around, I picture it as being similar to the virus and our responses to the viruses hitting different parts of the world economy.

Figure 3. Image of how the author sees COVID-19 as being able to hit the economy multiple times, in multiple ways, as its impact keeps impacting different parts of the world.

If we look back, the virus and reactions to the virus first hit China. China’s recovery is moving slowly, in part because of reduced demand from outside of China now that the virus is hitting other parts of the world. In fact, additional layoffs occurred after Chinese shutdowns ended, because it then became clear that some employers needed to permanently scale back operations to meet the new lower demand for their product.

Commodity prices, including oil prices, are now depressed because of low demand around the world. These low prices can be expected to gradually lead to closures of wells and mines extracting these commodities. Processing centers will also close, making these commodities less available even if demand temporarily rises.

As one country is hit by illnesses and/or shutdowns, we can expect supply lines for manufacturing around the world to be disrupted. This will lead to yet more business closures, some of them permanent. Debt defaults tend to happen as businesses close and layoffs occur.

With all of the layoffs, governments will find that their tax collections are lower. The resulting governmental funding issues can be expected to lead to new rounds of layoffs.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and forest fires can be expected to continue to happen. Social distancing requirements, inadequate tax revenue and broken supply lines will make mitigation of all of these disasters more difficult. Electrical lines that fall down may stay down permanently; bridges that are damaged may never be repaired.

Initially, rich countries can be expected to try to help as many laid-off workers as possible with loans and temporary stipends. But, after a few months, even with this approach, many individual citizens and businesses will likely not be able to pay their rent. Default rates on home mortgages and auto loans can be expected to rise for a similar reason.

We can expect to see round after round of business failures and layoffs of employees. Financial systems will become more and more stressed. Pensions are likely to default. Death rates will rise, in part from epidemics of various kinds and in part from growing problems with starvation. In fact, in some poor countries, lower-income citizens are already having difficulty being able to afford adequate food. Eventually we can expect collapsing governments (similar to the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union) and overthrown governments.

Longer-term, after this demolition ends, there may be some surviving pieces of economies. These new economies will be much smaller and less dependent upon each other, however. Currencies are likely to be less interchangeable. The remaining people will need to learn to make do with many fewer goods than are available today. It will be a very different world.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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3,869 Responses to Understanding Our Pandemic – Economy Predicament

  1. Dennis L. says:

    Came across this, not sure if it is too long a quote, if so, it will be shortened: This is by Michael Levitt, 2013 Nobel chemistry. Basically as I understand the article, this pandemic will die out, lock downs are a mistake and once again Baby Boomers have stolen from their children. This is a transcript and done poorly in some areas.

    We have forced our children in to destitution secondary to preoccupation with GDP, whatever it takes. I am old, there is much left I want to do, I passed on the Villages and went back to school, but life is not put in a box, it is lived.

    Disclaimer: My out of a very working class, depression era family neighborhood was my education, it was hard to use it well even taking every tough, miserable course I could find. Thus, I have strong emotional feelings regarding education. Things will change the trick is to stay out of the way, it is not going to be easy. The “experts” on this one were the boomers, my guess is they really screwed this one up, mostly they seem to be liberals. No value judgment, if it works it is right, if it doesn’t it is wrong.

    Quote begins:

    “There will be a reckoning. Maybe countries will start to see that they need governments that are not necessarily great in rhetoric, but actually thinking and doing. I often go back and think about what Socrates said 2,400 years ago: use your common sense instead of listening to the rhetoric of leaders. We have become very influenced by [rhetoric] that. I think this is another foul-up on the part of the baby boomers.

    I am a real baby-boomer, I was born in 1947, and I think we’ve really screwed up. We cause pollution, we allowed the world’s population to increase three-fold, we’ve caused the problems of global warming, we’ve left your generation with a real mess in order to save a really small number of very old people. If I was a young person now, I would say, “now you guys are gonna pay for this.”

    We have my family whatsapp and very early on I said this is a virus being designed to get rid of the baby boomers. You know I don’t know, I think my wife thinks this is going to be a take it to the streets thing,and we’re gonna have the young people on the street saying you guys have really screwed up it’s time to go. And I always joke with her, saying well at least I’ve made lots of friends among the young people, I’ll be okay.

    But quite frankly you know I’ve had a great life, and I must say this to all the young faces in front of me. I have a grandson who’s 17. I’d much rather have young people live for a very long time. That said I do have a mother who’s a hundred and five years old living in London with my brother, she’s in lockdown and I talk to her by whatsapp every single day on FaceTime, and she’s fine. She still uses her phone and so on so you know these differences but…

    You guys should get out there and do something don’t accept this anymore we screwed up too much.”


    Most of you know by now, last year and next year I shall spend time with kids, in class. Those I see are great, the classes are diverse, the girls hold their own, we are not all white. The greatest personal insult I have experienced is being called “sir” by the teacher. Man I hate that, need to find a safe area.

    Dennis L.

    • Kim says:

      “…. We cause pollution, we allowed the world’s population to increase three-fold, we’ve caused the problems of global warming, we’ve left your generation with a real mess…”
      and “If I was a young person now, I would say, “now you guys are gonna pay for this.”

      The d*mbness of these statements is staggering. Baby boomers invented pollution and population increase?

      Call me cynical, but nowadays when I see this kind of anti-boomer rhetoric, I just think, “ah, more divide and conquer propaganda”.

  2. frankly step-by-step says:

    Surprise surprise!
    That went faster than I expected. The chlorine dioxide solution (CDS) is again up for discussion.


  3. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Who said collapse would be inexpensive!? If you are Nissan Motor Company it isn’t!😜
    Nissan sees cost of quitting Barcelona at up to $1.7 billion, source says
    decision to leave Barcelona was announced by the Japanese carmaker last week as part of a turnaround plan, triggering protests by workers and a commitment by Madrid to do all it can to convince the company to stay.
    Barcelona-based La Vanguardia newspaper earlier on Monday cited Nissan documents as saying the closures could cost 1.45 billion euros, mostly to make around 3,000 workers redundant.
    The union source said that a few weeks ago Nissan had told workers that shutting the three Barcelona facilities could cost around 1.5 billion euros.
    ,, Nissan would face other costs related to suppliers and dismantling factories, the first source said, adding: “1.5 billion euros is more realistic. It’s not easy to dismantle a factory.”
    La Vanguardia said that among the costs Nissan had estimated were 600 million euros for firing workers, 310 million in fiscal costs and potentially repaying 100 million of public aid.
    Nissan believes it would take close to seven years to recover in savings the cost of leaving Barcelona, the newspaper said.
    Not a good time to be an automaker…I own a Nissan Sentra since 2013, nice inexpensive commuter car, roomie and solid. Only defect CVT transmission needed a additional add on cooler I did myself and fluid change every 30,000 miles. Nissan been having a bad time with these failing and that was why, they burned out.
    Sorry to see them failing, I like time, but that’s too bad😜

    • Tim Groves says:

      Carlos Ghosn saved them once, and look how they repaid him for his efforts!?

      They treated him like a coronavirus!


    • Xabier says:

      In Spain auto plants offer some of the best, and formerly most secure, jobs around,and are very important to the local economy: Pamplona depends on VW for instance. Major political and economic consequences if they go.

      • frankly step-by-step says:

        What will happen if the demand for vehicles remains low. And you can expect that because countless people have lost or will lose their jobs in the current crisis. Then save yourself who can then be the motto. What do you think, what will the VW board do?

  4. frankly step-by-step says:


    +++ 19:48 Lockdown triggers Run on allotments +++
    to press

    The corona restrictions have caused the demand for allotment gardens in Germany to skyrocket. “There is at least a doubling of demand compared to the previous year,” reports the Federal Association of German Garden Friends as the umbrella organization of around 893,000 allotment garden tenants. The gardens are particularly sought after in large cities. “Even before Corona, the demand was very high. With Corona it has increased again, waiting times are getting longer and longer,” said association spokeswoman Sandra von Rekowski. There are gardens in Berlin with a waiting period of seven years

  5. JMS says:

    A bit of political enlightnment for the sheep (and unfortunately OFW seems suddenly full of them) who ignore the century old tactic of using agent provocateurs to publicly discredit protest movements.

    • GBV says:

      To be fair, I probably own a couple pair of the boots featured in this video, as well as some of the gear pointed out, and I am not a cop nor an agent provocateur… just a compulsive buyer/collector of tactical gear.


      • JMS says:

        Are you saying your boots refute the historical evidence of police using agent provocateurs?
        Anyway, there is much more convincing evidence in the footage than the type of boots used.

        • Very Far Frank says:

          Was this the work of agent provocateurs?


          Or is it possible the ‘protestors’ are perfectly capable of discrediting themselves?

          • JMS says:

            Of course a crowd of protesters can always discredit itself, but a liitle help doesn’t hurt, rigth? Right, especially in those circumstances where the protesters are intent – the horror! – on protest peacefully. This is just Psy-Op 101.

        • GBV says:

          Think you’re putting words in my mouth there, friend.

          I’m simply suggesting that matching footwear and/or gear neither proves nor disproves the use of agent provocateurs, and seems a bit of a stretch to be considered “evidence” for arguments either way.

          I’m sure you’re right that there is more compelling/convincing evidence out there, and I’d be interested to see it should you care to share it.

          As a side note, I was living in midtown Toronto during the G20 police crackdown, about a 25 minute walk from Queens Park. I remember watching the police response on TV and messaging many of my friends and associates about how wrong it all seemed (“this is not the Canada I know”)… most of their responses were along the lines of, “that’s what they deserve for getting in the face of cops” or “they shouldn’t be outside in the first place”.

          I think it was around that time I started waking up to the realization that mostly everyone I knew would never see the world the way I did (i.e.on the verge of collapse and spiralling out of control) until they (or an immediate family member / loved one) were smashed right in the face by their friendly neighborhood police officer, simply for failing to comply quickly enough.


          • JMS says:

            I was just using rhetorical irony and trying to be funny. Sorry if i offende you. I’m perfectly aware that your boots could never prove anything except the size of your foot and your taste in shoes!

            About agent provocateurs and similar dark state tactics, i’ve no special knowledge or expertise. Just know what everyperson can learn with curiosity and some free time.

            In real life I don’t know a single person that sees the world as i do. Not one. In fact never had face-to-face interlocutors for most subjects that interest me.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            You are either on the bus, or off the bus.
            (if you don’t know where that came from, you are defiantly not on the bus)

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      They know this has the possibility to get beyond their control.
      Putting provocateurs in with protesters is a way to defuse dissent.
      Don’t think it will work this time. The proletariat is paying attention, and the abuse has been going on for so long, they are gaining knowledge.

      • Tim Groves says:

        It’s election year again, and if I had children or nieces and nephews in the US of any creed or color, I’d beg them to stay off the streets. This is very ugly already and it looks like it’s about to get far worse.

    • Rodster says:

      “I’m worried that the economy may not return to normal within that time frame.”

      No sh*t Sherlock, the economy back then did not have the complicated supply chains we have today. They also had cheap energy supply coming out of the ground, we no longer have that luxury. It’s expensive getting oil out of tar sands and offshore.

  6. Rodster says:

    Kunstler vents in his latest piece and who can blame him !

    “That Change You Requested…?”


  7. Dan Cantrall says:

    “Automobiles became ever fancier. Homes added more and more requirements as well. Both because increasingly affordable only to the very rich.” You are exactly right! Everything has gone up in scale. As a tradesman I have seen lots of regulations add about $20000 to building a house. They are making people dig down an extra 10 feet in addition and then backfilling the “right” soil combination even though there has never been a destructive earth quake here and never will be because of the soil composition. Not to mention all the electrical code etc…

    • Thanks for the details you add!

    • Lidia17 says:

      Yes, I’m trying to get a house built, and the septic design specs and costs are mind-boggling. I’m supposed to buy in at least $1k of special sand, even though the soil there is.. sand. This is even with a composting toilet. Everything has become a racket, as Jim Kunstler is wont to say.

      • Artleads says:

        So the compost toilet system isn’t independent of the sptic system?

        • Lidia17 says:

          One is allowed to downsize the overall system by X percent if using composting toilets. It doesn’t change the nature of the system for whatever reason.

          • frankly step-by-step says:

            Well, it’s like always when interests are involved.
            Imagine more and more people would unsubscribe from the public sewer network.
            Then who should pay for it? The remaining?
            You also need to have at least a small garden to be able to use the compost. And they are scarce in the cities. Check out my previous post.

            • Lidia17 says:

              This is on many, many acres. The nearest sewer line is a few miles away.

              That said, if people were to unsubscribe from the sewer network, what of it? The town in the future won’t be able to afford the hundreds of thousands or the millions of dollars it takes to run in the first place. Collapse now and avoid the rush.

              I was listening to a true-crime podcast and it described a prisoner in the UK in the 1980s and his “toilet bucket”. The idea of having plumbing and sewerage linking every home, much less every prison cell, is quite new. I have visited homes both in the US and in Italy where there were still semi-operational loos out on back landings and porches.

              In Asia, for thousands of years, the “night-soil” man would come around and take the human dung out of the city to be used on surrounding fields. There is nothing inherently harmful in this practice when done correctly.

              In Brattleboro, VT, a group was trying to go around and collect urine from “city” dwellers (it’s more of a town than a city) to put into large tanks and spray on fields experimentally. I’m not sure if the project is still running—it may have gotten abandoned, since there can’t be any real “money” in such endeavors. The issue is that—as with the increasingly-draconian code requirements, doing things in a common-sensical way is incompatible with the demands of the money structure.

              At a town meeting a couple of years ago, the town manager lamented the (fake) “need” for a new town well (long story regarding arbitrary limits for manganese and conflicting jurisdictions) that would cost a million dollars. I asked whether the town couldn’t institute water-reduction plans, promote rain-water catchment for non-potable uses, and promote composting toilets instead, to make up for the “bad” well being off-line. Despite my state being pretty much second-to-none in declaring itself interested in being “green”, my ideas were shrugged off as ridiculous and discarded out-of-hand as unfeasible and incompatible with “green growth”.

            • frankly step-by-step says:

              “growth =, the last word of your post is the keyword. As long as we are tied to the current economic system that needs constant growth to function, you will not find a single politician, not even one who calls himself a” green “who will lean out the window.

              After a long search I bought 3000 square meters of fallow vineyards a good two years ago. In the meantime there are already some fruit trees, such as peach, plums, figs, khaki, sweet cherries, pawpaws, Brazilian guavas, berries …
              I had previously composted kitchen waste into Terra Preta on my rather large terrace, in bakery boxes.
              Recently, for about a year and a half, I have also put a composting toilet in my bathroom, where I also make Terra Preta from feces.
              All my trees and all my plants on the terrace are now growing on Terra Preta Earth.
              If necessary, I can collect my own urine and spread it over the vineyards as a wonderful phosphorus fertilizer, diluted one to ten.
              I work without machines, everything by hand.
              Do not spray pesticides.
              I’m curious to see if everything works the way I want it to.

              In the next post by Gail Tverberg, if it fits, I’ll write something about the possible exit from the previous economic system.

            • I think that there is too much salt in most people’s urine for spraying it on fields to be a reasonable solution.

            • Artleads says:

              We’re talking here of the system some call the matrix. The degree to which the same thing happens everywhere is remarkable.

            • frankly step-by-step says:

              Gods plan?

        • Lidia17 says:

          My advice to anyone considering changing dwellings going forward is to not build from scratch for these sorts of reasons (unless you can do the work yourself and local enforcement has dissolved/collapsed). In hindsight, I would’ve been better off buying a crappy mobile home or “tear-down” with utilities grandfathered in.. then I could re-build as I pleased at my own pace (water/septic is the only seriously-stringent code in our area) without gov. meddling. A new build also takes one out of “grey man” territory, so that could be a future issue, as well.

          Someone on the thread was talking about tiny houses. I have been in at least four, and know three people who live in them. Only one of those three didn’t appear to have access to significant off-site space; the second lives in a tiny house on her property and rents out her original house while maintaining a degree of access to her old basement and other parts of the home; the third goes to visit an out-of-state family member for parts of the year.

          I think tiny houses can be a solution either for a younger person who works a lot and recreates elsewhere (Covid notwithstanding)—using it basically as a crash pad—or for an older person who doesn’t expect to be doing a lot of projects, including much cooking. There’s just no place to carry out any sort of serious hobby or domestic task: it would be impossible to -say- brew beer, set up a sewing machine, or do a lot of cooking or canning indoors. One clearly can’t set up a loom or a wood shop. A guitar might be ok (a harmonica would be better); even a digital keyboard would be a challenge. They seem almost a kind of fetish.

          When I was first investigating tiny houses, cost to build new was something like $40-50kUSD, when one could find a modest regular house with acreage for twice that sum. While they may be well-insulated for their size, there’s a kind of trade-off between the thermal mass, the exterior exposition and the floor space. I knew I wanted a masonry heater (burns softwood, keeps most of the heat inside bldg. envelope), so a tiny house was not in the cards for me. TH person #1 whom I know uses a tiny woodstove; they don’t need a lot of space in the TH since their life and work is almost completely outdoors. TH person #2 was described above, using the TH as a way to reduce expenses, theoretically, because she preferred the idea of good rental income from her original house. TH person #3 isn’t in his TH full time, and has enough local contacts that he finds other places to be and to store stuff when necessary. He hangs out a lot in the main house of the friends from whom he’s renting the patch where his TH rests, and does not live in the TH all the year long. The remaining TH I visited was a demo, built by a local crafts school, to be consigned to a client.

          For the more adventuresome, I recommend the Yurta company out of Canada, rather than a TH. We set one up as a future guest-room/fiber studio. The workmen have taken it over for now. It’s insulated with wool, comfortable enough in three seasons (we have yet to hook up the tiny woodstove), and aside from a few aspects, like the plastic dome and its lifts, there’s something very gentle and fulfilling about knowing one has at least the possibility of intervening to repair a fault in some fashion. Still, moving down a stair-step in QOL expectation, for sure… In our area, the tax authorities still upped our property tax after our having set up the yurt (its not having a permanent base did not matter to them: they will tax anything in the same position for >180 days out of the year.. would do so for a TH on a trailer or for a stationery RV as well, they claimed). However, the added property value of the yurt+platform was only $1000 or so. Most people following this blog are not in their twenties, but if I were that age and without much money I would point in the yurt direction, for sure.

  8. Malcopian says:

    Tim Morgan’s latest post on Surplus Energy Economics. Nothing new here.


  9. Minority Of One says:

    I don’t remember this being posted already:

    German Official Leaks Report Denouncing Corona as ‘A Global False Alarm’

    • One quote from the Global False Alarm report:

      The demos question the entire Corona Narrative, and even more its principals, especially the role Bill Gates is playing, as the WHO second biggest donor (the first one since Trump suspended U.S. contribution).

    • Yoshua says:

      So the China virus was a hoax?

      It’s really getting hard to know what to believe in these days.

      • frankly step-by-step says:

        Stay calm.
        Kohn did not act as an official of the ministry, but used the letterhead as an employee of the house. For that he was suspended.
        For those who want to know more about him, I refer to the German wikipedia page.


      • Norman Pagett says:

        as the Chinese hoax thing is still rattling on

        this might help


      • The part that is a hoax is saying that shutdowns will fix anything. A different solution is needed. It needs to be very inexpensive and affordable to all. Shutdowns pick winners and losers in the current fight over energy resources.

        • Matthew Krajcik says:

          I don’t get why face shields aren’t the solution? We’re back to the CDC etc saying that surfaces are not a big deal, and the virus is spread by droplets, not fully aerosolized. I ordered a pack of 3 for somewhere around $21 USD 6 weeks ago, they should be here in two weeks or so.

    • Yorchichan says:

      I only learned yesterday that the UK government downgraded covid-19 from a High Consequence Infectious Disease on 19 March, putting it in the same disease category as the influenza virus. This was four days before the lockdown began and was not widely reported here at the time.


      Why are things still not back to normal?

      • frankly step-by-step says:

        It takes a scapegoat to whom the wrong decisions can be attached.
        The search is still ongoing.

        • Yorchichan says:

          Yes, an immediate attempt at a return to normality would look like an admission a mistake was made.

      • Dennis L. says:

        I bunch of intellectuals screwed things up, thought they knew more than evolution. Another bunch of intellectuals thought playing with viruses was great fun until someone made a mistake and then tried to cover their tracks with a fish story. I

        It is a self organizing system, it is much more powerful than the intellectuals, in the sweep of history this is but a blip. Man is tough, this planet is tough, asteroids hitting it have not stopped things, volcanoes obliterating the sun have not stopped it. The earth is for all practical purposes eternal. This is the new normal, different verse, same as the first.

        Dennis L.

        • Yorchichan says:

          As I have no faith in the ability of humans to improve upon nature, I doubt we even have the ability to create a virus with better survival prospects than one that evolved naturally.

          That’s why I believe sars-cov-2 will be history a few months from now. There won’t be a second wave, neither after everything opens up nor or in the autumn.

          • Dennis L. says:

            Yor, second paragraph:

            Sticking my neck out a bit, a guess is the virus took all the easy targets, comorbidities, next group will be tougher. Rapid communication caused a panic, made a worse mess by closing everything down, one governor even returned those most vulnerable to a nursing home after having seen an earlier experience in Washington State, maybe this one can’be untangled. Mankind will come to accept that life has an end, somethings are beyond change, only acceptance.

            Again, many here have talked collapse, no one that I follow ever really saw a pandemic coming, no one ever saw closing the entire world community. No one seriously considered Greta would get her wish, all of us who dismissed that as being wrong were in the end, let us say mistaken. We saw neither the path nor the response to that outcome.

            If you are correct regarding the virus being history(eventually everything is), wow, that may hold some serious political implications. Howe claims we are in the fourth turning – if I understand that phrase, it is pragmatism, huge political change.

            It will be fine, all the best,

            Dennis L.

        • There is ultimately a problem with not enough energy for the large number of people in the world today. Solutions to the coronavirus problem give one way of determining winners and losers in this contest. In this round, the big loser was the services industry, including the vacation industry. The less educated and those of non-white skin color particularly lost out. The young were particularly disadvantaged. Their hopes in many careers disappeared.

          Future rounds will see more and more people, businesses, and governments cut out from the system, I am afraid.

          • Minority Of One says:

            The plain and simple truth that very few people can accept. If a few million people are going to lose their jobs permanently over the coming months, here in the UK, how is this going to pan out for everyone? Do those with a job just turn a blind eye to those without? Probably. The bottom line is if there are too many people, the population has to go down somehow or other. In the millions. Here in the UK. And death won’t be from covid-19.

          • Yoshua says:

            They are choosing who to cull in this round?

            The non essential part of the economy goes out the window first.

  10. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Around 21:30 last night got a robotcall from the county that a curfew was indefinitely in effect from 21:00 to 6:00 in Miami Dade and Broward County due to Civil unrest. Could walk the dog outside to do its duty in a limited time and location. Was out and about in my mixed neighborhood , seemed fine and TV showed protests little unruly acts here.
    Hope it stays that way, at least until the funny money runs out by the Fed and Congress.
    Stock market futures are flat….because of China trade tensions and riots…that’s a plus, no 2,000 point drop!😜
    Channel 10 News….
    Fort Lauderdale’s protest turned destructive, but many believe these, too, were “agitators” that arrived after the organizers of the original protest peacefully dispersed.
    At about 7 p.m., Fort Lauderdale police and protesters began to clash. Sheriff Gregory Tony talked to Local 10 who said that he believed these were people who arrived late on the scene to create chaos. “We will get it under control.” Those protesters were seen shooting fireworks at police in riot gear.

  11. Yoshua says:

    Weekly Covid-19 cases around the world.


    What happened in China and Europe? New cases have almost disappeared.

  12. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Boy , things must be really bad when the Finna miss the Ruskies coming over!😘
    HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Finns in the Nordic nation’s eastern border region say they haven’t seen anything like this since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
    The closure of Finland’s border with Russia amid the coronavirus pandemic has put an abrupt stop to visits by the nearly 2 million Russian tourists who prop up the local economy each year.
    Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) land border with Russia complete with several crossing points in what is one of the European Union’s longest external borders. It was shut down both by Helsinki and Moscow in mid-March due to the pandemic.
    Given Russia’s sustained infection rate, there is little hope that the border will be opened for Finland’s summer tourism season — and many believe the border will likely remain shut even longer.
    “It definitely has had a big effect. You just wouldn’t imagine such risks relate to the border anymore in the year 2020,” said Petteri Terho, spokesman for the Zsar Outlet Village, a large upscale shopping area catering to both Finns and Russians near the Vaalimaa border station, the busiest crossing point between the two nations.
    The closure has caused cross-border tourism to the South Karelia region, entry point to Finland’s picturesque lake district that is a favorite of locals and Russian tourists alike, to collapse overnight.

    Col!apse overnight!?😥 Ouch, we are indeed living in interesting times

    • Xabier says:

      The seller has no morality or memory – everyone’s money is good…..

      And that is just as it should be: a Russian bearing money can’t be compared to a Russian in a tank.

  13. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Seeking to invest in a business!?

    The staff at Murray McMurray Hatchery is exhausted.
    The family-run business, based in Webster City, Iowa, sells rare chicken breeds, mostly to backyard farmers who raise them for eggs or to compete in shows.
    Since the pandemic started, sales have doubled.
    Even with six people manning the lines, the phones ring off the hook from 7 am to 6 at night, owner Tom Watkins says. He estimates his staff has taken an entire year’s worth of orders in just the past two months.
    “They want what they want right now,” Watkins told Insider, “and at this point, it’s probably too late.”
    The hatchery is sold out of chicks, he said, and will probably remain that way through at least August
    And it’s not just Murray McMurray. Hatcheries across the country have sold out in the wake of runaway demand, according to Mark Pogwaite, president of the American Poultry Associati

    Interest in backyard chicken coops has exploded as people are at home and facing food insecurity.

    Experts fear novices could unknowingly spread diseases that kill millions of birds every year and threaten the food chain.

    In 2015, an outbreak of avian influenza traced to a small backyard farm cost nearly $430 million and resulted in the destruction of 34 million birds across 77 farms.

    Brent Credille, a professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says experienced farmers should reach out to beginners: “Whether we help them or not, my guess is they’re going to do it anyway.
    The staffat Murray McMurray Hatchery is exhausted.
    The family-run business, based in Webster City, Iowa, sells rare chicken breeds, mostly to backyard farmers who raise them for eggs or to compete in shows.
    Since the pandemic started, sales have doubled.
    Even with six people manning the lines, the phones ring off the hook from 7 am to 6 at night, owner Tom Watkins says. He estimates his staff has taken an entire year’s worth of orders in just the past two months.
    “They want what they want right now,” Watkins told Insider, “and at this point, it’s probably too late.”
    The hatchery is sold out of chicks, he said, and will probably remain that way through at least August.
    And it’s not just Murray McMurray. Hatcheries across the country have sold out in the wake of runaway demand, according to Mark Pogwaite, president of the American Poultry Association.
    Google searches for “chicken coops” have soared since March, according to People, and options continue to sell out online.
    “It’s huge, from what I can see,” Pogwaite said of demand. “The feed stores can’t keep chicks in, the catalogs can’t keep up. It was like overnight, as soon as COVID-19 hit.”
    Sales at hatcheries often spike when there’s economic uncertainty or rising food prices. “When people are insecure about their financial future, they go back to the agrarian part of life,” Watkins said.
    What’s different this time, he added, is the number of first-time customers.
    Watkins is doing his best to educate new buyers, but he and other breeders are worried that the boom in amateur chicken farmers could lead to outbreaks of dangerous poultry diseases.
    If a virus spread to a commercial farm, it could interrupt the already strained food chain and cost millions of dollars.
    A backyard outbreak ‘could devastate the poultry industry’
    In 2015, officials traced an outbreak of avian influenza in Iowa to a small backyard farm. Stopping its spread cost nearly $430 million and resulted in the destruction of 34 million birds across 77 farms, according to the Iowa Farm Bureau.

    Glad I don’t like or eat eggs!🤢 Don’t especially like the bird, scrappers and cleaning a chicken coop is disgusting.
    Prefer aquaculture and pond raising fish. Easier and more peaceful.

  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Chinese manufacturers that dominate nearly every step in the global solar power supply chain are being forced to slash prices as the coronavirus disrupts projects around the world.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “More Chinese banks are issuing perpetual bonds as a way to replenish capital and support their loan growth, with regulatory incentives spurring 569.6 billion yuan (US$79.6 billion) in total issuance last year for one of the riskiest types of bank debt.”


    • WSJ is reporting China’s Barely Begun Economic Recovery Shows Signs of Stalling
      More factories are reopening, but they face falling orders from overseas customers

      While China’s official PMI, released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, showed continued expansion, the magnitude of the gains fell for a second straight month, and a subindex to measure production slipped to 53.2 from 53.7 in April—pointing to sluggish demand. Worryingly, the new-export-orders subindex, a gauge of external demand, continued to remain deep in contractionary territory, though it improved to 35.3 in May, from 33.5 in April.

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    One of many ‘mini’ trade conflicts around the world:

    “The Pristina government announced Sunday a ban on all imports from former war foe Serbia that are not stamped “for the Republic of Kosovo”, re-igniting a trade spat between the two neighbours.”


  16. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Three senior bankers [UK] estimated between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of the 608,000 borrowers who have accessed the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, or BBLS, could eventually default on the debt as the prospect of a quick economic recovery fades.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Europe’s main financial regulators are on a collision course with Germany’s dominant savings banks…

      “The European Central Bank and the German financial regulator BaFin have for much of this year been urging the savings banks to overhaul the sector’s safety net that is meant to protect individual lenders from collapse, but have so far met stiff opposition.”


    • john Eardley says:

      Harry, my friend gambled his £20k bounce back loan on the stock market.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        How splendidly wanton. 😂

        Either your friend is very confident in their market savvy or they are counting on the government having to write off all these loans when it becomes clear so many of them are unrepayable, which may not be a bad call. I am half tempted to take one out myself…

  17. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Japan’s factory activity shrank at the fastest pace since March 2009 in May, a private sector survey showed on Monday, as manufacturers widely struggled with the demand blow from the coronavirus pandemic.”


  18. Harry McGibbs says:

    “South Korea’s exports continued to fall in May, marking a double-digit percentage decline for the second consecutive month, according to a government report on Monday.”


  19. Yoshua says:

    As the debt ratio to GDP rises, the interest rate must fall, for the economy to be able to service the debt.

    Covid-19 has led to an explosion of that ratio, due to a massive contraction of GDP.

    The system is now breaking down. Fed and the government have basically taken over the economy by money printing, fiscal spending and helicopter money.

    This isn’t sustainable in the long term.

    I think that the virus is an attack against the global system, with the US and the dollar as central targets.

    A breakdown would lead to total chaos and allow a new system to arise.

    Ordo ab Chao.

  20. CTG says:

    Something down the rabbit hole. This is not verified but believeable. It is now taken off ZH.

    “It’s A Setup”: Mysterious Brick Piles Appear Throughout Major Protest Cities
    Mysterious pallets of bricks have been filmed throughout major riot hotspots across the country, in what appears to be more evidence that organized groups are using the George Floyd protests to incite chaos and terrorism throughout the US.


    • beidawei says:

      Christ, the Vast Global Cabal even cen-sors ZH!

      But seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised to find leading Democrats organizing this. The basic idea (fomenting unrest six months before the election) has been mooted for years. Unfortunately, something this racially divisive is likely to increase support for Trump, as most whites / Asians / some Hispanics blame the Dems for siding with black rioters.

    • John Eardley says:

      In one of the pictures used as evidence of bricks mysteriously appearing, you can clearly see that the pavement behind is being re-laid with the said same bricks. Dur!

      • CTG says:

        I expect someone would comment on that. That is the difference between someone who can see the forest or the trees.Why focus on the picture where there is construction but disregard others that do not have it ?

        I am firm believer of “where is the is smoke, there is fire”. Something is that is worth investigating. It does not matter if it is real or fake, staged or whatever, at least one must have an open mind about this. I have met up with people who just shut themselves out.

        There might be something happening withe those bricks. Just see what happens next.

        It is the second, third and fourth order effects that is important like business confidence, trust erosion, etc. The riots are just the symptoms of a larger issue – namely wealth disparity

  21. psile says:

    2020. For the doomer, it’s the year that keeps on giving.

    MAYHEM IN AMERICA: Riots and chaos engulf New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC


    “States around the country ratcheted up their response to demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd on Saturday, using force as some gatherings escalated into violence.

    The killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died after being pinned to the ground during an arrest by Minneapolis police on Monday, sparked nationwide protests this week as anger over the treatment of black Americans by the country’s law enforcement and justice system continues to intensify.

    The Pentagon announced Saturday that it was electing to place select military units on a four-hour recall status, should Gov. Tim Walz (D) require additional reinforcements to contain demonstrations in the state.”

  22. Tim Groves says:

    Let’s start the week off with a smile!

    Former ESPN reporter Chris Martin Palmer celebrated rioters burning down a $30 million affordable housing complex in Minneapolis on Thursday, writing: “Burn that s**t down. Burn it all down.”

    He changed his tune after the “gated community” down the street from him came under attack.

    “They just attacked our sister community down the street,” Palmer tweeted. “It’s a gated community and they tried to climb the gates. They had to beat them back. Then destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals TF out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.”


    • Robert Firth says:

      Funny for two minutes, maybe. But on the other paw, this may be a true tipping point. These communities are protected by private security guards. But if those guards finally wake up to the fact that the public security forces are their friends and allies, and the people in those gated communities are their enemies, the elite will no longer be safe to spread venom and race hate. And not before time. I would pay good money for a ringside seat when Beverly Hills burns to the ground.

  23. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


    “ROME (Reuters) – The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday.

    “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion.

    “The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television…”

    maybe yes and maybe no…

    some possibly random swabs of persons of what age and overall health?

    it will take more time to confirm his statements…

  24. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


    San Francisco curfew to be extended indefinitely…
    Urban Warfare Spreads…
    LA, Seattle, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, NYC, DC…
    Philly, Miami, Vegas, Cleveland, Denver, Des Moines, Dallas, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Kansas City…
    Pittsburgh, Columbia, Wilmington, Portland, Phoenix, Tampa, MORE…

  25. frankly step-by-step says:

    “Der Spiegel” about the generation of 20-30 year olds in Germany.

    Two extracts from it.

    “At the moment, we’re heading for a disaster,” says Professor Stefan Sell, a social scientist and
    labor market expert at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences. He says Germany is
    threatened with an enormous shortage of apprenticeship positions – and an uncertain future for
    part of this generation of high school graduates.

    The mood of the now-it’s-our-turn crowd hasn’t become so demanding yet as to risk burning
    bridges with those in power. For now, it’s still urging the older generation not to botch things with
    young people. Ever since the virus broke out and containment measures began, Neubauer says,
    young people around the world have stayed home. Young people have shown solidarity with
    those at risk, especially the elderly. But they could reasonably expect a similar level of solidarity
    from the old, Neubauer says. After all, when it comes to the climate crisis, it’s young people who
    are the biggest at-risk group, since they’re the ones who are going to live on the planet the
    longest. And work the longest. And pay for everything.

    Or does the Greta generation no longer exist? Is it all becoming a luxury debate, because
    concern for the climate is being overshadowed by existential fear? It’s a state of affairs that young
    people in Spain and Italy have long been familiar with.


  26. Tim Groves says:

    This would seem to blow most of our covid fears out of the water.

    “It’s all Bullsh*t” – 3 Leaks that Sink the Covid Narrative
    In recent days a series of leaks across the globe have further shown the “official line” on coronavirus does not hold water

    Kit Knightly

    The science of the coronavirus is not disputed. It is well documented and openly admitted:

    Most people won’t get the virus.
    Most of the people who get it won’t display symptoms.
    Most of the people who display symptoms will only be mildly sick.
    Most of the people with severe symptoms will never be critically ill.
    And most of the people who get critically ill will survive.
    This is borne out by the numerous serological studies which show, again and again, that the infection fatality ratio is on par with flu.

    There is no science – and increasingly little rational discussion – to justify the lockdown measures and overall sense of global panic.

    Nevertheless, it’s always good to get official acknowledgement of the truth, even if it has to be leaked.

    Here are three leaks showing that those in power know that the coronavirus poses no threat, and in no way justifies the lockdown that is going to destroy the livelihoods of so many.


    On May 26th Dr Alexander Myasnikov, Russia’s head of coronavirus information, gave an interview to former-Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak in which he apparently let slip his true feelings.

    Believing the interview over, and the camera turned off, Myasnikov said:

    It’s all bullshit […] It’s all exaggerated. It’s an acute respiratory disease with minimal mortality […] Why has the whole world been destroyed? That I don’t know,”


    According to an e-mail leaked to Danish newspaper Politiken, the Danish Health Authority disagree with their government’s approach to the coronavirus. They cover it in two articles here and here (For those who don’t speak Danish, thelocal.dk have covered the story too).

    There’s a lot of interesting information there, not least of which is the clear implication that politicians appear to be pressing the scientific advisors to overstate the danger (they did the same thing in the UK), along with the decision of some civil servants to withhold data from the public until after the lockdown had been extended.

    But by far the most important quote is from a March 15th e-mail [our emphasis]:

    The Danish Health Authority continues to consider that covid-19 cannot be described as a generally dangerous disease, as it does not have either a usually serious course or a high mortality rate,”

    On March 12th the Danish parliament passed an emergency law which – among many other things – decreased the power of the Danish Health Authority, demoting it from a “regulatory authority” to just an “advisory” one.


    Earlier this month, on May 9th, a report was leaked to the German alternate media magazine Tichys Einblick titled “Analysis of the Crisis Management”.

    The report was commissioned by the German department of the interior, but then its findings were ignored, prompting one of the authors to release it through non-official channels.

    The fall out of that, including attacks on the authors and minimising of the report’s findings, is all very fascinating and we highly recommend this detailed report on Strategic Culture (or read the full report here in German).

    We’re going to focus on just the reports conclusions, including [our emphasis]:

    The dangerousness of Covid-19 was overestimated: probably at no point did the danger posed by the new virus go beyond the normal level.
    The danger is obviously no greater than that of many other viruses. There is no evidence that this was more than a false alarm.
    During the Corona crisis the State has proved itself as one of the biggest producers of Fake News.
    After being attacked in the press, and suspended from his job, the leaker and other authors of the report released a joint statement, calling on the government to respond to their findings.


    If the current crisis was being approached rationally by all parties, these leaks would seal the debate.

    Evidence is piling up that the people in charge knew, from the very beginning, that the virus was not dangerous.

    The question remaining is: Why are these leaks happening now?


    • DB says:

      Thank you, Tim. There are still some public health professionals with integrity, it seems.

  27. Yoshua says:

    BREAKING: AG Barr Has instructed all 56 Regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) to search and apprehend ANTIFA leaders across the country.

    • Tim Groves says:

      If so, this is wonderful news. Fortunately there is plenty of FEMA Camp space available to hold them. And after due protest has been observed, perhaps they could be sent to China in exchanged for an equivalent number of Falon Gongsters?.

      • Jonzo says:

        Sounding a little “Alt-Right” there. Maybe you guys should open your eyes a little and realize that our Fascist-Corporate State is the NUMBER ONE problem. And running huge deficits to fund our growing Military-Police-Surveillance State is just an offshoot of the Fascist-Corporate State.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Maybe so. Maybe we do. Maybe we should. I often question my prejudices and ask myself why I bother to hold any.

          Regarding ANTIFA, I ask myself whether they represent a force for positive change in the US or a force for the destruction of civilization and the production of chaos out of which can spring a new order. Maybe you could help me with that?

          I cut all ties with a lot of “liberal” friends a few years ago over our differences in perception over the issue of removing the Confederate flag and statues of old Confederate war leaders in the old South. I said at the time that the left was using salami tactics to demoralize the opposition and that next time they would go further. And I was called a fascist, a n*zi, a rac*ist and a white supremec*st for my troubles. The left has so many great labels to pin on dissenters, don’t you agree?

          And you know what, every day since I cut all ties with these guys, I have felt cleansed. I breathe, easier, sleep better, enjoy everything more because they are out of my life.

          Christopher Hitchens, the old turncoat, reported something similar after he literally jumped ship and joined Pirate Dubya and his motley crew:

          “Some lurid things have been said about me—that I am a racist, a hopeless alcoholic, a closet homosexual and so forth—that I leave to others to decide the truth of. I’d only point out, though, that if true these accusations must also have been true when I was still on the correct side, and that such shocking deformities didn’t seem to count for so much then. Arguing with the Stalinist mentality for more than three decades now, and doing a bit of soapboxing and street-corner speaking on and off, has meant that it takes quite a lot to hurt my tender feelings, or bruise my milk-white skin.”

          Salami tactics, slice by slice, until there’s nothing left but terror, totalitarianism and misery. It happened in France, in Russia, in China, in lots of places all over the Third World, and now it’s on the point of happening in the US. And when it happens, you can’t say you weren’t warned.

          And ANTIFA, whatever it’s original intent, has emerged as a vital army of pawns on that chessboard. It is also, as Noam Chomsky has said, “a major gift to the right.” It’s very existence is bound to generate resistance from the other side, and more importantly, to provoke a strong and possibly draconian response from the state.

          If you are of a progressive bent and are seeking a fairer and more just society, i would have thought that the last thing you want on your side is a violent totalitarian goon squad like ANTIFA and that its members would be far happier living in an egalitarian paradise like the People’s Republic.

          • GBV says:

            Well said.


          • Xabier says:

            Yes, a label for every shade of opposing , or even neutral, opinion.

            My favourite radical Left response is that adopted by my sister:

            ‘Whenever people say that they are not fascists and are just apolitical, I know that they are really fascist bastards at heart.’

            The certainty and self-righteousness must be very satisfying.

            ‘He who is not with us……’

          • Jonzo says:

            I’m looking at the “big picture”. A corporate culture has taken over everything for the most part. Endless consumption, destruction of the environment, profits at any cost all based on the model of perpetual economic growth. So the Right has more blame more than Left on this one. But the Left needs to be include more self-responsibility.

          • Lidia17 says:

            Tim, it’s hard for me, also, to connect with most of the people I know and used to know, virtually all “liberals”.. They don’t seem to notice or care that having been anti-war during the Bush years, as I was, they blandly became pro-war during the Trump years. I’ve come to realize it’s all about the feelz. They only feel comfortable around people who think like them (orangemanbad, although they can’t really say how he is objectively worse than Obama), and they have all leapt on the PC/”offense” bandwagon. It’s not based in anything rational.

            One now-ex-friend explained that I was responsible for how she felt when I said certain things. “How can I know how you are going to react ahead of time, much less be responsible for it?” One can never be “pure” enough among this crowd and the one fun thing about it is watching them eat their own: trans-sexuals vs. TERFs, blacks vs. jews, feminists vs. Islamists, etc. Never heard it called salami-slicing, but -yes- each little concession to any of them slices away a little bit more of one’s soul.

            Groups like antifa *appear* to champion underdogs, but just reinforce a grinding and incessant and revoltingly un-creative perpetual victimhood. Because if the oppressed ever “walked away” from the victim picture they have of themselves (few in America really experience anything like oppression, evidenced by their need to keep generating ever-more-fanciful race-hoaxes), if they ever broke out of being defined *only* by their membership in their identity group, they would be forced to come up with their own individual talents, and make their own excuses for themselves, all of which is hard. Remember, the revolution is supposed to be PERMANENT, which means it can never, ever, ever let up and give anyone a chance to live free or breathe or relax or enjoy anything ever.

            Though they are apparently atheists, to my mind they follow the pattern of fundamentalist religion. They only thing they seem to enjoy is their own righteousness. I’m acquainted with one woman who travelled from New England to go protest at Standing Rock, and who -as a point of pride- has gotten herself arrested at multiple other protests in her many years. Despite all her anti-FF posturing, she decided to take a trip to see her son who’s living in Germany. She said she really wanted to take one of those cruises down the Rhine while she was there, but she wasn’t going to, because of the “consumption”. But, I said in a nice way, “you’re already flying all the way over there, so why not make the most of the trip?” Without a hint of irony or self-mockery: “BECAUSE I WANT TO BE RIGHTEOUS!” Well, alrighty then!

            One of the “perks” of going to heaven, mentioned by religionists from Thomas Aquinas to Jonathan Edwards, was that one would get to watch from above as sinners below writhed in hell. So there is a certain sadistic streak to which such fundamentalism appeals.

    • Kim says:

      This will be fascinating if it is real, which I doubt, and it is fully reported, which I also doubt. Antifa should have been dealt with as a criminal or terrorist organization a long time ago. Buut for some reason it has had magical protection against even negative reporting (relative to its criminal and teroristic activities), much less investigation and prosecution.

      Imagine the documentation, membership lists, organizational charts, training manuals, banking records, and incriminating communications that could be swept up in mass antifa warrants.

      I don’t expect to see any such thing of course. Might be a little embarrassing if we all got to see who is behind what, and to what degree the supposed accidents and serendipities of history have actually been the results of cold calculation.

      • Yoshua says:

        The Trump administration would have to designate the Nazis as a terrorist organisation as well to create unity in the US?

        Unity is the only thing that ANTIFA fears.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      read all about it: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/31/donald-trump-the-united-states-will-designate-antifa-as-a-terrorist-organization/

      “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

      Attorney General Bill Barr issued a statement after the president’s declaration.

      “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” he wrote.

      Barr also said that 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces would be used to identify “criminal organizers and instigators” fueling the violence.

      • Denial says:

        This is the same organization that believes that you can print money to infinity and have no negative effects! Ha !! Powell is a dummy trumpet is a dummy too

      • Tim Groves says:

        Well, if Trump tweeted it, and Dorsey didn’t editorialize the tweet, that settles the matter.

  28. avocado says:

    It’s the same same question I’ve had for decades. I can only get that regular bullets are cheaper and scarier

  29. cassandraclub says:

    • This is an interview with Dylan Ratigan. He believes that America is screwed bescuase it never invested in social systems, the way Europe and Canada. Because of this, it is headed for collapse. America has costs for everything (education, healthcare, nutritious food) that are simply unaffordable for most Americans.

      I think that all countries are headed in the direction of collapse, regardless of the approach they used prior to collapse.

      The American way has indeed been different, for a long time. It has included more diverse people in the same country. France, Germany, Sweden and the UK only recently have tried to add more diverse populations.

      The United States has also tended to reward the individual or the business for innovative ideas and investment, rather than looking out for the good of all people, in the aggregate. I think the view has been, “A rising tide raises all ships.”

      In fact, this didn’t work too badly, up until about 1980. Then wage disparity started to become more of an issue, as we added more debt and more high tech devices that substituted for some of the manual labor. Then income gains started going almost entirely to high-income people, and to the owners of capital devices.


      US health outcomes started lagging badly behind those of other developed countries.


      Fertilizer and other advances in agriculture led to a huge amount of food that producers have wanted to sell. The government did not stop the marketing of many types of over-processed food. Restaurants offered ever-larger servings to diners. The cost wouldn’t seem so high, if lots of food were offered to diners. The result was an epidemic of obesity; this obesity is one of the major causes of the lower life expectancy.


      Medical companies were encouraged to create expensive devices to test patients and expensive medications to give to patient, without any consideration of whether these would be affordable, and whether the cost/benefit would be reasonable. More and more specialization was done, in theory making health care better. In practice, it made it mostly more expensive and more confusing to the patient. Physicians wanted to maximize their revenue and avoid lawsuits, so would use all kinds of imaging machines and recommend surgery that would have at most most marginal benefit, to keep revenue up.

      Education became another “growth” area. Encourage everyone to take out debt, to go to school. At the same time, make the dorms and cafeterias much fancier. The profs needed more degrees, and needed to spend more time in research.

      Automobiles became ever fancier. Homes added more and more requirements as well. Both because increasingly affordable only to the very rich.Lots and lost of growth was the goal, but the only way the growth would come was through many of the citizens not being able to afford a large share of these very expensive things.

      • Matthew Krajcik says:

        “Restaurants offered ever-larger servings to diners. The cost wouldn’t seem so high, if lots of food were offered to diners. The result was an epidemic of obesity; this obesity is one of the major causes of the lower life expectancy.”

        Is it really because of larger portions? McDonald’s insists its burgers have always been the same size. I think it is more due to an epidemic of people who sit at desks to work, instead of at least standing in a factory or warehouse, or working outside. Automobile culture is bizarre. People that drive down the block instead of walking for 2 minutes.

        “Automobiles became ever fancier. Homes added more and more requirements as well. Both because increasingly affordable only to the very rich.”

        Lots of affordable vehicles at the lower end, everyone wants an SUV. Houses are massive now, no one makes an 800 SF starter home. They would be much more comfortable compared to 1940s offerings, yet much more affordable if they were the same size.

        • The USDA shows red meat and poultry statistics going back to 1960. According to its data, the total red meat and poultry consumption per capita increased as follows:

          1960 167.2 pounds per person per year = .46 pound per person per day
          1965 177.9
          1970 193.3
          1975 183.3 (recession)
          1980 193.7
          1985 197.9
          1990 197.5
          1995 206.5
          2000 214.9
          2005 219.6
          2010 206.7 (after recession)
          2015 209.4
          2020 (est) 227.4 = .62 pounds per person per day

          If the 2020 estimate is right, current per capita consumption is 36% higher than in 1960.

          McDonalds and the other chains sell a mixture of different sizes. There weren’t many restaurants back in 1960. People didn’t serve as much meat at home. “Meat stretcher” meals seem to have been common back in those days.

          In recent times, piling on cheese with meat seems to be more common as well.

          Part of the automobile problem is all of the requirements: stronger bumpers, antilock brakes, rear view camera, higher miles per gallon. Plus the many expected add-ons: air conditioning, fancy music systems, electronic window openers.

          Part of the housing price problem is all of the charges cities now add for new roads, schools, and other infrastructure. They can’t hide this big cost unless the rest of the building cost is high.

          • Lidia17 says:

            Another issue is the increasing amount of antibiotics and hormone use in factory-farming over that period. They fatten the animals up, so these substances may occur in trace amt.s and fatten us up, too.

      • Hide-away says:

        Gail the comment about the US approach……

        “I think the view has been, “A rising tide raises all ships.””

        ..appears to have been the correct approach while there was an increase in net energy per capita. However now that we have decreasing net energy per capita, it appears to be a poor approach, with the increasing income differential being clear evidence .

        We know from history that generals often try and use the same tactics that worked in the last war, often with dire results. It looks to me like the leaders/managers of the US are trying to fight what is happening with the old tools that don’t work in the current situation.

        • It is true, we are always fighting the last war.

          The way any kind of ecosystem is structured (by the laws of physics) is that no matter what kind of stress (too hot, too cold, too wet, too much wind, species of some kind dying because of virus), there will be some of the members of the ecosystem that will be better adapted to handling the stress. The result will be survival of the best adapted, relative to the new environment.

          A falling tide will disproportionately impact some members of the economy. As long as there is energy to dissipate, it would seem like the self-organizing system would try to form some new smaller economy, with only the stronger businesses and the people who seem to be able to operate those businesses. Perhaps, the old economy wouldn’t work, but if some of the globalization goes away, and some of the higher level of governments and intergovernmental structures go away, maybe something can be made to work. The usual analogy in such a case is that the least well adapted are “frozen out.” The energy tends to rise to the top. This might be sort of like a falling tide saving some, while others are washed out to sea.

  30. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Perhaps….”Instead, Floyd died from a “combined effect of being restrained, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system,” the autopsy revealed” Translation;
    Manslaughter and a 3 year sentence; out in 18 months. End of Story

    Here in South Florida

    So far, curfew at night countywide and little violence😃

  31. CTG says:

    Guys and girls, we are here at OFW to talk about about macro stuff and how riots fit in. Discussing on colours is not a very appropriate topic here. At this juncture, what difference does it make? If you cannot understand why I say the previous sentence, then likely you do not understand the predicament we are facing. We will be talking apples and oranges.

    • Xabier says:

      Exactly: it’s like the man drowning in a fast-flowing river thinking about his hat getting wet…..

    • Dennis L. says:


      Many of us understand the predicament, it is a serious social challenge to which the US has given considerable effort over the past sixty or so years. Unfortunately, it always comes down to apples and oranges.

      Not sure about many of you, I am here to understand the micro, what can be done in my life to adapt to the world as it is becoming, there is not much I can do about the macro and good data is almost impossible to get at our level; we can’t even figure out what is really happening with the virus.

      Dennis L.

    • brian says:

      cant expect people to starve to death quietly. we are witnessing the end of one age and the beginning of another. even the mighty USA is not immune to collapse.

  32. Kim says:

    It is really hard to cuff or control a man who is determined not to be cuffed. Even two or three men can find it impossible. Even pepper spray, an angry, crazy or drugged man will just walk through it. And the most efficient methods of control – using pain – are forbidden. Mostly cops hope the arrested will cooperate. Many blacks will not.

    • Matthew Krajcik says:

      Why are tranquilizers not allowed to be used on humans?

      • Lidia17 says:

        A person could have a bad drug reaction/interaction and then you are in the same spot as with the restraint.

  33. Kim says:

    1. The key takeaway of the video is that the very same tactics of social and economic destruction used in SA and outlined in that ANC document have also been applied in the USA and on the streets this very day.

    2. As to your lack of sympathy for whites, it is hardly likely that you would sympathize with any group that the media and education have systematically demonized these last 50 years. Kill the farmer. Kill the Boer.

    3. As for the “crushing inequalities” of apartheid, I suppose we are now just failing once again to learn the lesson that was not learnt in Zimbabwe, where water pumping stations no longer work, the driver killed g water is foul, and it is commonly believed that whites poisoned the water before they left. Nothing to do with Mugabe and his kleptocratic thugs or patterns of premodern social organization.

    Because, you see, if blacks don’t thrive, it is the white man’s fault, and for that reason we must always remember to kill the farmer, kill the Boer.

    But the Bantu (who arrived in SA as invaders from central Africa 250 years after the Boers) have now had their hands on the levers of power there for 30 years and the country has poverty worse than ever and levels of rape and murder and disease (e.g. HIV) so high and education and illiteracy so low that the numbers defy belief. The country is simply a nightmare.

    And that whole time, they have continued to blame the whites.

    And blacks in the USA sing the same song. Kill the farmer. But whites do not create black society. Blacks do. It is about time that blacks admitted that and that whites forgot about them completely and started to recognize and attend to their own group interests as whites…but of course, if whites do that, it is racism.

    • A big issue is too much wage and wealth disparity. This is relative to too much technology and not enough energy to provide the goods and services the world needs without a lot of technology to make the energy more energy efficient, cleaner, and available from ever-more-difficult to extract sources. Wages for much of the population do not rise high enough to cover the cost of the ever-fancier products, such as cars, college educations, and medicine.

    • Tim Groves says:

      You make some very good points, Kim, but because a lot of what you say is verboten in mainstream discourse, and it contravenes the current orthodox narrative, many people find it shocking.

      The idea that blacks make black society and whites make white society is debatable, though. Another perspective is that we are all products of our time, being raised in our culture, learning how to be what we are, going along to get along, and possibly making an effort to become an individual to some extent rather than just living the life of a normie from cradle to grave. The huge weight of society presses down on us all and molds us all to a greater or lesser extent. How much we individually make our mark on society is in most cases inperceivably small.

      So whoever makes black society and white society, it isn’t individual blacks or whites, but a hidden hand, and sometimes a fist, that does this vital work by herding people into various forms of thinking and behaving. This hidden hand is wielded by a relatively small group of people who are creating a stage show for the rest of us to be drawn into. Plato’s cave in our world is actually a multiplex movie theater with segregated viewing for blacks, whites, Christians, Muslims, straights, gays, and various other groups. Step out of your designated cave and you will be hissed at by the compliant folks who are mistaking their movie for reality.

  34. Ed says:

    Remember no one starves to death, they die of CV19. It is a great face saving device.

  35. Minority Of One says:

    This was a small article on page 6 of yesterday’s “I” newspaper (UK):

    Coronavirus lockdown: Over 6.5m jobs could disappear, from waiters to cabin crew and hospitality staff

    Meanwhile, the front page of the very same newspaper had only one heading:
    “Top scientist: too early to relax rules”
    Cannot find the linked article online, but the BBC covered the same story: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52858392

    As though the two issues were unrelated.
    Clearly 6.5 M losing their jobs permanently does not count as a big news story, not now.

  36. we are going to Mars says:

    No, really, guys, Spacex is blowing up their rockets on purpose.

    It’s not because their staff are still learning how to build rockets.
    These people are serious professionals and take great offense to calling them unpaid interns.

  37. horseofadifferentcolor says:

    If you are issuing licenses to kill a psycho or two will apply. That doesn’t mean they are all psychos. If you cut of the blood to the brain through the arteries that feed it the person becomes unconscious then dies. Choke holds “sleepers” were very popular until pretty much universally banned. Looks like knee sleepers are next. If you take away tools to control more people will get shot. The solution. Zip tie the ankles along with cuffs and dolly the suspect to transport. The problem is booking and the hole system pretty much depends on a compliant suspect. The neck is pretty much the only limb left to manipulate one the suspect is in cuffs. How do you move suspects and prisoners if they are non compliant? If you have a lot of non compliance you dont have eight officers for each one to move the people as dead weight. At some point they comply or BOOM.
    I hear a lot of people wishing cops just go away. That we dont need them. They may get their wish. Cops just taking care of cops. Its like that a lot anyway. The wealthy parts of town their is law enforcement. Trash not so much. If order breaks down it will be very bad.

    • The woman who fixes my hair is the mother of a son who is a cop. One of his concerns is the fact that today, an increasing share of cops are women. If her son calls for reinforcements, there is a significant chance that some of the reinforcements will be women. Women rarely have the strength of males to subdue males who are non-complaint.

      • Mosey says:

        “Women rarely have the strength of males to subdue males who are non-complaint.”

        Proof? The female officers I’ve seen are pretty damn strong looking…and we all know that women have a much higher pain tolerance threshold than men. Sorry but unless you provide proof that female police are not able to do the job as well as a male officer, I call BS. Female officers do, of course, carry weapons, don’t they?

        Slightly off topic…this site…so funny! The handful of folk who post so many posts here…wow. There is a life beyond your keyboard if you just look! Like, even if it’s true that the world is going to collapse any minute now, as most of you seem to opine, wouldn’t you want to enjoy what is left rather than sit on your computer all day so you can repost the spin of the media? No? Didn’t think so. Lol.

        • Matthew Krajcik says:

          “and we all know that women have a much higher pain tolerance threshold than men.”
          Only during labor. https://news.psu.edu/story/141291/2008/11/10/research/probing-question-do-women-have-higher-pain-threshold-men

          “Female officers do, of course, carry weapons, don’t they?”
          If the goal is just to shoot everyone, sure. We’re talking about physically restraining rioters, not just killing them outright, though.

          “There is a life beyond your keyboard if you just look!”
          Can only spend so much time watering and weeding and landscaping. It seems to me easier to do it in short bursts, rather than trying to work outside in the heat for a bunch of hours at a time.

        • Yorchichan says:

          Some proof for you:

        • Norman Pagett says:

          better run for the hills then

          while there’s still space in the hills

        • Malcopian says:

          ‘There is a life beyond your keyboard if you just look! Wouldn’t you want to enjoy what is left rather than sit on your computer all day.’

          Me, I’m not one of the ‘handful of folk who post so many posts’, but what an ignorant thing to say, as though it’s EITHER – OR. Technology today allows one to cut and paste at speed. I’m grateful for a lot of the posts here that alert me to fascinating subjects (‘The Fourth Turning’, even the History Channel’s series ‘Uni denti fied’ with its evidence of yoofoes – forbidden word here). I learn far more in a short time sitting behind my PC than I ever do strolling outside (tho I learn plenty there of a different and local nature and also clock new trends). And posters do bring their own sarcy, intelligent and streetwise insights and comments too. We live in fast, exciting, fascinating times. I do want to know what other intelligent people are thinking. Admittedly one or two here can be incredibly irksome and teenagerish, but most are not.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Women police officers are far more effective than men at obtaining compliance. We boys have all been trained to obey our mums, nuns and schoolmarms. So not even the most hardened criminal is going to keep wriggling about if a police woman asks him to “Please freeze,” now is he?

          • Matthew Krajcik says:

            Unless he comes from a patriarchal society where women are supposed to submit to men. Or if he is drunk or high or mentally ill.

  38. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, Latin America’s slum dwellers waited defenseless in its path. Now, with the region becoming the new epicentre of the crisis, the virus is unleashing destruction on its most vulnerable populations…

    “In a region where an estimated 54 per cent are employed in the informal sector, slum residents are forced to choose between “starving or dying from the virus,” according to Brazilian economist Dalia Maimon of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

    “Maimon sums up the prevailing belief as: “if dying of hunger is a certainty, by not working – then I will take the risk of trying not to become infected by going out to work.”

    “An economic crisis exacerbated by the shutdown has left millions of Latin Americans without a livelihood. In Brazil alone, five million people lost their jobs since the pandemic began…”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “For eight weeks, three siblings in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg, survived on food scraps from neighbours and cabbages grown next to their shack.

      “The children, aged between 10 and 17, were found by social workers last week while checking on poor families in the area.

      ““They were starving,” said Mashudu Nemusunda, a clinical social auxiliary worker at the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children.

      ““Their eyes were sunken. For days they would eat nothing.”

      “Their situation is not unique. Experts say cases of hunger and malnutrition have increased during the lockdown. The children’s mother has been trapped by the lockdown 600km away in a village outside Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, for the past eight weeks — first by the travel ban, then because she ran out of money.”


      • Kim says:

        “Kill the farmer!”

        Observe that a very similar process as described in this documentary is being implemented against whites in the United States.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          I couldn’t comment on the situation in the United States …but if I were inclined to look around the world for repressed and marginalised groups of people to feel sorry for, which as a general rule I’m not, white Americans are probably not going to be at the top of my list.

          As for South Africa, it is unsurprising that the pendulum has begun to swing back in this way – tragic, of course, but anyone who imagined that the crushing inequalities of apartheid would be replaced with a joyfully united rainbow nation was optimistic, to say the least.

          To borrow a phrase from Wilfred Owen, this is, “The eternal reciprocity of tears” in action. And to borrow another one from Julia Fordham, “Down in Southern Africa no happy ever after.”

          • Tim Groves says:

            Just wait until somebody turns up on your island armed with machetes and AK45s and says that their tribe has a historical claim on your castle, and you may have a bit of sympathy for the oppressed white farmers of South Africa and the depressed ones of South Dakota.

          • Very Far Frank says:

            This is what complacency looks like, ladies and gentlemen.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              To understand that worsening social relations (with all manner of splitting along ethnic, cultural and religious faultlines) are the inevitable fruits of the worsening resource-constraints and likely financial problems Gail writes about is simply to be a realist. If I were complacent about these issues I would hardly have moved my family to an island off Scotland.

              When I say that the situation in South Africa is tragic I am not being glib. Elderly friends of ours have just escaped to Australia from there with very little money and barely with their lives, having been intimidated out of their family farm. But I am not going to single one race out as being hard done by when I can see the entirety of the dynamic.

              Our predicament is systemic. Attempting to view it through the prism of your own pet racial prejudice, as some in the comments section are, seems a very self-limiting thing to do.

            • i’ve been watching the SA farm situation too.

              I can see no alternative but that it will be repeat of Zimbabwe. where farmer-occupiers sit back and expect land to ‘deliver’ prosperity once the whites are evicted.

              I fear also that the entire continent of Africa will go the same way, most of the nations there seem to be basket cases, with politicians/tribal leaders looting as fast as they can.

              You always get my vote Harry, for putting your money where your mouth is, and shipping out to the Hebrides.

      • The ultimate problem is not enough affordable energy supplies worldwide. South Africa seems to be past peak coal, because coal is too expensive to extract at world prices. Also, electricity from this coal is too expensive for many people in South Africa to afford.

  39. Harry McGibbs says:

    This time the economic crisis is far deadlier than the global financial crisis and brings with it human misery not seen by many generations…

    “The dilemma is that the more we rely on lockdown measures, the greater will be the need to cushion the economy through monetary and fiscal stimuli. India’s large unorganised labour force may have little option but to return to work sooner than later, as the government may not have the fiscal muscle to support all of them beyond a point.”


  40. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Global demand for personal luxury goods has been steadily increasing for decades, resulting in an industry worth US$308 billion in 2019.

    “However, the insatiable desire for consumers to own nice things was suddenly interrupted by the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts are predicting a brutal contraction of up to one-third of the current luxury goods market size this year.”


  41. Harry McGibbs says:

    “For decades, China has been powering global manufacturing through its integrated supply chains on the back of large amounts of debt. Troubles are mounting for China since its years of profligacy on borrowed money has now resulted in its debt pile becoming extremely large at a time when its economy is contracting…

    “One round of bailout by the central government took place in 2019 as smaller Chinese banks were witnessing tremendous uncertainty. There are now expectations that many more Chinese financial institutions will need bailouts by the central government.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Hammered by the health crisis, China’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the first contraction since quarterly records began. Analysts believe it will be months before broader activity returns to pre-crisis levels, even if a fresh wave of infections can be avoided.

      “While most businesses have reopened, many manufacturers are struggling with reduced or cancelled overseas orders as lockdowns push the global economy into recession. Domestic demand also remains depressed amid increased job losses and worries about a second wave of infections.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Banks in Hong Kong have been warned they face a tangle of red tape as the territory prepares to lose its special trade relations with the United States as Beijing tightens its grip.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “…the leadership in China historically takes a slow approach in dealing with foreign policy with the United States.

          “The uncertainty of the next leader coming into a highly contentious election in a divided nation facing the Coronavirus’s challenge means that China will wait until after November to decide how to proceed when it comes to a trade deal and relations with the US.”


      • The big problem in China seems to be lack of demand:

        Export orders logged the fifth consecutive month of contraction, with a sub-index standing at 35.3 in May, well below the 50-point mark, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to take a toll on global demand.

        “Judging by the PMI sub-indices, the absolute levels of demand-related indices are way below the production-related ones, indicating a pronounced constraining impact from demand on production,” said Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), adding that more than 50% of companies have reported a lack of demand.

    • Failing Chinese banks are indeed a concern.

  42. Harry McGibbs says:

    Unrest in Italian cities:

    “Assemblies of hundreds of people , many of them without a mask and without safety distances, as reported by AdnKronos , this morning in Piazza Duomo in Milan or, simultaneously with other squares in Italy, for the manifestation of the so-called “orange vests”, addressed by General Antonio Pappalardo .

    “The protest was among other things against the government and for the return to the lira, under the banner of slogans such as ” They want to sell us to China “. Tension also in the center of Rome for some events organized by different groups linked to the far right

    “What is the movement of orange vests?It is a composite and heterogeneous protest movement whose watchwords are the return to the “Italian lira ” and a government voted by the people. To guide them, among others, is General Antonio Pappalardo, a former Italian carabiniere . Brigadier general of the Carabinieri on leave since 2006.”


  43. I wrote this earlier but it was ignored, so I am posting this again and also adding some more words to it.
    May 24, 2020 at 6:02 am

    About Dennis L’s quote on universities, it does not matter whether somebody has a degree from Harvard-Facebook, whatever. Since such degrees will be seen as bogus as all these for-profit vocational institutions.

    Before WW2, few people received post secondary education. Universities were for upper classes, to network, have fun, etc.

    There were land grant institutions run by states to train vocational students for their own use. A lot of state universities began as teacher’s colleges, not considered to be full universities back then. They taught agriculture, technical studies, and military tech. Humanities and medicine were for the upper class.

    After WW2, the GI bill was invented to keep the returning soldiers out of workforce for some time. Because there were not enough universities to house them, all of these institutions were renamed as full universities.

    Berkeley ,also called Cal, is legitimate since it began as a full university right from the start. UCLA began as the southern branch of California Normal School(teacher’s college). The main branch of CNS became the San Jose State University, which is not taken seriously; UCLA is not considered to be a legitimate university because of its origins. (Ditto to the various universities under the University of California system – only Cal is legitimate, the rest stepchildren.)

    That’s just one of the examples.

    No matter how much money the state universities and the second and third tier private universities might get from tech companies, their degrees will be worthless. Those who paid to take such courses will be no different from those who took huge loans to take worthless courses from a for-profit ‘universities’.

    Once again, Universities will be for the upper classes, who will be paying a much higher tuition since the capacity will have to decrease significantly. Companies will set up their own technical institutions, with a preference for the family of existing employees,and smaller companies will just take experienced employees released from the larger ones.

    In addition to the above, college education will probably go away for those who don’t need it, since the cost/benefit analysis does not favor that.

    Only the most misinformed will spend $50,000 or so a year to attend online lectures. One goes to college to get networks and have social life which might build for a lifetime. There is really no point spending all these money to earn an online degree, accredited or not, which is not worth a crap.

    • Today’s costs for education are incredibly high, even at state-operated institutions. The huge amount of debt available to students plus the belief that a degree is the key to a job that pays well has fueled a bubble in graduates of all kinds. I think I remarked earlier that we are now requiring students to pay for higher costs of all kinds: fancier dormitories, fancier cafeterias, fancier labs, faculty with Ph.Ds doing research instead of faculty with masters’ degrees teaching classes, and big football stadiums.

      In a high-tech world, an education is indeed helpful. But the high-tech nature of the world seems to be going away. And technology changes so quickly, that a degree quickly relates of technology that is out of date.

    • Matthew Krajcik says:

      “Before WW2, few people received post secondary education. Universities were for upper classes, to network, have fun, etc.”

      Surely, you are only referring to liberal arts degrees?! It seems for at least a few hundred years universities have been an essential means of educating people for specialized tasks, such as doctors and engineers.

      Elon Musk made a comment about how he doesn’t require people to have degrees. I wonder if that applies to his engineers (who aren’t if they didn’t) and if he plans to send medical staff that “learned on the job” only to Mars? Or does the university degree as optional only apply to programmers and office administrators?

      • Nope.avi says:

        “urely, you are only referring to liberal arts degrees?! It seems for at least a few hundred years universities have been an essential means of educating people for specialized tasks, such as doctors and engineers. ”

        For a few hundred years the majority of doctors and engineers came from the upper class. It was not until very recently did education to become a doctor or engineer become open to the masses. Most people just aren’t smart enough to become doctors or engineers, and even if they were, like in many Asian countries, there are not enough jobs requiring such education that pays well.

        One of the reasons why India’s infrastructure is in shambles is because civil engineering does not pay well in India. Software engineers (programmer) are paid better than civil engineers.

        “Elon Musk made a comment about how he doesn’t require people to have degrees. I wonder if that applies to his engineers (who aren’t if they didn’t) and if he plans to send medical staff that “learned on the job” only to Mars?” You sound like someone who has complete faith in the University system. There is no guarantee that any education will produce a competent employee or an exceptional employee that will give a firm an edge in a competitive marketplace. Selective schools don’t make people qualified, they are just good at selecting who would be most likely to excel at cognitively demanding tasks, such as rocket science, or brain surgery which will never be nothing more but a small portion of the population. I’m sorry, but you’ve been lied to. A society where everyone requires a STEM education will never materialize. We will never go to Mars.

        • Matthew Krajcik says:

          “One of the reasons why India’s infrastructure is in shambles is because civil engineering does not pay well in India. Software engineers (programmer) are paid better than civil engineers.”

          That sounds like the market trying to balance out an oversupply of one skill set, and a shortage of the other. Maybe they also have a lot of nepotism or other issues where people are not rising up out of competence, but other factors.

          “A society where everyone requires a STEM education will never materialize.”

          Would you really have someone who never went to medical school preform brain surgery on you? Would you trust a bridge or skyscraper designed by someone who learned only on the job?
          I didn’t say everyone, I am only saying that some small set of specialists should have formal education and some form of testing to ensure a minimal level of competence.

      • Robert Firth says:

        I remember talking to a very senior manager of an IT company (yes, in Silicon Valley). We were griping about how bad most IT was, and, perhaps incautiously, I blamed the university degree courses. His reply: “I never hire computing science graduates.” “Why not”, I asked. “Because it is cheaper to train than to retrain.” Very, very true, as I found out for myself working for a startup heavy with CS PhDs, who knew how to design nothing, because all they knew was how to use tools written by fellow academics.

  44. A lot of people are in denial about what is happening.

    On 1803, there was a brief truce between the City of London and Napoleon, and English tourists flocked to Paris. That period would end on 1804 when the crowned heads of Europe began to fight Napoleon because he had killed the Duke of Enghien, a rather unimportant nobleman.

    Ditto to World War 2 when the period of Oct 1939 to May 1940 was called the Sitzkrieg, when not much happened except a bloodless Nazi conquest of Denmark and a smallish operation to Norway.

    • Malcopian says:

      ‘Sitzkrieg- – ‘phoney war’, in the English phrase. The ‘Sitting down’ war in German – cleverly rhyming with ‘Blitzkrieg’.

  45. Matthew Krajcik says:

    For a brief moment, there was a tweet from Mike Tyson “If white people rioted every time a white person was killed by a black one, we’d never have any peace.” The tweet was almost immediately deleted.

  46. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


    “Protesters marching against the death of George Floyd chanted “Eat the Rich” while moving through Beverly Hills, California.”

    sounds like there is an economic element to these proetests…

  47. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


    “… the racial strife of the 1960s, when the fury and despair of inner-city African-Americans over racism and poverty erupted in scores of cities, reaching a climax in 1967 and 1968, two years that saw more than 150 ryots.
    This moment has not produced anything close to the vyolence of that era.”

    quite interesting…

    American cities have much higher populations now, and yet this story claims that this week has not produced anything close to the 1960s…

    I suppose because MLK jr was an internationally important person…

    it’s almost as if these proetests come and go in cycles…

    to be continued…

    • Chrome Mags says:

      They’re saying on the news I was just watching that these riots are the biggest SINCE the riots following the assasination of Martin Luther King. And I think that’s true. The rioters aren’t trying to set a Guiness Book of World records, it’s just a boiling over point in which law enforcement continues to kill black people. I mean someone in handcuffs on the ground with a knee to his neck relentlessly until he’s dead? Why not shoot fish in a barrel? The policy the Minneapolis police dept. has is it’s ok to apply knee pressure to a person’s neck. So this was not just an isolated incident. It apparently is their policy. Imagine being handcuffed with a knee and someone’s weight against your neck. This is unacceptable and it’s reached a boiling point in which the lid has come off.

      People say the violence isn’t necessary, but even with the violence nothing is changing. No one has come out and said the policy of knee to throat has changed. The arrested officer is only facing manslaughter charges, which even for a civilian only carries a max. of 1 year in prison. Being a cop he’ll get probation and nothing more. His life will go on like nothing ever happened.

      But I think something else is going on with the riots. They are in part due to the widening wealth divide and many people are hungry and feeling like they have nothing to lose. Also, once Trump said there should be violence against the looters, it fed into anger at Trump. I think the rioting would have settled down but Trump is fomenting violence by his MAGA followers against the rioters. That spurred more anger.

      If nothing changes and people’s gripes are ignored and policies of violence against black people remain in tact like I’m sure Trump and his MAGA followers would like, then there’s going to be more violence in the streets of America.

      • Kim says:

        “If nothing changes and people’s gripes are ignored and policies of violence against black people remain in tact ”

        80% of crime in the United States is intra-racial, black on black, white on white, etc.

        Of the remaining inter-racial 20% of crime, 90% of it is black on white. Blacks also commit 60% of robberies and in more than 50% of cases the victim is white.

        “In 1992, police reported 23,760 murders and non-negligent homicides. Although they are only 12 percent of the population, blacks committed about 55 percent of the murders. This means that murder rates, by race, were dramatically different. “Whites” (including Hispanics) killed at a rate of 5.1 per 100,000 while the rate for blacks was 43.3 per 100,000. Blacks are therefore 8.5 times more likely to commit murder than whites and, all by themselves, account for the fact that the United States has a higher murder rate than England or Italy.

        Most of the time, blacks killed other blacks, but about 13 percent of their victims were white. Whites also usually killed each other, but six percent of their victims were black. In all, there were 2.7 times as many whites killed by blacks as blacks killed by whites, which means that any given black is 17 times more likely to kill a white than vice versa.”

        Please tell me more about “violence against black people”.

        • Yoshua says:

          When will white people rise?

        • Matthew Krajcik says:

          Police killing a suspect during a legal intervention is not a crime, unless they get convicted. so your statistics may only be looking at criminal killings. That may also not include “stand your ground” killings, etc.

          • Kim says:

            Here is what the always-leftist snopes has to say on the stats:


            Do Police Kill More White People Than Black People?
            More white people are killed in police shootings than black Americans, but overall white people are statistically less likely to be killed by police than black people.
            So the fact is that more whites are shot but proportionally more blacks.


            Let’s look at a set of statistics different from those I posted earlier.


            “In the U.S., African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people. For black women, the rate is 1.4 times more likely.

            That’s according to a new study conducted by Frank Edwards, of Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice, Hedwig Lee, of Washington University in St. Louis’s Department of Sociology, and Michael Esposito, of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The researchers used verified data on police killings from 2013 to 2018 compiled by the website Fatal Encounters, created by Nevada-based journalist D. Brian Burghart. Under their models, they found that roughly 1-in-1,000 black boys and men will be killed by police in their lifetime. For white boys and men, the rate is 39 out of 100,000.

            In fact, people of color in general were found more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.”.

            BUT NOTE

            “The study was published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS, a journal that recently drew controversy for publishing another study on police killing disparities. That study, led by Michigan State University psychology professor Joseph Cesario, published on July 22, FOUND THAT VIOLENT CRIME RATES AND THE RACIAL DEMOGRAPHICS OF A GIVEN LOCATION ARE BETTER INDICATORS FOR DETERMINING A POLICE KILLING VICTIM’S RACE.

            As Cesario explained in a press release:

            Many people ask whether black or white citizens are more likely to be shot and why. If you live in a county that has a lot of white people committing crimes, white people are more likely to be shot. IfF YOU LIVE IN A COUNTY THAT HAS A LOT OF BLACK PEOPLE COMMITTING CRIMES, BLACK PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE SHOT.”

            Crazy stuff, huh?

            Now can we stop with the special pleading for blacks?

            • Matthew Krajcik says:

              Someone should let them know that COVID is twice as likely to kill a black man as cops are.

            • JMS says:

              The problem is you have no evidence for your conclusion that it is ” because BLACKS ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE COMMITTING VIOLENT CRIMES!” Do you have any data that indicate that the black community is more prone to violent crime than the white community? If you do not have this data, i think we can easily conclude that a robotcop has less qualms about using excessive violence with a poor black man than with a poor white man. Racism is very real of course, and the american police forces has it share of it, that’s for sure.

    • I agree that today’ riots are not of the scale of the late 1960s.

      I read in today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution that the broken glass and other damage would likely be fixed shortly, because it will likely be covered by insurance policies. It sounded like a curfew was instituted that was expected to stop future demonstrations. Of course, this may just be the spin, for now.

  48. Tim Groves says:

    With any media event these days, it doesn’t take long before somebody makes a YouTube video attempting to debunk it. And this one is cutting-edge stuff!

    “Pay attention! They can’t fool everybody and I told you, these stories that fake, they only gonna be conflicted, because that not real, they put it together… Big turnout, of course, because it’s an event, somebody put it on. Just remember, all events were planned; you better remember that. … Nobody gonna face no charges. They just work on your brain, yes, keep you in contact with the fakery and of course, they’re gonna disappoint you at the end of the day…. All of the [?] organized by the government, and I told you, if you have any brain at all you will never participate in this [?] the government put on and show that you’re brainwashed…..”

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