Why Collapse Occurs; Why It May Not Be Far Away

Collapse is a frightening subject. The question of why collapse occurs is something I have pieced together over many years of study from a number of different sources, which I will attempt to explain in this post.

Collapse doesn’t happen instantaneously; it happens many years after an economy first begins outgrowing its resource base. In fact, the resource base likely declines at the same time from multiple causes, such as soil erosion, deforestation and oil depletion. Before collapse occurs, there seem to be warning signs, including:

  • Too much wage disparity
  • Riots and protests by people unhappy with low wages
  • Prices of commodities that are too low for producers that need to recover their costs of production and governments that require tax revenue to fund programs for their citizens
  • An overstretched financial system; conditions ripe for debt defaults
  • Susceptibility to epidemics

Many people have the misimpression that our most important problem will be “running out” of oil. Because of this, they believe that oil prices will rise high if the system is reaching its limits. Since oil prices are not very high, they assume that the problem is far away. Once a person understands what the real issue is, it is (unfortunately) relatively easy to see that the current economy seems to be quite close to collapse.

In this post, I provide images from a recent presentation I gave, together with some comments. A video of the presentation is available on the Uncomfortable Knowledge Hub, here. A PDF of the presentation can be downloaded here:

Slide 1
Slide 2
Slide 3
Slide 4

In some ways, a self-organizing system is analogous to a dome that might be built with a child’s toy building set (Slide 4). New layers of businesses and consumers are always being added, as are new regulations, more or less on top of the prior structure. At the same time, old consumers are dying off and products that are no longer needed are being discontinued. This happens without central direction from anyone. Entrepreneurs see the need for new products and try to satisfy them. Consumers decide on what to buy, based upon what their spendable income is and what their needs are.

Slide 5

Resources of many kinds are needed for an economy. Harnessing energy of many types is especially important. Early economies burned biomass and used the labor of animals. In recent years, we have added other types of energy, such as fossil fuels and electricity, to supplement our own human energy. Without supplemental energy of various kinds, we would be very limited in the kinds of goods and services that could be produced. Our farming would be limited to digging in the ground with a stick, for example.

The fact that there is almost an equivalence between employees and consumers is very important. If the wages of consumers are high, relative to the prices of the goods and services available, then consumers are able to buy many of those goods and services. As a result, citizens tend to be happy. But if there are too many low paid workers, or people without work at all, consumers are likely to be unhappy because they cannot afford the basic necessities of life.

Slide 6

The problem civilizations are facing is a two-sided problem: (1) Growing population and (2) Resources that often degrade or deplete. As a result, the amount of resources per person falls. If this were carried to the limit, all of us would starve.

Slide 7

As resources deplete and population grows, local leaders can see that problems are on the horizon. At first, adding technology, such as a new dam to provide water to make farms more productive, helps. As more and more technology and other complexity is added, there is less and less “bang for the buck.” We can easily see this in the healthcare field. Early antibiotics had a very big payback; recent medical innovations that help a group of 500 or 1000 people with a particular rare disease can be expected to have a much smaller payback.

A second issue with added complexity is that it increasingly leads to a society of the very wealthy plus many very low paid workers. Joseph Tainter identified the combination of these two issues as leading to collapse in his book, The Collapse of Complex Societies.

Slide 8

Françios Roddier is an astrophysicist who writes primarily in French. His book Thermodynamique de l’évolution was published in 2012; it is now available in English as well.

The issue of starving people in Yemen is an issue today. In fact, hunger is an increasing problem in poor countries around the world. The world tourism industry is dead; the industry of making fancy clothing for people in rich countries is greatly reduced. People who formerly made a living in these industries in poor countries increasingly find it difficult to earn an adequate living with other available jobs. Rich countries tend to have better safety nets when there are widespread reductions in job-availability.

Slide 9

Businesses often make long lasting goods such as machines to be used in factories or automobiles to be used by consumers. Governments often make long-lasting goods such as paved roads and school buildings. When making these goods, they take some combination of commodities, built machinery, and human labor to make goods and services that people will use for many years into the future. The future value of these goods is hoped to be significantly greater than the value of the inputs used to create these goods and services.

There are at least three reasons that time-shifting devices are needed:

  1. Workers need to be paid as these goods are made.
  2. Businesses need to build factories in advance.
  3. Businesses, governments and individuals are all likely to find the future payments more manageable, even with interest added, than they are as a single payment upfront.

I don’t mention the issue in Slide 9, but once time-shifting devices are created, they become very easy to manipulate. For example, no one knows precisely what the future value of a particular investment will be. Governments, especially, are prone to make investments in unneeded infrastructure, simply to provide jobs for people. We also know that there are diminishing returns to added technology, but stocks of technology companies tend to be valued as if complexity will save the world. Third, interest rate manipulations (lower!) and the offering of debt to those who seem unlikely to be able ever to repay the debt can be used to make the economy of a country appear to be in better shape than it really is. Many of us remember the collapse of the US subprime housing debt bubble in 2008.

Slide 10

The purpose of a financial system is to allocate goods and services. High wages allocate a larger share of the output of an economy to a particular person than low wages. Appreciation in asset values (such as prices of shares of stock, or value of a home or piece of land) also act to increase the share of the goods and services produced by the economy to an individual. Payment of interest, dividends and rents are other ways of allocating goods and services that the economy makes. Governments can print money, but they cannot print goods and services!

As the economy gets more complex, the non-elite workers increasingly get left out of the distribution of goods and services. For one thing (not mentioned on Slide 10), as the economy becomes more complex, an increasing share of the goods and services produced by the economy need to go into making all of the intermediate goods that make that industrial economy work. Intermediate goods would include factories, semi-trucks, hydroelectric dams, oil pipelines and other goods and services that don’t directly benefit an individual consumer. They are needed to make the overall system work.

As the economy gets bigger and more complex, the non-elite workers increasingly find themselves left out. Besides losing an increasing part of the output of the intermediate goods and services mentioned in the prior paragraph, there are other pieces that take slices of the total output of goods and services:

  • High paid workers take their quite-large slices of the total output. These individuals tend to be the ones who get the benefit of asset appreciation, as well.
  • Pension programs and other programs to help the elderly and unemployed take a cut.
  • Health insurance costs, in the US at least, tend to be very high, relative to wages, for lower-paid workers.
  • The work of some employees can be replaced by low-paid overseas employees or by robots. If they are to keep their jobs, their wages need to be suitably low to compete.

With all of these issues, the workers at the bottom of the employment hierarchy increasingly get left out of the distribution of goods and services made by the economy.

Slide 11

We know some of the kinds of things that happen when economies are close to collapse from the writings of researchers such as Peter Turchin, lead author of Secular Cycles, and Joseph Tainter, mentioned earlier. One approach is for governments to try to work around the resource problem by starting wars with other economies whose resources they might gain. Probably a more likely outcome is that these low-resource-per-capita economies become vulnerable to attack by other economies because of their weakened condition. In any event, more conflict is likely as resource limits hit.

If the low incomes of non-elite workers persist, many bad outcomes can be expected. Local riots can be expected as citizens protest their low wages or pensions. Governments are likely to find that they cannot collect enough taxes. Governments will also find that they must cut back on programs, or (in today’s world) their currencies will sink relative to currencies of other countries. Intergovernmental organizations may fail for lack of funding, or governments may be overthrown by unhappy citizens.

Debt defaults can be expected. Governments have a long history of defaulting on their debts when conditions were bad according to Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.

It becomes very easy for epidemics to take hold because of the poor eating habits and the close living quarters of non-elite workers.

With respect to inflation-adjusted commodity prices, it is logical that they would stay low because a large share of the population would be impoverished and thus not able to afford very many of these commodities. A person would expect gluts of commodities, as occurred during the Great Depression in the 1930s in the United States because many farmers and farm-hands had been displaced by modern farming equipment. We also find that the book of Revelation from the Bible seems to indicate that low prices and lack of demand were problems at the time of the collapse of ancient Babylon (Revelation 18:11-13).

Slide 12

Much of what peak oil theory misunderstands is what our society as a whole misunderstands. Most people seem to believe that our economy will grow endlessly unless we somehow act to slow it down or stop it. They cannot imagine that the economy comes with built-in brakes, provided by the laws of physics.

Armed with a belief in endless growth, economists assume that the economy can expand year after year at close to the same rate. Modelers of all kinds, including climate modelers, miss the natural feedback loops that lead to the end of fossil fuel extraction without any attempt on our part to stop its extraction. A major part of the problem is that added complexity leads to too much wage and wealth disparity. Eventually, the low wages of many of the workers filter through to oil and other energy prices, making prices too low for producers.

Collapse isn’t instantaneous, as we will see on Slide 26. As resources per capita fall too low, there are several ways to keep problems hidden. More debt at lower interest rates can be added. New financial techniques can be developed to hide problems. Increased globalization can be used. Corners can be cut on electricity transmission, installation and maintenance, and in the building of new electricity generating structures. It is only when the economy hits a bump in the road (such as a climate-related event) that there suddenly is a major problem: Electricity production fails, or not enough food is produced. In fact, California, Florida, and China have all encountered the need for rolling blackouts with respect to electricity in the past year; China is now encountering difficulty with inadequate food supply, as well.

Economists have played a major role in hiding problems with energy with their models that seem to show that prices can be expected to rise if there is a shortage of oil or other energy. Their models miss the point that adequate supplemental energy is just as important for demand as it is for supply of finished goods and services. The reason energy is important for demand is because demand depends on the wages of workers, and the wages of workers in turn depend on the productivity of those workers. The use of energy supplies to allow workers to operate tools of many kinds (such as computers, trucks, electric lights, ovens, and agricultural equipment) greatly influences the productivity of those workers.

A person who believes energy prices can rise endlessly is likely to believe that recycling can increase without limit because of ever-rising prices. Such a person is also likely to believe that the substitution of intermittent renewables for fossil fuels will work because high prices for scarce electricity will enable an approach that is inherently high-cost, if any continuity of supply is required.

Thus, the confusion isn’t so much that of peak oilers. Instead, the confusion is that of economists and scientists building models based on past history. These models miss the turning points that occur as limits approach. They assume that future patterns will replicate past patterns, but this is not what happens in a finite world. If we lived in a world without limits, their models would be correct. This confusion is very much built into today’s thinking.

In fact, we are living in an economic system/ecosystem that has brakes to it. These brakes are being applied now, even though 99%+ of the population isn’t aware of the problem. The system will protect itself, quite possibly using the approach of evicting most humans.

Slide 13

The opinions expressed in Slide 13 reflect some of the views I have heard expressed speaking with peak oilers and with people looking into issues from a biophysical economics perspective. Obviously, views differ from person to person.

Many people believe that resources in the ground provide a good estimate of the quantity of fossil fuels that can be extracted in the future. Peak oilers tend to believe that the available resources will need to have sufficiently high “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” (EROEI) ratios to make extraction feasible. Politicians and climate modelers tend to believe that prices can rise endlessly, so low EROEI is no obstacle. They seem to believe that anything that we have the technical skill to extract, even coal under the North Sea, can be extracted.

If a person believes the high estimates of fossil fuel resources that seem to be available and misses the point that the economy has built-in brakes, climate change becomes the issue of major concern.

My view is that most of the resources that seem to be available will be left in the ground because of low prices and problems associated with collapse, such as failing governments and broken supply lines. In any event, we do not really have the ability to fix the climate; the laws of physics will provide their own adjustment. We will simply need to live with whatever climate is provided. Humans lived through ice-ages in the past. Presumably, whatever humans remain after what seems to be an upcoming bottleneck will be able to live in suitable areas of the world in the future.

Slide 14

On Slide 14, note that today’s industrial economy must necessarily come to an end, just as the lives of hurricanes and of people come to an end.

Also note that with diminishing returns, the cost of producing many of the things listed on Slide 14 is rising. For example, with rising population, dry areas of the world eventually need to use desalination to get enough fresh water for their growing populations. Desalination is expensive. Even if the necessary workaround is simply deeper wells, this still adds costs.

With diminishing returns affecting many parts of the economy simultaneously, it becomes increasingly difficult for efforts in the direction of efficiency to lead to costs that are truly lower on an inflation-adjusted basis. Advanced education and health care in particular tend to have an ever-rising inflation-adjusted costs of production. Some minerals do as well, as the quality of ores depletes.

Slide 15

An important issue to note is that wages need to cover all the rising costs, even the rising cost of health care. The paychecks of many people, especially those without advanced education, fall too low to meet all of their needs.

Slide 16

Slides 16 and 17 describe some of the reasons why oil prices don’t necessarily rise with scarcity.

Slide 17
Slide 18

I was one of the co-authors of the Ke Wang paper mentioned in Slide 18. We developed three different forecasts of how much oil would be extracted in China, depending on how high oil prices would be able to rise. The Red Line is the “Stays Low” Scenario, with prices close to $50 per barrel. The Yellow Line is the “Ever-Rising Prices” Scenario. The Best Estimate reflects the expectation that prices would be in roughly the $100 to $120 barrel range, from 2015 onward.

Slide 19

In fact, oil prices have stayed fairly low, and China’s oil production has declined, as our paper predicted.

Slide 20
Slide 21

Note that the chart on Slide 21 shows wage disparity only in the US. On this basis, the share of wages going to the top 1% and top 0.1% are back at the levels that they were in the 1920s. Now, our economy is much more global. If we consider all of the low income people in the world, the worldwide wage disparity is much greater.

Slide 22

There are two things to note on Slide 22. The first is that producers, in inflation-adjusted terms, seem to need very high prices, approximately $120 per barrel or more. This is based on a presentation made by Steve Kopits, which I wrote up here: Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending.

The other thing to note is that oil prices tend to bounce around a great deal. Prices seem to depend on the amount of debt and on interest rates, as well as the wages of workers. The peak in oil prices in mid-2008 came precisely at the time the debt bubble broke with respect to mortgage and credit card debt in the US. I wrote about this in an article in the journal Energy called, Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis.

The US instituted Quantitative Easing (QE) at the end of 2008. QE acted to lower interest rates. With the help of QE, the price of oil gradually rose again. When the US discontinued QE in late 2014, oil prices fell. Recently, there has been a great deal of QE done, as well as direct spending by governments, but oil prices are still far below the $120 per barrel level. Middle Eastern oil producers especially need high oil prices, in order to collect the high tax revenue that they depend upon to provide programs for their citizens.

Slide 23

Coal prices (Slide 23) tend to follow somewhat the same pattern as oil prices (Slide 22). There is very much the same balancing act with coal prices as well: Coal prices need to be high enough for producers, but not too high for customers to buy products made with coal, such as electricity and steel.

China tries to keep its coal prices relatively high in order to encourage production within the country. China has been limiting imports to try to keep prices high. The relatively high coal prices of China make it an attractive destination for coal exporters. There are now a large number of boats waiting outside China hoping to sell coal to China at an attractive price.

Slide 24

The blue line on Figure 24 represents total energy consumption up through 2020. The red dotted line is a rough guesstimate of how energy consumption might fall. This decline could happen if people wanting energy consumption coming only from renewables were able to succeed by 2050 (except I am doubtful that these renewable energy types would really be of much use by themselves).

Alternatively, this might also be the decline that our self-organizing economy takes us on. We are already seeing a decrease in energy consumption related to the current pandemic. I think governmental reactions to the pandemic were prompted, in part, by the very stretched condition of our oil and other energy supplies. Countries were experiencing riots over low wages. They also could not afford to import as much oil as they were importing. Shutdowns in response to COVID-19 cases seemed like a sensible thing to do. They helped restore order and saved on energy imports. Strangely enough, the pandemic may be a part of the collapse that our self-organizing economy is arranging for us.

Slide 25

Slide 25 takes the blue line from Slide 24 and looks at what happened in more detail. On Slide 25, we are looking at the average annual increase in energy consumption, for a given 10 year period. This is split between the rate of population growth (blue), and the energy consumption growth that went into other things, which I equate to change in “standard of living” (red). The big red humps represent very good times, economically. The post-World War II bump is especially high. The valleys are times of disturbing changes, including wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Of course, all of these situations occurred during periods when energy consumption was generally rising. If these unfortunate things happened when oil consumption was rising, what might possibly happen when energy consumption is falling?

Slide 26

We now seem to be hitting the Crisis Stage. In the past, collapse (which takes place in the Crisis Stage) has not been instantaneous; it has taken place over quite a number of years, typically 20 or more. The world economy is quite different now, with its international trade system and heavy use of debt. It would seem likely that a collapse could happen more quickly. A common characteristic of collapses, such as avalanches, is that they often seem to start off fairly slowly. Then, suddenly, a large piece breaks away, and there is a big collapse. Something analogous to this could possibly happen with the economy, too.

Slide 27

One of the major issues with adding intermittent renewables to the electric grid is a pricing problem. Once wind and solar are given subsidies (even the subsidy of “going first”), all of the other types of electricity production seem to need subsidies, as well. It is the pricing systems that are terribly detrimental, although this is not generally noticed. In fact, researchers who are looking only at energy may not even care if the pricing is wrong. Ultimately, the low pricing for electricity can be expected to bring the electric grid down, just as inadequate prices for fossil fuels can be expected to lead to the closure of many fossil fuel producers. Both Texas and California are having difficulty because they have not been collecting enough funds from customers to build resilient systems.

Slide 28
Slide 29

The focus of EROEI research is often with respect to whether the EROEI of a particular type of energy production is “high enough,” relative to some goal, such as 3:1 or 10:1. I believe that there needs to be more focus on the total quantity of net energy produced. If there is an EROEI goal for highly complex energy types, it needs to be much higher than for less complex energy types.

Slide 30

Today, it is common to see the EROEIs of a number of different types of energy displayed side-by-side as if they were comparable. This type of comparison is also made with other energy metrics, such as “Levelized Cost of Electricity” and “Energy Payback Period.” I think this approach makes highly complex types of energy production, such as intermittent wind and solar, look better than they really are. Even intermittent hydroelectric power generation, such as is encountered in places with rainy seasons and dry seasons and in places that are subject to frequent droughts, is not really comparable to electricity supply that can be provided year-around by fossil fuel providers, if adequate storage is available.

Slide 31

Earlier in this post, I documented a number of reasons why we should expect low rather than high energy prices in the future. I am reiterating the point here because it is a point energy researchers need especially to be aware of. Production is likely to come to an end because it is unprofitable.

Slide 32

One characteristic of human-made complexity is that it has very little redundancy. If something goes wrong in one part of one system, it is likely to ripple through that system, as well as other systems to which the first system is connected. An outage of oil is likely to indirectly affect electricity because oil is needed to fix problems with electricity transmission lines. An electricity outage may cause disruption in oil drilling and refining, and even in filling up automobiles at service stations. An international trade disruption can break supply lines and leave shipping containers at the wrong end of the globe.

We know that collapse tends to lead to less complex systems. We should expect fewer jobs requiring advanced education. We should expect to start losing battles against infectious diseases. We should expect a reduction in international trade; in the future, it may primarily take place among a few trusted partners. Some intergovernmental organizations are likely to disappear. Peak oil cannot happen by itself; it can only happen with disruptions and shrinkage in many other parts of the economy, as well.

Slide 33

The climate is indeed changing. Unfortunately, we humans have little ability to change what is happening, especially at this late date. Arguably, some changes could have been made much earlier, for example in the 1970s when the modeling included in the 1972 book The Limits to Growth by Donnela Meadows and others showed that the world economy was likely to hit limits before 2050.

It is clear to many people that the world economy is now struggling. There is too much debt; young people are having trouble finding jobs that pay well enough; people in poor countries are increasingly more food insecure. Leaders everywhere would like solutions. The “easy” solution to offer is that intermittent wind and solar will solve all our problems, including climate change. The closer a person looks at the situation, the more the solution seems like nonsense. Wind and solar work passably well at small concentrations within electric systems, if it is possible to work around their pricing problems. But they don’t scale up well. Energy researchers especially should be aware of these difficulties.

The book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee points out that there have been an amazing number of what seem to be coincidences that have allowed life on Earth to flourish for four billion years. Perhaps these coincidences will continue. Perhaps there is an underlying plan that we are not aware of.

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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3,333 Responses to Why Collapse Occurs; Why It May Not Be Far Away

  1. theblondbeast says:

    Brent crude back to a $3 premium of Saudi. Is this how the cookie crumbles? Asia buys from Saudi’s and US crude suffers? Looks like it for at least 6 months until US shale could come back online in some capacity. Only if the price holds! But Brent pricing will be hurt on the global market if our margins vs the Saudi’s slides.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/brent-priced-oil-flows-asia-set-slump

  2. Hespiridin – “This result indicates that due to presence of hespiridin, the bound structure of ACE2 and spike protein fragment becomes unstable”.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EwNwop8WUAElE3Z?format=jpg&name=900×900

  3. James Rickards talks about the scam that tether is and calling it a Ponzi scheme
    https://twitter.com/philnick567/status/1369379041975926788

    • Minority Of One says:

      What’s tether? Never heard of it.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        “On some exchanges you can’t deposit cash, only btc or crypto instead. So traders will use tether after they sell something like btc to go in & out of trades.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether_(cryptocurrency)

        “Tether is called a stablecoin because it was originally designed to always be worth $1.00, maintaining $1.00 in reserves for each tether issued.”

        also called USDT, and due to the above 3 sentences, it can be seen why is has become a popular and maybe essential part of crypto trading.

        Michael posted yesterday about how Tether just magically created ONE BILLION USDT, which is essentially a billion US dollars.

        it looks like a scam, where USDT facilitates crypto trading, but where the owners/operators can merely use a lot of it to buy other cryptos for their own personal ownership.

        I would be shocked if it turns out that they DIDN”T do this.

        ps: so BTC is pushed higher because of this massive scam, and will likely fall if/when this scam unwinds.

  4. MG says:

    Vitamin D is not just for immunity, but also for arterial stiffness

    Arterial stiffness in acute COVID-19 and potential associations with clinical outcome

    https://www.docwirenews.com/abstracts/arterial-stiffness-in-acute-covid-19-and-potential-associations-with-clinical-outcome-2/

    https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2018/3/reduce-risk-of-arterial-stiffness

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/mcog-hdo010218.php

    “Rigid artery walls are an independent predictor of cardiovascular- related disease and death and vitamin D deficiency appears to be a contributor, says Dr. Yanbin Dong, geneticist and cardiologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.”

    • Thanks for the links!

      Vitamin D seems to be helpful for many things, but yet the medical community is slow to increase its recommendations. Perhaps Vitamin K1 and K2 need to go along with this.

  5. Mirror on the wall says:

    Gail, this may interest you. – Quaker Francis, well almost.

    PF has given a fresh statement that clarifies the current RCC position. God is into all of the religions, he wants people to believe all sorts of things. Sanctity is attained through consistency with one’s own religion. That was also the position of the recent popes.

    He really ought to go further. God also wills atheism, he really is not that bothered about theological beliefs and indeed inconsistency can be just as sanctifying as consistency. After all, PF and Vatican II are not consistent with past RC teaching.

    PF would do well to be bolder. What is important is one’s engagement with oneself and no one should follow anything that PF says about faith and morals unless they agree with it.

    I would guess that this is PF and RCC trying to ‘look good’ to the secular, multicultural world and that they are careful not to lessen their control over their own followers.

    > Pope admits charges of ‘heresy’ are ‘risk’ he’s willing to take to ‘move forward with other religions’

    Francis believes ‘human fraternity’ with people of other faiths is important while acknowledging the criticisms made against him.

    Pope Francis said charges that he acts against “Catholic doctrine” and is even on the verge of committing “heresy” are a “risk” he’s willing to take to move forward on the path toward “human fraternity” with believers of other religions.

    “You know that there are some criticisms: that the pope is not courageous, he is a reckless person who is taking steps against Catholic doctrine, that he is one step away from heresy, there are risks. But these decisions are always made in prayer, in dialogue, in asking for advice, in reflection. They are not a whim and also are the line that the Council taught,” he said.

    The Pope made these comments while responding to a question about his meeting two years ago in Abu Dhabi with Imam Al Tayyeb of Al Azhar where both Pope and Imam signed the controversial Declaration on Human Fraternity, sometimes referred to as the Abu Dhabi statement.

    The document stated, among other things, that the “pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God.” At no point does the document mention the name of Jesus.

    A number of prominent Catholic clergymen and scholars reacted by accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. In an April 2019 open letter to the Pope, they charged him of backing the notion that “God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian.”

    …. “He got up to greet me, twice, a humble and wise man, it did good to my soul this meeting. He is a beacon of light, and these wise men are everywhere because God’s wisdom has been scattered all over the world. It is the same with the saints who are not just those on the altars. It happens every day, those I call the saints next door, men and women who live their faith, whatever it may be, with consistency,” he said.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-admits-charges-of-heresy-are-risk-hes-willing-to-take-to-move-forward-with-other-religions

    • Religions are always changing. A particular religion will vary from area to area. I even ran into this when I visited China.

      The Pope tries to keep the teaching of the RCC uniform throughout the world. It is pretty much impossible to do this, and also try to keep them uniform with the past. I have never been a Roman Catholic, so I tend not to get very excited about the Pope’s announcement.

      I have noticed that the Lutheran denomination to which I belong is bending over backward to be liberal, also. “Black Lives Matter” is big issue. Our local bishop is married to another man. Our local congregation has been welcoming to gays for many years. This is the fashion in a lot of US churches (except for Southern Baptists).

      I find the idea of churches supporting Green Energy objectionable. I believe the RCC has gone in this direction.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Yes, it is perhaps ironic that gay is the latest Christian thing, after millennia of denunciation. But life tends to find ways of casting everyone in ironic lighting. The German RCC is moving to bless gay unions, which will please some and upset others. They want women clergy too but that really would be a break with Rome.

        But times have changed and religions adapt. The life cycle is quite different now with lower infant and childhood mortality. Fewer kids are needed to keep the tribe going (and there is also inward flow now) so procreation is less important. There is no need now for strictures on divorce, contraception, abortion, same-sex set ups.

        So other ‘needs’ have come to prominence like careers, personal liberty and well-being, personal development. Largely the changes in ‘morality’ reflect changes in the economic base and the conditions of the life cycle – and in turn they facilitate the economic base (eg. women working.) Fossil fuels have definitely played a role.

        The whole point of ‘morality’ is to facilitate the ‘good’, so it is natural that it should develop as the circumstances of the ‘good’ change. Religion as a bearer of ‘morality’ then changes as well (along with law) – although their strictures can take on a ‘set in stone’ aspect, which can hinder development.

        RCC is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand it needs to develop and on the other it finds it so difficult and contentious to do so. They cannot ‘please everyone all of the time’, and neither can other denominations.

        It is understandable that religionists who have assimilated a ‘set in stone’ approach are stressed by changes – as others are by a lack or slowness of change. I suppose that there is no ‘perfect’ solution in the real world. It is perhaps especially difficult for RCC as it is so given to dogma and ‘authority’.

        • Nehemiah says:

          “On the one hand it needs to develop”–It’s not so much a “need” to “develop” (change) as that the confession (and many confessions these days) is divided between those who want to change with the times by adapting to the tolerant/permissive sentiments and values of secular society versus those who want to hold the line and wait out the industrial age and its characteristic values on the theory that “this too shall pass.”

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            The question is whether the groups facilitate the ‘good’ in the here and now according to its contingent circumstances. Whether some persons prefer to propose ideas that uphold the ‘good’ in other, now inapplicable circumstances is another matter.

            They do not become ‘correct’ by being incorrect in the here and now. There is no ahistorical circumstance of the ‘good’ that functions as a ‘criterion’ to ‘justify’ them. They either facilitate or hinder the good in the here and now.

            If they do not then they do not and that is the end of it. If I make a statement that would be ‘true’ in other circumstances than those that actually prevail then I am wrong. Similarly with the ‘helpful’. ‘Moral’ ideas are either helpful in the here and now or they are not.

            • Nehemiah says:

              @mirroronthewall, The “good” that theological conservatives look for is the life of the age to come. They seek to obtain this good by being faithful to revealed truth about how God wants us to live in this age. Ultimately, these intraconfessional struggles are between those who live for the world to come (intrinsic religion in the jargon of social scientists) and those who value religion more highly for the social utility of getting on in the present age (extrinsic religion).

              There are also such questions as: is moral truth absolute, or is it whatever society or worldly magistrates say that it is?

              Christianity survived because it was able to thrive as an oppositional or counter-cultural religion. If it had simply conformed unselectively to the popular ideas of pagan Mediterranean culture, it would have disappeared through assimilation. After a century of experience, one pattern is very clear: the more a religion seeks to be culturally “relevant,” the more members it loses. That was the theme of liberal Methodist Dean Kelley’s 1972/1977 classic, _Why Conservative Churches Are Growing_ (the publisher’s title–Kelley wanted to call it “Why Strict Churches Are Strong”).

              A religion that tailors itself to the zeitgeist will always be reinventing itself, and people will cease to take it seriously.

              Further, the question of whether a moral “idea” is helpful in the here and now is not so clear. An moral principle may be unhelpful for one personally if it limits your acceptance in a society that rejects that principle and discriminates against its adherents, yet the principle may be intrinsically helpful to the culture or subculture that adheres to it.

              Our own mainstream culture (what anthropologists have taken to calling WEIRD culture even though they are part of it) has adopted a set of unusual values, many of which have repeatedly come into fashion among decaying civilizations in the past. (I commend to you Unwin’s 1934 social science classic, _Sex and Culture_.) To champion or at least give lip service to the values that are currently in vogue may benefit the individual simply because he is rewarded if he “goes along to get along” yet at the same time those values may not benefit the society as a whole.

              Cultures or subcultures that bear the stigma of moral dissent today may inherit the earth tomorrow, has happened in the case of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

            • WEIRD cultures are “Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic.” These things all go with rising fossil fuel energy consumption. If we assume this can happen indefinitely, this is the “way to go.” If, in fact, we are reaching a turning point, then the values and norms of survivors will need to change.

              Conservative cultures had different values. Parents often chose husbands for their daughters. Or brides were “won” through war. Women were expected to spend a lifetime with the husbands. At one time, “as many wives as you can afford” seemed to be the norm. Cultures with problems of overpopulation developed ways to hold back population growth, such as killing some of the female babies. Fighting with other groups has long been a way of keeping population down. Having different religions has enabled this fighting.

            • Kowalainen says:

              It certainly doesn’t sound like a problem of civilization, but rather that of overpopulation.

              Usually some form of religion gets involved to perpetrate rapacious primatery from the “masters”, guided by the reptilian brain.

      • Dennis L. says:

        If it works, it is right, if it doesn’t work, it is wrong. r.

        RCC has been around for a long time, many changes in society have occurred, it has seemingly remained constant to a certain degree. While not RC, was with someone who was for a considerable time, found mass comforting, missed Christmas mass last year greatly. I ignored the social engineering aspects and found peace in the services. Thought confession was a great idea, make a mistake, confess it, it is someone else’s problem. No one has asked me but my personal vote would be for the RCC to remain conservative, welcome back those who had erred with a suitable penance if that stance proves correct.

        We have many social customs, if they don’t work, they are soon discarded, it is a time of change, chose your customs carefully, no man is an island. Customs which don’t work if employed on a sufficiently large scale can be very painful.

        Dennis L.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Oh dear, I seem to be agreeing with “pope” F. Time to hide in a cave and reflect? But on the other hand, my belief is about 4500 years older than Vatican II; you can find it in the Negative Confession of the “Chapters of Coming Forth by Day” (the correct translation of the Egyptian ‘Re.u nu prt m hru’). Here is the line item: “I have not denied God in any of his manifestations”; an admonition that I regard as binding in conscience.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Interesting, ‘chapters’ also translated as ‘spells’ for the ‘afterlife’. I suppose that all of religious practice is akin to ‘magic’, the Egyptians were just more comfortable with being overt about it. I have heard clergy disdain sacraments as ‘spells’, and even prayers. It was a rhetoric used in England during the Reformation, eg. ‘hocus pocus’ for the consecration of the bread and wine (hoc est enim).

        The recognition of all religions or ‘manifestations of divinity’ is perhaps a way of ‘hedging one’s bets’ given the ‘uncertainty’ of the whole thing – a kind of Pascal’s ‘gambit’. Protestantism offers a ‘surety’ and even ‘ease’ (faith alone) but it is putting all of one’s eggs in one’s basket, so to say. Moderns seem to worry about the whole thing a lot less. I cannot say that it really perturbs me.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead

        > At present, some 192 spells are known,[15] though no single manuscript contains them all. They served a range of purposes. Some are intended to give the deceased mystical knowledge in the afterlife, or perhaps to identify them with the gods: for instance, Spell 17 is an obscure and lengthy description of the god Atum.[16] Others are incantations to ensure the different elements of the dead person’s being were preserved and reunited, and to give the deceased control over the world around him. Still others protect the deceased from various hostile forces or guide him through the underworld past various obstacles. Famously, two spells also deal with the judgement of the deceased in the Weighing of the Heart ritual.Such spells as 26–30, and sometimes spells 6 and 126, relate to the heart and were inscribed on scarabs.[17]

        The texts and images of the Book of the Dead were magical as well as religious. Magic was as legitimate an activity as praying to the gods, even when the magic was aimed at controlling the gods themselves.[18] Indeed, there was little distinction for the Ancient Egyptians between magical and religious practice.[19] The concept of magic (heka) was also intimately linked with the spoken and written word. The act of speaking a ritual formula was an act of creation;[20] there is a sense in which action and speech were one and the same thing.[19] The magical power of words extended to the written word. Hieroglyphic script was held to have been invented by the god Thoth, and the hieroglyphs themselves were powerful. Written words conveyed the full force of a spell.[20] This was even true when the text was abbreviated or omitted, as often occurred in later Book of the Dead scrolls, particularly if the accompanying images were present.[21] The Egyptians also believed that knowing the name of something gave power over it; thus, the Book of the Dead equips its owner with the mystical names of many of the entities he would encounter in the afterlife, giving him power over them.[22]

        The spells of the Book of the Dead made use of several magical techniques which can also be seen in other areas of Egyptian life. A number of spells are for magical amulets, which would protect the deceased from harm. In addition to being represented on a Book of the Dead papyrus, these spells appeared on amulets wound into the wrappings of a mummy.[18] Everyday magic made use of amulets in huge numbers. Other items in direct contact with the body in the tomb, such as headrests, were also considered to have amuletic value.[23] A number of spells also refer to Egyptian beliefs about the magical healing power of saliva.[18]

        • Robert Firth says:

          Thank you, Mirror. The subject is treated a little better in Budge’s “Egyptian Magic”, which however badly needs an update now we have better translations of the Pyramid Texts. The term “Chapters” is accurate, because in theory every Egyptian had his own version of the texts, specifically prepared for him, so there was no one “Book”.

          The Egyptians regarded words as having creative power, as does the Gospel of John, so if you speak the right words,, you can make things happen. The Catholic Church believes exactly that about the “words of institution”, which when spoken by the celebrant turn bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

          It’s a very old belief, who knows how old. But we do know how old the use of magical artefacts is: there are paintings over 30,000 years old that show dancers wearing masks to create magic,

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            That is a fascinating perspective. Yes, John opens with ‘in the beginning was the word’ and creative power is attributed to it. Jesus is a miracle worker in the gospels, what we would now call a ‘magician’ – ‘take up your bed and rise’. God is made a basis of magic, of supernatural control over the world, like for Egyptian spells. ‘There is no other name by which men can be saved but Jesus’ – it is a ‘spell’ for a happy transition to the afterlife akin to the Egyptian spells. ‘Open sesame.’

            I suppose that ‘magic’ is rooted in a primitive confusion of symbols and the objects that they denote – as if to ‘control’ the one is to control the other. Words do have power over people however, in command, cajolery, denunciation, persuasion – intra-species communication as akin to ‘spells’. We have all been ‘bewitched’ by society, by one another – social conditioning as ‘bewitchment’. Our own vulnerability to verbal control and manipulation perhaps reinforced the primitive belief in ‘magic’ as if other objects were akin to persons.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      An ‘economics’ of modern religion?

      Perhaps this is the era of ‘peak religions’ and their ‘diminishing returns’?

      The West is now ‘full’ of all sorts of religions and beliefs, old and new, a sort of ‘peak’, at least since the time of the adoption of monotheism.

      And the ‘plethora’ diminishes the significance, at least community-wide, of any and all of them.

      The ‘Seneca cliff’ or ‘step downs’ are due not to any problem of the ‘supply’ of religions, or their ‘cost’, they are easily had these days. One can take one’s pick, so to say, to suit one’s ‘fancy’.

      Rather the issue is one of ‘demand’. The very abundance lessens their perceived value and makes them seem inessential – ‘diminishing returns’ on the production of religions.

      Or ‘oversupply’ like with precious metals or gems. No one is going to pay for leaves as they litter every park.

      Of course that is a massive oversimplification as there are all sorts of factors behind secularism, not least the prosperity and security that fossil fuels have afforded – a different sort of ‘economics’ of religion?

      Indeed FFs underlie the mass movement and communications that have afforded the plethora of religions.

      • We now have government-supplied religions. Just have faith in vaccines. Also faith in Central Banks. And in what you read in main street media. There is no need for a higher power when we can expect to have heaven on earth.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Myopia of the ordinary leads people down the path of afterlife delusion. As in wanting existence to continue indefinitely – the eternal bliss. The perpetuated lie of continued existence. Makes me wonder; exactly what is wrong with nothingness? Perhaps the belief it will be dark, dull and boring. However, that isn’t nonexistence. That is prima existence.

        Humanoid chauvinism is that which is wrong. Stop listening to your obnoxious limbic system shouting your neocortex with emotional folly.

        If we are to accept existence, then by the same token, we must accept nonexistence.

        Either:

        1. I exist, therefore nonexistence differentiate.
        2. I don’t exist, therefore existence differentiate.

        However, I think, therefore I exist. For a little while, then nonexistence awaits. And time is irrelevant in nonexistence. The rather convincing hallucinations ends at that point in time. So what?

        Am I the only one not having a problem with this? Meaning with life, afterlife, god(s) and what have you? It just baffles me. What is wrong with a process that from nothing spawn sentience into existence and then joins them back into nothingness?

        I could never pass the Turing test. I’d fail it with a smile. With that I mean failing the (human) tester.

        🤔

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Nothingness, by definition, cannot be a ‘problem’. As Schopenhauer put it, for countless millennia we did not exist, for a brief period we do, and for countless millennia we shall again exist no more than if we had never exist at all – from which he suggests that life, its aims, struggles and travails are not worth taking too seriously.

          But he goes on to reveal himself as an enemy of life. He makes value judgements hostile to life. It is characterised by a predominance of suffering, as creature devours creature, driven by blind instinct in the endless struggle that is life. The intensity of the experience of the latter indicates the value of the whole. Thus it is ‘better’ according to him to have never existed.

          That judgemental ‘pessimism’ is the starting point against which Nietzsche developed his ‘affirmation of life’ as the basis of his own philosophy. As Schopenhauer said, life is driven by blind will conditioned by the organic instincts – the point for his student is rather to enhance life by embracing the instincts, the ‘will to life’, and the ‘power’ that allows one to enjoy them.

          Then the ‘point’ of life is to embrace the life ‘process’. ‘Afterlifes’ or ‘better worlds’ can often be little more than a turning away from this life, a slandering of it as ‘fallen’ or ‘evil’. It devalues this world by juxtaposing a ‘better’, a ‘true’ life in the ‘other world’. It can even function as a crutch that helps those who are ill-disposed to this life to persevere in the hope of satisfaction in another – it thus breeds an ill-disposed, pessimistic type. Or not, that is only one interpretation?

          What is needed is rather the development of a type that is ‘happy’ with the real world as it really is, in all of its meaninglessness and struggle – a type that is adapted to embrace the real world. One that is happy to live a brief meaningless life in which one finds satisfaction. After millennia of ‘pessimism’ and ‘crutches’, to embrace the ‘will to life’, actual life with all of its conditions.

          It is an interesting and challenging perspective – but not the only valid perspective, as he would acknowledge himself. Different people see life in different ways – different types with different concerns, lifestyles and insights. The important thing is to realise who and what one is oneself and to ‘become who one is.’

          The contemplation of life in its meaninglessness can itself be a pleasant pastime if one is given to it. Some people find skunk (also a strong ‘pain killer’) to be conducive to those euphoric states. Buddha is supposed to have gained his insights sat beneath a cannabis bush and I suspect that Buddhism is basically a cannabis induced ‘religion’. I do not puff myself at present but most in our society have ‘tried it’ at some time.

          However such insights can lead to passivity, a ‘passive nihilism’, even the pursuit of ‘nothingness’, which is fine as a contemplative ‘discipline’, especially for those who are fortunate to be able to loaf in ‘monasteries’ or the like all day. Nietzsche advocates rather an ‘active nihilism’ – to see reality and life as they are but to embrace them actively – to choose being over its inner nothingness, for which there will be time aplenty.

          So, the insights do not dictate our options, our lifestyle – we retain the freedom to choose them. In a sense, life itself, this world, then become akin to a ‘religion’, the scope of ‘value’, ‘significance’ and endeavour. ‘This life is my religion’ and I am its ‘high priest’. Of course it is ultimately just a euphoric posture but one that is in accord and harmonious with our deepest organic drive – the ‘will to live’ – so it is quite rewarding.

          Some people prefer a more conventional Western religion and that is cool – and many are just not that into ‘spirituality’, which is cool too. Whatever people want to do. Good luck to all whoever they find themselves to be and whatever they are into. I am quite ‘ecumenical’ really, I am happy for people to make their own choices as they see fit. The luxury to make one’s own choices, afforded by our modern societies, is of great value. Again, where would we be without fossil fuels?

          • Kowalainen says:

            I tried skunk once, didn’t feel much, only the hit from the nicotine. So I tried some more and just felt poisoned. I’m not sure about hallucinogenics, but I would probably just disregard it as the default hallucinations gone weird, or just feel poisoned.

            I think the fundamental ‘flaw’ of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche is the myopia of the ordinary mixed with western individualism.

            I simply consider my own existence as a ‘processing’ pattern of the universe. Think, for example, of a CD, or mp3 music file. Now, is that storage media the music? Of course not, it is the combination of the file and equipment of playing it back that creates the music.

            Thus we must consider the music played back as a combination of a latent encoding, a possibility, that gets spawned and excites, vibrates, the fabric of the universe, for a little while, and then it stops. Which is all right. The recording is for sure still there as another merry go around in the perpetuity of favorite tunes.

            Ending the perpetual rebirth by achieving nirvana feels to me as a brutal disregard for the process of existence and nonexistence. The universe wants, craves, comedy and drama. It is the ultimate ego trip. An you and I are reflections of that. Ego tripping in the myopia of the ordinary, following the dictates of the lambic system without regard for the underpinnings, fundamental frequency.

            Assume life is such a process of “music”, are we suppose to treat it with disregard, and perhaps contempt, or obsessive passion, creating a racket of rapacious primatery overpowering the fundamental tune?

            Existence and life is just pattern in the fabric of the universe. It surely seems to me that the universe means business with its processes. We clearly can observe that in the process of evolution from simple to complex life and so on.

            The hallucination, as convincing, and myopia of the ordinary inducing, it might be is dwarfed by the process itself which gives rise to these expressions. I think therefore I exist. I exist in the universe, therefore the universe thinks with me as the interpreter of the perception of it. A “mirror in the wall”, however distorted.

            Thus we ponder upon the process and align us with its intent to create more life (process) out of mineral. And by more life(forms), I am not intending quantity, but rather “more” quality.

            Something like that seems reasonable to me.

            😊

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              There is too much metaphor in that to make much sense of. Perhaps you could try to get your idea across clearly in plain language?

            • Kowalainen says:

              Ok, I’ll try.

              The universe, through its “physics”, clearly seem to be able to produce self replication (life). That cannot be denied. “Sum.”

              Whatever the universe ‘is’, is fundamentally irrelevant. The process is obviously there and here we are pondering upon it, however busy we are with the myopia of the ordinary regarding human affairs. “Cogito ergo sum.”

              Since the universe seem to have an intent in producing life and sentience, thus we should ponder upon this intent and align us accordingly.

              With that I mean to use the way (wu wei) of the intrinsics of the universe to further the intent. The harder we fight alignment, the further and harder we fall as sentients and as life forms. And by life form I place no special emphasis of biological life, rather all forms that can achieve self-replication and sentience.

              https://youtu.be/Zdy4KA0CgWQ

        • Thierry says:

          “Am I the only one not having a problem with this? ” No you’re not, I feel very closed to your thoughts, Kowalainen!

          “However such insights can lead to passivity, a ‘passive nihilism’, even the pursuit of ‘nothingness” I think you are wrong, Mirror, It’s difficult to understand for western people because our culture teach us the exact opposite. Asian culture is much more advanced and deeply understands it.

          “The luxury to make one’s own choices, afforded by our modern societies, is of great value. Again, where would we be without fossil fuels?”
          There I’m confused, do you really mean this? Think again, please, or try to explain it to me, i would be curious.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Thanks Thierry,

            Right, most westerners is absurdly obsessed by their own myopia of the ordinary and individualism.

            Either:

            1. God watches the furry rear end and thus it is wise not to sin, or:
            2. God is dead, therefore nihilism, debauchery and ultimate sin.

            Thus the dullard and obnoxities of western civilization gone ‘full retard’ with polarization.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei
            “Sinologist Herrlee Creel considers wu wei, as found in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi, to denote two different things.

            1. An “attitude of genuine non-action, motivated by a lack of desire to participate in human affairs” and
            2. A “technique by means of which the one who practices it may gain enhanced control of human affairs”.”

            Right,

            😊

            • Thierry says:

              Good link, K, many thanks. I’m studying Tao right now and I find there the inner peace I needed, So far far away from everything I had learnt before. Unlearn, relearn 🙂

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            K, it is not clear how you try to establish the basis of your ‘morality’ beyond your own self-certainty – which is fair enough but it does not tell the rest of us much. ‘Sin’? Which century are you living in?

            • Kowalainen says:

              I intend to stay faithful to the principles and processes of the universe.

              That is my morality.

              Through my own flaws and mishaps in life I can understand the whole hoopla of human affairs. But do not feel repulsed by the occasional bout of regrets, rather accept as is, place them between hammer and anvil (ponder upon them) Forging my own theory (rationalize) as I observe myself and others.

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              That is a common vanity and self-deception. The cosmos has no ‘morality’. The ‘principle and process’ of life is the evolution of the species through the survival of the fittest and it is doubtful that anyone who based a ‘morality’ based on that would be much interested in using the word. Maybe you should watch some nature documentaries some time. Techno-greta?

            • Kowalainen says:

              Why are you confusing the processes of mechanistic, approximate deterministic objective reality with hallucinations of “right, “wrong”, “good” and “evil” inside the brain?

              I do not attribute any morality to a process. I rather align myself to it. That which I perceive as “right” is alignment/resonance/sincerity, that which feels “wrong” is misalignment/dissonance/hypocrisy.

              Alignment is thus my morality. Its measure can be calibrated and adjusted to resonate with the principles of the universe.

              😊

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              You are accusing me of doing what you do yourself – which may rhetorically please you but does not cast a flattering light. You properly act on informed will and the ‘good’ is the proper object of your natural will as a biological creature. That requires you to make choices.

              You are not the cosmos and it has no ‘intention’ about how you act. It could not ‘care’ less. It is not a person. You are a product of evolution through the struggle for survival and you constantly consume and destroy other species as the precondition of your own existence.

              You are not a moral personification of the cosmos, you are a limited creature with some determined needs. Your only proper concern is what rationally allows you to fulfil them – that may include care for the environment but that too is ordered to your own well-being. Anything beyond that is an illusion and vanity – ‘techno-paganism’.

              There is no ‘hypocrisy’ in reality, only actions that either meet your needs or do not. You are an ‘ego’ and there is nothing wrong with that, it is how evolution made you. The idea that can be anything else is pure delusion. If you cannot live up to delusions then perhaps you should just drop them?

              You may even find greater personal peace that way. My advice would be to drop the whole slander of humanity thing. Humans are what they are and they can be no different, the same as everything else is what it is. There is no way that you can separate yourself or be in any sense ‘better’ than other humans.

              Human is what you are, so you may as well make peace with that – a limited biological creature with organic drives, nothing more. That is what the cosmos made you through evolution – so like it or lump it, it is not going to change. There is no ‘hypocrisy’ in being what you are – rather that is an ‘authentic’ approach to life – being what one is and cannot be otherwise.

              Maybe make this your daily ‘mantra’ to repeat – “I am a normal human and there is nothing ‘wrong’ with that or with anyone else. Human is fine. Human is good.”

            • Kowalainen says:

              The cosmos have no intention in how I act, neither does it “care”.

              Seriously?

              Do you think you are not part of the cosmos?

              Just because rapacious primatery is out of tune does not imply that the rest of the sentients in cosmos shriek and cackle pointless yada-yada, while trying to cover up the stink left behind the (mostly BS) dictates of the limbic system.

              The cosmos indeed spawns processes of life and sentience. That cannot be denied.

              1. The cosmos exists
              2. Life exists in cosmos
              3. Evolution exist in cosmos
              4. Sentience exists in cosmos.
              5. 1.->2.->3.->4.

              Do you agree with these five statements?

              If the answer is yes, then it certainly appears to me that whatever underlying processes that exist seem to have these outcomes 1-5. Thus the underpinnings of objective reality, physics, is geared towards these outcomes.

              Assume this is all a fluke, some random in the physical constants and interactions in the fundament and “creation” of the universe. However, that still wouldn’t change a thing. This out of “randomness” thingy apparently seem fully capable of existence and sentience.

              Thus my morality is aligned with those processes from that which out of unknown origins give rise to 1-5.

              Well, of course I am human. How could I else critique the rapacious primatery that seem hell bent on dissenting with 1-5. It takes one to know one.

              🤣👍

              Damn right I follow my instinct. That of survival. But I don’t differentiate myself from the rest of mankind and Mother Earth in extension. Even though it might be in vain, however likely it is.

              I can’t simply convince myself of going out of tune with the cosmos. Even if I did, for what purpose exactly? I am fairly content with my existence and sentience. Of course, I’d ultimately like to be more lucid, intelligent and wise. However, it is what it is.

              As for my life, well, I’m a dead man walking. It is only a matter of time. This is a knowledge shared by all sentients. Ultimately the cosmos will “get” you for stagnation (stop evolving). Either you go extinct from your own failings, or simply will be outcompeted, or perhaps silently wimpier into irrelevance.

              With rapacious primate shenanigans, that means burning finite resources for nothing triggering collapse. As mankind have been quite busy with during recent times.

              😊

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              The evolutionary process does not ‘aim’ at anything. It is impossible for any species to be ‘out of tune’ with the process as they are all entirely an ‘outcome’ of it. Whatever is, is produced by the process. There is no ‘criterion’ by which some results are ‘harmonious’ with the process or ‘valid’, all of them are simply results of the process.

              All species ‘destroy’ in so far as they ‘create’, those are two sides of the same coin. Any outcome of the activity of a species is also an outcome of the ‘process’, as the species is entirely such an outcome. Indeed the process exists only as the outcome of the activity of species, they are identical. There is no process without the activity of the species and their ‘outcome’ are one and the same.

              Obviously the activity of a species cannot be ‘out of tune’ with itself, it is self-identical – and neither can it be ‘out of tune’ with the process which is identical with its activity.

              There is no ‘validity’ or invalidity in the process, only produced species-being as creative/ destructive activity. If one species brought the whole thing to an end, eg. if humans blew up the planet, then that would be the ‘outcome of the process’, the same as any other ‘outcome’. One might as well then say that one’s ‘morality’ was ‘aligned with the process’ to blow up the planet as that was ‘the outcome of the process’.

              You attempt to ground a ‘morality’ in a ‘teleology’, an interpretation of reality as a process that ‘tends’ toward ‘outcomes’. The obvious objections are two-fold. Firstly, all outcomes are equally outcomes of the cosmic/ planetary ‘process’ that comprises the coming to be and passing away of all species. The planet itself is time limited. It is not a process that ‘aims’ at anything and its ultimate ‘outcome’ is bound to be nothingness.

              Secondly, a ‘morality’ cannot be deduced from telos for the simple reason that what ‘ought’ to be cannot be deduced from what ‘is’. Conclusions can only contain terms that are found in the premises. So ‘ought’ statements can only be deduced from other ‘ought’ statements – and they must ultimately be assumed, merely asserted. (Eg. ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’.) Thus ‘morality’ (ought) cannot be deduced from telos (is).

              So the conclusion is that a cosmic ‘morality’ based on ‘evolutionary outcomes’ is i) complete nonsense as all possible ‘outcomes’ are simply ‘outcomes’, and ii) impossible to deduce from the processes of the cosmos as what ‘ought’ to be cannot be deduced from what ‘is’ even as ‘a tendency that is’. That is not what ‘morality’ is. Morality is entirely a human social construct that concerns and regulates the expression of human physiological drives to facilitate their satisfaction.

              Humans construct societies of various kinds, with contrary ‘moralities’, as an expression of their tendency to form societies. They will adopt codes that allow the society to function in its historical, material circumstances. So moralities change as historical circumstances change. That fluidity is an aspect of human adaptability. We used to have slave moralities, then feudal and now bourgeois moralities – and there are variations of moralities and codes within that.

              But no ‘morality’ is ultimately ‘binding’ except in so far as societies make it so in law and enforce it. Even then people will get away with what they think they can. And there is nothing ‘wrong’ with that (except in a legal sense). Humans have not evolved as entirely compliant with law, that is not an ‘outcome’ that the evolutionary ‘process’ has delivered.

              Obedience is no more ‘valid’ than crime. People will comply with law in so far as they find it more beneficial to do so – or because they have some silly ‘beliefs’ about it. Otherwise they change the laws or break them.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Absolutely can processes be out of “tune” with the universe. Look no further than the trials and tribulations of evolution. What resonates, stays, that which dissonate goes away.

              No morality needed, just a simple measure of harmony with the principle.

              Do you deny that?

              What is the “selection” criteria of the universe in this matter? Clearly it is sophistication that is intended, to turn mineral into more life, synthetic or biological. According to principles 1-5.

              The universe with its evolving processes clearly abhors stagnation. Blowing through finite resources without much to show for is clearly stagnation.

              Taoism is indeed a hard nut to crack from a purely intellectual standpoint. Not all sentients seem able to internalize wu wei.

              The problem with Nietzsche’s big eared academics is that they only occupy themselves with words. Thus the pointless cackle and posturing without grounding in physical reality. All sound and fury signifying nothing.

              😊

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              Evolution is not ‘aimed’ at things ‘staying’, it is a process by which things come to be and pass away and pass into other things. Nothing remains. 99.9% of species that ever existed are extinct. All outcomes are outcomes produced by the process. Nothing is out of ‘tune’ with it. It is not music. You are running with metaphors again. Try to focus on the reality of things.

              “Selection” is a term used with regard to the mechanism of the evolution of the species. It does not apply to the development of the cosmos as a whole and no one says that it does. The cosmos does not ‘intend’ anything. It is not a person. It simply operates according to laws. As far as we know, life is very much an exception, in no sense does it represent a ‘rule’, a ‘criterion’ or a ‘purpose’.

              You are running with your own anthropomorphic mythology – you have a cosmic teleology and I have already addressed those in general. All outcomes of cosmic processes are equally outcomes and ‘ought’ cannot be deduced from ‘is’ in any case. The earthly process ends in nothingness and that is its ‘outcome’.

              Goodness, are you really going to imagine that the cosmos is somehow ‘bothered’ by human EROEI or ‘productive work’? That really is laughable.

              You do not understand anything about Taoism just because you glanced at some Wiki page. Your categories are entirely medieval Western and they are at the level of an infantile take on monotheism. It is like a child’s interpretation of Christianity. You talk about ‘ego’, well maybe you should take a look at your own.

              You would do better to kneel at the foot of your bed and to ask the Daddy in the Sky to forgive your ‘sins’ because that is the mental level that you are at. You are a moralistic poser and all your ‘beliefs’ are aimed at your own vanity. That is also why you constantly insult other people and all humans in general.

              You and Greta should get together and snarl at the humans. You would have made a good witch hunter.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Mirror,

              Your brutal dissing is like music to my tired eyes. Regarding metaphors that isn’t self-consistent, but rather fun to play with.

              Of course the cosmos is evolution in and of itself. It constantly changes, mutates, only the myopia of the ordinary is blindingly missing the very process itself playing out there, right before our senses.

              It is a western disease of individuality and reductionism that causes these rather crude hallucinations of objective reality to form.

              Oh, one has to read about Taoism to embrace it? I was more of thinking it could be of assistance in changing your perspectives. But since you are perfectly objective, no further inquiry needed, right?

              Or perhaps there is another explanation?

              😉

              I usually quickly get bored with large amounts of text, lots of yada-yada and then a rather silly conclusion, sufficiently wrong, which could have been expressed with a couple of sentences.

              Now imagine those GPT-3 AI:s sifting through utter garbage on the web. Holey moley the amount of contradictions and hogwash it must be floating out there after the exploits of the herders and “masters”.

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            Its not clear why you would think that is ‘wrong’. You say that you are a recent student to Taoism, so maybe you should hold off from claiming it as ‘your culture’ and drawing conclusions about who is ‘right and wrong’.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Perhaps studying some Taoism wouldn’t hurt your rather polarized ‘western’ intellect.

              Just sayin’.

              😊

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              You know nothing about me and I doubt that you are in any position to distinguish my point of view from Taoism.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Oh, I see. Look, you got nothing to prove. You are perfectly fine the way you are. I very much appreciate our disagreements.

              ☯️

              Anyway, a bit of internalized wu wei wouldn’t hurt anyone frequenting this forum.

              Just saying.

              😊

            • Thierry says:

              I don’t claim anything, just trying to do my best in this world.
              Why do I think you are wrong? I have no answer but this one “Every right denomination is at the same time wrong and, conversely, every wrong denomination is at the same time right.”

              PS K I love you

            • Kowalainen says:

              Thierry,

              Thanks, you are most welcome.

              Love you too!

              🥰🤗

      • Nehemiah says:

        The number of religions, like the number of languages and the number of sovereign political units, has declined as civilization has spread. Since the Axial Age (2nd millennium BC), high ethical religions have expanded with civilization and trade at the expense of tribal cults and gods. Monotheistic faiths seem to have especially potent messages, generally expanding at the expense of polytheism when the two compete head to head. With the fall in birth rates since the invention of effective contraception and the expansion of women’s education, by far the highest birth rates today are found among the strictest and most authoritarian or totalitarian religious sects, such as Hasidic and other “ultra-orthodox” Jews, the Amish, Hutterites, and Old Order Mennonites, and polygamous Mormon fundamentalists. Among more “fundamental” circles within the Southern Baptist Convention, a so called “Full Quiver” movement has emerged in recent years that aims to grow their numbers through high fertility. I suspect these sects have counterparts among the Muslims, which, like Protestantism, is highly sectarian and diverse, but I am not familiar with their theological factions beneath the major Sunni-Shia split.

        Politically, the far right and far left used to have more children than the middle, but the fertility of the far left has fallen in recent decades, but the far right remains quite fertile. Right wing political and social views appear to comprise a factor that promotes high fertility independently of religion, although there is of course a tendency for strict religion and right wing cultural views to overlap.

        Israel appears to lead the world in this particular fertility trajectory. The higher fertility of Jewish fundamentalists propelled Likud from obscurity to one of the two major parties in Israel, completely marginalizing what had been one of two secular political parties, and birth rates on that tiny parcel of land remain very high by modern standards among both the strict religious sects and among patriotic Zionists of a more secular or moderate bent. There is also evidence that some competitive fertility may be going on there among rival groups. This pattern may presage the demographic future of most of the world, although in terms of absolute numbers we can expect a big step down during the collapse to come.

        • Bei Dawei says:

          “The number of religions […] has declined as civilization has spread.”

          I have to know how you’re counting them. Did you get the one my old landlord started in his apartment?

          • Nehemiah says:

            I’m thinking about trends over millennia of time. The big trend has been for a large number of local and tribal cults to be replaced by large cults proclaiming a message of universal truth that brought many different cultures and peoples into its fold. The fossil fuel age has accelerated that trend, especially in the cases of Christianity and Islam. People sometimes notice the new little cults that pop up here and there, but they rarely notice the old ones, often associated with pre-literate peoples, that disappear.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          “Since the Axial Age (2nd millennium BC), high ethical religions….”

          That is an historical thesis that does not seem to have gained general acceptance.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_Age

          > Axial Age (also Axis Age,[1] from German: Achsenzeit) is a term coined by German philosopher Karl Jaspers in the sense of a “pivotal age”, characterizing the period of ancient history from about the 8th to the 3rd century BCE….

          Many have questioned whether the ‘axial age’ is a legitimate category of history. Critics posit that there is no demonstrable common denominator between the intellectual developments alleged to have developed in unison across ancient Judah, Greece, India, and China. Despite positing this as the pertinent period of the ushering in of new forms of thought, critics say that pivotal figures from other areas are ignored including Jesus, Muhammad, Zarathustra, Akhenaten, and others. Even with the four aforementioned regions, significant continuity exists in the ‘preaxial’ and ‘postaxial’ periods, contra proponents of the axial age who posit that it represented a period of radial discontinuity. Finally, what represents ‘axial’ in contrast to what doesn’t and how these ideas manifest across specific thinkers is far from clear.[2]

          … The validity of the concept has been called into question.

          In 2006 Diarmaid MacCulloch called the Jaspers thesis “a baggy monster, which tries to bundle up all sorts of diversities over four very different civilisations, only two of which had much contact with each other during the six centuries that (after adjustments) he eventually singled out, between 800 and 200 BCE”.[34]

          In 2013, another comprehensive critique appears in Iain Provan’s book Convenient Myths: The Axial Age, Dark Green Religion, and the World That Never Was.[35]

          In 2018, contrary to Suzuki and Provan, and similar to Whitaker, Stephen Sanderson published another book dealing somewhat with the axial age and its religious contributions, arguing that religions and religious change in general are essentially biosocial adaptations to changing environments.[36]

          • Nehemiah says:

            “no demonstrable common denominator between the intellectual developments alleged to have developed in unison across ancient Judah, Greece, India, and China.”

            They are mistaken. The common denominator is “axial” (as in an axle). Increased trade and communication brought formerly inimical peoples with nothing in common together for mutual gain, and this led to a growing sense of universality and the development of ethical codes of a universal nature. “The people” or “the humans” no longer referred as among more primitive peoples to one’s own tribe but was extended to all humanity.

            Yes, in the future there would be other teachers of these ethical codes that aspired to universality, but they did so as a continuation of a tradition that began in that earlier period.

            PS–it seems to be well established by now that Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was a 6th century BC religious teacher, so he easily falls within this period.

            Akenaton was indeed earlier, but when he died the priests of the old religion formerly cursed him in the hereafter and serious efforts were made to eradicate his name from history, so he left no legacy. It was left for future historians and archaeologists to rediscover his failed effort at religious transformation.

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              Ancient societies were tribal, caste and slave based and so were their religions and philosophies. Eg. ‘humanitas’ in ancient Rome originally designated only the caste of adult, male ‘citizens’, slave owners who were a tiny number of the population. Greeks also understood people as belonging to fundamentally distinct types, tribal and caste.

              Europe as a whole was tribal and caste-based throughout the feudal period and the use of religion and philosophy reflected that. ‘Humanitas’ as the subject of culture and responsibility began to be extended further only in the Renaissance with the city states and the early, emergent bourgeoisie. It took further centuries to arrive at modern ‘liberalism’ as capitalism gradually replaced feudalism as the material base of society.

              It seems likely that Jaspers was deliberately attempting to construct a post-war mythology that was intended to reinforce modern Western, ‘liberal’, universalist or bourgeois ‘values’ by enclosing them in an ancient historical ‘horizon’. If so then it is a conscious propaganda exercise rather than a serious attempt at an interpretation of history – a ‘foundational myth’. Modern societies favour ‘egalitarianism’ only in so far as it allows them to make money.

              No one way of seeing people is ‘better’, it all depends on what allows a society to function in its historical circumstances. To call egalitarianism or universalism ethically ‘higher’ seems to be an ironic inversion of caste evaluations. There is no ‘moral truth’, there is only ways of organisation and ideas that societies find useful as they materially develop. Humans actively transform the material basis of their life and they construct societies afresh and rehash their ideas as they do.

            • If there are not enough resources to go around (something that seems to be often the case), physics says that the distribution of the resources will be skewed, basically according to the power law. It may take a caste system to accomplish this in a peaceful way.

    • Bei Dawei says:

      What if I start my own religion? Am I morally obligated to remain faithful to it? What if I’m an antipope? Oh well, it’s not like Catholics are falling all over themselves to follow the church’s teachings.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Are the founders of religions ever entirely faithful to them? Did Jesus preach the other cheek and then take up the whip? Did Moses forbid killing and then lead the Israelites in the killing of Og and his people and the taking of their land? Did Peter deny Jesus thrice? Did he separate himself from gentile Christians and thus receive the rebuke of Paul? Did Paul and James publicly bicker over the necessity of works? Were popes ever entirely faithful to the religion? Is Quaker Francis an antipope? Is RCC even Christian?

        “These questions – and many others – will be answered in the next episode of… SOAP.”

  6. TampaMark says:

    Gail, one huge factor is the climate – things are going cold. We are in a Grand Solar Minimum and everything you have listed is coinciding with the sun reducing radiation. Even AGW activists NOAA and NASA say sun spot activity is low and this is the coldest solar minimum in 200 years. When this happens we get more clouds, rain and volcanic activity due to increased Cosmic Radiation. This also makes the Jet Stream go meridional, as we have seen in Texas recently, where high and low pressure cells bring cold down from the Arctic and warmth up from the Sub Tropics.

    I came upon this in a book I read a few years ago, “The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire” by Kyle Harper. It reminded me what I was taught in grade school in the 1960’s that our generation will experience a little Ice Age. All the economic tipping points you mentioned coincide with reduced solar activity. And the scientific evidence is that climate is cyclical as these cycles have occurred before.

  7. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Just another example of inflation…a year ago could buy a prepaid card for hair cuts at my local “Great Cuts” here in the States. They discontinued that incentive and now it cost me $6.00 more from a year ago. Gail was correct, the lockdown does not work for most businesses, except maybe for Walmart, Target, Amazon, eBay , McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Home Depot, ect.
    Of course, Jerome Powell of the Fed will ignore this because it’s not on the list ….
    P.S. Folks are not going as frequently to the places because of the virus, less patrons more costs, and the staff suffers because they rely on tips for their wage. A help wanted stylist sign in the shop when I walked in…

    • I went through a car wash yesterday. There was a sign up that they had temporarily discontinued their “free wash after ten” promotion, “to prevent the spread of COVID.” Doing so would reduce interaction with customers, since it would no longer be necessary to punch their ten wash card. I noticed that the attendant still handed me my card to get my emissions checked, however, since I had bought the “car wash plus emission check” package. The car wash is close to free with this package.

      Later, I noticed that the attendant who drove my car back after the emissions check was not wearing a mask when he drove my car back, so that I could get in and drive away. I suppose that that was not in the list of precautions. Or perhaps the worker wasn’t paying attention.

      • Xabier says:

        Maybe I should put my own prices up quite a bit -and abolish discounts – so as to reduce customer contact and help ‘fight Covid’ that way?

        • Jarle says:

          I’m “fighting Covid” by being unpleasant to people wearing masks resulting in them avoiding me …

        • Alex says:

          A week ago, I’ve finally bought a hair trimmer. The reasons being the price charged by the hairdresser steadily raising above acceptable level and also lockdown restrictions.

          Sorry, this customer is not coming back.

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Oil prices are surging: Here’s why not everyone is cheering… there are always two sides to a trade. Some countries that depend on imports are feeling the squeeze in bond and currency markets.

    “Rising fuel prices cost the head of Brazil’s state oil company his job. They’ve led India—the world’s third-largest crude importer—to call on the OPEC+ cartel to raise oil production and pushed Turkey’s inflation rate above 15%.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/3/11/bb-oil-prices-are-surging-heres-why-not-everyone-is-cheering

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The cyclical upswing in oil prices raises several questions. Will it continue? Will it become part of a supercycle? And how will consumers and policymakers respond?

      “Over the past five decades, there have been three long-lasting spikes in oil prices – in 1973/74, 1979/80 and 2007/08 – with all of them sufficiently significant to be termed “oil shocks”.

      “Each shock also coincided with a severe business cycle downturn…

      “In each case, there was a permanent loss of consumption as a result of the accompanying recessions, as well as increased energy efficiency and a switch to cheaper sources of energy.

      “Each shock moved global consumption to a new, lower trajectory, from where it never recovered to the pre-shock path.”

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil-kemp-idUSKBN2B11Z7

      • High oil prices coincide with high prices for other commodities. Countries importing these commodities are especially at a disadvantage.

      • Nehemiah says:

        I rememb2008er all three!
        1974/75–the “worst recession since the Great Depression”

        1981/82–the new “worst recession since the Great Depression”

        2008/09–the new, new “worst recession since the Great Depression”

        I hope I’m still around to observe the next record oil price spike/economic drama.

    • Higher commodity prices can help prevent debt defaults in the countries that benefit from the higher prices. In countries that are hurt by them, they are likely to have the opposite effect. More stimulus packages and QE are required.

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Desperate to save their economies from complete collapse, governments borrowed unprecedented amounts of money on the cheap to support workers and businesses during the pandemic. Now, with recovery in sight, a big risk looms: interest payments.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/11/investing/government-debt-bond-yields-interest-rates/index.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Some on Wall Street see signs the U.S. government’s extraordinary borrowing spree is starting to test investors’ appetite for new Treasury debt…

      “[One] factor pushing yields higher, many analysts and traders say: the sheer volume of Treasuries now flooding the markets.”

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/flood-of-new-debt-tests-bond-market-11615372201

      • Nehemiah says:

        Here is a more nuanced take on what is happening with demand in the Treasuries market, especially around the 6 minute mark and following:

    • Xabier says:

      A surreal and untruthful narrative: if they had sought to protect businesses, they would not have imposed the lock-downs. in the first place, or only made them very brief – still less continued with them.

      Nor would they be making it plain that more are to come next winter after a brief relaxation this summer (if at all).

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Governments around the world are failing to match their green rhetoric with action in rescuing their economies from the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN has warned, with prospects for a “green recovery” in danger unless swift action is taken.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/10/governments-failing-fulfil-talk-green-covid-recovery-un-warns

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Replacing High Paying Oil Jobs With Clean Energy Jobs Is Not So Easy:

      “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that solar power technicians make $43,000 and wind turbine technicians earn $53,000 annually. In other words, these new “high-paying jobs” pay $60,000 to $70,000 less than their oil and gas counterparts. This is a significant wage gap to close by any standard.”

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/neiledwards/2021/03/10/replacing-high-paying-oil-jobs-with-clean-energy-jobs-is-not-so-easy/?sh=3c85cb4f14f8

      • Xabier says:

        Hilarious. Those ‘good paying jobs’, they seek them here, they seek them there.

        Or maybe they will eventually be on UBI, like all workers: and you know what?

        They will be happy!

        Or else…..

        Thanks for wading through this stream of ordure and nonsense in the MSM, Sir Harry. It must be distressing to someone of your intelligence and sense, as to all of us.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          You are very welcome, Xabier. It is no hardship – a bit like whizzing through a crossword, lol.

      • Perhaps the fact that the good paying jobs don’t pay so well is a sign that the value they add isn’t all that great, even with all of the subsidies green energy is being given.

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The race to stop Europe’s young and jobless from becoming a ‘lost generation’: As Europe’s economy shrinks following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, youth unemployment is on the rise.”

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/03/10/the-race-to-stop-europes-young-and-jobless-from-becoming-a-lost-generation

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “For Russians who oppose Putin, Navalny’s imprisonment represents a bellwether moment that they have long expected and feared. As part of a forceful, sweeping effort to tighten political freedoms, it signposts a new era for a regime now extending into its third decade.

    “After 20 years in which Putin’s rule was propped up first by economic prosperity and then by pugnacious patriotism, his government has now pivoted to repression as the central tool of retaining power.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/59498c92-799f-4c61-ac2e-77e7e302cc32

  13. hillcountry says:

    Update on Dr. Reiner Fuellmich and litigation versus covid-19 fraud

    One can hope that these guys are not LHOCO, but ya git it where ya git it I guess

    https://evolvetoecology.org/2021/02/27/dr-reiner-fuellmich-begins-legal-litigation-on-the-covid-19-fraud-the-greatest-crime-against-humanity/

    Countless appeals for annulment of vaccination approval have been filed against the European Commission, lawsuits in New York over the statute of PCR tests, German lawsuits, Canadian lawsuits, Australian lawsuits, Austrian lawsuits and lawsuits in the International Court of Justice and in the European court for human rights.

    “We have seen what has been confirmed time and time again: the virus’s danger is about the same as that of the seasonal flu, regardless of whether it is a new virus or whether we are simply dealing with an influenza dubbed the Covid-19 pandemic”

    The manipulation of information has coerced and instilled panic in global populations, causing dangerous and damaging containment measures, (especially by the WHO ) with these mandatory mask wearing regulations that are damaging to children and adults health for long term use, in addition to social distancing and social isolation with lockdowns, which has been psychologically damaging and continues to be useless and counterproductive. The population was thus manipulated to be “ready” for these experimental biological agents, these injections, that the governments are calling vaccines.

    • hillcountry says:

      Some of Dr. Fuellmich’s Youtubes have been scrubbed, but not all. I recall seeing them when they first came out. This one from Nov. 15 is interesting in that he mentions a group of perps doing some coordination back in early 2019 in Davos. That being prior to the notorious ‘Event 201’

    • hillcountry says:

      Fast Eddy – I need some mega-IQ help over here.

      Birds of a feather?? Interesting that this obscure year-old YT channel has two of Fuellmich’s videos mixed in with the propaganda of Ray Dalio and Jordan Peterson.

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSt5tFheBzhjtP5QMJkQUeA/videos

      And isn’t it strange that Dr. Fuellmich’s own channel has everything in German? I mean, he claims that class-action suits allowed in the US are important to his group’s endeavors, right? Why doesn’t he also archive his English interviews like the one he did with Patrick Ben-David at the Valuetainment channel. In the interview with Patrick, it’s a red-flag when he proposes getting some court to engage in a fishing-expedition. That’s not how it works – at least over here. He purports to be a lawyer, so he ought to know that. You might be able to get a Grand Jury to look at an array of potential criminal activity to determine if prosecution is the next step. I don’t know how that works in Germany though. Maybe their courts do both functions – fish and filet?

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJB8ANhWVhgQf9Rw-KJo26Q/videos

      He’s still going strong in German interviews as of two days ago.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrDn-1Vt8_4

      Is anyone else trying to follow the trail of these “lawsuits”? Are they really happening? Or is it Hopium for the Restless – you know – “hey, isn’t it great that somebody’s on the case”

      • MM says:

        “Sitzung 41 international” was directed at “international visitors”:

        (quite long with intermittent translations)

        You can imagine that the courts are in fact ignoring the filed lawsuits at least as long as it is possible.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I imagine this will be like Brexit… dragged out until it doesn’t matter one way or the other….

    • Xabier says:

      I have been seeing very clear symptoms of mental distress in the street recently – upsetting and disturbing.

      More positively, I’ve encountered far fewer Jumping Idiots trying to keep their distance.

      Lots of people without masks (thankfully not mandatory outside) not bothering at all as to how close one gets. Slightly more normal.

      If the shops and pubs would open fully I suspect they would be packed with people who have had enough of this farce.

  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, have stressed the need to intensify international efforts to normalize the situation in Libya…”

    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1823181/middle-east

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “For some children in Venezuela, garbage is the main source of their livelihood…

      “But their work has never been so challenging: The nation’s acute economic crisis coupled with stay-at-home orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic have reduced trash output, making valuable findings rare.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuelan-children-pick-through-garbage-for-food-valuables/2021/03/10/8cc96644-81d1-11eb-be22-32d331d87530_story.html

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        Heartbreaking to read and knowing that I am indirectly benefiting from those most unfortunate, innocent victims misery by the structure of BAU.
        Remember everyone, this IS coming your way….when push comes to shove those in power will turn against you and other expendables and we will be “riding on the Storm”

        • Xabier says:

          To make one’s living from scavenging and then to find that even that dries up – the very dregs of bitterness in life!

          Well,yes it’s coming here. They have, after all, already divided us up into ‘key’/’essential’ workers and the ‘inessential’: and what happens to the inessential? Chop chop…..

          • Nehemiah says:

            Don’t get carried away by your darkest suspicions. After all, they distinguished between essential and non-essential workers largely for the purpose of sparing the least essential of all population segments–the retirees. If they really wanted to kill off the non-essentials, they could easily have started there.

      • The article says that this is the fifth year Venezuela has been in recession.

        Its problems really started when oil prices first dropped from their peak in 2008. Its production started to slowly fall. Then came the big drop in oil prices in 2014. That was when production really started to fall. The price was not high enough to support Venezuela’s costs, including needed tax revenue.

        Strangely enouogh, as of the end of 2019, Venezuela still reported the highest oil reserves in the world.

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Lebanon’s caretaker interior minister said on Wednesday the country’s security forces were drained and unable to fulfil their duties as a financial meltdown and political deadlock bite.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-crisis-security/lebanons-interior-minister-says-security-forces-reached-rock-bottom-local-media-idUSKBN2B22LA

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    HK loosened up a little last week… and as expected… it’s bracing for yet another lockdown (that will be number 5)

    Covid Outbreak Hits Banks, Gyms, Schools in Hong Kong

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-11/covid-outbreak-rattles-hong-kong-gyms-and-international-schools

    This should totally smash whatever hope of any sort of recovery…. and send the message — the lockdowns are eternal.

    • Keeping cases at zero is pretty much impossible.

    • Nehemiah says:

      Nothing eternal about it. It was barely a year ago when this pandemic began to show up outside of China in noticeable numbers. It is not at all unusual for pandemics to last 18 months or longer before they fade. And the more effectively you slow its spread, the longer it is likely to ast (unless you can hold the R0 below 1, but I don’t think many countries have been strict enough to do that). People who think a year is an eternity, well, I guess they would have failed the marshmallow test in kindergarten:

  17. Lidia17 says:

    “Scientific” organization in Ireland strategizing to ramp up fear, achieve “zero covid”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeiqGc9J_L8

    ISAG members were instructed to “review and internalise” instructions to “look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty”, and to “go after people and not institutions” because “people hurt faster than institutions.” The instructions were shared to the group by Professor Anthony Staines, one of the founders of ISAG, in a note titled, “Notes from 2020-02-08 ISAG meeting” (the note’s title contains a typo, it was actually posted on the 8th of February, 2021). The note reminded ISAG members of the importance of ridicule as “man’s most powerful weapon” and that “the threat of a thing is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” ISAG members, many of whom are regular guests in Irish media, were told that they could count on “imagination” to “dream up many more consequences” than they themselves as “the threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

    https://gript.ie/look-for-ways-to-increase-insecurity-anxiety-and-uncertainty-zero-covid-document/

    • Xabier says:

      Horrifying, Lydia.

      It answers the question as to whether the same sort of people who ran the Nazi and Soviet states would crawl out of the shadows here: there seem to be a lot of them in academia and the media, the police and army.

      Which is why WE should start to turn on the open-air mask-wearers and ridicule them.

    • Minority Of One says:

      John F. Kennedy Junior stated something I never heard of before. The top 4 USA pharmaceutical companies have paid about $36 billion in fines over the decade 2009-2019. For various / many misdemeanours that as he states effectively makes them serial criminal organisations.

  18. MG says:

    We live in energy cycles: morning, noon, evening, night; spring, summer, autumn, winter;

    The humanity achieved its greatest advance in the areas with the full energy cycle – i.e. the mild climate.

    The constant warmth and humidity of the tropical areas allowed only for simple progress. The higher progress was achieved in the areas where dry and wet season are cycling.

    But it is the incorporation of the collapse, in the form of a too cold season, i.e. the winter, that promoted the development of higher skills and the complex societies.

    • Energy cycles are a form of intermittency. Fossil fuels allowed us to bridge this intermittency.

    • I was looking at this again.

      “But it is the incorporation of the collapse, in the form of a too cold season, i.e. the winter, that promoted the development of higher skills and the complex societies.”

      I have always thought that once an economy had figured out how to use coal for heating, it would be only a short step to use it for industrialization, and that was the connection with more complex societies. But, thinking about it, the adaptation may have been different. It may be that survival of children and young adults depended on them being clever, and thus there was a selection for what we might call “high IQ.” That may have been what cold weather did.

      So you might be right.

      When we look at China and Japan, the people tend to have high IQs, or at least very good math skills. Yet, these countries did not scale up industrialization until relatively recently. Japan didn’t have coal deposits. China did have coal, and in fact used coal to some extent very early on. But they did not add industrialization. Japan’s big spurt in industrialization came after WW2. China’s came after it entered the World Trade Organization.

      It was Europe and the US that industrialized earlier.

      • Nehemiah says:

        Japan industrialized at a very respectable rate from the Meiji Restoration onward, but during the 1930s, the Japanese army experimented with accelerated industrial development in occupied Manchukuo (Manchuria), which also had China’s biggest coal reserves. After the War, a former army officer who had been stationed in Manchuria during that period became prime minister and implemented the Manchurian economic model and Japan achieved the fastest industrial development the world had ever seen. Later, in the 1980s, the South Koreans elected a former collaborator with the Japanese occupying army and he slavishly copied the Japanese model of accelerated development with great success. Post-Maoist China also borrowed many ideas from the Manchurian model, but, for better or worse I cannot tell, were less strict and more experimental in their implementation.

      • MG says:

        Some pepole think that we can return to hunting and wood burning.

        The problem is that we passed the limit of hunting in the past, further on, the hunting is subsidized by the agriculture.

        As regards the heating, the wood is very inflexible, it can not meet the needs of the ageing populations which require maintaining a precise temperature due to their lowering body thermoregulation capacities. I.e. the wood pellets of uniform size for automatic loading the oven according to the varying temperature are needed.

        We are in need of sophisticated solutions, otherwise the populations collapse quickly due to epidemics.

        The sophisticated progeny, as you pointed out, is more desirable when the populations are ageing.

        An automated machine with sensors etc. is better than a child.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I have no idea why people are so eager have children — dogs are a FAR superior option (in all seriousness).

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Further .. students cannot site exams and …The Israeli Health Minister has also said that soon employers will be required to have their staff vaccinated, or to undergo coronavirus testing every 48 hours.

    And…. On February 24th the Israeli parliament passed a law allowing the government to share the names, addresses and phone numbers of people who had not received a COVID vaccine with other authorities in the ministries of education and welfare.

    And…. “They’re making people wear an ankle bracelet, a security bracelet when they come back from travelling,” said Daniel who is affiliated with the Rapeh party. “It’s absolutely insane.”

    People are being offered electronic security ankle bracelets, similar to those worn by prisoners, to monitor their whereabouts after they travel outside of Israel instead of being forced to house in quarantine facilities, The Jerusalem Post reported February 25th.

    “We call it a ‘freedom bracelet’ because we are not locking anybody up, but rather giving them the opportunity to go home,” Ordan Trabelsi, president and CEO of SuperCom, the company behind the surveillance system told the paper.

    Then… oh my….

    The Rapeh Party was founded by medical doctor Aryeh Avni whose medical license was revoked by Israel’s Health Ministry on February 24th when a judge ruled he was “a ‘stumbling block,’ whose behavior poses a real danger to public safety and health.”

    “They removed our platforms from Facebook and now they won’t let the media even write about us. So we want to ask all the international [inaudible] – anywhere we can get – to publicize what we are saying.”

    “If I stop to think about it I will cry you know,” said Daniel, who can be heard breaking down in tears. “We just keep fighting you know, fighting as much as we can.

    “We need everybody’s help because whatever happens here will happen everywhere,” she said. “So, we’re fighting for ourselves and we’re fighting for the whole world. We need to help…every hand on deck.” Daniel has since recorded an hour-long interview with British journalist James Delingpole.

    But there’s MORE!

    High level Israeli government officials are talking about sending police to the homes of unvaccinated people and demanding that their names be released, Rosinger said.

    They are really keen on making sure every single Israeli gets the jab… seems they don’t care so much about the Palestinians… why would they … let them rip each others faces off post collapse… https://www.bbc.com/news/55800921

    • Minority Of One says:

      The irony – having treated the Palestinians so badly and locking them up in the world’s largest outdoor detention centres, they might now be in the process of exterminating themselves.

      • Xabier says:

        ‘Slavery is Citizenship!’

        So much irony in the Israeli situation.

        And yes, it’s coming to us sometime next year, I’d say.

        Same strategies, globally co-ordinated, just slightly different speeds.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Last year if one mentioned vax passports one was crazy… insane… a conspiracy theorist…

          I am expecting the Israel model to be applied broadly

      • Robert Firth says:

        “The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small.”

        However, considering that we are talking about Israel, perhaps the original reads better:

        “Gottes Mühlen mahlen langsam, mahlen aber trefflich klein.”

        Friedrich Freiherr von Logau (1604 – 1655)

  20. Fast Eddy says:

    Coming soon everywhere? Perhaps not… remember… the Elders will want to ensure all of their folks take the Lethal Injection …. because it would really suck to be in that grouping and survive the CEP….

    Certainly not everyone will die during the cull… when the see the nightmarish world that comes post CEP… they will quickly wish they had taken the jab though…

    I kinda want to see that world… for maybe a few days… then car meets rock cut.

    Israel has rapidly deteriorated into a segregated culture that discriminates against people who have not received experimental COVID-19 vaccinations, say Israeli citizens who are reaching out for help on media platforms.

    “It’s very intense over here in Israel. I don’t know how much you see,” said Ilana Rachel Daniel in a video posted March 3rd on Bit Chute. “It’s terrible. It’s a very, very, very frightening situation.”

    “They’re making this green passport where half the population cannot get into theaters or malls or all sorts of things unless you have taken the vaccination. They are creating a medical Apartheid,” Daniel said.

    Part of a program dubbed Operation Back to Life , the “Green Pass” system restricts entry to registered gyms, theaters, hotels, restaurants, universities and secondary schools to holders of scannable vaccine passport only.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-green-passport-vaccination-program-created-medical-apartheid-distraught-citizens-say/5739417

    • JMS says:

      Operation Back to Life… Who comes to life? Zombies (ok techno-zombies). Je.wish humour in practice?

  21. PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    BREAKING NEWS: Doctors and Scientists Write to European Medicines Agency Warning of COVID-19 Vaccine Dangers
    10th March 2021
    A group of scientists and doctors has today issued an open letter calling on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to answer urgent safety questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines, or withdraw the vaccines’ authorisation.
    The letter describes serious potential consequences of COVID-19 vaccine technology, warning of possible autoimmune reactions, blood clotting abnormalities, stroke and internal bleeding, “including in the brain, spinal cord and heart”. The authors request evidence that each medical danger outlined “was excluded in pre-clinical animal models with all three vaccines prior to their approval for use in humans by the EMA.”
    “Should all such evidence not be available”, the authors write, “we demand that approval for use of the gene-based vaccines be withdrawn until all the above issues have been properly addressed by the exercise of due diligence by the EMA.”
    The letter is addressed to Emer Cooke, Executive Director of the EMA, and was sent on Monday 1 March 2021. The letter was copied to the President of the Council of Europe and the President of the European Commission.
    It states: “We are supportive in principle of the use of new medical interventions.” However, “there are serious concerns, including but not confined to those outlined above, that the approval of the COVID-19 vaccines by the EMA was premature and reckless, and that the administration of the vaccines constituted and still does constitute ‘human experimentation’, which was and still is in violation of the Nuremberg Code.”
    Link to letter: https://doctors4covidethics.medium.com/urgent-open-letter-from-doctors-and-scientists-to-the-european-medicines-agency-regarding-covid-19-f6e17c311595
    Video statement by Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and Former Chair, Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene: https://lbry.tv/@Doctors4CovidEthics:d/Prof.-Sucharit-Bhakdi-statement-on-EMA-open-letter.ENG:0
    For comment contact Professor Sucharit Bhakdi MD: sucharit.bhakdi@gmx.de, or Associate Professor Michael Palmer MD:mpalmer@uwaterloo.ca

    In a public statement the group said…
    “No sooner did we deliver our letter than the Norwegian Medicines Agency warned that COVID-19 vaccines may be too risky for use in the frail elderly, the very group these vaccines are designed to protect. We would add that, by virtue of the mechanisms of action of the vaccines, to stimulate the production of spike protein, which has adverse pathophysiological properties, there may also be vulnerable people who are not old and already ill. New data shows that vaccine side effects are three times as common in those who have previously been infected with coronavirus, for example. None of the vaccines have undergone clinical testing for more than a few months, which is simply too short for establishing safety and efficacy.
    “Therefore, as a starting point, we believe it is important to enumerate and evaluate all deaths which have occurred within 28 days of vaccination, and to compare the clinical pictures with those who have not been vaccinated.
    “More broadly, with respect to the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has stated in their Resolution 2361, on 27th January 2021, that member states must ensure all COVID-19 vaccines are supported by high quality trials that are sound and conducted in an ethical manner. EMA officials, and other regulatory bodies in EU countries, are bound by these criteria. They should be made aware that they may be violating Resolution 2361 by applying medical products still in phase 3 studies.
    “Under Resolution 2361, member states must also inform citizens that vaccination is NOT mandatory and ensure that no one is politically, socially, or otherwise pressured to become vaccinated.

  22. racoon#9.5meg says:

    Robert F Kennedy speaks about

    Loss of a free society
    The true cost of the lock down
    The degree to which big pharma is represented by the government
    Vaccine royalties collected by Fauci

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/2bjtjFlW2BDy/

    • Robert F. Kennedy says Tony Fauci is in a position where he has his hands in most of the drugs and vaccines being approved. In fact, he says, he and his NAID people get a percentage of profits of these drugs and vaccines. Gets power as well. Shuts down the global economy. Under his rule, chronic diseases in the US have exploded. Fauci could be encouraging more investigation regarding what is causing this big increase in chronic diseases in the US, but he hasn’t.

      Before making a new rule, Kenneday says we need to have a hearings in which both sides presents their evidence. Doesn’t make any sense for Fauci to make rules, based on what he thinks that day.

      • Xabier says:

        Very good on the corruption (dreadful audio though). . Big Pharma-regulators – Pentagon – Darpa – control of medical research and university medical schools.

        If the recent explosion of chronic disease is related to Big Ag and Big Pharma, etc, Fauci will of course wish to bury any objective investigation by research scientists with integrity.

        Naomi’s summary at the end is worth listening to as well: her loss of former liberal friends who are embracing the new lock-down/vaccine Totalitarianism and attendant loss of human and civic rights; and that she is discovering sane people outside her old bubble – now ostracising her over her opposition to the Covid lie. She finds it reminiscent of Nazism.

        ‘One thing is more frightening than the virus: the loss of liberty.’

        • Fast Eddy says:

          3 days and still no response from MedSAFE…. good think I am not holding my breathe.

    • Minority Of One says:

      Robert F Kennedy Jr is an excellent speaker. Each time I seem him speak on video, he seems to be a bit more upset than last time. Another Cassandra.

      • Minority Of One says:

        Robert F Kennedy Jr discusses a lot about Fauci and how he pretty much controls the vaccine business. A must watch.

  23. Malcopian says:

    Things women don’t know about covid and men won’t remember: socially distanced urinals.

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/2CX1Y9B/covid-19-rules-with-gents-toilet-urinals-blocked-off-to-create-distancing-2CX1Y9B.jpg

  24. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Fukushima Photos: 10 years later….New York Times

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/10/world/asia/Fukushima-Japan-nuclear-anniversary.html

    Glimpse of how time bears down on BAU without the upkeep…unravels rather quickly.

  25. $1 BILLION unbacked Tether just printed out of thin air! Brrrrr!

    Tether continuing their price manipulation scheme is the only reason why Bitcoin
    is rising again!
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EwJnDmYXMAUnQEd?format=jpg&name=900×900

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I assume that you have a way of knowing that is authentic.

      this to me is more than just a “price manipulation scheme”, but looks like a part of the crime of the century.

      I also will assume that the creators of Tether have kept many millions for themselves and do not reside in the USA.

      any way of knowing if that is also true?

  26. China Urges W.H.O. to Let It Run Global ‘Vaccine Passport’ System

    Chinese Communist Party “experts” urged the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) on Tuesday to let China build and run a global database for “vaccine passports” documenting if every person on earth has received a Chinese coronavirus vaccine.

    The Communist Party launched its domestic “vaccine passport” system Wednesday, despite W.H.O. officials urging countries not to implement such a system due to unequal access to vaccines and the variety in the quality of the available offerings around the world. The “vaccine passport” — A digital certification that confirms a person has received a coronavirus vaccination — joins China’s larger “social credit system,” which judges every citizen and awards them numerical “scores” based on how much the Party approves of their behavior. The behavior judged can vary from littering and volunteering, which result in respectively lower or higher social credit scores, to the display of public opinions either in favor or against the Communist Party.
    https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/03/10/china-urges-who-let-it-run-global-vaccine-passport-system/

  27. racoon#9.5meg says:

    The covid bill done at 2T. 25% to the citizens the rest pork to the cities. The “Infrastructure” bill next. 2-4 T. All of this pretty much expected. The question to my mind is how much of this is going to be repeated. summer will roll around. Then fall. I just dont see how this sort of fiat creation can be instituted without something breaking.

    MMT disagrees. Guess were going to find out.

  28. Fast Eddy says:

    25:30 mark .. suggesting that the variants are being spread via the vaccines:

    https://youtu.be/8RI20-aa1vk?t=1387

    https://youtu.be/dHpgSqySJ1Y

    • The vaccines may be encouraging mutations. The vaccines may also be encouraging young, unvaccinated people to mix more, keeping the number of cases up. But when I look at deaths in Israel, they seem to be down. The percentage of people with one dose of vaccine in Israel is now 56%; percentage with two does is 44%. The people who are dying now are ones who became sick three or four weeks ago, when the percent vaccinated was significantly ower.

      The place where deaths seem to be up significantly is Brazil. They don’t have a very high percentage of their population vaccinated.

      I think it is hard to prove things with the Israel numbers being quoted.

  29. Mirror on the wall says:

    Less than a quarter of Canadians want to retain the British monarchy – and that was before the Oprah interview and the Maxwell trial, which is expected to dent them even worse with the Uncle Eddie situation. The obvious time for a referendum will be when the present ‘queen’ passes on.

    Barbados is going republican and other old colonies may follow, including Canada.

    > Canadians’ desire to drop monarchy reaches ‘historic level’: poll

    TORONTO — A new poll has found that the desire among Canadians to drop the monarchy is at the highest level recorded in the past 12 years.

    The poll, conducted by Research Co., found that 45 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they would prefer to have an elected head of state instead of the Queen, when considering Canada’s constitution.

    In a press release issued Monday, Research Co. noted that this preference is at a “historic level,” up 13 points compared to a similar poll conducted by the firm in February 2020.

    Research Co. reported that one in four Canadians (24 per cent) said they would like to see Canada remain a monarchy, while 19 per cent said they “do not care either way” and 13 per cent were undecided.

    Barbados’ government announced plans in September for the island nation to drop the Queen as head of state and become a republic later this year. Since then, there has been speculation that other Commonwealth countries will cut ties to the monarchy too, including Canada.

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/lifestyle/canadians-desire-to-drop-monarchy-reaches-historic-level-poll-1.5330650

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Nearly two-thirds of Australians want to abolish the British monarchy in their country – again, before the Oprah interview and the Maxwell trial. The debate there has now ignited.

      > Debate over ditching the monarchy ignites in Australia following Harry and Meghan’s interview

      Australia could be on the brink of cutting its ties to the United Kingdom once and for all – and an overlooked sentence from Meghan’s explosive Oprah interview could end up being the catalyst.

      In 1999, the Australian republic referendum famously failed to achieve independence, with 54.87 per cent of Australians voting to keep the Windsors in charge of the nation.

      But recently the mood has shifted, with a 2020 YouGov poll finding 62 per cent of Australians now want Australia’s head of state to be an Australian.

      NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean is also behind a fresh push, with The Daily Telegraph reporting he had approached former prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Paul Keating as well as former NSW premier Bob Carr to speak at a fundraiser for the cause.

      While Kean’s actions came before Prince Harry and Meghan made serious allegations against the royal family during Monday’s tell-all, he told the publication the shocking interview had given the republic movement new momentum.

      “Why is it ­easier for Harry to leave the monarchy than us?” he said.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/debate-over-ditching-the-monarchy-ignites-in-australia-following-harry-and-meghans-interview/62QZDHQHQAAP5PON4OZVZ43PG4/

      • Malcopian says:

        The way things are going in these times of great change, probably only New Zealand will want to keep the British monarchy in the longer term. The monarchy in Spain and in Sweden also appear not to be popular right now. The same is probably true of the North Korean version.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Ironic, the first association that springs to mind with NZ is ‘sheep’ – its economy long survived on export of the meat and wool and ‘lamb’ has remained its chief export to UK.

          The island is ‘carpeted’ with them and ratios reach 10 sheep per person. Maybe something rubbed off on them? Baaaa.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      I am quite jealous of our American comrades that they got to free their land of the degradations and indignities of hereditary monarchy in such heroic, noble circumstances. The republican cause rings out whenever one hears the opening lines, “Oh say can you see!” We can hope only to offer the faintest of homage to their struggle in our own.

      • Bei Dawei says:

        Hey, that’s the theme from “Patton”!

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Now it is the theme to “Meghan”!

          It is kicking off all over the old British Empire.

          LOL

          A true daughter of the founding fathers.

          QEII has been into the ‘Commonwealth’ the whole time so it is well ironic to see it disintegrating in her final years.

          Ne’er mind, Ma’am, better luck next time, what.

          > Threat to the Commonwealth as critics of Royal Family seize on Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview to demand their countries cut ties with Britain

          Meghan’s allegation that a member of the family asked what colour her baby’s skin would be also prompted a backlash in countries including Jamaica, South Africa, Barbados and India, with some saying it recalls ‘British colonial racism’.

          It brings the future of the Commonwealth – a community of 54 countries, many of them former British colonies, which the Queen has spent a lifetime promoting – into question in the twilight years of her reign.

          Reaction to the interview was especially fierce in Africa – encapsulated by one Twitter user in South Africa who wrote: ‘It’s Britain and the royal family. What did you expect? They oppressed us for years.’

          Nicholas Sengoba, a newspaper columnist in the former colony of Uganda, said the interview ‘opens our eyes further’ on the merits of the Commonwealth and raised ‘unresolved issues’ within the country about relations with its former colonisers.

          He questioned whether the heads of Commonwealth states should still be ‘proud to eat dinner’ with members of the Royal Family.

          Meanwhile News Americas, which owns several publications in the Caribbean, published an editorial saying it was time for the Commonwealth nations to ’emancipate themselves from the mental slavery and the last shackle of colonialism’

          John King, the culture minister of Barbados which has vowed to remove the Queen as head of state by the end of this year, added: ‘We have to break the shackles of that colonial experience and take our rightful place as a sovereign nation.’

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9347011/Meghan-Harrys-Oprah-interview-draws-critics-Commonwealth.html

      • Nehemiah says:

        The Star Spangled Banner (O say can you see) is an inspiring anthem, but it dates from the War of 1812, not the American Revolution.

  30. hillcountry says:

    Gail, I have been going back over your presentation line-by-line and filling a word-doc with notes and thoughts they spark. The one insight that really hits me is when you write that:

    “Added complexity is a work-around for inadequate resources per capita.”

    I don’t doubt there’s many ways to show how that works, but I’m trying to square it with ideas I once entertained regarding the Dodge Valiant automobile, powered by the Slant-6 engine (designed by Mercedes if memory serves). Those could rack-up 300k miles without batting an eye and the main problem in salt-road states was keeping the body in one-piece. I thought at the time that a car like that should have been kept in production with continuous improvements but with a main focus on least-action regarding changes in industrial-capital. So, same body-frame-suspension-engine – etc. with changes more focused on material development improvements and such. You know, just keep tweaking every aspect of the ‘basics’ until the car approaches perfection and the selling cost to workers is almost irrelevant. Maybe like Ford said about giving his cars away for a monopoly on supply parts.

    I tend to think that if society had stopped wasting resources on needless change we may not have done much other than delay our thermodynamic destiny, but we sure could have had a lot more fun with a lot less stress. I put in some time at Ford’s Rouge Plant and saw the guts of that beast in the early 70’s, filling in for absentees on Mondays and Fridays, never on the same job twice. It was like something out of Big Indian’s nightmare-visions in Ken Keysey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. You shoulda seen the double spot-welding line that was longer than a football field. It was 4th of July all night long. I dreaded getting the under-coating pit-job every time I walked past that guy.

    I also wonder though, if an ‘every-man’ car might have fostered even greater population-growth anywhere these minimalist-principles were codified in process and design-control; which would have negated some part of the resource-benefits envisioned. Be that as it may, how does one ever reliably quantify the overhead and wasted capital imposed by the General Motors’ of the auto world and the model-of-complexity that was firmly embedded in their constant style-changes? I tend to think the financialization via GMAC was the window-dressing that hid their capital-destruction.

    In this admittedly small example, does it seem logical that GM’s actions, which indeed added complexity, were providing a work-around for inadequate resources per capita? I would have argued back in the day that resources-per-capita were well-served by keeping the Dodge Valiant in production in perpetuity. That presupposes, at least in my view of things, that there was an intelligent way to not go ‘Soviet’ in any attempt at moderation of the hand of capital and its willful imperatives. I do have it on reliable first-hand evidence that an alternative-outlook on that score was indeed discussed, but was unceremoniously tabled, as far back as the 1936-1937 sit-down strikes in Flint Michigan.

    • Slow Paul says:

      The problem is that many people don’t want an old reliable vehicle. They want new stuff, EV’s, auto pilot, gadgets, more horsepower etc. So the car companies follow suit.

      I like old reliable cars. Especially early 00s japanese. Low maintenance until the rust gets them.

      • hillcountry says:

        indeed, all that is true. At the time though, most of the working-class guys I hung out with had reliability at the top of their list, partly since we were doing almost all our own repairs, including transmissions. We’d get to the point where we’d scavenge fenders, and starters and water-pumps at the junk yards, just to keep whatever we owned alive if it deserved the care.

        Yeah, we ended up looking forward to snagging something snazzy (mine was a 68 Mustang with 700 miles on the odometer – the true little old lady’s car) or hot like my friends 66 GTO – but those taught us about cost-per-mile and quite often we reverted to more sensible cars like the Duster I had with that Slant-6 in it. My query might have been better phrased to include a chicken-egg sort of ponder, you know, could it have been different, if we were, (h/t Graffiti Man) but really it was more of just an academic curiosity on how to see things at the small-scale and whether I’m interpreting Gail’s work properly. Hear ya on the last part for sure after owning a few Subaru’s way back when and a couple of Carmen Ghia’s. Michigan’s rough on those light-weight cars but they sure hold their own too.

    • I know that Russia tried the approach of building a basic model of almost everything, and lots of them. That way, spare parts were easy to find. Fixing made more sense than replacing. That approach didn’t really work.I am not sure that they were really trying to improve vehicles (or refrigerators, or anything else) over time.

      My impression in the US is that in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were a lot of new styles of coming out, to get people to purchase the latest style. Cars generally didn’t last as many miles as now, either. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s with the higher oil prices that there was a push toward smaller, more energy-efficient cars.

      I am not sure I really answered your comment. If a manufacturer is really trying to make improvements, I expect that they will show up in changes in aerodynamics. If this happens, there may need to be other changes as well. Even if a particular owner changes cars quite often, the life of each individual car is often 200,000 miles or more. After cars are used in the United states or Europe, they may be sold to buyers in lower-income countries where they are used many more years.

      • Nehemiah says:

        I remember reading there was once a model, back in the 60s I think, and it seems like it was a corvette but I won’t swear to it, that was so popular that the manufacturer decided to offer it again the following year with no changes. Sales fell off sharply, so they did not make that mistake again. People who are in the market for a new car seem to gravitate to vehicles that are new or different in some way, even if the changes offer no real improvement.

  31. Hubas says:

    Man made complexity heaped upon natural complexity, which negates any attempts at planning. Finicky, irregularly irregular cycles of flood vs drought against a background of just-in-time man made complexity that depends on predicting the weather.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/weather/record-drought-sizzles-southwest-fears-return-1930s-dust-bowl

    Because it’s not just sudden deep freezes in TX anymore.

    • NomadicBeer says:

      @Hubas,
      Bill Gates and others already started illegal geoengineering experiments to block solar radiation (https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2021/01/11/bill-gates-backed-climate-solution-gains-traction-but-concerns-linger/?sh=7f2581f2793b).

      Here are some expected side effects: desertification (like in US southwest), reduced plant productivity (less food) etc.

      And all of that just to extend the oligarchs control for some years. Even Guy McPherson (the narcissistic boomer) is on board.

      • Herbie Ficklestein says:

        All pie in the sky pipe dreams of “masking” the warming….please,
        Like anything I can think people put in charge to “manage” has held up!
        Wasn’t a scientist in a past Administration advocating painting rooftops white tondo the same!? Sure, that went over rather well, didn’t it?
        Back in 1990 remember the topic of remineralization of the soils…
        Another fix it all scheme that hasn’t come about..suppose it’s all a trick we play with each other that makes it appear there is a fix ….
        Yep, I listen to Dr. McPherson on YouTube and imagine it may delay the inevitable a few years so Old Boomers. like myself, can squeeze out a few years to die a natural ☠️ death. Boy. We want our cake and eat it too.
        Imagine that….
        Even with this Co vi d Vi rus the human board is still expanding…..
        Even factoring the recent decrease in birth rates….
        When the usable energy output declines in a meaningful way….this will also decline.
        Remember energy does not get destroyed, but goes from usable to unusable state….might have something to do with the climate, oceans…

      • Nehemiah says:

        Blocking solar radiation is the worst thing they could possibly do. Suppressing CO2 emissions is just an opportunity cost because of the huge amount of wasted money and the foregone benefit to the biosphere and crop production that added CO2 provides, but fortunately has no effect on the actual climate except in the UN-IPCC’s badly flawed and failing computer models.

        BUT if they actually try to block incoming solar radiation, and do so effectively, they will actually cool the planet. Everyone familiar with well studied climate history knows the crop failure, political instability, and war that were unleashed historically with even slightly cooler temperatures, and with the planet’s current vast population and just in time delivery systems, it might be even worse today. A mere 1 degree C drop in mean global temperature, something the world has tragically experienced before, would be catastrophic, and the individuals behind it would be worse than any war criminals in history.

    • No Home, No Job, No Peace, No Rest says:

      Water or lack of it is going to bite Texas in the not too distant future. There are over 2500 man made lakes and reservoirs in Texas of which only about 250 can reliably provide water to municipalities. Lake Witchita Falls has filled in with sedimentation as well as Lakes Livingston (I have on good sources the annual sediment fill rate there is about 11%).
      We are talking Houston population 5+ million.

      Most of the reservoirs were built in the 50s – 70s most with a lifespan of 50 to 100 years at time of impoundment. Undoubtedly land practices and sediment loads have changed some for the better some not for the better.

      Most suitable sites to construct a reservoir have been taken and the population displacement would be far greater today than 50 years ago.

      The aquifers are being depleted at an alarming rate and the cost to run desalinization plants at peak oil / energy may not be in the cards.

      I live in Texas and the recent freezing weather and associated infrastructure problems should be a wake up call but it won’t be.

      My bets are on a crippling water shortage and we’ve already flirted with it several times – eventually it’ll get us.

      • Malcopian says:

        And apparently even the UFOs are after Earth’s water.

        • Kowalainen says:

          I’m sure they can have some if we can get some petroleum back.

          Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep BAU going until all that which is left is a barren, desolate, desert of toxins and CO2, such as Venus.

          Repeat after me:

          MOAR!

          The reptilian craves!

    • Maybe we are expecting too much regularity to the weather.

  32. Nehemiah says:

    1 of 2–WHY THE GREAT COVID COLD SPOT?

    These excerpts from 2 articles are a bit long (and the 2 articles are even longer, but interesting if you have the time to read them in full), so I will divide this comment into two parts, although they will not correspond to the division of the 2 articles, which themselves are parts 1 and 2 of what is basically single story.
    ================================================

    The article linked to below, with a few excerpts, asks why there are so few covid deaths in Africa. It suggests it may be due to genetic differences between Africans and non-Africans, but the big question mark over that theory is, if this is so, then why are African-Americans struck harder by covid than white Americans. The writer suggests socio-economic differences may explain the white-black difference in the US, while on the global scale, genetic differences explain the superior outcomes in black Africa. But the problem with this idea is that the environmental distance between black Africa and the most of the non-African world is considerably larger than the socio-economic distance between US whites and blacks. There may be genetic differences in susceptibility, but possibly the biggest factor (in my opinion) is found in this short paragraph:

    “The most significant environmental factor, scientists say, is age. The average age of Europeans is 43; it’s 38 in the US; across the African continent, it is 18. The average age in Niger, Mali, Uganda and Angola is under 16. While roughly a quarter of the population in both Europe and North America is over 60-years old, in Africa, the 60+ age cohort makes up only 6 percent of the population.”

    BUT the biggest *genetic* risk factor (described in Part 2 of this story) has been found only in Non-African populations:

    “…the presence of a Neanderthal gene is the single biggest genetic risk factor for the novel coronavirus, roughly doubling the likelihood, according to a June 2020 study by researchers in Germany and Japan, Hugo Zeberg and Svante Pääbo.”

    As an aside, one particular sentence stuck out at me, pointing out that the four non-African countries that best resisted covid did so by imposing very strict mass quarantines (“lockdowns”), falsifying the assertion that “lockdowns don’t work:”

    QUOTE: “But disaster never came. Africa has not been affected on anything near the scale of most countries in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. (The major exceptions being China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, which zealously enforced lockdowns).”

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2021/03/02/defying-all-predictions-africa-is-the-global-covid-19-coldspot-is-the-fear-of-discussing-why-and-the-taboo-subject-of-human-differences-keeping-health-officials-from-exploring-ways/

    The first confirmed COVID-19 case in Africa was on February 14, 2020 in Egypt. The first in sub-Saharan Africa appeared in Nigeria soon after. Health officials were united in a near-panic about how the novel coronavirus would roll through the world’s second most populous continent.

    By mid-month, the World Health Organization listed four sub-Saharan countries on a ‘top 13’ global danger list because of direct air links to China. Writing for Lancet, two scientists with the Africa Center for Disease Control outlined a catastrophe in the making:

    With neither treatment nor vaccines, and without pre-existing immunity, the effect [of COVID-19] might be devastating because of the multiple health challenges the continent already faces: rapid population growth and increased movement of people; existing endemic diseases…; remerging and emerging infectious pathogens …, and others; and increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases.

    Many medical professionals predicted that Africa could spin into a death spiral. “My advice to Africa is to prepare for the worst, and we must do everything we can to cut the root problem,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African director-general of the WHO warned in March. “I think Africa, my continent, must wake up.”

    By spring, WHO was projecting 44 million or more cases for Africa and the World Bank issued a map of the continent colored in blood red, anticipating that the worst was imminent.
    SNIP
    But disaster never came. Africa has not been affected on anything near the scale of most countries in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. (The major exceptions being China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, which zealously enforced lockdowns). In fact, the vast African continent south of the Sahara desert, more than 1.1 billion people, has emerged as the world’s COVID-19 ‘cold spot’.
    SNIP
    The latest statistics show about 3.8 million cases and 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, concentrated mostly in the Arab majority countries north of the Sahara. Except for South Africa, the most multi-ethnic of the Black majority countries, and Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa has largely been spared.
    SNIP
    by late-February, Europe, with less than 2/3 the population of Africa, had almost 33,000,000+ cases, 900% more, and almost 800,000 deaths, 800% more. The US, with less than 1/3 the number of people, has 2900% more cases and 2400% more deaths, according to stats compiled on Wikipedia.

    • Nehemiah says:

      2 of 2–WHY THE GREAT COVID COLD SPOT?
      ———————————————————————————–

      Journalists and even some scientists have been twisting themselves into speculative pretzels (here, here, here) trying to explain this phenomenon. Theories range from sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘quick response’ (no); favourable climate (which did not protect Brazil and other warmer climes in South America); and good community health systems (directly contradicted by WHO and Africa CDC).

      In each of those articles acknowledging the “puzzling” statistics, journalists were sure to suggest Armageddon might be right around the corner. “Experts fear a more devastating second surge,” warned National Geographic in late December, although there was no first surge and just two weeks before Africa’s tiny December uptick (driven almost entirely by the mutant variant in South Africa) turned back downward, according to Reuters.
      SNIP
      Dr. Tiirikainen is a lead researcher in a joint project at the University of Hawaii and LifeDNA in what some believe is a controversial undertaking considering the taboos on ‘race’ research. They are attempting to identify “those that are most vulnerable to the current and future SARS attacks and COVID based on their genetics”.
      SNIP
      The most significant environmental factor, scientists say, is age. The average age of Europeans is 43; it’s 38 in the US; across the African continent, it is 18. The average age in Niger, Mali, Uganda and Angola is under 16. While roughly a quarter of the population in both Europe and North America is over 60-years old, in Africa, the 60+ age cohort makes up only 6 percent of the population.–END QUOTES

      There is also a part 2 to this story:

      Part 2: Why is Africa the global COVID-19 ‘cold spot’? — The historical challenge of disentangling genes and environment
      Jon Entine, Patrick Whittle | March 3, 2021

      https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2021/03/03/part-2-why-is-africa-the-global-covid-19-cold-spot-the-historical-challenge-of-disentangling-genes-and-environment/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Genetic_Literacy_Project_TrendMD_0

      oes greater prior exposure to pathogens, including other recent coronaviruses, help explain why Africa is a COVID-19 cold spot, despite endemic poverty and a woeful health infrastructure? Conversely, in the more sanitized surroundings of the more developed world, people’s immune systems may be insufficiently ‘trained’ to cope with novel disorders, such as COVID-19 — what’s known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’.

      According to this thesis, the very conditions expected to cause the rapid spread of the virus may instead have primed the immune system of native Africans to better resist this latest disease, along with antibodies gained through exposure to numerous infectious ailments since childhood. (This theory has also been used to explain the reduced impact of the coronavirus in India, relative to the size of its population.)
      SNIP
      There is also tantalizing, emerging evidence that ancient coronaviruses drove natural selection for disease resistance in East Asia between 25,000 and 5,000 years ago, with “[t]hese adaptive events … limited to ancestral East Asian populations, the geographical origin of several modern coronavirus epidemics” [emphasis added]. Indeed, our new-found abilities to probe the secrets of ancient DNA also allow us to search even further back into human prehistory — and into the divergent evolutionary pathways followed by a distant human cousin, the Neanderthals.

      Do Neanderthal genes increase the risk of COVID-19?

      The answer is ‘yes’. In fact, the presence of a Neanderthal gene is the single biggest genetic risk factor for the novel coronavirus, roughly doubling the likelihood, according to a June 2020 study by researchers in Germany and Japan, Hugo Zeberg and Svante Pääbo.

      In follow up research published in February, they identified one haplotype that “is present at substantial frequencies in all regions of the world outside Africa. Given that Neanderthals were a branch of hominids seemingly confined to western Eurasia, sub-Saharan African populations never interbreed with this sister-species. This particular stretch of Neanderthal DNA is carried by around 50 percent of South Asians, 16 percent of those of European descent, but not in any native Africans.
      SNIP
      …researchers suggest that these genes may have protected our distant cousins against pathogens found in their ancient environment, and were hence retained in some Eurasian populations subsequent to human-Neanderthal inter-breeding. Now, however, these same genes may have a detrimental effect with the different COVID-19 pathogen.

      In the words of the researchers, the immune response for carriers of these Neanderthal sequences “might be overly aggressive,” leading to potentially fatal reactions in those who develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.
      SNIP
      We already know environmental inequalities impact at-risk racial populations (such as those defined, in the US, as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. This does not negate the likelihood that ancestry influences disease prevalence within these groups or in response to treatments. But this is an empirical question that can be answered only through studying group differences, carefully but comprehensively.
      SNIP

      • You have somewhat longer version posted here of the same story you posted a little earlier, in a shorter version.

        My comment to the earlier version was this one:

        How about the hypothesis, “Black people in Africa get more vitamin D than in the United States. They are less likely to be overweight than in the United States. Their average age is much younger than in the United States. Both food and exercise are likely to be very different in Africa than the United States.”

        I don’t know how wage disparity works in Africa versus the United States, but in the US, Blacks tend to be at the bottom of the wage hierarchy and also at the bottom of the country’s life expectancy. They disproportionately tend to have co-exiting conditions. Physics tends to squeeze out people at the bottom of the hierarchy. This is adding to the problem.

        There may also be a problem with under-reporting of COVID cases and deaths in Africa. There are so many other illnesses with much higher mortality than COVID that there is no point in shutting down for COVID.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          The average age in Africa is 19.
          (The median age in Africa is 19.7years)
          https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/africa-population/

          Almost no one in that age group anywhere has a problem with Covid.

          90%+ of deaths are over the age of 55.

        • Nehemiah says:

          @Gail, I didn’t see the original version I tried to post, so I thought it might be too long (is there a limit on the number of characters that can be used in a comment? I don’t know), so I broke it up into two parts.

          I agree there are many factors that need to be controlled for when trying to understand differences between populations. OTOH, the socio-economic gap between blacks and whites in the US is far smaller than the socio-economic gap between US blacks and African blacks.

          This may be an opportune moment to point out that many upper middle class white Americans who have had little real world interaction with average black Americans have an exaggerated idea of both their material disadvantage and personal competence. Here is one hilarious example (4 minutes) contrasting the opinions of typical middle class white liberals with the views of actual blacks on the street in Harlem:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrBxZGWCdgs

          Ironically, the better economic conditions of African-Americans v may be part of the problem for African-Americans versus African-Africans–longer lifespans due to better sanitation and medical care, and more pre-existing conditions because of rich diets and more sedentary lifestyles, work against African-descended residents of the US and UK when it comes to resisting the Wuhan virus.

          A few years back an economist named Garett Jones wrote a book entitled _ Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own_ . That explains why an American or European with a middle of the road IQ of 100, who would be cognitively gifted in the context of sub-Sahara Africa where the average IQ is no higher than 70 for the region as a whole, nevertheless prefers to remain in his native land where he is just another Joe. But in the case of the Wuhan pandemic, we can see there is sometimes a silver lining to living on a very poor continent.

          • No, there isn’t a limit on words. There is a limit on links (5, I think), but that only puts the comment in “moderation.” Mostly, I think the problem was that I had to “let it out of moderation.” If I am not around to let the comment out of moderation, it may take a while. The time I am least likely to be around is in the evening and nighttime, Atlanta time.

      • racoon#9.5meg says:

        No 5g in Africa. Does that prove anything? No. It is smart to look for alternative hypothesis when the one you have has “cold spots”.

    • Hubbs says:

      African Americans = older and obese
      Africans= young and lean (low BMI)

      The co morbidities of advanced age and obesity in COVID survival rates have already been addressed and accepted even in western science, I thought.

      But then again:

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9043703/Five-genes-severe-cases-Covid-19.html

    • VFatalis says:

      How much they pay you for reposting this garbage here ?

    • Lidia17 says:

      What is missing in this analysis is the acknowledged vast over-counting of “deaths with Covid” in the US and other Anglo countries. Garbage in, garbage out.

      Other than that, Duncan’s age suggestion could make up for the rest.

      People are making this way more complicated than necessary. All statistics were poorly collected whether out of ignorance or malice, and thus it’s not worth much energy wittering on about them unless one is willing to pay to do a deep audit of how cases were really handled, including autopsies, exhumations, and the like.. which would be a very bad use of scarce resources.

      • Lidia17 says:

        Not just “Anglo” but let’s say “many Western” countries had incentivized over-counting deaths. The flip side of that coin is some nations undercounting (China?).

        Every thing thereafter is then unreliable.

        You are better off studying basket-weaving, or (inspired by the car guys here) engine-rebuilding.

      • We do know that the total death rate is up quite a lot, however. The majority are no doubt COVID deaths. Some are deaths of despair. I suppose some are vaccine deaths. Some are deaths of people who didn’t get care from hospitals for other reasons (say, heart attacks, stoke, or diabetic problem) because of fear of catching COVID. I am not sure that over-counting is a big issue, given what seem to be a high level of deaths most places.

        • Lidia17 says:

          I did the math for my state, and the number of “covid” dead miraculously comes out exactly in the middle of the interpolated range for (this is also an assumed number) flu deaths of something like 60-80k/year nationally.

          Except there’s no flu.

          I haven’t seen evidence that there is “a high level of deaths in most places”.

          • Nehemiah says:

            Annual flu deaths are estimated at something like 30k a year in the US, not 60-80k, and even that 30k is based on modeling and not counting. Some practicing physicians think it is quite a bit lower based on what they have seen during their careers.

            Whatever the true number, it certainly must be lower this year with all the precautions that have been taken against respiratory diseases, especially as most flu strains are less contagious than covid.

            • racoon#9.5meg says:

              The masks social distancing and lock downs have eradicated Influenza and the respiratory deaths are now from a new more contagious virus that is able to defeat these measures.

              There is no new virus the old influenza deaths are simply now more severe and a new environmental factor is causing the difference in severity.

              One of these statements is false. They both are possible. Science could find out which one. I question whether research that is directed and funded by money can.

              Because of this I believe the one that does not serve the stated goals of the elite is the truth. This is far from empirical at best a informed guess. A computer construct model of a virus does not mean it exists. When I weigh the validity of that computer construct against the facts of the elites stated goals the computer construct comes up short.

              I have no proof. Just a guess. Just a intuition.

              With big pharma not being regulated by government but instead working together toward the stated goals of the elite…

              What the hell happened to trump at walter reed?

              Perhaps the man was simply ego centric all along and found the vaccine messiah status desirable?

              Perhaps a capitulation to understanding the true power with hope for partial forgiveness? A plea bargain? A quiet exile to florida. Not a terrible fate at all. Sign me up.

            • NomadicBeer says:

              @Nehemiah, yes the numbers of flu deaths are estimated but they can be as high as 60k in 2018 (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/past-seasons.html).

              Given the fact that countries like Sweden with no lockdown had the average number of deaths per million within error bars of previous years I would suggest that most excess deaths are due to lockdown not the virus.

              See a longer discussion about Sweden here: https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/

              I understand that the oligarchs have a vested interest in panicking people. What I don’t understand is why people are so eager to eat this shit up?

            • Nehemiah says:

              It is not the case that Sweden did nothing, they were just more lax than their neighbors (and have by far the most covid deaths among the culturally similar Nordic states, although not the highest in Europe–if someone would count, I would bet that Swedes in America also have fewer covid deaths than the US average).

              Anyway, there are various factors that affect death rates. Covid raises deaths, but measures to fight covid reduce some other respiratory deaths. Covid thrives even in warm climates, but flu does not, it transmits better in cool temperatures, so cooler countries probably avoid more flu deaths in a year like this one than warmer countries do. Total non-covid deaths also fall as unemployment goes up. If you seek medical care less often, you are also less likely to die because the med system kills a lot of its patients and is in fact among the top three or four leading causes of death (when it is not omitted from the stats!). Also, some countries have far fewer or far more covid deaths than others for a variety of different reasons. It is the balance of all these factors that determines the total mortality rate. If a country has no change in the total death rate, that does not mean that covid is killing no one, or that the death rate would not be a lot higher if covid had been ignored.

              Flu deaths: 2018 with 60k was an outlier. Typical years are half that and possibly quite a bit less than half. Some strains are more lethal or more contagious than others.

  33. Alex says:

    “Microsoft’s Bing accidentally stated that Prince Philip was dead. The search engine showed an information box for queries of “Prince Philip” or “Duke of Edinburgh” that stated that Prince Philip died at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Prince Philip is, however, alive and in recovery at King Edward VII Hospital following a procedure for a heart condition.”

    https://www.windowscentral.com/microsofts-bing-accidentally-says-prince-phillip-dead

    Hmm, what did this guy say about his ambitions after death? “I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.”

  34. Alex says:

    Google’s latest doodle: Wu Lien-teh.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Lien-teh

    Excerpts: “Wu Lien-teh was a Malayan physician (of Chinese descent) renowned for his work in public health and particularly, the Manchurian plague of 1910–11.

    In the winter of 1910, Wu was given instructions from the Foreign Office of the Imperial Qing court in Peking, to travel to Harbin to investigate an unknown disease that killed 99.9% of its victims. This was the beginning of the large pneumonic plague pandemic of Manchuria and Mongolia, which ultimately claimed 60,000 lives.

    Wu developed surgical masks he had seen in use in the West into more substantial masks with layers of gauze and cotton to filter the air. Gérald Mesny, a prominent French doctor, who had come to replace Wu, refused to wear a mask and died days later of the plague. The mask was widely produced, with Wu overseeing the production and distribution of 60,000 masks in a later pandemic, and it featured in many press images. It is believed that the N95 mask is the descendant of Wu’s design.”

    With case fatality rate of 99.9%, we’re talking about a real deadly epidemic here. Still, not a word about lockdowns of healthy people. Poor ancient barbarians…

  35. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The U.S. will drive a sharp rebound in the world economy this year, but the strength of the American bounce could unbalance weaker economies, particularly in the developing world.

    “According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the rise in U.S. government bond yields in response to higher growth and inflation expectations could spark capital flight from emerging economies…”

    https://www.livemint.com/news/world/us-growth-surge-could-unbalance-fragile-global-economy-11615364763433.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Like South Africa, for example: “South Africa’s weakest bond auction this year spells trouble for the government’s plans to reduce debt costs…

      “Adding to traders’ concerns was data on Tuesday that showed South Africa’s economy contracted the most in a century in 2020 as restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic ravaged output and disrupted trade.”

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-09/weakest-sale-this-year-raises-flag-for-south-africa-s-debt-costs

    • A higher US bond yield could indicate:
      (1) Belief the US economy and world economy will do well, leading to lots of inflation.
      (2) Investors really are not as interested in lending to the US government as the US government would like. Debt, debt everywhere is not a good theory, anyplace in the world. Investors are demanding a higher interest rate, even with all of the long-term Treasuries being purchased by the US Federal Reserve.

      • hillcountry says:

        Keith Weiner of Monetary Metals has an uncommon perspective you might find interesting.

        Part One is here

        https://monetary-metals.com/the-fedcoin-is-coming-8-march/

        Part Two requires a free registration and is linked in part one. It’s worth a minute to get the full read.

        Excerpt:

        “In Part One, we said that a Fedcoin is coming. The Fed will have no choice but to issue its own digital currency. But not because of the propaganda that we’re competing against China, or including the unbankables. If they issue a Fedcoin (which is not certain right now), it will be because they are attempting to respond to monetary forces that are like plate tectonics: slow but inexorable.”

        at the end he writes:

        “So far, the Fed has a positive spread between its interest expense (paid on its liabilities) and interest revenues (earned on its assets). So far, it has assets > liabilities. The Fed has been solvent, and hence there has not been hyperinflation. Despite numerous and notable predictions of it. The Fed has seemingly been able to get away with all manner of corruption of credit that it has so far attempted. The Keynesians seem vindicated. The Modern Monetary Theory cultists are emboldened. However, reality will have its revenge in the end.”

        “If the Fed begins to make loans to consumers and small to medium enterprises, and those loans go bad, watch out. Of course, if the Fed does not begin to make such loans, watch out.”

        “In chess, the concept is called zugzwang.”

      • Nehemiah says:

        Although there was recently a report of a 7 year Treasury auction that was strangely weak (I haven’t looked into the details), the typical Treasury auction tends to be oversubscribed. If anything, there may well be a shortage of US Treasuries relative to demand. They are the preferred collateral of the US banking system and many foreign banks. When the Fed does QE, it removes the highest quality collateral from the banking system, which appears to have been the critical element in the repo crisis during the closing months of 2019. The primary dealers know that no matter how low the yields may go on the Treasuries they buy at Treasury Dept auctions, they can still resell them at a profit to banks who value the security of Treasuries more than the yield. The extreme liquidity of the market for US Treasuries (bills, notes, and bonds) is probably the single most important factor undergirding the US dollar’s status as the global reserve currency.

        • racoon#9.5meg says:

          What the banks value is the treasuries collateral value. As determined by the fed. The value of treasuries would go up greatly if individuals were given the banks deal. Spend $1 to borrow $10-$40 at zero interest rate. Sign me up. This is all kissing cousin stuff not separate entities.

          As you said “oversubscribed”. That the fed has to buy any of its own candy is remarkable to me.

          • Nehemiah says:

            They really are separate entities. The Fed cannot boss the retail banks around. If the retail banks don’t want to lend, then they won’t. The reason the Fed buys bonds from the banks is because that is the only tool it has to fight a weak economy, not because it is a good tool. Over the decades people have gotten this idea that the Fed is a very powerful organization, and, frankly, the Fed seems to encourage this perception because they view the ability to wield mass psychology as one of their most important tools, sort of like the fictitious Wizard of Oz.

            The Fed is not powerful. Its powers are very limited. It cannot print additional money except for special situations such as replacing worn out dollar bills. It cannot force retail banks to lend, although it can dangle a not always appetizing carrot in the form of more bank reserves, and it cannot force banks to lower their lending standards, or make potential borrowers apply for loans. It can raise or lower the interest it pays on bank reserves, but not to zero. It can determine the overnight Fed funds’ rate, but influences other yields only indirectly and gradually. It can’t make business hire more people or raise their prices any less. The Fed can make a high profile announcement that it plans to launch the next round of QE to great fanfare, but it cannot make the QE actually have any effect. I’m not saying the Fed doesn’t matter, and it certainly wants you to modify your behavior based on its actions or pronouncements, but it matters much less than many people think. Some of its past minutes suggest that it may view its primary job as one of maintaining “confidence” in the financial system.

  36. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Pandemic blamed for falling birth rates across much of Europe: Sharp declines in babies being born 9 months or more on from lockdowns in France, Italy and Spain…

    ““What’s different this time is that the fall in births is really big,” said Arnaud Regnier-Loilier, Ined’s director of research. “It’s a bit unprecedented, but the crisis is also unprecedented.” ”

    https://www.ft.com/content/bc825399-345c-47b8-82e7-6473a1c9a861?

  37. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The long lines of Milan’s ‘new Covid poor’: Eyes on the ground, they queue in silence for a food parcel outside Milan’s Pane Quotidiano charity. Since coronavirus swept across Italy a year ago, the line has grown and grown.

    “”I’m ashamed to be here. But otherwise I would have nothing to eat,” said Giovanni Altieri, 60, who has been coming every day since the nightclub where he worked was shut under virus regulations.”

    https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210309-the-long-lines-of-milan-s-new-covid-poor

  38. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Twenty-five UK councils are at risk of going bust after Covid-19 blew a catastrophic £10bn hole in local authority finances, the Government’s spending watchdog has warned.

    “The National Audit Office said that a string of the UK’s 337 councils are at “high” or “acute” risk of financial failure as they struggle to meet the legal requirement to balance their budgets.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/03/10/covid-crisis-leaves-councils-10bn-black-hole/

  39. Kowalainen says:

    Right on the money at ZH:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/crypto/value-subjective-neither-gold-nor-crypto-have-real-value
    “To view gold as having “real value” is to subscribe to the idea that a commodity or currency has value beyond whatever value individuals assign to it at a given time. But the fact that gold can be used for, say, industrial purposes does not mean it has “real value” while more intangible goods and services have no “real value.””

    Shiny bars of metal and ones and zeros in a computer is “real” value? How badly bent must one be to subscribe to such ludicrous ideas? Right, you gotta be a slightly genetically modified rapacious primate indeed. Preciousssssss, my preciousssss. *caresses a gold bar*

    I don’t see any “higher” mammals, such as dolphins, floating around with Bitcoin in their flippers representing “real” “value”. What is it even suppose to mean for a sentient withpit possessions?

    As if existence itself wouldn’t be enough, but hey, what could you ask for from a bunch of ”you know what” by now… 🤨

    Now, what is the “real value” of money? It is the means that prices capability/energy/resources/information usefulness, enables work and trade among other (useful) agents in an economic system.

    Let the “old” money burn.

    So long and thanks for the fish. 🐠

    🤣👍

    • What we really need is finished goods and services, like refrigerators, cars and lawn mowers. Also food and in-person education for children. If these (and other things) cannot be produced, there is nothing to trade to gold for.

      • NomadicBeer says:

        “What we really need is finished goods and services”
        Wrong. We don’t “need” any of that crap. Moreso, “we” does not exist.

        The rich and middle classes want more and more and are willing to sell their kids futures to get it.

        Some of “us” only want clean air, clean water, some food that we grow and a small community.

        What do you want, Gail?

        • The “some food that we grow” is more difficult than you think. You somehow need to buy the land and pay taxes on the land. You also want some way of cooking the food. If you want water you can drink; you may need a way to filter it and boil it. If you live in a temperate climate, you will probably want heat in winter. You will need a way to store food until you can use it.

          I have stopped kidding myself that I can actually obtain those things. Perhaps if I were younger and more ambitious, I would think as you do.

          • Kowalainen says:

            I absolutely love IC. However, don’t count on me to use it for competing in vanity against other rapacious primate princesses.

            Anybody that is aspiring to “quit” IC – there’s the door. It leads straight to subsistence farming and ultimately poverty. Drudgery isn’t a nice thing. One bad year and you’ll walk hungry. Unless you can get serfs or slaves to work for you, but there went the idealism and decency, as well, out the door.

            People got this obnoxious rosy and delusional nostalgia of the past. Whining on and on and on about IC, without doing jack shit to fix their own absurd excesses and lies they tell themselves.

            Repeat after me:

            IT BEGINS AND ENDS WITH JUST ONE PERSON, AND THAT PERSON IS YOU.

            All right?

            🤔

  40. WHO Whistleblower Dr Astrid Stuckelberger Expose Suspicious Activities Of Bill Gates And GAVI

    A whistleblower from the WHO, Dr. Astrid Stuckelberger in a stunning confession exposed the suspicious activities of Bill Gates and GAVI. In the 41st session of the Corona Investigative Committee she said the rules under which countries work with WHO virtually put WHO in charge of all rules and formal edicts and announcements — with Gates being right there as part of the executive board like an unofficial member state, making decisions that affect the entire world.
    https://greatgameindia.com/who-whistleblower-astrid-stuckelberger-bill-gates/

  41. Mirror on the wall says:

    The Ghislaine Maxwell trial starts on 12th July – and that is set to be even more ‘irrelevant’. LOL

    You know what us ‘plebs’ are like, we love a TV drama.

    • Kowalainen says:

      I really wish she sings loud and clear. I want to experience herders squirm and cringe as it rains hurt from her mouth.

      🤣👍

      • Nehemiah says:

        If she were going to blab, she would do it before the trial as part of a plea deal. My guess is that she will keep her lips just as tight as Jack Ruby did after he killed Oswald. Some people are too powerful to cross.

        • racoon#9.5meg says:

          ++. Recent example set for her. She will keep her mouth shut and her accomadations wont be to bad. A article or two about how she was victimized too. A quiet parole.

          Not that she would ever be allowed to sing. A gag order would be instantaneous if its not already in place. If she did sing it wouldnt be published.

          Who visited that island? Who in the swamp didnt its a shorter list.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Bargaining chip. X outplayed Y. Now X runs the show until Y again outplays X.

            But wouldn’t it be hilarious if she went full loose cannon. Just for the shits and giggles.

            However, X seem more in it for the comedy. Biden anyone? Triple masks, vaxxing chaos, etc. That is just pure genius. Trump is a bit tad too obnoxious.

            🤣

        • Robert Firth says:

          The man you call “Jack Ruby” was in reality Jacob Leon Rubenstein, Mossad agent. He had excellent reason to keep his lips tight” https://www.unz.com/article/did-israel-kill-the-kennedies/

  42. Fast Eddy says:

    More from Bossche

    https://youtu.be/YtHfI00D_s4

    • hillcountry says:

      Thanks FE – the comment section is pretty good too. One commenter passed on this link.

      Mike Yeadon is communicating via this woman’s Telegram account.

      https://t.me/s/robinmg

      • Xabier says:

        Thank you, hillcountry. Really excellent material from Mike Yeadon, very well worth reading indeed!

      • Fast Eddy says:

        So Norm .. Duncan… and others of feeble mind who are unable to grasp the reality that there are grand conspiracies….. have a read of this…. then check the signatories.

        What they are asking is for evidence that Covid 19 vaccines are safe… because unlike the two of you… they are not thick of skull and they refuse to accept ‘of course they are safe’ as an answer… and beg for the Lethal Injection

        Then prance around like children who have been given some candy shouting 95% effective!!! 95% effective!!!

        They are asking for EVIDENCE in the form of studies that these vaccines do not cause harm.

        Looks like they are not going to get a response.

        They could approach the MSM and try to shame the government into responding…. but as we know the MSM will not touch this.

        Effectively we have highly qualified whistleblowers exposing the dangers of these vaccines (if there were studies and no dangers… the government would respond to these questions – no?).

        The weak of mind believe that there is no way for a truth to remain a secret… it will eventually be exposed…

        Well if the govt and MSM and will not acknowledge it (because they are engaged in a mass conspiracy to cover up the story) …. then where does that leave the whistleblowers?

        They can post it on obscure message boards (MS social media would pull this down the minute it got any traction)…. or they can stand on the street corner shouting ‘the Covid vaccine is NOT SAFE!!!’

        And they will be laughed at and ignored.

        Urgent Open Letter from Doctors and Scientists to the European Medicines Agency regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Concerns

        Emer Cooke, Executive Director, European Medicines Agency, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
        28 February 2021

        Dear Sirs/Mesdames,

        FOR THE URGENT PERSONAL ATTENTION OF: EMER COOKE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY

        As physicians and scientists, we are supportive in principle of the use of new medical interventions which are appropriately developed and deployed, having obtained informed consent from the patient. This stance encompasses vaccines in the same way as therapeutics.
        We note that a wide range of side effects is being reported following vaccination of previously healthy younger individuals with the gene-based COVID-19 vaccines.

        Moreover, there have been numerous media reports from around the world of care homes being struck by COVID-19 within days of vaccination of residents. While we recognise that these occurrences might, every one of them, have been unfortunate coincidences, we are concerned that there has been and there continues to be inadequate scrutiny of the possible causes of illness or death under these circumstances, and especially so in the absence of post-mortems examinations.

        In particular, we question whether cardinal issues regarding the safety of the vaccines were adequately addressed prior to their approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
        As a matter of great urgency, we herewith request that the EMA provide us with responses to the following issues:

        https://doctors4covidethics.medium.com/urgent-open-letter-from-doctors-and-scientists-to-the-european-medicines-agency-regarding-covid-19-f6e17c311595

        • Xabier says:

          A valiant effort, and we should thank them for trying, but it will be about as effective as asking Stalin to change his strategy of mass arrests, executions, and labour camps, and to relinquish total control of the Soviet media.

          ‘Do please stop being so very nasty, Uncle Joe!’

          Why should they respond? Still less change course. They hold all the cards, and have long ago discarded both true medical science and reason.

          All the dissident voices will be left scurrying about addressing dissident odd-balls like us on obscure channels – probably not even worth assassinating, so small will be their audience.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Initially I was more involved in NZ with people fighting against the lockdowns… but then I concluded this was not stupidity or incompetence we were up against… it was a plan… and applying logic was useless (to be honest I knew that from early days but I went along out of curiousity)

            They continue to fight and I do keep in touch… there is an innocence with a touch of naivety and perhaps a dollop of disbelief driving their attempts to turn the Titanic around.

            I passed along the article about the vaccine passports in Israel the other day … the response was ‘holy shit’ (and that’s from an academic) I think there is now a sense of inevitability now … but there remains an unanswered question — and that is why would ‘they’ do this to the world?

            The problem is that most people are unable to connect the oil dot to this … the Elders PR team has done a magnificent job over the years of gaslighting them and convincing them that we will be long transitioned to renewables before oil causes any problems.

            I suggested to a friend who recognizes that this Covid thing is a stitch up that there must be something massive at play for the PTB to do this …. I asked if perhaps oil is the issue adding that conventional peaked in 05 and looks like shale hit the wall in 19… He came back with an MSM piece saying oil would not be a problem until at least 2040…. ‘so it can’t be that’.

    • Xabier says:

      Thanks FE, a truly valuable podcast.

      For those who do not have the time for the whole thing, the last 15 mins get to the heart of it and summarize his (highly informed) position.

      Rely on natural immunity, not on something that Big Pharma will make a fortune on.

      And don’t compromise the immune system – above all of the of the young and healthy – with these dubious ‘vaccines’.

      He acknowledges that it will be very difficult for dissenting scientists in the field to speak out: one imagines that he feels prosperous enough not to fear unemployment and a wrecked career – which given his age is at its end anyway.

      • Hubbs says:

        My theory as a retired orthopedic surgeon but not an ID expert or microbiologist or public health expert, is that the best option, especially if you have survived the initial infection like my daughter, then 16 and I have at age 66 is to stay healthy, get adequate Vit D, keep weight optimal and abandon any use of masks or attempts to isolate. Rather, maintain a daily challenge (exposure) to the virus and its variants to simply keep a baseline presence of T-cells and required B-cell antibody production, if needed. Ie., a sort of dynamic rather than quiescent immunity. No vaccines. And FE, you are almost as cynical as I am. Until recently, I was always reading about FE and i was asking myself, who is this FE guy? But what I really like about this blog is that the commentators are so dispersed from all over the world

        • Xabier says:

          No one in a thousand years could ever make a cent employing your sensible strategy, Hubbs…..

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Fast Eddy is right up there with the Second Coming … a Messiah… a Prognosticator…all rolled into one… with an unparalleled IQ (let’s check the dial… just had a 20 minute nap and a double espresso…. ooh… look at that 1178.99879!!! Can we hit 1200? I bet a quick sniff of blow and we’d break the barrier… argh… don’t have any of that)….

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I watched an interview with Dr Luc Montagnier where he insisted Covid was man made… the interviewers tried to press him on conspiracies… but he refused to go there… he would only say – I know science and this virus is man made…

        He indicated a lab in India published a paper that stated the same but that they were pressured to retract. Which they did.

        He said he was not going to retract because he is at the end of his career and it is not possible to exert pressure on him because he does not care. If you look at him he looks as if he’s nearing the end of his life…. rather overweight and unhealthy.

        So we can see how easy it is to control scientists… if they get branded as anti-vaxxers and such… and that can be the end of their careers…. onto the blacklist and funding dries up …

        One can see why so few scientists and medical professionals are willing to push back against this steaming heap of shit….

        • Nehemiah says:

          I recall Luc Montagnier also stated last year that covid19 is a chimera and would therefore be unstable and short lived. I hope he turns out to have been right about that.

    • hillcountry says:

      Interesting exchange over there between Robin and Mike

      Robin Monotti Graziadei ⭐

      VANDEN BOSSCHE’S MESSAGE: Natural antibodies are much better as a mass strategy because they are broader and more generic, so can cover and stop more variants. Vaccine antibodies as a mass strategy can lead to a more virulent and deadly variant for people who have been vaccinated because vaccine antibodies are more strain specific, allowing immune escape from other variants. This is Vanden Bossche’s claim. Where I think he may be wrong is that I don’t think we are in the middle of a pandemic. Conclusion: avoid the vaccines like the plague if you are not at risk

      Robin Monotti Graziadei ⭐
      Forwarded from Mike Yeadon

      Respectfully, I disagree that there’s a risk as outlined.

      I am unconvinced that antibodies play an important role in protection, certainly against severe disease. That task belongs to other components of the immune system, notably T-cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which are trained to detect & destroy virus infected cells. Antibodies cannot do that for they are very large molecules, generally considered to remain outside cells. Yet the virus resides & replicates inside cells.

      It’s when they leave fragments of themselves displayed on the surface of those cells & are recognised by T-cells, that’s when they are marked for controlled destruction & with it, the virus within. That capability, to detect the virus, uses a complex “molecular identity parade”: the virus is cut up into hundreds of unique short pieces. Each of us possesses huge diversity in our T-cells ability to recognise these unique pieces of foreign invader & then multiply through what’s called clonal expansion until we have hundreds of millions of each T-cell type against several dozen different pieces of virus.

      If a variant infects us, the vast majority of the virus sequence is unchanged, and do almost every trained type of T-cell still finds & kills cells bearing the same pieces they’re trained to recognise, and to kill variant infected cells. This has been shown to work in recent experiments by talented immunologists at the La Jolla Institute in California. They must be working flat out & they work is world class. Very many authors but look for papers in Cell (2021) by lead author Tarke, A et al.

      They’ve made a comprehensive study of every protein ‘snippet’ into which this virus is cut, finding something like 600 unique pieces. Each person uses a few dozen snippets to train their T-cells, and that collection is called our ‘repertoire’. Our repertoire is unique: mine is different from yours, the permutations & combinations of snippets we each use to protect us is different.

      Not only does this mean the virus has to do the equivalent of rolling 40 sixes in a row to escape immunity, but even in that unlikely event, it has no significance to the POPULATION. Because each of us has a different repertoire. Trust me: this overblown virus is pretty ordinary from an immunological perspective. The most likely end game is it dies out or becomes low level endemic within the next year.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        It would be interesting to put these two in a room and have them debate this ….

        I’ll get around to completing a few PHD’s in molecular biology, virology and other relevant disciplines in the next few weeks but for now let me offer my layman’s perspective.

        Bossche indicates that these mRNA treatments have the potential to cause Super Viruses (‘Nightmare’ Covid https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2021/02/coronavirus-mutant-covid-19-virus-dubbed-the-devil-causing-concern-in-california.html)…. as can occur with bacterial infections when people do not complete the full course of an antibiotics…. the disease adapts and roars back faster, stronger and able to leap tall buildings…

        Let’s not forget that Covid was almost certainly engineered in a lab (see Luc Montagnier Nobel Prize winning virologist who insists this is the case)…. Let us not forget that the Covid response has been utterly illogical…. and that we have multiple vaccines in less than a year and that governments want 8B of us to take these vaccines….

        Throw in the fact that oil became a huge problem in 2019 as shale joined conventional at the peak… and that the FT Brookings Index indicated a massive collapse of the global economy was imminent.

        Based on all of this… we have to assume Covid was engineered for a certain outcome. Yeadon would definitely not be willing to acknowledge this… he’d probably lose his mind if were to do so. Therefore he will conclude that this virus is not going to cause great harm because the only way it could likely not dissipate ‘like other viruses’ is if it was engineered to kill…. or if these vaccines were engineered to cause Covid to kill. Either way he would have to accept that there is an agenda — that involves mass murder.

        Bossche appears to at least be open to the possibility that we are looking at ‘bioweapons’…. I suspect that he thinks that Covid and the vaccines are suspect…

        Verdict – again we need to look at the Big Picture surrounding Covid. It is complete bullshit. Therefore one assume the worst.

        The Fast Eddy Gold Medal of Logic….. is awarded to ….. Dr Bossche…

        https://unitedscientificgroup.com/conferences/vaccines/images/speakers/Geert-Vanden-Bossche.jpg
        https://blogs-images.forbes.com/anthonydemarco/files/2018/02/2017-09-21-p2018-medals-inside-01.jpg

    • Thanks! I have made note of it. Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now to listen to it. I wish that a transcript were available. Transcripts are a lot easier to scan quickly and to refer back to. I did listen to his earlier interview and read his 5-page paper intended for WHO and others.

  43. Nehemiah says:

    The article linked to below, with a few excerpts, asks why there are so few covid deaths in Africa. It suggests it may be due to genetic differences between Africans and non-Africans, but the big question mark over that theory is, if this is so, then why are African-Americans struck harder by covid than white Americans. The writer suggests socio-economic differences may explain the white-black difference in the US, while on the global scale, genetic differences explain the superior outcomes in black Africa. But the problem with this idea is that the environmental distance between black Africa and the most of the non-African world is considerably larger than the socio-economic distance between US whites and blacks. There may be genetic differences in susceptibility, but possibly the biggest factor (in my opinion) is found in this short paragraph:

    “The most significant environmental factor, scientists say, is age. The average age of Europeans is 43; it’s 38 in the US; across the African continent, it is 18. The average age in Niger, Mali, Uganda and Angola is under 16. While roughly a quarter of the population in both Europe and North America is over 60-years old, in Africa, the 60+ age cohort makes up only 6 percent of the population.”

    BUT the biggest *genetic* risk factor (described in Part 2 of this story) has been found only in Non-African populations:

    “…the presence of a Neanderthal gene is the single biggest genetic risk factor for the novel coronavirus, roughly doubling the likelihood, according to a June 2020 study by researchers in Germany and Japan, Hugo Zeberg and Svante Pääbo.”

    As an aside, one particular sentence stuck out at me, pointing out that the four non-African countries that best resisted covid did so by imposing very strict mass quarantines (“lockdowns”), falsifying the assertion that “lockdowns don’t work:”

    QUOTE: “But disaster never came. Africa has not been affected on anything near the scale of most countries in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. (The major exceptions being China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, which zealously enforced lockdowns).”

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2021/03/02/defying-all-predictions-africa-is-the-global-covid-19-coldspot-is-the-fear-of-discussing-why-and-the-taboo-subject-of-human-differences-keeping-health-officials-from-exploring-ways/

    The first confirmed COVID-19 case in Africa was on February 14, 2020 in Egypt. The first in sub-Saharan Africa appeared in Nigeria soon after. Health officials were united in a near-panic about how the novel coronavirus would roll through the world’s second most populous continent.

    By mid-month, the World Health Organization listed four sub-Saharan countries on a ‘top 13’ global danger list because of direct air links to China. Writing for Lancet, two scientists with the Africa Center for Disease Control outlined a catastrophe in the making:

    With neither treatment nor vaccines, and without pre-existing immunity, the effect [of COVID-19] might be devastating because of the multiple health challenges the continent already faces: rapid population growth and increased movement of people; existing endemic diseases…; remerging and emerging infectious pathogens …, and others; and increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases.

    Many medical professionals predicted that Africa could spin into a death spiral. “My advice to Africa is to prepare for the worst, and we must do everything we can to cut the root problem,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African director-general of the WHO warned in March. “I think Africa, my continent, must wake up.”

    By spring, WHO was projecting 44 million or more cases for Africa and the World Bank issued a map of the continent colored in blood red, anticipating that the worst was imminent.
    SNIP
    But disaster never came. Africa has not been affected on anything near the scale of most countries in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. (The major exceptions being China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, which zealously enforced lockdowns). In fact, the vast African continent south of the Sahara desert, more than 1.1 billion people, has emerged as the world’s COVID-19 ‘cold spot’.
    SNIP
    The latest statistics show about 3.8 million cases and 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, concentrated mostly in the Arab majority countries north of the Sahara. Except for South Africa, the most multi-ethnic of the Black majority countries, and Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa has largely been spared.
    SNIP
    by late-February, Europe, with less than 2/3 the population of Africa, had almost 33,000,000+ cases, 900% more, and almost 800,000 deaths, 800% more. The US, with less than 1/3 the number of people, has 2900% more cases and 2400% more deaths, according to stats compiled on Wikipedia.
    SNIP
    Journalists and even some scientists have been twisting themselves into speculative pretzels (here, here, here) trying to explain this phenomenon. Theories range from sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘quick response’ (no); favourable climate (which did not protect Brazil and other warmer climes in South America); and good community health systems (directly contradicted by WHO and Africa CDC).

    In each of those articles acknowledging the “puzzling” statistics, journalists were sure to suggest Armageddon might be right around the corner. “Experts fear a more devastating second surge,” warned National Geographic in late December, although there was no first surge and just two weeks before Africa’s tiny December uptick (driven almost entirely by the mutant variant in South Africa) turned back downward, according to Reuters.
    SNIP
    Dr. Tiirikainen is a lead researcher in a joint project at the University of Hawaii and LifeDNA in what some believe is a controversial undertaking considering the taboos on ‘race’ research. They are attempting to identify “those that are most vulnerable to the current and future SARS attacks and COVID based on their genetics”.
    SNIP
    The most significant environmental factor, scientists say, is age. The average age of Europeans is 43; it’s 38 in the US; across the African continent, it is 18. The average age in Niger, Mali, Uganda and Angola is under 16. While roughly a quarter of the population in both Europe and North America is over 60-years old, in Africa, the 60+ age cohort makes up only 6 percent of the population.–END QUOTES

    There is also a part 2 to this story:

    Part 2: Why is Africa the global COVID-19 ‘cold spot’? — The historical challenge of disentangling genes and environment
    Jon Entine, Patrick Whittle | March 3, 2021

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2021/03/03/part-2-why-is-africa-the-global-covid-19-cold-spot-the-historical-challenge-of-disentangling-genes-and-environment/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Genetic_Literacy_Project_TrendMD_0

    oes greater prior exposure to pathogens, including other recent coronaviruses, help explain why Africa is a COVID-19 cold spot, despite endemic poverty and a woeful health infrastructure? Conversely, in the more sanitized surroundings of the more developed world, people’s immune systems may be insufficiently ‘trained’ to cope with novel disorders, such as COVID-19 — what’s known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’.

    According to this thesis, the very conditions expected to cause the rapid spread of the virus may instead have primed the immune system of native Africans to better resist this latest disease, along with antibodies gained through exposure to numerous infectious ailments since childhood. (This theory has also been used to explain the reduced impact of the coronavirus in India, relative to the size of its population.)
    SNIP
    There is also tantalizing, emerging evidence that ancient coronaviruses drove natural selection for disease resistance in East Asia between 25,000 and 5,000 years ago, with “[t]hese adaptive events … limited to ancestral East Asian populations, the geographical origin of several modern coronavirus epidemics” [emphasis added]. Indeed, our new-found abilities to probe the secrets of ancient DNA also allow us to search even further back into human prehistory — and into the divergent evolutionary pathways followed by a distant human cousin, the Neanderthals.

    Do Neanderthal genes increase the risk of COVID-19?

    The answer is ‘yes’. In fact, the presence of a Neanderthal gene is the single biggest genetic risk factor for the novel coronavirus, roughly doubling the likelihood, according to a June 2020 study by researchers in Germany and Japan, Hugo Zeberg and Svante Pääbo.

    In follow up research published in February, they identified one haplotype that “is present at substantial frequencies in all regions of the world outside Africa. Given that Neanderthals were a branch of hominids seemingly confined to western Eurasia, sub-Saharan African populations never interbreed with this sister-species. This particular stretch of Neanderthal DNA is carried by around 50 percent of South Asians, 16 percent of those of European descent, but not in any native Africans.
    SNIP
    …researchers suggest that these genes may have protected our distant cousins against pathogens found in their ancient environment, and were hence retained in some Eurasian populations subsequent to human-Neanderthal inter-breeding. Now, however, these same genes may have a detrimental effect with the different COVID-19 pathogen.

    In the words of the researchers, the immune response for carriers of these Neanderthal sequences “might be overly aggressive,” leading to potentially fatal reactions in those who develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.
    SNIP
    We already know environmental inequalities impact at-risk racial populations (such as those defined, in the US, as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. This does not negate the likelihood that ancestry influences disease prevalence within these groups or in response to treatments. But this is an empirical question that can be answered only through studying group differences, carefully but comprehensively.
    SNIP

  44. Fast Eddy says:

    Now this is amusing … I guess the good folks behind Lockdown Sceptics don’t like what Geert has to say:

    Dr Geert Vanden Bossche describes himself as an independent virologist and vaccine expert who was formerly employed at GAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    https://lockdownsceptics.org/2021/03/09/is-dr-geert-vanden-bossche-right-that-vaccination-amidst-a-pandemic-creates-an-irrepressible-monster/

    ‘describes himself’ — perhaps they might google his name … he headed up a team researching Ebola with GAVI… he has dozens of published papers… etc…

    It’s not as if he was a grade 9 science teacher describing himself as a leading vaccine researcher…

    It just goes to show you that some people get it some of the time … but basically they are stooopid… not as stooopid as a CovIDIOT… but let’s say half as stooopid.

    To dismiss him in this manner without actually addressing the very specific points of science he posted in his letter to the WHO is just pathetic.

    I have bounced this off my Great Barrington contact this morning asking if they would support this position … the furthest they will go is to state that mass vaccinations are senseless when you have a disease that is not a problem for the vast majority of the population. Specifically they are not willing to take on Big Pharma and make claims in support of Bossche because there is no absolute certainty that what he is suggesting is going to happen. This correspondence was followed by a series of links with details of what happens when scientists have challenged Big Pharma…

    As I pointed out… Bossche obviously knows he is ruffling feathers… yet he is willing to do it … therefore he must have strong convictions regarding the harm these vaccines are likely to cause.

    In defence of Lockdown Sceptics… this is likely a bridge too far for them … to accept the Bossche thesis is to accept that our fearless leaders are not stupid or incompetent … rather that they are almost certainly malicious…. and that they want to exterminate all or at least large numbers of humans.

    Nobody wants to go to that dark corner. So they lash out at him.

    • hillcountry says:

      good analysis there, thanks.

    • Xabier says:

      If Bossche is right, and they, too, know the science and that he is right, but do not dare to do anything, then they must denigrate the man or admit their own complicity and cowardice.

      Lockdown Sceptics is widely regarded as having sold the pass, and unwilling to touch on the true Plan. So far but no further…..

      • Fast Eddy says:

        The Great Barrington people seem to be unwilling to support a statement of this nature:

        ‘One could only think of very few other strategies to achieve the same level of efficiency in turning a relatively harmless virus into a bioweapon of mass destruction.’

        No doubt doing so could jeopardize their careers… if Bossche is correct … careers will be low on their list of concerns.

  45. Nehemiah says:

    Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Angola have experienced nine new cases of polio caused by the live virus in oral polio vaccines that has mutated into an infectious form, according to statistics released last week (November 20) by the World Health Organization. That brings the global total of these types of infections to 157 for the year, and it means that more children are paralyzed as a result of such vaccine-derived infections than illnesses caused by the wildtype virus, which has affected 107 people this year.

    Other countries in Africa and Asia have also reported such vaccine-derived infections, which have the potential to spark new outbreaks. In Africa alone, there are currently a dozen vaccine-derived polio outbreaks, and another was declared in the Philippines last month—the country’s first cases of the disease in more than 25 years, NPR reports.
    SNIP
    To finally eliminate the world of polio, global leaders convened last week (November 19) at the Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum in Abu Dhabi, pledging $2.6 billion to the effort. The main impediment is vaccination coverage in certain regions, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan, the last two countries where polio remains to be eradicated.
    SNIP
    “It’s actually crazy because we’re vaccinating now against the vaccine in most parts of the world,” Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at Columbia University, tells NPR, “not against wild polio, which is confined to Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
    https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/polio-vaccination-causes-more-infections-than-wild-virus-66778

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Shall we refer to this as Farmed Polio….

    • Xabier says:

      Vaccinating against vaccines: a very poor medical, but a really great business model, isn’t it?

      How ironic if the very success of the Great Re-set seals its doom, due to unintended consequences of the pseudo-vaccines and universal mask-wearing.

    • A strange world we live in!

  46. Nehemiah says:

    QUOTE [from Ugo Bardi’s blog]: Of course, the concepts of growth and collapse depend on the point of view. In many cases one man’s fortune is someone else’s ruin. What we see as a good thing, the end of an epidemic, is a collapse seen from the side of the virus (or bacteria, or whatever). But, then, why do epidemics flare up and then subside? It is a fascinating story that has to do with how complex systems behave. To tell it, we have to start from the beginning.

    One thing that you may have noted about the current Covid-19 pandemic is the remarkable ignorance not just of the general public about epidemiology, but also of many of the highly touted experts. Just note how many people said that the epidemic grows “exponentially.” Then, they got busy extrapolating the curve to infinity, predicting hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of deaths. But, to paraphrase Kenneth Boulding, “Someone who claims that natural systems grow exponentially has to be either a madman or an economist.” It just doesn’t work that way!

    But how does an epidemic grow, exactly? The basic shape of an epidemiological curve is “bell shaped” (yes, just like the Hubbert curve for petroleum extraction).
    [see graph at site]

    The reason for this shape is easy to understand in qualitative terms. Initially, the virus (or the pathogen) has a whole population to infect, so it grows rapidly (nearly, but not exactly, exponentially). Then, as it grows, its number of targets decline. Eventually the virus can’t grow any longer for lack of targets. It reaches a peak and starts declining.

    These considerations can be set in a mathematical form: it is the model called “SIR” (susceptible, infected, removed), developed already in 1927. You may be surprised to discover that the SIR equations are exactly the same that describe the growth of the oil industry and the phenomenon of “peak oil.” They are also the same equations that describe the behavior of a trophic chain in a biological system. I won’t go into the details, here. Let me just tell you that, with my colleagues Perissi and Lavacchi, we are preparing a paper that describes how these and other physical systems are related to each other.

    Of course, modern epidemiological models are much more complicated than the simple “bare bones” SIR model, but it is an approach that tells us what to expect. No epidemic grows forever and even if you do nothing to stop it, it will eventually fade out by itself. After all, pathogens have the same problem we have with crude oil: they are exploiting a limited resource (us).
    Now, back to the Seneca Effect, we said it implies that ruin must be faster than growth. In other words, the shape of the “Seneca curve” should be something like this:
    [see graph at site]

    There are such cases in the history of epidemics.
    SNIP
    Yet, that “Seneca shape” is not common in epidemics. Often, we see the opposite kind of asymmetry.
    SNIP
    It is a common trend all over the world and we could call it the “Anti-Seneca” effect. But, apart from giving it a name, why this shape?

    The answer is not univocal: there are several factors that may affect the shape of the curve. In this case, the easiest explanation has to do with the parameter that describes how fast infected people cease to be infected, either because they are healed or because they die. If they heal/die fast, the curve goes down fast, otherwise it is the opposite. It makes sense: cholera may kill affected people in just a few hours, if untreated. Instead, people infected by the Sars-Cov-2 may go through one or two weeks of agony before their demise. That would explain the different shape of the curves.

    But, be careful! As I said, there are other possible explanations. For instance, if you compare Sweden with Italy, you see that the mortality curve is more asymmetric for the former.
    SNIP
    Probably, geographical effects account for the commonly observed asymmetric curve shapes of the COVID-19 epidemic in other regions of the world.

    With vaccinations, the SIR model shows that we should see the epidemic curves falling down fast, at least if the vaccinations are started before the peak. So far, this effect is not seen anywhere, it may be too early. As vaccinations progress, we should be able to say more on this matter.

    FULL POST: https://thesenecaeffect.blogspot.com/

    • Xabier says:

      Being short of breath is not ‘agony’ however: giving this impression is just another means by which they have sought to terrifying us out of our wits.

      Gravely distressing, but not agonizing at all. And not uniquely horrible.

      In fact, as one’s oxygen levels fall dangerously, the sensation is of moving away from the world into the realm of Death (our destiny anyway) – been there a few times myself, so I know what I am talking about in this respect.

      I’d elect it over a death by cancer and cancer-treatment any time.

      • Nehemiah says:

        Not agonizing, just “gravely distressing?” Sounds a bit like splitting hairs.

        • Xabier says:

          On the contrary, a properly-nuanced and accurate use of the English language – rather rare in these days of Basic English , isn’t it?

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            Obviously they are both undesirable, to say the least, so in that sense it is splitting hairs but as someone who suffered very badly from croup in my childhood I can attest that there is a difference.

            At first the panic of feeling your airways close up and being unable to breathe is indeed very distressing but there is no pain. After that, you start to become disorientated from the lack of oxygen and your awareness of what is going on diminishes, so there is just this sense of fading out, which is not entirely unpleasant.

      • hillcountry says:

        me too. Once was rip-tided out from the cove at Pacifica, south of San Francisco. That would be a very easy way to go, especially in really cold water and it sure had that floaty sense of moving away from the world to boot. It’s a toss-up between that and a snow bank on the Hudson Bay with a bottle of Gentleman Jack between my cold dead fingers.

        Enjoying all those posts you do, thanks.

      • Hubbs says:

        I had just refilled a C02 tank for my reef aquarium Calcium reactor and was driving on the way home when the O ring suddenly failed, with a rapid release of CO2 into the car. Thankfully, I was a scuba diver and knew what would happen. I immediately pulled the car over to a stop and was able to open the windows (it was too late to muster the strength to open the door) and the tank was in the back seat floor board, inaccessible.

        It’s not the effect of the displacement of O2 gas (anoxia) and effects of hypercarbia knocking you out, I would think it is those terrifying first moments if you were being actively strangled and could not breath.

        • Xabier says:

          Oh yes, that IS terrifying. Glad you are still with us!

          But we are led to believe that COVID is somehow uniquely awful: it’s all my relations quote to me from their exposure to the MSM, and of course the whole ‘Long COVID’ myth, which is based on so few dramatic cases.

        • hillcountry says:

          great reaction time!! made me think about how information regarding our true situation is like oxygen and how the ‘stranglers’ are like some arhimanic force-of-nature, drowning us in whatever they can find that will do the job – don’t give ’em any ideas, ok?

          • Xabier says:

            You mention Ahriman.

            Quite randomly, YT presented me with a channel on the writings of the mystic and clairvoyant Rudolph Steiner

            The audio-only videos were very long, so I listened to some at random, and in a text from 1918 alighted on this:

            ‘It may well be that at some future date vaccines will be used to control mankind, and destroy the spiritual capacity of Man.’ An interesting notion in 1918!

            It seems (from further reading) that he held that ‘Ahriman’, an essentially anti-human spiritual entity, would not only come to dominate the world for a period at the beginning of the third Christian millennium, but would actually be incarnated in a human being (as the Christ was incarnated at the beginning.

            His fear was that Ahriman would attempt to cut human beings off from spiritual growth, forever, by effecting a fundamental change.

            As a clairvoyant, perhaps he saw something?

            It’s interesting that Transhumanists are among those behind the vaccine push, and we know what their aims are……

            • hillcountry says:

              You might want to do a search for a recent article that makes some sense of what Anthroposophy was/is really about. It’s not good, nor was Steiner. The research was written by Miles Mathis. He’s not quite clear in his other published work what he thinks about virology or the existence of this particular corona virus, but in this paper he notes that:

              “You should also know that Anthroposophy and the Goetheanum are not pushing back on the Coronahoax.”

              “As you can see at Goetheanum.co, the site is pushing Corona as real, but only giving it
              the usual Steiner spin, with lots of gummy talk that is hard to glean anything from. The same can be said for AI and transhumanism, as you can see on that same page. You would expect these people to be resisting both with every fiber of their being, but they aren’t. As with Corona, they are accepting it as inevitable and working to fit it into the blobby, all-inclusive net of Anthroposophy. I have to think Goethe would be horrified to see what is going on in his name.”

            • Xabier says:

              Interesting: so the Theosophists are not even paying heed to the words of their founder -although that’s the usual development in such spiritual movements over time.

              I did watch some videos made by Theosophists, and they seemed rather wishy-washy.

              When an Age goes mad, everyone gets sucked in.

              Quite right about Goethe!

    • This is a direct link to Ugo Bardi’s post.
      https://thesenecaeffect.blogspot.com/2021/02/seneca-and-virus-why-does-pandemic-grow.html

      The post includes quite a few nice graphs.

  47. hillcountry says:

    That’s a shame. They keep making the same mistakes. Tony Mawson has an interesting and well-reasoned epidemiological hypothesis in this one.

    Gulf War Illness: Unifying Hypothesis for a Continuing Health Problem

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6339135/

    “Specifically, we propose that the adverse effects of multiple vaccinations received together, or over a short period of time, concurrently with other biochemical insults to the liver, may be initiated by interference with the hepatic metabolism of vitamin A, causing a mild cholestatic condition in which stored vitamin A metabolites (“retinoids”) spill over in the bile or leak into the circulation from damaged hepatocytes in toxic concentrations, inducing mitochondrial damage and apoptosis. On this hypothesis, the signs and symptoms of GWI as well as the related syndromes of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and multiple chemical sensitivity are manifestations of liver damage and a resulting chronic, endogenous form of hypervitaminosis A (see Figure 1).”

    • There have not been many tests of vaccines similar to the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. I noticed something that said the approach had only been used on vaccines given to soldiers and on a vaccine for animals against rabies. I am wondering if vaccines of this type were given to the soldiers. I noticed an entry saying “Adenovirus All recruits 1 oral dose.”

      Based on this article, something was clearing causing a long term problem for soldiers who served in the Gulf War. It wouldn’t have had to have been the entire group of vaccines, it could have been just one of them that was a big problem. Regardless, it doesn’t add to a person’s confidence in the new, untested vaccines.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        There have not been many tests of vaccines similar to the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine.

        Actually they have. It’s a viral vector vaccine — the same technology that’s been proven safe and effective in creating an Ebola vaccine and others currently in the works.

        The mRNA vaccines are new to humans, although we have had them for 20 years.

      • Alex says:

        I don’t know whether it was the real reason, but it was speculated that the experimental anthrax vaccine was responsible for the illness.

  48. CANCER CONCERN FOR MASKERS

    Put aside the obvious concerns mask wearers face: reduced oxygen levels, anxiety disorders, and scientific lack of efficacy. Since 2012, research has shown that inhaling nanofibers can pose a serious risk to inflammation in the lungs, even mesothelioma (cancer) due to its similar shape to asbestos. Jefferey Jaxen highlights a recent study showing the potential threat to inhaling nano plastics shed from masks.
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/x3xhsPAVGrM8/