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The Biggest Economic Threat Today

The Biggest Economic Threat Today

The Biggest Economic Threat Today

Kind heaven, no! A fresh economic scourge is upon the land. Announces CNN:

“New Threat to the Economy: Americans Are Saving Like It’s the 1980s.”

Is a higher evil possible? Thus we are informed:

Americans are slashing their spending, hoarding cash and shrinking their credit card debt as they fear their jobs could disappear during the coronavirus pandemic…

Although caution is a logical response to that uncertainty, hunkering down also poses a risk to the recovery in an economy dominated by consumer spending. A so-called V-shaped recovery can’t happen if consumers are sitting on the sidelines…

The savings rate in the United States climbed from 8% in February to 13.1% in March. That was the highest savings rate since November 1981.

The article further reminds us that consumer spending constitutes some 70% of the United States economy.

And so the old bugaboo rises from the grave yet again — the “paradox of thrift.”

The Evils of Saving

The individual saver may be the model of prudence, of frugality, of forbearance… of thrift itself.

But if the entire nation tied down its money?

A savage cycle would feed and feed upon itself… until the economy is devoured to the final crumbs.

Consumption would dwindle to near-nonexistence. GDP would collapse in a heap. Waves of bankruptcies would wash through.

All this because the selfishness of savers. They refuse to untie their purse strings… and spend for the greater good.

This paradox of thrift is perhaps the mother myth of economists in the Keynesian line.

Yet no paradox exists whatsoever.

Today we maintain — again — that saving is an unvarnished blessing, at all times, under all circumstances.

Let us first plunge a stake through the squirming heart of another myth:

The myth that consumer consumption constitutes 70% of the United States economy…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s Coming”: CDC Director Warns Coronavirus To Become Widespread Throughout United States, ‘Probably Beyond 2020’

“It’s Coming”: CDC Director Warns Coronavirus To Become Widespread Throughout United States, ‘Probably Beyond 2020’ 

The extremely virulent coronavirus which is sweeping through China’s Hubei province like wildfire will eventually gain a foothold in the United States – becoming a ‘community virus’ this year or next, according to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

“We don’t know a lot about this virus,” Redfield told CNN‘s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.”

Right now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,” said Redfield.

As of Thursday, 15 cases have been confirmed in seven states; eight in California, two in Illinois and one in Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Texas, according to CNN.

Community virus

Redfield says that while more research is needed, the CDC is focused on containment strategies to isolate and slow the progression of the novel coronavirus, buying time to develop a vaccine and antiviral drugs.

“The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year,” said Redfield. “We don’t have any evidence that this coronavirus is really embedded in the community at this time, but with that said, we want to intensify our surveillance so that we’re basing those conclusions based on data.”

The containment strategy refers to efforts to prevent widespread transmission of the coronavirus in the United States, including having people with confirmed cases stay in isolation and placing restrictions on travel between affected areas in the world. Such containment measures were used widely during the SARS global outbreak of 2003, during which 8,098 people worldwide became sick and of those, 774 died, according to the CDC. –CNN

Controversial travel restrictions

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads; Hundreds Infected As Human-To-Human Transmission Confirmed

China Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads; Hundreds Infected As Human-To-Human Transmission Confirmed

Health officials in Wuhan, China reported 139 new cases of a new mystery virus over the weekend, now rapidly spreading to other provinces and surrounding countries, reported CNN.

As of Monday morning, three people have died from the pneumonia-like illness, and globally there have been more than 200 reported cases, noted Reuters

Beijing confirmed two cases of coronavirus Monday, while Guangdong health officials reported one case in Shenzhen – these are the first reports that the virus is quickly spreading from Wuhan, the epicenter. 

On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus originated from a seafood/meat market in Wuhan, has likely spread through human-to-human transmission.

“It is clear that there is at least some human-to-human transmission from the evidence we have, but we don’t have clear evidence that shows the virus has acquired the capacity to transmit among humans easily,” said Takeshi Kasai, the WHO’s regional director for the western pacific, in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday. “We need more information to analyze that.”

There are significant concerns about a broader regional outbreak, reports Sunday warned the virus was detected outside China – two in Thailand and one in Japan. 

The South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (SKCDC) confirmed Monday that a 35-year-old woman arriving at Incheon International Airport from Wuhan tested positive for coronavirus.

“She was immediately separated for treatment in quarantine at a state-designated hospital,” the SKCDC said.

China’s National Health Commission confirmed Monday that the virus has occurred via human-to-human transmission. This has worried officials in the country and in surrounding countries ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, in which millions of Chinese tourists are expected to travel across the region, could lead to a widespread outbreak of the virus. 

More than 7 million Chinese traveled overseas last year during the holiday season.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Assange, Nitrogen, Pensions, Solomon

Assange, Nitrogen, Pensions, Solomon

Paul Gauguin Road in Tahiti 1891

I’m getting pissed off about multiple things right now, too many to make them all separate essays. Let’s give it a combined shot:

In Holland, the talk of the town is nitrogen emissions. I’d never seen it raised as that kind of problem, but there you go. The government last week decided to lower the max speed limit on highways to 100km (66miles) , from 120-130. Their reasoning was that this would allow the building industry to build more -by now hugely overpriced- homes and apartments.

Oh, but agriculture (aka cattle) is responsible for 46% of nitrogen emissions. So they have a plan to alter cattle feed (I am still serious here). I understand that neighbors Germany and Belgium have had nitrogen policies in place for years, so their cars can keep on pedaling to the metal because they don’t have a problem. Huh?

Also in Holland, big discussions about cuts to pensions. Which of course leads to big protests, which in turn makes the government make sure that cuts this year will be minimal. Okay, but how about next year? No comment. Holland is supposed to have one of the best pension systems on the planet, but they don’t get to escape the BIG erosion either.

Aging population, fewer contributors, lower wages, it’s happening everywhere. Our pension systems are Ponzi schemes. Every single penny you give a pensioner today is taken away from one tomorrow. The entire system is broke, we just don’t want to face that simple fact.

15 years ago, pensions systems were required by law to hold only AAA-denominated assets. Look at that today. They all have 7-8% in their prospectus, and bonds pay 1%, if that. Unless you gamble. So they have all moved into equities, which look fine because central banks prop them up, but the model itself has changed like Jekyll becames Hyde.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

An awkward public exchange unfolded between the US military and its closest allied military coalition force during a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday wherein a top British commander in charge of anti-ISIS coalition forces rebuked White House claims on the heightened Iran threat. 

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy head of the US-led coalition, asserted confidently in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon in response to a CNN question. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika during the Pentagon briefing Tuesday. screenshot via OIR/US Army

The British commander’s words prompted a rare and swift rebuke from the US side hours later into the evening when US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued its own statement slamming Gen. Ghika’s words as inaccurate, insisting coalition troops in Iraq and Syria were an a “high level of alert” due to the “Iran threat”. 

“Recent comments from OIR’s deputy commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from US and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region,” the CENTCOM statement said.

“US Central Command, in coordination with OIR, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq.”

It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

Image: It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

(Natural News) Attorney General William Barr held a press conference this morning to address the contents of the Mueller report, just as he promised to do. Not long after, Barr delivered the full Mueller report to the public with necessary redactions, also as promised. And yet the mainstream media, which demanded all of these things and has now received them, still isn’t happy.

In fact, most fake news media pundits are now foaming at the mouth, questioning Barr’s loyalties and accusing him of colluding with President Donald Trump to convey the “spun” message that he’s innocent – which it would seem as though no amount of evidence will ever convince those with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is actually true.

In a nutshell, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whom Leftist Democrats have been hailing for the past two years as their savior and hero who was going to take down Trump, didn’t end up procuring what these Trump haters were wishfully thinking he would. And in response, Trump haters everywhere are reeling with more anger than ever, demanding that Mueller be burned at the stake for failing to prove their deranged conspiracy theories.

CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta about had a coronary in response to Barr’s press conference, accusing Barr of “clearly laying out a sympathetic presentation” of what’s supposedly in the Mueller report. Twenty-twenty presidential hopeful and Leftist Democrat Cory Booker similarly accused Barr of “undermining the independence of this entire process” for his speaking publicly about the Mueller report prior to releasing it.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

CNN And WaPo Demand That Trump Further Escalate Tensions With Russia

CNN And WaPo Demand That Trump Further Escalate Tensions With Russia

CNN has aired a segment in which pundit Fareed Zakaria tells the network’s audience that the US president has “been unwilling to confront Putin in any way on any issue” and asks “will Venezuela be the moment when Trump finally ends his appeasement?”

The segment is a near-verbatim reading of Zakaria’s Washington Post column from a couple of days prior, so that’s two massive prongs through which this false and pernicious narrative is being driven into mainstream consciousness claiming that the Trump administration has been far too dovish toward Moscow, rather than dangerously hawkish as is actually the case.

Zakaria begins his segment by describing the Trump administration’s (completely illegitimate) efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, then describing Russian efforts to counter this agenda as an attempt to “taunt the United States.” He then spends the rest of the segment asking if Trump will be brave and patriotic enough to further escalate tensions against a nuclear superpower. Zakaria concludes by implying that if Trump fails to increase world-threatening nuclear tensions to effect yet another US regime change intervention in yet another oil-rich country, it will be because he is a Kremlin agent.

“The big question for Washington is: Will it allow Moscow to make a mockery of another U.S. red line?” Zakaria said. “The United States and Russia have taken opposing, incompatible stands on this issue. And as with Syria, there is a danger that, if Washington does not back its words with deeds, a year from now, we will be watching the consolidation of the Maduro regime, supported with Russian arms and money.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Screw the Pooch

Screw the Pooch

Jan van Eijk The Arnolfini portrait 1434

I first asked Dr. D. a few years ago if I could turn one one his comments at the Automatic Earth into an essay. The following illustrates why I asked. Not sure he understands why some of his rants stand out while others do not, but they certainly do. Go to the Automatic Earth comments section to figure that one out. He’s there every day.

And you’re free to disagree of course. And I myself am good, have an essay on the same topic waiting but love the view from over there. Nothing not to like.

It USED to be that when a newspaper catastrophically screwed the pooch as we Yanks say, people would cancel their subscription to such a piece of pure, useless, misleading garbage. 

Dr. D.: Legally, the path is pretty clear and incredibly old. It’s always been illegal to slander (in voice) or libel (in print) someone. The Covington kids are following this right now. It’s illegal everywhere, including Britain and New Zealand, and the legal threshold has a couple of bullet points. There has to be provable damage, the facts provided have to wrong, they have to be specific, and so on. Then you sue civilly for compensation in measure with the damage caused. Pretty simple. But if it’s actual libel of the sort anyone actually means, not just “I disagree with you”, then all these elements are absolutely in play. No false accusations, no just getting the facts wrong on accident.

What’s more, the government is never the plaintiff. Although in theory I suppose they could get standing, in practice slander and libel are prosecuted BY private people AGAINST private people, which eliminates a major element of government censorship and repression.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

In an extremely weird article titled “Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials“, CNN reports that Facebook has suspended popular dissident media outlet In The Nowand its allied pages for failing to publicly “disclose” its financial ties to a subsidiary of RT. According to CNN, such disclosures are not and have never been an actual part of Facebook’s official policy, but Facebook has made the exceptional precondition of public disclosure of financial ties in order for In The Now to return to its platform.

I say the article is extremely weird for a number of reasons. Firstly, according to In The Now CEO Anissa Naouai, CNN knew that Facebook was going to be suspending the pages of her company Maffick Media before she did, suggesting a creepy degree of coordination between the two massive outlets to silence an alternative media platform. Secondly, the article reports that CNN found out about Maffick’s financial ties thanks to a tip-off from the German Marshall Fund, a narrative control firm which receives funding from the US government. In The Now‘s Rania Khalek has described this tactic as “a case where the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world.”

Thirdly, and in my opinion weirdest of all, the article goes to great lengths to make the fact that a dissident media outlet supports the same foreign policy positions as Russia look like something strange and nefarious, instead of the normal and obvious thing that it is.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

CNN GOES ‘UNDERCOVER’ TO MANUFACTURE CONSENT FOR COUP ATTEMPT IN VENEZUELA

CNN GOES ‘UNDERCOVER’ TO MANUFACTURE CONSENT FOR COUP ATTEMPT IN VENEZUELA

A CNN “exclusive” report from inside Venezuela aired multiple times on the network on January 28. It is a prime example of how influential media outlets in the U.S. effectively create propaganda for the opposition, which now is receiving funds from President Donald Trump’s administration.

For the four-minute report, CNN correspondent Nick Paton Walsh went “undercover” amidst what the network described as the “deepening crisis in Venezuela” in order “to capture the desperation gripping the nation.”

The segment highlighted hyperinflation at grocery chains, Venezuelans lined up in queues for fuel and food, particularly in Caracas, and opposition demonstrations on January 23, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president of the country.

“This was the day when change was meant to come,” Walsh stated.

It suggested President Nicolas Maduro’s government has given “handouts” to Venezuelans for years to buy their loyalty, but now “handouts” are no longer enough. Opponents like to equate social programs to “handouts” because corporate elites favor de-nationalization and privatization of services.

Walsh interviewed a rank-and-file officer in the Venezuela military and granted him anonymity. The officer stated, “I would say 80 percent of soldiers are against the government. Some even go to demonstrations. But the big fishes, the senior officers, are the ones eating, getting rich while the bottom we have it hard.”

Video showed the opposition throwing stones at a military airfield in a standoff that apparently has lasted “for months.” One part of the barricade was on fire.

Sitting with his back against what appeared to be a concrete barricade, like he was part of the opposition hurling objects, Walsh declared, “They may be throwing stones here, but what they really need is the army to switch sides.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New York Times Becomes Really A Puppet of the Deep State?

This entire affair of desperately trying to paint Trump in league with Putin to defeat Hillary is beyond any comprehension.  Not a single left-wing press from the New York Times to CNN will ever report the truth that the release of Hillary’s emails NEVER involved altered or forged documents. They were all REAL! So this entire conspiracy they are so desperate to create against Trump is astonishing. I would agree if there was any proof that the release of the emails was a fraud or fake and they traced to Putin. To paint Trump in a conspiracy for releasing emails that exposed the truth behind Hillary should warrant us sending a thank you card to Putin if he was ever actually involved.

I cannot imagine how unethical and intentionally misleading the New York Times actions were by reporting their latest questionable piece with a bold headline: F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.” They claimed that after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the feds began investigating whether the President was an intelligence threat. This simply says that some people in the FBI tried to use their power to investigate and were most likely politically motivated. They did not claim Trump was such an agent, only that they investigated to see if he was. This suspicion of an anti-Trump political member of the FBI in the Deep State and then told the New York Times emerged after Trump complained about Comey to Russian diplomats and then told NBC’s Lester Holt that he had the “Russia thing” in mind when he axed the director. Even the Russian Dossiers on Trump ended up being funded by Hillary to smear her opponent.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

A wise decision is greeted by denunciations, obstructionism, imperial thinking, and more Russia-bashing.

Prisoner for Free Speech: the Relentless Pursuit of Julian Assange

Prisoner for Free Speech: the Relentless Pursuit of Julian Assange

CNN correspondent Jim Acosta returned to the White House on 17 November, a few days after a US judge had forced President Donald Trump to reverse the revocation of his press pass. Smiling before 50 or more photographers and cameramen, Acosta said triumphantly: ‘This was a test and I think we passed the test. Journalists need to know that in this country their First Amendment rights of freedom of the press are sacred, they’re protected in our constitution. Throughout all of this I was confident and I thought that … our rights would be protected as we continue to cover our government and hold our leaders accountable.’ Fade-out, happy ending.

Julian Assange probably did not watch the moving conclusion of this story live on CNN. He sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London six years ago, and his life there has become that of a prisoner: he cannot go outside for fear of being arrested by the British police, then probably extradited to the US; his access to communications is limited and he has been harassed repeatedly since Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, decided to please the US and make conditions less comfortable for his ‘guest’.

The reason for his detention, and the threat of several decades in prison in the US (in 2010 Trump wanted him executed), is his WikiLeaks website which has been behind the major revelations that have inconvenienced the world’s powerful over the last decade: photographic evidence of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, US industrial espionage, secret bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. The dictatorship of former Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was shaken by the leaking of a US State Department cable that referred to this kleptocracy, a US ally, as a ‘sclerotic regime’ and ‘quasi-mafia’.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

CNN’s “Journalist Of The Year” Committed Journalistic Fraud “On A Grand Scale” At Der Spiegel

German news magazine Der Spiegel has admitted that one of its top reporters has faked stories for several years.

Award-winning journalist Claas Relotius had “made up stories and invented protagonists” in approximately 14 out of 60 articles which appeared both in print and online editions. He had worked for Der Spiegel for seven years, winning numerous awards for his investigative journalism – including CNN’s Journalist of the Year award in 2014, according to the Guardian.

Relotius, 33, tendered his resignation after admitting to the fraud.

Earlier this month Relotius won Germany’s Reporter of the Year (Reporterpreis) honor for his story about a young Syrian boy. Since the report was written, it has emerged that all of the sources were hazy at best, and most of what he wrote was completely fabricated.


Claas Relotius: Er hat sein Talent missbraucht http://to.welt.de/aU8k3UM


The falsification came to light after a colleague who worked with him on a story along the US-Mexican border raised suspicions about some of the details in Relotius’s reporting, having harboured doubts about him for some time.

The colleague, Juan Moreno, eventually tracked down two alleged sources quoted extensively by Relotius in the article, which was published in November. Both said they had never met Relotius. Relotius had also lied about seeing a hand-painted sign that read “Mexicans keep out”, a subsequent investigation found.

Other fraudulent stories included one about a Yemeni prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, and one about the American football star Colin Kaepernick. –Guardian

The Spiegel – which has an online readership of over 6.5 million and sells around 725,000 print copies per month, admitted to the fraud in a lengthy article in which they said they were “shocked” by the discovery – apologizing for anyone deceived by Relotius’s “fraudulent quotes, made-up personal details or invented scenes at fictitious places.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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