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How NATO-Member Turkey Reverted Back To Being An Islamic Dictatorship

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How NATO-Member Turkey Reverted Back To Being An Islamic Dictatorship Tyler Durden Mon, 07/20/2020 - 02:00

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The gradual process of Turkey’s becoming an Islamic sharia-law country, again, is no longer so gradual. It has taken a sudden and sharp rightward turn, into Islamic-nationhood. Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, which had been “the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520,” has now been officially declared by the Turkish Government to be, instead, a mosque.

On July 10th, the BBC bannered “Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque” and reported that the biggest, oldest, and the most important, cathedral in all of Orthodox Christendom — and the world’s most important Byzantine building, which was constructed as the Saint Sophia Cathedral by the Byzantine Roman Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the year 537, and which stands on the site that had been consecrated in the year 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine (and which cathedral was relabelled the Hagia Sophia “museum” in 1935 by Turkey’s Constitutionally secularist Government) — has now become, officially, at last, designated, by the restored Islamic Government of Turkey, a Muslim house of worship, a mosque, a Muslim house of worship.

This signals the end of Turkey’s being ruled by a secular Government, which it had been, ever since 1923. It is the end of Turkey’s secular Government and the restoration of the Islamic Mehmed the Conqueror’s 1453 order that it be a mosque. That ended the Byzantine Roman Catholic Empire, and started Islamic-ruled Turkey. It ended Constantinople and started Istanbul. Mehmet, however, allowed Christianity to continue, in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, but only as an accepted part of the Greek East (“Orthodox”), not as part of the Roman West (imperialistic), Christianity (which he had just then conquered with the fall of Constantinople on that same date, 29 May 1453). And now, even the Orthodox Christians are being marginalized in Turkey, because the Hagia Sophia had been “for almost 1,000 years the most important Orthodox cathedral.”

This is an act with huge international implications. It is an important event in human history.

Turkey’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose entire actual education was only in Islamic schools though he lies about it and claims to have received a degree from a non-Islamic university, is in the process of transforming Turkey back again into a specifically Islamic type of dictatorship, a Sharia-law-ruled state. The secularist Turkish Republic that was instituted in 1923 by the Enlightenment-inspired Kemal Attaturk has now decisively ended. The widespread speculations that Erdogan has been aiming to restore Turkey to being the imperial nation and ruler of a restored Islamic Ottoman Empire are now decisively confirmed by this brazen act of insult to Orthodox Christians, and even to Roman Christians, because — as Wikipedia notes — “Justinian has sometimes been known as the ‘Last Roman’ in mid-20th century historiography.” The Orthodox Church in America titles him as “Saint Justinian The Emperor”. However, Wikipedia also notes that Constantine XI Palaiologos, who was killed by Mehmet’s forces on that date, 29 May 1453, was actually the last Roman Emperor. That ended the Roman Empire.

In other words: the Turkish Government’s official change of Saint Sophia Cathedral, which Justinian had created in 537, into now and henceforth a mosque, is a taking ownership of, and a Turkish-Muslim declaration of supremacy over, a different religion’s main house of worship. It’s a historical dagger into the heart of Orthodox Christianity, as well as being an insult to Roman Christianity.

This is not merely an isolated act, either; it is, instead, something to which Erdogan has long been building. Erdogan’s grab of land from secularist-ruled (committedly anti-sectarian) Syria, and his recent sending of troops to help conquer the formerly secularist Libya, which land had been turned into a hellish civil war by a U.S.-and-allied invasion in 2011 and which chaos there continues to this day, all are consistent with an understanding of Erdogan in which his foremost objective is a restoration of the Ottoman Empire. And the U.S. Government has supported this objective of his (but only as Turkey being a branch of the U.S. empire), and tried to get the EU to accept it.

The question now — since the United States Government has been pushing against European resistance to accepting a military alliance with an Islamic dictatorship — is whether continuation of the NATO alliance will be ended because of the path that Erdogan and the United States Government have jointly been taking to re-impose a decidedly Sunni Islamic dictatorship upon Turkey (by means of which, Turkey will serve as a wedge against both Shiite controlled Iran, and an increasingly Orthodox-dominated Russia). However, there has been a split between Erdogan and the U.S. regime, because he does not intend his restored Ottoman empire to be a part of the U.S. or any other empire. Erdogan’s independent streak is what now threatens to break-up the Western Alliance — the U.S. empire (which is actually the Rhodesist UK-U.S. empire).

The United States Government has been preferring Erdogan’s former political partner but now enemy, Erdogan’s fellow Sunni Islamist Fethullah Gulen, who cooperates with the U.S. and is a CIA protégé (including rabidly against Shiite Iran and against Iran’s main ally Russia). Gulen is passionately endorsed by America’s aristocracy. The U.S. regime has been preferring Gulen to impose this transformation of Turkey into an Islamic U.S. satellite, because Gulen models his operation (and he has even described it in remarkable detail) upon U.S. and UK ‘intelligence’ practices (CIA & MI6), whereas Erdogan has insisted upon an independent Turkey with its own nationalistic ‘intelligence’ organization — a nationalistically transformed version of Turkey’s existing MIT or National Intelligence Organization — an ‘intelligence’ organization that’s cleansed of what the CIA praises as “Gulen is interested in slow and deep social change, including secular higher education; Erdogan as a party leader is first and foremost interested in preserving his party’s power, operating in a populist manner, trying to raise the general welfare.” (The CIA actually knows that this has nothing whatsoever to do with “trying to raise the general welfare” — the U.S. regime’s goal is to extend everywhere the U.S. empire, and Erdogan’s Turkish regime has that same goal for the Turkish empire, which doesn’t yet even exist, though it once did as the Ottoman Empire, and he wants to restore it.) Erdogan insists upon Turkey’s not being merely a vassal-state or colony within a foreign-led empire, but instead the leading nation of its own empire, starting perhaps with gobbling up Syria and Libya, but extending ultimately more globally. There is a soundly documented article titled “Why Are Gulenists Hostile Toward Iran?” and it provides much of the reason why the CIA supports Gulen (they do largely because Erdogan isn’t so obsessive against Iran — which country America’s aristocracy crave to conquer again, as they had done in 1953, and Erdogan doesn’t support that as passionately as they require).

The question now for Europe is whether it wants to be again a participant in various aristocracies’, and clergies’, imperialistic designs, or instead to declare itself finally non-aligned and to lead thereby a new global non-aligned movement, not militaristically, but instead by providing, to the entire world, an anti-imperialistic and truly democratic model, a re-start and replacement of today’s United Nations, and one that will reflect what had been Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s anti-imperialist intention, and not Harry S. Truman’s American-imperialist intention — a start from scratch that has FDR’s statements to guide it, and not Truman’s actions to guide it (such as has been the case). Perhaps even the U.S., NYC-based, U.N. would ultimately sign onto that new international global federation; but the only basis upon which nations in the old U.N. should be accepted into its successor would be if the old U.N. were gradually to dissolve itself as its individual nations would, each on its own, sign onto the new one. Ultimately, this option must be made available to all Governments, to choose to either continue in Truman’s U.N., or else join instead a new, and authentically FDR-based, authentically anti-imperialistic, replacement of it.

That is what this dictatorial Islamization of Turkey is really all about, and only Europe can make the decision — no other land can. However, such a decision will only fail if any such organization as a new U.N. is to be at all involved in the particular national issues that now are so clearly coming to the fore in the transformation of Turkey into a Sunni Islamist dictatorship.

The “international community” should have no say in Turkey’s intranational (or “domestic”) affairs — regardless of whether Turkey is in or out of Europe. Sectarian and nationalistic concerns cannot rule in the formation of any authentically democratic new international order — an authentically non-imperialistic international order. All such concerns, domestic concerns, must be strictly the domain of the authority and power of each one of the individual constituent units, each individual national Government itself controlling its own internal affairs. FDR was adamant about that. He was insistent that the U.N. not get involved in individual nations’ internal affairs. The profoundly anti-FDR, “Responsibility to Protect” idea (which now has even acquired the status of being represented by an acronym “R2P” catch-phrase), has increasingly arisen recently to become a guiding principle of international relations, and must be soundly and uncompromisingly rejected in the formulation and formation of any replacement-organization — any authentically democratic international federation of nations. Otherwise, everything would be futile, and there will be a WWIII. We are heading in exactly the opposite direction from that which FDR had intended — which was to prevent any Third World War.

This decision will be made by the individual nations of Europe. Only they collectively hold this power. They will be able to exercise it only if they will terminate their alliances outside of Europe, and proceed forward no longer bound by external alliances, but instead become a free and independent European federation of European states. Only they, collectively, will be able to make this decision, as Europeans, for the entire world, regarding what the world’s future will be. And only they will hold the ultimate responsibility — and it’s NOT the “responsibility to protect”. It is instead the responsibility to protect the future of the entire world. It’s the responsibility to protect a future for the world. And if Europe fails it, then the world will inevitably move forward to WWIII, as it is doing. A new international order is needed, and only Europe can lead it, if Europe will.

In order for Europe to do that, Europe must first define itself. Is Turkey part of Europe? Is Russia? What is Europe? If Europeans won’t be able to agree on that, then the world will continue to move forward towards WWIII, because the world will then have no center, it will continue to have only contending empires — exactly what FDR had aimed to prevent.

Europe is the key. But will Europe’s leaders place the key in the lock, and open, finally, the door to a non-imperialistic world? The present, U.S.-empire-aligned, Europe, won’t do that. Turkey’s action on the Hagia Sophia, which is an insult to all Christians, and especially to Orthodox ones, might finally force the issue — and its solution.

Other than that, however, the official designation of the Hagia Sophia as being a mosque is entirely a domestic, Turkish, matter.

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98 days ago
One of the distinguishing features of ancient history are the conflicts over religious artifacts and/or locations of religious significance. My personal feeling is that, excepting a few rhetoricians, we've moved on. Let's hope so.
New Hampshire
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American Judge Says He Is "Tentatively Inclined" To Reject Bayer's Monsanto Settlement

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American Judge Says He Is "Tentatively Inclined" To Reject Bayer's Monsanto Settlement Tyler Durden Tue, 07/07/2020 - 07:45

As the EU's antitrust regulator announces another round of sweeping antitrust investigations into the big US tech behemoths. an American judge is apparently making noises about throwing out a major settlement involving German multinational pharma conglomerate Bayer. According to the settlement, which we reported on a few weeks ago when it was first announced, Bayer had agreed to pay $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought against it over its purchase of Monsanto, the American agrichemical giant that's best known for producing Roundup weed killer.

The lawsuits stemmed from evidence that glyphosate, one of the primary ingredients of Monsanto's Roundup, is actually carcinogenic. Which means that by marketing Roundup into ubiquity, even pairing it with genetically modified crop seeds allowing farmers to spray the stuff then simply forget about it since it wouldn't harm the crops.

A landmark California Court ruling handed down in 2017 found Bayer liable for the plaintiffs' cancers, since it now owned Monsanto. The mountain of litigation has weighed on Bayer's share price ever since, making the Monsanto acquisition one of the biggest blunders in the history of the storied German firm. The two sides have been in negotiations virtually ever since, until two weeks ago, when a majority of the plaintiffs agreed to a $10 billion settlement.

BBG News:

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria wrote in a court filing Monday that a proposed system for dealing with future lawsuits over the herbicide is problematic. Shares of Bayer, which inherited the weedkiller through its purchase of Monsanto, fell as much as 6.9% in Frankfurt, the most intraday since March 23.

The judge’s misgivings center on a plan to create a class of future claims as part of the nearly $11 billion settlement. Any change to that portion of the proposal wouldn’t necessarily affect the rest of the deal, in which the company agreed to resolve about 125,000 existing lawsuits.

About 30,000 claims, contending that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, are not yet subject to deals between plaintiffs and Bayer. Some U.S. plaintiffs’ lawyers are vowing to file another wave of new suits that could add tens of thousands to that total.

Chhabria set a July 24 hearing to consider the class-action proposal, which he said he’s “tentatively inclined” to reject. That portion of the plan would establish a scientific panel to determine whether Roundup’s active ingredient causes cancer, while still potentially allowing users of the herbicide to press claims.

However, a minority of plaintiffs and their lawyers held out for a better deal, arguing that the $10BN settlement would preclude other victims from seeking compensation in the future. And now, apparently, a US judge agrees, and in an opinion filed on Monday, he is hinting at the possibility of striking down the proposed settlement, and forcing the two sides to start afresh.

During the next round of talks, the plaintiffs would have much more leverage over Bayer, and would likely be able to negotiate a much more generous settlement.

That's bad news for Bayer shareholders, as one analyst explained to Bloomberg.

The judge’s filing reinforces concerns from investors that Bayer’s Roundup deal isn’t enough to get it beyond the mountain of litigation, Alistair Campbell, an analyst at Liberum Capital, said in a note. While Bayer’s market valuation is “deeply discounted” right now, that situation probably won’t change until the company can convince the market that it’s finally resolved the Roundup legal headache.

It's also a long-overdue move by an American court to hold a European company accountable for alleged abuses perpetrated in the US, after the EU has spent so much time nitpicking every little violation committed by Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet.

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111 days ago
Is it any coincidence that Bayer is also the company that brought society heroin?
New Hampshire
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One Gen Z'er Dares To Speak Out: "I'm Done With Your Bull$hit!"

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One Gen Z'er Dares To Speak Out: "I'm Done With Your Bull$hit!" Tyler Durden Tue, 06/23/2020 - 15:45

"Everything" summed up in less than one minute...

How long before this brave Gen Z'er is #cancelled?

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125 days ago
If she's so smart, why is she letting her opinions known on the interwebs?
New Hampshire
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When Will US Shale Rebound To Pre-Pandemic Levels?

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When Will US Shale Rebound To Pre-Pandemic Levels? Tyler Durden Thu, 06/18/2020 - 13:00

Authored by Nick Cunningham via,

The rebalancing of the oil market has been possible, in part, due to the sharp cutbacks in U.S. shale production. But what happens next for the industry? 

The latest data from the EIA estimates that production plunged by a colossal 600,000 bpd in the week ending on June 12, a massive decline that puts output down more than 2.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) from the weekly peak hit in mid-March (to be sure, monthly EIA data shows the U.S. hit a slightly lower peak in November 2019).

At the same time, the industry is bringing shuttered production back online. Reuters says that 500,000 bpd of shut-in production could be restored by the end of June. For instance, Devon Energy shut in about 10,000 bpd in recent weeks, but is “in the process of bringing all of that back on,” Devon Energy CEO David Hager said at a JPMorgan conference on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Analysts have varying perspectives on what happens next for shale drilling. According to Morgan Stanley, the industry will proceed in three phases. First, shut-in wells come back online. Then production stabilizes, but an average of $40 per barrel will be needed for that to occur. Finally, production growth resumes, assuming prices move back up to $50 per barrel. 

However, there is “little room for US production to grow this year or next,” Morgan Stanley cautioned, noting that if output began to rise, it would merely derail the oil price rally. The capex cuts announced to date should translate into production declines of 1.8-1.9 million barrels per day by the end of 2020, compared to the end of 2019. 

The bank said that the shale industry will need two years or so of WTI averaging at least $50 per barrel in order for shale output to rebound to pre-Covid 19 levels.

“Some level of growth would likely come back quickly in the first year, and moderate thereafter without higher investment due to the reversal of temporary cost reductions, depletion of drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) well inventory, and rising base declines,” the bank concluded. 

JBC Energy forecasts WTI averaging $40 per barrel for the rest of the year.

“Under this assumption we see completed wells having reached their nadir of below 200 in May with a gradual recovery to 700 by the end of the year and 1,000 by end-2021,” the firm wrote in a note. 

If prices actually averaged between $45 and $50 per barrel, which would require better compliance from OPEC+ to their cuts, then it would be a “turning point” for U.S. shale, the firm argued. Shale output would reach an “inflection point” in November 2020, and see a “swift recovery thereafter,” JBC said. A year later, U.S. shale output would be back to pre-pandemic levels.

That is a more optimistic scenario. JBC’s base case calls for U.S. shale to take until September 2023 to return to peak production levels last seen earlier this year. But “[c]onsidering current sentiment…we would tend to see the risk to our shale supply base case skewed to the upside,” JBC wrote. 

Others are more pessimistic, noting that both oil and broader financial markets are getting a little frothy. “[T]he rally across commodities has gotten ahead of fundamentals with the exception of metals,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a June 9 report. 

They are not alone. “We think the oil market is not currently pricing in a significant probability of either second waves of coronavirus cases in key consumers and the associated lock-downs, or anything less than a rapid return to economic business-as-usual,” Standard Chartered wrote in a June 16 report. “We think this absence of shades of grey represents a downside risk to prices medium-term, but short-term, unnuanced hope is proving to be a powerful force supporting prices.”

The bank went on to criticize media representations of the oil market as “tight,” adding that “[w]e do not think a market with more than a billion barrels of excess inventories and more than 10 million barrels per day (mb/d) of spare capacity in OPEC+ can be described as tight.” While global supply may fall below demand in the coming months, it would take roughly two years to bring inventories back to the five-year average, the bank noted. 

Meanwhile, many U.S. shale companies are drowning in debt. Just a few days ago, Extraction Oil & Gas, a large shale driller in Colorado, declared bankruptcy. Chesapeake Energy, which arguably best represents the debt-driven shale bonanza, is expected to file for bankruptcy any day now. The Chapter 11s, and even the “Chapter 22s” – a nickname for those that are set to declare bankruptcy for the second time – are expected to continue to rise. 

All the while, steep decline rates will likely more than overwhelm any new drilling that takes place. Oil prices have bounced off of April lows, but U.S. shale is far from a comeback. 

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130 days ago
Probably never, production costs were always too high and never properly covered disposal costs of material.
New Hampshire
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Has President Trump Figured Out That Anthony Fauci Is A Con Man?

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Has President Trump Figured Out That Anthony Fauci Is A Con Man? Tyler Durden Thu, 05/14/2020 - 16:45

Authored by David Stockman via Economic Policy Journal,

If you don’t think the fix is in, please take note of the big news of the morning. Namely, that the allegedly ultra-busy Dr. Fauci had time last evening to ping Sheryl Gay Stolberg, correspondent for the “failing New York Times”, in order to dump a VLCC size tanker- load of cold water on the urgent need to end Lockdown Nation, now. 

In a nanosecond, of course, Stolberg was on Twitter and on-line with Fauci’s stern admonition to the restless natives of Flyover America to shut-up and stay put. That way the entire MSM had plenty of time to crank-up a feverish barrage of messaging during Fauci’s actual Senate appearance as to how Red State governors are jumping the gun and putting life and limp in danger throughout the country: 

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote in the email, which Stolberg posted on Twitter. 

“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal,” wrote Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

For god’s sake, WAKE UP, Donald! 

The mad doctor’s plot against you (and the American people) is being played out right in public by a camarilla of wanna be public health rulers and their compliant media megaphones, who presume to control all that moves and all that stands still in America. 

But for crying out loud, where does this supercilious old geezer come up with “needless suffering and death” if American workers, students, shoppers and consumers are let out of house arrest? 

Were not Friday’s catastrophic employment numbers a sufficient wake-up call? 

The chart below shows 70 years of monthly change in total US employment. How damn stupid does someone have to be to not recognize that Lockdown Nation has caused the US economy to plunge into such unfathomably deep waters that they have never before even been imagined. 

The deepest monthly drop we can find over seven decades is the 1.2 million job loss at the very darkest bottom of the Great Recession in January 2009. But what the Donald’s malpracticing doctors triggered last month was 19X deeper at 22. 4 million.

And they caused this to happen in the context of a wizened business cycle that is off-the- charts 130 months old, and barnacled with debt, malinvestment and speculative excess like never before. 

For instance, the current $75 trillion of debt weighing down the US economy is up from an already crushing $52 trillion on the eve of the 2008 finical crisis, and now the butcher’s bill is coming due.

Source: Guggenheim Investments, Haver Analytics. Data as of 12.31.2019. 

So what Fauci and the Virus Patrol have decided to stop dead in the water is a badly crippled, hand-to-mouth economy in which the overwhelming share of households and small businesses have no material rainy day funds, no cash reserves and no balance sheet resilience. 

In medical terms, the US economy has virtually no antibodies to fight back. Infect it with a massive, sudden loss of incomes and cash flow and you are virtually inviting a pandemic of cancelled orders, ballooning payables, missed rents, credit delinquencies and soaring defaults that will surely ravage America’s body economic in the weeks and months ahead. 

So, perforce, we must ask again, for what? 

But at least at today’s Senate hearing, the one man in Washington who still has his head screwed on right, Senator Rand Paul, put it right in Fauci semi-quarantined face. 

In a word, said the intrepid Senator from Kentucky, where’s the Bubonic Plague? 

“The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction... 

As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end all, I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision,” said Paul – who added that we need to “observe with an open eye what happened in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school.” 

“The mortality per capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as Switzerland. But basically I don’t think there’s anybody arguing that what happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued by it, and we should be.” 

“I don’t think any of us are certain when we do all these modelings – there have been more people wrong with modeling than right. We’re opening up a lot of economies around the US, and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying ‘oh, we can’t do this, there’s going to be a surge’ – will admit when there isn’t a surge.” 


Yet with what mendacious malarkey did Fauci counter Senator Paul’s truth?

Why, with an absolute red herring about an ultra-rare childhood disease called Kawasaki Syndrome, which been around since 1968 and that has been mooted as potentially present in a handful of Covid cases in, well, New York (where else?). 

Said Fauci, 

For example, right now children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are not immune to the deleterious effects. 

Oh, really? 

If your purpose is to scare the sh*t out of the the American public and spread hysteria like its Salem, MA circa 1692, you couldn’t have given Senator Paul a more loaded answer. 

So here are the actual facts about Covid and kids from the CDC own inflated body counts. 

To wit, there are 60.9 million children under 15 years in America, and unfortunately, during the period between February 1 and May 2, about 5,880 of them suffered an untimely death. Yet by the CDC’s own expansive definitions, only 13 of these deaths were WITH Covid-19. 

That’s right. During the past three months of national Covid Hysteria, the deaths WITH Covid among children amounted to just 0.22% of all child mortalities, and, well, 0.00002% of the under 15-years population. 

And if you want to be expansive and count all the school-age “kids” through 24 years in America, there are 103.9 million, which would otherwise make them the 15th largest nation on planet earth. 

Yet there have been only 79 WITH Covid deaths through May 2nd, which, again, amounts to just 0.62% of all deaths under age 25 and 0.0001% of the total population. 

Moreover, Dr. Fauci’s waving the Kawasaki Syndrome red flag is outrageously inexcusable because it is a well recognized and studied affliction, albeit exceedingly rare, among children 5 years and younger, which according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), presents almost exactly like flu or Covid-19 among adults: 

In many affected children, the initial symptom associated with Kawasaki disease is a high fever that typically rises and falls (remittent fever) and lasts for approximately one to two weeks without treatment...I.n many cases, affected children may have additional symptoms and findings, such as irritability, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or joint inflammation (arthritis), pain, and swelling. 

Although the exact cause of Kawasaki disease is not known, evidence indicates an infection or an inappropriate immune response to infection. However, despite much research in this area, a specific infectious cause has not been identified.... 

Kawasaki disease most frequently affects children five years of age or younger. In extremely rare cases, Kawasaki disease may occur during adolescence or adulthood. First reported in Japanese children in the 1960s, the disease is now recognized worldwide and occurs in individuals in all racial and ethnic groups. However, Kawasaki disease appears to affect Asian children most frequently. Estimates indicate that at least 3,000 cases of Kawasaki disease are diagnosed each year in the United States.

That’s right. This is an unfortunate childhood disease with 3,000 annual cases, which has long been on the radar screen of the NORD, and which, now also has numerous effective treatment protocols, and is almost never fatal. 

Yet the sainted Dr. Fauci found it necessary to ignore all of this and duck Rand Paul’s succinct evisceration of his entire Lockdown Nation fiasco by resort to rank demagoguery. 

Unfortunately, the doctors plot against freedom and sanity in America has generated such an acute Covid-Hysteria, per Fauci’s deplorable performance today, that it is turning much of America into a flock of supine, mask-wearing sheeples. 

After all, when you have a governor solemnly pronouncing on his daily Covid-cast (virtually every Dem governor in America has a daily Covid Realty TV show), as did the idiotic governor of Illinois, Jay Pritzker, that no more than two-people may ride in one boat, no matter how large the boat and how extended the family, then where is the tar and feathering party? 

That’s what should have happened to Pritzker in a heartbeat when he recently extended Illinois’ brutal Lockdown to the end of June. 

Here’s why. As of May 8, fully 48% of all WITH Covid deaths reported in Illinois have been among nursing home and long-term care facility residents. That is, the very old and frail, who more often than not have life-threatening comorbidities of the very type the coronavirus pounces upon.

Indeed, in many counties in Illinois per the adjacent map, 60%, 80% and even 100% of the deaths have been in nursing/retirement homes. 

So why lockdown the entire state? In fact, when you remove the long-term care cases from the total, the statistics could not be more dispositive. 

To wit, there are about 100,000 residents of long-terms care facilities in the state and there have been 1,553 WITH Covid deaths among them. 

The implied IFR (Infected fatality rate) is thus 1500 per 100,000; and just one more proof as to why the war on Covid should have been concentrated on the nursing homes. 

By contrast, there have been just 1,688 WITH Covid deaths in Illinois outside of long- term care facilities among an non-institutionalized population of 12.570 million. 

Needless to say, the implied IFR of 13 per 100,000 in no way, shape or form justifies ordering no more than 2 people per boat on Lake Michigan, the shuttering of almost all businesses involved in social congregation, and the continued house arrest of most of the state’s population. 

In fact, the utter irrationality of the Pritzker Lockdown, which is similar to that being still imposed in most Blue States in America, is underscored by the map above, as well as the state’s basic mortality statistics. 

The entire state remains in Lockdown per the governor’s order, but it is self evident that outside of Chicago and so-called “collar counties” which surround it, there have been virtually no WITH Covid deaths at all outside of long-term care homes. 

Likewise, the 13 per 100,000 IFR among the states population at large is a tiny rounding error compared to the state’s normal annual mortality rate of 870 per 100,000. 

That’s right. In response to a death factor equal to just 1.5% of normal mortalities, the governor has essentially incarcerated the state’s economy and thrown away the key. 

But this is surely the Demagoguery of Death gone haywire. After all, every year in the state of Illinois, there are more than 110,000 deaths with fatality rates per 100,000 as follows: 

  • Heart disease: 203; 

  • Cancer: 188; 

  • Accidents: 47; 

  • Strokes: 46; 

  • Lower respiratory: 45; 

  • Alzheimer: 32; 

  • Diabetes: 23; 

  • Kidney diseases: 21; 

  • Influenza/pneumonia: 20; 

  • COVID-19: 13 

There you have it. By any stretch of even public health considerations viewed in splendid isolation, Lockdown Nation is an exercise in sheer irrationality and hysteria. 

Moreover, what has made the economic calamity even minimally tolerable to date is the even more calamitous Fiscal Eruption which has been unleashed in Washington, and which we will essay in greater detail in Part 3. 

So far, it has helped to make-up a high percentage of lost income and cash flow in the household and business sectors, respectively, but at a long-run price that is frightening to consider; and which cannot possibly be sustained even a few months longer. 

Suffice it here to say that Uncle Sam already plans to issue $5 trillion of debt during the current fiscal year alone, which is rank insanity. 

Yet the Dems this very day tabled a third Everything Bailout with a price tag of $3 trillion—on top of the $3 trillion that has already been dropped into every nook and cranny of both Wall Street and main street alike.

Of course, all of this is being made possible by the red hot printing presses at the Fed. 

But, really, why in the world does anyone think that you can go from a balance sheet of $3.76 trillion last September 4, to $4.24 trillion by March 4, and then to $6.72 trillion in the week ended on May 6, and do so with impunity? 

Yes, these fools have printed $3 trillion of fiat credit in the last eight months! 

Needless to say, there is now brewing a speculative bubble like never, ever before, and when it blows the fallout will be horrible to behold.

To be sure, the Fed’s abject lunacy has kept the robo-machines and day-traders in the business of buying-the-dips, even as the US economy slides into a veritable conflagration that may chop-off more than 30% of the GDP at an annual rate during the current quarter. 

So what we have is the S&P 500 up nearly 33% from the March 19 low, while marching in lockstep with the greatest and most rapid explosion of unemployment and economic collapse in recorded history during the last two months. 

During the last three days, the averages finally rolled-over. Perhaps even the robo-machines have had enough.

Oh, yes, when and as Lockdown Nation is finally lifted, what lies in store is the next quasi-Orwellian phase of this madness - massive testing, contact tracing, immunity passports and forced quarantine of the allegedly infected. 

We can surely hope that human nature and pro-liberty lawyers from both the left and right will eventually secure from the courts a constitutional kabash on the Virus Patrols. But in the interim, the very economic foundation upon which American liberty and self- government rests is being imperiled like never before. 

As we said at the beginning, WAKE-UP, Donald! 

Your malpracticing doctors are plotting your and our demise.

*  *  *

It would appear,  as TargetLiberty's Robert Wenzel notes, that President Trump is indeed waking up to that fact as on Wednesday, the president said that his COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci wants to “play all sides of the equation.”

The president was asked about Fauci’s testimony in front of a Senate Health Committee on Tuesday where he said that opening up the country too soon from lockdown could result in unnecessary deaths and that it was unlikely schools could be safely opened in September.

“I was surprised by his answer,” Trump said.

“To me, it’s not an acceptable answer especially when it comes to schools.”

“He wants to play all sides of the equation,” he told reporters in the Oval Office.

Has Trump figured out that Fauci is a snake? We can only hope.

Trump also needs to understand that the Democrats are pushing for an extension of the federal law that provides a $600-a-week supplement to jobless workers. The program currently expires on July 31. House Democrats want to push that the supplements into early 2021.

But the program actually would incentivize non-work and the continued destruction of the economy.

Many workers get more from unemployment payments, with the supplemental $600 per week than they were receiving from wages. They have no incentive to go back to work as long as they are getting a combination of state unemployment checks and the Federal supplement.

If Trump supports this along with any other bailouts, he is undermining the recovery of the economy before election day.

If the bailouts stop, those who would get squeezed would put enormous pressure on state and city authorities to open the economy back up.

To repeat, Trump's bailouts are supporting the collapse of the economy that will make him look weak going into the election. He needs to stop all of them immediately. The end of the lockdowns would soon follow and the country would be back to work by the end of the summer.

*  *  *

Read more of Stockman's analysis here.

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165 days ago
This guy. Jeez.
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The Fed's Balance Sheet Will Expand By 38% Of GDP, More Than Double QE1, 2 And 3 Combined

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The Fed's Balance Sheet Will Expand By 38% Of GDP, More Than Double QE1, 2 And 3 Combined

Authored by Chetan Ahya, chief Morgan Stanley economist and global head of economics

The 1Q GDP data releases for the US and euro area this week provide official confirmation of what we have known for some time – the recession has started. However, we remain of the view that this downturn will be sharper but shorter than the GFC.

To begin with, the trigger for this recession is an exogenous shock in the form of a public health crisis, rather than the classic, endogenous adjustment triggered by rising imbalances. This also did not start out as a financial crisis, and the banking system is in better shape today than prior to the GFC. Moreover, this recession has prompted the most coordinated and aggressive monetary and fiscal easing that we have witnessed in modern times. For the G4 and China combined, fiscal deficits as a percentage of GDP will be 1.5 times GFC levels. Similarly, G4 central banks are aggressively expanding their balance sheets. The Fed’s balance sheet will expand by 38 percentage points of GDP, more than the 20 percentage points during QE1, 2 and 3 combined.

Hence, while global growth will trough at -7.5%Y in 2Q20 on our estimates (far below the -2.4%Y in 1Q09), global and DM output will reach pre-recession levels in four and eight quarters, respectively, as compared with six and fourteen quarters during the GFC.

A number of the high-frequency indicators we track suggest that the global economy is in the process of bottoming out. Consumers’ future expectations have improved, mobility trends have moved up from their troughs and consumer spending is contracting more slowly than in the early weeks of the outbreak. In the US, our IT services & payments analyst James Faucette highlights that credit card transactions data indicate that both transactions and sales have picked up in the past two weeks. Our read is that China’s economy bottomed in February, and we think the euro area has likely troughed in April with the US following suit from late April. Other regions such as CEEMEA and LatAm will bottom out later.

As economies reopen, allowing more workers to return to work, mobility trends and production levels will likely improve further, as should end demand with a lag. A phased reopening in the US and Europe is in the works for the coming weeks. In the US, some states have begun to reopen, and our US economics and biotechnology teams estimate that, by mid-May, 54% of the economy will be in a meaningful reopening phase. This estimate assumes that states will be able to reopen 28 days (Phase 2) after the peak in new confirmed coronavirus cases. European economies will also progressively reopen from early May onwards.

As we move towards this gradual reopening in parts of the world outside China, we have been closely observing developments in China to see how various sectors of the economy are normalising and how this experience may inform our outlook for the rest of the world. To be sure, our views are shaped by the path but not the duration and magnitude of recovery, considering the differences in the severity of the outbreak as well as the underlying composition of economic activity between the US, Europe and China.

In China, the manufacturing, infrastructure and construction sectors recovered relatively quickly. The manufacturing PMI is back in expansionary territory, while steel and cement demand and property sales are growing again in year-over-year terms, just ten weeks after the peak in new cases. Supply-side disruptions have eased quickly, and production levels have experienced a V-shaped recovery, which suggests that the manufacturing sectors in the US and Europe should be on a similar path post-reopening.

However, as the US and Europe are more consumption-based economies, it is the experience of the Chinese consumer that is drawing the most investor attention. Consumption in China is also showing signs of progress, but the pace of recovery has varied across different segments, and the phased relaxation of social distancing measures has dampened the overall pace to some extent.

As you might expect, sales in China’s online retail channels (which account for 30% of total sales) are back in positive territory YoY, while traffic to shopping malls sits at 70% of normal levels (even though malls are now fully open). Smartphone sales have seen a V-shaped recovery and demand for tech products has improved on a broad front according to our Asia technology analyst Shawn Kim, but spending on other consumer discretionary products is still lagging somewhat. Consumer goods (staples, home appliances and apparel) companies expect normalisation by the end of June (i.e., moving back towards normal levels of YoY growth in 2H20). Restaurants have 50-80% of their customer base back, but night life venues are still closed in Tier 1 cities and cinemas remain dark until early June. Our China consumer analyst Lillian Lou expects these channels to fully reopen by the end of June/beginning of July, and traffic to normalise in 3Q20. For the US, our branded apparel & retail analyst Kimberly Greenberger expects that some US retail discretionary spending stores will open in May but a full reopening is likely only in June. She expects a 78-85% decline for the discretionary retail segment in April, but this will materially improve to a 30-45%Y decline for the May-July period and further to a 10-15%Y decline in August-October.

The reopening of economies has prompted concerns about a second wave of infections and potential double dip in the economy. We readily admit that many unknowns concerning the virus remain, but we do expect additional waves of infections to occur. However, we take comfort that the phased reopening, the scaling up of public health authorities’ ability to test and trace on a meaningful level, the development of medical solutions to treat and prevent the disease and the awareness of the population at large mean we have a much better chance to reduce the size and scope of future outbreaks.

Tyler Durden Sun, 05/03/2020 - 19:50
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175 days ago
Betting that, because the recession is caused by a virus, things will get better quickly is ludicrous. We'll see in 20 years that the virus was at best an excuse for it. At worst we'll be shown the virus was released to tip the economy to where trillions of banker aid could be justified.
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