Usher’s News & Analysis for May 5, 2020

Now this is what I call really, really stupid; and, it’s for one purpose only that they do this ignorant, stupid, totally counter-productive, anti-democratic thing: keep the commercial-banking system in complete political control of the US. There’s zero reason for it other than greed. The US government does not have to borrow to issue currency, period!

A direct crime against the People:

A Treasury official said Monday the U.S. will borrow $2.999 trillion in privately held net marketable debt in the second quarter, assuming an end-of-June cash balance of $800 billion.

Ask Donald Trump why the US borrows when it doesn’t have to? See if he knows. Ask every politician. It’s time we put an end to this bankers’ scam!

Treasury to borrow $3T for coronavirus relief, adding more debt in 1 quarter than all of 2019

I’ve always opposed biomass for energy generation as a replacement for coal, oil, or natural gas. I’ve also always been in favor of population control and even reduction.

Regenerative agriculture is the best method to slow, stop, and reverse global warming. Also, economic democracy requires full transparency. We don’t have anything even remotely approaching transparency.

The vast majority of what the following video covers shows the lengths to which moneyed interests have gone to censor the truth about what has been passing itself off as the Environmental Movement. Regardless, I’m not convinced by the video that everyone with money who is involved in the Anti-Global Warming Movement was actually aware of the destructiveness of the self-styled biomass industry.

Nevertheless, everyone needs to take a firm stand against biomass. Until we face the cold, hard reality of what humanity has done to the planet, we’re doomed.

Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans | Full Documentary | Directed by Jeff Gibbs

Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late.

Interview with Jeff, Michael, and Ozzie (1hr 16min):
Hill TV Response to critics with Jeff, Michael and Ozzie (17min):
FAQ, Discussion Guide, Media:

Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars?

No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine”). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors,, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.

Let’s address the use by libertarian capitalists (LCs) of the term “Malthusian.” Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) believed populations can increase faster than the food supply. Well, that’s true. However, humans have tended recently to curb their own population growth locally when they reach higher standards of living. Also, food supplies have tended to increase due to the impact of technology.

That’s where the LCs typically intentionally end their analysis. If they go into any detail, it’s only to support that extremely narrow context.

Without writing a book here about it, increases in the standard of living used by those LCs have brought on huge planetary degradation. Secondly, the technology used to increase the food supply has done exactly the same thing. There’s no defense for it.

So, what’s the solution? Switch from “standard of living” to quality of life. Don’t limit that to certain locales but do it globally all at once: lift the bottom not only without adding to the aggregate ecological degradation but the opposite.

So, the term “Malthusian” does not fit my solution. My solution is not anti-technological but appropriately technological. Appropriate technology in this global context is the highest and best, most ecologically suitable technology. The LCs hate that. Ask them.

Yesterday, I addressed the various “conservative, rural” counties in California telling Governor Newsom they’d be opening up regardless of his orders or guidance. Governor Inslee of Washington issued his new phased reopening directive for Washington. In it, he includes a provision for certain counties in Washington to reopen sooner. Of course, he makes clear he can roll back any part of the order as he deems necessary.

The particular counties and small cities and towns in CA weren’t willing to wait a few more days until Friday? They are all unaware that several states that include California are coordinating phased reopening and that Washington is simply a week ahead in the schedule? Is this a political move to harm Newsom’s legacy in handling the COVID-19 outbreak?

We have to shut these types down before they even get started.

What kind of selfish, evil mind makes pipe bombs to protest quarantines that definitely have saved tens of thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of lives? Showing weakness to such minds is not the right approach. They need psychiatric help. They need a decent socialization process.

Rehabilitation is the answer. Punishment hardens: further sickens the sick.

FBI seizes four pipe bombs from home of Colorado anti-lockdown protester, feds say

I’m concerned that face masks will give too many people a false sense of security. Even surgical masks aren’t really designed to stop the virus.

New York City to give away 7.5 million face coverings to prevent coronavirus spread, mayor says

… an influential model that has been previously cited by the White House now predicts as many as 134,000 deaths by 4 August, nearly doubling a previous forecast. In its most recent modelling on 4 May, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation attributed the spike to states beginning to relax quarantine measures and stay-at-home orders.

White House pushes back on projection of 100,000 coronavirus deaths

This is echoing what I wrote yesterday.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said it is “disrespectful” of people not to wear masks when necessary, and that the measure is “not that hard”. He recommended local communities enforce the order to wear face masks whenever social distancing cannot be maintained

“I think it is disrespectful of people not to wear masks,” said Cuomo. He said people who refuse to wear masks are effectively disrespecting the work of nurses and doctors. ”They went to work so all of us could stay safe and go home,” Cuomo said, arguing that wearing a mask was the least New Yotkers could do for frontline workers.

“We owe each other a certain amount of reasonableness and respect in society,” said Cuomo. “Do I think local governments should be enforcing it, and should there be sanctions? Yes, yes. Because it is a public health emergency.”

The governor added, “You could literally kill someone because you didn’t want to wear a mask. How cruel and irresponsible would that be.”

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said it is “disrespectful” of people not to wear masks when necessary

I like this guy’s thinking.

Tim Bray, a veteran technologist and one of Amazon’s top engineers, resigned from what he called “the best job I’ve ever had” to protest the company’s dismissal of two leaders of an employee climate group who had spoken out about treatment of warehouse workers.

He described the firings as “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.”

Bray said the underlying issue is not how Amazon is handling COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, but something more fundamental to the power structures in the company and the system in which it flourishes. He said that while Amazon is “exceptionally well-managed” and skilled at finding and exploiting business opportunities, the company “has a corresponding lack of vision about the human costs of the relentless growth and accumulation of wealth and power.”

“At the end of the day, the big problem isn’t the specifics of COVID-19 response,” Bray said. “It’s that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential. Only that’s not just Amazon, it’s how 21st-century capitalism is done.”

Amazon vice president, a distinguished engineer, resigns to protest firing of employee activists


The opportunity to refinance into a cheaper rate is now grabbing headlines. But the trend captivating Wall Street is the canyon between the U.S. government’s cost of borrowing money and rates offered to homeowners. Normally, 10-year U.S. Treasuries set the tone for 30-year mortgages, but the gap between them is now 2.9 percentage points, near levels last seen in late 2008 and early 2009. In the last five years, it’s averaged closer to 1.74.

Consumers could grab rates as low as 2.25% on traditional 30-year government-backed mortgages if markets were behaving normally, according to Optimal Blue LLC, whose software is used by much of the industry. was showing average rates above 3.5% on Friday.

Dirt-Cheap U.S. Mortgages Thwarted by $5 Billion in Margin Calls

In terms of the path to reopening cities like Seattle, Durkan noted that the timeline that works for her city might not be the same as others in Washington.

“I think as we move into the reopen phase, there may be some regional differences, which is OK, as long as we have in place the metrics we need to make sure that the virus isn’t increasing in those areas and overcome their hospital systems,” she detailed.


Seattle Mayor Durkan hints at multi-city pact to end ‘Hunger Games’ fight for virus aid

It started here first (at least publicly), so people here have had more time to think about it with it right in their faces.

About two-thirds of Seattleites say they’re willing to keep up physical distancing for as long as required, according to a new survey. Many respondents here said they’d want one of two things to happen — both based on data — before distancing can be put to rest: Widespread antibody testing or a significant drop in coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus daily news updates, May 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation

How to judge government: kicking people while they’re down: disgusting

Seattle officials clear Ballard encampment, raising concerns about where homeless can go during coronavirus pandemic

Without climate mitigation or migration, by 2070 a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to average annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today, the study said. These brutally hot climate conditions are currently experienced by just 0.8% of the global land surface, mostly in the hottest parts of the Sahara Desert, but by 2070 the conditions could spread to 19% of the Earth’s land area.

Unsuitable for ‘human life to flourish’: Up to 3B will live in extreme heat by 2070, study warns

Dump the dictator.

… US is pushing to create an alliance of “trusted partners” dubbed the “Economic Prosperity Network,” one official said. It would include companies and civil society groups operating under the same set of standards on everything from digital business, energy and infrastructure to research, trade, education and commerce, he said.

The US government is working with Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam ….

You know Taiwan is in there too, right?

US-China trade war: Trump admin takes aim at supply chains

Man up and dump the dictator.

Foreign criticism “strikes right at the heart of one of the myths that the party has been cultivating to bolster its legitimacy at home: that the [Chinese Communist Party] is efficient, competent and capable, and that it is the only one able to effectively lead the nation,” Rolland said.

Shortly after Xi was named the party’s general secretary in 2012 — on his way to becoming the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong — he reportedly said in a speech that one of the reasons the Communist Party collapsed in the Soviet Union was that “nobody was man enough to stand up and resist.”

‘Put on a mask and shut up’: China’s new ‘Wolf Warriors’ spread hoaxes and attack a world of critics

Every state is being premature, some wildly so.

… the guidelines were clear that no state should attempt to ease restrictions until it had observed a “downward trajectory” of new cases of the virus over a 14-day period. Yet, as of this weekend, no state in the nation could make that claim.

Better safe than sorry. It’s a great, old saying.

As states push ahead with reopening, CDC warns coronavirus cases and deaths are set to soar

Major stress, foul play, or a mixture?

Third Russian doctor plunges from hospital window amid coronavirus outbreak

Peter Navarro is right about Xi.

Trump to extend ‘Buy America’ order to medical products

Obesity Appears To Be Independent Risk Factor for COVID-19

After old age, obesity appears to be the most prominent risk factor for being hospitalized with COVID-19 — doubling the risk of hospitalization in patients under the age of 60 in one study9 — even if the individual has no other obesity-related health problems. A French study10,11 also found obese patients treated for COVID-19 were more likely to require mechanical ventilation.

Dr. Leora Horwitz, director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science at NYU Langone who co-wrote the paper12 “Factors Associated with Hospitalization and Critical Illness Among 4,103 Patients With Covid-19 Disease In New York City” — which has not yet been peer-reviewed — told The New York Times:13

“Obesity is more important for hospitalization than whether you have high blood pressure or diabetes, though these often go together, and it’s more important than coronary disease or cancer or kidney disease, or even pulmonary disease.”

Most COVID-19 Patients Have More Than One Comorbidity

While obesity may top the list of comorbidities — underlying conditions that make COVID-19 worse — investigations reveal most COVID-19 patients have more than one underlying health issue. A study14 looking at 5,700 New York City patients found 88% had more than one comorbidity. Only 6.3% had just one underlying health condition and 6.1% had none.

The real pandemic here appears to be dysregulated glucose metabolism; in other words, insulin resistance, which is exceedingly prevalent in the U.S. Insulin resistance, is a diet-induced condition.

In this particular study,15 published in JAMA, high blood pressure at 53.1% beat obesity (41.7%) as the No. 1 most common comorbidity among hospitalized patients, followed by diabetes at 31.7% and coronary artery disease at 10.4%.

Co-author Karina Davidson, senior vice president for the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research told Time magazine:16

“Having serious comorbidities increases your risk … We want patients with serious chronic disease to take a special precaution and to seek medical attention early, should they start showing signs and symptoms of being infected …”

“The unadjusted prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Santa Clara County was 1.5% … and the population-weighted prevalence was 2.81% … Under the three scenarios for test performance characteristics, the population prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara ranged from 2.49% … to 4.16% …

These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases.

Conclusions: The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases. Population prevalence estimates can now be used to calibrate epidemic and mortality projections.” [emphasis added]

The Real Pandemic Is Insulin Resistance

Who wants to eat meat from a plant where everybody’s sick?

… defense lawyers stressed that people charged with crimes are innocent until proven guilty, and they are not usually barred from billing Medicare until well after they are convicted of a crime. People facing criminal healthcare charges usually agree to stop billing Medicare as a condition of their bond, they added.

U.S. coronavirus stimulus went to some healthcare providers facing criminal inquiries

S&P is right.

Standard & Poor’s said it does not expect state legislators to succeed in their efforts to retroactively expand business interruption insurance coverage for COVID-19-related losses.

The reason: An expectations of fierce insurance industry-fueled legal challenges.

“We are taking the initial standpoint that these political efforts to retroactively change policy language will not materialize,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tracy Dolin said in prepared remarks.

S&P Expects States to Lose Bids to Mandate Coronavirus Business Interruption Coverage

The bill would require companies to obtain express consent from people if data about their health, location or proximity to another person is collected, require companies to disclose what will happen with their data, require companies to take steps to ensure that anonymized data does not allow individuals to be identified and require companies to delete all personally identifiable information once it is no longer used to track the spread of the coronavirus.

State attorneys general would enforce the bill.

Senators Seek to Address Privacy Concerns Over Tech Firms’ Covid-19 Contact Tracing

The Utah Department of Natural Resources released new maps accompanied with a four-year study showing there is a significant risk in densely populated and developing areas near active fault lines ….

Populous Areas Near Utah’s Wasatch Front Fault Lines Prone to Large Quakes

These 10 Invasive Plant Species Are Surprisingly Delicious

Already a few years ago, rising manufacturing costs in China along with weakening domestic economies in Japan and Taiwan had prompted some repatriation of manufacturing and decentralisation of supply chains. In 2016 the Japan External Trade Organisation estimated, based on its annual surveys of everything made and sold by Japanese companies, that goods “made and sold” overseas peaked at 58.3 per cent. That year foreign direct investment into China from Japan fell by 14.3 per cent. This year, we may see a mass exodus from China as the Japanese government tries to encourage Japanese firms to hasten the move of their factories back home, something the Europeans and Americans are also keen to do.

There is no reason to think that Covid-19 will be a one-off event, and the hard lessons learned now are all-important for the businesses that survive. Consumption globally will clearly suffer, and the recovery will be a lengthy process. Any investor looking at companies, now that markets have crashed and the dust is settling, faces a tough challenge and will certainly have to take a close look at how companies are prepared for the next unthinkable crisis.

Post-coronavirus, expect manufacturing to make a mass exodus from China

Back in early 2018, the FBI under newly minted Director Chris Wray issued an extraordinarily rare public rebuke of a sitting House committee chairman.

Then-House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes had just issued a memo concluding that the FBI under Wray’s predecessor, James Comey, abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process to improperly spy on President Trump’s campaign.

Wray fired back, even though the issues didn’t happen on his watch, suggesting Nunes had given an inaccurate picture to the American public.

“We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the bureau said in a statement that reverberated across America, especially with mainstream media that had pushed the faulty Russia collusion narrative for months.

Now two years later, Nunes’ memo has been vindicated by the belated release of classified information and a Justice Department inspector general’s report that confirmed systematic FISA abuses and much wider problems inside the FBI.

Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, was even more harsh in her assessment, accusing Wray’s FBI of hiding the truth.

“Wray knew about the evidence we were requesting for General Flynn,” Powell told Just the News. “My request was even discussed in the Director’s meeting. Most of what has been produced so far and what will be produced has been in FBI files all along–now more than three years. If the Prosecutors refused to produce it, he should have taken it to the AG or filed a whistle blower complaint himself. Instead, it would appear he was part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice and Congress, and we don’t know what else.”

“More has got to be declassified for the American people to understand why big government, why closed secret courts and processes are dangerous to the republic,” Biggs said.

Big government is definitely not the problem. Bad government is. Big, good government is the best government.

Pressure mounts on Wray as FBI behavior in Russia case comes into clearer focus

Here’s the thing. Flynn was taped talking to Russia about sanctions against Russia. The FBI perked up, since certain agents liked the ridiculous idea Flynn could be a Russian asset. So, even though Flynn did nothing illegal, the FBI went to talk with him with the hope he’d say when asked that he had not discussed sanctions with Russia.

Since Flynn had done nothing illegal (the Logan Act is a farce) and there was no probable cause or reasonable suspicion, the FBI had no basis upon which to even go to him to ask him (whether it was with the hope he’d say he did or did not discuss it.

Plus, “lying” to the FBI requires intent, if the Hillary-Clinton escape Comey applied in her case was acceptable.

Frankly, the agents admitted they didn’t think Flynn lied but simply didn’t remember or was using the topic of discussing sanctions in a different sense, as in discussed in some detail or perhaps a promise to lift them or something rather than just a quick comment by Flynn that the Russians should relax about them because a new administration was coming in.

To top it off, had Flynn been a real agent of Russia and with Flynn’s vast knowledge about conversations with Russia being recorded, why in the world would he have informed Russia at that level and in that manner? Why would Russia not already have known to relax?

It’s amazing how many people ignore or don’t know the following is absolutely true.

The knowledge we have gained since times of old also allows us to understand that if a virus cannot spread to a new host for an x amount of time, it will die off.

Excellently written article:

Why Lockdowns Work

Krystal and Saagar: Larry Kudlow MELTS DOWN after confronted with past statements on coronavirus

Krystal and Saagar look at Larry Kudlow’s CNN interview, where he says no one could have seen this pandemic coming, after the administration and Nancy Pelosi initially downplayed the severity of the crisis.

So, is this RT trying to sow division in the US? I don’t think so.

US protesters use NAZI SLOGANS at COVID-19 rally stir backlash

Hundreds turned out over the weekend in protest at the ongoing ‘enforced isolation measures’.
Some of the more-angry reactions to the restrictions are seeing some Americans make unsavoury comparisons to the Nazis, as our senior correspondent explains.

I think a few folks misunderstood me here. I’m not defending anyone. I’m pointing out the double standard here. To date, Biden has been treated differently to other men in a similar situation.

And as far as ME personally believing people goes, I’m skeptical of everyone and I don’t like that sexual assault has been weaponized like this. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life was sit down and explain to two cops the incident that happened to me (if you watched my video “I blame him, not men”, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Watching people use that kind of event/pain as a weapon grosses me out. It doesn’t matter if you’re accusing someone on the Left or the Right, if you’re doing it for political gain, without any way to prove it etc, expecting to be believed simply because you’re a female etc, it’s gross. And I don’t think anyone should be encouraging that as a standard.

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking the media have behaved disgustingly towards the politicization of sexual abuse to date. I wanted to point it out.

The hypocrisy of Joe Biden and the media’s disgusting #MeToo cover-up