Usher’s News & Analysis for July 25, 2020

I’m on board with this about 99%.

More Than A Bunch Of Corporate Platitudes: Jen Perelman’s Campaign Against Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Where I might differ is that I would caution people not to fall for the notion that marijuana is entirely harmless. It can be quite harmful. I also don’t agree with the idea that Venezuela is authoritarian (if she was suggesting it is, which is how I took it). Those aren’t exactly huge differences, though.

Housing, at the very least, must be subsidized. We can subsidize landlords or tenants or both. We can build public housing and have the residents manage it directly, democratically. However we go, we must do something and do it now to put every homeless person in decent housing if that’s their desire. Anything less is utterly obscene and totally unjustifiable. We DO NOT lack the money to do it. Money has nothing to do with it. Ego is the one and only obstacle.

According to organizers, the city claims it doesn’t have control over the housing authority and cannot transfer its properties to a community land trust, despite an act signed in 2012 that explicitly grants it control over PHA.

Philadelphia Threatens Protest Encampment With Eviction But Still Has No Plan For Unhoused Residents


If our response had been as effective as South Korea, Australia, or Singapore’s, fewer than 2,000 Americans would have died.

And we could have, and should have, done even better than that and all while creating and fairly distributing all the debt-free money needed to keep the economy going rather than crashing.

Shut it down, start over, do it right

We also should have embarked upon a national high-nutrition program at the same time so every American would have the proper nutritional base from which to allow the body to fight off the virus as much as possible. We can still do it.

A federal judge on Thursday night issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting federal agents that President Donald Trump has deployed to Portland, Oregon from arresting, threatening, or forcibly dispersing journalists and legal observers at ongoing local protests against police brutality.

Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, declared in a statement Thursday that “this order is a victory for the rule of law.”

“Federal agents from Trump’s Departments of Homeland Security and Justice are terrorizing the community, threatening lives, and relentlessly attacking journalists and legal observers documenting protests,” Carson said. “These are the actions of a tyrant, and they have no place anywhere in America.”

‘Victory for the Rule of Law’: Federal Judge Curbs Powers of Trump’s Secret Police in Portland


Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) together with Sen. Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Markey (D- Mass.) and Rep. Barragan (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to close tax loopholes and eliminate other federal subsidies for the oil, gas, and coal industries.

Omar, Sanders, Merkley, Markey, Barragán Introduce Bill to End Corporate Handouts to the Fossil Fuel Industry

A global, guaranteed, living income would go a long way to solving the woes of the world. Debt forgiveness would also.

Many of the huge numbers of people not covered by social insurance programmes are informal workers, low-waged, women and young people, refugees and migrants, and people with disabilities – and they are the ones hardest hit by this crisis. UNDP has carried out assessments on the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 in more than 60 countries in the past few months and the evidence shows that workers who are not covered by social protection cannot stay at home without an income.

A Temporary Basic Income would give them the means to buy food and pay for health and education expenses. …

… With up to 100 million more people being pushed into extreme poverty in 2020, 1.4 billion children affected by school closures, and record-level unemployment and loss of livelihoods, UNDP predicts that global human development is on course to decline this year for the first time since the concept was introduced.

Temporary Basic Income to protect the world’s poorest people could slow the surge in COVID-19 cases, says UNDP

House Votes to Protect Coasts from New Offshore Drilling and Seismic Airgun Blasting

May I say, “Told ya so.”

The main results show that of 141 patients who were treated with the triple therapy, only 2.8% (4/141) were hospitalized compared to 15.4% of an untreated control group (58/377) (odds ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.06-0.5; p<0.001). Only 0.71% (1/141) patients died in the treatment group, versus 3.5% (13/377) in the untreated group (odds ratio 0.2, 95% CI 0.03-1.5; p=0.16). "These three medications are affordable, available in pill form, and work in synergy against COVID-19," said Zelenko. "Hydroxychloroquine's main function within this treatment approach is to allow zinc to enter the cell. Zinc is the virus killer, and azithromycin prevents secondary bacterial infection in the lungs and reduces the risk of pulmonary complications." ... "It's unfortunate much of the news coverage surrounding hydroxychloroquine has been negative," Zelenko added. "This study suggests that when taken early and together with zinc and azithromycin, this cost-effective drug can be part of the solution to the pandemic."

Newly Published Outpatient Study Finds that Early Use of Zinc, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin Is Associated with Less Hospitalizations and Death

Were you duped by Le Mesurier? I wasn’t fooled by him for a second. I called him out for what he was right from the start: a professional liar.

As Western governments opened their checkbooks for the White Helmets – a controversial ‘rescue organization’ in Syria – their co-founder used the cash to top up his wage and even finance his wedding, according to a Dutch report.

Days before he plunged from a window in Istanbul to his death last year, White Helmets co-founder and British mercenary James Le Mesurier admitted to defrauding Mayday Rescue, an organization that fundraised for the anti-government rescue group in Syria.

According to documents seen by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, Le Mesurier told an accountant sent to audit the charity’s books that he forged receipts for $50,000, pretending that it was sent to finance an evacuation operation in Syria. Instead, the money was paid to Le Mesurier himself. In addition to paying himself a salary of €24,000 ($27,414) per month, Le Mesurier dipped into company cash to finance a lavish wedding in Istanbul in 2018, and to issue loans to his new wife, former diplomat Emma Winberg, the report claims.

He was a fraudster and, of course, a huge liar concerning who the White Helmet’s really are.

White Helmets co-founder stole aid money destined for Syria – report

When studied in laboratory conditions, the mutated virus was better at entering human cells than those without the variation, say professors Hyeryun Choe and Michael Farzan, at Scripps University in Florida. …

… Two studies have suggested patients with this mutated virus have larger amounts of the virus in their swab samples. That might suggest they were more infectious to others.

Coronavirus: Are mutations making it more infectious?

… certain sectors are expected to outperform as investors focus on secure assets, namely logistics, residential and life sciences.”

On the residential side, it appears that multifamily, especially large, inner city, is taking a hit.

Global Real Estate Investment Plunges Amid Covid Pandemic

Considering everything from the U.S.’s threat to delist Chinese companies, to moves to strip Hong Kong of its special status, it’s more than clear that China is starting its process of de-dollarization and furthering the internationalization of its own currency.

Yes, but what was the ruble in terms of reserve currencies during the peak of the USSR? The point of my question is to point out that the Iron Curtain had a huge impact. China has not yet been subjected to the full “Curtain” impact. If it keeps going down its current road, it will have a much harder time than many Xi supporters appear to realize. I think they’re engaged in a great deal of wishful thinking.

Jack Ma’s Ant IPO Signals Start Of De-Dollarization

Elimination was my recommended approach right from the start. If we had done it, we would have been clear a long time ago.

We know elimination is possible. New Zealand implemented a harsh lockdown early in the pandemic, prompting some to criticise Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for overreacting. Yet they have not seen a single case of community transmission in months. Life across the ditch is returning to a “new normal”, and people and businesses are starting to plan for the future with a bit more certainty.

There is no reason why Australia – and in particular Victoria – couldn’t follow suit. Yet the current six-week lockdown is unlikely to eliminate the virus, according to new analysis in the Medical Journal of Australia. We must either go harder, or go longer.

As more doctors and nurses fall sick, it has become clear elimination is the best option


While it might be tempting to laugh off the Smithsonian’s chart as political correctness run amok, that would be a mistake. The troubling conviction that admirable, useful, universal values like hard work and politeness are somehow the product of “white supremacy” has been gaining increasing currency in education circles. Just this month, the influential KIPP charter network announced it was abolishing its motto “Work Hard. Be Nice.” as part of its push to “dismantle systemic racism.” As educators rush to act upon the admirable impulse captured by “anti-racism,” the lesson is that they need to be extraordinarily deliberate about what that means in practice.

When all is said and done, in 2020, the Smithsonian’s caretakers chose to tell our children that values like hard work and rationality are part of the “white” inheritance—and don’t come naturally to those raised in other cultures. If this demeaning caricature was offered up by drawling good ol’ boys defending Jim Crow in some grainy newsreel footage, we’d spot it for the unapologetic racism that it is. The question of the hour, though, is what we call it when educators offer it up in the name of “anti-racism.”

Smithsonian Institution Explains that ‘Rationality’ & ‘Hard Work’ are Racist

Does Joe lie, or is he just stupid?

… this past Monday, Biden told his Wall Street donors that actually, he is not proposing any new legislation to rein in corporate power or change corporate behavior — and this was reported exactly nowhere, even as his campaign blasted it out to the national press corps.

“Corporate America has to change its ways. It’s not going to require legislation. I’m not proposing any. We’ve got to think about how we deal people back in.”

There’s an obvious contradiction here. Before making these comments, Biden had previously promised to pass legislative initiatives to change corporate behavior on everything from climate change to tax policy. He has an entire section of his website outlining promises to pass corporate accountability legislation. He has received praise for these kind of promises.

Biden Just Made A Big Promise To His Wall Street Donors

The minimum number of unemployed in the US is 20%. At the peak of the Great Depression, unemployment is estimated to have been 25%. We are in a severe depression by unemployment standards. Where’s the federal government?

If you read … or heard on the radio that 16.2 million people were claiming unemployment insurance – the “continued claims” – and you thought that there were only 16.2 million people who claimed unemployment benefits, you fell victim to lazy misreporting in the media, by reporters or bots that didn’t read the Labor Department’s press release beyond the second paragraph.

Those 16.2 million were only the claims under state programs, and do not include the claims under federal programs. All combined, there were 31.8 million people on the unemployment rolls. …

Realistic unemployment rate: 20%.

There are 160 million people in the civilian labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (not that this number can be trusted). Of them, 31.8 million receive unemployment compensation under state and federal programs. This means that 20% of the labor force receives unemployment compensation, which forms the most realistic estimate of the actual unemployment rate: 20%.

Media Continues to Misreport Unemployment: 31.8 Million People on State & Federal Unemployment Insurance. Week 18 of U.S. Labor Market Collapse

Erdogan is a militant jihadi bent upon supporting the head choppers, al Qaeda and IS, until Turkey is once again an empire.

Syria: the ‘resurrection’ of Hagia Sophia in Al Sqeilbiyyeh, northern Hama