Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

CDC Under Fire: Redfield and Birx Faulty History

by Oui Fri Jun 5th, 2020 at 08:55:02 AM EST

Picking candidates for a leadership position with a troubling CV. Potentially a risk for blackmail, Redfield and Birx laid their heads in the political lap of Trump and Conservative America.

More below the fold ...

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City Agriculture - May 30, 2020

by gmoke Sat May 30th, 2020 at 06:13:34 PM EST

"Tree-like" vertical farms for Brooklyn?
https:/www.framlab.com/glasir
https:
www.core77.com/posts/94000/Could-These-Tree-Like-Vertical-Farms-Be-the-Future-of-Urban-Farmi ng

Underground parking lot to organic mushroom farm in Paris (the ONLY organic farm in the city - so far)
https:
medium.com/fab-city-grand-paris/our-maker-farmers-visit-the-mushroom-urban-farm-in-paris-c65 3e87c026e
https:
lacaverne.co/en/cavern-urban-farm

How urban trees and hedges help cut air pollution
https:/www.theguardian.com/science/2020/feb/18/plantwatch-how-urban-trees-and-hedges-help-cut-air-p ollution
https:
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1352231018308938

Can local food feed an urban world?
https:
anthropocenemagazine.org/2016/10/can-local-food-feed-an-urban-world

Green Concept House - a zero-waste, 100% self-sustaining home, including growing food
https:/www.archdaily.com/934277/green-house-yang-design
https:
inhabitat.com/a-zero-waste-self-sustaining-home-of-the-future

Safezone Shelter - air pollution protection using plants in a shelter in Bangkok
https:/inhabitat.com/futuristic-safezone-shelter-battles-air-pollution-in-thailand-with-a-green-oas is

Vertical Oasis - concept for a green solar-powered skyscraper
https:/faab.pl/en/vertical-oasis
https:/inhabitat.com/architects-envision-a-green-solar-powered-skyscraper

12 "agrihoods"
https:/charterforcompassion.org/shareable-community-ideas/12-agrihoods-taking-farm-to-table-living- mainstream

Link City - proposed self-sustainable city-forest, using an urban operating system with an AI (Artificial Intelligence)
https:
www.lucacurci.com/portfolio/the-link-city.html
https:
inhabitat.com/luca-curci-architects-designs-a-zero-energy-smart-city-of-the-future

City farms underground
https:/www.bbc.com/future/bespoke/follow-the-food/the-massive-farms-emerging-beneath-our-cities.htm l

Green wall made from clay tiles also provides natural cooling
https:
inhabitat.com/this-green-wall-uses-upcycled-clay-tiles-for-natural-cooling

Which trees reduce air pollution best
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200504-which-trees-reduce-air-pollution-best

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Trump Tweeting Violence Against Rioters

by Oui Fri May 29th, 2020 at 02:36:25 PM EST

[Update-1]

END OF UPDATE

Trump took to Twitter last night to threaten military intervention in Minneapolis, saying

"when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

More below the fold ...

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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Countering Karlsruhe

by Frank Schnittger Thu May 28th, 2020 at 11:43:51 AM EST

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The Primacy of EU law

by Frank Schnittger Mon May 25th, 2020 at 03:43:08 PM EST

I am upbraided by an email correspondent for my article on Karlsruhe and German exceptionalism as follows:

Dear Mr. Schnittger,

as long time reader of the I usually agree with most of you opinions. However, your comment on the German decision of the Bundesverfassungsgericht misses by far the point in a few instances.

The major issue of the Judge Huber was  that in Germany (and according to Huber also other countries) the Basic Law/constitution sets the highest bar, it cannot be changed by a European court. There was and is a conflict that has to be solved.

"If the German court can be allowed to superimpose its own judgement on an EU policy it doesn't like, what's to prevent all other member states doing the same?" only points to the fact, that you do not understand the issue. To complain that a German judge points to this conflict is therefore weak, the EU is not one country, it is a union of sovereign states, that causes problems. Ignoring the problems solves nothing.

"Is the Merkel/Macron proposal for the EU to borrow and spend €500 Billion a direct response to the Karlsruhe ruling?"

Again a miss by a wide margin. There was never a discussion whether there is support for the countries hit hardest by the corona visrus epidemic, only the legal framework was. The judge Huber did NOT exclude some means, he only requested a better reasoning, this should be easy for the EU. And a larger EU budget as suggested for the 500 billion EUR is of course perfectly within the legal framework given by judge Huber.

"Far from being slow to condemn Karlsruhe, Ireland should be equanimous about the prospect of Germany leaving the Eurozone, if that is what it really wants to do, as the logic of the Judges ruling seems to suggest."

Nonsensical conclusion.

Best regards in the hope to read high quality article in future again.

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June 2020

by Oui Fri May 22nd, 2020 at 08:19:37 AM EST

Your take on this month's news

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Chloroquine Clinical Trials - Oxford U & Bill Gates

by Oui Thu May 21st, 2020 at 06:18:31 AM EST

Sponsor:
University of Oxford
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Oxford

Chloroquine/ Hydroxychloroquine Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the Healthcare Setting (COPCOV) | US Gov't NIH Clinical Trials |

More below the fold ...,

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Karlsruhe and German exceptionalism

by Frank Schnittger Wed May 20th, 2020 at 02:49:31 AM EST


Michael McDowell
, prominent barrister, senator, Irish Times columnist, and former Tanaiste (deputy prime minister), Leader of the (now defunct) Progressive Democratic party, Attorney General, Minister for Justice, and leading advocate for the neo-liberal policies which devastated the Irish economy in 2008-2011, has written a column in the Irish Times basically supporting the Karlsruhe judgement.

This is hot on the heals of Fintan O'Toole taking McDowell to task for his new role of deficit-scold-in-chief, having been entirely profligate while a Minister of the disastrous 2002-2007 Fianna Fail Progressive Democrat government. As I noted in the comments to that article:

"Deficit Scolds" is the term of art to describe those far right economists (like Rogoff) who criticise all spending when the Democrats are in power and give free licence to Republicans to run up far bigger deficits whenever they are in power - usually on tax cuts for the rich. As Dick Cheny said: "Reagan proved deficits don't matter" when it comes to rewarding the rich, even if this is the most economically inefficient form of "spending" any state can opt for. Michael McDowell fits the description admirably.

But it is his view on Karlsruhe that concern me here. I have responded, in the comments, as follows:

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European sovereignty : All Hail Mutti the Great

by eurogreen Tue May 19th, 2020 at 03:34:33 PM EST

A French-German Initiative for the European Recovery from the Coronavirus Crisis

A modest proposal with potentially far-reaching consequences. A founding act of European sovereignty?

I am incapable of saying, writing or even thinking anything positive about Emmanuel Macron. So I will lavish effusive praise on Angela Merkel : she is a conservative, but she is not stupid, nor is she doctrinaire. On a number of historic occasions, she has demonstrated an unstatesmanlike, but crucial, ability to change her mind. Who will follow? Who, in Germany, dare stand against her. And if this proposal goes through, in the twilight of her career, she will establish a lasting, positive legacy.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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PPE Scandal In the Trump Swamp @DC

by Oui Sun May 17th, 2020 at 07:11:01 AM EST

Mike Bowen: "I'm a lifelong Republican ... and I'm embarrassed. If we don't act, more lives are going to be lost."

More below the fold ...

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Test Test Test

by Frank Schnittger Fri May 15th, 2020 at 12:14:18 PM EST

The data above (sorted by total deaths per country) is taken from Worldometer with the exception of two calculated column (in red) of confirmed case mortality rates (deaths/confirmed cases) and % positive tests (confirmed cases/tests) which I have added to illustrate the degree of testing which is happening in each country. Obviously the more widespread and intensive the testing regime, the lower the % positive rate you are going to get. Conversely, countries which only test the most obvious cases, usually on admission to hospital, will return a much higher % positive rate.

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Shelving CDC Guidelines, Economy Prioritized

by Oui Thu May 14th, 2020 at 11:38:26 AM EST

Judges making more political decisions ... armed groups putting pressure on State Legislators ... the Fascist brown-shirts are part of "Lockdown Protest" across America today. The SCOTUS to decide on Separation of Powers in a Democracy and the Power of the Executive or Immunity (not corona) of President Trump and the Office he holds.

Emails Show Trump Nominee Involved in Shelving CDC Virus Guide to Reopening | TIME |


President Donald Trump arrives at a press briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 11, 2020.

A former chemical industry executive nominated to be the nation's top consumer safety watchdog was involved in sidelining detailed guidelines to help communities reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, internal government emails show.

Now the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is questioning the role played by nominee Nancy Beck in the decision to shelve the guidelines. Beck is not a medical doctor and has no background in virology.

Continued below the fold ...

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Trump Hoax: We'll Sue China for MEGA Debt

by Oui Tue May 12th, 2020 at 11:43:59 AM EST

[Updated]

Putting some facts on the table and a timeline of events in the Sino-American relations in 2020 …

Trump wishes to be forgiven for all past mistakes made and betting on the wrong horse of a laissez-faire approach to the “endemic flu-like virus” that had reached the mainland in Washington State, or at least the West Coast of America.

As previously noted, Trump abolished the DHS department for global pandemic watch and axed a crucial NSC member. Cornered, not knowing what a smart move is, the first chance he gets Trump cuts the WHO funding. Next he puts all blame on China for doing what it had to do: a complete lockdown to seal all travel from and to Wuhan and Hubei province.

Once he realizes he is all alone, he slams anyone and all who dare voice criticism. A small majority of Americans and the whole of the Global Community sees what a mess he has made of it, lies and propaganda and dithering along the way failing to set a coherent exit strategy. Building his castle on quicksand, just like a sudden sinkhole when one has not done basic research and gets caught by a backlash of nature and Planet Earth.

Failure In Leadership and Wishful Thinking

POTUS, his National Security Council and CDC head Redfield knew the status as soon as the "flu" epidemic was recognized and spreading in Wuhan, China in January.

Before Trump’s inauguration, a warning: ‘The worst influenza pandemic since 1918’ | Politico |

Former President Obama Slams Trump's COVID-19 Response as an 'Absolute Chaotic Disaster' in Call With Supporters | TIME |

Continued below the fold ...

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Sacrificing Lives to Save Capital

by ARGeezer Sun May 10th, 2020 at 03:24:27 PM EST

The Plan Is to Save Capital and Let the People Die Common Dreams

Whether Americans know it or not, their government is not working for them. Their government is working on behalf of capital. Humans are now a mere second-order, instrumental factor to be considered based on how it affects capital.

This is particularly tragic considering that, for countries with their own fiat currency such as the USA and the UK, capital can be created at will by the treasury/central bank of that country. Granted the USA has more leeway in this regard due to the weight of its currency in the international market. But the government of such a country can always purchase any good or service that is produced in their country without inflationary effect provided such purchases do not produce shortages of resources.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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Structural Assembly of SARS-CoV-2 Virus

by Oui Sun May 10th, 2020 at 09:34:18 AM EST

COVID-19: A promising cure for the global panic pandemic

    Highlights
    • SARS-COV-2 is structurally similar to SARS-COV.
    • The mechanism of SARS-COV-2 in the host cell may be comparable to SARS-COV.
    • SARS-CoV-2 invade the immune and nervous system.
    • There is an urgent need for novel treatment options for COVID-19.
    • Indian medicinal plants are likely to be potential drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.

The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-CoV-2, which is the causative agent of a potentially fatal disease that is of great global public health concern. The outbreak of COVID-19 is wreaking havoc worldwide due to inadequate risk assessment regarding the urgency of the situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has entered a dangerous new phase. When compared with SARS and MERS, COVID-19 has spread more rapidly, due to increased globalization and adaptation of the virus in every environment.

Continued below the fold ...

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Churchill and VE Day -- 8 May 1945

by Oui Fri May 8th, 2020 at 11:08:04 AM EST

Work in progress -- more below the fold ...

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Big 3: Negotiations, Procurement, Standards

by Oui Thu May 7th, 2020 at 10:09:09 AM EST

First the easy stuff ... chlorinated chicken, chloroquine treatment, NHS on offer ...

[Update-1]

END OF UPDATE

Now the difficult part in a wartime effort for our frontlines in hospitals and nursing home: Coronavirus PPE Procurement!

More below the fold ...

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Mutant SARS CoV-2 Ravages EU and East Coast

by Oui Tue May 5th, 2020 at 07:43:38 PM EST

Dr Bette Korber Los Álamos Lab mutations SARS CoV-2

Work in progress ...

More below the fold ..,

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Laissez-faire Handling Outbreak by PM Boris Johnson

by Oui Mon Apr 20th, 2020 at 09:20:57 AM EST

The failures of the Westminster elite on coronavirus are no surprise - so why do we let them run Wales?

Today's Sunday Times article reveals a staggering level of hubris, incompetence and callousness shown by the UK Government and some of its close group of advisors in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The report - published by a newspaper that wholeheartedly endorsed the Conservatives at the General Election - is perhaps the most damning article ever written about an UK government. It reveals that the entire response has been a shambles. This is a national catastrophe of a very British sort.

One of the UK Government's own scientific advisors has said that the UK could end up with the worst death toll in Europe. At least 15,000 people in the UK have already died of coronavirus, and perhaps many more since deaths outside hospitals remain underreported. These are children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.

And given what we now know about the UK Government's early handling of the crisis, it's almost impossible to conclude that their incompetence has not contributed to the death toll.

We now know that back in January, Professor Neil Ferguson, one of the UK's leading infectious disease epidemiologists and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, warned the government that this virus was potentially as lethal as the Flu Pandemic of 1918.

He highlighted the need for a "60% cut in the transmission rate" -- in other words social distancing and lockdown.

But Boris missed five Cobra meetings, not attending his first meeting until March.

More below the fold ...

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COVID19 and Energy: What McKinsey Thinks

by gmoke Tue May 5th, 2020 at 02:39:01 AM EST

 On Tuesday, April 28, I attended an online seminar on (USA) Energy and COVID19 organized by the Harvard Undergraduate Clean Energy Group (https:/www.huceg.org) with Scott S. Nyquist and Luciano Di Fiori both of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company.  I've heard Scott Nyquist speak on energy a few times over the years, usually at MIT, and have found him to be informative even though our perspectives are very different.

The COVID19 scenaria McKinsey is examining now include
Virus contained --  based upon China's 6-8 week shutdown  
Vaccine --  12 - 18 months away plus the time it takes to innoculate the world population (at least another 12 - 18 months), similar to the expectation author Laurie Garrett reported to Frank Bruni in the NYTimes over the last few days
Waves -- there will almost certainly be a second wave of COVID19 and possibly multiple waves until we have a vaccine.

In terms of energy, liquid fuels demand will take 2 -- 4 years to recover;  gasoline use is estimated to decrease 60% under lockdown;  natural gas is down 5-10%.  There will be excess supply and dropping prices which means that fracking will become even less economic (a conclusion I draw which Nyquist and Di Fiori did not offer).  Global oil products demand will be down 6.7 -13.0 million barrels per day pushing refinery levels and margins to historically low levels and LNG [liquid natural gas] may take 5-7 years to come back to stable prices, lower with occasional flare ups of higher prices as things equalize.  McKinsey expects no long-term consequences to demand, but is monitoring for changes.   I don't agree with McKinsey about no long-term changes in demand.  

Electric power demand is down 3-5% and peak load down by 18-24%.  Electricity peak times and amounts have changed due to more people staying at home, primarily from increased air conditioning.

The airline business is down to 20% of its former business and will take a long time to come back.  Cruise lines are in an even worse position with worse projections for the future.

GDP growth is going to be negative for about 2 years and then come back but to 2019 levels, at best.  

There may be a very cautious consumer culture, as after the Depression, coming out of the pandemic.  The frugality imposed by the Great Depression affected all the generations that lived through it for decades afterwards.

Economic growth may be much slower after this.  Companies will be less likely to hold debt and become very cash conscious.  

Nyquist believes that governments will be much better prepared for the next pandemic but "we have to pay for this" and  government debt will be much higher.  I do not have as much confidence as Nyquist does in the future preparations of any government in the USA but will be happy to be proved wrong.

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News and Views

 June 2020

by Oui - May 22, 79 comments

Your take on this month's news

 December 2019

by Colman - Dec 11, 531 comments

Your take on this month's news


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