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Of Corona bonds and viruses

by Frank Schnittger Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 11:41:39 AM EST

There is no doubt that having a common currency like the Euro has been a net benefit for most members, most of the time. For a net exporting country like Germany it eliminates one barrier (currency fluctuations and exchange costs) to trade. For a small economy like Ireland it can also avoid the wild fluctuations in currency value experienced by our previous currency, the punt, which could be gamed by a medium sized hedge fund. Businesses crave predictability and eliminating exchange rate fluctuations and costs helps provide that.

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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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Easter Blasphemy Inside the Oval Office

by Oui Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:47:01 AM EST

A message from Satan ... the Trump madness at Easter ... let this be a warning to all Americans! Murky, murkier, murkiest. Not grabbing pussy in the White House? Time to leave this role, it's not befitting the House for this Nation's Greatest Leaders ... the Playacting President of right-wing white supremacists losing it. His burial with be in November 2020. Lifting the curtain for this charade of the Republican party, may their loss in U.S. Congress be of the same proportion as how the predicted pandemic decimated the elderly and less fortunate this year. Defeat this capitalism of doom and take the wealth preaching pastors along with it to hell. After 9/11 under Bush first term,  Katrina disaster in 2005, the bank- and financial crisis of 2008-09, austerity lashing out, inequality on the increase and the techno giants of Silicon Valley with greed over people and democracy.

The world may not return to the old "normal". Take the destiny into your hands and defeat Trump this election against all odds of manipulation, propaganda and disinformation. Enough of the LIES and incompetence.

This simple remark triggered my interest to look into this christian [What's In A Name?] pastor. "Prayer for a thriving economy" in an Easter message of hope for a devastated nation, suffering an immense health pandemic. There will never be a return to normal as lives have been cut short. "Herd immunity" ... delay in preparation for the coming pandemic predicted over  a decade ago. Profit before people's welfare. The roaring years of a stock market boom ... on whom will Trump and his minions in Congress blame their misfortune and how to confuse cause and effect to sell it during the coming presidential campaign.

Inviting the black bigot pastor to deliver this message is a blasphemy of Jesus Christ and his first principle: "Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself."

Harry Jackson and Donald Trump are about selfishness, greed and welfare for the wealthy because they are targets of god's grace. Pure heresy of Christian Faith of People of Good Will as laid down in the foundation of Bethlehem. Israel and the Palestinian religious sites are all SHUT DOWN.

More below the fold ...

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Growing old?

by Frank Schnittger Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 03:31:10 PM EST

As an old radical I now sometimes find myself in the unaccustomed and uncomfortable position of defending a conservative party led government. There was a time when I couldn't locate myself anywhere on the Irish political spectrum, such was my disenchantment with everything that passed for politics in Ireland.

I could just about associate myself with campaigning groups like Amnesty International and the Irish anti-Apartheid movement but never felt comfortable with the idea of joining any political party. As Groucho Marx is reputed to have said: I refused to join any club that would have me as a member.

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Medicine Man Trump: My Sacraments Ain't Poison

by Oui Sat Apr 25th, 2020 at 07:35:33 PM EST

Wasn't Trump's Great Grandfather in search for gold in the Klondike Gold Rush but unfortunately got stuck in the State of Washington??

Trump the Lesser still has that pioneer spirit of the medicine man, snake oil and the easy sell to the destitute.

A fortnight ago this message from Bishop Mark Grenon to President Trump in the White House. Of course it got the President's ear when a Man of God comes as bearer of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In a chamber in the White House there is born a King of all Idiots across the New World.

G2Voice Broadcast #188 - Letter to President Trump and Response to FDA/FTC about their attack on our Sacraments! 4-19-20

G2 Church: A very good video explaining what the test are actually looking for and finding. Watch our documentary to eliminate ANY virus from your body: www.quantumleap.is
Lord bless, Mark

More below the fold ...

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Eye On Trade As Invisible China Virus Attacked

by Oui Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 09:55:28 PM EST

Preoccupied by Ukraine Quid-pro-Quo, Giuliani and cohorts, Impeachment trial, finishing trade talks phase One with China in January and the PR stunt to antagonize the global community at Davos.

o o o o o o o o o o

>> Zelensky who won the last fictional election for presidency in the Ukraine, found the door shut to the White House. The spring doldrums of Trump's lawyer Giuliani brought plenty of entertainment in U.S. Congress. The Democrats were easily defeated by a united front of red-hot Republicans. As the Impeachment Act ended in the Senate in January 2020, the invaders from China were well established across many states. As Trump so colorfully stated, he was caught off guard by this invisible enemy sent from Wuhan.

Sometimes God's creation moves in mysterious ways human kind just don't grasp. Although prophesized by virologists over a decade ago, science has no entry in the Republican led White House.

Well, one can put a virus to work to one's advantage of course. The virus spreads like wildfire in dense populations. Lo and behold, the large metropolitan areas in the US are in a majority BLUE states. So, who cares? Can't let blue lives of the elderly harm the New York Stock Exchange now, by far the BIGGEST financial center of Planet Earth. Please don't use that term or next you will be speaking about Green Energy, renewables - Koch Bros. are coughing up blood - and care for our planet to prevent further deterioration of air, water and soil.

The pandemic has used the fallacies of men to attack the most vulnerable of human species. Too late for any president of any colour to prevent the outbreak of a very contagious virus.

More below the fold ...

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Negative price for a barrel of oil

by wchurchill Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 06:20:39 PM EST

A basic tenet of eurotrib in its early days was that oil was running out and the world was heading for high energy prices and hard economic times.  The $40 negative price for a barrel of oil recently brought that to mind.  
Oil is so plentiful compared to demand that the price was close to 0, but holders of oil were paying storage costs.  So if you wanted to get rid of your oil, you had to pay someone to take it, because they would incur the cost of storage.  Thus the negative price.
One reason for this is that there was plenty of oil left to be drilled.  Those that postulated we were running out were just wrong.
And the higher prices also brought out new technologies to retrieve that oil at the higher price levels, such as fracking..
And another reason is that higher prices are attractive to entrepreneurs who find new technologies to address a potential energy shortage, Elon Musk and many others.
Free markets and capitalism at work.
I hope you all are well.

Comments >> (17 comments)

CIA-Man Saakashvili -- Soap Opera Extension

by Oui Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 09:04:58 AM EST

For some American entertainment during the woes of the coronavirus, a move by Pentagon hardliners to consolidate colonial power in Ukraine. After the coup-d'état of February 2014, the country continued to be rive with corruption. Too many millions disappeared in deep pockets of the oligarchs who adapted to the new Western masters.

After a stint as governor in Odessa under presidency of buddy Poroshenko, Saakashvili soon quit due to corruption he couldn't quite handle as a foreigner. His instant citizenship was just as easily removed instantly and Saakashvili sought and received refugee status in The Netherlands of Mark Rutte ... wink, wink!!

Zelensky who won the last fictional election for presidency in the Ukraine, found the door shut to the White House. The spring doldrums of Trump's lawyer Giuliani brought plenty of entertainment in U.S. Congress. The Democrats were easily defeated by a united front of red-hot Republicans. As the Impeachment Act ended in the Senate in January 2020, the invaders from China were well established across many states. As Trump so colorfully stated, he was caught off guard by this invisible enemy sent from Wuhan.

Sometimes God's creation moves in mysterious ways human kind just don't grasp. Although prophesized by virologists over a decade ago, science has no entry in the Republican led White House.

More below the fold ...

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Nirvana around the corner?

by Frank Schnittger Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 02:41:24 AM EST

Letters to the Editor, Irish Times. The realities of forming a government

Sir, - If we are to believe Fintan O'Toole and Una Mullally, nirvana is just around the corner and all we have to do is boot Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael out of power (Fintan O'Toole, "FF and FG have produced a colouring book for adults", Opinion & Analysis, April 21st; Una Mullally, "Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael exposed as intellectually dead", Opinion & Analysis, April 20th).

There is no mention, never mind analysis, of the alternative policies on offer from the vast majority of TDs who were elected in February on a platform of booting Fine Gael out of office, and who have as yet, unaccountably, failed to form an alternative government.

Could it be that these change- supporting TDs are all clamouring to join the opposition because they realise that anything but nirvana is likely to be on offer over the next few years?

Not only will the economy have to be rebuilt from a base at least 10 per cent lower than we achieved in 2019, but the costs of dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, together with the costs of Brexit, global corporate tax reform, global trade wars, and combating climate change will have to be borne before we can even think of regaining the average standard of living we enjoyed in 2019.

Certainly we can address issues such as income inequality, housing, healthcare, childcare and care of the elderly, but we will be doing so, in all likelihood, out of an economy and tax base far smaller than we enjoyed in 2019. The notion that some of us are not going to have to pay a lot more tax so that more of us can benefit is fanciful. We will be lucky to retain existing benefits even if we all pay a lot more tax.

Certainly, in the short term, we can borrow more to ease the pain. [Last Monday] We paid off a €10.6 billion debt taken out in 2004 which was costing us €450 million a year in real money ("State will save close to €450 million a year as it redeems a €10.6 billion bond", Business, April 20th). Right now we can replace that borrowing at near 0 per cent interest rates, but how long will that last when almost every nation on earth tries to tap the debt markets on a vast scale?

And with Italy on the verge of bankruptcy, I wouldn't be counting on the EU and ECB to come running to our rescue.

As the Chinese curse would have it, we live in interesting times. - Yours, etc,


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Comparing different approaches to Covid-19 containment

by Frank Schnittger Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 01:05:52 AM EST

Table 1 - countries listed in order of cases per million people (Source Real Clear Politics). All data taken at midnight GMT 21/22 April.

We are used to seeing these league tables with the USA, Italy, Spain, France and the UK on top, but when you adjust the data for population size, it turns out that Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland are the hardest hit so far. Of course that may also be due to the fact that these countries have tested more than others - see table 4 below.

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Political passengers looking for an easy ride...

by Frank Schnittger Sun Apr 19th, 2020 at 01:24:29 AM EST

Irish Independent: We need another election when normal life resumes (second letter down)

Fine Gael campaigned to remain in office and won 35 seats, a loss of 15 seats. All the other parties and candidates campaigned for a change of government, and succeeded in wining 125 seats. A decisive victory, well done.

Now, somehow, many of those 125 TDs find themselves unable or unwilling to form a government and the responsibility is said to fall, once again, on Fine Gael to form one. Where is the logic in that?

Cobbling together a government of two or more parties that promised not to coalesce with each other is no way to honour the will of the people. It can only end badly.

If those 125 TDs want to be true to their mandate, let them deliver a government. If not, we have no option but to have another general election to give a mandate to TDs and parties who are actually prepared to form a government and who have campaigned on that basis.

Any party programmes put forward will then also have to explain how they will deal with the realities of post-coronavirus Ireland and the world. That debate will, in and of itself, be a good and necessary thing.

The election can be held just as soon as "normal" life resumes. In the meantime, the current "caretaker" government should just get on with the job of managing the crisis as best as it can. That should be its sole focus until the election is called.

Frank Schnittger

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Preaching Open Rebellion; Trump Unhinged

by Oui Sat Apr 18th, 2020 at 07:44:04 AM EST

Several bits of news items I posted, the larger picture is a U.S. President becoming unhinged as poll numbers fall and looking forward a double whammy recession for the greatest economy ever ... for the 1%. In adversity, the world sees true leaders and Trump is one prolific failure ... a loser. Held up the IRS payment of cheques to the American People because his signature should be on it. A gift from the White House, the President You have Chosen. His faithful in full lunacy calling Trump the Chosen One by the Almighty fulfilling the Book of the End of Times. Let the so-called Christians of the wealth preachers reread the Bible ... all that's prophecised has come to pass. The problem is in today's world where values are bungled, the people are following the wrong leaders. A dangerous phenomena is developing ... it was already in the cards when one cheats to get elected. Democracy doesn't work, it's been undermined by greed from Wall Street and the military-intelligence industrial complex.

Now to today's alarming headlines. First question asked as the Republican party bungled the Impeachment process, how to get rid of a dis-functional leader becoming more dangerous by the day?

More below the fold ...

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New Colonialism: Reaping Profits Over Victims

by Oui Thu Apr 16th, 2020 at 11:31:28 AM EST

Missing solidarity or European Social-Democracy, the counterrevolution from the progressive Seventies to Conservatism and Pure Capitalism starting in the Reagan era. Beyond competition, earning decent wages and a basic right of healthcare, what the coronavirus pandemic lays bare is an open wound of a destitute America and many countries across the globe.

Washington DC was historically taught as being that shining city on the hill ... a close-up proves it to be quarrelling institutional powers dividing a great nation, not uniting peoples.

No one could EVER illustrate such division as a narcissistic president like Donald Trump. Every press briefing is an affront to what AMERICA STANDS FOR! It's just HORRIFIC that there are still so many followers from the hard working class to university educated persons following the populist policy of everyone for personal gain, others can literally die!

Masses of households living from pay check to pay check, falling ill or without medicine are in the waiting room of death. That was the America I saw as a 16-year old, the discrepancy and inequality has risen through Republican "leadership" to a alarming level. It's out there for everyone to see ... through social media and slowly through reports by journalists. It's more than dramatic ... it's like the horror of a New Civil War ... the worst of all wars!

More below the fold ...

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A Disgraceful Slur

by Frank Schnittger Thu Apr 16th, 2020 at 10:20:40 AM EST

Press reader image of Belfast Telegraph page - that newspaper doesn't publish letters online, and is not available where I live

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A World of Emptiness - Near Financial Collapse

by Oui Tue Apr 14th, 2020 at 01:01:00 PM EST

COVID-19 Attack: A look at the empty New York City streets amid the coronavirus

    "The crisis has brought the economy to a near halt, and left millions of people out of work. But thanks to intervention on an unprecedented scale, a full-scale meltdown has been averted - for now."

How coronavirus almost brought down the global financial system | The Guardian |

n the third week of March, while most of our minds were fixed on surging coronavirus death rates and the apocalyptic scenes in hospital wards, global financial markets came as close to a collapse as they have since September 2008. The price of shares in the world's major corporations plunged. The value of the dollar surged against every currency in the world, squeezing debtors everywhere from Indonesia to Mexico. Trillion-dollar markets for government debt, the basic foundation of the financial system, lurched up and down in terror-stricken cycles.

More below the fold ...

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Burying the hatchet

by Frank Schnittger Mon Apr 13th, 2020 at 10:44:04 PM EST

The Belfast Telegraph, a staunchly unionist paper, does not publish its letters to the editor online, and so it is only by chance that I have just spotted on Press Reader that they have published a riposte to my letter to the editor some days ago. I will have to draft a response. Once again my apologies for dragging the European Tribune into this. I list my home page on the auto-sig of all my emails and they must have used this to check out my credentials.

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Tory Pandemic: A Greater Disaster Avoided

by Oui Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 08:06:48 PM EST

Trump says PM's initial coronavirus response could have caused 'a lot of death' | The New European - Apr. 1, 2020 |

More below the fold ...

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Testing Alone Is Not The Answer to the Pandemic

by ARGeezer Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 05:25:16 PM EST

Since it became front page news I have believed that the only way to properly control COVID-19 was through wide spread testing of a large percentage of the population. From recent data it appears that both the USA and Korea have tested about 1% of their population: ~500,000 tests in Korea out of ~ 50 million people and ~ 3 million tests in the USA out of 327 million people. Yet the percent of the population infected is dramatically different between the two countries.

The difference is that Korea mobilized nationally at an early date and was able to develop and deploy tests towards the beginning of the outbreak. This strategy allowed Korea to CONTAIN the infection.

In the USA Trump refuses to put the federal government in charge in any meaningful or useful way and leaves the governors of the states in charge, making a coordinated national approach impossible. The one thing that the USA DID attempt to federalize was the production of a virus test, and that was a tragedy/fiasco that needlessly prevented other labs from deploying other tests. I have yet to see an adequate explanation of this failure.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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COVID19: Iceland

by gmoke Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 03:42:38 AM EST

Iceland has been testing its population for COVID19 probably more than any other country:

"The latest [April 6, 2020] figures on covid.is (https:/www.covid.is) show that a total of 1,486 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Iceland, while 428 people have recovered [5 deaths, 38 patients in hospital]. A total of 25,394 samples have been analyzed [6.97% in a population of 364,134]."
Source:  https:

deCODE Genetics, a subsidiary of Amgen, is doing the testing of those in the general population who volunteer while the Icelandic health system is testing those who present symptoms.

In the general population, deCODE has found about 0.9% tested positive for COVID19.  They have also sequenced every single positive case of the virus in Iceland. "What is interesting is that there is a string of mutations that is fairly specific for Austria, another for Italy, a third for England, a fourth for the west coast of the United States. Because we are sequencing the virus from everyone who tests positive in Iceland, we can basically determine the geographic origin of the virus in everyone who gets infected. And that is of help when it comes to tracking the infection, when you want to figure out how it moves through society, because you can determine whether people have gotten infected from the same individual by just sequencing the virus, and in that way place it in the context of how the mutation moves," said deCODE CEO Dr. Kári Stefánsson (https:/www.icelandreview.com/sci-tech/icelands-coronavirus-testing-global-pandemic-response).

Stefánsson continued, "If you think about it, this epidemic is probably the biggest threat mankind has faced in a very long time. You have a virus that is spreading very rapidly all over the world, and because it has spread so widely, there is an enormous accumulation of mutations, in spite of having a lower mutation rate than many other viruses. And these mutations can potentially end up creating a virus that is even more lethal than the one we have now. So it is incredibly important to contain the epidemic as soon as possible to diminish the probability that this will happen."

"There is also another thing: every year there is a new flu vaccine developed because the influenza virus is mutating and is getting around the immunity of the year before. The same thing could happen with this virus. There are so many ways in which this story could end, and it's very important for us as a species to try to have an influence on the way in which it ends. So I think we should do everything in our power to contain it, to understand it, and try to prevent it from coming again,"

More than two-thirds of the adult population of Iceland was already participating in the deCODE's research efforts as of 2019 so the company will be able to screen people's reaction to COVID19 coronavirus based upon their genetics.  "Those data could prove crucial to the very survival of our species, says Kári."

That's testing.  Iceland is also working hard on contact tracing, to identify the transmission chain from person to person.  They have just released a new app, Rakning C-19, and as of midnight Saturday, April 4, 2020, 108,000 people had already downloaded it.

Iceland, I suspect, will be very important in the coming months.

Comments >> (3 comments)

Crunching the covid-19 numbers

by Frank Schnittger Tue Apr 7th, 2020 at 10:18:47 PM EST

The data above for the 30 countries with most deaths is taken from RealClearPolitics at c. 21.00hrs GMT on 7/4/2020. For the first time, Realclearpolitics has added an additional column for the number of tests carried out. I have added three additional calculated columns- % positive tests, tests per million population, and population to identify how intensively each country is testing for Covid-19. Some of the numbers are surprising...

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 June 2020

by Oui - May 22, 40 comments

Your take on this month's news

 December 2019

by Colman - Dec 11, 530 comments

Your take on this month's news

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