How Australia defied global health authority on coronavirus

How Australia defied global health authority on coronavirus, by Peter Hartcher.

“With the ongoing China travel ban, I’m very sympathetic about the impact on tourism and farmers, but I’m much less so with the universities,” [Liberal senator from Victoria, James Paterson] began. “Because they have been warned for years that they are over-reliant on the Chinese market, and for years they’ve reassured us that it was all fine, and that if anything happened they’d be able to withstand it. They rode the cycle up, now they can ride the cycle down.”

The universities receive $17 billion a year in federal cash already. Paterson said they should be given this opportunity to show they could indeed withstand the lost income. Addressing Scott Morrison, Paterson concluded: “We shouldn’t relax the travel ban, and there should be no financial bail-out for the universities.”

Canberra lumbers along in PC world:

Medical advice goes to the policymakers in the National Security Committee of the federal cabinet, and this is where the politicians get involved. The NSC is chaired by the Prime Minister. This is where decisions are made and action taken. Or not.

The medical officers’ “pandemic” call was a big moment. For a start, they were way ahead of the UN body that is supposedly the lead global agency on international health emergencies, the Geneva-based World Health Organisation.

Why were the Australians ahead of the world? For a very simple reason. They don’t trust the WHO. The information from multiple international sources is that the WHO is under intense pressure from the Chinese government, and succumbing to it.

The Australian Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, told the NSC that it was medically inexplicable that the WHO hadn’t already declared a global pandemic. It’s politics, in other words.

That’s why Australia had earlier forged ahead of the WHO in declaring the China travel ban, on February 1. It was, again, on the unanimous advice of the AHPPC.

The travel ban was decided immediately after the US made the same call. Beijing instantly lashed both the US and Australia on that occasion – the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, calling it “racist”.

But, of course, that decision now looks very wise, more so with each passing day.

If you read this blog, you are well ahead of Canberra on all this.

Now consider carefully, because we are running out of time.

Choice 1: Impose a complete travel ban on coming to Australia. Visitors are allowed in only after a two week quarantine:

Safe. Universities miss out on some income. Tourism from overseas is already dead. Australia functions mostly as pretty much as normal, because there is no coronavirus and any that is here already can probably be contained. Open the borders again when there is a vaccine. No Australians killed by the virus.

Choice 2: Keep borders open , allow people in:

Australia catches the coronavirus. Most people get it, maybe 80%. At ten times deadlier than flu (the prevailing consensus at government level), which is about 0.15%. On the current stats outside of China, the mortality rate is apparently between 1% and 2% — if hospital care is available. If it’s only 1%, it will kill 200,000 Australians. If it is 2%, then 400,000 Australians will die of the virus. But of course these numbers will overwhelm the hospitals in this coming winter, so the death rates will be higher. All schools will shut down, so all current school children waste a year and start jobs/career, etc a year later. Massive disruption to Australian life. Production wilts. Seen those pictures of lockdown coming out of China?

Pretty simple choice. Think those overpaid incompetent bureaucrats in Canberra, under pressure from lobbying Chinese and universities, will make the right decision? They haven’t so far. There isn’t even any talk of closing the borders appearing in the media. (Is it banned, under our soft censorship?)

How much are lives of half a million Australians worth? Sort of dwarfs a bit of lost income, doesn’t it? Come on Canberra, you know how to use a calculator.

The virus can’t walk in by itself. It comes on planes and boats.

Please pass this on.

Outbreak starts to look more like worldwide economic crisis

Outbreak starts to look more like worldwide economic crisis, by Adam Geller.

The coronavirus outbreak began to look more like a worldwide economic crisis Friday as anxiety about the infection emptied shops and amusement parks, canceled events, cut trade and travel and dragged already slumping financial markets even lower.

More employers told their workers to stay home, and officials locked down neighborhoods and closed schools. The wide-ranging efforts to halt the spread of the illness threatened jobs, paychecks and profits. …

The list of countries touched by the illness climbed to nearly 60 as Mexico, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Iceland and the Netherlands reported their first cases. …

Stock markets around the world plunged again Friday. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index took yet another hit, closing down nearly 360 points. The index has dropped more than 14% from a recent high, making this the market’s worst week since 2008, during the global financial crisis.

There Is Just One Question: Will The Fed Activate A Coordinated Central Bank Bailout On Sunday

There Is Just One Question: Will The Fed Activate A Coordinated Central Bank Bailout On Sunday, by Tyler Durden.

With global markets in freefall, the S&P opening 3% lower and cementing its worst week since the global financial crisis; the Dow (or is thar Down Joanes) plunging more than 4,000 points this week, traders (especially levered ones) are left with just one option to stave off a career (and personal fortune)-ending margin call: praying, though not to God but rather to the Fed.

To be sure, the Fed itself has given enough reasons for this: on Monday the biggest uber-dove in history, former Minneapolis Fed and the Fed’s only negative “dot” ever, Narayana Kocherlakota penned a Bloomberg op-ed saying the Fed should cut not once but twice, and do it on an emergency basis ahead of the March FOMC meeting. …

Adding fuel to the speculative fire that a coordinated central bank action is coming is that the Bank of Korea shocked markets when it did not cut rates on Thursday, with some readers suggesting that the only reason it did not “was to preserve ammo to cut with other CBs this weekend.” …

The problem is that whereas just one week ago, the mere rumor of coordinated central bank action would have been sufficient to send stocks soaring, any attempts at a bounce for Equities … will come down to likely — and imminent — monetization of large options hedges in the market.

Sure, like printing more money is going to stop the virus. Still, if you were giving the new money to me, I might be in favor of such a remedy.

Plan to ban cash purchases over $10,000 set to become Australian law as Senate inquiry gives thumbs up

Plan to ban cash purchases over $10,000 set to become Australian law as Senate inquiry gives thumbs up, by Nassim Khadem.

A Senate inquiry has backed a controversial bill to ban cash payments of $10,000 and impose two-year jail sentences on people using cash for purchases above that limit, meaning it will soon become law.

The Federal Government has … argued the measure is intended to fight the black economy, by stamping out tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes. …

“The cash payment limit does not, in any way, reduce the capacity of individuals and businesses to withdraw money, in any denomination, from their bank accounts and hold it outside the financial system. Likewise, the bill does not affect the ability to deposit cash with a financial institution.” …

Clues to what’s coming next:

[The committee] also rejected submissions that had objected on the expectation that a government would eventually reduce the cash payment limit below the proposed legislated amount of $10,000. …

Many submissions also raised concerns that the proposed law may leave people’s bank deposits vulnerable to negative interest rates — a situation whereby, instead of receiving money on deposits, depositors must pay regularly to keep their money with the bank.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said … that if the Federal Government was really serious about fighting tax avoidance, it would introduce a register of beneficial ownership that would out the people behind secret shell companies, and make public the behind-closed-door settlements between the ATO and multinationals about how much tax they pay.

And if it really wanted to fight money laundering, he said the Government would end the current exemption for real estate agents, accountants and lawyers having to report under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

“Australia is now one of only six countries in the world not to have closed this loophole, alongside the United States, China, Mongolia, Madagascar and Mauritius,” he said.

Never believe anything unless it’s been officially denied.

Government increasingly wants to know everything you do with your money. When we eventually cannot use cash meaningfully, they will control much of your life. Hate speech? Bad attitude? Turn off your access to your bank account, or simply take it away at the touch of a button in Canberra. Take that, peasant! Serving the public, ha ha ha.

The right to be rude

The right to be rude, by Eric Raymond.

Instead of meritocracy …, we are now urged to behave so that no-one will ever feel uncomfortable.

The effect – the intended effect, I should say, is to diminish the prestige and autonomy of people who do the work … in favor of self-appointed tone-policers. In the process, the freedom to speak necessary truths even when the manner in which they are expressed is unpleasant is being gradually strangled.

And that is bad for us. Very bad. Both directly – it damages our self-correction process – and in its second-order effects. The habit of institutional tone policing, even when well-intentioned, too easily slides into the active censorship of disfavored views. …

The cost of a culture in which avoiding offense trumps the liberty to speak is that crybullies control the discourse. To our great shame, people who should know better … have internalized anticipatory surrender to crybullying. They no longer even wait for the soi-disant victims to complain before wielding the ban-hammer.

We are being social-hacked from being a culture in which freedom is the highest value to one in which it is trumped by the suppression of wrongthink and wrongspeak. Our enemies … do not even really bother to hide this objective.

Our culture is not fatally damaged yet, but the trend is not good. … “Codes of Conduct” that purport to regulate even off-project speech have become all too common.

Wake up and speak out. Embrace the right to be rude – not because “rude” in itself is a good thing, but because the degenerative slide into suppression of disfavored opinions has to be stopped right where it starts, at the tone policing.

Can you even guess what context this is in? Difficult, isn’t it, because the same is happening in so many areas at once.

The mob of mediocrities is overwhelming actual talent and meritocracy, because we are not in real competition or under threat.

It’s like a football team that only ever trains. The aim is to make everyone feel good, instead of molding the most effective team out of the individuals at hand. The talented can be replaced by the mediocrities on the team, because the outcome doesn’t matter. The attitudes and practices that make a good team can be dropped if they annoy the mediocre, because team performance no longer matters.

Life Imitates Art: Obama Was The Manchurian Candidate

Life Imitates Art: Obama Was The Manchurian Candidate, by David Archibald.

Governments run influence operations to degrade the economies and social cohesion of other countries.

For example, in recent years both the Russians and the Saudis have directed agitprop against the US fracking industry. They have successfully demonised something that is environmentally harmless, to the point that a couple of the candidates for Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have promised to ban it if they are elected as President. But neither Mr Sanders or Ms Warren would be able to explain exactly what is wrong with fracking, because there isn’t anything wrong with it. …

Saul Alinsky, godfather of the modern left

Saul Alinsky, famous for his 1971 book Rules for Radicals, made up the role of “community organiser” so that paid political operators could have a cover. One of the first of these was Rainer Baake, a West German communist straight out of high school in Germany who spent the years 1974 to 1978 in Chicago. Herr Baake no doubt provided a link to the KGB through East Germany’s Ministry for State Security.

Herr Baake, once a community organizer in Chicago, now a German politician

Influence operations can return spectacular returns on investment. At some stage, the communists in Chicago and their Soviet funders must have lighted on young Barack Obama as their Trojan horse in the US political system. The decision to groom Obama may have been made in 1971, because that is when he was switched to a private school in Hawaii in fifth grade. That was the beginning of 16 years of private education in expensive schools and universities. There has been no interest in who paid for all that expensive schooling. It is hard to believe that a mediocre student with no work ethic kept winning scholarships to these places on his merits.

But we know that the press has no interest in reporting things that don’t support the narrative.

All the years of private schooling and the three years of community organizing shielded Obama from the harsh realities of life as his handlers waited for him to grow up. He married a self-described “angry black woman” who promptly had a $300,000 per year position created for her at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  Her role had nothing to do with sick people: she was Vice President for Community and External Affairs.

Obama’s years of preaching a Sunday sermon at Jeremiah Wright’s church gave him plenty of experience in public speaking and hone his mellifluous tone. The Obamas bought their arugula from Whole Foods, not Walmart.

Obama has had too many instances of money being thrown at him for it just to be a whole lot of lucky breaks. Obama may have hated America as its President, hated the idea of America, and despised most Americans, but at least he wasn’t an ungrateful wretch. He was grateful to the Cubans. The Cubans of the DI had enabled his effortless progression. As with Angela Merkel in Germany, your path is made easier as a politician if you have a whole intelligence service supporting you.

Barack Obama, once a community organizer in Chicago, now a US politician

To show his gratitude, Obama decided to normalize relations with Cuba. The main obstacle to this was Democrat Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, with his large support base in the Cuban community. A strong campaign of “dirty tricks” was begun by the White House to force Menendez to resign the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a campaign which continued through the end of 2014. … The White House engaged with Cuban Intelligence to create false “evidence” against a sitting, senior US elected official.

Read it all.

Ukraine Launches Criminal Proceedings Against Joe Biden Over Firing of Prosecutor Viktor Shokin

Ukraine Launches Criminal Proceedings Against Joe Biden Over Firing of Prosecutor Viktor Shokin, by Harmodia.

A court ruling in Ukraine has forced state investigators to open a probe into alleged pressure by then-Vice President Joe Biden that led to the 2016 dismissal of Viktor Shokin as the country’s prosecutor general, officials said Thursday. …

Shokin’s lawyer, Oleksandr Teleshetsky, said the probe was launched in response to a court order, after an appeal for action by Shokin. The State Bureau of Investigations confirmed a case was opened. …

“They need to investigate this. They have no other alternative. They are required to do this by the decision of the court. If they don’t, then they violate a whole string of procedural norms,” [Shokin’s lawyer, Oleksandr Teleshetsky] said in an interview.

The tide may be turning. Who’s ecstatic?

The bigger picture:

Mueller’s Team To Be Charged With Crimes?

via Michael Smith

How Xi’s gambling devastated China’s military

How Xi’s gambling devastated China’s military, by David Archibald.

President Xi wants to be emperor of the whole world and can see a path to achieving that. But he has kicked a couple of own goals that will help preclude it happening.

Xi’s first own goal was to suppress privately owned business activity in favor of state-owned companies. Workers in state-owned companies have about a third of the productivity of those in businesses run by their private owners. … Communist leaders will choose security for themselves over prosperity for others every time.

His second own goal was to delay the news of the coronavirus until after the trade deal was signed with the United States. Xi did not want to show any sign of weakness while the deal was being negotiated. China’s relative position had been deteriorating since 2015, when its share of world exports peaked at about 15%. Trump wanted a trade deal because he would like China to remain stable through the election cycle. The language of the trade deal included a lot of “China shall,” indicating that China needed the deal more than Trump did. We infer that the anti-China efforts will be ramped up again after the election.

The ever-shrinking Mr Xi

The first coronavirus case was reported on December 1, 2019, and the trade deal was signed on January 15, 2020. Wuhan was put under quarantine lockdown eight days later on January 23. In the meantime, some five million people left Wuhan, as estimated by Wuhan’s mayor, a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted. So, as a result of waiting for the trade deal to be signed before acting, Xi changed a controllable outbreak into an out-of-control epidemic. …

The hit to China’s economy is real and huge. Coal consumption is half of what it should be at this point after the end of the lunar new year holidays. Air pollution, as measured by satellites, is down 20% to 50%.

China’s ability to threaten its neighbors will be much weakened as its government revenues crater. There is a good case for nominating the coronavirus for the Nobel Peace Prize. The humble virus has certainly done far more for world peace than Greta Thunberg, the current frontrunner.

The PLA can’t attack anyone until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus. It’s been reported that the PLA pulled out of Wuhan after 3,000 of its troops became sick. Collecting dead bodies is now on a bounty system, similar to how bodies were collected in Europe during the plague.

Another beautiful outcome from the coronavirus is that it should, in a rational world, eliminate China from the world’s supply chains. It might be good for a couple of million jobs in the United States alone.

We should not leave the subject of China until the terms of the peace settlement, with the Chicoms or any successors, are stated. This should include the return of territory stolen from India in 1962 and from Vietnam in 1990. It will also include China leaving the seven artificial islands it created in the South China Sea. Only then should the Chinese be allowed to be a member of the civilized world.

The Greatest Depression Just Began. This is no Drill

The Greatest Depression Just Began. This is no Drill. By Bob Moriarty.

I quote from the January 27th piece, “This has the potential for being the biggest mass casualty event in world history. At the very least it will take down the financial system as the world economy grinds to a halt with efforts to contain the virus.”

Face it, 97% of people want to believe all the crap handed out by their governments. …

If anyone was following the NEWS (?) from China, the virus is an utter disaster and that’s true in a developed nation. Once it spreads to Africa, as it surely will, it is going to be the biggest catastrophe the continent has ever faced, with potentially the deaths of tens or hundreds of millions.

The numbers from China seem to indicate a death rate of above 2% for those under hospital treatment but far higher for the vastly greater number of people who caught it and eventually fell over dead. The Chinese government tossed them in bags and burned them. …

There was another important statement in my piece last month that may have flown over the heads of 97% of readers. “Governments lie about everything and as a result we are about to pay a terrible price. All of them lie.

Any rational thinking person would have come to the conclusion that the Chinese government is lying through their teeth about how serious the virus is. That’s not a big deal because every other government is doing the same thing. …

Airlines are starting to cancel flights because bookings are coming to a slow halt but also they are hiding the fact that flight crews are refusing to fly. The Cruise industry just got destroyed … But when this begins to hit military units or boarding schools or prisons, the shit literally will have hit the fan.

Let’s be real honest here for a moment. I am hardly the only guy who sees a financial disaster on the horizon. Lots of intelligent writers have generated reams of paper about something that has to happen.

If you have an interest rate based system, there is always more debt than money to pay it. That’s why Jubilees go back thousands of years. Governments can pretend they intend to pay all the money they have borrowed back but it’s bullshit. Governments never pay their debts, they always default….

The Corona Virus is the ultimate black swan and all governments are accomplishing is to prove how impotent they are to solve real problems.

The spread of the virus is expanding and that will continue. The damage to an already weak financial system will also continue. … People are going to go to bed rich and wake up poor.

You have a very limited time to prepare. I’ve warned for years to a mostly bored audience but this is the read deal. You can see what happened in Italy in a couple of short days, they locked down ten cities as unprepared citizens panicked and emptied food stores.

This is coming your way. Are you prepared or do you want to wait until the government tells you to panic?

There are quite a few articles of this nature around now. The theme is that the coronavirus is the black swan or trigger that will bring down the unstable financial world, which is grossly overloaded with debt. Governments will resort to printing. There will be a gradual inflationary melt-up, until one day all of a sudden there is hyperinflation and we need a new money system.

Bob Moriarty has a pretty good track record of financial prediction over the last 15 years that I’ve noticed him.

David Evans, money supply