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"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings With President Biden's federal vaccine mandate set to take effect on Monday, health-care systems around the country are suspending elective in-patient surgeries and refusing to accept ICU patients from other hospitals as they brace for potentially hundreds of firings of nurses and other critical staffers, potentially even doctors. According to the NYT, the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo is planning to do all that and more, as it says it may soon fire about 400 employees who have chosen not to get the single job required by the edict (which was pushed through despite being blocked by a federal judge). Similarly, officials at Northwell Health, the state's largest health-care provider, estimate that NWH might be forced to fire thousands of people who have refused to get vaccinated. In an economy with more job openings than workers - 2.2MM more, to be exact - forcing workers to choose between employment and their health or religious compunctions simply isn't a smart idea. Without even a hint of self-awareness, the governor apparently agrees: "What is looming for Monday is completely avoidable, and there’s no excuses,” Ms. Hochul said, pleading for those who have not done so to get vaccinated," Hochul said during a weekend press briefing. But we digress. The situation is less dire in NYC, but there will still be plenty of hospitals left with massive staffing holes after mass-firings. The city's largest private hospital network, NewYork-Presbyterian, has more than 200 employees who may face termination because they haven't received at least one jab. Of course, as we have pointed out in recent posts, health-care workers are only a fraction of the worker who will be impacted by shortages across the economy. In California, nurse shortages have reached crisis levels in California, airlines are seeing flights frequently cancelled due to worker shortages. As of late September, 84% of NY's 450,000 hospital workers and 83% of nursing home workers - which number around 45,400 - remained unvaccinated.  Despite being directly threatened by their superiors, most say they're refusing the jab on religious or health grounds, or because they're allergic to certain ingredients. In an effort to scare workers into compliance, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul has threatened to find "foreign workers" to staff the Empire state's hospitals and care homes (despite the fact that vaccination rates are much lower in most of the world outside the US). She has also threatened to call in the National Guard or order a state of emergency in a plan unveiled over the weekend. NY's teachers are also facing a mandate to either get vaccinated or kiss their jobs goodbye. Roughly 10,000 public school workers, that's compared to 75K teachers and tens of thousands of other employees from custodians to paraprofessioanls. Circling back to hospitals and care homes, institutions like Northwell are being relatively parsimonious with their exemptions for religious and health reasons, But some are getting through . NY's emergency order doesn't stipulate how exactly hospitals and nursing homes should enforce it, and there's a good chance that hospitals serving communities in greater need will be forced to make exceptions. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have gotten the jab in far lower numbers than white new Yorkers. The NYT points out in its story that some hospitals in the Bronx see unvaccinated rates among doctors and nurses reaching into double-digit territory. At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, about 12 percent of the nearly 3,000 employees had not been vaccinated as of midday on Friday, the chief medical officer, Eric Appelbaum, said in an interview. The group includes roughly 3 important doctors, and plenty of badly eed studiws Anecdotally hospitals are reporting a surge in vaccinations among hospital workers who haven't yet been vaccinated. But who knows what to believe. All we know is that we wouldn't want to be having an elective surgery or delivering a baby in NY right now. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

"Immunity As A Service" - The Snake-Oil Salesmen & The COVID-Zero Con

"Immunity As A Service" - The Snake-Oil Salesmen & The COVID-Zero Con Authored by Julius Ruechel via Julius Ruechel.com, The Snake-Oil Salesmen and the COVID-Zero Con: A Classic Bait-And-Switch for a Lifetime of Booster Shots (Immunity as a Service) If a plumber with a lifetime of experience were to tell you that water runs uphill, you would know he is lying and that the lie is not accidental. It is a lie with a purpose. If you can also demonstrate that the plumber knows in advance that the product he is promoting with that lie is snake oil, you have evidence for a deliberate con. And once you understand what's really inside that bottle of snake oil, you will begin to understand the purpose of the con. One of the most common reasons given for mass COVID vaccinations is the idea that if we reach herd immunity through vaccination, we can starve the virus out of existence and get our lives back. It's the COVID-Zero strategy or some variant of it. By now it is abundantly clear from the epidemiological data that the vaccinated are able to both catch and spread the disease. Clearly vaccination isn't going to make this virus disappear. Only a mind that has lost its grasp on reality can fail to see how ridiculous all this has become.  But a tour through pre-COVID science demonstrates that, from day one, long before you and I had even heard of this virus, it was 100% inevitable and 100% predictable that these vaccines would never be capable of eradicating this coronavirus and would never lead to any kind of lasting herd immunity. Even worse, lockdowns and mass vaccination have created a dangerous set of circumstances that interferes with our immune system's ability to protect us against other respiratory viruses. They also risk driving the evolution of this virus towards mutations that are more dangerous to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated alike. Lockdowns, mass vaccinations, and mass booster shots were never capable of delivering on any of the promises that were made to the public.  And yet, vaccination has been successfully used to control measles and even to eradicate smallpox. So, why not COVID? Immunity is immunity, and a virus is a virus is a virus, right? Wrong! Reality is far more complicated... and more interesting. This Deep Dive exposes why, from day one, the promise of COVID-Zero can only ever have been a deliberately dishonest shell game designed to prey on a lack of public understanding of how our immune systems work and on how most respiratory viruses differ from other viruses that we routinely vaccinate against. We have been sold a fantasy designed to rope us into a pharmaceutical dependency as a deceitful trade-off for access to our lives. Variant by variant. For as long as the public is willing to go along for the ride.  Exposing this story does not require incriminating emails or whistleblower testimony. The story tells itself by diving into the long-established science that every single virologist, immunologist, evolutionary biologist, vaccine developer, and public health official had access to long before COVID began. As is so often the case, the devil is hidden in the details. As this story unfolds it will become clear that the one-two punch of lockdowns and the promise of vaccines as an exit strategy began as a cynical marketing ploy to coerce us into a never-ending regimen of annual booster shots intentionally designed to replace the natural "antivirus security updates" against respiratory viruses that come from hugs and handshakes and from children laughing together at school. We are being played for fools.  This is not to say that there aren't plenty of other opportunists taking advantage of this crisis to pursue other agendas and to tip society into a full-blown police state. One thing quickly morphs into another. But this essay demonstrates that never-ending boosters were the initial motive for this global social-engineering shell game ― the subscription-based business model, adapted for the pharmaceutical industry. "Immunity as a service".  So, let's dive into the fascinating world of immune systems, viruses, and vaccines, layer by layer, to dispel the myths and false expectations that have been created by deceitful public health officials, pharmaceutical lobbyists, and media manipulators. What emerges as the lies are peeled apart is both surprising and more than a little alarming. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” - Sherlock Homes”  - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Table of Contents:     Viral Reservoirs: The Fantasy of Eradication     SARS: The Exception to the Rule?     Fast Mutations: The Fantasy of Control through Herd Immunity     Blind Faith in Central Planning: The Fantasy of Timely Doses     Spiked: The Fantasy of Preventing Infection     Antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells: Why Immunity to Respiratory Viruses Fades So Quickly     Manufacturing Dangerous Variants: Virus Mutations Under Lockdown Conditions — Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu     Leaky Vaccines, Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, and the Marek Effect     Anti-Virus Security Updates: Cross-Reactive Immunity Through Repeated Exposure     The Not-So-Novel Novel Virus: The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Outbreak Proved We Have Cross-Reactive Immunity     Mother Knows Best: Vitamin D, Playing in Puddles, and Sweaters     The Paradox: Why COVID-Zero Makes People More Vulnerable to Other Viruses     Introducing Immunity as a Service - A Subscription-Based Business Model for the Pharmaceutical Industry (It was always about the money!)     The Path Forward: Neutralizing the Threat and Bullet-Proofing Society to Prevent This Ever Happening Again. *  *  * Viral Reservoirs: The Fantasy of Eradication Eradication of a killer virus sounds like a noble goal. In some cases it is, such as in the case of the smallpox virus. By 1980 we stopped vaccinating against smallpox because, thanks to widespread immunization, we starved the virus of available hosts for so long that it died out. No-one will need to risk their life on the side effects of a smallpox vaccination ever again because the virus is gone. It is a public health success story. Polio will hopefully be next ― we're getting close.  But smallpox is one of only two viruses (along with rinderpest) that have been eradicated thanks to vaccination. Very few diseases meet the necessary criteria. Eradication is hard and only appropriate for very specific families of viruses. Smallpox made sense for eradication because it was a uniquely human virus ― there was no animal reservoir. By contrast, most respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2 (a.k.a. COVID) come from animal reservoirs: swine, birds, bats, etc. As long as there are bats in caves, birds in ponds, pigs in mud baths, and deer living in forests, respiratory viruses are only controllable through individual immunity, but it is not possible to eradicate them. There will always be a near-identical cousin brewing in the wings. Even the current strain of COVID is already cheerfully jumping onwards across species boundaries. According to both National Geographic and Nature magazine, 40% of wild deer tested positive for COVID antibodies in a study conducted in Michigan, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania. It has also been documented in wild mink and has already made the species jump to other captive animals including dogs, cats, otters, leopards, tigers, and gorillas. A lot of viruses are not fussy. They happily adapt to new opportunities. Specialists, like smallpox, eventually go extinct. Generalists, like most respiratory viruses, never run out of hosts to keep the infection cycle going, forever. As long as we share this planet with other animals, it is extremely deceitful to give anyone the impression that we can pursue any scorched earth policy that can put this genie back in the bottle. With an outbreak on this global scale, it was clear that we were always going to have to live with this virus. There are over 200 other endemic respiratory viruses that cause colds and flus, many of which circulate freely between humans and other animals. Now there are 201. They will be with us forever, whether we like it or not. SARS: The Exception to the Rule? This all sounds well and good, but the original SARS virus did disappear, with public health measures like contact tracing and strict quarantine measures taking the credit. However, SARS was the exception to the rule. When it made the species jump to humans, it was so poorly adapted to its new human hosts that it had terrible difficulty spreading. This very poor level of adaptation gave SARS a rather unique combination of properties: SARS was extremely difficult to catch (it was never very contagious) SARS made people extremely sick. SARS did not have pre-symptomatic spread. These three conditions made the SARS outbreak easy to control through contact tracing and through the quarantine of symptomatic individuals. SARS therefore never reached the point where it circulated widely among asymptomatic community members.  By contrast, by January/February of 2020 it was clear from experiences in China, Italy, and the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (more on that story later) that the unique combination of conditions that made SARS controllable were not going to be the case with COVID. COVID was quite contagious (its rapid spread showed that COVID was already well adapted to spreading easily among its new human hosts), most people would have mild or no symptoms from COVID (making containment impossible), and that it was spreading by aerosols produced by both symptomatic and pre-symptomatic people (making contact tracing a joke). In other words, it was clear by January/February 2020 that this pandemic would follow the normal rules of a readily transmissible respiratory epidemic, which cannot be reined in the way SARS was. Thus, by January/February of 2020, giving the public the impression that the SARS experience could be replicated for COVID was a deliberate lie - this genie was never going back inside the bottle. Fast Mutations: The Fantasy of Control through Herd Immunity Once a reasonably contagious respiratory virus begins circulating widely in a community, herd immunity can never be maintained for very long. RNA respiratory viruses (such as influenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinoviruses, and coronaviruses) all mutate extremely fast compared to viruses like smallpox, measles, or polio. Understanding the difference between something like measles and a virus like COVID is key to understanding the con that is being perpetrated by our health institutions. Bear with me here, I promise not to get too technical. All viruses survive by creating copies of themselves. And there are always a lot of "imperfect copies" — mutations — produced by the copying process itself. Among RNA respiratory viruses these mutations stack up so quickly that there is rapid genetic drift, which continually produces new strains. Variants are normal. Variants are expected. Variants make it virtually impossible to build the impenetrable wall of long-lasting herd immunity required to starve these respiratory viruses out of existence. That's one of several reasons why flu vaccines don't provide long-lasting immunity and have to be repeated annually ― our immune system constantly needs to be updated to keep pace with the inevitable evolution of countless unnamed "variants."  This never-ending conveyor belt of mutations means that everyone's immunity to COVID was always only going to be temporary and only offer partial cross-reactive protection against future re-infections. Thus, from day one, COVID vaccination was always doomed to the same fate as the flu vaccine ― a lifelong regimen of annual booster shots to try to keep pace with "variants" for those unwilling to expose themselves to the risk of a natural infection. And the hope that by the time the vaccines (and their booster shots) roll off the production line, they won't already be out of date when confronted by the current generation of virus mutations.  Genetic drift caused by mutations is much slower in viruses like measles, polio, or smallpox, which is why herd immunity can be used to control these other viruses (or even eradicate them as in the case of smallpox or polio). The reason the common respiratory viruses have such rapid genetic drift compared to these other viruses has much less to do with how many errors are produced during the copying process and much more to do with how many of those "imperfect" copies are actually able to survive and produce more copies.  A simple virus with an uncomplicated attack strategy for taking over host cells can tolerate a lot more mutations than a complex virus with a complicated attack strategy. Complexity and specialization put limits on how many of those imperfect copies have a chance at becoming successful mutations. Simple machinery doesn't break down as easily if there is an imperfection in the mechanical parts. Complicated high-tech machinery will simply not work if there are even minor flaws in precision parts. For example, before a virus can hijack the DNA of a host cell to begin making copies of itself, the virus needs to unlock the cell wall to gain entry. Cellular walls are made of proteins and are coated by sugars; viruses need to find a way to create a doorway through that protein wall. A virus like influenza uses a very simple strategy to get inside ― it locks onto one of the sugars on the outside of the cell wall in order to piggyback a ride as the sugar is absorbed into the cell (cells use sugar as their energy source). It's such a simple strategy that it allows the influenza virus to go through lots of mutations without losing its ability to gain entry to the cell. Influenza's simplicity makes it very adaptable and allows many different types of mutations to thrive as long as they all use the same piggyback entry strategy to get inside host cells. By contrast, something like the measles virus uses a highly specialized and very complicated strategy to gain entry to a host cell. It relies on very specialized surface proteins to break open a doorway into the host cell. It's a very rigid and complex system that doesn't leave a lot of room for errors in the copying process. Even minor mutations to the measles virus will cause changes to its surface proteins, leaving it unable to gain access to a host cell to make more copies of itself. Thus, even if there are lots of mutations, those mutations are almost all evolutionary dead ends, thus preventing genetic drift. That's one of several reasons why both a natural infection and vaccination against measles creates lifetime immunity ― immunity lasts because new variations don't change much over time.  Most RNA respiratory viruses have a high rate of genetic drift because they all rely on relatively simple attack strategies to gain entry to host cells. This allows mutations to stack up quickly without becoming evolutionary dead ends because they avoid the evolutionary trap of complexity.  Coronaviruses use a different strategy than influenza to gain access to host cells. They have proteins on the virus surface (the infamous S-spike protein, the same one that is mimicked by the vaccine injection), which latches onto a receptor on the cell surface (the ACE2 receptor) ― a kind of key to unlock the door. This attack strategy is a little bit more complicated than the system used by influenza, which is probably why genetic drift in coronaviruses is slightly slower than in influenza, but it is still a much much simpler and much less specialized system than the one used by measles. Coronaviruses, like other respiratory viruses, are therefore constantly producing a never-ending conveyor belt of "variants" that make long-lasting herd immunity impossible. Variants are normal. The alarm raised by our public health authorities about "variants" and the feigned compassion of pharmaceutical companies as they rush to develop fresh boosters capable of fighting variants is a charade, much like expressing surprise about the sun rising in the East. Once you got immunity to smallpox, measles, or polio, you had full protection for a few decades and were protected against severe illness or death for the rest of your life. But for fast-mutating respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses, within a few months they are sufficiently different that your previously acquired immunity will only ever offer partial protection against your next exposure. The fast rate of mutation ensures that you never catch the exact same cold or flu twice, just their closely related constantly evolving cousins. What keeps you from feeling the full brunt of each new infection is cross-reactive immunity, which is another part of the story of how you are being conned, which I will come back to shortly.  Blind Faith in Central Planning: The Fantasy of Timely Doses But let's pretend for a moment that a miraculous vaccine could be developed that could give us all 100% sterilizing immunity today. The length of time it takes to manufacture and ship 8 billion doses (and then make vaccination appointments for 8 billion people) ensures that by the time the last person gets their last dose, the never-ending conveyor belt of mutations will have already rendered the vaccine partially ineffective. True sterilizing immunity simply won't ever happen with coronaviruses. The logistics of rolling out vaccines to 8 billion people meant that none of our vaccine makers or public health authorities ever could have genuinely believed that vaccines would create lasting herd immunity against COVID. So, for a multitude of reasons, it was a deliberate lie to give the public the impression that if enough people take the vaccine, it would create lasting herd immunity. It was 100% certain, from day one, that by the time the last dose is administered, the rapid evolution of the virus would ensure that it would already be time to start thinking about booster shots. Exactly like the flu shot. Exactly the opposite of a measles vaccine. Vaccines against respiratory viruses can never provide anything more than a temporary cross-reactive immunity "update" ― they are merely a synthetic replacement for your annual natural exposure to the smorgasbord of cold and flu viruses. Immunity as a service, imposed on society by trickery. The only question was always, how long between booster shots? Weeks, months, years?  Feeling conned yet? Spiked: The Fantasy of Preventing Infection The current crop of COVID vaccines was never designed to provide sterilizing immunity - that's not how they work. They are merely a tool designed to teach the immune system to attack the S-spike protein, thereby priming the immune system to reduce the severity of infection in preparation for your inevitable future encounter with the real virus. They were never capable of preventing infection, nor of preventing spread. They were merely designed to reduce your chance of being hospitalized or dying if you are infected. As former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who is on Pfizer’s board, said: "the original premise behind these vaccines were [sic] that they would substantially reduce the risk of death and severe disease and hospitalization. And that was the data that came out of the initial clinical trials.” Every first-year medical student knows that you cannot get herd immunity from a vaccine that does not stop infection.  In other words, by their design, these vaccines can neither stop you from catching an infection nor stop you from transmitting the infection to someone else. They were never capable of creating herd immunity. They were designed to protect individuals against severe outcomes if they choose to take them - a tool to provide temporary focused protection for the vulnerable, just like the flu vaccine. Pushing for mass vaccination was a con from day one. And the idea of using vaccine passports to separate the vaccinated from the unvaccinated was also a con from day one. The only impact these vaccine passports have on the pandemic is as a coercive tool to get you to roll up your sleeve. Nothing more. Antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells: Why Immunity to Respiratory Viruses Fades So Quickly There are multiple interconnected parts to why immunity to COVID, or any other respiratory virus, is always only temporary. Not only is the virus constantly mutating but immunity itself fades over time, not unlike the way our brains start forgetting how to do complicated math problems unless they keep practicing. This is true for both immunity acquired through natural infection and immunity acquired through vaccination. Our immune systems have a kind of immunological memory ― basically, how long does your immune system remember how to launch an attack against a specific kind of threat. That memory fades over time. For some vaccines, like diphtheria and tetanus, that immunological memory fades very slowly. The measles vaccine protects for life. But for others, like the flu vaccine, that immunological memory fades very quickly. On average, the flu vaccine is only about 40% effective to begin with. And it begins to fade almost immediately after vaccination. By about 150 days (5 months), it reaches zero. Fading immunity after flu shot (Science, April 18th, 2019) The solution to this strange phenomenon lies in the different types of immune system responses that are triggered by a vaccine (or by exposure to the real thing through a natural infection). This has big implications for coronavirus vaccines, but I'll get to that in a moment. First a little background information... A good analogy is to think of our immune system like a medieval army. The first layer of protection began with generalists - guys armed with clubs that would take a swing at everything - they were good for keeping robbers and brigands at bay and for conducting small skirmishes. But if the attack was bigger, then these generalists were quickly overwhelmed, serving as arrow fodder to blunt the attack on the more specialized troops coming up behind them. Spearmen, swordsmen, archers, cavalry, catapult operators, siege tower engineers, and so on. Each additional layer of defense has a more expensive kit and takes ever greater amounts of time to train (an English longbowman took years to build up the necessary skill and strength to become effective). The more specialized a troop is, the more you want to hold them back from the fight unless it's absolutely necessary because they are expensive to train, expensive to deploy, and make a bigger mess when they fight that needs to be cleaned up afterwards. Always keep your powder dry. Send in the arrow fodder first and slowly ramp up your efforts from there. Our immune system relies on a similar kind of layered system of defense. In addition to various non-specific rapid response layers that take out the brigands, like natural killer cells, macrophages, mast cells, and so on, we also have many adaptive (specialized) layers of antibodies (i.e. IgA, IgG, IgM immunoglobulin) and various types of highly specialized white blood cells, like B-cells and T-cells. Some antibodies are released by regular B-cells. Others are released by blood plasma. Then there are memory B-cells, which are capable of remembering previous threats and creating new antibodies long after the original antibodies fade away. And there are various types of T-cells (again with various degrees of immunological memory), like natural killer T-cells, killer T-cells, and helper T-cells, all of which play various roles in detecting and neutralizing invaders. In short, the greater the threat, the more troops are called into the fight. This is clearly a gross oversimplification of all the different interconnected parts of our immune system, but the point is that a mild infection doesn't trigger as many layers whereas a severe infection enlists the help of deeper layers, which are slower to respond but are much more specialized in their attack capabilities. And if those deeper adaptive layers get involved, they are capable of retaining a memory of the threat in order to be able to mount a quicker attack if a repeat attack is recognized in the future. That's why someone who was infected by the dangerous Spanish Flu in 1918 might still have measurable T-cell immunity a century later but the mild bout of winter flu you had a couple of years ago might not have triggered T-cell immunity, even though both may have been caused by versions of the same H1N1 influenza virus. As a rule of thumb, the broader the immune response, the longer immunological memory will last. Antibodies fade in a matter of months, whereas B-cell and T-cell immunity can last a lifetime. Another rule of thumb is that a higher viral load puts more strain on your immune defenses, thus overwhelming the rapid response layers and forcing the immune system to enlist the deeper adaptive layers. That's why nursing homes and hospitals are more dangerous places for vulnerable people than backyard barbeques. That's why feedlot cattle are more vulnerable to viral diseases than cattle on pasture. Viral load matters a lot to how easily the generalist layers are overwhelmed and how much effort your immune system has to make to neutralize a threat. Where the infection happens in the body also matters. For example, an infection in the upper respiratory tract triggers much less involvement from your adaptive immune system than when it reaches your lungs. Part of this is because your upper respiratory tract is already heavily preloaded with large numbers of generalist immunological cells that are designed to attack germs as they enter, which is why most colds and flus never make it deeper into the lungs. The guys with the clubs are capable of handling most of the threats that try to make through the gate. Most of the specialized troops hold back unless they are needed. Catching a dangerous disease like measles produces lifetime immunity because an infection triggers all the deep layers that will retain a memory of how to fight off future encounters with the virus. So does the measles vaccine. Catching a cold or mild flu generally does not.  From an evolutionary point of view, this actually makes a lot of sense. Why waste valuable resources developing long-lasting immunity (i.e. training archers and building catapults) to defend against a virus that did not put you in mortal danger. A far better evolutionary strategy is to evolve a narrower generalist immune response to mild infections (i.e. most cold and flu viruses), which fades quickly once the threat is conquered, but invest in deep long-term broad-based immunity to dangerous infections, which lasts a very long time in case that threat is ever spotted on the horizon again. Considering the huge number of threats our immune systems face, this strategy avoids the trap of spreading immunological memory too thin. Our immunological memory resources are not limitless - long-term survival requires prioritizing our immunological resources. The take-home lesson is that vaccines will, at best, only last as long as immunity acquired through natural infection and will often fade much faster because the vaccine is often only able to trigger a partial immune response compared to the actual infection. So, if the disease itself doesn't produce a broad-based immune response leading to long-lasting immunity, neither will the vaccine. And in most cases, immunity acquired through vaccination will begin to fade much sooner than immunity acquired through a natural infection. Every vaccine maker and public health official knows this despite bizarrely claiming that the COVID vaccines (based on re-creating the S-protein spike instead of using a whole virus) would somehow become the exception to the rule. That was a lie, and they knew it from day one. That should set your alarm bells ringing at full throttle. So, with this little bit of background knowledge under our belts, let's look at what our public health officials and vaccine makers would have known in advance about coronaviruses and coronavirus vaccines when they told us back in the early Spring of 2020 that COVID vaccines were the path back to normality. From a 2003 study [my emphasis]: "Until SARS appeared, human coronaviruses were known as the cause of 15–30% of colds... Colds are generally mild, self-limited infections, and significant increases in neutralizing antibody titer are found in nasal secretions and serum after infection. Nevertheless, some unlucky individuals can be reinfected with the same coronavirus soon after recovery and get symptoms again." In other words, the coronaviruses involved in colds (there were four human coronaviruses before SARS, MERS, and COVID) all trigger such a weak immune response that they do not lead to any long-lasting immunity whatsoever. And why would they if, for most of us, the threat is so minimal that the generalists are perfectly capable of neutralizing the attack. We also know that immunity against coronaviruses is not durable in other animals either. As any farmer knows well, cycles of reinfection with coronaviruses are the rule rather than the exception among their livestock (for example, coronaviruses are a common cause of pneumonia and various types of diarrheal diseases like scours, shipping fever, and winter dysentery in cattle). Annual farm vaccination schedules are therefore designed accordingly. The lack of long-term immunity to coronaviruses is well documented in veterinary research among cattle, poultry, deer, water buffalo, etc. Furthermore, although animal coronavirus vaccines have been on the market for many years, it is well known that "none are completely efficacious in animals". So, like the fading flu vaccine profile I showed you earlier, none of the animal coronavirus vaccines are capable of providing sterilizing immunity (none were capable of stopping 100% of infections, without which you can never achieve herd immunity) and the partial immunity they offered is well known to fade rather quickly. What about immunity to COVID's close cousin, the deadly SARS coronavirus, which had an 11% case fatality rate during the 2003 outbreak? From a 2007 study: "SARS-specific antibodies were maintained for an average of 2 years... SARS patients might be susceptible to reinfection >3 years after initial exposure."  (Bear in mind that, as with all diseases, re-infection does not mean you are necessarily going to get full-blown SARS; fading immunity after a natural infection tends to offer at least some level of partial protection against severe outcomes for a considerable amount of time after you can already be reinfected and spread it to others - more on that later.) And what about MERS, the deadliest coronavirus to date, which made the jump from camels in 2012 and had a fatality rate of around 35%? It triggered the broadest immune response (due to its severity) and also appears to trigger the longest lasting immunity as a result (> 6yrs) Thus, to pretend that there was any chance that herd immunity to COVID would be anything but short-lived was dishonest at best. For most people, immunity was always going to fade quickly. Just like what happens after most other respiratory virus infections. By February 2020, the epidemiological data showed clearly that for most people COVID was a mild coronavirus (nowhere near as severe than SARS or MERS), so it was virtually a certainty that even the immunity from a natural infection would fade within months, not years. It was also a certainty that vaccination was therefore, at best, only ever going to provide partial protection and that this protection would be temporary, lasting on the order of months. This is a case of false and misleading advertising if there ever was one. If I can allow my farming roots to shine through for a moment, I'd like to explain the implications of what was known about animal coronaviruses vaccines. Baby calves are often vaccinated against bovine coronaviral diarrhea shortly after birth if they are born in the spring mud and slush season, but not if they are born in midsummer on lush pastures where the risk of infection is lower. Likewise, bovine coronavirus vaccines are used to protect cattle before they face stressful conditions during shipping, in a feedlot, or in winter feed pens. Animal coronavirus vaccines are thus used as tools to provide a temporary boost in immunity, in very specific conditions, and only for very specific vulnerable categories of animals. After everything I've laid out so far in this text, the targeted use of bovine coronavirus vaccines should surprise no-one. Pretending that our human coronavirus vaccines would be different was nonsense.  The only rational reason why the WHO and public health officials would withhold all that contextual information from the public as they rolled out lockdowns and held forth vaccines as an exit strategy was to whip the public into irrational fear in order to be able to make a dishonest case for mass vaccination when they should have, at most, been focused on providing focused vaccination of the most vulnerable only. That deception was the Trojan Horse to introduce endless mass booster shots as immunity inevitably fades and as new variants replace old ones.  Now, as all the inevitable limitations and problems with these vaccines become apparent (i.e. fading of vaccine-induced immunity, vaccines proving to only be partially effective, the rise of new variants, and the vaccinated population demonstrably catching and spreading the virus ― a.k.a. the leaky vaccine phenomenon), the surprise that our health authorities are showing simply isn't credible. As I have shown you, all this was 100% to be expected. They intentionally weaponized fear and false expectations to unleash a fraudulent bait-and-switch racket of global proportions. Immunity on demand, forever. Manufacturing Dangerous Variants: Virus Mutations Under Lockdown Conditions — Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu At this point you may be wondering, if there is no lasting immunity from infection or vaccination, then are public health officials right to roll out booster shots to protect us from severe outcomes even if their dishonest methods to get us to accept them were unethical? Do we need a lifetime regimen of booster shots to keep us safe from a beast to which we cannot develop durable long-term immunity? The short answer is no.  Contrary to what you might think, the rapid evolution of RNA respiratory viruses actually has several important benefits for us as their involuntary hosts, which protects us without the benefit of broad lifelong immunity. One of those benefits has to do with the natural evolution of the virus towards less dangerous variants. The other is the cross-reactive immunity that comes from frequent re-exposure to closely related "cousins". I'm going to peel apart both of these topics in order to show you the remarkable system that nature designed to keep us safe... and to show you how the policies being forced on us by our public health authorities are knowingly interfering with this system. They are creating a dangerous situation that increases our risk to other respiratory viruses (not just to COVID) and may even push the COVID virus to evolve to become more dangerous to both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated. There are growing signs that this nightmare scenario has already begun.  “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."  - President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Let's start with the evolutionary pressures that normally drive viruses towards becoming less dangerous over time. A virus depends on its host to spread it. A lively host is more useful than a bedridden or dead one because a lively host can spread the virus further and will still be around to catch future mutations. Viruses risk becoming evolutionary dead ends if they kill or immobilize their hosts. Plagues came, killed, and then were starved out of existence because their surviving hosts had all acquired herd immunity. Colds come and go every year because their hosts are lively, easily spread the viruses around, and never acquire long-lasting immunity so that last year's hosts can also serve as next year's hosts ― only those who have weak immune systems have much to worry about. In other words, under normal conditions, mutations that are more contagious but less deadly have a survival advantage over less contagious and more deadly variations. From the virus' point of view, the evolutionary golden mean is reached when it can easily infect as many hosts as possible without reducing their mobility and without triggering long-term immunity in most of their hosts. That's the ticket to setting up a sustainable cycle of reinfection, forever. Viruses with slow genetic drift and highly specialized reproductive strategies, like polio or measles, can take centuries or longer to become less deadly and more contagious; some may never reach the relatively harmless status of a cold or mild flu virus (by harmless I mean harmless to the majority of the population despite being extremely dangerous to those with weak or compromised immune systems). But for viruses with fast genetic drift, like respiratory viruses, even a few months can make a dramatic difference. Rapid genetic drift is one of the reasons why the Spanish Flu stopped being a monster disease, but polio and measles haven't. And anyone with training in virology or immunology understands this!  We often speak of evolutionary pressure as though it forces an organism to adapt. In reality, a simple organism like a virus is utterly blind to its environment — all it does is blindly produce genetic copies of itself. "Evolutionary pressure" is actually just a fancy way of saying that environmental conditions will determine which of those millions of copies survives long enough to produce even more copies of itself.  A human adapts to its environment by altering its behaviour (that's one type of adaptation). But the behaviour of a single viral particle never changes. A virus "adapts" over time because some genetic copies with one set of mutations survive and spread faster than other copies with a different set of mutations. Adaptation in viruses has to be seen exclusively through the lens of changes from one generation of virus to the next based on which mutations have a competitive edge over others. And that competitive edge will vary depending on the kinds of environmental conditions a virus encounters. So, fear mongering about the Delta variant being even more contagious leaves out the fact that this is exactly what you would expect as a respiratory virus adapts to its new host species. We would expect new variants to be more contagious but less deadly as the virus fades to become just like the other 200+ respiratory viruses that cause common colds and flus.  That's also why the decision to lock down the healthy population is so sinister. Lockdowns, border closures, and social distancing rules reduced spread among the healthy population, thus creating a situation where mutations produced among the healthy would become sufficiently rare that they might be outnumbered by mutations circulating among the bedridden. Mutations circulating among the healthy are, by definition, going to be the least dangerous mutations since they did not make their hosts s.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 25th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Texas amps up vaccine fight

And Insider is suing the Biden administration for secret Trump and Pence staffing records. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order barring private companies in Texas from mandating COVID-19 vaccinesInsider is suing the Biden administration for secret Trump and Pence staffing recordsStephanie Grisham doesn't want forgiveness. She just wants to stop Trump from winning again.With Phil Rosen. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas at the annual National Rifle Association convention in May 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo 1. A TEXAS-SIZE FIGHT: Texas is ready to mess with President Joe Biden over vaccines. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's declaration outlawing all private companies from imposing vaccine mandates sets him and his state on a collision course with the federal government, further raising the tension between the White House and Republican governors over pandemic policy.Here's what you need to know:Legal experts expect Biden to win this fight: ​​"I would not take it seriously as a legal measure," a University of Texas law professor, Sanford Levinson, told The Dallas Morning News, "unless very surprisingly this argument that Biden just doesn't have the power, that the Labor Department just doesn't have the power, prevails - and I don't think that's the case."Another Texas law professor had this to add: Steve Vladeck/Twitter This is about a lot more than Texas: American Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, is based in Fort Worth; Southwest Airlines also calls the state home. Large numbers of Alphabet and Facebook employees are also in Texas, per Reuters. Both tech companies have pledged to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. And Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks are among the NBA teams requiring fans to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test. All of these entities would now appear to be under conflicting federal and state orders on vaccines.Abbott's action shows where the right stands: Texas has been among the conservative vanguard in pandemic policies. But even that was not enough to please some of Abbott's primary challengers, who felt the governor's previous ban on vaccine mandates by local governments did not go far enough.This is also a flip-flop for Abbott: As The Texas Tribune points out, his office made it pretty explicit in August that it didn't believe this was necessary. A representative for Abbott said then that "private businesses don't need government running their business."Check out how one of Abbott's primary challengers responded: Don Huffines/Twitter Other serious vaccine-related challenges remain: "Experts in vaccine behavior fear that the country is bumping up against the ceiling of persuadable people," The New York Times reports. Here are where things stand in the US's vaccination efforts.2. Democrats are set to slash Biden's $300 billion plan to build millions of homes: The White House hoped to fight the housing crisis with its $3.5 trillion social-spending package, but opposition from Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema has forced Democrats to shrink the plan. And as party leaders prepare a revised package, $300 billion set aside for housing aid is under siege. Overall, the funds could create more than 2 million new homes, according to estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. More on the Democratic infighting over what to keep and what to cut from the $3.5 trillion spending plan.3. Insider sues Biden administration over Trump's records: The lawsuit seeks to compel the General Services Administration to provide the names of nine staff members who worked for Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the months after they left office. In response to previous requests, the agency released the names of some staffers who continued to work for Trump and Pence, including the Trump aides Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino. More on Insider's fight to reveal how taxpayer money is being spent. Jon Gruden. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri 4. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigns amid email scandal: Gruden, who was already under fire for using racist language in a 2011 email, resigned Monday after additional messages came to light showing he called the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, a "pussy" and mocked the gay NFL draftee Michael Sam. Gruden's messages, described by The New York Times, were said to be sent to Bruce Allen, then the president of the Washington Football Team, when Gruden worked for ESPN. The NFL obtained more than 650,000 emails from Washington as part of a massive investigation into the franchise's culture. Here's how the latest revelation is playing out across the NFL.5. Stephanie Grisham doesn't want forgiveness: Grisham, the former high-level Trump aide who published a searing tell-all, told Insider she's "under no illusions" that critics would forgive her for the prominent role she played in Trump's White House. Instead, she wants to stop Trump from winning in 2024, warning that a victorious Trump's "first thought process is going to be revenge and retribution." More on what Grisham says is ahead, including why Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump might not return to the White House. Southwest Boeing 737-800. Steven M. Keller 6. Southwest cancels hundreds of more flights: Southwest canceled more than 350 flights on Monday, continuing a difficult stretch for the airline that it has blamed on weather and air-traffic-control issues, the Associated Press reports. The Federal Aviation Administration did push back on Southwest's claim about air-traffic-control issues, saying "some airlines" had issues getting their crews in the right place. Here's where things stand as stranded passengers try to get home.There's no evidence this has anything to do with vaccines: The FAA, Southwest, and a union representing Southwest pilots have said there's no evidence of worker protests to Southwest's vaccine mandate.7. Evergrande crisis continues to spook markets: Markets expect the deeply troubled Chinese company to miss its third round of bond payments in three weeks, Reuters reports. Traders are now turning their attention to other distressed developers as worries about a wide fallout continue to escalate.8. Kim Jong Un touts North Korean military might: Kim used a rare public display of the country's weapons to try to divide the US from South Korea while accusing the US of "continuing to create tensions in the region with its wrong judgments and actions," the AP reports. North Korea has sent a series of mixed signals in recent weeks.9. A COVID-19 pill took its next step toward becoming a reality: Merck requested FDA authorization for its pill, the next step toward rolling it out to the public. Merck and its fellow developer Ridgeback Biotherapeutics say the pill "significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization or death" from COVID-19 in a late-stage trial. If cleared, it would be the first oral antiviral in use for COVID-19.10. Bond is underperforming at the box office. The latest James Bond film, "No Time To Die," is the first sign of turbulence for the latest wave of blockbuster hopefuls. The action film earned $56 million in its US opening weekend, below some analysts' expectations. This could hint at trouble for would-be hits in a crowded Hollywood market that is still recovering from the pandemic. And yet, Bond is performing up to par globally.Today's trivia question: The Bidens attended their nephew's wedding to the reality-TV star Meghan King on Monday. Who is the first and only president to get married at the White House?Yesterday's answer: Teddy Roosevelt was the first president and first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize when he won in 1906 for negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese War.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

Could This Be A Blow-Off Top For Tyranny?

Could This Be A Blow-Off Top For Tyranny? Submitted by Mark Jeftovic of Bombthrower.com Could This be a Blow-Off Top for Tyranny? King John’s military failure at the Battle of Bouvines triggered the barons’ revolt, but the roots of their discontent lay much deeper. King John ruled England in a ruthless manner at a time when the instruments of government and the practices of the courts were becoming consolidated. Eventually the barons could no longer abide the unpredictable ruling style of their kings. Their discontent came to a head during John’s reign. — Magna Carta, Muse and Mentor   There was a lot of defeatism evident in the comments on my recent series of posts, Why the West can’t ban Bitcoin, How we know Bitcoin is a force for good and No-Coiners don’t get that it’s not up to the government.  The overall timbre being that governments are all-powerful and that they will simply ban or outlaw emergent phenomenon that doesn’t suit their purposes. For awhile this was also my concern. When I wrote Domestic Terror is a Government Without Constraints it was motivated from a place of angst and hopelessness. However as we’ve all been watching events unfold, my mindset around this has been shifting. I have been coming across instance after instance of historical accounts on how seemingly unassailable and despotic regimes were swept away in mere moments of time, when it was least expected, when they seemed to be at the height of their power and poised to consolidate it even more. It is in these inflection points where nobody is aware of their existence, a grain of sand shifts somewhere and suddenly a geopolitical Minsky Moment ensues. Then it’s all over: The fall of the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and 800 year line of Tsars in a weekend over 1917 a few months after an obscure prince named Felix Yusopov murdered a peasant scoundrel named Rasputin The collapse of the Soviet Eastern Bloc in 1989 after gateway between Austria and Hungary was opened one weekend during a Pan-European picnic. It led to the collapse of the USSR after a failed hardliner coup in 1991. In 1945, the government of Haiti was overthrown in an uprising three days after the French writer and revolutionary Andre Breton gave a speech on Surrealism in Port-Au-Prince. Back in the days of William Buckler’s The Privateer newsletter, there was another, lesser known but just good newsletter by Mark Rostenko called The Sovereign Strategist (I have to admit modelling The Crypto Capitalist on both). Rostenko once wrote: “Nothing is bigger than the market. Nothing.” Rostenko quit in disgust and moved to the wilderness, I had brief communications with him over the years including this interview on my old blog. But my last couple emails to him have gone unanswered. What Rostenko may have lost faith in, for the moment, was that “the market” is really another word for The People. Every individual should be free to conduct their daily affairs in a way that serves their rational self-interest. I can hear the collectivists shrieking at that statement. To them I would simply dismiss their claims on everyone else’s autonomy by saying that when particular self-interested behaviours begin to adversely impact on the commons of everybody, then in an undistorted,  free market we would see it in rising costs or other market signals that would change the incentive structure and with it, everybody’s behaviours would adjust. Example: in a truly catastrophic global pandemic with a Black Plague, Ebola or Spanish Flu level of lethality, nobody would have be compelled to wear a mask, stay off the streets or queue up for a vaccine. In my piece that government can’t ban crypto, the naysayers converged around two objections: FDR’s gold ban of 1932 and Communist Centralist China now. FDR’s Gold Ban of 1933 This is one of those episodes in history where people simply don’t look beyond the headline. All they know that is in 1933 a series of executive orders were passed to remove the ability to hold gold privately or specify it as a payment method in contracts and they assume that was it: in a puff of edict, all privately held gold simply disappeared from the public’s hands (“checkmate, Bitcoin cultist”). Everybody is expecting one of these for a specialized area of mathematics called Bitcoin. But that isn’t what happened. In Kenneth R. Ferguson’s “Confiscation: Gold as Contraband 1933-1975” we get a more nuanced look at what the effect and implications of the gold ban were, including the haunting parallels to today’s Lockdown Society and it’s war on small business and the middle class. Our lack of insight into this era… “gives short change to the legitimate concerns of the people who were most opposed to President Roosevelt’s gold policies—farmers, blue collar workers, small business proprietors—and who believed democracy had been circumvented. Just a few years earlier, in the late 1920s, the mere thought of gold confiscation would have been inconceivable to everyone, including those who later supported it.” The gold ban came after FDR and the Democrats ran a campaign premised on a balanced budget and reduced government spending (yes, really). By the time he came into office the Great Depression was in full swing, the S&P had come off 80% from its 1929 high, unemployment was at 25%. England was forced to abandon its gold standard in 1931 and 25 other countries followed suit within the year. The newly elected president came into office facing a wave of  bank runs and took over the entire financial sector on his second day in office, “emergency executive control over all banking and currency transactions.” FDR blamed gold hoarding for the nation’s banking crisis, however: He failed to explain hoarding as a way of protecting a life savings in the face of frequent and increasing bank insolvency coupled with no depositor insurance, or to identify speculative activity abroad as foreigners exchanging their dollar assets for gold in anticipation of dollar devaluation. Most people would understand these choices as rational, but Roosevelt labeled them “unwarranted” and “speculative” in an emotional appeal to wrongdoing. The emphasis is added, because it highlights our main assertion: at some point rational self-interest creates an environment that incentivizes certain behaviours in spite of those that the government is attempting to induce. In fact, the harder the government may try to impose behaviours that are against the rabble’s own interests, the more vigorously they may adapt the discouraged behaviour  (also see: Bitcoin). FDR’s administration escalated the war on savers by ratcheting up the restrictions against gold: “The gold policies of President Roosevelt over a ten-month period provided a classic example of a political slippery slope. On April 5, the President declared “hoarding” to be illegal, and on August 28 the crime was elevated to “holding.” On December 28, 1933, the Secretary of the Treasury finalized the mandate by “requiring the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates to the Treasurer of the United States” (that is, from the theoretically-temporary hands of the banks into the more permanent possession of the government itself.) This is the definition of confiscation; it merely took ten months to be so stated.” Ferguson’s book does a masterful job detailing the machinations of this chapter in US and economic history, in details far exceeding my available bandwidth here. So what actually did happen? Compliance turned out to be low: it was estimated that $287 million USD of gold was in the public hands at the time of the ban. This excludes gold already exported out of the country by those who saw it coming (Canada was a favourite destination and waypoint) and the wealthy who were speculating against a USD currency devaluation using gold held offshore. Of that remaining stash in US public hands, compliance was estimated to be less than 50% by some tallies. The total face value of all gold coinage surrendered between 1933 and 1965 was less than $12 million USD, or approximately 4% of outstanding gold coinage. China’s Bitcoin Ban From my latest Crypto Capitalist letter, I cover the general situation in China: China’s crypto ban is actually less about crypto and more about state control over everything. There are rumours that China will soon break up Alipay, the overarching pattern is that China perceives Big Tech and decentralized tech as threats to the CCP hegemony, and they are moving to crush all opposition. Only by moving to outlaw entire industries, especially the ones poised to inherit the future, China may be repeating the same error that made over 500 years ago, when they ceded passage over the open seas to Europe, who went on to shape the trajectory of the world while China atrophied into centuries of internal strife and conflict: “More than five centuries ago, three ancient civilizations made three crucial decisions that largely preordained their subsequent collapse. As always, during periods of stress, these choices were not perceived as either critical or damaging. Indeed on the contrary, they were viewed positively as constructive responses to the contemporary problems that helped to strengthen their respective societies. In a matter of several decades between 1433 and 1485, China, Russia and the Ottomans independently decided that interactions with foreigners, trade, innovation, civil and property rights, education, and freedom to exchange views were contrary to the interests of the state and social cohesion” — Victor Shvets, The Great Rupture Is China making the same mistake now? We can already see that an outright ban on Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in China has had no effect on them globally. Zero. Think about that. Also note that reminiscent of how gold was exported from the US ahead of the gold ban in 1932 (not because anybody saw the ban coming per se, but because a devaluation of the USD was seen as likely), the largest Chinese crypto exchanges have been exiting China since 2017. Binance is still operating full-tilt having moved their HQ from Hong Kong to Bahamas, which is quite literally a page from The Sovereign Individual playbook – moving from a jurisdiction hostile to your interests to one accommodating to them.  Binance has its own exchange token (BNB) which at a $64B market cap makes it the 5th largest crypto currency in the world, and a Layer 1 blockchain (Binance Smartchain) that currently has a little under $20B TVL in DeFi, which definitely puts it somewhere on the Network State / Crypto-clave spectrum. Something similar happened with Chinese miners, who are moving to the West or other Asian jurisdictions. Interestingly, most of the crypto entities that arose there and then fled, came up in Hong Kong, which has had a taste of free market capitalism until the big rug pull in that respect in recent years. In mainland China itself, they’ve always been living under totalitarianism and the population is inculcated to it. But even there, how long can the Chinese people, catching glimpses through the Great Firewall of far  more marginally freer people, especially those in Hong Kong, abide by tyranny? How long can that centralized, top-down repression truly continue for? Life in liberal democracies is traditionally supposed to be anything goes except that which is expressly illegal. But we’ve had two years of rule by edict and that which is not explicitly permitted is forbidden. How long can this continue for? On a local level, some restaurants in Toronto are deciding not to enforce vax mandates. The longer the mandates continue, I expect more restaurants to begin eschewing them, because their economic self-interest is served by doing so. Even fully vaxxed people are curbing their outings because dinner and a movie feels more like internment into a gulag than a family night out. Venues that help people regain that sense of normalcy and comfort will attract the business, not the ones who force you to show “your papers please” on the way in. In Australia, the peasants are revolting, and even if the civil aviation authority is trying to ban drones from capturing the footage of these occurrences, they are still occurring and footage is getting out nonetheless. Varying US states ruling against vaccine and mask mandates, people are setting up job boards for those who aren’t vaxxed (or those who are but don’t want to work for companies that require it). The transportation system is grinding to a halt as air traffic controllers, air crew and pilots are calling in sick, resulting in mass flight cancelations, who knows where it will spread next. Why? The MSM is trying hard not to find out, but guys like Ron Paul suspect vaccine mandates. Right now we’re in civil disobedience, nullification and secessionist territory, but when I think about escalation: as the financial crisis that seemed imminent before COVID seems to be edging back into the frame (inflation, energy costs, supply chain constraints, cascading debt collapses: Evergrande and now the entire Chinese bond market) governments who seized on the COVID opportunity to introduce emergency measures may see a need for doubling down. After chasing the goalposts for almost two years now, I’m not sure the rabble is going to take it much longer. And if it doesn’t, what would that mean? #WorldWarWe In a recent podcast I was listening to (I think it was Sahill Bloom on Bankless, but it’s possible I’m misremembering and I’m sorry if so), he said something almost off-handedly: He said, in effect, “the next world war will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen” – and I expected him to talk about non-conventional warfare, such as bio-weapons, information warfare, and economics (“war by other means”), but instead he said “World War III will be everybody against their own governments” When you think about it, one realizes that today’s technology, with decentralization, cryptography, 3-D printing and drones could actually make this a possibility. In David Hambling’s Swarm Troopers: How Small Drones Can Conquer the World, he outlines how governments, whose military used to have technologies 20 years ahead of the general populace, have become so bureaucratized and sclerotic that they now move at a fraction of the pace of the highly competitive private sector: “If a commercial product goes through a generation every two years and the military cycle takes six years per generation, then in twelve years the military product goes from being four times as powerful as the competition to a quarter as powerful.” An example of this dynamic we can already see having played out is the Internet, which came out of the military industrial complex and in its day, was light-years ahead of anything the general public had (Compuserve, GEnie). But the “genie” did indeed get out of the bottle, and once the private sector got onto it and ran with it, it changed the fundamental architecture of power. The groundwork was laid for the evolution of societies in ways that would challenge, and will inevitably overwhelm the nation states that let it out. Say hello to the Network State and crypto claves. So now that we’re here in The Jackpot, do we honestly believe that the slowest, most bureaucratic, rigid an inflexible entities (governments) are actually going to win the race for primacy in a rapidly decentralizing world? When the gargantuan imbalances they created over the last century finally experience their all-encompassing, self-induced Global Minsky Moment? It was under FDR’s gold ban that dissenting Supreme Court Justice McReynolds ruminated that it meant the demise of the US Constitution: It is impossible to fully estimate the result of what has been done. The Constitution as many of us have understood it, the instrument that has meant so much to us, is gone. The guarantees heretofore supposed to protect against arbitrary action have been swept away. The powers of Congress have been so enlarged that now no man can tell their limitations. Guarantees heretofore supposed to prevent arbitrary action are in the discard… Shame and humiliation are upon us now. Moral and financial chaos may confidently be expected. While in those days the ban on gold was ineffective and compliance less than half, it did succeed in stripping the US citizenry of constitutional protections which has only escalated into the present day. We have all been treating what happened under COVID as something unprecedented. But if you think of Lockdown Society and The New Normal not as the implementation of a quasi-one-world government , ushering in a global police state, but instead as the crescendo, of a roughly century long process of creeping tyranny…. one of those infamous blow-off tops that are unrecognizable to us now because we are immersed in it, still experiencing it. Despite the overwhelming arsenals of governments, the militarization of civilian police forces, and near ubiquitous surveillance capabilities, there’s never been a time in history when the people have the means to rebel, both within the system and without. Especially here in North America, where to avoid retyping all this, allow me to simply excerpt a passage from the most recent edition of The Crypto Capitalist letter…. “The Future of Life Institute made docudrama short-film called “Slaughterbots”, it’s 7 minutes long and nothing short of chilling, but we’d be fools to think that if technology has this capability already, it won’t be used. By somebody: Mexican cartels are already using drones to smuggle drugs, not to mention weaponized drones in combat with each other and on at least one occasion used them to attack the police. It’s still under-appreciated how significant a change this is. On par with the gunpowder revolution and aerial warfare, autonomous weapons and drones are yet another technology in the process of changing the rules of the game. This brings us to the important part: we can already see that these technologies won’t just change the nature of conflict between governments. Drones are also accessible to non-state actors, perhaps even more-so. They will alter the relationship of power across society as a whole. When also you factor in their close cousin, 3-D printed weapons, we really begin to understand what a fundamental shift in the landscape decentralization and digital technology really implies. One of the defining characteristics that makes America, and certain other countries so different from, say, China, or even Australia, is the level to which the citizenry is armed. Especially in North America. The US and Mexico are two of the only three countries in world where gun ownership is a Constitutional right (the third is Guatemala) while even here in Canada, where it isn’t, we have one of the higher per-capita levels of gun ownership (somewhere around 34 guns per 100 people). Imagine a future in which all these gun owners have the capability and incentives to print up their own weapons on 3- D printers. Then deploying them via drones, possibly swarms of them, for whatever purpose. There is no technological barrier from them doing so, and doing so right now. What scenarios or conditions would have to exist to galvanize that kind of behaviour en masse? How close are we to those conditions now? Are we moving toward those conditions or away from them? Most importantly, do you think whoever is in government could stop it? If you consider this, then we can get a sense of why governments and policymakers are so eager to assert their authority now and to appear to be unassailable and omnipotent. I think it’s fear.” To be clear: I am not advocating an armed rebellion against incumbent governments. I’m observing how decentralization and cryptography have changed the architecture of power and asking what kind of incentives would have to be in place to make what I describe inevitable. The Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency movements were the second half of the one-two punch that set all this in motion. The Internet freed the flow of information, and in a world where “whosoever controls the monetary system, controls society (Zarlenga)”, cryptos have taken the punch-bowl of monetary control away from the State in a truly Promethean manner, and open-sourced it. Who controls money now? Everybody. There is a point beyond which the citizenry will stop viewing each other as enemies (left vs right) and start viewing their own governments as the enemy (overlords vs rabble). If that happens, then the incentives and conditions will be in place for #WorldWarWe. Coda: As per the comment from Matt below, I am deeply saddened to learn that Mark Rostenko passed away July 26, 2020. We never met, but I considered him an internet friend and I respected him a lot. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/13/2021 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 13th, 2021

Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs

"Workers are burned out. They're fed up. They're fried." If April 2020 was the month of pink slips—as the rapid spread of COVID-19 resulted in the loss of 20.5 million jobs—then Fall 2021 is the dawn of their revenge. A record-breaking 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August across an array of industries, according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s the highest level since the agency started tracking such data in 2000, and the sixth consecutive month of sky-high quitting rates. Meanwhile, the 7.7 million people who remain unemployed aren’t, for the most part, jumping at the roughly 10.4 million job openings—leaving business after business with ‘Help Wanted’ placards in their windows. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Those stats may seem puzzling. After months of economic- and pandemic-fueled uncertainty, things are finally looking up: schools are reopening, the vaccine is widely available, businesses are expanding, and the economy is broadly resurgent. But, labor experts say, that rosy picture doesn’t take into account the national mood. Americans, they say, are simply burned out—and emboldened by the current labor market. “[Employees] don’t want to return to backbreaking or boring, low wage, sh-t jobs,” Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, tells TIME. “Workers are burned out. They’re fed up. They’re fried. In the wake of so much hardship, and illness and death during the past year, they’re not going to take it anymore.” Read more: How COVID-19 is Decimating the Daycare Industry Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says that the conditions are good for workers to exert pressure on their employers. “For at least two generations, workers have been on their back heels,” he explains. “We are now seeing a labor market that is tight and prospects are becoming increasingly clear that it’s going to remain tight. It’s now going to be a workers’ market, and they’re empowered. I think they are starting to flex their collective muscle.” More from TIME There’s no single factor driving workforce behavior, economists add. It’s more of a grab bag of diffuse burdens. Wages aren’t keeping up with surging prices. Low-wage jobs often lack opportunities for career growth. A crumbling childcare industry is driving up daycare costs, making work unaffordable. Those who have remained in jobs face increasing responsibility and grueling work conditions punctuated by fears of the next variant of COVID-19. And then there’s just plain old vanilla pandemic fatigue. Data from big employers across the country suggest that vaccine mandates aren’t playing much of a role. Roughly 99% of Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System’s 33,000 employees complied with its vaccine mandate, according to the local NBC affiliate. In Washington State, University of Washington hospitals reported 97% of staff were vaccinated by the end of September, according to local NPR station KUOW. More than 90% of Tyson Foods’ 120,000-person workforce were vaccinated in the same time frame. Read More: U.S. Workers Are Realizing It’s the Perfect Time to Go on Strike Tuesday’s numbers also offer further proof that expanded unemployment insurance was not a significant factor in keeping people out of work—since more people are quitting their jobs now than they did before the expanded benefit ended in September. “I’m sure that some economist, some day, digging through some data will be able to prove that there was some effect on the margin of the supplemental UI. But it’s really on the margins,” argues Zandi. “On the top 10 list of reasons why people have been slow to get back to work, that might be number 10.” The ‘Great Resignation’ Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M who coined the term the “Great Resignation” to describe this budding labor market says the trends may have a silver lining. They may force companies not only to raise wages and increase benefits, but also to offer more flexibility to attract and retain an in-person workforce. “There’s all this talk about people wanting more flexibility post-pandemic,” says Klotz. “There’s an opportunity here for organizations to get together with workers who have to be in person and say, ‘Within the constraints of our business, let’s obviously raise wages and benefits, but let’s also think about flexibility more innovatively.’” That’s especially the case for people working in the food service and retail industries. In August, some 892,000 workers quit accommodation and food services jobs and 721,000 quit retail positions, according to BLS data. The healthcare sector also took a hit: 534,000 U.S. workers resigned or quit from health care and social assistance positions. Read more: Women’s COVID-Fueled Exodus From the Workforce Hurts Us All In both June and July, the rate of voluntary quits was 2.7% of the U.S. workforce. In August, the turnover rate was 2.9%. Those numbers mark unprecedented churn: the 4.3 million people who quit in August 2021 was roughly 20% higher than the number of resignations in August 2019, and more than 40% higher than the number who quit in August 2020. A workers’ market When a current employer is unable or unwilling to make a job more attractive, numbers on job openings suggest that burned out workers in many sectors can easily find new ones. “Workers have more bargaining power than they have had in the immediate past or the recent past. If you look at the ratio of unemployed workers, job openings, or just even just the quit rate itself, that does suggest that there’s more power for workers in the form of exiting,” says Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “If they don’t like the situation they’re in now, they can leave.” That’s what 35-year-old Amy Minas of Illinois did. Frustrated by limited senior staff and insufficient training at her medical lab assistant job, she felt overwhelmed and overworked at the hospital she started working at in May 2019. Things got even worse when the pandemic hit. “It was very difficult to know you were doing such an important job with basically no training and not feeling your employer appreciated your concerns,” Minas says. “With COVID, it just made it that much worse, because of staffing issues and having to do all these COVID tests.” Like many other Americans, Minas has completely switched professions, now providing science tutoring at a local community college. Read More: Pandemic Fuels Union Interest Among Frontline Workers Recent months have seen a rise in labor activity, including October strikes facilitated by school bus drivers in Maryland and janitors at a Denver airport, and threats of strikes among film and television producers and John Deere employees. Reich says the current BLS numbers already point at a nationwide walk-out. Workers, after all, don’t have to picket to flex their power in today’s job market. “People are quitting and they’re not taking jobs,” he says. “That’s tantamount to a strike. American workers have, in effect, called a general strike.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 13th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Campaigns get into bitcoin

And one of the highest-ranking House Republicans refuses to say Trump legitimately lost. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Altcoins and bitcoin are campaign fuel for these 17 crypto-minded politicians and political groupsHigh-ranking House Republican refuses to say Trump legitimately lostFauci says it's safe for children to trick-or-treat on HalloweenWith Phil Rosen. Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty 1. ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Politicians are cashing in on the crypto boom. A growing number of candidates and political groups are interested in accepting bitcoin and altcoins. The only problem is that federal law in this area leaves a lot of open questions.Here's what you need to know:Campaigns can legally accept bitcoin: The Federal Election Commission, the agency tasked with overseeing federal elections, established this right in 2014. But its guidance on the subject leaves a lot of ambiguity, including over whether campaigns can use cryptocurrency to buy goods and services and whether it's legal to accept more than $100 worth of bitcoin. To further complicate matters, the guidance is so outdated that it applies only to bitcoin, not any of the many other cryptocurrencies like dogecoin.Things get even messier when it comes to super PACs: The FEC doesn't say whether super PACs, which may legally accept unlimited amounts of money to advocate or oppose politicians, can also accept unlimited amounts of crypto.Politicians are moving ahead anyway: The NRCC, House Republicans' campaign arm, became the first national party committee to accept crypto. It is able to get around the $100 question by converting any crypto donations into cash before it hits its account.The Yang Gang is joining too: The former Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, who just started a third party called the Forward Party, has pledged that his outfit will accept crypto too. He plans to use BitPay, which is what the NRCC uses too.Read more about how Washington is getting into crypto, including how every lawmaker has already received $50 worth of bitcoin.2. Hundreds of thousands of US troops are not fully vaccinated: Sizable portions of the military are not vaccinated even as deadlines approach for the Pentagon's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, The Washington Post reports. The vaccination rate varies within different branches and military segments. The Post, for example, found 90% of the active-duty Navy was fully vaccinated but just 72% of the Marine Corps was. The reserves and the National Guard have large numbers of unvaccinated troops. Officials say part of the delay is due to different deadlines for the services. More on the concerns about how the lagging vaccination rates will affect troop readiness.3. Taliban says US will provide humanitarian aid to Afghans: The Taliban made the claim after the first direct talks between the US and the militants since American forces withdrew, the Associated Press reports. The US appeared to confirm only that humanitarian aid had been discussed. The US is also yet to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate leaders of Afghanistan. Here's where things stand as the two sides grapple with Afghanistan's future.4. High-ranking House Republican refuses to say Trump lost: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, refused to say Joe Biden fairly won the 2020 US presidential election almost a year after it took place. Fox News' Chris Wallace repeatedly pressed Scalise on whether he believed Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Scalise refused to give a direct answer. More on what this means for the state of the GOP.5. Southwest cancels more than 1,000 flights: The airline had canceled nearly a third of its daily schedule as of early last night, the highest rate of any major US airline, the Associated Press reports. Southwest cited air-traffic-control issues and weather delays, but analysts are speculating about other possibilities, including that the airline might've scheduled too many flights and that some pilots were protesting the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The union representing Southwest pilots, which is suing the airline over its pandemic policies, denied pilots were staging a protest. More on what the fallout may be for a major airline. Pool / Pool/ Getty Images 6. Fauci says Americans should enjoy trick-or-treating: Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said COVID-19 cases in the US were headed in the "right direction" and Americans should feel free to enjoy outdoor Halloween festivities like trick-or-treating. He also cautioned against prematurely declaring victory over the pandemic, however, noting that past surges had sprung up after relative lulls. More on what Fauci thinks about where things stand.7. Prosecutors say a Navy nuclear engineer tried to pass secrets via a sandwich: Jonathan Toebbe is accused of attempting to sell classified data about nuclear submarines to someone he thought was a foreign agent - by popping the intel into an SD card and slotting it into a peanut-butter sandwich. "I believe this information will be of great value to your nation. This is not a hoax," prosecutors say Toebbe wrote in one message to someone he thought was a foreign intelligence agent. Instead, the FBI was on the receiving end. More on the wild details of the espionage-related charges.8. Police arrest three men after a deadly St. Paul shooting: Officers found 15 people injured when they responded to what was described as a "hellish" scene at a bar in Minnesota early Sunday morning. Fourteen people were sent to nearby hospitals, and a woman described to be in her 20s died. Here's the latest.9. Ivanka Trump nearly led the World Bank, report says: Donald Trump wanted to name his daughter to lead the World Bank in 2019, but then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin intervened to block the appointment, The Intercept reports. "It came incredibly close to happening," a source told the publication. More on the episode. "Squid Game." Netflix 10. The popularity of "Squid Game" has stunned Hollywood: The South Korean series has become extraordinarily popular, reaching No. 1 in 90 countries in 10 days, and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said early on that it was likely to unseat "Bridgerton" as the streamer's all-time most popular series. Netflix did little to market the show outside Asia, relying on its recommendation engine, social media, and word of mouth to get audiences to watch what has become a worldwide hit. Read more about how "Squid Game" is spawning memes and increased costume sales.Speaking of merch: Walmart is partnering with Netflix to sell merchandise related to "Squid Game," "Stranger Things," "Ada Twist," and more. Alas, "Squid Game" tracksuits won't be available until later this year.Today's trivia question: Today marks the anniversary of when former President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. Who was the first president to win the high honor? (ICYMI: This year's prize went to two outspoken critical journalists from the Philippines and Russia.) bgriffiths@insider.com.Friday's answer: A reproduction of Modigliani's "Woman with a Fan" is shown in 2012's "Skyfall," the third installment in Daniel Craig's turn as James Bond. In reality, the painting was one of five stolen during a daring art heist from Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne in 2010. The thief, who stole the paintings worth an estimated $110 million, and two of his accomplices have been sentenced to prison. The art is still missing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 11th, 2021

One Ring To Rule Us All: A Global Digital Fiat Currency

One Ring To Rule Us All: A Global Digital Fiat Currency Via SchiffGold.com, We’ve written extensively about the “war on cash.” In a nutshell, governments would love to do away with cash in order to better track and control their citizens. There have been numerous moves closer to a cashless society in recent years, from capping ATM withdrawals to doing away with large-denomination bills. Last year, China launched a digital yuan pilot program and the US has floated moving toward a digital dollar. We got a first-hand look at what happens when governments restrict access to cash when India plunged into a cash crisis after the country’s government enacted a policy of demonetization in November 2016. It’s bad enough that various countries are exploring ways to move toward cashlessness, but there’s an even worse scenario - a global digital currency. Economist Thorsten Polleit compares it to the “master ring” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings. The following article was originally published by the Mises Wire. 1. Human history can be viewed from many angles. One of them is to see it as a struggle for power and domination, as a struggle for freedom and against oppression, as a struggle of good against evil. That is how Karl Marx (1818–83) saw it, and Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) judged similarly. Mises wrote: The history of the West, from the age of the Greek Polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders. But unlike Marx, Mises recognized that human history does not follow predetermined laws of societal development but ultimately depends on ideas that drive human action. From Mises’s point of view, human history can be understood as a battle of good ideas against bad ideas. Ideas are good if the actions they recommend bring results that are beneficial for everyone and lead the actors to their desired goals; At the same time, good ideas are ethically justifiable, they apply to everyone, anytime and anywhere, and ensure that people who act upon them can survive. On the other hand, bad ideas lead to actions that do not benefit everyone, that do not cause all actors to achieve their goals and/or are unethical. Good ideas are, for example, people accepting “mine and yours”; or entering into exchange relationships with one another voluntarily. Bad ideas are coercion, deception, embezzlement, theft. Evil ideas are very bad ideas, ideas through which whoever puts them into practice is consciously harming others. Evil ideas are, for example, physical attacks, murder, tyranny. 2. With Lord of the Rings, J. J. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) wrote a literary monument about the epic battle between good and evil. His fantasy novel, published in 1954, was a worldwide success, not least because of the movie trilogy, released from 2001 to 2003. What is Lord of the Rings about? In the First Age, the deeply evil Sauron—the demon, the hideous horror, the necromancer—had rings of power made by the elven forges. Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. But Sauron secretly forges an additional ring into which he pours all his darkness and cruelty, and this one ring, the master ring, rules all the other rings. When Sauron puts the master ring on his finger, he can read and control the minds of everyone wearing one of the other rings. The elves see through the dark plan and hide their three rings. The seven rings of the dwarves also fail to subjugate their bearers. But the nine rings of men proved to be effective: Sauron enslaved nine human kings, who were to serve him. Then, however, in the Third Age, in the battle before Mount Doom, Isildur, the eldest son of King Elendils, severed Sauron’s ring finger with a sword blow. Sauron is defeated and loses his physical form, but he survives. Now Isildur has the ring of power, and it takes possession of him. He does not destroy the master ring when he has the opportunity, and it costs him his life. When Isildur is killed, the ring sinks to the bottom of a river and remains there for twenty-five hundred years. Then the ring is found by Smeagol, who is captivated by its power. The ring remains with its finder for nearly five hundred years, hidden from the world. Over time, Sauron’s power grows again, and he wants the Ring of Power back. Then the ring is found, and for sixty years, it remains in the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, a friendly, well-meaning being who does not allow himself to be seduced by the power of the One Ring. Years later, the wizard Gandalf the Gray learns that Sauron’s rise has begun, and that the Ring of Power is held by Bilbo Baggins. Gandalf knows that there is only one way to defeat the ring and its evil: it must be destroyed where it was created, in Mordor. Bilbo Baggins’s nephew, Frodo Baggins, agrees to take the task upon himself. He and his companions—a total of four hobbits, two humans, a dwarf, and an elf—embark on the dangerous journey. They endure hardship, adversity, and battles against the dark forces, and in the end, they succeed at what seemed impossible: the destruction of the ring of power in the fires of Mount Doom. Good triumphs over evil. 3. The ring in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is not just a piece of forged gold. It embodies Sauron’s evil, corrupting everyone who lays hands or eyes on it, poisons their soul, and makes them willing helpers of evil. No one can wield the cruel power of the One Ring and use it for good; no human, no dwarf, no elf. Can an equivalent for Tolkien’s literary portrait of the evil ring be found in the here and now? Yes, I believe so, and in the following, I would like to offer you what I hope is a startling, but in any case, entertaining, interpretation. Tolkien’s Rings of Power embody evil ideas. The nineteen rings represent the idea that the ring bearers should have power over others and rule over them. And the One Ring, to which all other rings are subject, embodies an even darker idea, namely that the bearer of this master ring has power over all other ring bearers and those ruled by them; that he is the sole and absolute ruler of all. The nineteen rings symbolize the idea of establishing and maintaining a state (as we know it today), namely a state understood as a territorial, coercive monopoly with the ultimate power of decision-making over all conflicts. However, the One Ring of power stands for the particularly evil idea of creating a state of states, a world government, a world state; and the creation of a single world fiat currency controlled by the states would pave the way toward this outcome. 4. To explain this, let us begin with the state as we know it today. The state is the idea of the rule of one over the other. This is how the German economist, sociologist, and doctor Franz Oppenheimer (1864–1946) sees it: The state … is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group over the vanquished and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad…. This dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors. Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) defined the state quite similarly: The state is a machine in the hands of the ruling class to suppress the resistance of its class opponents. The modern state in the Western world no longer uses coercion and violence as obviously as many of its predecessors. But it, too, is, of course, built on coercion and violence, asserts itself through them, and most importantly, it divides society into a class of the rulers and a class of the ruled. How does the state manage to create and maintain such a two-class society of rulers and ruled? In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, nine men, all of them kings, wished to wield power, and so they became bearers of the rings, and because of that, they were inescapably bound to Sauron’s One Ring of power. This is quite similar to the idea of the state. To seize, maintain, and expand power, the state seduces its followers to do what is necessary, to resort to all sorts of techniques: propaganda, carrot and stick, fear, and even terror. The state lets the people know that it is good, indispensable, inevitable. Without it, the state whispers, a civilized coexistence of people would not be possible. Most people succumb to this kind of propaganda, and the state gets carte blanche to effectively infiltrate all economic and societal matters—kindergarten, school, university, transport, media, health, pensions, law, security, money and credit, the environment—and thereby gains power. The state rewards its followers with jobs, rewarding business contracts, and transfer payments. Those who resist will end up in prison or lose their livelihood or even their lives. The state spreads fear and terror to make people compliant—as people who are afraid are easy to control, especially if they have been led to believe that the state will protect them against any evil. Lately, the topics of climate change and coronavirus have been used for fear-mongering, primarily by the state, which is skillfully using them to increase its omnipotence: it destroys the economy and jobs, makes many people financially dependent on it, clamps down on civil and entrepreneurial freedoms. However, it is of the utmost importance for the state to win the battle of ideas and be the authority to say what are good ideas and what are bad ideas. Because it is ideas that determine people’s actions. The task of winning over the general public for the state traditionally falls to the so-called intellectuals—the people whose opinions are widely heard, such as teachers, doctors, university professors, researchers, actors, comedians, musicians, writers, journalists, and others. The state provides a critical number of them with income, influence, prestige, and status in a variety of ways—which most of them would not have been able to achieve without the state. In gratitude for this, the intellectuals spread the message that the state is good, indispensable, inevitable. Among the intellectuals, there tend to be quite a few who willingly submit to the rings of power, helping—consciously or unconsciously—to bring their fellow men and women under the spell of the rings or simply to walk over, subjugate, dominate them. Anyone who thinks that the state (as we know it today) is acceptable, a justifiable solution, as long as it does not exceed certain power limits, is seriously mistaken. Just as the One Ring of power tries to find its way back to its lord and master, an initially limited state inevitably strives towards its logical endpoint: absolute power. The state (as we know it today) is pushing for expansion both internally and externally. This is a well-known fact derived from the logic of human action. George Orwell put it succinctly: “The object of power is power.”  Or, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe nails it, “[E]very minimal government has the inherent tendency to become a maximal government.” Inwardly, the state is expanding through all sorts of interventions in economic and social life, through regulations, ordinances, laws, and taxes. Outwardly, the economically and militarily strongest state will seek to expand its sphere of influence. In the most primitive form, this happens through aggressive campaigns of conquest and war, in a more sophisticated form, by pursuing political ideological supremacy. In recent decades the latter has taken the form of democratic socialism. To put it casually, democratic socialism means allowing and doing what the majority wants. Under democratic socialism, private property is formally upheld, but it is declared that no one is the rightful owner of 100 percent of the income from their property. People no longer strive for freedom from being ruled but rather to participate in the rule. The result is not people pushing back the state, but rather coming to terms and cooperating with it. The practical consequence of democratic socialism is interventionism: the state intervenes in the economy and society on a case-by-case basis to gradually make socialist ideals a reality. All societies of the Western world have embraced democratic socialism, some with more authority than others, and all of them use interventionism. Seen in this light, all Western states are now acting in concert. What they also have in common is their disdain for competition, because competition sets undesirable limits to the state’s expansive nature. Therefore, larger states often form a cartel. Smaller, less powerful states are compelled to join—and if they refuse, they will suffer political and economic disadvantages. But the cartel of states is only an intermediate step. The logical endpoint that democratic socialism is striving for is the creation of a central authority, something like a world government, a world state. 5. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the One Ring, the ring of power, embodies this very dark idea: to rule them all, to create a world state. To get closer to this goal, democracy (as we understand it today) is proving to be an ideal trailblazer, and that’s most likely the reason why it is praised to the skies by socialists. Sooner or later, a democracy will mutate into an oligarchy, as the German-Italian sociologist Robert Michels pointed out in 1911. According to Michels, parties emerge in democracies. These parties are organizations that need strict leadership, which is handed to the most power-hungry, ruthless people. They will represent the party elite. The party elite can break away from the will of the party members and pursue their own goals and agendas. For example, they can form coalitions or cartels with elites of other parties. As a result, there will be an oligarchization of democracy, in which the elected party elites or the cartel of the party elites will be the kings of the castle. It is not the voters who will call the tune but oligarchic elites that will rule over the voters. The oligarchization of democracy will not only afflict individual states but will also affect the international relations of democracies. Oligarchical elites from different countries will join together and strengthen each other, primarily by creating supranational institutions. Democratic socialism evolves into “political globalism”: the idea that people should not be allowed to shape their own destiny in a system of free markets but that it should be assigned and directed by a global central authority. The One Ring of power drives those who have already been seduced by the common rings to long for absolute power, to elevate themselves above the rest of humanity. Who comes to mind? Well, various politicians, high-level bureaucrats, court intellectuals, representatives of big banking, big business, Big Pharma and Big Tech and, of course, big media—together they are often called the “Davos elite” or the “establishment.” Whether it is about combating financial and economic crises, climate change, or viral diseases—the one ring of power ensures that supranational, state-orchestrated solutions are propagated; that centralization is placed above decentralization; that the state, not the free market, is empowered. Calls for the “new world order,” the “Great Transformation,” the “Great Reset” are the results of this poisonous mindset inspired by the one ring of power. National borders are called into question, property is relativized or declared dispensable, and even a merging of people’s physical, digital, and biological identities—transhumanism—is declared the goal of the self-empowered globalist establishment. But how can political globalism be promoted at a time when there are (still) social democratic nation-states that insist on their independence? And where people are separated by different languages, values, and religions? How do the political globalists get closer to their badly desired end of world domination, their world state? 6. Sauron is the undisputed tyrant and dictator in his realm of darkness. He operates something like a command economy, forcing his subjects to clear forests, build military equipment, and breed Orcs. There are neither markets nor money in Sauron’s sinister kingdom. Sauron takes whatever he wants; he has overcome exchange and money, so to speak. Today’s state is not quite that powerful, and it finds itself in economies characterized by property, division of labor, and monetary exchange. The state wants to control money—because this is one of the most effective ways to gain ultimate power. To this end, the modern state has already acquired the monopoly of money production; and it has replaced gold with its own fiat money. Over time, fiat money destroys the free market system and thus the free society. Ludwig von Mises saw this as early 1912. He wrote: It would be a mistake to assume that the modern organization of exchange is bound to continue to exist. It carries within itself the germ of its own destruction; the development of the fiduciary medium must necessarily lead to its breakdown. (6) Indeed, fiat money not only causes inflation, economic crises, and an unsocial redistribution of income and wealth. Above all, it is a growth elixir for the state, making it ever larger and more powerful at the expense of the freedom of its citizens and entrepreneurs. Against this backdrop, it should be quite understandable why the political globalists see creating a single world currency as an important step toward seizing absolute power. In Europe, what the political globalists want “on a large scale” has already been achieved “on a small scale”: merging many national currencies into one. In 1999, eleven European nation-states gave up their currencies and merged them into a single currency, the euro, which is produced by a supranational authority, the European Central Bank. The creation of the euro provides the blueprint by which the world’s major currencies can be converted into a single world currency. This is what the 1999 Canadian Nobel laureate in economics, Robert Mundell, recommends: Fixing the exchange rates between the US dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound against each other and also fixing them against a new unit of account, the INTOR. And hocus pocus: here is the world fiat currency, controlled by a cartel of central banks or a world central bank. 7. Admittedly, creating a single world fiat currency seems to have little chance of being realized at first glance. But maybe at second glance. First of all, there is a good economic reason for having a single world currency: if all people do business with the same money, the productive power of money is optimized. From an economic standpoint, the optimal number of monies in the world is one. What is more, nation-states have the monopoly of money within their respective territory, and since they all adhere to democratic socialism, they also have an interest in ensuring that there is no currency competition—not even between different state fiat currencies. This makes them susceptible to the idea of reducing the pluralism of currencies. Furthermore, one should not misinterpret the so-called rivalry between the big states such as the US and China and between China and Europe, which is being discussed in the mainstream media on a regular basis. No doubt that there is a rivalry between the national rulers: they do not want to give up the power they have gained in their respective countries; they want to become even more powerful. But the rivalry between the oligarchic democracies of the West has already weakened significantly, and there are great incentives for the oligarchic party elites to work together across borders. In fact, it is the oligarchization of democracy in the Western world that allowed for the rapprochement with a socialist-communist regime: the state increasingly taking control of the economic and societal system. This development could be called “the Chinacization of the West.” The way the Western world has dealt with the coronavirus—the suspension, perhaps the termination of constitutional rights and freedoms—undoubtedly shows where the journey is headed: to the authoritarian state that is beyond the control of the people—as is the case in Communist China. The proper slogan for this might be “One System, Many Countries.” Is it too farfetched to assume that the Western world will make common cause with Communist China not only on health issues but also on the world currency issue? The democratic socialists in the West and the Chinese Communist Party have a great deal of common ground and common interest, I would think. It is certainly no coincidence that China has pushed hard for the Chinese renminbi to be included in the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights, and that the IMF already agreed in November 2015. 8. The issue of digital central bank money, something the world’s major central banks are working on, could be a catalyst in the creation of a single world currency. The issue of digital central bank money not only heralds the end of cash—the anonymous payment option for citizens and entrepreneurs. Once people start using digital central bank money, it will be easy for the central bank and the state to spy on people’s transactions. The state will not only know who pays what, when, where, and what for. It will also be in a position to determine who gets access to the deposits: who gets them and who doesn’t. China is blazing the trail with its “social credit system”: behavior conforming to the Communist regime is rewarded, behavior that does not is punished. Against this backdrop, digital central bank money would be particularly effective at stifling unwanted political opposition. Digital central bank money will not only replace cash, but it will also increasingly compete with money from commercial banks. Why should you keep your money with banks that are exposed to the risk of default when you can keep it safe with the central bank that never goes bankrupt? Once commercial bank deposits can be exchanged one to one for digital central bank money—and this is to be expected—the credit and monetary system is de facto fully nationalized. Because under these conditions, the central bank transfers its unlimited solvency to the commercial banking sector. This completely deprives the financial markets of their function of determining the cost of capital—and the state-planned economy becomes a reality. In fact, this is the type of command and control economy that emerged in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s. The state formally retained ownership of the means of production. But with commands, prohibitions, laws, taxes, and control, the state determines who is allowed to produce what, when, and under what conditions, and who is allowed to consume what, when, and how much. In such a command and control economy, it is quite conceivable that the form of money production will change—away from money creation through lending toward the issue of helicopter money. The central bank determines who gets how much new money and when. The amount of money in people’s bank accounts no longer reflects their economic success. From now on, it is the result of arbitrary political decisions by the central banks, i.e., the rulers. The prospect of being supplied with new money by the state and its central bank—that is, receiving an unconditional basic income—will presumably drive hosts of people into the arms of the state and bring any resistance to its machinations to a shrieking halt. 9. Will the people, the general public, really subscribe to all of this? Well, government-sponsored economists, in particular, will do their very best to inform us about the benefits of having a globally coordinated monetary policy; that stabilizing the exchange rates between national currencies is beneficial; that if a supranational controlled currency—with the name INTOR or GLOBAL—is created, we will achieve the best of all worlds. And as the issuance of digital central bank money has shut down the last remnants of a free capital market, the merging of different national currencies into one will be relatively easy. The single world currency creature that the political globalists want to create will be a fiat money, certainly not a commodity money. Such a single world fiat currency will not only suffer from all the economic and ethical defects which weigh on national fiat currencies. It will also exacerbate and exponentiate the damages a national fiat currency causes. The door to a high inflation policy would be pushed wide open—as nobody could escape the inflationary single world fiat currency. The states are the main beneficiaries: they can get money from the world central bank at any time, provided they adhere to the rules set out by the world central bank and the special interest groups that govern it. This creates the incentive for national states to relinquish sovereignty rights and to submit to supranational rules—for example, in taxation and financial market regulation. It is therefore the incentive resulting from a single world currency that paves the way toward a world government and a world state. In this context, please note what happened in the euro area: the starting point was not the creation of the EU superstate, which was to be followed by the introduction of the euro. It was exactly the opposite: the euro was introduced to overcome national sovereignty and ultimately establish the United Nations of Europe. One has good reason to fear that the idea of issuing a world fiat currency—which the master ring relentlessly pushes for—would bring totalitarianism—that would most likely dwarf the regimes established by Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and other criminals. 10. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, evil is eventually defeated. The story has a happy ending. Will it be that easy in our world? The ideas of having a state (as we know it today), of tolerating it, of cooperating with it, of giving the state total control over our money, of accepting fiat money, are deeply rooted in people’s minds as good ideas. Where are the forces supposed to come from that will enlighten people about the evil that the state (as we know it today) brings to humanity? Particularly when in kindergartens, schools, and universities—which are all in the hands of the state—the teachings of collectivism-socialism-Marxism are systematically drummed into people’s (especially impressionable children’s) heads, when the teachings of freedom, free market and free society, and capitalism are hardly or not at all imparted to the younger generation? Who will explain to people the uncomfortable truth that even a minimal state will become a maximal state? That states’ monopolies over money will lead to a single world currency and thus world tyranny? It does not take much to become bleak when it comes to the future of the free economic and social order. However, it would be rather shortsighted to get pessimistic. Those who believe in Jesus Christ can trust that God will not fail them. If we cannot think of a solution to the problems at hand, the believers can trust God. Because “[e]ven in the darkest night, there is a bright light shining somewhere.” Or: please remember the Enlightenment movement in the eighteenth century. At that time, the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant explained the “unheard of” to the people, namely that there is such a thing as “autonomy of reason.” It means that you and I have the indisputable right to lead our lives independently; that we should handle it according to self-imposed rules, rules that we determine ourselves based on good reason. People back then understood Kant’s message. Why should such an intellectual revolution—triggered by the writings and words of a free thinker—not be able to repeat itself in the future? Or: the fact that people have not yet learned from bad experience does not mean that they won’t eventually learn from it. When it comes to thinking about changes for the better, it is important to note that it is not the mass of people that matters, but the individual. Applied to the conditions in today’s world, among those thinkers who can defeat evil and help the good make a breakthrough are Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe—and all those following their teachings and fearlessly disseminating them—as scholars or as fans. They are—in terms of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings—the companions. They give us the intellectual firepower and the courage to fight and defeat evil. I don’t know if Ludwig von Mises knew Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But he was certainly well aware of the struggle between good and evil that continues throughout human history. In fact, the knowledge of this struggle shaped Mises’s maxim of life, which he took from the verse of the Roman poet Virgil (70 to 19 BC): “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito,” which means “Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.” I want to close my interpretation with a quote from Samwise Gamgee, the loyal friend and companion of Frodo Baggins. In a really hopeless situation, Sam says to Frodo: “There is something good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” So if we want to fight for the good in this world, we know what we have to do: we have to fight for property and freedom and against the darkness that the state (as we know it today) wishes to bring upon us, especially with its fiat money. In fact, we must fight steadfastly for a society of property and freedom! Tyler Durden Sat, 10/09/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 9th, 2021

Coronavirus links: triple protection

A coronavirus-focused linkfest is still a weekly feature here at Abnormal Returns. Please stay safe and find a vaccination site near you.... VaccinesThe CEO of BioNTech ($BTNX) expects new vaccines to cover new variants. (ft.com)The holy grail for researchers is a vaccine that covers all coronavirus variants. (wsj.com)AstraZeneca ($AZN) has filed for EUA of a preventive antibody cocktail. (reuters.com)Did Pfizer ($PFE) shoot too low for the initial dose of the vaccine? (theatlantic.com)Vaccines and childrenPfizer ($PFE) has officially asked the FDA for approval of its vaccine for 5-11 year olds. (npr.org)To avoid side effects, some countries are recommending a single dose for adolescents. (nytimes.com)Plans are being made for the vaccine rollout for children. (washingtonpost.com)Vaccines and pregnancyThe messaging around the vaccine for pregnant women has been inconsistent. (washingtonpost.com)Covid vaccines protect mothers against severe cases. (scientificamerican.com)BoostersJ&J ($JNJ) has filed a EUA for a booster for its vaccine. (cnbc.com)Why we need better language around 'booster shots.' (theatlantic.com)The reasons people give for wanting a booster shot. (theatlantic.com)Vaccine manufacturingThe Novavax ($NVAX) vaccine relies on ingredients derived from Quillay trees from Chile. (nbcnews.com)Moderna ($MRNA) is planning to build a vaccine factory in Africa. (news.trust.org)Vaccine mandatesLos Angeles is mandating Covid vaccines for entry to movie theaters, concerts and restaurants. (hollywoodreporter.com)96% of NYC teachers have been vaccinated. (nytimes.com)A majority of Americans support a Covid vaccine mandate for school children. (politico.com)Vaccine distributionThe West is doing a bad job of getting Covid vaccines to poorer nations. (wsj.com)COVAX is now acknowledged as a failure. (statnews.com)InfluenzaFlu is always unpredictable. This year we are in new territory. (npr.org)Researchers are hoping to avoid a true 'twindemic.' (theconversation.com)Don't hold your breath for a surge in influenza vaccine uptake this year. (axios.com)It takes two week for your body to develop antibodies after a flu shot. (slate.com)TestingThe FDA has approved another at-home Covid antigen test. (marginalrevolution.com)Breakthrough infections are easily mistaken for cold or flu. (wsj.com)Long CovidSome additional studies showing the prevalence of long Covid symptoms. (newatlas.com)Even non-severe Covid cases increase the risk of heart issues. (bloomberg.com)TreatmentCovid is accelerating the use of 'tele-ICUs' in rural hospitals. (statnews.com)Overburdened hospital in many areas are now facing a financial crisis. (washingtonpost.com)AntiviralsHow Merck’s ($MRK) new antiviral drug molnupiravir works. (vox.com)The sooner you take molnupiravir the better. (theatlantic.com)Why researchers would like to see multiple antivirals to treat Covid. (fortune.com)GlobalNew Zealand is preparing to ease pandemic restrictions. (wsj.com)Why New Zealand is changing its approach to Covid. (newscientist.com)Asia's success stories are nervously opening things up. (ft.com)Singapore has paused its reopening. (nytimes.com)MasksWhy are Americans still wearing cloth masks? (theatlantic.com)England has sent kids back to school, sans masks. (nytimes.com)VentilationIt's going to take awhile to upgrade the ventilation in buildings. (theatlantic.com)And costs a pretty penny. (telegraph.co.uk)Other countries are way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to upgrading ventilation systems. (marginalrevolution.com)DataComparing how authoritarian regimes and democracies have done during pandemic. (theatlantic.com)The optimistic (and pessimistic) cases for Covid this Winter. (vox.com)Children are now more likely to get Covid than adults. (washingtonpost.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsCoronavirus links: pandemic preparedness. (abnormalreturns.com)There's only one way through the pandemic tunnel. (abnormalreturns.com)Why we are eventually going to need digital health passes, i.e. vaccine passports. (abnormalreturns.com)The 'Swiss cheese model' and the importance of avoiding single points of failure in pandemic and life. (abnormalreturns.com)On the challenge of holding two competing thoughts on the pandemic in your head a the same time. (abnormalreturns.com)PodcastsScott Gottlieb on why the U.S. was unprepared for the Covid pandemic. (youtube.com)Andy Slavitt talks with Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, about the dangers of treating Covid like a horse race. (podcasts.apple.com)Mixed mediaHow Steve Kirsch went from funding important research to becoming a source of Covid misinformation. (technologyreview.com)A Q&A with Scott Gottlieb author of "Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic." (npr.org).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsOct 9th, 2021

New York"s largest healthcare provider has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations

Healthcare providers across the US are firing employees who refuse to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Northwell Health is the latest. New York healthcare workers must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images Northwell Health has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 shots. Healthcare workers in the state have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Healthcare providers across the US are firing staff who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates. See more stories on Insider's business page. The largest healthcare provider in New York has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations despite a statewide mandate.A spokesman for Northwell Health told The New York Times that the company's goal "was to get people vaccinated, not to get people terminated."Under New York's vaccine mandate, all healthcare staff must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of September 29, 87% of New York hospital workers were fully vaccinated, up from 84% seven days before, the state said.Some state and healthcare officials have warned that mandates could exacerbate staffing shortages in hospitals and other medical facilities.The 1,400 employees fired by Northwell account for about 2% of its workforce. Northwell has around 77,000 employees across 23 hospitals and more than 830 outpatient facilities.Karen Roses was among the staff fired from Northwell. A former patient care technician at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, New York, she told Insider that she refused to get the shot and was fired the day after the statewide mandate came into force.Northwell said in a statement to Insider that it had taken a "rapid, aggressive approach" and that its workforce was now fully vaccinated. This would allow it to "provide exceptional care at all of our hospitals, without interruption and enable all our facilities to remain open and fully operational," it added.The spokesperson told The Times that some Northwell staff who were dismissed for failing to comply with the mandate had since been vaccinated and returned to their jobs. The spokesperson said that terminated workers were given 30 days to interview for reinstatement, although that the company was "openly recruiting" for the newly vacant jobs.Healthcare providers across the US have fired staff who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates. Houston Methodist Hospital said in June that it had lost 153 workers who either quit or were fired. North Carolina's Novant Health said last week that it had fired around 175 members of staff.That same day that the New York mandate for hospital staff came into effect, Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order making more people eligible to work in healthcare. Her office also said she was considering deploying medically-trained National Guard members to alleviate staff shortages.New York's vaccine mandate for hospital and nursing-home staff came into force on September 27. Employees working in home-care, hospice, and adult-care facilities must be vaccinated by October 7.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

New York"s largest healthcare provider has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations, reports say

Healthcare providers across the US are firing employees who refuse to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Northwell Health is the latest. New York healthcare workers must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images Northwell Health fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 shots, The New York Times and others reported. Healthcare workers in the state have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Healthcare providers across the US are firing staff who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates. See more stories on Insider's business page. The largest healthcare provider in New York has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations despite a statewide mandate, according to multiple reports.A spokesman for Northwell Health told The New York Times that the company's goal "was to get people vaccinated, not to get people terminated."Under New York's vaccine mandate, all healthcare staff must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of September 29, 87% of New York hospital workers were fully vaccinated, up from 84% seven days before, the state said.Some state and healthcare officials have warned that mandates could exacerbate staffing shortages in hospitals and other medical facilities.The 1,400 employees fired by Northwell account for about 2% of its workforce. Northwell has around 77,000 employees across 23 hospitals and more than 830 outpatient facilities.Karen Roses was among the staff fired from Northwell. A former patient care technician at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, New York, she told Insider that she refused to get the shot and was fired the day after the statewide mandate came into force.Northwell said in a statement to The Times that vaccinating all its staff would allow it to "provide exceptional care at all of our hospitals, without interruption and enable all our facilities to remain open and fully operational."The spokesperson said that some Northwell staff who were dismissed for failing to comply with the mandate had since been vaccinated and returned to their jobs. The spokesperson said that terminated workers were given 30 days to interview for reinstatement, although that the company was "openly recruiting" for the newly vacant jobs.Northwell didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Healthcare providers across the US have fired staff who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates. Houston Methodist Hospital said in June that it had lost 153 workers who either quit or were fired. North Carolina's Novant Health said last week that it had fired around 175 members of staff.That same day that the New York mandate for hospital staff came into effect, Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order making more people eligible to work in healthcare. Her office also said she was considering deploying medically-trained National Guard members to alleviate staff shortages.New York's vaccine mandate for hospital and nursing-home staff came into force on September 27. Employees working in home-care, hospice, and adult-care facilities must be vaccinated by October 7.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

Major industries are firing few employees for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine mandates present the risk of staff shortages, but several industries are finding very little resistance from their employees. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images Industries across the country are beginning to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, sometimes firing unvaccinated employees. The proportion of fired employees to vaccinated and employed workers, however, is extremely minor. Without an alternate means of compliance like regular testing, however, industries are at risk of staff shortages. See more stories on Insider's business page. Major players in the airline industry, medical industry, and education system have each threatened to fire employees who refuse the COVID-19 vaccination. So far, the vaccine mandates have been a rousing success at boosting vaccination numbers.And while it's easy to get caught up on headlines about dozens or hundreds of employees fired from a large company for not abiding by vaccine mandates, it's more important to look at the larger proportion of employees who were not fired and abided by the rules in the first place.For example, Houston Methodist, one of Houston's largest medical systems, announced it fired 153 of its employees for failing to get the jab by June. And while a group of its fired employees has been outspoken about the decision, likening Methodist's vaccination requirements to Nazi concentration camps, the vast majority of its employee base have been vaccinated: The 153 fired employees make up less than one percent of Methodist's 24,947 employees. Houston Methodist isn't alone.Novant Health, a North Carolina hospital system, previously announced similar vaccination requirements for its employees. While the company said it's fired 375 of its workers, that's still a minuscule amount for Novant Health as a whole: according to the system's spokesperson, that's just around 1% of the company's overall workforce. At the behest of the Biden Administration, several airlines have also begun to roll out a vaccine mandate for their employees, but United Airlines was the first to actually fire employees who were out of compliance with the rule. While United Airlines originally said it planned to fire 600 of its workers, it ultimately ended up firing just 320, or less than one-half of one percent of its 67,000 employees.Vaccine mandates are also beginning to take hold in local educational systems. As of Monday, public school teachers in New York City will be required to be vaccinated in order to work and have offered little resistance.New York's Department of Education said approximately 95% of its employees have already been vaccinated with the United Federation of Teachers saying the number could be as high as 97% of the city's 78,000 teachers, meaning there are less than 3,000 teachers in the city that are out of compliance.Mandates present an inherent risk of staff shortagesCompany-wide vaccine mandates have proven to increase the organization's vaccine numbers but can come at a cost: if enough workers hold out, it can be deleterious for the company or industry's ability to function.While United Airlines has had little difficulty in ensuring its workers are vaccinated, the American Pilots Association recently warned that the industry could see shortages if there are no "alternate means of compliance," such as regular testing. School districts are also at risk when mandating vaccines. However, New York City at least is already on top of that: New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said on Friday that the system has more than enough vaccinated substitute teachers at the ready to account for any unvaccinated full-time employees.Despite high rates of vaccinated employees, the decision for medical systems to mandate COVID-19 vaccines comes with major risks: Many healthcare facilities are already facing staffing shortages due to burnout, violent patients, and poor working conditions, leading to fewer available patient beds and longer wait times for patients.Medical staff shortages were already happening before the vaccine mandates began, meaning access to quality healthcare may become even more difficult if enough firings occur and exacerbate the shortage.President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for federal employees, contractors, and businesses with more than 100 employees begins on November 23, leaving ample time for unvaccinated workers to get vaccinated before any repercussions are doled out. The US is averaging approximately 741,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered each day, according to the New York Times' vaccination tracker. Approximately two-thirds of adults in the country are fully vaccinated.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 4th, 2021

Vaccine mandates work: Major industries are firing few employees for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine mandates present the risk of staff shortages, but several industries are finding very little resistance from their employees. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images Industries across the country are beginning to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, sometimes firing unvaccinated employees. The proportion of fired employees to vaccinated and employed workers, however, is extremely minor. Without an alternate means of compliance like regular testing, however, industries are at risk of staff shortages. See more stories on Insider's business page. Major players in the airline industry, medical industry, and education system have each threatened to fire employees who refuse the COVID-19 vaccination. So far, the vaccine mandates have been a rousing success at boosting vaccination numbers.And while it's easy to get caught up on headlines about dozens or hundreds of employees fired from a large company for not abiding by vaccine mandates, it's more important to look at the larger proportion of employees who were not fired and abided by the rules in the first place.For example, Houston Methodist, one of Houston's largest medical systems, announced it fired 153 of its employees for failing to get the jab by June. And while a group of its fired employees has been outspoken about the decision, likening Methodist's vaccination requirements to Nazi concentration camps, the vast majority of its employee base have been vaccinated: The 153 fired employees make up less than one percent of Methodist's 24,947 employees. Houston Methodist isn't alone.Novant Health, a North Carolina hospital system, previously announced similar vaccination requirements for its employees. While the company said it's fired 375 of its workers, that's still a minuscule amount for Novant Health as a whole: according to the system's spokesperson, that's just around 1% of the company's overall workforce. At the behest of the Biden Administration, several airlines have also begun to roll out a vaccine mandate for their employees, but United Airlines was the first to actually fire employees who were out of compliance with the rule. While United Airlines originally said it planned to fire 600 of its workers, it ultimately ended up firing just 320, or less than one-half of one percent of its 67,000 employees.Vaccine mandates are also beginning to take hold in local educational systems. As of Monday, public school teachers in New York City will be required to be vaccinated in order to work and have offered little resistance.New York's Department of Education said approximately 95% of its employees have already been vaccinated with the United Federation of Teachers saying the number could be as high as 97% of the city's 78,000 teachers, meaning there are less than 3,000 teachers in the city that are out of compliance.Mandates present an inherent risk of staff shortagesCompany-wide vaccine mandates have proven to increase the organization's vaccine numbers but can come at a cost: if enough workers hold out, it can be deleterious for the company or industry's ability to function.While United Airlines has had little difficulty in ensuring its workers are vaccinated, the American Pilots Association recently warned that the industry could see shortages if there are no "alternate means of compliance," such as regular testing. School districts are also at risk when mandating vaccines. However, New York City at least is already on top of that: New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said on Friday that the system has more than enough vaccinated substitute teachers at the ready to account for any unvaccinated full-time employees.Despite high rates of vaccinated employees, the decision for medical systems to mandate COVID-19 vaccines comes with major risks: Many healthcare facilities are already facing staffing shortages due to burnout, violent patients, and poor working conditions, leading to fewer available patient beds and longer wait times for patients.Medical staff shortages were already happening before the vaccine mandates began, meaning access to quality healthcare may become even more difficult if enough firings occur and exacerbate the shortage.President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for federal employees, contractors, and businesses with more than 100 employees begins on November 23, leaving ample time for unvaccinated workers to get vaccinated before any repercussions are doled out. The US is averaging approximately 741,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered each day, according to the New York Times' vaccination tracker. Approximately two-thirds of adults in the country are fully vaccinated.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 4th, 2021

In Deep Ship: What"s Really Driving The Supply-Chain Crisis

In Deep Ship: What's Really Driving The Supply-Chain Crisis By Michael Every and Matteo Iagatti of Rabobank Summary It is impossible to ignore the current shipping crisis and its impact on global supply chains  A common view is that this is all the result of Covid-19. Yet while Covid has played a key role, it is only part of a far larger interconnected set of problems This report examines current shipping market dynamics; overlooked “Too Big to Sail” structural issues; a brewing political tsunami as a backlash; possible Cold War icebergs ahead; and the ‘ship of things to come’ if maritime past is a guide to maritime future  The central argument is that while central banks and governments both insist inflation is transitory and will fall once supply-chain bottlenecks are resolved, shipping dynamics suggest they are closer to becoming systemically entrenched Moreover, both historical and current trends towards addressing such problems suggest potential global market disruptions at least equal to the shocks we have already experienced. Many ports will get caught in this storm, if so Ready to ship off? It is impossible to ignore the current shipping crisis and its impact on global supply chains and economies. Businesses face huge headaches as supply dries up. Consumers see bare shelves and rising prices. Governments have no concrete solutions – save the army? Economists have to discuss the physical economy rather than a model. Central banks still assume this will all resolve itself. And shippers make massive profits. The giant Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March 2021, is emblematic of these problems, but they run far deeper. This report will explore the shipping issue coast-to-coast, and past-to-present in six ‘containers’: “Are you shipping me?”, a deep-dive into market dynamics and supply-demand causes of soaring shipping prices; “To Big to Sail”, a key structural issue driving things; “Tsunami of politics” of the looming backlash to what is happening; “Cold War icebergs” of fat geopolitical tail risks; “Ship of things to come?”, asking if the maritime past is a potential guide to maritime future; and “Wait and sea?”, a strategic overview and conclusion. Are You Shipping Me? Since 2020, global shipping has been frenetic, with equally frenetic shipping rates (figure 2); difficulties for both businesses and consumers; and container-carrier profits. Is Covid-19 driving these developments, or are there other structural and cyclical factors at play? Let’s take stock. One root of the problem… In 2020, COVID-19 become a global pandemic, and lockdowns ensued: factories, restaurants, and shops all closed, bringing global supply chain almost to a halt. In this context, container carriers had no visibility on future demand and did the only reasonable thing: cut capacity. There is no economic sense in moving half-empty ships across the globe; it is costly, especially for a sector operated on tiny margins for a very long time. The consequence was widespread vessel cancellations, which soared in the first months of 2020 (figure 3). Progressively, more trade lines and ports were involved as containment measures were enacted globally. By H2-2020, virus containment measures were over in China, and many other nations eased them too. Shipping cancellations did not stop, however, just continuing at a slower pace. Indeed, capacity cuts have plagued supply-chains in 2021. Excluding the January-February peaks, from March to September 2021, an average of 9.2 vessels per week were cancelled, four vessels per week more than the previous off-peak period of July to December 2020 (figure 3). Cumulative cancellations (figure 4) underline the problems. Transpacific (e.g., China-US) and Asia-Northern Europe lines saw the largest capacity cuts, but Transatlantic and Mediterranean-North America vessels also reached historic levels of cancellations. Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines are the backbone of global trade, each representing 40% of the total container trade. More than 3 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, a standard cargo measure) are moved on Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines in total per month. Due to cancellations, more than 10% of that capacity was lost in early 2020. In such a context, it was only normal to expect a rise in container rates. Over January-December 2020 the Global Baltic index (the world reference for box prices) increased by 115% from $1,460 to $3,140/TEU. However, as figure 2 shows, things then changed dramatically in 2021 for a variety of reasons. As can be seen (figure 5), cancellations alone cannot explain the price surge seen in the Baltic Dry Index -- the leading international Freight Rate Index, providing market rates for 12 global trade lines-- and on key global shipping routes (figure 6). So what did? We have instead identified five key themes that have pushed up shipping costs, which we will explore in turn: Suez – and what happened there; Sickness – or Covid-19 (again); Structure – of the shipping market; Stimulus – most so in the US; and “Stuck” – as in logistical congestion. Suez On March 23rd 2021, a 20,000TEU giant vessel, the Ever Given, owned by the Taiwanese carrier Evergreen, was forced by strong winds to park sideways in the Suez Canal, ultimately obstructing it. For the following six days, one of the fundamental arteries of trade between Europe, the Gulf, East Africa, the Indian Ocean, and South East Asia was closed for business. While the world realized how fragile globalized supply chains are, carriers and shippers were counting the costs. 370 ships could not pass the Canal, with cargoes worth around $9.5bn. Every conceivable good was on those ships. The result was more unforeseen delays, more congestions and, of course, more upward pressure on container rates. Sickness New COVID-19 Delta variant outbreaks in 20201 forced the closure of major Chinese ports such as Ningbo and Yantian causing delays and congestion that reverberated both in the region and globally. Vietnamese ports also suffered similar incidents. These closures, while not decisive blows, contributed to taking shipping capacity off the global grid, hindering the recovery trend. They were also signals of how thin the ice is that global supply chain are walking on. Indeed, Chinese and South-east Asian ports are still suffering the consequences of those earlier closures, with record queues of ships waiting to unload. Structure When external shocks cause price spikes it is always wise to look at structure of the sector in which disruption caused the price spike. This exercise provides precious hints on what the “descent” from the spike might look like. Crucially, in the shipping sector, consolidation and concentration has achieved levels that few other sectors of the economy reach. In the last five years, carriers controlling 80% of global capacity became more concentrated, with fewer operators of even larger size (figure 7). However, this is just the most obvious piece of the puzzle. In our opinion, the real change started in 2017, when the three main container alliances (2M, THE, and Ocean) were born. This changed horizontal cooperation between market leaders in shipping. The three do not fix prices, but via their networks capacity is shared and planned jointly, fully exploiting economies of scale that are decisive to making a capital-intensive business profitable and efficient. Unit margins can stay low as long as you move huge volume with high precision, and at the lowest cost possible. To be able to move the huge volumes required by a globalized and increasingly e-commerce economy at the levels of efficiency and speed demanded by operators up and down supply chains, there was little other options than to cooperate and keep goods flowing for the lowest cost possible at the highest speed possible. A tight discipline of cost was imposed on carriers, who also had to get bigger. This strategy more than paid off in the Covid crisis, when shippers demonstrated clear minds, efficiency in implementing capacity control, and a key understanding of the elements they could use to their advantage: in other words – how capitalism actually works. Carriers did not decide on the lockdowns or port closures; but they exploited their position in the global market when the pandemic erupted. In a recent report, Peter Sands from BIMCO (the Baltic and International Maritime Council) put it as follows: “Years of low freight rates resulting in rigorous cost-cutting by carriers have left them in a great position to maximise profits now that the market has turned.” Crucially, this market structure is here to stay - for now. It is a component of the global system. Carriers will continue to exert pressure and find ways to make profit but, most importantly, they will make more than sure that, this time, it is not only them that end up paying the costs of rebalancing within the global system. In short, the current market allows carriers to make historic levels of profits. However, in our view this is not the end of the story – as shall be shown later. Stimulus 2020 and 2021 saw unprecedented economic shocks from Covid-19, as well as unprecedented economic stimulus from some governments. In particular, the US government sent out direct stimulus cheques to taxpayers. With few services to spend the money on, it was instead centred on goods. Hence, consumer demand for some items is red-hot (figures 8-10). The consequences of this surge in buying on top of a workforce still partly in rolling lockdowns, and against a backlog of infrastructure decades in the making, was obvious: logistical gridlock. Moreover, with the US importing high volumes, and not exporting to match, and its own internal logistics log-jammed, there has been a build-up of shipping containers inside the US, and a shortage elsewhere. Shippers are, in some cases, even dropping their cargo and returning to Asia empty: the same has been reported in Australia. Against this backdrop, the US is perhaps close to introducing further major fiscal stimulus, with little of this able to address near-term infrastructure/logistical shortfalls. Needless to say, the impact on shipping, if such stimulus is passed, could be enormous. As such, while central banks and governments still insist that inflation is transitory, supply-chain dynamics suggest it is in fact closer to becoming systemically entrenched. Stuck In normal times, a surge in consumer spending would be a bonanza for everyone: raw material producers, manufacturers, carriers, shippers, and retailers alike. In Covid times, this is all a death-blow to global supply chains. Due to misplaced global capacity, high export volumes cannot be moved fast enough, intermediate goods cannot reach processors in time, and everybody is fighting to get a container spot on the ships available. Ports cannot handle the throughput given the backlog of containers that are still waiting to be shipped inland or loaded on a delayed boat. It is not by chance that congestion hit record peaks at the same time in Los Angeles – Long beach (LALB), and in the main ports in China, the two main poles of transpacific trade. Clearly, LALB cannot handle the surge in imports, the arrival queue keeps on growing by the day (figure 11). There are now plans to shift to working 24/7. However, critics note that all this would do is to shift containers from ships to clog other already backlogged areas of the port, potentially reducing efficiency even further. Meanwhile, in Shanghai and Ningbo there were also 154 ships waiting to unload at time of writing. The power-cuts seeing Chinese factories only operating 3-4 day weeks in many locations suggest a slow-down in the pace of goods accumulating at ports, but also imply disruption, shortages, and delays in loading, still making problems worse overall. Imagine large-scale US stimulus on top of a drop in supply! Overall, “endemic congestion” is the perfect definition for the state of the global shipping market. It is the results of many factors: vessels cancellations and capacity control; Covid; bursts of demand in some trade lines; imbalances in container distribution; regular disruption in key arteries and ports; a backlog and increasing volumes cannot be dealt with at the same time, all creating an exponentially amplifying effect. The epicenter is in the Pacific, but the problem is global. At present 10% of global container capacity is waiting to be unloaded on ship at the anchor outside some port. Solutions need to be found quickly – but can they be? The Transpacific situation is particularly delicate, stemming from a high number of cancellations, ongoing disruption, and the highest demand surge in the global economy. However, this perfect recipe for a disaster is also affecting Asia–Europe lines where shipping rates hikes also do not show any signs of slowing down. …and unstuck? The shipping business would logically seem best-placed to get out of this situation by increasing vessel capacity. Indeed, orders of new ships spiked in 2021, and in coming years 2.5m TEUs will come on stream (figure 12). However, this will not arrive for some time, and may not sharply reduce shipping prices when it does. Indeed, the industry --which historically operates on thin margins, and has seen many boom and bust cycles—knows all too well the old Greek phrase: “98 ships, 101 cargoes, profit; 101 ships, 98 cargoes, disaster”. They will want to preserve as much of the current profitability as possible, which a concentrated ‘Big 3’ makes easier. Tellingly, a recent article stressed: “Ship-owners and financiers should avoid sinking money into new container vessels despite a global crunch because record orders have driven up prices, according to industry insiders.” True, CMA CGM just froze shipping spot rates until February 2022, joining Hapag-Lloyd. Yet in both cases the new implied benchmark is of price freezes at what were once unthinkable levels – not price falls. To conclude, shipping prices are arguably very high for structural reasons, and are likely to stay high ahead – if those structures do not change. On which, we even need to look at the structure of ships themselves. Too Big to Sail Shipping, like much else, has become much larger over the years. Small feeder ships of up to 1,000TEU are dwarfed by the largest Ultra-Large Container Vessels (ULCVs), which start from 14,501 TEUS up, and are larger than the US Navy’s aircraft carriers. Of course, there is a reason for this gigantism: economy of scale. It is a sound argument. However, the same was said in other industries where painful experience, after the fact, has shown such commercial logic is not the best template for systemic stability. In banking we are aware of the phenomenon, and danger, of “Too Big to Fail”. In shipping, ULCVs and their associated industry patterns could perhaps be seen as representing “Too Big to Sail”. After all, there are downsides to so much topside beyond the obvious incident with the Ever Given earlier in the year: ULVCs cannot fit through the Panama Canal; Not all ports can handle ULCVs; They are slow at sea; They are slow to load and unload; They require more complex cargo placement / handling; They force carriers to maximize efficiency to cover costs; They force all in-land logistics to adapt to their scale; They force a hub-and-spokes global trade model; and They are vulnerable to accident or disruption, i.e., they were designed for an entirely peaceful shipping environment at a time of rising geopolitical tensions (which we will return to later). In short, current ULCV hub-and-spokes trade models are the antithesis of a nimble, distributed, flexible, resilient system, and actually help create and exacerbate the cascading supply-chain failures we are currently experiencing. However, we do not have a global shipping regulator to order shippers to change their commercial practices! Specifically, building ULVCs takes time, and shipyard capacity is more limited. As shown, the issue is not so much a lack of ULCVs, but limited capacity from ports onwards. That means we need to expand ports, which is a far slower and more difficult process than adding new containers or ships, given the constraints of geography, and the layers of local and international planning and politics involved in such developments. There is also then a need for matching warehousing, roads, trucks, truckers, rail, and retailer warehousing, etc. As we already see today, just finding truckers is already a huge issue in many  economies. Meanwhile, any incident that impacts on a ULCV port --a Covid lockdown, a weather event, power-cuts, or a physical action-- exacerbates feedback loops of supply-chain disruption more than any one, or several, smaller ports servicing smaller feeder ships would do. So why are we not adapting? Economic thinking, partly dictated by the need to survive in a tough industry; massive sunk costs; and equally massive vested interests – which we can collectively call “Too Big to Sail”. Naturally, some parties do not wish to move to a nimbler, less concentrated, more widely-distributed, locally-produced, more resilient supply-chain system --with lower economies of scale-- while some do: and this is ultimately a political stand-off. Crucially, nobody is going to make much-needed new investments in maritime logistics until they know what the future map of global production looks like. Post-Covid, do we still make most things in China, or will it be back in the US, EU, and Japan – or India, etc.? Are we Building Back Better? Where? Resolving that will help resolve our shipping problems: but it will of course create lots of new ones while doing so. Tidal Wave of Politics Against this backdrop, is it any surprise that a tsunami of politics could soon sweep over global shipping? In July, US President Biden introduced Executive Order 14036, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy”. This puts forward initiatives for federal agencies to establish policies to address corporate consolidation and decreased competition - which will include shipping. Ironically, the US encouraged “Too Big to Sail” for decades, but real and political tides both turn. Indeed, in August a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress --“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021”-- which proposes radical changes to: Establish reciprocal trade to promote US exports as part of the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) mission; Require ocean carriers to adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest, reflecting best practices in the global shipping industry; Require ocean carriers or marine terminal operators to certify that any late fees --known in maritime parlance as “detention and demurrage” charges-- comply with federal regulations or face penalties; Potentially eliminate “demurrage” charges for importers; Prohibit ocean carriers from declining opportunities for US exports unreasonably, as determined by the FMC in new required rulemaking; Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and TEUs (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the US; and Authorizes the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carrier’s business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate. Promoting reciprocal US trade would either slow global trade flows dramatically and/or force more US goods production. While that would help address the global container imbalance, it would also unbalance our economic and financial architecture. Fining carriers who refuse to pick up US exports would also rock many boats. Moreover, forcing carriers to carry the cost of demurrage would change shipping market dynamics hugely. At the moment, the profits of the shipping snarl sit with carriers and ports, and the rising costs with importers: the US wants to reverse that status quo. While global carriers and US ports obviously say this bill is “doomed to fail”, and will promote a “protectionist race to the bottom”, it is bipartisan, and has been endorsed by a large number of US organisations, agricultural producers and retailers. Even smaller global players are responding similarly. For example, Thailand is considering re-launching a national shipping carrier to help support its economic growth: will others follow suite ahead? Meanwhile, shipping will also be impacted by another political decision - the planned green energy transition. The EU will tax carbon in shipping from 2023, and new vessels will need to be built. For what presumed global trade map, as we just asked? The green transition will also see a huge increase in the demand for resources such as cobalt, lithium, and rare earths. Economies that lack these, e.g., Japan and the EU, will need to import them from locations such as Africa and Australia. That will require new infrastructure, new ports, and new shipping routes – which is also geopolitical. Indeed, the US, China, the EU, UK, and Japan have all made clear that they wish to hold commanding positions in new green value chains - yet not all will be able to do so if resources are limited. Therefore, green shipping threatens to be a zero-sum game akin to the 19th century scramble for resources. As Foreign Affairs noted back in July: “Electricity is the new oil” – meant in terms of ugly power politics, not more beautiful power production. Before the green transition, energy prices are soaring (see our “Gasflation” report). On one hand, this may lift bulk shipping rates; on another, we again see the need for resilient supply chains, in which shipping plays a key role. In short, current zero-sum supply-chains snarls, already seeing a growing backlash, are soon likely to be matched by a zero-sum shift to new green industrial technologies and related raw materials. In both dimensions, shipping will become as (geo)political as it is logistical. Notably, while tides may be turning, we can’t ‘just’ reshape the global shipping system, or get from “just in time” to “just in case”, or to a more localized “just for me” just like that: it will just get messy in the process. Cold War Icebergs The US is now pushing “extreme competition” between “liberal democracy and autocracy”; China counters that US hegemony is over. For both, part of this will run through global shipping. Both giants are happy to decouple supply chains from the other where it benefits them. However, the larger geostrategic implications are even more significant. Piracy and national/imperial exclusion zones used to be maritime problems, but post-WW2, the US Navy has kept the seas safe and open to trade for all carriers equally. This duty is extremely expensive, and will get more so as new ships have to be built to replace an ageing fleet. Meanwhile, China is building its own navy at breath-taking speed, and a maritime Belt and Road (BRI). As a result, a clear shift has occurred in US maritime strategy: 2007’s “A Co-operative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power”, stressed: “We believe that preventing wars is as important as winning wars.” 2015’s update argued: “Our responsibility to the American people dictates an efficient use of our fiscal resources.” 2020’s title was changed to “Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”, and stressed: “...the rules-based international order is once again under assault. We must prepare as a unified Naval Service to ensure that we are equal to the challenge.” The US is also pressing ahead with the AUKUS defence alliance and the ‘Quad’ of Japan, India, and Australia to maintain naval superiority in the Indo-Pacific. This is generating geopolitical frictions, and fears of further escalation of maritime clashes in the region. The Quad has also agreed to key tech and supply-chain cooperation, with Australia a key part of a new green minerals strategy – a race in which China is still well ahead, and the EU lags. Should any kind of major incident occur, shipping costs would escalate enormously, as can easily be seen in the case of US-UK shipping from 1887-1939: this leaped 1,600% during WW1, and these shipping data stopped entirely in September 1939 due to WW2. Crucially, US naval strategy is rooted in the post-WW2 power structure in which it benefitted from such control commercially. That architecture is crumbling - and there is a matching US consensus to shift towards “America First”, or “Made in America”. The thought progression from here is surely: “Why are we paying to protect shipping from China, or economies that do not support us against China?” In short, the strategic and financial logic is: surrender control of the seas, or ensure commercial gains from it. There are enormous implications for shipping if such a shift in thinking were to occur - and such discussions are already taking place. July 2020’s “Hidden Harbours: China’s State-backed Shipping Industry” from the Center for Strategic and International Studies argued: “The time is long overdue for the US to reinvigorate its maritime industries and challenge the Chinese in the same game by using the very same techniques the Chinese have used to gain dominance in the global maritime industry. The private-sector maritime industry cannot do this alone—the US maritime industry simply cannot compete against the power of the Chinese state. The US and allied governments must bring to bear substantial and sustained political action, policies, and financial support. To do anything less is to cede control of the world’s maritime industry and global supply chains to China, and perhaps to force the US and its allies to enter their own ‘century of shame.’” Meanwhile, stories link ports and shipping to national security (see here and here), underlining logistics are no longer seen as purely commercial areas, but rather fall within the “grey zone” between war and peace – as was the case pre-WW2. This again has major implications for the shipping business. Expect that trend to continue ahead if the maritime past as guide, as we shall now explore. The Ship of Things to Come? US maritime history in particular holds some clear lessons for today’s shipping world if looked at carefully. First, the importance of the sea to what we now think of as a land-based US: the US merchant marine helped it win independence from the powerful naval forces of the British, and the first piece of legislation Congress passed in 1789 was a 10% tariff on British imports, both to build US industry and merchant shipping. Indeed, the underlying message of US maritime history is that the US is a major commercial force at sea – but only when it sees this as a national-security goal. Following independence, US commercial shipping and industry surged in tandem, with an understandable dip only due to war with the British in 1812. The gradual normalisation of maritime trade with the UK after that saw a gradual decline in the share of trade US shipping carried, which accelerated with the end of steamship subsidies --which the British maintained-- and the US Civil War. By the start of the 20th century, W. L. Marvin was arguing: “A nation which is reaching out for the commercial mastery of the world cannot long suffer nine-tenths of its ocean-carrying to be monopolized by its foreign rivals.” Yet 1915 saw the welfare-focused US Seaman’s Act passed and US flags move to Panama, where costs were lower. However, WW1 saw US shipping surge, and the Jones Act in 1920 reaffirmed ‘cabotage’ – only US flagged and crewed vessels can trade cargo between US ports. The 1930s saw global trade and the US maritime marine dwindle again – until 1936, when the Federal Maritime Commission was set up "to promote the commerce of the US, and to aid in the national defense." WW2 then saw US mass production of Liberty Ships account for over a third of global merchant shipping – and then post-1945, this lead slipped away again, and the US merchant marine now stands at around just 0.4% of the world fleet. Indeed, in 2020, US sealift capability was reported short on personnel, hulls, and strategy such that the commercial fleet would be unlikely to meet the Pentagon’s needs for a large-scale troop build-up overseas. As we see, the US has been here several times before. If the past is any guide for the future response, this suggests the following US actions could be seen ahead: Use its market size to force shippers to change pricing – which may already be happening; Raise tariffs again (on green grounds?); Refuse to take goods from some foreign ships or ports; Force vessels to re-flag in the US, at higher cost; Build a rival to China’s marine BRI with allies; Massive ship-building, for the 3rd time in the last century; Charter US private firms to bring in green materials; or The US Navy stops protecting some sea lanes/carriers, or forces the costs of their patrols onto others. It goes without saying that any of these steps would have enormous implications for global shipping and the global economy – and yet most of them are compatible with both the strategic military/commercial logic previously underlined, as well as the lessons of history. Wait and Sea? We summarize what we have shown in the key points below: Markets For markets, there are obvious implications for inflation. How can it stay low if imported prices stay high? How will central banks respond? Rate hikes won’t help. Neither will loose monetary policy – and less it is directed to a directly-related government response on supply chains and logistics. This suggests greater impetus for a shift to more localised production on cost grounds, at least at the lower end of the value chain, if not the more-desirable higher end. Yet once this wave starts to build, it may be hard to stop. Look at EU plans for strategic autonomy in semiconductors, for example, which are echoed in the US, China, and Japan. For FX, the countries that ride that wave best will float; the ones that don’t will sink. Helicopter view of ships Clearly, shipping will continue to boom. There are huge opportunities in capex on ships, ports, logistics, and infrastructure ahead – as well as in new production and supply chains. Yet one first needs to be sure what, or whose, map of production will be used for them! As the industry sits and waits for the wind and tide to change, logically one wants to position oneself best for what may be coming next. That implies global consolidation and/or vertical integration: Large shippers looking at smaller shippers to snuff out alternative routes and capacity; shippers looking at ports; ports looking at shippers; giant retailers/producers looking at shippers; importers banding together for negotiating power in ultra-tight markets. Of course, nationally, governments are looking at shippers, or at starting new carriers. If this is to be a realpolitik power struggle for who rules the waves --“Too Big to Sail”, or a new more national/resilient map of production-- then having greater scale now increases your fire-power. Of course, it also makes you a larger target for others. Let’s presume current trends continue. Could we even end up with a return to older patterns of production, e.g., where oil used to be produced by company X, refined in its facilities, shipped on its vessels, to its de facto ports, and on to its retail distribution network. Might we even see the same for consumer goods? That is the logic of globalisation and geopolitics, as well as the accumulation of capital. However, if history is a guide, and (geo)politics is a tsunami, things will look very different on both the surface and at the deepest depths of the shipping industry and the global economy. Much we take as normal today could become flotsam and jetsam. To conclude, who benefits from the huge profits of the current shipping snarl, and who will pay the costs, is ultimately a (geo)political issue, not a market one. Many ports are likely going to be caught up in that storm. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/03/2021 - 12:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 3rd, 2021

In A Civil War The Authoritarian Left Would Be Easily Beaten – But It Won"t End There

In A Civil War The Authoritarian Left Would Be Easily Beaten – But It Won't End There Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, There are a lot of assumptions and misconceptions when it comes to the notion of a second civil war within the US. What I see most often is the argument that the political left has “already won” the war without firing a shot and that a rebellion would be crushed under the heel of a newly a-wokened military industrial complex and a leftist controlled federal government. The problem is, this argument is extremely naive and ignores the bigger picture. I think there are a couple of reasons why certain people press the leftist supremacy theory: First, they greatly fear the idea of a kinetic war breaking out and find the idea of combat repellent. So, they act as if a shooting war cannot ever be won. They hide their fear behind a veil of “rationalism” and thin hopes of a completely passive resistance. They figure that if they can’t fight and win, then no one else can fight and win. Second, the motives of some of these people are more nefarious than fearful. One of the primary functions of 4th Generation (psychological) warfare is to convince a target population that “resistance is futile.” If you can make them believe that winning is impossible then they may not fight at all, and thus the prophecy is self fulfilling. Luckily this method of propaganda does not seem to be working on a large number of Americans. That said, there are many layers to the scenario of civil war. While the extreme cultism of leftists is relegated to a small percentage of the population, they are supported by almost every major institution in our nation. The federal government supports and protects them. Some state and local governments support and protect them. The mainstream media avidly sings their praises. Most corporations and Big Tech platforms support them and spread social justice doctrine along with them. And, all globalist foundations support, organize and even fund them. All the people that the political left used to consider evil are now on their side. This gives their small cult unprecedented social power and a number of political weapons to use when they desire to threaten or harm people who disagree with them. For now, most of this power is actually used to terrify other people on the left. There are many moderate democrats that have a distaste for the lunacy of social justice warriors, but they are so afraid of being labeled heretics, racists, fascists, etc. that they keep their mouths shut or support draconian policies because they think they have to in order to defend their political team. Limp-wristed moderates and old school democrats that go along to get along are almost as big a problem as hardcore leftists because they don’t have the guts to stand up to the bullies in their own political circles. This is how we end up with around half the country in support of vaccine passport mandates, a totalitarian agenda which would give government complete control over the health decisions of individual Americans, complete control over how businesses operate and who they are allowed to hire, not to mention complete control over the economic participation of the average citizen. Vaccine passports are the ULTIMATE POWER in the hands of government to decide the life and death of individuals and their families. And, not surprisingly, the political left and democrats are by far the biggest group backing the government and the globalists on this agenda. This places our nation in a difficult position; the political left desperately wants to control the lives of others while conservatives and some moderates just want to be left alone. We are at an impasse. We cannot share the same spaces, we cannot share the same government and we may not even be able to share the same land mass. Our ideals are mutually exclusive. We believe in freedom and individual responsibility and they simply do not. Make no mistake, an outright conflict is coming in the US and the people in alternative media circles that fear it need to come to terms with that fear and accept the inevitability of war. The sooner they do this the sooner they can take action to mitigate the damage to their families and communities. There will come a day very soon when you will have to defend your freedoms and the freedoms of future generations with your life. Embrace the suck and move on. In recent articles I have outlined peaceful steps that can be taken by conservative states and counties to combat the establishment’s tyrannical medical mandates as well as Critical Race Theory propaganda and other trespasses against free thinking people. These steps include offering sanctuary to people and businesses that are under attack by the federal government for non-compliance, as well as the steps states need to take to pursue soft secession (Read my article ‘How States And Communities Can Fight Back Against Biden’s Covid Tyranny’). Breaking away from the political left and starting fresh is socially and economically possible. It’s not as far fetched as some people believe. But then again, authoritarians usually can't stand the idea of letting people just walk away and separate. They have a desperate need to micromanage and dominate EVERYONE. I hold out very little hope that leftists or globalists will allow us to live in peace; they will try to force their ideology on us at the barrel of a gun. When it comes down to average leftists, their movement is a paper tiger, a mirage. In the event of civil war the political left in the US would be easily annihilated. There are some that argue otherwise, and these are the standard claims they usually make: A Woke Military? Let’s Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves… The primary paranoia over confrontation with leftists is the new woke propaganda being spread by the Department of Defense in the form of military recruitment ads. Firstly, as I outlined in detail in my article ‘There Will Never Be A Woke US Military – Here Are The Reasons Why’, polling of military personnel shows around 30% identify as Republican and 40% identify as Independent, with the majority of the independents being Libertarians and Constitutionalists. In other words 70% of the US military leans conservative in their principles. The military brass going woke is meaningless if the majority of soldiers are not going to follow them into battle to oppress their own people. We are seeing this already in terms of the current serving that are refusing to take the experimental covid vaccines. Polling in the summer suggested that at least 50% of soldiers would refuse to take the mRNA vax. The DoD claims that at least 70% of soldiers are now vaccinated but this is unconfirmed and probably an exaggeration designed to manufacture a false consensus. We will soon know the real stats because the Biden Administration is threatening “dishonorable discharges” for soldiers that refuse to comply. The assertion here is that with freedom minded people leaving the services in droves, this opens the door to a fully woke military of the far left. This presupposes that woke leftists actually want to join the military or that they are capable of meeting the bare minimum standards. They are not. Over 75% of Americans ages 18-24 are ineligible for the US military because of lack of education, obesity, physical problems, psychological problems and criminal history. This negates 24 million people from the 34 million in this age range for recruitment. Since 70% of the military is conservative/libertarian, this means that either more young conservatives are healthy enough to pass the recruitment phase, or, far more conservatives are interested in volunteering; or it could be both factors combined. Sure, the DoD could drastically lower their recruitment standards, but then they would have a woke gaggle of weaklings as a fighting force. This only works in our favor. In any case, just because 30%-50% of soldiers leave in the face of the vaccine mandates, this does not mean that the void will be filled by leftists. In fact, it is likely that the void will not be filled at all and the military will be left to stagnate as recruitment collapses. The pool of talent is already small and the DoD just shrank their options by at least 30% more. To summarize, there will never be a woke US military. The institution would collapse before it ever reached such a “lofty” goal. Biden’s vaccine mandates are in a way highly beneficial for conservatives and freedom advocates, because they are forcing the current serving off the fence. Soldiers will now need to consider what liberties they are willing to violate just to stay in the military, because it’s not going to stop with a couple forced vaccinations, it’s going to escalate. We may see a massive influx of discharged soldiers joining the liberty movement in the near future because of Biden’s totalitarian behaviors. But lets say that Biden is hypothetically able to muster a combined force of alphabet agencies and portions of the military into an army of jackboots to suppress the population, what about all the technology and weaponry they would have at their disposal? Well, superior technology didn’t help the military much in the war in Afghanistan, and American civilians have access to far superior training and equipment compared to the Taliban. Conventional armies are notoriously weak against asymmetric warfare tactics. In the end wars are won by people and tactics, not weaponry. Conservatives Own The Gun Culture And Firearms Training Beyond the military, US gun culture is dominated by civilian conservatives. Leftists are slowly beginning to realize that being anti-gun is sabotaging their own agendas, and many started buying firearms in the past 18 months. But owning guns is not the same thing as knowing how to use them. It would take leftist many years, perhaps decades to catch up to the pure knowledge base that conservatives have when it comes to firearms and tactical training. These things have been passed down through conservative families for generations. And, again, most combat veterans are also conservative. This is not to say that there are no leftists out there that are firearms proficient. I’m sure there are a few. But most of the time when leftists get together with guns the results are either painfully embarrassing or dangerous. Just check out THIS VIDEO from Angry Cops on the BLM inspired “Not F$%king Around Coalition” (NFAC) group. Not only do they end up shooting each other, but their representatives don’t even understand the basics of how their own rifles function when they argue that the negligent discharge was the “gun’s fault.” And let’s not forget the good old ‘John Brown Gun Club’ and their rocken’ recruitment videos that made us choke on our own tears of laughter a few years ago. The leftists are shockingly inept when it comes to guns and combat skills. They are a minimal threat to conservatives if civil war is the issue. You Can’t Win If You’re Not Willing To Die For What You Believe In Leftists are adamant about their ideologies and they are keenly interested in demanding OTHER people die for the cause. But, when they are forced to face personal risk to achieve their directives, they will usually run. You can see this in the mob confrontation with Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha; a horde of leftists were perfectly willing to chase him down with the intention of killing him, but when he turned to fight and a few of them got shot (including Joseph Rosenbaum, a convicted pedophile), the mob’s enthusiasm suddenly evaporated. Why do they run? Because their religious fervor for Marxism is an act. It’s not real. Deep down, they don’t even believe in what they are doing, and this is what separates freedom fighters from all other armed forces. We accept the possibility of death and fight in the face of overwhelming odds because the goal of freedom is worth it. Most authoritarians and useful idiots, when faced with dying for their ideology, will abandon the cause. They have entered the fight with a built-in disadvantage. The Real Fight Will Not Be With Average Marxist Leftists Half the states in the US now have some form of anti-mandate laws or executive orders in place. Half the country is vehemently against the vaccine passports. If Biden continues on his current path, a soft secession of red states will begin and the mandates will be ignored. This will leave Biden with a handful of options. He will invariably seek to punish red states using economic pressure and cutting off federal funds, and when that doesn’t work he will have to put boots on the ground and use Orwellian methods to attack dissidents. Should civil war erupt (and I’m positive at this point that this is unavoidable), leftists will not last long. The majority of veterans and a large portion of the military are not going to fight against their own people, and they may even step in to assist. A large number of police and sheriff’s are also conservative and are unlikely to intervene. So, the question is, who is willing to die for leftists and their cult? I suspect not many. But, the people behind the leftist movement, the globalist foundations that fund them, have a vested interest in eliminating conservative ideals and heritage. Globalist institutions working with the Biden Administration will surely seek to intervene. They will call us “white supremacists” even though many conservatives are black and brown. They will call us evil nationalists, even though there is nothing wrong with a national identity that values freedom. They will say we are “insurrectionists” even though we will be acting in self defense against an authoritarian regime. They will call us terrorists while using terrorist tactics and false flags against us. And, they will claim that we are far too dangerous to be allowed to maintain our own nation or our own states. Their main rationale will probably fall to the US nuclear arsenal. They will claim that a nation of terrorists cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, and at the first sign that Biden (or Kamala) is losing control, there will be a call for UN intervention. Count on it. An international force would be organized to try to stop us from existing. This is where the REAL fight would begin. The political left is a footnote, and while we should continue to remain vigilant as they push their agenda it is important to remember that there are much bigger fish to fry and we need to plan for the next dozen battles, not just the first. How we conduct ourselves from here on may determine whether or not freedom survives for many decades to come. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/02/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 3rd, 2021

New York mandate increased COVID-19 vaccine rate of healthcare workers

The rate of vaccination rose twice as much for hospital workers as for adults overall in the state, according to data from the CDC. RN Janelle Roper, left, administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to Nurse Anesthetist Kate-Alden Hartman. John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images New York's vaccine mandate helped more healthcare workers get vaccinated, according to state data. 87% of hospital workers in the state are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are currently facing staffing shortages as nurses leave citing burnout and difficult working conditions. See more stories on Insider's business page. Since New York mandated the coronavirus vaccine for healthcare workers in the state, the vaccination rate of hospital employees has doubled compared to the rate of adults in the state.The mandate, which went into full effect on Monday, created an ultimatum for healthcare workers in New York to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or lose their jobs.As of Wednesday, 87% of hospital workers in the state have completed their vaccination series, meaning they have received all required doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Out of all the adults living in New York, under 75% are fully vaccinated, according to data from the New York department of health.Before the mandate was announced, only 76% of hospital workers were fully vaccinated, causing an 11-percentage-point increase in the state, according to data obtained by the Wall Street Journal. There was a 5-point rise for all adults in the state too after the mandate was announced. New York governor Kathy Hochul prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and workers outside New York to aid with a potential shortage of healthcare workers once the mandate went into effect. In a press release on Tuesday, Hochul said she was feeling optimistic about the mandate after the increase in the vaccination rate amongst healthcare workers in the state. "This new information shows that holding firm on the vaccine mandate for health care workers is simply the right thing to do to protect our vulnerable family members and loved ones from COVID-19," Hochul said in a statement. "I am pleased to see that health care workers are getting vaccinated to keep New Yorkers safe, and I am continuing to monitor developments and ready to take action to alleviate potential staffing shortage situations in our health care systems."Although healthcare workers have higher vaccination rates than the general population in the US, those who refuse vaccinations against coronavirus will place an added strain on already understaffed hospitals and care facilities. With an influx of patients because of the Delta variant and fewer nurses due to burnout and difficult working conditions, many healthcare facilities are facing staffing shortages, Insider reported. However, a nursing shortage has been looming for years, only accelerated by the pandemic as fear of contracting COVID-19 worsened working conditions. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 2nd, 2021

Connecticut Gov. Lamont is preparing the National Guard to replace unvaccinated state workers ahead of an upcoming mandate

Currently, a quarter of Connecticut state staff don't comply with an upcoming mandate requiring them get vaccinated or have weekly tests. Gov. Lamont said that he was "optimistic" that state staff in Connecticut would submit their testing and vaccination information soon. John Moore/Getty Images Connecticut Gov. Lamont said he might deploy the National Guard to replace unvaccinated state workers. A quarter of state staff haven't yet complied with an upcoming vaccination or testing mandate. Lamont's office said that this could lead to "possible staffing shortages." See more stories on Insider's business page. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday he might bring in the National Guard to replace state workers who fail to comply with a vaccine mandate.Under an executive order, state workers must either get vaccinated by midnight on Monday or begin taking weekly tests. Currently, about a quarter of state employees - or just over 8,000 people - don't comply with the order, the office said.If staff didn't comply they would be placed on unpaid leave, the governor's office said.This would cause "possible staffing shortages," it said.Lamont has instructed the state's major general to begin planning for "Connecticut National Guard activation," his office said."In the event agencies that provide critical health and safety services need assistance, members of the Connecticut National Guard may be deployed under state active duty to support operations until replacement employees can be hired or non-compliant employees come into compliance," Lamont's office said.Lamont's office said that more than 20,000 state employees, or 63%, were fully vaccinated, and nearly 4,000, or 12%, had started weekly testing as of Thursday afternoon. The remaining 25%, just over 8,000 workers, were "still in non-compliant status," Lamont's office said.Other executives have warned that vaccine mandates could exacerbate the current labor shortage if staff members quit or are fired because they refuse to get vaccinated. Houston Methodist Hospital, which mandated the shot for its staff, said in June that 153 workers quit or were fired over the policy.Lamont said he was "optimistic" that state staff would submit testing or vaccination information soon. He said that the state provided "more flexibility than our neighboring states" by letting staff choose to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated."There is no reason all our employees should not be in compliance," he said. "But as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will prepare for the worst to prevent impacts to the critical services the state provides."New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has also said she is prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members to replace healthcare workers who are fired for not complying with the state's vaccine mandate.President Joe Biden announced on September 9 that he would require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing. He hasn't said when this would start. Some companies, including AT&T, United Airlines, and Facebook, have already set their own vaccine mandates.Numerous polls suggest that more than half of Americans support coronavirus vaccine mandates.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 1st, 2021

We Will Not Comply: Red States Should Offer Sanctuary To Businesses, Military, & Medical Personnel

We Will Not Comply: Red States Should Offer Sanctuary To Businesses, Military, & Medical Personnel Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, All it takes is one free place to change the dynamic between the public and an authoritarian regime. Just one. This week has been an extremely busy news cycle and there is a lot to cover, so along with my normal weekly analysis on one major topic, I am going to start writing shorter synopsis articles on developing news items happening in real time. I think everyone has noticed a marked and aggressive shift in the vaccine passport agenda being railroaded into existence by the Biden Administration and governments around the world. Remember when they all said that they were never going to demand forced vaccinations and that the passports were a “conspiracy theory”? Well guess what? We “conspiracy theorists” were right yet again. It used to be that we would predict a particular agenda or event and it would take a couple years to unfold. These days we make predictions and all it takes is a few weeks or a few months for them to happen. This suggests to me that the establishment and the globalists are on a specific timeline and that for whatever reason they MUST get 100% vaccination and the passports in place soon. I believe we have less than a year left before we see them attempt full bore medical tyranny in the US on a scale similar to what is happening right now in Australia, or perhaps worse. I continue to suspect that the reason for this sudden dive into totalitarianism is because there is something wrong with the vaccines themselves and if there are tens of millions or hundreds of millions of unvaccinated people left, then these people will act as a control group. That is to say, they will act as proof that the vaccines are not safe if things go awry. The establishment can’t allow that. As I have noted in past articles, the average vaccine is tested for 10-15 YEARS before it is released for use on human beings. This is to ensure that there are no damaging health side effects that might not become visible until months or years after the initial jab. A particular danger is the development of autoimmune disorders and infertility associated with mRNA and spike protein technology. These debilitating ailments might not be noticed for a couple of years after a population has been given the experimental vax. It has already been about a year since the covid vaccines were introduced by emergency authorization, so time is running short for the globalists. The bottom line is, there has been ZERO long term testing of the covid mRNA vaccines. At least none that has ever been revealed to the public. There is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that the covid vaccines are safe in the long term, they were developed and released within months of the covid outbreak. Yet, the establishment seems hell bent on forcing 100% of people to take these untested vaccines against their better judgment. It has been almost a century since we last saw government tyranny on this level, but this time it is almost all governments around the world acting in unison to implement mass controls on the public, instead of just a handful of nations. The Biden Administration and its corporate partners are now implementing a blitzkrieg against the American citizenry. Biden’s vaccine executive orders are creating a culture of “paper’s please” fascism among larger businesses and Big Box retailers. He has recently announced that part of the mandates will include fines against businesses that refuse to enforce proof of vaccination on their employees. These fines will range from $70,000 to $700,000, which could destroy a medium sized company if they actually had to pay. Medical personnel, primarily in leftist blue states, are now being fired from their positions because they have refused to comply with the vax. This is leaving massive gaps in medical response in places like New York. The unelected governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, claims she has the right to give herself dictatorial powers through executive order, and that these powers include deploying National Guard troops to take over medical duties. If you are familiar with the sordid history of VA hospitals, then you know that you do not want around 90% of military doctors operating on you in any capacity. Hochul is also raising eyebrows with a recent speech to a church audience in Brooklyn where she claimed that all the “smart people” have taken the vaccines and that the covid jabs are a “gift from God.” Her assertion was that if you defy the vaccine mandates, then you are ignoring God. This sounds rather familiar. Authoritarians often have a habit of declaring divine providence to justify their oppressive actions. Even Hitler did this, at least initially, holding state sponsored Passion plays and asserting that the Third Reich was the hand of God, until after they had secured an empire and then Hitler attacked Christianity. These types of people tend to use religion as a tool to get what they want and then they dump it in the gutter when they are finished with it. Keep in mind that none of these mandates are actual “laws”. None of them have been voted on by a legislature or the American people. They are color of law violations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and should be defied at every opportunity. And let’s not forget about Biden’s latest actions which seek to punish US troops that refuse the vaccines with dishonorable discharge. I’m not sure if Biden knows that a dishonorable discharge generally requires a trial by court martial in the military, or maybe this is what he actually wants for every single person that will not take the vax. In any case, the goal here is to terrify military members into submission and into accepting illegal orders. And yes, demanding that a soldier act as a lab rat for an experimental vaccine with no long term data to prove its safety is an illegal order. It’s hard to say yet what the real stats are, but recent polling suggests that at least 30% of the US military plans to refuse the vaccinations, including many members of special operations units. All of this over a virus with a tiny median death rate of 0.26%? Just to force people to take a vaccine that has been proven completely ineffective in countries like Israel where vaccination rates are high? When over 60% of people hospitalized with covid are fully vaccinated, then what is the point of the vaccines? It makes no sense unless the purpose was always tyranny and not public safety. So, where does this leave us? There are larger scale solutions to this problem, there are peaceful short term solutions, and there are more violent long term solutions. I will be discussing the violent options in my next article, but for now I think the best path forward is for red states and maybe even red counties is to offer safe haven or “asylum” to people who are under attack from these mandates. Red states could, hypothetically, give financial protection to businesses that refuse to comply with federal mandates and refuse to pay the fines. If thousands or tens of thousands of companies simply ignore the passports and the fines, what is Biden going to do about it? Well, he would have to send people form a federal agency, maybe the IRS, to collect by force. If states and communities stand in their way then there is nothing Biden can do to hurt businesses that believe in freedom. There is supposedly a shortage of experienced medical staff across the country right now, yet states like New York are firing up to one-third of their hospital workforce. Why not take advantage of their stupidity and offer these trained professionals jobs in red states or red counties? If these people know they have a safe place to go, then this might help give them the courage to continue their resistance. Finally, I think it’s a no-brainer that red states should offer help for military personnel that are facing discharge for vax refusal. A fight is coming, make no mistake, and free states need as many trained combat veterans on our side as we can get. Being dishonorably discharged makes future employment difficult in many career fields, and we can help these men and women to live normal lives if they make a stand. States like Kansas are already taking steps to make this happen. Conservative states and communities are going to have to step in, take risks and draw a line in the sand right here and now. We can stop this nightmare from gaining any further ground, but we have to act. I and many others are willing to help defend any business or any person that will not comply with the mandates, and state representative can send the same message to Biden by creating safe havens for free people. We need to continue to make it clear that we will not comply. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/30/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2021

Claims of anti-vax nurses fueling hospital staff shortages ignore the limited support and lack of mental healthcare for COVID"s frontline workers

Nurses are leaving in droves due to poor work environments - and without better resources, fatigue will cause a nurse staffing crisis, experts said. Frontline nurses are exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after caring for COVID patients. AP Photo/David Goldman Hospitals have told reporters unvaccinated workers are contributing to the nurse staffing shortage. But research has found poor work environments and PTSD contribute to whether a nurse will quit. Traumatized nurses can also make decisions against their self interest, like refusing a vaccine. See more stories on Insider's business page. Sarah Chan, a registered nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital in New York, did not expect the pandemic to plague hospitals for the last nineteen months. Chan said she believed the rollout of the vaccine would decrease the number of COVID-19 patients she had. But as cases involving the delta variant of COVID, which is more easily spread, rise and fewer people get shots, hospitals are once again crowded.Some health systems have blamed unvaccinated healthcare workers for staffing shortages, but the problem with unvaccinated healthcare workers may be overstated: the American Nurses Association found 9 in 10 nurses have received a COVID-19 vaccine or are planning to.Instead of leaving in protest of vaccine mandates, many of Chan's peers left their jobs caring for patients due to exhaustion, she said. The exodus of nurses has created staffing shortages at her hospital, which means she is working overtime to care for sick patients. Poor work environments and burnout are putting pressure on already strained nurses - and without better resources, trauma and fatigue will cause a nurse staffing crisis, experts told Insider."The stress of working in a COVID ICU, and all the death that I've had to see, altogether, it has really set me back; I'm often very anxious, and angry," Chan told Insider. "So much death weighs heavy on me."I'm often very anxious, and angry...So much death weighs heavy on me. Sarah Chan, an ICU nurse in New YorkDr. Eileen Lake, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, has been researching the impact nurses' work environments have on staffing for the last 20 years. From her research, Lake has found poor work conditions - characterized by hospitals that don't allow nurses to have a say in their practice, disorganized work environments, and limited resources - leads to burnout and job dissatisfaction. "That decision to leave I believe reflects system factors that the nurse evaluates and decides are no longer acceptable circumstances for me to work," Lake said.Her research and other data indicate that staffing shortages now reflect a systemic problem in a hospital or health system that likely began prior to COVID-19.Nearly every state has no limit on the number of patients a nurse can care for at once, leading many to care for too many people. A recent study by University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found New York City hospitals - the epicenter of the pandemic back in April 2020 - were understaffed as early as December 2019.Nurses caring for COVID-19 patients may have PTSDAlong with poor work environments, post-traumatic stress disorder among nurses who cared for COVID-19 patients may be fueling the staffing crisis.Chan, for instance, said the constant exposure to death has been "gut-wrenching." She said she has tried to cope by emotionlessly go through the motions at work, but the trauma has led to insomnia, fatigue, short tempers, and an inability to focus.Nearly 40% of 500 healthcare workers experienced symptoms of PTSD in a longitudinal study launched last year, according to Dr. Debra Kaysen, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University developing strategies for healthcare professionals to cope with treating COVID-19 patients. Frontline healthcare workers might be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, said Dr. Debra Kaysen of Stanford University. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, patients must be exposed to specific kinds of environments and events, including threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. The disorder can also stem from repeated exposure to the adverse effects of a traumatic event, such as death from COVID-19.Healthcare workers that experience PTSD may have nightmares about the event, avoid people and situations that remind them of trauma, and experience strong emotions like shame, anger, or fear.Untreated, PTSD in healthcare workers can lead to cardiovascular diseases, as well as suicidal ideation and attempts, Kaysen said. She said trauma among nurses could explain worker shortages health systems are facing. Kaysen added nurses who experience PTSD may stop trusting institutions, due to feeling betrayed. Major health systems across the country are blaming unvaccinated nurses for staffing shortagesUpstate University Hospital, the California Hospital Association, and other health systems have begun to point toward unvaccinated workers as the reason for staffing shortages, as many states and private employers have enacted vaccine mandates for healthcare workers. But New York State reported high vaccination rates among hospital staff after its policy went into effect, and one provider in North Carolina that dismissed unvaccinated staff still reported close to 99% of employees had received their shots. The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, so the small number of nurses refusing to get vaccinated might be exhibiting a trauma response, said Dr. Antiqua Smart, a board-certified family nurse practitioner and professor at the University of Loyola-New Orleans.Smart, who lost several family members to COVID herself, said many non-clinicians forget nurses have to grapple with grief both inside and outside the hospital. That grief, she added, may turn into anger and resentment toward institutions, like those offering COVID-19 vaccines. Though the majority of nurses are vaccinated or planning on getting vaccinated, some anti-vaccine nurses are going viral on social media. Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Kelley Reep, a registered nurse in North Carolina, said she and her colleagues have grown angrier as the pandemic goes on. They "feel a simmering rage that this is worse than ever and it did not have to be," Reep told Insider.Smart said nurses refusing the vaccine might be a "type of retaliation, or kind of an anger or coping mechanism part of just being burnt out from seeing people die."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 29th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Dems failing to Trump-proof the presidency

And Senate Republicans block a bill meant to avoid a debt default. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Legal experts sketch out their nightmare scenarios if Trump is president again in 2025Senate Republicans block a bill meant to avoid a debt defaultInsiders say nonwhite Doctors Without Borders workers get worse pay, less security, and inferior medical careWith Phil Rosen. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider 1. THE PRESIDENCY: Democrats fear the presidency has grown too powerful. Party leaders like Rep. Adam Schiff of California crafted an array of proposals designed to give lawmakers more tools to thwart any president who tries to mimic Donald Trump's pursuit of sweeping executive power. But nine months into the Biden administration, and with Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress, none of the legislation introduced to prevent a Trump 2.0 - perhaps literally, should Trump run again - has been enacted. It doesn't appear likely to pass anytime soon either.Here's a look at where things stand:Democrats' attention is focused elsewhere: "For the moment, the Biden administration and congressional leadership appear more focused on domestic-policy spending, and even supporters of the anti-Trump measures acknowledge that they'd be tough to pass through a Senate with a slim Democratic majority," my colleague writes.Legal experts worry about the legacy of Trump's actions: "There is a road map for any president to abuse any of these powers in the same way or potentially worse ways," said Elizabeth Hempowicz, the director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight.This clash is nothing new: Congress and the White House have long butted heads over issues of oversight and even presidential power. Legal fights continue to be waged over the subject. For instance, a Texas federal judge ruled over the summer that President Barack Obama overstepped his authority in creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.Read more about why experts think Trump would be even more brazen if he returns to power.2. Senate Republicans block a bill meant to avoid a debt default: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led all of his fellow GOP lawmakers to block a measure that would have averted both a debt default and a government shutdown. Since GOP lawmakers filibustered the proposal, it failed to get the necessary 60 votes to pass. Lawmakers now have just days to avoid a government shutdown and perhaps only weeks to avoid a catastrophic default.Democrats may be changing their debt-ceiling strategy: Top lawmakers have made clear the party can't afford to have the government shut down on its watch, Politico reports. It's still unclear what they'll pursue, but it could involve nixing a debt-ceiling hike for now so they can focus on the more-immediate shutdown threat. More on where things stand. Ali N'Simbo dreamed of joining Doctors Without Borders. He was shocked by the racism he found when he got there. Sabiti Djaffar Al Katanty for Insider 3. Insiders say Doctors Without Borders reserves some high-risk assignments for nonwhite workers: Doctors Without Borders is perhaps the best known of all international relief organizations. But an Insider investigation in collaboration with the nonprofit radio show and podcast "Reveal," based on interviews with about 100 current and former staffers in nearly 30 countries and a review of thousands of pages of documents, has found that a segregated, two-tiered workplace is firmly ingrained within the organization. Read the full investigation about what life is really like for some doctors inside the massively popular nonprofit.4. R. Kelly faces life in prison after being found guilty in his sex-crimes trial: Jurors in Kelly's federal criminal trial convicted the R&B singer of racketeering and sex trafficking. Prosecutors said he directed employees to procure women for sex and sexually abused women over nearly 25 years. More on the verdict.An accuser reacts: "I've been hiding from Robert Kelly due to fear and threats made against me, and I'm ready to start living my life free from fear and start the healing process," a woman who testified under the pseudonym "Sonya" said of the verdict.5. Killings spiked in cities across the country: The US in 2020 saw one of its largest-ever one-year increases in homicides, per new FBI data, The New York Times reports. "Although major crimes were down overall," The Times said, "there were an additional 4,901 homicides in 2020 compared with the year before, the largest leap since national records started in 1960." Some cities including Milwaukee; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Memphis, Tennessee, recorded their most homicides ever, but police chiefs and criminal experts say it's hard to pinpoint a single cause for the spikes. President Joe Biden receiving a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as a booster on Monday. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images 6. Biden touts booster shots by getting one: He received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on live TV, encouraging eligible Americans to follow suit too. Biden, who is 78, is eligible for the booster because he's over 65 and it's been more than six months since he received his second jab (on January 11). More on the president's defense of the US's vaccination strategy.There is a bipartisan hue to the latest shots: McConnell announced soon after Biden's jab that he too had received a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. "It was an easy decision to receive a booster," one of the nation's most powerful Republicans said on the Senate floor.7. Reagan's attempted assassin to be granted "unconditional release" next year. John Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan, a police officer, a Secret Service agent, and the White House press secretary James Brady in 1981. The court accepted Hinckley's insanity plea and in recent years has granted him increasingly more freedom, ultimately letting him live full time with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2016. Here's what his lawyer and the judge have said about the case.8. Top Fed officials exit amid stock-trading scandal: The Boston Federal Reserve's president, Eric Rosengren, and the Dallas Fed's president, Robert Kaplan, announced plans to resign amid controversy over their trading, though Rosengren cited health reasons for his exit. The two men had purchased stock in several big-name firms including Apple, Alibaba, and Tesla, which prompted calls by activists and former Fed officials for them to step down or be fired. Fed Chair Jerome Powell previously said "no one" at the central bank was happy about the situation.9. New York hospital workers face the first major test of a vaccine mandate: Several hospitals in the state have said the mandate is causing staffing shortages that will force them to curtail care, The Washington Post reports. Thousands of unvaccinated employees are likely to lose their jobs after the mandate kicked in early this morning. New York is one of six states that have said healthcare workers must get the shot or lose their job.10. Can you solve Insider's crossword?: Check out our new puzzle, which will challenge your knowledge and provide some much-needed stress relief. Inside you'll find clues on politics, tech, pop culture, and more.Check out today's puzzle: Insider Today's trivia question: This week marks the anniversary of the first televised presidential debate. Where did it take place? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: President Richard Nixon's special White House investigations unit went by many names. A grandma of David Young, who was part of the unit, heard he was tasked with stopping leaks and told him that her late husband, who was a New York plumber, would be proud that Young was returning to the family trade. Young later hung a "Plumber" sign on the door to his office, and the rest is history.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

Most New York Healthcare Workers Fired Over Vaccine Mandate Won"t Get Unemployment Insurance

Most New York Healthcare Workers Fired Over Vaccine Mandate Won't Get Unemployment Insurance By Kelly Gooch of Becker's Hospital Review Healthcare workers who are fired for refusal to comply with the state's COVID-19 vaccination mandate likely won't be eligible for unemployment insurance, according to state officials.   In a statement released Sept. 25, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said the New York Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify that terminated workers won't be eligible for the benefits unless they have a valid physician-approved request for medical accommodation. The governor's office made the announcement at the same time it unveiled a plan to address staffing shortages should a large number of healthcare workers leave hospitals and other facilities because of the state mandate. New York's mandate requires healthcare workers at hospitals and nursing homes to receive their first vaccine dose by Sept. 27. Workers at additional entities covered by the mandate, including diagnostic and treatment centers, home health agencies, long-term home healthcare programs, school-based clinics and hospice care programs, must have at least one dose by Oct. 7. "Workers in a healthcare facility, nursing home, or school who voluntarily quit or are terminated for refusing an employer-mandated vaccination will be ineligible... absent a valid request for accommodation because these are workplaces where an employer has a compelling interest in such a mandate, especially if they already require other immunizations," according to the New York Department of Labor website. Ms. Hochul's office has said the state will consider deploying National Guard members, as well as partnering with the federal government to deploy disaster medical assistance teams to help local healthcare systems. The office said the governor's plan also includes the preparation of a state of emergency declaration to boost workforce supply and allow qualified healthcare professionals licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates, retired and formerly practicing healthcare professionals to practice at New York facilities.   Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 27th, 2021

The CDC director warns that US hospitals are "filled with unvaccinated people," and some are running out of both ventilators and beds

"You worry that people may not be able to come in and get the proper care if they have a motor-vehicle accident," Rochelle Walensky told CBS. CDC director Rochelle Walensky testifying before the Senate on July 20. J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/via Getty Images Healthcare systems in some parts of the US are in "dire straits," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said. "Our hospitals are filled with unvaccinated people," she told CBS. Staff are having to make tough decisions over who gets ventilators and ICU beds, Walensky said. See more stories on Insider's business page. Healthcare systems in some parts of the US are in "dire straits" as unvaccinated people fill up hospitals, Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday.Some parts of the US are using "crisis standards of care" and are running out of hospital beds, Walensky said."That means that we are talking about who is going to get a ventilator, who is going to get an ICU bed," she said."Those are not easy discussions to have, and that is not a place we want our health care system to ever be," she said.She was worried that people who need treatment for vehicle accidents or heart attacks "may not be able to come in and get the proper care," she said."That is why we are working so hard in areas that have high levels of disease where their healthcare systems are in dire straits," she said.Between September 18 and 24, US hospitals admitted a daily average of nearly 9,000 patients with the coronavirus, per CDC data. This is much lower than in early January, when the seven-day average peaked at 16,489.But Walensky warned that hospitals were filling up with patients who hadn't been vaccinated against the coronavirus. "Our hospitals are filled with unvaccinated people," she said.Her comments came as the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread across the US. The variant is causing so-called "breakthrough infections" among vaccinated people, but data shows vaccines still protect against severe COVID-19.Kaiser Health News reported on Wednesday that a hospital in Montana had so many unvaccinated COVID-19 patients that it was at 160% capacity and was "running out of hallways" to treat patients in.Earlier in September, a hospital in Idaho said that it might have to place some COVID-19 patients in conference rooms because there were so few hospital beds.A CDC study earlier this month found that unvaccinated Americans were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19. Two-thirds of adults in the US have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, but 23% haven't had their first dose yet, per CDC data.President Joe Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated, and has announced plans to mandate vaccines or weekly testing at companies with more than 100 employees.Daily COVID-19 cases across the US are currently falling after a surge in cases in late August and early September, CDC data shows.Insider's Aria Bendix previously reported on a new model by researchers that suggests US COVID-19 cases and deaths aren't likely to climb higher between now and March, though the model suggested hospitals may still be strained in states with cold climates or low vaccination rates.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 27th, 2021