I’m Starting to Feel Useless

Remembering that the veneer of society lasts about a week during severe breakdowns like war, I started flipping through a book in our personal library with the title: JUST IN CASE – How to be self-sufficient when the unexpected happens.

Over 200 pages of advice on chemical disinfection of water, solar cooking, home canning, alternative sources of power, foraging, heating with wood, making cheese, and other skills for independence.

Homesteading skills. I realized to my horror, that I don’t have any! Even the thought of having to learn them makes me feel sick to my stomach. I’m your typical city-dwelling “I don’t have to learn how to do anything because I can buy it or hire someone to do it” person. Which is fine as long as civilization holds together. Currently, the seams are looking a little frayed.

Now I understand asylum seekers. I won’t be heading for a safer country if things get out of hand. I will throw myself at the mercy of the Mennonites and Amish – people who can actually do things.

Rolling Stone Magazine

Matt Taibbi is a reporter who wrote an illuminating piece about Goldman Sachs a few years ago. Here is how the article starts:

“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.”

You might like to know that on Friday, in the middle of this economy destroying crisis, that Trump and the president of China held talks and brokered a deal to allow Goldman more access to China’s financial markets.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-morgan-stanley-china-idUSKBN21E1AO

Aren’t you glad they still have their priorities straight – billions for bankers and crumbs for us.

Yeah, This is Normal

“In a matter of weeks, the entire planet went from normalcy to fear, panic, paranoia, confinement, unemployment, police-state surveillance and extreme social distancing. Millions of citizens who thrived on freedom and free enterprise are now on “house-arrest” and must rely on the government for subsistence.”

the vigilant citizen

80,000 deaths from the flu in 2018 – United States

1,200 deaths from Covid-19 – United States

Dark Humour

Starecat.com has some pretty funny memes and random pictures:

https://starecat.com/corona-extra-beer-heineken-beer-with-face-mask-stay-over-there-coronavirus/

More Observations

Public address systems invariably have distorted speakers so you can’t hear what they are saying.

Operation Bernhard was a plot by the Nazis to drop counterfeit money in Britain to destroy the economy. But when the U.S. Fed prints money, the stock market grows.

We are always told that the United States is the richest country in the world. Their GDP is about $20 Trillion. But the government debt is about $20 Trillion. If I bought a million-dollar house and owed a million dollars on it, would I be rich or broke?

World indebtedness is about $60 Trillion. Who does everybody owe the money to?

If governments can print Trillions to bail out stock markets, why do we have to pay income tax?

World military spending is about $2 Trillion. Would world peace be a drag on the economic structure of the world?

ID2020 is reported to be a plan to microchip the world’s population to track us like cattle. Do you still think mass vaccination is a good idea?

Don’t touch money, even though every single thing we buy has been touched during manufacturing, distribution and stocking shelves. The seasonal flu virus has always lived on inanimate objects like money. Why the drive to a cashless society now?

Notice and think.

Is Part of the Stock Market Rigged?

Dark Pools of Liquidity.

Has this term ever come up in a conversation with your financial advisor?

Like the dark web, there seem to be stock markets that operate outside the view of most people. Not exactly what anyone with a brain would consider democratic.

The following is from an article from Dec. 2019 on www.wallstreetonparade.com:

“The public has no way to know just how deep in the red the mega banks on Wall Street might have closed yesterday or in recent months because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is, insanely, allowing these banks to trade the shares of their own bank, as well as the shares of their peer banks, in Dark Pools they own and operate. Dark Pools function as lightly-monitored stock exchanges owned by the major banks on Wall Street. (See Wall Street Banks Are Trading in Their Own Company’s Stock: How Is This Legal?)

During the week of November 25, the most recent week for which data is made available by Wall Street’s self-regulator, FINRA, Goldman Sachs’ Dark Pool, Sigma-X, traded 22,136 shares of its own stock in 228 separate trades. The mega bank, UBS, however, with whom Goldman does a great amount of counterparty business, traded 262,804 shares of Goldman Sachs’ stock in 4,074 separate trades in just that one week in its Dark Pool, UBSA.

The public has no way to know just how many shares of Goldman’s stock its own Dark Pools traded because in addition to its U.S. Dark Pool, Goldman owns Dark Pools that trade on three other continents.

For the same week, JPMorgan Chase’s Dark Pool, JPM-X traded 265,906 shares of JPMorgan’s stock in 1,912 separate trades. That made it the second largest Dark Pool trader of its own stock that week, just behind UBSA which traded 475,306 shares of JPMorgan’s stock in 5,238 separate trades.

But JPMorgan also owns another, algorithm-based Dark Pool, JPB-X, that traded another 88,182 shares of JPMorgan’s stock the same week in 1,308 separate trades.

Under a sane and functioning Securities and Exchange Commission or federal regulatory regime, banks trading their own stocks in darkness while holding trillions of dollars in federally-insured deposits would result in perp-walks, not in elevating their outside counsel to Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

The data that FINRA is making available to the public has cleverly been gutted to make sure that no math whizzes in academia have the ability to reverse engineer the data into successful charges of market rigging, as occurred previously in a forensic probe by academics Christie and Schultz in 1994 into how Wall Street firms were engaged in tacit collusion on the Nasdaq stock market.

FINRA’s Dark Pool data does not show hourly or daily trading, just weekly totals; it does not show if the prices paid for the shares were in keeping with the rest of the market. And, it does not show what party was on the opposite side of the trade. For all the public knows, banks that own more than one Dark Pool could be making a two-sided market in their own shares.”

Childhood Ego States

We can usually find something from our childhood memories to make us happy, even if some of it wasn’t all joy and roses.

Realizing I needed to exercise to burn up some of the cortisol from stress, I put on an unusual workout CD. (Yes, I still have a ghetto blaster).

It is Walt Disney’s Children’s Favourite Songs Volume 1. The smile never left my face as I listened to This Old Man (Knick-Knack, Patty-Whack); I’ve Been Working on the Railroad; Three Blind Mice; Oh, Susanna; Home on the Range; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Old MacDonald; The Hokey Pokey; She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain; Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Pop! Goes the Weasel; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; In the Good Old Summertime, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

It was so nice to remember songs I haven’t thought about in years, and to sing along with old-fashioned innocence!

It is Mathematically Impossible to Eliminate the Virus

Perhaps someone could help me understand something. Since the entire world population cannot be locked down, there will always potentially be someone with the virus.

I have already posted about the number of cases in February at 64,000 was no cause for concern by the WHO.

What number do we have to reach to end the quarantine which is really wrecking the world economy? How does the WHO decide it’s okay to go to work again? If one person still has the virus, is the risk still there?

What is the end game? I can’t find any information about how they will decide how to manage the risk. Even if there are no new cases reported, there will still be thousands who have the virus who are waiting to heal or die. Does the world have to wait for all the cases in the world to be resolved? If one new case appears, does the lockdown continue forever? Is Vision Zero being applied to the virus? I can’t find any logical explanation for any of this – just fear, panic and incoherent explanations.

Too bad the stock market crashed. I could have used the money for a flight to Mars.

Breaking News from Loblaws

Because I have an Optimum card, I get emails from Loblaws. Galen Weston had this to say this morning:

“We will close immediately if we are informed of a colleague testing positive. We know communities consider us an essential service right now, but we ask for your patience as we will remain closed for as long as it takes to deep-clean, or on the advice of public health.”

Better to starve to death than die of the virus.

Testing positive is meaningless without an indication of the severity. What about false positives? I’ll say it again – most cases are MILD. Contagious doesn’t mean death. The seasonal flu is contagious and people die.

If the virus is proving hard to kill, democracy on the other hand is showing itself to be quite susceptible to death by contagion.

Maybe It Really is About Money

Found an editorial from the British Medical Journal in 2010 about the other flu pandemic H1N1 which went from panic to nothing, with billions made in the background.

“Meanwhile drug companies have banked vast profitsÑ$7bn (£4.8bn; {euro}5.7bn) to $10bn from vaccines alone according to investment bank JP Morgan.1 Given the scale of public cost and private profit, it would seem important to know that WHO’s key decisions were free from commercial influence.
 
An investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, published this week (doi:10.1136/bmj.c2912), finds that this was far from the case.2 As reported by Deborah Cohen and Philip Carter, some of the experts advising WHO on the pandemic had declarable financial ties with drug companies that were producing antivirals and influenza vaccines. As an example, WHO’s guidance on the use of antivirals in a pandemic was authored by an influenza expert who at the same time was receiving payments from Roche, the manufacturer of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), for consultancy work and lecturing. Although most of the experts consulted by WHO made no secret of their industry ties in other settings, WHO itself has so far declined to explain to what extent it knew about these conflicts of interest or how it managed them.
 
This lack of transparency is compounded by the existence of a secret “emergency committee,” which advised the director general Margaret Chan on when to declare the pandemicÑa decision that triggered costly pre-established vaccine contracts around the world. Curiously, the names of the 16 committee members are known only to people within WHO.
 
Cohen and Carter’s findings resonate with those of other investigations, most notably an inquiry by the Council of Europe, which reports this week and is extremely critical of WHO.1 It concludes that decision making around the influenza A/H1N1 crisis has been lacking in transparency.
 
One of its chief protagonists is Paul Flynn, a UK member of parliament and a member of the council’s Parliamentary Assembly. He and others raised concerns last year about the lack of evidence to justify the scale of the international response to H1N1 (as also covered in the BMJ in December3), and the lack of transparency around the decision making process for declaring the pandemic.1

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