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News, observations, guesses February 2022

February 5, 2022

Halfhearted efforts to mitigate the pandemic have failed, therefore governments move towards an ending of daily case and death counts. Back to school, back to work, as the pandemic is declared to be over or to have morphed into an epidemic.

Which means essentially: If you get sick, you are on your own. You are on your own in any case — this is the beauty of an individualized society.

Unburdened by social responsibility and compassion, free from ethics, morals, values, and ideals, the fittest (and most brutal) survive in a cold, dark, and unforgiving world. This is the kind of freedom which produces billionaires.

Once upon a time in a land which doesn’t exist anymore because it was conquered and destroyed by the evil empire, there was social cohesion, friendliness, tenderness, respect, understanding, peace, happiness, and love.

The social crisis of the pandemic and the emergence of open dissent and disobedience are driving the ruling elite to war. The immense rupture of social life produced by the global pandemic has fundamentally destabilized all Western societies.

An opinion piece by Thomas Edsall, published in the New York Times, declared that intense social polarization placed the United States in “uncharted and very dangerous territory.” He quoted a political scientist who stated that a successful “depolarizing event” would have to be one “where the causes are transparently external.”

It is this above all that fuels the drive to war. War with Russia would allow the US ruling elite to use nationalism to channel social anger outward and provide it a pretext for suppressing dissent. War is the way to leave behind all present crises. And besides that, would’t it be nice to finally get hold of Russia’s natural riches?

In 1992, a leading foreign policy academic, Walter Russell Mead, published a significant article in World Policy Journal, bearing the subtitle “A Modest Proposal for US Policy after the Cold War.” He advocated that the US acquire Siberia from the impoverished Russian nation and profit off “privatizing Siberia’s vast storehouse of natural resources.”

This area contains some of the world’s most valuable deposits of oil, gas, diamonds, and gold,” Mead wrote. “There are vast stands of timber; huge mineral deposits. All of these resources are worth more as part of the United States than as part of Russia.” He wrote of the value of acquiring Vladivostok, “one of the finest harbors in Asia,” and of royalties to be secured from concessions to the Japanese.

Feline news:

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/the-hunt-for-beijings-wild-cats
https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/a-purrfect-ending-kabul-cat-and-nato-officer-reunite-in-vancouver
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/mom-finds-cat-after-8-months-lost-when-she-heard-his-meow-phone/

Against the odds:

https://theconversation.com/the-race-to-protect-the-food-of-the-future-why-seed-banks-alone-are-not-the-answer-173294
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/back-from-the-brink/
https://civileats.com/2022/01/21/a-return-to-native-agriculture/
https://theconversation.com/how-anarchist-architecture-could-help-us-build-back-better-after-covid-170328
https://dgrnewsservice.org/resistance/get-started-political-organizing/
https://mronline.org/2022/01/31/replacing-imports-to-guarantee-greater-biotechnological-sovereignty-in-the-production-of-medicine
https://mronline.org/2022/01/31/radical-land-reform-in-venezuela-a-conversation-with-juan-carlos-loyo-part-i/
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/blue-tin-clothing-cooperative-chicago

Environmental news:

https://www.ehn.org/household-products-with-pfas-2656476590.html
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/17/the-great-siberian-thaw
https://www.globalresearch.ca/bathed-pesticides-narrative-deception/5768186
https://theconversation.com/methane-in-the-atmosphere-is-at-an-all-time-high-heres-what-it-means-for-climate-change-174908
China, India, Russia, Qatar, Australia, and others did not sign the Global Methane Pledge at COP26.
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/01/26/jamaicas-conservative-prime-minister-andrew-holness-has-given-mining-giant-noranda-bauxite-concessions-that-put-lush-regions-of-country-in-jeopardy/
https://www.ehn.org/microplastics-pollution-2656484617/plastics-bpa
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/the-worlds-food-systems-are-in-crisis-and-big-agribusiness-is-at-its-heart/
https://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/ecocide/habitat-loss/global-resistance-to-extractive-industries/
https://www.ehn.org/bpa-replacement-2656483035.html
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/02/02/in-the-line-of-eternal-fire-ukraines-nuclear-reactors/

Economy news:

Swedish fashion group H&M drew a line under the pandemic, reporting a bigger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit and hiking investments with the aim of doubling sales by 2030.

https://mronline.org/2022/01/26/venezuela-doubles-oil-output-despite-u-s-bans-thanks-to-irans-help
https://mronline.org/2022/01/28/amazon-and-the-power-of-big-digital-platforms/
https://aeon.co/essays/when-will-economists-embrace-the-quantum-revolution

Pandemic news: 

There have been more than 10,000 cases of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2, reported across 57 countries. Defined as a variant of interest, it is more contagious than BA.1, and some are dubbing it as “stealth Omicron.” Dominant in Denmark, it is spreading rapidly across South Africa, India, Nepal, Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Sweden, and Singapore.

BA.2 has 28 mutations in its spike proteins, several of them different from the original omicron strain. There is also a BA.3 sub-variant. The three variants share 39 mutations, but BA.1 contains an additional 20 mutations (13 unique), BA.2 includes an additional 27 (ten unique), and BA.3 contains an additional 13 (one unique).

Dr. Anders Fomsgaard, chief physician and virus researcher at the Danish SSI (Statens Serum Institut), said, “It is possible that you can be infected with BA.1 Omicron first and then shortly after with BA.2.” Several cases in Norway have confirmed this.

Scientists are speculating that given the high rates of reinfection with Omicron, it could mean that BA.2 may cause a second wave that quickly follows.

Omicron BA.1/BA.2 has almost completely replaced the previously dominant Delta variant of Covid-19 in England, a new Imperial College study has found, with the vast majority of cases (up to two-third) being possible reinfections.

https://gowans.blog/2022/01/25/the-pandemic-is-done-except-for-the-burials/

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/01/25/end1-j25.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/01/26/ende-j26.html
Endemic means mass infection and death forever.
https://dglassman.medium.com/omicron-was-never-mild-2b130568d7fa
https://www.statnews.com/2022/01/28/long-covid-brain-fog-chemo-brain/?
South African scientist Resia Pretorius said there is real worry things could get worse. “So many people are losing their livelihoods, their homes. They can’t work anymore,” she said. “Long COVID will probably have a more severe impact on our economy than acute COVID.”
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-60154398
https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-science-health-africa-45986f5b42e47e656d5b385bd51b2bb2
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/01/covid-situation-continuing-to-develop-not-necessarily-to-the-officialdoms-advantage.html
https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/china-bans-australian-meatworks-at-centre-of-covid-outbreak
https://www.dw.com/en/eu-ombudsman-rebukes-von-der-leyen-over-texts-with-pfizer-ceo/a-60593407
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/02/01/viru-f01.html
A well-researched sit-report of the pandemic. Recommended reading.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/study-on-long-covid-finds-hidden-lung-abnormalities-not-detected-in-routine-tests/
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/mild-covid-19-cases-still-lead-to-attention-and-memory-issues-study-1.5761727
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/long-covid-labor-market-missing-workers
https://www.dw.com/en/could-there-be-a-needle-free-covid-vaccine/a-60518728?maca=en-NL-Corona-Compact
https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/a-chief-physician-on-the-perils-of-germany-s-omicron-strategy-a-5215f9d4-ac5e-4c33-ac30-fab06832f3a0
https://www.wired.com/story/airplanes-empty-slots-covid
Airplanes are flying empty. This is an environmental crime and everyone who eventually will book an airfare again is complicit. Boycott and obstruct!
https://www.nationthailand.com/life/40011928
Do we now have to worry about fomites indeed and use lot of unhealthy disinfectants?
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/getting-a-head-start-on-treating-long-covid

Media, technology, and propaganda news:

https://www.localfutures.org/putting-technology-in-its-place/
https://theconversation.com/how-5g-puts-airplanes-at-risk-an-electrical-engineer-explains-175306
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/01/27/is-lockheed-martin-dictating-politicos-war-propaganda-articles-in-secret-hell-no-theyre-doing-it-right-out-in-the-open/
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/01/cubas-resumen-latinoamericano-website-silenced-due-to-blockade/

Imperial news:

Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst ended her life by jumping from an apartment building in Manhattan. She was 30.

Kryst was an attorney who conducted free legal work for prisoners who may have been sentenced unjustly, a fashion blogger, and an entertainment news correspondent. In 2019 she was crowned Miss USA, At the University of South Carolina, where she completed her undergraduate work, she was a track athlete. She had earned a law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University.

Kryst posted an Instagram photo before her death. “May this day bring you rest and peace,” she wrote alongside a photo of herself. Kryst also left behind a note leaving her possessions to her mother.

She spoke openly about her views on immigration policies, anti-abortion laws, and inequality. She supported the Black Lives Matter movement and marched in protests over the summer.

One can only speculate about the motives for her suicide, but statements and obituaries described her as warm, kind, and loving person, qualities which maybe put her at odds with the prevailing social climate.

Singer, pianist, and songwriter Kandace Springs, born 1989 in Nashville, is biracial. Like Cheslie Kryst she is very gifted and talented, stunning audiences with superb piano playing and a voice which reminds of Sarah Vaughan and Roberta Flack at the same time. She is a living reminder that Jazz, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Soul, and all other styles of African American music are the greatest cultural gift the USA bequeathed to the world.

https://downbeat.com/news/detail/kandace-springs-ascends-as-proud-dad-applauds

So much talent, skill, and virtuosity! But is this painting a vision, is this setting roadsigns out of the crisis? Or is it just entertainment with no impact on society, culture, politics? Is it just a cover for inequality, injustice, and environmental devastation? The contrast of soulful, inspiring music to the reality of todays US society could not be more harsh.

If some black humor is allowed:

The life of half a million homeless persons in the USA becomes even more difficult because the bridges, under which they could seek shelter until now, are crumbling and in danger of breaking down.

Many US states have officially ended their contact tracing programs as part of a coordinated nationwide policy to allow all US-citizens to be infected with COVID-19.

On January 25, a day when the United States recorded 2,997 COVID-19 deaths, the New York Times published an op-ed by two former Biden administration advisers calling China’s decision to prioritize saving lives a mistake and extolling the benefits of “natural immunity through infection.”

In their op-ed, titled: “China’s Zero-Covid Policy Is a Pandemic Waiting to Happen,” Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Michael T. Osterholm argue that the goal of eradicating COVID-19 (Zero COVID) “is unattainable with the highly transmissible Omicron variant and has set China up for disaster. The coronavirus is not going to disappear — the world will have to live with it.”

Emanuel and Osterholm make clear that the policy of mass infection — far from being the outcome of blunders and mistakes — is deliberate. In fact, they present it as a positive good, which supposedly offers protection against the ravages of the pandemic, while leaving China vulnerable.

All the countries held up as models for China are experiencing a massive surge in cases and deaths. If China had the same death rate from COVID-19 as the United States, 3.6 million people would be dead. If it had the same death rate as Germany, the figure would stand at two million.

Lately the New York Times has roused itself to acknowledge the fact that the USA has the worst Covid death rate per capita of any wealthy country. Hospital admissions swelled to much higher rates than in Western Europe, leaving some states struggling to provide care. US-Americans are now dying from Covid at nearly double the daily rate of Britons and four times the rate of Germans.

Even the US administration has been forced to tacitly acknowledge the immense danger of COVID-19. During a meeting with US governors President Biden sat 10 feet away from the other participants in the meeting, including Vice President Kamala Harris. Everyone in the room was required to wear N95 masks instead of the far-less-protective surgical masks.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/US-National-Debt-Surpasses-30-Trillion-for-The-First-Time-20220202-0002.html
The record debt, fueled by spending to combat the coronavirus, comes as interest rates are expected to rise, which could add to costs.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60133618
https://www.alternet.org/2022/01/american-individualism/
https://civileats.com/2022/01/31/marcia-chatelain-franchise-mcdonalds-food-justice-black-capitalism/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/01/31/a-tribute-to-john-brown-and-the-war-against-slavery-in-1859-and-2022%EF%BF%BC/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/21/at-the-bottom-of-the-empire-homelessness-housing-injustice-and-jesse-jacksons-call-to-eradicate-poverty/
https://www.npr.org/2022/02/01/1076943883/teachers-quitting-burnout
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/02/04/pers-f04.html

Imperial conquest news:

https://www.rt.com/russia/547307-croatia-withdraw-nato-troops/
https://peoplesworld.org/article/who-is-invading-whom-u-s-forces-already-in-eastern-europe/
https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/western-countries-training-far-right-extremists-in-ukraine-report-682411
https://www.blackagendareport.com/endless-war-empires-last-dance
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/01/navigating-russia-ukraine-warmongering-disinformation.html
https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2022/01/28/a-culture-of-cheating-on-the-origins-of-the-crisis-in-ukraine/
https://fair.org/home/what-you-should-really-know-about-ukraine/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/01/29/russias-asymmetrical-war-over-ukraine/
https://consortiumnews.com/2022/01/28/the-tangled-tale-of-nato-expansion-at-the-heart-of-ukraine-crisis/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/01/31/america-is-reaping-what-it-sowed-in-ukraine/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/blackwater-donbass-azov-battalion/5768869
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/547850-weapons-russia-send-donbass/
https://peoplesworld.org/article/neo-nazis-active-in-ukraine-as-white-house-adds-3000-troops/
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/01/30/msm-pundits-push-idea-that-criticizing-us-policy-on-russia-makes-you-a-russian-agent/
https://peoplesworld.org/article/russia-and-china-issue-joint-call-for-an-end-to-nato-expansion
https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/01/22/more-presidential-killings
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/01/the-blockade-at-60-years-and-the-resilience-of-the-cuban-people/
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/02/us-targets-venezuela-with-new-pana-act/
https://mondoweiss.net/2022/01/us-army-tour-with-hebron-settler-extremist-legitimizes-occupation-and-signals-bidens-collapse/
https://peoplesdispatch.org/2022/02/02/can-israel-stop-the-world-from-saying-apartheid-concealing-the-suffering-in-palestine/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/02/04/bahrain-israel-deal-could-bring-arabs-and-israelis-in-anti-iran-coalition/
https://www.indianpunchline.com/us-reminds-india-its-showtime/
https://tomdispatch.com/what-a-waste/
https://www.blackagendareport.com/eritrea-and-tripartite-alliance-horn-africa
https://peoplesdispatch.org/2022/02/03/us-to-deploy-advanced-fighter-jets-and-warships-in-uae-amid-escalation-in-yemen-war/

China news:

https://socialistchina.org/2022/01/24/zero-covid-china-silences-the-critics/
https://multipolarista.com/2022/02/01/china-covid-19-strategy/
https://mronline.org/2022/01/28/geothermal-green-heating-part-of-chinas-decarbonization-plans/
https://socialistchina.org/2022/01/27/sanctions-in-the-new-cold-war-on-china/
https://uwidata.com/22952-impossible-to-maintain-government-economically-without-relations-to-china/
https://www.rt.com/russia/548333-putin-meeting-xi-beijing/
https://www.rt.com/news/548388-us-russia-china-psaki/
https://fair.org/home/why-comparing-chinese-africa-investment-to-western-colonialism-is-no-joke/
https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-rethinks-position-on-beijing-government-in-berlin-classifies-china-as-a-systemic-rival-a-57cf368a-79e9-41f2-8121-73654f3c6c7c
Anti-Chinese propaganda is ramping up.

Uncategorized news:

https://www.blackagendareport.com/ethiopia-development-state-neoliberal-state
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/28/who-sleeps-under-the-bridge/
Superiority of Western democracy? Freedom to deceive, steal, and loot?
https://aeon.co/essays/face-it-a-farmed-animal-is-someone-not-something
https://thetricontinental.org/newsletterissue/education-crisis/

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  1. […] News, observations, guesses February 2022 — Mato’s Blog […]

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