Dico Lucidas - Taceo Nubilas
Wisdom is the sunlight of the soul
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing
I intended to make a Blog, partly because I wanted to communicate with my large and extended family, in a way that all members could see it. Partly, because I wanted to tell my life story before my family read someone else stories about me. Because I have never spoken, others have seized control of my story. Now I will attempt to tell my story, in a way that futures members of my family will have something to read about me, my words, my truth and not all the lies and fiction.
The great writer Amos Oz, in his memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, writes “my ambition was to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants, writers are not hard to kill. But not books. However systematically you try to destroy them there is always a chance that a copy will survive.” I believe that in the age of the Internet, something will remain in someone’s mind and the seed will have been sown and perhaps one day, the truth will emerge from the darkness and soil of lies.
Many writers have long argued that it is senseless to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction; it is all writing. We live faster than ever before with information, facts and content raptures form. Breaks and changes it, there are no borders between fact and fabrication, one flows into the other. Witnesses are never impartial. In telling a story, humans create, they wrestle time like sculpture does marble. They are actors and creators.
I wrote a few years back the following:
“There is something finer than the ardor of youth, and that is the endurance of experience. Ardor of youth may turn to dust in the impact with disaster; but he who has faced the worst and lived through it not once but many times knows that he can live through it, and so meets serenely what fate may have in store, going forward undaunted, undismayed.”
Experience is our best teacher – why then shun and evade it? Life is a serious matter, and the most serious thing in it is doubt and indecision.
I will watch with eager and steadfast eyes for the dawn upon the hills, and as I did, the sea. In good time, it will come; in the best, the perfect time, adjusted to Karmic Law and laden with blessing, as Romana and I enjoyed. It will come with hush and coolness, with the still and fragrant breath. With the Master’s peace it will come, the peace He gives to the disciple who is as Himself – a warrior tried and true.
Not to the man who waits can it come, not to him who avoids the conflict, not to the fretful, not to the objector, not to the fear-ridden, not to the over sure; but to him who battles to the end with back against the wall and broken sword, it may be. Watch, watch, I say, for the dawn upon the hills’ hope to see the dawn upon the hill, the mountain, and the sea, I hope to receive my Master’s peace.” I have been a seeker for many years, possibly, since the events in Denmark near forty years ago. Not alone of the basic needs of my body, but more the needs of my mind. I do not need to Seek, as I have witnessed.
At this moment of writing, I am indeed looking out at the mighty ocean, so blue and littered in the sunshine. An ocean, I have given all my truths for safekeeping and tales I would have written in all my loneliness. How many times I wished to step into your limitless blue bosom.
I have taken more blows than most
No doubt, certainly in our part of the world. Some of them were my own fault, ignorance, and neglect. Yes, I have taken the blows that life throws at all of us. Many had the foundation of a father and grandfather, I did not have grandfathers or a father who left me anything, and I never received any inside into their life’s and views. I should have liked their experience and guidance when I started out in life and my youth, even though my life. Experience and strength expressed in the following:
Let me not pray to be sheltered
but to be fearless:
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it:
Let me not look for allies in the life’s battlefield
but to look for my own strength:
Let me not pray in anxious fear to be saved
but to hope for patience to win my own freedom
The Great Indian Poet Tagora
I shared every word of these lines, many moments every day for years and tried to aspire to every line and sentence.
To my own astonishment of emotions that pour out unexpectedly when one can no longer trust or rely on one’s own mind and the body buckles in grief. I have been in the deep, so deep valley of grief and despair since Romana, my soulmate left this world.
Words must not become barriers between us; sadly, they have for generation, even about fact and truth, which many times, in translation can totally change in meanings. Yet words are our tools, and we must not be afraid to express the truth we know is the best words can say.
Sadly, I am not a writer, nor am I able to express my true emotion in words and prose. I should like to write the history of my soul, the monument to suffering and courage and hope.
Despite, I am late in life, dealing with illness, I have still hills to climb and major issues to see to, all related to my past. I had hoped I could leave all this and just paint and walk with my dog, Lady Rose – but no, I must see to the past, once for all, put it to rest.
I must have a professional investigation of the travesty of Justice in London. Even more important, go after the crooked lawyers and trustees, from Equiom Trust in Jersey, Channel Islands, who have stolen our home for many years, Villa les Anges. They succeeded in my absence, as the owner, selling my property to themselves without having to give me the proceeds. They just stole my home and everything in it, including precious family items, going back to my great grandmother, to my children’s items from childhood, in addition, to expensive art – all just stolen. When anybody shows signs of weakness, everyone is feeding on the carcass.
Most of all I must fight for justice again, against Denmark, a final fight. I should have loved to fight also against UK and Germany for what took place in London in 2008; however, the British very cleverly made this impossible by removing my laptop with all the data, just in time to prevent such action.
As you may note a part of this blog can only be seen with a password for my family and friends. I hope not to be too sorrow gazing, and I will endeavour to clarify my self-knowledge and experiences.
On the wall of my home for many years, Villa les Anges, it is written in old Latin: “Dico Lucidas – Taceo Nubilas. According to the view of experts on old Latin, it says: I see the light, I do not see darkness.
I have seen the Darkness but also the Light
Where to start, I am a Dane in my 80th year. I am sure many will agree when I say that I have had an interesting life.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
My life has been full of events. Many of which I was responsible for, and sadly others were outside my control. The most important thing in life is love and experience (you walk the path). I have known pain and failure, but remember that true happiness comes from giving to others.
I certainly have been so fortunate to enjoy a lot of love, specifically from the devoted love of a soul mate. Love is the very base of life. I have walked (and at times crawled) the path of the deep and cold winter night, deep in the snow, in the depth of the valley getting slowly up to the mountain, with sun and blue sky, being fortunate and lucky indeed, spending most of my time where the eagles fly.
I am so thankful that all my sons and my grandchildren all have enjoyed good health. I am thankful for waking up to three of my grandchildren’s eyes gazing at me and to have played in good times with many of my grandchildren in my home overlooking Monaco. I am thankful for speaking recently on Skype to my 24 years old grandson, who reminded me that I am head of a family with 38 members and only a few years ago, for the first time, to have seen four of my beautiful grandchildren, living in Asia. My grandchildren, among themselves, speak more than ten languages, but not Danish, my home language.
Further, I was so fortunate to spend 18 years of my life with the most incredible human being, Romana, giving me so much happiness and love. I was so privileged to witnesses her death and transition from this life, leaving me with humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit, as expressed by Albert Einstein. To me, she defeated death and is here from eternity to eternity. Romana and I enjoyed a love, for nearly 19 years, that most people will never experience, she was a true soulmate.
The birth of three of my sons, seeing my four sons growing up, my family and private life, my travels, work with charities, financial market, and business experiences and seeing my lovely grandchildren, all events which have shaped my person, all precious memories. However, the experience to have been a victim of the Inquisitorial legal system in Denmark and 33 years later, the Adversarial legal systems in the United Kingdom, are experiences that I could have done without. These two events left a deep scar and imprint on my life; worse, it affected my relationship with my sons and their families. My experience must be considered unique for any person.
All victims are guilty somehow, for them to become a victim, in the first place, – so am I, guilty of becoming a victim, not once, but twice. The second time, I was very ill and totally incapable of dealing with anything, allowing my enemies to stab me in the back and destroy what was left of my dignity.
Sadly, the first time, I made a terrible mistake in life, an error of youth, possibly by not having the experience of a father or grandfather around. I came back to my birth country Denmark in the mid-1970s, to a place where the unwritten Scandinavian social code Janteloven, the rule “Do not believe that you are anything”. At the time, I really did not understand this unwritten law – and that was truly my stupidity.
The Danish Inquisitorial Legal System
My confrontation with the Danish Inquisitorial legal system ended up at the European Court of Human Rights, where Denmark lost their first case. I had not received a fair trial, the foundation of justice.
The Danish authorities prevented me from making the most serious complaint, for me, to the European Commission of Human Right, namely about my 309 days of total solitary confinement, ending in a 55 days hunger strike. This they were able to do as they held all communication with the Commission back for 26 months, something, totally against the Convention itself.
The British were even more calculated by making sure that my Application to the Court of Human Rights would not happen, as to my in-absentia jury trial in London. They deliberately took a laptop (which had taken me 15 months to get from the Ministry of Justice) with the completed Application to ECHR with documentation in January 2017, only days before the six months limit, imposed by the Convention in Article 35. They had been listening to my telephone calls to my lawyer and family.
As Carl Gustav Jung observed more than eighty years ago, the only real danger that exists is the man himself, and we know nothing of man. It is pitiful how little we know about the man. For one, we are the origin of all common evil and could very well be sleepwalking into oblivion
I am most concerned for my grandchildren about the time we live in, although, without doubt, a time, with the greatest opportunities for mankind, because of communication. However, where most of us assume the future will more or less resemble the present, I know this is not necessarily so. In a long and eventful life, I have witnessed several periods and times of disequilibrium, and we are living in such a period today. Nevertheless, like Steven Pinker, the experimental psychologist recently wrote; “Progress is a historical fact. The numbers show that over the past seven decades humans have become (on average) longer-lived, healthier, safer, richer, freer, fairer, happier and smarter, not just in the west but worldwide. Progress is not, however, a natural force. The laws of the universe are indifferent to our wellbeing, with vastly more things that can go wrong than go right.” In fact, everyone should read Steven Pinker, a great thinker (https://stevenpinker.com/biocv).
Another important expert is Philip E. Tetlock, his book together with Dan Garner Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, could be one of the most important books since Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg.
It is not that I have become a cynic, I am a realist, the revelations of a catastrophic collapse in insect populations, jeopardising all terrestrial life, is another serious warning. Just read the new report from WWF, that two-third of all wild animals has to perish in the last 50 years.
The natural world is in a “desperate” state, with global wildlife populations “in freefall” due to the impact of humans, according to one of the world’s most comprehensive examinations of biodiversity on our planet.
Wildlife charity WWF has said populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have collapsed by an extraordinary 68 per cent on average globally since 1970 – more than two thirds in less than 50 years.
The charity’s Living Planet Report 2020 paints a startlingly bleak picture of the rapid damage being wrought on Earth by modern civilisation, warning “nature is being destroyed by humans at a rate never seen before, and this catastrophic decline is showing no signs of slowing.”
The escalating disasters of climate breakdown and soil loss. The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is approaching a level not seen in 15m years and perhaps never previously experienced by a hominoid, according to the authors of a study.
At pre-lockdown rates of increase, within five years atmospheric CO2 will pass 427 parts per million, which was the probable peak of the mid-Pliocene warming period 3.3m years ago when temperatures were 3C to 4C hotter, and sea levels were 20 metres higher than today.
I have always been an optimist, and believe in humans ability to overcome even the worst, however, I get up and you read 12-16 articles about the end of the world, with all the ugly inequity and corruption, and then I am supposed to go into my studio and paint or go for a long walk with our dogs enjoying another beautiful day here in Madeira. Perhaps the wisdom of these months, with all the misery, not just the pandemic, is in understanding the value of now, and the luxury of contemplating tomorrow. It’s OK to call off the day. “Why not give that to yourself?”
The last, the Coronavirus making devastation beyond any so-called experts warning. I believe millions will die, conveniently most of the older part of the population, a perfectly designed virus to get rid of the old. A few lines from the Guardian (21.03.2020)
“According to Sam Gorovitz, a professor of philosophy at Syracuse University and member of the task force, the revisions to the ventilator allocation guidelines include the formation of designated triage committees to determine which critically ill patients will or will not receive life-supporting respiration. Gorovitz told the Guardian he is “100% certain” that New York health administrators will face ethical decision-making in the near future about whom to ventilate – just as it is now making decisions about the allocation of masks and protective equipment. “Consider a patient, 85 years old, on a ventilator, out of hospice care. Along comes a 45-year-old, with a family, and in fundamentally good health and a good prospect of full recovery from coronavirus if treated with the best available treatment.
“Is it not only acceptable but ethically necessary to take grandpa off the ventilator and switch him to palliative care, wipe away the tears, and switch the ventilator to the younger patient?” he said.“These decisions are already being faced with regard to protective equipment that is inadequately supplied,” Gorovitz said. “That’s not the same as ventilator allocations, but everyone knows it’s coming and those decisions are likely being made right now.”
According to the latest death toll in Italy, the average age of the 25,000 plus death is 79, my age!!
Humanity stands at a precipice.
The moral philosopher Toby Ord set out in The Guardian his new book, The Precipice, we are much less adept at anticipating potential catastrophes that have no precedent in living memory. “Even when experts estimate a significant probability for an unprecedented event,” he writes, “we have great difficulty believing it until we see it. ”Our species could survive for millions of generations — enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice; to reach new heights of flourishing. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, gaining the power to destroy ourselves, without the wisdom to ensure we won’t. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pandemics and unaligned artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it may soon be too late.
What about compensation?
China has received billions of orders for various medical equipment – good business for some. One of my sons argues that there should be a place in international law, which allows the nations to sue for compensation after all, countries such as Japan and Germany have paid huge war compensation (War reparations); moreover, companies are made responsible for their misdeeds. Considering the trillion invested by China in the USA, at least the USA is sitting comfortably.
Knowing lawyers, they must have looked at this issue. When suing a country, most countries take different positions over how they litigate cases. Some just never show up. And so you’ll have a default judgment entered against them. That should not be difficult in the US.
Many lawyers get into such litigation (for the big kill) even it can take years. The real question at the end of the day is not whether you can get a judgment against a foreign country but whether you can enforce it, whether you can collect the damages that a federal court might say you’re entitled to. Here I do not see any problems considering all the assets Chinese own (and the state) in the USA. In fact, this is also the case as to many other countries with a large amount of Chinese assets, many owned by the communist state of China.
I will argue that countries which have no hygiene requirement and allow the so-called wet markets to operate throughout their land, should stand to account. According to the Medinenet: “Wet market: A live animal market, a common sight in many areas of the world and a source of influenza viruses and other infectious disease agents for human beings. SARS outbreaks have been traced to wet markets in southern China. Wet markets sell live poultry, fish, reptiles, and mammals of every kind. Animals may stay from days to weeks.” Wet markets that sell live animals can risk creating the types of dangerous conditions where viruses can spread from animals to humans, due to the close quarters and potentially unsanitary practices – especially, if they keep rare animals or those captured from the wild, experts say. How can this be allowed?
A class-action lawsuit filed in Florida this month seeks to “make China pay for what they’ve done” in its handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying the country acted “negligently in their handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
A personal injury law firm based in Boca Raton, Fla., is bringing the suit against China and various Chinese government agencies on behalf of “individuals and business owners in the United States and the State of Florida, for damages suffered as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
The suit claims China “knew that COVID-19 was dangerous and capable of causing a pandemic, yet slowly acted, proverbially put their head in the sand, and/or covered it up in their own economic self-interest.“
Although I do not believe much what the British tabloid press writes, The Mail on Sunday, published this:
A report, which is published tomorrow and has been seen by the Mail on Sunday, outlined a number of possible legal avenues including going to the UN (United Nations) and International Court of Justice.
The study titled ‘Coronavirus Compensation: Assessing China’s potential culpability and avenues of legal response’ said: “The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) sought to conceal bad news at the top, and to conceal bad news from the outside world.
“Now China has responded by deploying an advanced and sophisticated disinformation campaign to convince the world that it is not to blame for the crisis and that instead, the world should be grateful for all that China is doing.”
Professor Naill Ferguson writes: Let’s Zoom Xi Jinping. He has questions to answer about coronavirus
FT writes 11 May 2020: “China’s diplomats have done away with diplomacy. In a quest to counter western accusations that coronavirus originated in their country, Beijing’s emissaries have over the past two months substituted courtesy for intimidation.
Claiming that pensioners in French retirement homes were being left to die, threatening a boycott of Australian produce if Canberra pursued an investigation into Covid-19, pressuring governments from Prague to Wellington for public praise in exchange for mask shipments, and tweeting conspiracy theories that the US created the pandemic to hurt China — Beijing has jumped headlong into a furious fight over the pandemic’s narrative.
China’s “Wolf Warrior” diplomats — named after a set of films in which Chinese special-operations fighters defeat west-led mercenaries — have emerged over the past three years. But the virus has pushed its combative tactics to the centre of Beijing’s foreign policy approach.
Chinese and western analysts said that watching Europe and the US struggle to contain the epidemic had helped convince Beijing that it would eclipse America as a global power. “We are seeing version 2.0 of the assertiveness Beijing exhibited following the 2008 global financial crisis,” said Jude Blanchette, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the US think-tank. “It is a result of the conviction of their rising power versus a west in decline.”The push is also driven by frustration that efforts to build what China calls “discourse power” on the international stage have had minimal impact. Even after more than a decade of attempts to counter the west’s more negative narratives about China, “the west still dominates the game”, Nadège Rolland, an analyst at the National Bureau of Asian Research, a US think-tank, wrote in a recent report.”
As to suing the government, after my win at the European Court of Human Rights (in 1989) against Denmark, Geoffrey Robertson QC considered suing Denmark for damages in the United Kingdom, however, Denmark had no assets in the United Kingdom, only shares in Scandinavian Airline System. If one was to seize a plane or two, it could be done by a Mareva Injunction, however, we would have to put up the same amount we were seeking to get from Denmark in damages. Considering Denmark’s involvement in the events in London with my outrageous trumped-up case, I am again serious looking at this but is a difficult issue.
Almost everywhere trust in governments, international institutions, and local parliaments collapsing. Even elections and referendums seem to be manipulated and our shared civic life is replaced by closed social media and circles that receive entirely different, often false, information. Even during this Corona crisis, nearly all government lied and acted totally irresponsibly.
As of the 4th July, Covid-19 still dominate the daily headlines, The Economist writes: The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. Some 10m people are known to have been infected. Pretty much everywhere has registered cases (Turkmenistan and North Korea have not, though, like Antarctica). For every country such as China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, which seems to be able to contain the virus, there are more, in Latin America and South Asia, where it is raging. Others, including the United States, are at risk of losing control or, in much of Africa, in the early phase of their epidemic. Europe is somewhere in between.
The worst is to come.
Based on research in 84 countries, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reckons that, for each recorded case, 12 go unrecorded and that for every two COVID-19 deaths counted, a third is misattributed to other causes. Without a medical breakthrough, it says, the total number of cases will climb to 200m-600m by spring 2021. At that point, between 1.4m and 3.7m people will have died. Even then, well over 90% of the world’s population will still be vulnerable to infection—more if immunity turns out to be transient.
From where I stand, when the British sent thousands of old people from the hospital back to nursing and care homes, to make places available for Covid-19 patient, without testing first the old people for Covid-19. This allowed them to “get rid” of thousands of old people in the care homes. In my book, it was the state’s obligation to look after these people, who all died in terrible circumstances without their loved ones. The same goes for Sweden, which appears to have taken the opportunity to get rid of many old people. Both nations should be taken to the International Criminal Court, not to speak about so many other nations around the world ranging fro
China is rewriting the facts about Covid-19 to suit its own narrative
Panorama programme shows how Xi Jinping’s government has tried to hide the truth about the spread of coronavirus. ‘Between the beginning of the year and the lockdown, five million people left Wuhan for destinations in China and beyond.
Published on Mon 27 Jul 2020. China has been here before. During the Sars crisis in 2002 and 2003, it hid cases, censored doctors and withheld information from the world for four months. Nearly 800 people died.
EU says China behind ‘huge wave’ of Covid-19 disinformation
Fast forward to 2020. The successor to Sars appeared and has so far caused 600,000 deaths and more than 15 million infections worldwide. The Chinese government says it has been “open, transparent and responsible” throughout; its critics say not open, transparent, or responsible enough to avert disaster.
After Sars, China built a nationwide disease surveillance network and formidable bioscience capacity. It invested in research on bat coronaviruses. Disease control chiefs said it could stop another outbreak. But in 2020 none of these preparations were enough to offset risks coming from other directions: ever more rigid top-down politics inside China and a globetrotting population with direct international flights from Wuhan.
Last December patients started turning up in Wuhan’s hospitals with pneumonia symptoms that didn’t respond to treatment. Doctors were quick to send samples for genetic sequencing which soon revealed a coronavirus closely resembling Sars. Chinese scientists warned the new virus was also contagious, spread by respiratory droplets and on surfaces. But both in Wuhan and in Beijing, health authorities sought to minimise the story, first insisting there was no reason to suspect the virus was transmitted by humans and later that the risk was low.
Frontline doctors didn’t agree. They tried to warn each other on social media but were swiftly silenced, some forced to sign police confessions that they had spread misinformation.
The Hong Kong microbiologist Prof Yuen Kwok-yung had helped to identify Sars back in 2003. As soon as he saw the social media posts from Wuhan, he urged the Hong Kong government to take public health precautions. He told Panorama: “If you don’t make use of every hour, you are in big, big trouble.”
Instead, from 31 December to 20 January, China’s political leaders played down the risks of the virus, squandering the lead their doctors and scientists had given them.
Beijing is naturally sensitive about its early handling of what has gone on to become a global catastrophe. At home, its censorship is so overwhelming that it can control the timeline and edit the facts to suit its narrative. Since January, censors have assiduously deleted documentary evidence and added events and comments retrospectively to suggest leadership engagement. Seven months on, the silencing of doctors and scientists continues, while some Chinese citizens who have tried to preserve inconvenient facts or present a different version of the narrative have disappeared.
As a result, there is no meaningful challenge inside China to the official version of events. According to this version, as soon as Beijing had clear evidence of human transmission of the virus it publicly announced it, and prepared tough control measures including the lockdown of Wuhan on 23 January.
The truth is more complex. For example, Beijing certainly had a key part of its evidence on human transmission a week earlier than the official version admits. On 12 January, Yuen diagnosed a family with the novel coronavirus in Shenzhen, 700 miles from Wuhan. Only some members of the family had been to Wuhan. Yuen immediately alerted authorities in Beijing.
But between the beginning of the year and the lockdown, 5 million people left Wuhan for destinations in China and beyond. Prof Andrew Tatem of the University of Southampton told Panorama: “If the same interventions that were put in place on 23 January had been put in place on 2 January, we may have seen a 95% reduction in the number of cases.”
The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, told the BBC: “The Chinese health authorities notified WHO on 31 December in the shortest possible time.” In fact, it was the WHO that had picked up reports of the outbreak on the internet – and on 1 January sought answers from the Chinese government. China responded two days later.
China’s response time has been much faster than during the Sars outbreak 17 years ago, but most close observers of the Chinese Communist party say full transparency is never its first instinct and that under the leadership of Xi Jinping, information control has grown ever tighter. Challenged on the silencing of doctors and scientists in early January, a key government adviser, Prof Li Lanjuan, told us: “To announce its contagiousness, if it is not yet confirmed, would cause public panic. Therefore we must be responsible to the public, and ascertain the facts first.”
Some governments have demanded an international investigation in China to determine the origins and early spread of the virus. The Chinese government says it will join a global inquiry into the pandemic but only when the crisis is over. It says it should not be blamed as it is a victim too, and that its tough measures to combat the Wuhan outbreak prevented hundreds of thousands of infections and bought the world time.
Dr Ali Khan spent much of his career in the US Centers for Disease Control and says the world now needs to think ahead. “We can’t afford to do this again. If … some countries having an outbreak [are] deciding to not share that information, there have to be consequences.”
But what consequences? The WHO’s regulations on protecting against the international spread of disease are legally binding, but there are no sanctions for countries that fail to adhere to them. In recent weeks, western governments have begun adopting a tougher tone towards Beijing on a range of issues, but there is little sign of a concerted international push for new WHO inspection powers to tackle future disease outbreaks. Indeed, the US has just withdrawn funding for the WHO, alleging that the global health body served as Beijing’s puppet during the early stages of coronavirus.
For now, we are left hoping that China’s leadership has learned its own lessons about the need to act faster to protect its own public and the world.
Covid-19 vaccine tracker: when will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?
I have found an excellent vaccine tracker from the Guardian. More than 170 teams of researchers are racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Here is their progress
Politic has become corrupt (it has always been)
The widespread sense that politics has become so corrupted that it can no longer respond to ordinary people’s needs and wishes, has provoked a demagogic backlash that in some countries begins to slide into fascism, already seen in many countries, Philippines, Turkey, Hungary, and Brazil. Despite years of revelations about fake news, front groups, and micro-targeted ads on social media, it has been left to carry on and nothing has changed. All government and nearly all politicians are corrupt, lies, and produce fake news.
People do crazy things, I witnessed it first in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution, setting the country back to the middle ages, later we now have witnessed Brexit, where Bank of England’s economists has estimated the cost of Brexit to the British economy is running at £40bn a year, 4 years ago, no one would have predicted such waste and loss for nothing.
When I grew up, we believed that doctors and nurses “had a call” to serve mankind, I soon learned that this for most was totally untrue. Recently, one of my sons told me that he had never seen so much greed for money as he has seen among many doctors in Sweden, and he should know. I recall when we lived in Harley Street, our neighbour was a doctor occupying a 5 story house. His beautiful wife used to go up and down Harley Street, looking for people driving in large chauffeured cars. She was trying to (re) direct them to her husband’s practice. I told him that he should have a display window, showing the best offer of the month for a new kidney or a plastic surgery operation.
An American friend of mine, Woody Brock, already years ago said to me, God help you if you are really wealthy and ill in the USA, they are an object for maximum exploitation. Yes, we are often kept as a ransom of many professions.
Although, I advice most of the executive board of Beecham (now part of SmithKline Beecham Pharma), back in the late sixties to early seventies, as to their personal financial and estate planning, I never really got close to their business and indeed their pharma.
I see now how the pharma industry works, having observed for years Glaxo making billions on a drug against stomach ulcers when it could be treated with just anti-antibiotic.
We have witnessed so many times in the last thousand years how a whole dynasty has been created on others’ misery, sufferings, and deaths. Recently, the Sackler family.
The Sackler family, a sprawling and now feuding transatlantic dynasty, is famous in cultural and academic circles for decades of generous philanthropy towards some of the world’s leading institutions, from Yale University to the Guggenheim Museum in the US and the Serpentine Gallery to the Royal Academy in Britain. But what’s less well known, though increasingly being exposed, is that much of their wealth comes from one product – OxyContin, the blockbuster prescription painkiller first launched in 1996. I still recall the discussion at the Royal Academy of Art, none considered where the money came from. To me there is no difference between this family and some Mexican and Colombian drug lords, the only thing is perception.
This pill is stronger than morphine and sparked the opioid crisis that’s now more than 100 people a day in America die and has spawned millions of addicts. It is estimated that the opioid crisis has caused more than two hundred thousand Americans died from overdoses related to OxyContin. There are many lawsuits alleging ongoing deception about the safety of OxyContin, which the company had previously misbranding in a 2007 criminal case. Everyone should read the New Yorker’s magazine’s article “The Family that Built an Empire on Pain“.
Prosecutors believed Purdue was implicated in mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. Yet the firm got a slap on the wrist read the latest: Why did the US justice department let Purdue off the hook for the opioid crisis?
Now coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades. Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes, and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.
Lawsuit Claims Roche Duped US for $1.5 Billion in Tamiflu Sales
“Lawyers who took on a case against Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche stated on Monday (16 March 2020) that the corporation falsely claimed that Tamiflu, one of its highest-grossing products, could help limit a potential influenza pandemic by preventing the transmission of the virus. To verify its claims, Roche relied on a number of flawed scientific studies, sometimes written by Roche-hired ghostwriters or people with close ties to the company, the lawsuit said.” See more: The Pharma Letter
They use to say in Switzerland that if broke the banking secrecy you could end up dead somewhere, however, if you had something on the Swiss pharma industry, you for sure would end up in concrete at the bottom of the Vierwaldstättersee. The lawyer feeding on my Swiss estate von Wyss had for years been the head of the association of Swiss pharma distributors when I asked him about this saying, he just smiled and said sure!
When I was young, we believed that lawyers were wise about the law. At my age, I know that most professions are leaches, more or less. I have seen Dentists, who the first year of school learn only about client relationships and how to extend treatment. I have lost millions on lawyers’ neglect and exploitation.
Bankers are always banksters, they simply can’t help it, that is in the nature of banking. Just take the latest Great Fraud (mostly American), where 5 trillion Dollars was lost, with 8 million people losing their jobs and 6 million losing their homes, just think of the misery and only one banker went to jail. Even, (of course) the rating agencies were in on this systemic fraud.
We will soon see the greatest fraud of all, money, what is money, today’s fiat currency is solely based on trust and I.O.Y. issued by countries to their citizens. Most people are totally blind to the deceit by the few, how long can the printing press go on? To me, the paper and promises issued by countries and international monetary authorities will be worthless. See the growing debts of the world from The Economist’s The global debt clock. We are witnessing the beginning of the end with soon a USD 60 trillion debt, the chickens have come home to roust, with the issues of trillions of debt to support the fight against the Covid-19, ultimately leading to a total collapse of our present financial system and let us hope a new world order. I foresee huge devaluations and high inflation – Big time!!!
Perhaps we can hope that it will teach us a lesson about inequality. I believe that inequality is the most significant problem in our time. It is most unfair and felt unfair to the people who endure so much suffering.
Something positive The Guardian newspaper report:
Global alliance formed to counter China threat amid rising tensions
Lawmakers from EU parliament and eight other countries create a new body.
“International cooperation is needed to protect democratic values from an increasingly assertive communist China, a new group made up of lawmakers from eight countries and the EU parliament has said.
The legislators, representing parties across the political spectrum, have formed a global alliance, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, to push their governments to take a stronger stance on relations with the country.
In Britain, the group will be co-chaired by the Labour peer Helena Kennedy and the former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan-Smith. The other members of the group are Japan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australia, and the European Union, as well as the US. The US senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez are co-chairs.
“China, under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party represents a global challenge,” the co-chairs said in a statement. “When countries have stood up for the values and human rights, they have done so alone, sometimes, at great cost. No country should have to shoulder this burden on their own.”
This was all before China’s total contempt for human beings – by killing the “Golden Goose” Hong Kong!
The Economist writes 7 July: “The world is entitled to be shocked by these developments, but not surprised. The crushing of the Tiananmen protests showed the party’s ruthless determination to destroy opposition no matter what the cost to its global reputation. The world’s horror at that bloodshed, and the sanctions the West imposed on China in 1989, did not change the party’s views. And China was a minnow back then, it’s economy smaller than Spain’s. It is even less likely to pay heed to foreign critics today.
Hong Kong’s suffering holds a lesson for the world. China’s rulers cannot be trusted to keep their promises and they will stop at nothing to suppress dissent. This calls for heightened vigilance about China’s rise, especially as it affects Taiwan. The party has shown that it would rather be feared than admired.”
Some important views from a great economist
Nouriel Roubini told the International Monetary Fund back in September 2006. what it didn’t want to hear and he rightly predicted the U.S. housing market would soon collapse. At a 2006 address to the International Monetary Fund, Roubini warned of the impending recession due to the credit and housing market bubble. His predictions of these upside-down balance sheets became a reality in 2008, with the bubble bursting and reverberating around the world into a global financial crisis – a recession we’re only recently rebounding from after a decade climb.
The New York University professor now foresees a slow, lacklustre (i.e., “U-shaped”) economic rebound in the pandemic’s immediate aftermath. But he insists that this recovery will quickly collapse beneath the weight of the global economy’s accumulated debts. Specifically, Roubini argues that the massive private debts accrued during both the 2008 crash and COVID-19 crisis will durably depress consumption and weaken the short-lived recovery. Meanwhile, the ageing of populations across the West will further undermine growth while increasing the fiscal burdens of states already saddled with hazardous debt loads. Although deficit spending is necessary for the present crisis and will appear benign at the onset of recovery, it is laying the kindling for an inflationary conflagration by mid-decade.
As the deepening geopolitical rift between the United States and China triggers a wave of deglobalisation, negative supply shocks akin those of the 1970s are going to raise the cost of real resources, even as hyper exploited workers suffer perpetual wage and benefit declines. Prices will rise, but growth will peter out since ordinary people will be forced to pare back their consumption more and more. Stagflation will beget depression. And through it all, humanity will be beset by unnatural disasters, from extreme weather events wrought by man-made climate change to pandemics induced by our disruption of natural ecosystems.
Roubini allows that, after a decade of misery, we may get around to developing a “more inclusive, cooperative, and stable international order.” But, he hastens to add, “any happy ending assumes that we find a way to survive” the hard times to come. (See New York Magazine)
“We are in the foothills of a Cold War.” Those were the words of Henry Kissinger when Niall Ferguson interviewed him at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing last November.”
Niall Ferguson writes an interesting article: America and China are Entering the Dark Forest
“The Covid-19 pandemic has done more than intensify Cold War II. It has revealed its existence to those who last year doubted it. The Chinese Communist Party caused this disaster — first by covering up how dangerous the new virus SARS-CoV-2 was, then by delaying the measures that might have prevented its worldwide spread.
Yet now China wants to claim the credit for saving the world from the crisis it caused. Liberally exporting cheap and not wholly reliable ventilators, testing kits and face masks, the Chinese government has sought to snatch victory from the jaws of a defeat it inflicted. The deputy director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department has gone so far as to endorse a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and retweet an article claiming that an American team had brought the virus with them when they participated in the World Military Games in Wuhan last October.”
The usual corruption in high places
According to the Guardian: The UK has spent more than £2.5bn on services and equipment related to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to fresh analysis that raises concerns about “opaque” contracts around the world wasting money and putting lives at risk.
A report by the Open Contracting Partnership and Spend Network found governments had spent $130bn (£97bn) on pandemic-related contracts, including on PPE (personal protective equipment) and other medical supplies, out of an annual procurement spend of nearly $13tn.
But the two organisations, which have built a searchable database of international procurement contracts, warned that a lack of transparency and high-quality data about money spent with private firms meant huge sums could be wasted.
“Companies with no relevant experience were awarded huge contracts for medical equipment, without transparency or competition,” they said.
“Supplies failed to arrive or did not meet the required standards, leaving medical staff without critical resources and costing lives.”
They pointed to examples such as the UK hedge fund that supplied 50m masks deemed unsafe for NHS workers, a Bosnian raspberry farm that secured a contract for ventilators, and a vodka distributor facing a pending lawsuit for overstating projected sales that won a US federal contract for surgical masks.
Analysis carried out by the organisations for the Guardian showed the UK had spent £2.5bn on procurement contracts related to Covid-19. Some of these have proved controversial, with at least £1bn of Covid-19 contracts awarded without a competitive process.
They include an £840,000 contract to research public opinion about government policies to a company owned by two long-term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings. (See the article in the Guardian)
Excerpted from One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger, by Matthew Yglesias.
“The United States is not “full.” In fact, it is empty. Right now, the country has about 93 people per square mile. Many, many countries are far denser than this, and not just city-states like Singapore (more than 20,000 per square mile) or small island nations like Malta (3,913 per square mile). South Korea has 1,337 people per square mile, and Belgium has 976. If you tripled the population of the United States, adding the new Americans only to the Lower 48 and leaving Alaska and Hawaii intact and unchanged, the main part of America would be only about as dense as France and less than half as dense as Germany.
A transformation on that scale is almost impossible to imagine, in large part because the American political system has fallen into a state of torpor and dysfunction driven by, among other things, the absence of the shared sense of purpose that once bound the national experiment. But while contemporary politics is terrifying in certain ways, it has also opened up again the possibility of goals, and projects, and ideas — probably the biggest opportunity in a generation for new ideas to take hold. So here is one big one: a billion Americans……”
Published by Portfolio, an imprint of the Penguin Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Matthew Yglesias.
US cancels 1,000 China student visas, claiming ties to the military
Finally, US is taken proper action revoking visas since 1 June after Trump order to tackle intellectual property theft. China had been “abusing student visas to exploit American academia”, said Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, in a speech on Wednesday. “We are blocking visas for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China’s military fusion strategy to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research.”
US sabre-rattling towards China could rip apart the core of the global economy
An interesting assessment of the world economy and China is made by Isabella Weber a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of the forthcoming book How China Escaped Shock Therapy