Category Archives: Foreign

Germs Build Immunity

Germs, immunity, China
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Germs build immunity. That’s because your body remembers pathogens. And it hates them. So when your body sees a pathogen it recognizes, it gets very upset and kills it. At least that’s how Harvard professor of microbiology Michael N. Starnbach, PhD sees it.

And if you don’t believe Dr. Starnbach, just ask George Carlin.

But how’s your body going to meet new germs if it’s holed up behind a mask in your basement? Besides that, hiding out from germs could drive you crazy.

Issues and Insights reports on a study that claims there could be 75.000 or more deaths due to the Covid-19 shutdown. It blames depression and stress.

 

What the Heck is Unmasking Anyway?

unmasking, michael flynn
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What the heck is unmasking anyway?

Our government spies on foreigners all the time but not its own citizens –theoretically. So while eavesdropping on a Russian ambassador is ok, it’s not ok to spy on the guy at the other end of the call, if he’s an American citizen. So, in order to protect that guy, his information is “masked.” (Bokbluster was on this in 2017)

As it happens, the guy on the other end of Russian Ambassador Kislyak’s call was Trump’s incoming Trump National Security advisor Michael Flynn. And it turns out, dozens of members of the Obama administration, including Joe Biden, unmasked him.

FBI Goal Questioning Michael Flynn

FBI goal, get truth, get him to lie
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What was the FBI’s goal when it questioned Michael Flynn? Was it to get the truth or to get him to lie? That’s what Counter Intelligence head Bill Priestap asked in a memo:

“What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” This may have expressed an honest question over the motivation behind this targeting of Flynn, a decision for which Comey later publicly took credit when he had told an audience that he decided he could “get away” with sending “a couple guys over” to the White House to set up Flynn and make the case.

Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law Professor – The Hill

Update: Justice Department drops the case against Flynn.

Oil Has a Negative Attitude

oil, negative price,
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Now even oil has a negative attitude. The price of West Texas Crude went negative yesterday. Nobody wants to buy the stuff. So producers were theoretically willing to pay you $37.63 at one point to take a barrel off their hands.

That was the price on a May contract which expires today. So if you have a tanker parked somewhere, now’s the time. The price on June contracts and later should move back up to positive territory.

Pippa Stevens at CNBC explains why.

Meanwhile, negative interest rates could be on the way to a bank near you. Thanks to negative rates in Europe and Japan, savers pay institutions there to store their money for them.

And, if you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s a cartoon in memory of high gas prices.

World Health Organization and China Relationship

world health organization, china, relationship, parrot to pirate
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The World Health Organization and China seem to have an unhealthy relationship.

That is to say, it’s sort of like a pirate to parrot relationship. China speaks and the WHO repeats:

The most notorious example came in the form of a single tweet from the WHO account on January 14: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus.” That same day, the Wuhan Health Commission’s public bulletindeclared, “We have not found proof for human-to-human transmission.”

Kathy Gilsinan, The Atlantic

World Health Organization and China

President Trump also has “kissing up” issues with China. For instance, on Jan 24 he had this to say:

“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

Politico

Still he did restrict travel from China 5 days later – with the usual Trumpian embellishment that he did it over the objection of experts. After all, it’s not like he’s putting his name on stimulus checks. Oh wait, he is.

Anyway, last week he suspended U.S. funding for the WHO.