Of Note – Elucidation

This Week's Most Notable Deflation Stories

The Deflation Times - Of Note Elucidation


The quest for clarification and personal elucidation is a lifetime venture. Through unabashed immersion into the tributaries of wide-ranging experiences rippling in the river of life, we find out not only what we can endure, but also what makes us happiest.

Kilroy J. Oldster
Dead Toad Scrolls

COVID-19: Current Worldwide Status

Worldwide Confirmed Cases

Worldwide Confirmed Deaths

Worldwide Case Fatality Rate

Worldwide Doubling Time

Worldwide Crude Confirmed Case Rate + Worldwide Crude Fatality Rate

Worldwide case fatality rate, at 5.08, continues to decline. Worldwide doubling time for the last five days is at 38 days. Worldwide confirmed cases and worldwide confirmed deaths continue to rise. The spread of COVID-19 continues.

Data Sources: Our World In Data. COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Worldometer.

SOCIAL MOOD: Police Brutality Protests Continue

United States:

June 25, 2020
June 24, 2020
June 23, 2020
June 23, 2020


June 23, 2020
June 20, 2020
June 20, 2020

HEALTH: Wear a Mask – Incompetence and Errors in Reasoning Around Face Covering

Six Errors: 1) missing the compounding effects of masks, 2) missing the nonlinearity of the probability of infection to viral exposures, 3) missing absence of evidence (of benefits of mask wearing) for evidence of absence (of benefits of mask wearing), 4) missing the point that people do not need governments to produce facial covering: they can make their own, 5) missing the compounding effects of statistical signals, 6) ignoring the Non-Aggression Principle by pseudolibertarians (masks are also to protect others from you; it’s a multiplicative process: every person you infect will infect others). In fact masks (and faceshields) supplemented with constraints of superspreader events can save us trillions of dollars in future lockdowns (and lawsuits) and be potentially sufficient (under adequate compliance) to stem the pandemic. Bureaucrats do not like simple solutions.

Source: The Masks Masquerade. Photo: Paul Merki on Unsplash.

PRIVACY: Privacy Badger Learns to Block Invisible Trackers

Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web. If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. To the advertiser, it’s like you suddenly disappeared.

Source: Privacy Badgers.

BOOK: Disunited Nations – The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World

The world is entering its greatest period of change in nearly a century. America’s allies depend on her commitments for their economic and physical security, and they hope the Trump administration’s positions are an aberration. This hope is misplaced. The world has gotten so used to the “normal” of an American-dominated Order that we all have forgotten the historical norm: several smaller, competing powers and economic systems throughout Europe and Asia. The period of American hyper-involvement in global affairs is ending. The impacts on global energy and agricultural markets, finance and technology will be transformative, but the heirs to the dying Order are not who you think. Russia, India, China and Brazil will not be the superpowers and wunderkind of the future. Rather, names familiar and new will be taking charge of the emerging global Disorder. Germany will decline as the most powerful country in Europe, with France taking its place. Every country should prepare for the collapse of China, not the rise of North Korea. We are already seeing, as he predicts, a shift in outlook on the Middle East: it is no longer Iran that is the region’s most dangerous threat, but Saudi Arabia.

Source: Zeihan On Geopolitics.

PANDEMICS: Pandemic Simulations & The Rise of a Biotech Industrial Complex Under COVID-19

During the presidency of George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, something disturbing unfolded at the U.S.’ top biological warfare research facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Specimens of highly contagious and deadly pathogens – anthrax and ebola among them – had disappeared from the lab, at a time when lab workers and rival scientists had been accused of targeted sexual and ethnic harassment and several disgruntled researchers had left as a result. In addition to missing samples of anthrax, ebola, hanta virus and a variant of AIDS, two of the missing specimens had been labeled “unknown” – “an Army euphemism for classified research whose subject was secret,” according to reports. The vast majority of the specimens lost were never found and an Army spokesperson would later claim that it was “likely some were simply thrown out with the trash.”

Source: Whitney Webb on the Rise of a Biotech Industrial Complex Under COVID-19.

Dark Winter – Event 201 – Crimson Contagion

The leaders of two controversial pandemic simulations that took place just months before the coronavirus crisis – event 201 and crimson contagion – share a common history, the 2001 biowarfare simulation dark winter. Dark winter not only predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks, but some of its participants had clear foreknowledge of those attacks.

Source: All Roads Lead to Dark Winter.

“One of the most politically-connected yet scandal ridden vaccine companies in the united states, with troubling ties to the 2001 anthrax attacks and opioid crisis, is set to profit handsomely from the current coronavirus crisis… In August 2001, biopharmaceutical company BioPort faced imminent disaster. A series of company scandals, controversial federal bail-outs and severe, adverse health reactions among U.S. troops were causing both Congress and the Pentagon to reconsider its multi-million dollar contract to provide the military with an anthrax vaccine… Formed for the sole purpose of acquiring a publicly-owned company in Michigan that held the exclusive license to manufacture the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine in the United States, BioPort sought to quickly expand the size and scope of its contracts with the U.S. military. This strategy was made possible thanks to the former head of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Crowe, who would prove highly instrumental in the rise of BioPort’s vaccine monopoly and its subsequent, aggressive hiring of former government officials as lobbyists.”

Source: A Killer Enterprise: How One of Big Pharma’s Most Corrupt Companies Plans to Corner the Covid-19 Cure Market.

ECONOMY: Tracking COVID Response Spending

With such large commitments, the public deserves to know how their dollars are being spent. COVID Money Tracker will track every significant financial action taken to address the current crisis and then follow the dollars over time to provide valuable information on how much has been disbursed (or paid back) and to whom. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget filled this same role during the 2008-2010 financial crisis through Stimulus.org.

The COVID Money Tracker project will produce papers, blogs, spreadsheets, and data visualizations; and we will build an interactive database where users can search, sort, and track the actions taken and dollars disbursed in the current crisis. Meanwhile, readers can browse our summary table of actions taken so far to combat the COVID-19 crisis and see more at https://www.COVIDMoneyTracker.org.

Chart Source: COVID Money Tracker.

United States Air Travel – 2020 Compared to 2019

Data Source: TSA checkpoint travel numbers for 2020 and 2019.

Global Eating Out Year-over-year Seated Diners

Data Source: The state of the restaurant industry.

POLITICS: Silence the Press


From a rickety courtroom in Manila, the guilty verdict on Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr is expected to make ripples in the United States, Hungary, and other countries where democracy is under threat by populist regimes. A Manila court convicted Ressa and Santos of cyber libel on Monday, June 15, in the most high-profile case filed against individual journalists during the Duterte administration. While critics view this verdict – along with the shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN – as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s de facto dictatorship, experts said it is crucial to see this also in a global context. “This isn’t just about Maria Ressa and Rappler,” said Australian journalist Peter Greste in an online forum on Monday morning. “It is very much about the system. The system is on trial.” “We also need to understand its significance internationally,” he added. “This is an international test for respect for the rule of law.” Greste is a former Al-Jazeera correspondent who, in 2013, was arrested for his work as a journalist, and imprisoned for more than a year in Egypt. Greste, whose case in Egypt drew condemnation around the world, is now UNESCO chair in journalism and communication at the University of Queensland. He is also a founding director of the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom.

Source: Why democracies should push back vs Maria Ressa verdict.

United Kingdom and United States

HISTORY: The Panic of 1819

The First Great Depression

The Panic of 1819 tells the story of the first nationwide economic collapse to strike the United States. Much more than a banking crisis or real estate bubble, the Panic was the culmination of an economic wave that rolled through the United States, forming before the War of 1812, cresting with the land and cotton boom of 1818, and crashing just as the nation confronted the crisis over slavery in Missouri. The Panic introduced Americans to the new phenomenon of boom and bust, changed the country’s attitudes towards wealth and poverty, spurred the political movement that became Jacksonian Democracy, and helped create the sectional divide that would lead to the Civil War. Although it stands as one of the turning points of American history, few Americans today have heard of the Panic of 1819, with the result that we continue to ignore its lessons—and repeat its mistakes.

Source: The Panic of 1819: America’s First Great Depression.

Reactions and Policies

The War of 1812 and its aftermath brought many rapid dislocations to the young American economy. Before the war, America had been a large, thinly populated country of seven million, devoted almost exclusively to agriculture. Much cotton, wheat, and tobacco were exported abroad, while the remainder of the agricultural produce was largely consumed by self-sufficient rural households. Barter was extensive in the vast regions of the frontier. Commerce was largely devoted to the exporting of agricultural produce, which was generally grown close to river transportation. The proceeds were used to import desired manufactured products and other consumer goods from abroad. Major export products were cotton and tobacco from the South, and grain from the West. The cities, which contained only 7 percent of the country’s population, were chiefly trading depots channeling exports to and from abroad. New York City was becoming the nation’s great foreign trade center, with Philadelphia and Boston following closely behind.

The monetary system of the country was not highly developed. The banks, outside of New England at least, were confined almost exclusively to the cities. Their methods tended to be lax; government control was negligible; and the fact that most banks, like other corporations of the period, had to gain their status by special legislative charter, invited speculative abuses through pressure on the legislature. The result was a lack of uniformity in dealing with banks within and between states. Until 1811, the existence of the First Bank of the United States had influenced the banks toward uniformity. The currency of the United States was on a bimetallic standard, but at the legal ratio of fifteen-to-one gold was undervalued, and the bulk of the specie in circulation was silver. Silver coins were largely foreign, particularly Spanish, augmented by coins minted in Great Britain, Portugal, and France.

Source: The Panic of 1819: Reactions and Policies.

Curated by Mario Daurte.
Of Note is The Deflation Times weekly bulletin of the week's most notable deflation stories.
Cover photo by Vitalis Hirschmann on Unsplash.

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