This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)
Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there (at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).
I also posted a “quasi one” as a “Grab Bag”:
https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/grab-bag/ of open discussion.
Canonical list of old ones here:
Switzerland has decided that closer ties to the E.U. and more subjugation is not good for Switzerland, and refused to sign a treaty of greater integration. Looks like yet another loss for the New Roman Empire of the E.U. and win for more liberty and self determination.
Swiss abandon years of EU talks and reject treaty
After years of talks, Switzerland has scrapped efforts aimed at agreeing an over-arching treaty with the EU.
Switzerland is not in the European Union but has signed up to many of its policies, such as freedom of movement.
The relationship is currently governed by more than 120 bilateral deals, and a failure to replace them with one framework deal could harm ties.
“We regret this decision, given the progress that has been made over the last years,” the EU Commission said.
The EU-Switzerland free trade agreement dates back to 1972.
The Commission – the executive body for the EU’s 27 member states – said that without an EU-Swiss framework agreement, modernising that relationship would not be possible. Existing deals were “not up to speed” and the impact of Switzerland’s decision would have to be analysed, it warned.
I think I’m going to move some of my cash into Swiss Francs…
There’s another “hack” with ransomware looking for extortion payments. This time on the meat supply:
JBS works to restart meat processing plants, easing fears of price increases and shortages
The FBI has attributed a ransomware attack to a Russian-linked group known as both REvil and Sodinokibi
June 2, 2021 at 10:04 p.m. UTC
JBS said its systems are coming back online after a massive cyberattack threatened to knock out significant pieces of its global meat supply network, easing worries that the breach would usher in shortages and higher beef and pork prices.
The ransomware attack, which the FBI attributed Wednesday to a Russian-linked group known as both REvil and Sodinokibi, came as consumers already are paying more for steaks, chops and roasts. The coronavirus pandemic disrupted operations for many meat processors, creating production bottlenecks just as demand was surging.
“We saw on Tuesday that prices did not freak out, and what that tells you is that it’s not going to make prices skyrocket,” said Grady Ferguson, senior research analyst at Gro Intelligence. “Right now, it looks like they are getting back on track,” he said, adding “there is not going to be empty store shelves and people looting for hot dogs and things like that.”
At Smart & Final today, they still had their $4.99 / lb. Tri-Tip special and the shelves full of meat. But it takes a few days to propagate from the meat packers to the shippers to the distributors.
It will all depend on how long things are shut down.
When will people learn to NOT put critical systems on the internet? It isn’t worth the risk.
Fauci has had a bit of an ooopsy with a FOIA of his emails:
AMERICAN NEWS Jun 2, 2021 4:06 PM EST
Rand Paul calls for Fauci to be fired after shocking email revelations
Sen. Rand Paul, who grilled Dr. Anthony Fauci in Senate hearings, and others are calling for Fauci to be removed after thousands of pages of emails were released as a result of a FOIA request.
In the emails, Fauci said early on that face masks are not helpful, received information that there was reason to believe the virus was engineered, and advocated early for school closures despite evidence showing that kids were not at high risk of contracting or spreading the illness.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene echoed Paul and promoted her bill the “Fire Fauci Act.” In the bill Greene says, “Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D., earned $434,312 in 2020” the bill continues, “Dr. Fauci is not only the highest paid doctor in the Federal Government, but the highest paid of any of the 4,000,000 Federal employees, including the President.”
Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy… /snark;
In other news, looks like another Looney Left Governor is headed for a recall election:
Gretchen Whitmer Fails to Derail Recall Petitions; Appeals Court Rejects All Arguments
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) failed to stop a series of recall petitions filed against her after the state Board of Canvassers approved them.
Whitmer appealed the approval of seven petitions against her and Lieutenant Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D), and last week, an appeals court rejected all of her arguments.
According to Michigan law, the Canvassers judge a petition’s language and presentation for clarity and factual accuracy.
One petition, filed by James Makowski, stated the governor should be recalled because “Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020–143 on July 1, 2020 closing indoor service at bars.”
Whitmer argued “bars” was an ambiguous and undefined term. But the court noted the petition used precisely the same language as Whitmer’s executive order: Its subtitle was “Closing indoor service at bars.” More:
Then there’s China saying to prepare for a nuclear war with the USA:
China State Media Says Country Must Prepare for Nuclear War With U.S. After Biden Asks for COVID Probe
BY JENNI FINK ON 6/1/21 AT 12:14 PM EDT
Hu Xijin, the editor of the Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times, considers enhancing China’s nuclear program as being vital to the country’s “strategic deterrence” against the United States.
Protests in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the COVID-19 pandemic and accusations China’s engaged in a genocide against the Uighur Muslims are sowing deeper divisions in an already strained relationship between China and the United States. With Beijing one of America’s top concerns, President Joe Biden has sought to strike a stern tone, while China sees much of America’s actions and comments to be an encroachment on its sovereignty.
The increasingly confrontational rhetoric and military maneuvers coming out of the two countries have raised concerns about a potential war.
So that’s the official State Run Newspaper saying prepare for nuclear war with the USA.
Maybe I need to plot likely missile paths to parts of the USA and figure out the safest place to be.
In other news, want to end the Chinese Wuhan Covid plague? Well, we know how to do it. Mexico handed out a small dose packet of ivermectin and got big rewards:
Mexico City Wide Innovative Population-Level Study Administers Ivermectin-based Home Kits with Drastic Reduction in Hospitalizations
May 8, 2021
The nation of Mexico generally, and more specifically Mexico City, one of the world’s most populated cities with 22 million people, experienced a greater spike in COVID-19 cases by December 2020. It was at the end of 2020 that the Mexico City Government, concerned about hospital capacity, implemented an expanded population-based health intervention to manage COVID-19. Based on the growing data available from ivermectin research, the government organized a prehospital home-care program combining early detection with antigen tests, a phone-based monitoring process for positive patients and the provisioning of a medical kit containing ivermectin. Testing, based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, was extended into a massive testing program in 230 temporary mobile units or “kiosks.” Fundamental in the Mexican mission: lower access barriers to identifying COVID-19 at early stages, reduce opportunity for transmission via home isolation and care for patients early, right at onset, even if asymptomatic or mild symptoms. The overall study commenced July 8, 2020 with 3,000 tests administered daily and by the middle of November, the government expanded capacity to 24,000 daily tests. Again, public health workers followed up on those deemed positive via Locatel, (Mexico City Government call center) or WhatsApp text service. During that call, patients are informed if they are positive, asked if they can be in isolation, and the symptoms, if escalated, prompt a more intensive monitoring protocol (e.g. every couple days in more severe cases). Serious cases prompt 911 and hospitalization. Since December 28, the ivermectin-based medical kits were distributed to mild to moderate symptomatic patients. The Mexico City Government sought to measure the effectiveness of this population-wide intervention inclusive of the ivermectin-based medical kit in overall hospitalization during the pandemic. Using a quasi-experimental research design involving a Coarsened Exact Matching method leveraging hospital and phone call monitoring data, the study team estimated logistic-regression models with a range of observational data and found a significant reduction in hospitalizations among the cohort receiving ivermectin-based medical kit. In fact, the range of positive effect totaled 52% to 76% depending on model specification. The team concluded that ivermectin-based interventions in a well-designed population-level scheme mitigates the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health system in the world’s fifth largest city. TrialSite includes diagrams of the impact these population-level schemes have had in the region. The results should trigger public health discussions in other large metropolitan areas. This study included over 200,000 people.
The Mexico City Government sponsored this innovative, population-wide initiative across Mexico City based initially on observations at Monash University Australia in April and from then on, mounting data from dozens of clinical trials and observational studies evidencing positive outcomes associated with ivermectin.
In an effort to produce good covariate balance between exposure groups and hence lessen any impact of cofounding in observational causal inference the public health-led team employed a method known as Coarsened Exact Matching using administrative data from hospital and the comprehensive phone-call monitoring system established for purposes of this public health study.
The study team estimated logistic-regression models with matched observations adjusting by a number of elements from COVID-19 severity and comorbidity to gender and age, etc. They separated the effect of the kit from phone medical monitoring for “robustness checks” as well as modified consumption duration and “subsetted the sample by hospitalization occupancy.”
The Mexico City study team generated compelling results in that they reduced the pressures on hospital system by 52% to 76% depending on a number of factors. These results led to the confident conclusion that this population-level, ivermectin-based intervention in fact worked well, materially lessening hospitalizations, reducing suffering and undoubtedly saving many lives.
Things of interest
Looks like Louisiana is joining Texas and others in Constitution Carry.
The Louisiana Senate gave final passage Tuesday to a proposal to let state residents carry a concealed firearm without a permit or training.
Senate Bill 118 by Sen. Jay Morris, a West Monroe Republican, now heads to Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who generally favors gun rights but is expected to veto the bill.
SB 118 would apply to adults who are at least age 21 and have not been convicted of a felony or violent crime. Morris’ bill retains the prohibition against carrying a concealed gun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Concealed carriers still would be required to disclose they have a weapon and submit to a search when asked by law enforcement, which would have the right to disarm the carriers.
For more, see: