Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

A quick walk around the Bing News feed block — this discordance isn’t, and the news, is not, and these pieces are orchestrated. They run on rubber necking, ambulance chasing, and fear fear fear. Below, quoting headlines and leads:

A bankruptcy judge has extended temporary protections against opioid-related litigation for the Sackler family members who own Purdue Pharma until Feb. 1 after another judge overturned the OxyContin maker’s bankruptcy settlement this month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring or investigating 92 ships for COVID-19, a factor that could add to travelers’ worries as they consider whether or not to embark on an upcoming cruise.

But the fact that the CDC is monitoring or investigating a ship does not mean there is a widespread COVID-19 outbreak on board. Even with stringent vaccination, testing and masking, among other protocols, it is fairly common for coronavirus cases to emerge among passengers and crew on cruise vessels.

The MS Hamburg is seen docked in Buenos Aires on Nov. 29, 2021. Argentina ordered all passengers on board to isolate following the detection of a coronavirus case, according to the Ministry of Health.

3 planes are flying potatoes into Japan to help tackle the country’s shortage of fries, which has caused McDonald’s to ration servings

New Mexico Indigenous leaders are concerned about a proposed multimillion-dollar transmission line that would cross what they consider sacred lands.

The transmission line planned by the U.S. government would bring more electricity to Los Alamos National Laboratory as it looks to power ongoing operations and future missions at the northern New Mexico complex that include manufacturing key components for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. According to reports on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, indigenous leaders are concerned about a proposed multimillion-dollar transmission line that would cross what they consider sacred lands.

According to the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, this snowstorm surpassed December 1970 as the snowiest December ever recorded by the institute Monday afternoon — and as of Tuesday, is nearing the mark for snowiest month ever recorded since 1970 — with more than 202 inches falling this month. The record was 238 inches in the month of January 2017.

A vehicle is stuck in the snow along Brunswick Road and Sutton Way Monday morning, Dec. 27, 2021, in Grass Valley, Calif. (Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

Then, my friend, Joe from Merced, the farmer, sent the great story here:

Well, now we can see those same tactics being deployed in the U.S.

New York City was the first large metropolitan area to require vaccination identification cards to enter restaurants, bars, dining establishments and various public and private venues.  Now comes the enforcement part.

Watch this video below to see the New York Police Department (NYPD) start deploying vaccination police, and making arrests of people who do not present papers to prove their status. WATCH:

Obviously, this is not a beginning, as I quickly quipped:

Oh, those pigs in schools, those Vice Principals, those “resource officers.” All those videos of them throwing down girls, boys, kids with developmental disabilities. This is a perfect next step for the pigs — back of the bus, no whistling at white girl or we will Emmett Till you. I have been threatened with a gun and with fists several times for not standing for the national anthem. And, when I burned USA-Israel-Nato flags, I was cold-cocked. Turn my back on a speaker in public? I’ve done that, quietly, and have been confronted by rent-a-cops and pigs. I’ve pushed back at TSA checkpoints and have been delayed almost an hour for a flight.

Marched off campus several times. Marched out of jobs with my box of belongings several times. Yeah, this is the theater of fascism, and depending who you might be (me) that feeling of fascists ready to knock me down, taze me, march me out with police escort and even get handcuffed and cited, well, it’s been in my life since age 16 during my first public protest. 

Tear-gassed and pepper sprayed in Seattle at Occupy Seattle protest. More of this shit.

Here, from Wolf Street

Note the immense increase in the wealth for the 1% households, following the Fed’s money-printing scheme and interest rate repression in March 2020.

A household is defined by the Census Bureau as the people living at one address, whether they’re a three-generation family or five roommates or a single person. In the third quarter, there were 127.4 million households in the US, per Census estimates.

Those top 1% households were the primary beneficiaries of the Fed’s policies during the pandemic. And they have hugely benefited since the Financial Crisis. They benefit the most when the Fed prints money (QE), which is designed to inflate asset prices, which benefits those that hold the most assets the most. This is not a secret. It’s the official policy of the Fed and the desired outcome of these official policies is officially called the “Wealth Effect.”

Billionaires got more billions, half of Americans got peanuts.

The Fed doesn’t provide separate data on the truly rich (the 0.01%) and the Billionaire Class, a distinct class in American society whose members often get named in the media with specific titles that have “billionaire” in them. They’re the prime beneficiaries of the Fed’s monetary policies.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the top 30 US billionaires are worth a total of $2.23 trillion. On average, that amounts to a wealth of $74.5 billion per billionaire among the top 30 richest US billionaires. Three months ago, each of the top 30 US billionaires at the time was worth on average $69.2 billion. So, over the three-month period, the average billionaire among the top 30 US billionaires each gained $5.3 billion in wealth.

But the bottom 50% households, that huge mass of Americans, on average gained just $6,900 in wealth over the third quarter. And the wealth disparity between the top billionaires and the bottom 50% exploded.

You can kill someone with reckless usage of percentages. If I give a homeless person $5, and he already has $5 in his pocket, I increased his wealth by 100%. But he still is homeless and still doesn’t have any wealth. Percentage increases are touted as a way to show that the wealth at the bottom increased, when in fact, it increased by only peanuts because the bottom 50% have so little and even a big percentage increase is still nearly nothing, compared to the billionaire class.

Over the past quarter, the average wealth of the top 30 US billionaires increased by 7.6%, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. This amounts to an increase of $5.3 billion per billionaire. This is a huge amount of money for one person to gain due to inflated asset prices in one quarter.

The average wealth at the bottom 50% increased by 14% during the quarter. But this amounts to only $6,900, further blowing out the wealth disparity between them and the billionaires by the billions per household!

Within each category of wealth, the range of wealth is huge. The top 1% range from those who’re just run-of-the-mill wealthy to those who’re worth tens of billions of dollars. The bottom 50% range from the desperately poor to those who’re comfortable with a modest house, a small 401k, and some durable goods, and weighed down by lots of debt.

Good news for workers, for us, on the roads? Bullshit. San Diego’s TuSimple Reports Successful 80-Mile Autonomous Truck Test

What a nation —

The Spanish teacher killed in Fairfield, Iowa, in November didn’t have much of a chance to see it coming, prosecutors allege. The two 16-year-old suspects watched her every move, waiting for the right moment to strike.

The allegations were part of a Dec. 23 court filing against Jeremy Goodale, one of the two teens charged in the brutal killing of Nohema Graber, 66. Prosecutors have charged Goodale and Willard Miller, both students of Graber’s, with first-degree murder and conspiracy. They are both being tried as adults.ADVERTISEMENT

According to the court filing, first reported by the Associated Press, Goodale and Miller mapped out Graber’s daily schedule, analyzing when she’d be out on her daily walk. On Nov. 2, prosecutors say, the two ambushed her and brought her to the woods to kill her. They later returned to better hide her body, prosecutors allege.

Graber was reported missing before her body was found later that day under a tarp at a park, with her cause of death listed as “inflicted trauma to the head.”

What could go wrong, now?

The Czech Republic has started disposing of 80,000 laying hens after the country reported an outbreak of bird flu of the H5N1 type at a poultry farm in Libotenice last week.

Out of the 188,000 birds from the farm, located some 60 kilometres north of Prague, more than half of them died over the Christmas holidays, followed by an additional 8,000 since December 27.

Veterinarians estimate that they will cull the rest of the poultry and destroy around one million eggs by Wednesday.

See the source image

The dictator speaks —

 Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said Monday the nation should consider a vaccination mandate for domestic air travel, signaling a potential embrace of an idea the Biden administration has previously eschewed, as Covid-19 cases spike.

Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief science adviser on the pandemic response, said such a mandate might drive up the nation’s lagging vaccination rate as well as confer stronger protection on flights, for which federal regulations require all those age 2 and older to wear a mask.

See the source image

And so this is just five minutes reading ledes and grabbing the pathetic pieces of fake news, bad news, repeated news, no-news, echo-chamber news, one-sided news, and that’s not journalism at all, if the kind reader would just delve into what it means to be a questioning reporter and researcher. Question all these stories, but then connect the stories, the people behind them, follow the money, go behind the dirty power-grabbing curtain, and ask why, who, what, where, when, how.

Oh, I am about to start a non-fiction piece on my time in Vietnam and Laos, in bat caves. Yep, those bat caves. Sitting, standing, collecting bats, piss in the air, guano on the rock, eating our meals in the cave, and, oh, sleeping in the caves studying bats. The bloody Brits running this biodiversity transect, well, I had gloves, and I even had to get a series of rabies shots before leaving Washington State. Bats, readers, and a crazy time. Read my short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam: Please purchase it!

Wide Open Eyes by Paul Haeder
A researcher for Brazil's state-run Fiocruz Institute holds a bat captured in the Atlantic Forest, at Pedra Branca state park, near Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Researchers at the institute collect and study viruses present in wild animals — including bats, which many scientists believe were linked to the outbreak of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
How the Pursuit of Unknown Viruses Risks Triggering the Next Pandemic

I CAN FEEL THE fear — fear of infections,” Tian Junhua said as he gazed wide-eyed at a clump of bats clinging to the wall of a dark cave. “Because when you find the viruses, you are also most easily exposed to the viruses.” Tian, a researcher for the Wuhan Center for Disease Control who was featured in a 2019 video released by the Chinese state-owned media company SMG, described his work tracking down viruses from bats in remote caves as “a true battle, only without the smoke of gunpowder.”

Around the globe, the scientists who study the animal origins of infectious diseases are treated with similar reverence. In its documentary “Virus Hunters,” National Geographic tells the story of an American band of researchers who risk their lives in search of bats carrying Ebola in an abandoned Liberian mine shaft. “You are getting aerosolized urine, aerosolized feces, but also, if you’re killing the bats, you’re then exposed directly to their blood as well,” professor Christopher Golden says as the animals screech around him and eerie music plays in the background. The risk, it seems, is part of what makes these anti-outbreak efforts so thrilling — and the people who perform them so heroic.

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