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Sarah Palin is the other whom Yoda spoke about.

calendar   Friday - July 31, 2020

Antigen test results wobbly everywhere?

Sorry, last week’s news. And I really wish I could find something else to blog about. (hey we went bowling again last night. Our team did pretty well, I threw a 658 series (no tap league :-( ) but the other team slaughtered us anyway. So after 2 weeks we’re at the bottom of the heap. Oh well.)

Vermont Seeing Antigen Test Irregularities

65 in Manchester tested positive with Quidel’s antigen test, but then 48 of them tested negative with the standard PCR test. Which one is right? Was Quidel given an EUA too early?

65 people who tested positive last week after completing the rapid antigen test offered at a private medical clinic in the heart of Manchester, Vt., a town of fewer than 5,000. News of an outbreak set off alarms in a state that to-date had fared well in the pandemic, registering the second-fewest cases in the country. Many local restaurants and retailers quickly shut down. The Saturday farmers market was canceled. State officials with little information scrambled to answer questions from reporters and the public as to how and where the outbreak began.

But in Vermont, positive antigen tests — a relatively new way of detecting an active COVID infection — require confirmation by another test: a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, the gold-standard used by the government, hospitals, and professional sports teams. Of the 65 people who’d received those positive antigen tests, 48 would ultimately test negative via PCR.

A community on edge was now a community confused. Had there been an outbreak? The state’s health department said no, while the clinic stood by its findings that showed positive test results. The Manchester town Facebook forum erupted with questions about antigen testing, authorized in May by the FDA for emergency use. What to make of this apparent testing stalemate?
Attempts at answering that question proved to be a lesson in the current fractured state of testing in the United States as well as a reminder of how little is still known six months into the pandemic about the coronavirus and the methods used to mitigate its spread.
Antigen testing, which also requires a nasal swab but can return results in just 15 minutes, has been heralded as a cheap and speedy alternative to the cumbersome and pricey PCR tests, which in the United States can take anywhere from a day to two weeks to process. Rather than lugging vials off to a lab where they’re heated, cooled, and spun, antigen test cassettes are inserted into a small on-site machine that quickly reads the results.
But although the antigen test was recently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, it is not formally approved, meaning only a handful of studies — submitted by the very companies that markets the product — have been completed to verify its reliability.

I have read elsewhere that, while the antigen test may have an unacceptable false positive rate, it has an almost zero false negative rate. Combined with the high speed results, this may make it very useful for surgical patients, all of whom now have to be tested and cleared prior to surgery. This precaution is making for extremely difficult scheduling, and the 10-14 days results time for the PCR test is forcing most of these people to self-isolate. Now add in the requirement that all surgical patients also have to have a physical from their PCP within a month of the surgical date, which is often scheduled at least 6 or 8 weeks ahead of time.

India has been using RAT (rapid antigen testing) quite a bit, and has had problems. It’s a great idea, but it looks like it needs more development. Like anything else in life, you can’t have fast, good, and cheap, but with this, when you’re looking at hundreds of millions of daily tests, 2 out of 3 isn’t good enough.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/coronavirus-antigen-tests-quick-and-cheap-too-often-wrong
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-antigen-test-could-give-quick-results-but-is-not-foolproof


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/31/2020 at 03:49 PM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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COVID Shocker

Vietnam COVID Death Rate DOUBLES OVERNIGHT

The United States is about 29 times larger than Vietnam. At 331,210 sq km, Vietnam is a little bigger than New Mexico. Yet the population of the USA is only 3 1/2 times greater; Vietnam has 97 million citizens, compared to around 330 million here.

But Vietnam, which shares a long border with China, has had only 536 cases of the ‘rona since January, and until yesterday, had only had 1 COVID related death. ONE. Now, sadly, today they have 2.

2 deaths, 536 total cases, 8 months, 97 million people. How is this possible?

Vietnam has a much younger population (median age 30.5 vs 38.4). There is almost no obesity; lowest in the world. They are nearly genetically monolithic; everyone is Vietnamese (although they recognize 54 types).  Very very few Poles, Danes, Venezuelans, Nigerians, or even Polynesians live there. Life expectancy 6 years less than ours.  Absolute one party communist rule, but I don’t know how gentle or tyrannical that leadership is.

But when COVID was just beginning, they shut the country down completely. Closed the borders, shut the airports, locked down all the towns and cities. Anyone who seemed to be sick with the virus and anyone they’d been in contact with was taken somewhere and isolated. Full quarantine. Anyone coming home to Vietnam was also quarantined for at least 2 weeks.

And it worked. Until a couple days ago, not one reported fatality. And now that number is up to two. They hadn’t had any new cases in 99 days.

Vietnam’s Health Ministry reported the country’s second Covid-19 death late on Friday.

The 61-year-old man died on Friday afternoon at a hospital in Da Nang city, where Vietnam last week detected its first domestically transmitted coronavirus infections in more than three months, the ministry said in a statement.

The country, which has recorded 546 coronavirus infections since its first cases were detected in January, reported its first coronavirus death earlier on Friday. The 70-year-old man who died had underlying health conditions, state media reported.

More than 53,000 people have been put in quarantine and although data from the country’s mass testing programme has yet not been released, the health ministry said.

[ May 15, 2020 ] Despite a long border with China and a population of 97 million people, Vietnam has recorded only just over 300 cases of Covid-19 on its soil and not a single death.

Nearly a month has passed since its last community transmission and the country is already starting to open up.

Experts say that unlike other countries now seeing infections and deaths on a huge scale, Vietnam saw a small window to act early on and used it fully.

But though cost-effective, its intrusive and labour intensive approach has its drawbacks and experts say it may be too late for most other countries to learn from its success.
‘Extreme but sensible’ measures

“When you’re dealing with these kinds of unknown novel potentially dangerous pathogens, it’s better to overreact,” says Dr Todd Pollack of Harvard’s Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam in Hanoi.

Recognising that its medical system would soon become overwhelmed by even mild spread of the virus, Vietnam instead chose prevention early, and on a massive scale.

By early January, before it had any confirmed cases, Vietnam’s government was initiating “drastic action” to prepare for this mysterious new pneumonia which had at that point killed two people in Wuhan.
Image copyright Getty Images

When the first virus case was confirmed on 23 January - a man who had travelled from Wuhan to visit his son in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam’s emergency plan was in action.

“It very, very quickly acted in ways which seemed to be quite extreme at the time but were subsequently shown to be rather sensible,” says Prof Guy Thwaites, director of Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Ho Chi Minh City, which works with the government on its infectious disease programmes.

Vietnam enacted measures other countries would take months to move on, bringing in travel restrictions, closely monitoring and eventually closing the border with China and increasing health checks at borders and other vulnerable places.

Schools were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January and remained closed until mid-May. A vast and labour intensive contact tracing operation got under way.

“This is a country that has dealt with a lot of outbreaks in the past,” says Prof Thwaites, from Sars in 2003 to avian influenza in 2010 and large outbreaks of measles and dengue.

So the people are used to deadly epidemics, and maybe there’s some level of viral immunity? How bad were they hit with the similar SARS in 2003?

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Vietnamese officials are rushing to control a sudden new outbreak of COVID-19 after reporting one of the world’s most successful control efforts earlier in the year.

Authorities in the Southeast Asian country sealed off the central coast tourist city Danang Sunday after two people tested positive for the deadly atypical pneumonia, domestic media reports say. The new spike in and near Danang had grown to 30 cases as of early Wednesday, mostly traced to a local hospital. 

People elsewhere in the economically booming country of 97 million worry that the Danang infections will spread outward and spark another nationwide shutdown like the one ordered for about a month through late April.

“It could be another outbreak, and it’s really sort of scared the Vietnamese, because they thought they’d gotten through it all, but as the rest of the world discovered, this thing spreads much quicker than you think,” said Adam McCarty, chief economist with Mekong Economics in Hanoi. 

While Vietnam’s latest figures still hardly match the hundreds of daily cases still being reported in much of the world, the country prides itself on throttling the disease earlier in the year with no deaths to date. Vietnam had gone without transmission for 99 days through Saturday and its domestic economy roared back to life by May.

Halts to flights and strict quarantine rules have kept the overall caseload to 446 including the latest outbreak. As of Tuesday, 369 people had recovered.

The 1.1 million-population city of Danang quit taking domestic tourists for 14 days, halted many gatherings and shuttered non-essential services such as bars and amusement parks, domestic news website VnExpress International reported.

Flights, buses, taxis, and trains to and from Da Nang are suspended too, business consultancy Dezan Shira & Associates says on its website. Thousands of tourists there now must remain. 

“We’re hoping it doesn’t spread out, because if it does, they’ll do another lockdown, and it’s going to impact business hard,” said Jack Nguyen, partner in the business advisory firm Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City. “I don’t think the country can sustain another lockdown.”

Quang Nam, a province bordering Danang, planned starting Wednesday to close bars, internet shops, cinemas and other spots to stop any disease spread there, the news website reported.

“Danang is done,” Nguyen said. “There are no tourists coming in or out.”

And now that city, if not others as well as needed, are once again on absolute lockdown. Roads closed, tourists stuck in place, fun canceled, nothing open but food and medical. Will it work again?

Interesting note: while they do report that they haven’t had a single new case in 99 days, and that this spike in Danang is 30 cases, the total number of 446 in this article with 369 recovered means 48 people (11%) are still sick with it after 100 days or more.

The other article says 546 cases, so I expect one of those numbers is a typo. 4 and 5 are neighbors on the keyboard.

And for the 99 days without transmission before last week claim to make sense, but 300 cases in mid-May, the assumption is that the case rate was flatlined by the 3rd week in April.

***
While Vietnam has some of the worst malaria on the planet, what they have at this point is largely multi-drug resistant malaria. This means the chloroquine drugs aren’t used so much. Instead they take Malarone, a two drug combo pill made from the potent anti-malarials Atovaquone and Proguanil. Proguanil can be used with chloroquine if the malaria strain isn’t strongly multi-drug resistant. But how to tell? Atovaquone may be effective against SARS COV-2; it seems to work in vitro, so further testing is warranted. Wait and see. But once again, Vietnam is one place where malaria is, and where malaria is, COVID-19 isn’t. 2 deaths and under 600 cases from 97 million people defines “isn’t” to my satisfaction.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/31/2020 at 01:55 PM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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That Didn’t Take Long

Oh, and check the filter that was on this news yesterday. I’m so tired of garbage reporting.

Ohio Pharm Board Drops No HCQ Rule “Proposal”

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has reversed a rule that prohibited the sale and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in the state after Gov. Mike DeWine (R) asked for the reversal.

“I agree with the statement from Dr. Steven Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that the decision about prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 should be between a doctor and a patient,” DeWine said in a statement. “Therefore, I am asking the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to halt their new rule prohibiting the selling or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”

...

“As a result of the feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Governor DeWine, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has withdrawn proposed rule 4729:5-5-21 of the Administrative Code,” a release said. “Therefore, prohibitions on the prescribing of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Ohio for the treatment of COVID-19 will not take effect at this time.”

Srsly? Because this was one of yesterday’s top stories, and not one news site mentioned that this was merely a proposal. Heck, I read the damn document, and it didn’t say “proposal” or anything like that on it anywhere. This whole thing was presented as a mic drop. “Here’s the new rule. Deal with it.”

Is this a rule, or is this a proposed rule? World of difference. And has it actually been nixed, or just delayed? If you cancel, reverse, or withdraw a rule or a proposed rule, then it no longer exists, yes? Or is it still waiting in the background, merely delayed until nobody is paying attention?

What rules making process does the Ohio Board of Pharmacy follow, who are they answerable to? Is there public feedback, are they subject to the state legislature or the governor? Is this board even part of the government, or is it an NGO, or what?

Maybe it’s nothing more than a bunch of retired old pill pushers secretly stipended by Big Pharma that make pronouncements that are merely guidelines? Please; outside of their industry, who ever heard of this group before yesterday?

Any of this would be insightful reporting, not just red-button pushing headlines.

Why the hell can’t we get the straight dope from anybody?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/31/2020 at 08:03 AM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentPandemic Pandemonium •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 30, 2020

Hernan Cain, Died From COVID

Herman Cain dies at 74 from coronavirus complications

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Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate, died at age 74 from COVID-19 complications, a spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.

“Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us — has passed away,” Cain’s website editor Dan Calabrese said in a post.

“We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight,” Calabrese said. “He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle.”

...

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, was diagnosed with COVID-19 last month and admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital on July 1, 10 days after he attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla. It is not known where Cain contracted the disease.

A spokesperson posted on Twitter earlier this week that the businessman and former GOP presidential candidate was undergoing oxygen treatment while still at the hospital.

Five days ago, doctors said Cain would eventually recover but it would be a slow process, Calabrese said, which prompted his team to post the Twitter update.

Cain, who served as co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2006 but had survived the disease.

“Although he was basically pretty healthy in recent years, he was still in a high-risk group because of his history with cancer,” Calabrese said.

...

Cain is the most prominent American politician to succumb to the coronavirus, which has also infected at least nine members of Congress and one governor, though most of those have not shown severe symptoms.

This is sad. I have no other information at all to share on this. Yes, he had terminal colon cancer, but survived it / was in remission for 14 years. And he was 74. And I have no idea how long he was sick before he went to the hospital. Nor do I know what treatment the Atlanta hospital gave him.

Heck, I read about “standard care” in all the other articles, and I have no idea what that means, given that there is no vaccine, no officially approved medicine, and no common adherence to “anecdotal” and “off label” treatments. The only things I’ve heard from the hospitals is to turn the patient face down so they can breathe easier, and that extended intubation is dangerous. So what exactly are hospitals doing for these people?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2020 at 12:26 PM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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Next Stop Mars

Houston, we have ignition

These launches make me feel like a patriotic little kid again. It’s that thrilling to me.

NASA Launches Mars Rover, No Problems

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from the live blog ...

All tanks on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket are fully fueled, conditions are nominal and we are still on track for a 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT) launch.
...
The weather in Florida is beautiful and perfect for today’s launch. According to weather officer Jessica Williams, weather is observed and forecast GO for liftoff in just about half an hour.
...
LAUNCH! Perseverance is on its way to Mars

Go Percy! Go Atlas V! Go Mars 2020! Go Centaur!

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has officially lifted off for Mars from Florida in the United States.

The rover successfully launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The car-sized rover is officially on its way to Jezero Crater on Mars, where it is set to arrive in about seven months on Feb. 18, 2021.
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The solid rocket booster helping Atlas V launch the Mars rover Perseverance has separated from the booster as planned.
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PLF (Payload Fairing Separation): The Atlas V rocket’s payload fairing, or nose cone, which was made in Switzerland by Ruag Space and helped to protect the Atlas V rocket during launch, has separated from the vehicle as scheduled.
Centaur separation

Atlas V’s Common Core Booster, the first stage of the Atlas 5 rocket separates from Centaur, the upper stage of Atlas V, as scheduled.
...
ULA’s Atlas V rocket has successfully completed an “escape burn,” or its second and final engine firing, as scheduled. This burn is what pushes the vehicle out and towards the Red Planet, where it is set to arrive Feb. 18, 2021, nearly seven months from now.

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another link

Know what I really love about this? The Atlas booster is older than I am. It started out as an ICBM in the 1950s, and was the motivating force underneath the Project Mercury space flights of the early 1960s. It also sent up the Agena equipment packages for some of the Gemini missions, and has launched several hundred satellites since then. Sure, it’s been updated a bunch of times since then, and I think the current one is all-American and no longer using the Russian built R180 middle stage engine.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2020 at 10:38 AM   
Filed Under: • Space •  
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The HCQ Rollercoaster Ride Continues

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (R) has the ‘rona and will get HCQ + Zn + Azt

Lawmaker tested positive for COVID-19 during White House screening prior to Trump Texas trip

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told “Hannity” Wednesday that he will soon begin a treatment regimen featuring the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine after testing positive for coronavirus earlier in the day.

“My doctor and I are all in,” Gohmert told host Sean Hannity from quarantine. “And I got a text just before I came on from a dear friend, [a] doctor, who just found out he had it, and he said he started a HCQ [hydroxychloroquine] regimen, too.

“So zinc, erythromycin, and hydroxychloroquine,” the congressman added, “and that will start just in the next day or two.”
...
The eight-term Republican, who has frequently refused to wear a mask while performing his duties, denied reports that he berated staffers who do wear masks in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I got a tiny little taste of what you and the president get every day,” Gohmert told the host. “The left went nuts.”

Well, given that he has access to the best medical care in the world, I hope he also gets his vitamin levels checked and starts taking prodigious quantities. Hey, maybe a nebulizer with hydrogen peroxide and heparin?

And I also hope that he keeps a daily, or even hourly journal, and Tweets it out (with comments disabled).

And I have no idea why he is going to wait a couple days before beginning treatment. That seems mega-stupid to me.




Ohio bans HCQ distribution at pharmacies

Starting on Thursday, Ohio pharmacies, clinics and other medical facilities will be prohibited from dispensing or selling the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, to treat the novel coronavirus.

State regulations were updated on Wednesday to reflect the change but also included several caveats, such as if the prescription is for a pet or if it is part of a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of the drug when used to fight COVID-19.

“No prescription for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed by a pharmacist or sold at retail by a licensed terminal distributor of dangerous drugs, including prescriptions for patients residing in Ohio dispensed or sold at retail by nonresident terminal distributors of dangerous drugs as defined in rule 4729:5-8-01 of the Administrative Code, unless the prescription bears a written diagnosis code from the prescriber or a statement indicating its veterinary medical purpose,” the state website read.

“Prescriptions issued for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for prophylactic use related to COVID-19 or for the treatment of COVID19 are strictly prohibited unless otherwise approved by the board’s executive director in consultation with the board president, at which time a resolution shall issue,” the statement continued. “Upon the effective date of this rule, all previous approvals for the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine shall be deemed void and must be approved using the process outlined in this paragraph.”

“Basically, it’s a patient safety issue,” Cameron McNamee, the board’s director of policy and communications told The Columbus Dispatch. “We’re looking at the best science to determine what’s best for the patients of Ohio.” She also said the decision has nothing to do with President Trump’s public support for the treatment. [ OMG I can smell the BS from here ]

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly revoked emergency authorization for the drug which had been prescribed to treat the coronavirus. However, Trump and others in the medical community have hailed it as a possible cure for COVID-19.

The Ohio edict specifically mentions the FDA’s revoking their HCQ EUA back in June. But running with the deliberate misunderstanding of that action, they fail to mention that what the FDA did was to cancel their edict that federal supplies of HCQ had to be limited only to clinical trial and hospital use. So the FDA DID NOT BAN HCQ. What they did, was to open the door for the rest of us, so that (as if overall supplies were low, yeah right) the giant federal stockpile of the drug could go on the open market for the rest of us to use. This purposeful and continuing lie is one of the more aggravating instances in the HCQ wars, and the entire media, including Fox, is complicit. No need to mention that the studies the decision appeared to be based on were the flawed and fraudulent ones coming out of Europe (RECOVERY et al) that were either revoked for BS, or shown to be using nearly fatal overdose levels of the drug in their “trial”. These studies were also mentioned in the Ohio ruling. So it’s a cascade of bullshit. But not to get Trump, on noes!! Liars.

Meanwhile in Columbus OH ...

On the same day that a new rule prohibiting the selling and prescribing of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat the coronavirus (COVID-19) went into effect, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on the state’s pharmacy board to reconsider.

In a statement released by the governor’s office, DeWine said that he believes the decision for treatment should be between a doctor and a patient and asked the Ohio Pharmacy Board to halt the new rule and later revisit it.



If Ohio’s pharmacy board doesn’t instantly rescind this ... and I have to wonder if they even have the right to do such a thing, given past furors over filling birth control and morning after scrips etc, not to mention that they are, or should be, subservient to the FDA, CDC, and the doctors in the medical community at large ... I wonder if veterinarians aren’t about to make a fortune.

It’s already known that cats can get the ‘rona. And many vets are already doing some kind of lockdown office visit thing. Show up for fluffy’s appointment, pop the trunk, they come out and take the cat and carrier, and you chill out in the parking lot. Then they text you when your pet visit is complete, and you pop the trunk remotely. You get billed via credit card via your phone. 

So why not take it a tiny bit further and do virtual office visits? Especially since there is no rule against the prophylactic use of HCQ for felines? Set up a sign at the roadside. “Protect your cat from COVID. Virtual office visits $50, call today.” And when you call, they ask if Fluffy has been exposed or showing signs. No, well, let’s be safe. Now listen carefully: for humans, the dose is 2 HCQ pills a day for a week, with a 1000IU zinc supplement every 6 hours. But for cats, the dosage is just 50mg once a day, and feed them tuna and sardines if they won’t take cat vitamins.

Uh huh, and all the scrips say “for veterinary use only” on them. And nobody will ever dare check.

But as for getting kitty to wear a mask and do social distancing? Good luck with that.

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~~~~


Your Daily Fauci Flip Flop

And in other ‘rona ups and downs, “health expert” Anthony Fauci ( Fau Chi, D-China ) now says you should wear googles too. But he says people won’t like that. Social media agrees, somewhat.

“Theoretically you should protect all of the mucosal surfaces [eyes, nose, mouth], so if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” he said in an interview with ABC News on Instagram Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already recommends wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth in public, but the virus can also enter through the eyes.

Fauci recommended goggles in addition to a face mask for those who want “perfect protection” from the COVID-19, but admitted it’s not “universally recommended.”


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2020 at 09:10 AM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseasesPandemic Pandemonium •  
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A problem I can solve

With Restaurants Closed, Oyster Farmers Overstocked

With restaurants serving a limited number of diners and relying primarily on take-out in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, oyster farmers are left with more supply than demand as sales remain sluggish ahead of prime oyster-eating season this fall.
...
Growing oysters is time-sensitive, and if they’re kept growing in their cages for too long they’ll get too big to sell.

With fewer restaurants buying oysters as a result of less foot traffic, oyster farmers are left with shellfish surplus.

“What’s going to hurt the oyster farmers is the size. When they get too big, nobody wants them—you have a window because the water is so warm they’re growing so quickly,” said Logan Clarke, founder of The Lobster Trap, a Cape Cod, Massachusetts-based wholesale seafood distributor.

Now, oystermen like Bloom are left with excessive amounts of the mollusks with a limited shelf life. He says he’s selling them directly to consumers to avoid letting them go to waste.

1. The oysters get too large? Oh give me a break. “Waiter, take these back. These oysters are too big, we can’t possibly finish a dozen of them, at a whole tablespoon of mushy goop per oyster.” said no oyster loving customer ever.

2. Drop the price and flood the market. If you could go to a restaurant around here, oysters would cost you $3 - $4 each, depending on which snooty-toot variety you get. Frankly, the varieties from the Pacific northwest are much better than the Atlantic ones. Oooh, plus that hard to find kind from the panhandle down in Florida. Heaven on the halfshell.

3. Hello Campbell’s, Bookbinder’s, and Progresso? Boy have we got a soup deal for you!!

4. Dear oyster guy: send them my way. I will happily eat several dozen a day, even if they’re “extra large”.

5. Move your racks to deeper cooler water. They’ll grow slower. Duh.

6. Sell them to the government as part of the Green Nude Eel program, as oysters clean the ocean water simply by eating, and they also remove CO2 by growing their shells. Restock the bays up and down the coast. Win win, where’s my check?

Unlike cattle or hogs, which need constant expensive care and feeding, oysters sit in the water and take care of things themselves. Oysters can live for decades. Do you think the indigenous natives rejected some oysters because they were too big? Let’s see, twice the food for the same amount of effort opening the shell. Um, nope!

The wholesale price hasn’t dropped, with oysters around 60 cents each, Bloom noted. But even when restaurants are able to reopen, many of them will be ordering a fraction of what their original menus called for. New York City’s Grand Central Oyster Bar inside Grand Central Terminal has been closed since March with indoor dining suspended indefinitely. During normal times, the iconic seafood restaurant was selling up to 5,000 oysters on the half shell per day, not including cooked oysters.

So there hasn’t even been a price drop yet at their end. And the season isn’t even here yet, and who knows what kind of magical reopening we’ll have then. But they wouldn’t be farmers if they weren’t complaining. It’s the law, I swear.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2020 at 08:31 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsFine-DiningFood •  
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You Can’t Fix Stupid

Ya can’t fix stupid, although duct tape will muffle the sounds of it.

Michigan Inn Removes Norwegian Flag
Customers Were So Brilliant They Couldn’t Tell It From Confederate Flag, Got Triggered

image  image

Yup, like totally literally identical

A case of mistaken identity has caused the owners of a Michigan bed and breakfast to remove a Norwegian flag from the front of the inn after dozens of people confused the flag with a Confederate flag, a report said.

When Greg and Kjersten Offbecker moved into the historic mansion in St. Johns years ago and turned it into a bed and breakfast called Nordic Pineapple, they installed the flag as a decoration and hung an American flag next to it, WLIX reported.

However, dozens of guests and people driving by the inn have wrongly accused the couple of flying a Confederate flag.

“They are the same color, but there are no stars on the Norwegian flag, and the Confederate flag is a big ‘x’ and the Norwegian flag is part of the Nordic countries, they’re all crosses,” Kjersten Offbecker said.

Last week, the couple decided to remove the flag as part of a new marketing campaign, the report said.

“We started to have this concern that it was deterring people away from coming to our bed and breakfast,” Offbecker said. “That they would see it and make this judgment.”

Offbecker said the flag was hung as a way for her to represent her heritage, but with the confusion, she took it down because it was not worth the frustration, the television station reported. She said they have received cruel emails and phone calls over the confusion of the flag.

“What we’re getting is so much more negative now,” she said. “It’s not just, ‘hey you’re flying the Confederate flag.’ It’s, ‘you should be ashamed to fly the Confederate flag. You’re a bigot because you fly the Confederate flag.’”

Cancel culture at its finest.




St. Johns Michigan is about 20 miles north of Lansing, and about 80 miles northwest of Detroit. A city of under 8,000, it’s a 94% white farm community. They grow mint. Lots and lots of mint. Visit the mint museum!


Oh, but wait ... Norway is a historically white country. So flying this flag must be an indication of white supremacy!! Destroy them! Burn their B&B to the ground! 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2020 at 08:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Stoopid-People •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 29, 2020

Today’s BLDMTB Story

Black lives don’t matter to blacks

Black Guy Kills Other Black Guy In NYC Staten Island Bodega

Startling police video shows the moment a man pulls out a gun and shoots a shopper inside a Staten Island, N.Y., deli — all while a different customer stands in the middle of the two.

The New York Police Department released the shocking video on Twitter late Tuesday, showing the gunman walking around the Holland Ave Deli around 9:30 p.m. on July 22 before turning toward his 25-year-old victim, police said.

As the gunman points the gun at his target, another person who stands between them ducks, barely missing the bullet as glass shatters, the video shows.

Police said the victim, identified as Kaseem Scott, was shot in the chest and rushed to an area hospital, but could not be saved.

Scott lived less than 600 feet from where he was gunned down, police said. His attacker is still on the loose.

Murders citywide are up 180 percent year-over-year, with 14 reported between July 20 and July 26, compared to the five murders reccorded during that same period in 2019, according to NYPD data.

Shooting incidents have also spiked by over 175 percent. From July 20 to July 26, there were 47 shootings with 53 victims, compared to the 17 shootings and 19 victims during that time in 2019.

The video is actually compiled from two CCTV feeds inside the store. And this reporting is somewhat misleading. It is hard to tell from the video if the guy in the red shirt was hunting the guy in the white shirt, or if he was working security there and keeping an eye on white shirt guy. ( assume this isn’t so, as news story would have said, right? ) White shirt spins around, whips it out, and pops one off at Red, and it appears that Red fired back at the same instant, his shot blowing out the glass freezer door in front of the shopper caught in the middle. Both men then leave the store, going off camera at the bottom of the screen.

I don’t think the muzzle blast of White’s gun would have shattered the glass down the aisle but done nothing to the glass next to him. You can clearly see that the window was breaking in a cloud of smoke coming from behind the shopper in the middle, a fraction of a second before White fired. Even though it appears that White was in the act of shooting, and he shot just once, Red got the drop on him but missed. And now he’s dead.

But please, Mayor De Blasio, keep defunding the police.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/29/2020 at 03:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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Fire On The Lake

Train Crash Burns, Collapses 108 Year Old RR Bridge In Tempe AZ

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The Salt River Union Pacific Rail Road Bridge was built in 1912 by the American Bridge Company of New York. It was built as a 7 section pin connected Pratt Through truss with wooden trestle extensions, but was later expanded to a 9 section Pratt. At some later point the bridge was significantly upgraded with massive H beam deck girders and rivet plates. This was a pretty tough bridge.


“A Scene From Hell”

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A huge fire is burning on a train on a bridge over Tempe Town Lake. The fire was pumping thick black smoke into the air. That smoke plume was visible for miles.

Union Pacific said as many as 10 train cars derailed at about 6:15 a.m. The south side of the bridge then collapsed and caught fire. A spokesman said its crew was not hurt but one person at the park was treated for smoke inhalation.

Union Pacific spokesman Tim McMahan, who said the train was en route to Phoenix from Tucson, explained that two of the three tanker cars on the ground under the bridge contained cyclohexanone. The third contained a rubber material.

“None are reported leaking, and no tank cars were involved in the fire,” he said. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cyclohexanone is a colorless oily liquid that is both flammable and an irritant. It’s mostly used for the production of nylon.

The cars that burned for hours were carrying lumber, some of which fell into the lake.

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Camille Kimball was riding her bike under the bridge just a moment before it collapsed. She said the noise of the train became deafening, and as she came off the bridge, she saw people with their phone cameras trained behind her.

“I turned around to look and got the fright of my life,” she said. “Now there’s fire pouring into the lake from the middle of the bridge. ... It looks like a scene from hell, truly. A scene from hell. ... The flames are intense and the sky is filled with black smoke.” She described the experience as “surreal.”

...

It’s not clear what caused the derailment and subsequent bridge collapse and fire, but according to Union Pacific’s website, the bridges are visually inspected every 30 days. McMahan said the bridge’s annual inspection was on July 9. Arizona’s Family is working on getting that report.



While in ancient times the Salt River flowed year round, but with the coming of agriculture it became little more than an arroyo, but was subject to rather intense seasonal floods. So much so that the previous 3 bridges in the same spot washed away, some of them just a few years after being built. ABC did a better job with this iteration, a giant dam made lake Rooselvelt upstream in 1991 slowed the river flowol, and many years later when Tempe dammed the Salt River to create their Town Park Lake [1999] reservoir, floods were finally controlled. Mostly.

It may be a scene from Hell, but it’s also a blessed miracle. The fire is on the bridge over the lake, so there is no chance of it spreading to the city. And while the tanker cars of cyclcohexane fell in the collapse, they did not leak and they did not burn. That would have been a major catastrophe, certainly poisoning the lake, probably emitting all kinds of toxic fumes, but such a sudden eruptive conflagration would have probably destroyed the heavy freight RR bridge that is only yards away from this single track train bridge.

I don’t know if the bridge can be rescued and repaired. Probably not. It’s probably cheaper to replace it with some great chunk of concrete.



PS - somebody better call Rosie O’D. This is now the 2nd time in history that fire has melted steel.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/29/2020 at 02:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Bridges •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 28, 2020

a worthy 15 minute read

The New Nation

A nation founded on the sanctity of these rights cannot exist beyond the invalidation of them, they are one and the same. A politician might seek a way around the right to bear arms and in so doing has undone his own authority. We are witnessing in Seattle and Portland the abdication of power by mayors and governors in those cities and states to the competing governmental entity: communism. While the official functions of the government might continue, they are without authority. We have seen this time and time again in the past generation. The passage of the Patriot Act was, in effect, the dissolution of the union in that it sought a wholesale violation of rights. a huge step toward accommodating the revolution we now see being prosecuted. While that union might continue under the new rules, they were not presented to the people for acceptance, they were simply voted on by representatives, who, in not seeking agreement by an overwhelming majority of the stakeholders (citizens) violated their oaths and invalidated not the citizen’s rights, but their own authority. Since then, and because this is true, the principle was seized upon by sanctuary cities as an example of individual political units acting outside the interests of the union and the citizens within.

All of that is in preparation for this statement: There is no United States of America, only the shadow cast in its image by the passivity of the people. Antifa and Black Lives Matter have delivered a great gift to the free people of America in demonstrating the degree to which the United States of America no longer exists. The casual citizen might inquire as to how such things as the takeover of a portion of a major city in America might occur; how history and monuments can be erased by hostile action. The truth is, it cannot take place in a nation that values what it is, but it has, because the United States of America no longer exists. It no longer has the will to defend its history, its sovereign territory, preserve truth or allow others to speak truth to those dedicated to its very destruction. No nation exists where that is true and where history and truth of one nation has been erased, the new nation can rise and rename the monuments and erect new ones for their heroes.




Also worth a gander at the same website:

http://twelveround.com/blog/the-era-of-george-floyd

http://twelveround.com/blog/partisans-of-america

In months past, I would have pegged this site as one of those “3 percenters” which are kind of outliers, a bit too close to extremism for my taste. But given the current, rapidly devolving situation, that kind of “extremism” seems more like common sense to me every day.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2020 at 07:53 PM   
Filed Under: • FREEDOM •  
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Tuckered Out? Or Maybe He Just Missed A Temporal Anomoly Paradigm Reference

Just watched Tucker Carlson who went on about the White Coat doctor’s conference and the HCQ thing. Not bad.

Then he has on frequent medical guest Dr. Marc Siegel, who says how these White Coat doctors are kinda stuck in the past, because they’re reacting to “last week’s science” ... and according to Dr. Siegel, “this weeks science” is showing how HCQ is not terribly effective for COVID-19 patients in the hospital. And how you have to stay current, because the science changes so fast with this virus. And in truth, that’s what real science does in a developing situation. Rapid changes, new data, new ideas, new questions, new approaches. While that is frustrating to the rest of us who want instant and stable answers, this is how it’s supposed to be. With real science, the science is NEVER settled. ( but eventually it becomes a smoother ride )

And this is beyond annoying to me, as it smacks of hypocrisy. Dr. Siegel seems to be still using the paradigm of the FDA’s HCQ EUA, which was revoked by the FDA far more than a month ago. IOW, he’s repeating the “antique” mantra that this stuff doesn’t work, because it doesn’t work on the deathly ill in hospitals. When it has been known and shown for many months that this medicine, like all other medicines, works best when used earliest. Which means use it as a prophylactic, use it for the just infected, use it for the mildly effected, and you’ll see the most good. So Siegel is accusing these White Coat doctors of being stuck on last week’s science, while he himself is stuck on last month’s science.

Also Tucker did not immediately ask him to name his sources, nor did he ask the all important “Z” question. Is this referred to study, “this week’s science”, using Zinc? Is this referred to study using standard / safe dosages? Tucker has ranted at length in the past about exactly these points, and “formal trials” designed to fail. So where were those questions tonight?

Tuck, you let me down. I respect your trying to show both sides, but you let that old doc walk all over you. And that’s a disservice to all your viewers.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2020 at 07:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Media-BiasPandemic Pandemonium •  
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Social Media Owns The Truth. And The World.

Hundreds of doctors who have been treating COVID patients got together to discuss what they’ve seen, what they’ve learned, and how media bias and censorship has mangled reality.


You Can’t Handle The Truth!! So TBTB Online Have Censored It For You.



BREAKING UPDATE: Total Censorship. Frontline Doctors Website Canceled. LINK:

Frontline doctors from across the US held a “White Coat Summit” on Monday in Washington DC to dispel the misinformation and myths surrounding the coronavirus.

Day two of their summit is going to kickoff today in front of the US Supreme Court.

The doctors are very concerned with the disinformation campaign being played out in the far left American media today.

...

On Monday following their very popular event Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Google censored the doctors after they promoted hydroxychloroquine as a life-saving medication in treating the coronavirus.

And now Squarespace REMOVED THEIR WEBSITE TODAY!

Tech giants are REFUSING to broadcast an effective treatment for coronavirus promoted by frontline doctors!

You are not allowed to even hear an alternate viewpoint. The First Amendment is almost completely dead.

update to the update: “A new hope”
The conference video and some write ups of what they were saying is in various lesser places online. Here are some links, some of which which have pages that have links to other pages and data sites like Bitchute.
https://ussanews.com/News1/2020/07/28/white-coat-summit-dr-99-8-percent-of-people-get-through-this-without-getting-horribly-sick/
https://thespectator.info/2020/07/28/google-and-youtube-censored-paper-outlining-evidence-of-hcq-treating-covid-19-for-violating-terms-of-service/
https://heavy.com/news/2020/07/america-frontline-doctors-summit/
https://sonsoflibertymedia.com/white-coat-summit-dispels-misinformation-about-covid-19/

And while these are not mainstream websites, at least they’re more common than my little hole in the wall blog. But that’s it in a nutshell; most people won’t ever even see the story about the story. And those few who do - preaching to the choir - probably won’t make the effort to track down alternate avenues. Suppression by laziness, TLDR, and/or lack of tech savvy is just as good as a digital book burning or witch hunt; visiting and believing fringe information sites put you on the fringe, therefore you wear a tinfoil hat, therefore you aren’t worth listening to. And TPTB win again.

OK, back to the original post now:



Breitbart livestreamed their conference and presentations. It was the most popular video event in the world. Facebook pulled the plug on them, quickly followed by YouTube, Twitter, and Google. Because all these highly respected doctors were sharing information that they’d learned in the actual trenches in the war against this virus. So of course they were banned. Who would want the actual truth? That’s merely anecdotal and defies the agenda. Cancel them!!

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American life has fallen casualty to a massive disinformation campaign. We can speculate on how this has happened, and why it has continued, but the purpose of the inaugural White Coat Summit is to empower Americans to stop living in fear.

If Americans continue to let so-called experts and media personalities make their decisions, the great American experiment of a Constitutional Republic with Representative Democracy, will cease. 

Facebook has removed a video posted by Breitbart News earlier today, which was the top-performing Facebook post in the world Monday afternoon, of a press conference in D.C. held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The press conference featured Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic. YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Twitter subsequently removed footage of the press conference as well.
Matt Perdie

The video accumulated over 17 million views during the eight hours it was hosted on Facebook, with over 185,000 concurrent viewers.


Because top men

“We’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” a Facebook company spokesman, Andy Stone, told Breitbart News. The company did not specify what portion of the video it ruled to be “false information,” who it consulted to make that ruling, and on what basis it was made.

Because free speech, exchange of information, honest discussion, and respect for highly experienced medical personnel does not fit the agenda. Squash them.

Some of the video is available at the Frontline site, about 3 hours worth. And, OMG OMG OMG!! they support the proper use of HCQ, and have a couple white papers on their site.

But you know they won’t be popular, because they tell it straight up:

The safety of HCQ is irrefutable. The evidence supporting HCQ efficacy against Covid-19 is also overwhelming. All negative HCQ studies have used either: too much, used it alone (it needs Zinc), or used it late (it should be early.) The treatment dose is 200 mg HCQ twice a day for five days + Zinc 50 (elemental) daily. The prophylactic dose is 400 mg HCQ weekly + Zinc 50 (elemental) daily. (There are studies right now to see if HCQ 200 mg. weekly is sufficient.) This is very low dose. (The usual dose of HCQ in Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis is 400 mg. daily for years.) There are telemedicine physicians who are aware of the facts and if you are concerned about this, please see one. It is also over the counter in many places in the world including Indonesia and most of South America.

This is the culmination of months-long research from all sources. It explains how Americans have come to be in the grip of fear. All the myths and all the misconceptions about a safe, generic drug that has been FDA approved for 65 years, given to pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, the elderly and the immune-compromised for years and decades without complication, are finally put in the trash heap where they belong. You will have the indisputable proof that you have been massively lied to, often very intentionally. At first you will first be heartbroken. And then you will be furious. Good. Because then you will demand change.

There is a push going on to make HCQ OTC [ over the counter - no prescription needed ] in the USA, as it is in many other parts of the world. It’s not like we don’t have tens of millions of the pills sitting around, and being a simple to make generic drug, any pill factory could churn these things out by the millions more.

I have not found a transcript of their presentation, or a synopsis. So if you want to know a bit about what went on, you can catch the video at the Frontline web site. That’s it, so far.

[ small updates: Twitter suspended Donald Trump Jr’s account because he posted a link to the video. So even secondary references are getting censored.

And the cytokine storm of coordinated media condemnation and denial goes into hyperdrive.]

Meanwhile, take your B, C, D vitamins, and get your zinc levels nice and robust. Get some fresh air and sun, eat healthy, and try and ignore the news, because stress is bad for your immune system.

image

There are some sound problems with the video, but it’s mostly OK. The above screencap shows the 5 ways that HCQ + Zn fights the virus ... and the next presentation shows that most of this was known 15 years ago, including the proper dosages. Which means all these big studies were purposely flawed, either by massive, nearly fatal doses, or by deliberately ignoring the zinc aspect, or by not giving the medication at the early stages when it would do the most good. That’s undeniable. We’ve been played. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2020 at 08:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsFREEDOMMedia-Biaspandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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three cheers for global warming

Northwest Passage Open From Greenland East To Central Canada

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Russian LNG Tankers Take The Short Route

The spike in shipping along the remote Russian Arctic shipping route comes as sea ice melting over the last weeks has reached unprecedented levels.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, ice levels on the 15th of July stood at 7.51 million square kilometers, which is 330,000 square kilometers below the record for the time of year set in 2011.

A key reason for the major sea ice melting is the heat wave that in May and June moved across the Russian Arctic coast, leading to very low sea ice extent in the Laptev and Barents Seas, the researchers say.

Already in mid-July, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) was almost ice-free and by 20th July there was completely open waters across the vast seaway.

Ice maps from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute show that also the Vilkitsky Strait and the East Siberian Sea, the most icy and difficult parts of the sea route, has easy passage for ships.
Many ships

More than 50 vessels are currently sailing on the route, figures from the Northern Sea Route Administration show. Several of them are tankers bringing petroleum products from Arctic fields to Asian markets.

The first LNG carriers made it across the route already in late May, the earliest voyages on the route ever.

Ships from Asia are going the other way too, up north past Japan, around Kamchatka, and then west across the Arctic Ocean to Irkutsk.

The Northwest Passage is fully open from southern Greenland, east to north of Iceland, east to well north of Norway and Finland, east across the Barents Sea north past the island of Novay Zemlya into the Kara Sea. A slight choke point of ice just west of Bolshevik Island slows things down, but the passage is not iced over there. Once into the Laptev Sea, it looks like clear sailing if ships keep close to the Siberian coast into the Chukchi Sea and then south past Alaska and into the Pacific. Or the more daring could brave the narrow but open corridor across the Northwest Territory of Canada about as far as the Amundsen Gulf. After that the ice takes over, east through the small islands up there way north of Hudson Bay to the west side of Greenland.

Sail quickly comrades; this won’t last.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2020 at 08:20 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsInternationalRussia •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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