René Magritte Empire of light 1950
Fort Mill South Carolina 1902. Smallpox, an actual vaccine.
The Sake of Freedom
ICYMI: Neil Oliver: 'For the sake of freedom – yours and mine together – I will cheerfully risk catching Covid.'
— GB News (@GBNEWS) August 1, 2021
But can my stupid hurt someone else please?
I’m getting reports from all over the place, including on my forum and mailbag. Nurses are walking out en-masse over vaccine mandates in hospitals and other care settings. This of course leads to demand shifting to other places where they haven’t done so (yet), but that’s a problem too because they’re short-staffed as well. This isn’t a big deal — other than wildly increasing wait times — until and unless you have something going on where waiting could kill you, such as a heart attack. You aren’t seeing these events in the news. Guess why? Yeah, that’s why.= Guess where else this is going to happen? “You didn’t want the firemen to show up and put out your house that’s on fire, did you?
Well, better buy more garden hose because in several large cities it’s been made clear that they will not comply either. Ditto for Streets/San guys. Oh, you want the garbage hauled away? Too bad so sad.” Stupid is supposed to hurt. It’s going to, especially now that it has been admitted that (1) the CDC lied about “unvaccinated are 98% of deaths” when they knew damn well the jabbed were dying on a vertically-accelerating basis in May, we’re two months further down the road now and (2) the CDC has also admitted that those who get “breakthrough” cases are ending up with equal or higher viral loads than unvaccinated people, which means there is no public health argument for the jabs at all since at best they can only protect you and not others.
Back to last night’s discussion:
Yes, they were sold as protecting against infection of both you and those around you. Or no-one would have accepted the term “vaccine”.
“*Only* 59% of respondents said the vaccine protects against infection, 69% said it prevents the spread of the virus and 82% said it protects against developing symptoms.”
And even the most vaccinated country in the world is only at 60%. Try get that to 70%. Good luck. “But it’s our only chance!” No, it’s not. We’re lucky.
Only 52% of Israelis who received two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine said they would take advantage of the opportunity to receive a third shot, according to a survey released Friday by Prof. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, director of the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University and a visiting professor at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. When looking at those under the age of 60, only 47% said they would take the shot. Among those 60 and older, 67% said they would get the booster. “We decided, ‘yalla,’ [let’s go] even before the Food and Drug Administration [gives emergency approval], and I think the Health Ministry thought there would be more inclination” to get the shot, Grinstein-Weiss said. “But there is a big drop in the number of people who are interested in vaccinating. It’s surprising, but there is not a real desire for a third vaccination.”
Israel opened up third shots to people over the age of 60 last week. Several thousand people were inoculated on Friday and, despite what the survey shows, already more than 40,000 elderly have signed up to get the jab this coming week. Surveys taken before the COVID vaccine came to the country showed there would be high degree of vaccine hesitancy among the public, but Israel became the quickest country in the world to vaccinate the majority of its people. [..] The survey also asked whether or not parents would give their younger children between the ages of five and 11 a vaccination if it became available and the majority (54%) said they would not. Only 23% said they would vaccinate, while 23% said they were wavering. When broken down between parents who vaccinated themselves versus those who didn’t, no parents who did not receive the vaccine said they would vaccinate their children, while only 27% of those vaccinated said they would.
[..] When it comes to children, parents are most concerned that health officials still do not know the long-term impact of the vaccine. To date, only 35% of people under the age of 20 are fully vaccinated versus 90% of those over the age of 60. However, the survey also found that as the Delta variant spreads across the country, including reinfecting a high percentage of vaccinated individuals, more people believe that the vaccine does not work. Only 59% of respondents said the vaccine protects against infection, 69% said it prevents the spread of the virus and 82% said it protects against developing symptoms. Around 53% of all new cases are people who were fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.
Twist and turn all you want, but it’s the vaccinated.
At least 233 staff members at two major San Francisco hospitals, most of them fully vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus this month, and most, according to a hospital official, involved the highly contagious Delta variant. Some of the cases were asymptomatic, most involved mild to moderate symptoms and only two required hospitalization, officials said. The infections were determined to be Delta-related because most samples in San Francisco were tested for the variant, which is now dominant in the city. About 75 to 80 percent of the more than 50 staff members infected at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital were fully vaccinated, Dr. Lukejohn Day, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in an interview on Saturday. The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center said in a statement issued on Friday that 153 of its 183 infected staff members had been fully vaccinated.
The statement from the U.C.S.F. Medical Center said that two of the infected staff members required hospitalization. None of the infected staff members at San Francisco General have been hospitalized and most had mild to moderate symptoms, Dr. Day said. The asymptomatic cases were discovered through contact tracing. Without vaccinations, Dr. Day said, the hospitalization rate would be much worse. “We’re concerned right now that we’re on the rise of a surge here in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” Dr. Day said. “But what we’re seeing is very much what the data from the vaccines showed us: You can still get Covid, potentially. But if you do get it, it’s not severe at all.”
On July 11, San Francisco ordered that workers in high-risk workplaces, including hospitals, be vaccinated by Sept. 15. The U.C.S.F. statement said that the hospital was “doubling down on our efforts to protect our staff. This includes requiring all employees and trainees to comply with the new UC-systemwide Covid-19 vaccination mandate, with limited exceptions for medical or religious exemptions.” Staff members at both hospitals have continued to wear personal protective equipment, Dr. Day said. But the number of staff infections reported in July is about as many as during the peak of the winter surge. “We’re nervous that we could potentially exceed it,” Dr. Day said.
Before they all find out these things don’t work, might as well squeeze out what we can.
Pfizer has reportedly raised the price of its Covid vaccine dose by a quarter, with Moderna also ramping up the price in its latest deal with the European Union. The two are making tens of billions of dollars in pandemic profits. According to the Financial Times, which has seen contracts between the two pharmaceutical companies and the EU, Pfizer’s latest price for one vaccine dose was €19.50, or around $23 – up by four euro from the previous unit price of €15.50 euro. Meanwhile, Moderna’s latest price is around €21.50 ($25.50) per dose, up from the previous price of €19 ($22.60). Despite this, the Moderna price is still lower than previously expected – $28.50 – because of the EU purchasing more doses.
Pfizer and Moderna – which earn a profit from the vaccines, unlike AstraZeneca, which is sold at cost – have pulled in tens of billions of dollars from the vaccines, with Pfizer forecasting $33.5 billion in revenue from its doses in this year alone. The forecast is up $7.5 billion from its previous prediction in the last quarter. Moderna, though behind Pfizer in sales, is forecasting $19.2 billion in Covid-19 vaccine revenue for 2021. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine still hasn’t been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) despite having been registered in 69 of the world’s countries to date, including EU members Hungary and Slovakia.
No worrries, Big Brother shall protect you.
Apple has removed the dating app Unjected, marketed as a “safe space” for unvaccinated Americans, from its store, saying it “inappropriately refers to the Covid-19 pandemic.” The app’s developers say this amounts to censorship. Unjected describes itself as a “platform for like-minded humans that support medical autonomy.” The dating app has been pitched as a ‘safe space’ of sorts for unvaccinated Americans looking to date without the pressure of being or not being inoculated against Covid-19. Critics, however, have viewed the app as a growing social-media platform for anti-vaxxers and a hotspot of Covid misinformation. After the app was removed from Apple on Saturday, the company blasted the move as “censorship.”
“Apparently, we’re considered ‘too much’ for sharing our medical autonomy and freedom of choice,” the company said in a Saturday statement posted to Instagram. The app remains on the Google Play store, but they acknowledge that the move by Apple may mean a website may be Unjected’s best option moving forward so that they are not reliant on app stores. Other dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble have introduced features to encourage vaccinations, making Unjected stand out even more after launching in May. But the boiling point for the platforms was reached after Unjected added a social feature that allowed more general postings. It was flagged by Google after Unjected’s moderators were accused of not doing enough to police misinformation on Covid-19 and the vaccines available.
In response to Google’s concerns, the social feed was removed, though co-founder Shelby Thompson wants to soon reintroduce it and the flagged posts. “We’ve had to walk a censorship tightrope,” she said, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported Apple removed Unjected on Saturday after being contacted by a reporter about the app. The app also includes lists of businesses that disagree with vaccine mandates. Apple has already had issues with Unjected, initially denying approval for the app during its initial review process. Changes had to be made for it to get approval to be in compliance with the company’s strict policy on Covid-19 “misinformation,” but a spokesperson for Apple said updates to the app, as well as statements made to its thousands of users, have brought it back out of compliance.
That can’t be! How are we going to sell our clickbait?
The fact that we are a year and a half into the pandemic and are still being wrongfooted by Covid-19 may seem surprising. After all, in that time, we have developed powerful vaccines to protect against it and have pinpointed critically important drugs to treat patients. Science has worked wonders. Nevertheless, researchers are still very unsure about how Covid-19 will progress in the UK in the coming months. The statistics have certainly been startling. First, case numbers rocketed at the beginning of July. Then they reversed and began to fall, leaving statisticians and scientists struggling to make sense of the fluctuating figures. For good measure, a host of conflicting factors has been put forward to explain Covid case numbers.
Has the opening up of society on 19 July had a major impact? Did Euro 2020 propel the virus through the homes and pubs of England? Could the UK be approaching herd immunity? And what impact have the school holidays had on the progress of the disease? Untangling these factors, as well as understanding the exact impact vaccines have had on society, has now become a complex, urgent business. “It will tell us just how bad things are likely to get when society really opens up in September and October and as winter approaches,” said Edmunds. There is clear agreement on one factor, however. All the evidence indicates that vaccines are now playing a pivotal role in controlling the disease. Had the government completely opened society on an unprotected populace, daily death tolls would by now have soared into their thousands. But just how far has our vaccine protection reached?
It is a crucial question, whose answer will determine just how severe will be the return of Covid-19 in the autumn as schools reopen, the weather chills and people head indoors. A key factor is the degree to which the country has achieved herd immunity. In other words, will we have reached the point where so many people have been either infected or vaccinated – and therefore possess some immunity to the disease – that viral transmission falls or even stops? “You can run some very simple models to see if the case numbers that we saw earlier this month are consistent with effective herd immunity,” said Prof Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University. “And in my view the answer is, yes, it is. There are some big caveats but the bottom line is that those figures are consistent with the impact of herd immunity.”
Amid all the fear, new infections were down 37% in one week. Like a deflating puffed-up balloon.
England’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions is risking the emergence of new, potentially more dangerous variants of the virus, scientists have warned. England lifted most of it last remaining restrictions on July 19, including mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still have some restrictions in place. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously described the easing of restrictions as “irreversible.” However, the reopening policy has been publicly criticized by a consortium of more than 1,200 scientists from around the world. One concern is around the possible consequences of unlocking society amid high infection rates and a partially vaccinated population, and how unrestricted mixing under those circumstances could shape the way the virus evolves.
“If I were to design a massive experiment to create a more dangerous virus, one that is capable of blasting through our vaccines, I would do what the U.K. is proposing to do,” Michael Haseltine, a U.S. virologist and chair and president of ACCESS Health International, told news show Good Morning Britain on so-called “Freedom Day”. “Half the population vaccinated in the midst of a rampant pandemic, which would allow the virus to learn how to avoid our vaccines. That’s what I would do, and the rest of the world is justifiably concerned.” Each time a person is infected with Covid-19, they go from having a few copies of the virus to hundreds of thousands or even tens of millions of copies in their system. When the virus makes a copy of itself, there’s a chance it might make a mistake in the new copy that could inadvertently give the virus an advantage.
“You’re rolling the dice every time someone’s infected,” Charlotte Houldcroft, a scientist working on virus evolution at the University of Cambridge, told CNBC via telephone. “In a big population with lots of infections going on, you’re just rolling the dice more often — any population with lots of people infected at once is a worry, which is obviously why a lot of the rest of the world is watching the U.K.” During the week ending July 29, 204,669 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the U.K., down 37% from the previous week.
US mandates is/are asking for disaster.
Last week, the Biden administration announced sweeping vaccine requirements for federal workers (except, oddly, postal workers). The day before, the nation’s biggest union boss, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, parroted Biden’s push to vaccinate, and said that the union organization supports vaccine mandates. As it turns out, much like in California – not all unions are on board. While labor groups representing federal workers have urged their members to get the jab, most of the leading public sector unions either oppose vaccine mandates or say that it must be negotiated first, according to The Hill. Groups representing educators, postal workers, law enforcement officers, Treasury Department personnel and other government employees expressed unease about the vaccine requirement this week.
Only a few public sector unions outright endorsed the measure. “We expect that the particulars of any changes to working conditions, including those related to COVID-19 vaccines and associated protocols, be properly negotiated with our bargaining units prior to implementation,” said Everett Kelley, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents nearly 700,000 workers. Meanwhile, National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon says that his group has “a lot of questions about how this policy will be implemented and how employee rights and privacy will be protected.” And in yet another example, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association President Larry Cosme said in a statement that mandating vaccinations “is not the American way and is a clear civil rights violation no matter how proponents may seek to justify it.”
According to the report, most public sector unions sounding the alarm over Biden’s vaccine mandates previously supported most aspects of his policy. “In order for everyone to feel safe and welcome in their workplaces, vaccinations must be negotiated between employers and workers, not coerced,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten earlier this week. And the American Postal Workers Union said “it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent,” adding that any new rules for its workers would need to be run past union leaders.
Put her in charge of the mandates.
Kamala Harris has become the most unpopular vice president six months into an administration in years, according to recent unfavorable polling for the former senator. Harris found her future hopes of ever becoming president a point of mockery over the weekend as critics jumped on a report indicating that recent polling shows she has become the least popular vice president six months into an administration since the 1970s. According to a report from the Telegraph, Democrat strategists have internal worries about the controversial politician, describing her polling as “underwater” at this point. Two recent polls cited by the report show approval ratings of 46% in both, but disapproval ratings of 47% and 48%.
Harris is also struggling with support among significant and influential voting groups, such as young people and Hispanics. An Economist/YouGov poll showed only 36% of respondents between the ages of 18-29 viewed Harris “favorably.” In a recent aggregate put together by RealClearPolitics, 46% also said they viewed Harris unfavorably, three points higher than Biden at the same time. In a poll posted by the Telegraph on Twitter in a thread regarding worries about Harris’ unfavorable view among much of the public, over 50% of over 40,000 voters – as of this writing – said Harris is doing a “bad job.” Approximately 20% said she is doing a “good job,” and another 27% were “not sure.”
Harris has made some noticeable stumbles as vice president. She was heavily criticized for continually avoiding the southern border when put in charge of historic levels of migrants being detained there. When questioned why she hadn’t visited months after being named a leader on the crisis by Biden, Harris responded by saying she also hadn’t visited Europe yet. Harris is still being handed opportunities to succeed as she will soon become the first US vice president to visit Vietnam next month. Harris’ polling and reports on Democrats’ concerns about the California senator who once attempted to run for president and even clashed with Biden made the vice president a point of mockery for critics.
“You have the media on your side and basically nothing to do except for optics and you just can’t do it. It’s amazing,” Federalist editor Christopher Bedford tweeted. “So weird that making her Border Tsar didn’t work,” Texas Monthly editor Christopher Hooks added.
Craig Murray reported to prison yesterday. Who in the UK stands up for him?
I want to make one or two points for you to ponder while I am in jail. This is the last post until about Christmas; we are not legally able to post anything while I am imprisoned. But the Justice for Craig Murray Campaign website is now up and running and will start to have more content shortly. Fora and comments here are planned to stay open. I hope that one possible good effect of my imprisonment might be to coalesce opposition to the imminent abolition of jury trials in sexual assault cases by the Scottish Government, a plan for which Lady Dorrian – who wears far too many hats in all this – is front and centre. We will then have a situation where, as established by my imprisonment, no information at all on the defence case may be published in case it contributes to “jigsaw identification”, and where conviction will rest purely on the view of the judge.
That is plainly not “open justice”, it is not justice at all. And it is even worse than that, because the openly stated aim of abolishing juries is to increase conviction rates. So people will have their lives decided not by a jury of their peers, but by a judge who is acting under specific instruction to increase conviction rates. It is often noted that conviction rates in rape trials are too low, and that is true. But have you ever heard this side of the argument? In Uzbekistan under the Karimov dictatorship, when I served there, conviction rates in rape trials were 100%. In fact very high conviction rates are a standard feature of all highly authoritarian regimes worldwide, because if the state prosecutes you then the state gets what it wants. The wishes of the state in such systems vastly outweigh the liberty of the individual.
My point is simply this. You cannot judge the validity of a system simply by high conviction rates. What we want is a system where the innocent are innocent and the guilty found guilty; not where an arbitrary conviction target is met. The answer to the low conviction rates in sexual assault trials is not simple. Really serious increases in resources for timely collection of evidence, for police training and specialist units, for medical services, for victim support, all have a part to play. But that needs a lot of money and thought. Just abolishing juries and telling judges you want them to convict is of course free, or even a saving.
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