Jul 312021
 


Vincent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883

 

UK Gov’t Panel: Covid Mutation With 35% Death Rate ‘Realistic Possibility’ (RT)
CDC Releases Study Showing 3/4 Delta Cases Are Among The Vaccinated (RT)
White House Covid-19 Spokesman Yells At Media For Quoting CDC Documents (RT)
Fauci *ADMITS* I Was Right In Spring of 2020 (Denninger)
Had Covid? You’ll Probably Make Antibodies For A Lifetime (Nature)
Recovered COVID-19 Patients Possess Robust Immunity To Virus (Fed.)
DeSantis: No Mandates, No Lockdowns, No Restrictions, No School Closures (CTH)
Nearly 1.6 Billion Disposable Masks Polluted Oceans In 2020 (JTN)
Things Get Ripe (Kunstler)
Thailand Bans Sharing Of News That ‘Causes Public Fear’ Amid Pandemic Criticism (G.)
Twitter Suspends Commentator for Criticizing Vaccine Policies (Turley)
Get Ready for the ‘No-Buy’ List (David Sacks)
Craig Murray’s Jailing The Latest Move To Kill Independent Journalism (Cook)
Poke (Chuck)

 

 

Brian Tyson

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was either that or 350%. They decided to lowball it.

UK Gov’t Panel: Covid Mutation With 35% Death Rate ‘Realistic Possibility’ (RT)

A British government science panel has claimed that a coronavirus variant could emerge with a 35% fatality rate – akin to that seen in the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) – noting that vaccine booster doses may be needed. A Friday report by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) looked at a series of hypothetical scenarios related to Covid-19 variants, finding it a “realistic possibility” that a mutation could appear with a case fatality rate comparable to SARS (10%) or MERS (35%), both of which belong to the coronavirus family.

While the body said that existing vaccines would remain effective against “serious disease” from such a variant short of “significant drift” or change in the virus’ spike proteins, it nonetheless added that “an increase in morbidity and mortality would be expected even in the face of vaccination,” as the jabs do not “fully prevent infection in most individuals.” The report suggested a number of ways to deal with a more deadly mutation, including “vaccine booster doses to maintain protection against severe disease,” as well as measures to limit the introduction of new variants from abroad. SAGE also considered the likelihood of a variant that “evades current vaccines,” saying that could occur in several different ways. The most likely cause would be a form of genetic variation known as “antigenic drift,” which happens when a virus mutates to a point when antibodies that prevented infection caused by previous strains no longer work.

The panel deemed that “almost certain” to happen to some degree. A “worst case” scenario described in the paper might happen when the immune system will no longer be able to produce antibodies for new emerging variants, either due to its past contact with the virus or as result of “previously experienced vaccines.” Such a doomsday scenario would make it “difficult to revaccinate” patients, however the researchers concluded that outcome is “less likely.” The same agency released a separate report on vaccines on Friday, which found that immunity is “highly likely” to diminish over time, suggesting “there will be vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2 for many years to come.”

However, the report on variants also noted the coronavirus could follow an evolutionary path that sees it become more transmissible but less virulent, with SAGE drawing a comparison to “common colds.” It added that while this is “unlikely in the short term,” it could later become a “realistic possibility” as the virus fully adapts to its human hosts SAGE concluded that the UK should continue to “proactively support” a global vaccination drive, saying that could help to reduce the likelihood of “dangerous variants emerging in other parts of the world,” while also urging for increased investment in viral surveillance to keep tabs on new mutations.

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Not the internal document leaked on Thursday, but this one from Friday.

CDC Releases Study Showing 3/4 Delta Cases Are Among The Vaccinated (RT)

The CDC has released a study backing up its decision to recommend indoor masking for both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans. The study examined one outbreak and found three-quarters of people testing positive were vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its masking guidelines on Tuesday, urging all Americans in areas with high Covid-19 transmission to mask up when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Mask mandates in companies, government departments, and certain local jurisdictions followed, as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky insisted the decision was made on the back of fresh scientific evidence. The CDC released that evidence on Friday. In a study of 469 cases of Covid-19 that broke out in the resort town of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, earlier this month, 74% occurred in “fully vaccinated persons.”

Four out of five patients hospitalized were fully vaccinated, and on average the inoculated had completed their two rounds of doses only 86 days before infection. The cases studied occurred in people vaccinated primarily with Pfizer and Moderna shots, with a smaller number having received Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose jab. No one vaccine was singled out as providing better or worse protection, and none appeared to prevent symptoms from developing. Some 79% of vaccinated patients were symptomatic, the study noted. Lab testing revealed that 90% of all the Cape Cod infections involved the Delta variant of the coronavirus. The report lends weight to the argument that the current crop of vaccines aren’t as effective against the Delta variant, although the CDC and WHO both insist that vaccination is effective against “severe disease and death” from the virus, to quote WHO technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove in a briefing earlier on Friday.

[..] The study appears to negate the argument by top health officials that unvaccinated Americans are responsible for the fourfold rise in Covid-19 cases in the US since June. “This is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated,” White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Sunday, adding that the US is currently moving “in the wrong direction” with regard to stamping out Covid-19. Whether mask mandates will slow the spread of the Delta variant will be borne out with time. Beyond requiring masks and pressuring Americans to get vaccinated, the White House is running out of options.

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They can’t get their message straight.

Vaccine mandate? Useless.

White House Covid-19 Spokesman Yells At Media For Quoting CDC Documents (RT)

Even as they quoted internal CDC documents backing the renewed mask mandates due to the rise in Delta variant Covid-19 cases, both the New York Times and the Washington Post got a tongue-lashing from the White House. “Vaccinated people do not transmit the virus at the same rate as unvaccinated people and if you fail to include that context you’re doing it wrong,” Ben Wakana, deputy director of strategic communications for the White House Covid-19 response team, tweeted at the New York Times on Friday – in all caps – unhappy about the paper’s coverage of the new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Wakana also had words for the Washington Post, which first published the CDC documents, calling their coverage “completely irresponsible” and countering it with CDC statements from three days prior.

The Twitter meltdown caught the attention of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who called it “super interesting” and suggested that “elite institutions” could find time “in between calling ordinary citizens stupid and selfish” to reflect on the “huge messaging failures, inconsistencies and lies that account for much distrust in official [Covid] messaging.” Wakana’s attempts to whip the corporate media into line follows Friday’s announcement by the CDC that claims 74% of people who recently got infected by the Delta variant of the coronavirus in a Cape Cod, Massachusetts resort were fully vaccinated. The Cape Cod study was “pivotal” in informing the decision to recommend indoor masking, said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. While the White House embraced the masking guidelines earlier this week, it has continued to insist on vaccinations as the way forward and argue that the rise in cases was predominantly a problem “among the unvaccinated.”

Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday that a national vaccine mandate is “not under consideration at this time,” and that the US is “not going to head towards a lockdown.” Jean-Pierre specifically cited CDC’s Walensky as an expert the White House defers to on virus matters. “We listen to the scientists, and they tell us that it’s the Delta variant,” she told reporters. “That’s what they’re telling us… These are scientists, they’re the experts.” Speaking with Fox News on Friday afternoon, Walensky said a federal vaccine mandate might be in the cards. “That’s something that I think the administration is looking into,” she said, only to backtrack later and “clarify” that there will be no such mandate.

Walensky kids

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“..it may last for years or even decades and may not be limited to Covid-19 either; any virus that can cross-react with the binding antibodies would be enhanced.”

Fauci *ADMITS* I Was Right In Spring of 2020 (Denninger)

Let’s be clear: Fauci has now admitted, on live camera, that a person with a breakthrough infection is just as dangerous as someone who was never vaccinated and gets infected. This was expected by anyone who has ever studied anything about viral disease and the use of non-sterilizing immunizations when infections are active in a community. We have known this all the way back to Polio and is why we insisted on a sterilizing vaccine (OPV) following the inactivated injected vaccine (IPV) in the United States until 20 years after we were declared polio-free. In addition it is exactly what is expected if a non-sterilizing vaccine produces both binding and neutralizing antibodies and we know, scientifically, that all the existing jabs do exactly that. When levels wane you still have binding antibodies and when the neutralizing level falls below the threshold to protect you now have an enhancement of the disease rather than protection.

A person who was never infected and not vaccinated does not have the binding antibodies and thus, while at risk, doesn’t get the enhancement. Now we have real-world evidence that in fact the jabs produce risk as immunity wanes and that said risk may exceed, on a personal level, what someone has who never been infected or vaccinated is exposed to. As I pointed out the case rate had peaked and was headed down — hard — before the first jab went into the first arm. That which you do after something happens can’t be due to whatever it is you did. Not one group saw that collapse come after vaccination and no sub-group, even the very old, reached even 20% coverage before the case rate was in the ditch Obviously vaccines did not stop Covid in the winter and thus there’s no reason to believe they will materially impact whatever variation may come around — now or in the future.

Got JabbersRemorse yet folks? It appears you may need to continually take boosters to avoid this and accept the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, PAH and other adverse effects not just once or twice but every six months to a year if not more-often! Oh, and if you choose not to the duration of your increased risk is not known — it may last for years or even decades and may not be limited to Covid-19 either; any virus that can cross-react with the binding antibodies would be enhanced. What I said was the correct path forward in early 2020 and have maintained since is:

• Protect the most-vulnerable who cannot protect themselves. This means locking in all care-givers in institutional settings for the elderly and medically infirm. Yep, you work there, you do not interact with the public until and unless you can prove seroconversion. Period. If we have to pay more to get people to agree to this so be it. It is what it is.

• Urge immediate intervention with suspected or believed effective drugs that are rationally safe at the first sign of infection. If you can buy or use something of statistically similar risk over the counter then you must be able to buy these over the counter on your demand to a pharmacist, with he or she checking for interactions with other drugs you may be taking and warning as appropriate, but with the choice being yours and nobody else’s. Period. The list of said drugs includes hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, budesonide, famotidine and a few others. Why? Because we had no reason to believe originally that natural infection was not sufficient to prevent, in nearly every case, re-infection with a serious or severe instance as that has always been true for every other respiratory pandemic virus and time has proved this up for Covid-19 as well. In short natural infection has now proved superior to vaccination (note that nobody is seriously claiming Delta and other “variants” evade natural immunity) and therefore in those who are at reasonably-low risk infection is preferred as the immunity it produces is at least equal and likely superior, with said infection mitigated as to severity as one chooses. MY ASS, MY CHOICE.

• For those at extremely high risk offer but not mandate whatever prophylactic(s) we can come up with. This includes the current jabs but certainly isn’t limited to them. For example there is some evidence that Ivermectin is effective as a prophylaxis. Vitamin D may be; there is a very strong association between Vitamin D deficiency and severe or fatal Covid infections but association is not proof of cause nor that correcting it would change outcomes. Nonetheless there is nearly zero risk to that path forward and, for Ivermectin, the data is that the serious adverse event risk is 1 in 600,000 people. That’s tiny and less than the risk from Tylenol, to name just one OTC drug in question. Again, the goal here is for infections to happen as they will but not result in serious outcomes as that is the path out of every pandemic through history and there is no evidence this one will be different.

• Those who are at statistically-zero risk of serious harm or death (e.g. healthy children) should be encouraged to live normally and expect to get the virus. Their natural immunity provides a “free of cost” firewall for everyone else. We are criminally insane to do anything that limits or otherwise attempts to prevent that.

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2 months old but very relevant. And then they insert doubts. Antibodies for life, but do get a booster.

Had Covid? You’ll Probably Make Antibodies For A Lifetime (Nature)

Many people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 will probably make antibodies against the virus for most of their lives. So suggest researchers who have identified long-lived antibody-producing cells in the bone marrow of people who have recovered from COVID-191. The study provides evidence that immunity triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection will be extraordinarily long-lasting. Adding to the good news, “the implications are that vaccines will have the same durable effect”, says Menno van Zelm, an immunologist at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Antibodies — proteins that can recognize and help to inactivate viral particles — are a key immune defence. After a new infection, short-lived cells called plasmablasts are an early source of antibodies.

But these cells recede soon after a virus is cleared from the body, and other, longer-lasting cells make antibodies: memory B cells patrol the blood for reinfection, while bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) hide away in bones, trickling out antibodies for decades. “A plasma cell is our life history, in terms of the pathogens we’ve been exposed to,” says Ali Ellebedy, a B-cell immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who led the study, published in Nature on 24 May. Researchers presumed that SARS-CoV-2 infection would trigger the development of BMPCs — nearly all viral infections do — but there have been signs that severe COVID-19 might disrupt the cells’ formation2. Some early COVID-19 immunity studies also stoked worries, when they found that antibody levels plunged not long after recovery.

Ellebedy’s team tracked antibody production in 77 people who had recovered from mostly mild cases of COVID-19. As expected, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies plummeted in the four months after infection. But this decline slowed, and up to 11 months after infection, the researchers could still detect antibodies that recognized the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. To identify the source of the antibodies, Ellebedy’s team collected memory B cells and bone marrow from a subset of participants. Seven months after developing symptoms, most of these participants still had memory B cells that recognized SARS-CoV-2. In 15 of the 18 bone-marrow samples, the scientists found ultra-low but detectable populations of BMPCs whose formation had been triggered by the individuals’ coronavirus infections 7–8 months before. Levels of these cells were stable in all five people who gave another bone-marrow sample several months later.

“This is a very important observation,” given claims of dwindling SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, says Rafi Ahmed, an immunologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, whose team co-discovered the cells in the late 1990s. What’s not clear is what antibody levels will look like in the long term and whether they offer any protection, Ahmed adds. “We’re early in the game. We’re not looking at five years, ten years after infection.” Ellebedy’s team has observed early signs that Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine should trigger the production of the same cells4. But the persistence of antibody production, whether elicited by vaccination or by infection, does not ensure long-lasting immunity to COVID-19. The ability of some emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants to blunt the protective effects of antibodies means that additional immunizations may be needed to restore levels, says Ellebedy. “My presumption is, we will need a booster.”

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“..the human immune system produces a multitude of neutralizing antibodies, while also activating certain T and B cells to establish immune memory.”

Recovered COVID-19 Patients Possess Robust Immunity To Virus (Fed.)

A newly released study conducted by Emory University suggests recovered COVID-19 patients possess long-term immunity to the respiratory virus months after infection. Published in Cell Reports Medicine, the comprehensive study analyzed 254 individuals with mostly mild to moderate symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection over an eight-month period and found that patients possessed “durable broad-based immune responses” to the virus after recovering from an infection. “The study serves as a framework to define and predict long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection,” said Emory Vaccine Center director Rafi Ahmed. “We also saw indications in this phase that natural immunity could continue to persist.” Ahmed served as a lead author on the study.

The study goes on to note that in response to an active infection in the body, the human immune system produces a multitude of neutralizing antibodies, while also activating certain T and B cells to establish immune memory. Ahmed denotes that these developments make a strong case for some form of lasting immunity to the virus. “We saw that antibody responses, especially IgG antibodies, were not only durable in the vast majority of patients but decayed at a slower rate than previously estimated, which suggests that patients are generating longer-lived plasma cells that can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein,” he said.

Moreover, the analysis also demonstrates that not only are recovered patients likely to possess lasting immunity to existing SARS-COV-2 variants, but that “SARS-CoV-2 infection also boosts antibody titers to SARS-CoV-1 and common betacoronaviruses.” “While pre-existing exposure and antibodies against HKU1 and OC43 betacoronaviruses are common in adults, pre-existing SARS-CoV-1 exposure is rare and antibody levels to SARS-CoV-1 spike protein were very low (essentially negative) in the pre-pandemic healthy controls,” the study says. “However, SARS-CoV-1 spike-reactive antibodies increased significantly after SARS-CoV-2 infection.” The report later goes on to conclude that taken together, the results of the study “suggest that broad and effective immunity may persist long-term in recovered COVID-19 patients.”

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Were the teachers elected?

DeSantis: No Mandates, No Lockdowns, No Restrictions, No School Closures (CTH)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivered a statement about the future of Florida today while visiting Cape Coral on the Southwest coast. During his remarks, the governor highlighted his support for parent’s rights, taking the position that parents should be the ones making decisions for their children on masks, schools and vaccines, not government. Governor DeSantis promised Florida residents there will be no lockdowns, no mandates, no restrictions and no school closures. Additionally, the governor urged all local communities to follow common sense science and said he will soon issue an order allowing parents or guardians to choose whether their child wears a mask in schools.

“As of today, very few [school districts] are requiring it. Nevertheless, we have a lot of push from the CDC and others to make every single person, kids and staff have to wear masks all day,” DeSantis said during the event. “That would be a huge mistake.” The Florida Education Association (FEA), the largest teacher union in the state, said they will fight the Florida governor on all measures. The teachers union is considering not going back to work with in-person teaching, and has vowed not to give up control of the (k-12) children to the parents. “Governor DeSantis continues to think that Tallahassee knows best what all Floridians need,” FEA President Andrew Spar said in a statement. “We reject that kind of thinking” Spar continued.

“Instead, we ask Governor DeSantis to allow all Florida’s citizens to have a voice by empowering the elected leaders of cities, counties and school districts to make health and safety decisions locally based on their unique needs and circumstances,” Spar said. Emphasizing how the union feels they have more power in the blue and leftist urban area, and they have vowed to fight any conservative effort in the state to undermine the teachers financial interests and control over Florida students.

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So where’s the rest?

Nearly 1.6 Billion Disposable Masks Polluted Oceans In 2020 (JTN)

Nearly 1.6 billion disposable face masks ended up in the earth’s oceans in 2020, out of the roughly 52 billion produced in response to the pandemic, according to a new study. While governments around the world continue to support mask mandates in public spaces, the impact of disposable masks is only just emerging. The report, by the Hong Kong-based marine conservation group OceansAsia, title “Masks on the Beach,” also estimated that roughly 5,500 tons of plastic pollution entered the ocean in 2020 from masks. The figure is equal to 7% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of plastic debris floating in the ocean that is twice the size of Texas.


While a cigarette butt or plastic bag takes 20 years or less to degrade in the ocean, according to Visual Capitalist, a plastic bottle, disposable diaper or a disposable mask takes nearly 450 years to fully break down. The majority of disposable masks – like N95 respirators and surgical masks – were produced in China factories, which were reportedly producing 450 million masks per day in April 2020.

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“..the toiling myrmidons of Big Pharma..”

Things Get Ripe (Kunstler)

Anyway, the Covid-19 story is now utterly unraveling and the official actions around it look desperately idiotic. It’s back to mass mask-ups and maybe even lockdowns. But don’t get the idea that those mRNA vaccines turned out to have a short half-life — though it kind of looks like they did. In which case, why the panicky rush to get absolutely everybody vaxed up? And how’s that working? I’ll tell you how: only with last-ditch attempts at totalitarian intimidation… you will have no rights to earn a living, go out in public, buy anything, or even protest on the street about any of these insults to human dignity.


The world has never seen the launch of such a gigantic lead balloon. All week, the hysteria has been building and now the balloon is falling to earth as the CDC prepares to announce that the vaxes are a bust against the “Delta variant” and it’s back to the drawing board for all the toiling myrmidons of Big Pharma. Did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi get some insider info on this, having appointed herself mask-sheriff of the US Capitol Building, threatening now to arrest non-masked members and their staffers. Indeed, even a few fully-vaxed-up congresspeople were moved to shout, “Hey wait a minute.”

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Thailand does what all western countries do: censor.

Thailand Bans Sharing Of News That ‘Causes Public Fear’ Amid Pandemic Criticism (G.)

The Thai government has outlawed sharing news that “causes public fear”, even if such reports are true, as officials face mounting criticism over their handling of the pandemic. On Thursday, the government tightened an emergency decree imposed more than a year ago that initially targeted false news. The latest constrictions forbid people from distributing “information causing public fear”, or from sharing “distorted information causing misunderstanding which affects national stability”. The measures have been widely condemned by media groups and rights experts as an attempt to shut down negative news reports and silence debate. Sunai Phasuk, senior researcher on Thailand in Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, described it as a “serious blow” to press freedom in the country.


“I think the government realises it is now facing a credibility crisis because of this disastrous response to the Covid situation, but instead of trying to find better solutions, more efficient solutions, it chooses to gag anyone from speaking about its failures,” said Sunai. “This provision doesn’t care about accuracy or whether it is true or false.” Under the regulations, if false content is spread online, the country’s broadcasting regulator will contact internet service providers to identify the individual’s ISP address and block their internet access. Internet providers who fail to comply will be deemed to have breached the requirements of their operating licences, and action will be taken against them. Sunai said he feared the measures wold be used against online reporters and critics who use social media to share political news and commentaries that do not flatter the government.

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Rubin’s been reinstated, with Twitter apologizing for the “error”.

Twitter Suspends Commentator for Criticizing Vaccine Policies (Turley)

Twitter’s actions against political commentator Dave Rubin is an example of how these companies are now dispensing with any pretense in actively barring criticism of government policies and viewpoints. Rubin was locked out under the common “misinformation” claim by Twitter. However, his tweet was an opinion based on demonstrably true facts. One can certainly disagree with the conclusion but this is an example of core political speech being curtailed by a company with a long history of biased censorship, including the barring of discussions involving Hunter Biden’s laptop before the election. With a new election looming, these companies appear to be ramping up their censorship efforts.

In his tweet, Rubin stated: “They want a federal vaccine mandate for vaccines which are clearly not working as promised just weeks ago. People are getting and transmitting Covid despite vax. Plus now they’re prepping us for booster shots. A sane society would take a pause. We do not live in a sane society.” Even President Biden admitted yesterday that he was wrong weeks ago when he assured people that if they took the vaccine, they would not be at risk for the variants and could dispense with their masks. There are breakthrough cases that have taken many officials by surprise. It is also true that there is now talk of likely booster shots.

Rubin takes those facts and adds his opinion that we should “take a pause.” Twitter declared that to be a violation of its policy “on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” As always, Twitter simply refuses to explain its censorship decision beyond these generalized, categorical statements. It is not clear if Twitter is calling these facts misinformation or objecting to Rubin’s opinion about a pause. It does not matter. Twitter does not like his viewpoint and does not want others to read it or discuss it. This is precisely what Democratic leaders pressed Twitter to do in past hearings. As previously discussed the hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who followed up his apology for censoring the Hunter Biden story but pledging more censorship.

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Sacks is one of the co-creators of Paypal.

Get Ready for the ‘No-Buy’ List (David Sacks)

I have no desire to defend genuinely hateful or extremist groups. Indeed, when I was COO at PayPal, we regularly worked with law enforcement to restrict illegal activity on our platform. But we are talking about something very different here: shutting down people and organizations that express views that are entirely lawful, even if they are unpopular in Silicon Valley. As with the censorship of speech, financial deplatforming often begins as something that seems narrow and reasonable — who wouldn’t want to ban the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys? But once the power is granted, it metastasizes into widespread use. We have watched this unfold with online censorship. Many cheered the decision by the largest social media companies to kick President Trump and his most rabid supporters off their platforms after January 6.

They cheered even louder when Apple, Google, and Amazon deplatformed Parler, the one speech platform that didn’t ban Trump. In defense of these policies, we were told that these were private business decisions made by companies that had every right under both the First Amendment and Section 230 to police speech on their platforms. Then, a couple weeks ago, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki casually announced that the Biden administration has been flagging and reporting posts on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms for removal as Covid-19 “misinformation” (another term with a changing and ever-expanding definition). She even said that when one tech company removes a post, they all should do it, implying that the White House is centrally coordinating a blocklist across social media properties.

The suppression of speech by the government is blatantly unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Given that both Congress and the administration are threatening Big Tech companies with antitrust lawsuits and the repeal of Section 230’s liability protection, it’s disingenuous for Psaki and others to claim Big Tech is doing this policing entirely of their own accord. How could they object when the administration and Congress have hung the sword of Damocles over their heads? The harm is compounded when the loss of speech rights is followed by restrictions on the ability to participate in online economic activity. Within days of the Trump-Parler cancellations, most of the finance tech stack (Stripe, Square, PayPal, Shopify, GoFundMe, and even enterprise SaaS company Okta, which wasn’t used by anyone in the events of January 6) declared they were canceling the accounts of “individuals and organizations connected to the [Capitol] riot.”

Now PayPal has gone much further, creating the economic equivalent of the No-Fly List with the ADL’s assistance. If history is any guide, other fintech companies will soon follow suit. As we saw in the case of speech restrictions, the political monoculture that prevails among employees of these companies will create pressure for all of them to act as a bloc. When someone mistakenly lands on the No-Fly List, they can at least sue or petition the government for redress. But when your name lands on a No-Buy List created by a consortium of private fintech companies, to whom can you appeal?

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is anyone awake anymore in Britain?

Craig Murray’s Jailing The Latest Move To Kill Independent Journalism (Cook)

Craig Murray, a former ambassador to Uzbekistan, the father of a newborn child, a man in very poor health and one who has no prior convictions, will have to hand himself over to the Scottish police on Sunday morning. He becomes the first person ever to be imprisoned on the obscure and vaguely defined charge of “jigsaw identification”. Murray is also the first person to be jailed in Britain for contempt of court in half a century – a period when such different legal and moral values prevailed that the British establishment had only just ended the prosecution of “homosexuals” and the jailing of women for having abortions.

Murray’s imprisonment for eight months by Lady Dorrian, Scotland’s second most senior judge, is of course based entirely on a keen reading of Scottish law rather than evidence of the Scottish and London political establishments seeking revenge on the former diplomat. And the UK supreme court’s refusal on Thursday to hear Murray’s appeal despite many glaring legal anomalies in the case, thereby paving his path to jail, is equally rooted in a strict application of the law, and not influenced in any way by political considerations. Murray’s jailing has nothing to do with the fact that he embarrassed the British state in the early 2000s by becoming that rarest of things: a whistleblowing diplomat. He exposed the British government’s collusion, along with the US, in Uzbekistan’s torture regime.

His jailing also has nothing to do with the fact that Murray has embarrassed the British state more recently by reporting the woeful and continuing legal abuses in a London courtroom as Washington seeks to extradite Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, and lock him away for life in a maximum security prison. The US wants to make an example of Assange for exposing its war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and for publishing leaked diplomatic cables that pulled the mask off Washington’s ugly foreign policy. Murray’s jailing has nothing to do with the fact that the contempt proceedings against him allowed the Scottish court to deprive him of his passport so that he could not travel to Spain and testify in a related Assange case that is severely embarrassing Britain and the US.

The Spanish hearing has been presented with reams of evidence that the US illegally spied on Assange inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he sought political asylum to avoid extradition. Murray was due to testify that his own confidential conversations with Assange were filmed, as were Assange’s privileged meetings with his own lawyers. Such spying should have seen the case against Assange thrown out, had the judge in London actually been applying the law. Similarly, Murray’s jailing has nothing to do with his embarrassing the Scottish political and legal establishments by reporting, almost single-handedly, the defence case in the trial of Scotland’s former First Minister, Alex Salmond. Unreported by the corporate media, the evidence submitted by Salmond’s lawyers led a jury dominated by women to acquit him of a raft of sexual assault charges. It is Murray’s reporting of Salmond’s defence that has been the source of his current troubles.

And most assuredly, Murray’s jailing has precisely nothing to do with his argument – one that might explain why the jury was so unconvinced by the prosecution case – that Salmond was actually the victim of a high-level plot by senior politicians at Holyrood to discredit him and prevent his return to the forefront of Scottish politics. The intention, says Murray, was to deny Salmond the chance to take on London and make a serious case for independence, and thereby expose the SNP’s increasing lip service to that cause.

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Well done. Twitter thread.

Poke (Chuck)

ME: CDC, should I get poke if I already had Covid?
CDC: “Yes, you should be poked regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.”
ME: Oh, so we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts. So, how long does poke-induced immunity last?
CDC: “There is still a lot we’re learning about pokes and CDC is constantly reviewing evidence and updating guidance. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those poked.”
ME: Okay, but wait a second. I thought you said the reason I need the poke was because we don’t know how long my natural immunity lasts, but you’re saying we ALSO don’t know how long poke immunity lasts either. So, how exactly is the poke immunity better than my natural immunity?
CDC: …

ME: Uh … alright. But, haven’t there been a bunch of studies suggesting that natural immunity could last for years or decades?
CDC: Yes.
NEWYORKTIMES: “Years, maybe decades, according to a new study.”
ME: Ah. So natural immunity might last longer than poke immunity?
CDC: Possibly.
ME: Okay. If I get the poke, does that mean I won’t get sick?
BRITAIN: Nope. We are entering a seasonal spike and half of our infections and hospital admissions are poked people.

ME: CDC, is this true? Are there people in the U.S. catching it after getting poked?
CDC: We stopped tracking breakthrough cases. We accept voluntary reports but aren’t out there looking for them.
ME: Does that mean that if someone comes in the hospital with Covid, you don’t track them because they’ve been poked? You only track the UN-poked Covid cases?
CDC: That’s right.
ME: Hmm. Well, if I can still get sick after I get the poke, how is it helping me?
CDC: We never said you wouldn’t get sick. We said it would reduce your chances of serious illness or death.

ME: Oh, sorry. Alright, exactly how much does it reduce my chances?
CDC: We don’t know “exactly.”
ME: Oh. Then what’s your best estimate for how much risk reduction there is?
CDC: We don’t know, okay? Next question.
ME: Um, if I’m healthy and don’t want the poke, is there any reason I should get it?
CDC: Yes, for the collective.

ME: How does the collective benefit from me getting poked?
CDC: Because you could spread the virus to someone else who might get sick and die.
ME: Can a poked person spread the virus to someone else?
CDC: Yes.
ME: So if I get poked, I could still spread the virus to someone else?
CDC: Yes.

ME: But I thought you just said, the REASON I should get poked was to prevent me spreading the virus? How does that make sense if I can still catch Covid and spread it after getting the poke?
CDC: Never mind that. Also, if you stay unpoked, there’s a chance the virus could possibly mutate into a strain that escapes the pokes protection, putting all poked people at risk.
ME: So the poke stops the virus from mutating?
CDC: No.
ME: So it can still mutate with the poke?
CDC: Yes.
ME: This seems confusing. If the poke doesn’t stop mutations, and it doesn’t stop infections, then how does me getting poked help prevent a more deadly strain from evolving to escape the poke?
CDC:

CDC: You aren’t listening, okay? The bottom line is: as long as you are unpoked, you pose a threat to poked people.
ME: But what KIND of threat??
CDC: The threat that they could get a serious case of Covid and possibly die.
ME: My brain hurts. Didn’t you JUST say that the poke doesn’t stop people from catching Covid, but prevents a serious case or dying? Now it seems like you’re saying poked people can still easily die from Covid even after they got the poke from an unpoked person! Which is it??

CDC: That’s it, we’re hanging up now.
ME: Wait! I just want to make sure I understand all this. So, even if I ALREADY had Covid, I should STILL get poked, because we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts, and we also don’t know how long poke immunity lasts….
…And I should get the poke to keep a poked person from catching Covid from me, but even if I get the poke, I can give it to the poked person anyways. And, the other poked person can still easily catch a serious case of Covid from me and die. Do I have all that right?

……
ME: Um, hello? Is anyone there?

Read more …

 

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Dr. Robert Malone, 2 1/2 hours, the whole story.

 

 

 

 

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Jul 202021
 


Édouard Vuillard In bed 1891

 

60% Of People Admitted To Hospital With Covid Have Been Double-Jabbed (Sky)
Hospitalisation Data Not A Reason To Doubt The Vaccine (Moore)
Gottlieb Predicts ‘Most’ Unvaccinated Americans Will Get Delta Variant (HuPo)
The Flag Is In Tatters (Denninger)
Antibodies From Covid Infection Last At Least Nine Months (F.)
45K Death Count From Covid Shot Lawsuit (Renz Law)
Viral Diversity and the Pandemic Response (McCullough)
On ‘Freedom Day’, Boris Johnson Announces Mandatory Vaccine Passports (SN)
The Counter-truths Unspin (Kunstler)
Vax Wars are Global – Gerald Celente (USAW)
UK Government Advisor Admits Masks Are Just “Comfort Blankets” (SN)
AG Garland Bars Prosecutors From Seizing Reporters’ Records (AP)
The Shadow State: Corporations As Surrogates For Government Action (Turley)
The True Cost of Food (Rockefeller)

 

 

 

 

It’s just

 

 

He since “corrected” it to 40%.

My notes yesterday when I was reading this:

• UK: official numbers: 68% of adults are double jabbed (87% single jabbed)
• 60% of new hospitalizations are double jabbed (or 40%, if you will)
• winter high was 60K infections daily, now 50K
• but the vaccines are very very effective. in fact, they are over 90% effective.
• this does not make sense.

60% Of People Admitted To Hospital With Covid Have Been Double-Jabbed (Sky)

Sixty percent of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the government’s chief scientific adviser. Speaking at a Downing Street news briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “In terms of the number of people in hospital who’ve been double-vaccinated, we know it’s around 60% of the people being admitted to hospital with COVID. “We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day being hospitalised with coronavirus because of the increase in infections. “But the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination.” He said this was not surprising “because the vaccines are not 100% effective”.

“They’re very, very effective, but not 100%, and as a higher proportion of the population is double-vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10% of that very large number remain at risk, and therefore will be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.” Meanwhile, most regions of England now have more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point since mid-March. Two regions – south-west England and the combined area of north-east England and Yorkshire – are back to levels last seen more than four months ago. For England as a whole, there are now 3,813 patients in hospital with COVID-19 – the highest number since 24 March. Sir Patrick also warned said there were “high levels of COVID and they are increasing”.

He said the UK was quite close to the previous “winter wave” of infections. “In the winter wave, we were up to around 60,000 people testing positive per day,” he said. “We are now somewhere on towards 50,000. So we’re quite close to the size of the winter wave of infections and this is going to increase.” He said the timing of the next peak of the virus would be “uncertain”. He said: “But most of the models are suggesting that there should be a peak and start seeing some sort of either plateau or decrease over August.

“And at that point, if things continue to increase at the rate they are – and as I said at the outset, there is something like 50,000 or near 50,000 cases per day, or positives per day, at the moment being detected – with a doubling time of 11 days, you can see that that gets to pretty high numbers very quickly. “And another doubling time will take you to even higher numbers, of course – that would be really quite, quite worrying. So we would like to see some flattening of this, some decrease in the trajectory, and ideally, as you rightly say, you’d like to see this coming down by September, as return of schools would add another pressure on top of that.”

Read more …

This is an analysis that goes with the article above.

Hospitalisation Data Not A Reason To Doubt The Vaccine (Moore)

The majority of people in hospital with COVID right now have been fully vaccinated. That will be a surprise to many people, despite the reassurance of the chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance that it’s to be expected. But he’s right. Firstly, two doses of the Pfizer jab are 96% effective at preventing hospitalisation. For the AstraZeneca shot the figure is 92%. So while the protection is high, it’s not 100%. Secondly, the older you are the more likely it is that you will end up seriously ill if you get COVID. So if the virus does break through the protective barrier of the vaccine you are still more likely to end up in hospital if you are over 50.


It’s not a reason to doubt the vaccine. But it is a reason for everyone to get the jab and reduce levels of the virus spreading through the community. That would mean there’s less risk to double-vaccinated, older people. The good news is that the death rate is still much lower than in previous waves – about one in 1000 infections leads to death now, compared to around one in 50 in January. That’s partly down to the vaccine, but also better drug treatment for those in hospital. So even if double-vaccinated people are still ending up in hospital, they stand a much better chance of survival.

Read more …

And so will most vaccinated. But he doesn’t add that.

Gottlieb Predicts ‘Most’ Unvaccinated Americans Will Get Delta Variant (HuPo)

The former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration predicted Sunday that “most” unvaccinated Americans who haven’t already had COVID-19 will contract the delta variant — and it will be the “most serious” virus of their lives. “This virus is so contagious, this variant is so contagious … that most people will either get vaccinated or have been previously infected or they will get this delta variant,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “And for most people who get this delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital,” he added.

Gottlieb, who served under former President Donald Trump before the pandemic, spoke as cases of the disease were climbing across America, with the seven-day average of reported coronavirus cases soaring nearly 70% last week. All 50 states are experiencing a higher number of new cases. Among the hardest hit are states with low vaccination rates, such as Arkansas, Missouri and Florida. The Sunshine state last week accounted for 20% of all new cases in the country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky called the new surge a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Gottlieb said he believes actual cases of the more-easily transmissible delta variant are underreported. He estimated that health officials know about only one out of 10 or 20 cases because some of those infected have mild cases and testing is not widespread. “We’re not doing a lot of routine screening right now,” said Gottlieb, who currently serves on the board of vaccine-maker Pfizer. “Unless you work for the New York Yankees, you’re not getting tested on a regular basis. So I think that this delta wave could be far more advanced than what we’re detecting right now.”

Read more …

“The data from Israel says natural infection is 6-7x as effective in preventing a future infection as the jab.”

these vaccines are not sterilizing, which means every vaccinated person is a viral mutation factory”

The Flag Is In Tatters (Denninger)

Let’s not kid ourselves. If the media and “public health” people are telling the truth about Delta being as transmissible as claimed there is no way to reach a vaccination level that will suppress it. There are actually people claiming it has an R0 equal or even greater than measles. This is probably a lie, but the problem with lies such as this is that they preclude solutions you then put forward as you’ll never get there. In short we have what I pointed out originally: You either had Covid now or will get it, like it or not. It is as certain as winter. Further, if Delta arose it won’t be the last one. Worse, we now know, conclusively that these vaccines are not sterilizing, which means every vaccinated person is a viral mutation factory and won’t know they have it in many cases. We also know it does not block transmission, as was just demonstrated on the HMS Queen Elizabeth and in the Texas Delegation.

You cannot out-vaccinate a mutating virus; the reason is quite simple as the virus passes through people and mutates faster than you can modify vaccination formulas. I warned early on that the use of non-sterilizing vaccines was known dangerous back when IPV came out for Polio and is why Sabin’s OPV formula, which is sterilizing, was universally used in conjunction with IPV in the US until polio was no longer circulating here. In fact we kept using OPV in the United States for another 20 years after the nation was declared polio-free. Why? Because not doing so — using non-sterilizing IPV alone when polio was still circulating in the population — was damned dangerous as it placed evolutionary pressure on the virus that could cause more disease rather than less and we knew it.

There are no sterilizing Covid-19 vaccines and no evidence we can develop one. The manufacturers admitted their trials were not intended to prove that originally but now we have the data and zero of the shots produce sterilizing immunity. That’s scientific fact at this point. In short we have no choice but to drop the bull**** and accept that we have to live with Covid-19. It will never go away. It has become an endemic virus like the cold or flu viruses and will be with us forever. In addition eradication was always doomed to fail because it has animal reservoirs, specifically at least cats and ferrets. We have no choice in this matter.

Within a very short period of time if Delta is what they claim in terms of infectivity you’re going to see a dramatic shift here as we have in Britain and Israel. The data from Israel says natural infection is 6-7x as effective in preventing a future infection as the jab. The virus will shortly run out of non-jabbed people to infect and the vax-vs-nonvax numbers showing up in the ER will shift dramatically. The bad news is that those who got a “hidden” adverse effect, especially thrombosis of any sort, are at a very high risk of getting monkey-hammered if and when their immunity fails and they get infected anyway because that pre-existing damage will be synergistic with the virus effects.

Lockdowns, masks and mass-jabs will not solve the problem and in fact will make it worse due to the adverse effects. For the healthy 18 year old who is screwed by cardiomylitis what do you tell him or her? They were at an effective zero risk of death in the first place; the number harmed by the shots in that cohort exceeds the number saved. Jabbing such people is an unconscionable evil, and this presumes the risks are confined to what we know which is almost certainly not the case, and that evasion by the virus never occurs, which is ridiculously improbable. Good luck folks.

Read more …

180º lie: “..immunity from infection [..] is typically weaker than that provided by vaccination.”

Why would anyone want to spin such lies? What’s to gain?

Antibodies From Covid Infection Last At Least Nine Months (F.)

Almost all people who have recovered from Covid-19 have detectable levels of antibodies nine months later, according to a new study of almost the entire population of an Italian town, bolstering earlier research that suggests a prior infection conveys some protection against the coronavirus. Over a span of nine months, researchers from Italy’s University of Padua and Imperial College London tested more than 85% of the 3,000 residents of Vo, Italy, for Covid-19 antibodies. The researchers, writing in Nature Communications, found that 98.8% of people infected in the first wave—around February/March 2020—still showed detectable levels of antibodies nine months on when tested in November.

There was no difference between people who had symptomatic and asymptomatic illness, the study found. Lead author Dr. Ilaria Dorigatti said this suggests that “the strength of the immune response does not depend on the symptoms and the severity of the infection.” For some people, antibody levels actually increased between testing, indicating a boost to the immune system from another infection with the virus. The possibility of further infection could mean that people with antibodies—whether by infection or vaccination—are capable of transmitting the virus even if they are protected from disease, the researchers warned.

Understanding how long immunity to Covid-19 lasts is crucial to public health officials trying to manage the pandemic. While antibodies indicate an immune response, they do not provide a complete picture of the immune system and cannot tell us how robust immunity is. Though some evidence suggests immunity from infection might be long lasting, it may not be strong enough to protect against disease and is typically weaker than that provided by vaccination.

Read more …

Wasn’t sure what to make of the video I posted yesterday, but it’s a real lawsuit of 67 pages which alleges that VAERS undercounts vaccine deaths by a factor of 5.

45K Death Count From Covid Shot Lawsuit (Renz Law)



Read more …

“..mass vaccination when it hits >25% of the population, begins to promote latent variants to become predominant ..”

Viral Diversity and the Pandemic Response (McCullough)

There are multiple reports that fully vaccinated groups in the hubris of their newly gained freedoms are coming down with COVID-19, this time with the Delta variant. This mutant strain was born in India in response to evolutionary pressure that promoted a base pair changes from the original alpha variant out of the UK. The HMS Queen Elizabeth reported an outbreak of 100 COVID-19 cases among 3700 fully vaccinated, socially distanced, and masked sailers. Many were detected by unnecessary asymptomatic testing which is not approved by regulatory authorities and not sanctioned by the WHO. The lessons prove that the military should reserve testing for only sick sailors and not put any stock on the vaccines as they clearly have failed.

Fortunately, Delta is mild and very manageable if treated early at home in high-risk individuals or those presenting with severe symptoms. Why did the vaccines fail so quickly? >. First, the genetic vaccines are all coded to the original Wuhan wild-type spike protein. That strain has been extinct for months now. >. Second, mass vaccination when it hits >25% of the population, begins to promote latent variants to become predominant and the overall flora of mutant strains to become less diverse. For example, about six months ago in the US, we had about 14 strains according to the CDC. Now we have only about six strains, with the rising Delta expected to become super dominant. Since Pfizer, Moderna, and JNJ provide no coverage for Delta, we can surely expect more cases but the public may be blinded to reality.

This spring after the CDC was overloaded with >10,000 vaccine failure cases with full-blown COVID-19 after being completely vaccinated, the CDC notified Americans it was only going to track and report COVID-19 in the unvaccinated. This was a giant blunder since there is a great need to study why the vaccines are failing in order to plan for boosters or better technological vaccines.

Read more …

He wants his cake and eat it and order seconds.

On ‘Freedom Day’, Boris Johnson Announces Mandatory Vaccine Passports (SN)

On the occasion labeled ‘freedom day’, the UK government announced that vaccine passports would be mandatory to enter “crowded venues” from the end of September. Gee, I feel so free! After initially denying that domestic, vaccine passports would ever be introduced, Boris Johnson’s government feverishly set about creating the framework for them. Now on the very day that all coronavirus restrictions were supposed to be lifted, the UK’s vaccines minister has announced what basically amounts to medical apartheid. “By the end of September everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to really take hold,” said Nadhim Zahawi. “So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”

From the end of September, people will also have the option of providing a negative test result to enter such venues removed, making the vaccine de facto mandatory. Boris Jonhson also refused to rule out future vaccine passports for pubs and bars, saying the government the government “reserved the right to do what’s necessary to protect the public.” “I would remind everybody that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination,” said Johnson, openly threatening those who don’t get jabbed that their lifestyle will be severely stunted. The measures are being introduced to bully the 35% of 18 to 30-year-olds who haven’t taken the jab into getting it.

Once domestic vaccine passports have become commonplace for travel and to enter crowded venues, expect them to be extended to every other area of life. This will create a two tier society where those who for whatever reason refuse to have the vaccine will remain under de facto lockdown indefinitely.

Read more …

“Back in the day, LSD trips were mostly a matter of personal choice.”

The Counter-truths Unspin (Kunstler)

Back in the day, LSD trips were mostly a matter of personal choice. Today, though, all you have to do is wake up somewhere between Montauk and the Farallon Islands and your senses are overwhelmed with hallucinations. The public used to depend on newspapers and TV networks to suss out reality, but that filter is long gone, replaced by a relentless “narrative” machine, and all it does is spin out one technicolor whopper after another. The trouble is: narrative is not the truth. Generally, it’s the opposite of the truth. It’s manufactured counter-truth. The more narrative you spin, the faster you must spin off new supporting narrative to conceal the untruth of your previous narrative — until the national hive mind is lit up in unreality where nothing makes sense and the very language that separates humanity from the rough beasts becomes a social poison.

And is “Joe Biden” not the perfect gibbering epitome of this mess, a ghost in the narrative machine, beckoning us into chaos? America is on a bad trip. The country has lost its way psychologically. Two things will be required to bring it out of the fugue state it tripped into five years ago: some significant shocks to the system and the passage of time. Those shocks are in the offing and the “Joe Biden” regime — meaning Barack Obama and his wing-people who run things — are looking more and more desperate as auguries manifest.

Their current tactical hustle is to amp up paranoia over the receding Covid-19 episode. It looks like an attempt to smokescreen the emerging evidence of massive and widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and the growing eagerness of a few other states besides Arizona to mount audits of what went on last November 3rd. The supposed surge in new Covid cases is really just a tiny blip, considering it comes off a baseline of close to zero cases in many places. 11,140 so far have died from Covid vaccinations, according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Last week 2,092 deaths from vaccinations were added versus 1,918 deaths from the virus. Countries with the highest vaccination rates are showing the most new Covid cases.

Read more …

“There are going to be new parties: anti-vax, anti-establishment, anti-tax and anti-immigration. The parties that unite under that will be the winning parties.”

Vax Wars are Global – Gerald Celente (USAW)

Celente says the pressure will continue to be pushed and coerced upon the so-called “unvaccinated” even though it is, in fact, an experimental human drug trial. No one will mention the fact that half the country already has natural immunity, according to Dr. Marty Makary at Johns Hopkins University. With death and injuries from fully vaccinated people going higher by the thousands every week, there are no facts that will sway the pro-vax crowd. Celente says, “The facts don’t count. If you show the facts, it’s misinformation if you put out facts. It’s a conspiracy theory when you put out facts, and in the United Soviet States of America, you are not allowed to put facts on any social media because they will ban you. You are not allowed to say anything to disagree with the government or the (so-called) ‘health experts.’”


Celente sees a huge trend in politics emerging and explains, “There are going to be new parties: anti-vax, anti-establishment, anti-tax and anti-immigration. The parties that unite under that will be the winning parties. They have to unite under that.” Celente says, “The whole damn system is corrupt.” Celente does not have high hopes for the election fraud being uncovered to actually do anything because the system is so corrupt. Celente also talks about the U.S. economy and that it should have tanked long ago, and the powers keep propping it up. He also comments on gold, silver, Bitcoin and why New York City and many other cities are not coming back. Celente says people will have to “unite to protect liberty and freedom,” and predicts it’s going to be a long fight.

Read more …

Too late to dispel the myth now.

UK Government Advisor Admits Masks Are Just “Comfort Blankets” (SN)

Dr Colin Axon, a SAGE advisor for the government told the London Telegraph that medics have given people a “cartoonish” view of how how microscopic viruses travel through the air, and the masks have gaps in them that are up to 5000 times bigger than Covid particles. “The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders’ scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through,” Axon said. “Once a particle is not on a biological surface it is no longer a biomedical issue, it is simply about physics. The public has only a partial view of the story if information only comes from one type of source,” Axon continued, adding “Medics have some of the answers but not a whole view.”

Noting that the “mask debate is about the particle journey,” Axon explained that “Masks can catch droplets and sputum from a cough but what is important is that SARS CoV-2 is predominantly distributed by tiny aerosols.” “A Covid viral particle is around 100 nanometres, material gaps in blue surgical masks are up to 1,000 times that size, cloth mask gaps can be 500,000 times the size,” Axon urged. The professor noted that “those aerosols escape masks and will render the mask ineffective,” adding “The public were demanding something must be done, they got masks, it is just a comfort blanket. But now it is entrenched, and we are entrenching bad behaviour.”

“All around the world you can look at mask mandates and superimpose on infection rates, you cannot see that mask mandates made any effect whatsoever,” Axon further noted, adding that “The best thing you can say about any mask is that any positive effect they do have is too small to be measured.” Axon’s comments echo those of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who wrote in February 2020 that a typical store-bought face mask “is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material.” Fauci later reversed his position after the CDC began recommending that Americans wear face coverings. Similar recommendations were then made worldwide, with World Health Organisation officials even recommending that masks remain INDEFINTELY.

Read more …

Assange.

AG Garland Bars Prosecutors From Seizing Reporters’ Records (AP)

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday formally prohibited federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations, with limited exceptions, reversing years of department policy. The new policy largely codifies the commitment Garland made in June, when he said the Justice Department would abandon the practice of seizing reporters’ records in leak investigations. It aims to resolve a politically thorny issue that has long vexed Justice Department prosecutors trying to weigh the media’s First Amendment rights against government’s desire to protect classified information. But the memo makes clear that federal prosecutors can, in some cases, seize journalists’ records, including if the reporters are suspected of working for agents of a foreign power or terrorist organizations. There is also an exception for situations with imminent risks, like kidnappings or crimes against children.


Garland was moved to act following an outcry over revelations that the department during the Trump administration had obtained records belonging to journalists at The Washington Post, CNN and The New York Times as part of investigations into who had disclosed government secrets related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters. Others whose records were obtained were members of Congress and their staffers and former White House counsel Don McGahn. Garland’s announcement came after President Joe Biden said he would not allow the Justice Department to seize journalists’ phone records and emails, calling the practice “wrong.” Since then, Garland and other senior Justice Department staffers have met with representatives of news media organizations, with both sides agreeing on the need for new department policies. Garland has also said he would support federal legislation to add additional protections for journalists.

Read more …

It’s not just Big Tech.

The Shadow State: Corporations As Surrogates For Government Action (Turley)

This use of corporations is born out of political and legal convenience. Despite the rising call for mandatory vaccinations, the Biden administration clearly is not willing to face the political costs of a government mandate. As of July 11, 159,266,536 Americans were fully vaccinated — 48 percent of the country’s population. When you consider the extremely high rate of vaccination for those over 65 (an estimated 85 percent), the percentage of adults under 65 is even smaller. That is a lot of voters who would not take well to a government mandate before the 2022 election.

[..] The political convenience of relying on corporate controls is most evident in the support for a massive system of corporate-based speech controls now implanted in the United States. The government cannot implement a censorship system under the Constitution — but it can outsource censorship functions to private companies like Facebook and Twitter. Just this week, the White House admitted it has been flagging “misinformation” for Facebook to censor. At the same time, Democrats like Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have demanded that Big Tech companies commit to even more “robust content modification” — an Orwellian term for censorship. Liberal writers and media figures have called for corporate censorship despite the danger of an effective state media run through private corporations.

[..] Social media companies are not just any businesses, however. They were created as neutral platforms for communication between people when they were given special immunity from lawsuits. Yet these corporations now control an enormous amount of public discourse and have become a rising threat to the democratic process, expanding their authority to frame the debate on issues ranging from climate change to gender identity, from election fraud to public health. You must espouse the “truth” as established by these companies on certain questions or risk being banned as “misinformation spreaders.” Indeed, Psaki this week insisted that once people are banned by one company, they should be banned from all social media companies.

If these trends continue, citizens could find themselves effectively exiled by order of corporate governors — unable to travel or go to school while also barred from espousing dissenting views on social media. They would, effectively, be “disappeared” within a shadow state that lacks any electoral or appellate process — a dystopian brave new world that could become all too real if we allow elected officials to use corporate surrogates to control the essential aspects of our lives.

Read more …

I know, I know, Rockefeller Foundation.

The True Cost of Food (Rockefeller)

Although Americans have some of the most affordable food in the world, our food comes with hidden costs—to our health, to our climate, and to the farmers, fishers, ranchers, and food workers who ensure goods make their way to store shelves. As the pandemic made explicit, those workers bear the brunt of the unequal and unsustainable food system we live with today. In fact, our food system costs all of us far more than what’s written on our receipt as we exit the check-out line. Our food system is failing us, and too few people understand the true cost of the food we consume, and lack clear incentives to change a system that is costing us dearly. That’s why accounting for the true cost of the food we eat is the first, necessary step towards remaking the incentive structure that drives our food system today.

Consider this: In 2019, American consumers spent an estimated $1.1 trillion on food. That price tag includes the cost of producing, processing, retailing, and wholesaling the food we buy and eat. It does not include the cost of healthcare for the millions who fall ill with diet-related diseases. Nor does $1.1 trillion include the present and future costs of the food system’s contributions to water and air pollution, reduced biodiversity, or greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change. Take those costs into account and it becomes clear the true cost of the U.S. food system is at least three times as big—$3.2 trillion per year. The true cost of food disproportionately burdens people of color, who are more likely to suffer from dietrelated diseases, have less access to water and sanitation, and often work in food production jobs for less than a living wage.

Americans pay that high cost even if consumers don’t see it in the check-out line. And, if we don’t change our food system, future generations will pay those high costs, too.

Read more …

 

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Jul 092021
 


Alessandro Allori Self portrait c1555

 

Those Dying Post-Vaccine: Where Are The Autopsies? (WND)
‘Absolutely Government’s Business’ To Know Who in US Hasn’t Been Jabbed (Fox)
Pfizer To Seek Authorization For “Booster” Dose To Protect Against Delta Variant (ZH)
Feds Dispute Pfizer On Need For A Covid Booster Shot (JTN)
Fauci Defends Vaccines But Antibodies Don’t Protect Against Delta (ZH)
Fauci Tells People Hesitant About The Vaccine To ‘Just Get Over It’ (DC)
Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’ (G.)
Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe (G.)
Canada Cracks Down On Doctors Who Warn Of Covid-19 Vaccines Risks (JTN)
How Some Teens are Faking Positive Covid-19 Tests (GR)
Wells Fargo Shuts Down All Personal Lines Of Credit (CNBC)
Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook & Google (HE)
Trump Says Hunter Biden Is Worse Than Al Capone (DM)
Hunter Biden Art Show Sparks Ethics Concerns (NYP)
UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case (CD)

 

 

 

 

Should I take the vaccine?

 

 

 

 

I don’t especially like to agree with Laura Ingraham, but in this case I do.

Ingraham

 

 

Jane M. Orient, M.D. is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, AAPS.

Those Dying Post-Vaccine: Where Are The Autopsies? (WND)

My internal medicine training was in the dark ages before CT and MRI, but we were still supposed to make an accurate diagnosis. A patient who died without a medical history was an “ME case.” We had to call the medical examiner, who would decide whether an autopsy was indicated. Anything potentially related to the death, such as pill bottles, was evidence. If an injection had been given, the vial would be recovered if possible. With vaccines, one is supposed to record the lot number, so it would be possible to check a sample for contaminants. If the patient died in hospital, the medical resident was required to request permission for an autopsy. Survivors might be persuaded to OK one by the possibility that their loved one may have had a hereditary condition or an infection that might affect others.

In any event, we assured them that their loved one would be treated with respect and that funeral arrangements would not be affected. A chaplain would volunteer to attend. The most important reason was that the “altar of truth” was the ultimate “quality assurance” mechanism. Hospitals were required to perform autopsies on a certain proportion of decedents in order to maintain their accreditation. A classic study of 100 randomly selected autopsies from each of three years (1960, 1970 and 1980) revealed that major diagnoses had been missed in about 22% of cases in all three eras, despite the introduction of modern imaging methods. Unfortunately, autopsy rates have fallen from 25% to less than 5% over the past four decades. It never was a revenue producer for anyone except malpractice attorneys.

I always attended the autopsy if I could. One of my most important teachers was a patient in whom we had missed a condition that was glaringly obvious when the skull was opened. We might not have been able to save him, but since we hadn’t even thought of the diagnosis, he didn’t have a chance. Tens of thousands of patients died of COVID before a series of 12 autopsies done in Germany showed that most had blood clots and could not have been saved by forcing air into their lungs with a ventilator. If a person dies after a COVID jab, I would like to know whether there are spike proteins in the tissues and blood vessels, and whether there was an immunological reaction that was damaging those tissues. If a mother loses a baby, I would like to see a thorough examination of the placenta. Was the baby’s oxygen and nutrition cut off because of damaged blood vessels?

I find it shocking that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Joint Commission that accredits hospitals are not demanding autopsies or testing of vaccine samples. It is not possible to declare a product safe and effective without obtaining direct evidence from potential victims. The manufacturers are protected against product liability, thanks to Congress. But where is the accountability of the government agencies charged with protecting us, or of the private entities coercing employees or students to take an experimental, potentially dangerous, or even lethal product? If someone you love dies unexpectedly, call the medical examiner, and demand a forensic autopsy.

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Medical information is private.

‘Absolutely Government’s Business’ To Know Who in US Hasn’t Been Jabbed (Fox)

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday it was “absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans haven’t been vaccinated yet against the coronavirus. Responding to GOP criticisms of the Biden administration’s planned “door-to-door” campaign to encourage unvaccinated Americans to inoculate themselves, Becerra told CNN the government has had to “spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic.” “So it is absolutely the government’s business, it is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” he said.


Becerra said people didn’t have to answer the door but he hoped they would so officials could dispel rumors about the vaccine, which has proven to be highly effective in driving down cases, hospitalizations and deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 56% of the adult population has been “fully vaccinated” and 67% has gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. States that tend to vote Republican have reported lower vaccination rates, and polls show Republican voters are far more likely than Democrats to say they will not or likely will not get the vaccine. The issue has become part of a larger debate over public health measures colliding with Americans’ personal freedoms.

Ultimatum

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Every next shot is more dangerous.

Pfizer To Seek Authorization For “Booster” Dose To Protect Against Delta Variant (ZH)

Hours ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci emphatically defended the efficacy of the three American-made vaccines that have received emergency authorization for use by the FDA. His comments weren’t unprompted: reports out of Israel claiming the Pfizer jab is far less effective than advertised have shaken public confidence in the jabs, at a time where President Biden is about to send people knocking on doors to try and encourage more adults (and increasingly, children) to get vaccinated. It’s no secret that a handful of southern and western states are lagging the rest of the country in vaccine rollout. But not long after Dr. Fauci made his comments (which were picked up by all the major newswires) the NYT published a sneak peak at new research showing how the Delta variant bypasses the antibodies created by the vaccines, and prior infection with another strain of the virus.

It’s just the latest example of how the authorities don’t care about the “science” so much as protecting the narrative that helps Big Pharma sell the most vaccines. And while the vast majority of countries are still struggling with vaccination rates below 1% since they simply can’t get the supplies (while unused jabs are piling up across the US) – and Bill Gates doing everything he can to keep it that way – Pfizer and Moderna have apparently spotted an opportunity. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced Thursday evening that they will seek authorization from the FDA for a third “booster” dose of their COVID vaccines that will offer increased protection against the Delta variant (despite the fact that both Pfizer and its rival Moderna repeatedly insisted that its vaccines are still effective against all known variants including Delta), the Hill reports.

In a statement, the company referenced the data out of Israel, where government scientists have estimated the real efficacy of the vaccine vs. Delta is somewhere around 64%, while leaving particularly vulnerable patients at risk of severe illness and death. The booster dose would ideally be given within 6 to 12 months post-vaccination. “Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial within 6 to 12 months following the second dose to maintain highest levels of protection,” the companies said.

Don’t take the 2nd shot

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Once you’ve had the first one, you’re hooked.

Feds Dispute Pfizer On Need For A Covid Booster Shot (JTN)

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are developing a booster shot to combat the highly transmissible delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. As the pharmaceutical companies announced their shot, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people do not need those types of booster shots. “People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” the FDA and CDC said Thursday, according to Axios. “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”


The companies cited a study by the Israel Ministry of Health released on Monday that showed the “vaccine efficacy has declined six months post-vaccination, at the same time that the Delta variant is becoming the dominate variant in the country.” “These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the companies’ Phase 3 study,” the companies said in a written statement, according to CNBC News. “That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination.”

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“The logic is confusing, but it goes something like this: Delta is scary, so get vaccinated…but vaccines don’t protect against Delta.”

Fauci Defends Vaccines But Antibodies Don’t Protect Against Delta (ZH)

As the world passes 4MM confirmed COVID cases, the NYT has just published new research published in the journal Nature calling into question the efficacy of US-made vaccines in offering protection against the Delta variant. Shortly before the research was released, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday defended American COVID vaccines, claiming that the jabs developed by Pfizer, Moderna and J&J are all effective against the Delta variant, a mutant strain that has become the obsession of public health officials who claim that it could ignite another wave of the pandemic. But what they don’t tell you is that epidemiologists believe COVID is now endemic in the human population, and that reaching “COVID zero” simply isn’t possible.

At any rate, while the vaccine makers are salivating at the opportunity to produce lucrative booster shots offering protection against various variants, the new research previewed by the NYT and published in the journal Nature found that the Delta strain is able to bypass the antibodies produced by vaccination or prior infection. Delta, which was first identified in India, is believed to be roughly 60% more infectious than the alpha variant – the strain also known as the “Kent Strain”, or B.1.1.7, which was first identified by scientists in England. This week, as the number of new COVID cases climbed by double-digits from the prior week (while hospitalizations and deaths remained stagnant), Delta was declared the dominant variant found in the US. Almost as alarming, the researchers found that while Delta is able to effectively evade the antibody response, the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa, can do it even more easily. Here’s more from the NYT report on the research:

“The researchers looked at blood samples from 103 people who had been infected with the coronavirus. Delta was much less sensitive than Alpha to samples from unvaccinated people in this group, the study found. One dose of vaccine significantly boosted the sensitivity, suggesting that people who have recovered from Covid-19 still need to be vaccinated to fend off some variants. The team also analyzed samples from 59 people after they had received the first and second doses of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Blood samples from just 10 percent of people immunized with one dose of the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were able to neutralize the Delta and Beta variants in laboratory experiments. But a second dose boosted that number to 95 percent. There was no major difference in the levels of antibodies elicited by the two vaccines. “A single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca was either poorly or not at all efficient against Beta and Delta variants,” the researchers concluded. Data from Israel and Britain broadly support this finding, although those studies suggest that one dose of vaccine is still enough to prevent hospitalization or death from the virus.”

What’s more, the delta variant was also found to be resistant to antibody-based treatments, like “bamlanivimab”, the monoclonal antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly. Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci tells reporters that nine out of ten Americans who died from the virus were unvaccinated. Despite the growing number of vaccinated patients who are being infected and seriously sickened, insisted that the “science” shows the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing infection. The logic is confusing, but it goes something like this: Delta is scary, so get vaccinated…but vaccines don’t protect against Delta. It’s just the latest reminder that Dr. Fauci & company don’t care about “the science”.

Tucker about vaccine coercion

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Those who still believe him have already gotten jabbed.

Fauci Tells People Hesitant About The Vaccine To ‘Just Get Over It’ (DC)

White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that people hesitant about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 should “just get over it.” Fauci appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” where he went on a rant equating people’s hesitancy towards the vaccines’ safety to a “political statement.” “This is not complicated. We’re not asking anybody to make any political statements one way or another,” he said. “So many diseases that I deal with … don’t have solutions. It’s very frustrating — you don’t have a treatment, or you don’t have a vaccine,” Fauci added. “Here, we have a vaccine that’s highly, highly effective.”


“What is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.” he concluded. Fauci has previously warned about the possibility of the emergence of “two Americas” as a result of low vaccination rates in some areas of the country. “When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions … you’re going to see the individual types of blips. It’s almost like it’s going to be two Americas,” Fauci said on June 30.

Fauci GET OVER IT

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Don’t be a guinea pig. Be a guinea pig instead.

Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’ (G.)

Nicola Sturgeon has warned against treating young people like “guinea pigs” by allowing them to get infected with coronavirus when lifting restrictions, amid fears they remain at risk of significant health impacts such as long Covid. Scotland’s first minister said the desire to live free of lockdown-style restrictions did not mean governments could “throw all caution to the wind”, while suggesting the “domination” of England’s plans to scrap Covid rules risked confusing other UK nations. The steep rise in infections across Scotland caused by theDelta variant may be levelling off, Sturgeon added. The current spike has led to six Scottish health boards being placed among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe by the WHO last weekend.


The levelling off gave her “more cause for optimism” that she would be able to confirm the move to level 0 of Scotland’s five-tier system of Covid controls in parliament next Tuesday, she said, before emphasising that the planned easing on 19 July “won’t be an abrupt end to basic protective measures like face covering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene and advising on good ventilation.” However, she pointed out the “significant” impact the virus can have on younger people, even if there is a lower risk of death. She said: “I want to set out simply why we can’t just throw all caution to the wind. Firstly, this virus is still dangerous, as we see every day. It is still taking lives, though mercifully, thanks to the vaccines, it is doing so in far fewer numbers than we saw in earlier stages.”

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“the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager..”

That comment is pro-vaccination. You would’t know without the context.

Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe (G.)

In a letter to the Lancet, over 100 global scientists have warned that rushing ahead with reopening on 19 July – rather than waiting until more people are vaccinated – is dangerous and premature. Those concerns will be compounded by the relaxation of travel restrictions announced on Thursday. Allowing children and double-vaccinated adults to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return increases the risk of importing new variants which could be more infectious or more resistant to current vaccines, just as opportunities for transmission increase. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, concedes we could soon be looking at 100,000 cases a day, but argues that hospitalisation and death numbers are what matter more than anything.

Unfortunately, he will not say what figures he expects or would tolerate. The link between infection and serious illness or death has been much weakened, but not broken. Vaccination rates vary widely; in some areas, fewer than 30% have received two doses. On Thursday, the UK reported weekly rises of more than 50% in Covid hospital admissions and deaths – both of which lag rises in cases – to 456 and 35 respectively. The government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said that we are likely to see a significant increase in long Covid; experts fear that huge numbers could be affected. Though the government talks of personal responsibility, there can be no responsibility without choice. For too many, danger is being imposed upon them. Vaccines are widely available, and people can still cover their faces.

But masks are better at protecting people from the wearer than protecting the wearer. Young workers on public transport or in shops, not yet able to get a second jab, will be exposed to the virus by customers who choose not to wear masks. They surely need and deserve protection. Children are currently unable to be vaccinated. The immunocompromised are less protected by vaccines and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid. Reportedly, the department of health will be issuing new guidance for the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable. But while support for shielders is needed, confining them to quarters indefinitely is hardly a liberation.

Nor is there much choice for exhausted NHS staff who face a soaring workload again, or for patients whose operations are being cancelled because hospitals are treating growing numbers of Covid patients or staff are having to self-isolate. If anything, the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager, in which large parts of the population are not players but gambling chips.

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“I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Canada Cracks Down On Doctors Who Warn Of Covid-19 Vaccines Risks (JTN)

Canadian doctors are facing professional repercussions for sharing their concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, specifically their emergency use authorization status and safety for children. The University of Saskatchewan removed Francis Christian, a clinical professor of surgery, from his faculty and administrative responsibilities days after he hosted a press conference about “the risks of mRNA vaccines to children” and alternatives to vaccination, including use of the drug ivermectin. The Saskatchewan Health Authority also said it was terminating Christian’s contract Sept. 21, after the required 90-day notice, for his “conspiracy theories” on COVID-19 vaccines. He is not “committed to fact-based, scientifically driven public messaging,” the provincial agency told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Christian endangers lives by “potentially discouraging uptake on life-saving vaccines.” Christian opened the June 17 press conference with an explicit disclaimer that he was not representing the university or the provincial agency, and emphasized he was “very pro-vaccine” in general. “The principle of informed consent is being consistently violated in this province for the mRNA vaccine for our kids,” for whom there is no “emergency” justifying experimental COVID-19 vaccines, he said. “I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Christian said nearly 6,000 deaths have been associated with mRNA vaccines in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Echoing arguments by other medical experts, he said such associations “in any other drug or vaccine … would have been sufficient to stop the whole program” to allow for reevaluation. “Tomorrow the CDC is meeting in emergency session to discuss this issue” of heightened risk for myocarditis among young COVID-19 vaccine recipients, he said, and “there is a good likelihood that they too will call for a pause in vaccinating our kids.” The U.S. FDA added heart-inflammation warnings to two vaccines several days later.

Read more …

Can they fake negative tests as well? Asking for a friend.

How Some Teens are Faking Positive Covid-19 Tests (GR)

A new study released on Monday suggests that teenagers are using social media to share information on faking covid-19 tests in order to get a positive result. Since July 1, videos of young people sharing information on how to trick rapid at-home covid tests (lateral flow tests) into producing positive results using soda drinks have gone viral. This has prompted researchers at the University of Liverpool to look into whether there is any validity to the claim that artificial sweeteners used in sodas can change negative coronavirus results into positive ones. The results of their study, which is still awaiting peer review, were submitted to medRxiv on Monday. The videos of children faking positive covid-19 test results have gone particularly viral in the UK, where a single case of coronavirus in a school can often lead to the whole grade of the person diagnosed needing to isolate at home.

In the UK, schools have mandated students test themselves for the coronavirus twice weekly, in a move similar to that enacted by the Greek government. Some teens have decided that sham positive results are a good thing, as it allows them and their friends to skip school for around ten days and hang out instead. However, this can have a devastating effect on learning, as students miss out on school for days because of false information. Videos are continually being uploaded to social media sites with the hashtag “#fakecovidtest,” showing children putting different liquids on rapid antigen tests in an attempt to produce a positive result. The study by University of Liverpool researchers showed that soda drinks could be used to fake rapid covid-19 tests.

The researchers first ruled out the significance of artificial sweetener, as four different kinds of artificial sweetener and spring water produced negative results on the test swabs. However, when the researchers went to test sodas, the results became a bit more concerning. Ten out of fourteen sodas tested were able to produce positive or weakly positive results. However, the researchers have had a hard time identifying what ingredient produces this reaction, as there seems to be no apparent link between the test results and the soft drinks’ ingredients.

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One shut down after another. Not a good sign at all.

Wells Fargo Shuts Down All Personal Lines Of Credit (CNBC)

Wells Fargo is ending a popular consumer lending product, angering some of its customers, CNBC has learned. The bank is shutting down all existing personal lines of credit in coming weeks and no longer offers the product, according to customer letters reviewed by CNBC. The revolving credit lines, which typically let users borrow $3,000 to $100,000, were pitched as a way to consolidate higher-interest credit card debt, pay for home renovations or avoid overdraft fees on linked checking accounts. “Wells Fargo recently reviewed its product offerings and decided to discontinue offering new Personal and Portfolio line of credit accounts and close all existing accounts,” the bank said in the six-page letter. The move would let the bank focus on credit cards and personal loans, it said.

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf has been forced to make difficult decisions during the coronavirus pandemic, offloading assets and deposits and stepping back from some products because of limitations imposed by the Federal Reserve. In 2018, the Fed barred Wells Fargo from growing its balance sheet until it fixes compliance shortcomings revealed by the bank’s fake accounts scandal. The asset cap has ultimately cost the bank billions of dollars in lost earnings, based on the balance sheet growth of rivals including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America over the past three years, analysts have said. It has also affected Wells Fargo’s customers: Last year, the lender told staff it was halting all new home equity lines of credit, CNBC reported. Months later, the bank also withdrew from a segment of the auto lending business.

With its latest move, Wells Fargo warned customers that the account closures “may have an impact on your credit score,” according to a frequently asked questions segment of the letter. Another part of the FAQ asserted that the account closures couldn’t be reviewed or reversed: “We apologize for the inconvenience this Line of Credit closure will cause,” the bank said. “The account closure is final.”

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“We are going to hold Big Tech very accountable..”

Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook & Google (HE)

Trump is suing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for violating his First Amendment rights. “Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter,” Trump said. “Our case will prove this censorship unlawful.” “We’re demanding an end to the shadowbanning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well,” he added.


The lawsuits, filed in the Southern District of Florida, also call for the court to strike down Section 230, a decades-old Internet law that protects tech companies from lawsuits over content moderation decisions, per the New York Times. The suits seek unspecified punitive damages. The announcement came during a morning press conference at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, where he was joined by Linda McMahon and Brooke Rollins of the America First Policy Institute, per the Tennessee Star. Trump is bringing the lawsuit on behalf of not only himself, but other Americans whose First Amendment rights were violated by the Big Tech conglomerate. “We are going to hold Big Tech very accountable,” he said.

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He’s seen the laptop’s contents.

Trump Says Hunter Biden Is Worse Than Al Capone (DM)

Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday there was more ‘criminal activity’ on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop than mobster Al Capone ever carried out. Trump commented on what he termed the ‘laptop from hell’ as he announced his lawsuit against Facebook and big tech. He used language that suggested he may have seen the laptop, although he didn’t specify if he was referring to media reports on its contents. ‘The laptop from hell,’ Trump termed it. ‘You look at that thing, there’s more criminal activity on that laptop than Al Capone had if he ever had a laptop,’ the former president said. The tech-averse Trump then riffed: ‘We’d like to give Al Capone one, but he was a baby compared to what I was able to see.’

The laptop purportedly once owned by the president’s son has produced a series of revelations about Hunter Biden’s convoluted family sagas and international business deals. DailyMail.com consulted computer forensics experts who vouched for its authenticity. The New York Post reported on some of its email contents weeks before the election, reporting that it was dropped off at a Delaware repair shop in 2019 and never picked up. Recent stories unearthed from the laptop appear to show Hunter paying his father’s AT&T bill, saying prostitutes should unionize, as well as information on the family’s painful struggles with addiction. Longtime Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose apartment was raided by the FBI in April, said agents refused to take hard drives he said were Hunter’s during the search.

[..] Trump brought up the laptop while complaining about probes of him he terms witch hunts. ‘That’s what happened with Russia, that’s what happened with Ukraine,’ he said, before pivoting to Hunter. He invoked Capone, the Chicago mobster famously sentenced to 11 years on tax charges, days after longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was indicted on tax fraud charges over $1.7 million in perks and benefits prosecutors say he did not disclose.

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The White House ensures secrecy for the buyers? That’s in their job description?

Hunter Biden Art Show Sparks Ethics Concerns (NYP)

Government ethics watchdogs and art critics alike are voicing their concerns as first son Hunter Biden prepares for his first solo art exhibition this fall — where paintings from the former lawyer and lobbyist are expected to fetch between $75,000 and $500,000 and buyers will remain anonymous. “The whole thing is a really bad idea,” Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post. “The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he’s capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices.” Walter Shaub, who led the Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, told the paper that the art buyers having their identities protected created a host of problems.

“Because we don’t know who is paying for this art and we don’t know for sure that [Hunter Biden] knows, we have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House,” he said. “What these people are paying for is Hunter Biden’s last name.” Painter also referenced the issue of anonymity, noting that foreign governments or lobbyists could buy the art through intermediaries in an effort to curry favor with the Biden White House. President Biden’s 51-year-old son is putting the finishing touches on the 15 paintings that will comprise his first solo exhibition, which is scheduled to open in October at the Georges Berges’ Gallery in Soho, with a private viewing for VIP collectors in Los Angeles in September. Speaking to The Post late last month, Berges, 45, who said he discovered Biden after being introduced by a “serious” Los Angeles-based collector, admitted he was skeptical of the president’s son’s artistic ability.

“A lot of people say they can paint and do sculpture, but what I was concerned about was whether Hunter’s work would be authentic,” the gallery owner said. Berges, who represents a roster of international artists, spent three years helping Biden, who is self-taught, take his abstract expressionist painting from a hobby that occupied “about 20 percent of his time” to a full-time job that saw Biden spend the last two and a half years holed up in his home studio on a hillside in Los Angeles following a “regimented” routine. “What interested me was whether the work was going to be honest — something that was really true to him and his journey,” Berges said. “But as soon as I met him, I had a real connection with him and I felt I could work with him.”

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Julian has nothing to expect from British law.

UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case (CD)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team said Wednesday that the United Kingdom’s High Court had granted permission to the U.S. government to appeal an earlier decision that blocked Assange’s extradition The court reportedly granted the appeal “on a limited basis” and on “narrow, technical grounds,” and did not set a date for a future court hearing. The ruling led to intensified calls by Assange’s supporters for his release from Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, where he has been held for more than two years following seven years in isolation at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he claimed asylum. The High Court’s decision “means he is still at risk of extradition where he faces a 175-year prison sentence and…is certain to lose his life if he is extradited,” said Stella Moris, Assange’s partner.


District Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January that Assange should not be extradited to the U.S., where the government is pursuing Espionage Act charges against him for his publication of military and diplomatic documents, on the grounds that Assange was at “substantial” risk for committing suicide in the “harsh conditions” of the U.S. prison system. Baraister’s ruling led to calls for the U.S. to end its pursuit of Assange—which has been called a threat to press freedom all over the world by international rights groups including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation—but U.K. authorities continued his detention at Belmarsh pending the Biden administration’s appeal.

Greenwald NSA Assange

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Russell Brand

 

 


disclaimer at the beginning of Birth of a Nation.

 

 

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 June 2, 2021  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Paul Klee In the Houses of Saint Germain 1932

 

Fauci Emails Reveal Damage Control Scramble After ZeroHedge Article (ZH)
What Did I Say? (Denninger)
Fauci Continues Cult Of Personality With A New ‘Life Philosophy’ Book (RT)
So Now It’s Admitted, What Else Did You Do? (Denninger)
COVID-19 Antibodies May Last a Lifetime (HE)
Echoes Of Russia Reversal In Intel Community’s Covid Origins Probe (JTN)
Boris Johnson Says No Evidence To Delay England Reopening (G.)
Big Pharma’s EU Ties Could Stymie Vaccine Waivers (DP)
How Independent Were The US And British Vaccine Advisory Committees? (BMJ)
No, Obama Wasn’t Mad About Bailing Out His Wall Street Donors (DP)
JBS Shutters All US Meat Plants As Cyber Attack Jeopardizes Food Supply (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What an incredible mess.

Fauci Emails Reveal Damage Control Scramble After ZeroHedge Article (ZH)

In January, 2020, when the World Health Organization insisted that COVID-19 wasn’t transmissible between humans, and Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the risk to the American public from the virus was “low,” officials at the National Institutes of Health were scrambling to perform damage control after a controversial – and now withdrawn – study suggested that there were HIV-like ‘insertions’ included in SARS-CoV-2. The study, “Uncanny similarity of unique inserts on the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag,” posited that segments of the virus’s RNA had no relation to other coronaviruses such as SARS, and instead appeared to be closer to HIV. Specifically:

“To further investigate if these inserts are present in any other corona virus, we performed a multiple sequence alignment of the spike glycoprotein amino acid sequences of all available coronaviruses (n=55) [refer Table S.File1] in NCBI refseq (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) this includes one sequence of 2019-nCoV[Fig.S1]. We found that these 4 insertions [inserts 1, 2, 3 and 4] are unique to 2019-nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses analyzed. … We then translated the aligned genome and found that these inserts are present in all Wuhan 2019-nCoV viruses except the 2019-nCoV virus of Bat as a host [Fig.S4]. Intrigued by the 4 highly conserved inserts unique to 2019-nCoV we wanted to understand their origin. For this purpose, we used the 2019-nCoV local alignment with each insert as query against all virus genomes and considered hits with 100% sequence coverage. Surprisingly, each of the four inserts aligned with short segments of the Human immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) proteins.”

The now-withdrawn paper piqued the interest of several journalists, including Zero Hedge (whose account Twitter banned one day after we updated our coverage of the article, claiming we ‘doxed’ a Chinese scientist in an earlier report). Thanks to a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Fauci’s emails, we now know that the National Institutes of Health was not only aware of the Indian report, but were actively discussing how to handle it. A January 31 email from AFP’s Issam Ahmed asks NIH immunologist Dr. Barney Graham for comment: “I was told by a contact you may be willing to give an opinion of this paper that has just gone live. It suggests the new Coronavirus has four inserts similar to HIV-1 and this is not a coincidence,” reads the email.

Graham immediately forwards the correspondence to the Office of Communications and Government Relations (OCGR), saying “This is one we don’t want to answer without high-level input, but wanted you to know about the rising controversy.”

That same Sunday morning, Fauci is looped in – with Sir Jeremy Farrar forwarding Zero Hedge’s article after mentioning how World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom and the organization’s cabinet chief were in ‘conclave’ – ostensibly on how to manage the narrative – noting “If they do prevaricate [bullshit the public], I would appreciate a call with you later tonight or tomorrow to think how we might take forward.” “Do you have a minute for a quick call?” Fauci replies, after having called the Indian paper “really outlandish.”

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“We killed 300,000 Americans for the express purpose of getting EUAs issued for vaccines..”

What Did I Say? (Denninger)

On 12/7/2020 I put forward that we had scientific evidence on how to slam the door on Covid-19’s transmission. We knew in October from the study I cited that there was a simple and near-zero cost way to do it. In mid-October the death count in the US stood at about 200,000. We did nothing. Why did we do nothing? Because if we admitted to the existence of this study, which was registered formally on the government’s clinical trial site, and followed what it told us to do, there would be no EUAs for vaccines. They would have been illegal. The FDA knew this, the NIH knew this and the CDC knew this since the trial database in question is run by the US Government. All three were fully-aware that there was a cheap, easy and immediate way to slam the door on transmission of Covid-19 and had been tested in a health-care setting – that is, where people are around folks who are known infectious all the time.

Our government, medical and political systems deliberately ignored the scientific evidence and a formal clinical trial which our government had registered and for which results posted in October of 2020. We did this and as a direct result more than 300,000 additional people died. We now know they died and the virus spread as a direct result of that willful and intentional act. We know this because now there is a further study that proves not only did the drug work to cut fatalities it also cuts off viral transmission dramatically and almost-immediately when used, which means had we used it the case rate would have never surged in the winter at all and a huge percentage of the people who died would have never got the virus at all.

In a multivariable logistic regression model, the odds of a negative test at day 6 was 2.62 time higher in the ivermectin group (95% CI: 1.06 to 6.45). Cultures at days 2 to 6 were positive in 3/23 (13.0%) of ivermectin samples vs. 14/29 (48.2%) in the placebo group (p=0.008). If the culture is negative you cannot transmit the virus to someone else because whatever you have in your body cannot grow in that person or any other person. Forward transmission capability within two days of administration of this cheap drug went from 48% -> 13%, a 73% reduction. Cutting off transmission within 48 hours of administering the drug would have stopped the winter spike from occurring.

Offering Ivermectin to all who tested positive and everyone in their household would have slammed the door instantly on forward transmission and ended the pandemic in the United States before the winter surge occurred. We now know this at a scientific level of certainty. [..] We killed 300,000 Americans for the express purpose of getting EUAs issued for vaccines. Leaving aside whether the vaccines are safe, and giving them full credit for being effective the fact still remains that our government and health care system killed 300,000 people by refusing to follow the science, that refusal was intentional and undertaken for financial reasons, and as a direct result a genocide-level manslaughter took place.

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The guy’s soon 80 years old. Why do it?

Fauci Continues Cult Of Personality With A New ‘Life Philosophy’ Book (RT)

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s celebrity status has skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and he’s continuing to cash in on his cult of personality with a new “life philosophy” book. Fauci has been the face of the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic in the US through two incredibly different administrations. Considering the fact that he has been in that position through such uncertain times, one would assume he’d be a trusted, beloved figure, and he is – to some. Take a scroll through social media or look at recent polling on the man, and it’s clear he is as divisive as the politicians he stands next to. One poll last month found that the majority of people who identify as Republicans say he has “hurt” the US more than helped during the pandemic. Democrats remain much more faithful to the man, with a separate poll finding that 80% of them feel the infectious disease expert is doing a good or excellent job.


Fauci has been undeterred by this mixed response and simply leaned in on his celebrity status. While so many have struggled through the pandemic, Fauci’s smiling face could be seen in numerous cable news interviews, almost daily, at press conferences, throwing first pitches at baseball games, on magazine covers – he’s been treated as the “American hero” Jill Biden recently described him as. Now, we are subjected to the latest extension of his celebrity with an upcoming book entitled, ‘Expect the Unexpected: Ten Lessons on Truth, Service, and the Way Forward’. Compiled through “hours of interviews,” Fauci will give us his personal “life philosophy” through the read, as well as “universal advice to live by.” It is set to hit shelves on November 2, and you can bet Fauci will be making the media rounds to promote it.

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“..the case rate was collapsing by the end of the month, down by more than 50% over those two weeks, yet not a single person was immune by virtue of vaccination on January 1st 2021. Not one.”

So Now It’s Admitted, What Else Did You Do? (Denninger)

How about early treatment and intervention? HCQ/Doxycycline/Zinc? Ivermectin? Budesonide? Others? All have shown some efficacy. Remdesivir, on the other hand, only usable in a hospital, has shown none in a very large trial (Solidarity.) Whadda ‘ya mean there are no studies? What do you call those three links above and why were they not offered to patients every single time? Why doesn’t the person who has a disease get to choose? There is highly-credible evidence behind early treatment which began in the first few months of the outbreak; Florida near Palm Beach with Ivermectin, Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital System with HCQ, a doctor in Texas with Budesonide, a confirmatory study on that run out of Australia and then very large populations that have used them such as India and Mexico City with several nations and provinces within nations telling the ghouls to stuff it over the last few months when the other path, relying on vaccines and expensive on-patent drugs like Remdesivir in the hospitals, did not stop the infections and death.

You want to know why Twitter doesn’t like people talking about those things? Ever look at their ads on their mobile app? Half of them are from pharma companies advocating this or that brand new, expensive drug. Gee, no problem there, right? Watch TV? How many pharma ads do you see there? Ever see an ad for an off-patent, cheap drug for something? You never have and never will — there’s no money in it.

[..] It takes 2 weeks after the second dose before you’re “protected.” The peak was on January 8th. The first doses went into arms on December 14th, so zero people had received two doses by the 8th of January and had it become effective, and more-damning was the beginning of actual vaccination in real people on a national basis was right around that time — yet no vaccine is effective instantly. The peak here in this county for cases was in fact on the 14th of December. A literal zero persons had been vaccinated before that day; the case rate was collapsing by the end of the month, down by more than 50% over those two weeks, yet not a single person was immune by virtue of vaccination on January 1st 2021. Not one. What’s the truth about epidemics like this — respiratory viruses — all through history?

Never has one been trouble in any material size for more than a handful of years – like two, occasionally with a “gap” in the middle. All are characterized by two waves or less, the second frequently more-severe. 1889-92, which looks to have been HCoV-OC43 (unproved), also a coronavirus, was two waves. 1918 was two waves. The 1957 pandemic was two waves, both roughly equally severe. 2009 H1N1 was two waves but, contrary to expectations, was mild. There is no evidence — zero — for any of the ten for which reasonably-contemporary records exist showing any deviation from this pattern. Every single one for which such records exist has burned itself out within two years and/or two phases or waves. Repeat: Covid-19 was over in the United States in December before the first stab went into the first arm. The first wave was in early 2020 and the second came in the winter which peaked before anyone could be vaccinated.

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“After a new infection, short-lived cells – called plasmablasts – are an early source of antibodies. But, they disappear soon after the body fights off the virus, and other longer-lasting cells make the antibodies.”

COVID-19 Antibodies May Last a Lifetime (HE)

If you’ve had COVID-19, you’ve likely been told that your antibodies last a few weeks, or months, at the maximum. However, new research suggests that many will make antibodies against the virus for most of their lives. Researchers have identified long-lasting cells, which produce antibodies, in the bone marrow of people who have recovered from the virus, per Nature. The study provides evidence that immunity will last longer than once thought. “The implications are that vaccines will have the same durable effect,” Menno van Zelm, an immunologist at Monash University in Australia, said. Antibodies are the key to immune defense, as they essentially serve as a block for the virus. After a new infection, short-lived cells – called plasmablasts – are an early source of antibodies.


But, they disappear soon after the body fights off the virus, and other longer-lasting cells make the antibodies. “A plasma cell is our life history, in terms of the pathogens we’ve been exposed to,” Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study, said. Ellebedy’s team tracked antibody production in 77 people who recovered from mild cases of COVID-19. Indeed, antibodies plummeted in the four months after the infection, but the decline slowed and up to eleven months after infection, antibodies were still present. While this is critical information, it remains unclear what antibody levels will look like in the long term. “We’re early in the game,” said Rafi Ahmed, an immunologist at Emory University. “We’re not looking at 5 years, 10 years after infection.”

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“The only people rejecting the proper course of conduct was the mainstream media, aided by the clown show that is Adam Schiff.”

Echoes Of Russia Reversal In Intel Community’s Covid Origins Probe (JTN)

When President Biden recently revealed a schism in the intelligence community over the origins of the COVID-19 virus — with some now seeing it plausible a lab leak caused the pandemic — he did far more than just order a 90-day review. He acknowledged implicitly that the prevailing assessment of America’s spy agencies during the last year of Donald Trump’s presidency — that the virus evolved in nature – was now fully in question. Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, went a step further and revealed some U.S. intelligence analysts believed the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology much earlier but their views were suppressed from policymakers.

The COVID origins evolution echoes in some respects the deeply flawed Russia collusion probe, when the FBI dove headfirst into an election-year dossier funded by Hillary Clinton and opened a probe of Trump adviser Carter Page even as the CIA warned Christopher Steele’s intelligence was Moscow-fed disinformation and Page was one of the Agency’s own assets. The parallels have some questioning whether the intelligence community can still operate with clear eyes and give policymakers a 360-degree view of issues, including dissenting analysis, in this hyper-partisan era of America. “Our intelligence community doesn’t need another 90 days to assess the origins of the coronavirus,” said Fred Fleitz, a longtime intelligence analyst and former chief of staff to the National Security Council.

“There has long been enough open-source information to conclude with high confidence that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” Fleitz said the intelligence community ombudsman has already concluded that spy agencies “deliberately played down and omitted intelligence” that China tried to meddle in the 2020 presidential election because they did not want to produce analysis that supported President Trump’s policies. “I believe it is very likely the same thing happened with the IC’s analysis of the coronavirus origin and the Chinese coverup,” he said.

Kash Patel, a former National Security Council adviser to Trump, said the failure to properly report on the origins of COVID-19 is the latest episode showing the intelligence community and the mainstream media taking positions contrary to Trump’s for reasons other than facts. “Every single time President Trump had the intelligence correct and based policy decisions in sound reasoning,” Patel said. “The only people rejecting the proper course of conduct was the mainstream media, aided by the clown show that is Adam Schiff.” While Biden has given American spy agencies 90 days to give the latest assessment, there is growing proof that the U.S. intelligence community had access to contrary evidence when it gave its first assessment in April 2020 that COVID-19 likely evolved from nature.

“The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified,” the ODNI said on April 30, 2020. President Trump and his advisers vehemently disagreed with the assessment, continuing to insist the most likely source of the virus was a lab leak.

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“Scientists say UK faces ‘perilous moment’ as Delta Covid variant now makes up 75% of cases..”

Boris Johnson Says No Evidence To Delay England Reopening (G.)

Downing Street believes early data shows England can forge ahead with the 21 June unlocking despite a chorus of warnings from scientists about rising case rates linked to the Delta variant first identified in India. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said there were encouraging signs vaccines were breaking the link between infections and hospitalisations as Public Health England announced zero daily reported Covid deaths for the first time since last summer. Boris Johnson is understood to be optimistic about the current data but a No 10 source said the next few days would be crucial to assess the impact of the unlocking that took place from 17 May – though early data did not show significant cause for alarm. “There is obviously concern about case numbers but we still need to see if that is translating to hospitalisations and deaths or if the vaccine is breaking that link,” the source said.


“At the moment we do not have evidence that definitively suggests we should delay.” The business minister Paul Scully also expressed “cautious optimism”. He told Times Radio the government did not want to have to roll back restrictions again. “One thing that we saw last year, before Christmas, was the stop-start nature just didn’t work for businesses and cost them more. So we’ve got to get it absolutely right. People’s jobs and livelihoods depend on it.” However, the government’s former chief scientific adviser, Prof Sir Mark Walport, said on Tuesday it was “not impossible” that the country was in the foothills of a new wave as the Delta variant takes over, accounting for three-quarters of new cases. “It is a quite perilous moment, but we’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed that the measures work,” he said. A series of other scientists have echoed his concerns.

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“Macron’s position depends on the time of day or what’s in the newspaper that morning,”

Big Pharma’s EU Ties Could Stymie Vaccine Waivers (DP)

The Biden administration’s newfound support for waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines could prove to be a turning point in the fight against the pandemic and a major step forward for health care access in the Global South. But before that, the effort needs to overcome a hefty roadblock: hostility from the European Union. Any legally-binding suspension of global patents on vaccines requires unanimous support from the World Trade Organization’s commission on IP rights, better known as the TRIPS Council, slated to meet June 8-9 in Geneva. While the United States said in May that it was finally interested in negotiating a proposal to do just that, signs suggest the European Commission — the executive branch of the EU, which has forged close ties with the pharmaceutical industry — will likely continue to oppose a proposed waiver on vaccines.

Pharmaceutical interests have become one of the biggest lobbying forces in Europe, according to spending disclosures reviewed by The Daily Poster. “Internationally, there’s a real risk that the European Union could make this drag out, that their actions in Geneva and at the World Trade Organization could lead to a serious delay,” says Kenneth Haar, a researcher at the Corporate Europe Observatory, a watchdog tracking corporate influence in the EU. “That’s a huge problem because time is of the essence.” [..] While at least two European governments, that of Spain and Poland, have publicly thrown their support behind a waiver since Washington’s about-face, the EU’s twin power brokers have yet to come around.

Despite some initial enthusiasm from French President Emmanuel Macron following Biden’s announcement, his government has yet to endorse a waiver of IP rights, while Germany hasn’t appeared to budge at all from its opposition. “With France, you never know, Macron’s position depends on the time of day or what’s in the newspaper that morning,” says Haar. “But officially, the French position is not in favor and they’re backing Merkel on this.”

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It’s a small world.

How Independent Were The US And British Vaccine Advisory Committees? (BMJ)

In the wake of lightning fast authorisations of covid-19 vaccines in the UK and the US, public health officials have worked hard to maintain confidence in these new products. British and American officials have emphasised the independence of the experts who authorise vaccines and those who issue advice on them. But an investigation by The BMJ has found that some of these experts have significant industry ties that government agencies do not always disclose. [..] In some cases, an expert has made a disclosure but the committee has not deemed it a conflict. For example, in the case of the UK’s JCVI, the chair of the covid-19 meeting is Wei Shen Lim, a professor at the Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, who JCVI says has “no registered conflicts of interest.” The same document, however, further states that Lim’s “institution has received unrestricted investigator-initiated research funding from Pfizer for a study in pneumonia in which Professor Lim is the chief investigator (non-vaccine related).” And in a preprint published only months before the JCVI’s December meeting, Lim reported this Pfizer grant.

[..] For example, Open Payments reported that Arnold Monto, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and acting chair for the FDA s covid vaccine authorisation meetings, had received over $24, 000 in payments from drug companies in 2019. That same year, Open Payments reports that Myron Levine, a panellist from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, received about $30, 000, mostly in consulting fees. In 2019, Open Payments reports, Robert Schooley of the University of California at San Diego received over $25,000 in payments. It also reports that Ofer Levy at Boston Children’s Hospital received $5500 in mostly travel expenses from GSK. And in a 2020 publication Levy disclosed that he was a named inventor on several patent applications related to vaccine adjuvants.

[..] Joel Lexchin of York University in Toronto, who publishes research on conflicts of interest, says, “Twelve months is really quite short. I think that’s not acceptable.” He also suggests that government agencies should publish everything that experts disclose to them, instead of picking and choosing what to make public. “The best policy is disclose everything,” he says. “Second best, pretty far down, is to have clear rules about why certain things don’t need to be disclosed.” Schooley explains that the various time windows required by different disclosure policies can make it appear that an academic has reported financial interests in one case but not in another. More consistent disclosure policies are needed, he says—and universities, agencies, and journals should come together to normalise standards. “If all of this were harmonised, it would improve transparency and reduce the time required for all involved,” he wrote to The BMJ. “In the meantime, we can try to answer each request as best we can based on how we interpret each query.”

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“Then, Obama held a White House meeting with bank CEOs to tell them “help me help you.”

No, Obama Wasn’t Mad About Bailing Out His Wall Street Donors (DP)

Former President Barack Obama wants you to now believe that he was actually mad about giant Wall Street handouts that he voted for, then arm twisted lawmakers to expand — and then rescinded when some of the money might have gone to help homeowners. Obama’s foray into pure fiction is not only absurd — it is a reminder that history can repeat itself if we allow reality to be memory-holed. Obama’s comments came in a new interview with the New York Times’ Ezra Klein. “When we came into office, the economy was in a free fall,” the former president said. “We had to scramble and do a bunch of stuff, some of which was inherited, some of which we initiated to stabilize the financial system. People hated it. It’s hard to just underscore how much the bank bailouts just angered everyone, including me.”

Obama had an odd method of expressing his alleged rage. During the 2008 campaign, he made a public spectacle of leaving the campaign trail to cast a Senate vote for the no-strings-attached bank bailout. A few months later, Politico reported: “Not yet in the White House but working the phones as if he were, Barack Obama won a crucial Senate vote Thursday clearing the release of $350 billion more in bailout funds from the Treasury Department’s controversial financial rescue program. For the incoming president, the 52-42 roll call represented a first major test of strength, and Obama threw himself into the fight, reaching out to senators on both sides of the aisle and making calls until he had won all but one of the seven Democratic freshmen elected in November.”

Then, Obama held a White House meeting with bank CEOs to tell them “help me help you.” He used his bully pulpit to stop his own party’s efforts to prevent the bailout from subsidizing massive bonus payouts to AIG. And when some of that bank bailout money might have been redirected into helping homeowners who were getting thrown out of their homes, Obama signed legislation to rescind his own authority to spend the cash on such a priority. Official Washington then pretended the bailouts were actually paid back, even though that self-serving talking point is complete bullshit.

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Looks vulnerable.

JBS Shutters All US Meat Plants As Cyber Attack Jeopardizes Food Supply (ZH)

Update (2002 ET): The USDA has released an important update about the Biden administration’s steps to mitigate potential supply constraints and price surges following JBS’ ransomware attack.

As noted earlier today by the White House, USDA is aware of the ransomware attack against JBS, which is affecting the company’s operations, including its facilities in the United States. USDA continues to work closely with the White House, Department of Homeland Security, JBS USA and others to monitor this situation closely and offer help and assistance to mitigate any potential supply or price issues. As part of that effort, USDA has reached out to several major meat processors in the United States to ensure they are aware of the situation, encouraging them to accommodate additional capacity where possible, and to stress the importance of keeping supply moving.

USDA has also been in contact with several food, agriculture and retail organizations to underscore the importance of maintaining close communication and working together to ensure a stable, plentiful food supply. USDA will continue to encourage food and agriculture companies with operations in the United States to take necessary steps to protect their IT and supply chain infrastructure so that it is more durable, distributed and better able to withstand modern challenges, including cybersecurity threats and disruptions.

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Born in 1832 (5 years prior to the coronation of Queen Victoria), Jonathan the Tortoise is due to turn 190 years old in 2022. That makes him the oldest-known land animal alive today

 

 

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Apr 112021
 


Bartolomeo Schedoni The Deposition of Jesus’ body by St. Joseph of Arimathea 1613

 

South African Variant Can ‘Break Through’ Pfizer Vaccine (R.)
SARS-CoV-2 Variants B.1.351 and P.1 Escape From Neutralizing Antibodies (Cell)
Facemasks in the COVID-19 Era: A Health Hypothesis (NIH)
DMX Given Covid Vaccine Days Before Lethal Heart Attack (Noq)
Data Substantiating Wide Asymptomatic Spread Of Covid-19 Remains Elusive (JTN)
German Govt Plans New Harsh Covid-19 Restrictions In Draft Law (RT)
Republicans Deflated As Nation Shrugs At Hunter Biden Revelations (G.)
Daily Mail Exposes Hunter Biden Bombshells (ZH)
More Money Put Into Stocks In Last 5 Months Than Last 12 Years Combined (CNBC)
Frederick Forsyth Says UK Government Has Launched “Campaign of Mass Fear” (SN)
Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press (MPN)
Ukraine Redux – War, Russophobia, & Pipelineistan (Escobar)
A History of the Espionage Act and How it Ensnared Julian Assange (Lauria)
Julian Assange: The Corpse In The Basement Of The West (derstandard.at )

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Vincent
https://twitter.com/i/status/1380790808153047042

 

 

Truth is stranger than fiction,but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
– Mark Twain

 

 

Viruses mutate, albeit in unpredictable ways. This virus could disappear, like so many have. But with, at any given moment, 1-10-100 million new potential hosts, that is not likely. It’s much likelier that variants will evolve that evade vaccines. Especially since, as has been argued, there is no plan to vaccinate some 3-4 billion people.

The present rollout, along with the vaccines themselves, are sold to us as the summit of human intelligence. They could well be the summit of the exact opposite.

South African Variant Can ‘Break Through’ Pfizer Vaccine (R.)

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics. The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit.

But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated – 5.4% versus 0.7%. This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said. “We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection,” said Tel Aviv University’s Adi Stern. The researchers cautioned, though, that the study only had a small sample size of people infected with the South African variant because of its rarity in Israel.

They also said the research was not intended to deduce overall vaccine effectiveness against any variant, since it only looked at people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not at overall infection rates. [..] While the results of the study may cause concern, the low prevalence of the South African strain was encouraging, according to Stern. “Even if the South African variant does break through the vaccine’s protection, it has not spread widely through the population,” said Stern, adding that the British variant may be “blocking” the spread of the South African strain.

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This is just the beginning.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants B.1.351 and P.1 Escape From Neutralizing Antibodies (Cell)

The global spread of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 is devastating health systems and economies worldwide. Recombinant or vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies are used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa), and P.1 (Brazil) harbor mutations in the viral spike (S) protein that may alter virus-host cell interactions and confer resistance to inhibitors and antibodies. Here, using pseudoparticles, we show that entry of all variants into human cells is susceptible to blockade by the entry inhibitors soluble ACE2, Camostat, EK-1, and EK-1-C4. In contrast, entry of the B.1.351 and P.1 variant was partially (Casirivimab) or fully (Bamlanivimab) resistant to antibodies used for COVID-19 treatment. Moreover, entry of these variants was less efficiently inhibited by plasma from convalescent COVID-19 patients and sera from BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may escape neutralizing antibody responses, which has important implications for efforts to contain the pandemic.

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NIH, January 2021. What struck me is the health effects listed in the graphic.

Facemasks in the COVID-19 Era: A Health Hypothesis (NIH)

The physical properties of medical and non-medical facemasks suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block viral particles due to their difference in scales [16], [17], [25]. According to the current knowledge, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nm to 140 nm [nanometers (billionth of a meter)] [16], [17], while medical and non-medical facemasks’ thread diameter ranges from 55 µm to 440 µm [micrometers (one millionth of a meter), which is more than 1000 times larger [25]. Due to the difference in sizes between SARS-CoV-2 diameter and facemasks thread diameter (the virus is 1000 times smaller), SARS-CoV-2 can easily pass through any facemask [25]. In addition, the efficiency filtration rate of facemasks is poor, ranging from 0.7% in non-surgical, cotton-gauze woven mask to 26% in cotton sweeter material [2].

With respect to surgical and N95 medical facemasks, the efficiency filtration rate falls to 15% and 58%, respectively when even small gap between the mask and the face exists [25]. Clinical scientific evidence challenges further the efficacy of facemasks to block human-to-human transmission or infectivity. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 246 participants [123 (50%) symptomatic)] who were allocated to either wearing or not wearing surgical facemask, assessing viruses transmission including coronavirus [26]. The results of this study showed that among symptomatic individuals (those with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose ect…) there was no difference between wearing and not wearing facemask for coronavirus droplets transmission of particles of >5 µm.

Among asymptomatic individuals, there was no droplets or aerosols coronavirus detected from any participant with or without the mask, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals do not transmit or infect other people [26]. This was further supported by a study on infectivity where 445 asymptomatic individuals were exposed to asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier (been positive for SARS-CoV-2) using close contact (shared quarantine space) for a median of 4 to 5 days. The study found that none of the 445 individuals was infected with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase [27].

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The media story is a drug overdose.

DMX Given Covid Vaccine Days Before Lethal Heart Attack (Noq)

Rapper DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmons, died yesterday following complications from a heart attack. The 50-year-old music star was widely reported to have been hospitalized for a drug overdose that induced the heart attack, but a female member of his family told MTO News that he did not take drugs prior to the heart attack. He did, however, receive a Covid vaccination days before. Editor’s Note: We generally do not post single-source stories. The source for the information—MTO News—is a heavily trafficked site (over 10 million visitors per month) with contacts in the rap world. Though we have not been able to independently confirm the interview with a member of Simmons’ family, we are running the story based on the influence of the source publication.

We have reached out to a representative of his staff for confirmation. As of the writing of this story, only MTO News has been granted an interview and released the information. Some news outlets have picked the story up while a few fact-checkers have “debunked” it, though conspicuously none of the fact-checkers have provided information demonstrating the report is false. They’ve only said that they cannot confirm its validity. According to MTO News: “MTO News spoke with a member of the Simmons family who believes that it was NOT drugs that caused the heart attack. In an EXCLUSIVE interview, MTO News spoke with DMX’ family member who told us that the rapper received the COVID vaccine about a week before he suffered from the heart attack.

DMX’s family member told MTO News, “[DMX] got the vaccine when they opened it up to people over 50. He got it so that he could go travel and perform, stuff like that.” New York State opened up the COVID-19 vaccinations for people over the age of 50 in mid March. And the family member suspects that DMX heart attack could have been a reaction to the vaccine. The family member explained, “Everyone [in the news] keeps saying that [DMX] had a drug overdose. How do they know. I’m in the family and no doctor told me anything about an overdose.” The family member is FURIOUS about the speculation surrounding DMX drug use. She told MTO News, “Yes he had past issues with drugs. But nobody knows that he had an OD. It’s f**cked up that its being reported like that.”

She told MTO News that she – and the family – are considering taking legal action against news publications prematurely concluding that DMX suffered a drug overdose. But what is clear – according to the family member – is that DMX did take the Covid vaccine.” Chances are very high that we will not receive much more confirmation about this, especially from mainstream media. Only the family, hospital personnel, or others close to DMX could confirm or deny it, and other than the interview on MTO News, there has been no informed word one way or another. But we do know this. Unless the family makes a statement regarding the Covid vaccine, this story will be treated as “debunked” by those with an agenda to promote the Covid vaccine to everyone, especially African-Americans.

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“Lost in the chaos of the past year is any definitive indication that asymptomatic spread of the virus is widespread or common.”

Data Substantiating Wide Asymptomatic Spread Of Covid-19 Remains Elusive (JTN)

Hard data on the true prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 spread remains elusive, with scientists struggling to quantify just how often carriers of the SARS-Cov-2 virus transmit it without outward signs of illness. Fears that COVID-19 can spread very easily through asymptomatic transmission were a major factor behind the lockdowns and mitigation measures seen across the world over the past year. Health leaders claimed that the threat of symptom-free spread necessitated broad shutdowns of major portions of the economy, indefinite school closures, mandatory public mask-wearing, capacity limits and other social distancing measures, and various other tactics for containing the spread of COVID-19.

Lost in the chaos of the past year is any definitive indication that asymptomatic spread of the virus is widespread or common. Scientists and public health officials have struggled to come up with meaningful epidemiological evidence to that effect, though most have continued insisting that it’s a major contributor to the overall pandemic. In June of last year, WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove encountered significant backlash when she said that, based on current evidence, asymptomatic spread appeared to be “very rare.” Van Kerkhove subsequently qualified her comment, a qualification hyped as a “walkback” by some in the media. Health officials “don’t actually have that answer yet” as to the prevalence of asymptomatic spread, she said in narrowing her previous claim. “I was referring to a small subset of studies.”

Van Kerkhove has not responded to queries since then regarding the evolving study of asymptomatic COVID transmission. Several other scientists, meanwhile, have attempted to answer that question with mixed results. One study from December found that, within households, asymptomatic carriers of the virus passed it on to housemates at the rate of about 0.7%. That investigation made headlines for its apparent demonstration that asymptomatic spread is, in effect, vanishingly rare. Yet at least one coauthor of the study, University of Florida biostatistics Professor Natalie Dean, has been warning since the study’s publication that its findings on that front should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Berlin taking powers away from German states.

German Govt Plans New Harsh Covid-19 Restrictions In Draft Law (RT)

Night-time curfews, sweeping business closures and severe limits on public gatherings are all part of the German government’s new bill aimed at “standardizing” Covid-19 measures to stop the third wave, German media report. Berlin is currently working on amendments to the national Infection Protection Act that would significantly tighten the lockdown restrictions and greatly reduce the federal states’ ability to defy the government’s orders, German media that obtained the draft document report. The document that is expected to be discussed and potentially approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Tuesday includes binding requirements for all federal states where an average seven-day Covid-19 infection rate will rise over 100 per 100,000 people.

Such states will no longer be able to find any excuses to avoid imposing the so-called “emergency brake,” the supposed text of the bill, published by Die Welt on Saturday, reads. All states over this threshold infection rate will be bound to introduce a standard set of measures developed by the federal government, should the legislation come into force. Such measures involve a night-time curfew between 21:00 and 05:00, with exceptions for medical emergencies, professional activities and for looking after people or animals. Private and public gatherings would once again be limited to the members of one household and one person outside of it, with children under 14 excluded from this rule.

All non-essential stores and services, including cafes, clubs, museums and sports facilities, as well as shops other than grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol stations, would be closed. Employers would also have to let their employees work from home if there are no “compelling reasons” for them to stay in the workplace. Universities would switch to distance education, with in-person classes only being allowed if every person attending them presents a negative Covid-19 test result.

Ardern

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Silencing the Hunter story is not enough anymore, now the Guardian attempts to fully whitewash it. And calls him a brave man for writing about it all. “Hunter also uses the book to deny wrongdoing in joining the board of Burisma..”

Well, as Turley wrote: “Burisma and other companies not only gave massive payments to someone without any notable skills or experience, they hired someone who was a drug addict who was, by his own account, a total trainwreck.”

Burisma paid Hunter more than $50,000 a month from 2014 to 2019, aka the cash to buy his drugs. While he was by his own account a completely retarded junkie. And this had nothing to do with his father’s name.

Republicans Deflated As Nation Shrugs At Hunter Biden Revelations (G.)

In the memoir, Beautiful Things, Hunter, 51, details a lifelong struggle with drink and drugs. He writes that his “deep descent” into substance addiction followed the 2015 death of his older brother, Beau, who succumbed to brain cancer aged 46. Hunter admits that “in the last five years alone, my two-decades-long marriage has dissolved, guns have been put in my face, and at one point I dropped clean off the grid, living in $59-a-night Super 8 motels off I-95 while scaring my family even more than myself”. In an interview about the book on CBS, the president’s son recalled going 13 days without sleep as he smoked crack and drank vodka. “I spent more time on my hands and knees picking through rugs – smoking anything that even remotely resembled crack cocaine. I probably smoked more Parmesan cheese than anyone that you know.”

The Biden family staged an intervention at their home in Delaware in 2019, inviting two counselors from a rehab centre to dinner. Hunter swore and ran from the house but was chased down the driveway by his father, who “grabbed me, swung me around, and hugged me. He held me tight in the dark and cried for the longest time. Everybody was outside now.” Hunter also uses the book to deny wrongdoing in joining the board of Burisma, a gas company in Ukraine, where he earned more than $50,000 a month from 2014 to 2019. Republicans allege that he benefited from his family name when his father was vice-president. Hunter’s tax affairs are currently under investigation by the justice department. The memoir has earned positive reviews. Publishers Weekly found that Hunter’s “courageous self-assessment makes the despair of substance abuse devastatingly palpable”.

In a blurb on the book’s jacket, author Stephen King describes it as “harrowing and compulsively readable” with a bravery that is “both heartbreaking and quite gorgeous”. He comments: “Hunter Biden proves again that anybody – even the son of a United States president – can take a ride on the pink horse down nightmare alley.” And Dave Eggers, whose books include the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, writes in another blurb: “Beautiful Things is so concise, so unflinching and propulsive, that outside of turning the pages and occasionally picking my jaw off the ground, I didn’t move between the first page and the last.”

None of this gives Republicans the ammunition they hoped for. Politically, the book has been a dog that didn’t bark (unlike Biden’s actual dogs, Champ and Major, which have made headlines over biting incidents and excrement in a White House hallway) and, instead of turning into a liability, only appears to reinforce Biden’s image as compassionate and humane. Sykes, founder and editor-at-large of the Bulwark website, said: “It’s also a story of a very loving and loyal father and it’s hard to turn that into a negative. There are a lot of parents out there that know how dealing with a child who has problems is one of the greatest challenges you can face and so I think people are as likely to be empathetic as they are to see it as a negative.

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These revelations will also be silenced.

Daily Mail Exposes Hunter Biden Bombshells (ZH)

With Hunter Biden on a serious image rehabilitation tour – a ‘tell all’ book combined with television interviews from friendly outlets designed to invoke pity over the First Son’s crack and hooker habits, the Daily Mail is now telling the rest of the story regarding the contents of his abandoned laptop after Hunter admitted it ‘certainly’ could be his in a Sunday interview with CBS. If you’ve seen the laptop photos which leaked last October, you can probably stop here. The Mail did spare us from blurred pictures of Hunter’s wang, along with several sex tapes released by exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.

“After obtaining a copy of the hard drive, DailyMail.com commissioned top cyber forensics experts Maryman & Associates to analyze its data and determine whether the laptop’s contents were real. The firm’s founder, Brad Maryman, is a 29-year FBI veteran Supervisory Special Agent who served as an Information Security Officer and founded its first computer forensics lab.” -Daily Mail. The Mail obtained over 100,000 text messages, 154,000 emails and over 2,000 photos which were verified by top forensics experts, which reveal that Joe ‘became a punching bag for Hunter’s drug-fueled rants,’ and ‘paid his grandchildren’s bills when Hunter had drained his bank accounts with prostitutes and crack cocaine.’

“Hunter appeared to be obsessed with making and starring in porn films with prostitutes, videos and photos on his laptop show. The hard drive contains hundreds of pictures of naked women and naked selfies of Hunter, as well as dozens of videos. Hunter photographed and filmed himself, often with two prostitutes at a time, in explicit videos that he then posted on adult website Pornhub under the username ‘RHEast’. Hunter filmed himself with the women from his laptop webcam, sometimes shooting at different angles using an iPad and cell phone.”-Daily Mail

“Hunter’s laptop is a pandora’s box of shocking revelations, explicit photos and intimate communications.In the following days, DailyMail.com will publish more shocking stories from Hunter’s laptop, including: • How Hunter blew hundreds of thousands on prostitutes, drugs and luxury cars, leaving him scrambling to avoid jail for $320k in unpaid taxes • How five members of the Biden family have been to rehab for drug or alcohol abuse – and a stunning admission by Joe to his son • The OTHER Biden family member planning to buy and cook crack, after falling into the disastrous addiction with Hunter • Hunter’s unconventional and unlikely relationship with his well-known psychiatrist •The whispered bedroom conversation with a prostitute caught on Hunter’s webcam, in which he confesses he had a previous laptop stolen – by Russians for blackmail.

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“Market enthusiasm”.

More Money Put Into Stocks In Last 5 Months Than Last 12 Years Combined (CNBC)

The latest wave of market enthusiasm has brought with it a stunning rush of money, in which more of investors’ cash has gone to stock-based funds in the last five months than the previous 12 years combined. That statistic, from Bank of America, reflects a period in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen more than 26%. At the same time, the market has undergone some wild trends that included a massive influx to meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings. Trading volume rose 40% in the first quarter from the previous three months, with investors snapping up sectors that performed poorly last year amid hopes for a pronounced economic rebound from the Covid-induced slide in 2020.

Amid the frenzy, some $569 billion has gone to global equity funds since November, compared with $452 billion in the previous 12 years that go back to the beginning of the longest bull market run in history, according to Bank of America’s chief investment strategist, Michael Hartnett. Those numbers easily could exacerbate ongoing worries about financial market bubbles as valuations are around the same levels as just before the dot-com bubble popped in 2000. But these are not ordinary times. “There’s a certain amount of logic to markets right now,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities. “It’s less about irrational exuberance in the overall market, less about the 1999-2000 levels, and more about what’s the driver. The driver is clearly an explosion in economic activity that likely will have some earnings growth in its wake.”


First-quarter earnings season kicks into gear next week, and sentiment is running high. Year-over-year profits are expected to expand by 23.8%, which by itself would be the best growth rate since the third quarter of 2018, according to FactSet. However, what’s even more remarkable is that analysts continue to ratchet up expectations as the profit reports near, which is the opposite of what usually happens. Wall Street generally trims its outlook the closer it gets to the report date.

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“..using fear and shame as a driver of behaviour change.”

Frederick Forsyth Says UK Government Has Launched “Campaign of Mass Fear” (SN)

Iconic author Frederick Forsyth has accused the UK government of waging a “campaign of mass fear” against the British public by using psychological methods to ensure compliance with lockdown that resemble those used against East Berliners in the 1960’s. Forsyth was responding to an article published in the Telegraph which exposed the “covert tactics” being used by the British government to frighten the public into complying with COVID regulations. The article quoted a retired NHS consultant clinical psychologist who warned that there was “growing concern within my field about using fear and shame as a driver of behaviour change.”

Gary Sidley and 46 of his colleagues wrote to the British Psychological Society to express “concerns about the activities of Government-employed psychologists … in their mission to gain the public’s mass compliance with the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.” The letter states that the UK government is deploying “covert psychological strategies – that operate below the level of people’s awareness – to ‘nudge’ citizens to conform to a contentious and unprecedented public health policy.” Commenting on the article, Frederick Forsyth, author of classic thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File, wrote to the Telegraph to express his alarm about how the British public had been terrorized by lockdown propaganda.

“Congratulations to the Telegraph and Gordon Rayner for revealing that the campaign of mass fear that reduced a once brave nation to trembling terror was deliberately organised to secure obedience to the policy of lockdown,” wrote Forsyth. “I have only once before seen anything like it. This was when I was posted to East Germany in 1962. Such a brainwashing tactic was employed to frighten East Berliners into believing that the Berlin Wall was a defensive measure to protect them from tiny West Berlin, and that the Stasi was their guardian. The wall was of course an instrument of enslavement.”

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Bellingcat is bad news.

Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press (MPN)

[..] the evidence compiled in this investigation suggests Bellingcat is far from independent and neutral, as it is funded by Western governments, staffed with former military and state intelligence officers, repeats official narratives against enemy states, and serves as a key part in what could be called a “spook to Bellingcat to corporate media propaganda pipeline,” presenting Western government narratives as independent research. An alarming number of Bellingcat’s staff and contributors come from highly suspect backgrounds. Senior Investigator Nick Waters, for example, spent three years as an officer in the British Army, including a tour in Afghanistan, where he furthered the British state’s objectives in the region. Shortly after leaving the service, he was hired by Bellingcat to provide supposedly bias-free investigations into the Middle East.

Former contributor Cameron Colquhoun’s past is even more suspect. Colquhoun spent a decade in a senior position in GCHQ (Britain’s version of the NSA), where he ran cyber and Middle Eastern terror operations. The Scot specializes in Middle Eastern security and also holds a qualification from the U.S. State Department. None of this, however, is disclosed by Bellingcat, which merely describes him as the managing director of a private intelligence company that “conduct[s] ethical investigations” for clients around the world — thus depriving readers of key information they need to make informed judgments on what they are reading. There are plenty of former American spooks on Bellingcat’s roster as well.

Former contributor Chris Biggers, who penned more than 60 articles for the site between 2014 and 2017, previously worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — a combat support unit that works under the Department of Defense and the broader Intelligence Community. Biggers is now the director of an intelligence company headquartered in Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington (close to other semi-private contractor groups like Booz Allen Hamilton), that boasts of having retired Army and Air Force generals on its board. Again, none of this is disclosed by Bellingcat, where Biggers’s bio states only that he is a “public and private sector consultant based in Washington, D.C.”

For six years, Dan Kaszeta was a U.S. Secret Service agent specializing in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and for six more he worked as program manager for the White House Military Office. At Bellingcat, he would provide some of the intellectual ammunition for Western accusations about chemical weapons use in Syria and Russia’s alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal. Kaszeta is also a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank funded by a host of Western governments as well as weapons contractors such as Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Its president is a British field marshal (the highest attainable military rank) and its senior vice president is retired American General David Petraeus. Its chairman is Lord Hague, the U.K.’s secretary of state between 2010 and 2015.

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Very good overview of what may well lead to an imminent war.

“Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg.”

Ukraine Redux – War, Russophobia, & Pipelineistan (Escobar)

Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let’s cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war. On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021. The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev’s official policy. That’s exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of “Russian aggression.”

Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation. It was this de facto declaration of war, which Moscow took very seriously, that prompted the deployment of extra Russian forces to Crimea and closer to the Russian border with Donbass. Significantly, these include the crack 76th Guards Air Assault Brigade, known as the Pskov paratroopers and, according to an intel report quoted to me, capable of taking Ukraine in only six hours. It certainly does not help that in early April US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, fresh from his former position as a board member of missile manufacturer Raytheon, called Zelensky to promise “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” That ties in with Moscow’s interpretation that Zelensky would never have signed his decree without a green light from Washington.

Sevastopol, already when I visited in December 2018, is one of the most heavily defended places on the planet, impervious even to a NATO attack. In his decree, Zelensky specifically identifies Sevastopol as a prime target. Once again, we’re back to 2014 post-Maidan unfinished business. To contain Russia, the US deep state/NATO combo needs to control the Black Sea – which, for all practical purposes, is now a Russian lake. And to control the Black Sea, they need to “neutralize” Crimea. If any extra proof was necessary, it was provided by Zelensky himself on Tuesday this week in a phone call with NATO secretary-general and docile puppet Jens Stoltenberg. Zelensky uttered the key phrase: “NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass” – which means, in practice, NATO expanding its “presence” in the Black Sea.

“Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia, which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping.” All of these crucial developments are and will continue to be invisible to global public opinion when it comes to the predominant, hegemon-controlled narrative. The deep state/NATO combo is imprinting 24/7 that whatever happens next is due to “Russian aggression.” Even if the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) launch a blitzkrieg against the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. (To do so against Sevastopol in Crimea would be certified mass suicide). In the United States, Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices to state the obvious: “According to the media branch of the US military-industrial-congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more ‘Russian aggression.’”

A possibly hopeful sign is that on March 31, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, talked on the phone about the proverbial “issues of mutual interest.” Days later, a Franco-German statement came out, calling on “all parties” to de-escalate. Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg. The problem is Merkel and Macron don’t control NATO. Yet Merkel and Macron at least are fully aware that if the US/NATO combo attacks Russian forces or Russian passport holders who live in Donbass, the devastating response will target the command centers that coordinated the attacks.

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The Espionage Act should non exist. It’s a giant stain on everything American.

A History of the Espionage Act and How it Ensnared Julian Assange (Lauria)

From its earliest years the United States has found ways to deny the rights of a free press when it was politically expedient to do so. One of the latest ways was to arrest WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange two years ago today and to indict him — the first time a publisher and journalist has ever been charged under the 1917 Espionage Act for possessing and publishing state secrets. Though several U.S. administrations had come close to punishing journalists for revealing defense information, they all pulled back, until Assange. They were restrained because of a conflict with the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from passing any law, including the Espionage Act, that abridges press freedom. Until that legal conflict is resolved in court, resulting in parts of the Espionage Act being found unconstitutional, the language of the Act threatening press freedom remains.


Bolstered by 1950 amendments to the Act, the Donald Trump administration crossed a redline to arrest a journalist. A 1961 amendment made it possible to indict a non-U.S. citizen, acting outside U.S. territory. The Trump administration’s first indictment of a publisher opened an alarming precedent for the future of journalism. President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has not reversed Trump’s move to continue to seek Assange’s extradition from Britain though it could have. Instead it decided on Feb. 13 to pursue the appeal of Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision not to extradite Assange to the U.S. on health grounds. If the U.S. should win on appeal, Assange will be brought to the Eastern District of Virginia to face 17 Espionage Act counts, amounting to 175 years in prison, as Baraitser challenged none of those counts in her judgement.

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2 years ago today, Julian was “arrested”.

Google translate

“The verdict, as it was passed, calmed the public discourse, took the wind out of the sails of critics, the big scandal did not materialize, and public attention has waned again.”

Julian Assange: The Corpse In The Basement Of The West (derstandard.at )

Immediately after a British court had rejected the US application for extradition of the Australian Julian Assange on January 4th, the user “Spezialfahrzeug” in the STANDARD forum couldn’t help but make a malicious comment after my last blog post to put on this topic: “Well, Mr. Rosner, your written scandal process is not taking place, as we know today – and actually always knew.” So the court ruling of January 4th would have made all criticism of the proceedings against Assange obsolete, the British judiciary would now be okay after all, and we could be reassured? Unfortunately, things are completely different.

If one were aiming to tinker with a conspiracy theory, one could literally believe in a very sophisticated conspiracy, the thing has now gone so favorably for the opponents of Assange due to the subtly formulated judgment of Judge Vanessa Baraitser. If the court had simply flatly approved the request for extradition, then this might have sparked a greater wave of outrage among the European public. The protests got food and multiplied. And then perhaps some of the top politicians in the EU who had been hesitant until then would have spoken out more clearly against it. The British judiciary would have been in a bad position and the matter would have been taken to the European Court of Justice. All embarrassing. There could have been headwinds in the USA too, because free journalism is a highly respected commodity there.

They have now saved themselves. The verdict, as it was passed, calmed the public discourse, took the wind out of the sails of critics, the big scandal did not materialize, and public attention has waned again. Assange can continue to rot in jail and almost everyone looks the other way. Everything seems to be fine again anyway. In fact, however, the scandal did not end with this judgment; on the contrary, it was prolonged. The situation of the Wikileaks founder, and this is deliberately overlooked by many, has so far not changed for the better. For a good two years now, Assange has been in solitary confinement – also known as “white torture” – in Belmarsh, a maximum security prison in London, which is intended for murderers and terrorists who are dangerous to the public and whose detention conditions are so notorious that it is the “British Guantanamo” ” is called. The judgment of January 4th has bizarrely changed nothing at all.

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“Sharks’ Skylight,” by Renee Capozzola. Photo taken near shore of Mo’orea, French Polynesia.

 

 

Sea angel

 

 

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Apr 042021
 
 April 4, 2021  Posted by at 2:31 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  19 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Lilac Bush 1889

 

 

Granted, there are various levels of dumb acts and theories being passed as science. Spain mandating a law that says people have to wear a face mask when swimming in the sea is a extreme example. That not only has nothing to do with science, though undoubtedly they will say it’s based on it, it’s acutely dangerous. But there’s so much more.

I was reading the following for the New York Times (through local paper Kathimerini) this morning, and it gave me just about the right amount of anger. There are so many clowns out there that tell you they base their measures and restrictions on “the science”, but have no idea what that is. Injecting millions with untested substances is not science, it’s the opposite of science. Science would require evidence that such substances do not do harm (Hippocrates), and there is no such evidence.

And now we’re going to let those who have been “fully vaccinated” with these so-called vaccines, loose upon the world. What could go wrong? Well, thing is, we have no idea. The CDC is not alone in grossly botching their job, but they’re at the vanguard.

 

CDC Says Travel Is Safe For Those Fully Vaccinated, But Issues Caution

Americans who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can safely travel at home and abroad, as long as they take basic precautions like wearing masks, federal health officials announced Friday, a long-awaited change from the dire government warnings that have kept many millions home for the past year.

In announcing the change at a White House news conference, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that they preferred that people avoid travel. But they said growing evidence of the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines — which have been given to more than 100 million Americans — suggested that inoculated people could do so “at low risk to themselves.”

The shift in the CDC’s official stance comes at a moment of both hope and peril in the pandemic. The pace of vaccinations has been rapidly accelerating across the country, and the number of deaths has been declining.

Yet cases are increasing significantly in many states as new variants of the coronavirus spread through the country. Just last Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, warned of a potential fourth wave if states and cities continued to loosen public health restrictions, telling reporters that she had feelings of “impending doom.”

Some public health experts were surprised by Friday’s announcement and expressed concern that the government was sending confusing signals to the public.

“It’s a mix of ‘please don’t travel’ at the same time this is easing travel for a subset of people,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. “I think it’s very confusing and goes counter to the message we heard earlier this week to ‘stay put,’ ‘hold on,’ ‘be patient.’ And that worries me. Public health messaging has to be very clear, very consistent, and it has to be very simple.”

 

Walensky herself seemed to acknowledge the apparent mixed messaging during Friday’s news conference. “The science shows us that getting fully vaccinated allows you to do more things safely, and it’s important for us to provide that guidance even in the context of rising cases,” she said.

[..] Federal officials remained adamant that people who have not been fully vaccinated should not travel at all, a position widely supported by public health experts.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can return to travel, but if you are not, there is still a lot of virus circulating, and it is still a risky undertaking, and you should defer until you get vaccinated or the situation improves,” said Caitlin Rivers, a public health researcher and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

If unvaccinated people must travel, the CDC recommends they be tested for coronavirus infection one to three days before their trip and again three to five days after it is over. They should self-quarantine for seven days after a trip if they get tested and for 10 days if they do not get tested, the agency said.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot. Some 58 million people in the US, 22% of the adult population, have been fully vaccinated, according to the latest numbers from the CDC.

Just over a fifth of Americans have been fully vaccinated, and most of those people are too old and frail or otherwise compromised to do much traveling. Great moment to come with travel guidance. Moreover, as this little table from the Lancet shows, 40% of people are protected by their antibodies for only 90 days, and 70% for only 125 days. And that’s not the worst of it: according to the Forbes article I drew that graph from,

Though the correlates for protection weren’t exactly cut and dry, a handful stood out as potentially significant. Most salient among these was disease severity, meaning the price of admission to the persistent group was poorer health outcomes overall. The more robust a patient’s antibody response, the greater the chance they previously developed pneumonia, needed supplemental oxygen, spent time in the intensive care unit, and so on. A more technical determinant was the avidity, or binding strength, between SARS-CoV-2 and IgG antibodies, which typically help form the basis of a longer-term immune protection.


Table 1. A table based on data from the persistent antibody study. “DYNAMICS OF SARS-COV-2 NEUTRALISING ANTIBODY RESPONSES AND DURATION OF IMMUNITY: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY” HTTPS://WWW.THELANCET.COM/JOURNALS/LANMIC/ARTICLE/PIIS2666-5247(21)00025-2/FULLTEXT

 

That’s not a definitive word on antibodies, far from it, but that is exactly the problem. We simply don’t know, but some of us do pretend we do. Back to the “science”:

Scientists are still not certain whether vaccinated people may become infected, even briefly, and transmit the virus to others. A recent CDC study suggested such cases might be rare, but until that question is resolved, many public health officials feel it is unwise to tell vaccinated Americans simply to do as they please. They say it is important for all vaccinated people to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and take other precautions.

How does that rhyme with Walensky’s “The science shows us that getting fully vaccinated allows you to do more things safely, and it’s important for us to provide that guidance even in the context of rising cases”? It is nonsense, that’s not what the science shows. All we have is a handful of experiments, theories and assumptions.

Under the new CDC guidance, fully vaccinated Americans who are traveling domestically do not need to be tested for the coronavirus or follow quarantine procedures at the destination or after returning home. When they travel abroad, they only need to get a coronavirus test or quarantine if the country they are going to requires it.

However, the guidance says they must have a negative coronavirus test before boarding a flight back to the United States, and they should get tested again three to five days after their return.

The recommendation is predicated on the idea that vaccinated people may still become infected with the virus. The CDC also cited a lack of vaccine coverage in other countries and concern about the potential introduction and spread of new variants of the virus that are more prevalent overseas.

The new advice adds to CDC recommendations issued in early March saying that fully vaccinated people may gather in small groups in private settings without masks or social distancing and may visit with unvaccinated individuals from a single household as long as they are at low risk for developing severe disease if infected with the virus.


Travel has already been increasing nationwide as the weather warms and Americans grow fatigued with pandemic restrictions. Last Sunday was the busiest day at domestic airports since the pandemic began. According to the Transportation Security Administration, nearly 1.6 million people passed through the security checkpoints at US airports.

If governments and their health boards like the CDC were actually interested in science, they would have campaigned starting a year or more ago, to boost the immune systems of their citizens. That is science. The impact of vitamin D on immune systems is science. The impact of healthy food is. The extra boost from ivermectin is. This could have saved millions of lives.

But your government did none of all that, so you’re on your own. Follow the science, not your goverment. They’re potentially dangerous for you, as are the “vaccines”. And yes, we get the notion of “fatigued with pandemic restrictions”, but stop calling your political calculations vis a vis that, science.

 

 

 

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Apr 042021
 


Georgia O’Keeffe New York night 1929

 

We Cannot Afford to Censor Dissenting Voices During a Pandemic (Kulldorff)
Boris Johnson Ditches Plans For Covid Vaccine Passport For Pubs (Sun)
Policymakers Use Panic To Shift Blame For Covid-19 Onto Us, The People (RT)
Do We Now Need Permission To Be Free? (Black)
The Texas Neanderthals Were Right (Spiked)
Rapid Test Result To Be Confirmed With PCR Amid Hunt For New Variants (Ind.)
Persistence Of Covid-19 Antibodies Varies Widely From Person To Person (F.)
JPMorgan Reveals ‘Big’ Bitcoin Price Prediction (F.)
The Crazy Claims Against Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (NYP)
‘Your Life Is Not About Yourself’: Jimmy Lai (HKAD)
Giant Pieces Of Ancient Alien Planet May Be Lodged Under Earth’s Surface (JTN)

 

 

 

 

Epic. This same pastor, Artur Pawlowski in Calgary, was fined $1,200 a year ago for feeding the homeless.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1378506465158303747

 

 

“If the Prime Minister needs the comfort of company with other politicians, get in touch with Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida.”

We Cannot Afford to Censor Dissenting Voices During a Pandemic (Kulldorff)

The media has been very reluctant to report reliable scientific and public health information about the pandemic. Instead they have broadcast unverified information such as the model predictions from Imperial College, they have spread unwarranted fear that undermine people’s trust in public health and they have promoted naïve and inefficient counter measures such as lockdowns, masks and contact tracing. While I wished that neither SAGE nor anyone else would argue against long-standing principles of public health, the media should not censor such information. During a pandemic, it is more important than ever that media can report freely. There are two major reasons for this: (i) While similar to existing coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus that we are constantly learning more about and because of that, it takes time to reach scientific conclusions.

With censorship it takes longer and we cannot afford that during a pandemic. (ii) In order to maintain trust in public health, it is important that any thoughts and ideas about the pandemic can be voiced, debated and either confirmed or debunked. [..] I hope that the UK Government will quickly reverse course to avoid further unnecessary damage from both COVID-19 and the lockdowns. Why the UK Government and SAGE are not looking at public health more broadly is incomprehensible to me. Chris and Patrick got it right in early March 2020, when they argued for focused protection of high-risk older people without a destructive lockdown for children and young adults. Chris, Patrick, take advice from yourself from a little over a year ago.

You can complement that with the extensive knowledge of epidemiology professors such as Sunetra Gupta and Carl Heneghan at Oxford University, Ellen Townsend at the University of Nottingham, Francoix Balloux at University College London and Paul McKeigue at University of Edinburgh. It should now be obvious to everyone that lockdowns, masks and contract tracing failed to protect older high-risk people, as it could not suppress and contain COVID-19, with far too many deaths as a result. Lockdowns are just a dragged out let-it-rip strategy. That was clear to most infectious disease epidemiologists already a year ago. The fatal logical flaw of the lockdowners has been that we must lock down because COVID-19 is dangerous. The opposite is true. Because it is a very dangerous disease among the old, they should have been properly protected through focused protection.

Instead of continuing to take advice from those who were wrong then, Boris should listen to those who were right. In the UK, you have the world’s preeminent infectious disease epidemiologist in professor Sunetra Gupta. She can help implement a focused protection strategy of older high-risk individuals through vaccination and other means, while removing the lockdowns. If the Prime Minister needs the comfort of company with other politicians, get in touch with Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida.

Read more …

Logic is overrated.

Boris Johnson Ditches Plans For Covid Vaccine Passport For Pubs (Sun)

Boris Johnson has ditched plans to force customers to show a vaccine passport every time they go into a pub. In a major boost for the hospitality trade, the PM will exempt bars and restaurants from new Covid safety rules. Only those attending mass gatherings, such as festivals or major sports events, will be required to provide proof of a jab, test or natural immunity. Landlords, who can reopen outdoors-only a week tomorrow in England, will soon be free to admit anyone who follows existing guidelines on social distancing and mask-wearing. Boris’s change of heart came after an angry backlash from 72 MPs who branded the idea “divisive and discriminatory”. But he will tomorrow announce his determination to press ahead with a “vaccine certification” system for larger venues from next month.

NHS chiefs are developing a new app members of the public will have to show to gain access to sports stadiums, theatres, festivals and nightclubs. Those without a smartphone will get a paper certificate. The system will be trialled at nine pilot events over the next few weeks, where experts will also explore how high-tech ventilation and Covid tests on entry are working. Mr Johnson will study the feedback to help decide how to manage other large-scale gatherings as restrictions are lifted. The PM said: “We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”


Liverpool will be a key test centre for the opening up of the rest of the country — with four pilot events being held at a comedy club, a cinema, a nightclub and a business conference arena from next week. And some fans will be allowed at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final on April 25, the FA Cup final on May 15 and a semi-final on April 18. The World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and a mass participation run at Hatfield, Herts, are also involved.

Read more …

Ashley Frawley, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at Swansea University and the author of Semiotics of Happiness: Rhetorical Beginnings of a Public Problem.

Policymakers Use Panic To Shift Blame For Covid-19 Onto Us, The People (RT)

The message is clear: Regardless of who you are, you are at risk. Stay home, clap for the NHS. Or this could be you. This expansion of risk is a common tactic in public health messaging. While risks tend to be patterned, officials find it politically useful to play down patterns and ‘democratise risks’: Take a risk specific to some people and generalise it to everyone so everyone feels equally afraid. This avoids accusations of discrimination against any one group, and officials can never be accused of playing down risks. But it also encourages us to see the world as much riskier and scarier than it is. Is it any wonder that levels of health anxiety have steadily increased, particularly among young people who in many ways have least to fear?

But for policymakers, anxiety is useful. Ideally, citizens imagine any risk, no matter how small, as quite likely to happen and act accordingly. Indeed, a level of crippling anxiety that means you cannot leave the house is the goal. But as we have seen with overblown risks regarding, for example, child abduction, this level of fear cannot simply be switched off. The profound effects on society long outlive the initial panic – which is why children’s unsupervised play has dwindled. Yet as audiences, we knew that in the balance of probabilities, the cropped-headed patient on the gurney would not be us. For all the attempts by government officials to claim that ‘the virus does not discriminate’, it was difficult to deny that, in terms of deaths, it clearly did.

But behavioural scientists viewed people’s level-headed appraisals of risks as another problem to be overcome. In a report by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (with the fittingly dystopian acronym ‘SPI-B’), the authors bemoaned the fact that people were comforted by low death rates in their own age groups. “A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened,” they lamented. In response, they advised governments to ramp up fears. To accomplish this, a different approach was needed. In a series of posters released weeks later, a yellow and red filtered NHS worker in full PPE looks at audiences with a slightly cocked head and serious eyes. Her surgical mask looks more like a gas mask than a protective covering. This grainy, dystopian aesthetic was beamed out on social media with the message:

‘IF YOU GO OUT, YOU CAN SPREAD IT. PEOPLE WILL DIE.’ It is this emphasis on threats to others that became the dominant tactic of the campaign. You are at risk. But more importantly, you are A risk. Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in the ‘look into my eyes’ campaign, where extreme close ups of coronavirus patients in oxygen masks accompanied by messages like, ‘Look him in the eyes. And tell him you always keep a safe distance.’ If things have gone wrong, it is not because of government failures to, for example, protect care homes or stop the virus leaking out of hospitals. No, it must be you.

Read more …

“You might be wondering why the government has been using the Public Health Act, rather than including a general lockdown clause in the Coronavirus Act, or even using the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which was designed precisely for an emergency such as Covid-19. The reason is simple: to avoid parliamentary scrutiny.”

Do We Now Need Permission To Be Free? (Black)

As Britain was heading into lockdown on 23 March 2020, UK health secretary Matt Hancock was busy introducing the accompanying legislation in parliament. ‘To defeat [Covid-19]’, he said, ‘we are proposing extraordinary measures of a kind never seen before in peacetime’. He was underselling them. In their repressiveness, their illiberalism and often their sheer arbitrariness, the ‘extraordinary measures’ the government was then about to impose on British society had never been seen before in wartime, either. They exceeded powers granted by the Defence of the Realm Act 1914. And they went beyond those of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939. These were draconian pieces of legislation, placing people and property at the service of the state. But they certainly didn’t authorise the de facto imprisonment of every single citizen in his or her home.

Because that is what Hancock’s ‘extraordinary measures’ amounted to: the quarantining of everybody, regardless of health. As Lord Justice Hickinbottom described it, the government’s response to Covid represented ‘possibly the most restrictive regime on the public life of persons and businesses ever’. Take the Coronavirus Act itself. This hulking 348-page document, rushed through parliament in just four days, was focused mainly on marshalling the nation’s medical resources and authorising the massive public expenditure that was to come. But it still found room to stamp all over civil liberties. It granted the state unprecedented powers of detention, allowing police, public-health officials and immigration officers to detain for up to 14 days those whom they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect of being ‘potentially infectious’.

Which gave them the power to detain, well, anyone. The act also invested the government with the powers to close premises, cancel events, prohibit gatherings and ban protests. That act is now halfway through its two-year lifespan, but, troublingly, it can be extended if the government decides ‘it is prudent to do so’. Not that it seems to need the Coronavirus Act to deprive us of our most basic freedoms. No, for this the government has principally used the Public Health Act 1984 (as amended in 2008). This authorises it to create a regulatory regime ‘for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public-health response to the incidence or spread of infection or contamination’.

Indeed, it was on the basis of the Public Health Act that the government first created the regulations that, in steadily expanding form, have dominated and restricted our lives for a year, from closing all businesses to confining people to their homes unless they had a ‘reasonable excuse’. You might be wondering why the government has been using the Public Health Act, rather than including a general lockdown clause in the Coronavirus Act, or even using the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which was designed precisely for an emergency such as Covid-19. The reason is simple: to avoid parliamentary scrutiny. General lockdown measures in the Coronavirus Act would have rightly demanded a lot more interrogation. And, under the conditions of the Civil Contingencies Act, regulations have to be put before parliament in draft form before they are issued. And even if approved, they will lapse within 30 days.

Read more …

Yes, but stop the “vaccine” propaganda.

The Texas Neanderthals Were Right (Spiked)

In early March, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced he was ending the state’s mandate for people to wear masks, and reopening businesses at full capacity. Media outlets went into overdrive to denounce him and predict catastrophe. CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza called Abbott’s decision ‘head-scratching, anti-science’. ‘Model projections for Texas show worst-case scenario without mask mandate’, warned an ABC TV station in Houston. Abbott’s move was part of a ‘bold plan to kill another 500,000 Americans’, screamed Vanity Fair. Politicians also rushed to criticise Abbott. Former representative and failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called his decision a ‘death warrant for Texans’. California governor Gavin Newsom said Texas was ‘absolutely reckless’ for lifting its Covid rules.

No less than President Joe Biden felt obliged to speak out and condemn Abbott. ‘The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine – take off your mask, forget it. It still matters.’ Well, it appears the Neanderthals in Texas got it right, and Biden is the one whose thinking is caveman-like. Now, three weeks after Abbott’s order to lift the mask mandate went into effect, the Covid situation has improved in Texas. New cases are down, to their lowest level since June. Hospitalisations have fallen to their lowest level since autumn. Death rates have plummeted. Furthermore, the outlook for vaccinations in the state appears bright, with a record daily number of people receiving shots. Adults of all ages are now eligible for a vaccine jab, a faster pace than many other states.

Have Biden and the media apologised for slandering Texas? And have they learned that lifting mandates on mask-wearing and removing other restrictions does not lead to Covid-spreading? Of course not. Instead, Biden cited an uptick in new cases nationally to bang on again about masks. ‘I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor, and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate’, he said earlier this week. ‘Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.’ Biden’s plea came on the same day that CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned of ‘impending doom’. Holding back tears, she said: ‘Right now, I am scared.’

Overwrought emotionalism from the head of the CDC is not helpful, to put it mildly. Nor is a president insisting on state-mandated mask-wearing. Biden’s message implied that the latest increase in cases was down to states like Texas that have loosened restrictions on activity, but that is not true. In fact, the national increase was driven mainly by New York, New Jersey and Michigan – states that have imposed the most onerous of restrictions. As it happens, there is no need for alarm in the US. Yes, new cases are up in some states, but far below the January peak. The levels are much too low to talk about a ‘fourth wave’.

With the rollout of vaccines in progress, it is important for any discussion of Covid’s spread to break down findings by age group. And here we find encouraging developments. Nearly three-quarters of those aged 65 and older have been vaccinated, a group that has accounted for about 80 per cent of all Covid-related deaths. Accordingly, hospitalisations and deaths among seniors have been reduced dramatically. The latest increase in new cases is concentrated among younger people. This spread from older to younger was seen in Israel as vaccines were implemented there, but proved to be a temporary phenomenon. Also, we know that younger people are much less likely to be hospitalised or die from Covid. That’s why it is unlikely the latest increase in cases will lead to a corresponding increase in deaths.

Read more …

Self testing is all the rage suddenly.

Rapid Test Result To Be Confirmed With PCR Amid Hunt For New Variants (Ind.)

The government is to use standard PCR testing to confirm positive Covid-19 results returned via rapid, on-the-spot tests which are now being used by millions of people every day across the UK. This comes as part of efforts to quickly detect new and emerging “variants of concern”, some of which are partially capable of evading immunity triggered by infection or vaccination. For those people who test positive via a lateral flow device (LFD), which is capable of returning a result in 30 minutes, the result will then be cross-checked using a PCR test. These are more accurate than the LFDs and also make use of new technology, known as genotype assay testing, which could halve the time it takes to identify if a positive Covid test is caused by a variant of concern.

This will allow positive cases to be traced sooner and stop the spread of variants on UK soil, the government has said. Genotype assay testing is compatible only with PCR tests and not LFDs, meaning the latter is unable to detect or trace the spread of variants. The UK has bought millions of LFD tests as part of plans to reopen society. Teachers, schoolchildren and their families without any symptoms are being asked to test themselves using the kits twice a week. Contact tracing will continue to be implemented in the eventuality of a positive LFD result, but will be stopped automatically after receipt of a negative confirmatory PCR test.

NHS Test and Trace has introduced new features that will automatically inform anyone self-isolating from a positive LFD, along with their contacts, to stop isolating if the confirmatory PCR is taken within two days and is negative. Jon Deeks, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham, said the new policy was “very welcome”. “This will ensure that the risk that individuals are unnecessarily isolated through false positives is reduced,” he told The Independent. “It is only a shame that it has taken so many weeks for concerns raised by the Royal Statistical Society and others to be addressed, with many children unnecessarily missing school as a result.”

Read more …

Curious pattern.

Persistence Of Covid-19 Antibodies Varies Widely From Person To Person (F.)

One of the greatest unsolved mysteries of Covid-19 is why the neutralizing antibodies our bodies generate in response to the virus tend to dwindle in number so quickly. A small minority of studies, including one completed in Iceland last summer, have observed lengthier periods of persistence in their participants, but the vast majority—spanning a wide breadth of people and places, from specialized Covid-19 hospitals in China to healthcare workers in Tennessee—concluded that anti-Covid-19 antibodies were fast to fade, so much so that some patients didn’t even appear to develop any, at least not at levels that could be detected by researchers. Another way of interpreting this array of data, however, is that antibody persistence varies from person to person—meaning people with longer-lasting antibodies wouldn’t be outliers, but just one clause of a general rule.

This is the argument made by a new study published in The Lancet last week, which sorted participants into five different categories based on the titer and duration of their neutralizing antibody response. While distribution between them was by no means equal, it ranged enough to beg the question of whether current conceptions of immunity from Covid-19, which influence everything from nationwide vaccine strategies to our individual choices and behaviors, require revision. The subjects of the study were 164 Covid-19 patients living in Singapore. Researchers collected data on these patients using both neutralizing and binding assays over a period of 180 days, then plugged that data into an algorithmic model to predict how long their antibodies would last in the years and even decades following initial infection.

Based on the longevity of their antibody responses, patients were sorted into one of five groups: the negative group, or patients whose antibodies never reached detectable levels; the rapid waning group, or patients whose antibody levels were detectable within 20 days of infection, but dropped in less than 180 days; the slow waning group, or patients who still tested antibody-positive 180 days after infection; the persistent group, or patients whose antibody levels, over many months, showed little to no signs of decay; and the delayed response group, or patients who, against all odds, had a late surge in antibody levels later in their recovery as opposed to after infection.

Earlier immunological research on Covid-19 placed most patients in one of the first two categories—negative or rapid waning. But this study found that the spread between the rapid waning, slow waning, and persistent groups was as close to even as it gets, with about 29.8 percent of participants falling in the rapid waning group, 29 percent in the slow waning group, and 31.7 percent in the persistent group. Just below 12 percent landed in the negative group, with a small sliver—just 1.8 percent—rounding out the curve in the delayed response group.


Table 1. A table based on data from the persistent antibody study. “DYNAMICS OF SARS-COV-2 NEUTRALISING ANTIBODY RESPONSES AND DURATION OF IMMUNITY: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY” HTTPS://WWW.THELANCET.COM/JOURNALS/LANMIC/ARTICLE/PIIS2666-5247(21)00025-2/FULLTEXT

Read more …

Any self-interest?

JPMorgan Reveals ‘Big’ Bitcoin Price Prediction (F.)

Bitcoin has won its fair share of Wall Street supporters this year amid a bull run that’s seen it soar around 500%. The bitcoin price hit highs of just over $60,000 per bitcoin last month before falling back slightly but has since made up lost ground. Meanwhile, the broader cryptocurrency market has surged to almost $2 trillion—boosted by decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens. Now, analysts at Wall Street banking giant and former bitcoin skeptic JPMorgan have said bitcoin could climb as high as $130,000 in the long-term if it continues to see its volatility converge with that of gold’s. “Considering how big the financial investment into gold is, any such crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency implies big upside for bitcoin over the long term,” JPMorgan analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in a note to clients this week.


The bank found that a six-month measure of bitcoin volatility appeared to be stabilizing around the 73% mark—suggesting “tentative signs of bitcoin volatility normalization” that could help to “reinvigorate” interest from institutional investors. High volatility “acts as a headwind towards further institutional adoption,” according to JPMorgan. The bitcoin price has soared as institutional investors including London-based asset manager Ruffer and insurance giant MassMutual have bought into bitcoin—with Elon Musk’s Tesla topping off a series of high-profile bitcoin bets. The bitcoin price has climbed from around $10,000 per bitcoin to around $60,000 as a result, but JPMorgan thinks it could still have some way to run. “Mechanically, the bitcoin price would have to rise [to] $130,000, to match the total private sector investment in gold,” JPMorgan analysts wrote.

Read more …

Quite the story. Stay tuned.

The Crazy Claims Against Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (NYP)

An alleged orgy with prostitutes. Accusations of sex with an underage girl. A trophy photo of a woman wearing only a hula hoop. And a convoluted extortion plot involving a likely dead American hostage in Iran. Even by Florida standards, the Matt Gaetz saga is downright bizarre – and getting weirder by the day. Before this week, the young Sunshine State congressman and ally of former President Donald Trump was best known, like his mentor, for his ambitious conservatism and promontory coiffure. But this week, the Republican has faced a daily flurry of scandalous ≠headlines. Most seriously, he is being investigated by the Justice Department for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl, and for paying for her to travel with him across state lines, potentially violating federal sex-trafficking laws.

Gaetz denies the allegations – but not the fact of the investigation. Then, on Thursday, CNN alleged that he had shown fellow lawmakers nude photos of women he said he’d slept with, including one photographed wearing a hula hoop, and nothing else. There have also been claims by two of Gaetz’s enemies that the FBI has photos of him in a “sexual orgy with underage prostitutes.” It’s all enough to make his penchant for posing on Instagram without pants, as he did in a July posting he captioned, “Covid work!” seem tame by comparison. This is how the latest Gaetz drama has played out so far: News of the sex-trafficking investigation, launched in the final months of the last administration, broke Tuesday in The New York Times.

The Pensacola bachelor, 38 — whose engagement to Harvard business school student Ginger Luckey, 26, was announced on Twitter by Fox’s Jeanine Pirro in December — immediately denied he had sex with a minor or transported one across state lines. “In the strongest possible terms. I deny that I have ever been with someone underage,” he told The Post on Tuesday. “That is false,” he insisted. [..] Then there’s the Iranian hostage angle. McGee and ex-Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent didn’t want the money for themselves, necessarily, Gaetz is alleging. They wanted to use the money to free Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent taken hostage by Iran in 2007, and declared dead by his family last year. McGee, meanwhile, has denied Gaetz’s hostage-extortion plot allegations, calling them “a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking of minors,” as he told The Washington Post. And McGee is fighting Gaetz with banner-headline dirt of his own.

Read more …

Jimmy Lai was just convicted, with 6 others, for organizing a protest. He faces years in prison.

‘Your Life Is Not About Yourself’: Jimmy Lai (HKAD)

Lai was born in 1948 in Guangzhou to a family of wealthy landowners, who saw their properties confiscated by the Chinese Communist Party. His father fled to Hong Kong amid political persecution, while his mother was taken to labor camps. As a child, Lai scavenged and sold illegal cigarettes to feed his sisters. When the country was hit by famine in the late 1950s, he escaped to Hong Kong as a stowaway at the age of 12 with only a dollar in his pocket. On the second day of his arrival, he got a job at a glove factory on Fuk Wing Street, beginning his career in manufacturing and working his way up from an apprentice to a manager. In 1975, the 26-year-old set out as an entrepreneur and established his own textile factory along with two partners.

Six years later, he began his foray in the retail industry and founded the Hong Kong clothing brand, Giordano, which rapidly expanded into a chain after a drastic reform. Lai could have retired in his 40s, but the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 set his life on a different trajectory. You must live remembering the shame of June Fourth. Even as the country celebrates its prosperity, you must hold on to this torch in a dark corner, Lai wrote to his children on the 20th anniversary of the event. A year after the bloody crackdown in Beijing, Lai founded Next Magazine in Hong Kong and withdrew his business from China. Because of his belief that a free flow of information would push China towards democracy, Lai started Apple Daily, a newspaper that stands firm on the universal values of democracy and freedom.

The paper remains fiercely critical of the authorities, even as other media outlets in Hong Kong are gradually undermined and bought up by Chinese corporations. Advertising revenues plummeted amid the political pressure and the newsroom was raided by nearly 200 police officers in August 2020, a month after Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on Hong Kong. I will stay and fight till the last day, Lai pledged, even as he was taken away in handcuffs. “If we give up on the fight for freedom and justice, we also surrender our dignity as humans,” he wrote on the 20th anniversary of Apple Daily in 2015. “Your life is not about yourself.” And six years on, the rebel tycoon still holds fast to his belief and remains defiant against oppression, even at the price of his own freedom.

Read more …

Theia.

Giant Pieces Of Ancient Alien Planet May Be Lodged Under Earth’s Surface (JTN)

Scientists seeking to explain a series of seemingly inexplicable formations deep within the Earth’s surface may have found an explanation: They came from outer space. Researchers with Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration said in a recently published paper that the “continent-sized Large Low Shear Velocity provinces” identified in Earth’s mantle—essentially giant formations of rock the origins of which scientists have struggled for decades to explain—may have been formed by Theia, the proto-planet thought to have slammed into the ancient Earth billions of years ago.


The collision between Earth and Theia is hypothesized to have ejected a significant portion of Earth into outer space; those fragments would have eventually coalesced under Earth’s gravity to form the Moon. In the paper, the Arizona State researchers argue that “the left-over Theia mantle materials may [have sunk] to the bottom of Earth’s mantle and cause[d] the LLSVPs.” Theia’s geological mantle, they argue, may have been “several percent intrinsically denser than Earth’s mantle,” leading it to sink down through the Earth and form the mysterious provinces. The Theia impact theory is widely regarded as the prevailing explanation for the Moon’s origin.

Read more …

 

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Pendulum

 

 

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Jan 202021
 


Jean-Léon Gérôme Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896

 

Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus? (Spiegel)
New COVID Strain Reportedly Emerging Within Brazilian Amazon (ZH)
The New Domestic War On Terror Is Coming (Glenn Greenwald)
Comey Calls For the Republican Party To Be “Burned Down” (Turley)
Baghdad On The Potomac – Welcome To The Blue Zone (Escobar)
Media Cheers DC Under Military Occupation (Tracey)
Biden’s DHS Pick To “Study” Whether To Keep Trump’s Border Wall (PFW) /span>
US Bombs Somalia After Troop Withdrawal (Antiwar)
Pension Funds Plot Move On China’s $16 Trillion Sovereign Bond Market (R.)
Taming The Social Media Monster (K.)
Liberals Traumatized by Agreeing with Mitch McConnell (Borowitz)

 

 

Feeling numb this morning, as I’m sure many of you do. Not only because Trump failed to pardon Julian Assange, though that is a major letdown, but also because it’s more obvious than ever that nothing has changed. The same cabal is either still in power or is returning to it. And now they’re going to clean the US from everyone who rejected them and supported Trump. For clickbait, power and revenge. And I’m a bit tired of reading it all.

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson: Mitch McConnell “sent word over to the White House: if you pardon Julian Assange, we are much more likely to convict you in an impeachment trial.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1351353063433408515

 

 

@KimDotcom
Julian Assange will get his freedom back this year, pardon or not.

 

 

A mutation a week.

Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus? (Spiegel)

Three different new mutants of the novel coronavirus have begun spreading at break-neck speed around the world. They have two things in common: a very specific mutation – and they are far more effective at infecting people than previous versions, with the new variants likely up to 56 percent more infectious. There are also worries that they could prove less susceptible to some vaccines and that people who have already had COVID-19 could get infected again. The cases that have been imported into the country so far demonstrate that it’s likely impossible to seal Germany off from the new variants. It’s probably just a matter of time before the super viruses begin spreading in Germany and Europe. And it’s quite possible that this has already happened.

For a long time, it seemed as if the world knew its enemy – a coronavirus that could be compared with its ancestor SARS and other coronaviruses like MERS. In small steps, we became more familiar with how the disease spreads and what we can do to best protect ourselves. We got to know the virus right down to the last molecule – so well that researchers were able to develop vaccines in record time, promising to help humanity out of the permanent lockdown. We would, it seemed, bring SARS-CoV-2 under control in 2021. Now, though, the virus is mutating – unfortunately in a direction that is likely to lead to many more victims. [..] German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, as a physicist, has an in-depth understanding of numerical models, is deeply concerned about the current developments.

In recent days, she has been calling ministers, scientists and experts she trusts, asking for suggestions about what to do if the new virus mutants also spread in Germany. She doesn’t share the hope of some that the current lockdown can drive the numbers down any time soon. “Germany is facing eight to 10 very tough weeks,” Merkel said last Tuesday. The next day, during a meeting of her cabinet, Merkel discussed what would have happened had France not barred people from entering the country from Ireland. She said it might have become necessary for Germany to set up controls at the border with France.

[..] But the B.1.351 variant discovered in South Africa and the B.1.1.248 mutant found in Brazil and Japan are no less harmful than their British cousin. On the contrary. They contain another mutation in their genetic material – E484K – which could prove to be very dangerous. It’s likely that it weakens the human immune response – and could even render some of the newly developed vaccines less effective. Pharmaceutical companies are currently testing the efficacy of their vaccines against the new mutants. The mutation N501Y that is common to the new variants is located at a central position of the pathogen: on the spikes that are the source of the coronavirus’ name.

SARS-CoV-2 uses the spike protein’s receptor binding domain to latch on to the host cell and invade it. Scientists believe the mutation makes it easier for the virus to latch on to host cells. Once the new variants have infected the host, the disease proceeds just as it has in previous variants: They aren’t more lethal than the original coronaviruses. That, though, is hardly reassuring: Because the mutants are able to infect so many more people, they are capable of causing more fatalities than would a mutant that made people sicker but which was less contagious.

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“..more infectious, and deadlier..”

New COVID Strain Reportedly Emerging Within Brazilian Amazon (ZH)

As warnings about the hyper-infectious COVID strains first isolated in the UK and South Africa ring out across the US, Europe and, well, the rest of the world, too, at this point, authorities in Brazil fear they may have a new strain on their hands that’s more infectious, and deadlier, than anything the world has seen previously. According to a report published by Brazilian outlet Universo Online, a surge in cases and deaths, particularly among younger patients, in the hard-hit Amazonian city of Manaus (situated in northwestern Brazil, on the banks of the River Negro) has drawn the attention of health professionals working on the front lines of the pandemic in the hard-hit Latin American powerhouse.

Several officials with direct knowledge of the situation told UOL that a new “variant” – a mutated strain of the virus – may be responsible for harsher symptoms, and quicker onset times. But the most alarming shift has been a surge in deaths among younger people, who are dying now in greater numbers than in earlier waves of the outbreak in Manaus, which has long struggled with overburdened health-care resources. According to Manaus death records from the past 30 days cited by ULO, four out of ten deaths during that time involved patients under the age of 60 in the state.

The UOL analyzed the latest data Transparency Portal of the registry offices. There were 710 deaths in the state (since it may still increase), of which 285 were people under 60 years old – or 40.1% of the total. Before that period, this percentage was 36.5%. “Without a doubt many more young people are dying. We are not just talking about a risk group: this is in all age groups, affecting babies, children, teenagers even without comorbidity”, points out the infectologist Silvia Leopoldina, who also works in the state public networks and municipal of Manaus. The doctor says there were changes in the behavior of the disease in the state. “Before, the first symptoms of severity appeared around the tenth day onwards. Now there are patients who, with seven, eight days, are involved in 75% of both lungs.”.

One researcher told ULO that, while he couldn’t say for certain what it is, “something very different” is happening in Manaus right now. “Something very different is happening in Manaus. I don’t know if it is a new strain or if it is something different. But those on the front line are seeing an increase in the severity of the cases,” says infectologist and researcher Noaldo Lucena, who works in popular clinic, home care and public hospitals. The new infection and death numbers are so severe, he says, they go beyond the already known greater contagiousness of the new variant of the virus. “Clearly, we are facing an invisible being that is much more pathogenic and transmissible. Today whole families arrive with the symptoms at the same time, before it was one at a time.”

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Clickbait dreams.

The New Domestic War On Terror Is Coming (Glenn Greenwald)

The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting “terrorism” that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This trend shows no sign of receding as we move farther from the January 6 Capitol riot. The opposite is true: it is intensifying. We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens.

This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance. Underlying all of this are immediate insinuations that anyone questioning any of this must, by virtue of these doubts, harbor sympathy for the Terrorists and their neo-Nazi, white supremacist ideology. Liberals have spent so many years now in a tight alliance with neocons and the CIA that they are making the 2002 version of John Ashcroft look like the President of the (old-school) ACLU. The more honest proponents of this new domestic War on Terror are explicitly admitting that they want to model it on the first one.

A New York Times reporter noted on Monday that a “former intelligence official on PBS NewsHour” said “that the US should think about a ‘9/11 Commission’ for domestic extremism and consider applying some of the lessons from the fight against Al Qaeda here at home.” More amazingly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal — for years head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and the commander of the war in Afghanistan — explicitly compared that war to this new one, speaking to Yahoo News: “I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence. This is now happening in America….I think we’re much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.”

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75 million voters. Burn them all down?

Comey Calls For the Republican Party To Be “Burned Down” (Turley)

There is an interesting interview this week with former FBI Director James Comey. He states that he now believes that the infamous alleged “pee tape” may be real and makes other surprising statements while pitching his new book. One statement, however, stood out: “The Republican party needs to be burned down … It’s just not a healthy political organization.” Since the Republican National Committee was targeted with a pipe bomb in the recent riots, some could argue that this is incitement to arson or violence. I would not. I would call it free speech and hyperbole. The question is where the line is drawn given the impeachment of Donald Trump based on his speech and the allegations that others who used such hyperbolic language are actually guilty of incitement.

As I have previously stated, I condemned Trump’s speech in a series of tweets while it was being given and I called for a bipartisan vote of censure over his responsibility in the riots. However, I opposed the use of a snap impeachment by the House and raised concerns over the framing of the article of impeachment as an “incitement to insurrection.” Despite the chorus of legal experts insisting that the speech would constitute a strong case for criminal incitement (and the DC Attorney General said he may charge Trump), I believe such a prosecution would eventually collapse on free speech grounds if based solely on this speech and Trump’s other public statements.

Comey is not alone in the use of such rhetoric in today’s super-heated political environment. We previously discussed how conservatives have pointed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) calling for people to confront Republican leaders in restaurants; Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) insisted during 2020’s violent protests that “there needs to be unrest in the streets,” while then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said “protesters should not let up” even as many protests were turning violent. They can all legitimately argue that their rhetoric was not meant to be a call for violence, but this is a standard fraught with subjectivity.

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“Only satire is capable of doing poetic justice to what is, de facto, the Potemkin inauguration of a hologram.”

Baghdad On The Potomac – Welcome To The Blue Zone (Escobar)

During the 2000s, I came face to face with Baghdad’s Green Zone multiple times. I always stayed, and worked, in the hyper-volatile Red Zone – as you may check in my 2007 book Red Zone Blues. We knew then that blowback would be inevitable. But still, we could never have imagined such a graphic simulacrum: the Green Zone fully replicated in the heart of imperial D.C. – complete with walls, barbed wire, multiple checkpoints, heavily armed guards. That is even more significant because it ends a full “new world order” geopolitical cycle: the empire started bombing – and cluster bombing – Iraq 30 years ago. Desert Storm was launched in January 17, 1991.

The Blue Zone is now “protected” by a massive 26,000 plus troop surge – way more than Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The Forever Wars – which you may now relieve through my archives – have come back full circle. Just like an ordinary Iraqi was not allowed inside the Green Zone, no ordinary American is allowed inside the Blue Zone. Just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone represent none other than themselves. And just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone are viewed by half of the population in the Red Zone as an occupying force. Only satire is capable of doing poetic justice to what is, de facto, the Potemkin inauguration of a hologram. So welcome to the most popular president in history inaugurated in secret, and fearful of his own, fake, Praetorian Guard. The Global South has seen this grisly show before – in endless reruns. But never as a homegrown Hollywood flick.

Meanwhile, trapped inside the Blue Zone, the White House has been busy compiling an interminable list of accomplishments. Multitudes will go berserk relieving the appalling foreign policy disasters, courtesy of American Psycho Mike Pompeo; debunking the official narrative partially or as a whole; and even agreeing with the odd “accomplishment”. Yet close attention should be paid to a key item: “Colossal Rebuilding of the Military”. This is what is going to play a key role beyond January 20 – as Gen Flynn has been extremely busy showing evidence to the military, at all levels, of how “compromised” is the new Hologram-in-Chief. And then there’s the rolling, never-ending November 3 drama. Blame should be duly apportioned. Impeachment, digital witch hunts, rounding up “domestic terrorists”, that is not enough. “Foreign interference” is a must.

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“..everyone with a brain by now should be able to recognize that the government was never at a greater than 0% risk of being overthrown that day..”

Media Cheers DC Under Military Occupation (Tracey)

Downtown Washington, DC is currently under what essentially amounts to military occupation. Streets are locked down, guarded by Army vehicles and blocked off by huge, garish checkpoints. Vehicular traffic is limited to motorists who can show papers demonstrating that, as one Guardsman told me, they are conducting “legitimate business.” (Apparently this includes Uber drivers and food delivery workers.) According to official estimates, 25,000 military personnel are now deployed to the area — on top of countless federal, state, and local law enforcement agents. Troops roam around carrying rifles with no ammo loaded. If you can manage to navigate on foot to the perimeter of the National Mall, you encounter an enormous fencing apparatus, complete with barbed wire.

Question: does anyone with a media job find this situation to be worthy of some further inquiry? Or in other words, worthy of questioning the premise of why such an extravagantly intensive military presence is allegedly necessary? Is it proportionate to the scale of the purported threat? Has the nature of the threat itself — whatever that might be, exactly — been adequately probed to determine whether it is grounded in reality? Already a bunch of purported threats initially trumpeted across the media with the usual five-alarm-five hysteria have dissipated in short order, so there is perhaps some reason for doubt in that regard. Instead of applying a modicum of skepticism to this gigantic show of military force, much of which appears to be “security theater” in its purest form, our vaunted media is doing little other than cheering it on.

And of course, inflating the threats being cited as justification for it. They can repeat over and over again that what occurred on January 6 at the Capitol was an “attempted coup,” and therefore everything and anything is justified to retaliate, but everyone with a brain by now should be able to recognize that the government was never at a greater than 0% risk of being overthrown that day. Fear-inducing terms like “insurrection,” “domestic terrorism,” “seditious conspiracy,” “armed rebellion,” and others have been marshaled intentionally to inure the public to extreme actions such as the swiftly-executed corporate censorship purge and now, the transformation of the country’s capital into a military fortress.

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Caravans are on their way, programs installed for large scale pardons. In a pandemic.

Biden’s DHS Pick To “Study” Whether To Keep Trump’s Border Wall (PFW) /span>

On the same day Trump extended an emergency declaration at the southern border, Biden’s pick for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, says that he will “study” whether the border wall constructed under the Trump administration will remain in place. “President-elect Biden has committed to stop construction of the border wall. It would be my responsibility to execute on that and I have not looked at the question of what we do with respect to the wall that has already been built,” Mayorkas said Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing. “I look forward to studying that question, understanding the costs and benefits of doing so, being open and transparent with you and all members of this committee, sharing my thoughts and considerations and working cooperative with you toward a solution,” he said.

The incoming DHS Sec. says that he plans to work on “harnessing innovation and technology” for future border security as he believes a border wall may not be the most effective way to stop people from entering the country. President-elect Biden has stated that he would not construct “another foot” of border wall between the U.S. and Mexico when he assumes office. “There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration, No. 1,” Biden said in August. “I’m going to make sure that we have border protection, but it’s going to be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with it. And at the ports of entry — that’s where all the bad stuff is happening,”

As we highlighted earlier, President Donald Trump on Tuesday extended his declared emergency at the southern border to be in effect until February 2022. The order set in motion funding for the now 453 miles in length southern border wall after congress had folded on devoting money to the project in 2019.

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Back to normal.

US Bombs Somalia After Troop Withdrawal (Antiwar)

After announcing that the troop withdrawal from Somalia was completed on Sunday, the US carried out multiple airstrikes in the African country on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it launched an airstrike on a compound belonging to al-Shabab and did not report any casualties. On Tuesday, AFRICOM said it carried out two airstrikes in the vicinities of Jamaame and Deb Scinnele, Somalia, that killed three al-Shabab “operatives” with no other reported casualties. AFRICOM usually claims no civilians are killed in its Somalia airstrikes, but whenever journalists or human rights groups make it to the scene of a US airstrike in the country, they tell a much different story.


The airstrikes were likely a message to al-Shabab that despite the troop withdrawal, the US can still carry out airstrikes in Somalia. About 700 US troops were pulled out of Somalia, with many of them being shuffled around East African to neighboring Djibouti and Kenya, where the US drones are based that bomb al-Shabab. President Trump started sending troops to Somalia in 2017 and significantly escalated the drone war by loosening the rules of engagement. In 2020 alone, Trump bombed Somalia more than George W Bush and Barack Obama combined.

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Unintended consequences of ultra-low rates?! Dutch 10-year bond yields are -0.4%, Chinese 3%.

Under these circumstances, how much newly minted stimulus money will disappear into China?

Pension Funds Plot Move On China’s $16 Trillion Sovereign Bond Market (R.)

China’s $16 trillion sovereign debt market is the proverbial elephant in the investment room. But it’s becoming too big to ignore, even for the most risk-averse Western investors. A large, A+ rated market that pays 3% yields, with minimal volatility? It’s looking increasingly alluring for European pension funds swimming in sub-zero bond yields as aging populations stretch their finances. For some, the benefits are beginning to outweigh the political risks, and they are upping allocations to China, or considering doing so, according to Reuters’ interviews with half a dozen firms that advise and manage money for pension funds.


“Not all our clients invest in China’s bond market, but they are all looking into it,” said Sandor Steverink, head of Treasuries at APG, which manages a third of the assets of the 1.5-trillion-euro ($1.8 trillion) Dutch pension industry. Dutch 10-year bond yields are languishing at around -0.4%, spelling losses for any investor who holds them to maturity, a picture reflected across Europe. Such fund interest is a boon for Beijing, which is seeking to internationalize its financial markets and lure big-ticket overseas investors as its once-mighty trade surpluses dwindle. Europe’s pension industry alone is worth $4 trillion. China’s sovereign debt market is the world’s second-largest after the United States. Yet while foreigners own a third of the U.S. Treasury market, they hold just 9.7% of China’s sovereign debt, according to government data.

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“But doesn’t the problem run deeper than that? Does it not lie with the social media firms’ business model, which seeks to monopolize users’ attention to the benefit of their clients who advertise on their platform?”

Taming The Social Media Monster (K.)

Western democracies must win back control of the boundaries of public debate from social media giants, Marietje Schaake suggests in an exclusive interview with Kathimerini. Schaake, a former member of the European Parliament, is now international policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center and international policy fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. She spoke to Kathimerini about outgoing US President Donald Trump, the digital footprint of the European Union, and how public policy can tame the monster that social media has turned into. Trump’s social media ban, Schaake tells the newspaper, “made many people realize the actual power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms.” The companies’ decision raises “many questions,” she says.

“Why, for example, did they ban the American president but not other international leaders that post very controversial or harmful content?” However, Schaake says, “the real question is not whether this was a good or bad decision, but why we allow privatized governance of our democratic debate.” How can the public sphere reassert control over this debate? “We must first of all demand that these firms be much more transparent with the policies on which their decisions are based. These [policies] cannot be a response to pressure or to outcry coming from their own employees. These policies must hinge on international or European standards regarding the freedom of speech and its limitations; and there must be independent monitoring that will certify the degree to which these companies fulfill their commitments.

“I was struck by the fact that Twitter has since January 8 deactivated more than 70,000 accounts associated with the QAnon [far-right conspiracy] – and that this happened after QAnon had been banned.” According to Schaake, this shows how hard it is to monitor a platform’s content on a rolling basis, as offshoots of banned groups keep coming into being. “The governments of democratic states must have a strong say in this,” says Schaake. “They must clarify what the rule of law means in the digital world and make sure that there are mechanisms in place to enforce it,” she says. She says authorities must have access to algorithmic methodologies and decide on clear sanctions against firms that fail to comply. “Regulatory authorities must have the knowledge, the staff and the resources they need to deal with the armies of lawyers that the companies bring to the table,” she says.

But doesn’t the problem run deeper than that? Does it not lie with the social media firms’ business model, which seeks to monopolize users’ attention to the benefit of their clients who advertise on their platform? Schaake does not challenge the claim. However, she stresses that if the situation has spun out of control, it is “due to a long period of basic inaction on the part of democratic governments, particularly in the US.” Bringing the anarchic landscape under control, she says, presupposes immediate action on a series of fronts: anti-trust policy, protection of privacy, personal data, and so on.

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“..a temporary condition..”

Liberals Traumatized by Agreeing with Mitch McConnell (Borowitz)

Millions of liberals were traumatized on Tuesday when they found themselves in agreement with Mitch McConnell, liberals are reporting. From Santa Monica, California, to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, liberals sought emergency counselling, complaining of a range of symptoms after realizing that they were on the same side as the senator from Kentucky. Carol Foyler, a liberal from Austin, Texas, said that she experienced lightheadedness and nausea after liking a Facebook post that detailed McConnell’s remarks in the Senate. “The room started spinning,” she said. Dr. Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota Medical School said that liberals who are traumatized by agreeing with McConnell should “not be concerned” and should recognize that it is a temporary condition. “They’re not going to wake up tomorrow and start agreeing with Devin Nunes,” he said.

Read more …

 

 

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Jan 192021
 
 January 19, 2021  Posted by at 10:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  32 Responses »


Claude Monet The house at Yerres 1876

 

The Zeitgeist Wants What the Zeitgeist Wants (Kustler)
Can Joe Biden Succeed Where Barack Obama Failed? (Sirota)
McConnell, Schumer Close In On Power-Sharing Agreement (CNN)
Critics Reject $1.9 Trillion Biden COVID Plan As ‘Liberal Wishlist’ (JTN)
Hillary, Pelosi Wonder if Trump Spoke to Putin on Day of Capitol Riot (BB)
Kremlin Joins EU Officials In Denouncing Big Tech Censorship (JTN)
Germany Weighs Up Mandatory FFP2 Masks In Shops And On Transport (G.)
Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (Nature)
Washington State Partners With Starbucks For Vaccine Distribution (F.)
EU-US Relations Under Biden Won’t Be The Same As Before Trump (EN)
Trump Announces 200 Statues To Be Built For ‘American Heroes’ (JTN)
My Letter to President Trump (Joe Lauria)

 

 

The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.
– Julian Assange

 

 

 

 

“He’ll be great in the war room, I’m sure.”

The Zeitgeist Wants What the Zeitgeist Wants (Kustler)

The hypothetical Biden Administration is shaping up to be something like a four-year-long séance, a conjuring of apparitions wailing out talking points in a darkened room. The actual location of the inaugural event remains a mystery, or even if it will be an event, maybe just a pre-recorded video concoction of Mr. Biden’s greatest hits of 2020. Check and see if he’s wearing the same necktie from beginning to end. If a hologram is inaugurated, does that make the land-mass between Montauk and Santa Barbara a post-structural figment? The “president-elect,” made an ectoplasmic appearance Sunday talking up “science,” the Democrat’s mental life-preserver, and then shuffled offstage in an apparent fog of confusion as the Ritalin wore off. He’ll be great in the war room, I’m sure.

The mystery surrounding DNI John Ratcliffe’s long overdue report on foreign interference in the election cleared up only a little with the release of a letter sent January 8th to the Senate Intelligence Committee. In it, citing a side report from Intel Community Ombudsman Barry Zulauf, Mr. Ratcliffe refers to “undue pressure being brought to bear” on analysts by CIA management to craft their conclusions according to political loyalties. In other words, once again the CIA appears to be playing games with the American people and can’t be trusted. Isn’t that reassuring?

Meanwhile, The New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC have turned into a nonstop gloat-fest anticipating the punishments to be dished out by progressive Wokesterdom against anyone who ever entertained a thought about or uttered the phrase “stolen election.” They can kiss their livelihoods goodbye. Their college degrees will be revoked by such bastions of free thinking as Harvard. Their websites will be liquidated. Senators and congresspersons must be thrown out of their seats. They’ll be reduced to squatting on filthy blankets at the entrance of the Walmart begging for spare change, or hauled off to re-education camps where NPR lawyers with riding crops preside over their therapeutic struggle sessions, beating the wrongthink out of their hides. For Democrats, vengeance is a dish to be served piping hot. Would you like flies with your shit sandwich?

Ha ha ha. CNN doesn’t like competition. “There are people on YouTube for example that have a larger audience than daytime CNN.” Note the link to ISIS ingested into the conversation. Dangerous people.

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Obama is very closely behind Biden.

Can Joe Biden Succeed Where Barack Obama Failed? (Sirota)

Twelve years after Joe Biden was sworn in as the vice president of hope and change, hope is in short supply and the need for change is even more acute. Progressives have a rare opportunity to enact their agenda—but they will need to play the kind of hardball they have backed away from in the past, because Biden continues to send conflicting messages. For every promise of transformational change, he signals a desire to appease a Republican Party intent on destroying his presidency. The stakes could hardly be higher: One out of every thousand Americans has died from a lethal pandemic, with no end yet in sight. The economy is officially still humming along, but millions face eviction, bankruptcy and hunger. Even U.S. democracy is under unprecedented siege by an insurrectionist movement encouraged by the outgoing president and his loyalists in Congress.


The path forward is difficult to envision amid the fog of culture war, political war and the threat of actual, real-life civil war. But it is clear that Biden is at a crossroad and still unsure which way to go. He can follow his boss, Barack Obama, who pursued bipartisanship, comity and compromise—accommodating corporate power. Or he can break toward the path of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who did battle with oligarchy, stood down fascism and welcomed the hatred of the rich. One thing he cannot do is try to go in both directions. The lesson of the Obama administration is that you can have appeasement or transformative progress, but you almost certainly cannot have both.

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The boys are back in power.

McConnell, Schumer Close In On Power-Sharing Agreement (CNN)

The top two Senate leaders are nearing a power-sharing agreement to hash out how the evenly divided chamber will operate, with Democrats in charge of setting the schedule but both parties likely to hold an equal number of seats on Senate committees, according to sources familiar with the talks. The negotiations between Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have been built largely around how the Senate operated the last time the body was split 50-50: When George W. Bush initially became president in 2001. Final details are still being sorted out between the two leaders, sources said.


Similar to those rules, set in January 2001, Schumer and McConnell aides are discussing allowing bills and nominations to advance to the Senate floor even if they are tied during committee votes, something that could become common given that each party is expected to have the same number of seats on committees. Democrats will hold the chairmanships of the committees, giving them power to set the agenda, and Schumer will be granted the title of majority leader since Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast tiebreaking votes on the floor. The full chamber still has to ratify these procedures, but that is expected to occur once Schumer and McConnell have finalized their agreement.

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No DC without pork. Tons of it.

Critics Reject $1.9 Trillion Biden COVID Plan As ‘Liberal Wishlist’ (JTN)

Critics of President-Elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-related spending plan say the proposal goes far beyond coronavirus relief into subsidizing teachers’ unions and prioritizing taxpayer money to be spent on non-white, non-male-owned businesses rather than taking a color- and gender-blind approach. Biden’s proposal comes in addition to the $900 billion passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last month, and on top of the $2.9 trillion stimulus package passed in the spring of 2020. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described “democratic socialist” called Biden’s plan just a “first installment.”


In an interview with the “Just the News AM” television program, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) called the plan “another multitrillion dollar liberal wishlist” that she opposed. “I just hope that President-Elect Biden looks to work with Republicans, rather than just really bowing to the far left, the AOC wing of the party where I think there’s gonna be a lot of pressure to do that,” Stefanik said, alluding to the bloc led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Though the Biden plan carves out $70 billion for COVID-related vaccines, therapies and testing (this is on top of the $42 billion passed last month), critics of the plan say that the vast majority of the rest of the funding is more focused on income redistribution to advance long-term Democratic social policies.

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It’s a disease. There’s no cure.

Hillary, Pelosi Wonder if Trump Spoke to Putin on Day of Capitol Riot (BB)

Failed Trump challenger Hillary Clinton said she would “love” to see President Donald Trump’s phone records to see “whether he was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol” on January 6, making the remarks during a bonus episode of her podcast You and Me Both released Monday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared as the featured guest on the bonus episode and discussed the series of events that occurred on January 6 — the day protesters breached the U.S. Capitol as Congress gathered to certify the electoral vote. Clinton, one of the central champions of the debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative that dominated the first years of Trump’s presidency, revealed her own suspicion that Trump could have been in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the day of the protest.

“We learned a lot about our system of government over the last four years with a president who disdains democracy and, as you have said numerous times, has other agendas,” Clinton said. “What they all are, I don’t think we yet know. I hope historically we will find out who he’s beholden to, who pulls his strings. I would love to see his phone records to see whether he was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol,” Clinton continued, also placing blame on Trump’s “enablers,” “accomplices,” and “cult members” — a likely reference to his supporters, whom she famously referred to as “deplorables” during her 2016 campaign. “Do you think we need a 9/11-type commission to investigate and report everything that they can pull together and explain what happened?” Clinton asked the speaker, who responded, “I do.”

“To your point of who is he beholden to, as I’ve said over and over, as I said to him in that picture with my blue suit as I was leaving, what I was saying to him as I was pointing, rudely, at him: ‘With you, Mr. President, all roads lead to Putin,’” Pelosi told Clinton, referring to the January 6 events as a “gift to Putin” as he “wants to undermine democracy in our country and throughout the world.” “And these people, unbeknownst to them, maybe, are Putin puppets. They were doing Putin’s business when they did that at the incitement of an insurrection by the president of the United States,” she added.

Hillary Pelosi Putin

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What does Hillary think?

Kremlin Joins EU Officials In Denouncing Big Tech Censorship (JTN)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday joined calls from European Union officials to reign in the censorship power of Big Tech. In a Moscow news conference, Lavrov characterized the tech giants as extra-governmental entities that impose their own rules on public discourse. “Let’s hope that American society will not let its elites use blatant censorship, flagrant infringement of the Constitution and international commitments in its struggle against one other,” Lavrov said in the Jan. 18 news conference. “If it fails to cope with this problem, we all should be ready to face the consequences of such a failure of the American state, and these consequences would be very serious for the global arena.”

Russia’s top diplomat made his comments in the wake of high-profile social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram abolishing accounts belonging to President Donald Trump. Although Facebook and Instagram have restored some elements of the president’s accounts, Twitter has not. The platform leader, Jack Dorsey, has disregarded public outcry against Twitter’s seemingly capricious enforcement of its terms of use, and has upheld the ban against Trump. The social media censorship moves against Trump and others last week brought cries of alarm from the European Commission, which is the executive branch of the European Union. A commission official, Prabhat Agarwal, reportedly spoke out Jan. 11 in a meeting with fellow lawmakers.

“It is no longer acceptable in our view that platforms take some key decisions by themselves alone without any supervision, without any accountability, and without any sort of dialogue or transparency for the kind of decisions that they’re taking,” said Agarwal, who leads a commission e-commerce unit. “Freedom of expression is really a key value in this.” [..] “Recent events, including those in the United States, [pertain] to a situation when half a dozen people who have created their technological empires do not even want to know what rights they have in their countries,” Lavrov said. “They themselves define their rights on the basis of so-called corporate norms and they don’t care a bit about the constitutions of their nations. We have clearly seen this in the United States, and this, of course, causes serious concern.”

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Took just one year.

Germany Weighs Up Mandatory FFP2 Masks In Shops And On Transport (G.)

Germany is weighing up following Austria and Bavaria’s lead in making it compulsory to wear full protective filter masks on public transport and in shops, as the country remains on high alert about the impact of possible coronavirus mutations. The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, announced on Sunday that wearing single-use filtering facepiece respirator, or FFP2, masks would become mandatory on public transport and in shops from 25 January, as the Alpine state moves to extend its national lockdown until 7 February.

In Germany’s largest and southernmost state, Bavaria, a similar requirement for trains, trams, buses and supermarkets came into force on Monday, though the new rule will not be policed until 24 January and allows for exemptions for bus drivers, ticket inspectors and children under the age of 15. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the heads of the country’s 16 federal states are expected to discuss following the Bavarian blueprint at a summit on Tuesday in spite of a recent reduction of infection rates. A night-time curfew and new remote-working requirements could also accompany an expected extension of the lockdown into February.

When fitted properly, FFP2 masks promise to filter out at least 94% of particles but are also more expensive, usually retailing at between €2 and €5 per mask. If FFP2 masks were made mandatory before suppliers are unable to meet the new demand, prices are expected to rise further. Some virologists warn a new compulsory mask rule could end up being counterproductive. “In theory, the move to more professional masks is welcome,” said Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, a German virologist and Professor of Arbovirology at the University of Hamburg. “But I’d be wary of simply copying the Bavarian model without considering the possible downsides.

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Antibodies evolve along with virus mutations.

Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (Nature)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected 78 million individuals and is responsible for over 1.7 million deaths to date. Infection is associated with development of variable levels of antibodies with neutralizing activity that can protect against infection in animal models. Antibody levels decrease with time, but the nature and quality of the memory B cells that would be called upon to produce antibodies upon re-infection has not been examined. Here we report on the humoral memory response in a cohort of 87 individuals assessed at 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection. We find that IgM, and IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) antibody titres decrease significantly with IgA being less affected.


Concurrently, neutralizing activity in plasma decreases by fivefold in pseudotype virus assays. In contrast, the number of RBD-specific memory B cells is unchanged. Memory B cells display clonal turnover after 6.2 months, and the antibodies they express have greater somatic hypermutation, increased potency and resistance to RBD mutations, indicative of continued evolution of the humoral response. Analysis of intestinal biopsies obtained from asymptomatic individuals 4 months after the onset of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), using immunofluorescence, or polymerase chain reaction, revealed persistence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids and immunoreactivity in the small bowel of 7 out of 14 volunteers. We conclude that the memory B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 evolves between 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection in a manner that is consistent with antigen persistence.

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Testimony to the lack of organization in the US? Or just Corporatism 2.0?

Washington State Partners With Starbucks For Vaccine Distribution (F.)

As states across the U.S. struggle to administer enough coronavirus vaccines, Washington has picked an unusual partner to help speed up the process: Starbucks. Starbucks, which is based in Seattle, will assign several employees to work on “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support,” Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday. Starbucks locations will not serve as vaccination sites, but the company said it will use its technology and logistical “expertise” to help with site selection and “optimize vaccination sites with design principles and solutions focused on efficiency to thruput.” Starbucks is part of a larger public-private partnership announced Monday to help Washington’s vaccine distribution, which includes Microsoft for technology assistance, Costco pharmacies for vaccine delivery and local unions to help staff and train volunteer vaccinators.


The goal of the partnership is to boost its distribution efforts, which like many states has been moving slowly amid logistical and supply challenges. States are already partnering with private companies with pharmacies, such as Walmart, Kroger, CVS and Walgreens, for vaccine distribution, but the Starbucks partnership is unique to Washington, and it’s among the first to involve a company without a clear link to healthcare. “Starbucks is not a healthcare company, but we do operate 33,000 stores at scale, serving 100 million customers per week,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson at a press conference. “And we have a world-class team of human-centered design engineers who are working under the direction of the state and healthcare providers, like Swedish, Kaiser Permanente and others, with Microsoft and many other businesses to help support the creation of vaccination centers that can scale.”

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Ironically, the banning of Trump by the Silicon Valley Kings will play a large role in these relations.

EU-US Relations Under Biden Won’t Be The Same As Before Trump (EN)

EU-US relations will not return to how they were before Donald Trump came to power, according to the European Commission’s top trade official. Sabine Weyland, the EU’s director-general for trade, was speaking at a videoconference for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the US’ 46th president on Wednesday. “There will be no nostalgia. We are not going to go back to the global order of previous days. The world today is not the same as it was ten or even five years ago,” Weyland said. Weyland’s words suggest four years of hostility towards Europe from Donald Trump’s administration have left a mark.


Nevertheless, Brussels is looking for closer cooperation with the US. It wants to focus on core priorities, like fighting the pandemic and its economic fallout, tackling climate change, and finding common ground on digital and trade policies. Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics said that even with Trump out of the picture, American interests are still what counts most in Washington. “The Biden administration somewhat disappointingly is not just going to reverse all the tariffs,” Posen explained. “They will certainly stop escalating them and they will stop some of the more ridiculous tariffs that were put on allies with national security excuses. But there will be some attempt by the Biden administration to extract things in return for reducing the tariffs.”

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Not the Onion.

Trump Announces 200 Statues To Be Built For ‘American Heroes’ (JTN)

President Donald Trump announced the names on Monday of more than 200 statues to be built as part of his plan for a new “National Garden of American Heroes.” He said the new garden will demolish the “reckless attempt to erase our heroes” that occurred during last year’s protests and riots that occurred following the death of George Floyd, according to the Washington Times. The list of names is headlined by author Harper Lee, actor Jimmy Stewart, abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, baseball star Roberto Clemente and explorer Christopher Columbus. “In the peace and harmony of this vast outdoor park, visitors will come and learn the amazing stories of some of the greatest Americans who have ever lived,” Trump said in a new executive order, which lists all of the names.

The announcement came on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Both King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, made Trump’s list. Trump left himself off of the list despite being nominated by several people as part of the selection process, government officials said last year. He first announced the list of names to be honored last summer as Black Lives Matter protests were occurring across the nation and statues recalling American history, such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, were being torn down. Trump’s decision to implement this “National Garden of American Heroes” was a counter to the statues of “American heroes” being destroyed and removed last summer.

His original list of 31 names received criticism for being too short and lacking diversity, as it consisted mainly of white men. Trump’s new list is much longer and much more diverse, including Native Americans, women and other minority groups. Whether this idea will be moved forward rests in the hands of President-elect Joe Biden as he takes office this week. He could completely eliminate Trump’s proposed list, alter the list of names or push it forward as is.

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Please.

My Letter to President Trump (Joe Lauria)

Dear President Trump,

You are right in many ways that the news media have become the enemies of the people and the friends of the powerful who treat the people as enemies. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.” The role of the press is to keep powerful officials accountable to the electorate. The one journalist who has achieved this above all in recent years is the Australian Julian Assange. He is languishing in a British prison for exposing the powerful in the interests of the people. It is within your power to set him free. Please pardon him, Mr. President.

Joe Lauria

Tucker Assange Kiriakou

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Dec 262020
 


Salvador Dali Christmas Tree 1959

 

Pfizer’s Vaccine Maximizes Profit, Not The Greater Good (Quelch)
UK Scientists Trial Drug To Prevent Infection That Leads To Covid (G.)
Rolling Out the Vaccine (Dorman)
Pfizer COVID19 Vaccine Causing More Allergic Reactions Than Expected (NYP)
Millions Wake Up To Tougher Restrictions As UK Covid Deaths Pass 70,000 (PA)
Pelosi, Democrats, UniParty and Media Spin Narrative Around COVID Relief (CTH)
Our Upside-Down Postelection World (Hanson)
Georgia Democrats Shatter Fundraising Records (DC)
Full Brexit Trade Deal ‘Goes Beyond Canada-style Accord’ (G.)
Boeing 737 Max Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Failure (ZH)
Christmas Awokenings (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

“Pfizer has cut deals at high prices with about 20 developed countries. Their government agencies can’t reject the Pfizer vaccine as too expensive because they can’t ask their frontline healthcare workers to wait for a cheaper alternative. They have to act now.”

Pfizer’s Vaccine Maximizes Profit, Not The Greater Good (Quelch)

Pfizer just inked a second deal with the federal government to supply an additional 100 million doses of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine by July 2021. This is on top of Pfizer’s earlier deal for 100 million doses, currently being shipped. At around $20 per dose, Pfizer shareholders will do nicely, and the Pfizer CEO cashed in $5.6 million in stock at the time of the FDA’s emergency use authorization. Pfizer deserves enormous credit for the speed with which its vaccine secured the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. But Pfizer’s vaccine strategy was designed from the outset to maximize shareholder profit, not the greater good. Pfizer set out to be first across the finish line and reap a public relations bonanza. That’s why it pursued an mRNA vaccine, which can be developed and manufactured much faster than traditional vaccines.

But Pfizer’s vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius to retain its efficacy. Developing countries do not have and cannot afford such a cold chain. That means Pfizer is off the hook to provide low- or no-cost doses to billions of people in poorer nations. The Moderna vaccine, also an mRNA vaccine, was designed to require normal vaccine refrigeration at around minus 20 degrees Celsius . Note, also, that Pfizer declined U.S. government subsidies to fund its vaccine development. This preserved Pfizer’s negotiating independence, avoided bureaucratic delays and helped Pfizer get to the finish line first. Taking no subsidies enabled Pfizer to deflect any government pressure to make its vaccine available at lower cost.

There’s another problem. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses with 21- and 28-day intervals, respectively, between vaccinations. Typically, this will result in 50 percent slippage; half those who receive the first shot will not return for the second. Some will forget, others will experience side effects, and others will believe wrongly that one jab is good enough. Meanwhile, Britain’s AstraZeneca has developed an equally effective COVID-19 vaccine that requires normal refrigeration and can therefore use existing vaccine supply chains that extend to rural areas. The AstraZeneca vaccine is being sold at $2 per dose versus $20 per dose (that is, $40 per person) for Pfizer’s. AstraZeneca has pledged not to profit from COVID-19 vaccine sales and to waive patent protections. Pfizer has done neither.

Pfizer’s strategy is simple. Be first to market and make a boatload of money by “skimming the cream,” supplying vaccines to those willing to pay. Pfizer has cut deals at high prices with about 20 developed countries. Their government agencies can’t reject the Pfizer vaccine as too expensive because they can’t ask their frontline healthcare workers to wait for a cheaper alternative. They have to act now.

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“Rather than antibodies produced by the body to help fight an infection, AZD7442 uses monoclonal antibodies, which have been created in a laboratory.”

UK Scientists Trial Drug To Prevent Infection That Leads To Covid (G.)

British scientists are trialling a new drug that could prevent someone who has been exposed to coronavirus from going on to develop the disease Covid-19, which experts say could save many lives. The antibody therapy would confer instant immunity against the disease and could be given as an emergency treatment to hospital inpatients and care home residents to help contain outbreaks. People living in households where someone has caught Covid could be injected with the drug to ensure they do not become infected too. It could also be given to university students, among whom the virus has spread rapidly because they live, study and socialise together.

Dr Catherine Houlihan, a virologist at University College London Hospitals NHS trust (UCLH) who is leading a study called Storm Chaser into the drug, said: “If we can prove that this treatment works and prevent people who are exposed to the virus going on to develop Covid-19, it would be an exciting addition to the arsenal of weapons being developed to fight this dreadful virus.,” The drug has been developed by UCLH and AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that has also, along with Oxford University, created a vaccine that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is expected to approve for use in Britain next week. The team hope the trial shows that the cocktail of antibodies protects against Covid-19 for between six and 12 months. Trial participants are receiving it as two doses, one after the other.

If it is approved, it would be offered to someone who has been exposed to Covid in the previous eight days. It could be available as soon as March or April if it is approved by the medicines regulator after it has reviewed evidence from the study. The trial involves ULCH, several other British hospitals and a network of 100 sites globally. This month University College hospital became the first site in the world to recruit patients into the randomised control trial and give them the jab or a placebo. “To date we have injected 10 participants – staff, students and other people – who were exposed to the virus at home, in a healthcare setting or student halls,” said Houlihan. She and colleagues would closely follow the participants to see which of them develop Covid-19.

The immediate protection that the drug promises could play a vital role in reducing the impact of the virus until everyone has been immunised. The vaccination programme is under way using the Pfizer/BioNTech jab and is expected to take until next summer. NHS England accelerated the vaccine deployment this week after criticism from hospital bosses, GP leaders and the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt that it was taking too long. “The advantage of this medicine is that it gives you immediate antibodies,” Houlihan said. “We could say to trial participants who have been exposed: yes, you can have the vaccine. But we wouldn’t be telling them that would protect them from the disease, because it’s too late by then [because the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines do not confer full immunity for around a month].”

[..] The drug involves a long-acting antibody combination known as AZD7442, which has been developed by AstraZeneca. Rather than antibodies produced by the body to help fight an infection, AZD7442 uses monoclonal antibodies, which have been created in a laboratory. In documents on a clinical trial that AstraZeneca has registered in the US, it explains that it is investigating “the efficacy of AZD7442 for the post-exposure prophylaxis of Covid-19 in adults. The Sars-CoV-2 spike protein contains the virus’s RBD [receptor-binding domain], which enables the virus to bind to receptors on human cells. By targeting this region of the virus’s spike protein, antibodies can block the virus’s attachment to human cells, and therefore is expected to block infection.”

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“Some substantial portion of the early vaccines could be reserved for community trials. A number of communities could be given treatments in which a designated proportion of the population is vaccinated as soon as possible; this portion could be varied (30%, 50%, 70%) so that a variety of treatments could be tested.”

Rolling Out the Vaccine (Dorman)

The vaccines approved by the FDA, along with those approved by other countries like China and Russia, have gone through the fastest possible testing. Tens of thousands of individuals have been placed in control and treatment groups in order to determine two things: to what extent do the vaccines reduce the likelihood of getting infected (efficiency) and how common and severe are the side effects (safety)? Meeting both criteria is sufficient for approval, which is how it should be. But there is another crucial question, to what extent do the vaccines reduce transmission of the virus to others?

The answer does not affect whether these vaccines should be employed, but they do have large consequences for other policies during this phase of the pandemic, such as rules for separation and masking, restrictions on activities and events, resumption of in-person schooling, and how much should be spent on interventions like ventilation overhauls. To the extent that vaccination reduces transmission, other restrictions and investments can be modified as the vaccinated portion of the population increases. Unfortunately, our knowledge of this issue is minimal. We don’t have any published lab results at all, and we are at least months away from meaningful epidemiological data.

A rollout that prioritizes crucial learning could change this. Some substantial portion of the early vaccines could be reserved for community trials. A number of communities could be given treatments in which a designated proportion of the population is vaccinated as soon as possible; this portion could be varied (30%, 50%, 70%) so that a variety of treatments could be tested. Others matched to them by relevant demographic, economic and other variables would be controls and would not receive any vaccines during the trial period. (Note that the lack of blinding at the community level should not be a serious problem as long as unvaccinated individuals in treatment communities are given a convincing placebo.) Everyone living in these communities would be tested regularly. We could then observe differences between community infection rates corresponding to treatment and infer transmission probabilities under real world conditions. It might also be possible to learn how transmission varies across the different viral strains that have emerged. The entire operation could be accomplished within the space of a month or less.

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You have allergies? Stay away.

Pfizer COVID19 Vaccine Causing More Allergic Reactions Than Expected (NYP)

The chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed said the frequency of allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is higher than what would be expected for other jabs, according to a report.Dr. Moncef Slaoui said the last time he was updated on allergic reactions was Tuesday, when there were six cases, and added that the data on COVID-19 immunizations is lagging behind the actual numbers, CNN reported. “That frequency, as it stood yesterday, is superior to what one would expect with other vaccines,” he said. Slaoui said discussions are underway between the vaccine makers and the National Institutes of Health to consider holding clinical trials of vaccines in very allergic populations, such as people who always have to carry anti-allergy medication in an EpiPen.

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January will be bleak.

Millions Wake Up To Tougher Restrictions As UK Covid Deaths Pass 70,000 (PA)

Millions more people will be waking to harsher coronavirus restrictions on Boxing Day when new tier changes come into force in England. New lockdowns are set to be introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland, while restrictions that were eased for Christmas Day in Wales will be reimposed on Saturday. Those in the strict tier 4 in England will increase by 6 million to 24 million people, representing 43% of the population, in response to a more transmissible variant being discovered in the UK. It comes after the government said a further 570 died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus as of Christmas Day, taking the UK’s total deaths within 28 days of a positive test to 70,195. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 86,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.


There were also 32,725 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, bringing to 244,146 the number of positive tests in the past seven days. The new measures were being imposed against a backdrop of increasing infections, hospital admissions and a new more contagious variant in the UK which was announced last week. Areas moving into tier 4 are Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, parts of Essex not yet in the highest tier, Waverley in Surrey and Hampshire, with the exception of the New Forest. Tier-4 restrictions include a warning to stay at home, a limit on household mixing to two people outdoors and the forced closure of many shops, hairdressers and gyms.

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“In essence Trump is asking for a stand alone COVID relief bill for $2k/person, then drop the $600/person payment out of the pork-laden COVID relief bill and start that economic relief bill over.”

Pelosi, Democrats, UniParty and Media Spin Narrative Around COVID Relief (CTH)

There has been a great deal of political narrative engineering/fabrication surrounding President Trump’s admonitions to congress about a pork-filled COVID relief package. With a budgetary “shut-down” date looming on Monday, let’s look at the issues. First, there’s no such thing as a federal government “shut-down”; the only thing that happens if with a budgetary date exceeded is “non essential” government employees told to stay home (reference the prior “sequestration” nonsense). Second, the jaw-droppingly tone-deaf and pork-filled scheme of spending within the $900 billion COVID relief package is disconnected from the Omnibus spending bill ($1.5 trillion) that was combined into a single legislative construct for convenience only.

The Omnibus bill (non budget spending/allocation) and the COVID bill can be separated, because they are technically separate bills. President Trump wants congress to re-write the $900 billion COVID bill to provide $2,000 per person instead of $600 per person. In essence Trump is asking for a stand alone COVID relief bill for $2k/person, then drop the $600/person payment out of the pork-laden COVID relief bill and start that economic relief bill over. This is not a hard issue to resolve. The only reason UniParty congress is fighting Trump is because their lobbyist and foreign government bribes are part of the $900 billion and will not pass the scrutiny of public opinion if standing alone.

To try and conflate the issues Pelosi changed on part of the pork-laden COVID bill to $2k/person, without removing all the pork. The GOP voted against that scheme and the media are now claiming that loggerhead derails the omnibus part of the spending “package”. Again, Omnibus is separate from COVID relief. The obtuse arguments are conflated and false. The Omnibus spending bill can be sent to POTUS without the COVID part included. The reason why McConnell and Pelosi want to keep them attached is because the combination makes a 5,500 page mess that hides the pork.

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“Why ask a president whether he is a traitor or a crook when you can focus on his favorite flavor of milkshake or compliment him on his socks?”

Our Upside-Down Postelection World (Hanson)

After Nov. 3, the meaning of some words and concepts abruptly changed. Have you noticed how new realities have replaced old ones? Media cross-examination of the president is now an out-of-date idea. The time for gotcha questions has come and gone. Why ask a president whether he is a traitor or a crook when you can focus on his favorite flavor of milkshake or compliment him on his socks? The old pre-election truth was that new vaccines take years to develop. The new postelection truth is that it’s no big deal to bring out new vaccines in nine months. Impeaching a first-term president after his first midterm election — on a strictly partisan vote, for political reasons other than the Constitution’s “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” — is now a terrible idea.

Worse would be to appoint a special counsel to harass a president on unfounded charges of collusion with China. An even scarier notion would be a conservative dream team of partisan lawyers hounding President Joe Biden — using a 22-month, $40 million blank check. It would be unprofessional for university psychologists and physicians from a distance to diagnose, in pop fashion, the mental faculties of a President Biden. Certainly, there would never be talk about Department of Justice officials contemplating wearing a wire as part of an entrapment scheme to remove a President Biden through the 25th Amendment. That would almost constitute a coup attempt. Almost as bad would be for the holdover FBI director to start “memorializing” his private conversations with Joe Biden on FBI devices. He might then leak such memos to the press — just in case he were to be fired for secretly investigating Biden for “Chinese collusion” and then lying about such a probe.

What happened to the Logan Act? Not long ago it was assumed to be a critically needed guardrail. Wouldn’t it now ensure that presidential transition team members were not calling foreign leaders while Donald Trump is still president? How has it suddenly become a defunct, ossified relic? Leaking classified material would be about the worst thing government officials could do. Imagine if a Trump holdover, burrowed into the new Biden administration, released a transcript of Biden’s private conversations with the Mexican president or the Australian prime minister. Such a breach of trust would be almost as bad as a turncoat anti-Biden mole seeking to resist presidential directives. Imagine if this anonymous staffer were given an op-ed in the New York Tines to claim that a cadre of old-time Democrats were shocked by Biden’s cognitive decline and resisting his directives.

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$100 million for a Senate seat. Inflation much?

Georgia Democrats Shatter Fundraising Records (DC)

Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock have each raised over $100 million in the past two months, shattering Senate fundraising records and out-raising their respective challengers, Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Their $210 million total was split almost evenly, with Ossoff reporting $106.8 million and Warnock reporting $103.4 million, two totals funded largely by small-dollar donors across the country, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Though outraised, Perdue and Loeffler raised over $130 million in total, reporting $68 and $64.1 million, respectively. All four totals broke the previous Senate fundraising record set by South Carolina challenger Jaime Harrison in the third quarter of 2020 when he reported raising $57 million in his bid against South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.


Ossoff and Warnock have spent $67 and $53 million on television advertisements since the November election, compared to $34 million and $36 million for Perdue and Loeffler. But while the two Democrats have outspent both incumbents, outside GOP groups have erased much of their financial edge, Politico reported. Georgia’s two Senate runoffs have become almost completely nationalized given their stakes. If Democrats flip both seats then they would have 50 seats, just enough for a majority with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. If Republicans, however, can defend both seats, then they would have a 52-48 Senate majority, which would prevent Democratic control of Congress and the White House and likely block much of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda once he takes office in January.

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1,246 pages.

Full Brexit Trade Deal ‘Goes Beyond Canada-style Accord’ (G.)

The post-Brexit trade deal agreed by the UK and the European Union goes beyond the bloc’s so-called “Canada-style” trade accord, the BBC has reported, citing a full copy of the agreement. The 1,246-page document, which includes about 800 pages of annexes and footnotes, includes a late compromise on electric cars, the corporation said. The EU had sought to offer tariff-free access only to those British vehicles that are made mostly with European parts. This measure will now be phased in over six years but is less generous than the UK requested. The BBC also reported there is a commitment not to lower standards on the environment, workers’ rights and climate change with mechanisms to enforce it.

However there is also a mutual right to “rebalance” the agreement if there are “significant divergences” in future that are capable of “impacting trade”. The dispensations go beyond standard free-trade agreements such as those between the EU and Canada or Japan, reflecting the UK’s history in the single market which was established in 1993. Johnson had described the agreement, which was reached on Christmas Eve, as a “jumbo” free trade deal along the lines of that between the EU and Canada and urged Britain to move on from the divisions caused by the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The BBC reported that restrictions compensation for unfair subsidies to companies “do not apply” in situations such as natural disasters which will exempt the EU’s large current pandemic support package for aviation, aerospace, climate change and electric cars. Parliament will debate and vote on the deal on Wednesday, a day before the transition period lapses. Downing Street has thus far published only a short summary of the agreement that sets out the shape of the future relationship between the EU and Brussels.

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Make it stop!

Boeing 737 Max Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Failure (ZH)

Last month, commercial flights with Boeing 737 Max jetliners resumed after a 20-month worldwide grounding, following two deadly accidents. Now we’re finding out, weeks later, after the Max was cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to return to the skies safely, an Air Canada Boeing 737-8 Max suffered engine issues during flight. According to Aviation24.be, an Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX (registered C-FSNQ) was on a test flight after storage from Marana Pinal, Arizona, to Montreal, Canada, when the incident occurred. Luckily, the aircraft had no passengers and only three crew members.


Engine issues shortly developed after the plane took off. The crew noticed the “left engine had low hydraulic pressure,” said Aviation24.be. Then more complications developed with the aircraft: “The crew and airline dispatch/engineering controllers initially decided to continue to Montreal but the crew received an indication of a fuel imbalance from the left-hand wing and shut the left hand engine down,” said the aviation website. The crew was forced to declare a “PAN-PAN” emergency, meaning the plane was in severe jeopardy and had to divert from its pre-planned flight route and land in Tucson. The incident took place on Dec. 22, according to Aviation24.be.

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“In short, the self-demolition of America was fait accompli.”

Christmas Awokenings (Jim Kunstler)

And so, on Christmas morning, having suffered the night visitations of vexing spirits — or was that just the strange interaction of Zyprexa and Zolpidem — Joe Biden woke up (in a manner of speaking) to find himself transformed. He was no longer dogged by the prospect of being president of the US, but, rather, was convinced he had become the provincial plenipotentiary of a Chinese overseas possession known as Golden Wok West, where CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping can order up any asset for take-out. What a relief, Joe thought, as they brought in his morning meds. Here, now, was a one-horse pony of a different color, Joe mused, chugging down his 5mg of Haldol.

Ol’ Joe went to bed on the blessed silent night fretting that soon he’d have to answer to all those caterwauling losers about to be tossed from their McHouses and apartments after nearly a year of nonpayment. But no, the shabby dwellings would now just become the property of the People’s Liberation Army, as that very fine organization prepared to sort things out in the flea market once known as America.

Was there anything left of value? Wasn’t that a puzzlement? The former so-called Yang-kees had squandered all their laid-up treasure turning their continent into a demolition derby — six-laners lined by muffler shops, chain stores, and fried food shacks — and when all their financial resources were used up, they’d borrowed so much more money that all the certified public accountants who ever lived could not keep up with the compounded interest calculations if they worked double-shifts until the end of time. In short, the self-demolition of America was fait accompli.

Now, all that was left for Joe Biden to do was to sign some paperwork and, maybe three times a week, emerge from his basement to smile and explain to eager members of the inquisitive news media why he preferred General Tso’s Chicken over Hunan Beef. At least that’s how things seemed to shake out in Joe Biden’s brain on Christmas morning as Dr. Jill helped him to the bathroom….

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“If people can’t control their own emotions then they have to start to control other people’s behavior.”
– John Cleese

 

 

 

 

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