A major story in Athens these days concerns a “children’s charity” NGO named “Kivotos tou Kosmou” (World’s Ark), founded by a priest, Antonios -the Greeks still love their priests- which since 1998 has run multiple homes for “vulnerable children and mothers”. Recently, it has come under scrutiny because of widespread financial malfeasance and, wouldn’t you know, “widespread sexual and physical abuse” of the children in their care. The Monastiraki kitchen’s Filothei tells me that she and her late husband used to donate money to this NGO on a regular basis. Imagine how she feels now, along with so many others.
I tell you this because it apparently revives a discussion about NGOs here in Greece. You may remember that in 2015, when I first landed here, at the height of the refugee crisis, there were 51 NGOs reportedly “operating” on the island of Lesbos alone. Their capital came from the Greek government, as well as the EU, and likely the UN. Many of them were handing out lousy and expensive meals, bought by the thousands from companies somewhere in Europe, and paid for with subsidies (they paid $5-10 per meal, the Monastiraki kitchen cost is $1 per meal -maybe $1,50 now- for much better quality- we make sure). And it was a lucrative business. It was “the Charity Industry”. British (ex?) politician David Miliband then earned £425,000-a-year as head of refugee charity International Rescue. For all I know he still does.
They picked Miliband because of his ties to -political- funding. Where that funding then went, if it actually helped people, was a secondary matter. To be an NGO, you must comply with, in the Greek case, a long set of EU rules. And then when you do, you can get a lot of money -or at least in 2015 you could. That money didn’t go where it was needed, it went to the NGO industry. And the politicians could say: see, we spent so much money on the poor, you can’t blame us if anything goes wrong!
Somehow this whole thing has reached the Monastiraki kitchen to the extent that Filothei would like me to explain. As she herself wrote on the kitchen’s Facebook page the other day (Google translation) :
The Monastiraki social kitchen, we are a group, “big family” of intrepid people with a common goal and abundance of emotions. Setting tables for sharing moments and feeding. WE DON’T ACCEPT CASH. We are not an NGO. We have no sponsors. We are only accepting items that can fit in the pot of all of us or fruit and candy all shared on the same day. We don’t store, we don’t stock food, we do not throw food. Even ripe fruit becomes jams for crepes. Whatever are SOS needs that we cannot meet, we ask for your help, always in kind.
With organized and proper management of food, we always have it in abundance and no needy person leaves complaining. Thank you for your prompt response, caring, support and Humanity. This pot is filled by all of us and is distributed fairly to all. With a smile and appetite for lessons in the difficult city, we are waiting for you in our big family. We keep what unites us and throw away what divides us. Solidarity, respect, and Love are our weapons.
This comes after she tells me people ask how much we ourselves make from each cooking, and people saying: I would like to work for your kitchen, how much do you pay? In reality, the people who prepare the food are also the people who use their own money -of which most have little- to buy what is needed to feed 500 homeless per cooking. And in the background as a safety net, for large expenses and unexpected costs, there is the Automatic Earth and its wonderful readers.
People’s perception, and you can’t blame them for it, is that we make money off of feeding the poorest. As I said, charity has become an industry. NGOs are money makers. And that’s how people see them. That’s why we never wanted to be an NGO. Sure, that means donations to us are not tax-deductible, and that undoubtedly costs us a lot of money, but the cost to our integrity of complying with bureaucrats is just too high. We pave our own path.
As for the kitchen’s operations right now, we’ve made sure there’s still a bit of money left from your donations in summer, just in case. From time to time I even tell Filothei et al that they can keep their money and put it in a jar or an envelope for hard(er) times. Because we still have some funds, we made sure. They refuse to accept any cash, by the way, I have to personally go to the supermarket to purchase the checks that they then use to buy the staple foods, pasta, rice, tomato cans and -paste. Can’t give them cash, can’t transfer the money.
But winter hasn’t started yet, and that will be the big challenge. Supermarket prices just keep on rising, but the big one will be the power and energy bills. Which for some people will be 3x what they were last year. We face 3 months of trouble. How many people will be unable to pay their bills? How many will have to cut down on food just to be able to stay in their homes? How may will end up in the streets? How cold will it get? We don’t know. But we do have to try and prepare. For more meals, more cooking, more caring.
And never underestimate the shame, the hesitancy that people feel when they must admit they can not feed themselves, or worse, their families. People all over the world are too proud for that, and Greeks are certainly no exception.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support. And we’ll make sure our clients have a great Christmas dinner. I’d pay for it myself if needed, but something tells me the Monastiraki kitchen family will beat me to it.
My usual schtick repeated:
Also, I should never forget the local people who support the kitchen. There is a baker who sends over enough bread for everyone. Another baker sends over tons of fantastic sweets, luxurious pies etc., every week (€100 each time?). They wish to remain anonymous. And there are many like them. The store where we get the water sends over food for vegetarians, to name one example. Plus, of course, most vegetables come from Filothei’s organic garden (how big does a garden have to be before you call it a farm?!). It’s a brilliant operation, and I’m proud to be part of it.
We are a lucky kitchen. Because of all these people, and because of you. Thank you. I’ll end with the usual play:
Most of you will know the drill of this by now: any Paypal donations ending in $0.99 or $0.37 go straight to the Monastiraki kitchen, while other donations go to the Automatic Earth -which also badly needs them. (Note: a lot of Automatic Earth donations also end up at the kitchen).
I dislike few things more than asking people for money, even though the Automatic Earth now runs primarily on donations, and there’s some sweet justice in that as well, in depending on people’s appreciation of what we do, instead of ad revenues.
But I cannot do this on my own right now. The Monastiraki kitchen will realistically need about €1,500 per month (not all from my readers). I don’t have that to spare. So I’m calling on you. Unashamedly, because I know there is no reason to be ashamed of the cause.
I love all you people, and I’m sorry I can’t thank you all individually who have supported -and still do- the Monastiraki kitchen and the Automatic Earth all this time, and I ask you to keep on doing just that. The details for donations on Paypal and Patreon, for both causes, are in the top of the two sidebars of this site. Could not be much easier. If you’d rather send a check, go to our Store and Donations page. Bitcoin: 1HYLLUR2JFs24X1zTS4XbNJidGo2XNHiTT.
Love you. Thank you. This kitchen would not exist without you, these people would not get fed.
We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.
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On September 26, 2021, I posted the Spartacus letter in its entirety, because I thought it was too good to “disappear” in our daily news aggregator, Debt Rattle. This turned out to be a good decision, since the letter vanished from its original server soon afterward. But it was -and is- still here. Zero Hedge reposted my repost, and things went off from there, generating some 200,000 views here and 1.85 million at Zero Hedge. Plus who knows how many at other places.
The Spartacus collective -we now know they are indeed a group- returned a few days ago with an update letter, now on Substack. That is probably a safer place then their original Docdroid site, but I’ll repost this one as well. Nice to see they are aware of the Automatic Earth’s role in garnering attention for the first letter. My pleasure. You guys are very good.
Note: the original, COVID-19: A Web of Corruption, is here.
My name is Spartacus, and I ve had enough.
I am one of the authors of the Spartacus Letter, a document that took the world by storm in September of 2021.
To date, four versions of the letter have been published, and all four can be viewed here:
We shared this document with numerous news outlets and sent it directly to Dr. Robert Malone, who linked it on his Twitter account. From there, it was reposted on the Automatic Earth blog, and then, on ZeroHedge, where it garnered over a million hits.
It was quickly decried as misinformation both by freelance analysts on Twitter, and by fact-checkers:
Conspirador NorteOo @conspirator0
The “Spartacus” COVID disinfo document first appeared on docdroid(dot)com on Sept 24 2021. The first Twitter account to share it was a small Italian-language account, @number229401056. The second was @RWMaloneMD, whose tweet linking the letter was retweeted nearly 1000 times.
Is this the case? Could ICENI, with a fully-sourced document with over 600 citations that lays out an extensive argument regarding the nature and origins of COVID-19, have been intending to deliberately mislead the public, as our detractors state?
Perhaps we were not explicit enough.
SARS-CoV-2 is manmade. It was produced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with US Government funding. It is the lynchpin of a plan by ruthless elites to take over the entire world. There is enough circumstantial evidence that, if taken together, implicates numerous government officials and scientists in this plot.
The people involved could be charged with crimes against humanity for their complicity in this, but if they were, it would bring the entire system crashing down around our ears simply due to the sheer number of the guilty and the loftiness of their offices.
There is no way to sugarcoat any of this. If people remain ignorant of the nature of COVID-19 and the events leading up to the present, then the petty tyrants stripping us of our civil liberties will win.
What follows will be something of a recapitulation of the Spartacus Letter, in great detail, with numerous hyperlinks and small blocks of quoted material and images within fair use limitations, for the sake of commentary and criticism of public figures.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a close relative of SARS-CoV, the causative agent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as SARS. SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus of the betacoronavirus genus, which it shares with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
This time, Cavuto said he had a “far, far more serious strand” because his “very compromised immune system” simply hasn’t benefited in the same way from the vaccines as those with healthy immune systems.
Cavuto said that his most recent case of Covid-19 had led to pneumonia and landed him “in intensive care for quite a while.”
While it is certainly true that COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, it would be inaccurate to describe COVID-19 as a pneumonia per se. Due to the significant expression of ACE2 in vascular endothelial cells and pericytes as part of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS), SARS-CoV-2 preferentially attacks the lining of blood vessels and small capillaries, severely inflaming them, leading to sepsis, capillary leak, pulmonary edema, and yes, pneumonia.
However, therein lies the crucial distinction: SARS-CoV-2 injures the lungs by infecting the blood vessels that supply the alveoli and triggering sepsis and ARDS. It would be more accurate, therefore, to describe COVID-19 not as a pneumonia, but as a disease of the circulatory system.
This has been known since April of 2020, when University Hospital Zurich proclaimed that COVID-19 was, in actuality, a vascular endotheliitis.
During analyses of tissue samples taken from deceased COVID-19 patients taken following an autopsy, pathologists at University Hospital Zurich have now discovered that patients are not just suffering from an inflammation of the lungs, but also from an inflammation of all endothelial tissue in a wide range of organs. In addition, pathologist Prof. Zsuzsanna Varga has been able to use an electron microscope to verify for the first time that SARS-CoV-2 is present and causes cell necrosis in endothelial tissue.
The nature of COVID-19 as a vascular endotheliitis is now well-established in the primary literature.
Post-mortem analysis of the transplanted kidney by electron microscopy revealed viral inclusion structures in endothelial cells (figure A, B). In histological analyses, we found an accumulation of inflammatory cells associated with endothelium, as well as apoptotic bodies, in the heart, the small bowel (figure C) and lung (figure D). An accumulation of mononuclear cells was found in the lung, and most small lung vessels appeared congested.
Inflammatory activation of endothelial cells can disrupt VE-cadherin largely responsible for the integrity of the endothelial barrier function.62 Activated endothelial cells can also express matrix metalloproteinases that can degrade the basement membrane and further interrupt endothelial barrier function. In small vessels, such as those that embrace alveoli in the lung, this impaired barrier function can lead to capillary leak.
What these papers are essentially describing is endothelial dysfunction and endothelial injury in the context of acute sepsis. Researchers have stated that severe COVID-19 is a form of sepsis. Why is this important? Because it has serious implications for how COVID-19 may be successfully treated. It also explains why many current treatments fail to rescue critically-ill patients.
Acute sepsis does a number of terrible things to the circulatory system and vital organs. One thing it does is severely disrupt the balance of oxidation and reduction reactions in the body.
Sepsis is a clinical syndrome characterized by systemic inflammation, usually in response to infection. The signs and symptoms are very similar to Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), which typically occur consequent to trauma and auto-immune diseases. Common treatments of sepsis include administration of antibiotics and oxygen. Oxygen is administered due to ischemia in tissues, which results in the production of free radicals. Poor utilization of oxygen by the mitochondrial electron transport chain can increase oxidative stress during ischemia and exacerbate the severity and outcome in septic patients. This course of treatment virtually mimics the conditions seen in ischemia reperfusion disorders. Therefore, this review proposes that the mechanism of free radical production seen in sepsis and SIRS is identical to the oxidative stress seen in ischemia reperfusion injury. Specifically, this is due to a biochemical mechanism within the mitochondria where the oxidation of succinate to fumarate by succinate dehydrogenase (complex II) is reversed in sepsis (hypoxia), leading to succinate accumulation. Oxygen administration (equivalent to reperfusion) rapidly oxidizes the accumulated succinate, leading to the generation of large amounts of superoxide radical and other free radical species. Organ damage possibly leading to multi-organ failure could result from this oxidative burst seen in sepsis and SIRS. Accordingly, we postulate that temporal administration with anti-oxidants targeting the mitochondria and/or succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors could be beneficial in sepsis and SIRS patients.
Another thing it does is promote endothelial dysfunction.
Sepsis produces endothelial dysfunction, forcing a pro-adhesive, procoagulant and antifibrinolytic state in endothelial cells, thus altering the hemostasis, leucocyte trafficking, inflammation, barrier function and microcirculation .
We know this is occurring in COVID-19, because COVID-19 sufferers have elevated levels of both inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a and IL-6, and oxidative and nitrosative stress biomarkers such as nitrotyrosine, coupled with low nitric oxide bioavailability. This has led some to hypothesize that, ultimately, severe COVID-19 is death by neutrophilia .
Multi-system involvement and rapid clinical deterioration are hallmarks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related mortality. The unique clinical phenomena in severe COVID-19 can be perplexing, and they include disproportionately severe hypoxemia relative to lung alveolar-parenchymal pathology and rapid clinical deterioration, with poor response to O2 supplementation, despite preserved lung mechanics. Factors such as microvascular injury, thromboembolism, pulmonary hypertension, and alteration in hemoglobin structure and function could play important roles. Overwhelming immune response associated with cytokine storms could activate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may result in consumption of nitric oxide (NO), a critical vasodilation regulator. In other inflammatory infections, activated neutrophils are known to release myeloperoxidase (MPO) in a natural immune response, which contributes to production of hypochlorous acid (HOCl). However, during overwhelming inflammation, HOCl competes with O2 at heme binding sites, decreasing O2 saturation. Moreover, HOCl contributes to several oxidative reactions, including hemoglobin-heme iron oxidation, heme destruction, and subsequent release of free iron, which mediates toxic tissue injury through additional generation of ROS and NO consumption. Connecting these reactions in a multi-hit model can explain generalized tissue damage, vasoconstriction, severe hypoxia, and precipitous clinical deterioration in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Understanding these mechanisms is critical to develop therapeutic strategies to combat COVID-19.
This is also known as respiratory burst, or neutrophil degranulation, or, in extreme cases, neutrophil extracellular trap formation:
Neutrophils use enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) to produce hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid (peroxide and bleach, essentially) in order to destroy bacteria and other pathogens by attacking their membranes with powerful oxidants.
Normally, our cells, which are made of essentially the same stuff as bacteria, survive this by using powerful antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase (GPX) to break down hydrogen peroxide into water and reduce harmful lipid hydroperoxides to their corresponding alcohols.
To identify host factors or pathways important in the control of SARS-CoV2 infection, publicly available transcriptome data sets including transcriptome analysis of lung biopsies from COVID-19 patients were analyzed using differential expression analysis14. Here, genes linked with inflammatory and antiviral pathways, including RIG-I receptor and Toll-like receptor signaling, were enriched in COVID-19 patient samples, whereas genes associated with the NRF2 dependent antioxidant response were suppressed in the same patients (Fig. 1a c). That NRF2-induced genes are repressed during SARS-CoV2 infections was supported by reanalysis of another data-set building on transcriptome analysis of lung autopsies obtained from five individual COVID-19 patients (Desai et al.15) (Fig. 1d). Furthermore, that the NRF2-pathway is repressed during infection with SARS-CoV2 was supported by in vitro experiments where the expression of NRF2-inducible proteins Heme Oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and NAD(P)H quinone oxydoreducatse 1 (NqO1) was repressed in SARS-CoV2 infected Vero hTMPRSS2 cells while the expression of canonical antiviral transcription factors such as STAT1 and IRF3 were unaffected (Supplementary Fig. 1). These data indicate that SARS-CoV2 targets the NRF2 antioxidant pathway and thus suggests that the NRF2 pathway restricts SARS-CoV2 replication.
The Nrf2 pathway directly regulates the function of glutathione peroxidase.
Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is the primary transcription factor protecting cells from oxidative stress by regulating cytoprotective genes, including the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) pathway. GSH maintains cellular redox status and affects redox signaling, cell proliferation, and death. GSH homeostasis is regulated by de novo synthesis as well as GSH redox state; previous studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 regulates GSH homeostasis by affecting de novo synthesis.
This is, of course, why severely ill COVID-19 patients are noted to have glutathione deficiencies.
Humanity is battling a respiratory pandemic pneumonia named COVID-19 which has resulted in millions of hospitalizations and deaths. COVID-19 exacerbations occur in waves that continually challenge healthcare systems globally. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand all mechanisms by which COVID-19 results in health deterioration to facilitate the development of protective strategies. Oxidative stress (OxS) is a harmful condition caused by excess reactive-oxygen species (ROS) and is normally neutralized by antioxidants among which Glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant. GSH deficiency results in amplified OxS due to compromised antioxidant defenses. Because little is known about GSH or OxS in COVID-19 infection, we measured GSH, TBARS (a marker of OxS) and F2-isoprostane (marker of oxidant damage) concentrations in 60 adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Compared to uninfected controls, COVID-19 patients of all age groups had severe GSH deficiency, increased OxS and elevated oxidant damage which worsened with advancing age. These defects were also present in younger age groups, where they do not normally occur. Because GlyNAC (combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine) supplementation has been shown in clinical trials to rapidly improve GSH deficiency, OxS and oxidant damage, GlyNAC supplementation has implications for combating these defects in COVID-19 infected patients and warrants urgent investigation.
Glutathione deficiencies, endothelial dysfunction, and chronic oxidative stress all point essentially to the same thing: untreated chronic malnutrition brought on by consumption of an energy-rich, micronutrient-poor diet. This is also known as Metabolic Syndrome, and has a close association with endothelial dysfunction and, indeed, premature aging of the blood vessels. It is, of course, why COVID-19 causes more severe illness in those with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and old age. All of these conditions involve pre-existing endothelial dysfunction that renders one more vulnerable to sepsis.
There is, in fact, a close association between the severity of COVID-19 and the quality of one s diet.
Over 3 886 274 person-months of follow-up, 31 815 COVID-19 cases were documented. Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of the diet score, high diet quality was associated with lower risk of COVID-19 (HR 0.91; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.94) and severe COVID-19 (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.74). The joint association of low diet quality and increased deprivation on COVID-19 risk was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone (Pinteraction=0.005). The corresponding absolute excess rate per 10 000 person/months for lowest vs highest quartile of diet score was 22.5 (95% CI 18.8 to 26.3) among persons living in areas with low deprivation and 40.8 (95% CI 31.7 to 49.8) among persons living in areas with high deprivation.
It is plausible, though not conclusively proven, that COVID-19 could be warded off by simple changes to diet and exercise habits, especially the inclusion of antioxidant-rich foods high in Vitamin D, cysteine, dietary nitrate, and selenium in one s diet.
Rather than suggesting that people eat better and go on jogs, the authorities have spent the past two years locking people down, which has made them both more obese and more vulnerable to the virus.
A total of 26 studies met inclusion criteria (n = 3399, 85.7% female). The pooled prevalence of symptomatic deterioration in EDs was 65% (95% CI[48,81], k = 10). The pooled prevalence of increased weight in obesity was 52% (95% CI[25,78], k = 4). More than half of the participants experienced depression and anxiety. Moreover, at least 75% of the individuals with EDs reported shape and eating concerns, and increased thinking about exercising.
What is actually happening in COVID-19 that causes all this oxidative damage? First, superoxide reacts with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite, a damaging nitrogen radical. Then, peroxynitrite reacts with tetrahydrobiopterin in endothelial nitric oxide synthase, leading to those enzymes becoming uncoupled , which makes them recursively produce superoxide in a damaging biological feedback loop. Dr. Martin L. Pall refers to this phenomenon by the moniker NO/ONOO- Disease .
The NO/ONOO-cycle is a primarily local, biochemical vicious cycle mechanism, centered on elevated peroxynitrite and oxidative stress, but also involving 10 additional elements: NF-∫B, inflammatory cytokines, iNOS, nitric oxide (NO), superoxide, mitochondrial dysfunction (lowered energy charge, ATP), NMDA activity, intracellular Ca2+, TRP receptors and tetrahydrobiopterin depletion. All 12 of these elements have causal roles in heart failure (HF) and each is linked through a total of 87 studies to specific correlates of HF. Two apparent causal factors of HF, RhoA and endothelin-1, each act as tissue-limited cycle elements. Nineteen stressors that initiate cases of HF, each act to raise multiple cycle elements, potentially initiating the cycle in this way. Different types of HF, left vs. right ventricular HF, with or without arrhythmia, etc., may differ from one another in the regions of the myocardium most impacted by the cycle. None of the elements of the cycle or the mechanisms linking them are original, but they collectively produce the robust nature of the NO/ONOO-cycle which creates a major challenge for treatment of HF or other proposed NO/ONOO-cycle diseases. Elevated peroxynitrite/NO ratio and consequent oxidative stress are essential to both HF and the NO/ONOO-cycle.
As nitric oxide levels decrease and superoxide predominates (a textbook phenomenon in endothelial dysfunction), superoxide dismutase makes hydrogen peroxide, and then myeloperoxidase makes hypochlorous acid. Hypochlorous acid strips iron from heme. Then, free unliganded iron, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide react in the Haber-Weiss and Fenton reactions to form damaging hydroxyl radicals.
It is difficult for most people to comprehend just how damaging hydroxyl radicals can be. Hydroxyl radicals occur naturally in the upper atmosphere, where they destroy pollutants. When they occur in the body, they oxidize lipids and DNA instantaneously, within nanoseconds, and no enzyme exists that can detoxify them. Hydroxyl radicals are often produced on purpose with hydrogen peroxide and iron catalyst in hydroxyl generators to create a powerful oxidant concoction that decontaminates and bleaches wastewater streams and HVAC systems by rapidly destroying biological material.
Why are COVID-19 patients dying in droves when they re intubated, with mortality from mechanical ventilation approaching 97% in some cases? It s because intubation mimics the physiology of ischemia-reperfusion injury. Under the acute sepsis triggered by COVID-19, cells experience hypoxia. They become stressed and switch to anaerobic metabolism and glycolysis to make ATP as a desperate last resort. Then, these cells are suddenly fed with O2 by a ventilator, which causes them to switch back to aerobic metabolism. As this happens, hypoxanthine and succinate breakdown produces superoxide radicals in very large amounts.
Superoxide is a precursor to many other types of radicals, as described above. There s even a name for it; the kindling radical/bonfire hypothesis .
Many diseases and drug-induced complications are associated with or even caused by an imbalance between the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) and antioxidant enzymes catalyzing the breakdown of these harmful oxidants. According to the kindling radical hypothesis, initial formation of RONS may trigger the activation of additional sources of RONS in certain pathological conditions.
This process of ROS release greatly accelerates the damage caused by the virus, promoting lipid peroxidation and the formation of damage-associated molecular patterns and oxidation-specific epitopes. The DAMPs summon more neutrophils by their interaction with PRRs, which release more damaging enzymes. The OSEs cause the body to form autoantibodies against oxidized lipids, somewhat similar to some aspects of the pathophysiology of Lupus.
Oxidation reactions are vital parts of metabolism and signal transduction. However, they also produce reactive oxygen species, which damage lipids, proteins and DNA, generating oxidation-specific epitopes. In this review, we will discuss the hypothesis that such common oxidation-specific epitopes are a major target of innate immunity, recognized by a variety of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). By analogy with microbial pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), we postulate that host-derived, oxidation-specific epitopes can be considered to represent danger (or damage) associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). We also argue that oxidation-specific epitopes present on apoptotic cells and their cellular debris provided the primary evolutionary pressure for the selection of such PRRs. Further, because many PAMPs on microbes share molecular identity and/or mimicry with oxidation-specific epitopes, such PAMPs provided a strong secondary selecting pressure for the same set of oxidation-specific PRRs as well.
This severe oxidative stress promotes steroid insensitivity. Suddenly, the corticosteroids stop working and the patient experiences inflammatory rebound.
Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) promote corticosteroid insensitivity by disrupting glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling, leading to the sustained activation of pro-inflammatory pathways in immune and airway structural cells.
A total of 319 COVID-19 patients were admitted to our hospital and 113 patients met inclusion criteria. The success group had 83 patients (73.5%), the rebound group had nine patients (8.0%), and the refractory group had 21 patients (18.6%). Compared with the success group, the rebound group received corticosteroids earlier, for a shorter duration, and stopped them sooner. The median time from symptom onset to rebound was 12 days. There was no rebound after 20 days. Compared with the success group, the hazard ratio for the number of days from corticosteroid onset to an improvement of two points on a seven-point ordinal scale was 0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14 0.60, P < .001) for the rebound group versus 0.13 (95% CI, 0.07 0.25, P < .001) for the refractory group.
Antivirals such as Remdesivir, Kaletra, Ivermectin, and Hydroxychloroquine do nothing to stop this, because by the time someone is in the ER complaining of severe COVID-19 symptoms (which are actually acute sepsis brought on by a deranged, overreacting innate immune system), the virus is already gone.
Similarly to IAV infection, the highest viral load and infectivity for SARS-CoV-2 are observed +/”1 day around the day of symptom onset . Both the amount of infectious virus as well as the amount of viral RNA as measured by qRT-PCR decrease rapidly thereafter. Accordingly, the number of cells within the patient s respiratory tract that are newly infected with SARS-CoV-2 declines sharply within a few days of disease onset. It is now well accepted that immunopathology plays a key role in severe COVID-19 . Accordingly, treatment with corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, improves survival in critically ill COVID-19 patients in the later stages of the disease .
Ultimately, the afflicted cells begin dying of ferroptosis and parthanatos.
As GPX4 is the major PLOOH-neutralizing enzyme, a general mechanism underlying erastin/RSL3-induced ferroptosis emerged: both compounds inactivate GPX4 RSL3 does so directly, and erastin does so indirectly by inhibiting cystine import, thus depriving cells of cysteine, an essential cellular antioxidant and a building block of GSH. Consequently, PLOOHs accumulate, possibly causing rapid and unrepairable damage of plasma membrane, leading to cell death (Fig. 2A). Conceptually, these findings establish ferroptosis as a cell death modality with mechanisms distinct from other known death processes. The pharmacological and genetic tools developed herein enable, and have become indispensable for, ferroptosis research.
In the context of the CNS, which is highlighted in this review to illustrate PARP-1-mediated cell death mechanisms that are shared in most cases by non-neuronal systems, stimuli that induce pathological activation of PARP-1 in in vitro and in vivo studies include oxidative stress by reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or hydroxyl radical, nitrosative stress from NO or peroxynitrite (ONOO”), inflammation, ischaemia (or ischaemic reperfusion), hypoxia, hypoglycaemia and DNA-alkylating agents, such as N-methyl-N -nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG).
That, in a nutshell, is the central pathophysiology of COVID-19. The virus has many other aspects. It can promote hypercoagulability and attack numerous vital organs throughout the body, including the brain, olfactory system, gastrointestinal system, pancreas, kidneys, liver, and even fat cells. However, all of these things occur in the context of acute sepsis and endothelial injury.
In short, COVID-19 is not the disease people have been told it is, and, as per ostracized physicians such as Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. Paul E. Marik, and Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, it is not being treated correctly.
The medical establishment has shunned those pushing for time-sensitive early outpatient treatment of COVID-19 sepsis. The standard of care for COVID-19 is to send people home without a prescription for anything; no antivirals, no antioxidants. Either their infection resolves without incident, or they get sicker, come back, and are intubated and proned, their diaphragm paralyzed with drugs so they can t fight the ventilator, a drip of steroids running into their arm.
This is state-sponsored medical murder.
Why don t people want the vaccines?
Because they are extremely fishy even at first glance. That s why.
Even people with no knowledge of the background of all of this are deeply suspicious of the speed with which these vaccines were fast-tracked, as well as the authorities insistence on people taking them, on pain of job loss, being banned from travel, and essentially being evicted from society.
In absolute terms, COVID-19 is not even particularly lethal. The infection fatality rate for those under age 50 with no comorbidities is very low. In that context, the authorities panicked response and open hostility doesn t seem to make any sense at all.
The mRNA and viral vector vaccines for COVID-19 work essentially by using human cells as a bioreactor, delivering genetic material into cells to get them to express a modified form of SARS-CoV-2 Spike as a vaccine antigen. They do not contain whole virus, nor do they stimulate an antibody response against every structural protein of SARS-CoV-2.
It sounds almost elegant. Any virus could, conceivably, have a tailor-made vaccine produced against it in a matter of days by plugging the gene sequence for its structural proteins in and making a lipid nanoparticle or viral vector containing that genetic material.
Just one problem. It causes severe and life-threatening side effects.
Although significant weight loss and higher serum cytokine/chemokine levels were found in IM group at 1 2 days post-injection (dpi), only IV group developed histopathological changes of myopericarditis as evidenced by cardiomyocyte degeneration, apoptosis, and necrosis with adjacent inflammatory cell infiltration and calcific deposits on visceral pericardium, although evidence of coronary artery or other cardiac pathologies was absent. Serum troponin level was significantly higher in IV group. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike antigen expression by immunostaining was occasionally found in infiltrating immune cells of the heart or injection site, in cardiomyocytes and intracardiac vascular endothelial cells, but not skeletal myocytes. The histological changes of myopericarditis after the first IV-priming dose persisted for 2 weeks and were markedly aggravated by a second IM- or IV-booster dose. Cardiac tissue mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-1≤, interferon (IFN)-≤, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-± increased significantly from 1 dpi to 2 dpi in the IV group but not the IM group, compatible with presence of myopericarditis in the IV group. Ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes was consistently found in the IV group. All other organs appeared normal.
Steve Kirsch, a vocal opponent of the vaccine mandates, has written on Substack about this very topic, as well as attorney Thomas Renz s leaked DMED data, which the DOD have been trying desperately to cover up.
The post-infection of COVID-19 includes a myriad of neurologic symptoms including neurodegeneration. Protein aggregation in brain can be considered as one of the important reasons behind the neurodegeneration. SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1 protein receptor binding domain (SARS-CoV-2 S1 RBD) binds to heparin and heparin binding proteins. Moreover, heparin binding accelerates the aggregation of the pathological amyloid proteins present in the brain. In this paper, we have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 S1 RBD binds to a number of aggregation-prone, heparin binding proteins including A≤, ±-synuclein, tau, prion, and TDP-43 RRM. These interactions suggests that the heparin-binding site on the S1 protein might assist the binding of amyloid proteins to the viral surface and thus could initiate aggregation of these proteins and finally leads to neurodegeneration in brain. The results will help us to prevent future outcomes of neurodegeneration by targeting this binding and aggregation process.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV 2) has led to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic, severely affecting public health and the global economy. Adaptive immunity plays a crucial role in fighting against SARS CoV 2 infection and directly influences the clinical outcomes of patients. Clinical studies have indicated that patients with severe COVID 19 exhibit delayed and weak adaptive immune responses; however, the mechanism by which SARS CoV 2 impedes adaptive immunity remains unclear. Here, by using an in vitro cell line, we report that the SARS CoV 2 spike protein significantly inhibits DNA damage repair, which is required for effective V(D)J recombination in adaptive immunity. Mechanistically, we found that the spike protein localizes in the nucleus and inhibits DNA damage repair by impeding key DNA repair protein BRCA1 and 53BP1 recruitment to the damage site. Our findings reveal a potential molecular mechanism by which the spike protein might impede adaptive immunity and underscore the potential side effects of full-length spike-based vaccines.
Under no circumstances should people be compelled to take these experimental and highly harmful vaccines, period.
If that were all there was to this story, one could employ Hanlon s razor and chalk this all up as a series of very unfortunate medical blunders and not the bloodthirsty malice and contempt towards the public that it truly is.
However, this isn t even the half of it.
Those who dig deeper encounter a horror story of biblical proportions, involving private-public collusion, government malfeasance, and national security skullduggery at the highest levels.
Where did the virus come from?
Since the 2000s, DARPA has greatly expanded their biodefense portfolio. A fellow named Michael Callahan was involved in this work, among many others. His job was to study old Soviet biowarfare sites like the Vector Institute, looking for technologies that could be patented and commercialized.
Callahan s nose for business came into play early on in the pandemic. After studying data from over 6,000 patient records from Wuhan, he reportedly detected a pattern that could point to a possible treatment using a low-cost and widely available ingredient of an over-the-counter histamine-2 receptor antagonist called Famotidine , more commonly known as the brand name Pepcid.
In 2010/2011, NIH, DARPA, and DTRA may have discovered a cure for almost all pandemic viruses, but rejected it, despite evidence of its efficacy in a murine model. It was called DRACO, or Double-Stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer, and it was developed by an MIT scientist by the name of Todd Rider. It is a recombinant fusion protein that kills virally-infected cells by ordering them to undergo apoptosis if it detects viral dsRNA. In mouse experiments, it was shown to protect mice from influenza.
Funding: This work is funded by grant AI057159 (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/Pages/default.aspx) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, with previous funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Director of Defense Research & Engineering. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States government.
In the end, Dr. Rider had to resort to crowdfunding campaigns to continue his research. Unfortunately, these campaigns failed.
Modest amounts of funding from the National Institutes of Health have enabled the previous proof-of-concept experiments in cells and mice, but that funding grant is now over. Major pharmaceutical companies have the resources and expertise to carry new drugs like DRACO through the manufacturing scale-up, large-scale animal trials, and human trials required for FDA approval. However, before committing any of their own money, those companies want to see that DRACOs have already been shown to be effective against major clinically relevant viruses (such as members of the herpesvirus family), not just the proof-of-concept viruses (such as rhinovirus) that were previously funded by NIH. Thus the Valley of Death is the financial and experimental gap between the previously funded NIH proof-of-concept experiments and the threshold for convincing major pharmaceutical companies to advance DRACOs toward human trials.
However, I digress. Ever since the 2002/2003 SARS outbreak, there has been significant interest in SARS-CoV among virologists, including gain-of-function manipulation of SARS virions in the laboratory environment.
The usual stated purpose of gain-of-function research is to get ahead of pandemics by producing a human-adapted pathogen and preemptively vaccinating against it.
In the long-term it may also allow the generation of information that is not obtainable through other methods, but whether all the long-term benefits envisioned for GoF research will actually be realized is still unclear. Vaccine producers in particular disagree on whether GoF methods are essential for vaccine development, so the contributions of GoF research to vaccine development need careful evaluation. Increasing reliance on gene sequences to predict phenotypes may increase GoF research’s importance over time. As was clear from the presentations in Session 4 of the symposium, there is wide recognition that it is not yet possible to predict phenotype from genotype, but Dr. Philip Dormitzer, from Novartis Vaccines and a member of the symposium planning committee, noted that as more genotype-phenotype linkages are established, it may enable keeping certain viral characteristics out of vaccine strains.
Some scientists base their entire careers on this research, obtaining grant money from various institutions, including military think-tanks, to experiment on pathogens in this manner.
There s just one problem with this; gain-of-function research (a.k.a. Dual-Use Research of Concern ) has never successfully produced a vaccine against anything. It is simply bioweapon research by another, sanitized, euphemistic name.
Francis Boyle: We have an article here from the NAT MED 2015, December 21 SARS like cluster of circulating bat coronavirus show, potential for human emergence. This was at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill. They have a biosafety lab level 3 there. And I have previously condemned them, for using gain-of-function work on MERS, which is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
One of the foremost figures in coronavirus GOF research is a guy named Ralph Baric at UNC Chapel Hill.
He has been conducting research into various coronaviruses, including SARS, for many decades there. This is who Anthony Fauci is referring to when he speaks of GOF work being done in North Carolina .
Gain-of-function research has been done in North Carolina, most notably at the lab of UNC-Chapel Hill researcher Ralph Baric. Baric is one of the world’s preeminent coronavirus researchers, beginning his study of the family of viruses in the 1990s before they were seen as potentially pandemic-level dangerous to humans. Baric has used gain-of-function techniques to show how coronaviruses could evolve to infect humans and to test new vaccine methods to neutralize them.
The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV underscores the threat of cross-species transmission events leading to outbreaks in humans. Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations1. Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV. Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.
In other words, Ralph Baric and Shi Zhengli were colleagues. Anthony Fauci pointing to Ralph Baric at UNC Chapel Hill as evidence of the NIH not funding GOF research in Wuhan is downright farcical; these scientists collaborated openly on various projects over the past decade.
A year before this paper was published, a moratorium on US federal funding for gain-of-function research was put in place. This moratorium lasted from 2014 through 2017.
New USG funding will not be released for gain-of-function research projects that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity and/or transmissibility in mammals via the respiratory route. The research funding pause would not apply to characterization or testing of naturally occurring influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses, unless the tests are reasonably anticipated to increase transmissibility and/or pathogenicity.
Researchers whose careers depended on GOF research were openly hostile to the moratorium, despite the noble intent behind it of preventing a lab escape.
Andrew Hebbeler, assistant director for biological and chemical threats in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), explained at a meeting today of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) that the policy is a response to several recent biosafety lapses at federal labs involving mishandled samples of anthrax, H5N1, and smallpox. Although GOF actually encompasses “a huge swath of life sciences research,” he said, officials decided to focus only on influenza, MERS, and SARS because they are can be transmitted through the air and have the potential to spark a pandemic. OSTP told ScienceInsider that about two dozen studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are affected; the pause also halts some studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In any case, the moratorium was ignored. Without contacting the White House for approval, federal funding for gain-of-function research continued, using intermediaries to subcontract the grants.
Enter Peter Daszak, the director of EcoHealth Alliance.
In Bruegel s painting of The Fall of the Rebel Angels we are witness to a tumbling maelstrom of falling rebel angels outcast from Heaven. Within the fray stands St. Michael in gilded armor, and his angels-at-arms serenely in pale albs, and almost as if threshing grain, hewing and striking down this inconceivable rout. The main focus of the image and what draws the eye is the extraordinarily creative mElange of creatures; mixtures of human, animal, plant, and inanimate objects slashing and stabbing as they fall from the great battlefields in the skies. They pour down in a vast column that stretches infinitely from the luminous sun; they fall from the light to the darkness. The column of falling angels is so numerous that it widens to encompass the whole lower canvas as it approaches the viewer. With a start, then, we realize that Bruegel intends that we too are in the thick of this. Will we succumb to the multitudinous horde? Are we to be cast downward into chthonic chaos represented here by the heaped up gibbering phantasmagory against which we rail and struggle?
Over the course of the past decade, EcoHealth Alliance have received millions of dollars in funding from NIH/NIAID, USAID (a known CIA front), and DTRA (yes, the Pentagon) to subcontract shady gain-of-function research to places like the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This can be confirmed by checking usaspending.gov and taking note of the exact amounts awarded.
PREDICT, a project of USAID s Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program, was initiated in 2009 to strengthen global capacity for detection of viruses with pandemic potential that can move between animals and people. PREDICT has made significant contributions to strengthening global surveillance and laboratory diagnostic capabilities for both known and newly discovered viruses within several important virus groups, such as filoviruses (including ebolaviruses), influenza viruses, paramyxoviruses, and coronaviruses.
Fauci lied under oath and covered up for Daszak when he denied NIH never funded Gain-of-Threat research: Daszak authored a paper stating “This summary contains the information for the 2014 and 2017 NIH and NIAID grants to the Ecohealth Alliance that funded the WIV research on bat conronaviruses. As the grant description shows, this research included gain-of-function / gain-of-threat research to make coronaviruses viruses more pathogenic using techniques including genetic engineering, cell culture, and animal experimentation.”
DRASTIC Research uncovered documents showing that, in 2018, DARPA turned down a proposal by EcoHealth Alliance to receive grant money to conduct what they called the DEFUSE project, which EcoHealth had offered as a response to DARPA s PREEMPT program. The research would have involved exposing bats in caves to recombinant Spike proteins. DARPA, in their rejection letter, stated that this was dangerous gain-of-function research.
Moderna actually had considerable DARPA and BARDA funding for their mRNA technology, as a matter of fact.
In October 2013, DARPA awarded Moderna up to approximately $25 million to research and develop potential mRNA medicines as a part of DARPA s Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics, or ADEPT, program, which is focused on assisting with the development of technologies to rapidly identify and respond to threats posed by natural and engineered diseases and toxins. This award followed an initial award from DARPA given in March 2013. The DARPA awards have been deployed primarily in support of our vaccine and antibody programs to protect against Chikungunya infection.
This brings us to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 12th, 2019, before anyone even knew an outbreak had occurred in Wuhan, Ralph Baric signed a material transfer agreement (seen on Page 105 of this document) to take delivery of mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates developed and jointly-owned by NIAID and Moderna .
Wait, NIAID and Moderna co-own an mRNA vaccine? Who is the director of NIAID again?
This was a whole month before China allegedly sent us the sequence to what would become known as SARS-CoV-2. Moderna claimed they made a vaccine from this sequence within 48 hours.
On January 11, researchers from China published the genetic sequence of the coronavirus. Two days later, Moderna’s team and NIH scientists had finalized the targeted genetic sequence they would use in the vaccine.
Because, clearly, that isn t suspicious, or anything.
Ralph Baric also played a role in validating the use of Remdesivir in COVID-19.
Remdesivir was developed through an academic-corporate partnership between Gilead Sciences and the Baric Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill s Gillings School of Global Public Health. The biopharmaceutical company sought the talents of a research team led by William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology Ralph Baric, who has studied coronaviruses for more than 30 years and pioneered rapid-response approaches for the study of emerging viruses and the development of therapeutics.
Wuhan is, of course, host to China s only P4/BSL-4 virology lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. As a matter of fact, the P4 lab at the WIV was built with the help of Alain MErieux, the founder of bioMErieux, who offered his services to the CCP as a consultant for the endeavor.
Alain MErieux s award is a continuation of the longstanding relationship the MErieux family and its companies have built with China over the past 40 years. China has become a strategic location for all of Institut MErieux s work in the field of diagnostics, immunotherapy, and nutrition. Through its companies bioMErieux, Transgene, and MErieux Nutrisciences, and alongside the MErieux Foundation, Institut MErieux has partnered with Chinese authorities and health stakeholders to address major public health issues in the country.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, StEphane Bancel, the current CEO of Moderna, was formerly the CEO of bioMErieux.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, who is pushing experimental COVID-19 vaccines designed to alter the RNA of recipients, previously worked as CEO of BioMerieux, a firm owned by a billionaire who was instrumental in the development of the infamous virology lab in Wuhan, China.
By the time February, 2020 rolled around, the lab leak theory was gaining serious traction among alternative media sources. Peter Daszak was panicking, at this point. He authored a letter along with numerous scientists stating, unequivocally, that the WIV was not the source of the pandemic.
The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.
As his uncovered emails would later show, Daszak actually contacted Ralph Baric and instructed him not to sign the letter, fearing the conflict of interest it would entail, but not caring about his own, or that of the couple dozen scientists who did end up signing it.
Meanwhile, in New York, doctors cannot figure out why their patients on ventilators keep dying. Of course, it s because their patients have acute sepsis and the ventilators are making it worse by mimicking the pathophysiology of ischemia-reperfusion injury and accelerating COVID-19 s aggressive lipid peroxidation by feeding a ROS storm with O2, its main ingredient. They are setting off a deadly redox bomb in their patients chests by intubating them, but they don t realize this.
Of course, if a patient is blue in the face and desaturating, something must be done to alleviate it, but without endogenous glutathione peroxidase activity, increasing oxidative stress just makes this situation much, much worse. It actually increases hypoxia by chemically changing the blood and altering red blood cell morphology. ROS will compete with O2 for heme binding sites, crowding it out. Regardless of pneumonia or lung physiology or any of that, RBCs will become chemically incapable of accepting oxygen due to the simple laws of physics. Again, severe COVID-19 is an acute sepsis and endotheliitis first and second, and a pneumonia third, at best.
Sapan Desai and Surgisphere, a fake company, published a fake paper arguing that hydroxychloroquine caused heart rhythm irregularities. Before slamming Ivermectin as Horse Dewormer, the media called HCQ fish tank cleaner , drawing comparisons between it and the chemically similar chloroquine phosphate. Never mind that HCQ and chloroquine phosphate are essentially synthetic quinine, the main ingredient of tonic water and a historical malaria cure. Never mind that HCQ has known antiviral activity.
The people involved in these antiviral studies were so absolutely blinkered, they couldn t tell apart hydroxychloroquine and hydroxyquinoline, and ended up giving patients toxic doses of HCQ. Not to mention, the very sick patients enrolled for these antiviral studies had sepsis, and hardly any virus left in their bodies. They were well past the point of effectiveness of antivirals, having already been symptomatic for over a week, their viral loads having declined to negligible levels, a disordered immune response causing continuous damage to the lining of their blood vessels.
“COVID-19: The Great Reset” is a guide for anyone who wants to understand how COVID-19 disrupted our social and economic systems, and what changes will be needed to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world going forward. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Thierry Malleret, founder of the Monthly Barometer, explore what the root causes of these crisis were, and why they lead to a need for a Great Reset.Theirs is a worrying, yet hopeful analysis. COVID-19 has created a great disruptive reset of our global social, economic, and political systems. But the power of human beings lies in being foresighted and having the ingenuity, at least to a certain extent, to take their destiny into their hands and to plan for a better future. This is the purpose of this book: to shake up and to show the deficiencies which were manifest in our global system, even before COVID broke out.”Erudite, thought-provoking and plausible” — Hans van Leeuwen, Australian Financial Review (Australia)”The book looks ahead to what the post-coronavirus world could look like barely four months after the outbreak was first declared a pandemic” — Sam Meredith, CNBC (USA) “The message that the pandemic is not only a crisis of enormous proportions, but that it also provides an opportunity for humanity to reflect on how it can do things differently, is important and merits reflection”– Ricardo Avila, Portafolio (Colombia) “A call for political change in the post-pandemic world”– Ivonne Martinez, La Razon (Mexico)”History has shown, the book argues, that pandemics are a force for radical and lasting change”– Mustafa Alrawi, The National (UAE)
As we rolled into 2021, the madness of vaccine mandates and passes began, with people facing ostracization, joblessness, and restriction of free movement as the price of vaccine refusal.
According to Tabak, the NIH had reviewed EcoHealth s research plan in advance of approving the grant but claims it wasn t subjected to additional review at the time as it didn t fit the definition of research involving enhanced pathogens of pandemic potential because these bat coronaviruses had not been shown to infect human.
Tabak said if EcoHealth had alerted NIH to the growth, it would have prompted a review to determine if the research plan should be re-evaluated.
Recently, an anonymous scientist came forward with a claim that SARS-CoV-2 s furin cleavage site contains a 19-nt sequence as its reverse complement, CTCCTCGGCGGGCACGTAG, which aligns with the sequence of a Moderna patented cell line.
Among numerous point mutation differences between the SARS-CoV-2 and the bat RaTG13 coronavirus, only the 12-nucleotide furin cleavage site (FCS) exceeds 3 nucleotides. A BLAST search revealed that a 19 nucleotide portion of the SARS.Cov2 genome encompassing the furing cleavage site is a 100% complementary match to a codon-optimized proprietary sequence that is the reverse complement of the human mutS homolog (MSH3). The reverse complement sequence present in SARS-CoV-2 may occur randomly but other possibilities must be considered. Recombination in an intermediate host is an unlikely explanation. Single stranded RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 utilize negative strand RNA templates in infected cells, which might lead through copy choice recombination with a negative sense SARS-CoV-2 RNA to the integration of the MSH3 negative strand, including the FCS, into the viral genome. In any case, the presence of the 19-nucleotide long RNA sequence including the FCS with 100% identity to the reverse complement of the MSH3 mRNA is highly unusual and requires further investigations.
Andrew Huff, the former Vice President of EcoHealth Alliance, has come forward with a whistleblower complaint stating that Peter Daszak was a CIA asset.
In late October 2021, Huff says he came forward as a material witness and whistleblower related to numerous unethical and criminal behaviors that took place at EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth Alliance engaged in fraud against the U.S. government (Timecard Fraud and contract reimbursement fraud). Huff brought them to the attention of Peter Daszak, Dr. Aleksei Chamura, and CFO Harvey n. After raising these issues at the meeting, Harvey Kasdan went home from work, had a heart attack, and died.
Dr. Andrew Huff @AGHuff
Here is a copy of the Whistle Blower complaint that I submitted to Senator Gary Peter’s Office. I would like to testify on this critical matter as soon as reasonably possible.
As of late, Moderna s stock price appears to be in rapid decline. StEphane Bancel deleted his Twitter account. Pfizer appear to be griping that they have to publish their data and thus be exposed to further scrutiny.
I, myself, cannot come up with a rational response to any of this without resorting to vigorous, sailor-like profanity that would sear your eyeballs. So, instead, I ll leave it up to the reader to decide what is actually going on here.
What do DARPA want with our brains?
All of this has a much darker undercurrent to it (if that could even be considered possible) when one draws the Lieber connection.
In 2020, a Harvard scientist by the name of Charles Lieber was indicted by the DOJ on charges of making false statements. He had taken money from China s Thousand Talents Plan, against the terms of his DOD grants. Charles Lieber received grants from DARPA, ONR, AFOSR, NIH, and MITRE, but he also double-dipped and took money from the CCP, hence the charges against him.
It is alleged that, unbeknownst to Harvard University, beginning in 2011, Lieber became a Strategic Scientist at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China. He later became contractual participant in China s Thousand Talents Plan from at least 2012 through 2015. China s Thousand Talents Plan is one of the most prominent Chinese talent recruitment plans designed to attract, recruit, and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security. According to court documents, these talent recruitment plans seek to lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China, and they often reward individuals for stealing proprietary information. Under the terms of Lieber s three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT allegedly paid Lieber a salary of up to $50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1 million Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT. In return, Lieber was obligated to work for WUT not less than nine months a year by declaring international cooperation projects, cultivating young teachers and Ph.D. students, organizing international conference[s], applying for patents and publishing articles in the name of [WUT].
Charles Lieber worked under a cover story. He claimed to be working on silicon nanowire batteries for the Chinese, but no one can recall him ever working on batteries of any kind.
In fact, one U.S. nanoscientist and former student of Lieber’s says: “I have never seen Charlie working on batteries or nanowire batteries.” (The scientist asked that their name not be used because of the sensitivity surrounding Lieber’s case.)
Charles Lieber s research actually involves something called bionanotechnology, which is the Frankensteinian blending of living tissue with artificial components (i.e. semiconductors, quantum dots, nanoparticles, synthetic polymers, et cetera), on the molecular level.
Charles Lieber s own papers explicitly describe the potential for his silicon nanowires to be used as biosensors, or even as brain-computer interfaces, (also known as brain-machine interfaces, or, in cyberpunk science fiction parlance, neural laces ):
Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can serve as bidirectional connections that output electrical signals of brain activity or input electrical stimuli to modulate brain activity in concert with external machines, including computer processors and prosthetics, for human enhancement[1,2]. Reading electrical activity from neurons is the foundation of many BMI applications, such as brain mapping, that aims to understand brain functions by decoding the communication between neurons. Reading and processing this activity is also key to neural prosthetics in which brain activity is used to control devices such as artificial limbs. For these BMI applications, most of the in vivo recording tools used today read extracellular neural activity by detecting suprathreshold action potential signals that leak outside of neurons (Fig. 1a (i)), while critical subthreshold events, such as synaptic potentials and dendritic integration, remain hidden . To achieve the most information-rich readings, which could provide more detailed mapping of brain function and the finest control of neural prosthetics, electronic devices need to provide access to intracellular signals from multiple neurons comprising the neuronal circuits and networks of the brain .
How is this relevant to COVID-19?
Charles Lieber is a colleague of Robert Langer, one of the co-founders of Moderna. The two of them are pictured here, left and right, with Daniel Kohane in the center.
These three worked on a paper together to create cybernetic heart tissue scaffolds with biosensor functionality.
The cyborg-like tissue, described online at Nature Materials, supports cell growth while simultaneously monitoring the activities of those cells. It could improve in vitro drug screening by allowing researchers to track how cells in a three-dimensional environment respond to drugs in real time, the authors say. It may also be a first step toward prosthetics that communicate directly with the nervous system, and tissue implants that sense and respond to injury or disease.
Elon Musk s Neuralink presentation made waves when people started to consider the human applications, but even Neuralink is as barbaric as trephination next to the military s craniotomy-free, wireless nanoparticle BCI research.
Enter DARPA s BRAIN Initiative, and the N3 (Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology) program.
Whereas the most effective, state-of-the-art neural interfaces require surgery to implant electrodes into the brain, N3 technology would not require surgery and would be man-portable, thus making the technology accessible to a far wider population of potential users. Noninvasive neurotechnologies such as the electroencephalogram and transcranial direct current stimulation already exist, but do not offer the precision, signal resolution, and portability required for advanced applications by people working in real-world settings. The envisioned N3 technology breaks through the limitations of existing technology by delivering an integrated device that does not require surgical implantation, but has the precision to read from and write to 16 independent channels within a 16mm3 volume of neural tissue within 50ms. Each channel is capable of specifically interacting with sub-millimeter regions of the brain with a spatial and temporal specificity that rivals existing invasive approaches. Individual devices can be combined to provide the ability to interface to multiple points in the brain at once.
The grant proposal for N3 is very informative on the nature of the technology desired by DARPA:
TA2 involves the development of a system that includes a nanotransducer placed on or near neurons of interest and an integrated sensor/stimulator device that sits outside the skin. The nanotransducer may include technologies such as, but not limited to, self-assembled/molecular/biomolecular/chemical nanoparticles, or viral vectors. These nanotransducers must be delivered in a minutely invasive (nonsurgical) manner, which may include ingestion, injection, or nasal administration, and involve technology that includes self-assembly inside the body. While the major TA2 goals of developing neural read out and write in capabilities are similar to the goals from TA1, creating a nanotransducer with an optimal delivery route to the brain is a major additional component. Another major component of TA2 is achieving cell-type specificity.
There are six teams involved in the N3 program; Battelle, Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University s Applied Physics Laboratory, PARC, Rice University, and Teledyne.
DARPA is preparing for a future in which a combination of unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, and cyber operations may cause conflicts to play out on timelines that are too short for humans to effectively manage with current technology alone, said Al Emondi, the N3 program manager. By creating a more accessible brain-machine interface that doesn t require surgery to use, DARPA could deliver tools that allow mission commanders to remain meaningfully involved in dynamic operations that unfold at rapid speed.
Tethered and battery-powered devices that interface with neural tissues can restrict natural motions and prevent social interactions in animal models, thereby limiting the utility of these devices in behavioural neuroscience research. In this Review Article, we discuss recent progress in the development of miniaturized and ultralightweight devices as neuroengineering platforms that are wireless, battery-free and fully implantable, with capabilities that match or exceed those of wired or battery-powered alternatives. Such classes of advanced neural interfaces with optical, electrical or fluidic functionality can also combine recording and stimulation modalities for closed-loop applications in basic studies or in the practical treatment of abnormal physiological processes.
Incidentally, the head of Battelle s N3 team, Gaurav Sharma, was also involved in DTRA s Blood-Brain Barrier Program. Yes, the very same Defense Threat Reduction Agency that funded EcoHealth Alliance.
The program aims to understand the effects of nerve agents and alphaviruses on the blood-brain barrier and find new transport pathways to deliver appropriate therapeutics into the CNS. The early successes of JSTO s program allows researchers to better assess the risks of emerging threats while enhancing their ability to protect and treat warfighters from a broad range of chemical and biological threats.
That s interesting. What does SARS-CoV-2 Spike, the supposed constituent of the vaccine, do to people s blood-brain barrier?
Key to our findings is the demonstration that S1 promotes loss of barrier integrity in an advanced 3D microfluidic model of the human BBB, a platform that more closely resembles the physiological conditions at this CNS interface. Evidence provided suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins trigger a pro-inflammatory response on brain endothelial cells that may contribute to an altered state of BBB function.
Huh. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1 subunit is capable of permeabilizing the blood-brain barrier, opening it up for substances that might want to cross from the bloodstream to the brain.
So, how does all this wireless neural lace business work? It s actually both very complex and surprisingly simple. Nanoparticles that are sensitive to RF, electromagnetism, ultrasound, and/or light are introduced into brain cells, and then, an external encoder/decoder stimulates them wirelessly and reads back the response. It is very much like turning the human brain into a Wacom pen. You know how a Wacom tablet works, right? The tablet generates a field that the pen converts into an electric current by wireless induction. That s why the pens don t need batteries, and it s why nanotransducers implanted in the brain don t need them, either.
Shortly after the Spartacus Letter was posted on ZeroHedge, this absolutely ridiculous CNBC video was published on YouTube:
How small are nanotransducers, actually?
Well, here s one of Battelle s Magnetoelectric Nanotransducers, as seen under an electron microscope:
It s about 20 nanometers across, much smaller than the 120 nanometer diameter of a SARS-CoV-2 virion, and comparable to transistor gate sizes.
To put this in perspective, the inside diameter of a vaccine needle of average gauge is about 0.26 millimeters. That s 260,000 nanometers.
13,000 Magnetoelectric Nanotransducers could fit through a vaccine needle side-by-side.
You see, BCIs capable of two-way communication with a human brain don t just give you superpowers, or let you control drones with your mind, or listen to Katy Perry without headphones or speakers or whatever. They can also be used to manipulate mood, and for social control.
They could also be used to take away people s agency and turn them into, essentially, biological robots, utterly obedient to government and open to any manner of sadistic abuse.
Reports have surfaced about a minority of people who undergo DBS for Parkinson s disease becoming hypersexual, or developing other impulse-control issues. One person with chronic pain became deeply apathetic after DBS treatment. DBS is very effective, Gilbert says, to the point that it can distort patients perceptions of themselves. Some people who received DBS for depression or obsessive compulsive disorder reported that their sense of agency had become confused2. You just wonder how much is you anymore, said one. How much of it is my thought pattern? How would I deal with this if I didn t have the stimulation system? You kind of feel artificial.
Neuroethicists began to note the complex nature of the therapy s side effects. Some effects that might be described as personality changes are more problematic than others, says Maslen. A crucial question is whether the person who is undergoing stimulation can reflect on how they have changed. Gilbert, for instance, describes a DBS patient who started to gamble compulsively, blowing his family s savings and seeming not to care. He could only understand how problematic his behaviour was when the stimulation was turned off.
Profound behavioral changes have already been observed in patients with DBS electrodes implanted in their heads. How far could they go if they had access to fine-grained stimulation of individual clusters of neurons?
A bioethicist by the name of Dr. James Giordano (who is well-acquainted with DARPA s research) is very concerned about all of this. That s why he gives horrifying lectures in front of West Point cadets like this one:
Are they already wargaming the military applications of weaponized neuroS/T, investigating the possibility of using nanoparticles to attack rival powers by making their own citizens go berserk? Yes, of course they are.
The use of neuroS/T for military and intelligence purposes is realistic, and represents a clear and present concern. In 2014, a US report asserted that neuroscience and technology had matured considerably and were being increasingly considered, and in some cases evaluated for operational use in security, intelligence, and defense operations. More broadly, the iterative recognition of the viability of neuroscience and technology in these agenda reflects the pace and breadth of developments in the field. Although a number of nations have pursued, and are currently pursuing neuroscientific research and development for military purposes, perhaps the most proactive efforts in this regard have been conducted by the United States Department of Defense; with most notable and rapidly maturing research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and IntelligenceAdvanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). To be sure, many DARPA projects are explicitly directed toward advancing neuropsychiatric treatments and interventions that will improve both military and civilian medicine. Yet, it is important to note the prominent ongoing and expanding efforts in this domain by NATO European and trans-Pacific strategic competitor nations.
A cognitive attack is not a threat that can be countered in the air, on land, at sea, in cyberspace, or in space. Rather, it may well be happening in any or all of these domains, for one simple reason: humans are the contested domain.
Naturally, this sort of escalation of neuroscience to the level of a new arms race will create all kinds of insane justifications in the minds of policymakers and intelligence officials. Populist unrest can be recast as inauthentic, the result of undetectable enemy action. Dissidents can be rounded up and injected with mind-control nanoparticles to make them friendly to the state again, and to cure whatever the Russian or Chinese nanoparticles did to them to make them get so upset and wave signs in the street in the first place.
I ask you, the reader, is this a world you want to live in? One where governments see your own body, your own mind, as not off-limits for direct tampering to achieve military and political objectives? A world where maniacs describe your own body, your own flesh and blood, not as something sacrosanct, but as little more than the contested domain of a new type of warfare that you never even knew existed?
No. We say no.
If governments are crossing this line, then they have become the enemies of all mankind.
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Nelly’s Tzistarakis Mosque in Monastiraki Square, Athens c1930
It’s been too long, way too long since I wrote about our Athens fund, I know, and I apologize. It’s just that for the longest time, things were too unclear and changing too fast for me to write an article. I was waiting for things to settle down to a point where I could have faith they weren’t going to turn upside down again within days or weeks. Well, we finally seem to have reached such a point. But again, I know it has taken too long.
In -mostly- chronological order, here’s what happened. In early 2017, I had a meeting with Konstantinos Polychronopoulos, the man I -and the very generous Automatic Earth readers- had been financially supporting since 2015 in his O Allos Anthropos organization to feed homeless and refugees in Greece.
At that meeting, Konstantinos had promised to bring the administration he said he had kept about what the money had been spent on. But instead, he started rattling off what he could remember off the top of his head. Which was impressive, but that was not the issue. He had told me numerous times he had it all on paper, but it was not true. And I knew it was not something lost in translation either.
It wasn’t that he had spent it on himself or kept it in a box, I checked that with as many people as I could, and I could see how he lived. That wasn’t it. He was simply disorganized. And he somehow thought he had the right to be. Because after all, he was the boss. And that’s true enough, it was his idea and organization. But being the boss doesn’t give you the right to say things that are not true, when tens of thousands of euros have been donated to you and your project.
Being the boss comes with obligations attached, and he apparently didn’t like those. A boss needs to look ahead, organize, delegate, make sure there’s continuity, be careful of how he treats employees, who in his case were all volunteers to boot. He did none of that, not structurally. It’s one thing that all that money lands where it is needed, but it’s another where tomorrow’s money will come from. Things a boss must have his eye on.
I had said many times that he could not continue to count on my readers for that money, that I thought at some point it would be enough. I drew up a plan to address the Greek diaspora in New York, Boston, Melbourne, Sidney etc., for financial help, for instance through their Chambers of Commerce. And I said I would always be there to help, but that I was not going to do it alone. Not speaking Greek would have disqualified me anyway.
But nothing came of that. There was never a serious effort. I had not expected that. In hindsight I think maybe it was because he saw it as a challenge to his authority, to have to communicate in a language he didn’t speak. That he couldn’t play the boss over that.
Long story short, as 2017 went on, I didn’t see how I could continue my involvement with the project. I couldn’t ask for donations to someone who rejected all accountability. But then just as I was about to say I quit, two things happened.
Monastiraki Sqaure. The same mosque as in the 1930s picture above. It hasn’t been used as a mosque for a very long time. In the background on the hill, the Akropolis.
The first was that I increasingly heard about dissatisfaction among the people who worked with/for Konstantinos, with the way he ran things. They didn’t want to continue any more than I did. That led the people who run the ‘kitchen’ in Monastiraki Square, which had always been my main meeting point with everyone, to declare themselves independent of O Allos Anthropos (it took quite some time, but they did).
Monastiraki had always been part of the entire set-up, but also separate. It was run by my friend Tassos -longtime translator between Konstantinos and I- and his friend Filothee, partner of famed Greek singer Antonis Vardis, who died of cancer in 2014 but had always supported Konstantinos. By the end of 2017, I decided I would try and continue to support at least them.
They insisted from the start on not ever having to handle money, because they didn’t like the way Konstantinos had. And they came up with a clever plan for it; more on that in a minute.
The second thing that happened in late 2017 was that I received an email from a Greek man -let’s call him ‘Mark’- who said he was living abroad with his wife and young children but planning to move -back- to Greece, and he wanted to help me with a lot of money. We mailed to and fro for a bit, he sounded credible, and in March 2018 I went back to Athens to meet him (a few days before he was bound to leave again for 6 weeks).
The meeting went fine, we kept mailing, and in June 2018 we took the first step in that ‘clever plan’. Tassos and Filothee had set up a deal with a local supermarket chain in which they would receive ‘coupons’, or ‘checks’ for an amount I would pay to the supermarket. No cash. Mark chipped in some money as well. This still works fine to this day, and everyone’s happy with it. When Filothee needs food, she gets it in bulk and pays with coupons. This is what they look like:
But then the strangest thing happened. ‘Mark’ disappeared, I think it was August. I’ve never seen him again. And I’m still thinking today: why would you do such a thing? Why all the time spent on the mails and meetings and promises and then nothing anymore? Why not just say: sorry, I don’t have the money, or I don’t want to any longer, or well, anything? Why just vanish? Just a few words would have been enough.
Other than that, though, things appear to be running well right now. I paid for another €1,000 worth of coupons this July and handed them to Filothee, and she still has quite a few left. Less fun is that Tassos last year moved to Shanghai. His wife is from there and his construction business for large projects went belly up in Athens, where there are no large building projects. He was over in August, but left again. Plenty big projects in China.
Not that we sit still, either. The gang has decided to start a second kitchen in the port of Piraeus, because they saw the need there. Filothee explained that in Monastiraki, most people who come for food have a roof over their head, but it’s often six to a single room without electricity or water. No amenities, they can’t cook their own food. In Piraeus, they feed ‘real’ homeless.
The new rightwing government has approved new asylum laws that make it much easier to evict refugees. They are also evicting squatters from buildings across the city, many of them refugees, who are now taken to camps, that are still beyond squalid. Some people face a six year waiting time for their asylum requests. Not that Greece can be blamed for too much, it’s the EU that is failing terribly. Greece is simply the outer border of the union.
Camps and islands are insanely overcrowded, Turkey sends more people across the Aegean again, and winter is coming. Nor is there much that anyone can do to help in that situation, because after 5 years that help has been fully institutionalized through the hanky-panky between Brussels, Athens and the NGOs, and very little of the money involved gets to where it belongs.
We gave it our shot, Konstantinos despite his shortcomings really tried, and we did manage to achieve lots of stuff, but some problems are just too big. We’re talking thousands, tens of thousands of people even, and more keep on coming all the time, and at some point that requires not a band of good willing folk but a society, a government, or something even bigger than that. And that’s where it all goes wrong. It always does.
But we still try, with all our faults. We don’t have millions or even billions, but we can still help people. And so that’s what we do. Filothee does, I do, and I’m sure Konstantinos does as well, though I haven’t seen him in a long time. It’s just what you do.
And now it’s time to move on to the part that I’m really bad at, and which has kept me for ages from writing this article: asking for donations. Not donations for Greece, I can do that, but those for the Automatic Earth itself, debanked and perhaps going under. I tried to explain that a few days ago already, that the way sites like this are funded has changed irrevocably in my view.
Google and Facebook take all the money and everyone else can take a hike. Unless the Automatic Earth disappears behind a paywall (which I don’t want) OR our readers start chipping in more than they have. Easily more than 5,000 people read the Automatic Earth each day, so at 5 cents a day -and what is 5 cents?- we’d be fine. But it doesn’t work that way. People are used to free.
Still, I don’t want to confuse the two, Greece and the site itself, too much. Then again, I have spent a lot of time here in Athens over the past years, and that isn’t free -I pay double rent for half the year-, and my personal presence here is greatly appreciated by the people who run the Monastiraki kitchen. As they expressed in the note you can see below. They appreciate that it’s not just a check being sent, but I go visit them all the time to see how things are going.
Anyway, I’m obviously still bad at this. So if you’re inclined to donate to either the Automatic Earth or the Monastiraki kitchen, or both, you figure it out. Put us on your Christmas charity list and be generous, be part of helping out those who have least. You may read raving pieces on Greece and Athens and tourism and Airbnb, but this is still a very challenging place for all but the rich.
What I would like to do is to hand Filothee another $1,000 in coupons before I leave for Christmas, that should be sufficient for both kitchens -Monastiraki and Piraeus- until I get back in spring. And I promise it won’t be this long again between articles.
Thank you so much for making this all possible.
For donations to the Monastiraki kitchen and the Automatic Earth, the Automatic Earth has a Paypal widget on our front page, top left hand corner, and a Patreon one top right hand corner. On our Sales and Donations page, there is an address to send money orders and checks if you don’t like Paypal. Our Bitcoin address is 1HYLLUR2JFs24X1zTS4XbNJidGo2XNHiTT. For other forms of payment, drop us a line at Contact • at • TheAutomaticEarth • com.
To tell donations for Monastiraki apart from those for the Automatic Earth (which badly needs them too!), any amounts that come in ending in either $0.99 or $0.37, will go to the social kitchen.
Please give generously.
A list of the articles I wrote before about our support for homeless and refugees in Athens.
It took me a while to decide which word(s) best define the past year and the next one, but I think this is pretty much it. 2018 was chaotic more than anything else, and that chaos will give rise to mayhem in 2019.
What I think is striking is that this is true across the board, in all walks of life so to speak. In finance, in politics, in energy markets, in ecological matters, and perhaps most of all in the ways all these topics are being covered by what once were trusted media.
I’m going to have to come back to all these topics separately, so it’s promising to be a very busy holiday season, but it’s also good to try and put them together in one place, if only to show how interconnected everything is. And how futile it is to look at the economy without seeing its connection to energy flows and ecosystems. And vice versa.
In finance and economics, we’ve seen an avalanche of falling numbers recently, in stock prices, bond prices, housing, across the globe, and obviously that evokes a lot of comments in the financial press. But that press, and bankers investors on their own, still talk about markets.
However, as I wrote in April 2018, if there is no price discovery, and there isn’t, there ARE NO markets, and it would be good and beneficial if many more people absorb that simple reality. Many more so-called traders and investors would be a start, but by no means enough. Lots more people who have nothing to do with the ‘markets’ should understand why there is no such thing anymore.
As long as you limit it to stock and bond markets, it may appear fine that people don’t understand. But as soon as you acknowledge there are no housing markets either for the exact same reasons, the story changes considerably. Because then it becomes clear that all -former- markets, bar none, have been eviscerated by central bank policies that sought to prop up banks, often highly successfully so, which they knew could only happen at the expense of communities and societies.
We’ve ended up with scores of mom and pop ‘investors’ who own hugely overpriced stocks and homes, while their pensions funds hold zillions ‘worth’ of bonds and also increasingly stocks. The link between pensions and AAA-rate assets was pulverized in the process. That looks set to continue, and worsen, in 2019. But that may be just the look of things. Because there really are no markets, there is no price discovery.
What is still there is a lot of talk about whether the Fed -and other central banks- will raise rates further or not, or will stop or continue their asset buying schemes. Central banks are the only game in town, there are no markets, nobody knows what anything is really worth because the Fed etc. took the discovery process beyond their reach.
And now all those financial ‘subjects’ are sitting on all this stuff that only appears to have value, and that value hinges exclusively on what Draghi, Kuroda, Yellen and now Jay Powell have decided things are worth. And yes, it does make matters appear okay, but because they can’t do QE forever, all of those values will need to be re-assessed by actual markets once Powell et al. are either thrown out or decide for themselves to leave the arena.
It won’t be pretty, it will be devastating. It’s impossible to say if it will come to a head in 2019, because the Fed can lower rates a bit again after its recent rate hikes and prop up the zombie for longer. Then again Draghi can’t do that anymore since he’s already in negative rate territory, and while the euro could fall to parity with the USD as a consequence, there’s a limit to that too.
Anyway, more on that later.
Energy and ecology seem to become more intertwined as we go along, though that may well be a trompe oeil, trick of the eye. Still, if you see and read what people have to say about things like the big COP24 event in Katowice last week, it’s obvious that the 2nd law of Thermodynamics is a hard one to internalize. Because that law seems to say that the use of energy, period, produces waste, while all these mostly well-meaning folk are merely focusing on shifting between energy sources.
There is surprisingly little attention for not using energy in the first place, which the 2nd Law appears to stipulate is the only way to stop the rot. And it’s entirely feasible to build homes that use 70-80% less power to heat and cool, or to design a transport system in a city that saves that much energy.
But the ‘leaders’, politicians and business people, prefer to address solar panels and wind turbines that allow for the amount of energy used to fall only moderately, which when combined with the economic growth that nobody questions, will lead to the use of ever more energy.
And I get that, you need to shrink your present economies, and the models they’re based on, in order to save the planet. I’m not so much talking about climate change, since the earth is a system so complex we should really be very cautious about deriving any conclusions about it from simplified models, but the species extinction reported in 2018 is another, and more immediately convincing, story.
Still, conferences like COP24, or its predecessor COP21 which I wrote about 3 years ago in CON21, are not just entirely useless, they move everything backward that all the worried boys and girls are so worried about.
The movers and shakers of the world all owe their positions to the economies, and therefore the levels of energy use, that the worried people now want to move away from. And then they turn to the same movers and shakers to make that happen. Sorry, no can do. All you’ll get is lip service from people looking for money and power, who are not interested in being proved wrong if they are.
Today’s climate discussion is a road to nowhere where down the line there’ll be nobody left to talk to and no birds singing. You yourself probably won’t be there either. There is not one politician who will volunteer to give up their power if that could save the world their children will have to live in. They’ll come up with a story where their position is save and so is that world, and they’re more than likely to believe it.
As for the media, the tale gets darker fast. It didn’t start in 2018, but it did become a lot more outspoken. As I’ve said before, there are three targets for the former trusted sources of impartial news, even as those sources rapidly become more partial as we move forward. And that of course has to do with their new business model I wrote about a lot: writing negative stories about Donald Trump became an obvious source of revenue well before he was president.
Once he was elected, the media doubled down. They wrote against Trump at first thinking he would be beaten in the GOP primaries, then some more when he faced Hillary, then because they didn’t like him in the White House, and finally because he turned out to be the business proposition that quite literally kept them alive. What was it, over 100,000 new subscribers for the NYT a MONTH at a certain point?! Would CNN and Rachel Maddow even exist anymore without the Donald?
But that also means that the MSM cannot report anything positive about the man, with the exception of a bombing campaign in a faraway sandbox, and that is pretty crazy. No matter where you stand politically, not even Trump can do everything wrong, but CNN, MSNBC, WaPo,NYT et al can’t say it out loud, because their new readers and viewers want negative stories.
I’m not at all a Trump fan, I find it insane that America can’t find a single person among its 320 million inhabitants who could better represent it, but I also saw well over two years ago that the reporting on Trump was so biased someone had to restore at least some balance. And if that was to be me, so be it.
It’s like the entire US -and UK- press has become the National Enquirer, where the questions of truth or accuracy have become, and/or always was, a complete afterthought, irrelevant to whatever is actually published. And the readers and viewers caught inside the echo chamber will never know any better than that that is what the world really looks like.
It’s the ‘old’ media’s response to the threat of social media, a fight they cannot possibly win in the end, but not one they will relinquish easily; it will be the end of them. So there’s Trump, and then there’s Russia and Julian Assange. And there’s a live shooting practice going on in which all three are fair game.
According to two reports published just yesterday in the NY Times and the BBC, African Americans and French Yellow Vests were targeted by Russian bots, trolls, give them a name. What these once trusted media no longer understand, or don’t care about, is that they are effectively saying that African Americans and Yellow Vests are all so stupid and so unconvinced and unconvincing in their political convictions that a bunch of poorly defined Russians made them throw their votes away from Hillary Clinton and towards Trump.
Like African Americans have no opinions and therefore in the end no functioning brains. Like their f*king robots, some inferior lifeform. Is there anything you can say that is more racist than that? I come up empty. And I understand Kanye.
And that the ‘Russians’ caused tens of thousands of Frenchmen and -women to put on a yellow vest and protest Macron’s dismantling of -very- long-standing labor rights and taxation ‘reforms’ that benefit the rich French elite. You cannot insult two such vast yet diverse groups of people, who seem to have little if anything in common, African Americans and Yellow Vests, you cannot insult them more or worse than such reports do.
And they simply don’t see it. In their view, and which they -rightly by now- trust their public will eat up like hot cakes, their 24/7 anti-Trump and anti-Russia campaigns have been so convincing that they can basically say anything at all by now. If Trump or the Russians deny, that’s just what they would do if they were guilty. Assange can’t deny anything at all, they’ve totally silenced him. They being the US deep state in liaison with the MSM.
That’s how we’re about to enter 2019, how we’re about to move from chaos to mayhem. It is scary not just because of what we see happening today, but even more because we’ve never seen anything remotely like it. Sure, US media, any country’s media, have always supported government strategic lies in times of warfare or other tensions.
But an overall campaign against a sitting president, comprised of dozens of articles a day consisting of mere allegations and rumors, let alone the same against a state nuclear power arguably mightier than the US itself, and a journalist who’s the only one in his profession who’s actually done what journalists should do, not the well-paid follow the party line thing going on at the MSM, all this is unprecedented.
And given what we’ve seen in 2018 in the realm of banned social media accounts, in a wider sense of the word, we can only wonder how much worse the censorship can get in the mayhem year of 2019.
Can the Automatic Earth, and for instance our friends at Zero Hedge, only continue to exist next year if we agree to increasingly become the poodles of the ruling political classes, intelligence services, and their press masters and lackeys?
It’s starting to look that way. So in closing, I want to call on you to support us by donating a Christmas gift, and preferably a recurring one all through the 2019 mayhem year, so we know we can continue to present you with an alternative to the ‘appropriate’ information you’re ‘supposed’ to be receiving.
Charles Burchfield Bluebird and Cottonwoods (The Birches) 1917
My Australian friend Wayne Hall, who‘s lived in Athens for many many years, is doing a video project on fellow Aussie Julian Assange. This is an interview with me, recorded 3 weeks or so ago, that’s part of the project. I would have done 1000 things differently, but it’s not my baby, it’s Wayne’s world. At least some snippets of information come through.
Note: it was 100º, and it shows. Very sweaty, very uncomfortable. Still, while I’m not wild about doing videos -we had Nicole for that, right?!- maybe I should be doing more of this. Not that I watched this one, mind you. But you can.
Wayne Hall: Good afternoon Raúl Ilargi Meijer. You have a blog called “Automatic Earth” and you are very active with it. Can you say something about “Automatic Earth”? When was it founded? What is its aim?
Ilargi: It was founded almost eleven years ago. Nicole Foss and I founded it because we wanted to write about finance whereas the people we were writing for before that, “The Oil Drum”, didn’t want us to do that and we thought it was too important not to.
WH: And what are you doing here in Athens?
Ilargi: I’m supporting a group of people who feed the homeless and refugees. I’ve written a bunch of articles at “Automatic Earth” about that.
WH: Now even though you have written articles that show clearly how important you think it is to try to defend Julian Assange (I read one that you published today [17/8/2018] that was very much on that subject and it was a powerful article), you really don’t agree with Julian Assange on the importance of defending the European integration project or citizens’ Europe.
Ilargi: I have no idea what either of these things are.
(Note Ilargi: here Wayne leaves several lines untranslated. I said again that I don’t know what the European integration project or citizens’ Europe are. And of course I can’t disagree with Assange, or anyone else, on things I don’t even know exist.)
WH: Well, let’s move on. In an article entitled “I am Julian Assange” on 16th May 2018, you wrote: “Julian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time”. Would you like to say more about that?
Ilargi: I think there are not nearly enough people who realize what the consequences are going to be of Assange being thrown to the wolves.
WH: What will they be?
Ilargi: He stands for every journalist but he also stands for every citizen. He is the man who offered his freedom to give everybody else freedom..
WH: You say that he has the credibility he has because he has never published anything that is not 100% verifiable and true.
Ilargi: That is the basis of Wikileaks: it’s truth, honesty. Nobody would ever give him another document if they were in doubt that he would preserve secrecy, he would protect their identity or he would treat the documents in the best way possible.
WH: You also wrote: “People like Chelsea Manning, Kim Dotcom, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are among the smartest people our world has to offer. We should be cherishing the combination of intelligence, courage and integrity they display at their own risk and peril, but instead we allow them to be harassed by our governments because they unveil inconvenient truths about them. And pretty soon there will be nobody left to tell these truths, or any truth at all.” That’s a very pessimistic assessment. Would you like to believe that it is too pessimistic?
Ilargi: Isn’t it more like realistic? How many people like Assange and Snowden or Chelsea Manning are there? We don’t have a never-ending supply of them.
WH: In your article “Julian Assange and the Dying of the Light” you wrote: “The ideal situation would be if Australia would offer Julian Assange safe passage back home. Assange has never been charged with anything, other than the UK’s bail-skipping change.” He has been charged with other things, but the charges have been withdrawn.
Ilargi: He has been charged with what?
WH: Wasn’t he charged with rape or something, in Sweden?
Ilargi: No, no..
WH: What was it? What happened there then if it was not a charge?
Ilargi: They said they wanted to talk to him. That was very strange. From what I know of the story the prosecutor let him go. Told him he was free to go to Britain and then – I don’t know if it was the same prosecutor, Marianne Ny, but anyway the Swedish justice system did a 180 and as soon as he got to London they said that he had to go back because they wanted to talk to him again.
Ilargi: But neither of the two women involved ever filed any charges against him, or any complaint. They even went out of their way, albeit far too late, to say “He didn’t rape me. It never happened.” It seems .. That was a smear thing. And it’s been very successful..
WH: It seems so. Talking about Australia again, and safe passage back home, it’s true that years ago the Australian government acknowledged that it had responsibilities to help and protect Australian citizen Julian Assange. For example in 2001 Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said:
“We are supporting Julian Assange the same way that we would support any Australian citizen who got into a legal difficulty overseas.”
But for years after that, these responsibilities seem to have been forgotten. Even supporters of Julian Assange seem to assume that it is OK for the Australian government to allow Ecuador, a weaker, poorer and more vulnerable country than Australia to take responsibilities that the Australian government had said that it was taking but it seems simply was not. .
Ilargi: Who wrote that?
WH: Do you mean this comment about Australia and Ecuador? I wrote it.
Ilargi: OK. OK.
WH: Don’t you agree with it?
Ilargi: The Australian government has a very strange role in this. There is an older speech by the later PM Malcolm Turnbull that is being tossed around on Twitter in which he is very supportive of Assange.
WH: Is this a recent speech?
Ilargi: I think that was also from 2011 too. Apparently he no longer is.
WH: Next subject. Would you like to comment on the controversy Seth Rich versus the hacker Guccifer 2.0.
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and disagreement about this. I think a lot of people wouldn’t even know who Seth Rich was. Would you like to enlighten the people who don’t know?
Ilargi: From what I know Seth Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee. He was found murdered in Washington, not far from the White House. He is rumoured to be the guy who gave the DNC e-mails to Assange, to Wikileaks.
WH: This is something that Kim Dotcom apparently also says.
Ilargi: Yes. I don’t know enough about that but it seems obvious that the whole Guccifer 2.0 story is a fabrication. The US really really wants to make a link between Assange and Russia because it smears both. If they can make a connection between the two they will both look a lot worse.
WH: They’re trying hard.
Ilargi: And since neither can really defend themselves this narrative can be built and built. .
WH: Yes, that’s right. If you are dead or you re prevented from speaking, you can’t defend yourself.
WH: At the moment I and a few other people are discussing two ideas in relation to Julian Assange. One of them is purely symbolic and it’s aimed at counteracting the media bias against Assange. That is the declaration of a Julian Assange Day. The day we propose is 26th January. We heard a few words from the mayor about the significance of January 26th in Greece in the context of Greece’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire.
But January 26th is also an important day in Australia. It is the national day. But many people are saying today that Australia s national day should be moved to another date, more inclusive of the many Australians who don’t feel that 26th January is suitable for the country’s national day. Let’s see what Amanda Stone has to say. In 2017 she was the mayor of the City of Yarra in Melbourne.
Amanda Stone: We ve been talking to the aboriginal community in Yarra for some time about the meaning of January 26th for them and we’ve heard from them that it is not a day of celebration. It is a day of sadness and loss for them. We ve been considering how we might address that to reflect those views. In February this year (2017) the Council resolved to ask the officers to consult with the aboriginal community about the future of January 26th, and that was also in the context of a growing momentum more broadly around the Change the Date campaign.
So we felt that it was an action whose time has come, that there would be broader support for it. And when the officers presented the results of the consultation with aboriginal people on Tuesday, that’s how we voted. But we’re not telling anyone what to do. We’re not changing the date of Australia Day as it is at the moment. We are not instructing people on how to spend January 26th. It will continue to be a public holiday, 26th January. People will still enjoy their barbecues and picnics and get-togethers in parks and gardens.
Lamourette Folly: Why is it important from your perspective as a mayor to change the date?
Amanda Stone: For me as mayor of the City of Yarra it is important that we are inclusive in what we do as a council. By holding celebratory events on January 26th we are actively excluding an important part of our community, the aboriginal community, who do not find it an occasion for celebration, who have told us so for many years, and are thoroughly supportive of the action we have taken. We want to be inclusive. We don’t want to exclude anybody.We want everyone to be able to celebrate our national identity and we need to find a date that we can do that on.
Lamourette Folly: That’s great. Do you have any date in mind?
Amanda Stone: No. I think it is something that needs to come out of a conversation. And I think lots of people have lots of ideas. And if we are going to be really inclusive we need to discuss it with everybody, not impose another date that might be contentious for another part of the people.
WH: If Julian Assange is freed it could very well be changed subsequently to Media Integrity Day, or something along those lines.
The second proposal is more concrete. It was initiated by the following posting by someone who calls himself “Realist” in the discussion that was started by Ray McGovern. What he said was this:
“If the American government thinks better of it and decides not to prosecute Mr. Assange (or perhaps offers him a plea bargain counting his time cloistered in the embassy against a short sentence), I wonder where he will choose and/or be allowed to live. Australia has abandoned him, and now Ecuador has betrayed him. He can’t trust any American vassal state in the EU, NATO or the “Five Eyes” (basically the Anglosphere). Would Putin allow him to run Wikileaks out of Russia? I suspect not. No free press throughout the Middle East, most of Africa and the “–stans” of Central Asia.
China is not looking to harbor a gadfly of the West. Latin America is spotty, though Glenn Greenwald makes his home base in Brazil despite the de facto coup against the Left there. How well are human rights protected in places like India or Malaysia? Singapore, Burma and Thailand are too authoritarian. Arthur C. Clarke decamped in Sri Lanka. Are there any truly sovereign nations in the Indian or Pacific oceans? Too bad New Gingrich didn’t get to establish his proposed Moon base. Julian might have managed Wikileaks from there, beyond the jurisdiction of any nation state on Earth.”
I said in response: “Realist’s” comments on Julian finding asylum on the Moon is frivolous, and if frivolous comments are permitted, why not outrageous comments? Are there Jewish people who would be outrageous enough to begin to lobby for Julian Assange to be given political asylum in Israel? Would he accept such an idea? Just the discussion of such an idea might be helpful in clearing some mental blocks.” ”
“Realist” replied: “Assange finding asylum on the Moon might be a frivolous comment but it underscores the paucity of venues that could pay the price to shield him against American wrath. In response to your invitation to discuss Israel as a plausible safe harbor for Assange, I should think his morals would preclude that possibility, even as a last resort. It would be repudiating everything he has stood for. As they say “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Ilargi: That’s a very long way of saying “there are no options”. You don’t have to go through all the options to arrive at the conclusion that there are no options.
WH: So in other words…
Ilargi: A new country that is brought to the front in the past few days is Mexico. .
Ilargi: Yes. People think that Lopez Obrador might be the guy to turn to. I suggested Iceland.
WH: I remember that. . .
Ilargi: They are independent enough to pull off something like that. Though I have no idea what the Icelandic government feels or thinks about Assange. But they’re independent. They’re the only country that locked up a bunch of bankers and told the creditors to go take a hike.
WH: I think what “Realist” would say is that these countries are not strong enough to protect Assange and that the CIA, or whoever is after him, would get at him.
Ilargi: Iceland has got a big moat. That is natural protection. .
WH: A big moat!
Ilargi: Yes. Of course there is no country that could give 100% protection to someone like Assange.
WH: There was a similar discussion in response to an article by Caitlin Johnstone.” “As long as Assange is silenced, claims against him are illegitimate”.
In any case, a campaign is under way. The ideas we are discussing here are not part of the campaign and I don’t want to impose them. The campaign is following its own logic.
Ilargi: There are no ideas. There is just a long list of “no options”.
WH: Yes, as you said. Right. This is continuing the discussion we had with the mayor.
Ilargi: I would like to add what we were saying before we started. The news about Assange’s health is not good. He has severe toothaches. His legs are swelling and his bone density is falling fast because of the lack of exposure to sunlight. So in the end, what it comes down to: Ecuador doesn’t even have to kick him out. They’re counting on the fact that he’ll have to walk out. .
WH: Yes, if he can. .
Ilargi: Or be carried out, on a stretcher. Or in a coffin. .
Julian Assange: (Trafalgar Square, London – 8th October 2011)
When we understand that wars come about as a result of lies peddled to the British public and the American public and the publics all over Europe and other countries, then who are the war criminals? It is not just leaders. It is not just soldiers. It is journalists. Journalists are war criminals. … If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.
This almost 2-hour long interview was recorded in Samuel Alexander‘s backyard in a Melbourne suburb in April 2015. Part of it is slated to be used in a documentary called “A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity”, written and produced by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander. The documentary is set for release in April 2016. (Kudos for picture and sound quality, guys!)
The purpose of the documentary is to unflinchingly describe the overlapping crises of industrial civilisation and explain why a ‘simpler way’ of life, based on material sufficiency not limitless growth, signifies the only coherent response to those crises. The dominant mode of development today seeks to universalise high-consumption consumer lifestyles, but this is environmentally catastrophic and it has produced perverse inequalities of wealth. Even the privileged few who have attained material affluence rarely find it satisfying or fulfilling, because consumerism just leaves people feeling empty and alone. Consequently, our forthcoming documentary seeks to show why genuine progress today means rejecting consumerism, transcending growth economics, and building new forms of life based on permaculture, simple living, renewable energy, and localised economies.
But what does that mean? And how should we go about building a new world? Mainstream environmentalism calls on us to take shorter showers, recycle, buy ‘green’ products, and turn the lights off when we leave the room, but these measures are grossly inadequate. We need more fundamental change – personally, culturally, and structurally. Most of all, we need to reimagine the good life beyond consumer culture and begin building a world that supports a simpler way of life. This does not mean hardship or deprivation. It means focusing on what is sufficient to live well. The premise of our documentary is that a simple life can be a good life.
One of the main concerns driving this documentary, and the Wurruk’an project more generally, is the uncomfortable realisation that even the world’s most successful ecovillages have ecological footprints that are too high to be universalised. In other words, even after many decades of the modern environmental movement, we still don’t have many or any examples of what a flourishing ‘one planet’ existence might look. This is highly problematic because if people do not have some understanding of what sustainability requires of us or what it might look like, it will be hard to mobilise individuals and communities to build such a world. A Simpler Way represents an attempt to envision and demonstrate what ‘one planet’ living might look like and provoke a broader social conversation about the radical implications of living in an age of limits.
We hope that this documentary will challenge and inspire people to explore a simpler way of life and to begin building sufficiency-based economies that thrive within planetary limits. If you feel this is a worthwhile film for social change, please support our project by donating here [link coming soon] and sharing the link with your networks.