May 052021
 


Edgar Degas The laundress 1873

 

India Latest Country to Approve Use of Ivermectin to Treat Covid-19 (NC)
Do Stupid Things, Win Stupid Prizes (Denninger)
Pfizer Will File For Full FDA Approval By End Of May (F.)
Pfizer Sees Covid-19 As ‘Durable’ Revenue Stream As Profits Rise (Y!)
‘Obscene’ Bonus Hike For AstraZeneca Boss Prompts Investor Anger (G.)
Fauci Tells CNN We’re ‘At Least Halfway Through’ The Covid-19 Pandemic (RT)
US Birth Rate Sees Biggest Fall For Nearly 50 Years (G.)
The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown (Atl.)
The Dynamics Behind the Ugly Amount of Empty Office Space (WS)
Don’t Be Fooled By Joe Biden (Chris Hedges)
CNN Turns To Disgraced FBI Official For Legal Analysis On Rudy Giuliani (TP)
The Instagram Ads Facebook Won’t Show You (Signal)
Facebook’s New Campaign Should Have Free Speech Advocates Nervous (Turley)

 

 

Some memes are stronger than others.

 

 

 

And this time for real. Until now it was only 2 states.

India Latest Country to Approve Use of Ivermectin to Treat Covid-19 (NC)

[..] the huge uncontrolled wave of infections hitting India is having all sorts of implications for the Modi government. In its desperation to regain control of the virus, India’s government quietly changed its treatment guidelines last week. The new guidelines include the option of prescribing two repurposed medicines for mild Covid patients: budesonid and ivermectin. The former is an inhaled steroid that has been shown to reduce the time to recovery and need for urgent medical care. The latter is an off-patent anti-parasitic that has been discovered to have powerful anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. India is no stranger to ivermectin. The medicine has been used as an anti-parasitic for decades. It has also been used in the fight against malaria.

Two of its regions, Uttar Pradesh (population: 230 million) and Bihar, have been using the medicine since August, to dramatic effect. By the end of 2020, Uttar Pradesh (UP) — which distributed free ivermectin for home care — had the second-lowest fatality rate in India at 0.26 per 100,000 residents. Only the state of Bihar, with 128 million residents, had less. But Uttar Pradesh (UP) did more than treat 300,000 mild cases at home through 2020; it also opted to use ivermectin to prevent infection. COVID response teams began taking the drug and they did not catch the illness. The same thing was reported in a study of frontline critical care workers in Argentina. U.P. then had contacts of COVID patients take it, with similar success. “Recognizing the sense of urgency,” Amit Mohan Prasad, a U.P. health official, wrote in a Dec. 30 article, “we decided to go ahead.”


Yet UP’s remarkable success at controlling the virus did not inform national policy — at least not until now. The Indian Council of Medical Research declined in October to recommend ivermectin nationwide, citing, like so many health regulators, the need for more data. But all that changed last week as India became the biggest country on the planet to adopt nationwide use of ivermectin against Covid-19. More than 20 countries are now using ivermectin to treat Covid-19 to one degree or another, with promising results, despite the fact the World Health Organization has not approved its use. They include Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.

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”..the shot is one hundred times more dangerous than the disease..”

Do Stupid Things, Win Stupid Prizes (Denninger)

It’s ok folks, it’s very “rare”. Uh huh, sure it is. High school senior Emma Burkey received her “one and done” Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine on March 20, and within two weeks was in an induced coma following seizures and clotting in her brain. “She’s making a slow recovery, having recently been transfered from the hospital to a rehabilitation center, and the first round of bills totaled $513,000. The 18-year-old’s family friends in the Las Vegas area started a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses from the very rare vaccine reaction.” An 18 year old, according to the CDC, has a roughly 1/50,000 risk of being killed by Covid-19 assuming the FDA’s and CDC’s “standard of care” which prohibits the use of budesonide, ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies and a whole host o other drugs which we know work.

One of them, budesonide, has a roughly 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalization (and of course death usually is preceded by that if you get Covid); the others also have some efficacy. Stacking just those three likely winds up around 95-99% effective, so your actual risk, if you’re not a dumb-ass and are both young and get Covid-19 is more like 1/500,000. And that’s if you get Covid. The CDC says about 1/10 people have over a year’s time, so your risk as a healthy 18 year old is approximately 1/5,000,000 since to be exposed to the risk of death you first must get the disease and that is not certain. Remember, according to the CDC if you die while Covid-19 positive then your death was caused by Covid-19, even though this is not scientifically proved. This is the same standard that VAERS uses for vaccine death; you died associated with receiving the shot; it is not proved it was caused, but if that’s good enough for the CDC to claim the Coof killed you then it sure as hell is good enough to claim the vaccine killed you.

By the CDCs VAERS numbers and the number of delivered shots into arms the risk of the shot killing you is approximately 1/45,000 and if you take the shot the hazard is 100% probable to be undertaken, obviously. So if you’re not specifically morbid the shot is one hundred times more dangerous than the disease. Oh, and we know the VAERS reports are wildly understated. Why? Because it’s a voluntary system; there is no mandate on any person or health provider to report potential adverse connected effects. While you (as the impacted individual) can report to the system obvious doing that if you’re dead is somewhat difficult. Were this a mandatory system where any death within “X” time of an inoculation had to be reported, with a criminal penalty for not doing so by health providers, we might have a more-full picture. But unlike death certificates which must be issued, and the CDC rules for Covid-19 that say if you were positive any time in the last 28 days, or at death, your death is ruled Covid-related there is no such mandate for VAERS.

Maybe health insurance will pay Emma’s bill, at least in part. What’s Emma’s deductible, if she has insurance? Will she be eating that deductible every year for the rest of her life with a continuing care requirement? Will her insurer refuse to pay entirely, since these were experimental shots? What happens if Emma wants to start a family and tries to get life insurance down the road? Will it be available at any reasonable price? Has her ability to bear a child been damaged or destroyed? What about her ability to enjoy all the things she used to enjoy; will she, for example, still be able to go for a nice jog? Can she hold a driver license? What about a CDL or pilot’s license? What about something as simple as driving a forklift in a warehouse? Have the seizures permanently destroyed those options for Emma?

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Not supposed to be completed until 2023. Nothing matters anymore. All those carefully crafted procedures are just a hindrance.

Pfizer Will File For Full FDA Approval By End Of May (F.)

Pfizer and BioNTech, the manufacturers of one of the three authorized Covid-19 vaccines in the U.S., plan to file for full approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of May as they expect the vaccine to generate about $26 billion in revenue this year. Pfizer and German drug manufacturer BioNTech announced their plan to ask the FDA for full approval of its vaccine in its quarterly earnings report. The vaccine, the first Covid-19 jab to be authorized for emergency use in the U.S., was given its emergency use authorization in December, and is currently authorized to be administered to Americans over the age of 16. The vaccine brought it $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of 2021. The FDA is expected to expand eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine to adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 as soon as this week.

Full FDA approval would allow Pfizer to market its vaccine directly to consumers, and could help make Pfizer Covid-19 booster shots–something Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has said will be necessary–available to the public without needing another emergency use authorization from the FDA. The FDA grants emergency use authorizations when the Secretary of Health and Human Services deems it “appropriate” for the FDA to “authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products” when there are few or no alternatives. Vaccination EUA proposals must include “safety data accumulated from phase 1 and 2 studies” and “with an expectation that phase 3 data” will include follow up information on trial subjects. The FDA can then grant an EUA when an FDA panel determines the “known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks.”

It’s likely that all Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers with EUAs will go on to file for full FDA approval because emergency use authorizations can be revoked once a public health crisis subsides. Both Pfizer and Moderna have released phase 3 trial information for their vaccines that showed high levels of protection against Covid-19, which allow them to move forward with filing for full FDA approval. Some health experts hope that full FDA approval for Covid-19 vaccines will help lessen vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams wrote in The Washington Post: “Many people who are lower risk understandably ask if the benefits justify taking a medication that has not received the full and traditional FDA stamp of approval,” and wrote “further studies” will “help show skeptics that the authorized COVID vaccines are safe.”

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Surprising they don’t use “sustainable”.

Pfizer Sees Covid-19 As ‘Durable’ Revenue Stream As Profits Rise (Y!)

Pfizer sharply increased its 2021 profit projections on Tuesday, citing much higher Covid-19 vaccine sales which are on track to provide a “durable” revenue stream in the wake of the pandemic. The drugmaker reported a jump in first-quarter profits based on surging revenues, with nearly one-fourth of sales coming from Covid-19 vaccines. With German partner BioNTech, the pharma giant is ramping up vaccine production and now estimates 2021 revenues of $26 billion from the vaccine, up from the $15 billion projected in February. But the surging profits have drawn criticism as governments face pressure to step in to ensure vaccines are provided to underserved countries.

Pfizer, which says it is on the cusp of winning US approval for individuals 12 to 15 years old to receive its vaccine, is holding talks with “basically all governments of the world” about providing booster shots through 2024, Chief Executive Albert Bourla told analysts on a conference call Tuesday. The company is studying the efficacy of giving the jabs six or more months after the second vaccine dose, and developing doses that could be stored at standard refrigerated temperature for up to 10 weeks. Bourla expects “durable demand” for Covid-19 vaccines, similar to that of the flu vaccine. “It is our hope that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will continue to have a global impact by helping to get the devastating pandemic under control and helping economies around the world not only open, but stay open,” Bourla said in prepared remarks.

That would create “a scenario in which Pfizer can continue to be both a leader and a beneficiary,” he said. Pfizer has won wide praise for its technological prowess in developing a game-changing vaccine in record time. However, critics called the profits troubling given the divide in vaccine availability between rich and poor countries. World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last month decried a “shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines” and called for efforts to fortify the WHO’s Covax programs, which aims to ensure that poorer nations can access the shots. India and South Africa are leading an effort in the World Trade Organization to waive intellectual property and patent rules, at least temporarily, which would open the door to broader production of vaccines at a time when the virus is causing mass misery in India and some other countries.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday he had not made a decision on whether to support a vaccine waiver, but that the United States was moving “as quickly as we can” to export doses. Biden also said he was ready to “immediately” begin vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds as soon as Pfizer’s Covid shot is approved by regulators for the age group. Pfizer reported net income of $4.9 billion, up 45 percent from the same period of the prior year. Revenues also jumped 45 percent to $14.6 billion, including $3.5 billion in Covid-19 vaccine sales.

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You mean the investors who make obscene profits?

‘Obscene’ Bonus Hike For AstraZeneca Boss Prompts Investor Anger (G.)

AstraZeneca is facing mounting opposition over its plans to award its chief executive, Pascal Soriot, a big increase in bonuses, with three investor advisory groups calling on shareholders to vote against the policy. Pirc, Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) have all flagged concerns over moves to raise the maximum share bonus Soriot can receive under a long-term plan from 550% of his £1.3m base salary to 650%. AZ also plans to hoist Soriot’s maximum annual bonus to 250% of salary from 200%, depending on performance targets being hit. The advisory groups recommended investors vote against the pay policy at next Tuesday’s annual meeting.


Neville White, the head of responsible investment policy and research at EdenTree Investment Management, which holds AstraZeneca shares, described the proposed bonus increases as “obscene” and said he would vote against them. He added: “It is obviously tricky, because Pascal is both a hero and an antihero at the moment.” The pay vote comes at a sensitive time, as AstraZeneca has faced a barrage of criticism over its coronavirus vaccine after supply shortages and, in rare cases, a potential link to blood clots. It has, however, pledged to supply the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic, and lost money making it in the first quarter of the year. Soriot has been paid more than £15m in each of the last two years, after overseeing a turnaround as he rebuilt AstraZeneca’s drug portfolio. The firm has faced down several shareholder pay revolts over the years.

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“Podcast host Dave Rubin suggested headlining the Blitzer-Fauci interview, “Drunk on power, highest-paid person in government egomaniac talks to synthetic humanoid news anchor on fake news channel using sports imagery.“

Fauci Tells CNN We’re ‘At Least Halfway Through’ The Covid-19 Pandemic (RT)

White House health expert Anthony Fauci may have quite some time remaining to rule as “master” of all things Covid-19 as he told CNN that Americans are “at least halfway through” the pandemic. “We’ve really got to not declare victory prematurely,” Fauci told CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. “So we’re in the late innings, but it’s not over. That’s the thing we’ve got to get people to appreciate.” Pressed by Blitzer to be more specific, in baseball terms, how soon the pandemic will end for Americans, Fauci said, “the bottom of the sixth.” That would mean the battle is more than 60% completed – unless the game can somehow be extended into extra innings. Critics of Fauci, who is chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, found no encouragement in the doctor’s comments.

“Time to pull Dr. Fauci off the mound,” US Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on Twitter, continuing with the baseball analogy. Fauci has a history of flip-flopping on his Covid-19 advice and moving the goalposts at various stages of the pandemic. What started as “15 days to slow the spread” has turned into a 14-month battle, with the doctor calculating another nine to 14 months to go. He admitted last December to purposely deceiving the public about vaccine herd-immunity projections to manipulate opinions. Biden on Tuesday set a new goal of having 70 percent of adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 jab by July 4. Earlier in 2020, Fauci said the US could achieve herd immunity once 60-70 percent of the population was fully vaccinated. But he repeatedly moved that target back as the year wore on, going to as high as 85 percent in December.

“We’re going in the right direction,” Fauci said in Tuesday’s CNN interview. “We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but now’s not a time to declare victory. It’s a time to get more and more people vaccinated.” Fauci has enjoyed rock-star status during the pandemic, being showered with awards and mainstream-media adulation. A children’s book that’s scheduled for release in June bestows him the title “America’s doctor.” His 80th birthday was celebrated as Dr. Anthony Fauci in Washington, DC, and he was serenaded with the birthday song by Biden, then president-elect, and future First Lady Jill Biden. Podcast host Dave Rubin suggested headlining the Blitzer-Fauci interview, “Drunk on power, highest-paid person in government egomaniac talks to synthetic humanoid news anchor on fake news channel using sports imagery.”

Read more …

“..the rate has been sliding for more than 10 years and last year dropped to about 1.6, the lowest rate on record..”

US Birth Rate Sees Biggest Fall For Nearly 50 Years (G.)

The US birth rate has fallen 4% in the largest single-year drop in nearly 50 years, according to a government report. The rate dropped for mothers of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly all age groups, falling to the lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago, the report due to be published on Wednesday said. Births have been declining in younger women for years, as many postponed motherhood and had smaller families. Birth rates for women in their late 30s and in their 40s have been inching up. But not last year. The US once was among only a few developed countries with a fertility rate above the 2.1 children per woman that ensured each generation had enough children to replace itself.


But the rate has been sliding for more than 10 years and last year dropped to about 1.6, the lowest rate on record. “The fact that you saw declines in births even for older moms is quite striking,” said lead author of the report, Brady Hamilton, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures suggest that the current generation will not have enough children to replace itself. The CDC report is based on a review of more than 99% of birth certificates issued last year. The findings echo a recent Associated Press analysis of 2020 data from 25 states showing that births had fallen during the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic contribute to last year’s big decline, experts said. Anxiety about Covid-19 and its impact on the economy likely caused many couples to think that it was not the right time to have a baby.

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It’s a symbiosis. The MSM only caters to the “left”, which demands ever scarier stories. Happy to provide.

The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown (Atl.)

Lurking among the jubilant americans venturing back out to bars and planning their summer-wedding travel is a different group: liberals who aren’t quite ready to let go of pandemic restrictions. For this subset, diligence against COVID-19 remains an expression of political identity—even when that means overestimating the disease’s risks or setting limits far more strict than what public-health guidelines permit. In surveys, Democrats express more worry about the pandemic than Republicans do. People who describe themselves as “very liberal” are distinctly anxious. This spring, after the vaccine rollout had started, a third of very liberal people were “very concerned” about becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, compared with a quarter of both liberals and moderates, according to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina political scientist Marc Hetherington.

And 43 percent of very liberal respondents believed that getting the coronavirus would have a “very bad” effect on their life, compared with a third of liberals and moderates. Last year, when the pandemic was raging and scientists and public-health officials were still trying to understand how the virus spread, extreme care was warranted. People all over the country made enormous sacrifices—rescheduling weddings, missing funerals, canceling graduations, avoiding the family members they love—to protect others. Some conservatives refused to wear masks or stay home, because of skepticism about the severity of the disease or a refusal to give up their freedoms. But this is a different story, about progressives who stressed the scientific evidence, and then veered away from it.

For many progressives, extreme vigilance was in part about opposing Donald Trump. Some of this reaction was born of deeply felt frustration with how he handled the pandemic. It could also be knee-jerk. “If he said, ‘Keep schools open,’ then, well, we’re going to do everything in our power to keep schools closed,” Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, told me. Gandhi describes herself as “left of left,” but has alienated some of her ideological peers because she has advocated for policies such as reopening schools and establishing a clear timeline for the end of mask mandates. “We went the other way, in an extreme way, against Trump’s politicization,” Gandhi said. Geography and personality may have also contributed to progressives’ caution: Some of the most liberal parts of the country are places where the pandemic hit especially hard, and Hetherington found that the very liberal participants in his survey tended to be the most neurotic.

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Some things have changed for good.

The Dynamics Behind the Ugly Amount of Empty Office Space (WS)

Companies are not massively defaulting on their office leases, and that’s the good thing. But they have put a historic amount of vacant office space on the sublease market, while continuing to pay rent to the landlord. They decided they no longer need that much space, now that some form of flexible work, or hybrid work-from-home, or even permanent work-from-anywhere is being integrated into office real estate plans, cost cutting efforts, and footprint-reduction strategies. Now, 14 months into the Pandemic, office occupancy – workers actually showing up at the office – is still dreadfully low. As of the end of April, office occupancy in the 10 largest metros averaged only 26.5% of where it had been just before the Pandemic, according to Kastle Systems today, whose electronic access systems secure thousands of office buildings around the country. In other words, the number of people entering these offices was still down by 73.5% from pre-pandemic levels and has barely made headway in recent months:

The epicenters of work-from-home show the biggest drops in office occupancy rates, according to Kastle’s “Back to Work Barometer” at the end of April: in San Francisco, the occupancy rate was at 14.8% of the pre-Pandemic level, in New York City at 16.2%, and in San Jose at 18.0%. Among tech companies, 95% expect remote work for at least a few days a week; 9% said that they will never return to the office at all; another 47% said that they will need less office space; only 13% said they would need more office space, according to a survey by Savills.A survey of Californian residents found that 82% of the employees who now work at home want to continue working at home at least some of the time. Only 18% don’t want to work at home at all. But even at the top end of office occupancy, working remotely is still king. In Dallas, office occupancy is at 41.2% of where it was pre-Pandemic, and in Austin at 40.2% :

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“Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery.”

Don’t Be Fooled By Joe Biden (Chris Hedges)

Don’t be fooled by Joe Biden. He knows his infrastructure and education bills have as much chance at becoming law as the $15-dollar minimum wage or the $2,000 stimulus checks he promised us as a candidate. He knows his American Jobs Plan will never create “millions of good paying jobs – jobs Americans can raise their families on” any more than NAFTA, which he supported, would, as was also promised, create millions of good paying jobs. His mantra of “buy American” is worthless. He knows the vast majority of our consumer electronics, apparel, furniture and industrial supplies are made in China by workers who earn an average of one or two dollars an hour and lack unions and basic labor rights.

He knows his call to lower deductibles and prescription drug costs in the Affordable Care Act will never be permitted by the corporations that profit from health care. He knows the corporate donors that fund the Democratic Party will ensure their lobbyists will continue to write the laws that guarantee they pay little or no taxes. He knows the corporate subsidies and tax incentives he proposes as a solution to the climate crisis will do nothing to halt oil and gas fracking, shut down coal-fired plants or halt the construction of new pipelines for gas-fired power plants. His promises of reform have no more weight than those peddled by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who Biden slavishly served and who also promised social equality while betraying working men and women.

Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery. His long political career in Congress was defined by representing the interests of big business, especially the credit card companies based in Delaware. He was nicknamed Senator Credit Card. He has always glibly told the public what it wants to hear and then sold them out. He was a prominent promoter and architect of a generation of federal “tough on crime” laws that helped militarize the nation’s police and more than doubled the population of the world’s largest prison system with harsh mandatory sentencing guidelines and laws that put people in prison for life for nonviolent drug crimes, even as his son struggled with addiction. He was a principal author of the Patriot Act, which began the stripping away of our most basic civil liberties. And there has never been a weapons system, or a war, he did not support.

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What a dynamic this is. Lying to the FBI doesn’t matter anymore. Not at CNN.

CNN Turns To Disgraced FBI Official For Legal Analysis On Rudy Giuliani (TP)

Disgraced former FBI official Andrew McCabe provided legal analysis on CNN Friday morning of ongoing investigations into former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz. Unmentioned in McCabe’s “New Day” segment was that he was fired by the FBI in 2018 for lying to government officials about his authorization of leaks to the media. Federal prosecutors also opened a grand jury investigation into whether McCabe made false statements to FBI and Justice Department officials about the leaks. The FBI raided Giuliani’s apartment in New York City this week as part of an investigation into whether he violated foreign agent laws through his Ukraine-related work in 2019 and 2020. Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with an underage girl.


Both Giuliani and Gaetz have denied any wrongdoing and have both said they are being targeted for political reasons. McCabe addressed reports that the FBI gave so-called defensive briefings to Giuliani and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson in late 2019 about Russia’s efforts to sow disinformation about Joe Biden. McCabe called the briefing “a big deal,” saying that it shows that the FBI had “a significant amount of information” that Russia was using Giuliani to disseminate information about Biden. McCabe said that the FBI often observes the recipients of the defensive briefing to see how they respond to the information. “If you cut off your interactions with them, that’s a good sign. If you continue to interact with them, which we know Rudy Giuliani did here, that’s a very bad sign,” McCabe said.

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They don’t really want you to know what they know about you.

The Instagram Ads Facebook Won’t Show You (Signal)

Companies like Facebook aren’t building technology for you, they’re building technology for your data. They collect everything they can from FB, Instagram, and WhatsApp in order to sell visibility into people and their lives. This isn’t exactly a secret, but the full picture is hazy to most – dimly concealed within complex, opaquely-rendered systems and fine print designed to be scrolled past. The way most of the internet works today would be considered intolerable if translated into comprehensible real world analogs, but it endures because it is invisible. However, Facebook’s own tools have the potential to divulge what is otherwise unseen. It’s already possible to catch fragments of these truths in the ads you’re shown; they are glimmers that reflect the world of a surveilling stranger who knows you. We wanted to use those same tools to directly highlight how most technology works. We wanted to buy some Instagram ads.

We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to. The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses. Facebook was not into that idea. Ad account disabled. This ad account, its ads and some of its advertising assets are disabled. You can’t use it to run ads. Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to tell people about how their data is being used. Being transparent about how ads use people’s data is apparently enough to get banned; in Facebook’s world, the only acceptable usage is to hide what you’re doing from your audience. So, here are some examples of the targeted ads that you’ll never see on Instagram. Yours would have been so you.

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By no means only Free Speech Advocates either.

Facebook’s New Campaign Should Have Free Speech Advocates Nervous (Turley)

In 1964, Stanley Kubrick released a dark comedy classic titled “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” The title captured the absurdity of getting people to embrace the concept of weapons of mass destruction. The movie came to mind recently with the public campaign of Facebook calling for people to change her attitudes about the Internet and rethink issues like “content modification” – the new Orwellian term for censorship. The commercials show people like “Joshan” who says that he was born in 1996 and grew up with the internet.” Joshan mocks how much computers have changed and then asks why our regulations on privacy and censorship cannot evolve as much as our technology.

The ads are clearly directed at younger users who may be more willing to accept censorship than their parents who hopelessly cling to old-fashioned notions of free speech. Facebook knows that it cannot exercise more control over content unless it can get people to stop worrying and love the censor. There was a time when this would have been viewed as chilling: a corporate giant running commercials to get people to support new regulations impacting basic values like free speech and privacy. After all, Joshan shows of his first computer was a “giant behemoth of a machine” but that was before he understood “the blending of the real world and the internet world.”

The Facebook campaign is chilling in its reference to “privacy” and “content modification” given the current controversies surrounding Big Tech. On one level, the commercial simply calls for rethinking regulatory controls after 25 years. However, the source of the campaign is a company which has been widely accused of rolling back on core values like free speech. Big Tech corporations are exercising increasing levels of control over what people write or read on the Internet. While these companies enjoy immunity from many lawsuits based on the notion of being neutral communication platforms (akin to telephone companies), they now censor ideas deemed misleading or dangerous on subjects ranging from climate denial to transgender criticism to election fraud.

Moreover, Facebook knows that there is ample support for increasing censorship and speech regulation in Congress and around the world. Free speech is under attack and losing ground — and Facebook knows it. The rise of the corporate censor has challenged long-standing assumptions of the free speech community. Our Constitution and much of free speech writings are focused on the classic model of government censorship and state media. What we have seen in the last few years is that corporations have far greater ability to curtail speech and that you can have a type of state media without the state.

Read more …

 

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May 042021
 


Franco Fontana Prague 1967

 

US To Authorize Pfizer Vaccine For Ages 12-15 Early Next Week (R.)
Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely In The US, Experts Now Believe (NYT)
The Missing Piece of the Covid-19 Death Puzzle: Co-Infection (Sardi)
The CDC, VUMC, Johns Hopkins Are All *DONE* (Denninger)
England To Pilot Daily Covid Tests As Way To Avoid Self-isolation (G.)
SARS-CoV-2 Variants Still Recognized by T Cells (NIH)
Covid S Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2 (AHA)
Florida Gov. DeSantis Suspends All Local Coronavirus Emergency Orders (JTN)
‘Far More Likely’ Coronavirus Came From Lab, Ex-MI6 Chief (LBC)
The Criminalization of Dissent (CJ Hopkins)
Biden Family Justice (Kunstler)
Moscow Has Plan To Ditch US Dollar & Axe Dependency On West (Gavin)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Main reason for hesitancy to take Covid vaccine from average Americans is they assume ALL risk. If something goes wrong, you can’t sue Moderna/Pfizer. And without FDA approval government isn’t accountable, either. Therefore, the patient/citizen assumes ALL risk.”

 

 

 

This for me remains the scariest part of it all.

“Pfizer and Moderna have also launched trials in even younger children, from six months to 11 years old.”

US To Authorize Pfizer Vaccine For Ages 12-15 Early Next Week (R.)

The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for adolescents between ages 12 and 15 years by early next week, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans. An approval is highly anticipated after the drugmakers said in March that the vaccine had been found to be safe, effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year-olds in a clinical trial. Responding to a Reuters request for comment, the FDA said its review of expanding the vaccine’s emergency use authorization was continuing, but it did not provide further details. The vaccine has already been cleared in the United States for people age 16 and above.


The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director, Rochelle Walensky, said earlier in April that the vaccine could be approved by mid-May. If an approval for the 12-15-year-olds is granted, the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel will probably meet the following day to review the clinical trial data and make recommendations for the vaccine’s use in adolescents, the report said. Approval of the vaccine would boost the country’s immunization drive and help allay fears of parents anxious to protect their children from Covid-19. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also testing their vaccines in 12- to 18-year olds, with data from Moderna’s trial expected to come soon. Pfizer and Moderna have also launched trials in even younger children, from six months to 11 years old. Both companies have said they hope to be able to vaccinate children under 11 as soon as early 2022.

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Vaccine promo (vaccine porn?) . One-dimensional. It’s a pattern: first promotion of hand cleaners, then masks, then of lockdowns, now of vaccines.

Where would we be if they had promoted vit. D and ivermection in the same fashion?

Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely In The US, Experts Now Believe (NYT)

Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives. Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable – at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers. How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon. Continued immunizations, especially for people at highest risk because of age, exposure or health status, will be crucial to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency, experts believe.

“The virus is unlikely to go away,” said Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.” The shift in outlook presents a new challenge for public health authorities. The drive for herd immunity – by the summer, some experts once thought possible – captured the imagination of large segments of the public. To say the goal will not be attained adds another “why bother” to the list of reasons that vaccine skeptics use to avoid being inoculated.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s top adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged the shift in experts’ thinking. “People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” he said. “That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,” he added. “I’m saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.”

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“The so-called “super-spreaders” are the asymptomatic RNA-vaccinated (Pfizer/ Moderna) individuals that shed the virus. In an anticipated misdirection, the unvaccinated will then be mistakenly blamed for the spread of the virus and a predicted witch hunt will ensue for the anti-vaxxers..”

The Missing Piece of the Covid-19 Death Puzzle: Co-Infection (Sardi)

Funny thing we realized on the way to the funeral parlor to bury our friends and loved ones who were vaccinated against COVID-19 coronavirus, that the vaccine didn’t work. COVID-19 vaccines, like flu shots, don’t work as well for new strains of the virus. For that, you will need perpetual immunization, say vaccine makers. Oh, there are people dying, 7700 every day in the US. But was their passing solely attributed to COVID-19? Since the COVID-19 fatality numbers are exaggerated by a PCR nasal swab test that results in 97% false positives (all of the COVID-19 PCR tests during the past 14 months have been found to be invalid), there is no way to confirm deaths were caused by COVID-19 or COVID-19 was a bystander, the difference between dying OF COVID-19 or dying WITH COVID-19! Deaths are being drummed up to create fear and false demand for vaccines.

Also, in case you hadn’t heard, “a resurgence in both hospitalizations and deaths will be ‘dominated by those that have received two doses of the vaccine,” says the respected Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group. “At least 60 percent of all new COVID-19 cases are occurring in people who were already vaccinated.” So far, hundreds who have been vaccinated got sick again and some have died. This is being reported in different locations. We have a vaccine that reduces severity of symptoms but not the ratio of hospitalizations and deaths among infected subjects! The so-called “super-spreaders” are the asymptomatic RNA-vaccinated (Pfizer/ Moderna) individuals that shed the virus. In an anticipated misdirection, the unvaccinated will then be mistakenly blamed for the spread of the virus and a predicted witch hunt will ensue for the anti-vaxxers, a development foreseen in my March 26, 2021 posting.

But how could a mutated common cold virus kill off humans like flies? Well, at no time were any human populations dying like flies. As stated in prior reports, the percentage of people dying of COVID-19 who reside outside of nursing homes is but one-quarter of one-percent. Vaccination, which is said to be 95% effective, but that is not 95 out of 100 in hard numbers. On an accumulated basis as of May 1, 2021 in the U.S., 31,889,171 laboratory- confirmed infections (9.7% of the population) with 568,836 questionable deaths (0.0017% or 1.7 per thousand). But even these numbers are fallacious. If the PCR nasal swab test were properly performed, then 97% COVID-19 infections as a cause of death cannot be confirmed.

Only 6% of deaths were without co-morbid conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), meaning maybe only 34,130 COVID-19 deaths solely attributed to COVID-19 instead of 568,836 – for a true fatality risk 0.0001 or 1 in 10,000. That means 10,000 must be vaccinated to spare 1 life. While the serious side effect rate for the vaccines is very small, it exceeds the number who will potentially benefit from vaccination. Your chance of benefiting from vaccination is nil. And vaccination will not prevent infections or deaths if your immune system is not intact, or if the strain of the virus does not match the vaccine. [..] How are face masks, social distancing and hand washing, going to meaningfully reduce your risk of dying from COVID-19 when only 1 in 10,000 are at risk?

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“COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

“The science says it’s not harmless; it is in fact pathogenic. The CDC is lying and as a result people are dying.”

The CDC, VUMC, Johns Hopkins Are All *DONE* (Denninger)

There might be a few fathers left in this country. Maybe. If so it is my sincere hope that they hold people to personal account who inflicted these harms on their sons and daughters, of which there will be tens if not hundreds of thousands reasonably tied to these so-called “interventions”, including the shots, in the current and coming years. The ghouls involved did not give a crap about the law from the start. The EUAs were flatly illegal because we knew by summer of 2020 that there were decades-old proved safe and believed effective treatments. We didn’t use them, on purpose, for the explicit reason that doing so would prevent these EUAs from being issued. By deliberately lying the FDA, CDC and dozens of other organizations and individuals along with the corporate physician and hospital networks directly caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans who should not have died, and caused deliberate harm to hundreds of thousands more who are now left with what may well be a lifelong debilitating impact as a result of the scream-fest for “everyone” to go get these unproved and now-known-dangerous injections.

Nobody knows how bad, or for how long, those future disabilities and risk of death will be or for how long they will continue but that there is severe impact is now known; we are now down to trying to figure out how horrid. The CDC still claims the spike protein in the shots is “harmless” despite three scientific papers dating to December stating otherwise, one of which is peer reviewed and another from Salk, with the first known published evidence of a problem dating back to September of 2020. All were deliberately ignored and still are being ignored. “COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The science says it’s not harmless; it is in fact pathogenic. The CDC is lying and as a result people are dying. If you think this can remain “under wraps” and not get into the public consciousness you’re wrong. While the pharma firms may have legal immunity no private entity or public other entity does and the ambulance chasers will be out in droves to make the next $10 or $50 billion windfall asset-stripping colleges and their endowments, sports teams, concert venues and other commercial and government entities of every bit of flesh they can pick off. Unfortunately the injured will get little or nothing after the lawyers get done, as has always been the case. The destruction of these entities is both just and will happen, but it’s nowhere near the end game or best of outcomes.

The best of outcomes, which we will also obtain, will be the complete destruction of any sort of trust, belief or other willingness to listen to so-called “public health” authorities for years or even decades into the future. This is not a bad thing; they’ve been full of crap for decades, poisoning people slowly by advocating the consumption of a carbohydrate-rich diet, essentially cramming liquid milk into the gullets of children, many of whom are lactose intolerant to some degree and for which there is no evidence of benefit, calling “ketchup”, which is mostly sugar, a “vegetable” and other similar outrages. McDonalds and the rest of the fast food industry followed said “guidance” and stopped using beef tallow from their hamburgers to fry the potatoes; that switch alone has killed hundreds of thousands over the last few decades, as vegetable oils of this sort should never be consumed in any meaningful quantity. They do not occur in nature in anything similar to what we consume today and every one of them has a horrid inflammatory profile.

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Next up: hourly testing.

Do any of these tests look for the presence of T cells?

England To Pilot Daily Covid Tests As Way To Avoid Self-isolation (G.)

Daily testing of the contacts of people who test positive for Covid is to be trialled, the government has announced, in an effort to reduce the need for people to self-isolate unnecessarily. People who test positive for Covid and their close contacts currently have to isolate for 10 days, but recent research has suggested compliance may be low. One study found that only about 50% of people who had Covid symptoms said they fully adhered to self-isolation. The trial, which launches on Sunday and is led by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS test and trace, will explore whether the use of daily testing of close contacts could reduce the need for people to isolate.


“We know that isolating when you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 is challenging, but it remains vitally important to stop the spread of infection,” said Prof Isabel Oliver, PHE’s national infection service director and the study lead. “This study will help to determine whether we can deploy daily testing for contacts to potentially reduce the need for self-isolation, while still ensuring that chains of transmission are stopped. “Contacts of cases are at higher risk of infection, so testing them is a very effective way of preventing further spread. This study will play an important part of our evaluation of daily contact testing and how the approach to testing might evolve.” The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) had previously noted the potential for daily testing.

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From March 31 2021. It appears to say T cells come from vaccines or infection, but we know many people (81%?!) have T cells regardless. I’m not sure of these are the specific CD8+ T cells.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants Still Recognized by T Cells (NIH)

When variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged in late 2020, concern arose that they might elude protective immune responses generated by prior infection or vaccination, potentially making re-infection more likely or vaccination less effective. To investigate this possibility, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues analyzed blood cell samples from 30 people who had contracted and recovered from COVID-19 prior to the emergence of virus variants. They found that one key player in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2—the CD8+ T cell—remained active against the virus. The research team was led by NIAID’s Andrew Redd, Ph.D., and included scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Immunomics-focused company, ImmunoScape.

The investigators asked whether CD8+ T cells in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients, infected with the initial virus, could still recognize three SARS-CoV-2 variants: B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom; B.1.351, originally found in the Republic of South Africa; and B.1.1.248, first seen in Brazil. Each variant has mutations throughout the virus, and, in particular, in the region of the virus’ spike protein that it uses to attach to and enter cells. Mutations in this spike protein region could make it less recognizable to T cells and neutralizing antibodies, which are made by the immune system’s B cells following infection or vaccination. Although details about the exact levels and composition of antibody and T-cell responses needed to achieve immunity to SARS-CoV-2 are still unknown, scientists assume that strong and broad responses from both antibodies and T cells are required to mount an effective immune response.

CD8+ T cells limit infection by recognizing parts of the virus protein presented on the surface of infected cells and killing those cells. In their study of recovered COVID-19 patients, the researchers determined that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses remained largely intact and could recognize virtually all mutations in the variants studied. While larger studies are needed, the researchers note that their findings suggest that the T cell response in convalescent individuals, and most likely in vaccinees, are largely not affected by the mutations found in these three variants, and should offer protection against emerging variants. Optimal immunity to SARS-Cov-2 likely requires strong multivalent T-cell responses in addition to neutralizing antibodies and other responses to protect against current SARS-CoV-2 strains and emerging variants, the authors indicate. They stress the importance of monitoring the breadth, magnitude and durability of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses in recovered and vaccinated individuals as part of any assessment to determine if booster vaccinations are needed.

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Coincidentally, also from March 31 2021.

A comment: “Why spike protein containing or mRNA transcription to self-produce the spike protein (S-protein) is likely to increase blood clotting and inflammation, especially in at-risk individuals: The SARS-CoV2 (SARS2) spike protein is biologically active.”

Covid S Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2 (AHA)

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2024. Watch him.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Suspends All Local Coronavirus Emergency Orders (JTN)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday suspended local coronavirus emergency orders via an executive order. The Sunshine State Republican also signed a bill approved by the Florida legislature which will give the governor the power to invalidate local emergency orders. The bill is effective July 1 and the governor signed the executive order effective July 1st that will invalidate local emergency coronavirus orders. “The bill ensures that neither the state nor local governments can close business or keep kids out of in-person instruction unless they satisfy demanding and continuous justifications,” DeSantis said.


“It also says that any local emergency order, excluding hurricane emergencies, are capped at seven-day increments and may only be extended to a maximum duration of 42 days. And most importantly, as governor I’ll have the authority to invalidate a local emergency order if it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties,” the governor said. Prior to signing the documents DeSantis explained that he would “sign the bill, it’s effective July 1st. I’ll also sign an executive order pursuant to that bill invalidating all remaining local emergency COVID orders effective on July 1st. But then to bridge the gap between then and now I am gonna suspend under my executive power the local emergency orders as it relates to COVID. I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do.”

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Context: MI6: Russia, China, Taliban.

‘Far More Likely’ Coronavirus Came From Lab, Ex-MI6 Chief (LBC)

Coronavirus was more likely to have escaped from a lab than to have come from an animal, the former head of MI6 has told LBC. Sir Richard Dearlove said aspects of the virus “point in the direction of it being somewhat tailored” though he warned this may never be proven. The former “C” of the Secret Intelligence Service – equivalent to “M” in James Bond – also told LBC’s Tom Swarbrick that more information on the coronavirus’ origin will soon come out. Some have theorised the coronavirus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Work to establish the origin of the virus is ongoing. Sir Richard, who headed up the spy agency between 1999 and 2004, told Tom the World Health Organisation’s report, which said a lab leak was highly unlikely but further work was needed, was a “farcical investigation”.

While he admitted “it’s possible” the virus jumped to humans from nature, Sir Richard said: “But the fact that… it’s far more likely, if you’re a scientist, that it was put together. “All right, put it like this… It’s a natural virus that’s been, as it were, mucked around with and the characteristics of things like the spike protein, which make it so highly infectious, also point in the direction of it being somewhat tailored.” He alleged that Chinese influence was hindering the publication of scientific articles on the matter. “I honestly don’t think that this issue can be resolved one way or another,” he continued. “I think there’s a balance of probability. Obviously, if it cannot be proven, and I don’t think it can, because the evidence that could have proved it one way or another has been destroyed, because of the extent of the Chinese clean up.

“Okay, so you can’t prove it’s zoonotic. You can’t prove it’s a lab escapee. What I’m saying is there’s a balance of probability.” He expects forthcoming books to further outline the argument for coronavirus’ lab origin. Sir Richard described China as a more “acute” threat, though he added that Russia presents the most immediate challenge. He also said the UK should commit to training the security forces in Afghanistan for another two decades, after President Joe Biden announced the Americans would leave ahead of the September 11 20-year anniversary. It is a “mistake” to leave and the UK had become safer by deposing the old Taliban regime, he argued. “It could be (another 20 year stay),” Sir Richard said.

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“The United Nations and the highest levels of governments must take direct, even confrontational, approaches with Russia, and move to dismantle anti-vaccine groups in the United States.”

The Criminalization of Dissent (CJ Hopkins)

Here’s California State Senator Richard Pan, author of an op-ed in the Washington Post: “Anti-vax extremism is akin to domestic terrorism,” quoted in the Los Angeles Times: “These extremists have not yet been held accountable, so they continue to escalate violence against the body public … We must now summon the political will to demand that domestic terrorists face consequences for their words and actions. Our democracy and our lives depend on it … They’ve been building alliances with white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and [others] on the far right …” And here’s Peter Hotez in Nature magazine:

“The United Nations and the highest levels of governments must take direct, even confrontational, approaches with Russia, and move to dismantle anti-vaccine groups in the United States. Efforts must expand into the realm of cyber security, law enforcement, public education and international relations. A high-level inter-agency task force reporting to the UN secretary-general could assess the full impact of anti-vaccine aggression, and propose tough, balanced measures. The task force should include experts who have tackled complex global threats such as terrorism, cyber attacks and nuclear armament, because anti-science is now approaching similar levels of peril. It is becoming increasingly clear that advancing immunization requires a counter-offensive.”

We’ll be hearing a lot more rhetoric like this as this new, more totalitarian structure of global capitalism gradually develops. Probably a good idea to listen carefully, and assume they mean exactly what they say.

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“..the FBI was in possession of Hunter’s laptop from at least one month prior to the commencement of impeachment proceedings in December of 2019. And nobody was informed about that… not least the president’s lawyer?”

Biden Family Justice (Kunstler)

The campaign of false witness against US citizens went into overdrive when Donald Trump strutted onto the scene and “seventeen agencies of the Intel Community” conspired with The New York Times and other news media to manufacture the RussiaGate hoax. No top official across the boards has been taken to law for the stupendous cavalcade of false accusations and deceitful investigations associated with that venture in sedition, and the nation is still waiting for the apparition known as Special Counsel John Durham to make a peep. In fact, since 2017 much of the publicly-reported activity around the DOJ and FBI has demonstrated only their attempts to suppress their own felonious misdeeds — cover-ups on top of cover-ups.

Now comes the curious case of Rudy Giuliani, whose apartment was raided on a warrant last week by the FBI seeking his computers and cell phones. The probable cause remains murky — something to do with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in representing Ukrainian clients in the US? So, the DOJ wants Rudy’s files, emails, and memoranda on that? Of course, Rudy was acting as the President’s lawyer in impeachment No. 1 over a telephone call to Ukraine, and what was that about? Hunter Biden’s grifting activities, his cumulatively receiving millions from the Burisma Company, of which Hunter’s dad was due to receive at least his usual ten percent cut? And concerning which activity, Joe Biden threatened former Ukraine President Poroshenko in withholding US aid, unless an investigation into Hunter’s Burisma grift was dropped.

It might be helpful to the current occupant of the Oval Office to know what kind of evidence Rudy has acquired on all that and more over the years — yes? But then, there’s plenty of evidence about it and much much much more on Hunter’s wayward laptop. Perhaps hundreds of millions in wide-ranging grifts beyond lowly Ukraine all the way to China, where to this day Hunter retains active and substantial financial connections through his Skaneateles LLC financial company. And it has become known that the FBI was in possession of Hunter’s laptop from at least one month prior to the commencement of impeachment proceedings in December of 2019. And nobody was informed about that… not least the president’s lawyer?

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Majority of trade between Russia and China is in euros these days.

Moscow Has Plan To Ditch US Dollar & Axe Dependency On West (Gavin)

The characteristically blunt Zakharova told RT over the weekend that new economic barriers were “having a complex negative impact on both Russian and Western economies.” According to her, the price of playing out hostilities through the financial markets is high, and “estimates of the damage vary, but are well within the hundreds of billions of dollars.” “Unfortunately,” the diplomatic spokeswoman said, “the reality of our time has been the increased use of politically motivated unilateral measures by some Western states, mainly the US. We see the sanctions against Russia more and more as a ‘gesture of desperation’ due to the inability of elites to accept the new realities, abandon their collective groupthink, and recognize Russia’s right to determine its own development path and build relations with its partners.”

One reason behind this, she claimed, is that Washington and its allies “seem to find it difficult to accept the obvious successes of the Russian economy, the increase in its international competitiveness and the expansion of the presence of quality Russian goods and services on world markets.” While the ruble has been hit hard by falling oil prices, geopolitical uncertainty, and the global recession that has accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic, the country appears more resilient than most of its contemporaries. While a number of other European nations are still languishing in lockdowns, most Russian businesses have been trading consistently with few restrictions since an initial strict quarantine period in the first half of last year.

The governor of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, has previously said that “the economy is bouncing back rather steadily” and, “given the current positive trends,” its analysts have maintained their outlook on GDP growth for 2021 at 3 to 4%. Her bullishness comes at a time when the path back to growth appears uncertain for many countries.

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May 012021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

 

Why Are The Covid Vaccines So Toxic? (AchGut)
Covid Lies Cost 100,000 US Lives – Mark Skidmore (USAW)
Perspectives on the Pandemic: “Blood Clots and Beyond” (JP)
Biden Mulls Vax Mandate For All US Military After Huge Numbers Refused (ZH)
It’s Time To Start Shunning The ‘Vaccine Hesitant’ (Stern)
Supreme Court: Pfizer, Moderna et al. May Own Your Genes Once Injected (CB)
Record 34% Of US Household Income Now Comes From The Government (ZH)
US Household Income Soared 21% In March, Largely Due To Stimulus Checks (JTN)
Election Panic Coming in 2022 – Martin Armstrong (USAW)
Rudderless, Leaderless, and Drifting (Kunstler)
The Myth of “Efficient Markets” (Rickards)
EU Charges Apple With Breach Of Competition Law (DW)
First 100 Days: 300,000 Deportations (CD)

 

 

 

 

Google translate from German. Long and good. Do read.

Why Are The Covid Vaccines So Toxic? (AchGut)

In calendar week 16/2021, more than 3,700 people in the USA had died in close connection with the vaccination with (biochemically very similar) SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna, with around 210 million inoculated doses. That’s 17 deaths for every million people vaccinated. AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is based on an adenovirus, has 24 deaths per million vaccine doses in the UK and 18 in France, and 6 in Germany. On average, the mRNA vaccines bring about 20 deaths per million vaccinated, the AZ Vaccine on 10. The figures were compiled by the Rossiya Segodnya agency from Moscow, but we checked them on a random basis: they are correct. Of course, a causal relationship has not been proven in many cases, but such an accumulation of medical reports of deaths in connection with vaccinations has never occurred in the last few decades.

With conventional vaccines, one or two people vaccinated die for every 10 million people vaccinated. Even if you subtract half of the reported deaths in order to price in the spontaneous mortality rate of the sometimes very old vaccinated people, you still have to ask yourself: Why do the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have such a high lethality? Two major causes of death stand out: anaphylactic shock and bleeding disorders. It has long been known that free mRNA in the extracellular space can trigger acute allergic reactions up to anaphylactic shock. In this syndrome, the immune system overreacts and there is massive release of vasodilating and bronchoconstricting substances. This leads to a general dilation of blood vessels (vasodilation) and bronchospasm with severe restriction of gas exchange in the lungs.

The blood fluid seeps into the periphery of the blood circulation, resulting in a lack of volume, as not enough blood fluid can be pumped back to the lungs and heart. At the same time, the little blood that is still available is no longer adequately supplied with oxygen. The heart begins to race, but the blood pressure drops: shock. The patient dies of cerebral hypoxia (insufficient oxygen supply to the brain) or heart failure. In many cases, the mRNA-carrying lipid particles that make up the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna burst when passing through the logistics chain or are already defective from production. As a result, the naked mRNA is brought into the extracellular space (the space between the cells of the muscle into which the injection is made) during the injection. They cause anaphylactic shock in susceptible patients. The risk of anaphylactic reactions with mRNA vaccines is many times higher than with conventional vaccines. That explains some of the dead, probably just under half.

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“..the question, from a pure cost benefit, is how many lives are saved as opposed to how many lives are damaged from the treatment..”

Covid Lies Cost 100,000 US Lives – Mark Skidmore (USAW)

Michigan State Economics Professor Mark Skidmore revealed more than three years ago, there was $21 trillion in what he called “Missing Money” from government books. He’s doing some new number crunching surrounding public policy and the effects on the Covid 19 (CV19) pandemic. It’s all laid out in a brand new report. What he found is appalling. One big fact his research revealed is up to 100,000 lives could have been saved by using Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Instead, the medical community and the mainstream media trashed it and told people it was “dangerous” and it “did not work.” That was a total lie. Dr. Skidmore explains, “So, we have all these countries that used it, and a number of countries, such as the United States, that for some reason did not use it and actually prevented it . . . claiming it was unsafe.

“So, our estimate is if the U.S. just allowed it and made it widely available from the beginning, we could have saved 80,000 to 100,000 lives.” Dr. Skidmore said medical officials such as Dr. Fauci, who serves as the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, knew HCQ worked well against Corona Virus. In fact, Dr. Skidmore goes on to point out, “There was a paper published in the Virology Journal in 2005 . . . this is the outfit that Dr. Fauci oversees . . . . So, their journal published this paper that said HCQ was effective in treating the Corona Virus. The people who authored this study had been a part of the CDC at the time. So, we have known this for a long time. . . .We also now know there are as many as 200 peer reviewed studies that say it is effective if taken early on when somebody gets sick. It’s pretty overwhelming evidence if you take it early on, it’s extremely effective.”

That’s not all that works, and this too was suppressed and trashed by most of the medical community. Ivermectin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Zinc are a few that are also proven scientifically effective to reduce or obliterate CV19. Dr. Skidmore says, “These are inexpensive ways to help protect yourself and your family. . . . It’s overwhelming evidence that these different types of treatments are very effective.” Another revelation of Dr. Skidmore’s study was the CDC changed the definition on how to count CV19 deaths. Skidmore says, “In the middle of the crisis last year, the CDC changed the definition on how you count fatalities, but they only did it for Covid. It amounts to this, basically, the way we counted how somebody died, was you ‘died of’ some disease of some condition. They changed the definition so that it was more characterized that you ‘died with.’ And, if the CDC would not have changed the definition for Covid deaths? Skidmore says, “I think we would have had far fewer deaths. The data suggests that. . . . If they used the old number, there would have been less (CV19 deaths).”

Dr. Skidmore’s study also points out that the vaccines were never approved by the FDA. Dr. Skidmore explains, “You can look it up. The vaccines are only authorized for emergency use, which means it’s experimental, and it’s still experimental. They are tracking it all. . . . The (vaccine) fatalities are now up to 3,000, and there are many strange and unusual side effects that have occurred. It’s the same thing in Europe and other places. There are many reports of neurological problems, blood clots and a range of related issues. . . . There are all kinds of negative reactions and the question, from a pure cost benefit, is how many lives are saved as opposed to how many lives are damaged from the treatment (vaccines), and we don’t really know what the injuries are, and we don’t know what the long run effects will be.”

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“..we may be creating dangerously overactive immune systems in billions of unwitting subjects.”

Perspectives on the Pandemic: “Blood Clots and Beyond” (JP)

In February, 2021, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, M.D. and a number of his colleagues warned the European Medicines Agency about the potential danger of blood clots and cerebral vein thrombosis in millions of people receiving experimental gene-based injections. Since then, two of the four injections have been suspended or recalled in Europe and the United States for just that reason. In this episode of Perspectives, Professor Bhakdi explains the science behind the problem, why it is not just limited to the products already suspended, and why in the long term we may be creating dangerously overactive immune systems in billions of unwitting subjects.

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Illegal as hell, but who cares anymore?

Biden Mulls Vax Mandate For All US Military After Huge Numbers Refused (ZH)

President Biden told NBC News in an interview which broadcast Friday that he’s mulling ordering all US military personnel to get a COVID-19 vaccine as commander-in-chief. “I’m not saying I won’t” rule it out, he emphasized in the new interview. This would also mean that anyone wanting to enter military service would have to receive the jab as a requirement to get in, which would likely cause a blow to military recruitment in the near-term. However, he didn’t outright say he’s ready to pull the trigger on the policy, which if enacted would constitute the largest federal government-ordered mandate in terms of forcing the vaccine on some 1.3 million active duty service members, not to mention over one million more reserve personnel.

Describing the decision as a “tough call” he suggested it was being hotly debated. “I don’t know. I’m going to leave that to the military,” Biden told NBC News’s Craig Melvin. “I’m not saying I won’t. I think you’re going to see more and more of them getting it. And I think it’s going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to have to get it in the military, because you’re in such close proximity with other military personnel.” In follow-up to Biden’s comments, national security advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed that a DoD-wide vaccine mandate is “something the Department of Defense is looking at in consultation with the interagency process and [I] don’t have anything to add on that subject today.”

The whole debate was sparked in earnest when multiple headlines earlier this month took note of the large numbers of military members who were rejecting the vaccine. For example, one recent USA Today report noted that nearly 40% of US Marines who have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine have refused to recieve it, according to Pentagon figures. And an earlier report in The Guardian described that “Reluctance to be vaccinated for Covid-19 is now rife in the US military, with about a third of troops on active duty or in the national guard refusing to be administered the vaccine.”

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The new religion.

It’s Time To Start Shunning The ‘Vaccine Hesitant’ (Stern)

For the better part of a year, as the coronavirus racked up hundreds of thousands of American deaths, the flickering light at the end of the tunnel was herd immunity — the antibody force-shield that comes when enough people have survived the illness or have been vaccinated against it. “Go get vaccinated, America,” President Biden said in his speech to Congress this week, referring to the shot as “a dose of hope.” Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, suggested in December that if 75% to 85% of the population got vaccinated, we could reach herd immunity by June. And with herd immunity, we’d return to a measure of “normalcy,” meaning indoor dining, movie theaters and hugs.

But herd immunity is slipping away because a quarter of Americans are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group recently said: “There is no eradication at this point, it’s off the table. …We as a society have rejected” herd immunity. Hmm, no! “We” have not rejected anything. A quarter of the country is ruining it for all of us. It’s not just wacky former rockers who have put herd immunity out of reach. It is white evangelicals (45% say they won’t get vaccinated). And it is Republicans (almost 50% are refusing the vaccine). In Texas, 59% of white Republicans have said “no” to the vaccine. You can slap the euphemism “vaccine hesitancy” on the problem, but in the end the G.O.P., and the children of G.O.D., are perpetuating a virus that is sickening and killing people in droves.

A big part of the problem stems from the cultish relationship many evangelicals and Republicans have with former President Donald Trump. They absorbed his endless efforts to downplay the danger of the virus and turn public health precautions into a political freedom movement. But the time for analyzing why these human petri dishes have chosen to ignore the medical science that could save them, and us, is over. We need a different strategy. I propose shunning. Biden’s wildly successful vaccine rollout means that soon everyone who wants a vaccine will have one. When that happens, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, barbers, airlines and Ubers should require proof of vaccination before providing their services.

And it shouldn’t stop there. Businesses should make vaccination a requirement for employment. A COVID outbreak can shut down a business and be financially devastating. And failure to enforce basic health and safety measures is not fair to employees who have to work in offices, factories, and stores where close contact is required. Things should get personal, too: People should require friends to be vaccinated to attend the barbeques and birthday parties they host. Friends don’t let friends spread COVID.

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“hacking the software of life.”

Good overview of history of legal implications of gene tech.

Supreme Court: Pfizer, Moderna et al. May Own Your Genes Once Injected (CB)

Yes, this article contains a lot of scientific and legal mumbo-jumbo. But in a nutshell, biotechnology companies can own living things if said things are genetically-modified and not naturally-occurring. No mouse is born in nature like the OncoMouse. It is thus patentable. Oil-eating bacteria come from genetic manipulation, thus patentable. Notice how all these so-called doctors and scientists avoid pointing fingers at Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson et al. when someone dies within hours, days or weeks of receiving their shots. It’s almost as if said doctors and scientists are carefully navigating the trademark and patent landscape. They don’t want to trespass on someone else’s property, if you will. Moderna owns several mRNA patents. Doctors and hospitals wanting a piece of the mRNA pie cannot bite the hand that feeds them.


The synthetic mRNA of Pfizer and Moderna, along with the viral vector DNA delivery systems of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, change your genetic code, making you “genetically-modified.” Granted mainstream media say the foregoing is “conspiracy theory.” But Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks tells you straight up that 1) the shots change your genetic code and 2) the shots do not stop the spread of COVID-19. He says the Moderna shot is “hacking the software of life.” Viral vectors do the same thing. So do these companies “own you” once you get the shots? Well, they own mice and bacteria created with their inventions. Once you get these shots, you are no longer a “naturally-occurring” human being. Prosthetic limbs, breast implants, etc. are not “natural” per se. But they are removable and not part of what fundamentally makes you human. Gene therapy is irreversible. Do the math yourself.

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“And that’s how creeping banana republic socialism comes at you: first slowly, then fast.”

Record 34% Of US Household Income Now Comes From The Government (ZH)

Following today’s release of the latest Personal Income and Spending data, Wall Street was predictably focused on the changes in these two key series, which showed a modest jump in personal spending, which however was dwarfed by a record surge in personal income, to be expected in the month when Biden’s latest $1.9 trillion stimmy hit. But while the change in the headline data was notable, what was far more remarkable was data showing just how increasingly more reliant on the US government the population has become. We are referring, of course, to Personal Current Transfer payments which are essentially government sourced income such as unemployment benefits, welfare checks, and so on. In March, this number exploded to a mind-blowing $8.1 trillion annualized, which was not only double the $4.1 trillion from February, but was also $5 trillion above the pre-Covid trend where transfer receipts were approximately $3.2 trillion.

This means that excluding the $8.1 trillion surge in govt transfers, personal income excluding government handouts would be virtually unchanged from a year ago level at $16TN. [..] government stimulus checks hitting personal accounts [..] in turn helped double the savings rate to a whopping 27.6% from 13.6% in February.

Stated simply, what all this means is that the government remains responsible for a third of all income, or 33.8 to be precise! Putting that number in perspective, in the 1950s and 1960s, transfer payment were around 7%. This number rose in the low teens starting in the mid-1970s (right after the Nixon Shock ended Bretton-Woods and closed the gold window). The number then jumped again after the financial crisis, spiking to the high teens. And now, the coronavirus has officially sent this number to a record 34%! And that’s how creeping banana republic socialism comes at you: first slowly, then fast.

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And then prices start soaring.

US Household Income Soared 21% In March, Largely Due To Stimulus Checks (JTN)

U.S. household income spiked an astronomical 21% in March, due in large part to the $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks that went out that month, the government said on Friday. A press release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis said that, in the U.S., “personal income increased $4.21 trillion (21.1 percent) in March,” while disposable personal income increased by an even higher 23.6%. The spike “largely reflected an increase in government social benefits,” the BEA said, noting that the American Rescue Plan Act “established an additional round of direct economic impact payments to households.” The BEA also noted a rise in personal consumption expenditures, one that appears to be tied to the ongoing reopening of major swaths of the U.S. economy, particularly restaurants. “Within services, the largest contributor to the increase was spending for food services and accommodations,” the press release said.

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“One of the number one selling objects in Europe is a safe. People are storing cash. Biden was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Election Panic Coming in 2022 – Martin Armstrong (USAW)

According to a recent poll, 51% of Americans think Joe Biden cheated to get into the White House. The breakdown is 74% Republicans and an astounding 30% Democrats think cheating played at least a part of the 2020 Election outcome. In Arizona, the 2020 Election ballots are finally being audited as court battles to stop it continue. Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong is predicting an election “panic in 2022.” Armstrong explains, “It means extremely high volatility. Despite whatever they want to say, there is a large proportion of the population that do not believe the election. Polls are saying it’s at 51%, but it’s probably close to 60% or 70%. You are also seeing that 60% of Americans want a third party, and you are talking about Democrats and Republicans. . . .

I think because we have such a high number of people who do not trust the election results, I don’t think they are going to be able to get away with rigging the elections again. It’s going to turn into violence. There is no question about that.” Armstrong also sees Biden Administration tax plans on things like capital gains causing problems in the not-too-distant future. Armstrong says, “If they eliminate capital gains, I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat, you are going to have to sell. Your accountant is going to say if you don’t sell, you going to pay twice or three times as much in taxes next year. So, they can create a serious, serious collapse in the world economy. This is in addition to all this Covid nonsense that they have created.”

Armstrong has been saying for months that deflation would be the overarching theme in the economy. Is that going to continue or has there been a change? Armstrong says, “Deflation is now over. People have to understand. It has nothing to do with the supply of money. . . . If you don’t see a bright rosy future, what do you do? You save your money. . . . One of the number one selling objects in Europe is a safe. People are storing cash. Biden was the straw that broke the camel’s back. People are now seeing that things are going to cost more in the future than they do today. They have also created shortages because of these lockdowns. The inflation is just beginning to start now. It’s based on shortages, and it will continue going into about 2024.”

The bottom line on the cause of inflation, according to Armstrong, is “a loss of confidence in government.” Armstrong also predicts, “We are looking at the prospect of a serious war between 2025 and 2027. All this is completely because of this great reset nonsense. They have been using the Corona Virus as an excuse to try and shut down the economy. If you look at rents in New York City, they are in a freefall. Real estate is going crazy outside of the urban centers. In Florida, what was a $500,000 house last year is now more than $1 million.” On Trump, Armstrong says, “I don’t see him returning to office before 2024.” But, if massive ballot fraud is proven with the Arizona audit going on right now, Armstrong predicts, “The state legislature can recall a Senator” who won by election rigging.

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“There’s no Heimlich maneuver for a nation choking on debt.”

Rudderless, Leaderless, and Drifting (Kunstler)

The numbers are already pretty grim: 70 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats say they doubt the veracity of the 2020 election. Will the discovery that massive, widespread election fraud actually occurred lead to a constitutional crisis? How will Joe Biden survive in office if a growing percentage of the public sees him as illegitimate? And what might happen if the establishment attempts to blow the whole matter off? Can they still say “nothing to see” when the public has seen so much that they can’t unsee? None of that will happen in a vacuum. Plenty of other events are roiling in the background with the potential to go critical.


Joe Biden’s proposals to jack the US economy by $5-plus-trillion won’t be very good for the credibility of the US dollar, with other countries already eager to dissociate themselves from dollar-based global trade payment arrangements. But that’s just financial esoterica compared to what’s happening on-the-ground across America, with households running on debt and back payments for rent and mortgages piling up, and landlords and banks taking the hit in the meantime. There’s no Heimlich maneuver for a nation choking on debt. And that plan to become the Big Rock Candy Mountain, where they hung the jerk who invented work, is liable to disappoint even the mesmerists in the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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If you don’t allow markets to function, they cannot be efficient, either.

The Myth of “Efficient Markets” (Rickards)

Mainstream economists have insisted for decades that markets are highly efficient, and they do a nearly perfect job of digesting available information and correctly pricing assets today to take account of future events based on that information. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Markets do offer valuable information to analysts, but they are far from efficient. Markets can be rational or irrational. Markets can be volatile, irrationally exuberant, or in a complete state of panic depending upon the emotions of investors, herd behavior, and the specific array of preferences when a new shock emerges. If markets were so efficient, why was Wall Street surprised when it was obvious to anyone paying attention that Biden was going to raise the capital gains tax?

The capital gains tax increase information had been there for all to see for six months, but it took a press release to get Wall Street to sit up and take notice. It should have been priced in long before, and the announcement just would have confirmed market expectations. So the next time you hear about efficient markets, take it with a large grain of salt. But my forecast from six months ago was wrong in one respect. I said the tax rate on capital gains would almost double from 20% to 39.6%. It turns out the rate will actually be 43.4% once a 3.8% investment income surtax is added on top. That surtax is a holdover from Obamacare.

If one were to add state and local income taxes, the combined rate on capital gains could exceed 50%, depending on the jurisdiction. Of course, capital gains taxes are imposed on investments you make from after-tax dollars, so even the initial investment has already been taxed. And the corporations whose stock you buy pay corporate income tax too. When those burdens are included, you’re lucky to get even 25% of your gains back net of taxes. This will be a headwind to stock markets for the foreseeable future.

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“The US company could be slapped with fines of as much as 10% of its global turnover.”

EU Charges Apple With Breach Of Competition Law (DW)

EU antitrust regulators on Friday charged Apple with illegally distorting competition in the music-streaming market through restrictive App Store rules. It is one of the biggest-ever competition cases against the US tech giant and could lead to hefty fines. An Apple spokesperson rejected the accusations, saying the EU’s case was “the opposite of fair competition.” The charges follow an EU investigation stemming from a complaint by the popular music-streaming service Spotify. “Our preliminary conclusion: Apple is in breach of EU competition law,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said Apple’s App Store rules force rival developers to use its in-app payment system — which charges up to 30% commission — and prevent them from informing users of cheaper payment methods. Vestager said this ultimately raised the cost for consumers and limited their choice. “By setting strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition,” the commissioner’s statement said. “This is done by charging high commission fees on each transaction in the App Store for rivals and by forbidding them from informing their customers of alternative subscription options.”

This is the first EU antitrust charge targeting Apple. It follows an investigation by the bloc, launched in June, which found that the App Store commission fees are passed on to consumers. The probe was launched after Swedish music streaming app Spotify, which competes with Apple Music, lodged a complaint about the company’s rules two years ago. The European Commission said Apple now has the chance to respond to the allegations and present its case in a hearing before a final ruling is handed down. The US company could be slapped with fines of as much as 10% of its global turnover.

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Biden’s Promise: Moratorium on deportations for the first 100 days of his administration.

Biden’s Reality: Over 300,000 deported in 3 months.

First 100 Days: 300,000 Deportations (CD)

Rights group United We Dream warned Tuesday that unless he takes immediate steps to improve his administration’s treatment of immigrants, President Joe Biden is at serious risk of repeating the destructive failures of former President Barack Obama, who deported roughly three million people during his eight years in office. Despite Biden’s characterization of Obama’s mass deportations as a “mistake” and pledge to usher in a more humane immigration system, United We Dream estimates that the administration has deported just over 300,000 people since January—largely using a Trump-era policy called Title 42.

The policy was first issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last March—at the start of the coronavirus pandemic—and has been kept in place by the Biden administration. As Human Rights Watch (HRW) explained earlier this month, “The Title 42 expulsion policy has effectively closed the U.S. border to nearly all asylum seekers based on the misapplication of an obscure, 75-year-old public health law.” “That law, the Public Health Service Act of 1944, was designed to confer quarantine authority to health authorities that would apply to everyone, including U.S. citizens, arriving from a foreign country,” HRW noted. “Quarantine authority was never meant to be used to determine which noncitizens could or couldn’t be expelled or removed from the U.S.”

In a statement on Monday, Cynthia Garcia of United We Dream stressed that “Title 42 was designed under one of the most anti-immigrant administrations in modern history.” “President Biden and the Department of Homeland Security must be reminded that their inaction to protect vulnerable immigrant communities seeking refuge in the U.S. is not only putting lives on the line; it upholds a white nationalist immigration system that seeks to expel and keep Black and brown immigrants out at any cost,” said Garcia, who voiced dismay at the Biden administration’s deportation of vulnerable Haitians and others.

Read more …

 

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Apr 302021
 


James McNeill Whistler Morning Glories 1869

 

Mental Health Experts Ask Media Not To Create Panic Around Covid-19 (OpIndia)
Stanford Prof: CDC Paved Way For ‘Institutionalization of Hypochondria’ (JTN)
One In Seven Shops Lie Empty After Lockdown (BBC)
EU Disunity Over Vaccine Certificate (K.)
Two Greek Hospitals To Host Clinical Trials Of Israeli Covid-19 Treatment (K.)
Associations Between Body-Mass Index And Covid-19 Severity (Lancet)
Covid-19 Could Cause Strokes Among Young & Healthy People (RT)
Biden’s Address To The Nation Was Little More Than A Magic Carpet Ride (Ritter)
Biden DOJ “Actively Considering” Domestic Terrorism Law (ZH)
Admitting Defeat in Afghanistan: American “State-Building” Fails Again (Clamp)
Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice Concerned About Afghan Troop Withdrawal (Axios)
Giuliani Says FBI Agents Declined To Take Hunter Biden’s Hard Drives (JTN)
Lavrov Calls Out Perfidious Albion in EU Diplomat Spat (SCF)
Lavrov: US-Russia Relations Now Worse Than Cold War (ZH)
Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For The Planet (Phys.Org)

 

 

LFD=Lateral Flow Antigen test
John Deeks: The 1st 2 weeks of school testing did find MORE FALSE POSITIVES than TRUE POSITIVES – data are finally public. Proportion false were 62% and 55% in these 2 weeks. Of 2304 positive tests, 1353 were likely false, with 1 positive per 6900 tests done.

 

 

Informed disconsent: Incentivize connection and hugs and sunshine

John Day: Guys, you need MORE transmission in the SUMMER, when everybody tolerates viral illness so much better.

 

 

“The fact that a huge number of people who are infected by COVID-19 recover becomes immaterial. Only images and emotions stay with them.”

Mental Health Experts Ask Media Not To Create Panic Around Covid-19 (OpIndia)

Senior Professor of Psychiatry and the current Director of NIMHANS, Dr. BN Gangadhar along with other esteemed mental health professionals called upon the media to avoid “panic-inducing coverage” through an open letter. The health experts issued an open letter criticising the media for reporting Covid-19 deaths from crematoriums and creating hysteria and panic among the people. The letter goes into detail regarding the various mental health problems a person encounters when bombarded with overtly negative and pessimistic media coverage around the clock. “Mass media has the power to communicate to millions at the same time. When the reach is so huge, every word, every image, and every nuance matters.

However, what we are seeing on our TV screens, mobile screens and newspapers is disconcerting, to put it very mildly.” the letter reads, establishing the responsibility of the mainstream media. The letter criticized the mainstream media’s overtly negative, dower and opportunistic coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic. “Images of bodies burning in cremation grounds, relatives of the deceased wailing inconsolably, emotional outbursts, and hysterical reporters with cameramen swarming over the bereaved who are going through deeply emotional moments – this may help garner eyeballs. But there is a steep price to be paid for such coverage.” the letter goes on. In order to demonstrate their point, the health professionals put forth an illustration in the letter. “Imagine someone has just tested positive for COVID-19.

If they have witnessed the panic-inducing coverage from cremation grounds, it keeps weighing on their minds and their loved ones. The fact that a huge number of people who are infected by COVID-19 recover becomes immaterial. Only images and emotions stay with them.” The mental health doctors emphasized the need for a positive mindset and requested the media to avoid “panic-inducing” coverage. “Yet again, we are not saying that the facts should not be reported. We are saying that hysteria and panic-inducing coverage should be avoided,” the letter makes clear. “As mental health professionals, we can tell you that specific information empowers people and prepares them to face any challenge. But panic weakens them”.

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“It’s not taking care of your kids. It’s not practicing your faith. It’s not doing doing as well as you can in your profession. None of that is as important as avoiding disease.”

Stanford Prof: CDC Paved Way For ‘Institutionalization of Hypochondria’ (JTN)

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on mask-wearing, advising that Americans who are fully vaccinated may now exercise and attend small outdoor gatherings without a mask. It’s too little, too late, argues Stanford University Professor of Medicine Jay Bhattacharya. The public health agency’s hypervigilant coronavirus response over the past 12-14 months has paved the way for what he calls “the institutionalization of hypochondria” among the American public “This sort of order should have come long ago,” said Bhattacharya during an interview on “Just the News AM.” “I think they’re being entirely too cautious by saying, ‘Okay, only if you’re vaccinated … People who have had the disease before are also immune. Why shouldn’t they be ‘allowed’ to not wear masks?”

There has been “very little evidence of outdoor transmission of the disease to begin with,” added Bhattacharya, coauthor of the Great Barrington Declaration, a manifesto that urges an alternative COVID-19 strategy focused on protecting those at greatest risk while minimizing disruption and damage to the larger society. The statement has been signed by close to 14,000 medical and public health scientists. “[P]ublic health authorities, including the CDC have generated an enormous amount of fear and panic around the disease,” says Bhattacharya. On Tuesday, President Biden, who has been fully vaccinated for many months, wore a mask outside as he walked to the podium to address the press regarding the CDC’s newest guidance. Last week, Biden wore a mask during a virtual climate summit with other world leaders.

Calling masks “a palpable symbol of panic and fear,” Bhattacharya said Biden’s use of a mask in public “even though he has been vaccinated and is immune, sends the entirely wrong signal about the efficacy of vaccination and a whole host of other things.” “We basically have said, look at disease avoidance as the central problem in your life, no matter who you are,” he explained. “It’s not taking care of your kids. It’s not practicing your faith. It’s not doing doing as well as you can in your profession. None of that is as important as avoiding disease. And I think it’s going to be very difficult to undo that.”

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Coming to a town near you. Just wait till stimulus is withdrawn.

One In Seven Shops Lie Empty After Lockdown (BBC)

The number of empty shops has risen again, with one in seven across Britain now vacant, according to new research. All areas saw a rise but the North of England suffered the biggest hit, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said. “After a third national lockdown, it is no surprise that the vacancy rate has continued to soar,” BRC chief Helen Dickinson said. Restrictions came on top of already difficult High Street conditions and further closures are likely, she said. The BRC’s quarterly report, compiled with the Local Data Company, found that in the first three months of 2021, the overall vacancy rate increased to 14.1%, from 13.7% in the previous quarter.


This was 1.9 percentage points higher than in the same point in 2020, and marks three years of increasing vacancy rates, the report said. Shopping centres, whose landlords have been hit hard during lockdown and by the shift to online, saw vacancies increase to 18.4% in the January-March period, from 17.1% in the previous three months. The report said 12% of shopping centre units have been empty for a year or more. Ms Dickinson said: “The forced closure of thousands of shops during the first quarter of 2021 has exacerbated already difficult conditions for the retail industry. We estimate there are around 5,000 fewer stores since the start of the pandemic.”

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“If approved, this provision would exclude Hungary and Slovakia, both of which have used Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.”

EU Disunity Over Vaccine Certificate (K.)

The European Parliament has approved the issuing of a “green passport” for those inoculated against the coronavirus, but its position differs significantly from the Commission’s and the European Council’s. All sides will have to work at full speed if they want the certificate issued before the end of June. The European Parliament’s main demand is that the certificate – which it wants to be renamed “Covid-19 certificate” from the Commission’s “Green Passport” – apply only to people inoculated with the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If approved, this provision would exclude Hungary and Slovakia, both of which have used Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Hungary has also used China’s Sinopharm vaccine, widely considered of dubious effectiveness. The EMA has not approved either vaccine, so far.

The European Council’s common position is that member-states must have the option to use vaccines not approved by the EMA and adopting the Parliament’s decision could spark a serious clash. The MEPs also want people who carry such a certificate to be exempted from quarantine rules, taking away the decision from the member-states. While the document will primarily be used for travel within the EU, it will be up to each member-state to require it domestically, for example, to admit people in restaurants or cinemas. The MEPs consider lifting the quarantine for certificate holders a crucial issue for the free movement of people within the Schengen Area, a movement guaranteed by the Lisbon Treaty of 2007.

Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the Socialist rapporteur of the certificate proposition, said the Schengen Area is in a very bad state because of the unilateral restrictions of all sorts on cross-border movement imposed by individual member-states. The Parliament also wants the coronavirus diagnostic tests that allow cross-border movement issued for free.

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“..a new method of transferring a new medicine, based on exosomes, nanoparticles that participate in intracellular activities..”

Two Greek Hospitals To Host Clinical Trials Of Israeli Covid-19 Treatment (K.)

Infectious disease expert and chief scientific adviser on the pandemic, Sotiris Tsiodras, discussed on Thursday the start of the clinical trials in Greece of an Israeli coronavirus treatment in two hospitals. “We are participating in these new trials with great enthusiasm. The study utilizes a new method of transferring a new medicine, based on exosomes, nanoparticles that participate in intracellular activities,” said Tsiodras during a meeting in Athens with Israeli Professor of Medicine Nadir Arber who is responsible for the new drug against Covid-19 developed at the Medical Centre Ichilov in Tel Aviv.


“It is a very promising method according to the data from the clinical trials in Israel. We are moving forward by conducting Phase II trials here in Greece, in which we will evaluate parameters like safety, dosology, and efficacy,” he stated. On his side, Arber said, “we should remain humble and modest – but we are really excited. In fact, I want to point out that I came here in person as I wanted to see the people first and then the facilities. We are talking about great doctors and people who have inspired my confidence.”

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Difficult way to describe a very obvious phenomenon.

Associations Between Body-Mass Index And Covid-19 Severity (Lancet)

Obesity is a major risk factor for adverse outcomes after infection with SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to examine this association, including interactions with demographic and behavioural characteristics, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions. [..] In this prospective, community-based, cohort study, we used de-identified patient-level data from the QResearch database of general practices in England, UK. We extracted data for patients aged 20 years and older who were registered at a practice eligible for inclusion in the QResearch database between Jan 24, 2020 (date of the first recorded infection in the UK) and April 30, 2020, and with available data on BMI. Data extracted included demographic, clinical, clinical values linked with Public Health England’s database of positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, and death certificates from the Office of National Statistics.


Outcomes, as a proxy measure of severe COVID-19, were admission to hospital, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), and death due to COVID-19. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the risk of severe COVID-19, sequentially adjusting for demographic characteristics, behavioural factors, and comorbidities. [..] At a BMI of more than 23 kg/m2, we found a linear increase in risk of severe COVID-19 leading to admission to hospital and death, and a linear increase in admission to an ICU across the whole BMI range, which is not attributable to excess risks of related diseases. The relative risk due to increasing BMI is particularly notable people younger than 40 years and of Black ethnicity.

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“..38% of those who had a stroke soon after recovering from Covid-19 did not even know they had the disease”

Covid-19 Could Cause Strokes Among Young & Healthy People (RT)

Scientists from more than 30 countries say they have detected an “unusually high” percentage of young people among patients that were hospitalized with a stroke after having Covid-19, including in asymptomatic form. One in four post-Covid stroke patients is younger than 55, according to the comprehensive international study published in the peer-reviewed journal Stroke. This is considered unusually high, given that normally only between 10% and 15% of stroke patients are aged between 18 and 50. More alarmingly, the researchers say that Covid-19 could trigger a stroke in people who would normally be extremely low risk for having one. “Many patients, especially the younger ones, did not present any traditional risk factor for strokes, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems and so on,” said Hebrew University Professor Ronen Leker, one of almost 90 co-authors of the study.

The data show a “connection between the coronavirus and strokes in younger patients, as a result of blockages in larger blood vessels,” Leker told Israeli media. Even patients who had Covid-19 in a mild or asymptomatic form are not shielded from potentially dire consequences, researchers say. In fact, the study, published on April 21, showed that almost 38% of those who had a stroke soon after recovering from Covid-19 did not even know they had the disease. They had no recognizable symptoms of the novel coronavirus, such as cough, fever or shortness of breath. The fact that they had Covid-19 only came to light after they were tested in hospitals, where they were admitted with a stroke. In total, the study’s authors analyzed data on 432 patients provided by 136 different medical centers in 32 countries.

Patients in the study experienced acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebral venous or sinus thrombosis. At least 71 medical centers also reported that they had at least one patient who had a stroke during Covid-19 hospitalization or soon after it. The phenomenon can be explained by the fact that Covid-19 targets various organs in the body, disrupting their normal function and causing blood clots and other complications, Leker said. “The brain is one of the organs that the coronavirus targets, as well as blood vessels in the brain,” he explained, adding that the disease could also lead to an irregular heart rhythm and the migration of blood clots to the brain.

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“Biden’s presentation was, both literally and figuratively, to an audience of one: Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia.”

Biden’s Address To The Nation Was Little More Than A Magic Carpet Ride (Ritter)

Roosevelt, however, had the support of Congress firmly under the control of his party, had been elected with overwhelming majorities, and the nation was united in its belief that its president represented their shared values when it came to pulling the country out of the depths of the Great Depression. Biden, on the other hand, is wrestling with a 50-50 Senate and a House where the Democrats have a razor-thin margin that many expect to evaporate come mid-term elections in 2022. Moreover, Biden helms a nation where nearly 50% of the voting public cast their ballots against him. In short, they view Biden as the problem, not the solution, and are more inclined to oppose the kind of changes Biden is seeking for two years, at which time they believe the Republican Party will be able to regain full control of at least one, and possibly both, houses of Congress.

Given the tight political margins that Biden is dealing with (a quick CNN poll of viewers who watched the speech found that only 51% had a favorable opinion of the speech), it comes as no surprise that at the end of the day, Biden’s presentation was, both literally and figuratively, to an audience of one: Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia. Biden needs Manchin’s support if any of his legislative proposals are to have a chance of becoming law. Unfortunately for Biden, Manchin’s vision of where West Virginia needs to go and how it should get there does not mesh well with Biden’s. The American Families Plan, Biden’s ambitious successor to Roosevelt’s New Deal, is, as presented in the speech, dead on arrival when it comes to Manchin.

To get it to pass the Senate, Biden will need to water it down to such an extent that he may lose others in his own party. The kind of political compromise necessary to pass the kind of sweeping legislation Biden has proposed may have been possible at one time in America’s history, but not today. Biden spoke of “We the People” as a unifying mantra that united him with his audience. But many of “the people” do not support him, and indeed never will. America is a fundamentally divided nation, and nothing in Biden’s speech altered that unfortunate reality. Manchin is but the political manifestation of this divide. In the end, Biden’s address was little more than a reflection of America as it is today, and not the vision of America he sought to project.

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But only white supremacists.

Biden DOJ “Actively Considering” Domestic Terrorism Law (ZH)

“One of the things we’re looking at is would we need new authorities,” said deputy assistant attorney general for the department’s national security division, Brad Wiegmann, during a Thursday House hearing. Weigmann added that while the department has been successful using existing laws to fight domestic terrorism – including bringing charges for offenses involving weapons or explosives violations, hate crimes and arson, there have been more than 430 arrests made in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol “carried out by extremist supporters of then-President Donald Trump” (as Bloomberg puts it). The FBI has warned that domestic violent extremists pose a heightened threat for carrying out attacks in the U.S. in the near future, with white supremacists being the most lethal threat.

Currently, no U.S. law lets the government designate domestic extremists as terrorists or bring specific charges for domestic terrorism. That contrasts with laws to combat international terrorism, which allow the government to designate groups and bring charges for providing those groups with material support. -Bloomberg “The question we’re really wrestling with is, are there gaps,” Weigman told a House Appropriations subcommittee. “Is there some type of conduct that we can envision that we can’t cover or would it be an otherwise benefit in having something else other than what we’re having now?”

Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania – chairman of the subcommittee, said that: “Right-wing extremist attacks and plots have greatly outnumbered those from all other groups combined and caused more deaths as well,” adding “This is a cancer on our country.” Which is weird, because at least 4 members of the Proud Boys were FBI informants who gave the agency information prior to the Jan. 6 ‘insurrection.’ That said, several groups have voiced their opposition to a specific domestic terrorism law – from civil liberties advocates to conservatives – who say that a new law is unnecessary, and could be used to violate the Constitutional rights of US citizens.

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“In Afghanistan, almost 40 million people survive, and manage to navigate through the carnage. They live today as they did in 2001 and 1981, in a state shorn of security, pulverized and cratered.”

Admitting Defeat in Afghanistan: American “State-Building” Fails Again (Clamp)

So Rudyard Kipling’s arithmetic came to pass after all. ‘Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can/ The odds are on the cheaper man.’ The U.S. has thrown in the towel. Another ‘superpower’ is set to depart Afghanistan. The symbolic date of September 11 is meant to have a ring of finality to it. It should: a trillion dollars later, the United States has failed in all its war aims. Eschewing historical and scholarly knowledge, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was their first mistake. However impelled you feel to invade the fulcrum state, you should always count to ten. Some units entering the country will have passed Gandamak, where a British army was massacred in 1842. Few American soldiers will have noted the landmark.


U.S. withdrawals tend to be attended by even worse conditions than those they found on invading. In Afghanistan, almost 40 million people survive, and manage to navigate through the carnage. They live today as they did in 2001 and 1981, in a state shorn of security, pulverized and cratered. George W. Bush’s stated aims were the destruction of al-Qaeda and the removal of the Taliban from power. That was in 2001, two decades ago. Today, the situation is arguably worse. The Taliban have control of, or are contesting, the majority of the country. al-Qaeda affiliated personnel are still embedded in their ranks. The Kabul government controls perhaps a third of the country’s 407 municipal districts.

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Different parties, same mind.

Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice Concerned About Afghan Troop Withdrawal (Axios)

Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee they’re worried about President Biden’s plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, with Rice suggesting the U.S. may need to go back, Axios has learned. The position puts two former secretaries of State — from the Obama and Bush administrations — at odds with one of Biden’s most significant foreign policy moves to date. The new president has vowed to complete the withdrawal by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. U.S. forces were sent to Afghanistan by Rice’s then-boss, former President George W. Bush, to destroy havens used by the attack’s organizers. Clinton and Rice offered their reactions during a members-only Zoom call Wednesday, two attendees told Axios.

“We had Secretaries Clinton and Condi Rice Zoom today with the committee,” one committee member told Axios. “A little disagreement on Afghanistan, but they both agreed we’re going to need to sustain a counterterrorism mission somehow outside of that country.” “Condi Rice is like, ‘You know, we’re probably gonna have to go back,'” amid a potential surge in terrorism, the member said. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the committee, told Axios: “With the potential for an Islamic State, coupled with what they’re going to do to our contractors in Yemen and Afghanistan is, sadly, it’s going to be tragic there and we all see it coming.” Another member of the committee confirmed both Clinton and Rice raised concerns about the potential fallout from a quick removal of all U.S. troops.

Both also expressed concerns about protecting U.S. diplomats on the ground following the withdrawal and what the move will mean for the global war on terrorism. Both Rice and Clinton supported military intervention in the Middle East following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Rice, who was Bush’s national security adviser at the time, helped craft the administration’s wartime response. Then-senator Clinton — considered by many as a military hawk — voted in 2002 to give Bush the authority to go to war, a vote she later said she regretted while on the presidential campaign trail. Clinton also supported surging additional troops to Afghanistan in 2009.

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Hunter could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not be charged.

Giuliani Says FBI Agents Declined To Take Hunter Biden’s Hard Drives (JTN)

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during an interview on Thursday said that FBI agents who searched his home this week declined to take Hunter Biden’s hard drives. Giuliani said that seven FBI agents showed up early Wednesday morning with a warrant for electronics. He said when he asked them if they wanted to take Hunter Biden’s hard drives, they declined. “Hunter Biden’s hard drives fall within the scope of the subpoena. The subpoena required them to take all electronics, but they decided to leave that behind. And they also were completely content to rely on my word that these were Hunter Biden’s hard drives,” the former mayor told conservative commentator Tucker Carlson during an interview on the Fox News Channel.


Giuliani described the warrant as “completely illegal,” saying that the only way authorities can obtain a search warrant is if they can demonstrate that the individual will destroy or abscond with the evidence. “Well I’ve had it for two years and I haven’t destroyed it. And they also got it from the iCloud,” he said, adding that the warrant was unjustified, unlawful and unconstitutional. Giuliani said that he has “never, ever represented a foreign national.” “The search warrant is purportedly based on one single failure to file for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented,” he said. Giuliani stated that he “never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government. I’ve declined it several times. I’ve had contracts in countries like Ukraine. In the contract is a clause that says I will not engage in lobbying or foreign representation. I don’t do it because I felt it would be too compromising,” he said.

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”..stirring the escalating row between the European Union and Russia in which diplomats are being expelled pell-mell..”

Lavrov Calls Out Perfidious Albion in EU Diplomat Spat (SCF)

The British establishment likes to boast that they “punch above their weight” in terms of influence beyond their territorial size. It’s not hard to see how they manage such a feat. It’s called duplicity, intrigue, lies, and dividing and ruling. Britain is fomenting a diplomatic crisis between the European Union and Russia, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Evidence and precedent indicate Lavrov has his sight well-trained. The British establishment’s notorious ability for machination and intrigue – hence the ancient moniker Perfidious Albion – can be seen as stirring the escalating row between the European Union and Russia in which diplomats are being expelled pell-mell.

This week, Russia ordered the withdrawal of representatives from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. That came in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from those countries. Russia has also ordered home more diplomats from the Czech Republic. Poland and Italy have also been caught up in diplomatic antagonism with Moscow. The row blew up last week when the Czech Republic accused Russian state agents of being responsible for twin explosions on its territory back in 2104. The blasts caused the deaths of two workers at an ammunition depot near the village of Vrbetice close to the border with Slovakia. Until recently, the Czech authorities had concluded that the explosions were an industrial accident. What prompted the Czechs to revise their ideas and to now blame Russia for sabotage is the interpolation of Britain in providing “new information”.

Specifically, it was the MI6-sponsored media group Bellingcat (a so-called private investigatory agency) which appears to have furnished the disinformation which purports to show the involvement of Russian military intelligence (GRU). Incredibly, the British claim their “evidence” shows that two of the GRU agents were also the same individuals who were alleged to have been involved in poisoning the Russian traitor-spy Sergei Skripal in England in 2018. The British claim to have passport information to support their claims, but such methodology is rife with forgery – a black art that the British are all-too skilled at. On leveling the accusation against Russia, the Czech Republic then ordered the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats. Moscow responded angrily, saying that the claims of sabotage were a “dirty fabrication” and pointing out that Prague did not provide any information for verification.

Russia took swift reciprocal action by banishing 20 Czech diplomats from its territory. However, the row continues to flare with the Baltic states entering the fray by banning Russian officials in “solidarity” with the Czech Republic. The move by the Baltic states is predictable as they are supercharged by anti-Russian political sentiment. It’s a case of any excuse for them to inflame relations. The dispute comes at a fraught time when the European Union is discussing imposing more sanctions on Russia over wider concerns about the conflict in Ukraine, the imprisonment of blogger Alexei Navalny and a Russian security crackdown on Navalny’s shadowy Western-backed “opposition” network.

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The US might wish they had a Lavrov.

Lavrov: US-Russia Relations Now Worse Than Cold War (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the state of US-Russia relations is now even worse than during the Cold War. His Wednesday comments during a televised interview might be easily dismissed as hyperbole, given there’s not something that’s quite equivalent to the Cuban missile crisis happening right now, but it does accurately convey things in terms of lack of simple communications at a diplomatic level. He said it was the “lack of respect” in the current climate that makes things worse. Lavrov explained Moscow has a desire to normalize ties with Washington but that should the Biden administration refuse respectful dialogue, “we would live in conditions of a ‘Cold War’ or worse.”


“During the Cold War, the tensions were flying high and risky crisis situations often emerged, but there was also a mutual respect,” he said as cited in The Associated Press. “It seems to me there is a deficit of it now.” Whether or not this dangerous trajectory in lack of “respect” and communications will continue is likely to be determined on whether the proposed Biden-Putin summit actually takes place this summer. In the past days there’s been multiple reports from both sides signaling the meeting is in preparation for a European country for mid-June. The latest on Russia’s view on summit progress comes via the AP as follows: “Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov noted that Moscow has had a “positive” attitude to U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but added that Russia still needs to analyze all aspects of the initiative.”

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What cann we do to stop these complete idiots?

Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For The Planet (Phys.Org)

Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame the effects of global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates towards centre stage. “Plan A” remains tackling the problem at its source. But the UN’s top climate science body has made it clear that slashing carbon pollution won’t be enough to keep Earth from overheating. That has opened the door to a host of geoengineering schemes, from building underwater walls to shore up an Antarctic glacier the size of Britain to injecting a giant sunscreen into the stratosphere. Here is a menu of “Plan B” geoengineering solutions, along with their potential drawbacks:

Direct CO2 capture Experiments have shown it is possible to suck planet-warming carbon dioxide directly from the air, converting it into fuel pellets or storing it underground. A company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates launched a pilot facility in Canada in 2015, and another company operates one in Iceland. DRAWBACK: The technology is currently prohibitively expensive and might take decades to operate at scale.

Solar radiation management Unlike other strategies, solar radiation management does not target CO2. The goal is simple: prevent some of the sun’s rays from hitting the planet’s surface, forcing them back up into space. One idea is to inject or spray tiny reflective particles into the stratosphere—possibly with balloons, aircraft or through giant tubes. Nature sometimes does the same: Debris from the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines lowered the planet’s average surface temperature for a year or two afterwards. Sixty-six million years ago, a ten-kilometre wide asteroid strike threw up so much debris that it wiped out land-based dinosaurs built for steamy tropical climes.

In April, a balloon test flight in Sweden for the Harvard-led project SCoPEx, short for “Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment”, was postponed amid concerns over the implications for the environment and people in the country. DRAWBACKS: Even if it works as intended, solar radiation management would do nothing to reduce atmospheric CO2, which is making oceans too acidic. There is also the danger of knock-on consequences, including changes in rainfall patterns, and what scientists call “termination shock”—a sudden warming if the system were to fail.

Read more …

 

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Apr 272021
 
 April 27, 2021  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Hieronymous Bosch The Haywain Triptych c.1516

 

India’s “Covid Crisis” Has Been Hijacked (DE)
China To Mobilise Its Private Companies To Help India Fight Covid-19 (SCMP)
US To Export AZ Vaccine As India Battles ‘Heartbreaking’ Covid Surge (Y!)
Bill Gates Says No To Sharing Vaccine Formulas With Global Poor (Salon)
Isreali Health Body Report On COVID Vax ‘Deadly’ Impacts (PSI)
Pakistan Deploys Troops To Help Authorities Cope With Covid-19 Infections (RT)
Germany’s New Lockdown Law Sparks Constitutional Court Complaints (RT)
The United States: Hardly A Recovery (Lacalle)
Biden Sees Majority Approval After 100 Days, But The Numbers Don’t Add Up (RT)
Biden’s Stimulus Checks “Wreck Labor Pool” As People Get Paid To Stay Home (ZH)
Joe Biden Declares War on Tax Havens – in Europe, Too (Spiegel)
US Pledges $300mn To Fund Massive Global Anti-China Media Machine (Fowdy)
US Deploying 650 Additional Troops to Afghanistan (Antiwar)
Chinese Experts To Join Fukushima Wastewater Working Group (RT)

 

 

Gun sales rise 35% in Q1 to a record 12,452,319

 

 

Yes, the media inevitably makes a spectacle out of it, fear sells. But even if “on the record breaking day for new infections in India just 0.02% of the population tested positive for Covid-19”, that’s still a lot of people. Who in many places live more closely together than westerners would be comfortable with, an ideal breeding ground for a virus. They wouldn’t be comfortable with a health-care system like India’s either. There are many sides to this story.

India’s “Covid Crisis” Has Been Hijacked (DE)

The Sun newspaper even released a video back at the end of January 2020 which was a compilation of people collapsing on the streets of Wuhan. The headline was ‘DISASTER ZONE – Coronavirus leaves Wuhan a ‘zombieland”. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we can now be 100% certain this was done to deceive the public and whip up fear. The Guardian newspaper also released an article at the end of January 2020 of which the headline was ‘A man lies dead in the street: the image that captures the Wuhan coronavirus crisis’. How many people have you seen drop dead in your street due to having the alleged Covid-19 disease? We bet the answer is zero. So isn’t it curious to find that after over a year of nobody dropping dead in the street throughout the world, suddenly the public are being told it is happening again in India.

Curious because according to official figures the pandemic is no longer raging throughout the United Kingdom. Curious because according to official figures excess deaths in the UK have now dropped below the five-year average. Curious because authorities will still not grant the British people their former rights and freedoms even though it is no longer justified. So what better way to justify the continuation of medical tyranny than ramping up the fear of a new variant hitting the shores of the United Kingdom. Because make no mistake that is exactly what the authorities and mainstream media are doing right now with the constant propaganda on the “dire” situation in India and the potential threat of the new Indian variant. ‘Why India’s worsening Covid crisis is a dire problem for the world’ – this is another headline to an article released by ‘The Guardian’ newspaper.

Here’s the opening paragraph of the article – “The catastrophe unfolding in India appears to be the worst-case scenario that many feared from the Covid-19 pandemic: unable to find sufficient hospital beds, access to tests, medicines or oxygen, the country of 1.4 billion is sinking beneath the weight of infections.” That very paragraph alone is enough for us to uncover the barefaced lies within the current narrative that is being portrayed in the mainstream media. Let’s start with the fact that India has a population of 1.4 billion people. If we look at the number of daily positive tests for SARS-CoV-2 we can see that on the 24th April 2021, India recorded 349,691 positive tests. This equates to just 0.02% of the entire population of India testing positive for Covid on the 24th April 2021.

The 24th April has also been the highest day on record in India for the number of positive test results for SARS-CoV-2. Yet the mainstream media have said that “the country of 1.4 billion is sinking beneath the weight of infections”. They’re lying. The second thing to take into account is that India, for some strange reason has decided to ramp up its testing, and not just of people with symptoms either. They’re carrying out asymptomatic testing. Which test are they using? The PCR test of course. PCR tests look for genetic matter from the new coronavirus using amplification cycles. However, the number of amplification cycles that was needed to detect genetic matter from the virus, which is referred to as the cycle threshold, typically isn’t included in test results sent to doctors and patients.

Many coronavirus tests have fairly high cycle thresholds, with most set at 40 and some set at 37. That means a number of people who aren’t carrying much of the new coronavirus are still testing positive, even though they may not be contagious. You can read our full breakdown on the PCR test here. This means that there will be a huge number of false positives across India, even despite the fact more tests equals more cases. But we’ll say it again, on the record breaking day for new infections in India just 0.02% of the population tested positive for Covid-19.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced on Saturday that it was waiving import duties on vaccines, oxygen and related equipment.”

Say what?

China To Mobilise Its Private Companies To Help India Fight Covid-19 (SCMP)

China has vowed to encourage its private companies to help India in its battle against a drastic surge in Covid-19 cases which has seen repeated daily global records of new infections and local media reports that patients are dying because of a lack of oxygen supplies. Wang Xiaojian, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in India, said the country had the firm support of China’s government and its people in the fight against the pandemic. “We will encourage and guide Chinese companies to actively cooperate with India to facilitate acquiring medical supplies, and provide support and help according to India’s need,” he said, in an embassy statement on Monday night.

In separate remarks, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China and India were in communication over the pandemic response, and that Beijing would provide materials, if requested by New Delhi. He also called on India’s fellow members of the Quad security alliance – Australia, the US and Japan – to provide assistance to the stricken country. “I hope these nations can jointly provide India and related countries with support and assistance within their capacity to fight the epidemic, and fulfil their due international responsibilities and obligations,” he said. Zhu Yongbiao, a professor of international relations at Lanzhou University, said China’s assistance was likely to include medical equipment, vaccine, prevention and treatment plans, depending on the Indian government’s request and the pandemic situation.

“China may also encourage and support Chinese-funded companies in India to provide assistance through non-governmental ways.” Chinese diplomatic missions to Sri Lanka and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific announced on Twitter that some 800 oxygen concentrators were delivered from Hong Kong to Delhi, with 10,000 more to be delivered in a week, following a statement from the Indian cargo airline SpiceXpress which airlifted the consignment. In a bid to boost supplies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced on Saturday that it was waiving import duties on vaccines, oxygen and related equipment.

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Did the FDA approve authorize it yet?

US To Export AZ Vaccine As India Battles ‘Heartbreaking’ Covid Surge (Y!)

The United States committed Monday to releasing up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, as India grapples with a catastrophic new surge in infections and severe medical shortages, with hospitals overwhelmed and crematoriums at capacity. The South Asian giant of 1.3 billion people recorded 352,991 new infections and 2,812 deaths on Monday – its highest levels since the pandemic began – as its Hindu-nationalist government comes under fire for allowing mass gatherings such as religious festivals and political rallies in recent weeks. But with its health system completely overwhelmed, Western countries are rushing to India’s aid – including the United States, which has come under fire for hoarding supplies including of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as other countries battle sprawling outbreaks.


“U.S. to release 60 million Astra Zeneca doses to other countries as they become available,” tweeted Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to the White House on Covid response. It was not immediately clear how many doses are ready to be shipped or where they will go, with Slavitt adding “at this time there are still very few available.” But President Joe Biden held a telephone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, pledging his country’s “steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.” The United States “is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials and therapeutics,” Biden told Modi, according to a statement.

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“It’s not like there’s some idle vaccine factory, with regulatory approval, that makes magically safe vaccines.”

Uh, yes, there are many such facilities. The WHO has entire lists of them.

Bill Gates Says No To Sharing Vaccine Formulas With Global Poor (Salon)

Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men and most powerful philanthropists, was the target of criticism from social justice campaigners on Sunday after arguing that lifting patent protections on COVID-19 vaccine technology and sharing recipes with the world to foster a massive ramp up in manufacturing and distribution — despite a growing international call to do exactly that — is a bad idea. Directly asked during an interview with Sky News if he thought it “would be helpful” to have vaccine recipes be shared, Gates quickly answered: “No.” Asked to explain why not, Gates — whose massive fortune as founder of Microsoft relies largely on intellectual property laws that turned his software innovations into tens of billions of dollars in personal wealth — said: “Well, there’s only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety of vaccines.

“And so moving something that had never been done — moving a vaccine, say, from a [Johnson & Johnson] factory into a factory in India — it’s novel — it’s only because of our grants and expertise that that can happen at all.” The reference is to the Serum factory in India, the largest such institute in the country, which has contracts with AstraZeneca to manufacture their COVID-19 vaccine, known internationally as Covishield. The thing that’s holding “things back” in terms of the global vaccine rollout, continued Gates, “is not intellectual property. It’s not like there’s some idle vaccine factory, with regulatory approval, that makes magically safe vaccines. You know, you’ve got to do the trial on these things. Every manufacturing process needs to be looked at in a very careful way.”

Critical advocates for robust and immediate change to intellectual property protections at the World Trade Organization when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines, however, issued scathing indictments of Gates’ defense of the status quo. Nick Dearden, executive director of Global Justice Now, one of the lead partner groups in an international coalition calling for WTO patent waivers at a crucial meeting of the world body next month, characterized Gates’ remarks — and the ideological framework behind them — as “disgusting.” “Who appointed this billionaire head of global health?” asked Dearden. “Oh yeah, he did.”

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“..a high rate of massive vaginal bleeding, neurological damage, and damage to the skeletal and skin systems [..] Hypercoagulability (infarction), Myocardial infarction, stroke, miscarriages, impaired blood flow to the limbs, pulmonary embolism.”

Isreali Health Body Report On COVID Vax ‘Deadly’ Impacts (PSI)

The Israeli People Committee (IPC), a civilian body made of leading Israeli health experts, has published its April report into the Pfizer vaccine’s side effects.* The findings are catastrophic on every possible level. Their verdict is that “there has never been a vaccine that has harmed as many people.” The report is long and detailed. I will outline just some of the most devastating findings presented in the report. “We received 288 death reports in proximity to vaccination (90% up to 10 days after the vaccination), 64% of those were men.” Yet the report states, “according to data provided by the Ministry of Health, only 45 deaths in Israel were vaccine related.” If the numbers above are sincere then Israel, which claimed to conduct a world experiment, failed to genuinely report on its experiment’s results.

We often hear about blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine. For instance, we learned this morning about 300 cases of blood clots in of Europe. However, if the IPC’s findings are genuine, then in Israel alone the Pfizer vaccine may be associated with more deaths than AstraZeneca’s in the whole of Europe. “According to Central Bureau of Statistics data during January-February 2021, at the peak of the Israeli mass vaccination campaign, there was a 22% increase in overall mortality in Israel compared with the previous year. In fact, January-February 2021 have been the deadliest months in the last decade, with the highest overall mortality rates compared to corresponding months in the last 10 years.”

The IPC finds that “amongst the 20-29 age group the increase in overall mortality has been most dramatic. In this age group, we detect an increase of 32% in overall mortality in comparison with previous year.” “Statistical analysis of information from the Central Bureau of Statistics, combined with information from the Ministry of Health, leads to the conclusion that the mortality rate amongst the vaccinated is estimated at about 1: 5000 (1: 13000 at ages 20-49, 1: 6000 at ages 50-69, 1: 1600 at ages 70+). According to this estimate, it is possible to estimate the number of deaths in Israel in proximity of the vaccine, as of today, at about 1000-1100 people.” Again, if this statistical analysis is correct then the numbers reported by the Israeli health authorities are misleading by more than 22-fold.

[..] “There is a high correlation between the number of people vaccinated per day and the number of deaths per day, in the range of up to 10 days, in all age groups. Ages 20-49 – a range of 9 days from the date of vaccination to mortality, ages 50-69 – 5 days from the date of vaccination to mortality, ages 70 and up – 3 days from the date of vaccination to mortality.” The IPC also reveals that the “the risk of mortality after the second vaccine is higher than the risk of mortality after the first vaccine.” But death isn’t the only risk to do with vaccination. The IPC reveals that “as of the date of publication of the report, 2066 reports of side effects have accumulated in the Civil Investigation Committee and the data continue to come in.

These reports indicate damage to almost every system in the human body.…Our analysis found a relatively high rate of heart-related injuries, 26% of all cardiac events occurred in young people up to the age of 40, with the most common diagnosis in these cases being Myositis or Pericarditis.” “Also, a high rate of massive vaginal bleeding, neurological damage, and damage to the skeletal and skin systems has been observed. It should be noted that a significant number of reports of side effects are related, directly or indirectly, to Hypercoagulability (infarction), Myocardial infarction, stroke, miscarriages, impaired blood flow to the limbs, pulmonary embolism.”

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Pakistan is like India in many ways.

Pakistan Deploys Troops To Help Authorities Cope With Covid-19 Infections (RT)

As rising Covid-19 infections threaten to collapse Pakistan’s healthcare system, Islamabad has deployed troops across the country, with particular attention to 16 major cities, in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Soldiers “will go to every corner of Pakistan to ensure the protection of citizens,” military spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar told reporters on Monday, adding that the primary purpose of the deployment “is to help civil institutions and law enforcement agencies.” “In this testing time, the Pakistan Army will use all its capabilities to take every possible step for the protection of citizens and their lives.”

According to General Iftikhar, there are presently around 90,000 cases of Covid-19 in the country, with 4,300 people in critical condition, including 570 people on ventilators. Pakistan has been registering around 5,500 cases and 130 deaths per day, similar to the figures during the peak of the first wave in June 2020. Pakistan has around 220 million residents. The rate of positive tests has risen to “dangerous levels” of more than 5% in 51 cities, and even higher in 16 cities that will receive “enhanced deployment” of troops. Among these is the capital Islamabad, as well as Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Gujranwala in Punjab; Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh; Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda and Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Quetta in Balochistan; and Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Doctors across the country hailed the move, with some even going so far as demanding arrests for those who fail to follow the prescribed measures. “Presently, we need strict enforcement of the precautionary measures as the hospitals, it seems, would soon be overwhelmed by patients,” said Dr. Javid Ali of the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, who called the army deployment the “right step at the right time.”

Read more …

Hard to understand why not much more of this is happening globally.

Germany’s New Lockdown Law Sparks Constitutional Court Complaints (RT)

Germany’s new law granting Berlin sweeping powers when it comes to imposing harsh Covid-19 restrictions has sparked a wave of indignation and prompted dozens of complaints filed with the Constitutional Court. A total of 65 complaints have been filed against the so-called Infection Protection Act to date, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe confirmed to the German media. A court spokesman also admitted that the real number of lawsuits could be higher since new ones are filed “all the time” and the court is not always able to process them in time. Some complainants also filed urgent motions asking the court to suspend the law, which came into force just two days ago, until a final decision is made.

Some suits were directed against the entire package of measures envisaged by the new law, while others focused on specific restrictions like the nighttime curfew that many Germans apparently see as unconstitutional. Most claims were reportedly filed by individual complainants, including several German MPs. One of them is Florian Post, a member of the Social Democratic Party – a junior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government coalition. Others include a Green MP, Canan Bayram, and a member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, whose identity was not revealed. The Liberal Free Democrats also lodged a complaint against the law with the Constitutional Court on Monday afternoon.

The usually business-friendly party argued that the measures imposed by the law, such as the curfew and “other encroachments on fundamental rights,” are disproportionate and sometimes ineffective. It is not known when the court will pass its judgement on the issue. It is also unclear whether the claimants should first reach out to some lower-ranking courts before filing the lawsuits directly in Karlsruhe. The controversial law imposes binding restrictions on all German states and even individual communities as soon as they exceed a seven-day average infection rate of 100 cases per 100,000 people. The rules once again put severe limitations on private and public gatherings, as well as demanding that Germans stay home between 10pm and 5am [..]

Read more …

“It seems that governments want to convince us that they have saved the world when the reality is that the misguided lockdowns were the cause of the economic debacle and lifting them is the main cause of the recovery.”

The United States: Hardly A Recovery (Lacalle)

There is an overly optimistic consensus view about the speed and strength of the United States’ recovery that is contradicted by facts. It is true that the United States recovery is stronger than the European or Japanese one, but the macrodata shows that the euphoric messages about aggregate GDP growth are wildly exaggerated. Of course GDP is going to rise fast, with estimates of 6 percent for 2021. It would be alarming if it did not after a massive chain of stimuli of more than 12 percent of GDP in fiscal spending and $7 trillion in Federal Reserve balance sheet expansion. This is a combined stimulus that is almost three times larger than the 2008 crisis one, according to McKinsey. The question is, What is the quality of this recovery?

The answer is: extremely poor. The United States real growth excluding the increase in debt will continue to be exceedingly small. No one can talk about a strong recovery when industry capacity utilization is at 74 percent, massively below the level of 80 percent at which it was before the pandemic. Furthermore, labor force participation rate stands at 61.5 percent, significantly below the precovid level and stalling after bouncing to 62 percent in September. Unemployment may be at 6 percent, but it is still almost twice as large as it was before the pandemic. Continuing jobless claims remain above 3.7 million in April. Weekly jobless claims remain above 500,000 and the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs—state and federal combined—for the week ending March 27 decreased by 1.2 million to 16.9 million.

These figures must be put in the context of the unprecedented spending spree and the monetary stimulus. Yes, the recovery is better than the eurozone’s thanks to a fast and efficient vaccination rollout and the dynamism of the United States business fabric, but the figures show that a relevant amount of the subsequent stimulus plans have simply perpetuated overcapacity, kept zombie firms that had financial issues before covid-19 alive, and bloated the government structural deficit and mandatory spending.

Would the United States economy have recovered as fast as it has without the deficit-spending stimulus plans? Maybe. I believe so because the entire recovery, both in markets and the economy, has been driven by the vaccine news and the process of inoculation. Most of the programs that have been implemented have had a small impact compared to the reopening of the hospitality sector and the vaccinations. The entire economic crisis came from the lockdowns and the virus and the entire recovery is the reopening and the vaccinations.

Read more …

“Only Trump, with 42% approval, and Gerald Ford, with 48%, scored lower.”

Biden Sees Majority Approval After 100 Days, But The Numbers Don’t Add Up (RT)

A majority of Americans approve of Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, and the president has been treated to glowing media coverage. But behind the poll numbers might be a different story. Biden’s first 100 days in office have been busy. A slew of executive orders did away with nearly all of Donald Trump’s policies as the Democratic president opened up the country’s Mexican border, launched a bid for gun control and banned key fossil fuel projects. The coronavirus vaccine rollout continues at home, while internationally, Biden has hit Russia with economic sanctions and strained relations with Turkey by recognizing the Armenian genocide.

A majority of Americans agree with his progress thus far, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll published on Sunday, which found that 52% of adults say they approve of the job Biden is doing, while 42% disapprove, a near reversal of Trump’s ratings after his first 100 days. Biden scored highly – 63% – on his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and averagely – 52% – on his management of the US economy. However, 53% of respondents disapproved of his performance on immigration, as unprecedented numbers of illegal immigrants pour across the Mexican border. With the public apparently onside, some mainstream media outlets have taken to celebration. AP, for example, cheered on his efforts to “wrestle the country away from the legacy and agitations of President Donald Trump,” and praised his “unabashedly liberal” agenda.

Biden’s personality was celebrated too. “The temperature is lower. The drama is less. And the persona is fundamentally different,” AP wrote. Behind the media’s praise and the apparently positive poll figures, however, is a different story. Biden’s approval rating may be 10 points above Trump’s at this time in 2017, but it’s the third-lowest since Gallup began tracking approvals during the Harry S. Truman administration. Only Trump, with 42% approval, and Gerald Ford, with 48%, scored lower. [..] the poll oversampled Democrats by nine points. Some 33% of respondents identified as Democrats, 24% as Republicans, and 35% as independents. The remainder were either unsure or identified with minor parties. Previous research has found that political independents generally favor Democrats by four points, so with all of this taken into account, Biden’s true approval rating could be several points lower.

Read more …

Maybe the problem is that “entry-level pay” continues for many years in many fields.

Biden’s Stimulus Checks “Wreck Labor Pool” As People Get Paid To Stay Home (ZH)

There are new concerns that President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is already harming the labor market recovery. While job openings and postings are increasing, there is an issue with the number of applications as labor participation currently stands at 61.4%, with an unemployment rate of 6.2%. People are not applying for jobs as they should be as they collect stimulus checks and enjoy a work-free lifestyle, all on the backs of taxpayers. There are many jobs available in manufacturing, trade and transportation, logistics, and the professional sector. But employers have difficulty sourcing workers. The latest comments from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City provide a chilling insight this month into the labor shortage developing at manufacturing firms across Denver, Oklahoma City, and Omaha:

“Stimulus and increased unemployment money are wrecking the labor pool. Lower-level employees are quitting to make just as much not working.” So, lower-level employees are making more money collecting stimulus checks and other handouts under the Biden administration. This was very similar when former President Trump dished out helicopter money during the early days of the pandemic. What this creates are more bottlenecks for the supply chain as labor becomes scarce. “It is very difficult to handle the increased business with supply chain issues across all materials and finding anyone who wants to work. The federal government has incentivized people to stay home and not be productive.”

Other employers report: “Unemployed workers have no incentive to return to work given the COVID bonus payments.” What this means is that entry-level pay will have to increase to get low-level workers off the couch. This will create more cost pressures for companies that will either be absorbed or pass onto the consumer. The Biden administration effectively destroys the labor market, resulting in significant repercussions for the real economy, such as a labor shortage that could stall the recovery.

Read more …

How can Joe avoid hurting his sposors?

Joe Biden Declares War on Tax Havens – in Europe, Too (Spiegel)

If you want to know why a company should have its headquarters in Ireland these days, the best place to ask is IDA Ireland, the government’s foreign direct investment agency based in Dublin. The Emerald Isle, their lobbyists rave, has a “great density of data centers.” It advertises the country’s large pool of young talent with above-average qualifications as well as international and innovative companies, ranging from Microsoft and Facebook to German corporations such as Allianz, Zalando and SAP. But when asked if perhaps the real attraction for investors is the extremely low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, the IDA declines to answer. For that, the agency says, it is best to contact Paschal Donohoe, the Irish finance minister and chair of the Eurogroup.

The man currently finds himself facing a problem that has become a concern for all of Europe. Since U.S. President Joe Biden presented his groundbreaking proposal for a global minimum tax on corporate profits, old rifts have ripped open again on the Continent. Whereas large member states such as Germany approve of the move, it would hit smaller EU members like Ireland, the Netherlands and Slovakia hard. For years, they have lured international corporations into their countries with the promise that they will be largely spared from the grasp of the domestic tax authorities. If the U.S. gets its way, that could be the end of it. Numerous EU countries would not only have to reckon with revenue losses in the billions, but also with the loss of corporate headquarters and thousands of jobs.

Countries like France or Italy, on the other hand, would feel vindicated. Out of anger with corporations like Amazon that have barely paid any taxes at all in Europe in recent years, they enacted their own digital taxes – and drew the ire of Donald Trump by doing so. The former U.S. president even threatened retaliatory tariffs on German cars, Italian cheese and French handbags. Now, the U.S. has performed a spectacular about-face – and raised difficult questions for the Europeans: How seriously must pledges from Brussels to fight tax evasion be taken? Would it just be the tax havens that have to reckon with losses or would they also be painful for large exporting countries like Germany? And, more importantly: Will the Europeans manage to find a common line with the U.S. in the tax negotiations that have been going on for years in the OECD club of industrialized nations?

Read more …

United States of Propaganda.

US Pledges $300mn To Fund Massive Global Anti-China Media Machine (Fowdy)

Chinese- and Russian-funded journalism is ‘disinformation,’ but when Washington spends millions on ‘independent’ news outlets and buying journalists to get favourable coverage of its policies, it’s called ‘spreading information.’ The US Senate last week passed a bumper anti-China bill titled the “Strategic Competition Act”. Backed by Chuck Schumer (Dem – New York) as one of his biggest priorities since becoming the Majority leader, the 270+ page document contains scores of recommendations and provisions on formalizing America’s “geopolitical competition” against Beijing, including in the fields of military, diplomacy, technology, trade and more. There’s little question it will be passed into law, having already cleared the Senate and with the anti-Chinese sentiment in Washington being routinely bipartisan.

The bill also notably pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in various capacities for media focused initiatives against China. This includes up to $300 million in an openly described effort to spread information on the “negative impact” of China’s $1 trillion-plus Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in participating countries, “anti-Chinese influence” programs, a scheme to “train journalists” with the goal of countering Beijing, and millions more in funding for Radio Free Asia to expand its coverage in the specified languages of Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan and Uighur. In short, it’s a mammoth propaganda push.

All the time, we hear so much about “Chinese/Russian propaganda,” “disinformation,” etc, and often its impact is depicted in highly threatening or sensational ways, yet rarely, if ever, is it reported how the west actively and openly engages in psychological warfare with the goal of changing politics and governments in targeted countries, all the while playing the perpetual victim. Here it is in the new US bill in black and white, as clear as crystal, yet few will balk or take notice at the explicitly ambitious effort to attempt to destabilize various regions of China, to promote unrest and, ideally, to “balkanize” the country. This, of course, is not new; it’s what America has always done.

[..] The US has a long history of such psychological warfare, both explicit and implicit. One of the most famous instances is what was revealed as Operation Mockingbird, where the CIA secretly infiltrated the mainstream media at home and abroad, collaborating with journalists to push US foreign-policy interests. Many journalists – including Pulitzer Prize winners – joined the CIA’s payroll, writing fake stories to disseminate the agency’s agitprop, and many were given falsified or fabricated information in support of the CIA’s mission. This was during the Cold War, but the program has never been officially discontinued, and why would it stop today in the wake of a new Cold War with China? The Strategic Competition bill clearly illustrates that Washington places primary importance on dominating the “global discourse” in accordance with its interests, and it is arguably very good at doing this through a multitude of methods.

Read more …

“US military leaders also want to maintain the ability to bomb Afghanistan and are eyeing repositioning forces in neighboring countries.”

US Deploying 650 Additional Troops to Afghanistan (Antiwar)

The US is deploying additional forces to Afghanistan over fears of Taliban attacks during the withdrawal process. Pentagon officials told CNN that the US is preparing to send about 650 troops to Afghanistan as part of the extra forces. The officials said the ground troops will mainly come from the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment and will be deployed with transport planes and aircraft that can provide air support such as AC-130 gunships. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved sending the Rangers last week along with the deployment of long-range B-52 bombers, two of which have already arrived in Afghanistan. He also ordered the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to stay in the Gulf region.

President Biden put US troops at risk of getting attacked by extending the May 1st deadline that was set by the US-Taliban peace deal. February 8th marked the first full year that no US troops died in combat in Afghanistan since the war started. Last week, the Taliban said it was “too early” to know if they will start attacking US and NATO forces after May 1st. Biden said he will withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11th. On Sunday, Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said “local action” to prepare for the withdrawal has started and said the US will gradually hand over military bases to the Afghan government.

While Biden says he plans to leave, the US seems keen to maintain some sort of military presence in Afghanistan. It’s still not clear if contractors working for the Pentagon will leave with US combat troops. The US plans to continue supporting the Afghan military, which is almost entirely reliant on Pentagon contractors to maintain their equipment. US military leaders also want to maintain the ability to bomb Afghanistan and are eyeing repositioning forces in neighboring countries.

Read more …

“..the supposedly treated water still contains “dangerous levels of carbon-14,” a radioactive substance that has the “potential to damage human DNA.” The water is also known to contain radioactive tritium.”

Chinese Experts To Join Fukushima Wastewater Working Group (RT)

The Chinese foreign ministry has said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed to Beijing that it will be inviting its experts to join a working group on Japan’s disposal of nuclear waste into the ocean.
Speaking on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Beijing would continue to urge Japan to engage with the international community before dumping more than a million tons of nuclear wastewater from the defunct Fukushima power plant. “China will fully support the organization’s follow-up work, and Japan should earnestly meet the concerns of China and other stakeholders and the international community before launching the discharge of nuclear contaminated water,” Wang stated.


The spokesman said that the IAEA had confirmed to Beijing that it would be inviting Chinese experts to take part in a technical working group on the disposal of the supposedly treated wastewater. “China maintains close communication and coordination with the IAEA in this regard, and the agency is actively preparing for the establishment of related technical working groups,” he added. China and its neighbors have been highly critical of Tokyo after it was announced that wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant would be dumped into the ocean within a couple of years. The safety of the water has been questioned on many occasions despite years of treatment. Last year, Greenpeace reported that the wastewater from the plant was more dangerous than the Japanese government had suggested. The organization’s publication claims the supposedly treated water still contains “dangerous levels of carbon-14,” a radioactive substance that has the “potential to damage human DNA.” The water is also known to contain radioactive tritium.

Read more …

 

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Apr 232021
 


Henri Matisse Flowers 1907

 

 

I sometimes can’t believe I think I must revisit this theme time and again, but here we are. Joe Biden is chairing a virtual climate plan/summit/whatever, and absolutely nothing has changed since the last time I tried to explain why it is nonsense, or all the other times before that. But this is the biggest boondoggle/cheat/trick ever played on mankind, so what choice do I have?

It’s still a bunch of politicians all over the world who are beholden to a bunch of extremely rich people for their cushy positions and claim they intend to save the world hand in hand with these rich people. In other words, our resident sociopaths and psychopaths are the only ones who can save us. But you’re going to have to pay up, or they won’t do it.

It’s all an intensely moronic piece of theater (no, I won’t insult Kabuki!), but since all the media is in on it, who would know that? It’s the biggest show on earth! Your carrots are jobs, profit, and a saved planet for your children. What’s not to like?

Biden’s billionaire political sponsors promise to save you, but of course they do need to make a profit off it. One that is preferably larger than the profits they have been making over the past decades off of the very things they now pretend to condemn, and are still invested in, fossil fuels.

Of course they know that will never happen, but they also know that you do not. So here goes. This intro from the Guardian, written before Ol’ Joe opened Day Two, tries some critical notes, but that’s just to lift the party mode even higher.

 

Joe Biden To Stress Green Jobs As Key To Tackling Crisis At Climate Summit

Joe Biden will take the podium in the east room at the White House very shortly. The title of his address is: “The Economic Opportunities of Climate Action.” The White House is bringing out the billionaires, the CEOs and the union executives Friday to help sell Joe Biden’s climate-friendly transformation of the US economy at his virtual summit of world leaders.

The closing day of the two-day summit on the climate crisis is to feature Bill Gates and Mike Bloomberg, steelworker and electrical union leaders and executives for solar and other renewable energy. Biden vows to slash US emissions by half to meet ‘existential crisis of our time’.

It’s all in service of an argument US officials say will make or break the president’s climate agenda: pouring trillions of dollars into clean-energy technology, research and infrastructure will jet-pack a competitive US economy into the future and create jobs, while saving the planet.

The new urgency comes as scientists say that the climate crisis caused by coal plants, car engines and other fossil fuel use is worsening droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters and that humans are running out of time to stave off catastrophic extremes of global warming.

The event has featured the world’s major powers – and major polluters – pledging to cooperate on cutting petroleum and coal emissions that are rapidly warming the planet. Yesterday, Biden called upon the world to confront the climate crisis and “overcome the existential crisis of our time”, as he unveiled an ambitious new pledge to slash US planet-heating emissions in half by the end of the decade.

Addressing the opening of a gathering of more than 40 world leaders in an Earth Day climate summit, Biden warned that “time is short” to address dangerous global heating and urged other countries to do more.

Shortly before the start of the summit, the White House said the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Biden said the new US goal will set it on the path to net zero emissions by 2050 and that other countries now needed to also raise their ambition.

By 2050, Joe Biden would have lived longer than Noah, Methusalem and Abraham put together. Same goes for Gates and Bloomberg and all the other “leaders”. These people greatly prefer power today over a saved planet, whatever that may mean, when they are dead -or, alternatively, can no longer remember where or who they are.

By 2030, whoever remains will shift the blame onto Biden et al, who will then have departed either politics or the planet. And then you will be told that the trillions from the 2021 Biden plan were not nearly enough to save the planet, so we MUST play double or nothing. Or your children will burn, not in hell, but right where they were born.

The biggest carrot of all is that we can shift from fossil fuels to some other energy source -which wind and solar are not, but who understands that?- and keep on motoring. It’s like the myth -or is it?- that lemmings all jump off cliffs together, but then you find Disney, for a movie, built a large treadmill that only made it look that way.

Yes, you are the lemming, and Gates and Bloomberg, and all of Wall Street, are Disney. Joe Biden is the treadmill, along with Merkel and Macron and the rest of the “well-meaning” gang. It makes no difference if a story like that is true, it’s a good metaphor.

 

 

Look, I covered this topic so many times, just read back, will you please? On December 16 2016, I wrote Heal the Planet for Profit and on February 15 2021 Heal the Planet for Profit – Redux . It’s all there. And I wish people would stop paying attention to the sociopath-laden events like COP 21 through 26, and these Biden-chaired summits.

They spell nothing good for you or your children. The only thing that could, is using less energy, not some other kind, let alone source, of energy. That’s for people who don’t understand thermodynamics, or physics in general. And I know: that’s most people and that’s the biggest tragedy of all.

But still, why would anyone think some of the richest people in the world, after having made fortunes reminiscent only of entire empires of yore, using fossil fuels, now be serious about salvaging Joe Blow? No matter how the media sell and push and propagandize that notion, how can anyone fall for it?

 

 

 

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Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Apr 232021
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Christ and St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb 1638

 

Biden Vows To Cut Nearly Half Of Greenhouse Emissions By 2030 (SAC)
GOP Sen. Ron Johson Criticizes ‘Big Push’ To Get Everyone Vaccinated (F.)
Greek Gov’t Legislates “Legal Impunity” For Epidemiologists’ Committee (KTG)
Greece to Recognize Validity of Sputnik V Vaccine for Travelers (GR)
One Dose Of Pfizer Or Oxford Jab Reduces Covid Infection Rate By 65% (G.)
Japan Rolls Out Vaccine Slowly, Despite Looming Olympics (Y!)
Russia To Withdraw Troops From Deployment On Border With Ukraine (RT)
Russia To Make Areas Of Airspace Inaccessible To Foreign Missiles, Drones (RT)
Russia Behind ‘Directed Energy’ Attacks On US Troops In Syria – Pentagon (ZH)
Who Runs The World? Blackrock and Vanguard (Sardi)
Why The ‘Magic Money Tree’ Suddenly Appeared When Covid-19 Hit (RP)

 

 

Flooding at a coal mine in one of the smallest of 61 counties in #Xinjiang #China shut down 35% of #Bitcoin’s global mining power this weekend.

 

 

Not the Onion. But way over the top.

 

 

Big differences.

 

 

If you find yourself hopeful when seeing this, snap out of it. This is just a way to spend trillions of your money on greenwashing. Here is the pattern that will continue, again:

“..the Obama administration aimed to reduce emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Currently, the U.S. has not yet reached the halfway point in achieving that goal.”

Replacing one source of energy with another one is useless, only using -a whole lot- less energy works. For that, we will need to redesign our cities and homes. Not our cars. And that will cost a lot of money, which won’t be available anymore, because it’s been spent on grandiose plans for windmills and solar panels to one-on-one replace all present sources. And that’s just the first problem.

Biden Vows To Cut Nearly Half Of Greenhouse Emissions By 2030 (SAC)

President Joe Biden on Earth Day vowed to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52%—compared to 2005 levels—by 2030, as part of a broader goal of achieving net-zero emissions in the country by 2050. “These steps will set America on a path of a net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050,” Biden told a virtual climate summit, attended by 40 leaders from around the world, Thursday morning as he announced the new emissions goal. “Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade, this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of a climate crisis,” Biden said.


“This is a moral imperative. An economic imperative. A moment of peril, but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities,” the president added. The new greenhouse target more than doubles the United States’ previous target under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, when the Obama administration aimed to reduce emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Currently, the U.S. has not yet reached the halfway point in achieving that goal.

Biden energy boom

Read more …

Heretic.

GOP Sen. Ron Johson Criticizes ‘Big Push’ To Get Everyone Vaccinated (F.)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on Thursday questioned the “big push” to ensure everyone is vaccinated against coronavirus, putting him at odds with many of his Senate Republican colleagues who have attempted to close the partisan gap in vaccination rates. In an interview with conservative Wisconsin radio host Vicki McKenna, herself a vocal coronavirus vaccine skeptic, Johnson launched into a condemnation of “vaccine passports,” a credential that would allow businesses to verify vaccination status. But Johnson also went a step further, declaring he sees “no reason to be pushing vaccines on people,” arguing their distribution should be “limited” to those most vulnerable to coronavirus, and asking, “if you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?”

Johnson said he is “getting highly suspicious” of the “big push to make sure everybody gets the vaccine,” stating it’s “not a fully approved vaccine” but also arguing that the fact it is 95% effective means only a limited number of people need to be vaccinated. The comments put Johnson at odds with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who spent much of the last Senate recess urging Republican men to get vaccinated amid public opinion polling that shows they are the least likely to do so. Johnson is one of the Senate’s most prolific promoters of coronavirus pseudoscience, holding hearings last year as the chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to promote unproven treatments like Hydroxychloroquine.

[..] Johnson has drawn outrage from lawmakers in both parties for some of his recent comments, particularly on the Jan. 6 attack, which he has routinely sought to downplay. He said the attack “didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me” in February, and last month he said the attackers “truly respect law enforcement” and claimed he wasn’t concerned for his safety during the incident – but might have been if the attackers were affiliated with Black Lives Matter.

Read more …

First time I’ve seen this. Many countries will follow. No investigation allowed.

Greek Gov’t Legislates “Legal Impunity” For Epidemiologists’ Committee (KTG)

The Greek government has tabled a amendment to the Parliament to secure legal impunity for the committee of the epidemiologists advising the government on pandemic issues. The regulation comes amid pressure from the opposition to make the minutes of the meetings public. The introduction to provide impunity to infectious disease committee members in charge of the pandemic measures is for sure a unique worldwide. The amendment introduces impunity for the epidemiologists’ committee members from any form of prosecution or even questioning and protects them from having to testify if they were in “conflict of interest.”

The amendment was submitted by the Health Ministry in a legislation of Code of Judicial Officers of the Justice Ministry. It reportedly bears the signatures of the Health and Justice Ministers and other members of the government. It will be voted in the parliament later on Thursday. According to news website news247.gr, Article 4 of the amendment stipulates that members of the National Committee for the Protection of Public Health against the coronavirus disease Covid 19, the Committee for the Management of Public Health Emergencies by Infectious Diseases and the National Vaccination Committee are not liable, not prosecuted and are not examined for opinion they formulated or vote they gave in the exercise of their duties in the context of the operation of the above committees. Prosecution is allowed only for defamation or insult.

Particularly troubling, notes the website, is the provision that committee members are not prosecuted but can not even be questioned. It raises questions about what this means in the event that either a public prosecutor’s investigation or a possible pre-investigation committee of the Parliament is conducted in the future. In this case, it is possible that the members of the committee may not even be called as witnesses. It should be noted that this regulation comes after the intense pressure from the opposition to make public the minutes of the infectious disease committees and also in a period of the pandemic where the decisions of the committee are extremely important. At the same time, it comes in the middle of the vaccination process and also concerns the vaccination committee.

It is worth recalling that there have already been complaints from the opposition about conflicts of interest between members of the committee and their professional activities, notes news247. It should also be recalled that there has been recently a debate about the committee decisions and how much the members obey the government s plans to open or close activities than the scientific dictates. The gradual lifting of the lockdown and the opening of tourism in mid-May (unofficially on April 19) with daily infections are over 3000 and an average of 75 deaths per day while had many Greeks wonder why there was a 5.5 months lockdown anyway. [..] The government, ministers and lawmakers have immunity anyway.

Read more …

Also: “Germany to buy 30 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine”. EU Covid management is crumbling.

Greece to Recognize Validity of Sputnik V Vaccine for Travelers (GR)

Greece is taking all possible necessary precautions to ensure a successful launch of the 2021 tourism season on May 14 to avoid last year’s losses — including accepting the validity of Russia’s “Sputnik V” vaccine in allowing Russians to visit the country. The vaccine, dubbed the “traveling companion,” has a 97.6% efficacy rate under trial conditions, according to its makers. This was based on data analysis on the infection rate among people receiving both shots of the vaccine. The Sputnik V vaccine was registered in 60 countries worldwide as of April 19, 2021 from Argentina and Mexico to Israel and the Philippines. Russian officials say they have signed deals to produce it in South Korea and India. Via a post on Twitter on April 6, 2021, the distributor confirmed that it could supply Greece with the vaccine for 500,000 people in May.


A soft opening of the tourism sector in Greece commenced on Monday, April 20, by lifting its seven-day quarantine requirements for international travelers arriving from the EU, the Schengen Area, the US, the UK, Israel, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates upon proof of vaccination, immunity, or a negative PCR test on arrival. Expected in this is group is hundreds of thousands of tourists from Russia as a result of joint efforts to resume tourism activity between the two countries. However, the Sputnik V is still under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). There are not enough doses of other vaccines available in the EU to satisfy demand, so the desire for new options is substantial. The EU Green Passport regulation, due to be adopted soon, does not recognize vaccines that have not yet been approved by the EMA. However, it is flexible enough to allow EU member states to accept the validity of certain vaccines, such as Russia’s Sputnik V, on what it calls a “bilateral level.”

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That’s less effective than ivermectin. Good thing they didn’t research that, so they can keep saying: well, there’s no research! The only way to keep the EUA.

One Dose Of Pfizer Or Oxford Jab Reduces Covid Infection Rate By 65% (G.)

One shot of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces coronavirus infections by nearly two-thirds and protects older and more vulnerable people as much as younger, healthy individuals, a study has found. The results from Oxford University and the Office for National Statistics are a welcome boost to the vaccination programme and the first to show the impact on new infections and immune responses in a large group of adults in the general population. By driving down rates of infection the vaccines will not only prevent hospitalisations and deaths but help break chains of transmission and so reduce the risk of a damaging resurgence of disease as the UK reopens.

The researchers analysed Covid test results from more than 350,000 people in the UK between December and April. They found that 21 days after a first jab – the time it takes the immune system to mount a decent response – new Covid infections dropped by 65%. The vaccines were more effective against symptomatic than asymptomatic infections, reducing rates by 72% and 57% respectively, compared with those seen in the unvaccinated population. A second shot of the Pfizer vaccine boosted protection further, causing symptomatic infections to fall by 90% and asymptomatic infections by 70%. Because the Oxford vaccine was approved and rolled out later, it is too early to assess the impact of those second doses.

Scientists on the team said the findings supported the UK’s decision to prioritise giving first shots to elderly and more vulnerable people by delaying second doses. “There was no evidence that the vaccines were less effective among older adults or those with long-term health conditions,” said Dr Koen Pouwels, a researcher on the team.

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“A majority of Japanese already oppose holding the Games this summer..”

Japan Rolls Out Vaccine Slowly, Despite Looming Olympics (Y!)

Three months before it hosts the Olympics – the biggest international event since the pandemic began – Japan has fully vaccinated less than one percent of its population in a cautious, slow-moving programme. Olympic organisers and local officials stress vaccines are not a prerequisite for the Games. Participants will not have to be inoculated before arrival and there are no plans to prioritise vaccination of Japanese athletes or volunteers. But the slow rollout in the world’s third-largest economy, which experts say is driven by a mixture of caution and entrenched bureaucratic hurdles, is starting to weigh on public opinion. The government has emphasised caution to build trust in the vaccine, said Takakazu Yamagishi, director of the Center for International Affairs at Nanzan University, who researches health policy.

But, seeing speedy vaccinations elsewhere, “more and more people are realising that the delayed vaccination process has put Japan in a difficult position to hold the Olympics,” he told AFP. This could “weaken their support for the Games”. A majority of Japanese already oppose holding the Games this summer, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who faces a general election this year, has been under pressure for months over his coronavirus response. The country’s outbreak has been comparatively small so far, with fewer than 10,000 deaths. But several regions, including Tokyo, requested new virus states of emergency this week over a fresh wave of cases that has already overwhelmed some local healthcare systems.

Writing in the British Medical Journal this month, four health experts cited Japan’s “sluggish vaccine rollout” among other factors in urging plans to hold the Games “be reconsidered as a matter of urgency”. Polls show three-quarters of Japan’s public consider the rollout slow, with 60 percent saying they are dissatisfied with the programme. Olympic organisers insist the rollout’s pace will not impact the Games. “We’ll be able to deliver the Games even without vaccination,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters on Wednesday.

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A big nothing. But a warning at the same time.

Russia To Withdraw Troops From Deployment On Border With Ukraine (RT)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced that troops deployed in the west and south of the country in recent days will soon begin returning to base, saying they have now passed tests of their combat readiness. The chief of the country’s military revealed on Thursday that a number of units of the regular army and airborne divisions had been transferred to the area, near the shared border with Ukraine, as part of surprise military exercises. The buildup had caused alarm in Kiev, and been cited by Western nations as a potential precursor to an invasion, which the Kremlin repeatedly denied.


According to Shoigu, “the goals of the sudden inspection have been fully achieved. The troops demonstrated their ability to ensure reliable defense of the country.” As a result, he has now ordered commanders to “plan and begin the return of troops to their places of regular deployment, beginning from April 23.” By the end of the month, the minister said, “the personnel of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, the 41st Army of the Central Military District, the 7th, 76th Air Assault and 98th Airborne Divisions of the Airborne Forces” will return to their normal bases. However, he warned that the army would “react and respond adequately to all changes in the situation near Russian borders.”

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“.. render foreign satellite navigation systems completely useless, disabling an enemy’s high-precision weapons.”

Russia To Make Areas Of Airspace Inaccessible To Foreign Missiles, Drones (RT)

Russia’s electronic warfare specialists will practice creating ‘protection areas’ in the country’s airspace that could render foreign satellite navigation systems completely useless, disabling an enemy’s high-precision weapons. According to Moscow daily Izvestia, citing a source in the Defense Ministry, radio-electronic warfare troops will practice using the technology during exercises this year, with the practice to be held nationwide in 2022. The system, known as Field-21, creates interference that disorients foreign satellite navigation systems, including the American GPS NAVSTAR. According to experts, the creation of special zones could be used to protect military facilities, as well as industrial areas, making the airspace virtually impenetrable. They believe the new approach will radically increase national security.


With satellite navigation foiled, enemy high-precision weapons and drones will not be able to direct themselves towards their target. “Electronic warfare systems hit several cruise missile systems at once,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia. “Satellite navigation interference causes them to get ‘lost’ in space and dramatically reduces their accuracy. If the radio altimeter signal is suppressed, the ammunition will also not be able to perform its combat mission as expected.” Radio-electronic troops have already been deployed in Syria, where an electronic warfare protection dome has been created over the areas of Tartus and Khmeimim, protecting the military from attacks by militant drones. Russia has been involved in the Syrian Civil War since 2015, when it was invited by the Damascus government, led by President Bashar Assad, to help fight against a terrorist insurgency in the country.

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One thing about flimsy nonsensical narratives is you must keep feeding them. Then when someone asks for proof, you can point to all the other “cases” and say: see?! it fits a pattern.

Russia Behind ‘Directed Energy’ Attacks On US Troops In Syria – Pentagon (ZH)

In the newest dramatic allegations against suspected Russian malfeasance, the Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday revealed that it believes the Russian military targeted US troops in Syria with ‘directed energy attacks’ in order to make them ill and unable to conduct normal operations. Apparently some US troops occupying the country began reporting “flu-like symptoms” which caused the DoD to investigate possible linkage to microwave or directed energy weapons on the battlefield of Syria. Politico reports that “officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.” DoD officials said they briefed top lawmakers on intelligence which they say points to Russia being behind a series of these suspected high tech attacks.

This follows a major investigation being conducted since last year of similar mysterious attacks against US personnel across the globe. Controversy has raged since late 2016 into 2017 and the “Havana syndrome” story, which involved some 50 diplomatic officials working at the US Embassy in Cuba coming down with strange illnesses and symptoms which many blamed on high tech ‘sonic attacks’ of some sort. Personnel reported experiencing everything from vomiting to concussions to chronic headaches to minor brain injuries. But analysts and scientists have been deeply divided on the issue, with speculation ranging from high pitched sounds from crickets or even mass hysteria causing the illness.

But Politico reports of these newest allegations of the potential targeting of Americans in northeast Syria as follows: “The briefings included information about injuries sustained by U.S. troops in Syria, the people said. The investigation includes one incident in Syria in the fall of 2020 in which several troops developed flu-like symptoms, two people familiar with the Pentagon probe said.” The CIA is said to also be looking into these suspected attacks via its own task force. Strangely, the Politico report also included a denial that troops in Syria were ever found to be victims of such weapons by the Pentagon press spokesperson, strongly suggesting this is a continuation of the current, highly politicized “just blame Russia” climate in Washington…

A Pentagon spokesperson, however, said the department is not aware of directed-energy attacks against U.S. troops in Syria. The spokesperson declined further comment on the Pentagon’s interactions with Capitol Hill or any internal investigation. “The incidents of suspected directed-energy attacks by Russia on Americans abroad became so concerning that the Pentagon’s office of special operations and low-intensity conflict began investigating last year, according to two former national security officials involved in the effort. It’s unclear exactly how many troops were injured, or the extent of their injuries.”

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Pretty brilliant exposé. By someone calling herself Covid Lie.

Who Runs The World? Blackrock and Vanguard (Sardi)

If you’ve been wondering how the world economy has been hijacked and humanity has been kidnapped by a completely bogus narrative, look no further than this video by Dutch creator, Covid Lie. What she uncovers is that the stock of the world’s largest corporations are owned by the same institutional investors. They all own each other. This means that “competing” brands, like Coke and Pepsi aren’t really competitors, at all, since their stock is owned by exactly the same investment companies, investment funds, insurance companies, banks and in some cases, governments. This is the case, across all industries. As she says:

“The smaller investors are owned by larger investors. Those are owned by even bigger investors. The visible top of this pyramid shows only two companies whose names we have often seen…They are Vanguard and BlackRock. The power of these two companies is beyond your imagination. Not only do they own a large part of the stocks of nearly all big companies but also the stocks of the investors in those companies. This gives them a complete monopoly. A Bloomberg report states that both these companies in the year 2028, together will have investments in the amount of 20 trillion dollars. That means that they will own almost everything. Bloomberg calls BlackRock “The fourth branch of government”, because it’s the only private agency that closely works with the central banks.

BlackRock lends money to the central bank but it’s also the advisor. It also develops the software the central bank uses. Many BlackRock employees were in the White House with Bush and Obama. Its CEO. Larry Fink can count on a warm welcome from leaders and politicians. Not so strange, if you know that he is the front man of the ruling company but Larry Fink does not pull the strings himself. BlackRock, itself is also owned by shareholders. Who are those shareholders? We come to a strange conclusion. The biggest shareholder is Vanguard. But now he gets murky. Vanguard is a private company and we cannot see who the shareholders are.

The elite who own Vanguard apparently do not like being in the spotlight but of course they cannot hide from who is willing to dig. Reports from Oxfam and Bloomberg say that 1% of the world, together owns more money than the other 99%. Even worse, Oxfam says that 82% of all earned money in 2017 went to this 1%. In other words, these two investment companies, Vanguard and BlackRock hold a monopoly in all industries in the world and they, in turn are owned by the richest families in the world, some of whom are royalty and who have been very rich since before the Industrial Revolution. Why doesn’t everybody know this? Why aren’t there movies and documentaries about this? Why isn’t it in the news? Because 90% of the international media is owned by nine media conglomerates.

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How did we get from austerity to spending trillions?

Why The ‘Magic Money Tree’ Suddenly Appeared When Covid-19 Hit (RP)

Coronavirus has proven that austerity was a political choice and that the ‘Magic Money Tree’ really does exist, progressive economists have said. Whether it be Joe Biden’s $1.9trillion relief bill or Rishi Sunak’s £50billion furlough scheme, centrist and conservative governments have suddenly found a way to spend in the public’s interest. All it took was a pandemic. In an event for Let’s Talk It Over entitled ‘The Austerity Doctrine in the Time of Coronavirus’, Yanis Varoufakis, Stephanie Kelton, Naomi Klein and Brian Eno discussed whether the “pandemic has ended the reign of austerity as policy and mindset”. Stephanie Kelton, a former economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, said: “Everything was in a budgeting framework and then Covid happened.

“Governments started committing huge sums of money. So where does it come from? The CARE act, for example, was Congress’ way of ordering up $2.2billion from the Federal Reserve. “They can commit to spending money that they do not have. If the votes are there, then the money follows. “Almost no-one believes any longer that the ‘coffers’ can be empty. “Everyone can now see that the government no longer needs to keep its powder dry. As Kelton explains in her now famous tome, countries that print their own money can easily spend their way towards economic prosperity without any notion of paying it back – as long as the economic potential of the nation is not reached. In the US, the total federal debt is nearing $30trillion – but does it really matter? To enact austerity to ‘pay for’ a year of generous public spending would not achieve anything except for a downward economic spiral, Varoufakis said.

The former Greek Finance Minister added: “I’m calling in from the epicentre of austerity. If there was a New Deal in 2011, after we had lost 25 percent of our GDP (in the crisis), it would have been a majestic success. “But instead, we continued and had a downward spiral. “We need to have major debt restructuring at the public and private level for countries that don’t have the same privilege as the United States in printing their own money. “The nightmare of the powerful is that the weak have alternatives. So when they hear about Universal Basic Income and job creation schemes they think it will become a nightmare for them. “As oligarchs, they are following the right instincts. Using the ‘magic money tree’ to empower the power is seriously circumscribing their own power.”

In essence, the powerful adore austerity and malign public debt because anything close to Modern Monetary Theory would give working people too many alternatives, Varoufakis said. Naomi Klein claimed that tax rises after the pandemic are a necessity – but only on the rich. Modern Monetary Theory dictates that one of the roles of taxation, in addition to curbing inflation, is to reduce inequality. She explained: “In theory, we need to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy not because we need to do it, but because of the levels of inequality. “It’s also a moral hazard for the wealthy to not have to live in the mess that they made. We’ve seen the wealthy retreat into their castles, as it were, and the pandemic has made this even more apparent. “Austerity is about disciplining a workforce.”

Read more …

 

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Apr 202021
 
 April 20, 2021  Posted by at 8:23 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  67 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Don Quixote 1955

 

100 Doctors Express Opposition To Vaccinating Children (JPost)
WHO Rejects Covid Passports; Vaccines Don’t Stop Virus Transmission (RT)
World Can Bring Covid-19 Pandemic Under Control In Months – WHO Chief (RT)
‘Do Not Travel’: State Department Updates Advisory For 80% Of The World (RT)
To Conquer Nature And Death, We Have Made A New Religion Of Science (Cook)
So Wait, Russia Got Biden Elected? (Malic)
Russian Jet Intercepts US, Norwegian Patrol Aircraft (ZH)
America Can Successfully Defend Taiwan Against China – In Its Dreams (Ritter)
The $2.3 Quadrillion Global Timebomb (von Greyerz)
The Movie Follows the Script (Jim Kunstler)
Why People Are Persistently Hungry All The Time (RT)
Nils Melzer Says The Treatment Of Assange Leaves Him “Speechless” (Maurizi)

 

 

 

 

Robert Kennedy jr. on Gates and Fauci

 

 

 

 

Population Scotland 5.5 million. Covid Deaths over 10 months: 596.

 

 

“..vaccinating children is not appropriate at this time because putting even a few children at risk of unknown side effects is not worth the protection it will afford them against a disease they say is not dangerous to children.”

100 Doctors Express Opposition To Vaccinating Children (JPost)

Some 100 medical professionals have expressed opposition to vaccinating children with the coronavirus vaccine and separating between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. “We believe there is no room for vaccinating children at this time [due to] caution, modesty, the understanding that ‘haste is from the devil’; the recognition that we do not understand everything about the virus and the vaccine against it; and the first commandment of medicine: ‘First, do not harm,’” they said in a letter to the Health Ministry on Sunday. They acknowledged that the Pfizer vaccine has prevented serious coronavirus infection and mortality in children. But they said children do not usually experience severe symptoms from the coronavirus, and the long-term possible side effects of the vaccine, even if rare, would only be known after years of study.


It is also unclear how long immunity from the vaccine lasts, which variants it works against, how often booster shots will be needed and what the far-reaching implications of the periodic immunization on the immune system and the evolution of the virus could be, they wrote. The prevailing view among the scientific community is that the vaccine cannot lead to herd immunity, meaning there is no justification for vaccinating children, they added. Some Israeli health officials have said the vaccination campaign has provided Israel with herd immunity in recent weeks. The authors of the letter said vaccinating children is not appropriate at this time because putting even a few children at risk of unknown side effects is not worth the protection it will afford them against a disease they say is not dangerous to children.

Get informed!

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“..concerns that vaccinations alone won’t prevent the transmission of the virus.”

WHO Rejects Covid Passports; Vaccines Don’t Stop Virus Transmission (RT)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has staunchly rejected the use of Covid passports to reopen travel in a meeting of its emergency committee, over concerns that vaccinations alone won’t prevent the transmission of the virus. Reiterating their previously stated position on Monday, the WHO’s Emergency Committee said it opposed the use of proof of vaccination documents as a condition of international travel due to the lack of evidence over the impact of vaccination on the transmission of coronavirus. The WHO’s declaration comes amid alarm from the group over “the persistent inequity in global vaccine distribution”, with the international health body stating that Covid passports would only further promote unequal freedom of movement.


Instead, the WHO has recommended that countries impose quarantine measures for international travellers and introduce “coordinated, time-limited, risk-based and evidence-based approaches for health measures.” Concerns about the inequality that would be caused by the use of Covid passports has been sparked by wealthier nations snapping up vaccines, while poorer countries have been left without enough doses to effectively vaccinate their population. The WHO has described this growing divide between national vaccine rollouts as a “moral outrage” and “catastrophic moral failure”, demanding world leaders support a more equitable distribution of vaccines.

DeSantis

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But how? He doesn’t say.

World Can Bring Covid-19 Pandemic Under Control In Months – WHO Chief (RT)

A consistent global approach to the Covid-19 pandemic could bring it under control before the end of the year, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, despite a record week for Covid-19 infections. “We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing on Monday. The WHO chief also said the total number of new Covid-19 cases in the past seven days had increased for the eighth consecutive week, with a record 5.2 million infections reported.


“Big numbers can make us numb,” Ghebreyesus said, as he urged people not to forget that each death from the virus is a “tragedy” for families and communities. He also highlighted the “alarming” increase in infections and hospitalizations among those aged 25 to 59, “possibly” due to highly transmissible newer variants and the increased social mixing of younger generations. On Monday, the WHO’s emergency committee gave Ghebreyesus its advice on vaccines, variants, and international travel, among other coronavirus issues. The panel pushed back against Covid vaccine passport schemes, citing a lack of evidence that the jabs prevent transmission as well as ongoing global inequalities when it comes to getting hold of vaccine doses.

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“Americans who have completed immunization with FDA-approved vaccines are still considered “at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new [Covid-19] variants,”

‘Do Not Travel’: State Department Updates Advisory For 80% Of The World (RT)

Citing “unprecedented risk” from the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Department is urging Americans to reconsider going abroad and is updating its travel advisory to the highest, Level 4 warning for most of the planet. On Monday, Foggy Bottom announced that it will be updating the travel advisory during the week, to “better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) science-based Travel Health Notices,” which will result in the number of places at Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory to increase to “approximately 80% of countries worldwide.” The change does not imply a judgment on the current health situation in any given country, the State Department explained, but an “adjustment” in the travel advisory system to “rely more on CDC’s existing epidemiological assessments” and reflect “logistical factors” such as the availability of testing.


There are currently only 34 countries with a Level 4 travel warning, including war zones such as Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen; US-sanctioned countries like Venezuela, North Korea, Myanmar, Cuba and Russia; coronavirus-stricken Brazil and Argentina, and a number of African countries. The updated guidelines seem to be based on the CDC’s advisory published on Monday. Unvaccinated people are advised to delay or cancel any international travel. Americans who have completed immunization with FDA-approved vaccines are still considered “at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new [Covid-19] variants,” the CDC says.

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“The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines.”

To Conquer Nature And Death, We Have Made A New Religion Of Science (Cook)

The British scientist James Lovelock who helped model conditions on Mars for NASA so it would have a better idea how to build the first probes to land there, is still ridiculed for the Gaia hypothesis he developed in the 1970s. He understood that our planet was best not viewed as a very large lump of rock with life-forms living on it, though distinct from it. Rather Earth was as a complete, endlessly complex, delicately balanced living entity. Over billions of years, life had grown more sophisticated, but each species, from the most primitive to the most advanced, was vital to the whole, maintaining a harmony that sustained the diversity. Few listened to Lovelock. Our god-complex got the better of us. And now, as the bees and other insects disappear, everything he warned of decades ago seems far more urgent.

Through our arrogance, we are destroying the conditions for advanced life. If we don’t stop soon, the planet will dispose of us and return to an earlier stage of its evolution. It will begin again, without us, as simple flora and microbes once again begin recreating gradually – measured in aeons – the conditions favourable to higher life forms. But the abusive, mechanistic relationship we have with our planet is mirrored by the one we have with our bodies and our health. Dualism has encouraged us to think of our bodies as fleshy vehicles, which like the metal ones need regular outside intervention, from a service to a respray or an upgrade. The pandemic has only served to underscore these unwholesome tendencies. In part, the medical establishment, like all establishments, has been corrupted by the desire for power and enrichment.

Science is not some pristine discipline, free from real-world pressures. Scientists need funding for research, they have mortgages to pay, and they crave status and career advancement like everyone else. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, wrote an editorial last November warning of British state corruption that had been unleashed on a grand scale by covid-19. But it was not just politicians responsible. Scientists and health experts had been implicated too: “The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency.” He added: “The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines.”

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“..asked if he would run in 2024, Biden himself said he isn’t really thinking about it and adding, “I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you?”

So Wait, Russia Got Biden Elected? (Malic)

Announcing a series of anti-Russian measures – incorrectly called “sanctions” – last week, President Joe Biden claimed Moscow is engaging in “efforts to undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners.” Look, here’s the deal – to borrow a phrase from Biden himself – the only one doing the delegitimizing here are Americans themselves. It wasn’t ‘Russia’ that declared the 2020 election was the “most secure… in American history.” It wasn’t the Kremlin that claimed absolutely nothing had gone wrong with any votes anywhere, and anyone so much as wondering about it was evil and ought to be silenced – it was the corporate media and Biden’s Democrats. And it wasn’t VK or Telegram that rushed to do the silencing, but the very American-owned Facebook, Twitter and Google.

It’s not Russia, either, that’s currently engaged in a push to “reimagine” US politics, elections and the very system of government. That would actually be… Biden and his own party, the Democrats. The 800-page HR1, or “For The People” Act, would fundamentally transform US elections, expanding universal mail-in ballots, mandating automatic voter registration and California-style ballot harvesting, banning voter ID or updating voter rolls, taking from states the authority to draw congressional districts – and if you try challenging it in court, narrowly defines how it can be done to the point where it’s practically impossible. Just to be sure, the Democrats are now proposing to pack – “expand,” in their parlance – the US Supreme Court.

They want to appoint another four justices, and bring the ratio from the current 6:3 in favor of (nominal) ‘conservatives’ to a 7:6 ‘liberal’ majority. Never mind the SCOTUS has been the Nine since 1869, and when FDR – the closest thing to the American Caesar so far – had tried to expand the court in 1937, his own party repudiated him and refused to do so. Don’t forget the initiative to give statehood to Washington, DC – explicitly prohibited by the US Constitution – that would guarantee Democrats two more seats in the Senate. Or the fact that, asked if he would run in 2024, Biden himself said he isn’t really thinking about it and adding, “I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you?”

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Happens all the time.

Russian Jet Intercepts US, Norwegian Patrol Aircraft (ZH)

A major intercept incident between Russia and US-NATO allied aircraft has occurred over the far northern Barents Sea on Monday. “A Russian fighter jet on Monday reportedly intercepted and escorted US and Norwegian patrol aircraft,” The Hill reports. “The Russian Defense Ministry said the incident over the body of water near Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia involved a MiG-31 fighter jet,” it continued, based on initial reporting by Russia’s state-run RIA news agency. NATO member Norway shares a far northern small section of Arctic border with Russia, thus the region of the Barents Sea has always been a highly sensitive defense sector for the Kremlin, for which it keeps fighter jets at Arctic bases at ‘the ready’.


It comes as tensions are still soaring over Ukraine, and after last week a Russia MiG-31 had intercepted a US spy plane near Russia’s far northeast Kamchatka Peninsula over the Pacific Ocean. Moscow has also recently denounced the US Air Force’s additional longrange bomber presence in Norway, out of which recent missions have flown over the Baltic and North seas in a ‘message’ to Russia.

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“The culpability of this systemic incompetence is so widespread, however, that there can be no serious accounting for what has transpired.”

America Can Successfully Defend Taiwan Against China – In Its Dreams (Ritter)

The US military has deteriorated to the point that the only way it could win a simulated war game in which it was called on to defend Taiwan from a ‘Chinese invasion’ force was by inventing capabilities it does not yet possess. In 2018 and 2019, the US Air Force conducted detailed simulated war games that had its forces square off against those of China. On both occasions, the US was decisively defeated, the first time challenging the Chinese in the South China Sea, and the second time defending Taiwan – which China sees as an integral part of its territory – against a Chinese invasion. In 2020, the US repeated the Taiwan scenario, and won – but only barely. The difference? In both 2018 and 2019, it played with the resources it had on hand.

Last year, it gave itself a host of new technologies and capabilities that are either not in production or aren’t even planned for development. In short, the exercise was as far removed from reality as it could get. The fact is the US can only successfully defend Taiwan from a full-scale Chinese invasion in its dreams. What the current war games underscored is that, as currently configured, equipped, and deployed, the US Air Force lacks the required combination of lethality and sustainability necessary to wage full-scale conventional conflict against a peer-level foe. The mix of aircraft currently in the US Air Force inventory was unable to ‘compete’ in the war game – even the current model of F-35 was excluded as not being up to the task of fighting and surviving against the Chinese military.

[..] Today, with the political decision having been made to depart Afghanistan, and a similar decision being brooded regarding Iraq and its corollary conflict, Syria, the US military is a fundamentally broken institution. It lost its ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East and Southwest Asia by not winning. As such, the senior leadership at the helm of the US military has been conditioned to accept defeat as de rigueur; it comes with the territory, a reality explained away by lying – either to yourself, your superiors, or both. Too many successful careers were created on the backs of lies repackaged as truth, of defeats sold as victories, as deficits portrayed as assets. In many ways, the recently concluded US Air Force war game is a byproduct of this psychosis – an exercise in self-delusion, in which reality is replaced by a fictional world where everything works as planned, even if it does not exist.

The US Air Force cannot wage a successful war against China today. Nor can it do so against Russia. Its ability to sustain a successful air campaign against either Iran or North Korea is likewise questionable. This is the kind of reality that would, in a world where facts mattered, cost a lot of senior people their jobs, in uniform and out. The culpability of this systemic incompetence is so widespread, however, that there can be no serious accounting for what has transpired. Instead, the US Air Force, having been confronted by the reality of its shortcomings, ‘invents’ a victory. In and of itself, this ‘victory’ is meaningless. If China were to invade Taiwan, there is literally nothing short of employing nuclear weapons the US could do to stop it. But by ‘beating’ China using fictional resources, the US Air Force has created a blueprint of procurement that will define its budgetary requests for the next decade.

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“..account managers and traders can bet billions on a daily basis with no skin in the game but massive potential upside if nothing goes wrong.”

The $2.3 Quadrillion Global Timebomb (von Greyerz)

As I warned in last week’s article on Archegos and Credit Suisse, investment banks have created a timebomb with the $1.5 quadrillion derivatives monster. A few years ago, the BIS (Bank of International Settlement) in Basel reduced the $1.5 quadrillion to $600 trillion with a pen stroke. But the real gross figure was still $1.5q at the time. According to my sources, the real figure today is probably over $2 quadrillion. A major part of the outstanding derivatives are OTC (over the counter) and hidden in off balance sheet special purpose vehicles. The $30 billion in Archegos derivatives that went up in smoke over a weekend is just the tip of the iceberg. The hedge fund Archegos lost everything and the normal uber-leveraged players Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Nomura etc lost at least $30 billion.

These investment banks are making casino bets that they can’t afford to lose. What their boards and top management don’t realise or understand is that the traders, supported by easily manipulated risk managers, are betting the bank on a daily basis. Most of these ludicrously high bets are in the derivatives market. The management doesn’t understand how they work or what the risks are and the account managers and traders can bet billions on a daily basis with no skin in the game but massive potential upside if nothing goes wrong. But we are now entering an era when things will go wrong. The leverage is just too high and the bets totally out of proportion to the equity. Just take the notorious Deutsche Bank (DB) that has outstanding derivatives of €37 trillion against total equity of €62 billion.

Thus the derivatives position is 600X the equity. Or to put it in a different way, the equity is 0.17% of the outstanding derivatives. So a loss of 0.2% on the derivatives will wipe the share capital and the bank out! Now the DB risk managers will argue that the net derivatives position is just a fraction of the €37 trillion at €20 billion. That is of course nonsense as we saw with Archegos when a few banks let $30 billion over a weekend. Derivatives can only be netted down on the basis that counterparties pay up. But in a real systemic crisis, counterparties will disappear and gross exposure will remain gross. So all that netting doesn’t stand up to real scrutiny. But it is typical for today’s casino banking world when depositors, shareholders and governments take all the downside risk and the management all the upside.

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“The video has the status of a religious icon, portraying, as it seems to, the vivid distillation of the black experience in America..”

The Movie Follows the Script (Jim Kunstler)

Former police officer Chauvin is charged with Murder 2, Murder 3, and Manslaughter all predicated on varying degrees of intention and recklessness in the death of George Floyd, the internationally acclaimed saint-of-oppressed-peoples who died under Mr. Chauvin’s knee in an indelible video shared ‘round the world last May. The video has the status of a religious icon, portraying, as it seems to, the vivid distillation of the black experience in America: pure, unalloyed, hateful, murderous subjugation. The trouble is what’s not in the indelible picture: Mr. Floyd’s prodigious ingestion of the world’s hardest narcotic, fentanyl, at a level likely to cause death, plus methedrine, plus THC, on top of a 90-percent blockage of a coronary artery, and other cardiopathies, and Covid-19, all according to the official medical examiner.

Also, as it happened in the instance of his arrest, Mr. Floyd was failing to follow police instructions, and acting dangerously deranged — behavior apt to lead to police restraint, under which he died, rest his soul. So, now it will be left to the jury to sort all this out, under the threat of getting “doxed” (having their home addresses disclosed) by the Black Lives Matter org, as well as following the $27-million lawsuit settlement on the Floyd family for “wrongful death” by the Minneapolis City Council before the trial commenced — not exactly a propitious lead-in for a fair outcome. One might even view the public expressions of black opinion leaders and politicians as coercive — but then coercion is the animating spirit of liberal Wokery, the wish and the will to punish at all costs.

In any case, the fine spring weather around the country invites the young and energetic to caper angrily in the streets after a harsh winter of lockdowns. The mobs will turn out, things will burn, businesses will get looted (and destroyed), and people will get hurt. So it will be for two reasons: groups of people follow social scripts and societies give tacit permission for the acting-out of feelings — in this case, feelings of grievance that demand retribution and vengeance. What’s actually at issue here is whether black people in America really want to join with the other ethnic groups present in the land in a national common culture — that is, a consensus about behavior, ceremonies, and manners — or would rather opt out of it, oppose it, or violently destroy what’s left of it.

Chauvin judge

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Blood glucose.

Why People Are Persistently Hungry All The Time (RT)

A study between multiple universities has revisited the link between blood sugar and appetite, and found the relationship is far more complex than previously understood, yielding new insights on how to tame persistent hunger. The researchers examined blood sugar responses and other indicators from 1,070 participants in the UK and the US, sourcing data from the PREDICT (Personalised REsponses to DIetary Composition Trial) nutrition research project. The volunteers ate standardised breakfasts, after which they were free to choose their remaining meals throughout the remainder of the day, observing a fasting window for three hours after breakfast. They continuously wore blood glucose monitors and recorded what and when they ate each day using a phone app, along with their self-reported hunger levels, over the study period of two weeks.


The researchers discovered that dips in blood glucose levels, aka “sugar dips,” were significantly linked with appetite levels and energy intake/calorie consumption. Participants with big blood sugar dips experienced a nine percent increase in appetite, consumed their second meal of the day half an hour sooner, and posted an overall average consumption of 300 calories more throughout the course of the day, than those who didn’t experience these sugar dips. The research shows “great potential for helping people understand and control their weight and long-term health,” says senior author and genetic epidemiologist Ana Valdes from the University of Nottingham. “Many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off, and just a few hundred extra calories every day can add up to several pounds of weight gain over a year.”

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“When you visited him, he told you: Please, save my life. What does he have in common with other victims of torture?”

Nils Melzer Says The Treatment Of Assange Leaves Him “Speechless” (Maurizi)

He deals with torture victims on a daily basis, so he is not easily shocked by abuses. And yet, he says, he is ‘speechless’ when it comes to the case of Julian Assange. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, has just published a book in German: “Der Fall Julian Assange”, which reconstructs his investigation based on exclusive documents. He tells Il Fatto Quotidiano what he has discovered and what he thinks is likely to happen. What made a Special Rapporteur on Torture work on the Assange case and write a book on it?

“When Julian Assange was still at the embassy in December 2018, his legal team actually reached out to my office. I remember it was just before Christmas, I saw this message pop up on my screen and I swiped it away immediately. I had this intuitive reaction: what does that guy want? He’s a rapist, a narcissist, a hacker, this isn’t serious, so I just discarded it. I have around 15 requests per day, and I can do one, it’s very routine for me to decide quickly, but I remember those negative emotions I had, that I usually don’t have. Three months later his lawyers came back to me in March 2019, and they also sent me Dr. Sondra Crosby’s medical assessment. And I knew Dr. Crosby was a big name as an independent medical expert, who was not associated with Assange activists.

I read these objective assessments by Dr. Crosby, by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, I also read an article by James Goodale the Pentagon Papers man. I realised that I had strong prejudices against Assange, even though it’s my profession as a Human Rights expert to be objective. I started investigating further, scratching the surface of this case. The deeper I got into the case, the more dirt and contradictions came to the light. I also knew that I could not rely on information in the media and in the press, because that’s precisely the source that had deceived me in the first place. To be objective, I had to go visit him in prison, and, to be sure, I took not one medical doctor, but even two medical doctors with me, who are independent from each other and are not employed by the UN; they work as external experts for the International Criminal Court, the International Committee of the Red Cross and so on.

We spent 4 hours with Julian Assange, I spoke to him for one hour, and the forensic expert had one hour for a physical examination, and the psychiatrist did a two-hour psychiatric examination. Each medical examination was done separately from the other, so they wouldn’t influence each other. All three of us at the end compared our conclusions and agreed that he showed all the signs that are typical of victims of psychological torture. I must admit that I didn’t expect such a clear result. I reported back to the involved governments by the end of May. I was convinced Julian Assange had been deliberately persecuted and kept in a legal limbo in Sweden, in the US, in the UK and everywhere to put him under pressure and to make him crack. It was done very publicly, in order to make an example of him, to scare other investigative journalists. The message was: ‘If you expose our dirty secrets, this is what is going to happen to you, and no one can protect you. We can violate your rights every day the way we want and no one can do anything about it.’

[..] When you visited him, he told you: Please, save my life. What does he have in common with other victims of torture? “Torture is used for a wide range of purposes. There is the classic context of interrogations, the other one is torture to intimidate, like when they come to a village and they rape a woman in the village square, in front of everybody, it’s not as much to punish her, as it is to intimidate the population. That’s a very common purpose of torture, even more common than interrogation, and that’s what they are doing with Assange. In a modern democratic society they are not doing it by flogging, but they are doing it using the psychological method, by excluding him from society, by defaming him, by humiliating him in the media, in the press. Think of the witch trials in the 17th century, when those women were stripped naked and paraded around the city and everyone spat at them, that’s a bit what they are doing with Assange.

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Apr 192021
 


Theodoros Vryzakis The Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi 1861

 

How Pfizer Became the Status Vax (Slate)
Michigan Now Requires Masks For 2-Year-Olds (JTN)
Trial To Study Effect Of Immune System On Covid Reinfection (G.)
Biden’s Sanctions Binge The High-Water Mark Of The ‘Putin Whisperers’ (Ritter)
Escobar: So Who Wants A Hot War?
Russia Tells 20 Czech Diplomats To Leave By Monday Night (RT)
Black Leaders Warn Of Fallout If Derek Chauvin Acquitted (F.)
3 Kids Or More: Chinese Researchers Call To Abandon Birth Limits (RT)
China Calls Bitcoin An ‘Investment Alternative’ In Major Shift In Tone (CNBC)
UK House Prices Surge As High Demand Meets Record Shortage (G.)
Gates Unhinged: Dystopian Vision for the Future of Food (Todhunter)
Lord Byron’s £4,000 Cheque That Helped Create Modern Greece (G.)

 

 

BioNTech SEC Filing, November 2020:

“mRNA therapies have been classified as gene therapy medicinal products”
“Currently, mRNA is considered a gene therapy product by the FDA.”

 

 

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

Article 6 – Consent
1. Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned. “The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.”

 

 

VAERS injury report #1074247 caused by Pfizer vaxx:

Symptoms: Death
Life threatening: No

 

 

 

 

Madness in all its glory.

How Pfizer Became the Status Vax (Slate)

Last week, on a phone call with Tom Cox, a former representative in the Kansas state Legislature who now works in government relations, I told him I was soon to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. “Welcome to the ruling class,” he replied. Cox had also gotten the Pfizer shot, and with it, he has lately developed—facetiously, he swears—a sense of Pfizer superiority. It started after he, his closest friends, and his immediate family all happened to get the Pfizer vaccine. “We started calling ourselves ‘double-dosed Pfizer elites,’ ” Cox said. “I will refer to anyone who’s had one dose as a ‘one-doser.’ Like, ‘Oh, you’re a one-doser? OK, well, you’ll reach this enlightened plane soon enough.’ ”

“One of my cousins got Moderna, and I was like, ‘That’s OK. We need a strong middle class. We can’t all be CEOs.’ ” Cox is likely not the first Pfizerphile you’ve heard sing his vaccine brand’s praises. Pro-Pfizer sentiment is all over TikTok, where you can find skits of bros bonding over their shared Pfizer status, or one creator declaring that the name itself “Sounds rich. Decadent. Luxury!” Olajide Bamishigbin, a psychology professor in California, was on a similar wavelength recently when he tweeted a GIF of SpongeBob SquarePants dressed in a top hat and monocle alongside the words, “Me when somebody says they got any vaccine other than Pfizer.”

The Pfizer superiority complex is at once a joke and a real phenomenon. But is it affecting the vaccine rollout? “Even though I think that we have this instinct that’s out there”—the belief that Pfizer is the elite shot—“it still feels more playful than really driving outcomes,” said Manuel Hermosilla, a professor of marketing at Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School who studies the pharmaceutical industry. He said he thinks people understand that getting whatever vaccine you can should trump any brand preference—though it’s unclear how this week’s news about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could change that equation. On Tuesday, U.S. health agencies recommended a pause in administration of the J&J vaccine, after six women developed a rare blood clot disorder within weeks of receiving the shot. In all likelihood, this pause will be temporary.

With the blood clot scare in the news, it may seem an uncouth time to be a Pfizer snob. Objectively, the Pfizer vaccine may have the best numbers, with an efficacy rate originally reported as 95 percent. But with a 94 percent efficacy rate, the Moderna vaccine was right behind it, and J&J’s efficacy rate of 66 percent was actually quite good, if you understand what the numbers mean. And the J&J shot has one big advantage on the other two, which is that it can be administered in one dose instead of two. Once you’re able to get it again.

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Utter madness.

Michigan Now Requires Masks For 2-Year-Olds (JTN)

The Michigan state government this week directed state residents as young as two years old to begin wearing masks in the hopes that doing so will help bring down the state’s coronavirus numbers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release on Friday that the state will expand its COVID-19 response — what the state DHHS calls “the strongest public health order in the Midwest” — to apply its masking requirement “to children ages 2 to 4” in order to “further protect the state’s residents.” “Expanding the mask rule to children ages 2 to 4 requires a good faith effort to ensure that these children wear masks while in gatherings at childcare facilities or camps,” the announcement says, adding that the order “follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.”

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Also brought to you by Pfizer?

Trial To Study Effect Of Immune System On Covid Reinfection (G.)

The immune response needed to protect people against reinfection with the coronavirus will be explored in a new human challenge trial, researchers have revealed. Human challenge trials involve deliberately exposing healthy people to a disease-causing organism in a carefully controlled manner, and have proved valuable in understanding and tackling myriad conditions from malaria to tuberculosis and gonorrhoea. The first human challenge trials for Covid began this year, with the study – a partnership led by researchers at Imperial College London among others – initially looking at the smallest amount of virus needed to cause infection among people who have not had Covid before.

Now researchers at the University of Oxford have announced that they have gained research ethics approval for a new human challenge trial involving people who have previously had coronavirus. Recruitment is expected to start in the next couple of weeks. “The point of this study is to determine what kind of immune response prevents reinfection,” said Helen McShane, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, and chief investigator on the study. McShane said the team would measure the levels of various components of participants’ immune response – including T-cells and antibodies – and then track whether participants became reinfected when exposed to the virus.

Participants must be healthy, at low risk from Covid, aged between 18 and 30, and must have been infected with the coronavirus at least three months before joining the trial. As well as having previously had a positive Covid PCR test, they must also have antibodies to Covid. Given the timing criteria, McShane said it was likely most participants would have previously been infected with the original strain of the virus. The first phase of the trial will initially involve 24 participants split into dose groups of three to eight people who will receive, via the nose, the original strain of coronavirus. The idea is to start with a very low dose and, if necessary, increase the dose – up to a point – between groups.

“Our target is to have 50% of our subjects infected but with no, or only very mild, disease,” said McShane, adding that once the dose required to achieve this is determined it will be administered to 10-40 other participants to confirm the dose. The second phase of the study – expected to start in the summer – will involve a new group of participants and will study closely their immune response before and after exposure to the virus, as well as the level of virus and symptoms in those who become reinfected. Should reinfection be confirmed, or symptoms develop, in either phase of the trial, participants will be given a monoclonal antibody treatment. Participants will be reimbursed just under £5,000 for the full study, as each volunteer will need to quarantine for at least 17 days during the trial, and be followed up for 12 months.

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Must read by Scott Ritter, history lesson. I still wonder why Yeltsin appointed Putin. People say it’s because he thought he’d be pliable. But did he not maybe regret having sold out his country, and knew very well who and what Putin was?

Biden’s Sanctions Binge The High-Water Mark Of The ‘Putin Whisperers’ (Ritter)

Joe Biden has announced a new wave of sanctions against Russia and signalled the potential for more. Biden’s mouth is writing checks the US can’t cash, and his latest tantrum is likely the last gasp of failed anti-Russia strategy. Back in the Cold War, the US and Soviet Union wore “big-boy pants” – they understood the realities of the world they lived in and accepted the consequences of their respective actions like adults. Espionage was a given; when you succeeded, you kept your mouth shut, and when you were caught, you took your lumps in silence. What underpinned this approach was the kind of begrudging respect that professionals of equal stature afford to one another – each side had a job to do, and they got on with it.

Both sides were engaged in active propaganda, some overt, much of it covert. This ideological combat was waged in the battlefield of the minds of intellectuals and activists, who were entrusted to decide for themselves which brand of idealism they would embrace. The CIA underwrote such notable literary journals such as The Paris Review and Encounter, while Soviet efforts to infiltrate the Black Civil Rights movement and the anti-war movement of the 1960’s are well documented. And yet, throughout this war of words, Kennedy somehow met with Khrushchev, Nixon and Carter with Brezhnev, and Reagan with Gorbachev. We opposed the Soviets, but we also respected them as worthy opponents. This attitude changed, almost overnight, with the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, and the end of the Cold War.

The successor to the once mighty Soviet Union was the Russian Federation, which had been transformed from a world power capable of dictating global outcomes to a regional train wreck, in desperate need of foreign assistance to keep it from falling apart. Inside the CIA, the once all-powerful Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA), the largest and most prestigious fiefdom within the Directorate of Intelligence, was dissolved, replaced by the more generic sounding “Office of Slavic and Eurasian analysis”, and later, the Office of Russian and European analysis. Old-time analysts who had spent decades studying the Soviet Union were dismissed or reassigned, replaced by a new breed, who viewed Russia not as an adversary to be respected, but a victim to be exploited.

Moscow Station – the CIA operation inside the Soviet Union – was likewise gutted, transforming overnight from the premier posting for the agency’s most capable case officers into a backwater where new officers were sent to cut their baby teeth and old officers to retire. The CIA’s approach to Russia in the 1990’s was one of negligent incompetence, where analysis was lazy and operations virtually non-existent. The demand for high quality intelligence simply did not exist in an environment where the Russian government, in the form of an alcoholic president named Boris Yeltsin, had completely subordinated himself to the will of his American masters, and the Russian national security establishment was more than happy to sell its secrets to anyone willing to pay a price.

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“Now listen to the sound of Stoltenberg yappin’: We pledge “unwavering support” to Ukraine. Woof woof. Now go back to play in your sandboxes.”

Escobar: So Who Wants A Hot War?

Zelensky’s warmongering script comes directly from MI6’s Richard Moore. Russian intel is very much aware of all the fine print. Glimpses were even carefully leaked to a TV special on the Rossiya 1 channel. I confirmed it with diplomatic sources in Brussels. British media also got wind of it – but obviously was told to further distort the mirrors, blaming everything on, what else, “Russian aggression”. German intel is practically non-existent in Kiev. Those NATO advisers remain legion. Yet no one talks about the explosive MI6 connection. Careless whispers in Brussels corridors swear that MI6 actually believes that in the case of a volcanic but as it stands still preventable hot war with Russia, continental Europe would burn and Brexitland would be spared.

Dream on. Now back to the circus. Both Little Blinken and NATO straw man Stoltenberg parroted the same script in Brussels after talking to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. That was part of a NATO “special meeting” on Ukraine – where some Eurocrat must have told a bunch of extra clueless Eurocrats how they would be carbonized on the spot by Russian TOS-1 Buratino’s terrifying explosive warheads if NATO tried anything funny. Listen to the sound of Blinken yappin’: Russian actions are “provocative”. Well, his staff certainly did not hand him a copy of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu examining step by step the deployment of the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21: “The main forces are concentrated in the Black Sea and Baltic region.”

Now listen to the sound of Stoltenberg yappin’: We pledge “unwavering support” to Ukraine. Woof woof. Now go back to play in your sandboxes. No, not yet. Little Blinken threatened Moscow with “consequences” whatever happens in Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov’s infinite patience is nearly Daoist. Sun Tzu’s Art of War, by the way, is a Daoist masterpiece. Peskov’s answer to Blinken: “It is simply not necessary for us to go around forever proclaiming: ‘I am the greatest!’ The more one does this sort of thing, in fact, the more people doubt it…” When in doubt, call the irreplaceable Andrei Martyanov – who always tells it like it is. The Crash Test Dummy gang in D.C. still does not get it – although some Deep State pros do.

Here’s Martyanov: As I am on record constantly – the United States never fought a war with its Command and Control system under the relentless sustained fire impact and its rear attacked and disorganized. Conventionally, the United States cannot win against Russia in Europe, at least Eastern part of it and Biden Admin better wake up to the reality that it may, indeed, not survive any kind of escalation and, in fact, modern Kalibrs, 3M14Ms, as a matter of fact, have a range of a 4,500 kilometers, as well as 5,000+ kilometer range of X-101 cruise missiles, which will have no issues with penetrating North American airspace when launched by Russia’s strategic bombers without even leaving the safety of Russia’s airspace.

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Can’t get over that crazy story of the same guys and fake passports being used in 2014, and then again in the 2018 Skripal case. How stupid does MI6 think we all are?

Russia Tells 20 Czech Diplomats To Leave By Monday Night (RT)

Twenty Czech diplomats have been declared personae non-gratae and must now leave Russia before the end of April 19, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, a day after Czech officials expelled 18 diplomats to Moscow. Earlier on Sunday, the Czech ambassador to Moscow, Vítezslav Pivonka, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, which expressed a “strong protest” over Prague’s actions this weekend. Citing allegations of the involvement of the Russian intelligence in a 2014 blast at a military depot in the Czech Republic, which was initially thought to be an accident, the Czech government ordered 18 Russian diplomats out of the country. The decision was announced on Saturday by Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek.

The envoy was also informed that 20 staff members of the Czech embassy in Moscow would have to leave Russia by the end of Monday, April 19. Reports in the media on Saturday cited diplomatic sources as having said that a proportionate retaliation from Moscow would effectively shut down the embassy, but it was not immediately clear how severely the work of the diplomatic mission has actually been affected. Notably, the diplomatic scandal rocked Czech-Russian relations on the eve of FM Hamacek’s scheduled visit to Moscow, where he was to have discussed the possible purchase of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The breakdown in relations has also disrupted Russian-Czech cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

On Sunday, Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlicek said Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, would likely be barred from tendering for renovating the Czech Republic’s Dukovany nuclear power plant. Also on Saturday, Czech police said they were looking for two Russian citizens who were in the area of the military depot at the time of the blast, apparently implying their involvement without directly saying so. The news was met with much ridicule in Russia, as the suspects are the same men who were accused by London of the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018 – an allegation denied by Moscow. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have previously denied any links to Russian intelligence, claiming they were businessmen and complaining that Britain’s unsubstantiated accusations had ruined their lives.

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These people don’t appear to have much faith in the US justice system. But how is this not an attempt at jury tampering? Dangerous. “If you don’t find him guilty, there’ll be riots”. What happened to everyone has a right to a fair trial?

Black Leaders Warn Of Fallout If Derek Chauvin Acquitted (F.)

As a verdict nears in the trial of Derek Chauvin amid renewed outrage over police killings, multiple Black leaders involved in calls for reform are emphasizing the necessity that the former Minneapolis Police officer be convicted for George Floyd’s death—and warning of the fallout if he is not. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the families of Floyd and Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old fatally shot by Minnesota police last week, told ABC News’s “This Week” the American legal system will have “once again … broken our hearts” if Chauvin is acquitted on murder and manslaughter charges.

“We cannot condone this inhumanity America, we cannot condone this evil that we saw on that video [of Floyd’s arrest],” Crump said during the Sunday morning interview, warning that if the trial’s outcome doesn’t set a new precedent, “people are going to continue having these emotional protests.” Also speaking during a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who has been working on a bipartisan policing reform bill, said she’s anticipating outrage if Chauvin is acquitted on all three counts, adding: “We’ve seen people get off with minimal sentences” in “too many of these cases.” “I don’t think anyone in Minneapolis, frankly anyone in the U.S., and over a good part of the world, would understand any verdict other than guilty,” Bass said.


This comes after fellow Calif. Rep. Maxine Waters (D), speaking at a Saturday night rally in Brooklyn Center, where Wright’s shooting has sparked nearly a week of protests, urged demonstrators to “get more active” and “more confrontational” if Chauvin isn’t found guilty of murder. “We cannot let these killings continue,” Waters told a crowd of protesters. “If nothing does not happen, we know we’ve got to not only stay in the streets but we’ve got to fight for justice. But I am very hopeful… that we will get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty. If we do not, we will not go away.”

Maxine Waters

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What a difference a generation makes. But the effects of the one child policy will reverberate for many generations. If only because everyone wanted their one child to be a boy.

3 Kids Or More: Chinese Researchers Call To Abandon Birth Limits (RT)

China must “fully liberalize” its birth-control policy to increase its labor force in the upcoming decades and compete with such countries as the US economically, a paper published by the People’s Bank of China says.
Beijing should pay close attention to the fact that the country’s birth rate is declining, while its population is aging fast, the researchers argued. The research, which was published this week by China’s central bank as part of its working paper series, suggests that the country’s main economic rival, the US, is undergoing “favorable changes” in working population rates, largely through mass immigration. Based on statistics and forecasts by the United Nations – which might even overestimate China’s reproduction rate, according to the researchers – the report suggests that in the next three decades, China’s population will decrease by some 32 million people.

At the same time, US may add 50 million people to its population by 2050. Furthermore, the researchers warned that China’s labor force is set to shrink, while the US will see an expansion. And unlike China, the US will have the benefit of “skilled immigration.” While China had 70.6% of its population in the labor force as of 2019, compared with the US rate of 65.2%, that advantage is predicted to drop to 3.2 percentage points from 5.4 percentage points by 2035, the paper said. By 2050, the US will swing to a 1.3 percentage-point advantage over China in the labor-force rate, the authors predicted, adding: “For [China] to narrow the gap with the United States in the past four decades, it relied on cheap labor and huge numbers of people… What will we rely on in the next 30 years? This is worth our thoughts.”

[..] The authors argued that China’s government must quickly change its family-planning policies: “Our country must clearly recognize the changes in the situation… firmly seize the precious time window, change concepts, comprehensively implement policies, and respond effectively.” Beijing “must fully liberalize childbirth” allowing “three births and above,” the paper said. In fact, women should be encouraged to have more babies, the researchers added, calling on both the government and society to create a “good reproductive environment,” improving childbirth, healthcare and school systems.

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Xi concedes defeat?

China Calls Bitcoin An ‘Investment Alternative’ In Major Shift In Tone (CNBC)

China’s central bank is now calling bitcoin an “investment alternative” — marking a significant shift in Beijing’s tone after a crackdown on cryptocurrency issuance and trading nearly four years ago. Industry insiders called the comments “progressive” and are watching closely for any regulatory changes made by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). “We regard Bitcoin and stablecoin as crypto assets … These are investment alternatives,” Li Bo, deputy governor of the PBOC, said on Sunday during a panel hosted by CNBC at the Boao Forum for Asia. “They are not currency per se. And so the main role we see for crypto assets going forward, the main role is investment alternative.”


[..] China was once one of the world’s largest buyers of bitcoin. But in 2017, China banned so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), a way to raise money for crypto companies by issuing digital tokens. That same year, authorities shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges. The moves were prompted by concerns about financial stability. As investment alternatives, “many countries, including China, are still looking into it and thinking about what kind of regulatory requirements. Maybe minimal, but we need to have some kind of regulatory requirement to prevent … the speculation of such assets to create any serious financial stability risks,” Li said. He added that the central bank will keep its current regulations on cryptocurrencies.

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They’re just sucking even more people into overpriced “properties”, wage slaves for life. PredaTORY.

UK House Prices Surge As High Demand Meets Record Shortage (G.)

A frenzy of activity has driven UK property prices to a record high this month, just as the government launches a mortgage guarantee scheme to help people with small deposits on to the housing ladder. Online property portal Rightmove said the average asking price jumped by 2.1% in April to a new all-time high of £327,797, an increase of £6,733 from March. The surge was driven by a shortage of houses on the market, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is driving many families to search for more spacious properties away from the cities, following the shift to working from home. Some potential sellers are holding off until they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, agents say, adding to a dearth of properties available. From Monday, several banks and building societies will begin offering mortgages covering 95% of a purchase price under the government guarantee scheme.


Announced in March’s budget, it will allow lenders to buy a guarantee on the portion of the mortgage between 80% and 95%. The government will then cover losses on that slice of debt if a borrower gets into financial difficulty and their property is repossessed. Ministers say it will provide an affordable route to home ownership, with Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, HSBC and NatWest launching mortgages under the scheme on Monday. “Every new homeowner and mover supports jobs right across the housing sector, but saving for a big enough deposit can be hard, especially for first-time buyers,” said the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. “By giving lenders the option of a government guarantee on 95% mortgages, many more products will become available, boosting the sector, creating new jobs and helping people achieve their dream of owning their own home.”

Read more …

“There is no global shortage of food.”

Gates Unhinged: Dystopian Vision for the Future of Food (Todhunter)

There is no global shortage of food. Even under any plausible future population scenario, there will be no shortage as evidenced by scientist Dr Jonathan Latham in his recent paper ‘The Myth of a Food Crisis’. However, new gene drive and gene editing techniques have now been developed and the industry is seeking the unregulated commercial release of products that are based on these methods. It does not want plants, animals and micro-organisms created with gene-editing to be subject to safety checks, monitoring or consumer labelling. This is concerning given the real dangers that these techniques pose. Many peer-reviewed research papers now call into question industry claims about the ‘precision’, safety and benefits of gene-edited organisms and can be accessed on the GMWatch.org website.

It really is a case of old wine in new bottles. And this is not lost on a coalition of 162 civil society, farmers and business organisations which has called on Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans to ensure that new genetic engineering techniques continue to be regulated in accordance with existing EU GMO standards. The coalition argues that these new techniques can cause a range of unwanted genetic modifications that can result in the production of novel toxins or allergens or in the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. The open letter adds that even intended modifications can result in traits which could raise food safety, environmental or animal welfare concerns.

The European Court of Justice ruled in 2018 that organisms obtained with new genetic modification techniques must be regulated under the EU’s existing GMO laws. However, there has been intense lobbying from the agriculture biotech industry to weaken the legislation, aided by the Gates Foundation. The coalition states that various scientific publications show that new techniques of genetic modification allow developers to make significant genetic changes, which can be very different from those that happen in nature.

In addition to these concerns, a new paper from Chinese scientists, ‘Herbicide Resistance: Another Hot Agronomic Trait for Plant Genome Editing’, says that, in spite of claims from GMO promoters that gene editing will be climate-friendly and reduce pesticide use, what we can expect is just more of the same – GM herbicide-tolerant crops and increased herbicide use. The industry wants its new techniques to be unregulated, thereby making gene-edited GMOs faster to develop, more profitable and hidden from consumers when purchasing items in stores. At the same time, the costly herbicide treadmill will be reinforced for farmers.

Read more …

What a life. What a man. And what a poet.

Lord Byron’s £4,000 Cheque That Helped Create Modern Greece (G.)

Racked by fever, prone to fits of delirium, consumed by his last great passion – the liberation of Greece – Lord Byron lay on his sickbed. It was 18 April 1824. The great Romantic poet would be dead the next day. “I have given her [Greece] my time, my means, my health,” he is recorded as saying in a moment of lucidity. “And now I give her my life! What could I do more?” Byron’s death in Missolonghi, the malaria-ridden town where he had spearheaded the Greeks’ revolt against Ottoman rule, induced instant shock, convulsing the English-speaking world. The man who was “mad, bad and dangerous to know”, a celebrity of his day who was loved and loathed in equal measure, had spent a mere 100 days in the land whose freedom he had championed so vociferously.


“The loss of this illustrious individual is undoubtedly to be deplored by all Greece,” its provisional government declared hours after the news filtered through. “But it must be more especially a subject of lamentation at Missolonghi, where his generosity has been so conspicuously displayed.” As Greece celebrates the bicentenary of its war of independence, a banknote unearthed by the Observer in the country’s state archives sheds new light on the poet’s fabled generosity. It also offers indelible proof of his commitment to the Greek cause. In the cheque Byron stipulates that £4,000 – roughly £332,000 today – be paid to Giovanni Orlando, a representative of the provisional government that, alarmed by the way the war was going, had approached the British peer for funds.


Note of exchange for £4,000 signed by Lord Byron. Photograph: General State Archives of Greece

The money was to go towards emergency needs – notably financing a fleet to defend Missolonghi from besieging Ottoman Albanians. Both sides agreed it would be repaid against a much bigger loan to be raised in London where Orlando was headed.[..] Byron agreed to the loan in Kefalonia, part of the British-run Ionian Islands where the poet and his coterie of fellow travellers had stopped on their way to Greece. The cheque, subsequently cashed in Malta, was taken in the form of silver Spanish dollars and transported in trunks to Missolonghi by the poet. The money was then used to fund fighting ships run as a commercial enterprise by profit-minded Greek islanders. “The demand came from the legislative body,” wrote Pietro Gamba, the Italian count who was with Byron throughout the ill-fated expedition and had witnessed the exchange in Kefalonia in November 1823. “A squadron of 14 vessels, nine Hydriot and five Speziot, would then immediately put to sea.”

Read more …

 

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Apr 182021
 
 April 18, 2021  Posted by at 8:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Green Wheat Field With Cypress 1889

 

Viral Sequence Suggests Coronavirus Jumped Between Hotel Rooms (G.)
The Blood-Clot Problem Is Multiplying (Atl.)
UK Church Leaders Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ Vaccine Passport Plans (G.)
Denying the Demonic (Edward Curtin)
Ukrainian Envoy: NATO or Nuclear Weapons (Antiwar)
US Laments ‘Unwanted Escalation’ & Warns It Reserves Right To Retaliate (RT)
Czech Govt Expels 18 Russian Diplomats Over 2014 Blast (Y!)
Macron Urges ‘Clear Red Lines’ With Russia Amid Buildup Near Ukraine (Y!)
Russia, Ukraine Expel Diplomats As Tensions Soar (Y!)
CNN Viewership Down By Half Since Biden Took Office (ZH)
Biden Describes Border Surge As ‘Crisis’ For First Time (JTN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Florida: No lockdowns or masks
• Texas: Ended lockdowns, restrictions and mask mandates on 10th March 2021
• California: Full lockdown and mask mandate

 

 

What type of ventilation do they have?

Viral Sequence Suggests Coronavirus Jumped Between Hotel Rooms (G.)

Covid-19 appears to have jumped between neighbouring rooms in hotel quarantine in Sydney after seven cases of people arriving from different countries were revealed to have the same viral sequence. NSW Health said today that it had been notified on Friday that the returned travellers had the same viral sequence. The cases may have to be reclassified as locally acquired. The seven cases came from two family groups who arrived from different countries on different days. They stayed in adjacent rooms on the 12th floor of the Adina Apartments Hotel at Sydney’s Town Hall.


Staff who worked on the floor when the original case was believed to have been infectious – between 8 and 11 April – are self-isolating. NSW Health said all security staff who worked on the 12th floor at the time had had at least one vaccination. Other people in quarantine on the 12th floor at the time have all been retested and returned negative results.

Read more …

It’s certainly growing. Interesting: the producers have all received immunity. But how about the governments that push these things onto their people?

The Blood-Clot Problem Is Multiplying (Atl.)

For weeks, Americans looked on as other countries grappled with case reports of rare, sometimes fatal blood abnormalities among those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. That vaccine has not yet been authorized by the FDA, so restrictions on its use throughout Europe did not get that much attention in the United States. But Americans experienced a rude awakening this week when public-health officials called for a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after a few cases of the same, unusual blood-clotting syndrome turned up among the millions of people in the country who have received it.

The world is now engaged in a vaccination program unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes, and with it, unprecedented scrutiny of ultra-rare but dangerous side effects. An estimated 852 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across 154 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. Last week, the European Medicines Agency, which regulates medicines in the European Union, concluded that the unusual clotting events were indeed a side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine; by that point, more than 220 cases of dangerous blood abnormalities had been identified. Only half a dozen cases have been documented so far among Americans vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and a causal link has not yet been established. But the latest news suggests that the scope of this problem might be changing.

Whether the blood issues are ultimately linked to only one vaccine, or two vaccines, or more, it’s absolutely crucial to remember the unrelenting death toll from the coronavirus itself—and the fact that COVID-19 can set off its own chaos in the circulatory system, with blood clots showing up in “almost every organ.” That effect of the disease is just one of many reasons the European Medicines Agency has emphasized that the “overall benefits of the [AstraZeneca] vaccine in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks of side effects.” The same is true of Johnson & Johnson’s. These vaccines are saving countless lives across multiple continents.

But it’s also crucial to determine the biological cause of any vaccine-related blood conditions. This global immunization project presents a lot of firsts: the first authorized use of mRNA vaccines like the ones from Pfizer and Moderna; the first worldwide use of adenovirus vectors for vaccines like AstraZeneca’s, Johnson & Johnson’s, and Sputnik V; and the first attempt to immunize against a coronavirus. Which, if any, of these new frontiers might be linked to serious side effects? Which, if any, of the other vaccines could be drawn into this story, too? How can a tiny but disturbing risk be mitigated as we fight our way out of this pandemic? And what might be the implications for vaccine design in the years to come?

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Amen:

“For the church of Jesus Christ to shut out those deemed by the state to be social undesirables would be anathema to us and a denial of the truth of the gospel.”

UK Church Leaders Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ Vaccine Passport Plans (G.)

Hundreds of UK church leaders have told the prime minister that plans to use vaccine passports for entry into venues is “one of the most dangerous policy proposals ever to be made in the history of British politics” with the “potential to bring about the end of liberal democracy as we know it”. An open letter to Boris Johnson signed by more than 1,250 clergy from different Christian denominations across the UK says the “introduction of vaccine passports would constitute an unethical form of coercion and violation of the principle of informed consent”. It says people may have valid reasons for being unable or unwilling to be vaccinated against Covid, “including, for some Christians, serious issues of conscience related to the ethics of vaccine manufacture or testing”.

Covid status certificates would be “divisive, discriminatory, and destructive”, it adds. “We risk creating a two-tier society, a medical apartheid in which an underclass of people who decline vaccination are excluded from significant areas of public life. There is also a legitimate fear that this scheme would be the thin end of the wedge. “This scheme has the potential to bring about the end of liberal democracy as we know it and to create a surveillance state in which the government uses technology to control certain aspects of citizens’ lives. As such, this constitutes one of the most dangerous policy proposals ever to be made in the history of British politics.” The letter says there is no logical sense in terms of protecting others in introducing Covid status certificates as a requirement for entry for venues, which could include churches.

“If the vaccines are highly effective in preventing significant disease, as seems to be the evidence from trial results to date, then those who have been vaccinated have already received protection; there is no benefit to them of other people being vaccinated,” it says. Describing the proposal as “illiberal and dangerous”, the signatories say: “As Christian leaders we … envisage no circumstances in which we could close our doors to those who do not have a vaccine passport, negative test certificate, or any other ‘proof of health’. For the church of Jesus Christ to shut out those deemed by the state to be social undesirables would be anathema to us and a denial of the truth of the gospel.”

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“The FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for these inoculations only under the proviso that they may make an infection less severe. Yet millions have obediently taken a shot that doesn’t do what they think it does.”

Denying the Demonic (Edward Curtin)

In March of last year as the coronavirus panic was starting, I wrote a somewhat flippant article saying that the obsession with buying and hoarding toilet paper was the people’s vaccine. My point was simple: excrement and death have long been associated in cultural history and in the Western imagination with the evil devil, Satan, the Lord of the underworld, the Trickster, the Grand Master who rules the pit of smelly death, the place below where bodies go. The psychoanalytic literature is full of examples of death anxiety revealed in anal dreams of shit-filled overflowing toilets and people pissing in their pants. Ernest Becker put it simply in The Denial of Death: “No mistake – the turd is mankind’s real threat because it reminds people of death.”

The theological literature is also full of warnings about the devil’s wiles. So too the Western classics from Aeschylus to Melville. The demonic has an ancient pedigree and has various names. Rational people tend to dismiss all this as superstitious nonsense. This is hubris. The Furies always exact their revenge when their existence is denied. For they are part of ourselves, not alien beings, as the tragedy of human history has shown us time and again. Since excremental visions and the fear of death haunt humans – the skull at the banquet as William James put it – the perfect symbol of protection is toilet paper that will keep you safe and clean and free of any reminder of the fear of death running through a panicked world. It’s a magic trick of course, an unconscious way of thinking you are protecting yourself; a form of self-hypnosis.

One year later, magical thinking has taken a different form and my earlier flippancy has turned darker. You can’t hoard today’s toilet paper but you can get them: RNA inoculations, misnamed vaccines. People are lined up for them now as they are being told incessantly to “get your shot.” They are worse than toilet paper. At least toilet paper serves a practical function. Real vaccines, as the word’s etymology – Latin, vaccinus, from cows, the cowpox virus vaccine first used by British physician Edward Jenner in 1800 to prevent smallpox – involve the use of a small amount of a virus. The RNA inoculations are not vaccines. To say they are is bullshit and has nothing to do with cows. To call them vaccines is linguistic mind control.

These experimental inoculations do not prevent the vaccinated from getting infected with the “virus” nor do they prevent transmission of the alleged virus. When they were approved recently by the FDA that was made clear. The FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for these inoculations only under the proviso that they may make an infection less severe. Yet millions have obediently taken a shot that doesn’t do what they think it does. What does that tell us? Hundreds of millions of people have taken an injection that allows a bio-reactive “gene-therapy” molecule to be injected into their bodies because of fear, ignorance, and a refusal to consider that the people who are promoting this are evil and have ulterior motives. Not that they mean well, but that they are evil and have evil intentions. Does this sound too extreme? Radically evil? Come on!

So what drives the refusal to consider that demonic forces are at work with the corona crisis? Why do the same people who get vaccinated believe that a PCR test that can’t, according to its inventor Kary Mullis, test for this so-called virus, believe in the fake numbers of positive “cases”? Do these people even know if the virus has ever been isolated? Such credulity is an act of faith, not science or confirmed fact. Is it just the fear of death that drives such thinking? Or is it something deeper than ignorance and propaganda that drives this incredulous belief?

Read more …

The Ukraine government really is this crazy.

Ukrainian Envoy: NATO or Nuclear Weapons (Antiwar)

Today Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seconded a statement by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili that “it is time for concrete proposals for Ukraine and Georgia to obtain a NATO MAP and a plan to join the EU.” The two countries have been paired as partners for future NATO membership, with both being promised membership in the global military bloc at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in 2008. Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, seconded Zelensky’s demand that NATO admit Ukraine as a full member, stating that only that move would prevent a Russian invasion: “The only possibility for this [to prevent alleged invasion plans] is for Ukraine to finally become a NATO member.”

He also claimed that had his country been in NATO in 2014 the secession of Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea would not have occurred; neither would the now seven-year was in the Donbass. He neglected to state whether the U.S.-engineered uprising and overthrow of an internationally-recognized government would also have occurred. Most likely not, as the populations of NATO nations are not allowed to elect, or if elect, keep any government Washington and Brussels view with disapprobation. The envoy then made this provocative statement: “Ukraine has no other choice: either we are part of an alliance such as NATO and are doing our part to make this Europe stronger, or we have the only option – to arm by ourselves, and maybe think about nuclear status again. How else can we guarantee our defense?”

He also claimed there were 90,000 Russian military personnel deployed to the Donbass border and to Crimea; in his words, “We are dealing with the largest troop movement in Russia since the Second World War.” Which is arrant nonsense. When the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 a third of total Soviet nuclear weapons were in Ukraine; with 1,700 warheads in the country it had the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world after the U.S. and Russia. In 1994 Ukraine joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon nation. It’s that decision the above-cited ambassador suggested be reversed. In fairness, this isn’t the first time the question of Ukraine developing its own nuclear weapons capacity has been broached.

Over the past twenty years NATO-trained military leaders have raised the issue. But never before, and never during a crisis remotely comparable to the present one, has the issue been phrased so brutally: either place Ukraine under NATO Article 5 mutual military assistance status – and NATO acknowledges itself a nuclear alliance – or Ukraine will reassert itself as a nuclear power. The shelling of the Donbass will be mild in comparison to what an armed conflict between a nuclear Ukraine and nuclear Russia would portend.

Russia does the exact same thing the US does and it’s labeled escalation.

US Laments ‘Unwanted Escalation’ & Warns It Reserves Right To Retaliate (RT)

As Russia blacklisted eight current and former American officials and sent ten diplomats packing in retaliation for US sanctions, the State Department has lamented the “escalatory” response and said that Washington might respond. “Our recent actions were proportionate and appropriate to Russia’s harmful activities. Today’s announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement on Friday evening. “It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States.” Foggy Bottom was responding to the announcement that Moscow will expel 10 US diplomats, restricting the number of short-term visas for State Department staff to 10 per year, and ban the US embassy from hiring citizens of Russia and third countries as administrative staff.

The “open ground” memorandum of 1992, allowing US diplomats to move freely around Russia, has also been “declared invalid due to systematic violations” by Americans, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. There are also plans to “halt the activities… of American foundations and NGOs controlled by the Department of State and other US government agencies” since the US “shows no intention of scaling back its systematic subversive efforts.” These measures were a response to President Joe Biden’s executive orders sanctioning 30 Russian individuals and entities for allegedly interfering in the 2020 US presidential election and alleged involvement in the SolarWinds hack – both of which Russia has vehemently denied. Biden also expelled 10 Russian diplomats and banned US companies from trading in Russian sovereign debt.

Russia also chose to respond to Biden’s March 2 decision to sanction several Russian officials accused – with no evidence provided – of involvement in the alleged “poisoning” of opposition blogger Alexey Navalny. On Friday, Moscow banned eight current and former US officials from entering Russia. The ban applies to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal, and President Joe Biden’s domestic policy adviser Susan Rice. Former national security adviser John Bolton made the Russian blacklist as well. As did James Woolsey, who ran the CIA between 1993 and 1995 – and recently authored a book ‘Operation Dragon: Inside the Kremlin’s Secret War on America’, which accused the Soviet Union of assassinating US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963.

The unusual step to publicize the response was taken “in view of the unprecedented complications in Russia-US relations provoked by Washington,” the Foreign Ministry said. US sanctions and messages from Washington “show that Washington is not willing to listen and does not appreciate the restraint that we have displayed despite the tensions that have been purposefully fueled” by Washington since the Obama administration, said the Foreign Ministry. [..] Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday that Russia could have inflicted “painful measures” on US businesses, but chose not to do so – at this time.

Read more …

Some things are just too insane:

“Czech police said on Saturday they were looking for two men with Russian passports that had also been used by the suspects in the 2018 poisoning attempt on Sergei Skripal in Britain..”

Mark Ames: “If I understand this right, apparently GRU thought it’d be smart to use the same 2 spies to carry out 2 separate deadly operations in NATOland—2014 bombing in Czech Rep, 2018 Skripal poisoning—using exact same aliases & fake passports in both operations.”

Czech Govt Expels 18 Russian Diplomats Over 2014 Blast (Y!)

The Czech government said Saturday it would expel 18 Russian diplomats identified by local intelligence as secret agents of the Russian SVR and GRU services that are suspected of involvement in a 2014 explosion. Czech police also said later they were seeking two Russians in connection with the blast, which killed two people, with passports used by the suspects in the attempted poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018. “Eighteen employees of the Russian embassy must leave our republic within 48 hours,” Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek told reporters. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said Czech authorities had “clear evidence” linking GRU officers from unit 29155 to the blast in a military ammunition warehouse near the eastern Czech village of Vrbetice.

He added that he had received the information on Friday, without explaining why the investigation had taken so long. “The explosion led to huge material damage and posed a serious threat to the lives of many local people, but above all it killed two citizens,” Babis said. The blast occurred on October 16, 2014 at a warehouse with 58 tonnes of ammunition. It was followed months later by another big blast at a nearby warehouse with 98 tonnes of ammunition. The Czech organised crime squad (NCOZ) said it was looking for two men using Russian passports in relation to the explosions. The passports bear the names of Alexander Petrov, born in 1979, and Ruslan Boshirov, born in 1978, and their holders are also wanted in Britain in connection with Skripal’s poisoning in Salisbury.

Russia denied involvement in the poisoning but some 300 diplomats were sent home in subsequent tit-for-tat expulsions. “The two men were present on Czech territory in… October 2014” when the Vrbetice blast occurred, the NCOZ said, adding that the two men also used Tajik and Moldovan identities. Babis said the expulsion of 18 diplomats had the full support of President Milos Zeman, a veteran leftwinger who has fostered close ties with both Moscow and Beijing. Zeman has repeatedly spoken out against his country’s Security Information Service (BIS), which has accused Russian intelligence services of orchestrating recent cyberattacks on the Czech foreign ministry and other targets.

Read more …

You said what? Ha ha ha!

“I do prefer constructive dialogue, but to have a constructive and efficient dialogue, you need credibility.”

Macron Urges ‘Clear Red Lines’ With Russia Amid Buildup Near Ukraine (Y!)

French President Emmanuel Macron said the international community has to “define clear red lines with Russia,” in an interview extract released Saturday, adding that countries must be ready to impose sanctions in case of “unacceptable behavior.” His remarks, made during an interview with the US network CBS, came amid high tensions over a major military buildup by Russian forces along the border with Ukraine. Macron said the world needed to make it clear to Moscow that while it preferred “open and frank dialogue,” it will not shy from imposing sanctions after any “unacceptable behavior.” “Indeed, we have to sanction. This is what we did after (Russia annexed Crimea in 2014) or after a series of crises which happen. And I think we have to define clear red lines with Russia. This is the only way to be credible.”


He added: “I think that sanctions are not sufficient in itself, in themselves, but sanctions are part of the package. I do prefer constructive dialogue, but to have a constructive and efficient dialogue, you need credibility.” Russia is believed to have deployed tens of thousands of soldiers near its border with Ukraine and in Crimea. Clashes along the border, which had nearly ceased after a cease-fire reached last summer, have recently resumed. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced financial sanctions against Moscow and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats over a massive series of cyber attacks against US targets, as well as over Russian interference in American elections. In addition, eight people linked to the “occupation” of Crimea were sanctioned.

Read more …

Ukraine tries to resemble an actual country.

Russia, Ukraine Expel Diplomats As Tensions Soar (Y!)

Russia on Saturday said it would expel a Ukrainian diplomat, prompting an immediate pledge of retaliation from Kiev, further escalating tensions over Moscow’s troop build-up on Ukraine’s eastern flank. The detention of a Ukrainian consul in the second city Saint Petersburg comes at a time of global concern of a repeat of Moscow’s 2014 aggression, when Russia annexed the peninsula of Crimea and backed separatists in Ukraine’s east. Moscow claimed the Ukrainian diplomat had been caught “red-handed” trying to obtain sensitive information. In response, the Ukrainian foreign ministry protested “the illegal” detention of its diplomat and said Kiev would expel a senior Russian diplomat. Kiev has been battling Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014 and clashes intensified early this year, effectively shredding a ceasefire agreed last July.


Around 30 Ukrainian troops have been killed since the start of the year, compared to 50 last year. Most of them were victims of sniper fire. Russia has detained a number of Ukrainian nationals on suspicion of spying in recent years but the arrest of a diplomat is rare. “A Ukrainian diplomat, a consul of Ukraine’s Consulate General in Saint Petersburg, Alexander Sosonyuk, has been detained by Russia’s FSB,” the security service said in a statement, using the Russian language spelling of his name. He was held on Friday, the security service said. Kiev said the diplomat had spent several hours in detention. The Russian foreign ministry said Saturday it had summoned Ukraine’s charge d’affaires Vasyl Pokotylo and told him that the Ukrainian diplomat had 72 hours to leave the country “beginning April 19”.

Read more …

Clown News Network.

CNN Viewership Down By Half Since Biden Took Office (ZH)

While CNN may no longer be torturing people in airports, voluntary viewership has fallen over 50% in multiple categories since President Biden took office, according to Fox News. Who knew that their best move during the 2020 election would have been to help Trump win, instead of helping Biden. In the first three weeks of 2021, the network averaged 2.2 million viewers – only to plummet to just one million viewers – a decline of 54%. Among the key advertising demographic of adults age 25-54, ratings are down 60%. From December 28 through Inauguration day, viewership went from 617,000 viewers in that demographic to just 244,000 since Biden took office.

“CNN’s liberal primetime hosts Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon haven’t been able to keep their audiences under the new administration, either. CNN averaged 3.1 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. from Dec. 28 through Inauguration Day but only 1.4 million since for a whopping 55-percent decline. Over the same time period, CNN’s primetime lineup lost 63 percent of its viewers among the crucial demo.” -Fox News. CNN also fared worse than liberal competitor MSNBC, which lost ‘only’ 34% of its total-day viewers, and 30% of primetime viewers under Biden. Fox News points out, of course, that their viewership has remained mostly flat – as declines remained in the single digits.


When asked if he was worried about the ratings disaster, CNN host Don Lemon told the New York Times’ podcaster “Sway”: “No. I’m not worried about it … Trump was a horrible person. And he was terrible for the country. And it is better for all — for the world that he is no longer the President of the United States,” adding “So if that means that cable news ratings go down? Aww. So I’m not really that concerned about it. I would prefer that my ratings go down and Trump not be in office than my ratings be sky-high and him be there. That’s the honest truth.”

Read more …

“..liberal Democrats complained.”

Biden Describes Border Surge As ‘Crisis’ For First Time (JTN)

President Biden on Saturday called the historic border surge a “crisis” for the first time, even as he pushed ahead with plans to increase the caps for refugees admitted into the United States. ”We’re going to increase the number [of refugees],” he said at a news conference. “The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people. We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.” His comments came one day after the Biden administration had to do a flip-flop, first announcing it was freezing refugee caps at the same 15,000 level that President Trump had created and then retreating a few hours later when liberal Democrats complained.


Biden had said in February he planned to raise the cap to 125,000, next year while his administration had suggested the number might increase to 62,000 for this year. The original announcement Friday was met with outrage by far-left Democrats, who then applauded the reversal. “This is a testament to the power that people’s movements, community advocates, & progressive coalitions have built,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Read more …

 

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Maher COVID

 

 

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