May 252022
 


Vincent van Gogh Pietà (after Delacroix) 1889

 

America’s Ukraine Policy Is On A Collision Course With Reality (Moloney)
The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again (Orlov)
Ukraine Official Blasts Kissinger Over Comment on Ceding Territory (Celente)
NATO vs Russia: What Happens Next (Escobar)
No Way Out but War (Chris Hedges)
Finland, Sweden Send Teams To Turkey After Erdogan’s ‘Don’t Even Bother’ (ZH)
Comey’s FBI Lied To Its Own Agents In Russia Hoax Cover-Up (Jarrett)
‘Fired Up’ FBI Leadership Pushed Trump Probe Despite Flimsy Evidence (JTN)
Individual Carbon Footprint Tracker (CTH)
Bill Gates Poured Millions into Dark Money Fund Attacking Elon Musk (BB)
One Billion People At Risk Of Power Blackouts As Global Grids Stretched
Biden Underwater On Almost All Issues Except Handling Of Covid (Hill)
Bayer Deploys Big Ag Buddies to Push Biden on Roundup Cancer Lawsuit (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Ricky Gervais is an absolute treasure

 

 

“..the holes in the upbeat Ukraine narrative have reached a point where the mainstream media no longer can credibly deny them..”

America’s Ukraine Policy Is On A Collision Course With Reality (Moloney)

If we accept the mainstream media narrative about Russia’s war in Ukraine, we are witnessing the emergence of the Biden administration’s greatest triumph to date. Under this roseate scenario, the Ukrainians are doing wonderfully well in their fight against Russia; the Russian troops are failing badly almost everywhere; NATO is enjoying a renaissance of unity not seen since the Cold War; and President Biden is being lauded globally for bold leadership and for proving once again that the United States is the world’s indispensable nation. Perhaps best of all is the narrative that Biden is delivering his long-promised bipartisan unity among Americans, as large numbers of Republicans sign onto his requests for more money and more weapons for Ukraine.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are among the luminaries who paraded to Kyiv for coveted photo-ops with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In stark contrast to these upbeat perspectives about the war, however, a far less pleasant reality is forcing its way to the forefront of American consciousness: The U.S. economy is reeling through a historic crisis in the direction of an almost certain recession, with inflation far outpacing wage gains; income inequality soaring, as elites continue to prosper and the working class is crushed by the cost of living; frightening levels of violent crime plague large cities; and unprecedented numbers of illegal migrants are surging across America’s southern border.

In light of these less palatable realities, it cannot be surprising Biden’s approval rating and that of his Democratic Party are plummeting to new depths — including among bedrock elements of the Democratic coalition such as Hispanics, Black voters and, perhaps, educated suburban women. Traditional liberals such as Democratic strategist James Carville clearly see the looming electoral disaster of this fall’s midterms, but it’s being ignored by Pelosi and the party’s progressive wing, which continues to influence Biden’s policy initiatives. The disconnect between these two realities has become evident as new complications arise in Ukraine and America’s domestic disorders worsen. In particular, the holes in the upbeat Ukraine narrative have reached a point where the mainstream media no longer can credibly deny them, as John Walsh described in a recent Asia Times article, “NY Times shifts pro-war narrative.” Walsh draws attention to two items appearing recently in the Times: a front-page story about Russia seizing much of the East, and an opinion piece entitled, “America and Its Allies Want to Bleed Russia. They Really Shouldn’t.”

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“After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite.”

The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again (Orlov)

It is generally a good idea to avoid ascribing nefarious intent to actions explained by mere stupidity. But this is a case where mere stupidity cannot possibly explain the long, steady procession of foreign policy errors spanning three decades, all of them specifically aimed at strengthening Russia. It is not possible to argue that a surplus of hubris, ignorance, greed and political opportunism and a deficit of competent foreign policy analysts can produce such a result, for that would be essentially the same as arguing that some monkeys armed with drills, mills and lathes can produce a Swiss watch. But the only alternative would be to claim that there is a network of Kremlin’s agents ensconced deep within the bowels of the American Deep State and that they are all working in concert to advance Russia’s interests while meticulously maintaining plausible deniability all the while and at all levels of the operation.

Ostensibly, the plan was to weaken and destroy Russia; but then, following the Soviet collapse, Russia was weakening and destroying itself very well all by itself, no intervention needed. What’s more, every US effort to weaken and destroy Russia has made it stronger; had there existed even a most rudimentary feedback mechanism, so vast a discrepancy between policy goals and policy results would have been detected and adjustments would have been made. Superficially, this may be explained by the nature of America’s sham-democracy, where each administration can blame its failures on mistakes made by the previous administration, but the Deep State remains in power throughout, and it would simply be forced to admit to itself that there is a problem with the plan to weaken and destroy Russia after a few cycles of this unfolding fiasco. The fact that it hasn’t detected any such problem brings us full circle, back to the suspicion that there are Putin’s agents toiling tirelessly deep within the Deep State.

But that’s pure conspiracy theory and we shouldn’t want to go anywhere near that. Suffice to say, there is at present no adequate explanation for what happened. After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite. Why? Below are listed 10 of the most successful initiatives of what appear to be a US Deep State MRGA campaign. If you have an alternative explanation, I’d like to hear it. b

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Turns 99 on Friday. Terrible legacy. But today’s crop are far worse.

Ukraine Official Blasts Kissinger Over Comment on Ceding Territory (Celente)

Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, said Monday what The Trends Journal has been advocating since the start of the Ukraine War: President Volodymyr Zelensky should negotiate for a peaceful resolution and prevent thousands more from dying needlessly. “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome,” Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante.” The 98-year-old said pursuing the war “beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.” He said Ukraine should be willing to cede territory in the peace process. Ukraine has said it will not stop fighting until Russia retreats from the country.

Kissinger saw some success during his time as the U.S.’s top diplomat with the Soviet Union and played a role in arms control treaties like the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. He told the audience in Davos that it would be “fatal” for Western countries to disregard Russia’s position of power within Europe. “I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” Kissinger said. Kissinger’s comments were mocked on social media by “journalists” who -two months ago- didn’t know the difference between Kyiv and a quiche. One even suggested that he should die. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, was critical of Kissinger’s remarks and said he would as easily “allow to take Poland or Lithuania away,” Newsweek reported.

[..] Kissinger’s comments follow nonagenarian Noam Chomsky’s earlier statements about the dangers of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine. Chomsky, correctly, stated earlier this month that Ukrainian leadership’s cry for more heavy weapons is actually the Western “propaganda system.” Chomsky was criticized after saying in an interview that former President Donald Trump is the “one Western statesman of stature” who laid out a “sensible” solution for Ukraine. He said Trump spoke about facilitating negotiations instead of “undermining them and moving towards establishing some kind of accommodation in Europe in which there are no military alliances and mutual accommodation.”

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“Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.”

NATO vs Russia: What Happens Next (Escobar)

Three months after the start of Russia’s Operation Z in Ukraine, the battle of The West (12 percent) against The Rest (88 percent) keeps metastasizing. Yet the narrative – oddly – remains the same. On Monday, from Davos, World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Ukrainian comedian-cum-President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the latest leg of his weapons-solicitation-tour, with a glowing tribute. Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.” He means, of course, everyone except the 88 percent of the planet that subscribes to the Rule of Law – instead of the faux construct the west calls a ‘rules-based international order.’

Back in the real world, Russia, slowly but surely has been rewriting the Art of Hybrid War. Yet within the carnival of NATO psyops, aggressive cognitive infiltration, and stunning media sycophancy, much is being made of the new $40 billion US ‘aid’ package to Ukraine, deemed capable of becoming a game-changer in the war. This ‘game-changing’ narrative comes courtesy of the same people who burned though trillions of dollars to secure Afghanistan and Iraq. And we saw how that went down. Ukraine is the Holy Grail of international corruption. That $40 billion can be a game-changer for only two classes of people: First, the US military-industrial complex, and second, a bunch of Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-connish NGOs, that will corner the black market for weapons and humanitarian aid, and then launder the profits in the Cayman Islands.

A quick breakdown of the $40 billion reveals $8.7 billion will go to replenish the US weapons stockpile (thus not going to Ukraine at all); $3.9 billion for USEUCOM (the ‘office’ that dictates military tactics to Kiev); $5 billion for a fuzzy, unspecified “global food supply chain”; $6 billion for actual weapons and “training” to Ukraine; $9 billion in “economic assistance” (which will disappear into selected pockets); and $0.9 billion for refugees. US risk agencies have downgraded Kiev to the dumpster of non-reimbursing-loan entities, so large American investment funds are ditching Ukraine, leaving the European Union (EU) and its member-states as the country’s only option.

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“It will signal the death of Pax Americana.”

No Way Out but War (Chris Hedges)

The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses.

No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon. The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

We are paying a heavy social, political, and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana.

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Arms embargo.

Finland, Sweden Send Teams To Turkey After Erdogan’s ‘Don’t Even Bother’ (ZH)

Finland and Sweden on Tuesday confirmed they are sending delegations to Ankara in hopes of resolving issues surrounding Turkey’s publicly voiced vehement opposition to the two countries’ bids to join NATO. They formally submitted their applications in a ceremony attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week, which Turkey immediately sought to block. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the delegations will begin meetings with Turkish counterparts on Wednesday, even after days ago President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Finnish and Swedish diplomatic teams “shouldn’t bother coming” if they aren’t prepared to halt support for PKK terrorists.

Speaking during a panel discussion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Haavisto acknowledged, “We understand that Turkey has some of their own security concerns vis-a-vis terrorism.” He added: “We think that these issues can be settled. There might be also some issues that are not linked directly to Finland and Sweden but more to other NATO members.” US Secretary Antony Blinken and the Biden administration say they’re “confident” the issues will be smoothed over, despite Ankara officials still showing no sign of stopping the denunciations. Turkey has also demanded that Sweden extradite “terrorists” being hosted in its midst, along with the Nordic countries immediately lifting an EU arms embargo which took effect in 2019 in response to the Turkish military’s anti-Kurdish operations in northern Syria.

According to the latest statements from Turkey’s foreign ministry, Ankara is waiting on both countries to take concrete steps. “Sweden, which has applied for membership, is expected to take principled steps and provide concrete assurances regarding Turkey’s security concerns,” a statement said. “Since 2017, our country has requested the extradition of PKK/PYD and FETO terrorists from Sweden but has yet to receive a positive response,” it added in reference referring to Syria’s main Kurdish party PYD and the Gulenist group FETO.

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“Testimony has shown that the FBI opened its probe of Trump because Hillary’s lawyer warned the Bureau that the media was about to report on it.”

Yeah, because “Hillary’s lawyer” fed them the story. That’s how it becomes a story. And then a probe.

Comey’s FBI Lied To Its Own Agents In Russia Hoax Cover-Up (Jarrett)

As if the FBI’s gross misconduct couldn’t get any worse, we learned Monday in court that top bureau officials actively concealed from their own field agents that it was Hillary’s lawyer, defendant Michael Sussmann, who was peddling phony Trump-Russia collusion claims to the FBI. Instead of telling their agents the truth of the information source, FBI brass lied by wrongly attributed it as coming from the “Department of Justice,” thus giving it the imprimatur of greater credibility than it deserved. As Monday’s testimony showed, had agents been told that Hillary’s campaign lawyer was behind it they would have recognized it for what it was –a politically motivated smear and immediately discounted it as a lie.

Monday’s testimony also revealed that the FBI eventually concluded as early as January of 2017 –just as the new president was about to take office– that the so-called “Alfa-Bank secret back-channel communication” between Trump and the Kremlin was a hoax. Yet, Comey hid that critical information from Trump, congress, and the American people. As a consequence, the media kept up its false reporting in the same way it continued to flog the fabricated “dossier.” Comey and others at the FBI like Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok knew that “dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign was a collection of exaggerations and made-up stories that originated from her own people. Comey could have told the truth and refuted all of the false media stories, but he didn’t. He and his acolytes exploited it as a pretense to escalate their investigation of Trump to drive him from office.

It’s not surprising that CBS, NBC, ABC, and MSNBC have refused to report any of the stunning revelations in the Sussmann trial. They are shameless cowards. They spent the better part of three years obsessed with the collusion story with their non-stop coverage portraying Trump as a Russian asset. They were reckless and wrong. But now, they don’t want to draw attention to just how wrong they were by reporting on the trial. The Washington Post is worse. On Monday, the newspaper published a “news analysis” with the title, “Again: There’s no evidence Hillary Clinton triggered the Russia probe.” Like much of the Post’s reporting, it is completely untrue. Declassified CIA documents show that Hillary invented the hoax by approving a plan on July 26, 2016 to frame Trump. She also gave her personal approval to leak it to the media, according to her own campaign manager’s testimony in court on Friday. Testimony has shown that the FBI opened its probe of Trump because Hillary’s lawyer warned the Bureau that the media was about to report on it.

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“..not opening an investigation was not an option..”

‘Fired Up’ FBI Leadership Pushed Trump Probe Despite Flimsy Evidence (JTN)

In explosive testimony Tuesday in the Michael Sussmann trial, an FBI agent said “fired up” senior FBI leadership insisted on continuing the investigation into now-debunked allegations of a secret Trump back channel to Moscow via a Russian bank despite learning the story was unsubstantiated. FBI agent Curtis Heide was the co-case agent on the investigation into the allegation that there was a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. He testified on Tuesday in the Sussmann trial that the bureau’s top brass pushed for the investigation.

Heide was told in an instant message from FBI Agent Joe Pientka, who was the supervisor leading the Crossfire Hurricane investigation regarding Trump-Russia collusion allegations, that senior leadership was “fired up” about the Alfa Bank and Trump Organization email servers and not opening an investigation was not an option. He received this message two days after Sussmann met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker to give him the underlying, allegedly pretextual data. Sussmann, a 2016 Clinton campaign lawyer, is on trial for allegedly lying to the FBI in his September 2016 meeting with Baker by saying he was not representing any clients in sharing information purportedly substantiating a Trump Organization back channel to the Kremlin through Alfa Bank.

Special Counsel John Durham has provided evidence that Sussmann was representing clients at the meeting — both the Clinton campaign and then-Neustar tech firm executive Rodney Joffe. Heide testified that he concluded the allegation was unsubstantiated based on the analysis by the FBI cyber division, review of the internet data logs, cybersecurity company Mandiant’s independent assessment corroborating the FBI’s findings, discussions with Spectrum Health about a TOR (The Onion Router) exit node, and his own training regarding previous Russian cyber investigations. By Sept. 26, 2016, Heide believed the allegation was a bunk report. In an Oct. 3 email, he asked to interview the anonymous source who relayed the allegation because he believed the investigation was reaching a logical endpoint as the claims appeared unfounded.

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“The 5G telecommunications network is designed to use geolocation and behavioral tracking that will connect your digital identity to your individual behavior and facilitate the carbon footprint tracing process..”

Individual Carbon Footprint Tracker (CTH)

It is important to remember the ultimate goal of the ‘climate change’ promotors (World Economic Forum) is not an energy system that changes the global climate. The goal of the ‘climate change’ group is to create a carbon trading system; a new financial mechanism (a global tax program) to control human activity on a world-wide basis. This system also needs a digital identity in order to work {hint-hint}. You cannot tax, or trade, things you cannot track. As a result, there was always going to be a need for an individual tracking and monitoring system that would connect to the global digital identity and determine the carbon footprint. The carbon taxing and trading system will be more financially lucrative than any stock exchange or monetary banking system. It is the ultimate human control mechanism, and the preferred way to redistribute wealth under the guise of global equity.


Of course, the system will beta test as a consumer demand product until the government steps in to take over the allocation and distribution equity part. In this video segment, Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans boasts at the 2022 World Economic Forum about the development of an “individual carbon footprint tracker” to monitor what you buy, what you eat, and where/how you travel.

The individual carbon tracker is the baseline for a global carbon trading system that involves everyone; at least, everyone connected to the outlook of western government. Carbon allocation creates the financial metric that replaces currency. You buy and sell carbon credits allowing you to engage in specific functions within society, like dining, traveling, home ownership and type, vehicle or transportation type, even the clothes you can purchase. Hence, “carbon trading” is the term most people are familiar with. In essence, you are a parasite to earth; therefore, you must offset your derogatory footprint on the planet by paying a fee to exist. If you cannot pay for the carbon credits needed to engage in the transaction (travel, home ownership, cooling, heating, etc.) you cannot engage in the regulated activity.


The carbon exchange process is at the end of the slippery slope created by a digital identity. The 5G telecommunications network is designed to use geolocation and behavioral tracking that will connect your digital identity to your individual behavior and facilitate the carbon footprint tracing process. We are already passed the “if” stage.

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“..a shape-shifting nonprofit group that uses aliases to push an array of left-wing causes from a shell office in Washington, D.C.”

Bill Gates Poured Millions into Dark Money Fund Attacking Elon Musk (BB)

Research exclusively shared with Breitbart News identifies hundreds of millions of dollars flowing from Bill Gates’ foundation to 11 of the 26 organizations that signed an open letter last month urging Twitter advertisers to boycott the company if Elon Musk restores free speech on the platform. Breitbart News’ report, based on research and analysis from the newly-formed Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO), analyzed public filings to trace hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions from the letter signatories back to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, 11 of the 26 anti-Musk organizations received funding from a Gates-backed entity.

[..] The open letter’s connection to the billionaire Microsoft founder is significant, as Gates is in the middle of a public feud with free speech advocate Musk. Last month, Gates revealed his $500 million short position against Musk-owned Tesla, prompting Musk to call Gates a “b*ner” killer alongside a meme of Gates as a pregnant man emoji. Gates is also an outspoken censorship proponent, frequently calling on tech companies to do more to stop “health misinformation” spreading online. Musk threatens to reverse Gates’ strongly desired censorship policies — and now faces the wrath of Gates-funded NGOs. Recently, Musk asked his 94 million Twitter followers to uncover the funding behind the 26 NGOs who signed an intimidation letter threatening to destroy the company’s advertising revenue if Musk reversed its censorship policies.

Musk followed up his request by highlighting one particular shadowy group, Accountable Tech, musing: “I wonder who funds them”. His curiosity was prompted by a Washington Free Beacon investigation into Accountable Tech, which sought to get to the bottom of the nonprofit’s financial sponsorship. The Free Beacon visited Accountable Tech’s corporate office in Washington and concluded the organization doesn’t “actually exist.” Rather, “Accountable Tech” was merely a “registered trade [name] for the North Fund, a shape-shifting nonprofit group that uses aliases to push an array of left-wing causes from a shell office in Washington, D.C.”

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A crisis created for the good of mankind.

One Billion People At Risk Of Power Blackouts As Global Grids Stretched

This summer, power grids worldwide won’t produce enough electricity to meet the soaring demand, threatening more than one billion people with rolling blackouts. Grids are stretched thin by fossil fuel shortages, drought and heatwaves, commodity disruptions and soaring prices due to the war in Ukraine, and the failed green energy transition where grid operators retired too many fossil fuel generation plants. Combine this all together, and a perfect storm of blackouts threatens much of the Northern Hemisphere. The power crisis, affecting a large swath of the world and top economies, could be less than a month away when summer begins on June 21. Regions that concerned Bloomberg are Asia, Europe, and the US, where there’s not enough power to go around when cooling demand is set to surge as households crank up their air conditions to escape the sweltering heat.

“Asia’s heatwave has caused hours-long daily blackouts, putting more than 1 billion people at risk across Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India, with little relief in sight. Six Texas power plants failed earlier this month as the summer heat just began to arrive, offering a preview of what’s to come. At least a dozen US states from California to the Great Lakes are at risk of electricity outages this summer. Power supplies will be tight in China and Japan. South Africa is poised for a record year of power cuts. And Europe is in a precarious position that’s held up by Russia — if Moscow cuts off natural gas to the region, that could trigger rolling outages in some countries.” –Bloomberg

BloombergNEF analyst Shantanu Jaiswal says the combination of “war and sanctions” disrupting commodity markets, “extreme weather,” and “an economic rebound from COVID boosting power demand” is a “unique” situation that he “can’t recall” the last time a “confluence of so many factors” happened together. As we noted in the beginning, it’s a perfect storm of factors.

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Ha ha ha!

Biden Underwater On Almost All Issues Except Handling Of Covid (Hill)

President Biden’s approval rating continues to be underwater on virtually every issue, with the exception being on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey from Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll. Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 41 percent in the survey, and the numbers are not much better when broken down by each issue. Only 35 percent of registered voters approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, 44 percent approve of his efforts to stimulate job growth and just 33 percent approve of his handling of inflation. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they support his handling of immigration, and his approval rating on foreign affairs sits at 40 percent.


However, 52 percent of registered voters said they approve of his handling of COVID-19, the lone bright spot in the survey for the White House. Yet overall, his sagging approval ratings portend a political atmosphere this midterm cycle that will heavily favor Republicans — and warn that a 2024 reelection bid could be a slog. “Biden continues to struggle with the job and is particularly being slammed by the voters over inflation and immigration. No president has been reelected with numbers like these on job performance,” said pollster Mark Penn.

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Monsanto has real power.

Bayer Deploys Big Ag Buddies to Push Biden on Roundup Cancer Lawsuit (CHD)

Two weeks after a top Justice Department official advised the U.S. Supreme Court there was “no sound reason” for the high court to review a loss by Monsanto owner Bayer AG in nationwide Roundup cancer litigation, a coalition of large agricultural groups is demanding that President Joe Biden withdraw the opinion. Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, has looked to the high court as its last, and best, hope for putting an end to the ongoing litigation. Bayer has asked the justices to take up the case, which centers on allegations that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

But Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar advised the court in a May 10 brief that Bayer’s arguments for seeking Supreme Court review were “misconceived,” and said there was no valid dispute for the high court to consider. The agricultural groups responded Monday with a blistering letter to Biden, alleging Prelogar’s brief established a “new policy” that “poses great risks to our science-based regulatory system and global food systems.” The letter urges Biden to withdraw Prelogar’s brief and “consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the implications of this decision for food production, environmental sustainability, and science-based regulation.”

[..] Bayer filed its petition to the high court in August, asking the justices to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s May 14, 2021, decision that affirmed a district court’s judgment in Monsanto’s 2019 trial loss to plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. The jury, in that case, agreed with Hardeman’s attorneys that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide was a cause of Hardeman’s NHL and that Monsanto failed to warn of its product’s health risks, despite decades of science showing links between the herbicide and cancer. Hardeman was awarded approximately $80 million by the jury, though the award was cut by the trial court judge to roughly $25.2 million.

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May 102022
 
 May 10, 2022  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


René Magritte The muscles of the sky 1927

 

Sen. Graham Pushes To Designate Moscow a State Sponsor of Terror (Antiwar)
Dems Ditch COVID Funds To Rush $40 Billion To Ukraine (ZH)
The Rise of the New Normal Reich (CJ Hopkins)
Xi Urges Europe To Promote Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks (ZH)
Rebranding Nazism (Keenan)
Won’t Get Fooled Again (John Tierney)
Germany Admits Covid ‘Vaccine’ 40 Times Deadlier Than Previously Known (RAIR)
Ron Johnson Opens Probe Into CDC Tracking Americans Through Phone Data (JTN)
Bill Gates Wants To Build A Dystopia (Unherd)
Florida At Center Of Bid To Slow Musk’s Purchase Of Twitter (JTN)
Durham Prosecution and Sussmann Defense Outline Trial Witnesses (CTH)
FBI Panicked After Trump Tweet Accusing Obama Of Spying On Campaign (ET)
Got the Heebie-Jeebies? (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Graham boldly called on the US to “take out Putin” and said the Russian leader no longer had an “off-ramp.”

Sen. Graham Pushes To Designate Moscow a State Sponsor of Terror (Antiwar)

Senator Lindsey Graham said the US must pursue an even more aggressive strategy against Russia. While appearing on Fox News Sunday with Brett Baier, the hawkish Senator advocated for a barrage of actions targeting Moscow. Graham promoted a new piece of legislation he co-authored with Senator Richard Blumenthal that calls on the White House to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Senator Graham published an op-ed Friday, arguing the designation will allow the US to conduct more legal and economic warfare against Russia. However, Graham does not link Russia to a terrorist group. Rather, he compares the invasion of Ukraine to the Nazi military campaign during World War Two and claims Vladimir Putin is a “megalomaniac wanting to rewrite the map of Europe and recreate the former Russian Empire.”

The Senator also urges the passing of the $33 billion aid bill for Ukraine, prosecuting Putin for war crimes through the International Criminal Court, and putting “more weapons in theater that can target the Russian military offensively.” On Saturday, the Speaker of the Russian State Duma claimed the Western intervention in Ukraine amounted to direct attacks on Russia. “Washington essentially coordinates and develops military operations, thereby directly participating in the hostilities against our country,” Vyacheslav Volodin said.

Baier posed two questions to Graham, asking if he was concerned that increasing military involvement in Ukraine could lead to direct confrontation with Russia. The Senator was dismissive of the potential conflict between nuclear powers saying, “we can’t let him [Putin] win in Ukraine.” Graham boldly called on the US to “take out Putin” and said the Russian leader no longer had an “off-ramp.”

Abrams tanks

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A two-party system, you said?

“..Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top House Republican Kevin McCarthy begging for the funds..”

Dems Ditch COVID Funds To Rush $40 Billion To Ukraine (ZH)

Congressional Democrats are rushing forward to whip up $39.8 billion in additional Ukraine aid, after agreeing to drop a a proposal for additional COVID-19 related funding they planned to combine. The package, which tops President Joe Biden’s $33 billion request in April, could receive a House vote as soon as Tuesday, with Senate Democrats indicating that they are prepared to move swiftly according to Reuters. “Biden on April 28 asked Congress for $33 billion to support Ukraine, including more than $20 billion in military assistance. That proposal was a dramatic escalation of U.S. funding for the war with Russia. The new proposal includes an additional $3.4 billion for military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian aid, the sources said.” -Reuters

While emergency aid for Ukraine has had bipartisan support for weeks, disputes over domestic funds for pandemic relief, or whether stiffer immigration controls should be included, have delayed the process. “We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further congressional action,” read a statement from President Biden, who called on lawmakers to expedite the funding so he could sign it within the next few days. The urgency comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top House Republican Kevin McCarthy begging for the funds, which they said would run out in two weeks.

“We need your help” wrote Austin and Blinken, who said there was ‘only’ $100 million left from a presidential authorization of weapons (which required no congressional approval). “We expect to exhaust that authority no later than May 19, 2022,” the letter continues. “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was pleased the Ukraine assistance was decoupled from COVID-19 aid. He had advocated for a “clean” Ukraine bill repeatedly in speeches in the Senate”. -Reuters

Sky News

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“..the official history of the 2020-2021 Covid pandemic is being written and the actual history being memory-holed in real time, right before our eyes.”

The Rise of the New Normal Reich (CJ Hopkins)

I told you this part wasn’t going to be pretty. I didn’t think it would get to the point where the Wall Street Journal would go full Buck Turgidson and call on the United States to “show it can win a nuclear war,” but I wasn’t entirely off the mark either. Back in January (i.e., a million years ago), in The Last Days of the Covidian Cult, I wrote: ” … we are getting dangerously close to the point where GloboCap will need to go full-blown fascist if they want to finish what they started. If that happens, things are going to get very ugly. I know, things are already ugly, but I’m talking a whole different kind of ugly. Think Jonestown, or Hitler’s final days in the bunker, or the last few months of the Manson Family.”

I don’t know about you, but I kind of feel like the threat of global thermonuclear war qualifies as a “different kind of ugly.” And, OK, before you accuse me of exaggerating the danger of the ungodly mess that GloboCap has made in the Ukraine, I’d like to point out that even Thomas Friedman is starting to sound the alarm. Thomas fucking Friedman, folks … a man with no moral conscience whatsoever, who has never met a GloboCap war of aggression that he could not support, and who has justified the gratuitous barbecuing of millions of men, women, and children without so much as a second thought throughout his long and lucrative career as an A-List mouthpiece for the ruling classes. When The Stash gets nervous, I start to get nervous.

Also, there’s the GloboCap Nazi thing. I’m not exactly a hothouse flower, but I have to admit that watching my liberal friends and colleagues go goo-goo for actual swastika-tattooed, Sieg-heiling Nazis has rattled my nerves a little bit. OK … I’m sorry, we’re not allowed to call them “Nazis.” I believe “defenders” is the term du jour. Seriously, here’s an actual screenshot from The Guardian featuring the leader of the neo-Nazi Azov Detachment …

Oh, and meanwhile, as the rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem, and the former fanatical Covidian Cultists turned fanatical Ukrainian Cultists scream for “more weapons” and “more direct engagement,” and revel in their anguish for the wives of neo-Nazis, the official history of the 2020-2021 Covid pandemic is being written and the actual history being memory-holed in real time, right before our eyes.

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Our next big enemy is asking for peace talks. Can’t trust that.

Xi Urges Europe To Promote Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks (ZH)

During a Monday virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Xi stressed that Europe must play an active role in promoting peace talks, and in “building a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework,” according to China’s state media. Xi said “all efforts must be made to avoid the intensification and expansion of the Ukraine conflict, and China welcomes all efforts that are conducive to promoting peace talks,” according to a translation. “China welcomes all efforts of the international community that facilitate the ceasefire and negotiations, the relevant parties should support Russia and Ukraine in reaching peace through negotiations,” the Chinese leader said further.

Since nearly the start of the conflict, Washington has charged that Beijing is providing behind-the-scenes support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, something which Chinese officials have consistently denied. China has also come under fire for appearing to provide political cover in its criticisms of NATO which echo the Russian position. Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, was featured in China’s state-run English daily Global Times as describing Beijing’s perspective that time is running out on Washington’s muscular efforts at arming and propping up Ukrainian forces amid the Russian onslaught. This is why new pressure has been put on America’s European allies to step up and do more, even as China argues they must get serious about negotiations and compromise.

“Cui said the growing pressure and sanctions by the US and its allies showed that the West was anxious to defeat Russia, especially as the Biden administration is facing huge pressure over a weakening domestic economy and hefty financial aid for Ukraine, knowing that getting deeper into the mire of the Russia-Ukraine conflict would harm its domestic midterm election prospects,” GT states. “On the other hand, Wang said with its support for Ukraine stretched to the limit, the US was in urgent need of its allies to demonstrate their commitment to the cause, and help its military sector continue making money from sending weapons to Ukraine,” the report adds.

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“..the perennial Western purveyors of fake news, such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC, declare themselves to be gatekeepers of truth, integrity and morality. ”

Rebranding Nazism (Keenan)

As a teacher of history, the topic of Nazi Germany is always one which generates numerous questions from students. How were the Nazis able to convince the public to vote for them? How did they convince the people to go along with their fascist agenda and barbaric policies? How was the Holocaust allowed to take place? Despite discussing the role of propaganda and censorship, as well as the fear of opposing the Nazi regime, one still finds students often somewhat bemused. Moreover, many invariably argue that nowadays, due to social media, the Internet, and other methods of communication, the evils of Nazism could never succeed in flourishing again.

However, that is about to change. One only has to look at the manner in which the Azov Battalion, a fully-fledged Ukrainian Nazi militia, with significant influence, has been whitewashed in the space of ten weeks. Whereas prior to February 24th 2022, they were recognised as a neo-Nazi battalion, these fascists are now being portrayed as valiant defenders of an oppressed people, fighting bravely against insurmountable odds. In the past, we have become only too well aware of the role played by the media and big tech in propagandising and manufacturing consent. Whether it’s the mainstream media parroting establishment talking points, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube censoring dissenting views, or Paypal denying media outlets access to their own accounts apparently due to their political stances, Western disinformation full-spectrum dominance appears to be at its zenith.

Yet, the perennial Western purveyors of fake news, such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC, declare themselves to be gatekeepers of truth, integrity and morality. And this, despite their lies which facilitated the slaughter and deaths of over a million men, women and children, in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. But still it goes on, right up to the present. From the Ghost of Kiev to Snake Island, the Collective Western media has acted as stenographers for the Western and Ukrainian regimes. The examples are too numerous to mention, but the media coverage of the air strike at a railway station in Kramatorsk provided a striking example of the overt and cynical propaganda role the western media has played throughout this conflict.

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“They assumed that the Centers for Disease Control knew how to control disease and that scientists and public-health officials would provide sound scientific guidance about public health. Those were reasonable assumptions. They just turned out to be wrong..”

Won’t Get Fooled Again (John Tierney)

It’s been a two-year-long version of Hell Week, especially in America’s blue states, with Anthony Fauci and Democratic governors playing the role of fraternity presidents humiliating the pledges. Americans obediently donned masks day after day, stood six feet apart, disinfected counters, and obsessively washed their hands while singing “Happy Birthday.” They forsook visits to friends and relatives and followed orders to skip work and church. They forced young children to wear masks on the playground and in the classroom—a form of hazing too extreme even for Europe’s progressive educators. Some Americans refused to submit to these rituals, but their resistance only intensified solidarity among the faithful. The most zealous kept their masks on even after they were vaccinated, even when walking alone outdoors.

The mask became their version of a MAGA hat or a fraternity brother’s ring; some have vowed to keep wearing theirs long after the pandemic. They’ve already called for permanent masking on airplanes, trains, and buses, and they’ll probably clamor for more school closures and lockdown measures during future flu seasons. Facts alone will not be enough to change their minds. To undo the effects of the hazing, we need to ease their cognitive dissonance by showing that they’re not to blame for their decisions. The mental mistakes were not made by citizens who dutifully sacrificed for two years. They assumed that the Centers for Disease Control knew how to control disease and that scientists and public-health officials would provide sound scientific guidance about public health. Those were reasonable assumptions. They just turned out to be wrong.

After a great disaster, the traditional response is to appoint a blue-ribbon panel to investigate it, and a bill has already been introduced in Congress to create a Covid commission. In theory, this could be a worthy public service, allowing experts to sift the evidence impartially and determine which strategies worked, which ones failed, how much needless damage was done—and whom to blame for it. But in practice, which experts would the current Democratic administration or Congress appoint? Presumably, the pillars of the public-health establishment—the same luminaries whose advice was followed so calamitously the past two years.

Aerosols

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Cracks are showing.

Germany Admits Covid ‘Vaccine’ 40 Times Deadlier Than Previously Known (RAIR)

German study: The number of those suffering from serious complications after taking the COVID vaccine is 40 times higher than previously known. Charité in Berlin is carrying out a study on the side effects of receiving corona vaccinations. Professor Harald Matthes is leading the research and is calling for more contact points for those affected. The study “Safety Profile of Covid-19 Vaccines”, which focuses on the effects and side effects of the various vaccines, has been running for a year. Around 40,000 vaccinated people are interviewed at regular intervals throughout Germany. Participation in the study is voluntary and independent of how the vaccines work in the subjects.

One result: eight out of 1,000 vaccinated people struggle with serious side effects. “The number is not surprising,” explains Prof. Dr. Harald Matthes, head of the study: “It corresponds to what is known from other countries such as Sweden, Israel, or Canada. Incidentally, even the manufacturers of the vaccines had already determined similar numbers in their studies.” With conventional vaccines, such as against polio or measles, the number of severe side effects is significantly lower. Serious side effects are symptoms that last for weeks or months and require medical attention. These include muscle and joint pain, heart muscle inflammation, excessive reactions of the immune system, and neurological disorders, i.e., nervous system impairments.

“Most side effects, including severe ones, subside after three to six months; 80% heal. But some last much longer,” reports Professor Matthes. Around 179 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Germany so far. “Given around half a million cases with serious side effects after Covid vaccinations in Germany, we doctors have to take action,” emphasizes Prof. Matthes, who, in addition to his work at the Berlin Charité, is on the board of several medical specialist societies and has been systematically examining the effect of medicinal products for years. “We have to come to therapy offers, discuss them openly at congresses and in public without being considered anti-vaccination.”

It is particularly depressing for those affected that their complaints are often not taken seriously. Doctors in private practice would often not associate the symptoms with the vaccinations because they were either not prepared for them or did not want to expose themselves, given the heated political mood. This is also evidenced by the many letters to the head of the study, Professor Matthes. Those affected describe their often months-long search for practical medical help and recognition. In addition, they show that suspected cases are not officially reported. And so, the numbers of severe vaccination reactions at the Paul Ehrlich Institute, at 0.2 reports per 1,000 vaccine doses, are also significantly lower than those in the Charité study.

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CDC=China.

Ron Johnson Opens Probe Into CDC Tracking Americans Through Phone Data (JTN)

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is investigating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for tracking millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC paid one company $420,000 to access location data for at least 20 million cell phones a day, a Vice Motherboard investigation revealed last week. While the CDC claimed it needed access to the data to fight COVID, documents show the data was used “to support non-COVID-19 programmatic areas and public health priorities.” Johnson criticized the CDC’s phone tracking efforts Monday on “Just the News – Not Noise.” “Just because data exists, doesn’t mean that the government should be using it to track Americans, I would think that that really raises some very serious constitutional issues,” Johnson noted.


In a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Thursday, Johnson wrote, “It remains unclear why the CDC tracked millions of Americans during the pandemic and whether it continues to do so. In response to COVID-19, the CDC should have been prioritizing the development of treatments, effective testing, and vaccine safety rather than tracking Americans’ daily lives.” He demanded answers from the CDC on the purchase and use of location data, including whether the agency used other mechanisms to monitor Americans throughout the pandemic. Johnson told editor-in-chief John Solomon, “I think the government is becoming way too big, and way too powerful.”

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“Molnupiravir costs US$17.74 per dose to manufacture, according to an estimate from researchers at Harvard and King’s College London, but is being retailed to the US government for US$712 per course — a profit of 4,000%..”

Bill Gates Wants To Build A Dystopia (Unherd)

Now Gates is tired of all the conspiracies. He asks his critics to judge him by his actions. And the best way to do so is by reading the book: does Gates have anything sensible to say about the best way to combat future pathogenic outbreaks? His model for the future is built on what he feels has worked over the past two years: isolate contacts, close borders, lockdown as quickly as possible, then remove restrictions slowly and cautiously. He cites Dr Anthony Fauci, who Gates says he spoke to once a month during the pandemic: “Not only should you appear to overreact at first, as Tony Fauci said, but you also have to be careful about relaxing all NPIs [non-pharmaceutical interventions] too soon.”

Meanwhile, you should invest enormous sums in boosting global public health systems, vaccine production in poor and rich countries, and fund a Global Pandemic Emergency Response Unit to monitor potential outbreaks. The aim, says Gates, is to vaccinate the entire world — twice if necessary — within six months while lockdown measures restrict the spread of the new pathogen. It all sounds so reasonable, doesn’t it? Or it might do to those who haven’t seen the footage of Shanghai’s lockdown circulating on social media, to those who can work online in relative comfort, or indeed to billionaires with comfortable gardens and libraries in which to while away those six months. With the Gates model, a little translation is in order.

The massive investment required to make this vision happen is a good starting point. Where will it come from? Gates is a well-known philanthropist, and makes much of the more than US$2 billion which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have ploughed into fighting Covid-19. Yet this is a small amount compared to the US$6 billion that the US government has invested in the Moderna vaccine alone. As Gates points out, “Most of the world’s greatest talent for translating research into commercial products is in the private sector… It’s the government’s role to invest in the basic research that leads to major innovations, adopt policies that let new ideas flourish.”

Translation: taxpayers invest in developing products through government agencies, and private companies and their shareholders reap the profits. How does this work in practice? Gates does not give what we might call full disclosure. He offers the example of the antiviral Molnupiravir which “Merck and its partners developed”. It was authorised to great fanfare as a Covid treatment in November 2021. Yet Merck did not develop this drug. It was initially developed as a veterinary drug for horses at Emory University, with a US$19 million grant from Fauci’s NIAID and funding from other sectors of the US government. Molnupiravir costs US$17.74 per dose to manufacture, according to an estimate from researchers at Harvard and King’s College London, but is being retailed to the US government for US$712 per course — a profit of 4,000%.

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“..because of an arrangement he reportedly had with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Musk’s financial adviser Morgan Stanley, the plaintiffs argue Musk was an “interested stockholder”..”

Florida At Center Of Bid To Slow Musk’s Purchase Of Twitter (JTN)

Florida is once again at the center of a Twitter war, this time by an Orlando pension fund attempting to slow its purchase after Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state was looking into ways it can potentially “hold accountable” Twitter’s board of directors. The city of Orlando’s Police Pension Fund filed a class action lawsuit May 6 in an attempt to block or slow the sale of Twitter. It argues Delaware law prevents billionaire Elon Musk from immediately purchasing Twitter because it alleges he’s “an invested stockholder.” The lawsuit could hold up Musk’s $44 billion approved purchase of Twitter until 2025 if a judge rules in the plaintiffs’ favor.

The $734 million pension fund, the only plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court. Twitter, Inc., Parag Agrawal, Mimi Alemayehou, Jack Dorsey, Egon Durban, Martha Lane Fox, Omid Kordestani, Fei-Fei Li, Patrick Pichette, David Rosenblatt, Bret Taylor, Robert Zoellick, and Elon Musk are named as defendants. On April 25, Twitter agreed to Musk’s terms to purchase its entire stock at $54.20 a share in cash, valued at roughly $44 billion. However, the lawsuit alleges the sale “may not lawfully close until 2025 absent approval by the affirmative vote of 66 2/3% of Twitter’s voting stock not ‘owned’ by Musk,” citing Section 203 of Delaware corporate law.

Section 203 prohibits corporations from engaging in any business with any stockholder for at least three years after the date the stockholder owns at least 15% of the corporation’s outstanding stock. Musk owned 9.6% of Twitter’s outstanding voting stock when its board approved the sale. But because of an arrangement he reportedly had with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Musk’s financial adviser Morgan Stanley, the plaintiffs argue Musk was an “interested stockholder” representing more than 15%. Dorsey owned 2.4%, and Morgan Stanley 8.8%, at the time of the sale.

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“If Sussmann is found guilty it makes the media culpability look even worse. The media was pushing the same false information to the public that Michael Sussmann was pushing into the FBI.”

Durham Prosecution and Sussmann Defense Outline Trial Witnesses (CTH)

With mostly wins and a few losses in the pre-trial evidentiary hearings for Special Counsel John Durham, the case against Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann is scheduled for trial next week. Now the witness lists are coming forth. WASHINGTON – […] “Robby Mook, who managed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias and FBI counterintelligence leader Bill Priestap and former top FBI lawyer James Baker are among those called as government witnesses, said prosecutor Andrew DeFilipiis”. Additionally, Laura Seago, a top tech official at research firm Fusion GPS (she has immunity in exchange for testimony); Deborah Fine, a Clinton campaign lawyer; and a CIA official identified as Kevin B are also on the prosecution list.

[…] Defense attorneys unveiled their own high-powered witness list. It includes Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, former acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau. Depending on preset Perkins Coie leverage and risk exposure, other officials from deep inside the DOJ/FBI small group operation may also be forced to stand as defense witnesses by Sussmann’s team. The lawfare combat teams look interesting. The prosecution calling Marc Elias as a witness looks like a great opportunity for: (1) evidence against him for later use; and/or (2) a perjury trap. The defense planning to call Inspector General Michael Horowitz puts the office of the IG into a suspicious position. Horowitz is a baddie.

Mary McCord is a conniving manipulator for the worst elements of the deep state, so it makes sense she would give testimony to defend Sussmann. McCord was a central figure in how the DOJ National Security Division sought to frame the appearance of the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense, and it was Mary McCord who later coordinated the National Security Council leaks between Alexander Vindman and anonymous CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. [..] On the prosecution side, Laura Seago (with immunity) has details of the motives inside Fusion GPS by owner/operators Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. Her testimony should be interesting and will likely overlap into other prosecutions if there are any.

Bill Priestap was Peter Strzok’s boss and James Baker was FBI legal counsel. If there was anyone who seemed less willing (slightly) to frame Trump you could make an argument that Priestap and Baker were the least corrupt on the scale of internal corruption. From the perspective of criminal conduct they would be the two FBI insiders less willing to take a fall. Keep in mind the media has a strong vested interest in the Sussmann prosecution. If Sussmann is found guilty it makes the media culpability look even worse. The media was pushing the same false information to the public that Michael Sussmann was pushing into the FBI.

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“The FBI also knew that the Alfa Bank story, which claimed that a Trump server was communicating with a Russian bank—information that had been brought to them by Sussmann—was bogus.”

FBI Panicked After Trump Tweet Accusing Obama Of Spying On Campaign (ET)

Newly released notes taken by high-level Department of Justice (DOJ) officials during a March 6, 2017, meeting with FBI leadership expose some of the lengths the FBI engaged in to cover up its spying on the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump. The notes were released on May 8 by lawyers representing former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann as part of an effort to clear him on charges of having lied to the FBI. The notes, in reality, appear to do little to exonerate Sussmann but do provide quite a bit of information on the FBI. The meeting at which the notes were taken took place just two days after Trump’s March 4, 2017, tweet in which he accused former President Barack Obama of having wiretapped Trump Tower.

Trump’s tweet panicked FBI leadership, who were unsure exactly how much Trump knew about their efforts to tie him up with Russia collusion allegations. What the notes reveal is that in response to the tweet, they tried to cover their tracks. By March 2017, FBI leadership already knew with near-certainty that the Trump–Russia collusion claims were a hoax. They knew that Clinton’s campaign had a plan to vilify Trump by portraying him as a puppet of Putin. The FBI also knew that not a single claim in the so-called Steele dossier—which was the primary source of allegations of Trump–Russia collusion—had checked out. In fact, at that point, the FBI had already spent three days interviewing Steele’s primary source, Igor Danchenko, who disavowed pretty much every claim in Steele’s dossier.

The FBI also knew that the Alfa Bank story, which claimed that a Trump server was communicating with a Russian bank—information that had been brought to them by Sussmann—was bogus. In short, the FBI knew that all the claims of Trump-Russia collusion had proven to be fake. But things took a sudden and dramatic turn on March 4, 2017, when Trump said on Twitter that he knew that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, a very public claim of spying that set off alarm bells with both FBI and DOJ leadership. Trump’s tweet so alarmed these DOJ and FBI officials that the topic dominated a meeting two days later that included FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the acting U.S. attorney general, Dana Boente.

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“Are they beset by “disinformation” or is it rather the reality of a cratering nation run by idiots and maniacs?”

Got the Heebie-Jeebies? (Jim Kunstler)

Everyone I know is walking around in a baseline state of nervous agitation. Are they beset by “disinformation” or is it rather the reality of a cratering nation run by idiots and maniacs? Everywhere you look, calamities gather speed while the klaxons of alarm blare from all compass points. Got money? Looks like soon it will be worthless. Wondering if Mr. Putin has had enough of “Joe Biden’s” brainless effrontery to lob some hypersonic Big Ones in our collective face? Relying on that retirement account you have no direct control over while the financial markets wobble? Need to fill up the gas tank of your pickup truck twice a week? Can’t find a new condenser to fix the failing fridge? Entertaining rumors of looming famine. Credit cards maxed out?

Sheriff stapling an eviction notice on your door? Beloved younger brother declaring that henceforward they are your sister? Hearing that all those vaxxes and boosters you obediently submitted to might rearrange your DNA? These are just a few of the concerns zinging through the zeitgeist these late days of the republic. You are correct to be anxious about them, so at least don’t worry about worrying. Just understand that the more events spool out in the direction of danger, the more you will be warned against “disinformation.” The good part is that now we know the identity of at least one person who is officially in charge of that: “disinformation expert” Nina Jankowicz (NiJank), new chief of Washington’s Disinformation Governance Board. Whose idea was that, by the way?

Homeland Security Sec’y Alejandro Mayorkis (AlMay) didn’t seem to know anything pertaining to disinformation last week when grilled in committee by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), including two of the most notorious cases in recent memory: Did the Steele Dossier include Russian disinformation? AlMay said he was “not equipped” to answer that question. Ditto the question — now definitively settled — as to whether Hunter Biden’s laptop stuffed with grifting memoranda was for-real. Of course, both of those matters were labeled previously as disinformation by his new expert hire, NiJank, who, it appears, is similarly unequipped to discuss the particulars at issue. But all this does raise the parallel issue: how much depraved insolence is the public supposed to tolerate from its public servants?

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WEF

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

Feb 232022
 


Pablo Picasso Le pigeon aux petits pois (Pigeon with Peas) – stolen May 20 2010 1911

 

Pfizer & Moderna Investors Run for the Exits (Hope)
Multiple Brokerage Houses Now Investigate MRNA Jabs (Paine)
17,000 Physicians and Medical Scientists Declare “COVID National Emergency Over” (GCS)
Bill Gates-Linked Lab Developing Vaccine That Spreads Like a Virus (NP)
The Day Russia’s Patience Ran Out (Orlov)
Blackwater is in Donbass with the Azov Battalion (Dinucci)
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Tyranny (WSJ Op-ed)
Trudeau Style Tyranny Is Already Here (Kelly)
Conservatives Force Trudeau To Defend And Vote On Emergency Powers Again (TSun)
Pentagon Considers Sending National Guard To DC Ahead Of US Freedom Convoy (DM)
John Durham Sent A Message To The Attorney General And The Country (Hill)
What Canada Means for Crypto (Doomberg)

 

 

 

 

Nawaz: Power gets to define reality

 

 

Oz “91% had other health issues on death certificates”

 

 

Find an enemy

 

 

 

 

Justus Hope on Edward Dowd. Who compares the vaccines to the 2008 mortgage crisis, and says the FDA play the same role as the ratings agencies back then. But there is one difference, which I don’t think he stresses enough: ratings agencies are companies, enterprises; the FDA is literally the government. He sort of touches on it, “I believe the fraud has moved on to central banks and governments”, but not enough.

Pfizer & Moderna Investors Run for the Exits (Hope)

Wall Street investors are dumping their Moderna and Pfizer stock faster than the world can drop the mandates. Moderna is down 70 percent from its high, while Pfizer is off 19 percent. Former Blackrock Executive and investment adviser Edward Dowd calls for Moderna to go to zero and Pfizer to end under ten dollars per share. How is this possible given that Pfizer now enjoys record earnings per share and a market capitalization of some $270 billion, making it the 29th largest corporation globally? With nothing but profits in sight for the Pharmaceutical giant, what could be the problem? After all, in December, a Forbes’ headline read, “The Vaccine Maker Can Dominate The Covid Market For Years to Come, Wells Fargo Predicts.” In addition to the enormously profitable mRNA vaccines, Pfizer is rolling out potent antivirals like Paxlovid, which could earn $22 billion in 2022.

Compared to the $81 billion in 2021 revenue, the earnings from the vaccines and the antivirals could top $102 billion for 2022, which is music to shareholders’ ears. However some are hearing shrieks, and these happen to be Wall Street’s finest, the smart money that beats the rest of the herd to the exits like clockwork. These sophisticated investors make it their business to not go with the conventional wisdom but to do their own research, which often pays spectacular dividends. [..] Dowd has sounded the alarm on Moderna and Pfizer as sinking ships that investors need to abandon. So what does the man who foresaw the dot com and the subprime mortgage crisis have to say about Moderna and Pfizer, and what trouble could exist in the paradise of COVID vaccine profits?

Here are Dowd’s words: I want to liken here to what’s gone on in the Great Financial Crisis. We had rating agencies, third-party verification sources that were able to perpetuate the fraud because the money got too big, their institutions became corrupted with the institutional imperative, and they got triple-A ratings which we all know in hindsight were not triple-A ratings – let’s move forward to today. The FDA is the trusted third-party verification of pharmaceutical products. 50% of their budget comes from Pharma…due to the institutional imperative that was in place at the time and the speed with which they tried to approve these unproven products with this unproven technology, fraud did occur, and what’s my proof of that? The FDA, together with Pfizer, were trying to hide the clinical data.

And it’s come out recently…that the all-cause mortality for the Pfizer product failed – that means there were more deaths in the vaccine group than the placebo group. Normally in such a case, you have NO drug approval for such drugs. It’s the gold standard. I’ve been told by all my people in the Biotech Industry they were horrified… And unfortunately, that is not all. Dowd feels that although he has successfully predicted three large frauds in his career, he now expects a global financial market collapse with the debt bubble getting ready to burst. “So I’ve seen three frauds; the corporate fraud of the dot com boom, the bank fraud of the Great Financial Recession, and I believe the fraud has moved on to central banks and governments – because that’s the nature of our monetary system – you have to constantly create credit to keep this thing going.”

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More Dowd. $14 billion hedge fund, former Blackrock. Will make some FDA people nervous, and Pfizer/Moderna too.

Multiple Brokerage Houses Now Investigate MRNA Jabs (Paine)

EXCLUSIVE: Wall Street Taps Pfizer Whistleblower to Help Probe Alarming Details of Fraud During VAX Clinical Trials; Former Blackrock’s Edward Dowd Drops More Bombs as ***MULTIPLE*** Brokerage Houses Now Investigate MRNA Jabs

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Anyone seen Fauci lately?

17,000 Physicians and Medical Scientists Declare “COVID National Emergency Over” (GCS)

After two years of scientific research, clinical data and evidence from frontline medical professionals treating hundreds of thousands of patients, the international alliance of more than 17,000 physicians and medical scientists have concluded that the highly treatable COVID-19 illness, which is better addressed with natural immunity and proven medication, no longer requires national emergency status. Vaccines have failed to reduce spread of COVID-19 and pose several health risks, while natural immunity for children and healthy adults has proven more effective. Moreover, treatment protocols that use well-studied, FDA approved medications are now proven to be effective in preventing severe illness and death from Covid-19.

With the success of treatments and broad natural immunity amidst waning strength of COVID-19 variants, there is no longer a credible need for a national emergency in the U.S. On March 13th, 2020, Donald Trump used an Executive Order under the National Emergency Act to declare a national emergency concerning COVID-19. On February 24, 2021, the order was extended by President Biden. Since then, the constitutional rights of Americans have been trampled on by allowing governments aligned with pharmaceutical companies to exploit its citizens. Biden’s extension of the national emergency on February 18th, 2022 ignores the extensive medical and scientific data, confirming a non-medical agenda by the White House.

The over 17,000 independent physicians and medical scientists, who reject the corporate interests of pharmaceutical companies, are calling on Congress to reject President Biden’s extension of the national emergency that was declared by President Trump, to reinstate our constitutional democracy, restore doctor-patient relationships, medical privacy and personal medical choice, and end coercive tactics and mandates.

Dr. David Martin

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To vaccinate anti-vaxxers.

Bill Gates-Linked Lab Developing Vaccine That Spreads Like a Virus (NP)

An international team of researchers are working on an experimental self-spreading vaccine that could stop the virus leaping from rats to humans — a phenomenon scientists call zoonotic spillover. The drive to develope self-spreading vaccines is not without controversy. The DHSC paper notes: ‘Self-spreading vaccines are less lethal but not non-lethal: they can still kill. ‘Some people will die who would otherwise have lived, though fewer people die overall. ‘The other issue is there is no consent (for vaccination) from the majority of patients.’ But some ethics experts say there are parallels for ‘treating’ mass populations for public health issues without first getting individual consent.

For example, the fluoridation of mains drinking water to prevent tooth decay already happens in some parts of the UK and the Government is considering extending it to all of England. ‘Nobody is asked whether they give consent, even those who disagree with it,’ says Professor Dominic Wilkinson, a medical ethics specialist at Oxford University. ‘Instead, we entrust elected officials to examine the likely health benefits and make decisions based on the evidence.

‘I don’t think that there is anything intrinsically different when it comes to the idea of self-spreading vaccines.’ However, some scientists have serious misgivings about the risk that weakened viruses could mutate into a more potent form once they are free to spread in the population. Dr Filippa Lentzos, a senior lecturer in science and international security at King’s College London, warns of a danger that the science behind self-spreading vaccines could be hijacked to make biological weapons. ‘Such a self-spreading weapon may prove uncontrollable and irreversible,’ she says.

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“There were also over two million Donbass refugees in Russia, more than one million in the Ukraine and around 50 thousand in Belarus.”

The Day Russia’s Patience Ran Out (Orlov)

Today’s date, commonly written out as 22.02.2022, will be an easy one for future schoolchildren to remember. Various people will remember it in various ways. The residents of Donetsk and Lugansk, the two formerly Ukrainian, now once again Russian cities that have been subjected to conditions bordering on genocide since the US-instigated government overthrow of 2014 will remember jubilantly dancing in the streets, shooting off lots of fireworks, waving Russian flags and hollering the Russian national anthem. For them, this is the day on which new hope arrived that their eight-year nightmare would soon be over and life would finally return to normal.


The badly informed new German chancellor inadvertently helped to resolve the situation by saying that the idea of a Ukrainian-caused genocide in the Donbass is ridiculous. Given the history of the region, the public spectacle of a German leader using the words “genocide” and “ridiculous” in the same sentence made the moment pregnant with possibilities. Here is the information the seemingly rather dim-witted chancellor was missing. There were 9,282 dead on the Donbass side (70% of them civilians) and 114 children. The dead on the Ukrainian side (the Ukrainian troops and various assorted mercenaries that had been attacking and laying siege to the Donbass since 2014) numbered 20,186. This was prior to the renewed Ukrainian shelling of recent days. There were also over two million Donbass refugees in Russia, more than one million in the Ukraine and around 50 thousand in Belarus.

Most Russians will also remember this day with relief as the day their government finally—finally! after eight literally bloody years!—determined that a negotiated settlement in the Ukraine would simply never happen and that there was no point in waiting any further before going ahead and cleaning it up. It was cathartic for them to hear their president unleash a torrent of truth about the Ukraine, calling it a Bolshevist concoction of mostly historically Russian lands that was simply never intended for independent statehood, pointing out that it never paid its share of Soviet-era foreign debt (Russia paid it off on its behalf), that it refused to turn over Russian assets with which it incidentally ended up, and instead soaked up several hundred billion dollars of Russian subsidies, that it extorted money for the use of its Soviet-built gas pipeline that it got free of charge, and that it has squandered and stolen the rest of its vast Soviet patrimony.


He also mentioned was the Ukraine’s stated ambitions simultaneously to join NATO and to invade Crimea—automatically triggering a world war. He mentioned its stated ambition to use plutonium from its spent nuclear fuel stockpiles and rockets left over from the Soviet times to concoct weapons of mass destruction—a situation that simply had to be dealt with. Finally, he made clear that all of the Ukrainian war crimes of the past eight years have been carefully documented and that all of these war criminals will be brought to justice.

Tucker Putin

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A $10 billion plan. In case you wonder why Putin did what he did.

Blackwater is in Donbass with the Azov Battalion (Dinucci)

The phone call between President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky “did not go well”, CNN headlines: while “Biden warned that a Russian invasion is practically certain in February, when the frozen ground makes it possible for tanks to pass through”, Zelensky “asked Biden to lower his tone, arguing that the Russian threat is still ambiguous”. As the Ukrainian president himself takes a more cautious stance, Ukrainian armed forces are massing in the Donbass near the area of Donetsk and Lugansk inhabited by Russian populations. According to reports from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, obscured by our mainstream which only talks about the Russian deployment, Ukrainian Army and National Guard units, amounting to about 150 thousand men, are positioned here. They are armed and trained, and thus effectively commanded, by US-NATO military advisers and instructors.

From 1991 to 2014, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the U.S. provided Ukraine with $4 billion in military assistance, which was added to by over $2.5 billion after 2014, plus over a billion provided by the NATO Trust Fund in which Italy also participates. This is only part of the military investments made by the major NATO powers in Ukraine. Great Britain, for example, concluded various military agreements with Kiev, investing among other things 1.7 billion pounds in the strengthening of Ukraine’s naval capabilities: this program provides for the arming of Ukrainian ships with British missiles, the joint production of 8 fast missile launchers, the construction of naval bases on the Black Sea and also on the Sea of Azov between Ukraine, Crimea and Russia. In this framework, Ukrainian military spending, which in 2014 was equivalent to 3% of GDP, increased to 6% in 2022, corresponding to more than $ 11 billion.

In addition to the US-NATO military investments in Ukraine, there is the $10 billion plan being implemented by Erik Prince, founder of the private US military company Blackwater, now renamed Academy, which has been supplying mercenaries to the CIA, Pentagon and State Department for covert operations (including torture and assassinations), earning billions of dollars. Erik Prince’s plan, revealed by a Time magazine investigation [1], is to create a private army in Ukraine through a partnership between the Lancaster 6 company, with which Prince has supplied mercenaries in the Middle East and Africa, and the main Ukrainian intelligence office controlled by the CIA. It is not known, of course, what would be the tasks of the private army created in Ukraine by the founder of Blackwater, certainly with funding from the CIA. However, it can be expected that it would conduct covert operations in Europe, Russia and other regions from its base in Ukraine.

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The WSJ editors have had enough.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Tyranny (WSJ Op-ed)

Modern liberals can hurtle from extravagant tolerance to suppression without batting an eye. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dramatizes the tendency.

Every trucker blockade in Canada has been cleared, yet Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal government isn’t giving up the emergency powers it claimed to criminalize the protest movement against vaccine mandates. “This state of emergency is not over,” Mr. Trudeau said, citing the risk of future blockades. This isn’t how a nation of laws is supposed to function. Mr. Trudeau’s new powers rely on defining the disruptive but peaceful truckers as a security threat akin to violent terrorists. His emergency law, a broad prohibition on public assemblies and even indirect support for them, ensnares tens of thousands of Canadians as “designated persons” whose assets must, per another of his new laws, be found and frozen by any financial institution, without due process or court supervision. There isn’t an appeals process in case of error, and so far 200 accounts are frozen.

Pressed for details, Justice Minister David Lametti initially explained that “pro-Trump” big donors “ought to be worried.” Now the government says it is targeting only the truckers, but its power has no limiting principle. Mr. Lametti says, “We took measures that had been applied to terrorism and applied them to other illegal activity.” This is how a trucker who violated traffic laws or committed “mischief” becomes the target of financial tools designed to disable al Qaeda cells. Bank-account freezes weren’t necessary to clear the blockades. That required police only to arrest those blocking traffic and to requisition tow trucks (already authorized by Canada’s criminal code). The asset freezes serve not to end an emergency but to incapacitate and intimidate protesters after the fact.

Parliament declined Monday night to revoke Mr. Trudeau’s emergency. He prevailed with the support of the socialist New Democratic Party, which once prided itself like others on the left as a defender of civil liberties. “We understood absolutely that we do not want to trigger an election,” said leader Jagmeet Singh, cowed by Mr. Trudeau’s threat. “That would be the worst thing to do in this crisis.” The vote captured the left-liberal pas de deux that has led to abuse of emergency powers. Ottawa’s police chief was a progressive and, as progressives do, he let protesters violate the law with impunity—for weeks. This exasperated Canadians who wanted order and commerce restored. The Liberals blamed foreign interference and lambasted the truckers along trendy American lines as racists and insurrectionists. Then Mr. Trudeau stepped in to curtail the rights of political enemies.

Kenney

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“The comparisons are stark.”

Trudeau Style Tyranny Is Already Here (Kelly)

In a recent court motion, Joe Biden’s Justice Department changed the official name of its investigation into the protest at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Originally designated the “Capitol breach” probe, the department just replaced “breach” with a more sinister word: siege. “The ‘Capitol Siege’ refers to the events of January 6, 2021, when thousands of individuals entered the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Capitol grounds without authority, halting the Joint Session and the entire official proceeding of Congress for hours,” Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote in a footnote to a February 10 filing. Graves commended Capitol and D.C. Metro police for “clear[ing] the Capitol of rioters” that afternoon. But courtroom rhetoric isn’t the only thing Graves is heating up.

The Justice Department has opened a “Capitol Siege Section” in the agency’s criminal division and wants to hire at least 20 more lawyers to help prosecute Americans for any involvement in what happened on January 6. Qualified attorneys will be employed on a temporary basis and could earn as much as $176,000 per year. “Capitol siege” prosecutors will complement an army of thousands of Justice Department employees, including FBI agents from 56 field offices across the country, handling what Attorney General Merrick Garland warned is the biggest investigation in the department’s history. More than 730 people have been arrested so far—amounting to more than three times the number of federal arrests related to the 2020 “mostly peaceful” riots that lasted for months and resulted in far more death and destruction—and the first major trial of a January 6 defendant starts next week.

As freedom-lovers justifiably recoil at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on vaccine mandate protesters, Americans worry the same sort of political retribution could happen here. I’m sorry to report, it already has. The scenes from Ottawa are matched or surpassed by the images here, including thuggish cops attacking January 6 protesters with mace and explosive devices. The difference? Instead of mounted police trampling a woman, ours merely shot and killed one woman and beat up a few more. What the Trudeau regime is now unleashing against the truckers and their supporters has been underway in America for more than a year. Using January 6 as a pretext, the Biden regime is brandishing its authority to crush political dissent. Now, it appears Trudeau and his apparatchiks are stealing the U.S. Justice Department’s playbook of power and pain.

The comparisons are stark. Take, for example, the words of Steve Bell, acting chief of the Ottawa police department. He told a reporter over the weekend how the government will hunt down those who stood in defiance of Trudeau’s vaccine mandates. “If you were involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges, absolutely,” Bell said during a press briefing on February 19. “This investigation will go on for months to come. It has many many different streams from a federal level from a financial level from a provincial licensing level to a criminal code level from a municipal breach of . . . court order level. It will be a time consuming and complicated investigation that will go on for a period of time.”

Read more …

The NDP holds the balance. And their leader is WEF.

Conservatives Force Trudeau To Defend And Vote On Emergency Powers Again (TSun)

If Justin Trudeau wants to keep the Emergencies Act for the full 30 days, Candice Bergen and the Conservatives are going to make him explain himself to Canadians again next week. Immediately following the vote to extend the federal government’s new powers, Bergen tabled a motion to rescind those very powers. That may seem odd given that she and the Conservatives had just lost the vote 185-151 but it was in fact a very strategic move. Under Section 59 of the Emergencies Act, any group of 10 Senators or 20 members of the House of Commons can sign a request to revoke the government’s emergency powers. By tabling the motion on Monday night immediately after the vote, Bergen has ensured that there will be another debate and another vote next week on the need for these powers.

“Liberal and NDP MPs will need to explain to Canadians why they are continuing to enforce a national state of emergency that gives the federal government far-reaching powers and authority,” Bergen said. Given that the area around Parliament is cleared out, the borders are all clear, there really isn’t the need for the emergency powers to continue. That’s a position held by some in Trudeau’s own Liberal caucus and several New Democrats as well. The government could rescind their powers before we even get to that point but it does put Trudeau on notice that he will have to continue defending his extraordinary power grab. He had trouble doing so on Monday when asked by reporters.

In fact, Trudeau turned to tow trucks as the first reason for needing the act to continue to be used when asked what was so vital in the act that he needed it to continue. Of course, the trucks have all left the Parliamentary precinct and there is no need for tow trucks. His next line of reasoning was that people might come back. Well then, use regular policing powers and stop them. Trudeau then turned to the ability to keep border crossings like the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor clear. That bridge was cleared away before he even invoked the Emergencies Act and existing federal and provincial laws are sufficient to keep border crossings clear and operating. “The Emergencies Act was not necessary to clear the blockades. The government already had all the tools they need under current Canadian law,” Bergen said.

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It’ll be fun.

Pentagon Considers Sending National Guard To DC Ahead Of US Freedom Convoy (DM)

The Pentagon could commission the National Guard to help manage thousands of big rigs expected to descend upon the nation’s capital this week in protest of government mandates. Following the path of a Canadian convoy of anti-vaccine long haulers who congested Ottawa’s streets for weeks this month, a group of fed-up American truckers from throughout the country are setting out Wednesday to launch their own mass protest in Washington, D.C., and plan to congest popular thoroughfares – including the Capitol Beltway. The Pentagon has been asked to help manage the protests by deploying the National Guard, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.

‘The Department is analyzing a request for assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency,’ Kirby said in a statement. ‘Those agencies have asked for National Guard personnel to provide support at traffic control points in and around the District to help the USCP [U.S. Capitol Police] and D.C. government address potential challenges stemming from possible disruptions at key traffic arteries.’ Although it’s not clear how many people will participate in the protests, it could number in the thousands, Fox News reported. Those leading the movement have requested a National Park Service permit that could accommodate up to 3,000 truckers in D.C., according to the report. This comes as officials also plan to reinstall the fencing that surrounded the Capitol complex last year ahead of Biden’s March 1 State of the Union address.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1496280231040393218

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“He has provided hope that accountability in D.C. — rare as a MAGA sticker on a Prius — actually might happen.”

John Durham Sent A Message To The Attorney General And The Country (Hill)

John Durham has been a special prosecutor for almost a year and a half — not a long time, but plenty of time for a drumbeat to begin that he was showing little progress against his orders to examine the origins of the debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative that convulsed a presidency. His few indictments so far have been directed against peripheral players, feeding a fear among Donald Trump’s supporters that elites higher up the stack are going to get away with their chicanery. The problem for Durham is that these perceptions were providing the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) with increasing political top cover to shut down the special prosecutor’s office as an unproductive, politics-driven exercise in futility that is wasting taxpayer dollars.

If Durham were to be terminated, the American people might not even push back much since no one had a clue whether his investigation was bearing meaningful fruit. Attorney General Merrick Garland already had undercut Durham’s investigation once by taking steps to rehabilitate the reputation of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a key figure in the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion debacle. The Biden DOJ is not friendly to the goals of Mr. Durham. Durham couldn’t hold a news conference or pen an op-ed touting progress; that’s just not done by investigators in the middle of an investigation. So, he turned to a readily available vehicle — a routine, fairly innocuous motion filed with the court — to embed an explosive message to the DOJ and the American people. It landed like fireworks at a funeral. No one saw it coming.

Tucked inside the court filing, John Durham laid out a good chunk of the case he’s building, and it was stunning. Durham revealed the outlines of a corrupt conspiracy by operatives linked to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The exposed conspiracy allegedly made a contrived, fraudulent and shocking attempt to entice the FBI and CIA to use their powers against the rival Trump campaign and presidency. This recent filing by Durham was designed to have two effects. First, and most important, he has now made any decision by the president or attorney general to dump him much more difficult to undertake. The last time a president fired a special prosecutor who was making significant progress, he lost his presidency.

Second, Durham has signaled to the American people that his investigation has legs, despite perceptions of plodding inertia. He has provided hope that accountability in D.C. — rare as a MAGA sticker on a Prius — actually might happen.

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Can Justin destroy bitcoin?

What Canada Means for Crypto (Doomberg)

The digitization of currency ties each individual directly – transparently – to their money and empowers the state with decision power on whether any particular citizen is allowed to transact in modern society. Your money no longer represents stored wealth that can be exchanged for goods and services. Rather, it represents stored wealth that can be exchanged for goods and services as permitted by the state. Mostly gone is the anonymity that comes with transacting in physical cash – the ultimate manifestation of a decentralized currency. (Just try booking a hotel room with nothing but cash and a valid passport.) In its place we find myriad extrajudicial procedures and complex regulations that strip away our freedoms and, if left unchecked, will ultimately make way for the displacement of our representative democracies with totalitarian states.

In a staggering 56-part Twitter thread that recently went viral, an anonymous account by the name of @punk6529 drives home this point brilliantly. A link to the full thread is here. The core thesis is that one cannot have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, or freedom of religion without the freedom to transact. Robbing a citizen of his or her ability to transact is a devastating punishment, and for the government to claim it has the ability to do so without judicial review or any reasonable recourse is the functional equivalent of totalitarianism. The 18th and 19th tweets in the thread are particularly compelling:

As we described in our last piece, Justin Trudeau has crossed the Rubicon in this regard, and if his actions become normalized, the entire edifice of Western democracy will undoubtedly collapse. Lest our readers think this is hyperbole or that Trudeau’s behavior will be contained to Canada, we point you to an excellent piece called In Praise of Bitcoin written by Dr. Ben Hunt . In it, Hunt correctly likens the US Treasury to the Eye of Sauron. Here’s a critical passage (emphasis added):

“If there’s a Western governmental institution that is more unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality than the US Treasury, I am unaware of what that institution might be. But unlike Wall Street, which is motivated by Flow, the US Treasury has an entirely different (but highly compatible!) goal. The goal of the US Treasury is to see all of the money in the world. That’s really all it is. That’s what Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations are all about. That’s what Know Your Client (KYC) regulations are all about. That’s what Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) regulations are all about. That’s what the Treasury-led Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is all about. That’s what the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) is all about. None of these programs are really about taxes. None of these programs are really about catching crooks or fighting terrorists. All of these programs are really about information for information’s sake regarding the greatest source of power in the world and the raison d’etre of every government on Earth: money.”

It is through a related lens that we have written skeptically about crypto in the past. We’ve marveled as US regulators allowed the crypto ecosystem to evolve, warned crypto participants that a crackdown is inevitable, and questioned how the “value” of one’s crypto holdings could be effectively transmitted back to the fiat world. Many have filled our Twitter feed and Substack comments section expressing the view that Trudeau’s descent into totalitarianism validates the need for cryptocurrencies. While we don’t doubt the demand for such exposure will increase because of his actions, we draw a more sobering conclusion. Trudeau’s actions destroy the concept that cryptocurrencies will ever be an effective medium of exchange. We recently summarized this view on Twitter:

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Dr. Lee Merritt ft. Dr. Tom Cowan

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFKjr

 

 

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Jan 032022
 


Albert Bierstadt Storm in the Mountains c1870

 

 

In my first article of the year, I must thank everyone who has followed us, and read us, and commented, especially those of you who have made donations both to the Automatic Earth, and to the Monastiraki kitchen for the homeless in Athens, Greece. Both don’t reach millions of people, but the thousands we do connect with, we reach them well. Every reader who learns something is a win, and every homeless person who gets a good meal, well, that’s obvious.

Thank you so much. You are the ones who make this happen.

 

 

If I say that 2020 was the year of the virus, and 2021 the year of the vaccine, most people would probably agree. But 2021 was so much more than that; it was also the year of propaganda, media capture and narrative control at levels beyond anything we’ve ever seen. Even if many -most- people haven’t experienced it that way.

And that has likely had more negative impact on us than the vaccine itself. A close call perhaps, I know. The good thing that has come out of this is that so much of it has been exposed. Much of the underlying tendencies towards authoritarianism, and disregard for truth, and blind desire for profit, for a Great Reset, population control, abandonment of freedoms and human rights, it’s all there now for us to see.

We need to act upon that exposure. Get rid of Fauci, Walensky, Pfizer, CDC, and their peers across the planet, of the WHO, of all health “experts” that receive income from/via Pfizer et al (which is the vast majority), put a halt to the influence of money (Bill Gates) on health policy. A society, a country, need to be their own boss over their own fundamental policies. And that means paying for it ourselves.

And not have policies easily changed by a group of politicians and unelected officials (“experts”) who happen to have grabbed power at a particular point in time. A society needs roots, and ours have been uprooted. From principles, from laws, from rights. This will not be easy, we already gave them a 2 year advantage, but if we don’t use this time when the spotlights are directed at them, we will lose even much more than we have already lost. We’ve let them play their games, virtually uncontested, and we cannot afford that.

This appears to culminate in Twitter’s handling of Joe Rogan and Robert Malone recently, and that’s fine, Twitter is not big enough to tackle Rogan, while CNN and MSNBC audiences are drops in the ocean compared to Joe’s. They bit off one too big for them to chew.

But that’s just the US, and that’s just one podcaster, one voice. The control virus that has come with the corona virus has delved much deeper into the world’s various societies. Just yesterday, we saw video from my country of birth, Holland, where police set attack dogs on peaceful elderly protesters, and say what you will, but that country is neither free nor a democracy. That claim is 100% obsolete.

That it is accepted regardless gives credence, and a lot, to Matthias Desmet and his “Mass Formation Syndrome” theories, but we should not really need his analysis, useful as it may be, to figure out what is going on. All we need to do is take a step back and wonder what the hell is going on. To ponder how we saw our societies 2+ years ago, how we ourselves would have seen these recent developments in the light of back then. We can’t have forgotten all of it?!

 

 

That Anthony Fauci is still in his job is absolutely insane. He became head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), 40 years ago, he’s 81, older than Joe Biden. He’s been building ties to Big Pharma, especially Pfizer, all that time, in the shadows, the best place for such deals.

He was in his position when Pfizer received the biggest criminal fine in US corporate history in 2012, of $2.3 billion, for lying and cheating and more. Now, a few years later, Fauci works with Pfizer and the rest of Big Pharma, and makes their owners billionaires and their shareholders very rich. He is the very last person who should have been in his where he is, both 2 years ago and now.

Fauci is not the best doctor in the US, he’s just the best connected to the pharma industry. That guarantees Americans the worst deal they could get, not the best. And of course anyone else at the upper echelons of the NIAID, CDC, FDA, they need to go too. Fauci et al put them there.

In the US and elsewhere, any politician, individual or through their party or otherwise, and any health experts, individual or through their organization or company, who have received funds from Big Pharma or Bill Gates, should be discarded, put out by the curb. We should be able to figure this out, because it’s NOW that they stand exposed. Perhaps not TO Covid, but certainly BY Covid.

It’s the only way we can cleanse the system. Which is needed if we want to survive, with our health, our conscience, and our freedoms and rights. We have let an enormous amount of mold, rot, grow at the pillars of our societies, and we should be glad we can see it now, because this allows us to exterminate it.

We cannot allow Pfizer to gain even more influence over our health systems. Which will be a very hard fight, because our politicians and experts handed them $100s of billions, which they are using as we speak to buy more politicians and lobbyists and influence, and profit.

You can’t stop this by voting for another party. Pfizer probably has more lobbyists on K Street than all of Big Oil put together. And they have them in party and every every country that matters, in every strategic position that matters, and they will soon have many more. No, you must cut their entire voice out of the politics and health care of your society. Yes, very difficult, sure. But today, you can at least see them. For a short time. That won’t last.

 

 

Along with all that the World Economic Forum, and their Great Reset, it will have to go. They don’t do anyone any good but themselves. A big club that we ain’t in. Which reminds me:

The Automatic Earth has shifted a lot towards Covid over the past 2 years, and surely many readers are not 100% happy with that. But the financial world is still captive to central banks that won’t allow price discovery, which makes “markets” just fake pantomimes that former investors get rich in while the poor suffer.

While the climate issue has been captured by the likes of COP 26, a toy for the rich who want to make you pay to “go green”, in accordance with Davos and the WEF. I feel sorry for the well-meaning people who expect anything from that set-up. Nobody who owes their money or their power to fossil fuels will voluntarily give up either, but they will make you fork over for windmills and solar cells whose energy dynamics you don’t actually understand.

Just like with Covid, if you want to free yourselves from the narrative, you will have to open your eyes and go to battle. An untested vaccine won’t set you free, and neither will an electric car. Those two are just things you are being sold by the narrative.

But believe you me, the no. 1 issue today is the vaccines. We need to stop those, before all of our children grow up with timebombs in their bodies. Every jab means more spike proteins, and boosters are worse because they come after your immune system has learned, and prepared for, how to attack those proteins, who by then may be in every organ in your body. And attack them it will, because they are toxic agents.

I don’t want to tell people to get a vaccine or not, but I do want to tell them to be very careful, to get informed well, and only then give their consent, if they decide to get jabbed. It’s just that you have to be confident that your immune system is strong enough to defend you from the effects of the vaccine, and that’s the opposite of what 99% of people understand is happening to them.

So, 2020 year of the virus, 2021 year of the vaccine, and 2022 year of the adverse effects of the vaccines?! And/or a grand awakening?

 

 

 

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Aug 222021
 
 August 22, 2021  Posted by at 9:19 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  76 Responses »


Salvador Dali Elephants 1948

 

Dr Reveals Stunning Truth About Covid Vaccine (RAV)
Simply Put: **** YOU (Denninger)
Moderna Knows Their Vaccine Has Caused Over 300,000 Injuries, Hides Info (DE)
No Test, Just Get Vax Card (RAV)
We Have ‘Leaky Vaccines’ (RAV)
Why Are Regulatory Agencies Hiding COVID Vaccine Safety Signals? (CHD)
There’s An Alternative And Ethical Strategy To The Jab (RAV)
What’s The Best Way To Top Up Our Immunity? (BBC)
Why Testing COVID Immunity is as Important as Vaccination (WA)
Bill Gates Has Major Shares In Pfizer, BioNTech, Is Primary Funder Of MHRA (DE)
Police Say Melbourne Anti-lockdown Protest ‘Most Violent In Nearly 20 Years’ (G.)

 

 

 

 

Karl Denninger, from his comments section:

There are two mechanisms for ADE, both related but distinct. The first is where the antibodies simply are all binding either due to mutational mismatch or simply the nature of the virus in question. This was what derailed attempts to produce both RSV and coronavirus vaccines in the past, and has bedeviled attempts at Dengue as well. The reason the vax makers used only the “S” protein was their BELIEF that this would evade the problem. They had no proof of that and in fact scant animal and in-vitro evidence, but that’s what they went with and then looked for signals in the (short) trials. That part looked good at the time.

But there’s a second, nasty way that ADE happens. As antibody titers wane they may not do so evenly. Mutational mismatch makes this dangerous because the neutralizing portion may wane faster than the binding portion. At some point there’s enough binding antibody remaining that you get ****ed because the neutralizing titer is too low to help, but the binding enhances the infection. This is almost as bad as the first form but it’s very hard to detect without extensive trials over time against the wild virus, and challenge trials in humans are never approved because if you do them and get hit with this you will kill a huge percentage of the subjects, thus you’ll never get ethical approval to do them.

There is ANECDOTAL evidence that this is showing up RIGHT NOW in a small percentage of people who got jabbed. It’s not conclusive but the signal is there, and it’s alarming as Hell. Figuring out WHO is in that bucket and potentially at risk, and whether there is stratification we can predictively use, had better be done — FAST — because there are over 150 million Americans who are potentially at risk of this happening to them.

 

 

Yes, good question:

What happens when the FDA approves Pfizer on Monday? Is that the end for all the other vaccines?

A series of short clips of Robert Malone on Bannon’s show.

Dr Reveals Stunning Truth About Covid Vaccine (RAV)

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“If it turns out that said person did in fact build a proper immune response then these cases are either OAS or ADE-enhanced disease..”

Simply Put: **** YOU (Denninger)

I believed I might have had Covid-19 in January of 2020, even though I tested negative for antibodies several months later. As it turns out my later antibody testing (negative) was correct and not a defective test; whatever I had in January of 2020 it was not Covid-19. But now having had Covid-19 (almost-certainly Delta too) and knowing damn well it was Covid-19, and surviving it, it is a clearly-distinct infection that I could not possibly mistake for anything else. Having had the infection and now having found IgG antibodies by test I am now known robustly immune to any and all variants; the immunity built from natural infection is conserved across the various epitopes of the virus in all cases because the “N” portion of the virus, which has to remain more-or-less intact for it to be able to be a virus, forms the backbone and bulk of the immune response built following natural infection.

This is not true for any of the vaccines, it was a critical error in what we did and it is why we are now seeing escape. It is not breakthrough folks, it is escape due to mismatch between the coded antibodies and circulating virus and it will both continue and accelerate as the match inexorably continues to degrade between what circulates and the original “wild type” out of Wuhan, which is what’s coded in ALL the jabs and which is long extinct. What’s worse is that if OAS or ADE really come out to play on top of it then if you have not been naturally infected and have been jabbed you are in for a world of **** if you get challenged by the virus in the wild. Even very, very small enhancement percentages from ADE-style reactions can completely overwhelm any sort of treatment possibility at all.

We do not yet know if this is happening as we are deliberately not autopsying and investigating cases where someone was vaccinated, got infected anyway and then rapidly crashed going from being moderately ill to in an ICU or dead within 72 hours. There are multiple reports of this happening already. If this was someone who had a defective immune response then that’s very unfortunate but it does happen. We had damned well better prove that, however, and we’re not going the pathology work to do so. If it turns out that said person did in fact build a proper immune response then these cases are either OAS or ADE-enhanced disease and while this outcome is clearly not universal in those who got jabbed if it is happening even once in a while we had better figure it out right ****ing now or there is going to be a pile of dead bodies this fall and winter and it will be the direct responsibility of those who advocated for and in fact are trying to, in many cases, FORCE mass-jabbing of the population that caused it.

Read more …

They have a special service to do it for them.

Moderna Knows Their Vaccine Has Caused Over 300,000 Injuries, Hides Info (DE)

A leaked report from Moderna’s data collection company reveals that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have caused upwards of 300,000 vaccine injuries in a three-month time span – dwarfing the number of vaccine injuries Moderna actually reported to VAERS in that time frame. Moderna is new to the vaccine industry, and they are part of a global effort to introduce new mRNA spike protein replication technology to the field of vaccination. The company is also new to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), a government reporting database that collects incidences of vaccine injury and death. The CDC and the FDA manage VAERS and are well aware of the widespread injuries and deaths caused by these vaccines.


VAERS is required to make these injuries public each and every week, even as the medical establishment continues to yawn and turn the other way. The VAERS database has published hundreds of thousands of vaccine injury reports in 2021, but the CDC and the FDA haven’t done anything significant to address the wide-scale medical malpractice and wrongful death perpetuated by this experimental gene gtherapy. The CDC and the FDA refuse to take the vaccines off the market, and only warn young adults that the vaccines “rarely” cause heart problems, anaphylactic shock, and blood clots. Moderna is legally required to forward all vaccine injury reports directly to VAERS, but they apparently aren’t doing their part and are concealing massive amounts of vaccine injury data.

If this data was shared in a timely and transparent manner, it would further corroborate the numerous, wide-scale injuries already being reported to VAERS. According to the most recent data from VAERS, Moderna has only reported 110,500 adverse events reports from January through March for their SpikeVax COVID-19 vaccine. Most of these injuries occurred in the United States. VAERS also reports another 78,000 reports of vaccine injury from SpikeVax from April through June, with 71,400 of those injuries coming from the United States. Of these 188,500 vaccine injuries reported to VAERS, Moderna themselves only reported a fraction of them. Most of the reports came from patients, physicians, and other health care providers, who documented the adverse events in a medical report filed with VAERS.


Most shocking yet, a data collection service that works for Moderna sent out an internal memo highlighting up to 300,000 adverse events that occurred in a three-month span in 2021. Moderna’s data collection company is called IQVIA. This company helps drug-makers manage clinical trials. IQVIA employs 74,000 people and grossed $ 11 billion in sales last year. The company’s President for Research and Development Solutions sent out a Quarter Two update that was labeled “Confidential – for internal distribution only.” The report includes upwards of 300,000 incidences of vaccine injury reported directly from injured consumers. The memo states that IQVIA applied more than 12 automation’s to drive greater efficiencies and quality “to ensure regulatory compliance for the Moderna pharmacovigilance program.”

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Homer the pathologist.

No Test, Just Get Vax Card (RAV)

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And leaky vessels.

We Have ‘Leaky Vaccines’ (RAV)

Read more …

“..more and more people recognize that the premise that vaccine adverse events are “one in a million” is an utter fiction.”

Why Are Regulatory Agencies Hiding COVID Vaccine Safety Signals? (CHD)

A few months before the first COVID-19 vaccines received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in late 2020, a global vaccine safety expert cautioned the rushed circumstances made it essential to “get [safety monitoring] right” by “intensively” and “robustly” scrutinizing adverse events following the experimental rollout. As this expert stated, “Deploying any new vaccine based on data from expedited clinical trials into a population without a functioning safety monitoring system in place is reckless and irresponsible given the tools that are available.” Moreover, she added, any investments needed to beef up safety monitoring would be “inexpensive in comparison” to the massive funding allocated to COVID-19 vaccine development and scale-up.

In theory, the U.S. has had a national vaccine safety monitoring system in place since 1990 — the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) — intended to function as an “early warning system.” VAERS and its U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) counterpart FAERS (FDA Adverse Event Reporting System) constitute the principal data sources that regulators rely on when pulling drugs or vaccines from the market for safety reasons. Not only has VAERS never lived up to its promise, but there can be little doubt its glaring failures are largely, and malignantly, by design.

For example, when a government-commissioned study highlighted VAERS inadequacies in 2010 — estimating more than 99% of vaccine adverse reactions were going unreported and that one of every 39 doses of vaccine administered was linked to adverse events corroborated in vaccine package inserts — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) simply shut the project down. Now, in less than a year, more than half a million reports of injuries have flooded into VAERS following experimental COVID jabs, including thousands of deaths. Yet a deafening regulatory silence has greeted this record-setting volume of adverse reactions, which accounts for nearly a third of all reports accumulated by VAERS over its entire three-decade lifespan.

Statistical tricks (and conflicts of interest) are not new to the vaccine or pharmaceutical industries, which have used them for decades to successfully mask the “chasm between vaccine rhetoric and reality.” Even when drug warning systems seem to “work,” the lag time between reports of harm and regulatory action is, on average, 20 years. In that light — with FDA speeding toward full approval of the Pfizer injection, Moderna gaining fast-track designation to test other experimental mRNA vaccines in children and adults and CDC benignly maintaining that the results of COVID vaccine safety monitoring are “reassuring” — it is not hard to be discouraged about the agencies’ continued ability to get away with misusing and abusing safety data from VAERS and other sources.

However, the safety narrative started imploding in a big way in late 2019, when the world’s top vaccine experts gathered at the World Health Organization and admitted, almost to a person, that vaccines are sometimes fatal and that safety monitoring is failing to capture the dangers. COVID may have provided these worried experts with a temporary and convenient reprieve, but more and more people recognize that the premise that vaccine adverse events are “one in a million” is an utter fiction. With injuries from COVID vaccines occurring on an unprecedented scale — and credible doctors and scientists issuing urgent warnings about short-term and longer-term damage — it may become increasingly difficult for the vaccine establishment to shove its problems under the statistical carpet.

Read more …

IVM.

There’s An Alternative And Ethical Strategy To The Jab (RAV)

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The BBC can’t say “Stop Mass Vaccination”. So they try a way around it. And get lost.

What’s The Best Way To Top Up Our Immunity? (BBC)

There are marked differences in your immune system after a natural infection with coronavirus and after vaccination. Which is better? Even asking the question bordered on heresy a year ago, when catching Covid for the first time could be deadly, especially for the elderly or people already in poor health. Now, we’re no longer starting with zero immunity as the overwhelming majority of people have either been vaccinated or have already caught the virus. It is now a serious question that has implications for whether children should ever be vaccinated. And whether we use the virus or booster shots to top up immunity in adults. Both have become contentious issues. “We could be digging ourselves into a hole, for a very long time, where we think we can only keep Covid away by boosting every year,” Prof Eleanor Riley, an immunologist from the University of Edinburgh, told me.

Prof Adam Finn, a government vaccine adviser, said over-vaccinating people, when other parts of the world had none, was “a bit insane, it’s not just inequitable, it’s stupid”. We need to understand a little bit about the key building blocks of both our immune system and the virus it is attacking. The power-couple of the immune system that clears the body of infection are antibodies and T-cells. Antibodies stick to the surface of the virus and mark it for destruction. T-cells can spot which of our own cells have been hijacked by the virus and destroy them. For all the trouble the virus has caused, it is spectacularly simple. It has the famous spike protein, which is the key it uses to unlock the doorway into our body’s cells. And 28 other proteins that it needs to hijack our cells and make thousands of copies of itself. (For comparison it takes about 20,000 proteins to run the human body).

[..] There is clear evidence that adults who have not had any vaccine dose will have stronger immune defences if they do get vaccinated, even if they have caught Covid before. But there are two big questions: 1/ do vaccinated adults need to be boosted, or is exposure to the virus enough? 2/ do children need vaccinating at all, or does a lifetime of encountering build a good immune defence? The idea of regularly topping up immunity throughout life is not radical in other infections, such as RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) or the four other coronaviruses that infect people and cause common cold symptoms. Each time you’re exposed, the immune system gets a little bit stronger, and this continues until old age, when the immune system starts to fail and the infections become a problem again.

“This isn’t proven, but it could be a lot cheaper and simpler to let that happen than spend the whole time immunising people,” said Prof Finn, who warns we could end up “locked into a cycle of boosting” without seeing if it was necessary. However, he said the argument in children had “already been won” as “40-50% have already been infected and most weren’t ill or particularly ill”. There are counter-arguments. Prof Riley points to long-Covid in children, and Prof Openshaw to nervousness around the long-term effects of a virus that can affect many of the body’s organs. But Prof Riley said there was potential in using vaccines to “take the edge off” Covid, followed by infection, to broaden the immune response.

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“..we’re not testing antibodies, because they’re worried that a substantial number of people are going to find out that the vaccine didn’t work for them.” – Dr. Holman Noorchashm”

Why Testing COVID Immunity is as Important as Vaccination (WA)

Antibody testing is the gold standard for determining immunity, says immunologist and physician, Dr. Hooman Norchashm. Yet, the CDC and FDA are actively deterring people from testing their immunity. Why? Dr. Noorchashm suggests that the answer to this could lie partly in the phenomena of vaccine spoilage. “It’s a medicine, just like any other medicine. It’s got a failure rate…, and we should accept that.” “They’re worried that a substantial number of people are not going to find out that the vaccine didn’t work for them.” Currently, the delta variant of COVID-19 is being used by the Government to explain the high occurrence of breakthrough infections. However, Dr. Noorchashm suggests, vaccine spoilage is a more likely explanation. While a strong believer in vaccination, Dr. Noorchashm argues that determining individual immunity rather than blanket vaccination is the ‘Achilles heel’ to overcoming COVID-19.

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Owning shares is one thing, but funding the goverment?!

Bill Gates Has Major Shares In Pfizer, BioNTech, Is Primary Funder Of MHRA (DE)

An investigation has revealed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are the primary funders of the UK’s Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and that the Foundation also owns major shares in both Pfizer and BioNTech. The Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) extended the emergency authorisation of the Pfizer / BioNTech mRNA jab in the UK to allow it to be given to children between the ages of 12 – 15 on the 4th June 2021. At the time, the Chief Executive of the MHRA, Dr June Raine said the MHRA had “carefully reviewed clinical trial data in children aged 12 to 15 years and have concluded that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits outweigh any risk”.

We are left wondering if Dr June Raine and the MHRA have even read the results of the extremely short and small study. If they have then they would have seen that 86% of children in the study suffered an adverse reaction ranging from mild to extremely serious. Just 1,127 children took part of the trial, however only 1,097 children completed the trial, with 30 of them not participating after being given the first dose of the Pfizer jab. The results do not state why the 30 children did not go on to complete the trial. The information is publicly available and contained within an FDA fact sheet which can be viewed here (see page 25, table 5 on-wards).

There was never any doubt that the MHRA would give emergency authorisation for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine to be used in children when you consider that a certain Mr Bill Gates owns shares in both Pfizer and BioNTech and is the primary funder of the MHRA. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation bought shares in Pfizer back in 2002, and back in September 2020 Bill Gates ensured the value of his shares went up by announcing to the mainstream media in a CNBC interview that he viewed the Pfizer jab as the leader in the Covid-19 vaccine race.

“The only vaccine that, if everything went perfectly, might seek the emergency use license by the end of October, would be Pfizer.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also “coincidentally” bought $55 million worth of shares in BioNTech in September 2019, just before the alleged Covid-19 pandemic struck. The MHRA received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017 to the tune of £980,000 for a “collaboration” with the foundation. However, a Freedom of Information request which the MHRA responded to in May 2021 revealed that the current level of grant funding received from the Gates Foundation amounts to $3 million and covers “a number of projects”.

Read more …

“They don’t care about their freedom, they’re just looking for trouble…”

Police Say Melbourne Anti-lockdown Protest ‘Most Violent In Nearly 20 Years’ (G.)

An anti-lockdown protest held in Melbourne on Saturday was one of the most violent the city has seen in 20 years, Victoria’s top police officer says. Chief commissioner Shane Patton said his officers had no choice but to use non-lethal weapons to defend themselves from an angry mob that came armed and appeared intent on attacking them. It is the first time during a lockdown protest, police have used such tactics that included rounds of pepper spray projectiles and canisters. At least nine officers ended up in hospital after being pelted with projectiles, punched and kicked by some members of a 4,000 strong crowd who turned out to protest the city’s Covid-19 lockdown. The mostly unmasked protesters let off flares, yelled slogans and blasted music as they moved through the CBD.

More than 700 extra Victorian police officers were deployed to contain the lockdown protest. Patton said he was nothing short of disgusted with the conduct of some in the crowd. “What we saw yesterday … was probably one of the most violent protests we’ve seen in nearly 20 years,” he told reporters on Sunday. More than 200 people were arrested including some on remand for previous crimes. At least 19 will be taken to court rather than issued with fines in excess of $5,000. Two people will face assault charges. He said many in the crowd came armed with projectiles that were hurled at police and it was clear they were there not to protest for personal freedom but to “confront and attack”.

[..] “I just hope it doesn’t result in the mass spread of Covid-19. The risk that those people have now posed to the rest of the community, by their conduct yesterday, was disgraceful and selfish.” Patton also revealed 48 people have been fined almost $5,500 each over an illegal engagement party in Caulfield North, including the future bride and groom. That number is expected to rise with eight other attendees yet to be interviewed. The rest of the people at that party were children. They’ve been warned and won’t receive fines..

Read more …

 

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Golden oldie.

 

 

 

 

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Jul 262021
 
 July 26, 2021  Posted by at 9:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  134 Responses »


Henri Matisse Reading woman in violet dress 1898

 

CDC Withdraws PCR Tests: “They Can’t Tell SARS-CoV-2 from Influenza” (GN)
Bill Gates Primary Funder Of MHRA, Owns Major Shares In Pfizer & BioNTech (DE)
Little Known Osteopath In The Spotlight As An Anti-vaxx Superspreader (NYT)
CDC ‘Actively’ Considering Face Cover Advisory For Vaccinated: Fauci (RT)
The Other Side of the COVID Vaccination Argument (CTH)
159 Dead, 593 Hospitalized in Illinois Breakthrough COVID Cases (NBC)
Biden DOJ Drops Civil Rights Probe Of Gov. Cuomo Over Nursing Homes (NYP)
UK Economy Growing At Fastest Rate In 80 Years (G.)
Judge Refuses To Identify 5 Market Participants In VIX Manipulation (ZH)
The Insect Apocalypse: ‘Our World Will Grind To A Halt Without Them’ (G.)
CNN Airs Hour-Long Public Service Message On Dementia (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Seneff long term effects

 

 

Lee Merritt – Synthetic Spike Protein Affects Every Cell
– start at 50 min

 

 

In case you were wondering why there are no flu cases left.

Google translated.

Note: Bill Gates and George Soros bought UK testing firm Mologic just days ago.

CDC Withdraws PCR Tests: “They Can’t Tell SARS-CoV-2 from Influenza” (GN)

On 21 July 2021, the 18 lines that rewrite the history of the Covid-19 pandemic were published. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the USA, the highest health authority of the American government for monitoring diseases and in particular infectious ones, has launched an alert that assumes the range of a nuclear missile against the rubber wall of the international narrative on the emergency caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus ( believed to have been built in the laboratory by many scientific researches now ).

“After December 31, 2021, the CDC will withdraw the application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the test first introduced in February 2020 for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 only. CDC provides this notice in advance to clinical laboratories to allow sufficient time to select and implement one of the many alternatives authorized by the FDA.”

This is the “Lab Alert” launched by the Division of Laboratory System (DLS), the specialized section of the CDC ( link at the bottom of the article ). Alone, it would already be enough to confirm all the investigations carried out in recent months on 97% unreliable tampons, as claimed by various scientific researches and international judicial authorities . But the official communication of the CDC (branched body in all the confederate states) states between the lines something already shocking, anticipated by Gospa News already last year: that is the risk that the nasopharyngeal swabs PCR, subject to cycles of variable amplifications , may not distinguish Covid-19 from a simple flu.

Visit the FDA website for a list of authorized COVID-19 diagnostic methods. For a summary of the performance of FDA-cleared molecular methods with an FDA reference panel. In preparation for this change, CDC recommends clinical laboratories and testing sites that have used the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR assay to select and begin transitioning to another FDA-cleared COVID-19 assay. The CDC encourages laboratories to consider adopting a multiplex method that can facilitate the detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses.Such tests can facilitate the continuation of testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save time and resources as we head into the flu season. Laboratories and test sites must validate and verify the selected test within their facility before starting clinical trials. ”

The Real time PCR – also known as Quantitative PCR , abbreviated qPCR – is a method that simultaneously amplifies (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) and quantifies the DNA , similar but not to be confused with the RT-PCR method (Reverse Transcriptase -PCR ) . DNA is amplified by DNA-polymerase chain reactions. After each round of amplification, the DNA is quantified. Common methods of quantification include the use of fluorescent stains that intercalate with double-stranded (ds) DNA and modified DNA oligonucleotides (called probes) which are fluorescent when hybridized with a DNA. Real-time PCR is often combined with Retro Transcriptional PCR (RT-PCR) to quantify the expression levels of specific RNA: retro-transcription (or reverse transcription) produces single-stranded complementary DNA called cDNA (complementary DNA) keeping the relative concentration ratios of the different RNA species unchanged. In this way it is possible, for example, to measure the relative expression of a gene at a particular time, either in a cell or in a particular type of tissue.

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Fully impartial.

Bill Gates Primary Funder Of MHRA, Owns Major Shares In Pfizer & BioNTech (DE)

An investigation has revealed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are the primary funders of the UK’s Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and that the Foundation also owns major shares in both Pfizer and BioNTech. The Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) extended the emergency authorisation of the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA jab in the UK to allow it to be given to children between the ages of 12 – 15 on the 4th June 2021. At the time, the Chief Executive of the MHRA, Dr June Raine said the MHRA had “carefully reviewed clinical trial data in children aged 12 to 15 years and have concluded that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits outweigh any risk”.

We are left wondering if Dr June Raine and the MHRA have even read the results of the extremely short and small study. If they have then they would have seen that 86% of children in the study suffered an adverse reaction ranging from mild to extremely serious. Just 1,127 children took part of the trial, however only 1,097 children completed the trial, with 30 of them not participating after being given the first dose of the Pfizer jab. The results do not state why the 30 children did not go on to complete the trial. The information is publicly available [..] There was never any doubt that the MHRA would give emergency authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be used in children when you consider that a certain Mr Bill Gates owns shares in both Pfizer and BioNTech and is the primary funder of the MHRA.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation bought shares in Pfizer back in 2002, and back in September 2020 Bill Gates ensured the value of his shares went up by announcing to the mainstream media in a CNBC interview that he viewed the Pfizer jab as the leader in the Covid-19 vaccine race. “The only vaccine that, if everything went perfectly, might seek the emergency use license by the end of October, would be Pfizer.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also “coincidentally” bought $55 million worth of shares in BioNTech in September 2019, just before the alleged Covid-19 pandemic struck.

The MHRA received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017 to the tune of £980,000 for a “collaboration” with the foundation. However, a Freedom of Information request which the MHRA responded to in May 2021 revealed that the current level of grant funding received from the Gates Foundation amounts to $3 million and covers “a number of projects”.

Read more …

“More than 97% of people hospitalised for COVID-19 are unvaccinated..”

Because the vaccinated are no longer tested.

NYT going after Mercola big time. Who’s next? They’ll pick them off one by one.

Little Known Osteopath In The Spotlight As An Anti-vaxx Superspreader (NYT)

The article that appeared online February 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease. Instead, the article claimed, the shots “alter your genetic coding, turning you into a viral protein factory that has no off-switch”. Its assertions were easily disprovable. No matter. Over the next few hours, the article was translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by anti-vaccination activists, who repeated the false claims online. The article also made its way to Facebook, where it reached 400,000 people, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool.

The entire effort traced back to one person: Joseph Mercola. Mercola, 67, an osteopathic physician in Cape Coral, Florida, has long been a subject of criticism and government regulatory actions for his promotion of unproven or unapproved treatments. But most recently, he has become the chief spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, according to researchers. An internet-savvy entrepreneur who employs dozens, Mercola has published more than 600 articles on Facebook that cast doubt on COVID-19 vaccines since the pandemic began, reaching a far larger audience than other vaccine sceptics, an analysis by The New York Times found. His claims have been widely echoed on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The activity has earned Mercola, a natural health proponent with an Everyman demeanour, the dubious distinction of the top spot in the “Disinformation Dozen,” a list of 12 people responsible for sharing 65 per cent of all anti-vaccine messaging on social media, said the nonprofit Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Others on the list include Robert F. Kennedy jnr, a longtime anti-vaccine activist; and Erin Elizabeth, founder of the website Health Nut News, who is also Mercola’s girlfriend. “Mercola is the pioneer of the anti-vaccine movement,” said Kolina Koltai, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies online conspiracy theories. “He’s a master of capitalising on periods of uncertainty, like the pandemic, to grow his movement.”

Some high-profile media figures have promoted scepticism of the vaccines — notably, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham of Fox News, though other Fox personalities have urged viewers to get the shots. Now Mercola and others in the “Disinformation Dozen” are in the spotlight as vaccinations in the United States slow, just as the highly infectious delta variant has fuelled a resurgence in coronavirus cases. More than 97% of people hospitalised for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. President Joe Biden has blamed online falsehoods for causing people to refrain from getting the injections. But even as Biden has urged social media companies to “do something about the misinformation,” Mercola shows the difficulty of that task. Over the last decade, Mercola has built a vast operation to push natural health cures, disseminate anti-vaccination content and profit from all of it, said researchers who have studied his network. In 2017, he filed an affidavit claiming his net worth was “in excess of $US100 million”.

Read more …

In religion, credibility is not a factor.

CDC ‘Actively’ Considering Face Cover Advisory For Vaccinated: Fauci (RT)

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has revealed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could soon reconsider its guidelines, recommending vaccinated Americans to mask up again. Top health officials have reportedly been having preliminary talks about revising mask recommendations for vaccinated Americans due to a rise in cases and concerns over the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19. According to current guidance, those vaccinated against the virus do not need to wear masks in most public spaces. The revision of the mask guidance is indeed “under active consideration,” Fauci confirmed to CNN on Sunday. The infectious disease expert did not give a timeframe for when the federal guidance could change, but he praised those state officials who had already rushed ahead to reinstate local mask mandates in response to rising coronavirus cases.


“If you look at what’s going on locally in the trenches, in places like L.A. County,” Fauci said, “the local officials have the discretion, and the CDC agrees with that ability and discretion capability to say, you know, you’re in a situation where we’re having a lot of dynamics of infection, so even if you are vaccinated, you should wear a mask.” Fauci and other White House officials have used the uptick in cases to continue pushing unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated. Recent polling, however, has signified that those who have refused getting vaccinated thus far have little to no interest in changing their minds.

Read more …

Great video.

The Other Side of the COVID Vaccination Argument (CTH)

There is a lot of incoming information from government and the private sector promoting the vaccine. Recently, there has been a significant uptick in compulsory demands for taking the COVID vaccine. This forced vaccination approach has made many people start to question why this coordinated pressure campaign has increased with such ferocity. As a result of such one-side information, people are increasingly skeptical. In this video below you can review the counter-position for why people do not want to take the vaccination shot.


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Very rare.

159 Dead, 593 Hospitalized in Illinois Breakthrough COVID Cases (NBC)

More than 150 people have died and nearly 600 have been hospitalized in Illinois due to COVID-19 in “breakthrough” cases after they were fully vaccinated, according to state health officials. According to data updated Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 159 people in Illinois have died due to COVID-19 or complications after being fully vaccinated. That figure equates to 2.3% of COVID-19 deaths in the state since Jan. 1, officials said. At least 593 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized in Illinois, IDPH said. The state only reports breakthrough infections among those who have been hospitalized or died, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH said.


Those totals mean eight more fully vaccinated individuals have died and 30 more have been hospitalized in the past week since the state last updated its reported numbers. The state does not publicize the number of residents who tested positive after being fully vaccinated but did not die or require hospitalization in order to “help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance,” IDPH’s website reads.

Read more …

He’s a made man.

Biden DOJ Drops Civil Rights Probe Of Gov. Cuomo Over Nursing Homes (NYP)

The Department of Justice has decided not to investigate whether the civil rights of residents in New York’s government-run nursing homes were violated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial admission policy related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter Friday, the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs told US Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), ranking member of that House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, that New York was off the hook in connection with potential violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. In August, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division requested information from New York in connection with a March 25, 2020, order from the state Department of Health that required nursing homes to admit “medically stable” COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals.

It also sought records from Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey, which adopted similar rules that the DOJ said “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents.” “We have reviewed the information provided by these states along with additional information available to the Department,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Gaeta wrote Friday. “Based on that review, we have decided not to open a CRIPA investigation of any public nursing facility within New York, Pennsylvania, or Michigan at this time.” In a prepared statement, Scalise called it “outrageous that the Department of Justice refuses to investigate the deadly ‘must admit’ orders issued by governors in New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that resulted in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens.”

“Where is the justice for nursing home victims and their grieving families? These deadly orders contradicted the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] guidance, and needlessly endangered the most vulnerable among us to the deadly COVID-19 virus,” Scalise said. “Even worse, Governor Cuomo in New York intentionally tried to cover up the true death toll resulting from his mandate. Grieving families deserve answers and accountability. It’s unconscionable that Biden’s Department of Justice refuses to investigate the deadly actions that went against CDC’s medical guidance taken in these states.”

Read more …

Oh sure. As the media scream Armageddon.

UK Economy Growing At Fastest Rate In 80 Years (G.)

The British economy is growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, according to a leading economic forecaster. Buoyed by the vaccine rollout and a bounce back in consumer spending, the EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% – which would be the fastest annual growth in national income since 1941. The UK economy shrank by 9.8% in 2020, the worst performance in the G7. The optimism comes despite the chaos caused by widespread staff shortages as workers self-isolate en masse after being pinged by NHS test and trace. The “pingdemic” is affecting the running of shops, restaurants, factories and even railway services as bosses struggle to find staff to cover shifts.

Although the economy has proved increasingly resilient through lockdowns, the EY Item Club report came with the health warning that the “future pattern of the pandemic and any renewed pandemic-related restrictions will have a significant bearing on whether the forecast is achieved”. The UK economy is more dependent on consumer spending on services, such as recreation and leisure activities, which meant that the lockdowns had a greater economic impact than in other countries, said Martin Beck, the EY Item Club’s senior economic adviser. The reopening of these “face-to-face parts of the economy means the UK should have a correspondingly faster recovery”, he said. In the spring, the group of economists, which is the only non-government forecasting organisation to use the Treasury’s modelling of the economy, pencilled in growth of 6.8%.

This is the second time this year it has upgraded its forecast, putting the economy on track to attain its pre-pandemic peak by the end of 2021. That milestone would now be reached some six months sooner than when it last crunched the numbers in April, with the UK’s successful vaccine programme a key factor. Recent surveys of economic activity have, however, been less encouraging, leading to concerns that the recovery is stalling. The IHS Markit and the Cips survey showed growth at its slowest since March, which was attributed to wide-ranging staff shortages, rising Covid cases and thousands of workers having to isolate owing to the pingdemic. It also highlighted a new mood of caution among the public triggered by the rapidly rising infection rates.

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Because the Fed is one? Because the market makers are?

Judge Refuses To Identify 5 Market Participants In VIX Manipulation (ZH)

[..] on Feb 5, 2018 the steamroller woke up with a vengeance, and shortly after the close, the infamous volmageddon event took place when a handful of the most popular inverse VIX strategies crashed from near record highs to zero in a manner of minutes as ETN liquidation triggers were activated, sending the VIX briefly to record highs and wiping out billions in value and leaving countless retail investors stunned and facing total losses. Yet while to retail investors losses were in the hundreds or, at most, thousands of dollars (recall this was in the pre-stimmy stage when people cared about their money), some hedge funds got completely wiped out. One among them was LJM Partners, a Chicago-based fund that lost $446.8 million in one day from the market moves, wiping out 86.5% of its assets in seconds.

And so LJM and more than two dozen other investors and fund managers sued over the next year to recover losses, claiming unidentified market participants that rigged the index “repeatedly posted and immediately canceled” tens of thousands of quotes for S&P 500 options, whose prices are used to calculate the VIX. The plaintiffs, understandably furious at the events of Feb 5, claiming that unidentified market participants manipulated the VIX by posting S&P 500 options quotes that only stayed in the order book for milliseconds, not long enough for anyone to trade against but enough time for them to be incorporated into the value of the VIX.

That technique, known as “flashing” and popularized back in 2009 first by this website, was unrelated to any legitimate positions the unidentified market participants held or wished to hold, but successfully manipulated the price of S&P 500 options and futures contracts, LJM claimed, even though the CBOE which is the Chicago-based owner of the VIX and the exchange where S&P 500 options trade, has repeatedly dismissed claims of manipulation of the index. And while LJM has yet to recover any funds, on Friday the defunct fund suffered another setback, when a federal judge refused to identify five market participants accused in the lawsuit of manipulating the VIX index.

US District Judge Manish S. Shah, during a telephone conference Friday in Chicago, said the plaintiffs had failed to provide enough evidence of actual manipulation to justify revealing the names of the market participants, who were identified only by code names in exchange records. “Plaintiffs have not demonstrated good cause” for the disclosure, said Shah, who had earlier authorized the release of exchange data to help them make their case. “Rather than specific allegations of manipulation, plaintiffs’ complaints offer a menu of what they characterize as potentially manipulative conduct that may have occurred on February 5 and 6, 2018,” the market participants said in a court filing.

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Many people asking where the bugs on their windshields went. Which is a typical “connection” with nature.

The Insect Apocalypse: ‘Our World Will Grind To A Halt Without Them’ (G.)

In 2015 I was contacted by the Krefeld Society, a group of entomologists who, since the late 1980s, had been trapping flying insects on nature reserves scattered across Germany. They had amassed insects from nearly 17,000 days of trapping across 63 sites and 27 years, a total of 53kg of insects. They sent me their data to ask for my help in preparing it for publication in a scientific journal. In the 27 years from 1989 to 2016 the overall biomass (ie weight) of insects caught in their traps fell by 75%. In midsummer, when in Europe we see the peak of insect activity, the decline was even more marked, at 82%. I thought initially that there must have been some sort of mistake, because this seemed too dramatic a drop to be credible. We knew that wildlife in general was in decline, but for three-quarters of insects to have disappeared so rapidly suggested a pace and scale of decline that had previously not been imagined.

In October 2019 a different group of German scientists published their findings from a study of insect populations in German forests and grasslands over 10 years from 2008 to 2017. The study’s results were deeply troubling. Grasslands fared worst, losing on average two-thirds of their arthropod biomass (the insects, spiders, woodlice and more). In woodlands, biomass dropped by 40%. What about elsewhere? Is there something peculiar going on in Germany? It seems highly unlikely. Perhaps the best-studied insect populations in the world are the UK’s butterflies. They are recorded by volunteers as part of the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, the largest and longest-running scheme of its kind in the world. The trends it reveals are worrying. Butterflies of the “wider countryside” – common species found in farmland, gardens and so on, such as meadow browns and peacocks – fell in abundance by 46% between 1976 and 2017.

Meanwhile, habitat specialists, fussier species that tend to be much rarer, such as fritillaries and hairstreaks, fell by 77%, despite concerted conservation efforts directed at many of them. Worldwide, although the bulk of insect species – the flies, beetles, grasshoppers, wasps, mayflies, froghoppers and so on – are not systematically monitored, we often have good data on population trends for birds that depend on insects for food, and these are mostly in decline. For example, populations of insectivorous birds that hunt their prey in the air (ie the flying insects that have decreased so much in biomass in Germany) have fallen by more than any other bird group in North America, by about 40% between 1966 and 2013. Bank swallows, common nighthawks (nightjars), chimney swifts and barn swallows have all fallen in numbers by more than 70% in the past 20 years.

In England, populations of the spotted flycatcher fell by 93% between 1967 and 2016. Other once-common insectivores have suffered similarly, including the grey partridge (-92%), nightingale (-93%) and cuckoo (-77%). The red-backed shrike, a specialist predator of large insects, went extinct in the UK in the 1990s. Overall, the British Trust for Ornithology estimates that the UK had 44m fewer wild birds in 2012 compared with 1970. All the evidence above relates to populations of insects and their predators in highly industrialised, developed countries. Information about insect populations in the tropics, where most insects live, is sparse. We can only guess what impacts deforestation of the Amazon, the Congo, or south-east Asian rainforests has had on insect life in those regions. We will never know how many species went extinct before we could discover them.

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“The strawberries. The strawberries. The strawberries. That’s what makes it work! Airplanes!”

CNN Airs Hour-Long Public Service Message On Dementia (BBee)

As part of a campaign to raise awareness and improve public knowledge on treatment options, CNN aired an hour-long public service announcement on the warning signs of dementia Wednesday night. The PSA, which ran over an hour, showed tragic footage of an old man ranting and making nonsensical, confusing statements. CNN says they hope the footage will encourage family members of the elderly to get them tested for the early warning signs of dementia. The cable news channel displayed a phone number for a hotline people can call if they believe someone they know might be suffering from symptoms of the condition.


“If you or a loved one act like this man,” said Don Lemon, “please, we beg you, get help. Slurred speech, inaccurate statements, an inability to remember where you are—these are all signs that your loved one might be suffering from dementia, whether he’s retired or the president of the United States.” “… and we’d take the rhubarb and we’d put it in the pie, right in the ol’ pie,” the old man said suddenly, in a rare moment of lucidity. “It was incredible. You wouldn’t think rhubarb would taste good, but it’s the sweetness. The strawberries. The strawberries. The strawberries. That’s what makes it work! Airplanes! Airplanes are neat, you know, but they’re a myth. How do they get them up there? They don’t—d-d-don’t even have feathers.” Many of the attendees were touched by both the PSA and the old man.

Read more …

 

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Melenchon
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Jun 032021
 


Vincent van Gogh Avenue of Poplars at Sunset 1884

 

Tucker Carlson Levels Fauci After FOIA Emails Connect The Dots (ZH)
Fauci’s Upcoming Book Scrubbed On Amazon, Barnes & Noble Amid Backlash (JTN)
Wuhan Lab Chief To NIH Conference: ‘No Regulation’ On Virus Manipulation (NP)
Israel: Likely Link Between Pfizer Vaccine And Myocarditis In Young Males (RT)
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett To Build New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor In Wyoming (R.)
Why The US Isn’t Going To Nuke Anyone From Orbit Anytime Soon (RT)
The New Domestic War on Terror Has Already Begun (Greenwald)
Daniel Ellsberg Wants The US To Prosecute Him Under The Espionage Act (IC)
‘Dying for an iPhone’ (Chris Hedges)
China Rushes To Pull Back The Yuan From A Three-Year High (CNBC)
Olympics Will Go Ahead, Says Tokyo Games Chief (G.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Berenson

 

 

An anagram for Dr Anthony Fauci is China Fraud Tony

 

 

“Fauci supported the grotesque and dangerous experiments that appeared to have made COVID possible.”

Tucker Carlson Levels Fauci After FOIA Emails Connect The Dots (ZH)

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson ripped “the utter fraudulence of Tony Fauci” Wednesday night, after BuzzFeed and the Washington Post obtained thousands of pages of emails through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, revealing that the nation’s top virologist was telling the public one thing, while furiously working on damage control and narrative-shaping as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. According to Carlson, Americans assumed “that the man in charge of protecting the US from COVID must be rational and impressive,” adding “We also assumed he must be honest. But we were wrong.

“It soon became clear that Tony Fauci was just another sleazy federal bureaucrat – deeply political and often dishonest. More shocking than that we then learned that Fauci himself was implicated in the very pandemic he’d been charged with fighting.” “Fauci supported the grotesque and dangerous experiments that appeared to have made COVID possible.” -Tucker Carlson. Fauci’s emails collectively show that “from the beginning, Tony Fauci was worried that the public might conclude COVID had originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” “Why would he be concerned that Americans would conclude that?” Tucker asked. “Possibly because Tony Fauci knew that he had funded gain-of-function experiments at that very same laboratory.”

“The emails prove that Fauci lied about this under oath,” said Tucker, who highlighted an email from scientist Christian G. Anderson to Fauci, saying that he and his fellow scientists felt the virus looked ‘potentially’ engineered, and that members of his team “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.” Fauci then sent an urgent email to his deputy – Hugh Auchincloss – with the subject “IMPORTANT,” and which read “Hugh, it is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on … You will have tasks today that must be done.”

Tucker Fauci

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Wonder why. Can’t be the negative publicity, there hasn’t been enough of that.

Fauci’s Upcoming Book Scrubbed On Amazon, Barnes & Noble Amid Backlash (JTN)

White House coronavirus adviser and long-time U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s upcoming book has been scrubbed from and altered on online listings, amid criticism that he is profiting from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The book, “Expect the Unexpected,” was earlier pegged for a November release, according to its Amazon listing. As of Wednesday morning, the book’s listing had been entirely scrubbed from Amazon. However, a cached version of the listing, still displayed the book’s promotional description and preorder status. A cached website also shows the book’s listing on Barnes & Noble’s website, though by Wednesday morning that listing was no longer live anymore. The book appeared to still be available for preorder on some lesser known vendors such as Booktopia.


The scrubbing of the book comes after backlash from critics who accused Fauci of profiting off of the deadly pandemic the U.S. response to which he has overseen. Among those criticizing Fauci is Fox News Channel contributor Joe Concha, who compared him to New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing a seven-figure book deal about his efforts during the pandemic, which resulted in a high number of death among assisted-living residents. “If you look at the numbers again, you had Cuomo profiting off a pandemic, a government official,” said Concha, also a media reporter for The Hill newspaper. “Now we have Fauci doing it as well. I think this is appalling.”

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Why go to Wuhan? Well…

Wuhan Lab Chief To NIH Conference: ‘No Regulation’ On Virus Manipulation (NP)

The National Institutes of Health hosted Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers at a 2011 conference focusing on scientific research that could pose a “significant threat” to human health – including manipulation of bat coronaviruses. At the event, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Deputy Director repeatedly asserted that his controversial lab had “no regulation” on this form of risky research, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal. The 2011 event – Continuing the Global Dialogue with the Scientific and Science Policy Community with a Focus on Asia and the Western Pacific – was sponsored by the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and sought to provide participants with a “greater understanding” of Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC).

Defined by the NIH as research “that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety,” DURC encompasses gain-of-function studies, which have come under increased scrutiny due to their role in potentially spawning COVID-19. Among the event participants were Wuhan Institute of Virology Deputy Director Yuan Zhiming, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy Amy Patterson, and top American researchers and scientific advisory board members. The NIH’s unearthed role in hosting the event follows National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci denying his agency’s relationship to the Wuhan lab.

While speaking at the event via telephone, Yuan Zhiming repeatedly emphasized that his lab and China lacked any meaningful regulation of dual-use research. “There’s no regulation in China, there’s no regulation on the identification of some dual-use research, and there’s no regulation on the classification of research or the classification of information,” he explained. “Even China, the biosafety and biosecurity philosophy is regulated by Chinese scientific community, but the dual-use research is not totally regulated. So we need to have some measure or some special program to raise the concern of principal investigators through training.”

Yuan reiterated the sentiment in his closing remarks to the conference, commenting “there’s no regulation on the dual-use identification and classification of some sensitive information, and I think maybe later the Chinese government and the Chinese scientific community will focus on the discussion in this matter.” Since the outbreak of COVID-19, however, Yuan has made rounds on American and Chinese state-run media outlets to discredit the possibility of the virus leaking from his lab.

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“The number of cases reported after the second shot was four times greater than those recorded after the first..”

Israel: Likely Link Between Pfizer Vaccine And Myocarditis In Young Males (RT)

A specially appointed epidemiological team has found “a likelihood of a link” between receiving the second dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and the onset of myocarditis in young men, Israel’s Health Ministry said in a statement. The ministry says the team was set up following reports of cases of heart inflammation, known as myocarditis, among males aged 16 to 30 shortly after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was administered. The link was found to be stronger in people aged 16-19 relative to other age groups, and weakens as the age of the recipients increases. Most patients who experienced the problem spent up to four days in the hospital, and 95% of the cases were classified as mild, according to the ministry.

The Health Ministry commissioned the study after 275 cases of myocarditis were reported in Israel between December 2020 and May 2021. Nearly 150 cases were recorded after the vaccine was administered. The number of cases reported after the second shot was four times greater than those recorded after the first, the ministry said. Myocarditis is a condition characterized by chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations, and can be caused by Covid-19, according to the ministry. While the type of vaccine in question is not directly mentioned in the statement, Israel relies almost exclusively on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it’s the only product mentioned on the vaccination information page of the Health Ministry website.

Pfizer said in a statement cited by Reuters that it has not recorded a higher rate of myocarditis than would normally be expected in the general population. The pharma giant added that it was aware of the Israeli observations of myocarditis but has not established a causal link to its vaccine. The Israeli Health Ministry says that given the findings, it will review the 12-15-year-old population’s eligibility for the vaccine. The shot was recently approved in the EU for people aged 12 and older.

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Oh, just lovely.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett To Build New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor In Wyoming (R.)

Power companies run by billionaire friends Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have chosen Wyoming to launch the first Natrium nuclear reactor project on the site of a retiring coal plant. TerraPower, founded by Gates about 15 years ago, and power company PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said on Wednesday that the exact site of the Natrium reactor demonstration plant was expected to be announced by the end of the year. Small advanced reactors, which run on different fuels to traditional reactors, are regarded by some as a critical carbon-free technology than can supplement intermittent power sources like wind and solar as states strive to cut emissions that cause climate change. “We think Natrium will be a game-changer for the energy industry,” Gates told a media conference to launch the project in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

“This is our fastest and clearest course to becoming carbon negative,” Wyoming’s governor, Mark Gordon, said. “Nuclear power is clearly a part of my all-of-the-above strategy for energy” in Wyoming, the country’s top coal-producing state. The project features a 345 megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt-based energy storage that could boost the system’s power output to 500MW during peak power demand. TerraPower said last year that the plants would cost about $1bn. Late last year the US energy department awarded TerraPower $80m in initial funding to demonstrate Natrium technology, and the department has committed additional funding in coming years subject to congressional appropriations.

Chris Levesque, TerraPower’s president and chief executive, said the demonstration plant would take about seven years to build. “We need this kind of clean energy on the grid in the 2030s,” he told reporters. Nuclear power experts have warned that advanced reactors could have higher risks than conventional ones. Fuel for many advanced reactors would have to be enriched at a much higher rate than conventional fuel, meaning the fuel supply chain could be an attractive target for militants looking to create a crude nuclear weapon, a recent report said. Levesque said that the plants would reduce proliferation risks because they reduce overall nuclear waste.

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Not even the US is that crazy.

Why The US Isn’t Going To Nuke Anyone From Orbit Anytime Soon (RT)

Low-orbit space planes have been named as a possible carrier of American nuclear warheads. While theoretically possible, at current technology levels such weapons would be significantly more trouble than they are worth.
According to the director-general of Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey, Yan Novikov, the US has orbital bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Variants of the Boeing X-37 orbital test vehicle, launched in 2010 and officially used for scientific purposes, can theoretically carry up to six warheads, Novikov claimed during a virtual educational forum in Russia in May. In the words of Kyle Mizokami, who wrote an article on this for Popular Mechanics, “this isn’t even a good idea”.

While Mizokami’s take is titled “Don’t believe Russia”, and its main thrust is apparently that Mr. Novikov is hyping up the US orbital nukes threat to boost the sales of Almaz-Antey’s surface-to-space missiles, he does have some good points that explain why the dangers of orbital bombing are more than a little exaggerated. First off, putting nukes on an X-37 to then launch them from orbit will require extensive modification to the weapons, which will only allow two or, at best, three, to be taken on board – not nearly enough for an effective surprise attack. And to carry an element of surprise, it would have to approach Russia from a very specific direction to avoid the radars of early-warning systems – and even so, it won’t be able to hide from visual detection.

Aside from the lack of surprise, there is a long list of problems associated with space planes carrying nuclear payloads. “The idea of placing strategic nuclear weapons in low Earth orbit isn’t new. It emerged with the first successful launches of the Earth’s artificial satellites,” ex-chief of the General Staff of the Air Defense Forces, Honored Military Pilot, Colonel-General of Aviation Igor Maltsev says. According to him, for a number of reasons, space projects like this never went beyond concept or, at best, preliminary design. Why was that the case? Technically, the goal of putting these weapons in space is achievable, says Igor Maltsev. Anything can be launched to space. But when the idea is to create a strategic weapons system in orbit, there are a number of challenges that have, so far, prevented any significant progress along these lines.

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“..ahead of a weekend in which potentially violent demonstrations were predicted by the FBI — but never materialized.”

The New Domestic War on Terror Has Already Begun (Greenwald)

The Department of Homeland Security on Friday issued a new warning bulletin, alerting Americans that domestic extremists may well use violence on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. This was at least the fourth such bulletin issued this year by Homeland Security (DHS) warning of the same danger and, thus far, none of the fears it is trying to instill into the American population has materialized. The first was a January 14 warning, from numerous federal agencies including DHS, about violence in Washington, DC and all fifty state capitols that was likely to explode in protest of Inauguration Day (a threat which did not materialize). Then came a January 27 bulletin warning of “a heightened threat environment across the United States that is likely to persist over the coming weeks” from “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority” (that warning also was not realized).

Then there was a May 14 bulletin warning of right-wing violence “to attack higher-capacity targets,” exacerbated by the lifting of COVID lockdowns (which also never happened). And now we are treated to this new DHS warning about domestic extremists preparing violent attacks over Tulsa (it remains to be seen if a DHS fear is finally realized). Just like the first War on Terror, these threats are issued with virtually no specificity. They are just generalized warnings designed to put people in fear about their fellow citizens and to justify aggressive deployment of military and law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country. A CNN article which wildly hyped the latest danger bulletin about domestic extremists at Tulsa had to be edited with what the cable network, in an “update,” called “the additional information from the Department of Homeland Security that there is no specific or credible threats at this time.”

And the supposed dangers from domestic extremists on Inauguration Day was such a flop that even The Washington Post — one of the outlets most vocal about lurking national security dangers in general and this one in particular — had to explicitly acknowledge the failure: Thousands [of National Guard troops] had been deployed to capitals across the country late last week, ahead of a weekend in which potentially violent demonstrations were predicted by the FBI — but never materialized. Once again on Wednesday, security officials’ worst fears weren’t borne out: In some states, it was close to business as usual. In others, demonstrations were small and peaceful, with only occasional tense moments.

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“The study shows American generals enthusiastically planning for the use of nuclear weapons against China.”

Daniel Ellsberg Wants The US To Prosecute Him Under The Espionage Act (IC)

“The whole idea is to kill the bastards,” Gen. Thomas Power, commander of America’s nuclear forces from 1957 to 1963, once said about the use of atomic weapons. “At the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian, we win.” The hold this nuclear lunacy had on the top of the U.S. government is terrifyingly illuminated in a top-secret study of U.S. war plans newly publicized by famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. The document, produced by the RAND Corporation and copied by Ellsberg at the same time he exfiltrated the Pentagon Papers from RAND, examines the U.S. response to the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis. The study’s contents were first reported on May 22 by the New York Times.

The crisis, now completely forgotten, began when China attempted to seize several small islands off its coast from Taiwan. The study shows American generals enthusiastically planning for the use of nuclear weapons against China. It is not simply that the officials looked with equanimity on the possibility of killing millions; rather, many seemed frustrated that there were any delays forced upon them by the rest of the government. If China had not changed course, civilization could have ended then and there. Ellsberg is now speaking out about the study, he said in a phone interview, for a straightforward reason: “I got scared.” The issues that led to the 1958 crisis between the U.S. and China have never been resolved; both countries are now ramping up confrontational rhetoric; and most importantly, the strategic rationale that led the U.S. to consider nuclear war then remains exactly the same today.

“You shouldn’t be confident that the current calculations are any less crazy,” Ellsberg said. His apprehension about the potential use of nuclear weapons is intimately linked to another of his key concerns: the Justice Department’s accelerating use of the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute leakers. Its chilling effect on potential whistleblowers makes it less and less likely that Americans will even know what their government is doing, much less be able to do anything about it. Ellsberg hopes his latest revelation will prompt a cultural and perhaps legal reckoning for the Act.

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“Workers are abused, underpaid and sickened from exposure to chemicals and toxins such as aluminum dust.”

‘Dying for an iPhone’ (Chris Hedges)

Global capitalists have turned back the clock to the early days of the Industrial Revolution. The working class is increasingly bereft of rights, blocked from forming unions, paid starvation wages, subject to wage theft, under constant surveillance, fired for minor infractions, exposed to dangerous carcinogens, forced to work overtime, given punishing quotas and abandoned when they are sick and old. Workers have become, here and abroad, disposable cogs to corporate oligarchs, who wallow in obscene personal wealth that dwarfs the worst excesses of the Robber Barons. In fashionable liberal circles there are, as Noam Chomsky notes, worthy and unworthy victims. Nancy Pelosi has called on global leaders not to attend the Winter Olympics, scheduled to be held in Beijing in February, because of what she called a “genocide” being carried out by the Chinese government against the Uyghur minority.

New York Times columnist Nick Kristof in a column rattled off a list of human rights violations overseen by China’s leader Xi Jinping, writing “[Xi] eviscerates Hong Kong freedoms, jails lawyers and journalists, seizes Canadian hostages, threatens Taiwan and, most horrifying, presides over crimes against humanity in the far western region of Xinjiang that is home to several Muslim minorities.” Not a word about the millions of workers in China who are treated little better than serfs. They live separated from their families, including their children, and housed in overcrowded company dormitories, which sees rent deducted from their paychecks, next to factories that have round-the-clock production, often making products for U.S. corporations. Workers are abused, underpaid and sickened from exposure to chemicals and toxins such as aluminum dust.

The suffering of the working class, within and outside the United States, is as ignored by our corporatized media as the suffering of the Palestinians. And yet, I would argue, it is one of the most important human rights issues of our era, since once workers are empowered, they can fend off other human rights violations. Unless workers can organize, here and in countries such as China, and achieve basic rights and living wages, it will cement into place a global serfdom that will leave workers trapped in the appalling conditions described by Friedrich Engels in his 1845 book “The Conditions of the Working Class in England” or Émile Zola‘s 1885 masterpiece “Germinal.”

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Small moves so far, more like virtue signalling.

China Rushes To Pull Back The Yuan From A Three-Year High (CNBC)

China is trying to rein in the yuan as it surges to three-year highs against the U.S. dollar. A stronger yuan makes Chinese goods relatively more expensive to buyers overseas, and has spurred concerns about the competitiveness of Chinese exports — a major contributor to national economic growth. The Chinese yuan traded little changed against the U.S. dollar Thursday after the People’s Bank of China set the yuan’s daily midpoint at 6.3811 versus the greenback. That marked the second-straight day of weaker fixings, reversing six straight trading days of stronger fixings since May 24, according to data from Wind Information.

The PBOC has tried to allow the market to play a greater role in deter mining the yuan’s exchange rate. But the central bank retains some control through daily midpoint fixings against the dollar, allowing the yuan to move 2% higher or lower from that level. The weaker fix followed the central bank’s announcement late Monday that beginning June 15, financial institutions must increase the ratio of their foreign exchange deposits by 2 percentage points — to 7% from 5% currently. The hike forces banks to retain more of their foreign currency holdings, reducing the amount that could be used to influence foreign exchange rates.

It is the first such hike in 14 years since the previous change in May 2007 — before the financial crisis — economists pointed out. They estimate the move will reduce the amount of foreign currency available for long-term trading by $20 billion. Analysts said the exact dollar amount is less significant than the central bank’s message that the yuan will not move in a single direction of continued strengthening against the U.S. dollar.

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With 80% of Japanese against.

Olympics Will Go Ahead, Says Tokyo Games Chief (G.)

The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, has said the Games will go ahead as planned, soon after the Japan’s most senior medical adviser said holding the event under current coronavirus conditions was “not normal”. “We cannot postpone again,” Hashimoto said an interview published on Thursday in the Nikkan Sports newspaper. Shigeru Omi, head of a panel of experts that has been advising the Japanese government on its Covid-19 response since the start of the pandemic, issued his strongest warning yet of the potential risks of holding the Games. “It’s not normal to have the Olympics in a situation like this,” Omi told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, adding that organisers should explain to a sceptical public why it was pushing ahead with preparations.

Most Japanese people do not want Tokyo 2020 to be held this summer, according to recent opinion polls. Medical journals have questioned the wisdom of allowing 90,000 athletes, media, sponsors, officials and support staff to enter the country in July, while medical unions say the Games will place additional pressure on health services. The public broadcaster NHK reported that about 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers who signed up to help during the Games have quit, but organisers said the lower numbers would not be “particularly problematic” since the decision had already been taken to ban spectators from overseas. “There’s no mistake that concerns over the coronavirus could have been a factor,” as well as scheduling conflicts due to last year’s postponement, the Nikkei business paper quoted Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto as saying.

[..] Tokyo and several other regions are under a state of emergency that is due to end on 20 June. While the rate of infections is falling in the capital, there is concern about the risks posed by new variants and Japan’s slow vaccine rollout. The vaccination programme has gathered pace in recent days, but only 2.7% of Japan’s 126 million population has been fully vaccinated. In an attempt to speed up the process with just 50 days to go before the opening ceremony, the government has said large companies and universities will be able to start inoculating staff and students from 21 June. Japan has avoided the large-scale infections suffered by many other countries, but serious cases have risen during the latest outbreak. It has reported more than 750,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, and about 13,200 deaths, a relatively high number among Asian countries.

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.”

Read more …

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.”

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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 [..]

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“..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 142021
 


Edgar Degas Leaving the paddock1866
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest art theft in the world. Never recovered

 

Nearly A Quarter Of Registered Covid Deaths Are Not Caused By The Virus (DM)
More Brands Are Putting Money And Clout Behind Covid-19 Vaccine Ads (F.)
Big Pharma Uses Big Tobacco’s Strategy To Defeat Ivermectin (DR)
How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines (TNR)
Russia Accuses US, NATO Of Moving Troops To Its Border (AA)
Biden Urges Russia To De-Escalate Ukraine Tensions In Call With Putin (G.)
Russia Warns US Warships To Stay Far Away From Crimea “For Their Own Good” (ZH)
Biden To Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan By September 11 (G.)
Joe Biden Is Proceeding With Donald Trump’s Biggest Arms Deal (HuffPo)
The Absentee Vote Logic of the New York Times (RCI)
CNN Staffer Admits Network’s Focus Was To ‘Get Trump Out Of Office’ (Fox)
Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies May Be Coming, Warns Kraken CEO (RT)
Republican Antitrust Bill Would Block All Big Tech Acquisitions (TC)
Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling (WS)
Airborne Plastic Pollution ‘Spiralling Around The Globe’ (G.)

 

 

 

 

The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they’re being objective.
– Noam Chomsky

 

 

We will never ever know the real numbers.

But 50% of under 25s having antibodies doesn’t seem to point to lockdowns as the main “success” factor.

Nearly A Quarter Of Registered Covid Deaths Are Not Caused By The Virus (DM)

Nearly a quarter of registered Covid-19 deaths are now people who are not being killed by the virus, new official figures show as Boris Johnson comes under renewed pressure from Tory backbenchers to end the third lockdown sooner than planned. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that 23 per cent of coronavirus deaths which are registered are now people who have died ‘with’ the disease rather than ‘from’ an infection. This means that the person who has died will have tested positive for Covid-19 at some point, but that the disease was not recorded as the victim’s primary cause of death on their death certificate. Even though just 23 deaths were announced yesterday, the Prime Minister is continuing to resist calls from his own party to lift all coronavirus curbs ahead of schedule as he warned that cases will rise in the coming weeks as people meet with friends and family in pubs and parks.

Outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail reopened on Monday under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Thousands of people rushed to high streets to splurge their cash on drinks, haircuts and clothes as economists predict a mini-boom fuelled by pent-up demand. However, in his downcast interview with Sky News, Mr Johnson even appeared to dismiss the efficacy of the vaccines his government has been busily rolling out this winter, as he claimed the shutdown – not jabs – had reduced the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths. ‘It is very, very important for everybody to understand that the reduction in these numbers – in hospitalisations and in deaths and in infections – has not been achieved by the vaccination programme,’ he said.

‘People don’t, I think, appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing. So yes of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.’ Conservative backbenchers led by Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the Covid Research Group of Tory MPs, have mounted a campaign to get the country opened up sooner than planned.

Boris
https://twitter.com/i/status/1381922550154981377

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A giant PR campaign for Pfizer, that’s all it is, paid for by the state.

More Brands Are Putting Money And Clout Behind Covid-19 Vaccine Ads (F.)

As the Covid-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, well known companies ranging from tech giants to beer brands are rolling out public service announcements to encourage people to get their shot. This past week, The Boston Beer Company debuted a new Sam Adams campaign promoting the vaccine featuring the brand’s “Cousin From Boston” character. The ad—created by the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners—shows the “Cousin” getting vaccinated by a real healthcare worker at Fenway Park’s mega site. But right before getting his jab, he passes out from his fear of needles and dreams of the day he can once again meet up with friends at a bar. (Sam Adams is also offering $7 toward a celebratory beer to the first 10,000 people to share proof of vaccination with the hashtag #ShotForSam on social media.)

According to GS&P cofounder Jeff Goodby—the legendary creative behind the iconic “Got Milk” campaign and countless Super Bowl ads—humor is a good way to reach younger audiences, especially after a year as emotionally draining as 2020. “You know what humor did for me is it puts this in perspective,’ Goodby says. “It’s just an inoculation. We’ve had a million of them in our lifetime, and this one is actually for the good of the community around you as well as for yourself and I think we tried to get that across. And it leads to a certain liberation and togetherness. And beer of course, is central to togetherness. One of the great things about getting inoculated is you can drink beer with people.” While Sam Adams went with humor, it wasn’t without first testing the ad to make sure it would be well-received, despite the serious nature of the topic, says Boston Beer Company CMO Lesya Lysyj.

Before introducing the “Cousin” last year, Sam Adams had been taking a more serious tone, even before the pandemic began. “We felt like it was important to show him showing it since he’s so relatable,” Lysyj says. “And if that guy can do it, anybody can do it . . . We did feel like you could put yourself in the shoes of this guy.” Sam Adams isn’t alone in its messaging. In fact The Ad Council—a nonprofit with a long history of collaborating with marketers to create PSAs for a variety of causes—has raised more than $50 million to fund Covid-19 PSAs and other related initiatives with a goal of appealing to a wide audience. To promote mask-wearing, it teamed up with Warner Media and the CDC in February for “Mask Up America,” a PSA featuring characters—from Harry Potter to the Joker to hobbits from Lord of the Rings—all wearing face masks in iconic scenes.

And in March, it released a vaccine PSA featuring former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush. Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s chief campaign officer, says the Covid-19 vaccine effort is the most complicated initiative undertaken by the organization, which also led polio vaccine efforts in the 1950s. “The amount of change can happen so quickly as the medical community learns more about the efficacy of vaccines and making sure that all of our messages and the content we’re creating is really where the science is because it can get very confusing for people with the flip of a switch,” she says.

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It’s about your money, not your health.

Big Pharma Uses Big Tobacco’s Strategy To Defeat Ivermectin (DR)

The Marlboro Man, as Dr. Mukherjee wrote in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies, was the most successful smoking icon by 1955. Dr. Mukherjee describes how the Tobacco Industry fought back by twisting science against the public, first by arguing that an association does not prove cause and effect, and later by offering to perform the studies. The tobacco scientists argued that lung cancer was caused by genetics: if you were born with cancer genes, you developed cancer, and if you weren’t, you didn’t get it. Cigarettes might be associated with cancer, but they argued that more studies were needed if one were to actually “prove a causal link” between cigarettes and cancer. The actual cause of lung cancer, the tobacco scientists concluded, was faulty genetics and not cigarettes.

To assist with these studies, the generous Big Tobacco even offered to fund the research by founding the Tobacco Industry Research Committee. The TIRC is described further in The Emperor of All Maladies, a book I strongly recommend everyone read. The author writes how this ingenious strategy kept the tobacco companies in business and record-breaking profits for the next 50 years despite causing many millions of lung cancer deaths. Blurring or confusing the facts as a tactic proved remarkably effective. But by far, the craftiest ruse was for the Tobacco Industry to pretend to embrace the research and set up their own studies. Because by controlling the study design, they could control the outcome. The same strategy is now used against the public in this pandemic.

Their first victim was Hydroxychloroquine, which proved easy to discredit given that Donald Trump sounded unhinged in his praise for the drug. Later studies seemed to reinforce the belief that HCQ was ineffective; however when academic misconduct was found, it threatened to expose the effort. Big Pharma successfully distanced itself when the fraudulent articles were retracted and blamed on lone scientists acting by themselves. Dr. Tess Lawrie is a highly-respected and independent research consultant to the World Health Organization and NHS. Her work is routinely relied upon in the formation of International Practice Guidelines. She has found HCQ to have an effect against the coronavirus. Most tellingly, when Dr. Tess Lawrie performed her independent review of the data on Ivermectin, she removed the Fonseca study, which purported to show no benefit against COVID with Ivermectin use.

Dr. Lawrie explained, “They (The Fonseca Group) didn’t find that much of a difference between Ivermectin and the control arm. But the control arm received HCQ. So basically, there’s a comparison between two fairly active treatments.” Dr. Lawrie explained that there were many reasons to consider HCQ active against the virus. Thus, two patient groups were compared in Fonseca, both of which received effective drugs against COVID-19, and this was not considered a valid controlled trial of Ivermectin. Therefore the study was eliminated from the meta-analysis.

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Stay away from Bill.

How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines (TNR)

In April [2020], Bill Gates launched a bold bid to manage the world’s scientific response to the pandemic. Gates’s Covid-19 ACT-Accelerator expressed a status quo vision for organizing the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of treatments and vaccines. Like other Gates-funded institutions in the public health arena, the Accelerator was a public-private partnership based on charity and industry enticements. Crucially, and in contrast to the C-TAP, the Accelerator enshrined Gates’s long-standing commitment to respecting exclusive intellectual property claims. Its implicit arguments—that intellectual property rights won’t present problems for meeting global demand or ensuring equitable access, and that they must be protected, even during a pandemic—carried the enormous weight of Gates’s reputation as a wise, beneficent, and prophetic leader.


How he’s developed and wielded this influence over two decades is one of the more consequential and underappreciated shapers of the failed global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Entering year two, this response has been defined by a zero-sum vaccination battle that has left much of the world on the losing side. Gates’s marquee Covid-19 initiative started relatively small. Two days before the WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced something called the Therapeutics Accelerator, a joint initiative with Mastercard and the charity group the Wellcome Trust to identify and develop potential treatments for the novel coronavirus. Doubling as a social branding exercise for a giant of global finance, the Accelerator reflected Gates’s familiar formula of corporate philanthropy, which he has applied to everything from malaria to malnutrition.

In retrospect, it was a strong indicator that Gates’s dedication to monopoly medicine would survive the pandemic, even before he and his foundation’s officers began to say so publicly. This was confirmed when a bigger version of the Accelerator was unveiled the following month at the WHO. The Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator, was Gates’s bid to organize the development and distribution of everything from therapeutics to testing. The biggest and most consequential arm, COVAX, proposed to subsidize vaccine deals with poor countries through donations by, and sales to, richer ones. The goal was always limited: It aimed to provide vaccines for up to 20 percent of the population in low-to-middle-income countries. After that, governments would largely have to compete on the global market like everyone else. It was a partial demand-side solution to what the movement coalescing around a call for a “people’s vaccine” warned would be a dual crisis of supply and access, with intellectual property at the center of both.

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“Over 40,000 people and 15,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be deployed on Russia’s western border in the near future..”

“In the spring of this year, the joint armed forces of NATO began the largest exercise in the last 30 years, Defender Europe 2021..”

Russia Accuses US, NATO Of Moving Troops To Its Border (AA)

The US is moving its troops to Russia’s borders, a top Russian official said on Tuesday. Over 40,000 people and 15,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be deployed on Russia’s western border in the near future, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said in a video conference with other military chiefs in the northern city of Severodvinsk. “In Poland and the Baltic states, US forces are being reinforced … the intensity of aerial reconnaissance has been doubled compared to last year, and the intensity of naval reconnaissance has increased by one-and-a-half times,” he said.


The minister accused the US and its allies of carrying out active military activities “with a clear anti-Russian orientation,” including up to 40 major military training events in Europe every year. “In the spring of this year, the joint armed forces of NATO began the largest exercise in the last 30 years, Defender Europe 2021,” he said. According to Shoygu, Russia redeployed two army and three airborne units to its western border “to counter the threat.”

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This is propaganda theater. It’s very obviously NATO that’s escalating tensions.

Biden Urges Russia To De-Escalate Ukraine Tensions In Call With Putin (G.)

In a phone call with Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden has called on Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine and proposed a summit between the two leaders amid growing concern over a Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s border. The president emphasized the United States’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and expressed concern about Russia’s military buildup, the White House said. “President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with US interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.” Biden expressed concern about Russia’s military buildup in the Crimea region of Ukraine and on Ukraine’s border, the White House said in a statement.


It said Biden also made clear that the United States will act “firmly” to defend its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. Biden also proposed holding a summit with Putin in a third country in coming months. The phone call came hours after Nato’s secretary general called on Russia to halt its military buildup around Ukraine, describing it as “unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning”. Flanked by Ukraine’s foreign minister at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Nato’s Jens Stoltenberg said Russia had moved thousands of combat troops to Ukraine’s borders in “the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014”.

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“The trend in the behavior of the Ukrainian side creates the risk of a resumption of full-scale military action.”

Russia Warns US Warships To Stay Far Away From Crimea “For Their Own Good” (ZH)

At a moment the United States appears poised to send its warships near Ukraine as a strong ‘deterrent message’ against Russian forces built up near the east Ukrainian border, Russia on Tuesday warned that US vessels better stay away from Crimea “for their own good”. A Kremlin statement further called the new US deployment into the Black Sea a serious “provocation” which serves no other purpose but to test Russia’s “strength” and “nerves”. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov issued the Tuesday warning as follows: “There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores, this is purely a provocative action. Provocative in the direct sense of the word: they are testing our strength, playing on our nerves. They will not succeed.”

“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good,” he added. It was late last week that Turkey’s foreign ministry confirmed that it’s granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea. The Pentagon has downplayed the deployment by keeping mostly mum about it, only saying that it’s “routine” for US warships to patrol the Black Sea. The Kremlin has warned that it’s Kiev’s own actions and initial troop build-up in and near Donbass that is risking “broader war” in the region. Days ago Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “The trend in the behavior of the Ukrainian side creates the risk of a resumption of full-scale military action.”

Russia’s newest warning that US ships better not come near Crimea likely also have in mind Joe Biden’s first words addressing the long-simmering Ukraine crisis issued early in his presidency. He said in a February 26 statement that the US “will never” recognize Russia’s claims over Crimea: The United States does not and will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts. We will continue to work to hold Russia accountable for its abuses and aggression in Ukraine.

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Trump wanted to do it but got obstructed by the Pentagon. So Biden can get all the glory. On 9/11, no less. Oh boy.

“The president has judged that a conditions based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”

No, seriously, that’s not about Trump, it’s about Biden. Don’t try to make this up at home, they have professionals to do it for you.

Biden To Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan By September 11 (G.)

Joe Biden will withdraw all the remaining US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaida terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a senior administration official has confirmed. The president is expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday. There are currently about 2,500 US troops in the country, serving alongside 7,000 other foreign troops as part of a Nato coalition. Most, if not all, Nato allies are likely to withdraw in coordination with the US. “We will remain in lockstep with them as we undergo this operation. We went in together, adjusted together and now we will prepare to leave together,” a US official said. The drawdown of US troops will begin by 1 May, the withdrawal deadline the Trump administration agreed with the Taliban last year, and will be completed by the 9/11 anniversary.

“We went to Afghanistan to deliver justice to those who attacked us on September 11th and to disrupt terrorists seeking to use Afghanistan as a safe haven to attack,” a senior administration official said. “We believe we achieved that objective some years ago. We judge the threat against the homeland now emanating from Afghanistan to be at a level that we can address it, without a persistent military footprint in the country and without remaining at war with the Taliban.” The only remaining US military presence after September 11 this year will be security for the US embassy, a task normally carried out by marines. The Biden administration has said it will negotiate with the Afghan government over the precise security arrangements for the diplomatic mission in Kabul.

About 800,000 US soldiers and other military personnel have served at least once in Afghanistan since the US invasion in 2001, launched in the wake of the September 11 attacks. More than 2,300 have been killed, and 20,000 wounded. The US military orthodoxy until recently has been that any withdrawal from Afghanistan would have to be “conditions based”, meaning it was dependent on the security situation and the threat posed by the Taliban to the democratic and social gains of the past 20 years. The senior US official briefing reporters on the decision said: “The president has judged that a conditions based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”

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“$23.4 billion in sophisticated weaponry”, but only after commitments to human rights.

Joe Biden Is Proceeding With Donald Trump’s Biggest Arms Deal (HuffPo)

President Joe Biden is advancing controversial Trump-era plans to transfer $23.4 billion in sophisticated weaponry to the United Arab Emirates, a State Department spokesperson told HuffPost on Tuesday – despite concerns from influential lawmakers and progressive activists, as well as the Biden administration’s promise to review the package. The news came amid an ongoing lawsuit by a nonprofit group called the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs, which echoed criticism of the deal as potentially destabilizing for the Middle East. “While we will not comment on ongoing litigation, we can confirm that that the Administration intends to move forward with these proposed defense sales to the UAE, even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have developed mutual understandings with respect to Emirati obligations before, during, and after delivery,” the spokesperson said.

Last December, nearly all Senate Democrats voted to try and block the sale, citing President Donald Trump’s rushed attempt to push it through and the UAE’s alarming violations of human rights at home and around the region. Biden put the deal – which would give the UAE the F-35 fighter jet, armed drones and associated bombs and missiles — under review shortly after becoming president. The administration has since been vague about that process. The transfers are incredibly complex and will take years to complete, so it was clear that they were not occurring yet. In January, an official told the Wall Street Journal that the UAE sales “were not frozen while they are being examined” – in contrast to Trump-era arms deals for Saudi Arabia, a UAE ally which has also faced growing criticism in Washington.

Still, many observers believed there was an effective pause on the deal and that at some point the administration would offer a public explanation of how it would handle the agreement. Democratic lawmakers and activists, who opposed to the deal because of the UAE’s aggressive activities across the Middle East, wanted to ensure the Biden administration was serious about the review, to the extent of possibly shrinking the package to pressure the Emiratis to respect human rights standards. U.S. officials will continue raising rights and geopolitical concerns with the Emiratis, the State Department spokesperson told HuffPost. “The estimated delivery dates on these sales, if implemented, are scheduled for after 2025 or later. Thus, we anticipate a robust and sustained dialogue with the UAE to [ensure] any defense transfers meet our mutual strategic objectives to build a stronger, interoperable, and more capable security partnership,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

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“..what of the Times’s cautions over decades that the most common sort of election fraud involves absentee voting?”

The Absentee Vote Logic of the New York Times (RCI)

To pass a law limiting the use of absentee ballots, as Georgia recently did, is no longer to choose a side in a legitimate debate over how to balance ballot integrity and ease of voting. Instead, to express concern about the risk of election fraud is seen as being engaged in a different sort of fraud — an illegitimate effort to disenfranchise the poor and minorities. The New York Times has aggressively insisted the last several months that worries over absentee and mail-in ballots, in particular, are dishonest violations of voting rights. Times staff opinion editor Spencer Bokat-Lindell wrote late in October that “[t]he effort to discredit and discourage mail-in voting” was the “culmination of a decades-long disinformation campaign by the Republican Party and others to suppress votes, especially those cast by Black and Latino Americans.”

Spencer Bokat-Lindell: Times opinion editor: Efforts to discredit mail voting are aimed at suppressing votes, “especially those cast by Black and Latino Americans.” Then what of the Times’s cautions over decades that the most common sort of election fraud involves absentee voting? But what of the Times itself, which for over two decades has warned readers that the most common sort of election fraud involves absentee voting? As recently as September, Times reporters Stephanie Saul and Reid Epstein quoted Richard Hasen, who teaches election law at the University of California, Irvine, saying that “[e]lection fraud in the United States is very rare, but the most common type of such fraud in the United States involves absentee ballots.”

In 2018 operatives working for the Republican candidate for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District seat, falsified absentee ballots. Times reporters Alan Blinder and Michael Wines told readers that the state’s long history of election fraud was “under a spotlight.” They quoted lawyer Bill Gilkeson saying that “absentee ballots” were “where the fraud really happens.” In 2019 Blinder wrote, “The Ninth District controversy ranks among the highest-profile examples of modern election fraud,” one that “underscores how absentee ballots remain susceptible to abuse.”

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What comes below fake news on the scale?

CNN Staffer Admits Network’s Focus Was To ‘Get Trump Out Of Office’ (Fox)

A staffer for CNN spoke candidly to an undercover journalist about the political motivations the network had during the 2020 presidential election, boasting the left-leaning outlet helped defeat former President Donald Trump and even calling his own employer “propaganda.” In the first installment of what’s billed as a three-part #ExposeCNN campaign from the right-wing guerilla news outlet Project Veritas, network technical director Charles Chester shed light on how the network wanted to remove its nemesis from the White House and help now-President Biden. “Look at what we did, we got Trump out,” Chester said in a celebratory tone. “I am 100% going to say it. And I 100% believe it that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out.”

While similar videos are sometimes deceptively edited and taken out of context, many comments made by Chester throughout the video are longer clips that feature him speaking in clear, complete sentences. In a series of sitdowns with an undercover journalist over the past month, Chester — who bragged he was “one step down” from a director — claimed CNN was “creating a story” that questioned Trump’s health that “we didn’t know anything about,” calling it “propaganda” to help remove Trump from office. “Trump was, I don’t know, like shaking his hand or whatever… we brought in like so many medical people to like all tell a story that, like, it was all speculation that he was like neurologically damaged, that he was losing it, he’s unfit to, you know, whatever,” Chester said. “We were creating a story that we didn’t know anything about.”

While Chester claimed CNN wanted to help remove Trump from office, he also said the network wanted to promote the health and fitness of Biden. “We would always show shots of him jogging… him in his aviator shades and like you paint him as a young geriatric,” Chester said of Biden, before dismissing concerns that he wouldn’t make it a full term because he’s a fan of Vice President Kamala Harris. “I think we got him through this term,” Chester said “He’s not going to f—–g die, but I’m OK with that. [Harris] probably could be like a b—-h in like a board meeting and you’d hate her as a boss, but she’s f—–g real and better than what we got regardless.”

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“It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency.”

Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies May Be Coming, Warns Kraken CEO (RT)

Governments around the world could start clamping down on the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to Jesse Powell, the chief executive of the Kraken exchange. “I think there could be some crackdown,” the CEO told CNBC, adding that regulatory uncertainty around crypto isn’t going away anytime soon. Powell’s words follow a recent anti-money laundering rule proposed by the US government that would require people who hold their cryptocurrencies in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more. “Something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case, which was to just make financial services accessible to everyone,” Powell said.


He expressed hopes that “the US and international regulators don’t take too much of a narrow view on this,” noting that “Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view.” The chief executive said he feels the US is more “shortsighted” than other nations and is “susceptible” to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses – in other words, the banks – that “stand to lose from crypto becoming a big deal.” “I also think it might be too late,” Powell added. “Maybe the genie’s out of the bottle and just trying to ban it at this point would make it more attractive. It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency.

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The CIA will stop it. Big Tech=Big Intel.

Republican Antitrust Bill Would Block All Big Tech Acquisitions (TC)

There are about to be a lot of antitrust bills taking aim at Big Tech, and here’s one more. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) rolled out a new bill this week that would take some severe measures to rein in Big Tech’s power, blocking mergers and acquisitions outright. The “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” would ban any acquisitions by companies with a market cap of more than $100 billion, including vertical mergers. The bill also proposes changes that would dramatically heighten the financial pain for companies caught engaging in anti-competitive behavior, forcing any company that loses an antirust suit to forfeit profits made through those business practices.

At its core, Hawley’s legislation would snip some of the red tape around antitrust enforcement by amending the Sherman Act, which made monopolies illegal, and the Clayton Act, which expanded the scope of illegal anti-competitive behavior. The idea is to make it easier for the FTC and other regulators to deem a company’s behavior anti-competitive — a key criticism of the outdated antitrust rules that haven’t kept pace with the realities of the tech industry. The bill isn’t likely to get too far in a Democratic Senate, but it’s not insignificant. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who chairs the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, proposed legislation earlier this year that would also create barriers for dominant companies with a habit of scooping up their competitors. Klobuchar’s own ideas for curtailing Big Tech’s power similarly focus on reforming the antitrust laws that have shaped U.S. business for more than a century.

The Republican bill may have some overlap with Democratic proposals, but it still hits some familiar notes from the Trump era of hyperpartisan Big Tech criticism. Hawley slams “woke mega-corporations” in Silicon Valley for exercising too much power over the information and products that Americans consume. While Democrats naturally don’t share that critique, Hawley’s bill makes it clear that antitrust reform targeting Big Tech is one policy area where both political parties could align on the ends, even if they don’t see eye to eye on the why.

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“In Mexico City, the local government has proposed a law that would ban the sale, delivery and distribution of packaged foods with a high caloric and energy content and sugary drinks to children..”

Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling (WS)

Since Mexico’s government has passed one of the strictest food labeling laws on the planet in October last year, all soft drinks cans and bottles, bags of chips and other processed food packages must bear black octagonal labels warning of “EXCESS SUGAR”, “EXCESS CALORIES”, “EXCESS SODIUM” or “EXCESS TRANS FATS” — all in big bold letters that are impossible to miss. Many states have also introduced legislation making it much more difficult for retailers to sell junk food and sugary drinks to children. Evidence from other countries suggests that warning labels can be effective. Chile started requiring them in 2016. It also limited cartoon food packaging, prevented schools from selling unhealthy foods, restricted TV adverts, and banned promotional toys.

Over the next two years, sugary drink sales in Chile plunged by 23%. According to one study, the labels reduced the likelihood of people choosing sugary breakfast cereals by 11% and sugary juices by almost 24%. A nightmare for the companies affected. The prospect of something similar transpiring in Mexico, a country almost seven times larger than Chile and that consumes more processed food than any other country in Latin America, unnerved global food and beverage companies. The United States, EU, Canada and Switzerland, home to some of the world’s biggest food companies, tried to derail the new legislation. But to no avail. The arrival of Covid-19, which has proven to be particularly lethal to people with three comorbidities — obesity, diabetes, and hypertension — has strengthened the government’s case and resolve.

Over a dozen of Mexico’s 36 state governments have banned or are in the process of banning the sales of soft drinks and junk food to children. In Mexico City, the local government has proposed a law that would ban the sale, delivery and distribution of packaged foods with a high caloric and energy content and sugary drinks to children. The law will also ban the presence of soft drink vending machines in schools. Mexico’s Senate also recently passed a law that will compel educational authorities to prohibit the sale of foods with low nutritional value and high caloric content in the vicinity of school facilities while promoting the establishment of healthy food outlets. There are also moves afoot to restrict the advertising of foods high in fat, salt, sugar and saturated fats on children’s television channels.

These moves have raised concerns that the government is overstepping its bounds. The business lobby group Coparmex said that banning the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to minors represents a frontal attack on commercial freedom and freedom of choice. It will also have serious economic consequences for businesses in the retail sector. But those consequences are dwarfed by the economic and health impact of widespread obesity. This is particularly true in the time of Covid when the risk of death from the virus is about 10 times higher in countries where more than half of the population is overweight, according to a report released in March by the World Obesity Federation.

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Either our bodies find a way to incorporate plastics, or we’re doomed.

Airborne Plastic Pollution ‘Spiralling Around The Globe’ (G.)

Microplastic pollution is now “spiralling around the globe”, according to a study of airborne plastic particles. The researchers said human pollution has led to a global plastic cycle, akin to natural processes such as the carbon cycle, with plastic moving through the atmosphere, oceans and land. The result is the “plastification” of the planet, said one scientist. The analysis calls plastic pollution one of the most pressing environmental issues of the 21st century. It indicates that the billions of tonnes of plastic discarded into the oceans and land and being broken down into tiny pieces are being thrown back into the air by road traffic and winds over seas and farmland. People are already known to breathe, drink and eat microplastics and the other research suggests levels of pollution will continue to rise rapidly.

The scientists said this “raises questions on the impact of accumulating plastics in the atmosphere on human health. The inhalation of particles can be irritating to lung tissue and lead to serious diseases.” Prof Natalie Mahowald, at Cornell University in the US and part of the research team, said: “What we’re seeing right now is the accumulation of mismanaged plastics just going up. Some people think it’s going to increase by tenfold [per decade]. “But maybe we could solve this before it becomes a huge problem, if we manage our plastics better, before they accumulate in the environment and swirl around everywhere.” She said clearing up ocean plastic could help reduce the amount that gets thrown back up into the atmosphere, and that more biodegradable plastics could be part of the solution.

The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined airborne microplastics, which have been far less studied than plastic in oceans and rivers. The team had more than 300 samples of airborne microplastics from 11 sites across the western US, the best dataset available globally. These were the basis for atmospheric modelling that estimated the contribution from different sources, the first such study to do so. Virtually none of the airborne microplastics came directly from plastic being discarded in cities and towns, the scientists found, but were the result of road traffic and winds across oceans and farmland whipping up plastic particles already in the environment. “We thought population centres would be a much better source, obviously, but it just didn’t work out that way,” Mahowald said. “Resuspension [of microplastics] makes the most sense with this set of data.”

[..] Microplastic pollution has been detected across the planet, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. The revelation in December of small plastic particles in human placentas was described by scientists as “a matter of great concern”.

Read more …

 

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Mick Jagger’s take on Covid. Easy Sleazy. With Dave Grohl.

 

 

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Mar 012021
 


Pierre-Auguste Renoir Dance at Bougival 1883

 

Guidelines To Place Children In Solitary Quarantine ‘Cruel Punishment’ (TSun)
Bill Gates Warns Post-Covid Return To Normal Could Take All 2022 (F.)
Brazil Variant May Make Foreign Summer Holidays Impossible, Ministers Told (G.)
Why “New Cases” Are Plummeting (OffG.)
Trump On 2024: ‘I May Decide To Beat Them For A Third Time’ (SAC)
Biden’s Message To Iran: The Battlefield Has Been Inaugurated (Magnier)
Cuomo Cedes Control Of Harassment Probe (JTN)
NY’s Sexual Harassment Working Group Urges Gov. Cuomo To Resign (NYP)
Democrats Demand The Firing Of The Senate Parliamentarian (Turley)
Efforts In Key Battleground States To Return Voting To Pre-2020 Rules (JTN)
China’s Fiscal Risks ‘Extremely Severe’, Former Finance Minister Warns (SCMP)
The Big “Buy & Hype” Bitcoin Casino (Wolf Richter)
Far-Right Platform Gab Has Been Hacked—Including Private Data (Wired)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrative of the state of mind the world has entered. Zero comprehension of complex systems. Everything exists in one dimension only.

Guidelines To Place Children In Solitary Quarantine ‘Cruel Punishment’ (TSun)

Peel Health has issued guidelines to parents instructing them to keep any children who have been sent home because a classmate has tested positive for COVID-19 isolated in a separate room from all other family members for 14 days. The severe guidelines, which apply even to small children who are dismissed from child care, are being criticized by experts as harmful and not supported by science. “This is cruel punishment for a child, especially for younger children, 4-10 years old,” Dr. Susan Richardson, a microbiologist and infectious disease physician who is also a professor emerita at University of Toronto, wrote in an email to the Sun. “Shutting a child off from their parents and siblings for up to 14 days in this manner could produce significant and long-lasting emotional and psychological effects.”

The handout distributed at Peel Region schools explains, “If your child does not have any symptoms: the child must self-isolate, which means stay in a separate room, eat in a separate room apart from others, use a separate bathroom if possible.” The handout also says, “If the child must leave their room, they should wear a mask and stay 2 metres apart from others.” Any other children in the household not only must be both separated from their siblings but also stay home for 14 days. “This does not seem practically possible and is highly likely to cause harm to children who would already be experiencing considerable distress with having to remain at home,” Dr. Tess Clifford, the director of the Psychology Clinic at Queen’s University, said in an email to the Sun.

Clifford said those making decisions about pandemic mitigation measures need to consider the well-being of children across multiple domains of health. “I don’t understand how any health-care professional has moved so far away from the fundamentals of public health and of doing no harm that they would think that basically incarcerating a child in a room for 14 days is in any way justified,” said Dr. Martha Fulford, an infectious diseases physician at Hamilton Health Science who focuses on pediatrics. “This is shocking,” adds Fulford, “especially when you consider this is being proposed for children who are not in any way sick.”

Read more …

There is only one truth, and Gates and Fauci control it.

Bill Gates Warns Post-Covid Return To Normal Could Take All 2022 (F.)

Fresh off a third vaccine candidate garnering U.S. regulatory approval, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates called the rapid development of vaccines “a miracle” that should help Americans return to an “almost-normal” way of life as early as fall but also warned that lawmakers aren’t doing enough globally to usher in a full return-to-normal before the end of next year. Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, 65-year-old Gates said that autumn should bring about some normalcy for Americans with “basically every school back in session,” some level of occupancy in restaurants and sporting events all once again taking place.

“The big problem is that we’re not doing enough to end the pandemic globally,” Gates warned, adding that vaccines thus far are “just going to rich countries,” which leaves the risk that contagious variants could spread abroad and creep back into the United States. That risk–compounded by the potential wave of reinfections–means a full return to normal “could take all of 2022 unless we do a better job,” Gates said. Additional vaccine factories in nations like India could help curtail the risk of infection abroad and bring about a quicker return to normalcy, Gates suggested, pointing to vaccine-makers AstraZeneca, NovaVax and Johnson & Johnson that are already working on such projects.

Speaking to CNN earlier Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the United States now has three “really good vaccines” that Americans should “have no hesitancy whatsoever to take”–a sentiment Gates echoed of the five candidates approved for distribution in the Western World.

Read more …

From a live blog.

Brazil Variant May Make Foreign Summer Holidays Impossible, Ministers Told (G.)

Yvette Cooper, the Labour chair of the home affairs committee, was on the Today programme this morning saying that ministers have repeatedly been told that the measures currently in place in England may be inadequate. She made the same points in a thread on Twitter last night with accompanying ‘I told you so’ evidence. On the Today programme she made a further point, saying that the latest development illustrated why summer holidays abroad might not be possible this year. When she was asked if she thought the government would have to ban holiday flights over the summer, she replied:


“You’re right, there is a concern about whether the government is raising expectations about summer holidays that they may not be able to meet, because this will depend on the relationship between the spread of these new variants and what happens with the vaccine, and the timetable about things like boosters for the vaccine. And we’ve been advised on the committee by scientists that these border measures, and the strength of these border measures, becomes even more important as domestic cases fall. So as our own cases fall, and as the economy and society opens up, they argue that that’s when you actually need stronger measures at the border, rather than reducing them. The trouble is at the moment the government is encouraging people to think that those summer holidays are all going to be possible and international travel is going to return.”

Read more …

As we know.

Why “New Cases” Are Plummeting (OffG.)

The decline started in mid-January, far too early for any vaccination program to have any effect. Many experts said as much: “Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said the falling case numbers can’t be attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine, because not even a tenth of the population has been vaccinated, according to the CDC.” Further, the drop is happening simultaneously in different countries all around the world, and not every country is vaccinating at the same rate or even using the same vaccine. So no, the “vaccines” are not causing the drop. Another suspect is the lockdown, with blaring propaganda stating that all the various government-imposed house arrests and “distancing” measures have finally had an impact. That’s not it either. Sweden, famously, never locked down at all. Yet their “cases” and “Covid related deaths” have been dropping exactly in parallel with the UK:

Clearly, if countries that never locked down are also seeing declines in case numbers, the lockdown cannot be causing them. So what is? Maybe for our answer, we should look at the date the decline started. Observe this graph:

As you can see, the global decline in “Covid deaths” starts in mid-to-late January. What else happened around that time? Well, on January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated. This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests, as values over 35 could produce false positives. Essentially, in two memos the WHO ensured future testing would be less likely to produce false positives and made it much harder to be labelled an “asymptomatic case”. In short, logic would suggest we’re not in fact seeing a “decline in Covid cases” or a “decrease in Covid deaths” at all.


What we’re seeing is a decline in perfectly healthy people being labelled “covid cases” based on a false positive from an unreliable testing process. And we’re seeing fewer people dying of pneumonia, cancer or other disease have “Covid19” added to their death certificate based on testing criteria designed to inflate the pandemic.

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Is it getting a bit old, or is that just me?

Trump On 2024: ‘I May Decide To Beat Them For A Third Time’ (SAC)

In his first post-White House appearance, former President Donald Trump ripped into President Joe Biden and stressed the importance of a united GOP to win future elections.. He also dropped hints about his political future at this year’s CPAC. The president told the cheering crowd that he may consider running again in 2024. It was what many in the crowd were hoping to hear as the week’s long CPAC event ended in Orlando, Florida. The 45th president spoke for roughly 90 minutes about immigration, women’s sports, and other Biden policies. “Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history… In just one short month, we have gone from America first to America last,” Trump said.


Trump spoke on COVID lockdowns and the politics surrounding reopening schools. “There’s no reason whatsoever why the vast majority of young Americans should not be back in school immediately,” Trump said. “The only reason that most parents do not have that choice is because Joe Biden sold out America’s children to the teachers’ unions.” He also commented on the 2020 election, saying it was not a fair election and if it had been, it would have had a “very different” result. “This election was rigged. And the Supreme Court didn’t want to do anything about it,” he said. Trump even teased a future for his political career, saying he [thinks] a Republcian will in in the next cycle, and he asked “I wonder who that will be?”

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“Biden’s ill-considered murder of Iraqi soldiers fighting ISIS.”

Biden’s Message To Iran: The Battlefield Has Been Inaugurated (Magnier)

Several F-15’s have launched an attack against multiple targets on the Iraqi-Syrian borders against Iraqi security forces, Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces – PMF), by direct order of President Joe Biden. This is the first military action ordered by the new President and certainly not the last. So far, the US President has followed his predecessor’s steps concerning the sanctions imposed on foreign states and groups. One symbolic exception was the Yemeni Ansar Allah’s delisting from the US terrorist list without lifting the harsh sanctions on food supply, medicine, and oil. Moreover, it is not realistic to consider the US bombing of PMF positions, described by the Pentagon as “Iranian-backed militant groups”, as anything but a direct message directed to Iran in person.

The US is saying that the bombing of the Iraqi security forces means that its military option is on the table and will be used without hesitation against any threat to US interests in the Middle East, particularly those close to Iran. This is a challenge that is certainly not unexpected by Iran, which has vowed to expel all US forces from west Asia following the unlawful assassination of Soleimani. The battlefield has been inaugurated. A few days ago, President Biden contacted the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kahdimi following the rocket attacks against US bases in Kurdistan-Iraq earlier this month. Biden told al-Kadhimi that he would retaliate against the rocket attack. The Iraqi Prime Minister failed to inform the US President that the US forces mandate doesn’t allow the violation of the Iraqi sovereignty neither the bombing of its security forces deployed on the borders to prevent the “Islamic State” (ISIS) movement of the militants’ supply line and potential attacks.

Biden, like his predecessor Donald Trump, ordered the bombing of the most crucial position to Iran and its allies: Albu Kamal – al Qaem crossing. This same crossing was under ISIS control when the assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani led the attack to liberate it following the US occupation of al-Tanf crossing between Syria and Iraq. This rapid move by Iran angered both Israel and the US, who wished to impose a land siege on Syria to prevent the flow of goods from Iraq and prevent the “Axis of the Resistance” link between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut.

Read more …

Now he’s gone. Pelosi and Biden weigh in.

Cuomo Cedes Control Of Harassment Probe (JTN)

Under fire from dual scandals, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday ceded control of an investigation into whether he sexually harassed female subordinates and admitted for the first time some of his behavior with women “may have been insensitive or too personal.” The reversal by New York’s top Democrat came as senior members of his own party called the allegations against him credible and demanded an independent probe. “The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and to be treated with dignity,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Fox News, signaling the fallout from Cuomo’s scandals had stretched beyond Albany to Washington. “The independent investigation must have due process and respect for everyone involved.”

Cuomo on Saturday evening initially appointed a former federal judge to evaluate the sex harassment allegations from two state former workers, Charlotte Bennett and Lindsey Boylan. But he reversed course Sunday amid mounting criticism he was trying to control the probe. He ceded to demands that Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, control the inquiry. James said she planned to deputize an outside law firm to conduct “a rigorous and independent investigation.” Cuomo also issued an apology, saying that while he had never inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone he may have engaged in inappropriate comments that felt like flirtation to women.

[..] The Biden White House weighed in on Sunday as well, calling for an independent review. “There should be an independent review looking in to these allegations, and that’s certainly something he supports and we believe should move forward as quickly as possible,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told CNN’s State of the Union. Prominent Democrats, including state Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, had urged Cuomo to follow the state’s tradition and refer the probe to James. “As has become standard practice in the State of New York when allegations relate directly to the Executive, Governor Cuomo should refer the matter to the Attorney General, who should, in turn, appoint an independent investigator,” Nadler said.

Read more …

“An anti-sexual-harassment group made up of former state legislative staffers..”

NY’s Sexual Harassment Working Group Urges Gov. Cuomo To Resign (NYP)

An anti-sexual-harassment group made up of former state legislative staffers called on Gov. Cuomo to resign Saturday in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him. “ENOUGH. New York State has now lost the talents and ambition of yet another woman, whose safety and integrity were eliminated to serve a powerful man’s desires. Andrew Cuomo must resign now,” the Sexual Harassment Working Group said in a statement, after ex-Cuomo aide, Charlotte Bennett, accused the governor of behaving inappropriately toward her last year. Bennett, 25, told The New York Times that Cuomo, 63, complained to her about being “lonely” and not being able to hug anyone during the pandemic, before pressing her on who she last hugged.


When she revealed her own history of sexual assault to Cuomo, Bennett claimed his reaction “was something out of a horror movie,” the paper reported. Cuomo allegedly kept repeating to Bennett, “‘You were raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ over and over again while looking me directly in the eyes … It was like he was testing me,” she told a friend in a text message which was viewed by The Times. Earlier this week, the Sexual Harassment Working Group had called for in investigation of the governor after another former staffer, Lindsey Boylan, accused him of trying to kiss her on the mouth and suggesting a game of “strip poker.” “There must be an immediate independent investigation into Governor Cuomo’s workplace behavior, conducted by an entity over which Cuomo does not have any appointment or supervisory powers,” the group tweeted hours after Boylan came forward.

Read more …

“The use of a reconciliation bill was an effort to circumvent the filibuster and allow a majority vote on the hike. However, by using reconciliation, the Democrats triggered the ‘Byrd rule’..”

Democrats Demand The Firing Of The Senate Parliamentarian (Turley)

Democratic members this week attacked Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough after she (correctly) ruled that the inclusion of the $15 minimum wage hike in a reconciliation bill violated Senate rules. The response from Democratic members and many in the blogosphere was withering. Rep. Ilhan Omar called for MacDonough to be fired and others denounced her actions and called the Senate to simply overrule her — and the long-standing rules. It is not just the effort to gut or flip the “Byrd Rule” but vicious attacks on this parliamentarian that is so disconcerting. The use of a reconciliation bill was an effort to circumvent the filibuster and allow a majority vote on the hike. However, by using reconciliation, the Democrats triggered the ‘Byrd rule’ – which limits the type of provisions in the reconciliation process to taxing and spending.

The purpose is to limit an add-ons through reconciliation to measures designed to have a direct impact on the federal budget—barring the use of reconciliation to introduce “extraneous” measures. Otherwise, reconciliations could circumvent the normal legislative process and the filibuster option for the minority. The rule allows a senator to object when a reconciliation bill is brought to the floor through a Point of Order on the bill. After the Byrd Rule is raised, the Senate Parliamentarian informs the Presiding Officer on how to rule and the Presiding office conveys that to the Senate. Senators can then vote to overrule the Presiding Officer but the process protects the minority and the parliamentarian by requiring that a vote to overrule secure a three-fifths majority.

The Parliamentarian’s role is key to a system of orderly legislative process. To simply disregard such rules (and fire those who seek to maintain them) is yet another example of the rage that has replaced reason in our current politics. Byrd was famous for putting the interests of the Senate and the Constitution before his own party. This effort shows increasingly rare such institutional defenders have become in this age of rage. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the first to balk at any rules standing in the way of reform: “I think the parliamentarian is verging on, you know, just really intruding in this legislative process in a very concerning way.” I am not really sure what that actually means. Parliamentary rules are the thing that defines the legislative process and guarantees a neutral and ordered process of deliberation and enactment.

Read more …

Too many people don’t *want* transparent elections.

Efforts In Key Battleground States To Return Voting To Pre-2020 Rules (JTN)

Significant legislative attempts are underway in multiple U.S. states, including key battleground states, to roll back major changes in voting rules and regulations to various pre-2020 status quo antes. The efforts come after an historically chaotic election process that has left millions of Americans doubtful of election fairness, security, transparency and accountability. Changes to election rules — some of them enacted prior to 2020 and others put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year — have included expansive mail-in voting, expanded early voting, relaxation of verification rules, and extensions to ballot receipt deadlines. Those rules likely contributed to a record 158,000,000-plus votes cast in the 2020 election.

But the relaxation of various voting requirements has also led to significant distrust in the election system: Nearly 40% of voters believe that U.S. elections are beset by fraud, while a similar number claim that such concerns haven’t been properly vetted by public authorities. Legislators in numerous states are angling to address some of those concerns by pushing for legislation to shore up what critics claim are the vulnerabilities created by relaxed voting rules. In Georgia — which flipped blue for Biden this year in one of several razor-thin races that went in the Democrat’s favor — the Senate passed a bill that would require voters to submit “photocopies of voter identification documents for absentee ballot applications.”

The bill would do away with the current signature-matching system currently in place for absentee voting. Critics have accused that system of being ripe for fraud and abuse, particularly after the state’s Gov. Brian Kemp agreed to activist demands last year to make it much more onerous for officials to reject disputed signatures. In Pennsylvania — which Trump lost by fewer than 100,000 votes — state lawmakers have signaled an intent to repeal the state’s “no-excuse” mail-in voting system, first implemented in 2019. State Sens. Patrick Stefano and Doug Mastriano last month said in a Senate memorandum that they “intend to introduce legislation repealing the no-excuse mail-in ballot provisions” put in place two years ago via the state’s Act 77.

“By removing the provisions of law that allow for no-excuse mail-in ballots, we can regain some trust in our elections’ integrity,” the senators argued. Stefano has also vowed to repeal Act 77’s “annual mail-in voter list” and to mandate that “only the Pennsylvania Department of State may send applications for mail in ballots to eligible voters.” “By guaranteeing that eligible voters must apply for a mail-in ballot for each election, and that only the Department of State may distribute the applications to apply for mail-in ballots,” he wrote, “we can address much of the confusion and frustration that surrounded our most recent election cycle.”

Read more …

“Lou charged that the United States was monetising its budget deficit to transfer its debt burden to the rest of the world..”

China’s Fiscal Risks ‘Extremely Severe’, Former Finance Minister Warns (SCMP)

China’s fiscal situation is “extremely severe with risks and challenges”, former finance minister Lou Jiwei has warned, citing fallout from aggressive US stimulus policies, the global economic slowdown during the pandemic, an ageing Chinese population and mounting domestic local government debt. Lou offered his sharp critique in December but the assessment has only been made public more recently, with just days to go now before China’s political elites meet for their annual legislative session to decide the details of economic policy. Among the big issues will be whether to scale back the fiscal stimulus implemented last year to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and instead focus on curbing rising debt risks.

Beijing is expected to cut back fiscal stimulus even as Washington closes in on approval for an additional US$1.9 trillion in economic stimulus proposed by President Joe Biden. Lou, who served as China’s finance minister from 2013 to 2016, warned that the country’s fiscal revenue was expected to be stuck at “a low level” in the coming five years, with no sign of the government cutting back its spending. “The fiscal difficulties are not only a near-term or short-term issue, but also will be serious in the medium term,” said Lou, who is known for his outspoken views. Lou’s remarks were contained in a speech delivered in December but only published in February by a magazine affiliated with the Ministry of Finance.

Lou charged that the United States was monetising its budget deficit to transfer its debt burden to the rest of the world, especially to developing countries like China. To finance its large and growing budget deficit, the US government has had to issue increasingly large amounts of Treasury bonds. In addition, the Federal Reserve had bought large amounts of those bonds to inject liquidity into the market – so-called quantitative easing – with the additional cash rapidly pushing up the prices of stocks and other financial assets to levels far beyond those justified by economic fundamentals, Lou said.

[..] On Thursday, US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed that the central bank had no plans to tighten monetary policy until it had seen a sustained improvement in employment. He expressed no concern at the prospect of rising inflation and rising asset prices. But Lou warned that the US view was short-sighted. “Once the pandemic has been brought under control and the [global] economy begins to recover, fiscal and monetary policies will make a turn that will impact on global financial stability and the economic growth of various countries,” Lou said. “Emerging market countries are facing a double blow to both their economies and finances, with the economic risk transforming into fiscal and financial risks, raising the risk of a debt crisis.”

Read more …

Nice story. Wolf will make some enemies with this.

The Big “Buy & Hype” Bitcoin Casino (Wolf Richter)

So bitcoin is trading at about 57,000 bucks at the moment. Its market cap is over $1 trillion. This glorious moment jogged my memory, so I dug up that old email. Back in August 2012, I was contacted via my website by some guy about bitcoin. At the time, bitcoin was at 10 bucks. He wanted to buy my book and pay with bitcoin. So for the paperback, which sells for about 15 bucks on Amazon, he would have had to fork over 1 and a half bitcoin. So today, the proceeds from the sale of that paperback would be around 85,000 despised fiat dollars. He called bitcoin a “monetary revolution.” He wrote, “There is a large and growing community of bitcoin users, who are migrating away from the dollar and euro, because those currencies are being inflated away to nothing.”

And he said, “The value of a bitcoin has doubled in the last 4 months.” Which is the monetary revolution, apparently, that money keeps doubling every few months. He offered me a deal. If I listed my book on a site called CoinDL, he’d buy my book, and he said he would “recommend it on the bitcoin internet forums.” And then, on my site, I would need to encourage people to buy bitcoin. I would have to post my bitcoin address, ask for donations in bitcoin, etc. to let people know that I was endorsing bitcoin, and that I held bitcoin, so that they too would pile into it. Maybe I could have sold one book to him, plus three more books to some other folks on the internet forums he frequented, four books in total, for six bitcoin in total.

Today, those six bitcoin would have amounted to 342,000 despised fiat dollars. What was striking about the deal he tried to draw me into: He offered to buy my book for bitcoin and help me sell a few more books for bitcoin, and in return I would leverage my site to hype bitcoin to my readers. Ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly how it worked universally, and even today the same principle is in effect, but now big players have jumped into it, and they quietly bought bitcoin, and then they used their global megaphones that the mainstream media amplified for all to see, and they hyped bitcoin, and it’s on the front of the mainstream media, and bitcoin has soared.

Buy and hype. This is the principle on which bitcoin has operated from day one. Everyone getting into it would become a hype artist. And there would be no metric by which its price could be judged. These two factors were the true genius behind bitcoin. So obviously, I didn’t go for the deal. I didn’t need to participate in a “monetary revolution,” where the value doubles in four months. This has nothing to do with monetary anything, but is a form of gambling that relies on ever more new gamblers entering the casino and bidding up the price, with more and more gamblers selling each other the bitcoin, all united in the singular purpose of driving up its price so that everyone could get rich.

Read more …

Gab is not a far right platform. It’s just a platform that doesn’t censor.

Far-Right Platform Gab Has Been Hacked—Including Private Data (Wired)

When Twitter banned Donald Trump and a slew of other far-right users in January, many of them became digital refugees, migrating to sites like Parler and Gab to find a home that wouldn’t moderate their hate speech and disinformation. Days later, Parler was hacked and then dropped by Amazon web hosting, knocking the site offline. Now Gab, which inherited some of Parler’s displaced users, has been badly hacked too. An enormous trove of its contents has been stolen—including what appears to be passwords and private communications. On Sunday night the WikiLeaks-style group Distributed Denial of Secrets is revealing what it calls calling “GabLeaks,” a collection of more than 70 gigabytes of Gab data representing more than 40 million posts.

DDoSecrets says a hacktivist who self-identifies as “JaXpArO and My Little Anonymous Revival Project” siphoned that data out of Gab’s backend databases in an effort to expose the platform’s largely rightwing users. Those Gab patrons, whose numbers have swelled after Parler went offline, include large numbers of Qanon conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and promoters of former president Donald Trump’s election-stealing conspiracies that resulted in the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. DDoSecrets cofounder Emma Best says that the hacked data includes not only all of Gab’s public posts and profiles—with the exception of any photos or videos uploaded to the site—but also private group and private individual account posts and messages, as well as user passwords and group passwords.

“It contains pretty much everything on Gab, including user data and private posts, everything someone needs to run a nearly complete analysis on Gab users and content,” Best wrote in a text message interview with WIRED. “It’s another gold mine of research for people looking at militias, neo-Nazis, the far right, QAnon and everything surrounding January 6.” DDoSecrets says it’s not publicly releasing the data due to its sensitivity and the vast amounts of private information it contains. Instead the group says it will selectively share it with journalists, social scientists, and researchers. WIRED viewed a sample of the data, and it does appear to contain Gab users’ individual and group profiles—their descriptions and privacy settings—public and private posts, and passwords. Gab CEO Andrew Torba acknowledged the breach in a brief statement Sunday.

Passwords for private groups are unencrypted, which Torba says the platform discloses to users when they create one. Individual user account passwords appear to be cryptographically hashed—a safeguard that may help prevent them from being compromised—but the level of security depends on the hashing scheme used and the strength of the underlying password. Among the users whose hashed passwords appeared to be included in the data were those for Donald Trump, Republican congresswoman and QAnon-conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, MyPillow CEO and election-conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, and disinformation-spouting radio host Alex Jones. The hacked data also includes a chatlogs.txt file that appears to contain private conversations between the site’s users. That file’s contents begin with an added note from JaXpArO: “FUCK TRUMP. FUCK COLONIZERS & CAPITALISTS. DEATH TO AMERIKKKA.”

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