Apr 132022
 
 April 13, 2022  Posted by at 8:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Margaret Bourke-White Coney Island 1952

 

CIA Admits Feeding Americans False Info About Ukraine (Ron Paul)
The West Cannot Isolate Russia, Putin Warns (F.)
China’s Jan-March Overall Trade With Russia Rises 28% (R.)
The Defense Industry’s Ukraine Pundits (Lever)
Top American Golfer Recently Underwent Surgery For Blood Clot In Her Left Arm (GW)
Bitcoin Fans Are Psychopaths Who Don’t Care About Anyone, Study Shows (NYP)
California Now Leads The Country In Illiteracy (CJ)
At Least 20 Federal ‘Assets’ Embedded at Capitol on Jan. 6 (ET)
Covering for the Big Guy (Dinesh D’Souza)
Canada’s Next PM (Bexte)
Rebel News Founder Speaks After Trudeau Denies Them Journalism ‘License’ (Fox)
Trudeau Considers Trucker Tax (TCS)
Twitter ‘A Sh*t Show’ For Employees Since Elon Musk Took Major Stake (NYP)
Elon Musk Accused Of Breaking Law While Buying Twitter Stock (AP)
Elon Musk’s Vision For The Internet Is Dangerous Nonsense (Robert Reich)

 

 

 

 

“Americans are directly in charge of the war on the ground.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Isn’t it ironic that the CIA itself has done more than the Russians to undermine Americans’ faith in the media..”

CIA Admits Feeding Americans False Info About Ukraine (Ron Paul)

Late last year, a Gallup poll showed that Americans’ trust in the mainstream media has fallen to its second lowest level on record. Only seven percent of Americans responded that they have a “great deal” of trust in the media. That loss of trust has been well-earned by the mainstream media, and it explains the massive growth of independent media and alternative voices on social media. The response to the rise of independent media voices has been a rush to “cancel” any voice outside the accepted mainstream narrative. Citizens of the Soviet Union would read manipulated media like Pravda not because the regime reported facts, but because truth was hidden between the lines of what was reported and what was not reported. That seems to be where we are in the US today.

Last week an extraordinary article appeared in, of all places, NBC News, reporting that the US intelligence community is knowingly feeding information it does not believe accurate to the US mainstream media for the American audience to consume. In other words, the article reports that the US “deep state” admits to being actively engaged in lying to the American people in the hopes that it can manipulate public opinion According to the NBC News article, “multiple US officials acknowledged that the US has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn’t high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect…” Readers will recall the shocking headlines that Russia was prepared to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, that China would be providing military equipment to Russia, that Russian President Putin was being fed misinformation by his advisors, and more.

All of these were churned out by the CIA to be repeated in the American media even though they were known to be false. It was all about, as one intelligence officer said in the article, “trying to get inside Putin’s head.” That may have been the goal, but what the CIA actually did was get inside America’s head with false information meant to shape public perception of the conflict. They lied to propagandize us in favor of the Biden Administration’s narrative. Those pushing the “Russiagate” hoax through the Trump years claimed that the goal of “Russian disinformation” was to undermine Americans’ trust in our government, media, and other institutions. Isn’t it ironic that the CIA itself has done more than the Russians to undermine Americans’ faith in the media by feeding false stories to establish a particular narrative among the American people?

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“It is practically “impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world,” let alone a country as “vast” as Russia..”

“..reiterating unproven claims the West has fostered a neo-Nazi, anti-Russian state on its doorstep..”

The West Cannot Isolate Russia, Putin Warns (F.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin toured a spaceport in the far east of Russia on Tuesday with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, defending Russia’s “clear and noble” goals in Ukraine and pointing to the country’s prior achievements in space as proof Western efforts to isolate Moscow will fail. It is practically “impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world,” let alone a country as “vast” as Russia, Putin said, according to Reuters, citing Russian state television. Even the “total” sanctions and “complete” isolation of the Soviet Union did not stop it from beating the West into space, Putin said, adding that Russia does not “intend to be isolated.”

Putin said Russia would never again depend on the West and doubled down on the main goal of what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, which is to “help people in the Donbas,” the primarily Russian-speaking region in eastern Ukraine, and ensure Russia’s security, according to the New York Times. He said Russia made the “right decision” and “didn’t have a choice” but to invade Ukraine, reiterating unproven claims the West has fostered a neo-Nazi, anti-Russian state on its doorstep. Putin was touring the Vostochny spaceport with Belarusian ally Lukashenko, who reportedly asked why everyone is “getting so worried about these sanctions.” The pair celebrated Cosmonaut’s Day—a celebration of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin carrying out the first human spaceflight in 1961—and announced a joint project to guarantee both countries independent access to space.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine six weeks ago, Western countries have imposed a series of increasingly harsh sanctions and restrictions against Russian businesses, industry, and key members of Putin’s inner circle. Many businesses have elected to withdraw from Russia as well. The sanctions have had a dramatic impact on the Russian economy and the World Bank estimates its economy will be around 11% smaller at the end of 2022 (it estimates Ukraine’s will fall around 45%). Despite the Russian downturn, critics, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, argue that sanctions are too weak and Europe’s continued purchasing of Russian oil and gas amounts to giving Russia “permission to attack.” Increasing indications of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, such as signs of executed civilians in Bucha, have added to pressure to up sanctions.

Pence Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1514060795079966728

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What isolation looks like.

China’s Jan-March Overall Trade With Russia Rises 28% (R.)

China’s overall trade with Russia rose to 243.03 billion yuan ($38.18 billion) in January-March, a Chinese customs spokesman said on Wednesday, up 27.8 percent from a year earlier. China’s total trade with Ukraine climbed to 29.6 billion yuan in the first quarter, customs spokesman Li Kuiwen said at a press conference, up 10.6 percent. China’s trade with both Russia and Ukraine has maintained an uptrend, Li said, adding that China’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries including Russia and Ukraine will remain normal. China’s overall trade with Russia reached 190.12 billion yuan in January-March 2021, while its trade with Ukraine stood at 26.77 billion yuan, according to previous customs data.

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Maybe step 1 is to stop calling it the *Defense* industry?

The Defense Industry’s Ukraine Pundits (Lever)

Last week, CNN brought on former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for his fourth recent appearance to talk, once again, about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion of Ukraine. “I think we need to understand that there is only one thing that Putin understands, and that’s force,” said Panetta on Newsroom. The former CIA director added: “I think the United States has to provide whatever weapons are necessary to the Ukrainians, so that they can hit back, and hit back now.” At no time did Panetta nor CNN mention that he’s a senior counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a defense industry consulting firm that has reportedly represented weapons manufacturer Raytheon. The firm doesn’t disclose its clients, but Raytheon and the defense industry generally stand to benefit from the conflict in Ukraine.

The episode is part of a broader pattern and practice: Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, cable news networks have routinely called on defense officials-turned-consultants to offer analysis and help the American public make sense of the crisis. Often, these analysts have used their TV time to call for greater U.S. involvement and bolder moves that could ratchet up tensions between two nuclear-armed superpowers. The networks have consistently failed to disclose these analysts’ day jobs, describing them instead by only their former high-ranking military or government roles — leaving viewers in the dark about the analysts’ financial ties to defense contractors that stand to profit from increased or prolonged conflict.

During its Ukraine coverage, MSNBC even failed to include disclosures when the network invited on former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who serves on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor. When asked about this matter, Johnson told The Lever, “I have no comment.” Corporate media’s lack of transparency about these consultants is deeply troubling, said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “This type of revolving-door behavior should be prohibited for military officials to serve in a private capacity representing military contractors,” Holman told The Lever. “If not prohibited, it should be disclosed to everyone so when they’re going on television trying to affect Biden’s policy on whatever war they have in mind, they ought to be straightforward.”

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Probably nothing. Golfers get blood clots all the time.

Top American Golfer Recently Underwent Surgery For Blood Clot In Her Left Arm (GW)

Nelly Korda announced Friday on social media that she recently underwent surgery for a blood clot in a subclavian vein in her left arm. “I am pleased to report the procedure went well and the doctors were happy with the outcome,” Korda wrote. “I am now home recovering and preparing to start rehab. I am looking forward to getting back to 100 percent so I can begin practicing.” Korda, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, first posted about the blood clot on March 13 and withdrew from the next two events in California, including the Chevron Championship, the season’s first major. “I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and messages I have received the last few weeks,” Korda posted. “Your kind words have helped me get through this challenging and scary time.”

Korda last teed it up on the LPGA in early February at the LPGA Drive On Championship. She has finished T-15, T-20, and T-4 in three starts this season. In 2021, Korda won four times on the LPGA as well as Olympic gold in Tokyo and was named Female Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. She was honored by the GWAA on Wednesday night at the organization’s annual dinner near Augusta. Korda also revealed that she had tested positive for COVID-19 in the second week of January, which “kept her off her feet for some time” before the LPGA season started.

McCullough: permanent DNA alteration
https://twitter.com/i/status/1512916014882828292

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“A team of experts..”

Bitcoin Fans Are Psychopaths Who Don’t Care About Anyone, Study Shows (NYP)

The average Bitcoin investor is a calculating psychopath with an inflated ego, according to scientists. A team of experts recently surveyed more than 500 people to uncover the personality traits that are most common among crypto nuts. They identified that many investors exhibit signs of the “dark tetrad”, a group of four unsavory traits made up of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. In plain English, that means dark tetrads have an inflated sense of self-importance and derive pleasure from the pain of others. They also find it difficult to empathize with others and are sly and manipulative.


Scientists at Queensland University of Technology described their findings in research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences earlier this month. They asked 566 people to complete personality surveys as well as answers questions about their attitudes to crypto. Of the participants, one in four reported that they owned crypto and two-thirds showed an interest in crypto investing. All four dark tetrad traits correlated with an affinity for investing, each for their own reasons. According to the researchers, dark tetrads are partly drawn to crypto because they are prepared to take risks. Digital assets such as Bitcoin are infamously volatile and the feast-or-famine nature of investing is particularly enticing to some.

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3rd world.

California Now Leads The Country In Illiteracy (CJ)

With California’s porous southern border, soaring taxes, and ongoing flow of overbearing and occasionally bizarre regulations (one law targets cow flatulence, for example), state residents could use a break from bad news. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon. According to a recent report, California now leads the country in illiteracy. In fact, 23.1 percent of Californians over age 15 cannot read this sentence. While the problem has many causes, much of the blame falls on the state’s failing public schools. The 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress found that just 30 percent of California eighth-graders are proficient in reading. And those numbers reflect results gathered before the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Voters’ attitudes toward California’s government-run schools have tumbled accordingly. A new poll from UC–Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reveals that just 35 percent of the state’s voters gave public schools in their local district a grade of A or B, down from 55 percent in 2011. At the other end of the spectrum, 25 percent now give their local public schools a D or an F, up 15 percentage points from 2011. The poll included responses from 800 California voters, with 50 percent identifying as Democrats, 26 percent as Republicans, and 24 percent as independents. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that public school enrollment is sinking. In 2018–2019, the system lost about 23,000 students, but between the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 terms, California public schools saw more than 160,000 students leave—a sevenfold increase.

In Los Angeles, defections are accelerating. Whereas L.A. Unified schools were home to 737,000 students 20 years ago, the district is now forecasting a 25,000-student drop by the fall, which would bring their attendance number below the 400,000 mark. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the district’s “American Rescue Plan” funding will soon run out: “From July forward, the district is projected to spend about $1 billion more than it will take in over a two-year period. The district also must wrestle with underfunded retiree health benefits.” Additionally, the district’s contract with United Teachers Los Angeles runs out at the end of the school year, and the union will demand the sun and the moon for the next contract.

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“One agent was even recorded stating, ‘We don’t know what we are looking for yet.’ They should look for a copy of the Constitution and read it.”

At Least 20 Federal ‘Assets’ Embedded at Capitol on Jan. 6 (ET)

At least 20 FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives “assets” were embedded around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a defense attorney wrote in a court filing on April 12. The disclosure was made in a motion seeking to dismiss seditious conspiracy and obstruction charges against 10 Oath Keepers defendants in one of the most prominent Jan. 6 criminal cases. David W. Fischer, attorney for Thomas E. Caldwell of Berryville, Virginia, filed a 41-page motion to dismiss four counts on behalf of all Oath Keepers case defendants before U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta in Washington, D.C. Caldwell is charged in the indictment, but is not a member of the Oath Keepers, he told The Epoch Times in March.

“At least 20 FBI and ATF assets were embedded around the Capitol on J6,” read a footnote on Page 6 of the motion. No other details were provided in the document. The footnote said defense attorneys “combed through a mountain of discovery,” including FBI form 302 summaries of interviews conducted by FBI agents. In addition to the information about law-enforcement assets on the ground at the Capitol, the footnote says, the Oath Keepers “were being monitored and recorded prior to J6.” Poring over evidence turned over in discovery by prosecutors in two major Oath Keepers cases has “not found one iota of proof” that defendants “had any plan, intention, design, or scheme to specifically enter the Capitol Building on J6,” the motion said.

Since the first arrests of Jan. 6 defendants in early 2021, there has been extensive speculation and questions from attorneys, defendants, case observers, and members of Congress about the role law enforcement played that day. During a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Jan. 11, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled top FBI officials on the subject. “How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” Cruz asked Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch. “Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods,” Sanborn said. Cruz replied, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of Jan. 6, yes or no?” “Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn said. “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on Jan. 6?” Cruz asked. “I can’t answer that, sir,” Sanborn replied.

Jeremy M. Brown, an Oath Keepers member from Florida who was charged with two Jan. 6-related counts but is not part of either major Oath Keepers conspiracy case, told The Epoch Times earlier this year that the FBI unsuccessfully tried to recruit him in 2020 to spy on the group. Brown said the same agents who later arrested him for alleged Jan. 6 crimes tried to recruit him on Dec. 11, 2020, to become a confidential informant. He refused. He was arrested on Sept. 30, 2021, when dozens of federal agents swarmed his Florida property. “When asked by me and my girlfriend to produce the warrants at the time of arrest, they refused to produce them,” Brown said. “One agent was even recorded stating, ‘We don’t know what we are looking for yet.’ They should look for a copy of the Constitution and read it.”

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“This is a Joe Biden scandal, not a Hunter Biden scandal.”

Covering for the Big Guy (Dinesh D’Souza)

This has all the persuasive power of saying that Don Corleone knew nothing about his family’s activities and played no part in them whatever. It makes no sense. And Joe Biden’s direct involvement in his son’s activities has now been confirmed with a new email that has emerged. The email involves a college recommendation that Joe Biden wrote for a Chinese businessman who was partners with Hunter Biden. Jonathan Li is the CEO of a company BHR that entered into a joint venture with Hunter Biden’s company Rosemont Seneca. Hunter also held a 10 percent stake in BHR. In 2017, Li sent an email to Hunter Biden and his business associates Devon Archer and Jim Bulger.

“Gentlemen,” he wrote, “Please find the attached resume of my son, Chris Li. He is applying [to] the following colleges for this year.” Li listed Brown University, Cornell University, and New York University. He also attached an “updated version” of his son’s resume. So then what happened? Let’s follow the email trail. “Let’s see how we can be helpful here to Chris,” Bulger responded to Hunter and the gang. A few weeks later, on Feb. 18, 2017, Eric Schwerin, president of Rosemont Seneca, replied to Li. “Jonathan,” he wrote, “Hunter asked me to send you a copy of the recommendation letter that he asked his father to write on behalf of Christopher for Brown University.” In other words, Joe Biden wrote the letter.

Is it reasonable, at this point, to continue to say Joe Biden told the truth when he said he had nothing to do with his son’s business? Is it believable that he was never in on the deals, or stood to benefit from them? No, it’s not. On the contrary, it seems that Hunter Biden was Joe Biden’s frontman. This is a Joe Biden scandal, not a Hunter Biden scandal. If the circuitous family racket can be likened to the coils of a snake, Joe Biden is the head of the snake.

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I understand he’s a good speaker.

Canada’s Next PM (Bexte)

Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has drawn a massive crowd to his campaign rally in Calgary, Alberta. According to organizers, over 7,000 RSVP’d to the event, and more are coming. The hype is real, and traffic jams have built up along the road to the rally. “People haven’t felt so free in this country, have they,” Poilievre began. “Whether it’s the fourteen-year-old girl suffering depression after separation from her sport[s] and social activities for two long years; whether it’s the waitress who mortgaged her house to start a business only to have it locked down again and again until she couldn’t open it up anymore; whether it is the hard-working trucker who delivered the goods and services that we need —” The rally erupted at the mention of truckers, all but drowning out Poilievre as he continued praising their gusto and disparaging Trudeau for his tyrannical response.


Indeed, it appears that after years of ‘Red Erin’ O’Toole, Calgarians and Canadians more generally are ready for a Conservative leader who will end Trudeau’s carbon tax, denounce the WEF, and defund the CBC. Speaking of Justin Trudeau, just yesterday, he managed to draw a crowd, too… A crowd of protesters honking and telling him he’s a disgrace to Canada. This most recent barrage of boos and honks occurred while entering Victoria City Hall to speak with Mayor Lisa Helps. This visit would have been innocuous for most leaders, but merely his presence draws a crowd of disdain. It’s gotten so bad that he’s taken to hiding his itinerary to avoid protests. The contrast couldn’t be starker. Poilievre is being celebrated across the country, while Trudeau slithers in through back doors even while abroad. Assuming he keeps up the momentum, Poilievre might just be the first opponent capable of dethroning Trudeau since he was elected PM.

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“A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news..”

Rebel News Founder Speaks After Trudeau Denies Them Journalism ‘License’ (Fox)

Rebel News founder Ezra Levant sounded off Tuesday after the Trudeau administration denied his outlet what he described as a newly-conceived “license” to fully practice journalism. Levant told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that, if the Liberal Party leader’s behavior during the Ottawa trucker protests is any indicator, he is working hard to punish critics and upturn their lives. He noted how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously slammed his agency when a reporter from it asked a question during a press availability while the politician was running for reelection in 2021. At the time, Trudeau claimed Rebel News was engaging in “disinformation on the science around vaccines” and made a point to declare he could not bring himself to describe them as a “media organization.”


“It’s not yet illegal to do journalism without that license, it’s a government license called the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization License. A government panel reviews you. They spent one year reviewing Rebel News, looking through more than 100 of our stories,” Levant told host Tucker Carlson. “A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news, so we don’t get the license.” Levant went on to describe what that means for his organization, versus mainstream outlets like CBC. Trudeau plans to “compel” Big Tech to down-rank non-licensed journalists and change the Income Tax Act to punish them, Levant said. “We’re not banned yet, although we are banned from government events, as you said earlier. But I’m worried that he’s done all this in two years. The worst is yet to come. He may well ban us yet,” he concluded.

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What a surprise….

Trudeau Considers Trucker Tax (TCS)

After re-raising the carbon tax on April 1, Trudeau is considering yet another carbon-based tax that specifically targets your everyday trucker. If passed, owners of Ford F-150s will pay a $1,000 tax, while those who own a Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup trucks will have to dish out $4,000. The tax comes as part of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, in which the government claims it’s “making it easier for Canadians to switch to electric vehicles.” Part of this plan includes taxing truck owners so much that they can’t afford to own one anymore. Page 192 of the report states that the government will:

“Broaden Canada’s existing Green Levy (Excise Tax) for Fuel Inefficient Vehicles to include additional ICE vehicle types, such as pickup trucks. A sliding scale for the implementation of this Green Levy should be developed based on the emissions produced from different vehicles. Revenue from a broadened Green Levy could increase available funding for ZEV incentives for individuals and organizations without limiting the fleet size and while encouraging smaller vehicles of all fuel types. Carefully consider the impacts on and supports for low-income households and other vulnerable populations when exploring changes to the Green Levy and ZEV incentives.”

That’s right. It appears Trudeau is freezing out truck owners again. First, their bank accounts, now their savings. This shouldn’t surprise people at this point. After all, Trudeau isn’t shy when it comes to coercing Canadians. He imposed draconian federal mandates that are still in place despite what the data says and has kept the travel ban on the unvaccinated even as the rest of the world opens up. Now, he’s targeting truckers by legally requiring them to comply with his environmental activism. And he’s comfortable doing this despite a bleeding economy, unreasonable carbon taxes, and record-high inflation.

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Twitter’s been ‘A Sh*t Show’ for much longer..

Wokist traumas: “..a scheduled “day of rest” for company employees..”.

Twitter ‘A Sh*t Show’ For Employees Since Elon Musk Took Major Stake (NYP)

Elon Musk’s looming battle with Twitter’s board is a source of major anxiety for company employees – many of whom are reportedly worried that billionaire’s campaign to force changes is just beginning. Musk’s surprise rejection of a Twitter board seat emerged ahead of a scheduled “day of rest” for company employees, according to a report. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal broke the news on his account the previous night, describing Musk’s decision as “for the best” even as he warned workers they would face “distractions ahead,” Bloomberg reported late Monday. The uncertainty left Twitter workers feeling “super stressed” about the future, with employees reportedly “working together to help each other get through the week.”

The report cited interviews with Twitter employees who asked not to be identified while discussing the company’s inner workings. Several employees told the outlet that Twitter’s internal environment was a “s–t-show” after Musk’s deal with the board fell through. One Twitter employee griped that Musk was likely ‘just getting started” with pushing for change at the company – a development the worker described as “unfortunate,” according to Bloomberg. Musk has emerged as a vocal critic of Twitter’s business practices, taking particular umbrage with the platform’s content moderation policies. He’s also the company’s largest individual shareholder after acquiring a 9% stake earlier this month.

Under the terms of his initial agreement with Twitter, Musk would have received a board seat through at least 2024 and would be barred from acquiring more than 14.9% of the company. Without that deal in place, Musk is free to acquire a larger stake in the company and push for greater influence over its operations. Musk updated an SEC filing on his Twitter holdings with language that suggests he plans to stay active in the company’s dealings, despite his expanding business empire that includes Tesla and SpaceX.

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Can a investor be compelled to lose money? Musk disclosed his stake when he was done buying. If he had disclosed it before, it would have cost him 100s of millions.

“The lawsuit alleges that by March 14, Musk’s stake in Twitter had reached a 5% threshold that required him to publicly disclose his holdings under U.S. securities law by March 24. Musk didn’t make the required disclosure until April 4.”

“..depriving investors who sold shares before Musk’s improperly delayed disclosure [of] the chance to realize significant gains..”

The gains they could only have realized because Musk was buying…

Elon Musk Accused Of Breaking Law While Buying Twitter Stock (AP)

Elon Musk’s huge Twitter investment took a new twist Tuesday with the filing of a lawsuit alleging that the colorful billionaire illegally delayed disclosing his stake in the social media company so he could buy more shares at lower prices. The complaint in New York federal court accuses Musk of violating a regulatory deadline to reveal he had accumulated a stake of at least 5%. Instead, according to the complaint, Musk didn’t disclose his position in Twitter until he’d almost doubled his stake to more than 9%. That strategy, the lawsuit alleges, hurt less wealthy investors who sold shares in the San Francisco company in the nearly two weeks before Musk acknowledged holding a major stake.

Musk’s regulatory filings show that he bought a little more than 620,000 shares at $36.83 apiece on Jan. 31 and then continued to accumulate more shares on nearly every single trading day through April 1. Musk, best known as CEO of the electric car maker Tesla, held 73.1 million Twitter shares as of the most recent count Monday. That represents a 9.1% stake in Twitter. The lawsuit alleges that by March 14, Musk’s stake in Twitter had reached a 5% threshold that required him to publicly disclose his holdings under U.S. securities law by March 24. Musk didn t make the required disclosure until April 4.

That revelation caused Twitter’s stock to soar 27% from its April 1 close to nearly $50 by the end of April 4’s trading, depriving investors who sold shares before Musk’s improperly delayed disclosure the chance to realize significant gains, according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of an investor named Marc Bain Rasella. Musk, meanwhile, was able to continue to buy shares that traded in prices ranging from $37.69 to $40.96. The lawsuit is seeking to be certified as a class action representing Twitter shareholders who sold shares between March 24 and April 4, a process that could take a year or more.

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Washed up Robert Reich has it figured out: Elon Musk is Putin. And Trump. “.. the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth..”

Some people really don’t like free speech…

Elon Musk’s Vision For The Internet Is Dangerous Nonsense (Robert Reich)

The Securities and Exchange Commission went after Musk after he tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private, a clear violation of the law. Musk paid a fine and agreed to let lawyers vet future sensitive tweets, but he has tried to reverse this requirement. He has also been openly contemptuous of the SEC, tweeting at one point that the “E” stands for “Elon’s”. (You can guess what the “S” and “C” stand for.) By the way, how does the SEC go after Musk’s ability to tweet now that he owns Twitter? Billionaires like Musk have shown time and again they consider themselves above the law. And to a large extent, they are.

Musk has enough wealth that legal penalties are no more than slaps on his wrist, and enough power to control one of the most important ways the public now receives news. Think about it: after years of posting tweets that skirt the law, Musk was given a seat on Twitter’s board (and is probably now negotiating for even more clout). Musk says he wants to “free” the internet. But what he really aims to do is make it even less accountable than it is now, when it’s often impossible to discover who is making the decisions about how algorithms are designed, who is filling social media with lies, who’s poisoning our minds with pseudo-science and propaganda, and who’s deciding which versions of events go viral and which stay under wraps.

Make no mistake: this is not about freedom. It’s about power. In Musk’s vision of Twitter and the internet, he’d be the wizard behind the curtain – projecting on the world’s screen a fake image of a brave new world empowering everyone. In reality, that world would be dominated by the richest and most powerful people in the world, who wouldn’t be accountable to anyone for facts, truth, science or the common good. That’s Musk’s dream. And Trump’s. And Putin’s. And the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth. For the rest of us, it would be a brave new nightmare.

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George Webb Rotterdam

 

 

 

 

Athens strike

 

 

 

 

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Mar 252022
 


Salvador Dali The Feeling of Becoming 1931

 

Zelensky Rubbishes Biden’s War On Russia (M K Bhadrakumar)
Russia Is Open To Selling Natural Gas For Bitcoin, Gold (ZH)
Can Venezuela Negotiate an End to US Deadly Sanctions?
IEA Calls For ‘Lockdowns’ To Curb Oil Use (WND)
Moderna Wants To Give FDA ‘Flexibility’ In Deciding For 4th Covid Shot (CNBC)
DOD’s Recalibrated Data Looks Like An Attempt To Cover Vaccine Injury (Blaze)
French Lawyer Arrested For Treason After Helping Reiner Fuellmich (DE)
New Zealand Scraps Vaccine Passes, Mandates (Sky)
Hunter Biden Bio Firm Partnered With Ukrainian Researchers (NP)
Ketanji Brown Jackson and ‘Dark Money’ (Strassel)
Democrats, Judge Jackson, And The ‘Woman’ Problem (York)
FDA Approves First Gene-Edited Cows for Beef (CHD)
Microplastics Found In Human Blood For First Time (G.)

 

 

 

 

UK-Minsk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1507005846701568006

 

 

Posobiec

 

 

 

 

NATO and NED (=CIA)

 

 

M K Bhadrakumar is a former Indian diplomat. His point: Zelensky has already given in to all of Russia’s demands. The invastion could have been prevented.

Zelensky Rubbishes Biden’s War On Russia (M K Bhadrakumar)

What was the need for all that happened in the period since mid-December when Russia transmitted to Washington its demands for security guarantees? This question will haunt US President Joe Biden long after he retires from public life. The foreign-policy legacy of his presidency and the reputation of this much-vaunted 80-year-old politician with a half-century’s record in public life, much of it supposedly in the domain of American foreign policy, are in tatters – irreparable. News has appeared that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has conceded that he is willing to concede to the Russian demand that his country will not seek to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The announcement came early this week in an interview with ABC News where he revealed that he is no longer pressing for Ukraine’s NATO membership.

In fact, Zelensky let the cat out of the bag by casually adding, “I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that … NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine.” Zelensky explained why: “The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia.” This comes after his earlier revelation that he is “open to compromise” on the sovereignty of the two breakaway republics of Lugansk and Donetsk in the eastern Donbas region and on the status of Crimea. ABC News reportedly telecast the interview on Monday night Eastern Time. Since then, the duo in the Biden team who piloted the Ukraine strategy, those apocalyptic “sanctions from hell” and the demonization of Vladimir Putin through the recent months – Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland – are nowhere to be seen.

That duo of Eastern European descent in the front seat – Blinken driving and Nuland by his side navigating him – ought to offer an explanation for this charade playing out, which is virtually demolishing American prestige as a superpower. There are questions galore. Principally, if it is so easy to work out a compromise over Russia’s legitimate security demands, especially regarding Ukraine’s NATO membership and the alliance’s further expansion, why was Biden so very stubborn in his refusal even to discuss it, given the urgency of the matter? Can it be that Biden was acting smart to create a fait accompli for Moscow by formalizing Ukraine’s membership at the forthcoming NATO summit on June 29-30 in Madrid?

What’s the need to destabilize the European economies and rock the world oil market at a juncture when most economies are entering a path of post-pandemic economic recovery? What explains this unnatural obsession on the part of Biden over Ukraine’s regime? Why such visceral hatred on Biden’s part toward Russia, something unworthy of an 80-year-old world statesman? Why is it that the economic war against Russia has become such a very personal affair for Biden, as his White House speech on Tuesday shows?

Zelensky in better days

Marcus Papadopoulos

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Game on.

Russia Is Open To Selling Natural Gas For Bitcoin, Gold (ZH)

Russia is open to accepting bitcoin for its natural resources exports, the chairman of the country’s Congressional energy committee, Pavel Zavalny, said in a press conference on Thursday. Zavalny explained that Russia is open to accepting different currencies for its exports, beginning with natural gas, depending on the buyer’s preferred method of payment. However, the chairman said terms will depend on the importing country’s foreign relations status with Russia. “When it comes to our ‘friendly’ countries, like China or Turkey, which don’t pressure us, then we have been offering them for a while to switch payments to national currencies, like rubles and yuan,” Zavalny said during the press conference.

“With Turkey, it can be lira and rubles. So there can be a variety of currencies, and that’s a standard practice. If they want bitcoin, we will trade in bitcoin.” Zavalny’s statement comes on the heels of President Vladimir Putin’s comments on Wednesday demanding that ‘unfriendly’ countries pay for Russian gas in rubles. Putin’s message was clear, but it is unclear whether Russia can unilaterally change existing contracts agreed upon in euros. The State Duma’s energy committee chair echoed Putin’s decision while adding that the country should also accept gold. “When we exchange with Western countries…they should pay in hard money,” Zavalny said.

“And hard money is gold, or they must pay in currencies which are convenient for us, and that is the national currency – ruble. That relates to our ‘unfriendly’ countries.” Russia being open to accepting bitcoin shift the tide as Putin last year had dismissed the possibility in an interview at the Russian Energy Week event in Moscow. “I believe that it has value,” Putin said at the time, referring to Bitcoin. “But I don’t believe it can be used in the oil trade.”

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Where’s Guiado?

Can Venezuela Negotiate an End to US Deadly Sanctions?

How the tables have turned. A high-level US delegation visited Venezuela on March 5, hoping to repair economic ties with Caracas. Venezuela, one of the world’s poorest countries partly due to US-Western sanctions is, for once, in the driving seat, capable of alleviating an impending US energy crisis if dialogue with Washington continues to move forward. Technically, Venezuela is not a poor country. In 1998, it was one of the leading OPEC members, producing 3.5 million barrels of oil a day (bpd). Though Caracas largely failed to take advantage of its former oil boom by diversifying its oil-dependent economy, it was the combination of lower oil prices and US-led sanctions that pushed the once relatively thriving South American country down to its knees.

In December 2018, former US President Donald Trump imposed severe sanctions on Venezuela, cutting off oil imports from the country. Though Caracas provided the US with about 200,000 bpd, the US managed to quickly replace Venezuelan oil as crude oil prices reached as low as $40 per barrel. Indeed, the timing of Trump’s move was meant to ravage, if not entirely destroy, the Venezuelan economy in order to exact political concessions, or worse. The decision to further choke off Venezuela in December of that year was perfectly timed as the global oil crisis had reached its zenith in November. Venezuela was already struggling with US-led sanctions, regional isolation, political instability, hyperinflation and, subsequently, extreme poverty. The US government’s move, then, was meant to be the final push that surely, as many US Republicans and some Democrats concluded, would end the reign of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela has long accused the US of pursuing a regime change in Caracas, based on allegations that the socialist Maduro government had won the 2018 elections through fraud. And, just like that, it was determined that Juan Guaidò, then Venezuela’s opposition leader and president of the National Assembly, should be installed as the country’s new president. Since then, US foreign policy in South America centered largely on isolating Venezuela and, by extension, weakening the socialist governments in Cuba and elsewhere. In 2017, for example, the US had evacuated its embassy in the Cuban capital, Havana, claiming that its staff was being targeted by “sonic attacks” – a supposed high-frequency microwave radiation. Though such claims were never substantiated, they allowed Washington to walk back on the positive diplomatic gestures towards Cuba that were carried out by the Barack Obama administration, starting in 2016.

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Yeah, right.

IEA Calls For ‘Lockdowns’ To Curb Oil Use (WND)

As gasoline prices rise to record levels, the International Energy Agency is calling for energy lockdowns, such as banning the use of private cars in cities on Sundays. Other measures proposed in the agency’s “A 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use” include reducing speed limits, working from home, cutting business air travel and imposing an SUV “tax,” reports Climate Depot, the website run by former Capitol Hill staffer Marc Morano. “Governments have all the necessary tools at their disposal to put oil demand into decline in the coming years, which would support efforts to both strengthen energy security and achieve vital climate goals,” the report states.


Among the proposals: “Reducing highway speed limits by about 6 miles per hour; more working from home; street changes to encourage walking and cycling; car-free Sundays in cities and restrictions on other days; cutting transit fares; policies that encourage more carpooling; cutting business air travel.” Another idea is “restricting private cars’ use of roads in large cities to those with even number-plates some weekdays and to those with odd-numbered plates on other weekdays.” Morano, who managed GOP communications for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Work, called the plan “COVID 2.0.” He said the report “sounds an awful lot like an energy version of COVID lockdowns.” “Instead of opening America back up for domestic energy production, we are told to suffer and do with less and are prescribed the same failed lockdown-style policies we endured for COVID,” Morano said.

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That’s so nice of them, to let us know who makes the decisions.

Moderna Wants To Give FDA ‘Flexibility’ In Deciding For 4th Covid Shot (CNBC)

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Thursday the drugmaker wanted to provide U.S. regulators “flexibility” in determining eligibility for a fourth Covid vaccine dose. Moderna submitted its application last week for a so-called second booster, asking the Food and Drug Administration to clear the additional shot for all Americans ages 18 and up. The biotech firm’s request was considerably more broad than competing mRNA vaccine maker Pfizer, whose fourth-dose application covered only people 65 and older. “I think we wanted to give the regulators, the FDA and regulators in other countries, the flexibility,” Bancel said an interview on “Squawk Box.” “You have people that are younger adults that have comorbidity factors, and they might need [a] sooner fourth dose to protect them.”


Underlying medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease and diabetes can make people at higher risk of getting severely ill from Covid. People who are immunocompromised already are eligible for four Covid vaccine doses. Their recommended regimen consists of three primary doses, with a booster given at least three months afterward. Some doctors have questioned the necessity of four Covid shots for the general public in the near term. Moreover, less than half of fully vaccinated people have received their initial booster shot, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows, and some experts suggest the focus should be increasing that uptake percentage.

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Thomas Renz is investigating.

DOD’s Recalibrated Data Looks Like An Attempt To Cover Vaccine Injury (Blaze)

For the past two months, and possibly even earlier, the Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division has been systematically changing the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) health surveillance data for active-duty soldiers without any transparency. Where are the congressional inquiries? On Jan. 24, attorney Thomas Renz brought three named military doctors as whistleblowers to Sen. Ron Johnson, and many more who submitted private affidavits, attesting to the fact that DMED showed a massive increase in numerous diagnosis codes ranging from cancers, blood disorders, and heart ailments to strokes, nervous system disorders, and reproductive issues. They attested in sworn statements that the increase in the data reflected their clinical experience in the military over the past year and is, in their professional opinion, the result primarily of mass vaccine injury from the COVID shots.

In a bizarre twist, the military went on to change the data in the ensuing days without ever conducting a formal investigation into what went wrong or releasing a statement to the public. Rather, a week later, in a terse statement to PolitiFact, of all places, officials claimed the high numbers for 2021 were indeed correct, but that there was a glitch in the data for 2016-2020 used by the whistleblowers to establish a baseline, rendering those years way too low. A four-page document the DOD submitted in Navy SEAL 1 vs. Austin to Florida federal Judge Douglas Merryday provided more information. In that document, officials make it clear that the 2021 numbers were accurate, that the glitch for 2016-2020 only presented itself from September 2021 through the end of January 2022, following a “server migration” last August, that the new data was corrected on Jan. 29, 2022, that DMED was restored the following day, and that by Feb. 2, they had recreated the proper data. That document is extremely terse, alleges no formal investigation, contains no letterhead, and is completely unsigned.

Yet numerous data points suggest that the government is lying about this narrative. Indeed, data was changed numerous times, 2021 data in some instances was slid backwards, and other data points demonstrate that the current data is corrupt. In general, according to the current data, it would mean we have had a terribly sick military for years. It would also mean there was zero increase in most categories for 2021, absurdly indicating that COVID itself never visited the military.

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Need details.

French Lawyer Arrested For Treason After Helping Reiner Fuellmich (DE)

One of the attorneys assisting Reiner Fuelmich in proving world leaders have committed crimes against humanity in the name of Covid-19, has been arrested in France on suspicion of terrorism and treason. Virginie de Araujo Recchia, a French attorney living in France who is participating in the work of the Citizen Jury with Reiner Fuellmich, was arrested in her home at dawn on March 22nd in front of her children. The arrest comes three weeks before ahead of the French presidential elections. Fuellmich’s team have allegedly been informed the charges involve counterterrorism and possibly treason, and relate to the passionate work she does for the French people as well as the world, in fighting to restore our God-given rights.

At the beginning of the year, Virginie de Araujo Recchia, in partnership with her colleague Jean-Pierre Joseph, and two other jurists, filed a complaint before the head of the investigating judges on behalf of the associations BonSens.org, AIMSIB and the Collectif des Maires Résistants (Collective of Resistant Mayors) against the parliamentarians who validated a law on mandatory Covid-19 vaccination in August 2021. This law forced millions of professionals to undergo experimental gene therapy or risk losing their jobs. According to sources close to the case, she was working on a complaint against political parties and the actions of some of their members.

She had just made public her report entitled “Dictatorship 2020” accusing the government of state terrorism, attacking the fundamental interests of the nation and crimes against humanity. This document was intended to form the basis for a criminal prosecution against members of the government…

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In late March 2020 NZ had 5 cases in a single day and went into complete isolated lockdown.

In late March 2022 NZ has 20,000 cases in a single day (yesterday) and drops almost all restrictions.

New Zealand Scraps Vaccine Passes, Mandates (Sky)

Vaccine passes are being axed in New Zealand, with mandates being removed in almost all industries. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the changes on Wednesday as she unveiled the country’s post-Omicron peak plan. Ms Ardern said cases had decreased significantly in Auckland, with a decline expected across the nation by early April. She added there had been more than 500,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in the country of five million, although “expert modellers say there have probably been 1.7 million actual infections”. “That figure, coupled with 95 per cent of New Zealanders being fully vaccinated, means we now have a high level of collective immunity,” Ms Ardern said.


“New Zealanders have worked incredibly hard to get through this pandemic and as a result of those efforts we are now in a position to move forward and change the way we do things. “First up we have simplified the COVID-19 Protection Framework to target restrictions at those activities that reduce transmission the most.” As part of the sweeping changes, New Zealanders will no longer have to prove they are vaccinated to enter venues covered under My Vaccine Pass from early next month. “From 4 April, My Vaccine Pass will no longer be required by the Government meaning Kiwis will no longer have to be vaccinated in order to enter those venues covered by the Pass,” Ms Ardern said. “Scanning in requirements for the vaccinated will also end. “We recognise that some businesses, events or venues may still choose to use vaccine passes, so we will maintain the infrastructure for them.”

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How much for the big guy?

Hunter Biden Bio Firm Partnered With Ukrainian Researchers (NP)

An investment firm directed by President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was a leading financial backer of a pandemic tracking and response firm that collaborated on identifying and isolating deadly pathogens in Ukrainian laboratories, receiving funds from the Obama administration’s Department of Defense in the process, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal. Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP) – a subsidiary of the Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz-founded Rosemont Capital – counted both Biden and Heinz as managing directors. Heinz is the stepson of former U.S. Secretary of State and current Climate czar John Kerry.

Amongst the companies listed on archived versions of the RSTP’s portfolio is Metabiota – an ostensibly San Francisco-based company that purports to detect, track, and analyze emerging infectious diseases. Financial reports reveal that RSTP led the company’s first round of funding in 2015, which amounted to $30 million. Former managing director and co-founder of RSTP Neil Callahan – a name that also appears many times on Hunter Biden’s hard drive – sits on Metabiota’s Board of Advisors alongside former Clinton official Rob Walker who discussed, in another unearthed Hunter Biden hard drive e-mail, reaching out to the Obama Department of Defense with regard to Metabiota.

In July 2021, The National Pulse exclusively revealed the connection between Metabiota, Hunter Biden, and the pandemic-linked EcoHealth Alliance which worked closely with Anthony Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and the notorious Wuhan laboratory. Today, we can exclusively reveal an official connection between the Biden-linked pandemic firm and biological laboratories based in Ukraine. In early March we revealed how these labs were handling “especially dangerous pathogens” through programs funded by the U.S. government. The potential for such entities to fall into the hands of invading Russian forces has come under hotly disputed scrutiny in recent weeks.

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“It led the pressure campaign on Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, even hiring a billboard truck reading “Breyer, retire” to circle the Supreme Court.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson and ‘Dark Money’ (Strassel)

In the background of this week’s nomination hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, one could hear a welcome noise: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s glass house shattering. The Rhode Island Democrat has spent a decade hucking boulders at his favorite bogeyman, “dark money.” When not threatening judges, Mr. Whitehouse papers the Capitol with reports that claim to expose the shady links between covert right-wing “front groups” funded with dirty “multimillion-dollar checks” and secretly giving orders to conservative Supreme Court justices. Mr. Whitehouse hasn’t yet accused the Federalist Society of inventing dark money in a Wuhan lab—but give him time.

So with no small delight, Republicans spent the week highlighting the extent to which Judge Jackson’s nomination was driven by covert left-wing front groups funded by much bigger checks with the aim of influencing the high court. The reason Mr. Whitehouse is such an expert on “dark money” is that his side has used it longer, and does so far bigger and better. With the Jackson nomination exposing this truth, maybe Washington can finally have a more honest debate about what’s really at stake: free speech.

The term “dark money” came into existence only 12 years ago, when the left-leaning Sunlight Foundation used it in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Both sides had long had nonprofits, and both had long understood the importance of applying First Amendment protections to donors. Yet the left resented that Citizens United opened a path for a growing conservative nonprofit movement to compete more directly in the political arena. President Obama launched a campaign against “shadowy” right-wing groups and donors, inspiring the Internal Revenue Service’s scandalous targeting and intimidation of conservative nonprofits.

The slurs against conservatives deflected from the left’s own “dark money” operation—which dwarfs anything on the right, including in Supreme Court fights. The left pioneered this activism in 1987, when a “dark money” outfit known as People for the American Way spent $1.5 million on attack ads against Robert Bork. The left’s new high-court power player is Demand Justice, whose mark on the Jackson nomination is anything but secret. Demand Justice spearheaded campaigns against Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, including vicious attacks on Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It issued “grades” of Senate Democrats, rating their efforts to halt Trump appointments, and is a leading advocate of court-packing. It led the pressure campaign on Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, even hiring a billboard truck reading “Breyer, retire” to circle the Supreme Court.

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‘The two sexes are not fungible; a community made up exclusively of one sex is different from a community composed of both.'” Those were Ginsburg’s words that Blackburn quoted.

Democrats, Judge Jackson, And The ‘Woman’ Problem (York)

. The important thing to remember about the now-infamous “define ‘woman'” exchange between Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is that Blackburn telegraphed her pitch. It wasn’t a gotcha question. It didn’t come out of nowhere. No one should have been surprised. On the opening day of Jackson’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a day mostly devoted to senators giving their opening statements, the Tennessee Republican told Jackson the topics that she, Blackburn, would question Jackson about the next day. “I’ve got a few areas that I’m going to want to delve a little bit further with you,” Blackburn said. “Right now, when I talk to Tennesseans, one of the most important things that they bring up is the issue of parental rights, and wanting to be able to rear their children as they see fit.”

Blackburn said parents are concerned about a “progressive agenda” in public schools. “Educators are allowing biological males to steal opportunities from female athletes in the name of progressivism,” she said. “Some girls have been forced to share locker rooms with biological males. Rather than defending our girls, those in power are teaching them that their voices don’t matter. They’re being treated like second-class citizens, and Americans need a Supreme Court justice who will protect our children and will defend parents’ constitutional right to decide what is best for their own kids.” That’s what Blackburn said on Day One of the hearings. So it should have been a surprise to no one that she raised the topic when it came her time to question Jackson on Day Two.

Blackburn brought up a case called United States v. Virginia, in which the U.S. government sued Virginia over the Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admissions policy. The Supreme Court struck down the policy in a 7-1 vote, and Blackburn quoted from the majority opinion written by liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Supposed ‘inherent differences’ are no longer accepted as a ground for race or national origin classifications,” Ginsburg wrote. “Physical differences between men and women, however, are enduring: ‘The two sexes are not fungible; a community made up exclusively of one sex is different from a community composed of both.'” Those were Ginsburg’s words that Blackburn quoted. She then asked Jackson, “Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?”

Blackburn’s question was fair, on point, and, given her opening remarks the day before, entirely predictable. But Jackson was not prepared. “Senator, respectfully, I’m not familiar with that particular quote or case, so it’s hard for me to comment as to whether — ” “Alright,” said Blackburn. “I’d love to get your opinion on that. And you can submit that.” That meant that Jackson, as all nominees do, could submit a written answer for the record later. Blackburn continued, “Do you interpret Justice Ginsburg’s meaning of men and women as male and female?”

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Needs push-back.

FDA Approves First Gene-Edited Cows for Beef (CHD)

In as little as two years, Americans could be biting into their first gene-edited burgers, courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory clearance of gene-edited cattle. The animals, created by bioengineering company Recombinetics, have genes modified to make their coats shorter and slicker. The genetic modification to their coats is intended to help them better withstand heat stress, allowing them to gain more weight and increase the efficiency of meat production — but at what cost? While a lengthy approval process is typically necessary for gene-edited animals to enter the food market, the FDA streamlined the process for gene-edited cattle, allowing them to skirt the regular approval process. The FDA announced in March 2022 that Recombinetics’ gene-edited cattle received a low-risk determination for marketing products, including food, made from their meat.

“This is the FDA’s first low-risk determination for enforcement discretion for an IGA [intentional genomic alteration] in an animal for food use,” the FDA reported. The agency stated that the gene-edited beef cattle do not raise any safety concerns because the gene modifications result in the same genetic make-up seen in so-called “slick coat” cattle, which are conventionally bred. According to the FDA: “There are conventionally bred cattle with naturally-occurring mutations that result in the same extremely short, slick-hair coat. Reports in scientific literature indicate that cattle with this extremely short, slick-hair coat are potentially able to better withstand hot weather. Cattle that are comfortable in their environment are less likely to experience temperature-related stress and may result in improved food production.”

But are the conventionally bred cattle and the gene-edited cattle, known as PRLR-SLICK cattle, truly equivalent? The genomic alteration in the cattle is introduced using CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, gene-editing technology. CRISPR has been associated with unintended mutations that may not immediately be apparent, a concerning prospect since the genetic alterations are passed onto offspring. The FDA, however, is allowing the technology to proceed anyway, stating that because it does not expect facilities producing PRLR-SLICK cattle using conventional techniques to register with them, it would not expect Recombinetics to do so either.

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You’ll eat gene therapy meat and be coated with plastic inside, and you’ll be happy.

Microplastics Found In Human Blood For First Time (G.)

Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested. The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year. Huge amounts of plastic waste are dumped in the environment and microplastics now contaminate the entire planet, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. People were already known to consume the tiny particles via food and water as well as breathing them in, and they have been found in the faeces of babies and adults.


The scientists analysed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors, all healthy adults and found plastic particles in 17. Half the samples contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in drinks bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, used for packaging food and other products. A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, from which plastic carrier bags are made. [..] The new research is published in the journal Environment International and adapted existing techniques to detect and analyse particles as small as 0.0007mm. Some of the blood samples contained two or three types of plastic. The team used steel syringe needles and glass tubes to avoid contamination, and tested for background levels of microplastics using blank samples.

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Albright

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 022022
 


Jan van Eyck Madonna and Child at the Fountain 1439 (height: 7.4“, 19cm)

 

Truckers Are Lighting “Brushfires of Freedom” In Millions of Minds (Rossini)
Ottawa City Councillor Wants To Seize Freedom Convoy GoFundMe Funds (RTN)
COVID Affects Your Memory (Gutentag)
Covid Vaccine Hesitancy Could Be Linked To Childhood Trauma (G.)
Lockdowns Had Little Or No Impact On Covid-19 Deaths (WT)
Big Tech Purges Anti-lockdown Scientists (JTN)
Scientists Speak Out On Being Silenced On Lab Leak Theory (Fox)
Watch The Diversion! (Denninger)
Top Doctor Calls for Reinstatement of People Fired Over Vaccine Mandates (TH)
Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Injuring Record Number of Young People (CHD)
47 Million Americans Quit Their Jobs Last Year: ‘Uncharted Territory’ (CNBC)
It’s a Mitzvah, Not Anti-Semitism, To Attack Soros’ DA campaigns (Dov Fischer)
Soros Calls For Regime Change In China (RT)
New York Times Sues To Get Hunter Biden Information (Turley)
El Salvador Angrily Rejects IMF Call To Drop Bitcoin Use (AP)

 

 

A lot of farmers will not grow wheat at present fertilizer prices. In the US, many will switch to soy beans.

“Retail fertilizer is ripping in the Midwest as growers begin to put on purchases for spring product. Anhydrous has set a new record at $1492/ton, which is 200% more than this time last year. With harvest delivered corn in the low $5/bu range right now, it doesn’t pencil.”

 

 

Trucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1488672963801104385

 

 

Urso

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..it’s impossible to centrally plan human life. Yet, there’s never a shortage of misguided individuals who are willing to give it a try.”

Truckers Are Lighting “Brushfires of Freedom” In Millions of Minds (Rossini)

Tyranny is nothing new. People who embrace it, and who lust after power, tend to follow a similar pattern. There are no brakes. They always push it too far. They always overplay their hand. They can’t seem to stop themselves once they have a grip on the population. Canada experienced a shocking amount of tyranny over the last several years. And yet, under the extreme pressure that the Canadian people were forced to endure, it appears that a diamond has been formed. Out came a force for liberty that has caught the attention of the entire world! We are born free, and meant to always stay free. Authoritarians, no matter how much data they chase after, can never know or anticipate everything.

Who could have predicted that a major spark would emerge in Canada? Yet, that is how the history of Liberty vs. power has always been. Who could have predicted that 13 colonies would secede from the biggest empire on earth back in 1776? In our world of perpetual uncertainty, it’s impossible to centrally plan human life. Yet, there’s never a shortage of misguided individuals who are willing to give it a try….and create mass human suffering in doing so. It’s hard enough to plan one’s own life, let alone venturing out and foolishly sticking your nose into someone else’s business. But this fact never seems to dawn on authoritarians, no matter how much logic, theory, and history backs it up.

The desire for freedom is innate. It can be suppressed, but not abolished. Life and Liberty are two sides of the same coin. Without Life, there is no Liberty. Without Liberty, there is no Life. When backed into an impossible corner, Life and Liberty always finds a crack to burst through. After 2 years of hardcore tyranny around the world, the ideas of freedom are bursting forth, first in Canada…

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Justin’s not the only Little Napoleon in town…

Ottawa City Councillor Wants To Seize Freedom Convoy GoFundMe Funds (RTN)

The public participation in online crowdfunding for public protests related to the Freedom Convoy taking place in Canada continues to be hit with roadblocks and is becoming a further threat to free expression and the right to protest. After first having GoFundMe temporarily block the release of some of the funds that Canadians have donated to help support the livelihoods of the truckers taking place in the demonstration, GoFundMe began to pay out the funds, with the first payment of $1M in Canadian dollars being released, the campaign organizer tweeted on Friday. However, the campaign has raised more than $7.3 million in Canadian dollars and those funds could now be at risk of being seized by the local government if some politicians get their way.

Mathieu Fleury, the Ottawa City Councillor of Rideau-Vanier Ward, has today announced his support for the government to launch a legal challenge to seize the remaining GoFundMe donations that had been collected online. “This morning, I have asked the city manager and city solicitor to immediately launch court proceedings targeting the millions of dollars in funds frozen by @GoFundMe so Ottawa taxpayers are not left holding the bag for these protests,” Fleury tweeted, before locking his account after facing backlash.

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“While COVID testing may be clinically valuable for people with symptoms, testing millions of asymptomatic people can lead to large-scale, unnecessary quarantines and disruptions (as Fauci has now admitted).”

COVID Affects Your Memory (Gutentag)

In December 2021, the CDC announced a change in quarantine guidelines from 10 days to five, with Fauci confessing that the purpose of the change was to “get people back to jobs” and Walensky stating that the guidelines were based on “what we thought people would be able to tolerate.” These statements came after months and years of restrictions based on the idea that no concern superseded the mitigation of COVID risks—that COVID policies were, by definition, above cost-benefit analysis. In 2020, Fauci and Francis Collins (then director of the National Institutes of Health) had orchestrated a media-assisted smear campaign to this effect against the scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration, who argued for more focused protection of the elderly and immunocompromised instead of blanket lockdowns.

This effort to quash dissenting viewpoints lasted well past the point when vaccines became available for any adult who wanted them. Now, having attempted to damage the reputations of these scientists, Fauci believes that COVID mitigation policies must be balanced by other priorities. The CDC has also determined that Americans no longer have to test themselves at the end of the new quarantine period because they can stay positive for up to 12 weeks after infection. But this change in testing protocol only confirms that detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has never meant that someone is ill or contagious. A clinical case of a disease almost always involves symptoms, but for COVID, the definition of a “case” for the past two years has been a positive PCR test, symptoms or no symptoms.

In other words, while major news outlets presented rates of “cases” as synonymous with rates of illness, the number of positive PCR tests has never necessarily reflected the number of people sick with COVID (because the SARS-CoV-2 material detected by PCR may not be intact, abundant, or infectious). This was a problem in 2007 when the use of PCR tests to detect pertussis led scientists to believe they were observing an epidemic, only to discover that the tests had been generating false positives and patients most likely had other respiratory infections like the common cold. While COVID testing may be clinically valuable for people with symptoms, testing millions of asymptomatic people can lead to large-scale, unnecessary quarantines and disruptions (as Fauci has now admitted).

Nevertheless, state and city governments used “rising cases” to rationalize shutdowns, school closures, and mask mandates. Public health officials and the media portrayed these raw case numbers as a meaningful metric and presented testing as an infallible tool. In the past month, this approach has abruptly changed. When questioned about child hospitalization rates, Fauci recently cited broken bones and appendicitis as among the reasons for high hospitalization numbers, telling MSNBC, “It’s over-counting the number of children who are, quote ‘hospitalized with COVID,’ as opposed to because of COVID.” By the first week of January, data released by New York state showed that about half of all COVID patients in New York City hospitals were admitted for reasons other than COVID; in Los Angeles, the same was true for about two-thirds of COVID patients. The Los Angeles Times argued that the number of incidental hospitalizations during omicron means “this surge is different.” But how different is it, really?

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The craziest thing in quite some time. Those involved in its research and publishing should either get a big Stupidity Award, or be prosecuted.

Covid Vaccine Hesitancy Could Be Linked To Childhood Trauma (G.)

Refusal or reluctance to have a Covid-19 vaccine may be linked to traumatic events in childhood, such as parents separating, neglect, or physical, verbal and sexual abuse, new research suggests. Those who suffer in childhood are also least likely to trust official NHS coronavirus information, follow the rules of restrictions or wear masks during the pandemic, public health experts found. Two years after the virus first reached the UK and a year after vaccines to protect against it were made available for free on the NHS, millions of people have yet to be vaccinated. Almost one in 10 people in the UK – 9% – have still not had a single dose. Health experts and policymakers are urgently trying to figure out why.

Now the findings of a new study funded by Public Health Wales and published in the journal BMJ Open suggests that Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy may be linked to childhood trauma. Researchers surveyed 2,285 people aged 18 and over in Wales during lockdown restrictions between 2020 and 2021. They were asked about nine different adverse childhood experiences (Aces) as well as low trust in NHS Covid-19 information, whether they backed the removal of social distancing and mandatory face coverings, and breaking Covid rules and vaccine hesitancy. Aces include neglect, physical, psychological or sexual mistreatment, and growing up in a household affected by domestic violence, substance or alcohol abuse and other criminal justice problems.

Parents separating or divorcing, abandonment, or having a parent with a mental health condition are other examples of Aces. The nine Aces included in the study were: physical, verbal and sexual abuse, parental separation, exposure to domestic violence, living with a household member with mental illness, alcohol and/or drug misuse, or a family member in prison. Half of those in the study had not experienced any childhood trauma, one in five had suffered one type, about one in six reported two or three, and one in 10 reported four or more. The results showed that the more trauma people had experienced in childhood, the more likely they were to mistrust NHS Covid-19 information, to feel unfairly restricted by the government and to support the end of mandatory face masks.

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“..lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument..”

Lockdowns Had Little Or No Impact On Covid-19 Deaths (WT)

Lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe had little or no impact in reducing deaths from COVID-19, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The lockdowns during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%, said the broad review of multiple scientific studies. “We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” the researchers wrote. But the research paper said lockdowns did have “devastating effects” on the economy and contributed to numerous social ills. “They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy,” the report said.


“Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument,” the paper concluded. Early on, many states and 186 countries imposed bans on work, socialization, in-person schooling, travel and other restrictions to limit the spread of the disease, citing recommendations by top health care experts. Researchers at the Imperial College London, for example, predicted that such steps could reduce death rates by up to 98%. That never happened, according to the new study by researchers Steve Hanke, Jonas Herby, and Lars Jonung at Johns Hopkins. “Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote.

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“the whole history of the pandemic and the response are being rewritten in real time by Big Tech to cover up what happened..”

Big Tech Purges Anti-lockdown Scientists (JTN)

The campaign to get Joe Rogan booted from Spotify may have failed for now, but Big Tech appears to be ramping up its COVID-19 “misinformation” crackdown on medical and other figures. Two permanent social media bans bookended Rogan’s interview with mRNA vaccine pioneer-turned-critic Robert Malone, which birthed the trending phrase “mass formation psychosis.” Twitter cited Malone for COVID misinformation shortly before the interview, while LinkedIn “flushed my 30,000 connections and de-platformed me” days after, Malone wrote in his newsletter. “No explanations, no warnings were given.” The last complete archive of his page was Jan. 3.

Malone said he had rarely posted anything “controversial” on the Microsoft-owned professional social network due to his brief suspension last summer, which a LinkedIn “senior executive” blamed on the platform’s purported difficulty in “detangling complicated, subtle scientific claims.” YouTube reportedly removed uploads of the Rogan episode as well, and Malone and others claimed Google was manipulating search results for “mass formation psychosis” to hide the episode, contrasting the search engine’s results with competitor DuckDuckGo. The censorship has not chastened Malone, who has since claimed he “almost died” following his second Moderna vaccine dose, likely due to a “bad batch.”

LinkedIn shut down former Harvard Medical School epidemiologist and lockdown critic Martin Kulldorff’s account last week, allegedly reinstating it without explanation several hours after his affiliated Brownstone Institute noted the removal. It was also Kulldorff’s second brush with LinkedIn, which censored two of his posts for purported misinformation last summer. Twitter suspended his account for a month last spring for disputing the protective powers of commonly worn masks — a position that is now mainstream. The actions suggest “the whole history of the pandemic and the response are being rewritten in real time by Big Tech to cover up what happened, who wrote what and when, and how the thing fleshed itself out in real time,” wrote Brownstone Institute founder Jeffrey Tucker.

Malone Big Tech
https://twitter.com/i/status/1488548271505170433

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I bet most people still don’t believe the lab leak theory. Propaganda is sticky.

Scientists Speak Out On Being Silenced On Lab Leak Theory (Fox)

Some scientists have begun speaking out about efforts to silence researchers who raised concerns about the possibility that COVID-19 could have originated in a Chinese lab. “It shot from every direction from people who we now know were actually thinking exactly the same thing but have chosen to say the opposite, which is extraordinary,” Australian Dr. Nikolai Petrovsky, a Flinders University Medicine professor, told Fox News of the backlash he received for voicing concerns that the pandemic may have originated in a lab. Petrovsky was not alone, according to reporting from Fox News’ Benjamin Hall, who spoke with scientists from Israel, the U.S., Australia, Germany, the U.K., Australia and Germany. The scientists told Fox News that they received backlash and resistance to getting their work published, even from those who quietly believed in the possibility of the “lab-leak theory.”


“It’s taken two years for that to finally come out and be exposed,” Petrovsky said. The scientists say that there was a top-down effort aimed at protecting the scientific community from negative public attention, with fears spreading among scientists that a public realization that the pandemic may have spread due to gain-of-function research in a lab could hamper future experiments. Many in the scientific community who attempted to speak out about COVID-19’s origins were labeled conspiracy theorists in the media and by fellow scientists early on in the pandemic, even though the possibility of human error has now gained renewed attention from experts. The scientists expressed fear to Fox News that the silencing of such voices has led to little change, with gain-of-function research continuing both in the U.S. and abroad despite growing calls for international regulation.

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DARPA.

Watch The Diversion! (Denninger)

Let’s cut the crap eh? It’s established that DARPA was handed a proposal from Ecohealth, Duke, UNC and Palo Alto Labs that intended for work to be done at the WIV and then intentionally released into bat caves in China related to coronaviruses. It’s also established that DARPA told them to pound sand, because, as I’ve pointed out, it not only violated gain-of-function but also raised grave concerns about being dual use (that is, bioweapon use) and that Ecohealth was apparently claiming the right to do same on a foreign land where they neither owned the cave or the people around there that might get screwed. As it turns out people did get screwed and it appears to have initiated right there. There is evidence NIH funded this after DARPA told them to go to Hell. The evidence points to that how Covid-19 occurred.

Proved? Not yet. But if not… it’s a hell of a coincidence, isn’t it — both on what was being done and the timing. But note well that Trump, and Fox, are all over the Wuhan Institute only. Oddly silent is that institutions right here in the United States appear to have been part of it. They most-certainly were in the original proposal which has surfaced, I remind you. Exactly nobody has called for a full and open investigation into that, and there is evidence that they were involved after DARPA rejected the work too in the form of transfer agreements in late 2019, just before everything went to Hell. Where be the subpoenas out of Congress, may I ask? Where be anything other than the focus on China? Yeah, China was involved and covered it up. That’s clear.

But what’s also clear is that China has also not released the information including exactly what was transferred back, to whom and when. So yeah, let’s bag on China because they deserve it. But at the same time where’s the big fat wrecking ball and even criminal charges for those in the so-called “public health” and “research” community right here in the United States that got involved in this crap and, it appears, may well be equally responsible for what happened? Oh, you want to know why not? Here you go: The scientists expressed fear to Fox News that the silencing of such voices has led to little change, with gain-of-function research continuing both in the U.S. and abroad despite growing calls for international regulation. There you are. They’re still doing it.

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Very obvious. But who’s first?

Top Doctor Calls for Reinstatement of People Fired Over Vaccine Mandates (TH)

After instruction from President Joe Biden and federal government regulators, a number of corporations fired workers who refused the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. They did so before the Supreme Court ruled Biden’s vaccine mandate for large companies was unconstitutional. Now, with worker shortages and long delayed scientific evidence from the Centers for Disease Control that the vaccine does not prevent the transmission of the virus, a number of companies are hiring back previously fired workers. Dr. Marty Makary, a top doctor for John’s Hopkins University, has been calling on companies to rehire fired employees for weeks. Now, he’s calling for workers to not only give people their jobs back but to issue an apology.


“Public-health officials ruined many lives by insisting that workers with natural immunity to Covid-19 be fired if they weren’t fully vaccinated. But after two years of accruing data, the superiority of natural immunity over vaccinated immunity is clear. By firing staff with natural immunity, employers got rid of those least likely to infect others. It’s time to reinstate those employees with an apology,” Dr. Makary writes in the Wall Street Journal. “None of this should surprise us. For years, studies have shown that infection with the other coronaviruses that cause severe illness, SARS and MERS, confers lasting immunity. In a study published in May 2020, Covid-recovered monkeys that were rechallenged with the virus didn’t get sick. Public-health officials have a lot of explaining to do.”

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Medical debt.

Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Injuring Record Number of Young People (CHD)

In one-fourth (or more) of consumer bankruptcies, medical debt is the predominant causal factor, often triggered by “sudden adverse events.” As of 2022, vaccine adverse event reporting of heart disease following COVID vaccines had increased 15,600% in young people under the age of 30, compared to the previous 31 years of heart injuries reported following receipt of FDA-approved vaccines. Autism, linked to vaccines as well as other toxic exposures, furnishes a cautionary tale, potentially saddling families with lifetime care costs of $1.4 to $2.4 million. In 2010, a government study estimated 1 in every 38 vaccine doses (2.6%) produced an adverse reaction. However, the sluggish and adversarial vaccine injury compensation process and a sky-high burden of proof leave two-thirds of claims dismissed or in limbo.

Emergency Use Authorization COVID shots are even less likely to garner vaccine injury compensation. Attorneys caution, “If you have suffered a serious injury from a Covid-19 vaccine, you are basically on your own.” With over a million COVID-vaccine-related adverse events reported since December 2020, households are racking up extraordinary debt and turning to crowdfunding for help. Heart conditions, among the 20 most expensive conditions treated in American hospitals, pack a financial wallop. According to CDC, 96% of those under age 30 who experience heart injuries following COVID vaccination are hospitalized. Children tend to have a more sudden and severe myocarditis presentation than adults, with an estimated 7% to 15% mortality rate. Children hospitalized with myocarditis are more likely to die than children admitted with other diagnoses.

Studies of children and adolescents who developed myocarditis following COVID vaccination show a “potentially poor prognosis despite the heart seeming to have returned to normal.” According to Mayo Clinic, “the greatest burden of myocarditis may not be apparent for 6-12 years after diagnosis when children die or need to undergo cardiac transplantation.” Cardiac injuries triggered by dangerous COVID injections appear to be good for business. A July 2021 BusinessWire report forecast a booming market for cardiac assist devices, noting “increasing incidence of heart failure is driving growth.” Families, however, are left holding the bag not just emotionally, but financially, blindsided by financial impacts they surely never anticipated.

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Great Migration.

47 Million Americans Quit Their Jobs Last Year: ‘Uncharted Territory’ (CNBC)

Another historically high 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in December, according to the Labor Department’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, closing out a record-shattering year when roughly 47.4 million people voluntarily left their jobs for better work during the pandemic and Great Resignation. For comparison, 42.1 million people quit in 2019, at the time considered the tightest labor market on record. “All of this is uncharted territory,” says Rucha Vankudre, a senior economist at Emsi Burning Glass, a labor market analytics firm. The U.S. saw record-breaking months of turnover throughout 2021, with early signs of trouble kicking off in April as vaccination efforts improved, consumer activity rebounded and businesses scrambled to re-staff to meet demand.

Workers, especially in low-wage service roles, quit their jobs for higher pay and better work conditions. Employers responded to record turnover by “trying to get employees in the door” with signing bonuses, higher salaries, the option to work remotely and expanding their geographic hiring boundaries for teleworkers, Vankudre tells CNBC Make It. They’ve increased retention efforts by offering more employee training and development opportunities. “Employers are doing what they can at this point,” Vankudre says. She expects pay increases to continue unabated as a means of attracting new hires, retaining workers and pulling people back into the workforce. “What else can they do? We’ll have to see. They’ve done the things we’ve expected them to do at increasing rates, but what’s next?”

Even still, rising wages may not be enough to keep pace with the rate of inflation. Though wages rose 4.7% from a year prior, according to the Labor Department, consumer prices reached a 40-year high in December, when the consumer price index (which measures the cost of goods and services) showed a 7% jump year-over-year.

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Rabbi Dov Fischer is western regional vice president of Coalition for Jewish Values.

It’s a Mitzvah, Not Anti-Semitism, To Attack Soros’ DA campaigns (Dov Fischer)

Ever since Jonathan Greenblatt, a woke former Obama White House official, took over the Anti-Defamation League, it reflexively screams “Anti-Semitism!” when critics fault Soros’ political work — and the left loyally follows suit. It therefore falls upon established rabbis with authentic Jewish lifetime bona fides, like yours truly, to assert unequivocally that it’s a mitzvah (a righteous act) — not “anti-Semitism” — to castigate George Soros for his radical attempts to undermine public safety and the American republic. I’ll be clear: Political pundits, ranging from columnists to cartoonists to on-air talent, should not hesitate to condemn Soros as perhaps the most despicable person in public affairs.

Disbursing tens of millions of dollars, Soros has funded local campaigns across America to elect progressive district attorneys who agitate for the lethal cocktail of defunding police and decriminalization. These prosecutors tend not to prosecute property crimes or severe misdemeanors. Instead, they purposefully undercharge felonies as misdemeanors, then plead them down to disorderly-conduct violations. The result? A new term, “smash and grab,” has entered the crime lexicon. Soros just poured a whopping $125 million into a super PAC called Democracy PAC, noting the donation is a “long-term investment.” Prior to this, between 2015 and 2019, he and his affiliated PACs spent more than $17 million on local DA races. That number is believed to have topped $20 million from just 2020 to 2021.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner received $1.7 million from a Soros PAC for the 2017 campaign that put him into office, an unheard-of sum for such a race. Last year, 559 people were murdered in his city, the most in history. Cook County, Ill., State’s Attorney Kim Foxx received $2 million from a Soros PAC. In 2021, 797 people were murdered in Chicago, 25 more than in 2020. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was one of the first individuals Soros supported by when in 2014 he decided to fund progressive prosecutors’ election efforts. Despite progressive Mayor Brandon Scott’s attempt at “violence reduction” strategies, Baltimore’s homicide rate rose for a second year in a row, climbing to 337 in 2021.

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The damage one old man can do…

Soros Calls For Regime Change In China (RT)

Liberal billionaire George Soros called for the replacement of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, comparing the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. In a speech delivered at the conservative Hoover Institution, Soros called China the “world’s most powerful authoritarian state” and “the greatest threat that open societies face today.” Soros claimed that China, “like Germany in 1936,” will “attempt to use the spectacle” of the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games “to score a propaganda victory for its system of strict controls.” He also called Xi “a true believer in communism,” unlike former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who introduced free market reforms, and warned that “Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin are his idols.”


Soros concluded his speech with a call for regime change in China – echoing the current line of many American conservatives, who also oppose Xi’s leadership. It is to be hoped that Xi Jinping may be replaced by someone less repressive at home and more peaceful abroad “This would remove the greatest threat that open societies face today and they should do everything within their power to encourage China to move in the desired direction,” the billionaire declared. Soros is the founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundation, which backs liberal and left-wing causes in the US and around the globe, including Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood and immigration reforms. He has also taken an interest in US district attorney races, pouring millions into these contests, with some of these Soros-backed candidates now overseeing prosecution in America’s major cities.

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But only on “Romanian dealings”?

New York Times Sues To Get Hunter Biden Information (Turley)

We have repeatedly discussed the virtual new blackout on the influence peddling by the Biden family, particularly Hunter Biden. Despite overwhelming evidence of millions given by foreign companies and officials, the media has preferred to cover literal scoops over a story of breathtaking levels of self-dealing and corruption by the Bidens. Now, however, the New York Times has sued to force the Biden Administration to turn over information on Hunter Biden’s Romanian dealings. The lawsuit comes after another report that, in 2019, the FBI subpoenaed JP Morgan for records on Hunter Biden’s Chinese dealings.

In a new lawsuit on Monday, the Times sued the State Department to obtain emails from Romanian embassy officials sent between 2015 and 2019 mentioning a number of international business figures, including the president’s son and his former business associate Tony Bobulinski. While the request was sent in December 2021, the Biden Administration told the Times that the soonest that it could possibly turn over the information is April 15, 2023. That is after the mid-term elections. This story could be a bit awkward for the White House staff. When the New York Times Ken Vogel wrote about Hunter Biden’s dealings as a potential “significant liability,” Biden officials viciously attacked him while others suggested that he was a pawn of Russian or Trump disinformation. Of course, the allegations proved to be true and the infamous laptop is now considered authentic.

One of the most outspoken aides denying the entire story was Kate Bedingfield, who is now the director of White House Communications. She denounced the story as an “egregious act of journalistic malpractice.” Andrew Bates, who is now deputy director, tweeted “SCOOP from Philadelphia: KEN VOGEL (@kenvogel ) is a COWARD.” They will now handle questions on this story as White House officials. That includes why President Biden repeatedly said that no one had accused Hunter or his family of “doing anything wrong” when he was presumably aware of the FBI subpoena and the seizure of the laptop. Given these investigations, there is also the question of why a special counsel has not been appointed given President Biden’s past comments that have been contradicted by witnesses (as well as references to his own financial accounts in these emails).

The media and FBI investigations now cover transactions ranging from China, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and other countries. Millions flowed to the Biden family while Joe Biden was Vice President and later as he prepared for a presidential run. Biden is still running out for ice cream and the media is dutifully covering it. The question however remains whether this will remain just desserts . . . or whether Hunter and others will receive their just deserts for influencing peddling.

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How hard will the IMF and World Bank come after El Salvador?

El Salvador Angrily Rejects IMF Call To Drop Bitcoin Use (AP)

The government of El Salvador on Monday rejected a recommendation by the International Monetary Fund to drop Bitcoin as legal tender in the Central American country. Treasury Minister Alejandro Zelaya angrily said that “no international organization is going to make us do anything, anything at all.” Zelaya told a local television station that Bitcoin is an issue of “sovereignty.” “Countries are sovereign nations and they take sovereign decisions about public policy,” he said. The IMF recommended last week that El Salvador dissolve the $150 million trust fund it created when it made the cryptocurrency legal tender and return any of those unused funds to its treasury.

The agency cited concerns about the volatility of Bitcoin prices, and the possibility of criminals using the cryptocurrency. After nearly doubling in value late last year, Bitcoin has plunged in value. Zelaya said El Salvador has complied with all financial transaction and money laundering rules. The trust fund was intended to allow the automatic conversion of Bitcoin to U.S. dollars — El Salvador’s other currency — to encourage people wary of adopting the highly volatile digital currency. The IMF also recommended eliminating the offer of $30 as an incentive for people to start using the digital wallet “Chivo” and increasing regulation of the digital wallet to protect consumers. It suggested there could be benefits to the use of Chivo, but only using dollars, not Bitcoin.

“In the near-term the actual costs of implementing Chivo and operationalizing the Bitcoin law exceed potential benefits,” the report said. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had been dismissive of the IMF’s recommendation’s concerning Bitcoin. Government officials told the IMF that the launch of “Chivo” had significantly increased financial inclusion, drawing millions of people who previously lacked bank accounts into the financial system. They also spoke of the parallel tourism promotion targeting Bitcoin enthusiasts.

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Western Australia

 

 

 

 

Healthy child

 

 

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

 

Dec 062021
 
 December 6, 2021  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner Sunrise over Plain, with Figures 1830

 

Omicron Made €9bn In Week For Top Pfizer And Moderna Shareholders (BN.ie)
We May Be Sterilizing an Entire Generation – Toxicologist (Mercola)
A Pandemic of Fear ‘Manufactured’ by Authorities – Risch (ET)
How Pfizer Silences World Governments in Vaccine Negotiations (C.org)
In A Word: Bull**** (Denninger)
Unvaccinated Canadians Can Be Banned From Grocery Stores In New Brunswick (TNC)
Fauci Downplays Severity Of Omicron Strain (ZH)
FDA In Talks To Streamline Approval Of Omicron-specific Vaccine (JTN)
Lawyer For Dying Patient Who Recovered On Ivermectin Urges New Thinking (JTN)
Michael Saylor: “Bitcoin Is The Oxygen Mask” (ZH)
Russia Is Primed For A Persian Gulf Security ‘Makeover’ (Escobar)
Santa To Replace ‘Naughty Or Nice’ List With ‘Vaxxed Or Unvaxxed’ List (BBee)

 

 

Reports of “extremely rare” events are not rare at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South African president

 

 

“Lovely – and all this ill-gotten gain and filthy lucre will be reinvested back into political lobbying, revolving doors and thus more insanity.”

Omicron Made €9bn In Week For Top Pfizer And Moderna Shareholders (BN.ie)

The discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant caused the wealth of eight top Pfizer and Moderna shareholders to skyrocket by a combined €9 billion ($10.31 billion) in one week, according to campaigners. The campaigners from Global Justice Now said pharmaceutical executives are “making a killing from a crisis they helped to create”, with vaccine inequality helping to create the conditions for the Omicron variant to emerge. Moderna’s shares skyrocketed after the announcement of the variant and settled at $310.61 per share on December 1st, up 13.61 per cent from the previous Wednesday. Pfizer’s shares rose by 7.41 per cent from $50.91 per share to $54.68 per share. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel personally became more than $824 million richer in the week after the announcement of the variant, Global Justice Now said.

With the value of his shares rising from $6,052,522,978 to $6,876,528,630, he sold off 10,000 shares for $319 each on November 26th, the day after the variant was announced, cashing out $3.19 million. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla meanwhile made $339,236 in the week after the announcement of the variant, campaigners said, with his smaller portfolio rising from $4,581,035 to $4,920,270. Institutional investors also saw increased wealth, with Blackrock Inc’s Moderna and Pfizer shares increasing by more than $2.5 billion in the week after the announcement. Vanguard Group made a combined $2.7 billion; Moderna shareholders Baillie Gifford & Co increased by $1.6 billion; Morgan Stanley increased by $447 million; Flagship pioneering increased by $654 million; Pfizer investors State Street went up $1 billion; and Capital World gained $909 million.

Tim Bierley, pharma campaigner at Global Justice Now, said pharmaceutical companies “knew that grotesque levels of vaccine inequality would create prime conditions for new variants to emerge.” “They let Covid-19 spread unabated in low and middle-income countries. And now the same pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create. It’s utterly obscene,” he said.

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“..sperm can take up foreign mRNA, convert it into DNA, and release it as little pellets (plasmids) in the medium around the fertilized egg.”

We May Be Sterilizing an Entire Generation – Toxicologist (Mercola)

Janci Chunn Lindsay, Ph.D., is a molecular biologist and toxicologist and director of toxicology and molecular biology for Toxicology Support Services LLC. April 23, 2021, she delivered a three-minute public comment to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Her expertise is analysis of pharmacological dose-responses, mechanistic biology and complex toxicity dynamics. In her ACIP comment, Lindsay described how she aided the development of a contraceptive vaccine in the 1990s that ended up causing unintended autoimmune destruction and sterility in animals which, despite careful pre-analysis, had not been predicted.

She explains: “We were developing what was meant to be a temporary contraceptive vaccine, which was very attractive because it prevented fertilization rather than preventing implantation — or it should have; that was the idea. Unfortunately, even though quite a bit of analysis was done in different animal models to make sure that it did not have an autoimmune action, it did end up having an autoimmune action and caused complete ovarian destruction. Now it’s used in that manner [for permanent sterilization] in dogs, cats and other animals. So, that’s a cautionary tale of how animal studies can help us avoid mistakes in humans when they’re used properly, and when proper animal studies are done.”

We May Be Sterilizing an Entire Generation At the time, she called for an immediate halt to COVID-19 mRNA and DNA vaccines due to safety concerns on multiple fronts. In particular, she noted there is credible concern that they will cross-react with syncytin (a retroviral envelope protein) and reproductive genes in sperm, ova and placenta in ways that may “impair fertility and reproductive outcomes.” Not a single study has disproven this hypothesis, she noted. Another theory of how these injections might impair fertility can be found in a 2006 study, which showed sperm can take up foreign mRNA, convert it into DNA, and release it as little pellets (plasmids) in the medium around the fertilized egg.

The embryo then takes up these plasmids and carries them (sustains and clones them into many of the daughter cells) throughout its life, even passing them on to future generations. It’s possible that the pseudo-exosomes that are the mRNA contents would be perfect for supplying the sperm with mRNA for the spike protein. So, potentially, a vaccinated woman who gets pregnant with an embryo that can (via the sperms’ plasmids) synthesize the spike protein according to the instructions in the vaccine, would have an immune capacity to attack that embryo because of the “foreign” protein it displays on its cells. This then would cause a miscarriage. “We could potentially be sterilizing an entire generation,” Lindsey warned. The fact that there have been live births following COVID-19 vaccination is not proof that these injections do not have a reproductive effect, she said. Lindsay also pointed out that reports of menstrual irregularities and vaginal hemorrhaging in women who have received the injections number in the thousands, and this too hints at reproductive effects.

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Twitter label: “Misleading. Learn about emerging treatments for COVID-19 from health experts.”

However, “Risch has authored over 300 original peer-reviewed publications and was formerly a member of the board of editors for the American Journal of Epidemiology.” [..] ..an epidemiology professor at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health..”

A Pandemic of Fear ‘Manufactured’ by Authorities – Risch (ET)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of fear, manufactured by individuals who were in the nominal positions of authority as the virus began to spread across the globe last year, according to Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch. In an appearance on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program, Risch, an epidemiology professor at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, argued that by and large, what has characterized the entire CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic has been a “degree of fear and people’s response to the fear.” “Overall, I’d say that we’ve had a pandemic of fear. And fear has affected almost everybody, whereas the infection has affected relatively few,” said Risch.

“By and large, it’s been a very selected pandemic, and predictable. It was very distinguished between young versus old, healthy versus chronic disease people. So we quickly learned who was at risk for the pandemic and who wasn’t,” he added. “However, the fear was manufactured for everybody. And that’s what’s characterized the whole pandemic is that degree of fear and people’s response to the fear.” Risch has authored over 300 original peer-reviewed publications and was formerly a member of the board of editors for the American Journal of Epidemiology. The epidemiology professor suggested that individuals who held the nominal positions of authority during the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 initially spread a much worse picture of the “dire nature” of the virus than was warranted.

That included the message that everybody was at risk, everybody could die from contracting the virus, everybody needed to find protection, everybody needed to stay in their homes and not socialize with others to protect themselves, and in this way protect society, Risch explained. “People were quite afraid of that message, as anybody would be…with the government, with authorities, with scientists, scientific people, with medical people in authority in the public health institutions, all saying the same message starting in about, February, March of last year. And so we all kind of believe this,” he said.

In the first two months of the pandemic, stringent lockdowns and mask mandates were implemented to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in the United States and across the globe. Risch said that the types of messages issued by authorities led to widespread heightened anxiety levels. “All of our anxiety levels were raised, and we all made decisions to curtail, to various degrees, our exposures to other people, some more than others, but I think everybody had levels of anxiety that really affected how they carry out their life at that time,” he said.

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Demand opening the contracts in your own country. Stop pussy footing around.

How Pfizer Silences World Governments in Vaccine Negotiations (C.org)

A new Public Citizen report has revealed the extent to which Pfizer bullies governments in COVID-19 vaccine negotiations, including barring governments from discussing the agreements without Pfizer’s approval, retaining unilateral control to make key decisions and even securing an intellectual property waiver for itself. “Pfizer is taking advantage of countries’ desperation,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “Most of us have sacrificed during the pandemic; staying distant to protect family and friends. Pfizer went the other way, using its control of scarce vaccines to win special privileges, from people that have little choice.”In February, Pfizer was accused of bullying governments in a story published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Public Citizen has identified several Pfizer contracts, including with Brazil, Colombia, the European Commission and the U.S., that offer a glimpse into how the world’s second largest pharmaceutical corporation has gained the power to throttle supply, shift risk and maximize profits all during the worst public health crisis in a century.The report outlines how Pfizer consistently utilizes six tactics to leverage power against governments worldwide. First, Pfizer silences governments through the use of nondisclosure provisions in many of its contracts. Brazil, for example, is prohibited from making “any public announcement concerning the existence… or terms” of the contract or commenting on its relationship with Pfizer without Pfizer’s prior written consent. Second, Pfizer can disallow governments from accepting additional donations of the Pfizer vaccine.

Third, Pfizer exempts itself from liability for intellectual property infringements, shifting the financial risk of Pfizer’s actions to government purchasers – despite Pfizer’s opposition to similar exemptions for manufacturers proposed at the World Trade Organization. Fourth, it gives the power to secret private arbitrators, not public courts, to decide issues on contract disputes. Fifth, Pfizer requires some countries to waive sovereign immunity, so it can go after state assets in case of a dispute. Finally, Pfizer gives itself sole power when it comes to making key decisions, including how vaccine deliveries will be prioritized if there is a supply shortage.

“Behind closed doors, Pfizer wields its power to extract a series of concerning concessions from governments,” said Zain Rizvi, law and policy researcher at Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program and author of the report. “The global community cannot allow pharmaceutical corporations to keep calling the shots.”Pfizer’s dominance over sovereign countries poses fundamental challenges to the global pandemic response. The U.S. government, and specifically the Biden administration, should use its considerable leverage to call on Pfizer to renegotiate its existing contracts and pursue fairer practices.

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“There was plenty of reason to believe the spike protein, alone, was dangerous even without the rest of the virus and this was known prior to mass-distribution of the jabs.”

In A Word: Bull**** (Denninger)

There is no reason to believe we can successfully, on a long-term basis, vaccinate against a coronavirus since we never have before in either man or beast. There is no reason to believe attempting to vaccinate against coronaviruses is safe because in many other instances it was proved to be not, and in some it resulted in fatality of many or all the animals under test upon rechallenge. One specific instance of wildly-enhanced disease occurred in cats, which is a species that we know can become infected by this virus. There is no reason to believe that deliberately inducing the presence of binding antibodies in a person to this virus, which we knew the vaccines did before the EUAs were issued, would be safe on a durable basis.

In fact we had every reason to believe that would be unsafe simply based on what that sort of antibody does on a biological basis. You would in fact be crazily homicidal to deliberately infuse only binding antibodies to this or any other virus into a person. There was plenty of reason to believe the spike protein, alone, was dangerous even without the rest of the virus and this was known prior to mass-distribution of the jabs. While getting infected certainly could lead to trouble in this regard infection is not certain where vaccination, once you do it, is. Further, the dosing for the vaccines is set to produce much higher levels of spike protein (and thus antibodies) in the body than does natural infection, so any such risk from the spike would be logically expected to be higher from vaccination than natural infection.

As regards children there is not now and never has been an argument for giving them a Covid-19 vaccine. They do not require or benefit from any protection that it might afford on a statistical basis and since we know there are dangers, many of which we have no way to quantify and will not be able to do so for ten or more years it is a rank violation of logic and the Hippocratic Oath, never mind gross negligence and malpractice, to administer or permit to be administered same to kids.

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Lock the door and throw away the key.

Unvaccinated Canadians Can Be Banned From Grocery Stores In New Brunswick (TNC)

Beginning Saturday, people in New Brunswick who do not show proof of full vaccination can be barred from entering grocery stores to buy food. The measure was announced as part of the province’s “winter action plan,” which allows any business, including grocery stores, the option of barring unvaccinated individuals. According to Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, it comes as the province sees a “very concerning” rise in COVID infections over the last two weeks, particularly among unvaccinated Canadians. The province reported 97 cases and 2 deaths since Thursday. The new restriction belongs to the first level of a three-level escalating alert system.


“The measures are not difficult,” Shephard said, adding “the power to keep us in level one is in our hands.” In a guide published by the federal government, Public Safety Canada names food as one of ten critical sectors of infrastructure, calling its preparation and delivery an Essential Service and Function. While provinces have been free to manage their own restrictions and lockdowns during the pandemic, grocery stores across the country have until now remained open to everyone. The announcement comes a day after Shephard warned New Brunswickers against making Christmas travel plans.

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The double barrel: induce enough panic, and then soothe it a little.

Fauci Downplays Severity Of Omicron Strain (ZH)

[..] with almost two weeks since the first appearance of the Omicron variant and with a distinct lack of any evidence that the new strain is more dangerous, or results in a greater number of more acute hospitalizations than the Delta or other variants, the narrative by the “scientific establishment” – which has burned through most if not all of its credibility in the past year by constantly ‘moving the goal posts’ to serve various political agendas – appears to be changing once again, and earlier today none other than the chief health propaganda shaman of the Biden admin, Anthony Fauci, indicated that “the U.S. was encouraged by reports from South African officals that the rapid spread of omicron hadn’t yet resulted in a spike in hospitalizations in that country, an indication that the strain could be less virulent.”

“Though it’s too early to really make any definitive statements about it thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci said on Sunday in a CNN interview. He added that more review is needed to confirm that Omicron causes less illness than other variants, such as Delta, “but thus far, the signals are a bit encouraging.” Of course, making a blanket “all clear” determination would have made a mockery of all the fearmongering that was unleashed just last week, and so Fauci cautioned that it was too soon to make any “definitive statements” about the variant and encouraged Americans to get vaccinations and booster shots, adding that “you got to hold judgment until we get more experience.” Fauci’s comments came as the Biden administration reported that Omicron had spread to 16 US states.

The new variant’s many mutations suggest that it might not be effectively treated with some Covid-19 therapeutics and that it could evade the immunity provided by current vaccines, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Sunday in an ABC News interview. Despite the concerns over jab efficacy, Fauci said getting more Americans to take vaccine booster shots will be “really critical in addressing whether or not we’re going to be able to handle this.” As with Delta, boosters will elevate immunity levels to help prevent infections, or at least reduce the severity of illnesses caused by the variant, he said as it becomes apparent that the narrative is now shifting to using Omicron as a talking point for widespread use of booster shots.

“The vaccines that we are distributing now in the United States and throughout the world are directed against the original, ancestral or Wuhan strain,” Fauci told Jake Tapper, who unlike his pal Chris Cuomo, has yet to be fired. He added that “we feel certain that there will be some degree, and maybe a considerable degree, of protection against the Omicron variant if, in fact, it starts to take hold in a dominant way in this country.”

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Streamline has a positive vibe to it. Testing is so yesterday.

FDA In Talks To Streamline Approval Of Omicron-specific Vaccine (JTN)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “already in conversations” to streamline authorization of a new COVID-19 vaccine specifically for the new omicron variant. The Hill reports that ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Walensky on Sunday, “Is there any world where you can see that moving much faster given we’ve already been through this?” The CDC director responded: “Much of that I would have to defer to the FDA, but they’re already in conversations about streamlining the authorization of this, of an omicron-specific vaccine, partially because much of the vaccine is actually exactly the same, and, really, it would just be that mRNA code that would have to change.


“FDA will move swiftly, and CDC will move swiftly right thereafter,” she said. Omicron was listed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization shortly after Thanksgiving. Symptoms of omicron have been described as “extremely mild” by a South African doctor who helped discover the variant.

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We all do. But where’s the profit?

Lawyer For Dying Patient Who Recovered On Ivermectin Urges New Thinking (JTN)

An Illinois lawyer who helped a dying COVID patient win court-ordered treatment with ivermectin and survive says the episode reveals a deep need for American health professions to rethink their approach to a pandemic that has persisted nearly two full years. “There are obviously remedies that we’re not looking at,” attorney Kristin Erickson told Just the News. “And we need to think outside of the current standard of care that hospitals are giving. And if it’s not working, let’s look at outcomes and not finances.” Erickson represented 71-year-old Sun Ng of Naperville, Ill., who was on a ventilator for weeks and dying with COVID-19 when his lawyer won a court order Nov. 8 to force the hospital to treat him with ivermectin, an anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory drug long used widely in the United States to treat disease like Lupus.

Within days. Ng recovered and is now back home walking and enjoying life, Erickson said. “After one day, he was able to do a breathing test he couldn’t do for 22 days,” she said in an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “After three days, he was off the vent for two hours. And then by the fifth day, he was off it entirely. So the hospital tried to file for, you know, a physician report, after he was off the vent, saying that ivermectin is not the reason he’s better. But clearly it is.” There are numerous studies — Erickson said she located 66 studies globally — that show ivermectin is effective in fighting and warding off the virus, and it is used in places like India and Bangladesh but not in the United States. Even the National Institutes of Health’s Web site recently showcased one such study conducted by foreign researchers.

“I think the fact that it is so cheap, you know, and not money-making, could be the reason that we don’t use, we don’t want to back it,” Erickson said. “We don’t want the studies here in the United States.” Erickson said the phones at her office and the New York group that assisted Ng have been ringing off the hook and the courts are likely to be inundated for similar interventions for other patients after what happened in the Ng case. “I don’t know what people’s motivations are,” she said. “Certainly ours here is to help people get what they need. I know there’s a lot of good-hearted people out there who want to save people, even in the hospital setting. Physicians and nurses, they want to do the right thing. But if hospitals aren’t allowing it, that creates a barrier for people who are hospitalized.”

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Feel lucky?

Michael Saylor: “Bitcoin Is The Oxygen Mask” (ZH)

[..] the bitcoin advocate notes that “money is that shared ledger of who owes what to whom,” explaining the difference between “weak money and strong money” in terms of being able to manufacture glass beads and dump them on Africa-past (glass beads are weak money) analogizing to the dollar (being able to ‘manufacture’ dollars and dump them on the world). Because of the inflationary impact on goods of this ‘manufacturing’ of dollars, you’re never going to catch up because you are being paid the currency: “the only way you can actually stay ahead is to grow your cashflows faster than the rate of monetary inflation… and that’s why the rate of expansion of the money supply is so critical.” Saylor makes the prescient point that while CPI dominates inflation discussions, “the government gets to pick what’s in that basket of goods and how it is weighted.”

The last decade has seen monetary inflation rise at around 14% per year… and the S&P has risen around 14% per year. The best inflation rate for an investor, Saylor explains, or for anyone who wants to stay wealthy or be wealthy – if you’re concerned about maintaining your economic purchasing power – “it’s the monetary inflation rate – the rate at which the supply of money is expanding.” Then Saylor takes us on a journey: “…the currency is to the economy what your blood is to your body… and economic energy or money is to the currency what oxygen is to your blood.” “So, common sense says that, if I keep sucking the oxygen out of the room, you’re going either suffocate or freeze to death…” “…and if I keep sucking the economic energy out of the currency, the economy collapses… and in the extreme you get ripped back to stone-age barter.”

“…when the money doesn’t work anymore, I have trade you cigarettes for bullets… and the problem with that is the economy becomes a million times less efficient.” “…how many countries in the world have a collapsed currency…66 of the dollarized [ZH: have an inflation problem]… there’s about 130 floating currencies and all of them are weaker than the dollar.” “The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency and the US dollar is expanding… it was expanding 10% a year for a decade… it’s now expanding at 14% a year and expanded 34% over the past 12 months…” [..] “…thus the dollar is weakening… it’s like the oxygen is getting sucked out of the room…”

Saylor turns to Tucker and asks “..if I told you the oxygen is getting sucked out of the room… but there’s an oxygen mask dropped out of the ceiling over there, what would you do?” Tucker exclaims “I’d run for it!” Saylor replies “yeah, put the oxygen mask on…” concluding his analogy by explaining that “Bitcoin is the oxygen mask.”

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“..Chalous alone could supply as much as 52 percent of natural gas needs of the whole EU for the next 20 years..”

Russia Is Primed For A Persian Gulf Security ‘Makeover’ (Escobar)

Russia and Iran are forging a strengthened strategic partnership, not only geopolitical but also geoeconomic, fully aligned to the Russian-conceptualized Greater Eurasian Partnership – and also demonstrated by Moscow’s support for Iran’s recent ascension to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the only West Asian state to be admitted thus far. Furthermore, three years ago Iran launched its own regional security framework proposal for the region called HOPE (the Hormuz Peace Endeavor) with the intent to convene all eight littoral states of the Persian Gulf (including Iraq) to address and resolve the vital issues of cooperation, security, and freedom of navigation. The Iranian plan didn’t get far off the ground. While Iran suffers from adversarial relations with some of its intended audience, Russia carries none of that baggage.

And that brings us to the essential Pipelineistan angle, which in the Russia–Iran case revolves around the new, multi-trillion dollar Chalous gas field in the Caspian Sea. A recent sensationalist take painted Chalous as enabling Russia to “secure control over the European energy market.” That’s hardly the story. Chalous, in fact, will enable Iran – with Russian input – to become a major gas exporter to Europe, something that Brussels evidently relishes. The head of Iran’s KEPCO, Ali Osouli, expects a “new gas hub to be formed in the north to let the country supply 20 percent of Europe’s gas needs.” According to Russia’s Transneft, Chalous alone could supply as much as 52 percent of natural gas needs of the whole EU for the next 20 years.

Chalous is quite something: a twin-field site, separated by roughly nine kilometers, the second-largest natural gas block in the Caspian Sea, just behind Alborz. It may hold gas reserves equivalent to one-fourth of the immense South Pars gas field, placing it as the 10th largest gas reserves in the world. Chalous happens to be a graphic case of Russia-Iran-China (RIC) geoeconomic cooperation. Proverbial western speculative spin rushed to proclaim the 20-year gas deal as a setback for Iran. The final breakdown, not fully confirmed, is 40 percent for Gazprom and Transneft, 28 percent for China’s CNPC and CNOOC, and 25 percent for Iran’s KEPCO. Moscow sources confirm Gazprom will manage the whole project. Transneft will be in charge of transportation, CNPC is involved in financing and banking facilities, and CNOOC will be in charge of infrastructure and engineering. The whole Chalous site has been estimated to be worth a staggering $5.4 trillion.

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“We don’t really give out coal anymore due to climate change,” Toymaker noted.

Santa To Replace ‘Naughty Or Nice’ List With ‘Vaxxed Or Unvaxxed’ List (BBee)

In a major break with hundreds of years of Christmas tradition, Santa Claus will not be using his famous “Naughty or Nice” list this year. Instead, Father Christmas will be keeping a list of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. “With the pandemic entering its second Christmas season, Santa felt the traditional ‘Naughty or Nice’ list needed an update,” said North Pole spokes-elf Trudy Toymaker. “This year, he’ll be keeping track of all the good little children who get vaccinated, as well as the evil unvaccinated kids who want their family and friends to die.” Vaccinated children will receive lots of toys and goodies from Santa, while the unvaccinated kids will get skunked this Christmas. “We don’t really give out coal anymore due to climate change,” Toymaker noted.


“Instead, the unvaccinated kids will receive a box of masks, some hand sanitizer, and a pre-filled postcard to report their conspiracy-theorist parents to child services and the FBI.” Toymaker said thousands of Elves on Shelves have been dispatched to pediatrician’s offices around the country to keep track of which children are getting vaccinated. Santa’s tech team also plans to hack into children’s electronic medical records later this month to make sure nobody is missed. In addition to the new vaccine requirements, Santa is asking families to include a $20 bill with his traditional plate of milk and cookies this year. “This will help Santa offset rising costs due to inflation and elf labor shortages,” Toymaker said.

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Brussels Sunday

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

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Jul 132021
 
 July 13, 2021  Posted by at 9:27 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh View of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer 1888

 

Australia’s COVID Outbreak Worsens Despite Economy-Crippling Lockdowns (ZH)
Fauci Calls For ‘More Vaccine Mandates At The Local Level’ (ZH)
‘You’ve Got To Go One-On-One’: Fauci (F.)
What If…. (Denninger)
Infections Decline in the Unvaccinated as They Surge in the Vaccinated (LDS)
A Bodyguard of Lies (Kunstler)
Cuba’s Internet Cutoff: A Go-to Tactic To Suppress Dissent (AP)
White House Urges Cities To Use Covid Funds To Help Combat Violent Crime (JTN)
Just 5% Of All Bitcoins In Circulation Have Traded In The Past Year (ZH)
Trump: Why I’m Suing Big Tech (ZH)
Trump: Big Tech Is ‘Getting The Biggest Subsidy Ever (JTN)
‘I Got Impeached Twice, I Became Worse’: Trump (RT)

 

 

It’s nice that you don’t have to sew the vaccine proof on your coat

 

 

Mercola Zelenko

 

 

 

 

Fleming nucleotides

 

 

 

 

 

 

And literally no-one says perhaps the lockdowns don’t work?!

Australia’s COVID Outbreak Worsens Despite Economy-Crippling Lockdowns (ZH)

By some inexplicable phenomenon, Sydney’s COVID outbreak has continued to worsen (albeit by margins that most cities would consider negligible) despite the lockdown measures that have been in place for nearly three weeks at this point. Now, the prospect for another lockdown extension looms as Australia’s largest city and the surrounding state – New South Wales, Australia’s largest by population – reports 112 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, almost all of which were linked to Sydney. However, there was a silver lining: the number of newly infected out in the community declined to 34 from 45. But fears about the delta variant, which has been driving the spread, might lead to even more draconian measures.

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was this last figure that would, in the coming days, determine whether Sydney’s lockdown, due to end on Friday, would be extended. “That’s the number we need to get as close to zero as possible,” Berejiklian said during her daily televised briefing. “It is really up to us. The health expert advice will be based on what those numbers look like. I can’t be clearer than that.” Sydney is bracing for a longer and stricter lockdown after continued increases in COVID-19 cases, while the New South Wales Premier stated things are going to get worse before they get better. The outbreak has prompted the Australia-Singapore travel bubble to be delayed until at least the end of the year, according to Australian press reports, despite the fact that nearly all of the new cases reported on Monday involved family members or friends of previously diagnosed patients.

Meanwhile, a new report from Deloitte showed that consumer movement-related activity in the city’s central business district has plunged by nearly 90% in the two weeks since the Sydney lockdown started compared to its levels from two years ago. Even in Melbourne, where restrictions were just lifted, movement remained off 80% from the levels a year ago. The drop in activity is placing small businesses and restaurants in a difficult position. The iconic Melbourne rooftop bar Madame Brussels announced Monday that it would become the latest victim of the pandemic when it closes its doors next week after 15 years. “The city’s just not coming back,” co-owner Paula Scholes said.

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Power hungry totalitarian creep.

Fauci Calls For ‘More Vaccine Mandates At The Local Level’ (ZH)

The nation’s highest-paid employee in the US government, Anthony Fauci, has gone full-throttle on vaccines – this time with a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where he pushed for vaccine mandates at the local level, and slammed a guest speaker at CPAC (Alex Berenson) for applauding young people for researching vaccine side-effects. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Director appeared on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday to give his opinion on vaccine mandates. He agrees with the White House and President Biden himself, saying vaccination mandates should be the next step. “I have been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion, that I do believe at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates,” Fauci told host Jake Tapper. “There really should be.”

For fear of more people dying, Fauci strongly supports mandates. “We’re talking about life and death situation. We have lost 600,000 Americans already, and we’re still losing more people,” Fauci said. “There have been 4 million deaths worldwide. This is serious business. So I am in favor of that.” Meanwhile, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, author Alex Berenson called out the vaccination efforts as a scam. “The government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated,” Berenson said. “And it isn’t happening.” People in the audience cheered when they heard that. On the other hand, Fauci called the reaction “horrifying.”

As a result, the NIAID director says the solution to vaccine hesitancy is official approval from the Food and Drug Administration. “One of the things that will happen, and I think the hesitancy at the local level of doing mandates is because the vaccines have not been officially fully approved,” Fauci said. “But people need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we’ve ever seen with the emergency use authorization, so these vaccines are as good as officially approved with all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. It hasn’t been done yet because the FDA has to do certain things. But it’s as good as done. So people should really understand that. But they are waiting now until you get an official approval before. And I think when you do see the official approval, you’ll see a lot more mandates.”

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Just over half have gotten at least one shot. That’s very far from Biden’s ideal. And rates decline fast.

‘You’ve Got To Go One-On-One’: Fauci (F.)

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday defended the Biden administration’s door-to-door vaccine effort as some Republican governors push back on it, stressing targeted, one-on-one outreach would be key to lowering the number of unvaccinated Americans. Speaking to CBS This Morning, Fauci said the U.S. vaccination effort was in the beginning focused on “large efforts like auditoriums or sports arenas filled with people getting vaccinated” but now needed to become more targeted. “You’ve got to go one on one” to reach the “core, lesser group” of unvaccinated Americans, Fauci said. Last week, President Joe Biden announced his administration will begin sending volunteers door-to-door to urge Americans to get immunized, along with other initiatives.


The announcement came after the U.S. fell just short of Biden’s goal of partially or fully vaccinating at least 70% of adults by July 4. Health experts have expressed concern that Biden is not doing enough to convince more Americans to get the shot as vaccination rates remain low and the more infectious Delta variant begins to spread in the U.S. “Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus,” Biden said in a speech on Tuesday. [..] 55.5%. That’s the percentage of Americans who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. About half of unvaccinated Americans—46%—said they would “definitely not” ever get the vaccine in a recent AP/NORC poll. Just 7% said they “definitely will” get a shot.

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“The problem is that if you let your doctor talk you into doing it his way for long enough the damage will be irreversible..”

What If…. (Denninger)

Why do you think you get told to go ahead and eat the carbs — chase it with drugs if you’re Type II diabetic? The zero cost option is to stop eating the carbs. If you do it early enough then there’s a good chance your body will heal and the damage will not only stop, it will be reversed. No, this doesn’t mean you can go back to eating the pizzas with wild abandon, but it does mean you’ll never need a single blood-sugar related drug, nor will your toes and fingers drop off and your kidneys will likely not fail. The problem is that if you let your doctor talk you into doing it his way for long enough the damage will be irreversible and then you’re beholden to ever-more expensive drugs and, ultimately, likely surgeries and even dialysis. If you walk that path you may or may not expire from something else first but you certainly will spend a hell of a lot of money on the journey with virtually all of it being unnecessary.

What makes you think that’s not what they just did under cover of a respiratory pandemic that was destined to burn itself out like every other respiratory viral pandemic for which we have good records spanning more than 100 years, and in fact which had done so in the United States and was on the wane before the first shot went into the first arm? What if your life and that of your children are now a service, courtesy of Moderna and Pfizer at whatever cost they wish to impose on you now and into the indefinite future with the price of quitting being a much-higher risk of death, and what if that is in fact exactly what pharma, the medical industry, Trump and Biden all had in mind originally and still do? Think I’m wrong? Have a look at the 2018 MTS and what happened to Medicare payments.

This fiscal ended in September of 2018, the second year of Trump’s Presidency. Prescription drug spend was down from 95 billion to $82 billion, a decrease of close to 15%. Hospital spend was nearly flat – up right at 1%. Do you think Pharma and hospital administrators liked that? The next year drug spend was up 3.6% and then ending in September of 2020 it was up 5.3%. Hospitalization? That posted a 26% increase year ending September 2020 with hospitals being paid $39,000 per person by Medicare to shove a tube down your throat and kill you instead of being paid to give you drugs early with them only getting paid when you didn’t get intubated and die. In other words health care as a service which in fact paid more to kill Seniors was good for a 26% increase in what the federal government spent despite killing a half-million people with the vast majority of them being Senior Citizens on Medicare.

We didn’t pay for performance we paid for a subscription even though what it bought sucked and in fact killed your Grandmother. Do you think that’s stopped? Well then you better look at the current MTS which says that while hospitalization spend is down (gee, all the old people who could be easily killed seem to already be dead and we ran out of suckers we could exploit by sticking a toe tag on them) when it comes to prescription drugs the current year spend via said subscription model scam is up 12.4% over last year thus far on a comparable-period basis! Don’t you think we should have proved that wasn’t the model being intended for these shots to be forced on EVERYONE before we started letting people get stabbed when the data before us, on October 15st of 2020, was that indeed that was exactly the model the health care system had run for the previous fiscal year into the maw of the pandemic and got paid to deliberately not treat people early which both led to their death and got them paid a record amount, an utterly obscene additional EIGHTY TWO BILLION DOLLARS above the previous year’s expense?

You better hope that’s not what they tricked you into because if it is you’re screwed at least economically and may be ****ed out of your life. I remind you that the MTS proves that is exactly what they did to Seniors when it came to medical care just during the first six months of the pandemic to the tune of $82 BILLION which was in fact paid out as a reward for generating 500,000 CORPSES. But you still won’t make them stop — will you?

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Not the most convincing graph but the trend is clear.

Infections Decline in the Unvaccinated as They Surge in the Vaccinated (LDS)

I reported last week on the striking fact that, according to data from the ZOE Covid Symptom study, new symptomatic daily infections appeared to be plateauing in the unvaccinated while they were surging in the vaccinated. The trend has continued since then, with infections now entering decline in the unvaccinated while those in the vaccinated (with at least one dose) continue to surge (see graph). Around 67% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose, so the fact that there are still more infections in the smaller unvaccinated group means no conclusion can be drawn from the current figures about the vaccines not being effective.

Also, while more people are being vaccinated all the time, that steady trend is nowhere near large enough to account for the sharp changes in infection incidence we see here. With infections in the unvaccinated already peaking and falling, despite the Delta variant, this drives a coach and horses through arguments for the supposed importance of vaccinating children and hesitant young people – including through inducements like vaccine passports for pubs, clubs and restaurants, now being mooted for the autumn. Why the vaccinated are having their Delta surge later than the unvaccinated is an interesting question. Is it because the vaccines make them more resistant to infection? Does the age difference help explain it? Or is it something else?


Whatever the explanation, the important point is that without any new restrictions or a big new vaccine push, infections in the unvaccinated are already falling. In the current climate of pushes to extend restrictions, delay ‘Freedom Day’, and vaccinate everyone whether they want it or not, this is hugely significant. It means all those arguments to continue restrictions and pile on the pressure for vaccination because of the Delta variant are complete nonsense. That new daily infections are still rising in the population as a whole is now because they are rising among the vaccinated, not the unvaccinated. They will likely peak soon in the vaccinated, too, just as they already have in Scotland.

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“..we live in a time when reality is exceptionally slippery..”

A Bodyguard of Lies (Kunstler)

A bunch of readers sent me a video on the Odysee platform that seems to have lit up the Internet over the weekend, a conversation between the international lawyer Reiner Fuellmich and a character named David Martin, PhD, CEO of M-Cam, a company that researches and advises on intellectual property and patents, especially in medicine. Dr. Martin is “a fellow” at the University of Virginia School of Business Administration and formerly an assistant professor at UVa’s School of Medicine. Mr. Fuellmich is a German national who claims to be bringing a case to the world court to prosecute various parties for hoaxing the world over the coronavirus we call Covid-19.

Mr. Fuellmich’s claim is based on the allegation that the world has been played by “a PCR test pandemic,” not by a novel coronavirus, saying that the PCR test is entirely unreliable, but was used to generate millions of “cases.” Dr. Martin claims that scores of patents were filed as far back as 2008 on features found in Covid 19 — the spike protein, the polybasic cleavage site, and the ace-2 receptor binding domain — by people doing “bioweapons” research at the University of North Carolina (e.g., Dr. Ralph Baric) as well as the US Military’s DARPA, the Wuhan, China, virology lab, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), much of it intermediated by Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, and allegedly involving a criminal conspiracy with several pharmaceutical companies to make a lot of money off an engineered global health emergency. He claims further that the mRNA vaccines are “medical devices” designed to induce illness.

This complex story has its charms (Fuellmich & Martin are very good talkers) and has undergone serial debunkings by some of the usual debunkers, themselves not necessarily reliable organs of debunkery, such as The Washington Post. Dr. Martin appears to be associated with the “Plandemic” crowd and with some marginal crypto-religious groups inveighing against Jewish conspiracies and freemasonry — two big red flags for me.

But we live in a time when reality is exceptionally slippery and there are parts of the story that are now accepted as real in the emergent consensual reality of what actually happened. For instance: that Dr. Anthony Fauci funded gain-of-function research using Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance as a conduit. And the numerous patent records do exist within the stated time-line. The scientific and legal facts around all this are abstruse, and most college-educated (and beyond) Americans might have trouble processing the story.

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Suppressing dissent is what the US does at home, better than anyone.

Cuba’s Internet Cutoff: A Go-to Tactic To Suppress Dissent (AP)

Cubans facing the country’s worst economic crisis in decades took to the streets over the weekend. In turn, authorities blocked social media sites in an apparent effort to stop the flow of information into, out of and within the beleaguered nation. Restricting internet access has become a tried-and-true method of stifling dissent by authoritarian regimes around the world, alongside government-supported disinformation campaigns and propaganda. On the extreme side, regimes like China and North Korea exert tight control over what regular citizens can access online. Elsewhere, service blockages are more limited, often cutting off common social platforms around elections and times of mass protests.

There was no formal organizer of Sunday’s protests; people found out about the rallying points over social media, mostly on Twitter and Facebook, the platforms most used by Cubans. The thousands of Cubans who took to the streets — protesters and pro-government activists alike — wielded smartphones to capture images and send them to relatives and friends or post them online. On Monday, Cuban authorities were blocking Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram, said Alp Toker, director of Netblocks, a London-based internet monitoring firm. “This does seem to be a response to social media-fueled protest,” he said. Twitter did not appear to be blocked, though Toker noted Cuba could cut it off if it wants to.

While the recent easing of access by Cuban authorities to the internet has increased social media activity, Toker said, the level of censorship has also risen. Not only does the cutoff block out external voices, he said, it also squelches “the internal voice of the population who have wanted to speak out.” Internet access in Cuba has been expensive and relatively rare until recently. The country was “basically offline” until 2008, then gradually entered a digital revolution, said Ted Henken, a Latin America expert at Baruch College, City University of New York. The biggest change, he noted, came in December 2018 when Cubans got access to mobile internet for the first time via data plans purchased from the state telecom monopoly. These days, more than half of all Cubans have internet access, Henken said.

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The Covid problem must be waning then?!

White House Urges Cities To Use Covid Funds To Help Combat Violent Crime (JTN)

The White House sent a memo to state and local officials Monday, urging them to use some of the COVD-19 relief funds to help combat the rise of violent crime. The memo outlines how states should use the funds provided by President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to reduce crime, such as supporting law enforcement, investing in community-based violence interventions, and enforcing gun laws. “The core of the President’s plan is a partnership with cities and states, equipping local leaders with historic levels of federal funding and a range of tools to address the multifaceted challenge of gun violence,” the memo said, according to The Hill.


The memo also notes that Biden requested $300 million in funding for the COPS program, a program made by the Department of Justice for community-centered policing, and an additional $750 million for federal law enforcement agencies. Biden is expected to meet with Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams – who is also the Democrat nominee for New York City mayor – as well as with other mayors across the country.

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50% of value gone, but nobody sells.

Just 5% Of All Bitcoins In Circulation Have Traded In The Past Year (ZH)

In JPMorgan’s latest weekly bitcoin hit piece (because for some “inexplicable” reason, JPMorgan executive have instructed most of the bank’s strategists, including those covering equity and rates, to slam the cryptocurrency on a weekly if not daily basis while the bank quietly builds out its own proprietary crypto fund, almost as if it is desperate to scare its clients into selling), the bank makes an interesting argument: bitcoin is not liquid enough to be successfully implemented as a legal tender in El Salvador.

We won’t speak to the validity of JPM’s argument – we will soon find out first hand whether or not El Salvador made a mistake in adopting bitcoin as legal tender – although it certainly is simple enough: “daily payment activity in El Salvador would represent ~4% of recent on-chain transaction volume and more than 1% of the total value of tokens which have been transferred between wallets in the past year,” the report said, with the illiquidity and nature of the volume “potentially a significant limitation on its potential as a medium of exchange.”

Perhaps, then again in its brief history bitcoin has certainly demonstrated that it is remarkably scalable and viable even without a central bank propping it up every time there is even a modest risk-flaring hiccup, which is much more than we could ever say about the global stock market or currencies such as Europe’s “whatever it takes” euro. Of course, JPMorgan – a bank that directly benefited form more than one multibilion bailout – will be the last to admit just how much sustainable the cryptocurrency has become, which is why we will ignore the bank’s latest round of propaganda, but will point out an interesting fact unearthed by JPMorgan: it goes straight to the heart of the recurring argument why bitcoin is so volatile.

The reason, as JPM has discovered, is that bitcoin’s float may be as little as 5%, if not less. Discussing the daily trading volumes of bitcoin, JPM notes that a large fraction of Bitcoin are locked up in illiquid entities (liquidity sinks), “with more than 90% not changing hands in more than a year” while roughly 80% – and rising – are held by wallets with light turnover. This means that a paltry 5-10% of all bitcoin in circulation has traded in the past year. Another way of putting it: an asset with a $600 billion market cap has a float of just $30 billion. Which is remarkable as it means that no whales sold bitcoin when it hit its all time high of $65,000. And if they didn’t sell then, they certainly won’t sell now when it’s half that price.

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Would be nice if it goes somewhere.

Trump: Why I’m Suing Big Tech (ZH)

Following last week’s announcement that President Trump was filing a class-action lawsuit suing the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google over allegations of illegal censorship, Trump has published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where he lays out his legal team’s argument: Big Tech has colluded with government to censor the free speech of the American people, Trump said. Since social media has become “as central to free speech as town meeting halls, newspapers and television networks were in prior generations.” Despite the fact that the internet is “the new public square”, Big Tech has become increasingly “brazen and shameless in censoring and discriminating against ideas, information and people on social media – banning users, deplatforming organizations, and aggressively blocking the free flow of information on which our democracy depends.”

“No longer are Big Tech giants simply removing specific threats of violence. They are manipulating and controlling the political debate itself.” Trump also cited Big Tech’s decision to bar him from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. “Perhaps most egregious, in the weeks after the election, Big Tech blocked the social-media accounts of the sitting president. If they can do it to me, they can do it to you—and believe me, they are.” While Chinese and Iranian propagandists are allowed to operate with impunity, social media platforms have attacked a Michigan schoolteacher for sharing an article questioning whether mandatory masks are suitable for young children in schools. A Florida couple that lost their 21-year-old son in a fatal car accident caused by a 2x-deported illegal immigrant was censored by Facebook when they posted about border security and immigration enforcement, Trump said.

These regular people will appear as plaintiffs alongside Trump and his America First Policy Institute, which is co-sponsoring the litigation. Worst of all, when Democrats in Congress demand that big tech CEOs “fact check” what they insist are “false” stories, Trump says that these “disinformation” labels are supplied by partisan fact-checkers loyal to the Democratic Party. This is tantamount to “suppression of speech that those in power do not like.” “Through these lawsuits, I intend to restore free speech for all Americans—Democrats, Republicans and independents. I will never stop fighting to defend the constitutional rights and sacred liberties of the American people.” Finally, Trump cited the Trusted News Initiative, a program whereby Twitter, Facebook and Google all take orders from the CDC about which information to combat.

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“It’s a Democrat machine; it should be a campaign contribution.”

Trump: Big Tech Is ‘Getting The Biggest Subsidy Ever (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump discussed his class-action lawsuit against Big Tech censorship on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” saying he believes it will be “very successful.” Trump said the lawsuit will “wind its way through the courts, I think it’s gonna be very successful … It’s been very well received, very popular, a lot of legal scholars are saying it’s about time.” The lawsuit was filed against the CEO’s of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, alleging that censorship is a violation of the First Amendment and applies to private companies because they are working for government officials. Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act allows websites to remove obscene content. Trump is arguing that this immunity is like a government subsidy.


“They’re getting the biggest subsidy that any company has ever gotten from a government,” Trump explained. “They’re immune from so many different things, but they’re not immune from this lawsuit because what they’ve done is such a violation of the Constitution. A violation like we’ve never seen before.” “They work with the Democrats,” he added. “It’s a Democrat machine; it should be a campaign contribution.” Because YouTube, Facebook, and Google suspended his accounts on their platforms, Trump said that it “hurts his ability to support fellow conservatives by campaigning for Republicans running in 2022. He also said it hurts his ability to lay the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential bid,” Fox News reported.

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I admit: I like to see him back.

‘I Got Impeached Twice, I Became Worse’: Trump (RT)

In a speech to fans in Texas, Donald Trump repeated claims of election fraud and tirades against “cancel culture.” He also uttered one phrase his opponents would likely agree with, saying he “became worse” after being impeached. Trump took the stage in Dallas, Texas on Sunday night to close out the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a yearly or twice-yearly gathering of politicians, activists and celebrities from the American right. The CPAC crowd is as friendly to Trump as crowds get, and the former president served them up his signature partisan jokes, rants and one-liners. He railed against President Joe Biden and the Democrats, whom he accused of “rigging” the 2020 election against him. The audience agreed, breaking into chants of “Trump won!”

He thundered against immigration, accusing Biden of turning the US/Mexico border into “the single greatest disaster in American history” and lambasted “big tech’s attack on free speech,” days after suing the social media platforms that banned him in January. All of these complaints and grievances are standard Trump fare, but the receptive crowd at CPAC gave him the opportunity to try out some new material. Turning on his former attorney general, Trump claimed that Bill Barr “became a different man” after House Democrats “viciously stated that they wanted to impeach him” last year. “I didn’t become different,” Trump quipped. “I got impeached twice. I became worse.” His opponents would likely agree with that statement, but “worse” to his supporters clearly meant “better,” as they broke out into applause and cheers.

Trump’s headline appearance, and the warm reception he received, served as a reminder that although he is out of power and absent from social media, he still sets the Republican Party’s agenda. His former vice president, Mike Pence, who voted to certify Biden’s electoral victory, did not appear at the event and was booed and heckled at a conservative conference in Florida several weeks ago. CPAC is considered an opportunity for potential Republican presidential candidates to audition in front of the conservative base, and Trump – who has dropped several hints recently at another run for the White House in 2024 – seemed to acknowledge this. “The Democrats want me out… and here I am. I could have a nice, beautiful life and here I am on a Sunday in Texas,” he said, to which the crowd chanted “Four more years! Four more years!”

Read more …

 

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Jun 142021
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Sogni (Dreams) 1896

 

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)
‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)
CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)
The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)
UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)
MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)
Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)
Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)
Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)
Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)
Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)
“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

 

 

Look how young these inoculated kids are! 236 injuries and fatalities from vaccines in the 0-1 month old group!

 

 

Eric Clapton doesn’t agree

 

 

And that makes it alright?

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)

A new poll shows that Democrats and Republicans are just about as divided on an employee’s right to choose whether to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as they are on a woman’s right to choose whether to abort her unborn child. Nearly 80% of Democrats agreed that employers should be able to force their workers to get Covid-19 shots, according to a CBS News-YouGov poll released on Sunday. In contrast, only 39% of Republicans approved of giving businesses such authority over their employees’ medical choices. The overall response was 56-44 in favor of forced jabs. Supporters of the two major parties are more split on vaccine choice than on Covid-19 inoculation in general. While 95% of Democrats have already been vaccinated or are at least considering it, 71% of Republicans are on board or thinking about taking the jab, the poll showed.

That result suggests some improvement in vaccine acceptance in the past two months. A Monmouth University poll released in mid-April indicated that 43% of Republicans don’t intend to get vaccinated against the virus. In the CBS News-YouGov survey, 29% of Republicans said they had ruled out the shots. Overall, only 18% of respondents said they won’t get vaccinated, while 71% said they had either already gotten a jab or planned to do so. The other 11% were undecided. The issue of employer-mandated vaccination is heating up, as a Texas judge on Saturday issued the nation’s first federal court ruling on whether workers can be ordered to receive Covid-19 shots.

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“Pretty” safe? Is that a slip of the tongue, or is it a warning?

‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)

A scientist advising the government has declared that there is now a “very strong argument” to vaccinate children against the coronavirus as infections rise and evidence emerges that vaccination is “pretty safe”. Professor Peter Openshaw, vice-chairman of Nervtag, a committee that looks out for emerging respiratory threats, said there were indications that the Indian variant was more transmissible among children than the original Wuhan strain. Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It strengthens the argument for extending vaccination to children. I’ve been sitting on the fence on this one, but on balance I’m coming to the view that there’s a very strong argument we should go there.


“Evidence has come out about the safety and efficacy of generating an antibody response in children. It looks like it is pretty safe and there are no adverse signals.” Coronavirus testing in secondary schools has collapsed in recent weeks, according to NHS Test and Trace. Nearly two thirds of secondary school pupils failed to take a test in the week before half-term. Data from Public Health England shows 282 Covid-19 outbreaks in schools in the past four weeks, compared with 88 in the previous four weeks.

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“In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date..”

CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now claims that “healthy young children” can die from COVID-19. Marty Makary wants to see the evidence. “In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date,” the Johns Hopkins University professor of medicine and public health said Thursday. Archived versions of the CDC’s web page comparing COVID-19 and seasonal influenza show that it revised the “differences” in the section “People at High-Risk for Severe Illness” sometime between May 31 and June 8.

“The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19,” the earlier version says. “However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19.” The new version flips the emphasis as well as adding a new claim. “Overall, COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people,” it begins. “For young children, especially children younger than 5 years old, the risk of serious complications is higher for flu compared with COVID-19. However, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization and death can occur even in healthy young children.”

Makary’s article in MedPage Today, a clinical news publisher where he serves as editor in chief, pushes back on calls to vaccinate kids ages 0 to 12 without comorbidities. He also recommends parents avoid vaccinating children who have recovered from COVID-19 infections, continuing his argument that natural immunity is just as good if not better than vaccine immunity. “The case to vaccinate kids is there, but it’s not compelling right now,” Makary wrote. He’s part of a movement of doctors at medical institutions around the world calling for far more cost-benefit analysis of COVID-19 vaccines for low-risk populations such as children.

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“..the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. ..”

The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)

The Spike Protein is a “uniquely dangerous” transmembrane fusion protein that is an integral part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “The S protein plays a crucial role in penetrating host cells and initiating infection.” It also damages the cells in the lining of the blood vessel walls which leads to blood clots, bleeding, massive inflammation and death. To say that the spike protein is merely “dangerous”, is a vast understatement. It is a potentially-lethal pathogen that has already killed tens of thousands of people. So, why did the vaccine manufacturers settle on the spike protein as an antigen that would induce an immune response in the body? That’s the million-dollar question, after all, for all practical purposes, the spike protein is a poison. We know that now due to research that was conducted at the Salk Institute. Here’s a summary of what they found:

“Salk researchers and collaborators show how the protein damages cells, confirming COVID-19 as a primarily vascular disease…. SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system (aka–The circulatory system) on a cellular level… scientists studying other coronaviruses have long suspected that the spike protein contributed to damaging vascular endothelial cells, but this is the first time the process has been documented…. … the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls. The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2…“If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID.”

Remember how everyone laughed at Trump when he said injecting household bleach would cure Covid? How is this any different? It’s not different, and whatever modest protection the vaccines provide as far as immunity, it pales in comparison to the risks they pose to personal health and survival. And did you notice what the author said about stripping-out the virus and leaving the spike protein alone?’ He said “it still has a major damaging effect” implying ‘blood clots, bleeding and severe inflammation.’ In other words, the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. Here’s how Dr. Byram Bridle (who is a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario) summed it up:

“We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now… We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So, by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.” Think about that for a minute. This is a very big deal, in fact, this is the critical piece of the puzzle that has been missing for the last 15 months. Just as the respiratory virus concealed the real killing-agent in Covid, (the spike protein) so too, the relentless hype surrounding mass-vaccination has concealed the glaring problem with the vaccines themselves, which is, they generate a substance that is “capable of causing disease.”

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How bad will the backlash be?

UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)

The U.K.’s final lifting of lockdown restrictions on June 21 is expected to be pushed back by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference on Monday evening, a government official confirmed to London Playbook. Multiple outlets report that Johnson, alongside cabinet members Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock have signed off on a month-long delay, after scientific advisers urged the prime minister to allow enough time for more people to get fully vaccinated. On Friday, The Sun reported that July 19 would be proposed as the new “Freedom Day” of lockdown end, with a review of numbers on July 5 that could see some or all restrictions lifted early.

“The prime minister sees this as the final stretch and wants people to be patient. We are nearly there, it’s one last haul,” a government source told The Times. The rules currently in place that will be kept include the wearing of face masks and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings. The reopening of nightclubs is also set to be delayed. On the other hand, according to the Financial Times, some allowances may be made for weddings, allowing for larger gatherings as is the case for funerals. Health minister Edward Argar told Sky News on Monday that weddings and those who plan to wed “will be very much in [Johnson’s] mind at the moment.”

Despite reports that Sunak is not planning to extend the furlough scheme to support businesses, Argar said Johnson is “very mindful of the need for businesses and others to get what they need if they continue to be locked down.” On Sunday, 7,490 new COVID cases were reported in the U.K., a considerable increase from 5,341 a week before, on June 6.

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“If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)

Covid Recovery Group chairman and MP Mark Harper opposes delays in the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, arguing Brits will “have to learn to live with” the virus now that the vulnerable are jabbed, or suffer constant lockdown. Harper took to Twitter after an article on Sunday in the Telegraph citing an unnamed minister claimed the planned lockdown-easing date of June 21 could be delayed until as late as next spring due to the government’s concern about the spread of Covid-19 variants. The Forest of Dean MP warned in response that it “would be devastating for business confidence, people’s livelihoods and wellbeing” if the reopening were delayed, and would send “a clear message to employers and workers that, when Covid cases increase this (and every) autumn and winter, they cannot rely on Govt to keep our society open.”


“Now that the most vulnerable have been protected with their vaccine doses, we have to learn to live with this virus, rather than endure seasonal on-off lockdowns and restrictions,” Harper argued, noting that Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has warned that coronavirus mutations “will appear for the rest of time.” Harper also pointed out that the most vulnerable people in the UK – who account for 99% of Covid-19 deaths and 80% of hospitalisations – will all have been offered two vaccine jabs by June 21, making it safer than ever to reopen. “We have to learn to live with it,” concluded Harper. “If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

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“Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)

In April, the NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens promised to have 83 long Covid clinics open by the end of the month. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that more than 1 million people in Britain have suffered from long Covid. Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College, London, has predicted that long Covid could represent a long-term burden on the NHS comparable to arthritis, which costs the service an estimated £10 billion a year, some 8 per cent of the health budget. Altmann estimates that as many as 20 per cent of Covid sufferers could have longer symptoms; many of them will be younger patients who didn’t initially face severe illness.

It seems Britain is the long Covid capital of the world. This became immediately apparent to me upon moving back here from the US last month. American media has led much of the discussion on long Covid, but fear of the syndrome hasn’t penetrated public sentiment the way it has in Britain, where many young people are terrified of getting the virus not because they fear it will kill them, but because of the potentially debilitating after-effects. The question is why? Is there more long Covid here? And if so, for what reason? Are we simply doing a better job of diagnosing and discussing it, much as we lead the world in using genomic sequencing to find new Covid variants? Or might there be other cultural and societal factors underpinning our pervasive long Covid issue?

The answer could well be some combination of the above. The difficulty in researching long Covid is that every expert that you ask gives you a slightly different answer as to what the illness is and what causes it. “The simple answer is I don’t know [what causes this] and nor does anybody else,” says Dr Paul Harrison, head of Oxford University’s Translational Neurobiology Group. “We have to start with ‘nobody knows’ and keep that uncertainty — and therefore open-mindedness — at the forefront of our approach.” [..] “It’s psychosomatic,” says Jeremy Devine, a resident psychiatrist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In March, he wrote a controversial column for The Wall Street Journal, arguing that long Covid was being incorrectly used as a catch-all for a whole host of ailments and issues, many of them psychological. There was a fierce backlash, with several UK-based patient groups writing furious letters to his supervisors.

“People do not like psychological explanations for physical symptoms,” he says. “They want something that’s perceived as real. Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

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“What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the city of Madison’s public health agency in a dispute over the power to close schools during the pandemic. A top city health official decried Friday’s decision, saying it would put children at risk. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officers cannot close schools within their jurisdictions. We are extremely disappointed in the court’s decision, which has much further reaching implications than just this current pandemic,” health director Janel Heinrich said.. “This decision hinders the ability of local health officers in Wisconsin to prevent and contain public health threats for decades to come.”


The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty brought the case. WILL argued that Public Health Madison & Dane County overstepped its bounds by unilaterally ordering all schools, public and private, to close. WILL also argued the order infringed on parents’ rights to decide about their children’s education. Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote the majority opinion, saying Heinrich’s office had relied on an over-generalized reading of state law. “The power to take measures ‘reasonable and necessary’ cannot be reasonably read as an open-ended grant of authority,” Bradley wrote. “If Heinrich’s argument were correct, then the general provision would essentially afford local health officers any powers necessary to limit the spread of communicable diseases. This cannot be. What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

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One of the main causes of disease and death, also for Covid, and nothing is done about it whatsoever.

Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is demanding U.S. airlines submit plans with updated weight averages they will use for passengers and baggage moving forward by Saturday. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Airlines officials say the weight estimates used for passengers and baggage are going up between 5 percent and 10 percent.” “That will affect some flights, possibly requiring that more passengers get bumped or more baggage left behind,” the Journal reported. The new guidelines, and likely travel disruptions to come with them, are yet another symptom of American weight gain with no signs of abatement.

While the novel coronavirus — a virus exacerbated by excessive weight where 78 percent of those hospitalized with infection were overweight or obese — should have served as a wake-up call to the decades-long obesity crisis, Americans instead packed on the pounds with apparently little concern. According to a global Ipsos poll in January, two in five Americans reported gaining weight throughout the lockdowns still in place at the time. Those surveyed said they put on an average of more than 14 pounds, putting the U.S. seventh out of 30 countries in terms of pandemic weight gain. Most Americans appeared relatively unbothered by the weight. Less than half said they believed there was a link between obesity and complications from COVID-19 which data determined early on was a major risk contributor.

“Since the pandemic began,” Science Magazine reported in September, “dozens of studies have reported that many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity.” Overweight patients in one study published in August cited by the flagship journal were 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to patients of an otherwise healthy weight. Obese patients were found 74 percent more likely to end up in intensive care units (ICU) and 48 percent more likely to die. Pre-pandemic, more than 70 percent of adults 20 years old and older were already overweight with 42 percent categorically “obese” according to the CDC.

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Never has rhetoric been more empty.

Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)

US President Joe Biden revealed on Sunday that he and other leaders in the G7 spoke about gaining access to the laboratories in Wuhan, China to determine whether Covid-19 was the result of a Chinese experiment gone wrong. During a press conference at the G7 conference in Cornwall, England on Sunday, Biden called on China to start acting “more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency.” The president then revealed that one of the concerns he and other leaders at G7 had raised was that “we haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not” Covid-19 was the result of bats in Chinese marketplaces “interfacing with animals and the environment,” or “an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”


“I have not reached a conclusion because our intelligence community is not certain yet,” Biden said, adding, however, that it was “important to know the answer” so the international community could predict and prevent another pandemic from happening in the future. “The world has to have access,” he argued, concluding that he and other leaders were trying to figure out a way to gain transparency. Former president Donald Trump has repeatedly argued that Covid-19 came from a Wuhan laboratory, and told podcast host Dan Bongino last month that he had “very, very little doubt” the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In a statement on Thursday, he demanded that China pay $10 trillion in “reparations” to the world for “what they allowed to happen.”

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Biden is outclassed 1000x. He comes with nothing.

Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)

There is a lot of optimism and big press regarding the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin. This will be the first meeting of the two since Biden took that seat behind the lovely desk in the Oval Office. There are many issues on the table for discussion and there is tension and excitement in the political press in both the West and especially in Russia. There is a growing belief that this could be a turning point or at least provide some small nudging of relations in a positive direction. This wishful thinking, although pleasant from a moral standpoint, does not reflect the realities of the current divide between the United States and Russia. This meeting simply cannot provide some sort of new start for relations between the countries and will probably look like a head-nodding and pretending-to-listen fest the likes of which we have never seen before.

Hours worth of hot air will be blown to throw words onto deaf ears with some background posturing to boot. One reason for the Russians to be suspicious of any offers from Washington is simply recent precedent. Over ten years ago when Obama was still full of Hope and Change his feisty new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a great big smile presented Foreign Minister Lavrov the infamous Russian Reset Button. The red button had the word “overload” accidentally written on it in place of “reset”. This mistake due to a fake desire to make it seem like Washington cared enough to learn one word of Russian was very telling as during the brief era of the Russian Reset, America’s Soft Power machine was working day and night to organize the Maidan in Kiev.

From a Western perspective this revolution was another piece of evidence that the people of Eastern Europe want nothing to do with naughty Moscow, but from a Russian perspective the Maidan was the beginning of an endless waking nightmare. This all led to the genocidal war in the Donbass breaking out, the return of Neo-Nazism to Europe, and the now official systemic racism that Russian speakers have to endure in the “Zimbabwe of Europe”. After an experience like that, can one really expect any sort of optimism from the Russian side because Biden sort of stepped back a bit on the whole Nord-Stream 2 thing?

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“But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem.”

“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

Why can’t this dude just shut up? That’s what people, including the SEC, want to know. But look, he just can’t. Apparently, no one can take his Twitter account away from Elon Musk, and Tesla isn’t putting it under adult supervision, as the SEC has suggested. So he was at it again today, responding to accusations by Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African tech and financial services firm Sygnia, that he’d pumped up the price of Bitcoin by tweeting all manner of things, and then “sold a big part of his exposure at the peak.” So yes. Musk acknowledged in his tweet today that Tesla had in fact dumped part of its holdings of Bitcoin, but he argued that it wasn’t a big part, that it had “only sold ~10%” of its Bitcoin holdings.

And he came up with a rationalization why Tesla had dumped 10% of its Bitcoin holdings: “to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.” That was a joke apparently. Over the past two months, the price of Bitcoin plunged from about $64,800 to around $33,000 at the low and now hovers at $39,000, after the current Musk-induced spike, with the plunge leaving a big-fat question market over his assertion that Bitcoin could be “liquidated easily without moving market.” But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem. The second part of Musk’s tweet contained an effort to pump up the price of BTC by walking back his assertion in May that Tesla would no longer allow customers to pay for vehicles with Bitcoin because of the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, which was another one of his Bitcoin 180s.

At the time, that statement had whacked the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is of course the fiat-currency equivalent of “money printing.” But money printing has a tiny carbon footprint, because it needs just enough electricity to move credits by computer and the internet. You don’t need huge arrays of special mining rigs with special power supply and cooling equipment to print money. So today he tried to walk back his carbon-foot print concern, by tweeting: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”

Read more …

 

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May 132021
 


Daniel Garber The quarry 1917

 

Public Health and the Triumph of Irrationality (CP)
Your Immune System Evolves to Fight Coronavirus Variants (SciAm)
Covid Pandemic Was Preventable, Says WHO-commissioned Report (G.)
Covid Surges In 4 Of 5 Most Vaccinated Countries (F.)
Ivermectin Tablets To Be Distributed Among Uttarakhand Residents (OneIndia)
Could Indian Variant Jeopardise UK Unlocking Plan? (DM)
Merriam-Webster: ‘Anti-Vaxxer’ Now Includes Those Who Oppose Forced Jabs (RT)
124 Retired Generals And Admirals Question Biden’s Mental Health (Hill)
Tesla Will Stop Accepting Bitcoin As Payment Due To Fossil Fuel Use (JTN)
Man Who Alleges He Created Bitcoin Takes £4bn Claim To London High Court (R.)
France Aims To Shut British Firms Out Of EU Financial System (ZH)

 

 

I put this chart here to start a discussion on Covid and different blood types. Shoot.

 

 

 

Does anyone still realize how short we’ve become on science and rationality in the Covid response? And how we claim the exact opposite?

Public Health and the Triumph of Irrationality (CP)

It’s been inspiring to see how the nation has pulled together to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s also been puzzling, however, in that it’s so out of character with the attitude Americans have otherwise taken to issues of public health. According to a recent article in the New York Times, cancer killed almost twice as many Americans in 2020 as COVID, and heart disease killed more than twice as many. That is, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S. even during the most lethal period of the COVID epidemic, and cancer was second. Twenty-one percent of the deaths in the U.S. in 2020 were from heart disease and 18% from cancer, as opposed to only 10% from COVID. My point here is not that we should have been less concerned about COVID than we were. My point is that if we care so much about public health, why are we doing next to nothing to reduce the death toll of these two far more lethal threats?

Take heart disease. Not only do we know what causes it and how to prevent it, prevention is far easier than is the prevention of COVID. The causes of heart disease are things such as obesity, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of exercise. It would be relatively easy to tackle these problems. We could outlaw the sales of jumbo-sized sugary drinks, limit legal amounts of sugar and fats in processed foods, outlaw smoking, establish legal limits on the sales on alcohol, and mandate short supervised exercise periods in workplaces.

Americans are generally hesitant to impose what many have traditionally taken to be excessive legislative measures to protect public health. There was enormous support, however, for the legally-mandated extended lockdown measures and mask requirements to protect people from COVID, so why is there so little support for more moderate legislative measures to protect Americans from these greater threats to their health? The attempted ban on jumbo-sized sugary drinks was so short-lived that most people no longer even remember it. We’ve done a great deal to limit smoking in the U.S., but even with those measures it continues to be a huge threat to public health. If we can shut down businesses to protect people from COVID, why can’t we shut down the tobacco industry to protect people from the ravages of smoking (which affects not only smokers, but everyone in close proximity to them, not to mention imposing enormous costs on the healthcare system)? Bars and restaurants can, in theory, be held legally liable for serving alcohol to obviously inebriated customers, but in practice that law is seldom enforced and we have no legal limits whatever on the sales of alcohol in retail outlets.

Obesity makes people more vulnerable to death not merely from heart disease, but also from COVID, but while we are going to unprecedented links to protect people from dying of COVID, we’re doing nothing to protect them from becoming obese. In fact, we are arguably encouraging obesity by our quiescence relative to the amounts of sugar and fat typically found in processed foods and grotesquely exaggerated restaurant portion sizes.

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Most people can have faith in their immune systems. But less so when they’re “vaccinated”.

Your Immune System Evolves to Fight Coronavirus Variants (SciAm)

A lot of worry has been triggered by discoveries that variants of the pandemic-causing coronavirus can be more infectious than the original. But now scientists are starting to find some signs of hope on the human side of this microbe-host interaction. By studying the blood of COVID survivors and people who have been vaccinated, immunologists are learning that some of our immune system cells—which remember past infections and react to them—might have their own abilities to change, countering mutations in the virus. What this means, scientists think, is that the immune system might have evolved its own way of dealing with variants.

“Essentially, the immune system is trying to get ahead of the virus,” says Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at the Rockefeller University, who conducted some recent studies that tracked this phenomenon. The emerging idea is that the body maintains reserve armies of antibody-producing cells in addition to the original cells that responded to the initial invasion by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. Over time some reserve cells mutate and produce antibodies that are better able to recognize new viral versions. “It’s really elegant mechanism that that we’ve evolved, basically, to be able to handle things like variants,” says Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington, who was not involved in Nussenzweig’s research. Whether there are enough of these cells, and their antibodies, to confer protection against a shape-shifting SARS-CoV-2 is still being figured out.

Last April, when the pandemic was reaching its first peak in New York City, Nussenzweig and his colleagues sprang into action and began collecting the blood of COVID survivors. There were disturbing early reports of reinfection and waning antibodies, and the scientists wanted to understand how long the immune system could sustain its ability to respond to the novel threat. They took blood samples from people who had been hit by SARS-CoV-2 one month after the infection and then again six months later. What the scientists found was somewhat encouraging. Blood collected at the later date did have lower levels of circulating antibodies, but that made sense because the infection had cleared. And levels of the cells that make antibodies, called memory B cells, remained constant or even increased in some people over time. After an infection, these cells hang around in the body’s lymph nodes and maintain the ability to recognize the virus. If a person gets infected a second time, memory B cells activate, quickly produce antibodies and block the virus from creating a second serious infection.

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But then we put the WHO in charge…

Covid Pandemic Was Preventable, Says WHO-commissioned Report (G.)

The Covid pandemic was a preventable disaster that need not have cost millions of lives if the world had reacted more quickly, according to an independent high-level panel, which castigates global leaders and calls for major changes to bring it to an end and ensure it cannot happen again. The report of the panel, chaired by the former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former president of Liberia, found “weak links at every point in the chain”. It said preparation was inconsistent and underfunded, the alert system too slow and too meek, while the World Health Organization was underpowered. It concluded the response had exacerbated inequalities. “Global political leadership was absent,” the report said. Clark described February 2020 as “a month of lost opportunity to avert a pandemic, as so many countries chose to wait and see”.

“For some, it wasn’t until hospital ICU beds began to fill that more action was taken,” she said. “And by then it was too late to avert the pandemic impact. What followed then was a winner takes all scramble for PPE and therapeutics. Globally, health workers were tested to their limits and the rates of infection, illness and death soared and continue to soar.” Sirleaf said: “The situation we find ourselves in today could have been prevented. An outbreak of a new pathogen, Sars CoV-2 became a catastrophic pandemic that has now killed more than 3.25 million people, and continues to threaten lives and livelihoods all over the world. It is due to a myriad of failures, gaps and delays in preparedness and response. This was partly due to failure to learn from the past.”

Urgent action must be taken, she said. “There are many reviews of previous health crises that include sensible recommendations. Yet, they sit gathering dust in UN basements and on government shelves … Our report shows that most countries of the world were simply not prepared for a pandemic.” The report was commissioned by the WHO director general at the instigation of member states, who called at the World Health Assembly in May last year for an impartial review of what happened and what could be learned from the pandemic. The panel calls for radical changes to bring heads of state together to oversee pandemic preparations, ensuring the finance and tools the world needs are in place. They want a faster-moving, better-resourced WHO. And they want a commitment now from leaders of affluent countries to supply vaccines for the rest of the world.

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If the Chinese vaccines don’t work, that leaves us with a lot of questions. Presumably, they wouldn’t work in China, either, for one thing.

Covid Surges In 4 Of 5 Most Vaccinated Countries (F.)

Countries with the world’s highest vaccination rates—including four of the top five most vaccinated—are fighting to contain coronavirus outbreaks that are, on a per-capita basis, higher than the surge devastating India, a trend that has experts questioning the efficacy of some vaccines (especially China’s Sinopharm) and the wisdom of easing restrictions even with most of the population vaccinated. Of the Seychelles, Israel, the UAE, Chile and Bahrain—respectively the world’s five most vaccinated countries—only Israel is not fighting to contain a dangerous surge in Covid-19 infections. Controlling for population, the Seychelles and Bahrain, alongside other highly vaccinated countries like the Maldives and Uruguay, recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases worldwide.

The Seychelles, a small island nation with almost double the U.S.’ vaccination rate, recorded 328 cases per 100,000 people, a far higher incidence than India (28) when population is accounted for. The outbreaks in vaccinated countries have sparked concern over how effective some of the Chinese vaccines are versus the western vaccines Israel used, including the Sinopharm vaccine the World Health Organization endorsed Friday that makes up a large part of the countries’ immunization programs. A relaxation of pandemic restrictions and mixed messaging from governments are also touted as potential explanations—tourism-reliant Seychelles and Maldives both (still) welcome tourists, Dubai exited lockdown rapidly and Chile loosened its restrictions and allowed domestic travel.

In many wealthy countries, vaccines have often been framed as the ultimate exit strategy from lockdown. Cases have declined in some countries executing successful and rapid campaigns, including the U.S., the U.K. and Israel, though experts point to places like Chile as a frightening example of what can happen if things are eased too quickly and warn a vaccine on its own is likely not enough. The efficacy of particular vaccines is likely to become a prominent concern as more countries begin to ramp up inoculation campaigns and there are concerns that some, like China’s Sinopharm vaccine, are far less effective at controlling the disease than those produced by the likes of Moderna and Pfizer. World leaders, including the head of the World Health Organization, issue frequent reminders that nobody is “safe until everyone is safe,” an issue underscored by the vast vaccine inequity between nations.

New, potentially more dangerous, variants are emerging across the globe, some of which could potentially evade existing vaccines. The WHO classified the B.1.617 variant tearing through India as a variant of concern Tuesday, noting it may be more infectious. 45%. All five of the world’s most vaccinated countries have at least this proportion of their population partially vaccinated. Data is available for Bahrain (47%), Chile (45%), Israel (60%) and the Seychelles (69%), with the UAE claiming third place thanks to its high number of doses given per capita (which is around 115,000 per 100,000 people; the UAE does not declare more granular data). The Seychelles (61%) and Israel (56%) also have the highest proportion of their population fully vaccinated, followed by Chile (38%) and Bahrain (35%). The U.S., where vaccination rates are declining in all but four states, sits just behind Chile and Bahrain, with 35% of its population now fully vaccinated and 46% partially.

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Pretty high doses recommended.

Ivermectin Tablets To Be Distributed Among Uttarakhand Residents (OneIndia)

The Uttarakhand government will be distributing Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, among the residents of the state as a preventive medicine against the spread of COVID-19, a senior official said. The Uttarakhand government’s announcement comes after Goa and Karnataka issued similar directions. The decision was taken on the recommendation of the state-level clinical technical committee, an order issued by Chief Secretary Om Prakash to all district magistrates said. The panel has recommended the Ivermectin tablet as “mass chemoprophylaxis” to effectively control the surge of COVID-19 infection apart from the vaccination drive, the order said. The 12 mg tablets of the drug will be distributed in a kit to all families through the health department and district magistrates, the order said.


Usually, Ivermectin tablets have to be taken by adults and those above 15 years twice daily for three days after breakfast and dinner. One person will thus need six tablets and a family of four will need 24 tablets. Hence, each kit will contain two dozen tablets, the order said. Children between 10-15 years will take only one tablet daily whereas those aged between 2 to 10 years can be administered the drug only after doctor’s advice. The tablet cannot be given to children below two years, pregnant women and those suffering from liver diseases, it said. The kit will come with directions on how to consume the medicine and dosage for different age groups. Information related to the daily distribution of the kits should be sent to the state nodal officer, the order said. Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had on Monday said all people above 18 years will be given Ivermectin drug irrespective of their coronavirus status to bring down the number of deaths due to the viral disease.

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Sure.

Could Indian Variant Jeopardise UK Unlocking Plan? (DM)

India’s Covid variant is now dominant in four local authorities in England and its rapid spread could jeopardise plans to ease lockdown, experts fear. Analysis by one of the UK’s biggest variant trackers warns the strain is focused in hotspots Bolton and neighbour Blackburn with Darwen, where outbreaks have grown by 93 and 86 per cent in a week, respectively, with more than half of lab-checked cases proven to be the Indian strain. The mutant B.1.617.2 virus is also thought to be behind half of all Covid infections in London, Bedford and South Northamptonshire, although outbreaks in these areas are still small. Boris Johnson said in a statement to Parliament today that the variant was ‘of increasing concern’, warning that a strain that could slip past vaccines would have ‘potential to cause even greater suffering than we endured in January’.

No10’s top scientists fear it may be more transmissible than the currently dominant Kent variant (B.1.1.7) – with one Belgian scientist suggesting it could be 60 per cent faster-spreading – and that it could be behind a gradually rising infection rate in Britain. The UK today confirmed another 2,284 positive tests, up seven per cent on last Wednesday’s figure, along with 11 more deaths. Another 485,260 vaccines were given out yesterday, of which 350,000 were second doses. Early lab trials suggest the current vaccines will still protect against the Indian variants but there are concerns that a faster rate of spread could lead to a bigger outbreak, giving more opportunities for people to get reinfected. AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine appears to be protecting people from the Indian variant of the virus, reports suggest.

And Pfizer said in a report there was ‘no evidence’ its shot would need to be updated to fight off the current variants. Environment Secretary George Eustice has refused to rule out local lockdowns from next month when the national restrictions are expected to end, adding that officials were ‘closely monitoring’ several outbreaks that had cropped up in recent weeks. But the Prime Minister stayed optimistic about ending lockdown, saying he expects to scrap advice for people to work from home in June and adding that he anticipates town and city centres will be ‘full of bustle again’ soon.

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“Welcome to ‘1984.’ This is the Ministry of Truth..”

Merriam-Webster: ‘Anti-Vaxxer’ Now Includes Those Who Oppose Forced Jabs (RT)

Merriam-Webster is again redefining language to fit a narrative, this time framing its definition of “anti-vaxxer” to include not only people who oppose vaccination, but also those who are against inoculation mandates. The definition on Merriam-Webster’s website says “anti-vaxxer” means “a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.” It’s not clear when it was written to include opposition to forced jabs, but many observers noticed for the first time on Wednesday. “Welcome to ‘1984.’ This is the Ministry of Truth,” rapper and podcaster Zuby said on Twitter, referring to George Orwell’s dystopian novel.


Other reactions were similar, with many commenters noting that they now fit the dictionary definition of “anti-vaxxer,” even though they believe in the benefits of vaccinations and choose to receive the shots themselves. Merriam-Webster’s definition appears to dismiss the concept of favoring a product personally but being opposed, on principle, to forcing others to use it. Today, I begin my new life as an anti-vaxxer,” podcast host Matt Walsh said. The conservative Young America’s Foundation added that “when the Left control the language, they control the narrative.”

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ha ha ha

124 Retired Generals And Admirals Question Biden’s Mental Health (Hill)

A group of retired U.S. military admirals and generals signed a letter released Tuesday questioning President Biden’s fitness for office and seemingly challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The letter, signed by 124 former military leaders and posted by Flag Officers 4 America, said the “Constitutional Republic is lost” without “fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people.’” “The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020,” the letter added. Former Attorney General William Barr said in December the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of voter fraud that could have affected the outcome of the 2020 election, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The signatories also questioned the “mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief,” adding that national security issues require quick and “accurate” decisions “involving life and limb.” “Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge,” the letter said. “We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.” While in office, former President Trump periodically questioned Biden’s mental capacity and age during the campaign season, at times referring to him as “sleepy Joe.”

Kevin O’Connor, the president’s doctor, released a report earlier this month maintaining that Biden is a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” Business Insider reported. The signatories additionally compared potential challenges to ideological battles not seen since America’s founding. “We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776,” they said. “The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.” A statement on the Flag Officers 4 America website, says that although its members are no longer engaged in active military service, they are “bound by that oath to do what we can, in our capacity today, to protect our nation from the threats to her freedom.”

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Weeks after Musk says they will be accepted. Some PR.

Is Tesla going to take this policy to China?

Tesla Will Stop Accepting Bitcoin As Payment Due To Fossil Fuel Use (JTN)

Tesla’s Elon Musk announced on Wednesday that the electric vehicle company will no longer accept Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a payment method for automobiles due to the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk posted. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”


However, the business magnate noted that Tesla will not sell off its substantial Bitcoin holdings and plans to resume accepting the cryptocurrency in the future when mining shifts to more sustainable energy. “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”

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Still a curious case.

Man Who Alleges He Created Bitcoin Takes £4bn Claim To London High Court (R.)

An Australian computer scientist who alleges he created bitcoin has launched a London high court lawsuit against 16 software developers in an effort to secure bitcoin worth around £4bn pounds (A$5.7bn) he says he owns. In a case that was promptly labelled “bogus” by one defendant, Craig Wright is demanding that developers allow him to retrieve about 111,000 bitcoins held at two digital addresses that he does not have private keys for. In his second London lawsuit in three weeks, Wright alleges he lost the encrypted keys when his home computer network was hacked in February 2020. Police are investigating.

Wright, who is bringing the case through his Seychelles-based Tulip Trading firm, concedes he is a controversial figure since alleging in 2016 that he wrote the bitcoin white paper – which first outlined the technology behind the digital assets – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. The claim is hotly disputed. The Australian, who is autistic and lives in Britain with his wife and two of his three children, alleges in his latest lawsuit that developers have breached their duties to act in the best interests of the rightful owner of globally-traded assets.

“Our client has always maintained that he created bitcoin to operate within existing laws and that in the event of loss or theft, where legitimate ownership can be proven, the developers have a duty to ensure recovery,” said Paul Ferguson, a partner at law firm Ontier, which is representing Wright. The case is being brought against the developers of four networks – Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (ABC) – at addresses in continental Europe, the US, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, a court filing seen by Reuters showed.

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It’s highly fashionable to try and ban countries from international financial systems.

France Aims To Shut British Firms Out Of EU Financial System (ZH)

As the spat between the UK and France over access to British fishing waters – a contentious issue that nearly scuppered the post-Brexit trade deal – worsens, France has apparently decided to go for the jugular. Last week, French officials threatened to cut off electricity to the UK-dominated island of Jersey while a “protest” staged by French fishermen nearly prompted a confrontation between British and French naval ships. Now, France is threatening to do everything in its power to scupper a EU deal that would broaden access to European markets for British financial firms.

In keeping with threats made by a French diplomat last week, Bloomberg reports that French diplomats are working to stall an agreement that would help restore some of the access British financial firms once enjoyed to European markets, which was lost when Brexit officially came into effect following the end of the transition and the start of 2021. Though it wouldn’t have much practical effect in the near term, reaching a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and the EU about plans to re-integrate their financial systems is seen by the UK as a critical first step to restoring the level of access they once enjoyed. Negotiations in Brussels later this month will bring EU leaders together to further the discuss a potential deal on market access. To be sure, the EU has said that it’s in no rush to restore the reciprocity rules that would restore trading rights for British financial firms.

Here’s more from BBG: “At the end of March, Britain and the EU had agreed on a forum regarding cross-border financial market access. While granting so-called equivalences that would allow U.K. financial firms to do business in Europe remains a separate and unilateral process, the MoU would help speed up the process. Since Brexit took effect at the beginning of 2021, London-based financial firms have been largely unable to operate in the bloc, forcing banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to move billions of dollars in assets and thousands of staff to the continent.”

Read more …

 

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Apr 292021
 
 April 29, 2021  Posted by at 8:06 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  84 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Miss Ethel Philip Reading 1894

 

Science Catches Up – And Burns You All (Denninger)
Legal Worries On EU’s ‘Green Certificates’ For Covid Travel (EUO)
NHS App To Be Used As Coronavirus Passport For International Travel (Sky)
UK Councils Are Recruiting Armies Of New Covid Marshals (DM)
Separating Rumor From Fact On Covid-19’S Origin (Sharyl Attkisson)
US Rejected Russian Offer for Complete Reset In Relations (RT)
EU Seeks SWIFT Shut-Off For Russia “If Ukraine Aggression Continues” (ZH)
The MH17 Trial: The Dangers of Presuming (MPN)
The CIA Has Been Taking Over for Decades (MPN)
The Scarcity of Money Myth (Cullen Roche)
In Praise of Bitcoin (Ben Hunt)
Deutsche Bank Warns Soaring Food Prices Will Lead To Social Unrest (ZH)
Scientists Find Way To Remove Polluting Microplastics With Bacteria (G.)
Revealed: UK Campaign to Force Assange From Ecuadorian Embassy (CN)

 

 

Richard Werner @scientificecon:
BREAKING: There is, after all, now a reason for social distancing: Organic humans may wish to stay away from the vaccinated GMOs because of the risk of “shedding” adverse vaccination effects from the vaccinated (genetically modified people) to the unvaccinated (organic people).

 

 

 

“Short-term prevention of “infection” among the 81% of those with existing T-cell recognition to the nucleocapsid proteins is not only stupid it is likely to kill people over the intermediate and longer term..”

Science Catches Up – And Burns You All (Denninger)

From the Nature study: “Taken together, SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes enabled detection of post-infectious T cell immunity in 100% of individuals convalescing from COVID-19 and revealed pre-existing T cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals.” Now we know what Diamond Princess happened the way it did. It was never possible for more than 20% of the people on that ship to get seriously-symptomatic Covid-19 despite being cooped up in close quarters for weeks with an aerosol-spread disease and cruise passengers generally being wildly-overrepresented for various morbidity factors. It also completely explains why one of two people quarantined in the same cabin got sick and the other did not.

We also know why my friend’s grandfather was killed by it but his equally-morbid grandmother was not touched symptomatically even though she tested positive despite literally sleeping in the same bed with him until he wound up in the hospital and ultimately expired. We also know why there is no place on the planet that has seen >20% of people with significant, symptomatic disease from Covid-19. Not a single place has had that happen, even where sanitation is crap and people spread it like crazy (e.g. Iran where they lick monuments sequentially — literally.) This study explains every single example seen everywhere in the world, including high-concentration examples, of infection with Covid-19 back to the start of the pandemic.

We now know why no more than 20% of any exposed population has ever exhibited materially-serious disease — it simply was not possible as no more than 20% of the population was potentially susceptible to serious disease. Ever. Period. [..] “Short-term prevention of “infection” among the 81% of those with existing T-cell recognition to the nucleocapsid proteins is not only stupid it is likely to kill people over the intermediate and longer term since those who are not vaccinated and get infected with partial resistance build additional and durable immunity via said low-symptom and asymptomatic infections which do not materially harm them and blocking that process is harmful, not helpful. This group includes nearly all young adults and children for which people are trying to force vaccination.”

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Ciarán McCollum: “..the DGC certificates are useless as proof of whether you are infected, or can or cannot spread the virus.”

Legal Worries On EU’s ‘Green Certificates’ For Covid Travel (EUO)

An instrument of unusual significance is quietly on its way to becoming law in Europe: the proposal for a ‘Digital Green Certificate’ (DGC). Up for a vote in the European Parliament’s plenary on Wednesday, it erects a “universal framework” for the control of disease within the Schengen area. The EU Commission has presented it as a return to freedom of movement, essentially suspended by member states since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic. However the DGC, which creates certificates for Europeans showing the bearer has been vaccinated, tested or achieved immunity, is already beginning to lose its sheen. Last week, the WHO asked that any plans for making proof of vaccination a condition of entry be abandoned, after the US ruled out enforcing vaccination cards on its territory.

So is it wise for Europe to continue with its own? Freedom of movement is perhaps the European Union’s most cherished achievement, certainly among northerners seeking a visa-free sun holiday. In my home of Northern Ireland, with our ever-fragile cross-border peace agreement, we have a special appreciation for the importance of keeping borders open. The recent EU threat to impose a ‘vaccine border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic imperilled that peace. The EU can’t afford another blunder on borders, so it’s in its own interest that the DGC does what it says on the tin. However a cursory glance at the contents suggests a case of mislabeling or at least a lack of legal certainty. The commission assures us that the DGC will not restore (or entrench) border controls.

But “universal framework” can only be read as a euphemism for checks within the Schengen zone. It is article 3 of the DGC that creates certificates of vaccination, testing and immunity. Border guards will have to inspect these. As it’s put in Article 3(1), there will be “cross-border verification”, performed by the member state “authorities” mentioned in Article 9(2). In the absence of such checks, the certificates would be useless and the “universal framework” would not exist. With vaccinated Europeans travellers separated from non-vaccinated, infected from non-infected, and immune from non-immune—the DGC, if applied, would be a guarantee of discrimination within the EU.

This is simply not permissable under the Schengen Code. Chapter II of the Schengen Borders Code allows for the temporary reintroduction of internal borders in some circumstances, but that does not include a public health emergency. The whole endeavour is even more absurd if one acknowledges the scientific certainty that being vaccinated does not mean that one cannot be a carrier of the virus, nor infect others. We already know from the European Medicines Agency and WHO, confirmed by a decision this month of the Conseil d’État (France’s Supreme Court), that no proof exists of vaccination halting the spread of Covid-19. Meanwhile, in the last months many courts including the Lisbon Court of Appeal and Administrative Court of Vienna have held that PCR testing is unreliable and cannot be relied on for determining infection; a physician must perform a proper medical diagnosis. Thus the DGC certificates are useless as proof of whether you are infected, or can or cannot spread the virus.

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They even have several different passport apps.

NHS App To Be Used As Coronavirus Passport For International Travel (Sky)

Britons will find out which countries they will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to this summer “in the next couple of weeks” – as the transport secretary confirmed an NHS app will be used as a COVID passport for travel abroad. Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, international travel without one of the current exemptions – which exclude holidays – will not be allowed any earlier than 17 May. Ministers have set out plans for a “traffic light” system to be used this summer to categorise different destinations. And, speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed “in the next couple of weeks” he will be able to give details on which countries have made it on to the “green list”.


These will be destinations where Britons will be able to travel without having to quarantine on their return, although they will still need to undergo a COVID test before their departure, as well as on their return to the UK. Mr Shapps also confirmed an NHS app will be used to allow Britons to demonstrate whether they have had a COVID jab, or tested negative for the virus, before travelling abroad. “It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing,” he added. “I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised.” Government sources clarified the app would not be the NHS COVID app – currently used to “check in” to venues such as pubs and restaurants for contact-tracing purposes – but would instead be the NHS app used to book general appointments.

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70% of the population allegedly has antibodies.

UK Councils Are Recruiting Armies Of New Covid Marshals (DM)

Armies of new Covid marshals are being hired across the country for jobs that could last for another two years despite lockdown restrictions being set to end in eight weeks’ time. Councils in England are in the process of recruiting a new legion of marshals who are expected to take to the streets from July this year despite Government plans to lift remaining coronavirus restrictions on June 21. It comes as data revealed nearly 40 million Britons now live in practically ‘Covid-free’ areas following the UK’s hugely successful vaccine rollout and continued lockdown measures. Hertfordshire County Council is among those advertising for Covid marshals, with the local authority offering a contract worth an estimated £3 million to a provider that can supply 60 marshals from July 1 until January 31 next year.

The contract also comes with a possible one-year extension to 2023. In its description of the marshals’ duties, the contract notice reads: ‘Provide practical support to aid and encourage compliance, such as dedicated staff in public areas, business support, or support for individuals.’ It continues: ‘Introduce measures to aid public and business awareness and understanding of regulations and guidance.’ Hertfordshire County Council defended its decision to recruit marshals, saying it is ‘not indicative of any increases in restrictions from July 2021 onwards’. Jim McManus, director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘In line with the Government’s projections for the roadmap out of lockdown, we are working towards restrictions being eased by 21 June 2021, but we know that the virus is still circulating and will be for some time.

‘We know from last year that numbers of infections can change rapidly, and Government are very clear that we should plan in case a third wave arises. ‘It would be a dereliction of duty not to prepare for a third wave, at the same time as doing all we can to prevent it happening by keeping infections as low as possible so we can enjoy summer with no restrictions.

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“It Was Uncle Tony All Along..”

Separating Rumor From Fact On Covid-19’S Origin (Sharyl Attkisson)

When the former head of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, recently said Covid-19 likely leaked from a Chinese research lab, news headlines called it “shocking.” Dr. Robert Redfield on CNN: “I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory— you know, escaped.” That was followed by a flurry of media reports ridiculing the notion; insisting that Covid-19 probably jumped from bats to people through an unexplained, natural route. But there’s new information that hasn’t been widely reported. A sizable segment of the research community has formed the same opinion as Dr. Redfield: that Covid-19 leaked from experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Jamie Metzl, World Health Organization International Advisory Committee on Human Genome Editing:

“There are scientists all around the world who have told me that they believe the most likely origin of COVID-19, of the pandemic, is an accidental lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” Jamie Metzl is a member of the World Health Organization International Advisory Committee on Human Genome Editing. Sharyl (to Metzl): “What have you been told, and what have you found about scientists who feel like they can’t step forward?” Metzl: “Many of these people are afraid to step forward. They’ve called it career suicide, because there are so many contentious issues, because the stakes are so high. Because the Chinese government, in collaboration, or conjunction, or maybe not even association, but with some very high-level and prominent scientists have put forward this story that I think is wrong.”

Two scientists with knowledge of the matter told me the U.S. government conducted genome sequencing almost immediately in the pandemic. Among other things, they say Covid-19 shows clear hallmarks of man’s intervention. French virologist Luc Montagnier, a Nobel Prize recipient, arrived at the same conclusion a year ago. He says Covid-19’s genetics reveal “manipulation.” “Someone added sequences,” he said. “It’s the work of professionals, of molecular biologists…a very meticulous work.” Genetic analysis alone isn’t 100% conclusive, because results must be compared to viruses from the Wuhan lab. And sources confirm: “We never got the sample from China.” But scientists who spoke with me say genome sequencing, coupled with what’s known about research conducted by a U.S.-Chinese partnership, leaves them with little doubt that Covid-19 is a product of experiments.

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After Biden Inauguration.

US Rejected Russian Offer for Complete Reset In Relations (RT)

The Kremlin proposed a complete reset in the strained relationship between Moscow and Washington after the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, but it was turned down by the White House, Russia’s chief diplomat said on Tuesday. Speaking to journalist Dmitry Kiselyov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that Russia wants to get back on a sound footing in its relationship with the US. “If it only depended on us, we would return to normal relations,” Lavrov explained, noting that the first step would be to cancel the expulsions of Russian diplomats from Washington, and US diplomats from Moscow. “We offered this to President Biden’s Administration as soon as he took all the necessary oaths and assumed power,” he continued. “I mentioned this to Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken.”


According to Lavrov, the crisis began when former President Barack Obama took measures against Russia prior to his leaving office. After the election of Donald Trump, Moscow remained patient and waited for the new administration to reverse the “excesses” of the outgoing president, but it never happened. “I very much hope that Washington, as we do, recognizes their responsibility for stability in the world,” Lavrov continued. “There are not only problems between Russia and the US that complicate the lives of our citizens… but also disagreements that put international security at serious risk, in the broadest sense of the word.” In recent weeks, relations between Moscow and Washington have become even more strained.

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“Russian officials have recently called Ukraine’s lobbying to get Russia banned from SWIFT “a declaration of war”…”

EU Seeks SWIFT Shut-Off For Russia “If Ukraine Aggression Continues” (ZH)

Days after President Putin warned the West of a “harsh” and “asymmetrical” response if it crosses Russia’s ‘red line’ concerning NATO troop positioning and the recently renewed Ukraine standoff, the European Parliament in Brussels has proposed a new resolution to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT payment system. Dated Wednesday, April 28, it’s entitled, “European Parliament resolution on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, the military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic.” The over 50 European Parliament lawmakers cited “aggression and continued destabilization of Ukraine, hostile behavior towards and outright attacks on EU member states and societies.” It further appears a ‘preventative’ and threatening measure in the instance of any future scenario of major Russian troop build-up in Crimea and along Ukraine’s border such as occurred over the last month.

Despite the Kremlin last week ordering a troop draw down after the conclusion of Black Sea military drills, the EU is clearly seeking to drastically beef up the “cost” automatically imposed on Russia for “threats” against Ukrainian sovereignty. Here’s what the key section of the new punitive resolution says on SWIFT: “…Underscores that if such a military build-up were in the future to be transformed into an invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the EU must make clear that the price for such a violation of international law and norms would be severe; insists, therefore, that in such circumstances imports of oil and gas from Russia to the EU be immediately stopped, while Russia should be excluded from the SWIFT payment system, and all assets in the EU of oligarchs close to the Russian authorities and their families in the EU need to be frozen and their visas cancelled;”

It’s certainly not the first time that Western allies have threatened such. The threat to cut off Russia from the global system for financial messaging and cross-border payments which acts as the protector of the dollar reserve system has lingered for the past half-decade, since the initial Crimea crisis and the start of war in eastern Ukraine. Russian officials have recently called Ukraine’s lobbying to get Russia banned from SWIFT “a declaration of war”…

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“..the proceedings and the trial, arguing that from the start Russia’s guilt has been presumed while never proven..”

The MH17 Trial: The Dangers of Presuming (MPN)

Only one of the four men charged – Oleg Pulatov – will be represented in court, although he himself will remain in Russia. At the time of writing, it is not certain that his attorneys will have had an opportunity to visit him. Russian law does not allow the extradition of its citizens for hearings outside of Russia. Russia’s offer to hold the trial in Russia was rejected, predictably. But there are far more significant flaws to the proceedings as currently constituted. One member of the JIT — Malaysia, headquarters of the owner of MH17, the flag carrier Malaysia Airlines — was not admitted to the JIT until 2015, months after it had been constituted, and has rejected the findings of the JIT.

The prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, professed considerable skepticism about the proceedings and the trial, arguing that from the start Russia’s guilt has been presumed while never proven. Western mainstream media coverage of the incident — fed with a narrative prepared within six hours of the crash by the Ukrainian intelligence service (SBU), whose business is the protection of Ukrainian national interests — presumed Russian guilt from day one, best exemplified by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the headline of its most popular British newspaper, The Sun: “Putin’s Missile,” on the morning after the crash.

[..] The presumption of Russian guilt in the shooting down of MH17 on July 17, 2014 is extremely convenient to the government of Ukraine. Which is why it is so very problematic that Ukraine, which suffered no loss of life in MH17, has been one of the five nations represented on the Dutch-led JIT while Russia is not a member, and that most of the evidence collected by the JIT has come from Ukrainian intelligence (SBU), a body that exists solely to serve the interests of Ukraine and that has been implicated by MH17 blogger and analyst Hector Reban in theft, torture and murder. Much of the information most sensitive to the case — notably concerning the “Buk route” (the route it is alleged a Buk unit followed to travel from Russia to Donbass and back), intercepted communications, text and visual postings on social media, and the supply of witnesses — comes from the SBU and much of it, by its very nature, is highly susceptible to malpractice or other forms of contamination. The JIT has warmly thanked the SBU for its collaboration and for many months the JIT worked in close proximity to the SBU in Kiev.

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“This particular report from the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was written in consultation with the CIA, the FBI, the DIA, the DHS, and a partridge in a pear tree…”

The CIA Has Been Taking Over for Decades (MPN)

December 22, 1963 — exactly one month after President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, former President Harry S. Truman published an op-ed in the Washington Post that most people, especially our perfumed ruling elite, wanted to ignore. Truman, who signed the CIA into existence just after World War II, wrote: “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—the CIA. […] For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. …There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”

Not only did that adorn the pages of the Washington Post one month after JFK’s death, Truman hand wrote the first draft just one week after JFK met up with a bunch of bullets in Dallas. Sure, one may wish Harry had sent his thoughts to John a month before the President’s televised execution. Maybe he could’ve sent a singing telegram or something. But let’s at least give Truman partial credit for the belated message. Before his death, President Kennedy also held no love for the Central Intelligence Agency. Following the calamitous Bay of Pigs invasion, Kennedy said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” Point being, clearly Truman, who created the CIA, and Kennedy, who met a mysterious untimely end by professional killers, knew the agency had run amok.

Yet the CIA is still here, bigger and filled with more Bond villains than ever, and now they have a whole cavalcade of other intelligence agencies working with them. The Intelligence Community just recently put out a report that showed that their component agencies are indeed working to surveil, harass, and attack an assortment of U.S. citizens. This particular report from the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was written in consultation with the CIA, the FBI, the DIA, the DHS, and a partridge in a pear tree. (An evil, kinda dastardly partridge. Not a good partridge at all. Like the kind of partridge that would eat the last pickle and then put the jar back in the fridge, so that later when you’re excited to grab a delicious crispy pickle, there’s nothin’ there but a jar full of pickle urine. So yeah, the worst partridge.)

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“..this is basically all the modern economy is. It’s a bunch of people making promises to make things (mostly homes, to be honest) in exchange for some amount of deposits that they conjured up from nothing in the form of a contract.”

The Scarcity of Money Myth (Cullen Roche)

“money” is really just a bunch of contractual agreements. It’s “I’ll give you 25 apples at this time next year and this monetary note will settle that debt”. Loans create deposits. Deposits are money. Anyone who’s read this website for 10 minutes probably knows that. But all those loans, all that money, is just an agreement between two parties. It’s just a contractual agreement created from thin air. The government didn’t need to be involved (though that could certainly help in lots of ways). We didn’t need gold bars or physical coins or anything “natural” here. We just needed two people to make an agreement denominated in some specific terms. In its simplest sense, that’s really all money is – an agreement between two people that other people ultimately exchange in the meantime for all sorts of other stuff of relative value.

The key point here is that that money has value because someone has strong demand for it, presumably because there’s the promise of valuable goods and services attached to it. I want those 25 apples in the future and so do lots of other people so the demand for that money is strong because it’s a claim on real resources (assuming of course the 25 apples actually come into existence). And this is basically all the modern economy is. It’s a bunch of people making promises to make things (mostly homes, to be honest) in exchange for some amount of deposits that they conjured up from nothing in the form of a contract.

The more important key point is that money is elastic. This means that we can create more of these agreements as needed to meet the demands of the economy. A lot of us have been trained to believe that more money is necessarily bad/inflationary. But this need not be true so long as we produce the corresponding real resources to support the demand for that money. In fact, this is a good thing because it provides us with a monetary system that can flexibly react to the needs of its users. And this is what all credit based monetary systems are – flexible systems that can expand and contract financial assets as needed. Within the piping of the existing system banks are the primary issuers of the loans that supply that needed liquidity.

The alternative is some sort of fixed money supply that relies on relative price changes and the kindness of rich people to lend some of that money. While this could work in theory, it doesn’t work in reality because the system just isn’t dynamic enough. And this is the primary reason why we end up with what people refer to as “fractional reserve” style systems. In other words, someone (or something) tries to fix the money supply using gold or reserves or some other fixed supply asset. And credit markets naturally build off of these systems because the fixed supply system isn’t elastic enough. This is good as it allows us to grow more apples and build more houses on demand, as needed to meet our needs.

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Long diatribe from Ben. Bitcoin as an art form.

In Praise of Bitcoin (Ben Hunt)

Because the artistic Bitcoin identity I admire and value has been subverted by the neutering machine of Wall Street and the regulatory panopticon of the US Treasury Dept. Because what made Bitcoin special in the first place is nearly lost, and what remains is a false and constructed narrative that exists in service to Wall Street and Washington rather than in resistance. Yes, the Nudging State and the Nudging Oligarchy strike back. They always do when it comes to money. Not with imperial stormtroopers or legislative sanction, but with golden handcuffs and administrative surveillance. It’s not that the State and the status quo institutionalization of capital – call it Wall Street, for short – have any desire to ban Bitcoin. Why would they do that?

No, far better to accommodate and swallow Bitcoin, like they have every other financial “innovation” for the past 1,000 years. Far better to neuter the censorship-resistant and anonymity-preserving aspects of Bitcoin, and turn it into another gaming table in the Wall Street casino. In my dystopian vision, Bitcoin isn’t banned or criminalized. Pfft. That’s a rookie, weak State move. No, I see a future where everyone buys Bitcoin. Where you are encouraged to buy Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin is sold to you morning, noon and night. Where normie economists get on conference calls late at night because they’re Bitcoin price-curious. Except it’s not really Bitcoin.

Instead, it’s Bitcoin!™ — a cartoon version of the OG Bitcoin, either a Wall Street-abstracted representation of the price of Bitcoin or a government-painted version of Bitcoin in Dayglo orange. Either way — abstracted or painted — your Bitcoin!™ is trackable and traceable, fully KYC and AML and FBAR and SWIFT and every other US Treasury acronym-compliant. Either way, your Bitcoin!™ has all the revolutionary potential of a bumper sticker and all the identity signaling power of a small tattoo on your upper arm. Bitcoin!™ doesn’t stick it to the Man … Bitcoin!™ IS the Man. Welcome to the MMXXI Hunger Games.

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Where all the stimulus ends up.

Deutsche Bank Warns Soaring Food Prices Will Lead To Social Unrest (ZH)

Yesterday we explained why with prices already soaring, global inflation was about to go into overdrive as the leading food price indicator that is the Bloomberg Agri spot index hit the highest level in six years. In a nutshell, this is a problem since food is a large component of CPI baskets in Asia, and “this large inflationary impulse in the region that houses more than half the world’s population should result in higher wage costs in the factory base of the world. As CPI and PPI rise in Asia, it will feed through globally in the months ahead.” Today, DB’s Jim Reid picked that chart as his “Chart of the day”, repeating what readers already know, namely that Bloomberg’s agriculture spot index has risen by c.76% year-on-year, noting that “that’s the biggest annual rise in nearly a decade, and there are only a couple of other comparable episodes since the index begins back in 1991.”

Like us, Reid then patiently tries to explain to all the idiots – like those employed in the Marriner Eccles building – that the importance of this record surge “extends far beyond your weekly shop, as there’s an extensive literature connecting higher food prices to periods of social unrest.” Indeed, you’ll notice from the chart that the last big surge from the middle of 2010 to early 2011 coincided with the start of the Arab Spring, for which food inflation is regarded as a contributing factor. While this is hardly new [..] Reid also reminds us that emerging markets are more vulnerable to this trend, since their consumers spend a far greater share of their income on food than those in the developed world.


The DB strategist then goes all-in and says what everyone is thinking, namely that “this trend of higher food prices leading to social unrest extends far back into history and surrounds many key turning points. The French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the Ancien Régime, came after a succession of poor harvests that led to major rises in food prices. It was a similar story at the time of Europe’s 1848 revolutions too, which followed the failure of potato crops in the 1840s and the associated severe famine in much of Europe. And the 1917 overthrow of the Tsarist regime in Russia took place in the context of food shortages as well.” So while it remains to be seen what the consequences of today’s surge in food prices could be, Reid cautions that “given the hardship that’s already occurred thanks to the pandemic, a fresh wave of unrest would be no surprise on a historical basis.”

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Bit too positive? Stop using the word “sustainable” for these things, it makes me cringe.

Scientists Find Way To Remove Polluting Microplastics With Bacteria (G.)

Microbiologists have devised a sustainable way to remove polluting microplastics from the environment – and they want to use bacteria to do the job. Bacteria naturally tend to group together and stick to surfaces, and this creates an adhesive substance called “biofilm” – we see it every morning when brushing our teeth and getting rid of dental plaque, for example. Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) want to use this sticky bacteria property and create tape-like microbe nets that can capture microplastics in polluted water to form an easily disposable and recyclable blob.

Although these findings, presented on Wednesday at the Microbiology Society’s annual conference, are still preliminary, this invention could pave the way for sustainably lowering plastic pollution levels in the long run by simply using something found in nature. “It is imperative to develop effective solutions that trap, collect, and even recycle these microplastics to stop the ‘plastification’ of our natural environments,” said Sylvia Lang Liu, microbiology researcher at PolyU and lead researcher on this project. Microplastics are the plastic fragments, usually smaller than 5mm, which are accidentally released into the environment during production and breakdown of, for example, grocery bags or water bottles – or during everyday activities such as washing synthetic clothes such as nylon or using personal care products with scrubbing microbeads in them.

Although they are tiny, the risk they post to the environment is huge. Microplastics are not easily biodegradable, so they stick around for long periods of time and they also absorb and accumulate toxic chemicals. They disperse into wastewater and into the oceans, endangering marine animals who end up eating them and eventually trickling into the food chain and harming human health too. Microplastics had been found in more than 114 aquatic species in 2018, according to the International Maritime Organization, and they have been found in salt, lettuce, apples, and more. Yet, there are not any sustainable, one-size-fit-all ways to eliminate microplastics.

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People should go to jail for these things. They never do.

Revealed: UK Campaign to Force Assange From Ecuadorian Embassy (CN)

The UK government paid £8,330 in November 2018 to bring Ecuador’s defence minister Oswaldo Jarrín to Britain, two months before the planned seizure of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, it can be revealed. It is unusual for foreign ministers to have their trips to the UK paid by the British government, and the week-long visit came after Prime Minister Theresa May had been told to “butter up” Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, in order to get Assange expelled from the embassy. The new information comes from UK Foreign Office documents released to Declassified, as well as the recently published diaries of former foreign office minister, Sir Alan Duncan, who was a key player in the Assange negotiations.

The documents note that “the main objective” of the November 2018 visit was Jarrín’s “participation” at an annual national counter-terrorism exercise that rehearses the government’s response to a major terrorist attack. The exercise is organised by the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, a part of the Home Office which “oversees the Security Service [MI5] and police counter-terrorism operations in the UK”. It is unclear why Ecuador’s defence minister was chosen to attend a counter-terrorism exercise as the South American nation is not a target of terrorist groups. The documents note that “one of the main meetings” was with then armed forces minister Mark Lancaster, after which the Ministry of Defence reported the two countries were “strengthening our ties”. Jarrín also visited the Foreign Office’s “crisis centre” and met with the head of UK Export Finance, Louis Taylor.

Two months before Jarrín’s visit, in September 2018, the UK government had spent another £12,806 facilitating a three-day visit by Ecuadorian officials concerned with fighting corruption and money laundering in the country. The evaluation of the trip noted that it helped the UK government to “build strong relationships” and that “the UK was subsequently commended as a partner of choice to President of the Republic [Lenín Moreno]”. A Foreign Office spokesperson told Declassified: “The Foreign Office regularly arranges meetings with ministers and officials from other countries to encourage closer engagement with our international partners and help achieve our foreign policy objectives.” She added: “As part of this work, some of the costs of these visits are occasionally covered by the Department or by Posts. These are carefully considered on a case by case basis, and only when resources are available.”

British security officials also visited Ecuador in the build-up to Assange’s exit from the embassy, government records show. In July 2018, Philip Barton, then director general of security at the Foreign Office, flew to Ecuador for “short notice bilateral meetings” with its foreign ministry. A week after his return he travelled to Cheltenham for “meetings at GCHQ”, the UK’s largest intelligence agency, government travel logs show. Then, two weeks before Assange was expelled from the embassy, on March 27, 2019, Britain’s then deputy national security adviser for intelligence, Richard Moore, spent £4,469 on a business-class flight to Ecuador, the logs show. Moore was appointed chief of MI6, Britain’s external intelligence agency, just over a year later. Barton now runs the Foreign Office.

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“I’ve got the world in my window.”

Michael Collins (died yesterday at 90) snapped this photo of the lunar module returning to the command module after landing on the Moon. With the Earth in the background, all of humanity is in this photograph, save Collins himself.

 

 

 

 

 

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Apr 252021
 
 April 25, 2021  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Sophia Loren seated by the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis during filming for ‘Boy on a Dolphin’, 1957

 

To Friends in the US: Facilitate Global Vaccine Manufacturing (CarnegieIndia)
US Defends Restrictions On Export Of Covid-19 Vaccine Raw Materials (Hindu)
The 2006 Origins of the Lockdown Idea (AIER)
Covid-19 Indoors Infection Risk As Great At 60 Feet As At 6 Feet – MIT (CNBC)
Biden Recognizes Armenian Genocide (Pol.)
Putin Rewrites The Law Of The Geopolitical Jungle (Escobar)
Collective West Is Living In Grim Fantasy Land – Zakharova (RT)
Russian Embassy Trolls Baltic States Over Expulsion Of Diplomats (RT)
Ukraine Says Russian Troop Draw Down Is “Not Enough” (ZH)
Is America Led Today By Anti-Americans? (Buchanan)
Fmr Police Officer Blasts Dems For “Riding The Wave Of Dead Black People” (ZH)
Nassim Taleb Says Bitcoin Is An Open Ponzi Scheme And A Failed Currency (BI)

 

 

Biden’s proposal for top marginal income rate is 39.6%. Here’s what it was in the past:
Now: 37%
2017: 39.6%
1993-2000: 39.6%
1982-1986: 50%
1981: 69.3%
1971-1980: 70%
1954-1963: 91%

 

 

This is doing so much damage to the US. It will reverberate long and deep, and not just in India.

To Friends in the US: Facilitate Global Vaccine Manufacturing (CarnegieIndia)

The current public health crisis in India is devastating. On April 22, 2021, India recorded over 330,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,000 fatalities. It is unlikely that the second wave of the pandemic will level out anytime soon. The desperate need for oxygen, medical supplies, and hospital beds has overwhelmed public and private health facilities. Clearly, the state machinery will need to be mobilized in this war against the fast-spreading disease that appears to mutate in different ways and forms at a shattering speed. To arrest this crisis, there is an equally urgent need to accelerate India’s vaccine drive. India, as is well known, is one of the world’s largest producers of COVID-19 vaccines. “Made-in-India” vaccines have been delivered—by way of aid and under commercial contract—to ninety-five countries across the globe.

From Argentina to Bangladesh and El Salvador to Sierra Leone, India has distributed 66.2 million vaccines to date. However, India is currently facing an acute vaccine shortage at home. On April 19, the Indian government announced that Indians above the age of eighteen will be eligible to get their shots. Making sure that the tens of millions of Indians are able to access vaccines is the only way in which a country as geographically challenging as India will be able to turn the tables on this fast-moving disease. Yet, without the support of Joe Biden’s administration in Washington, this ambition—of delivering vaccines across India—is at risk of remaining just that, an ambition. In April 2020, then U.S. president Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), a law that grants the U.S. president significant emergency authority to direct domestic industries.

As Trump made clear, the order was meant to “save lives by removing obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators.” In February 2021, Biden announced a set of plans to hasten inoculations. In March 2021, Biden vowed that vaccines will be available for “every adult in America by the end of May.” On the first two working days of the Biden administration, on January 20 and 21, 2021, the president signed Executive Orders 13987 and 14001. The aim of these measures was to ensure “a sustainable public health supply chain.” In effect, this meant that manufacturers in the United States, and those registered in the United States but based in Europe and other parts of the world, needed to prioritize supplies for the domestic market within the United States.

Given the globally connected nature of supply chains, Biden’s vow has had other anticipated effects. It means that products like bags and filters, cell culture medias, single-use tubing assemblies, and other raw materials crucial for the production of vaccines in other parts of the world, and especially in India, may face imminent supply constraints. In practice, this has meant that the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world—the Serum Institute of India—is today hamstrung in its efforts to produce vaccines for both the Indian and global markets. It is crucial to keep in mind that without these ingredients, it is increasingly unlikely that the Serum Institute will be able to prioritize vaccine production under contract—through global vaccine alliances such as Gavi—for countries across the world.


IMHE – Estimated peak 14.1 million infections per day.

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And then the Biden admin is tonedeaf and colorblind enough to try and justify it.

US Defends Restrictions On Export Of Covid-19 Vaccine Raw Materials (Hindu)

Defending U.S.’ restrictions on the export of key raw materials for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine that threatens to slow India’s vaccination drive, a senior State Department official has said the Biden administration’s first obligation is to take care of the requirements of the American people. When asked when the Biden administration would decide on India’s request to lift a ban on the export of vaccine raw materials, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said: “…the United States first and foremost is engaged in an ambitious and effective and, so far, successful effort to vaccinate the American people.” “That campaign is well underway, and we’re doing that for a couple of reasons. Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people.

Number two, the American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world – more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone,” he said on Thursday. It is not only in the U.S. interest to see Americans vaccinated; but it is in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated, he said. “The point the Secretary (of State Antony Blinken) has made repeatedly is that as long as the virus is spreading anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. So as long as the virus is spreading uncontrolled in this country, it can mutate and it can travel beyond our borders. That, in turn, poses a threat well beyond the United States,” Mr. Price said in responses to questions.

As for the rest of the world, “We will, of course, always do as much as we can, consistent with our first obligation,” he said. India is currently facing a horrible surge in coronavirus infections. The country on Friday added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark. The Biden administration recently conveyed to New Delhi that it understands India’s pharmaceutical requirements and promised to give the matter due consideration. It observed that the current difficulty in the export of critical raw materials needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is mainly due to an Act that forces American companies to prioritise domestic consumption.

President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump had invoked the war-time Defence Production Act (DPA) that leaves U.S. companies with no option but to give priority to the production of COVID-19 vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for domestic production to combat the deadly pandemic in America, the worst-hit nation. The U.S. has ramped up the production of COVID-19 vaccines mostly by Pfizer and Moderna to meet the goal of vaccinating its entire population by July 4. The suppliers of its raw materials, which is in high demand globally and sought after by major Indian manufacturers, are being forced to provide it only for domestic manufacturers in the U.S. The Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest producer of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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From May 2020. We have a 14 year old girl’s high school “science” project to thank for the lockdowns.

The 2006 Origins of the Lockdown Idea (AIER)

How that idea — born out of a request by President George W. Bush to ensure the nation was better prepared for the next contagious disease outbreak — became the heart of the national playbook for responding to a pandemic is one of the untold stories of the coronavirus crisis. It required the key proponents — Dr. Mecher, a Department of Veterans Affairs physician, and Dr. Hatchett, an oncologist turned White House adviser — to overcome intense initial opposition. It brought their work together with that of a Defense Department team assigned to a similar task. And it had some unexpected detours, including a deep dive into the history of the 1918 Spanish flu and an important discovery kicked off by a high school research project pursued by the daughter of a scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories.

The concept of social distancing is now intimately familiar to almost everyone. But as it first made its way through the federal bureaucracy in 2006 and 2007, it was viewed as impractical, unnecessary and politically infeasible. Notice that in the course of this planning, neither legal nor economic experts were brought in to consult and advise. Instead it fell to Mecher (formerly of Chicago and an intensive care doctor with no previous expertise in pandemics) and the oncologist Hatchett. But what is this mention of the high-school daughter of 14? Her name is Laura M. Glass, and she recently declined to be interviewed when the Albuquerque Journal did a deep dive of this history. Laura, with some guidance from her dad, devised a computer simulation that showed how people – family members, co-workers, students in schools, people in social situations – interact.

What she discovered was that school kids come in contact with about 140 people a day, more than any other group. Based on that finding, her program showed that in a hypothetical town of 10,000 people, 5,000 would be infected during a pandemic if no measures were taken, but only 500 would be infected if the schools were closed. Laura’s name appears on the foundational paper arguing for lockdowns and forced human separation. That paper is Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza (2006). It set out a model for forced separation and applied it with good results backwards in time to 1957. They conclude with a chilling call for what amounts to a totalitarian lockdown, all stated very matter-of-factly.

[..] In other words, it was a high-school science experiment that eventually became law of the land, and through a circuitous route propelled not by science but politics. The primary author of this paper was Robert J. Glass, a complex-systems analyst with Sandia National Laboratories. He had no medical training, much less an expertise in immunology or epidemiology. That explains why Dr. D.A. Henderson, “who had been the leader of the international effort to eradicate smallpox,” completely rejected the whole scheme. Dr. Henderson was convinced that it made no sense to force schools to close or public gatherings to stop. Teenagers would escape their homes to hang out at the mall. School lunch programs would close, and impoverished children would not have enough to eat. Hospital staffs would have a hard time going to work if their children were at home.

The measures embraced by Drs. Mecher and Hatchett would “result in significant disruption of the social functioning of communities and result in possibly serious economic problems,” Dr. Henderson wrote in his own academic paper responding to their ideas. The answer, he insisted, was to tough it out: Let the pandemic spread, treat people who get sick and work quickly to develop a vaccine to prevent it from coming back.

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Wonder what the response to this will be from the “science” religion.

Covid-19 Indoors Infection Risk As Great At 60 Feet As At 6 Feet – MIT (CNBC)

The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 indoors is as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet — even when wearing a mask, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who challenge social distancing guidelines adopted across the world. MIT professors Martin Z. Bazant, who teaches chemical engineering and applied mathematics, and John W.M. Bush, who teaches applied mathematics, developed a method of calculating exposure risk to Covid-19 in an indoor setting that factors in a variety of issues that could affect transmission, including the amount of time spent inside, air filtration and circulation, immunization, variant strains, mask use, and even respiratory activity such as breathing, eating, speaking or singing.

Bazant and Bush question long-held Covid-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization in a peer-reviewed study published earlier this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. “We argue there really isn’t much of a benefit to the 6-foot rule, especially when people are wearing masks,” Bazant said in an interview. “It really has no physical basis because the air a person is breathing while wearing a mask tends to rise and comes down elsewhere in the room so you’re more exposed to the average background than you are to a person at a distance.” The important variable the CDC and the WHO have overlooked is the amount of time spent indoors, Bazant said.

The longer someone is inside with an infected person, the greater the chance of transmission, he said. Opening windows or installing new fans to keep the air moving could also be just as effective or more effective than spending large amounts of money on a new filtration system, he said. Bazant also says that guidelines enforcing indoor occupancy caps are flawed. He said 20 people gathered inside for 1 minute is probably fine, but not over the course of several hours, he said.

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Biden was in the Senate since 1972. Please point out where and when he spoke out about the Armenian genocide during that whole time.

Biden Recognizes Armenian Genocide (Pol.)

President Joe Biden on Saturday recognized the Armenian genocide, fulfilling a campaign promise and taking a step that his recent predecessors have avoided while in office. Biden’s designation, which coincided with Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, signals the president’s desire to prioritize human rights despite potential fallout in the U.S. relationship with Turkey. It comes 106 years after the beginning of the mass deportation of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, which led to the deaths of up to 1.5 million people. “The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide,” Biden said in a statement Saturday.

“Over the decades Armenian immigrants have enriched the United States in countless ways, but they have never forgotten the tragic history that brought so many of their ancestors to our shores. We honor their story. We see that pain. We affirm the history. We do this not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated.” Over decades, lawmakers in Congress have been willing to recognize the genocide but sitting presidents historically have not. In a statement to mark the day of remembrance last year, Biden said he was “proud” of his role in the Senate to recognize the Armenian genocide and his endorsement of 2019 resolutions in both chambers of Congress that did the same.

The United States is now part of a group of 30 countries that have recognized the Armenian genocide, according to the Armenian National Institute. Although Turkey acknowledges the “tragic experience” of Armenians, it maintains the number of those who died between 1915 and 1923 is inflated and denies the characterization of the events as genocide. Turkey’s foreign ministry quickly denounced Biden’s statement Saturday, saying it doesn’t have “a scholarly or legal basis.” “The US President’s statement will not yield any results other than polarizing the nations and hindering peace and stability in our region,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

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“Putin remarked how to “attack Russia” has become “a sport, a new sport, who makes the loudest statements.”

Putin Rewrites The Law Of The Geopolitical Jungle (Escobar)

First, the essentials. Russia’s policy “is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens and for the stable development of our country.” Yet if “someone does not want to…engage in dialogue, but chooses an egoistic and arrogant tone, Russia will always find a way to stand up for its position.” He singled out “the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions” to connect it to “something much more dangerous”, and actually rendered invisible in the Western narrative: “the recent attempt to organize a coup d’etat in Belarus and the assassination of that country’s president.” Putin made sure to stress, “all boundaries have been crossed”. The plot to kill Lukashenko was unveiled by Russian and Belarusian intel – which detained several actors backed, who else, US intel. The US State Department predictably denied any involvement.

Putin: “It is worth pointing to the confessions of the detained participants in the conspiracy that a blockade of Minsk was being prepared, including its city infrastructure and communications, the complete shutdown of the entire power grid of the Belarusian capital. This, incidentally means preparations for a massive cyber-attack.” And that leads to a very uncomfortable truth: “Apparently, it’s not for no reason that our Western colleagues have stubbornly rejected numerous proposals by the Russian side to establish an international dialogue in the field of information and cyber-security.” Putin remarked how to “attack Russia” has become “a sport, a new sport, who makes the loudest statements.” And then he went full Kipling:

“Russia is attacked here and there for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis [jackals] are running around like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan [the tiger] – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along and ready to serve their sovereign. Kipling was a great writer”. The – layered – metaphor is even more startling as it echoes the late 19th century geopolitical Great Game between the British and Russian empires, of which Kipling was a protagonist. Once again Putin had to stress that “we really don’t want to burn any bridges. But if someone perceives our good intentions as indifference or weakness and intends to burn those bridges completely or even blow them up, he should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetric, swift and harsh”.

So here’s the new law of the geopolitical jungle – backed by Mr. Iskander, Mr. Kalibr, Mr. Avangard, Mr. Peresvet, Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Sarmat, Mr. Zircon and other well-respected gentlemen, hypersonic and otherwise, later complimented on the record. Those who poke the Bear to the point of threatening “the fundamental interests of our security will regret what has been done, as they have regretted nothing for a very long time.”

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“And it turns out that leaders who call themselves leaders of the world aren’t really leaders. They are just chest-puffers.”

Collective West Is Living In Grim Fantasy Land – Zakharova (RT)

Western countries are living in a grim “fantasy land” they’ve created through years of anti-Russian propaganda, the outspoken Maria Zakharova told RT DE, with any initiative by Moscow – even on Covid-19 – becoming politicised. Such behavior on the West’s part is hardly surprising, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman explained to Thomas Fasbender in an exclusive interview, given the efforts that Western counties have put into painting Moscow as an “aggressor” over the years. The consistently cold relations between the West and Russia have been heightened by a series of major scandals recently, she outlined, despite these being based on imaginary grounds.

For instance, military drills in Russia’s southeast have prompted hysteria in multiple NATO countries and a fresh wave of doomsday predictions regarding an impending war between Russia and Ukraine – which, again, did not happen. “It seems to me that our Western partners have let their imaginations run wild. They seem to be seeing things when there’s nothing there, and not seeing the obvious. It’s an amazing thing, really, to be able to live in fantasy land,” she said. If you spend years communicating an idea to your own people and to the world at large, using mass media, issuing reports and making alarmist publications that depict Russia as a warmonger nation that’s about to strike – then, sure, even run-of-the-mill military drills would get people scared out of their senses.

The years-long Western campaign to paint Russia as an “aggressor” state has also affected the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, Zakharova believes. Instead of cooperating with Russia and buying its Covid-19 Sputnik V vaccine, the first in the world to be registered, too much effort has been put into trying to deny its very existence and otherwise tarnish its reputation. “There was a major campaign against our vaccine, against what we had to offer the world. We handled it. Unfortunately, many countries, including EU states, wasted time,” Zakharova said. “Many states received this vaccine, some on a trial basis. Many of them began to buy it right away. Unfortunately, the EU is punishing itself again, just as Prague did with our diplomats.”

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has “highlighted massive problems in the EU and the West as a whole,” as they had all the resources to lead the global fight against the disease, but failed to do so. “And it turns out that leaders who call themselves leaders of the world aren’t really leaders. They are just chest-puffers.” A similar lack of ability to act as an independent entity has been demonstrated during another ongoing scandal – the spy affair launched by Prague. The Czech Republic has accused Russian military intelligence of blowing up its ammunition depot back in 2014. While no solid proof of Russia’s alleged involvement has been presented, Prague launched a diplomatic broadside, opting to expel Russian diplomats.

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“There’s no definition of “smalldipenergy” in the dictionary, but it is most likely derived from “small diplomatic energy.”

Russian Embassy Trolls Baltic States Over Expulsion Of Diplomats (RT)

Russia’s embassy in Belarus has asked Twitter users to choose between two hashtags to describe the three Baltic nations expelling up to two Russian diplomats in “solidarity” with the Czechs. Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania issued a joined statement on Friday, announcing that they will ask several Russian embassy staff to leave their countries in a display of solidarity with the Czech Republic. Riga and Tallinn said they’ll expel one diplomat each, while Vilnius declared two Russians personae non gratae. The move was met with a mocking response by the Russian embassy in Belarus – the country that borders Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. “#smalldipenergy or #smalldickenergy — the choice is yours,” the embassy wrote in a tweet, attaching an earlier Twitter post by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.

In a post announcing the joint move by the Baltic nations, Landsbergis claimed that the Russian embassy staff were being expelled for “activities incompatible with their diplomatic status.” The phrase “smalldickenergy” is explained in the Urban Dictionary as “cockiness without skill. It is the sexual equivalent of writing a check of $10k to show off knowing you don’t have it in the bank account.” There’s no definition of “smalldipenergy” in the dictionary, but it is most likely derived from “small diplomatic energy.” The move, with which the Russian embassy in Belarus was left unimpressed, is a follow-up to a diplomatic row between Moscow and Prague. A week ago, the Czech Republic announced the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats over claims that Kremlin intelligence officers were involved in a local munitions depot blast back in 2014.

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You lost. Shut up.

Ukraine Says Russian Troop Draw Down Is “Not Enough” (ZH)

Not satisfied with Russia’s confirmed troop draw down from its southern region which has stoked tensions over the past few weeks, leaders in Kiev on Friday demanded that more must be done to de-escalate tensions and conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba “welcomed” the Kremlin’s ordering troops that had been engaged in major Crimean and Black Sea military exercises back to the regular bases, but said the violence in the east has continued. Kiev blames Russia for encouraging and supporting an uptick in hostilities with the pro-Russian separatists, which have sought to carve out independent enclaves going back to 2014 and 2015. “If Russia really pulls back from the border with Ukraine the enormous military force it has deployed there, this will already ease tensions.


“But we need to remember that this step would not put an end neither to the current escalation, nor to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in general,” Kuleba said. The top Ukrainian diplomat also says Moscow still owes “an explanation” for its largest troop build-up on the border since 2014. “Russia still owes an explanation to Ukraine… and international community of why it really needed to bring such numerous forces equipped with some offensive weapons at the border with Ukraine in such excessive number of troops,” he said. In a Thursday statement posted to Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to confirm that the Russian draw down was indeed in progress. “The reduction of troops on our border proportionally reduces tension. Ukraine is always vigilant, yet welcomes any steps to decrease the military presence & deescalate the situation in Donbas,” he wrote.

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“Implication: Floyd died to redeem America of her original sin of racism.”

Is America Led Today By Anti-Americans? (Buchanan)

How can America unite again to do great things if we are led by people who believe America suffers from a great sickness of the soul, an original sin that dates back to her birth as a nation? Consider. After his long night of prayer for “the right verdict” to be pronounced — Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts — Joe Biden stepped before the White House cameras to tell us what it all meant. George Floyd’s death, said Biden, “was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism… that is a stain on our nation’s soul — the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans.” Astonishing. Biden is saying that when Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes as the life drained out of him, the world, for once, was getting a good, close look at the diseased soul of America.

What Chauvin was doing to Floyd, said the president of the United States, is a reflection of the kind of justice America delivers to Black Americans. This is no aberration, Biden was saying. This is the routine reality. Biden was introduced by Kamala Harris, who said much the same: “America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans and Black men in particular have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human.” At Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield delivered what The Wall Street Journal called, “a recitation of America’s sins (that) could have come from China’s Global Times.” Said Thomas-Greenfield: “I have… seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles. … Racism is the problem of the racist. And it is the problem of the society that produces the racist.”

What our diplomat to the world is saying is that our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are interwoven with white supremacy and that America, to this day, continues to breed racists. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at a Congressional Black Caucus event after the verdict, turned her eyes heavenward in gratitude: “Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice….For being there to call out to your mom — how heartbreaking was that … And because of you … your name will always be synonymous with justice.” Implication: Floyd died to redeem America of her original sin of racism.

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“Yes, President Biden is an idiot in my personal opinion, and he’s just talkin’ because he’s a politician.”

Fmr Police Officer Blasts Dems For “Riding The Wave Of Dead Black People” (ZH)

Former Arizona police officer-turned conservative political commentator Brandon Tatum unloaded on President Biden and the press for politicizing the Derek Chauvin trial, and insists that so-called ‘systemic racism’ is simply manufactured by politicians and the media to earn votes and make money. “I think we’re living in the twilight zone,” Tatum said of the Chauvin trial. “This conviction, in my personal opinion, did nothing for our country. People are living a lie. I mean this is one police officer, one person in the community, they found him guilty, this was the swiftest justice I’ve ever seen in my life. The day after the film came out he was arrested. He was tried. 10 hours of deliberation, he was convicted. I’m not really sure why people are acting like this is monumental.

“Also, he did not get a fair trial in my personal opinion. There was a lot of obstruction that happened. They paid the family out $27 million before the jury could be selected. I mean, they’re going to have a case in appeal. I don’t know why people are celebrating and I don’t know why this is such a big focal point other than – people are making money off of the pain of people in our country.” The BBC host then asked Tatum if he was upset over this “landmark” case? “This is not a landmark case, this is a political agenda,” Tatum shot back. They’re pushing laws in our country. Policing in America is not inherently racist. We don’t live in a racist country. This was an interaction between a police officer that I thought did the wrong thing, and a black man who was on drugs high, resisting arrest, and ended up being killed by that police officer. That’s as simple as it can be.

The President of the United States got out and made a fool of himself trying to promote racism in a simple police encounter that the officer got convicted on. “So you reject President Biden’s comment about systemic racism and it being a stain on the whole nation?” the host replied. “Yes, President Biden is an idiot in my personal opinion, and he’s just talkin’ because he’s a politician. Systemic racism – I mean if you look at Joe Biden himself, he spoke at a Klu Klux Klan-member’s funeral and did the eulogy of Robert Byrd … We don’t have a problem with racism in our country, we have a problem with people not following the law. We also have a problem with politicians making up things so they can get re-elected. And that’s exactly what has been happening. That’s why you never see anything change. They’re lying to us.

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Making friends.

Nassim Taleb Says Bitcoin Is An Open Ponzi Scheme And A Failed Currency (BI)

The “Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb doubled down on his view that bitcoin is an open Ponzi scheme and a failed currency in a CNBC interview on Friday. “There’s no connection between inflation and bitcoin,” Taleb told CNBC, adding that everyone knows bitcoin is “a Ponzi.” Some analysts view the cryptocurrency, often referred to as digital gold, as a hedge against inflation, highlighting its similarities with the precious metal. “If you want to hedge against inflation, buy a piece of land,” Taleb said. “The best strategy for investors is to own things that produce yields in the future. In other words, you can fall back on real dollars coming out of the company.” He also said bitcoin had failed in its supposed role as a replacement for government-backed money, mainly because of its volatility.


The author said he’d been “fooled” into thinking it could be a viable alternative to fiat currency but realized that a currency not backed by a government is “just speculation” and a “game.” “I was told it was going to be a currency,” he said, but “you don’t replace the currency with something that’s so volatile that you can’t really commit to a transaction in it.” Bitcoin’s price has swung wildly recently. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization inched near $65,000 ahead of Coinbase’s listing on April 14. Less than 10 days later, bitcoin slid below the critical $50,000 level, extending losses for the seventh day in a row. The decline below $50,000 has bitcoin testing a new technical support level that could signal continued weakness, especially after its 50-day moving average failed to hold as support. The broader crypto market has come under pressure after reports said this week that US President Joe Biden would look to double the capital-gains tax rate for wealthy investors.

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Apr 192021
 


Theodoros Vryzakis The Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi 1861

 

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

 

 

BioNTech SEC Filing, November 2020:

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

 

 

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

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

 

 

VAERS injury report #1074247 caused by Pfizer vaxx:

Symptoms: Death
Life threatening: No

 

 

 

 

Madness in all its glory.

How Pfizer Became the Status Vax (Slate)

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

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

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

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

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Utter madness.

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

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

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Also brought to you by Pfizer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Escobar: So Who Wants A Hot War?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Maxine Waters

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

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

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

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

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

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Xi concedes defeat?

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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“There is no global shortage of food.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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