Jul 172021
 
 July 17, 2021  Posted by at 9:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Edward Hopper Summer interior 1909

 

Something Really Odd Is Going On (CR)
As Covid Cases Rise, Gibraltar Tightens Rules On Isolation (GBC)
Pfizer Covid Vaccine Significantly Less Effective Against Delta Variant (JP)
Biden’s Vaccine “Strike Force” Plan Stinks Of Desperation (Smith)
Biden Says Social Media Misinformation On Covid ‘Killing People’ (Y!)
White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook (Turley)
Sorry, But No. And I Do Mean *NO* (Denninger)
Enemies of the People (Kunstler)
‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup, It Wouldn’t Be With Him’ (RT)
Hunter Biden Prosecutor Paused Investigation Before Election (NYP)
Quantitative Easing: How The World Got Hooked On Magicked-up Money (Pettifor)
Xi Jealous Of Biden Admin’s Ability To Censor Speech On Social Media (BBee)

 

 

Think this is from France. Could be anywhere though. It’s the simplicity that counts.

 

 

 

Twitter thread.

We’re going to see lockdowns implemented just to hide the fact that it’s the vaccinated who get infected most. If you lock down before that becomes public knowledge, you can still blame the virus itself.

Something Really Odd Is Going On (CR)

Something really odd is going on: In Europe we are seeing surges at many places where most of the population has already been vaccinated. At the same time, the 15 least vaccinated countries don‘t seem to face any problem. At some point, denying this problem will get painful.

Also take a look at what went on in the 15 most vaccinated countries worldwide:

Read more …

Time to count hospitalizations only. “Cases” has become meaningless.

As Covid Cases Rise, Gibraltar Tightens Rules On Isolation (GBC)

The rules which require close contacts of a positive case to self-isolate have been tightened in view of the increase in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar. 32 new cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases up to 164. Of the new cases, 29 are vaccinated, and only three are unvaccinated. There is one case in the Covid ward, but none in Critical Care or ERS. There are now 574 in self-isolation. Up until now, a vaccinated close contact of a positive case didn’t need to self-isolate. That person could leave home as long as a mask was worn in all settings, and could even continue to go to work depending on the circumstances of the workplace.


Those rules have now changed. The Delta variant of the virus is more contagious and therefore spreads more quickly – this means that if someone in a household contracts the disease, the likelihood is that other members of that same household will follow. Household contacts of a positive case are now required to self-isolate whether they have been vaccinated or not. The Contact Tracing Bureau will at first circulate a text message to all known contacts. This will be followed by a telephone call to each of them where the details surrounding the nature of the contact will be discussed, looked at more closely and new instructions issued accordingly.

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“..the “Happy Badge” that only gives access to weddings and similar events with more than 100 guests to those who are vaccinated, recovered or holders of a recent negative coronavirus test.”

But you just said half of the current virus carriers are vaccinated! And they can still go to weddings?

Pfizer Covid Vaccine Significantly Less Effective Against Delta Variant (JP)

The effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against the Delta variant is “weaker” than health officials hoped, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday, as 855 people tested positive for coronavirus and more countries were added to the list of places having high infection rates. “We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less,” Bennett said. The prime minister held a meeting of top health officials and ministers to discuss the next steps for managing the virus in light of the numbers in Israel and what Bennett described as “the Delta mutation leaping forward around the world, including in vaccinated countries such as Britain, Israel and the US.”

He said that in “Britain, in recent days, we have seen a jump in the number of children who are being hospitalized on a daily basis. This is a development that we are aware of; we are dealing with it rationally and responsibly.” The highest number of coronavirus cases since March was diagnosed on Thursday, with 1.52% of tests returning positive, the Health Ministry said in a Friday announcement. While the spike in daily cases continues, the increase in serious morbidity has remained limited. Of those infected, 52 were in serious condition, two less than the day before. A week earlier, there were 41. In April, with about 5,900 active cases, similar to the current number, more than 340 patients were in serious condition.

The likely explanation is that among the current virus carriers, some 2,000 are schoolchildren, and half of them were fully vaccinated. Both groups are very unlikely to develop severe forms of the disease, even though it occasionally happens. At the moment, around 60% of the patients in serious conditions were vaccinated. “Percent of cases that turn critically ill is now 1.6%, compared to 4% at a similar stage in the 3rd wave when there were no vaccines,” Prof. Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science who advises the coronavirus cabinet, tweeted on Friday. He said that “In case of continued increase in cases, many more cases will be needed than in the 3rd wave to reach similarly high numbers of critically ill patients in the hospitals. This will contribute significantly to population-level immunity.”

[..] .. the ministers agreed to prepare for enforcing the “Happy Badge” that only gives access to weddings and similar events with more than 100 guests to those who are vaccinated, recovered or holders of a recent negative coronavirus test. The system is only relevant for indoor gatherings where food and drinks are served and people both sit and stand. There will be no cap on participants, and people will be required to wear masks.

Read more …

In almost very country, estimates of people vaccinated are grossly exaggerated.

Biden’s Vaccine “Strike Force” Plan Stinks Of Desperation (Smith)

In the meantime, Biden has shipped over 500 million covid vaccine doses overseas in June while at the same time claiming that the US was on track to meet his 70% vaccination goal by July 4th. Needless to say this never happened. The Biden admin now claims that the US population is now 67% vaccinated, and if this was actually true then it would be very close to meeting Anthony Fauci’s original guidelines for herd immunity. So why all the frantic hype about unvaccinated people? Firstly, Fauci has continually moved the goal posts for herd immunity to the point that he is now telling the public to ignore herd immunity altogether and that the only option is to get EVERYONE vaccinated. Many of us in the liberty media said this is exactly what he would do, and he has proven to be incredibly predictable.

Secondly, the CDC vaccination numbers seem to be inflated in order to create a manufactured consensus. While claiming an overall vaccination rate of 67%, CDC stats indicate a maximum of around 184 million Americans with at least one dose, then indicate 160 million people with a double dose. Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic data map, only four states have a vaccination rate of 67% or more, all in the Northeast. Even California and New York are well under 67%, and the vast majority of states are sitting at around 50% or less. Frankly, I don’t believe the CDC vaccine numbers at all. New dosage numbers are plunging across the US according to state officials; anyone who hasn’t been jabbed by now is not going to get jabbed unless they are forced to. There are no long lines for vaccines. No wait times.

The CDC has even removed the wait time between doses. And still, CVS and Walgreens have been throwing away expired doses by the hundreds of thousands. If we look at the CDC stats for full vaccination we are closer to 51% of the total US population, which matches more accurately with the Mayo Clinic state statistics. There is no indication that this percentage will be growing beyond the 51% mark anytime soon, if the stats are accurate at all. This means that at least half the US population is in defiance of the program. This is probably why Fauci and Biden have become more aggressive in their vaccination agenda the past month. If they were getting the nearly 70% vax rates they claim, then they would not be stomping their feet indignantly over unvaccinated people.

The stats show a HUGE number of Americans are refusing to take the jab – There’s a vast army of us out there, and this is a good thing. Why? Because there is simply no reason to take the experimental mRNA vaccine.

Read more …

Don’t be fooled by Facebook protesting this. This is a multi-headed monster.

Biden Says Social Media Misinformation On Covid ‘Killing People’ (Y!)

President Joe Biden said Friday that social media misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccinations is “killing people” and the White House said Facebook needs to clean up its act. “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” Biden told reporters at the White House, as he left for a weekend at the presidential retreat in Camp David. The White House is turning up the pressure on social media companies to weed out what officials say is widely spread misinformation on coronavirus vaccinations. According to US health officials, a current spike in Covid-19 deaths and illnesses around the country is almost exclusively hitting people who remain unvaccinated.

“There is a clear message that is coming through: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Friday. Many of those refusing vaccinations, despite the ease of availability throughout the United States, have said they do not trust the shots. Skepticism is being fueled both by false posts spread by anti-vaccine activists online and by Republican politicians claiming the vaccinations are part of attempts at government control. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Facebook and others are not doing enough to push back. “Everybody has a role to play in making sure there’s accurate information,” she said.

Psaki said the White House was taking a more active approach in calling out what it sees as misinformation but insisted that Facebook in particular should react more quickly in taking down problematic posts. “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms,” Psaki said, without identifying those dozen posters. The White House has “proposed that they create a robust enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules,” she said.

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Must make AG Garland nervous too.

White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook (Turley)

We have previously discussed the extensive censorship programs maintained by Big Tech, including companies like Twitter and Facebook taking sides in major controversies from gender identification to election fraud to Covid-19. The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion. That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is working with Facebook to flag “problematic” posts that “spread disinformation” on COVID-19. She explained that the Administration has created “aggressive” policing systems to spot “misinformation” to be “flagged” for the social media companies. Obviously, anyone can object to postings. There is a greater danger when the government has a systemic process for aggressively flagging material to be censored. The real problem however is with the censorship system itself. We have seen how there needs to be little coordination between political figures and the media to maintain controlled narratives in public debates and discussions. The concern is obvious that this allows for a direct role of the government in a massive censorship program run by private companies.

There have been repeated examples of the censoring of stories that were embarrassing or problematic for the Biden Administration. Even when Twitter expressed regret for the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election, there was an immediate push back for greater censorship from Democrats. The concern is that these companies are taking to heart calls from Democratic members for increased censorship on the platform. CEO Jack Dorsey previously apologized for censoring the Hunter Biden story before the election. However, rather than addressing the dangers of such censoring of news accounts, Senator Chris Coons pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.”

Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal seemed to take the opposite meaning from Twitter, admitting that it was wrong to censor the Biden story. Blumenthal said that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded an answer to this question: “Will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?” “Robust content modification” seems the new Orwellian rallying cry in our society.

The same problems have arisen on Covid stories. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic. It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion.

The back channel coordination with Facebook further supports the view that this is a de facto state-supporting censorship program. That is the basis for the recent lawsuit by former President Donald Trump. As I have previously noted, there is ample basis for objection to this arrangement but the legal avenue for challenges is far from clear. The lawsuit will face difficult, if not insurmountable, problems under existing law and precedent. There is no question companies like Twitter are engaging in raw censorship. It is also true that these companies have censored material with a blatantly biased agenda, taking sides on scientific and social controversies. A strong case can be made for stripping these companies of legal protections since they are no longer neutral platforms. However, private businesses are allowed to regulate speech as a general matter. It will take considerable heavy lifting for a court to order this injunctive relief.

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“The very first element of evidence for any medical intervention of any sort is that you can personally benefit from it. This must be established with scientific certainty — not that you get antibodies from the shot but that you actually get a material benefit in excess of where you were in terms of risk before you got jabbed”
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Sorry, But No. And I Do Mean *NO* (Denninger)

We must force the existing manufacturers and FDA to prove that giving someone a vaccine if they have pre-existing resistance has value to them in reducing serious or fatal outcomes, and by how much. 80% of the population had known resistance to Covid-19 before the virus got here. The study establishing this was first published in the summer and then, peer-reviewed, was released in September before the first jab went into the first arm. We knew this had to be true all the way back to Diamond Princess and I reported on that fact but we did not know why; June told us why, and September scientifically established both the fact and the reasons for it beyond reasonable challenge. If the companies and FDA, whether through malice, speed or incompetence destroyed the ability to collect and analyze that data by polluting the data set it all must stop now …

… because there is no way to easily detect if you’re in that 80% and if, by January, you hadn’t gotten seriously sick the odds are very high you are in that resistant and cannot become seriously ill with Covid-19 simply because the odds of you having being exposed by then are overwhelming. The very first element of evidence for any medical intervention of any sort is that you can personally benefit from it. This must be established with scientific certainty — not that you get antibodies from the shot but that you actually get a material benefit in excess of where you were in terms of risk before you got jabbed. It is wildly unethical, immoral and constitutes gross malpractice to advise anyone to take a medical treatment from which there is no reasonable possibility of benefit. This was intentionally not done before we issued EUAs due to “Warp Speed” — that is, speed (and profit) came before proof of benefit.

We must force both pharma and the regulators, along with our government at all levels to account for now-apparent, clear and outrageous failure of the existing shots along with the flat-out lies being told today as regards their efficacy. Specifically, 100 out of 700 (1/7th) of the crew on the HMS Queen Elizabeth have become infected with Covid-19. Every one of the crew was fully vaccinated and thus any attempt to blame this on “plague rats” that aren’t vaccinated is obvious bull****. I note that this rate of infection (14%) is within statistical spitting distance for population pre-existing resistance as documented in June of 2020 (80%) which strongly implies that the jabs are very close to worthless if not completely worthless in preventing both infection and transmission.

Through March of 2021 just 24 military personnel in the US have died allegedly from Covid out of nearly 170,000 cases, or a rate of approximately 0.014%; as such “serious and fatal” events on the HMS QE are unlikely even if nobody had been vaccinated. In short the British Military jabbed everyone and put them at risk of severe or fatal adverse effects for zero benefit; the existing shots have no statistically-material benefit in preventing either infection or transmission of the virus. In addition we have known since the polio vaccine development that using non-sterilizing vaccines during an active outbreak causes mutational adaptation and escape and thus is dangerous. It is for this reason that IPV (non-sterilizing) was followed by OPV (sterilizing) in the United States until well after there was no circulating polio in America. There is no longer any scientific dispute in this regard and anyone claiming otherwise is a lying sack of crap. All alleged “public health” justification for the existing shots has been conclusively and scientifically destroyed by this event and, in addition the shots have now been conclusively identified as placing the population at severe and direct risk of mutational escape.

We must identify and publish detailed, de-identified associated harms from the jabs and norm them to the population segment and existing morbidities as a whole. Every health insurance company in the private sector and CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) have this data and, since the vaccine rollout is in fact not “free” if you’re insured (it’s billed to your insurance company) the firms know conclusively what events coincided with or were closely associated with these shots and how that compares with their last five years of data in the same population and morbidity segments. In short the data across over 150 million Americans does exist to show what, if anything, is happening and at what rate. This excess forms the denominator of harms from the shots.

This is not a function of nor can it be dismissed as “clinical judgment”; there are many reports of doctors refusing to make entries into VAERS or otherwise dodging that the jabs are related to new illnesses, hospitalizations and concerns. I don’t care what a doctor thinks; I care very much about who’s getting paid to do what and how that has changed over the last eight months. Until that data is released to the public under penalty of life in prison if falsified or otherwise misrepresented there must be no further activity with regards to these shots. THE PEOPLE MUST HAVE THE DENOMINATOR — THAT IS, THE ADVERSE EVENT NUMBER, AGAINST THE NUMBER OF VACCINATED PERSONS BOTH FOR DEATH AND ANY OTHER SERIOUS CONDITION INVOLVING A HOSPITAL ADMISSION OR TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

We must have full, free and open access to inexpensive and known safe drugs for early interdiction as an option. This means Ivermectin, Budesonide and HCQ + Doxycycline or Zpak for starters. All of these are drugs that are known to be quite safe, they are all off-patent and inexpensive and it must be the choice of the patient whether to use them if suspected or confirmed infected. It is their ass, not the doctor’s, and thus their choice. Any doctor who refuses must lose their license. Any medical group that promotes or enforces a policy adverse to this must be destroyed, literally and to an individual employee, director and officer, as they have and are killing people for money. This is especially true when there are no approved treatments under full FDA protocol and Remdesivir, which is under EUA, has twice proved worthless in formal studies, a third now shows it causes harm and yet the EUA is still there and it is still being recommended and used. Whether said drugs are inferior, equal or superior to a vaccine is immaterial. It is the patient’s decision.

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“Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag..”

Enemies of the People (Kunstler)

America is oh so problematic! You people are working a little too hard to think for yourselves — you basket of deplorable, brain-damaged, flyover gorks — so pardon us while we remove your impure thoughts from the nation’s thought-spaces. We will do your thinking for you, because 1) we know better, and 2) we say so…. Can you see now how things are working perfectly toward an autumn explosion of, shall we say, unpleasant disagreeableness?

Meanwhile, “Joe Biden” and “Biden allied groups” have engineered the US intel and security agencies to label anyone and anything that opposes the shutdown of wrong-think as “white supremacist domestic terrorism.” the FBI officially tweets: “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI.” Nice set-up. Thus, Nancy Pelosi and Merrick Garland’s year-to-date production of the “Capitol Insurrection” pageant, and the captivity, in solitary confinement for months on end, in defiance of habeas corpus, of January Sixth’s hapless, selfie-snapping trespassers. That should prevent any outfit beside BLM and Antifa from mounting mostly peaceful protests, especially against “Joe Biden’s” creeping totalitarianism.

Yet, the flop-sweat is running like a babbling brook from end-to-end down Pennsylvania avenue as, in actual fact, the “Joe Biden” show lurches into its final act — which will be the collapse of the “Joe Biden” show in an odoriferous heap of bad faith and criminality. The specter of election audits is getting to the animatronic teleprompter-reader heading the federal regime. His chamberlains foolishly sent him out to Philadelphia this week to squelch any rising sentiment among PA state legislators to audit alleged ballot irregularities of 11/3/20. “Joe B’s” legitimacy is shredding and he looks more and more like a mere ghoul in the Oval Office, Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag, wailing and whispering of his political sins.

In Philly, the poor boob said, “For those who challenge the results and question the integrity of the election: No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny and such high standards!” That mouthful was followed by an even bigger gulp: “The Big Lie is just that: a big lie.” Did he know what he said there? (Cue: Joseph Goebbels spinning in grave with admiration.) The utterance was the perfect companion to his Big Brag on the campaign trail last October, saying, “We have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” Indeed, you did, Joe — or, at least, your worker bees in the DNC did, with, perhaps, some help from the Deep State’s Intel Community.

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Milley’s a few cents short of a buck.

‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup, It Wouldn’t Be With Him’ (RT)

Former President Donald Trump has issued a scathing rebuke of US General Mark Milley, after book excerpts revealed Milley had allegedly compared Trump’s supporters to Nazis and planned to resist a hypothetical “coup” by Trump. Excerpts from an upcoming book by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker describe how, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, as Trump disputed Joe Biden’s victory, Milley, the nation’s highest military officer, summoned the rest of the Pentagon’s top brass to discuss the possibility of Trump attempting to use them in a “coup” attempt to stay in power. Milley, according to the excerpts seen by CNN, drew on numerous World War II cliches, comparing Trump’s rhetoric of a ‘rigged’ election to “the gospel of the Fuhrer,” his supporters to the Nazi “brownshirts,” and Trump himself as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.”

As Milley and his deputies discussed the possibility of Trump’s supporters directly attacking Washington DC, he flexed his military muscles. “They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” he reportedly said. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.” Trump issued a lengthy response on Thursday. “I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government,” the former president said in a press release. “So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of ‘coup,’ and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.”

[..] Trump’s statement went on to list more of the former president’s grievances with Milley, beginning with a typically Trumpian explanation for how the general got his job: “He got his job only because the world’s most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him,” Trump explained, referring to his former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “To me the fact that Mattis didn’t like him, just like Obama didn’t like him and actually fired Milley, was a good thing, not a bad thing. I often act counter to people’s advice who I don’t respect.”

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He still has his job.

Hunter Biden Prosecutor Paused Investigation Before Election (NYP)

The top federal prosecutor in Delaware decided to pause a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden months before the 2020 election to prevent the public from learning about it, according to a report. US Attorney David Weiss, appointed by former President Donald Trump, decided not to seek search warrants or issue grand jury subpoenas so as not to “alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election,” Politico reports. The prosecutor’s office reportedly was torn over whether to continue its probe or pause it due to the election, and Weiss, who remains in his job leading the case, sided with those who wanted to wait. “To his credit, he listened,” an unnamed source told the publication.

The Justice Department’s role in the case has faced criticism from Trump allies, who note that a Delaware computer repairman gave the FBI a laptop formerly belonging to Hunter Biden in December 2019, according to records first reported by The Post. In the final months of the 2020 presidential race, The Post revealed a trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that appeared to link his then-candidate father to his foreign business ventures in China and with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. The emails revealed that the younger Biden introduced a top Burisma executive to his father, then vice president, less than a year before the elder Biden admittedly pressured Ukrainian officials into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.

The water-damaged MacBook Pro — which bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation — was dropped off for repair at a Delaware computer shop in April 2019, but the individual who dropped it off never returned to pick it up. It was seized by the FBI in December of that year. In addition to his Ukrainian connections, other emails on the computer showed Hunter discussing potential business deals with China’s largest private energy company. One deal seemed to draw considerable attention from the younger Biden, who called it “interesting for me and my family.” Senate Republicans revealed the findings of their investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings in September. They said the Obama administration ignored “glaring warning signs” when the then-vice president’s son joined the board of Burisma when he had no energy experience.

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Excellent by Ann Pettifor.

Quantitative Easing: How The World Got Hooked On Magicked-up Money (Pettifor)

Central banks—backed by royal charters and the state—have always had the power to create credit and expand the money supply. They have, since at least the founding of the Bank of England in 1694, provided credit to their clients in government and in commercial banks, accepting collateral in exchange for the money they create—a routine process known in the jargon as Open Market Operations (OMOs). They can run OMOs in reverse, too, selling the securities on their balance sheets in exchange for cash, taking money out of circulation, contracting the supply and raising its “price”—the rate of interest. Through such means, central banks have long used their power of credit creation to help fund the government, keep commercial banks afloat and then, from the 20th century, to keep the economy in balance too.

At one level, QE is just another name for OMOs—newly “minted” electronic money is paid into the accounts of the central bank’s clients, who in exchange offer up collateral in the form of bonds. By buying them up, central bankers contract the supply of bonds in the market, which raises their price or, equivalently, lowers their yield—the interest that’s paid on them. In that way, the process puts downward pressure on the borrowing costs of governments and other debtors. So what’s really new here? The difference between OMOs and QE is in the scale and the wider array of assets involved. Whereas OMOs typically purchase short-term government debt, QE programmes snap up government debt of all maturities, including long-term bonds. In the US, the EU and UK, central banks also extended the definition of eligible collateral to include riskier corporate bonds, and began buying them up too.

As to the scale, already by 2009 the Bank of England had purchased bonds to the value of £200bn. By August 2016, after the Brexit vote, purchases rose to £445bn. During the market’s grave March 2020 wobble, purchases rose to £645bn. By November 2020, the bank had acquired assets of £895bn. This stock of purchases is now equivalent to about half the annual flow of UK national income. Moreover, with QE, the old two-way traffic of OMOs seems to have become a one-way street. While central bankers are acquiring bonds, they are not, as yet, selling them back into the market. The fear is that doing so would flood it, slashing bond prices and forcing up their yields—making it harder for borrowers, not least governments, to service their debts.

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“President Xi had phoned Biden on his special “red phone” that lets him speak directly to his friend Joe to get more tips on how to rule his people with an iron fist.”

Xi Jealous Of Biden Admin’s Ability To Censor Speech On Social Media (BBee)

In a candid statement today, President Xi Jinping admitted he’s “actually pretty jealous” of the United States government’s ability to censor information it doesn’t like over social media. Sources close to the ruler of China’s communist party and government said he was “fairly envious” of how effective the U.S. system of censorship works. He was particularly impressed with how the Biden White House doesn’t even have to censor information themselves, but can simply flag posts as problematic and private companies will jump to take care of dissenters automatically. Even President Xi usually has to “lift a finger” to censor someone, so he’s pretty jealous of the way the U.S. is handling censorship of “misinformation.”


“Honestly, I’m impressed, and a little jealous,” said China’s dictator after he heard Press Secretary Jen Psaki say the White House flags posts for Facebook to remove and that someone who gets banned on one social network should get banned on all of them. “And I thought I had absolute control over the speech of my people! This is next-level stuff. Really quite something.” “And having a private company do it so the people can’t complain about freedom of speech – brilliant. My hat is off to the United States.” At publishing time, President Xi had phoned Biden on his special “red phone” that lets him speak directly to his friend Joe to get more tips on how to rule his people with an iron fist.

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“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
– H. L. Mencken

 

 

So the Kids are now calling the Vaccines “clot shots”
And the ambulances “Jab Cabs”

 

 

WH controls narrative
https://twitter.com/i/status/1416194845924802563

 

 

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Jul 162021
 


Vincent van Gogh Bridge in the rain (after Hiroshige) 1887

 

Biden Admin ‘Flagging Problematic Social Media Posts’ (PM)
Question Everything (Ballan)
Spain’s Top Court Rules Lockdown Unconstitutional (BBC)
Long Covid Has Over 200 Symptoms And Leaves 1 In 5 Unable To Work
Huge Study Supporting Ivermectin For Covid Withdrawn Over Ethical Concerns (G.)
Top General Feared Trump Would Attempt A Coup After Losing The Election (DM)
Kremlin Papers Appear To Show Putin’s Plot To Put Trump In White House (G.)
Kremlin Says Guardian Claims Are ‘Fundamentally Untrue’ (RT)
Russia Accuses US Of ‘Staging’ Anti-Government Protests In Cuba (RT)
Illinois Becomes First State To Prohibit Police From Lying To Kids (JTN)
59 of 96 Phones Assigned To Mueller Probe Missing (JTN)
Bill Clinton Took Two More Trips On The Lolita Express (DM)
Capitol Police To Use Army Surveillance Gear To Monitor Americans (AMN)

 

 

Which country will recover faster?

 

 

Why am I getting the idea that we no longer comprehend just how bizarre this is? That our minds have become so blunted by censorship we do not recognize it as such any longer?

Biden Admin ‘Flagging Problematic Social Media Posts’ (PM)

After Biden administration Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued an advisory urging big tech companies to “impose clear consequences for accounts that repeatedly violate platform policies,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki used it to call for big tech companies to crack down harder on social media users with “fact-checks” on “misinformation.” A reporter requested that Psaki expand a bit more on “the request for tech companies to be more aggressive” as regards “misinformation. Has the administration been in touch with any of these companies and are there any actions that the federal government can take to ensure their cooperation, because we’ve seen from the start there’s not a lot of action on some of these platforms.”

“Sure, well first, we are in regular touch with the social media platforms and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff, but also members of our COVID-19 team. Given as, Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue of misinformation specifically on the pandemic,” Psaki said. “In terms of actions… that we have taken or are working to take from the federal government. We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office. We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical professionals to connect two connected medical experts who are popular with their audiences with accurate information and boost trusted content.

“So we’re helping get trusted content out there. We also created the COVID Community Corps to get factual information into the hands of local messengers. And we’re also investing in the President’s, the Vice President’s and Dr. Fauci’s time in meeting with influencers who also have large reaches to a lot of these target audiences who can spread and share accurate information. “We saw an example of that yesterday, I believe that video will be out Friday,” Psaki said. “There are also proposed changes that we have made to social media platforms including Facebook, and those specifically four key steps:

“1) That they measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform. Facebook should provide publicly and transparently data on the reach of COVID-19, COVID vaccine misinformation. Not just engagement, but the reach of the misinformation and the audience that it’s reaching. That will make sure we’re getting accurate information to people. This should be provided not just to researchers but to the public so that public knows and understands what is accurate and inaccurate.
“2) We have recommended, proposed, that they create a robust and enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules. So… there’s about 12 people who are producing 65 percent of anti-vaccination misinformation on social media platforms. All of them remain active on Facebook despite some even being banned on other platforms, including ones that Facebook owns.
“3) It’s important to take faster action against harmful posts. As you all know, information travels quite quickly on social media platforms. Sometimes it’s not accurate, and Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful, violative posts, posts that are within their policies for removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads to quickly.

“Finally,” Psaki said, “we have proposed they promote quality information sources in their feed algorithm. Facebook has repeatedly shown that they have the leverage to promote quality information, we’ve seen them effectively do this in their algorithm over low-quality information and they’ve chosen not to use it in this case. That’s certainly an area where we have an impact.” She said that Facebook “certainly understands what our asks are.”

Psaki
https://twitter.com/i/status/1415728046930268160

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“Fear is not good for us. It’s not good for our immunity, our health or our ability to think rationally. To calm the fear, we need to know that cases are meaningless, deaths are overestimated and immunity – whether natural or vaccine-induced – is long-lasting and can protect us from future variants.”

Question Everything (Ballan)

The WHO flip-flopped on the definition of herd immunity, which is the point at which an infectious disease stops being a cause for concern because most of the population is immune to it. They removed natural immunity from the definition and limited herd immunity to that reached via vaccination only. After this meddling caused an uproar, they went back again and included both forms of immunity as contributing to herd immunity. Furthermore, they changed their recommendations about the PCR test, first allowing very high cycle thresholds of 45 (which is the number of times the genetic material of the virus is multiplied until it is detected) and recommending that cases are diagnosed based on a positive PCR test, regardless of symptoms – previously unheard of in medicine.

Patients are usually diagnosed with a disease if they are sick. Later the WHO rectified their stance, clarifying that the diagnosis of cases requires clinical symptoms and that high cycle thresholds lead to false positives. Why did the WHO make recommendations contrary to established medical practice for infectious diseases? The PCR test was not designed to diagnose infectiousness. It merely detects viral genetic material, dead or alive. Studies indicate that 25 cycles are enough to detect an infectious virus. How much have the false positive results affected the number of cases and in turn the number of deaths? How many deaths were wrongly attributed to COVID instead of other diseases?

Science doesn’t flip-flop like that. Politics does. Science has become politicized. We need to decouple science from politics. It is being manipulated to serve corporate and political agendas. Anyone criticizing ‘The Science’ is silenced harshly. People are smart and if given accurate information they can make the right decisions for themselves and their communities. Unfortunately, people are being misinformed and fear-mongered with non-stop death reports, apparently vanishing immunity and the threat of new variants. Fear is not good for us. It’s not good for our immunity, our health or our ability to think rationally. To calm the fear, we need to know that cases are meaningless, deaths are overestimated and immunity – whether natural or vaccine-induced – is long-lasting and can protect us from future variants.

Variants are not unique to COVID. All respiratory viruses mutate. The variants are so minutely different from each other that our immune system will recognize them and protect us. It’s like your friend wearing a cap. Can you still recognize him? In the same way, your immune system also recognizes the variants. How much longer should we let those variants haunt us?

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After the flood.

Spain’s Top Court Rules Lockdown Unconstitutional (BBC)

Spain’s top court has ruled that last year’s strict coronavirus lockdown was unconstitutional. The ruling leaves the door open for people who were fined for breaking the rules to reclaim the money they paid. But the court said it would not accept lawsuits from people and businesses who want to sue the government because they lost money due to the lockdown. The government declared a state of emergency on 14 March 2020 to curb the first wave of Covid-19 infections. At the time, coronavirus cases and deaths were rising and hospitals were quickly becoming overwhelmed. Since then, more than 81,000 people in Spain have died with coronavirus.


Spain has three levels of emergency: state of emergency, state of exception, and the highest level, state of siege. Under the emergency rules almost all people in the country were ordered to stay at home, and were only permitted to leave for essential reasons. All but essential businesses were closed. The laws were in place until June 2020, though some restrictions were reinstated later in the year when the country faced a second wave. But Spain’s Constitutional Court said in a statement that it had voted, by a slim majority of six to five, to find that the state of emergency was not enough to give the restrictions constitutional backing. This is because the rules were equivalent to a suppression of fundamental rights, it said.

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There’s a stiff competition between long covid and vaccines for the number of symptoms.

Long Covid Has Over 200 Symptoms And Leaves 1 In 5 Unable To Work

There are more than 200 symptoms associated with long Covid spanning 10 organ systems—including memory loss, hallucinations, tremors and fatigue—according to a new study published Thursday, providing one of the most comprehensive insights yet into the lingering and debilitating illness that can affect patients for months or years after infection. Covid long haulers reported a total of 203 different symptoms in the seven months between Dec. 2019 and May 2020, ranging from rashes, peeling skin and digestive issues to muscle spasms, hearing loss and tinnitus, according to research published in the Lancet’s E Clinical Medicine journal.


The study, based on surveys from nearly 4,000 people from 56 countries, identified fatigue, brain fog and post-exertional malaise (where symptoms worsen after physical or mental effort) as the most common symptoms. On average, patients suffered from 56 different symptoms and those still suffering after six months—nearly two-thirds of participants taking the survey—were still experiencing an average of 14 symptoms. Almost half (45%) of the study’s participants reported needing a reduced work schedule on account of their illness and around one-fifth (22%) were unable to work at all. Dr. Athena Akrami, a neuroscientist at University College London and senior author of the study, said it highlights “a clear need to widen medical guidelines” to assess a wider range of symptoms than respiratory and cardiovascular issues for long Covid.”

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They take one study and use it to discredit 80 others. The Guardian for you.

Huge Study Supporting Ivermectin For Covid Withdrawn Over Ethical Concerns (G.)

The efficacy of a drug being promoted by rightwing figures worldwide for treating Covid-19 is in serious doubt after a major study suggesting the treatment is effective against the virus was withdrawn due to “ethical concerns”. The preprint study on the efficacy and safety of ivermectin – a drug used against parasites such as worms and headlice – in treating Covid-19, led by Dr Ahmed Elgazzar from Benha University in Egypt, was published on the Research Square website in November. It claimed to be a randomised control trial, a type of study crucial in medicine because it is considered to provide the most reliable evidence on the effectiveness of interventions due to the minimal risk of confounding factors influencing the results. Elgazzar is listed as chief editor of the Benha Medical Journal, and is an editorial board member.

The study found that patients with Covid-19 treated in hospital who “received ivermectin early reported substantial recovery” and that there was “a substantial improvement and reduction in mortality rate in ivermectin treated groups” by 90%. But the drug’s promise as a treatment for the virus is in serious doubt after the Elgazzar study was pulled from the Research Square website on Thursday “due to ethical concerns”. Research Square did not outline what those concerns were. A medical student in London, Jack Lawrence, was among the first to identify serious concerns about the paper, leading to the retraction. He first became aware of the Elgazzar preprint when it was assigned to him by one of his lecturers for an assignment that formed part of his master’s degree. He found the introduction section of the paper appeared to have been almost entirely plagiarised.

It appeared that the authors had run entire paragraphs from press releases and websites about ivermectin and Covid-19 through a thesaurus to change key words. “Humorously, this led to them changing ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome’ to ‘extreme intense respiratory syndrome’ on one occasion,” Lawrence said. The data also looked suspicious to Lawrence, with the raw data apparently contradicting the study protocol on several occasions.

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Not sure what Trump did this time, but they want him again. Is it his lawsuit vs Big Tech?

Top General Feared Trump Would Attempt A Coup After Losing The Election (DM)

The country’s top military officer was so convinced that then-President Donald Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss to Joe Biden that he and other senior generals made plans to stop him, according to a new book. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his deputies reportedly pledged to resign en masse if they were given an order by Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional. ‘They may try, but they’re not going to f***ing succeed,’ Milley told his deputies. ‘You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. ‘We’re the guys with the guns.’ The dramatic quote excerpted by CNN was revealed in a new book authored by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year. The book is scheduled for release next week.

Days before the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, Milley warned confidantes of a ‘Reichstag moment’ facing the country. According to the book, his concern stemmed from the fact that Trump was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer.’ Milly referred to Trump supporters at a march to protest the election as ‘brownshirts in the streets.’ In 1933, after Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany, the Nazis used a fire at the Reichstag building, home to Germany’s parliament, as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and consolidate power by claiming the country was under threat from communists. The brownshirts were Nazi paramilitaries who helped Hitler rise to power. ‘Milley told his staff that he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military,’ Rucker and Leonnig write.

The joint chiefs chairman was especially worried by the fact that Trump purged the Defense Department of those who raised objections to his ideas and replaced them with loyalists after the November election. Days after the election, Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with Christopher Miller. Other deputies to Esper were also fired and replaced with those who shared the then-president’s views. In December, Attorney General William Barr resigned after he refused to endorse Trump’s claims of rampant voter fraud. The departures of Barr and Esper left Milley concerned, according to the book. Milley reportedly told friends that he felt he needed to be ‘on guard’ in anticipation of what might happen.

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Luke Harding was one of the people at the Guardian working with Julian Assange on releases of WikiLeaks files back in 2009/10. He wanted to write Assange’s biography, but Julian declined. Then the revenge started. First, Harding and David Leigh published a secret password in a book, then a preposterous lying story of Paul Manafort visiting the Ecuador embassy multiple times followed, which conveniently combined anti-Assange with anti-Trump, and now there’s more hollow filth.

Kremlin Papers Appear To Show Putin’s Plot To Put Trump In White House (G.)

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents. The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present. They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them “social turmoil” in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position.


Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature. By this point Trump was the frontrunner in the Republican party’s nomination race. A report prepared by Putin’s expert department recommended Moscow use “all possible force” to ensure a Trump victory. Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin. The Guardian has shown the documents to independent experts who say they appear to be genuine. Incidental details come across as accurate. The overall tone and thrust is said to be consistent with Kremlin security thinking.

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Why on earth react?

Kremlin Says Guardian Claims Are ‘Fundamentally Untrue’ (RT)

Moscow has reacted furiously to a series of claims, backed up with anonymous and unverifiable sources, that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his security officials to support Donald Trump’s campaign to become US president. In comments made exclusively to RT on Thursday evening, Putin’s spokesman slammed the report, published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper earlier that day. “This is total fiction,” Dmitry Peskov remarked. “Strictly speaking, it is complete nonsense. Of course, this is the hallmark of an absolutely low-quality publication. Either the newspaper is trying to somehow increase its popularity or is sticking to a rabidly Russophobic line.”

The article, authored by British journalist Luke Harding and two other staffers at the outlet, claimed that Putin had “Personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election, during a closed session of Russia’s national security council.” The bombshell revelations were purportedly based on “what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.” Harding has a history of publishing false stories related to the so-called “Russiagate” conspiracy theory, which became popular after Trump was elected to America’s highest office. In 2018, for instance, he published a completely fake tale about dissident publisher Julian Assange and the American lobbyist Paul Manafort supposedly having met in London.

The article was also based on anonymous ‘sources.’ Although the allegation has been thoroughly debunked, the Guardian has refused to correct the record. While working in Moscow in 2007, Harding was accused of plagiarism by The Exile, a small, independent and now defunct magazine. His employer issued an apology at the time.

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Duh!

Russia Accuses US Of ‘Staging’ Anti-Government Protests In Cuba (RT)

Wide-scale protests and rioting that have rocked the Caribbean nation of Cuba are, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, part of an orchestrated campaign by American officials to oust the country’s socialist government. In a statement issued on Thursday, one of Moscow’s top diplomatic representatives, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, blasted American “impudence” for suggesting that the demonstrations were a result of the Cuban government’s own mistakes. Instead, she described the approach a part of “yet another political staging.” “Washington’s cynicism is shown by the fact that throughout the entire period of the existence of revolutionary Cuba, it purposefully pursued a strategy of strangling the country, discriminating against its people and destroying the economy,” she went on.

“Their thinking here is simple – it has already been repeatedly deployed by Washington in different situations. But in every case, there is the same goal – sparking ‘color revolutions’ in response to unwanted regimes.” The approach, the official added, hinges on applying sanctions and provoking tensions by worsening the socio-economic situation in the country. Zakharova said that the idea authorities in Havana alone were to blame for fomenting discontent was patently false. “Despite all the measures taken by the central Cuban authorities to support the country’s economy and provide assistance to the population, it is they who are accused by Washington of the current crisis situation,” she said. “At the same time, the Americans, as always, keep silent about their own subversive actions and opportunistic aspirations.”

She went on to compare the incident to scenes in Washington in January, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump forced their way into the seat of government in protest of his election defeat. “Where were their concerns about humanitarian values, political pluralism and democratic freedoms,” she asked, “when those who stormed the Capitol… were detained across America, accused of ‘domestic terrorism’ and are now facing criminal charges?” Earlier this week, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the circumstances that led to tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets were down to the “actions and inactions, mismanagement, corruption of the Cuban regime” and not because of “anything the United States has done.” “We are always considering options available to us that would allow us to support the Cuban people, to support their humanitarian needs, which are indeed profound,” Price told reporters.

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How about adults?

Illinois Becomes First State To Prohibit Police From Lying To Kids (JTN)

Illinois has become the first state to ban law enforcement officers from lying to juveniles during interrogations. The law was part of a package of criminal justice reform measures put forth by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker Thursday. Senate Bill 2122, which prohibits the use of deceptive tactics by all law enforcement when interrogating a minor, takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022. “It is time that we move towards a new era of public safety,” said state Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Public safety for all, public safety by the people, public safety that belongs to us.” Also attending the bill signing was Terrell Swift, one of the so-called “Englewood Four.” Swift served 15 years in prison for rape and murder before he was released in 2012 after it was ruled that his confession as a 17-year-old was coerced by Chicago police.

That confession led to his conviction despite no evidence tying him to the crime, and the city eventually paid Swift $7 million in a settlement after his release. “This bill, I truly believe, could have saved my life,” Swift said. Along with SB 2122, Pritzker signed three other bills: Senate Bill 64, which encourages the use of restorative justice practices by making statements during these practices privileged.Senate Bill 2129, which allows the State’s Attorney of a county in which a defendant was sentenced to petition for re-sentencing of the offender if the original sentence no long advances the interests of justice. Senate Bill 3587, which creates the Re-sentencing Task Force Act to study ways to reduce the state’s prison population through re-sentencing motions.

In February, Pritzker signed a criminal justice reform plan which eliminates cash bail within two years, makes it easier to decertify police officers by eliminating signed affidavits of complaint, and mandates the use of police body cameras for all officers by 2025. Law enforcement officials statewide condemned the reform plan as hindering police from preventing crime, ultimately emboldening criminals and threatening police officers.

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“..not all the phones were subject to record preservation.”

59 of 96 Phones Assigned To Mueller Probe Missing (JTN)

Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Chuck Grassley of Iowa sent a letter to the Justice Department Wednesday asking for more information regarding missing phones used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during the Russian collusion investigation. The senators sent the letter after finding out the Justice Department “could not locate 59 of the 96 phones used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team,” according to Grassley’s website. The two senators wrote to the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General in September 2020 regarding allegations that cell phones assigned to “multiple people on then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team were ‘wiped’ for various reasons during [the Russia investigation].”

In a response on May 11, 2021, the OIG reported that 59 of the 96 phones assigned the Special Counsel’s Office were unaccounted for. That report showed that in June 2019, the DOJ took possession of 79 of 96 phones that belonged to members of Muller’s team to be reviewed for official records. The records included notes and text messages, which were then sent to DOJ or FBI email systems for preservation. However, not all the phones were subject to record preservation. The two lawmakers are now following up with requests for further information including:

• the names of SCO employees whose cell phones were not reviewed for official records
• what, if any, actions are being taken by the DOJ to recover the 59 phones the department has been unable to locate
• whether the DOJ reviewed the phones to ascertain “whether they were used to leak sensitive or classified information.”

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Oh, how lovely.

Bill Clinton Took Two More Trips On The Lolita Express (DM)

Bill Clinton took two trips with Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein – including one on the pedophile’s private jet – that have not been previously disclosed. A new podcast reveals that the former President flew on Epstein’s jet, which was dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’, in February 2005 while visiting Japan, Taiwan and China. Clinton also flew on a private jet owned by billionaire Ron Burkle with Maxwell as a passenger during a trip to India in November 2003. That visit was part of Clinton’s work with the Clinton Foundation, his philanthropic initiative, to lower the cost of AIDS drugs. According to journalist Vicky Ward, Maxwell was part of the official Clinton party and even stayed at the same hotel as him. Ward reveals the details in her new podcast ‘Chasing Ghislaine’, which is available from Thursday on Audible Originals.

The podcast claims that Maxwell used Clinton for her ‘escape’ from Epstein in the 2000s when her relationship with the financier was cooling. Maxwell was considered by Clinton’s personal staff to be ‘just as important’ as Epstein for raising money for the Clinton Foundation and was the ‘go-to person’ when it came to asking for donations from the pedophile. The claims put new focus on the friendship between the former President and Epstein, who hanged himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Flight logs showed that Clinton took at least 26 trips aboard the ‘Lolita Express’ — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights between 2001 and 2003. The period where Epstein and Clinton were closest – the early 2000s – coincides with the period that Epstein was charged with running a sex trafficking ring.

Clinton has always denied any involvement in any criminality and has claimed that has never visited Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean as some reports have suggested. But the connections between the two appear to have been strong and there were financial as well as social links lasting many years. Maxwell is currently awaiting a November trial for allegedly procuring and trafficking underage girls for Epstein, charges she denies. Ward has reported on the Epstein case for nearly two decades, first for Vanity Fair and now in her role as a CNN journalist. She wrote a profile of Epstein for Vanity Fair in 2003 but the details of his alleged abuse of two young sisters was left out after Epstein contacted her editor, Graydon Carter, she claims.

According to ‘Chasing Ghislaine’, during the 2000s Maxwell was trying to escape the ‘sick partnership’ she had built with Epstein, who she dated during the early 1990s and allegedly abused underage girls with. In the podcast, Ward says: ‘Ghislaine used former President Bill Clinton for her escape. ‘Remember, Clinton’s post-presidency was an exciting, very attractive place to be. He and an entourage went on fascinating trips to Europe, to Asia, to Africa and he met with extremely interesting people. ‘Now, records I’ve seen recently show that in 2003, Ghislaine visited the Taj Mahal with Bill Clinton and a group of around 20 others. This trip has not previously been reported. Jeffrey wasn’t on it. And that was key in cementing Ghislaine’s rise as a VIP in her own right in Clinton World, according to sources close to Bill Clinton’.

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J6 has turned them into a national force. But why exactly?

Capitol Police To Use Army Surveillance Gear To Monitor Americans (AMN)

U.S. Capitol Police will start using Army surveillance equipment to monitor Americans as part of a larger effort to improve security and turn the force into “an intelligence-based protective agency” in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Last week, the USCP took possession of eight Persistent Surveillance Systems Ground – Medium (PSSG-M) units, fulfilling a request that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved on June 2. The units capture high-definition video and include night vision, but do not feature facial recognition capabilities. “This technology will be integrated with existing USCP camera infrastructure, providing greater high definition surveillance capacity to meet steady-state mission requirements and help identify emerging threats,” the Pentagon said.

The same technology was used by troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to observe large areas day and night. The Army will install the units and train Capitol Police on how to operate the systems, the Pentagon said. In a statement last week, the USCP called the technology “state-of-the-art campus surveillance technology, which will enhance the ability to detect and monitor threat activity.” The Capitol Police did not provide further details regarding how or where the surveillance equipment would be used, and didn’t provide information on whether data collected would be stored or distributed. These latest efforts by the Capitol Police have raised some concerns relating to Americans’ privacy rights.

Last month, a federal appeals court found similar surveillance technology used by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) violated the constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. A New York University School of Law independent audit of the systems used by the BPD found the technology allowed the department to track individuals for multiple days. William Owen, a member of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, said the Capitol Police’s new technology is cause for concern. “These so-called improvements that the Capitol Police have implemented after the insurrection represent an expansion of police power and surveillance that STOP cautioned against in January,” he said, according to The Washington Times.

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Jul 132021
 
 July 13, 2021  Posted by at 12:43 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  24 Responses »


Damien Hirst Renewal Blossom 2018

 

 

This is an essay I picked up in a publication from Sri Lanka. The author, Omar Khan, a “global consultant”, is not a blank sheet, he even appears in stories about a Ponzi scheme defrauding rich Wall Streeters in a wine set-up. But here, he asks a lot of the right questions, in a kind of summary of what we have been asking -and stating- for a long time now.

 

 

Omar Khan: Life has to be our dedication, not virus eradication. We are custom designed biologically and perhaps providentially to transcend viral challenges and pathogens, when we use our immunological hardiness, our medical acumen and data-based (not hypochondriacal) prudence.

 

 

The popular narrative reeks so pungently that we almost have to keep debunking these absurdities to dispel the trance that too many seem to be under.

 

C-19: It’s novel, it’s new, it’s unprecedentedly dangerous! 

No, it’s not! There is a family of coronaviruses. To that extent, this may have been ‘new’ and ‘novel, but not in any way to suggest that either our immune systems or our medical science was dealing with some uniquely implacable foe. Furthermore, it seems to have been circulating from the latter half of 2019. Medical researchers have repeatedly confirmed there were both examples of pre-existing immunity and crossover immunity due to prior immunological experience with similar pathogens. And now data clearly shows this was nothing unprecedented. 

 

It is primarily spread by droplets and infected surfaces

No, it isn’t. It is an airborne virus, and flourishes in congested, poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and is spread by minute particles. Ergo, being ‘locked’ in is simply insane. Even the US CDC confirms, there is roughly 1 in 10,000 chance of being infected by touching a surface. So, all this mass sanitising and social distancing was more kabuki theatre than anything else.

 

Everyone is equally at risk! 

No, they’re not! This is highly age stratified. Certainly, in the developed world, 93%+ of the deaths are above 70. There is a remarkably good recovery rate above 70, close to 97% for those without serious comorbidities. Another 6 to 10% fall within the ages of 40 to 69 (again, the majority with existing preconditions we are told by meta-analysts at leading universities) and below 40 the mortality rate gets increasingly nominal and infinitesimal. 

 

There is no treatment

Yes, there is! There is, of course, the Nobel Prize winning, WHO essential drug, Ivermectin There are studies, randomised trials, overwhelming front line clinical experience from around the world all testifying to its saving graces. There is also HCQ and Zinc, Corticosteroids, Monoclonal Antibodies, Vitamin D3, Budesonide and numerous others that are part of demonstrably effective, early treatment protocols. If treated early during the viral stage, leading doctors in the US, UK, Zimbabwe, India, Mexico, South Africa confirm virtually every symptomatic patient can be saved. 

Overall, even including the inflammation and thrombosis phase of the illness (when it becomes successively more dangerous) the most effective protocols have shown 85 to 90% reduction in hospitalisation and deaths. There is no sane reason not to embrace this, demonstrate it, and crystallise a Sri Lanka protocol drawing on the best of the rest.

 

Natural immunity cannot save us

Yes, it can! We would not be alive today if natural immunity did not work. Virtually all past vaccinations have taken place after a pandemic has waned somewhat because those actual vaccines did not get fast tracked past animal trials and safety trials. 

Every credible study reconfirms our immunological wisdom has always trumpeted. Namely immunity is long lasting. And while there is no guarantee no one will ever get re-infected, even that is extremely rare, with virtually no documented global cases. And when it does happen, it is substantially milder and our immune memory in terms of mobilising to deal with the pathogen becomes ever more profound. And that, indeed, seems to last a lifetime. 

Despite the seesawing medical vacillations of an increasingly confounded WHO, natural immunity trumps any vaccine-based immunity. And in the case of the current crop, the “vaccines” have been focused on suppressing symptoms and do not lead to the sustained immunological template that natural immunity confers (by their own admission). Despite this still being distorted in their description, at least natural immunity is back on the WHO website after having been pulled from there in an almost comic panic spasm. 

 

Asymptomatic people drive the disease, and so, we must lock everyone up

They don’t and we shouldn’t! Asymptomatic transmission is a dud, has not been demonstrated to be in evidence except where people’s immune systems are naturally dealing with the infection, in which case, they are not transmitting. Children, for example, fall within this description, and have not been shown to be vectors of transmission. This has been shown both in open schools in Florida and in Sweden where they stayed open throughout. 

Therefore, it may be necessary to revert to the unanimous pre 2020 consensus that said, ‘asymptomatic’ is really a euphemism for ‘healthy.’ Certainly ‘detecting’ an asymptomatic person based on highly fallible PCR testing is no basis to debunk centuries of medical consensus. Said PCR test anyway doesn’t test for live infectiousness, is not by itself (even as per WHO) diagnostic, and amplification settings are often set so high as to make the results almost a parody. And then lab contamination is often rife and viral debris can malinger long beyond any rational infection period. Other than that, we can swoon at its accuracy!

Ergo, locking up the healthy rather than allowing them to develop natural immunity if they are not in the vulnerable risk profile (which the majority are not) is oppressive, useless, society destroying and a form of protracted economic suicide. 

 

Everyone should be masked! 

No, they shouldn’t! In 2019 WHO had reviewed the 10 most seemingly credible mask studies, all of whom concluded masks don’t work in pandemic situations except in very crowded contexts and should not be used. This was also the conclusion up until the 2020 haemorrhage of medical sanity, of the US CDC, the European Medical Association, the Australian authorities, Johns Hopkins University and virtually everywhere else. There is no new research or any new studies that have led to this somersault. The only randomised trail done over this period, in Denmark, is consistent with all the earlier studies.

Dr. Frankenstein Fauci in his highly vocal emails disdains the use of such masks as well. The nano particles are too small for the masks to arrest anything. Anything other than respirators fitted to the face, which are not practical beyond a few hours, allow ready access to viral invaders, as we’ve said before. This is why one doesn’t use such masks to protect against anthrax, asbestos, black mould, all of which have larger particles. 

Masks are unhygienic, suppress oxygen flow, force you to inhale your own waste, and there are no long-term studies that demonstrate any efficacy or even confirm the safety of breathing in and out in such an encased, inhibited manner for a protracted period of time. Moreover, there’s the simple “live” case study of comparing open US states without mask mandates with those that are ‘muzzled,’ and one can see that there is no benefit in terms of mortality and overall results (on the contrary), other than totemic compliance and pathetic virtue signalling. 

By the way, there is not one recorded instance of outdoor transmission (even CDC accepts it is less than 1%). Therefore, unless you dislike breathing in oxygen there truly is no explanation for the endurance of this mad, sad ritual, when we are outside. 

 

Variants will haunt us forever

Who cares? Can we make our peace with the fact that viruses mutate? As explained before, former Chief Science Officer of Pfizer, Dr. Michael Yeadon, has pointed out that a variant is no more than 0.3% different than the original virus. And since we know immune systems that were earlier exposed (as Dr. Yeadon points out through medical testing), still recognise and immunologically rally when exposed again to the original SARS from 17 years ago – even though that is 20% different than SARS-CoV-2 – we can see how little we have to fear. These variants are simply the currently dominant strain, not some unknown predator. 

The current scaremonger, Delta, is actually welcomed by specialists like Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale and Dr. Peter McCullough of Baylor because it is so mild relative to mortality, and they say, among the most treatable variants they’ve encountered. So, despite PCR test spasms showing ‘surging cases,’ there has been virtually no impact on mortality. In fact, J.P. Morgan reports that in 10 out of 15 countries where Delta is dominant, even cases declined, and in 13 out of 15 countries, fatalities declined with vaccination percentages ranging from 32 to 63% of the population.

Even in the UK which has seen an uptick in mortality, as per government data, the case fatality rate hovers close to 0.3%

 

We must vaccinate everybody!

Actually, we need great caution! There are numerous early treatments. On that basis alone, the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) should be rendered illicit and inapplicable (this is why there are such desperate attempts to suppress and smear these treatments). So, the deaths and adverse effects recorded even in government databases (which confess to being between 1-20% of actuals) are greater than the cumulative total for all other vaccines since such tracking was undertaken, at least since 1995. 

The types of issues range from severe neurological damage, myocarditis, life threatening blood clots, fertility issues, tragic pregnancy consequences and too many others to itemise or catalogue. To this, a riposte is often given that these adverse effects correlate to vaccination but cannot be proven to have been ‘caused’ by the vaccine. 

But repeated conjunction between a stimulus (‘vaccines’) and a pattern of adverse phenomena closely accompanying all the vaccines, is precisely what, in more prudent and more transparent times, would simply, on the basis of the precautionary principle, lead to stopping this manic jabbing, to do a proper investigative assessment. 

Beyond that we now know that the spike proteins, even without the virus, are lethal and this is what we are injecting in the case of the mRNA vaccines primarily. They also do not stay localised and instead spread throughout our organs (SALK Institute study, autopsy plus repeated testimony by Dr Robert Malone, one of the founders of the mRNA technology – who has for the sin of sharing his expertise, had both his LinkedIn account erased and has had Wikipedia attempt to rewrite history by expunging his mRNA contribution from their site). These are horrifying concerns, and it is monstrous not to have addressed them, rather than cravenly attempting to whitewash them.

 

The spectre of censorship

There are great concerns re the pervasive censorship. Such desperate attempts to silence and muzzle don’t usually spring from confidence, or positions that have self-evident appeal. Just a smattering of examples: Norway was de-platformed from Tweeting disquiet about Astra Zeneca! Dr. Robert Malone, as indicated above, has accounts cancelled, and is removed from the Wikipedia author page (Joan of Arc may be next). 

Evolutionary biologist and visiting fellow at Princeton (Bret Weinstein) “demonetised” from YouTube (after over three million views) because some cabal somewhere, somehow decide what is or isn’t fit for our eyes and ears. And when and how did that judgment seat pass to them, otherwise than through financial string pulling by desperate vested interests, thereby confessing their impotence in terms of having a case to make? 

Noble Prize Winner Professor Satoshi Omura, whose discovery of Ivermectin as an anti-parasitic drug led to one of the world’s greatest public health achievements, was just censored for daring to opine that indeed he believes his discovery will be hugely beneficial for COVID treatment.

None of this is normal! Martin Kulldorff, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists, at a meeting with Florida Governor De Santis suggests that universal vaccination is not called for, the interview is scrubbed immediately, because our precious sensibilities cannot even have that “suggested”, even from someone whose expertise fully entitles him to share an assessment we should be desperately interested to at least consider.

Remember, all this is being mounted over an age stratified illness of low risk to virtually everyone. So, all the frenzy to demonise, the incentive for that, once more, cannot have been public health. 

Yes, four million people are purported to have died of COVID with all types of death certificate rigging. And if you say it’s normal for a positive test on a death certificate to translate into causation (and nothing of course re vaccine deaths can rise to “causation” unless a spike protein jumped out and confessed perhaps), I will ask why this logic is only, uniquely applied to this pathogen? Why were these norms so hurriedly “updated” after decades of normal causal logic holding sway, of recording the primary cause of death?

Yes, four million died over this period, and five million die of all-cause mortality every month, so about 85 million have perished over the same period. There is no interest in the other causes of mortality? Or those coming from deferred cancer screenings, heart conditions not attended to, overdoses and suicides, literally many millions more from starvation due to interrupted supply chains? 

 

Re-opening society: A call to action

We had three of the world’s most eminent doctors present to policy makers here, and the conclusions in terms of re-opening society and keeping it open are given below.

1. Keep society open, solvent, functioning and able to provide public health resources to its citizens as well as livelihoods. Lockdowns are penal, take a devastating human toll which only worsens, and as demonstrated, backfire, and data shows that conclusively around the world. They do not help given all transmission is indoor, most people are not at risk, and abundant early treatments exist for the symptomatic.

2. Keep people out of hospitals by providing early treatment, open air clinics, mobile clinics. If treatment is given early on, the period of infectiousness can be vastly reduced to as little as five days. Home treatment guides can be provided and contact information for resources that can provide telemedicine, drive by clinics, guidance, treatment and early support, should be widely circulated. We can actively benchmark experience with everything from ivermectin to monoclonal antibodies (now cleared for use in Sri Lanka through Roche) to protocols in South Africa by Dr. Chetty (4,000 patients, everyone has survived), including fascinating local remedies in Tamil Nadu that actually work. And thereby, as cited above, we can create a “Lankan protocol.”

3. Consider augmenting conventional PCR tests which have time lags as well as often not being able to confirm live infectiousness with some of the newer saliva-based antigen tests, some of which now have demonstrated 98% accuracy and can report results in 15 minutes, or as Singapore is suggesting, focus on the symptomatic and do proper lab diagnosis. Regardless though, focus on the mortality needle, not ‘positive tests’ posing as ‘cases’ as per the example of Sweden this spring (rising positive tests with consistently falling death numbers due to focused protection). Singapore is another example of this “disconnect” with 62,000 positive tests and 36 deaths. 

4. Prioritise the vulnerable elderly in any vaccination efforts as well as in terms of temporary sheltering in place or other measures to shield them from infection when community disease spread is high. 

5. Ensure people are encouraged when indoors to be in not overly congested, well ventilated spaces, especially the elderly and vulnerable. And also, to get plenty of time outdoors, UV rays and vitamin D from the sun, germicidal air as epidemiologist Knutt Wittowski stresses are well documented benefits with all viruses in synch with seasonality and plenty of exercise which helps the immune system and improves indicators re other aspects of health, including comorbidities. 

6. Please note Sri Lanka still has among the lowest deaths per million in the world, (roughly 156 per million). Pakistan has a fairly low deaths per million (roughly 102 per million) and even India, despite its recent surge has roughly 1/7th the deaths per million of the US and Europe. We should take advantage of being in this relatively charmed immunological corridor and find the will and courage to open society up, let natural immunity among those at nominal risk (based on age first and overall health next) help to build a wall of immunity and treat everyone with symptoms who needs help as early as possible, thereby fast-tracking C-19 migrating to endemic status. This was the overall consensus of our global panel.

 

Of possible concern

As we open our borders or open society back up (which we must), or have another seasonal surge, if we stay infatuated with positive tests rather than symptoms, we may again panic unnecessarily. We should recall, positivity in Delhi in early May was staggering and by week of 31 May was less than 1% which shows how quickly the tide can turn. 

Knowing we have this suite of treatments and prioritising the vulnerable for treatment and/or vaccination will assure us that even if there is a temporary surge, focusing on the symptomatic, we can handle it and there is nothing to fear. The alternative is perpetual, recurring, pointless lockdowns and having to act as if no other cause of harm or concern matters even though we lose many more lives here through car accidents, diabetes, heart attacks, in some seasons, dengue. Hunger, bankruptcy, deferred vaccinations for even more serious diseases that we were on our way to routing, destruction of education for children for whom it is their literal future, simply cannot be ignored as we chase, to the exclusion of all else, the unattainable phantom of ‘zero COVID’. 

Life has to be our dedication, not virus eradication. We are custom designed biologically and perhaps providentially to transcend viral challenges and pathogens, when we use our immunological hardiness, our medical acumen and data-based (not hypochondriacal) prudence.

 

 

 

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Jul 052021
 


Paul Gauguin We hail thee Mary 1891

 

“Asymptomatic Covid Spread” Used To Shut Down The Economy Was A Lie (TSN)
New Research Suggests Ivermectin Works (HART)
Indonesia to Produce Ivermectin Starting in July (Tempo)
‘Perverse Incentives’ in the Vaccine Rollout and the Censorship of Science (ET)
Lancet Accused Of Doing China’s Dirty Work Denouncing Lab Leak Theory (DM)
Daszak Refuses House Request For Wuhan Docs, Democrats Fail To Subpoena (JTN) /span>
Fauci Doubles Back To Masks – For the Vaccinated (JTN)
Retraction Of Paper On Vaccine Deaths Spurs Call For More Scrutiny (JTN)
OPEC On Verge Of Collapse After Saudis, UAE Refuse To Budge (ZH)
No, We Weren’t All Born Yesterday (David Stockman)
HSBC in Big Trouble in its Biggest Market, China (WS)

 

 

 

 

FLCCC’s Dr. Marik is asked how he would end the pandemic in a month. “I would do a mass distribution program of ivermectin together with melatonin and aspirin. We should’ve done this months ago.” Simple. Safe.

 

 

Mike Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1411596825103155201

Mike Yeadon variants

 

 

Paul Elias Alexander, PhD, Former COVID Pandemic consultant/advisor to WHO-PAHO and former COVID pandemic advisor to Health and Human Services (HHS), United States; Parvez Dara, MD, MBA; Howard Tenenbaum, DDS, PhD

“Asymptomatic Covid Spread” Used To Shut Down The Economy Was A Lie (TSN)

There was no credibility to ‘asymptomatic spread’ or transmission in COVID-19 as a key driver of the pandemic nor even as a driver of minimal infection. This is not only our hypothesis, we feel strongly that asymptomatic spread was bogus from the start and was used to underpin the lockdowns and had and has still today, no basis. This was part of pandemic corruption. We have looked at the evidence gathered across the last 16 months and can safely say this was a false narrative along with masking, lockdowns, social distancing, and school closure polices that visited crushing harms on the society and hurt the US and the world immensely. That the US Pandemic Task Force and these illogical, irrational, unscientific medical experts could use this falsehood and shutter the society and cost so much destruction of life, wealth and property is a scandal, shameful, and unforgiveable.

This was all about corruption, this pandemic response, and there certainly were ingredients other than science at play throughout. There are members of the US Task Force that some of us here got the pleasure of working with and some of them are incredibly smart, good people. Decent god-fearing people. But they were and are flat wrong! Have been on everything COVID. Every policy was based on their input and guidance and they created disaster. Many thousands of people died due to them! Their policies! Never has a President been as ill-served as by these Task Force members. They misled and undercut President Trump at each turn and one continues to mislead the current administration.

Who knows, maybe the combination caused a chaotic frenetic collaboration, so maybe the combination doomed them from the start. But on a day-to-day basis, we were watching a clown car in the daily briefings! Their hypothesis cannot be borne out on asymptomatic spread, and we have decided once and for all, to lay out the evidence on asymptomatic spread and give our view. This should have never been about supposition, speculation, assumptions or even whimsy by them. This is not evidence-based research, that is not science. Speculation and assumption is not science. They failed catastrophically and must not be allowed to re-write their history.

Read more …

All serious research says the same thing.

New Research Suggests Ivermectin Works (HART)

Another conundrum is whether many more lives could have been saved by the early adoption of ivermectin, a repurposed drug, with a long track record of safety for use in parasitic diseases but also shown to have antiviral properties. In the specific case of COVID-19, the mode of action appears to be two-fold: it acts by docking to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain bound with ACE2 (thus blocking the virus from entering cells), and also acts as an anticoagulant, which protects against the clotting associated with the viral spike protein. Numerous articles summarised by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance have reported successful use both in treatment and prevention of COVID-19 but have been criticised for lack of peer reviewed RCT data.


Last week Dr Tess Lawrie from the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy and colleagues published a peer reviewed systematic review and meta-analysis in the American Journal of Therapeutics that showed moderate-certainty evidence of large reductions in COVID-19 deaths. ‘Moderate-certainty’ may sound like an ‘average’ result, but it in fact represents one of the highest certainties possible and the stringent data filters used in this kind of meta-analysis mean that only the most robust RCT data are included. With mild to moderate disease, ivermectin reaches the threshold for ‘high certainty’ of efficacy meaning it appears to be of immense benefit in both the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Being out of patent, it is incredibly cheap (cost of production is around 3 cents a tablet) and very safe, particularly in comparison to COVID-19 vaccines:

In relation to the above table, it should be noted that around 4 billion doses of ivermectin have been given to humans since reporting started. Real world experience has been enormous and largely censored — something Dr Lawrie has also been subject to, having been removed from Twitter and had articles deleted from LinkedIn. HART has previously highlighted YouTube’s ‘COVID-19 medical misinformation policy’ which outlaws any claims that ivermectin is an effective treatment for the disease. Unfortunately, the influence of pharmaceutical lobbying in preventing the early adoption of ivermectin is evident and it is the sick and dying who inevitably suffer in a system where profit is a huge driver in dictating what does and does not reach the market. There is a point at which enough evidence of efficacy of a medicine has been provided and anything beyond that is deemed ‘unnecessary’.

Read more …

13 million per month. Good start, but 260 million people.

Indonesia to Produce Ivermectin Starting in July (Tempo)

State-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Indofarma on Friday spoke about Ivermectin that has recently claimed popularity after a number of public figures claimed the drug’s effectiveness against COVID-19. Asked by Tempo about the price for one pack, Indofarma management stated in a written release on Friday, July 2, that they “established the price for [Ivermectin] at Rp123 thousand.” The product they sell includes 20 tablets of 12 mg per botol. The highest retail price that includes the added-value tax (PPN) is set at Rp157,700 (US$10 in current exchange). Based on Tempo’s observation across online and physical stores the drug is sold at an average price of Rp200,000 (US$13.7) with the highest retail price at Rp256,000 (US$ 17). Ivermectin, as of June 20, has obtained marketing authorization from the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM). Indofarma stated the production of the drug would kickstart in early July, and that it aimed at producing 13.8 million tablets until August 2021.

Read more …

Interview with Bret Weinstein.

‘Perverse Incentives’ in the Vaccine Rollout and the Censorship of Science (ET)

You mentioned two areas. One is repurposed drugs therapeutics for COVID, another one is of course, vaccine safety. So what are you seeing? Well, let’s pick one. Let’s go into the vaccine safety first. Dr. Weinstein: Well, I’m not sure that there is even a way to do one without the other. The two appear to be the same story viewed from two different sides. And I think what people need to track is the fact that in order for the vaccines to be administered, they had to get an Emergency Use Authorization. And one of the requirements for the Emergency Use Authorization is that there’d be no safe and effective treatments available. So if the repurposed drugs are as good as some people believe they are, then the vaccines would not be available at all. They would still be in testing.

Add to that the fact that the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these vaccines have been granted immunity from liability. And these two things in combination, I believe, have created a headlong rush to administering the vaccines to everyone irrespective of medical or epidemiological need. [..] I’ve seen a piece of the censorship on YouTube. YouTube has in their community guidelines, a provision that actually forbids the discussion of ivermectin if the discussion involves the claim that it works. And the problem is that there is substantial evidence that it works. And works doesn’t mean one thing, it actually means two distinct things.

There is strong evidence that ivermectin works for the treatment of COVID, especially if it is given early in the course of disease. It is also apparently highly effective as a prophylactic. And these things are clearly visible in the recent meta-analysis that have been released that show a clear pattern. So somehow on YouTube, the discussion of evidence that has been peer-reviewed and delivered within the scientific literature is forbidden because it contradicts the CDC’s view, which is that ivermectin does not work or that there is no evidence that it works. [..] I learned this from Robert Malone, who is the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, and he is also somebody who has been involved in a professional capacity inside the regulatory apparatus.

And what he said is that at the point that the Emergency Use Authorizations for the vaccines were granted, there was the opportunity to require extra data to be collected to find out what the impact of these vaccines was on the people who received them. And a choice was made not to collect the data, which I find quite alarming in light of the fact that the process of establishing the safety of these vaccines was necessarily truncated in order to bring them to the public so quickly. [..] the ramifications of it are that we are exposing a huge fraction of the population to what is in effect, a scientific experiment, except that it isn’t a scientific experiment because we are deliberately avoiding collecting data that would allow us to evaluate the impact.

And I find that shocking. It is one thing to argue that we have no choice that COVID-19 is an emergency and we have to make shortcuts that we would not ordinarily consider. I accept that argument. I also accept that these vaccines appear to work at least in the short term. But the right thing to do in order to make proper medically justified decisions and epidemiologically justified decisions is to collect the data on what happens after administration. These are brand new technologies. They have many different ways in which they could fail, and it is our obligation, especially to the people who receive these vaccines, that we collect the data on what happened. And to not do so means that we are very likely to put people in danger in the future with no justification for it.

Read more …

Yup, it’s Daszak.

Lancet Accused Of Doing China’s Dirty Work Denouncing Lab Leak Theory (DM)

The Lancet letter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that this pandemic might have begun with a lab incident rather than spilling over naturally from animals. It was even reportedly used by Facebook to flag articles exploring the lab leak hypothesis as ‘false information’ before the social media giant dramatically changed tack last month. Yet it emerged later that The Lancet statement was covertly drafted by British scientist Peter Daszak – a long-term collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was carrying out high-risk research on bat coronaviruses and had known safety issues.

Daszak is the £300,000-a-year president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based charity that funnelled funds to his friend Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan virologist known as ‘Batwoman’ for her work in collecting samples from bats. Four months later, The Lancet set up a ‘Covid-19 Commission’ to assist governments and scrutinise the origins. It was led by Jeffrey Sachs, the celebrity economist and author who campaigns on aid with rock star Bono. Sachs recently dismissed claims that China is committing genocide on the Uighurs, adopting Beijing’s line that it is confronting Islamic militancy. Incredibly, he backed Daszak to lead his commission’s 12-person taskforce investigating Covid’s origins – joined by five fellow signatories to The Lancet statement.

Daszak’s conflicts of interest were exposed by this newspaper six months ago. Last week The Lancet finally ‘recused’ him from its commission and published an ‘addendum’ to its statement detailing some of his Chinese links. Yet critics say the journal has still failed to admit that six more signatories to that February statement have ties to Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance as directors or partners. ‘It would have been better for The Lancet to have stated that Daszak’s and other signers’ previous declarations were untruthful and to have attached an editorial expression of concern,’ said Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Now The Mail on Sunday has learned that The Lancet is set to publish a second statement by these signatories that presses the case that Covid probably emerged through natural ‘zoonotic’ transmission from animals to humans. ‘We consider that it seems more likely a transmission through an intermediate mammalian host, although other possibilities can’t be fully excluded,’ said one, adding that they were still ‘missing some signatures’. Four of The Lancet’s original experts seem to have since shifted their position, including Charles Calisher, a Colorado virologist. He admits ‘there is too much coincidence’ to ignore the lab leak hypothesis and that ‘it is more likely that it came out of that lab’.

Read more …

And Daszak again.

Daszak Refuses House Request For Wuhan Docs, Democrats Fail To Subpoena (JTN)

Amajor conduit of federal research funding to the Chinese coronavirus lab at the center of ongoing speculation over the origins of the SARS-Cov-2 virus is not complying with a months-old request from House Republicans for documentation related to his work with that lab, while Democrats in the House have failed to issue a subpoena to compel that evidence. Peter Daszak, the president of the U.S. nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, has been the subject of growing scrutiny over the last several months regarding his role in the funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For several years leading up to the pandemic, EcoHealth Alliance funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal research grants to the WIV for the study of potential pandemic coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab.

As government investigators and journalists dig to uncover the full scope of Daszak’s links to the WIV, Daszak is continuing to spurn a congressional request for that information. In April, Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent Daszak a letter directing him to submit, among many other documents, “all letters, emails, and other communications between [EcoHealth] and [the WIV] related to terms of agreements, bat coronaviruses, genome or genetic sequencing, SARS-CoV-2, and/or laboratory safety practices” pursuant to key NIH research funding through EcoHealth to the Wuhan lab as a grant sub-recipient.

Yet Daszak himself has not cooperated with the request. An aide with the Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed to Just the News this week that the committee has “received no response still from EcoHealth Alliance and Peter Daszak to the April 16th letter from Leaders Rodgers, Guthrie, and Griffith.” Washington GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has also publicly noted Daszak’s refusal to cooperate with the request made roughly two and a half months ago. “We have asked Daszak to provide information we know he has that sheds light on the origins of this pandemic,” Rodgers said during a House subcommittee hearing this week. “But he refuses to cooperate.” “Dr. Daszak, you received American funds you used to conduct research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Rodgers continued. “You owe it to the American people to be transparent.”

[..] The committee itself could subpoena Daszak for the materials; both House and Senate committees enjoy subpoena powers pursuant to investigations within their congressional purviews, something that has been upheld by the Supreme Court several times. Yet subpoena power in both chambers is controlled by whichever party is in the majority. Democrats still hold a slim majority in the House, meaning the ultimate authority to compel Daszak to produce the documentation rests with that party, specifically in this case with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone.

Read more …

“DOES ANY SANE PERSON CARE WHAT LITTLE NAPOLEON SAYS?”

Fauci Doubles Back To Masks – For the Vaccinated (JTN)

Less than two months after the government eased its COVID-19 mask requirements, the nation’s chief infectious disease specialist suggested Sunday that vaccinated Americans “go the extra mile” and begin wearing them again in low vaccinated areas. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendation led to howls by many on Twitter, who noted recently released emails from the NIH doctor suggested masks provided little protection. “DOES ANY SANE PERSON CARE WHAT LITTLE NAPOLEON SAYS?,” a woman with the Twitter handle Conservative Gal tweeted Sunday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 13 eased mask restrictions as vaccinations grew quickly.


Fauci made the rounds on the Sunday shows to address the new, contagious COVID-19 delta variant and slowing vaccination rates, offering his changed advice on masks. “If you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say ‘When I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection, even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective,’” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Some blue cities like Los Angeles and St. Louis have already reinstated a mask advisory for vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens as the delta variant has spread.

Read more …

The things that nobody wants to know.

Retraction Of Paper On Vaccine Deaths Spurs Call For More Scrutiny (JTN)

Should public health authorities scrutinize deaths attributed to COVID-19 as closely as they scrutinize deaths attributed to COVID-19 vaccines? Defenders of a controversial study on the risk-benefit ratio of COVID-19 vaccines are calling hypocrisy on a medical journal for retracting the paper a week after publishing it, following the resignations of several journal editors in protest. In a Friday retraction notice in the journal Vaccines, the editor in chief and “several” editorial board members said the paper’s authors were not able to “satisfactorily” answer claims that they conflated correlation with causation. Analyzing data from the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre, known as LAREB, the paper’s authors estimated COVID-19 vaccines take two lives for every three they save. The country leads Europe in vaccine adverse-reaction reporting.

Authors Harald Walach, Rainer Klement and Wouter Aukema challenged criticism from Eugene van Puijenbroek, who leads LAREB’s scientific department, that they had misused its data. “This starts a long-overdue debate on how to gauge the safety of COVID-19 vaccines,” they wrote in a statement provided to Retraction Watch Thursday. “Currently we only have association, we agree, and we never said anything else. But the same is true with fatalities as consequences of SARS-CoV2-infections [sic],” which are “rarely vetted by autopsy or second opinion” to confirm they were caused by the novel coronavirus, rather than incidental to infection. Brown University epidemiologist Andrew Bostom wasn’t impressed by the journal’s “baloney” explanation for the retraction, either.

“The [vaccine] deaths are as causally related as C19 deaths which allow for any positive test within 30-60 days of a death from any cause to be tallied as a C19 death,” he wrote in a Twitter message to Just the News. Bostom pointed to a June study, not yet peer-reviewed, of a sample of deaths in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System reported through April. The sample was limited to people who got early vaccinations, primarily elderly or those with “significant health conditions.” Researchers at the University of London and New Zealand’s Massey University found that they could rule out “vaccine reaction” as a contributing factor in just 14% of deaths. “Contrary to claims that most of these reports are made by lay-people and are hence clinically unreliable, we identified health service employees as the reporter in at least 67%,” they wrote.

Read more …

They’re always on the verge of collapse?!

OPEC On Verge Of Collapse After Saudis, UAE Refuse To Budge (ZH)

Is the world about to go through another 2014 Thanksgiving massacre when OPEC collapsed sending the price of oil crashing and unleashing a brief if catastrophic wave of destruction across the US shale sector? That’s what commodity traders are wondering this long weekend when just two days after the UAE refused to fall inline with the rest of OPEC+, late on Sunday, in a Bloomberg TV interview, Saudi Prince Abdulaziz said that “we have to extend,” referring to the deal agreed upon by all but the UAE on Friday, according to which oil production would be increased by 400kbd over the next few months, while also extending the broader production quota agreement until the end of 2022 for the sake of stability: “the extension puts lots people in their comfort zone” said the Saudi, adding that Abu Dhabi was isolated within the OPEC+ alliance.

“It’s the whole group versus one country, which is sad to me but this is the reality”, the Saudi summarized the potentially explosive situation, which has seen Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates crank up the tension in their OPEC standoff which as Bloomberg summarizes, has left the global economy guessing how much oil it will get next month. The bitter clash between the Saudis and UAE has forced OPEC+ to halt talks twice already, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday, putting markets in limbo as oil continues its inflationary surge above $75 a barrel. With the cartel discussing its production policy not only for the rest of the year, but also into 2022, the solution to the standoff will shape the market and industry into next year.

While traditionally the oil cartel has been shy of publicity, keeping its spats behind close doors, on Sunday the fight between the two key producers broke into public view with both countries, which typically keep their grievances within the walls of the royal palaces, airing their differences on television, with Riyadh insisting on its plan, backed by other OPEC+ members including Russia, that the group should both increase production over the next few months, while also extending the broader agreement reached in the aftermath of the oil price collapse of 2020 until the end of 2022 to avoid a production glut. Just hours earlier, the Emirati energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, again rejected the Saudi-proposed deal extension, supporting only a short-term increase and demanding better terms for itself for 2022. “The UAE is for an unconditional increase of production, which the market requires,” Al-Mazrouei told Bloomberg Television earlier on Sunday. Yet the decision to extend the deal until the end of 2022 is “unnecessary to take now.”

Read more …

“..only 73% of the state-imposed shrinkage of hours worked has been recovered as of June 2021.”

No, We Weren’t All Born Yesterday (David Stockman)

According to the mainstream narrative, we were all born yesterday. There is no such thing as context, history or critical analysis – just cherry-picked short-term data-deltas, which are held to be either awesome or at least much improved from last time. That’s why we predictably got this headline from the Wall Street Journal with reference to today’s June employment release, which allegedly showed “employers added 850,000 jobs last month”: Stocks Tick Higher With Strong Jobs Report Well, no, it wasn’t and they (employers) didn’t. In fact, total hours worked in June actually declined from the May level, and, far more importantly, were still down 4.4% from the pre-Covid peak in February 2020.

When expressed in total hours, there is absolutely nothing “strong” at all about the numbers. To wit, at the end of Q2 2021 total hours employed in the nonfarm economy were still down 8 billion hours from the Q4 2019 level. That’s right. Eight billion worker hours are MIA, yet the lazy shills at the WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters et. al. keep pumping out bilge about an awesome economic rebound! Actually, what has never been noted notwithstanding the fact that it sits there in plain sight on the BLS website is that Dr. Fauci and his economy wreckers dug a far deeper hole in the main street labor market last spring than the narrative led you to believe. At the pre-Covid peak in Q4 2019, the nonfarm economy utilized 257.2 billion labor hours at an annualized rate, but that plunged by nearly -12% to just 227.6 billion hours in Q2 2020.

So doing, Fauci & Co wiped out all of the aggregate nonfarm labor hours gain since Q4 2011. That is to say, it obliterated the awesome gains that had been contained in 102 monthly Jobs Friday reports in the interim. And now, after $4 trillion of freshly printed fiat cash and $6 trillion of stimmies and other bailouts and free stuff only 73% of the state-imposed shrinkage of hours worked has been recovered as of June 2021.

Read more …

By some measures, still the world’s biggest bank.

HSBC in Big Trouble in its Biggest Market, China (WS)

HSBC, headquartered in the UK, is first and foremost an Asian bank. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited cut its teeth in the 19th century in Greater China. In 2020, its Mainland and Hong Kong operations accounted for 39% of its annual $50 billion in revenue, while the United Kingdom, its second largest market, brought in 28%. The bank is now selling off its retail banking units in France and the United States and scaling back its presence in some emerging markets in order to accelerate its eastward pivot. But there’s a problem with this plan: Its success rests largely on the bank’s ability to maintain good relations with the Chinese government. And that is proving to be a tough proposition.

Relations have soured significantly over the past two years after it was revealed in 2019 that HSBC had ratted out Chinese telecom giant Huawei to the U.S. Department of Justice for breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran. The information provided by HSBC led to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, in Vancouver in 2018. As geopolitical tensions have escalated between the US and China, HSBC has had to walk a tightrope in its relations with China on the one hand and Washington and London on the other. The lenders’ travails reveal a core challenge for multinational firms operating in China: the market is vital to their growth prospects, but Western firms doing business there increasingly risk being mired in the ratcheting tensions between Beijing and the West.

But given the size and growth of the market, many big global banks have decided to continue expanding in China, whether organically or through acquisitions. HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC and Citigroup Inc. have all unveiled plans to beef up their wealth management operations in China, targeting the growing middle class. But with net profits for foreign lenders falling precipitously and Beijing demanding that foreign companies toe the line as the US ramps up sanctions on China, it’s getting more and more complicated.

Read more …

 

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Luciferase

 

 

 

 

No jab no dinner

 

 

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Jul 012021
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Stormy Night at Sea 1850

 

Want Me To LAUGH AT YOU? Do Stupid Things (Denninger)
CDC Director: Vaccinated People ‘Safe’ From Delta Variant (Hill)
Rand Paul Cites 0.08% Delta Variant Death Rate Among Unvaccinated (JTN)
Man Dies of Severe Blood Clotting After Receiving Moderna COVID-19 Jab (TNA)
Myocarditis ‘Higher Than Expected’ In Male Service Members After Jabs (JTN)
Digital Travel Pass Comes Into Force In The EU (K.)
Censorship Kills (AIER)
‘Not A Healthy Environment’: Kamala Harris’ Office Rife With Dissent (Pol.)
FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart (Murray)
US & UK Know They Can’t Win WW3 – Putin (RT)

 

 

Why the Delta scare? As a virus mutates, it becomes more contagious and less lethal. And then eventually it disappears…

 

 

Richard Fleming

 

 

Key date: May 12

 

 

“Statistically a significant percentage of such young persons who get hit by this “all cause” wind up needing a heart transplant within five years..”

Want Me To LAUGH AT YOU? Do Stupid Things (Denninger)

Here you go folks, from a mainstream media outlet. “The US Food and Drug Administration added a warning about the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis to fact sheets for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines Friday. The warning notes that reports of adverse events following vaccination — particularly after the second dose — suggest increased risks of both types of heart inflammation. Earlier this week, vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heard that the agency had received about 1,200 reports of such heart inflammation after 300 million doses of the two vaccines had been given. CDC has confirmed about 300 of those cases, many of them among young men and adolescents.”

I will point out that the odds of a healthy under-18 person being killed by Covid-19 are approximately 1 in 250,000 in the US. Only a small percentage of the total 150 million or so “vaccinated” (note that most are 2-dose, so the 300 million number is an attempt to cut the actual risk in half) are in kids thus far, perhaps 15 million or so. It is thus roughly 20 times as likely as you will get hit by this if you’re a young person as you will die of Covid. Further, a material percentage of these cases have reduced ejection fraction detected and materially elevated troponin values, both of which imply serious cardiac compromise. That damage is likely permanent and the mortality rate from this condition is not encouraging. Clearly, for an underlying disease that is almost-never fatal in healthy people under 30 that’s a bad bargain.

“But patients are recovering quickly, Dr. Matthew Oster, a pediatric cardiologist, told the advisers.” That’s an assumption made without evidence; yes, they may be clinically recovering but we have no idea what the longer term impact of that condition is. Statistically a significant percentage of such young persons who get hit by this “all cause” wind up needing a heart transplant within five years; if there is no heart available then you die, and if there is you’re on anti-rejection drugs (which wildly increase your risk from other infections) for the rest of your life, all at hideous and permanent, recurring cost which will be yours to pay. Never mind the cost of the original hospitalization and treatment. Yes, the shot is free but the treatment for myocarditis is not; you get to eat that.

Even if insured it still sucks to be you as your deductible and co-pay is yours to bear. The vaccine companies do not pay for that and neither does the government. In fact, neither does “insurance” in that all insurance is a risk pool spreading event and as such you pay all of it — maybe not right now, but with certainty over the years. Oh, incidentally, as I will remind you again the first papers showing that the spike protein was pathogenic and thus quite likely to cause this sort of event was published in September of 2020; that spurred more research papers and by December, before a single young person had a single jab put in a single arm there were several more papers that documented the mechanism by which this damage occurred. In other words both the FDA and everyone else who was capable of reading and took the time to do so knew before a single person under the age of 50 got jabbed that these shots carried this sort of risk.

[..] In the meantime the virus itself has done what ever pandemic virus in recorded history did; it has mutated to be less-lethal and more-transmissible. Delta, by the NHS data out of England, is 1/10th to 1/20th as deadly as the original strain and the first mutations, while being easier to transmit. The statistical risk of death if you get Delta and are not vaccinated is between 0.08% and 0.15% which is statistically identical to the seasonal flu. All of you screaming about “variants!” were and are flat-out wrong.

What’s worse is that there is emerging data that leads to some very troubling implications via that is known as “OAS”; the NHS data shows that someone partially vaccinated (e.g. starting or in-process with the shots) has a similar risk of adverse outcome to someone who has not taken them at all, but beyond 21 days after the last dose the risk is materially higher. What we don’t have is a cohort match that’s worth relying on — but that’s a serious signal indeed. If it ended there it would be bad enough but it doesn’t — there’s emerging evidence in the lab at least of cross-reactivity outside of coronaviruses so the jabs may well screw you with cross-reactivity that actually enhances mortality from other viral infections. The data on this is evolving but if it turns out to be correct and the risk is not limited to coronaviruses then if you took these jabs you may be truly and completely screwed with nothing you can do about it from a whole myriad of other viral infections — including influenza.

Read more …

Delta’s been around for 3 weeks?! No way she can know this. Utter BS.

CDC Director: Vaccinated People ‘Safe’ From Delta Variant (Hill)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that fully vaccinated people are “safe” from the current variants and do not need to wear masks, doubling down on CDC guidance as some others call for a return to mask wearing. The question of mask wearing has come back to the forefront given recommendations from Los Angeles County health officials, and from the World Health Organization, that even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors in public as a precaution due to the rise of the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus. But Walensky said that the CDC’s guidance has not changed and that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks, echoing other health experts who note that the vaccines are highly effective even against the delta variant.


“If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States,” Walensky said on NBC’s “Today,” adding it was “exactly right” that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks. She responded to the WHO by saying they are dealing with a worldwide situation where far fewer people are vaccinated than in the United States, given global vaccine disparities, and are therefore issuing more cautious advice. “We know that the WHO has to make guidelines and provide information to the world,” she said. “Right now, we know as we look across the globe that less than 15 percent of people around the world have been vaccinated and many people of those have really only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine. There are places around the world that are surging.”

McCullough

Read more …

He makes a lot more sense than Walensky. Just look at the UK/Israel graphs at the top of the post. Delta is very mild, according to all data we have so far.

Rand Paul Cites 0.08% Delta Variant Death Rate Among Unvaccinated (JTN)

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is telling Twitter followers to not let the ‘fearmongers’ win, amid growing concerns about the newest delta variant of the coronavirus. Paul, who is a doctor with a degree in medicine from Duke University, cited a study of the strain that shows only a 0.08% death rate among unvaccinated people. “Don’t let the fearmongers win. New public England study of delta variant shows 44 deaths out of 53,822 (.08%) in unvaccinated group. Hmmm,” he tweeted Tuesday to his 3.2 million followers. The variant, which has caused virus outbreaks in Australia and other countries, has resulted in officials reimposing recently lifted health-safety orders including mask-wearing.

Ron Paul

Read more …

And there we go again. It’s what you get if you don’t test.

Man Dies of Severe Blood Clotting After Receiving Moderna COVID-19 Jab (TNA)

One of the “the safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccines has claimed another life. Doctors in Pennsylvania revealed the first documented incidence of severe blood clotting suspected to be linked to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, after a man died within days of receiving his second dosage. Writing in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, medics from the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh have reported that an unnamed 65-year-old man, who had high blood pressure and elevated fat levels in his blood, developed so-called vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT), or thrombocytopenia with thrombosis syndrome (TTS), 10 days after receiving his second Moderna jab.

The doctors said their findings “fulfill the interim case definition of VITT or TTS” set out by the CDC and that further blood tests “[strengthened] the likelihood” of a vaccine-linked condition. The patient reportedly arrived at the hospital with an array of serious conditions. First, a computed tomography angiogram of his chest showed large, bilateral, acute pulmonary emboli — a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in lungs. Most often, the condition results from a blood clot that forms in the legs or another part of the body and travels to the lungs. The patient had DVT in both lower extremities, which is noted to be “acute.”

The man developed a right ventricular strain, or a right ventricular dysfunction, where the muscle of the right ventricle of the heart is deformed. This type of heart failure develops when the right side of the heart does not pump blood as well as it should, causing blood to back up into the veins and limiting how much blood the heart can pump. The patient also had severe thrombocytopenia, or low platelet count. Platelets (thrombocytes) are cells that help the blood clot. The report in Pittsburgh is the first confirmed case of blood clotting linked to a vaccine based on mRNA technology, which includes those developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. While a number of recipients of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson shots have developed clotting, including some fatal cases, those vaccines use different technology and are instead based on a deactivated adenovirus.

In spite of this man’s death, Pittsburgh medics have stressed that the benefits of being immunized far outweigh any risks: “We believe it is important to note that many millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA technology. This is the only report to date of possible VITT or TTS in those recipients, and such a rare event, even if confirmed by additional reports, should not prevent persons from receiving the benefits of these vaccines.”

Read more …

Prediction 8 cases, in reality 23.

Myocarditis ‘Higher Than Expected’ In Male Service Members After Jabs (JTN)

A new medical study finds a “higher than expected” number of myocarditis or heart inflammation cases among male military members after receiving their second mRNA COVID-19 shot. The study, published in the peer-reviewed JAMA Cardiology journal Tuesday, found that 23 males 20 to 51, presented “acute onset of marked chest pain” within four days of receiving the second COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to The Epoch Times. The case studied patients in the U.S. military health system from Jan. 1 to April 30. Seven received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 16 received the Moderna vaccine. According to the study, more than 2.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered by the military health system.


“The observed number of male military members who experienced myocarditis after their second dose of mRNA vaccine, while relatively small, is substantially higher than the expected number,” reads the study. The authors cited a prediction of eight or fewer cases of myocarditis from the 436,000 male military members who received two vaccine doses. The report said all the members who tested for myocarditis, a condition that causes the swelling of the heart muscle and can cause difficulty breathing, heart failure, and death, were all “physically fit by military standards and lacking any known history of cardiac disease, significant cardiac risk factors, or exposure to cardiotoxic agents.”

Read more …

Vaccine, negative test or recovered from the disease. How do the assess that last one? What test is used? Is it only people who have been hospitalized? Or do they test for T cells, antibodies, memory B cells?

“Its use will be suspended when the WHO declares an end to the international health emergency caused by Covid-19.”

Digital Travel Pass Comes Into Force In The EU (K.)

The new EU-wide travel pass, aiming to facilitate movement across the bloc during the pandemic, came into force on Thursday. The Digital Covid Certificate — or Digital Green Certificate — is to be used as proof that travellers have been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from the disease. Its aim is to enable people to travel more easily for work and travel in the EU by reducing paperwork and skipping quarantine. The certificate is a temporary tool. Its use will be suspended when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares an end to the international health emergency caused by Covid-19.

Read more …

Popper is a good source for scientific integrity.

Censorship Kills (AIER)

Big Tech routinely censors reports of vaccine harm and alternatives to vaccines. Censorship is the product of an illiberal, anti-science, authoritarian mindset. Censorship kills because decision-making is distorted. Consider the knowledge of the disinfecting properties of soap and water. In a world where that knowledge was censored in favor of antibiotic treatment for all wounds, people would die needlessly, and antibiotics would be overused. Popper interprets Kant’s principle of autonomy as the “realization that we must never accept the command of an authority, however exalted, as the basis of ethics. For whenever we are faced with the command of an authority, it is always up to us to judge, critically, whether it is morally permissible to obey.” Popper allows, “The authority may have the power to enforce its commands, and we may be powerless to resist.”

Today we are not yet powerless to resist the censors. We can acknowledge our ignorance and engage in inquiry. We can still seek out and find alternative views and consider disconcerting evidence. We can resist the urge to self-censor and instead share what we are observing and learning. We can reject authority as the basis for our personal ethics. Popper writes, “If it is physically possible for us to choose our conduct then we cannot escape the ultimate responsibility.” Lex Fridman is a research scientist at MIT and the host of a popular podcast. Recently he had Weinstein on his show to talk about censorship. Fridman said this: “Science is the striving of the human mind to understand and solve the problems of the world, but as an institution, it is susceptible to flaws of human nature, to fear, to greed, power, and ego.”

To reduce uncertainty about the best solutions to Covid, Fridman argues, “No voices should have been silenced, no ideas left off the table. Open data, open science, open scientific communication, and debate is the way, not censorship.” Censors claim the moral high road; they assure us they are coercing others for our own good. Fridman dismantles their authoritarian hubris: “There are a lot of ideas out there that are bad, wrong, dangerous. But the moment we have the hubris to say we know which ideas those are is the moment we lose our ability to find the truth, to find solutions.” The conversation he had with Weinstein is larger than Weinstein’s ideas. Fridman warns that at stake is “the very freedom to talk, to think, to share ideas.” Fridman believes, “This freedom is our only hope.”

Censorship distorts decision-making and destroys hope. For some, Covid is a matter of life or death. Censorship challenges our ability to make responsible health choices for ourselves and those in our care. In 1644 John Milton wrote, “He who destroys a good book, kills reason itself.” Today, acknowledge the destructive consequences of censorship. Speak out now or we risk allowing Big Tech’s algorithms and community guidelines to continue to destroy reason, hinder science, and undermine hope for humanity.

Malone mRNA

Read more …

Why does Politico go after Kamala? For narrative control, damage control. If they have the scoop, no-one else has. And then they can lead the narrative where they want it.

‘Not A Healthy Environment’: Kamala Harris’ Office Rife With Dissent (Pol.)

When Vice President Kamala Harris finally made the decision to visit the Mexico border last week, people inside her own office were blindsided by the news. For days, aides and outside allies had been calling and texting with each other about the political fallout that a potential trip would entail. But when it became known that she was going to El Paso, it left many scrambling, including officials who were responsible for making travel arrangements and others outside the VP’s office charged with crafting the messaging across the administration. The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.

Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year. In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue. While much of the ire is aimed at Harris’ chief, two administration officials said the VP herself also bears responsibility for the way her office is run.

“It all starts at the top,” said one of the administration officials, who like others requested anonymity to be able to speak candidly about a sensitive matter. “People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said another person with direct knowledge of how Harris’ office is run. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.” The dysfunction in the VP’s ranks threatens to complicate the White House’s carefully crafted image as a place staffed by a close-knit group of professionals working in concert to advance the president’s agenda. It’s pronounced enough that members of the president’s own team have taken notice and are concerned about the way Harris’ staffers are treated.

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris, pushed back against the complaints and defended Flournoy saying she has an “open door policy” and that “Black women like me would not have the opportunity to work in politics without Tina.” Of the chief of staff’s anonymous critics, she added: “People are cowards to do this this way.” “We are not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like ‘welcome to the club,’” Sanders added. “We have created a culture where people, if there is anything anyone would like to raise, there are avenues for them to do so. Whoever has something they would like to raise, they should raise it directly.”

Read more …

No better source than Murray on the topic.

FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart (Murray)

On the final day of the Assange extradition hearing, magistrate Vanessa Baraitser refused to accept an affidavit from Assange’s solicitor Gareth Peirce, on the grounds it was out of time. The affidavit explained that the defence had been unable to respond to the new accusations in the United States government’s second superseding indictment, because these wholly new matters had been sprung on them just six weeks before the hearing resumed on 8 September 2020. The defence had not only to gather evidence from Iceland, but had virtually no access to Assange to take his evidence and instructions, as he was effectively in solitary confinement in Belmarsh. The defence had requested an adjournment to give them time to address the new accusations, but this adjournment had been refused by Baraitser.

She now refused to accept Gareth Peirce’s affidavit setting out these facts. What had happened was this. The hearings on the Assange extradition in January 2020 did not seem to be going well for the US government. The arguments that political extradition is specifically banned by the UK/US extradition treaty, and that the publisher was not responsible for Chelsea Manning’s whistleblowing on war crimes, appeared to be strong. The US Justice Department had decided that it therefore needed a new tack and to discover some “crimes” by Assange that seemed less noble than the Manning revelations. To achieve this, the FBI turned to an informant in Iceland, Sigi Thordarson, who was willing to testify that Assange had been involved with him in, inter alia, hacking private banking information and tracking Icelandic police vehicles.

This was of course much easier to portray as crime, as opposed to journalism, so the second superseding indictment was produced based on Thordarson’s story, which was elaborated with Thordarson by an FBI team. The difficulty was that Thordarson was hardly a reliable witness. He had already been convicted in Iceland for stealing approximately $50,000 from Wikileaks and with impersonating Julian Assange online, not to mention the inconvenient fact he is a registered sex offender for online activities with under-age boys. The FBI team was in fact expelled from Iceland by the Icelandic government, who viewed what the FBI was doing with Thordarson as wholly illegitimate.

Read more …

“Because those who are doing this know that they can’t get out of this war victorious. That’s a very important thing.”

US & UK Know They Can’t Win WW3 – Putin (RT)

President Vladimir Putin has slammed the violation of Russian territorial waters by British warship HMS Defender as a “provocation.” He also claimed that London’s American allies had a hand in last week’s incident near Crimea. However, apparently casting doubt on NATO’s ‘Article V’ collective defense pact, the Russian leader claimed that, even if Moscow had sunk the vessel, it wouldn’t have led to World War III, because the “provocateurs” know they wouldn’t be able to win. Last week, the British naval ship HMS Defender entered the country’s territorial waters and traveled three kilometers (almost two miles) inside the frontier, near Cape Fiolent, in Crimea. According to Russia’s Ministry of Defense, the coastguard targeted warning shots at the boat. This has been disputed by the British, but video evidence suggests the Russian version of events is more accurate.


According to London, the destroyer was making a peaceful passage through the territorial waters of Ukraine in accordance with international law. The UK does not recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Speaking at his annual ‘Direct Line’ call-in show, Putin revealed that a US strategic airplane took off from an airfield on the island of Crete and flew towards Russia on the morning before HMS Defender entered Russian waters. However, despite the provocation, the two NATO members do not want a conflict, and it is not true to say that the world is now standing on the brink of a world war, he said. “Even if we had sunk that ship, it would still be hard to imagine that the world would be on the brink of World War III,” the president said. “Because those who are doing this know that they can’t get out of this war victorious. That’s a very important thing.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

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 May 25, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  70 Responses »


Alberto Giacometti Tête Noire 1957

 

Frontline Doctors File Motion To Stop EUA Of Covid Vaccines For Children (LSN)
1-Minute ‘Non-invasive’ Covid Breath Test Authorized For Use In Singapore (RT)
Stop The Death Cult (Denninger)
Thrombosis After Covid-19 Vaccination (BMJ)
How Texas Killed Covid (Ron Paul)
Growing Circumstantial Evidence That Covid Came Out Of A Lab – Gottlieb (Hill)
“Fact-Checking” Takes Another Beating (Taibbi)
Retired NYT Science Editor Slams MSM For Ignoring Wuhan Lab Evidence (DM)
Internal Facebook Documents Detail Campaign To Censor Vaccine Concerns (PM)
Ending Big Tech’s Free Ride (Carr)
The 2013 Forced Landing of Bolivia’s Plane to Find Snowden (Greenwald)

 

 

 

 

“..by the CDC’s own data, we are seeing a 12,000 percent increase in deaths with these vaccines and they’re still talking about giving this to our kids.”

Frontline Doctors File Motion To Stop EUA Of Covid Vaccines For Children (LSN)

A group of parents, along with America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) and written by Thomas Renz, Esq., filed a motion in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order “to prevent the expansion of the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines to include children under the age of 16,” according a statement released earlier today. The motion was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and is directed against Secretary Xavier Becerra and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It consists of numerous plaintiffs representing various interests and backgrounds, including “physicians and the parents of minor children who are alarmed about offering children experimental products that have not undergone long term animal or safety studies.”


“We’ve never seen this level of side effects for any vaccine without the FDA taking action,” stated Dr. Angelina Farella, AFLDS Pediatric Medical Director. “The Rotavirus vaccine was pulled for 15 cases of non-lethal side effects and the Swine Flu vaccine was pulled for 25 deaths. But now, by the CDC’s own data, we are seeing a 12,000 percent increase in deaths with these vaccines and they’re still talking about giving this to our kids.” “Our children should never be the experiment,” she continued. “No additional authorizations or mandates should be granted. We want to preserve the previously established safety standards.” Dr. Farella also cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which confirms “children are at statistically zero risk for COVID-19, making expansion of the EUA for younger children medically unnecessary.”

Read more …

If dogs can smell it in a minute…

1-Minute ‘Non-invasive’ Covid Breath Test Authorized For Use In Singapore (RT)

A one-minute Covid-19 breath test has received provisional authorization in Singapore, where it will be used to test people coming into the country from Malaysia. The National University of Singapore’s Breathonix test – which was developed from “cancer detection technology” – can detect Volatile Organic Compounds in a person’s breath to see if they are healthy or not, researchers say, though the test will also be used alongside more traditional antigen rapid testing. In partnership with the Singapore Ministry of Health, Breathonix will first deploy its testing at the Tuas Checkpoint, which connects Singapore and Malaysia.


Breathonix’s test was previously trialed at Changi Airport, the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, and in Dubai, and the breathalyzer technology is unlikely to cause any cross-contamination, according to its founders. “Our breath test is non-invasive. Users only need to breathe out normally into the disposable mouthpiece provided, so there will not be any discomfort,” Breathonix CEO Dr. Jia Zhunan said. “Cross-contamination is unlikely as the disposable mouthpiece has a one-way valve and a saliva trap to prevent inhalation or saliva from entering the machine.” The test will likely be the fastest in the world upon its rollout and could be a gamechanger in places where fast results are necessary, including airports and borders.

Read more …

Health care or sick care?

Stop The Death Cult (Denninger)

The entire pharmaceutical industry spent just $83 billion on R&D in 2019. That sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t when you look at the federal budget, even confining it just to Medicare. Indeed, there’s a serious problem here in that most of this spending is on biologics in what is called the “specialty drug” category. These are large-molecule, hard-to-make things that treat complex, rare or chronic conditions. But not too rare: Nobody will spend a billion dollars to develop a drug that only helps a thousand people at best, as the price just to cover the development expense is over a million dollars a person. The bottom line is that the system we have today has incentivized the development of large-molecule, expensive and complex drugs that are ridiculously expensive and aimed at complex and rare conditions — defined as a small body of people, but not too small.

Fall on the wrong side of the “too small” line and you get nothing. Become to easy to look at where someone will take a crack at synthesizing something simple that might work and again you get nothing. Once in a while this winds up in the news or even generates lawsuits but only when it’s a large group impacted, as was the case with Sovaldi. If it wasn’t for the wide prevalence of Hepatitis C, driven by IV drug abuse, nobody would have bothered to chase that and the drug companies know it. In addition there’s a secondary perverse incentive which is that inevitably fatal and rapidly degenerative diseases are targeted preferentially. The reason is safety standards; nobody would tolerate a headache medicine that killed 1 in 1,000 users, but a cancer medicine that does so is acceptable because without treatment you’re going to die for certain, and any chance of living is better than none.

Many drugs and other therapies developed over the last decades have, in fact, been frauds to at least some degree. It is not that they don’t work; most of them do. It is that they displace other working therapies without demonstrating a cost:benefit increment and, in many cases, wind up being more harmful that either the alternative or having no better benefit. But in every case they are more-expensive. The most-outrageous are “re-label” events such as what happened with Albuterol inhalers in which the propellant, but not the active ingredient, was changed and then it was re-patented screwing asthma sufferers out of billions of dollars. What’s happened with Covid-19 is a wildly-blinding illustration of the problems. There was an immediate target for one intervention against Covid-19 – inoculation. But inoculations take ten or more years to develop, and the reason is simply that many of the longer-term side effects take that long to find. Something that results in a negative cross-reaction with the original virus over time or other viruses in the environment cannot, in humans, be “challenge trialed” because the potential outcome is death. So all you can do is look for safety signals over a long period of time in a small number of people.

Yes, you do animal work first to identify potential threats in that realm, but you can’t be exhaustive and many viruses will not infect the animal used for testing, so your ability to screen is limited. In addition there are all manner of other things that show up that are very bad, including autoimmune disorders, and again those almost always take years to develop. Finally there is no way to reasonably do regular blood work and such on large groups; it simply costs too much money. But any such signal generated is important so you want to do those on small groups where intensive laboratory analysis can be done on each and every participant to catch any indication that a problem may be present but not instantly obvious via presented symptoms. You can’t do this across 30,000 people, say much less 150 million. But you can do it across 1,000 people and you damn well should have to for a couple of years as a risk-limiting corral when the eventual result is something you cannot take back if it turns out to be seriously harmful.

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Interesting from our Comments section yesterday,

Thrombosis After Covid-19 Vaccination (BMJ)

For COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), the biodistribution studies in animals were not conducted. The surrogate studies with luciferase and solid-lipid nanoparticles (Pfizer) confirm a biodistribution to the liver and other body tissues beyond the administration site [5]. For Moderna, the biodistribution of mRNA-1647 (encoding CMV genes) formulated in a similar lipid nanoparticulate delivery system confirms a biodistribution beyond the injection site, in particular, the distribution to the lymph nodes, spleen and the eye was noted [6]. However, the detailed tissue-specific distribution of mRNA vaccines encoding SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins (Pfizer or Moderna) is not fully known that can offer invaluable insights into the potential safety of these vaccines in people with pre-existing conditions or those on certain medications.

The detailed biodistribution data including pharmacokinetics of various CoViD vaccines were not conducted by the vaccine manufacturers because the studies demonstrating biodistribution of antigens were considered ‘not required’ by the regulatory authorities on the premise that vaccines work by an immunological response than the classic pharmacological approach. However, such an exemption may barely justify the conventional vaccines such as those incorporating whole inactivated virus, split virion, or the sub-unit vaccines, that directly attracts an immune response post-injection.

On the contrary, modern genetic vaccines work on the premise of gene delivery, therefore, a detailed biodistribution and pharmacokinetic evaluation of the formulated product is invaluable in understanding the potential impact of vaccine encoding gene transfection to various body tissues beyond the site of injection. Vaccines are one of the great discoveries in medicine that has improved life expectancy dramatically. However, if genetic vaccines were to be sustained beyond the CoViD19 pandemic, a tissue targeted approach may be the way forward to limit the antigen (the encoding gene) distribution to the intended tissues only to improve the vaccine safety profile for a global mass public rollout. In comparison, the conventional vaccine approaches (classic non-genetic formulations) have a long history of human use across much wider age groups (infants to elderly) and have an established safety profile despite the current challenges in antigen propagation and large-scale production in a timely manner using conventional methods.

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“..will anyone be held responsible for the thousands who died because of the prohibition on safe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin that have since been shown to be effective against Covid-19? ”

How Texas Killed Covid (Ron Paul)

not only did the doom and gloom predicted by the lockdown fanatics fail to materialize, but the steady, seasonal downward trend of the virus toward extinction continued regardless of government action. As we have repeated for a year on the Liberty Report, the virus was going to virus regardless of anything we did about it. And Texas proved it. However, some very important questions remain to be answered as the Covid panic across the United States is finally starting to recede. First, will anyone be held responsible for the thousands who died because of the prohibition on safe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin that have since been shown to be effective against Covid-19?

As soon as Donald Trump mentioned that hydroxychloroquine might be effective against the virus, the “experts” circled the wagons. It was banned for use, until it later was quietly un-banned. The politicization of medicine is anti-science, anti-human, and anti-American. Will those who needlessly died due to this politicization finally get their justice? Second, though Abbott deserves credit for taking the bold step, shouldn’t he be held accountable for closing the state in the first place? After all, when someone has been punching you in the face and then they stop, do you thank them for letting up or do you ask why they punched you in the first place? Will all the tyrannical rule-by-decree orders across the United States be stricken from the books?

Or will they just be allowed to do this again for any reason they choose? Third, thanks to Senator Rand Paul, we are now all aware of Dr. Fauci’s role in funding gain-of-function research on viruses in China. Will we be able to find out exactly why we are being forced to pay for the mad scientist research into how to create more deadly viruses? Can we opt-out of this funding?

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“..left the FDA in April 2019 and now sits on the board of Pfizer..”

Growing Circumstantial Evidence That Covid Came Out Of A Lab – Gottlieb (Hill)

Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Monday that there is growing circumstantial evidence suggesting that COVID-19 may have originated in a lab and not in nature. CNBC’s “Squawk Box” co-host Rebecca Quick asked Gottlieb what he made of a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday that said three employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had sought hospital treatment for flu-like symptoms around the same time COVID-19 began to emerge in China. “I think the challenge right now is that the side of the ledger that supports the thesis that this came from a zoonotic source, from an animal source, hasn’t budged. And the side of the ledger that suggests this could have come out of a lab has continued to grow,” said Gottlieb, who left the FDA in April 2019 and now sits on the board of Pfizer.


“People a year ago who said this probably came from nature, it’s really unlikely it came from a lab, maybe a year ago that kind of a statement made a lot of sense because that was the more likely scenario,” Gottlieb added. He said the source of COVID-19 has yet to be identified and noted that the origins of related diseases were usually identified at this point following the initial outbreak. “It’s not for lack of trying. There has been an exhaustive search,” Gottlieb said of COVID-19. “I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the bottom of this,” he added. “Because unless we have a whistleblower — assuming it did come out of a lab, and I’m not saying it did, but assuming it did — unless we have a whistleblower or a regime change in China, you’re not going to truly find out.”

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“The news business just can’t stop clowning itself.”

“Fact-Checking” Takes Another Beating (Taibbi)

The news business just can’t stop clowning itself. The latest indignity is an international fact-checking debacle originating, of all places, at a “festival of fact-checking.” The Poynter Institute is perhaps the most respected think tank in our business, an organization seeking to “fortify journalism’s role in a free society,” among other things through its sponsorship of the fact-checking outlet PolitiFact. A few weeks back, it held a virtual convention called the “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.” The three-day event featured special guests Christiane Amanpour, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Brian Stelter, and Senator Mark Warner — a lineup of fact “stars” whose ironic energy recalled the USO’s telethon-execution of Terrance and Phillip before the invasion of Canada in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Tickets were $50, but if you wanted a “private virtual happy hour” with Stelter, you needed to pay $100 for the “VIP Experience.”

During the confab, PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders asked Fauci, “Are you still confident that [Covid-19] developed naturally?” To which the convivial doctor answered, “No, I’m not convinced of that,” going on to say “we” should continue to investigate all hypotheses about how the pandemic began: Conservatives in particular were quick to point out that Fauci last year said, “Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.” At that time last May, of course, the issue of the pandemic’s origin had already long since been politicized, with Donald Trump’s administration anxious to point a finger at China for causing the disaster. Mike Pompeo went so far as to say there was “enormous evidence” the disease had been created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci was touted as a hero for pushing back on this and many other things.

Fauci’s new quote about not being “convinced” that Covid-19 has natural origins, however, is part of what’s becoming a rather ostentatious change of heart within officialdom about the viability of the so-called “lab origin” hypothesis. Through 2020, officials and mainstream press shut down most every discussion on that score. Reporters were heavily influenced by a group letter signed by 27 eminent virologists in the Lancet last February in which the authors said they “strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” and also by a Nature Medicine letter last March saying, “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct.”

The consensus was so strong that some well-known voices saw social media accounts suspended or closed for speculating about Covid-19 having a “lab origin.” One of those was University of Hong Kong virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who went on Tucker Carlson’s show last September 15th to say “[Covid-19] is a man-made virus created in the lab.” After that appearance, PolitiFact — Poynter’s PolitiFact — gave the statement its dreaded “Pants on Fire” rating.

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What would you expect from the MSM?

Retired NYT Science Editor Slams MSM For Ignoring Wuhan Lab Evidence (DM)

A retired New York Times science editor has slammed the mainstream media for ignoring the possibility that coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan and accused journalists of falling for ‘Chinese propaganda’ instead of doing their own research. Nicholas Wade, who penned a 1,100-word article examining the link entitled ‘The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?’ earlier this month, took aim at top news outlets in a Fox News interview on Sunday night. He claimed the media mainstream media failed to ‘take off its political glasses’ to investigate the virus’ origins, the facts of which, he said, are being obscured by the Chinese Communist Party.

Wade’s remarks come as more scientists and political officials are coming forward to support the theory that the virus may have been developed in a Chinese laboratory and was covered up – after scoffing at the idea for much of the past year in part because it was pushed by then-President Donald Trump. Among the top officials now speculating that possibility is Dr Anthony Fauci, who recently said he’s ‘not convinced’ the virus formed naturally after repeated statements to the contrary. The case for a lab leak was strengthened on Sunday when a previously-undisclosed US intelligence report revealed three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019 – months before China disclosed the COVID-19 outbreak.

‘I think we see a sustained Chinese propaganda effort at work,’ Wade, who served as the staff writer for the Science Times section of the New York Times from 1982 to 2012, told Mark Levin on Life, Liberty & Levin. ‘But, you know, more than that, it was just the blindness, if I could put it that way, of our media — we’re too polarized to see scientific issues for their own sake without putting a political gloss on them,’ he continued. ‘We don’t know for sure: The origin of the virus is just we’ve got these two possible scenarios. But if you look at all the evidence and ask yourself, well, which scenario explains all these facts better on present evidence, it seems, to me at least, that the lab-escape hypothesis explains it a lot better. ‘But it’s a sort of complicated conclusion to arrive at, and I can only assume that the media was blindsided, they didn’t do the work that was necessary.’

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Complete insanity. Shutting down discussion, which Facebook should encourage.

Internal Facebook Documents Detail Campaign To Censor Vaccine Concerns (PM)

Project Veritas has obtained internal documents from Facebook whistleblowers detailing the social media platform’s efforts to censor COVID-19 vaccine concerns. Two of the Facebook insiders have come forward with leaked company documents detailing the Big Tech giant’s plan to curb and police “vaccine hesitancy” (VH) worldwide through surreptitious “comment demotion.” “They’re trying to control this content before it even makes it onto your page before you even see it,” one of the Facebook insiders said to Project Veritas. “If I lose my job, it’s like, what do I do? But that’s less of a concern to me.” The stated goal of the global feature is to “reduce user exposure” to VH comments. Another aim of the program is to “decrease” other engagement of VH comments including “create, likes, reports [and] replies,” according to Project Veritas.

One of the Facebook whistleblowers said the company uses a tier system to rank and determine how comments should be censored or buried. This is all based on how much the statements question or caution against the COVID-19 vaccination. Tier 2, for instance, represents “Indirect Discouragement” of getting vaccinated. User comments such as these would be “suppressed,” Project Veritas reported. Comments that include “shocking stories” that describe what could be true events or facts that can raise safety concerns are demoted. Any of the such that raises concern about coronavirus vaccinations are fair game to be demoted and hidden, according to the source, despite authenticity or capacity to contribute to the public good. “I have to do something,” one of the Facebook insiders said.

It doesn’t matter if the comments are true, factual, or represent reality. The comment is demoted, buried, and hidden from public view if it clashes with the system. “It doesn’t match the narrative,” one source explained. “The narrative being, get the vaccine, the vaccine is good for you. Everyone should get it. And if you don’t, you will be singled out.” One of the insiders, a data center technician, showed documentation detailing an algorithm test being run on 1.5 percent of Facebook and Instagram’s almost 3.8 billion users worldwide. “They’re trying to control this content before it even makes it onto your page before you even see it,” one insider said.

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“Ordinary Americans, not Big Tech, have been footing the bill for those costs. Yet Big Tech derives tremendous value from these high-speed networks.”

Ending Big Tech’s Free Ride (Carr)

Up to now, there have been two leading approaches. The first is the FCC’s current model for funding internet builds. Many consumers are unaware that the federal government collects roughly $9 billion a year through a tax on their monthly bills for traditional telephone service—both wireless and wireline. The FCC then uses that pot of money, known as the Universal Service Fund, to support internet builds in rural areas and on other efforts to close the digital divide. This model made sense when Congress established it back in 1996. But it is now hopelessly outdated. The dominant platform for communications has shifted from the telephone network to the internet.

Indeed, the revenue base associated with the traditional telephone network has fallen sharply from a peak of around $80 billion in the 2000s to less than $30 billion today as more and more services—including those now offered by Big Tech—are delivered over the internet instead. Yet we continue to rely on that shrinking base of revenues from the telephone network to fund the broadband network. This is like taxing horseshoes to pay for highways. This antiquated system is on the verge of collapse. The FCC has kept it on life support by increasing the tax on consumers’ telephone bills at an accelerating clip. Indeed, that tax recently surged above 30 percent for the first time. This is not sustainable; relying on this model to fund additional infrastructure would strain the system well past its breaking point.

Big Tech has been enjoying a free ride on our internet infrastructure while skipping out on the billions of dollars in costs needed to maintain and build that network. Indeed, one study shows that the online streaming services provided by just five companies—Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Microsoft—account for a whopping 75 percent of all traffic on rural broadband networks. The same study shows that 77-94 percent of total network costs are related to adding capacity or otherwise supporting the delivery of those streaming services. Ordinary Americans, not Big Tech, have been footing the bill for those costs. Yet Big Tech derives tremendous value from these high-speed networks. Indeed, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google generated nearly $1 trillion in revenues in 2020 alone—an almost 20 percent increase over the prior year.

It would take just 0.009 percent of those revenues to eliminate entirely the unsustainable 30 percent tax that currently hits consumers on their monthly bills. Ending this corporate welfare is more than fair. It is consistent with the network compact that has prevailed since the earliest days of the Ma Bell telephone network. Historically, the businesses that derived the greatest benefit from a communications network paid the lion’s share of the costs. For instance, the fees that businesses paid for local and long-distance calls provided the key funding stream to build the traditional telephone network.

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As I remembered yesterday. Greenwald’s memory has the details.

The 2013 Forced Landing of Bolivia’s Plane to Find Snowden (Greenwald)

There is little doubt that the forced landing of this plane by Belarus, with the clear intention to arrest Protasevich, is illegal under numerous conventions and treaties governing air space. Any forced landing of a jet carries dangers, and safe international air travel would be impossible if countries could force planes flying with permission over their air space to land in order to seize passengers who might be on board. This act by Belarus merits all the condemnation it is receiving. Yet news accounts in the West which are depicting this incident as some sort of unprecedented assault on legal conventions governing air travel and basic decency observed by law-abiding nations are whitewashing history. Attempts from U.S. officials such as Blinken and E.U. bureaucrats in Brussels to cast the Belarusians’ behavior as some sort of rogue deviation unthinkable for any law-respecting democracy are particularly galling and deceitful.

In 2013, the U.S. and key E.U. states pioneered the tactic just used by Lukashenko. They did so as part of a failed scheme to detain and arrest the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. That incident at the time caused global shock and outrage precisely because, eight years ago, it was truly an unprecedented assault on the values and conventions they are now invoking to condemn Belarus. In July of that year, the democratically elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, had traveled to Russia for a routine international conference attended by countries which export natural gas. At the time of Morales’ trip, Edward Snowden was in the middle of a bizarre five-week ordeal where he was stranded in the international transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, unable to board a flight to leave Russia or exit the airport to enter Russia.

On June 23, Hong Kong officials rejected a demand from the U.S. Government that they arrest Snowden and hand him over to the U.S. Hong Kong was the city Snowden chose to meet the two journalists he had selected (one of whom was me) because of what he regarded as the city’s noble history of fighting against repression and for independence and free expression. When announcing their refusal to hand over Snowden, Hong Kong officials issued a remarkably defiant, even mocking statement explaining that Snowden had been permitted to leave Hong Kong “on his own accord.” That statement also accused the U.S. of having issued a legally improper and inaccurate extradition demand which they were duty-bound to reject, and then pointedly noted that the real crime requiring investigation was U.S. spying on the populations of the rest of the world.

Snowden thus left Hong Kong that day with the intent to fly to Moscow, then immediately board a flight to Cuba, and then proceed to his ultimate destination in a Latin American country — Bolivia or Ecuador — in order to seek asylum there. But even after then-President Barack Obama denied that the U.S. Government would be “wheeling and dealing” in order to get Snowden into U.S. custody — “I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker,” he dismissively claimed during a June press conference — the U.S. Government was, in reality, doing everything in its power to prevent Snowden from evading the clutches of the U.S. Government.

Led by then-Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. officials warned every country in both Europe and South America said to be considering shelter for Snowden of grave consequences should they offer asylum to the whistleblower. Threats to Havana caused the Cuban government to rescind its commitment of safe passage they had issued to Snowden’s lawyer. Under Biden’s pressure, Ecuador also reversed itself by proclaiming the safe passage document issued to Snowden was a mistake.

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The narrative of bitcoin energy use always seemed a bit warped.

 

 

 

 

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Feb 272021
 
 February 27, 2021  Posted by at 10:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Paul Klee Dancing Under the Empire of Fear 1938

 

House Passes Second Largest Stimulus Package In History At $1.9T (JTN)
What IS the Truth About Covid Deaths? (DM)
Nearly 1 In 5 US Adults Have Now Gotten At Least One Covid19 Vaccine Dose (F.)
Johnson & Johnson One-Shot Covid Vaccine Gets Nod From FDA Advisory Panel (G.)
What The Neera Tanden Affair Reveals About The Washington DC Swamp (Sirota)
Biden Doesn’t Penalize Saudi Crown Prince (CNN)
Shadowland (Jim Kunstler)
Trapped (CHS)
IMF To Propose Ways To Improve Transparency Of Trade In SDR (R.)
Bitcoin Energy Use ‘Bigger Than Most Countries’ (BBC)
Congress And The Slippery Slope Of Censorship (Turley)
Durham Steps Down As US Attorney, Remains In Charge Of Russia Probe (JTN)

 

 


Jim Bianco: 13 days past the impeachment vote (Feb 13) and cable news STILL spends more time talking about Trump than Biden.

 

 

Irish scandemic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1365312489198661633

 

 

A highway for Schumer, a bridge for Pelosi… and $1,400, not $2,000 checks.

House Passes Second Largest Stimulus Package In History At $1.9T (JTN)

The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the second-largest stimulus package in U.S. history in the early hours of Saturday that includes a gradual $15 minimum wage hike, despite the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling. Two Democrats, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine and Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, joined Republicans in voting against the bill. The final vote shortly after 2 a.m. was 219 to 212 and the bill now moves to the Democratic-led Senate. Democrats are using budget reconciliation to pass the American Rescue Plan, which the Senate parliamentarian ruled cannot include a minimum wage increase. Reconciliation allows Democrats to pass the bill without relying on any votes from Senate Republicans. The largest stimulus bill in history was the CARES Act that was passed in March of last year during the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to $400 weekly federal unemployment benefits and $1,400 direct payments, the legislation includes more than $100 million for transportation projects in New York and California. “This is not a bailout. It is a rescue package,” House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Jim McGovern said on Friday. House Rules Committee Ranking Member Rep. Tom Cole argued that the coronavirus bill is excessive, given that it would add $1.9 trillion to the deficit over a 5-year period. “Last year Congress passed and the president signed into law five bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages that appropriated around $4 trillion. Not all of that money has been spent yet. But if the majority has their way, within one year we will have appropriated just shy of $6 trillion for COVID-19 relief packages,” Cole said. “This is one and one-third times the amount of money the federal government appropriated for all of 2019.”

The national debt is approaching $28 trillion, according to the latest Treasury Department data. Cole said there’s about $1 trillion in unspent stimulus funds. “To make matters worse, of the previous COVID-19 relief packages, there remains nearly $1 trillion in unspent funds. Before we leap ahead into another gigantic spending package that drives the American people further into debt, shouldn’t we at least spend down the funds already allocated and see if new money is actually required?” he said. Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess wrote on Twitter before the vote that “the premise of this legislation was to provide relief against COVID-19. Instead it puts forward a partisan agenda.”

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Yes, but .. les jeux sont faits.

What IS the Truth About Covid Deaths? (DM)

Grieving families last night said deaths had been wrongly certified as Covid-19. Demanding an inquiry, top medical experts and MPs also insisted they were ‘certain’ that too many fatalities were being blamed on the virus. One funeral director said it was ‘a national scandal’. The claims are part of a Daily Mail investigation that raises serious questions over the spiralling death toll. More than 100 readers wrote heartbreaking letters following a moving article by Bel Mooney last Saturday. She revealed the death of her 99-year-old father, who suffered from dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was recorded as coronavirus. Dozens expressed similar frustrations that the causes of death of elderly and already-unwell relatives had been wrongly attributed.

Eight of the families who wrote to the Daily Mail have successfully urged doctors to change causes of death previously recorded as Covid-19. Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, said: ‘The Government should call a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic immediately with an interim investigation into all Covid deaths that should report as soon as possible.’ Tory MP Paul Bristow, a member of the Commons health committee, said: ‘It’s almost certain that a number of deaths have been wrongly attributed to Covid-19. ‘Not only has this skewed figures when data has been so important in deciding how we respond to the pandemic, it has caused distress and anxiety for relatives.

A funeral director in the North West told the Mail: ‘The way Covid has been recorded and reported is a national scandal and a thorough enquiry should be opened immediately.’ Medical experts have cited pressure on doctors to include Covid-19 as a cause of death because it was last year ruled a ‘notifiable disease’, meaning any case needs to be reported officially.

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This is really starting to scare me. 100s of millions will soon have been injected with hardly tested substances designed to play footsie with their genes.

Nearly 1 In 5 US Adults Have Now Gotten At Least One Covid19 Vaccine Dose (F.)

Nearly one in five American adults have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and the U.S. reached 50 million vaccine doses ahead of schedule, the White House said Friday, as the pace of vaccinations starts to pick up after a slow start ahead of a substantial increase in the country’s vaccine supply.According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 18.5% of all U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot, and 8.9% of adults have received both doses. The U.S. has doubled its pace of vaccinations since President Joe Biden took office, White House Covid-19 response team advisor Andy Slavitt said at a briefing Friday, and delivered more than 50 million shots in 37 days, which was ahead of the Biden administration’s target.

Nearly half of Americans over age 65 have now gotten at least one shot and nearly 60% of those over 75, the White House advisor said, up from only 8% of Americans over 65 and 14% of over-75s who had been vaccinated six weeks ago. According to the CDC, the states that have the highest vaccination rates are Alaska and New Mexico—where 29.1% and 27% of adults have received at least one dose, respectively—and the lowest vaccination rates are in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama, which have all vaccinated approximately 15% to 16% of their adult population. The White House sent out 17.5 million vaccine doses to states this week, up from 13.5 million last week and 8.6 million during Biden’s first week in office—a nearly 70% increase.

As vaccinations ramp up, the share of Americans who are willing to get inoculated soon is increasing: A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted Feb. 15-23 found the percentage of U.S. adults who said they were either already vaccinated or would get one as soon as they could increased to 55%, up from 47% in January, and the share who said they would “wait and see” decreased from 31% to 22%. 70.4 million. That’s how many Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered as of Friday afternoon, according to the CDC. Those doses have covered 47.1 million people who have received at least one dose, with 22.6 million having completed both shots. The KFF poll found that 15% of adults will “definitely not” get the vaccine, as compared with 13% who said the same in January.

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So many questions … under the carpet.

Johnson & Johnson One-Shot Covid Vaccine Gets Nod From FDA Advisory Panel (G.)

The battle against Covid-19 took a major step forward on Friday as the US moved closer to distributing its first one-shot Covid-19 vaccine, after an independent expert advisory panel recommended drug regulators authorize the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use. The authorization would be a significant boost to the Biden administration’s vaccination plans, making Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine the third available to the public. Janssen, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine subsidiary, told a congressional hearing this week that it expects to deliver 20m doses by March and a total of 100m doses before the end of June.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, along with those from Pfizer and Moderna, should provide the US with more than enough supply to vaccinate every vaccine-eligible person. “We’re still in the midst of this deadly pandemic,” said Dr Archana Chatterjee, a voting member of the panel and an infectious disease pediatrician at Chicago Medical School, as she explained her vote in favor of recommending the vaccine. “There is a shortage of vaccines that are currently authorized, and I think authorization of this vaccine will help meet the needs at the moment.” While regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not always take the advice of their advisory panels, the agency is expected to authorize the vaccine for emergency use.

[..] The convenience of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes with caveats. The company’s clinical trials were the first to show the potential impacts of Covid-19 variants, or evolutionary changes in the virus. The vaccine was found to 85% effective at preventing severe disease and to provide complete protection against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death after 28 days. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was found to be 72% effective in clinical trials in the US, but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a variant called B1351 originated.

[..] Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses different technology from the two vaccines currently available in the US. The new vaccine uses “viral vector” technology, which introduces the body to the genetic code for the spike protein covering the outside of the coronavirus. This code is transmitted by a second, weakened virus called an adenovirus. Immunity is provoked when the body’s immune system then recognizes the coronavirus by this key structure. Vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna also prompt the body to recognize spike proteins on the outside of the coronavirus, but deliver the genetic code through lipid nanoparticles, or tiny molecules of fatty acids.

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Well, she’s out for now.

What The Neera Tanden Affair Reveals About The Washington DC Swamp (Sirota)

When sifting through the wreckage to try to make sense of this epoch, future anthropologists should dust off whatever records will be preserved about Neera Tanden’s star-crossed nomination to an obscure-but-powerful White House office. The whole episode is a museum-ready diorama in miniature illustrating so many things that died in the transition from democracy to oligarchy. And in this affair, all the politicians, pundits, news outlets, and Democratic party apparatchiks involved are very blatantly telling on themselves. Tanden is being nominated to run the Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the federal budget. As a political operative and head of a corporate-funded think tank, she does not have especially relevant experience for the appointment — in fact, whether in gubernatorial administrations, mayoral offices, or Capitol Hill budget committees, there are far more qualified experts for this gig.

Moreover, her particular record would raise significant red flags as a job applicant for even a mid-level management position in any organization, much less the White House: during her tenure running the Center for American Progress, she reportedly outed a sexual harassment victim and physically assaulted an employee. While she was running the organization, CAP raked in corporate and foreign government cash and a report was revised in a way that helped a billionaire donor avoid scrutiny of his bigoted policing policy. Critics allege that Tanden busted a union of journalists. And she floated Social Security cuts when Democrats in Congress were trying to stop them.

Even if you discount Tanden’s infamous statement about Libya and oil, as well as her vicious crusade against Senator Bernie Sanders and the progressive base of the Democratic party, all of these other items would seem to disqualify Tanden for a job atop a Democratic administration that claims to respect expertise and want to protect women, workers’ rights, social programs, and government ethics. From the beginning, every single Democratic senator could have simply cited Biden’s promise to be the “most pro-union president” and stated that they would not vote to confirm anyone accused of undermining a union. Or they could have said that they are not going to allow someone who runs a corporate-funded think tank — and whose nomination is being boosted by one of the most diabolical corporate lobbying groups in Washington — to be in charge of the White House office that can grant government ethics waivers. At the absolute barest minimum, these issues should have been major topics of discussion in her confirmation hearings and in the news media.

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No, I’m talking to the father now…

Biden Doesn’t Penalize Saudi Crown Prince (CNN)

Despite promising to punish senior Saudi leaders while on the campaign trail, President Joe Biden declined to apply sanctions to the one the US intelligence community determined is responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The choice not to punish Prince Mohammed directly puts into sharp relief the type of decision-making that becomes more complicated for a president versus a candidate, and demonstrates the difficulty in breaking with a troublesome ally in a volatile region. On Friday, Biden’s administration released an unclassified intelligence report on Khashoggi’s death, an action his predecessor refused to take as he downplayed US intelligence.

The report from the director of national intelligence says the crown prince, known as MBS, directly approved the killing of Khashoggi. But while Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced visa restrictions that affected 76 Saudis involved in harassing activists and journalists, he didn’t announce measures that touch the prince. And while a sanctions list from the Treasury Department named a former deputy intelligence chief and the Saudi Royal Guard’s rapid intervention force, the crown prince wasn’t mentioned. Two administration officials said sanctioning MBS was never really an option, operating under the belief it would have been “too complicated” and could have jeopardized US military interests in Saudi Arabia.

As a result, the administration did not even request the State Department to work up options for how to target MBS with sanctions, one State Department official said. When asked in an interview with Univision about how much he’s willing to push the crown prince to observe human rights, Biden said he was now dealing with the Saudi King and not bin Salman. He said “the rules are changing” and that significant changes could come on Monday. “We are going to hold them accountable for human rights abuses and we’re going to make sure that they, in fact, you know, if they want to deal with us, they have to deal with it in a way that the human rights abuses are dealt with,” Biden said, without being more specific about any plans to punish the crown prince.

It was a far cry from a comment in November 2019, in which Biden promised to punish senior Saudi leaders in a way former President Donald Trump wouldn’t. “Yes,” he said when directly asked if he would. “And I said it at the time. Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince. And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them the pariah that they are.” “There’s very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “They have to be held accountable.”

Smedley Butler

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“What did they think they were doing when they engineered the election of this empty suit, this blank cartridge, this political mannequin, this man-who-isn’t-there?”

Shadowland (Jim Kunstler)

The State of the Union speech is a somewhat squishy national ritual. Since Franklin Roosevelt, presidents have delivered it early each year in-person to a joint session of congress, with every other dignitary in government on hand — except for one cabinet officer designated the “lone survivior,” who sits it out elsewhere in case, say, the Capitol gets blown up. Before Woodrow Wilson, presidents customarily sent over a written message. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the constitution only stipulates that a president “from time to time” shall report to Congress on how the nation is doing. Lately, it’s mostly just a made-for-TV special, like the Oscars, allowing a lot of familiar faces to preen before the cameras for the home-folks.

Ronald Reagan introduced the gimmick of showboating heroes or victims of this-and-that seated up in the galleries, which has naturally devolved into a maudlin, cringeworthy feature of the show. But often presidents use the occasion to drop a ripe phrase on the big audience that captures the spirit of the moment: “The era of big government is over” (Bill Clinton); “the axis of evil” (G. W. Bush); FDR’s “four freedoms.” In 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an instant op-ed closer feature to the proceedings, ripping up Mr. Trump’s speech behind his back in a striking display of pique, much applauded by the avatars of rising Wokesterdom, who had only days earlier seen their half-assed impeachment attempt flop. Kinda looks like our current president, Joe Biden, will skip the grand show this year.

Too busy playing “Mario Kart” with the grandkids, or something like that. The Washington press corps has given him a pass on it, apparently. There’s no chatter, no buzz on the cable channels or in The New York Times, though a few newsies have begun to whine about Mr. Biden’s general unwillingness to hold a routine press conference with freely-pitched questions — not hand-picked, vetted ones, as the president’s handlers have insisted. How long will it be before the public realizes that Mr. Biden is being strictly concealed from view by his managers? And how long can they keep it up? A few more weeks, maybe, I’d guess. What did they think they were doing when they engineered the election of this empty suit, this blank cartridge, this political mannequin, this man-who-isn’t-there?

Of all the hundred-million-odd adults over 35-years-of-age in this country, they picked this empty vessel to lead in a year of obvious crisis? Apparently so — an act so collectively insane it makes you shudder to think about it. Like, the Democratic Party really thought this was a good idea? And who’s calling the shots behind this false front? Some committee chaired by Susan Rice? With directives coming into the Oval Office by messenger from Barack Obama’s Kalorama fortress, with, say, Eric Holder, Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod, John Brennan, and a few others charting the daily play-by-play?

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…shadow nationalization..

Trapped (CHS)

Back when prosperity was authentic, the Federal Reserve had little need for public relations. But now that “prosperity” is an illusion that must be managed lest the phantasm vanish, the Fed’s public relations pronouncements are a ceaseless flood as the The Babble-On 7 are the spokespeople for a propaganda machine bent on “managing expectations.” Managing Expectations is the code phrase for “front-run what we say and your profits are guaranteed.” When the Fed says it’s going after X, then simply buy whatever will benefit from X happening, and for 12 long years, X unfolds and those who front-ran the FedSpeak reaped billions in essentially zero-risk profits.

Managing Expectations is part of the Fed’s shadow nationalization of key markets. If price discovery of credit and risk is allowed to live, the Fed’s carefully inflated speculative bubbles pop. And so the Fed’s Job One is killing all price discovery via shadow nationalization. The first market shadow nationalized was the mortgage market, the foundation of the housing market. After Wall Street’s epic swindle (subprime mortgages) imploded in 2008, the Fed printed trillions of dollars out of thin air and bought hundreds of billions of dollars in mortgages. The federal government nationalized the quasi-governmental mortgage issuers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the net result was virtually the entire mortgage market was government guaranteed or owned.

Since Wall Street’s fraud had nearly vaporized the entire global financial system, the Fed also shadow nationalized the stock market, which had imploded once the house of cards collapsed. Thus the S&P 500 has advanced from 667 to 3,850 with just enough brief wobbles to maintain the semblance of an organic market. This shadow nationalization has been the most well-promoted PR campaign in the history of central banking. The flood of FedSpeak and trillions of dollars in direct purchases of assets over the past 12 years has relentlessly trained the Wall Street and retail rats to buy the dip because the Fed has your back, meaning the Fed will never let its nationalized stock market decline for more than a few weeks.

The profits from front-running FedSpeak are in the trillions of dollars. No wonder the Wall Street rats scurry over and frantically press the buy button–the rewards and have been both reliable and immense. Now the Fed is in the process of shadow nationalizing the entire bond market. It signaled its intent long ago with quantitative easing, i.e. strangling price discovery in the Treasury market, and recently it began buying corporate bonds (proxies come in handy here).

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Ultimate globalization.

IMF To Propose Ways To Improve Transparency Of Trade In SDR (R.)

The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it would propose ways to improve the transparency and accountability of how its Special Drawing Rights are used, a key U.S. demand for its support of a new issuance of the IMF’s own currency. Geoffrey Okamoto, first deputy managing director of the IMF, said a new allocation of SDRs would boost the reserve positions of all IMF members, calling it “a far superior option to the alternatives” currently available to poorer countries. “The IMF will respond to the #G20’s call for a proposal on a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs),” he said in a tweet.


“So that countries see maximum benefit from new SDRs, we will propose ways to improve transparency and accountability in how SDRs are allocated and traded,” he added. He gave no details. Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies on Friday expressed broad support for boosting the IMF’s emergency reserves after U.S. officials dropped the previous administration’s opposition. Italy, which heads the G20 this year, is pushing for a $500 billion issuance of SDRs, a move backed by many other G20 members as a way to provide liquidity to poor countries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic without increasing their debt levels. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday expressed her qualified support, but called for greater transparency about the trading and use of SDRs.

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“If Bitcoin were to be adopted as a global reserve currency,” he speculates, “the Bitcoin price will probably be in the millions, and those miners will have more money than the entire [US] Federal budget to spend on electricity.”

Bitcoin Energy Use ‘Bigger Than Most Countries’ (BBC)

We’ve all heard the stories of Bitcoin millionaires. Elon Musk is the latest. His electric car company Tesla made a paper profit of more than $900m (£646m) after buying $1.5bn (£1bn) -worth of the cryptocurrency in early February. Its high profile support helped pushed the price of a single Bitcoin to more than $58,000. But it isn’t just the digital asset’s price that has hit an all-time high. So has its energy footprint. And that’s caused blowback for Mr Musk, as the scale of the currency’s environmental impact becomes clearer. It also helped prompt a series of high profile critics to slate the digital currency this week, including US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.


President Biden’s top economic adviser described Bitcoin as “an extremely inefficient way to conduct transactions,” saying “the amount of energy consumed in processing those transactions is staggering”. It’s unclear exactly how much energy Bitcoin uses. Cryptocurrencies are – by design – hard to track. But the consensus is that Bitcoin mining is a very energy-intensive business. The University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) studies the burgeoning business of cryptocurrencies. It calculates that Bitcoin’s total energy consumption is somewhere between 40 and 445 annualised terawatt hours (TWh), with a central estimate of about 130 terawatt hours. The UK’s electricity consumption is a little over 300 TWh a year, while Argentina uses around the same amount of power as the CCAF’s best guess for Bitcoin. And the electricity the Bitcoin miners use overwhelmingly comes from polluting sources.

The CCAF team surveys the people who manage the Bitcoin network around the world on their energy use and found that about two-thirds of it is from fossil fuels. Huge computing power – and therefore energy use – is built into the way the blockchain technology that underpins the cryptocurrency has been designed. It relies on a vast decentralised network of computers. These are the so-called Bitcoin “miners” who enable new Bitcoins to be created, but also independently verify and record every transaction made in the currency. In fact, the Bitcoins are the reward miners get for maintaining this record accurately. It works like a lottery that runs every 10 minutes, explains Gina Pieters, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and a research fellow with the CCAF team.


[..] We can track how much effort miners are making to create the currency. They are currently reckoned to be making 160 quintillion calculations every second – that’s 160,000,000,000,000,000,000, in case you were wondering. And this vast computational effort is the cryptocurrency’s Achilles heel, says Alex de Vries, the founder of the Digiconomy website and an expert on Bitcoin. All the millions of trillions of calculations it takes to keep the system running aren’t really doing any useful work. “They’re computations that serve no other purpose,” says de Vries, “they’re just immediately discarded again. Right now we’re using a whole lot of energy to produce those calculations, but also the majority of that is sourced from fossil energy.” The vast effort it requires also makes Bitcoin inherently difficult to scale, he argues.”If Bitcoin were to be adopted as a global reserve currency,” he speculates, “the Bitcoin price will probably be in the millions, and those miners will have more money than the entire [US] Federal budget to spend on electricity.”

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“The measures being discussed in Congress have the potential to defeat us all. It is surprisingly easy to convince a free people to give up their freedoms, and exceedingly difficult to regain those freedoms once they are lost.”

Congress And The Slippery Slope Of Censorship (Turley)

Democrats are pushing for cable carriers to explain their “moral” criteria for allowing tens of millions of viewers access to Fox News and other targeted networks. The answer should begin with the obvious principles of free speech and a free press, which are not even referenced in the Eshoo-McNerney letter. Instead, the companies are asked if they will impose a morality judgment on news coverage and, ultimately, public access. This country went through a long and troubling period of morality codes used to bar speakers or censor material that barred atheists, feminists, and others from espousing their viewpoints in newspapers, books, and movies. Indeed, there was a time when the Democratic Party fought such morality rules, in defense of free speech.

Those seeking free-speech limits often speak of speech like it is a swimming pool that must be monitored and carefully controlled for purity and safety. I view speech more as a rolling ocean, dangerous but also majestic and inspiring, its immense size allowing for a natural balance. Free speech allows false ideas to be challenged in the open, rather than forcing dissenting viewpoints beneath the surface. I do not believe today’s activists will succeed in removing the most-watched cable news channel in 2020 from the airways. But, then again, I did not think social media sites — given legal immunity in exchange for being content-neutral — would ever censor viewpoints.

Roughly 70 years ago, Justice William O. Douglas accepted a prestigious award with a speech entitled “The One Un-American Act,” about the greatest threat to a free nation. He warned that the restriction of free speech “is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” The measures being discussed in Congress have the potential to defeat us all. It is surprisingly easy to convince a free people to give up their freedoms, and exceedingly difficult to regain those freedoms once they are lost.

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Don’t hold your breath.

Durham Steps Down As US Attorney, Remains In Charge Of Russia Probe (JTN)

John Durham, a decorated career prosecutor, announced Friday he is stepping down at the end of the month as a U.S. attorney in Connecticut but will continue as special prosecutor investigating the origins of the Russia collusion probe that dogged the early Trump presidency. Durham’s announcement, which was widely expected as part of the transition inside the Biden Justice Department, allows him to focus on wrapping up the Russia investigation from Washington DC where the probe has been ongoing since 2019. “My career has been as fulfilling as I could ever have imagined when I graduated from law school way back in 1975,” Durham said. “Much of that fulfillment has come from all the people with whom I’ve been blessed to share this workplace, and in our partner law enforcement agencies.


“My love and respect for this Office and the vitally important work done here have never diminished.” Durham will be succeeded in Connecticut in the interim by his deputy Leonard Boyle. Durham’s special counsel probe is focused on whether the FBI inappropriately opened an investigation into the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016 or committed any criminal acts by continuing the investigation and seeking FISA warrants that contained inaccurate or omitted information. He has secured one criminal conviction of the former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith for doctoring evidence submitted to the FISA court. And in December, the Justice Department signaled Durham’s investigation had found further criminal activity, upgrading him to the position of special counsel.

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Feb 242021
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The Storm on the Sea of Galilee 1633
On March 18, 1990, the painting was stolen by thieves disguised as police officers. They broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, and stole this painting, along with twelve other works. The paintings have never been recovered, and it is considered the biggest art theft in history. The empty frames of the paintings still hang in their original location, waiting to be recovered.

 

The Vaccine (Dis)Information War (CJ Hopkins)
Censoring Fox News Is An Insanely Stupid Idea (Taibbi)
House Democrats Are Assaulting Core Press Freedoms (Greenwald)
Twitter Adds Controversial ‘Hacked Materials’ Warning Label To Tweets (Mash.)
Naomi Wolf Sounds Alarm At Growing Power Of ‘Autocratic Tyrants’ (Fox)
Tucker Carlson Calls CNN a ‘Disinformation Network’ (Med.)
60 Years After Eisenhower’s Warning, The ‘Digital-Intelligence Complex’ (RCI)
Why a Durham Report Is Becoming Highly Unlikely (ET)
US And Allies To Build ‘China-free’ Tech Supply Chain (Nikkei)
Finland COVID-19 Variant Reportedly May Not Show Up In Tests (NYP)
Japan Appoints “Minister Of Loneliness” (ZH)

 

 

A Minister of Loneliness in Japannn. That is what the Lockdown Syndrome looks like. And when you weren’t looking because you were getting “vaccinated”, your freedoms were taken away one by one. The freedom to be where you want to be, the freedom to say what you want to say, and the freedom to read what you want to read.

The calls for all manner of censorship are coming fast and furious, including censorship of COVID and vaccine-related information. Because you are not supposed -or allowed- to know. But what’s the value of all these technologies, be they digital or medical, if they end up being used against us?

 

 

 

 

“We could even cure psychiatric disorders, like “antisocial personality disorder,” “oppositional defiant disorder,” and other “conduct disorders” and “personality disorders.” Who knows?”

The Vaccine (Dis)Information War (CJ Hopkins)

So, good news, folks! It appears that GloboCap’s Genetic Modification Division has come up with a miracle vaccine for Covid! It’s an absolutely safe, non-experimental, messenger-RNA vaccine that teaches your cells to produce a protein that triggers an immune response, just like your body’s immune-system response, only better, because it’s made by corporations! OK, technically, it hasn’t been approved for use — that process normally takes several years — so I guess it’s slightly “experimental,” but the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have issued “Emergency Use Authorizations,” and it has been “tested extensively for safety and effectiveness,” according to Facebook’s anonymous “fact checkers,” so there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

This non-experimental experimental vaccine is truly a historic development, because apart from saving the world from a virus that causes mild to moderate flu-like symptoms (or, more commonly, no symptoms whatsoever) in roughly 95% of those infected, and that over 99% of those infected survive, the possibilities for future applications of messenger-RNA technology, and the genetic modification of humans, generally, is virtually unlimited at this point. Imagine all the diseases we can cure, and all the genetic “mistakes” we can fix, now that we can reprogram people’s genes to do whatever we want … cancer, heart disease, dementia, blindness, not to mention the common cold! We could even cure psychiatric disorders, like “antisocial personality disorder,” “oppositional defiant disorder,” and other “conduct disorders” and “personality disorders.” Who knows?

In another hundred years, we will probably be able to genetically cleanse the human species of age-old scourges, like racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, etcetera, by reprogramming everyone’s defective alleles, or implanting some kind of nanotechnological neurosynaptic chips into our brains. The only thing standing in our way is people’s totally irrational resistance to letting corporations redesign the human organism, which, clearly, was rather poorly designed, and thus is vulnerable to all these horrible diseases, and emotional and behavioral disorders.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. The important thing at the moment is to defeat this common-flu-like pestilence that has no significant effect on age-adjusted death rates, and the mortality profile of which is more or less identical to the normal mortality profile, but which has nonetheless left the global corporatocracy no choice but to “lock down” the entire planet, plunge millions into desperate poverty, order everyone to wear medical-looking masks, unleash armed goon squads to raid people’s homes, and otherwise transform society into a pathologized-totalitarian nightmare. And, of course, the only way to do that (i.e., save humanity from a flu-like bug) is to coercively vaccinate every single human being on the planet Earth!

OK, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t make much sense, this crusade to vaccinate the entire species against a relatively standard respiratory virus, but that’s just because you are still thinking critically. You really need to stop thinking like that. As The New York Times just pointed out, “critical thinking isn’t helping.” In fact, it might be symptomatic of one of those “disorders” I just mentioned above.

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“All that remains is to topple a behemoth like Fox as a show of strength, leaving an untouchable Soviet-style union of Chuck Todds and Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots in charge of disseminating an approved™ top-down version of reality. “

Censoring Fox News Is An Insanely Stupid Idea (Taibbi)

Two and a half years ago, when Alex Jones of Infowars was kicked off a series of tech platforms in a clearly coordinated decision, I knew this was not going to be an isolated thing. Given that people like Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy were saying the ouster of Jones was just a “good first step,” it seemed obvious the tactic was not going to be confined to a few actors. But corporate media critics insisted the precedent would not be applied more broadly. “I don’t think we are going to be seeing big tech take action against Fox News… any time soon,” commented CNN’s Oliver Darcy. Darcy was wrong. Just a few years later, calls to ban Fox are not only common, they’re intensifying, with media voices from Brian Stelter on CNN to MSNBC analyst Anand Giridharadas to former Media Matters critic Eric Boehlert to Washington Post columnists Max Boot and Margaret Sullivan all on board.

The movement crested this week with a letter from California House Democrats Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, written to the CEOs of cable providers like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, and Dish. They demanded to know if those providers are “planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN… beyond any contract renewal date” and “if so, why? The news comes in advance of Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “traditional media’s role in promoting disinformation and extremism.” This sequence of events is ominous because a similar matched set of hearings and interrogations back in 2017 — when Senators like Mazie Hirono at a Judiciary Committee hearing demanded that platforms like Google and Facebook come up with a “mission statement” to prevent the “foment of discord” — accelerated the “content moderation” movement that now sees those same platforms regularly act as de facto political censors.

Sequences like this — government “requests” of speech reduction, made to companies subject to federal regulation — make the content moderation decisions of private firms a serious First Amendment issue. Censorship advocates may think this is purely a private affair, in which the only speech rights that matter are those of companies like Twitter and Google, but any honest person should be able to see this for what it is. [..] Press freedoms have been in steep decline for a while. Barack Obama’s record targeting of whistleblower sources (and in some cases, journalists themselves) using the Espionage Act was a first serious sign, followed by Donald Trump’s prosecution of Julian Assange. We progressed to a particularly dangerous new stage in recent years, with oligopolistic tech companies, urged on by politicians, engaging in anticompetitive agreements to suppress political voices on both the left and the right.

The so-called media reporters at major organizations like CNN and the New York Times have mostly either been silent or have played cheerleading roles during the most eyebrow-raising recent developments: the decision by Facebook and Twitter to block access to a pre-election New York Post story about Hunter Biden, the stunning exercise in monopoly influence by Amazon and Apple in swallowing up the “free speech” platform Parler, the banning of Socialist Worker Party accounts in England and the U.S., and the shutdown of livestream capability by alternative media outlets (and the removal of celebrated footage shot from the Capitol riot by people like Status Coup videographer Jon Farina), a story that amazingly only got major play at… Fox News.

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They’re assaulting free speech. Not just press freedoms.

House Democrats Are Assaulting Core Press Freedoms (Greenwald)

Not even two months into their reign as the majority party that controls the White House and both houses of Congress, key Democrats have made clear that one of their top priorities is censorship of divergent voices. On Saturday, I detailed how their escalating official campaign to coerce and threaten social media companies into more aggressively censoring views that they dislike — including by summoning social media CEOs to appear before them for the third time in less than five months — is implicating, if not already violating, core First Amendment rights of free speech. Now they are going further — much further. The same Democratic House Committee that is demanding greater online censorship from social media companies now has its sights set on the removal of conservative cable outlets, including Fox News, from the airwaves.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday announced a February 24 hearing, convened by one of its sub-committees, entitled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.” Claiming that “the spread of disinformation and extremism by traditional news media presents a tangible and destabilizing threat,” the Committee argues: “Some broadcasters’ and cable networks’ increasing reliance on conspiracy theories and misleading or patently false information raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity.” Since when is it the role of the U.S. Government to arbitrate and enforce precepts of “journalistic integrity”? Unless you believe in the right of the government to regulate and control what the press says — a power which the First Amendment explicitly prohibits — how can anyone be comfortable with members of Congress arrogating unto themselves the power to dictate what media outlets are permitted to report and control how they discuss and analyze the news of the day?

[..] For the last four years, we were inundated with media messaging that Trump posed an unprecedented threat to press freedoms. The Washington Post even flamboyantly adopted a new motto to implicitly ratify that accusation (while claiming it was not Trump-specific). Other than the indictment of Julian Assange — which most Washington Democrats cheered — what did the Trump administration do in the way of attacking press freedoms that remotely compares to Democrats abusing their majoritarian power to force the removal of conservative cable outlets from the airwaves, just days after doing the same with dissident voices online?

There is not a peep of protest from any liberal journalists. Do any of the people who spent four years pretending to care so deeply about the vital role of press freedom have anything to say about this full frontal attack by the majority party in Washington on news outlets opposed to their political agenda and ideology?

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Twitter is full of tweets that MIGHT contain hacked materials.

Twitter Adds Controversial ‘Hacked Materials’ Warning Label To Tweets (Mash.)

“These materials may have been obtained through hacking,” reads the disclaimer affixed to a tweet linking to a story from independent news outlet, The Grayzone. The tweet was originally posted on Feb. 20. However, three days later, users began to notice the label added to The Grayzone’s tweet. (It is not yet clear when exactly the label appeared.) Furthermore, readers discovered that an extra step was added when trying to retweet posts linking to The Grayzone’s story: A pop-up appeared reiterating the warning label and asking users to “help keep Twitter a place for reliable info.” A link is included which forwards users to Twitter’s “distribution of hacked materials” policy.


The Grayzone’s story sources recently hacked and leaked documents which allegedly show that the BBC and Reuters participated in a program created by the UK government to “weaken Russia’s state influence.” This appears to be the first instance of Twitter using this particular warning label on an English-language outlet. A search on the platform found one other instance of a version of the “hacked materials” warning label being used. This one was stamped on an Italian outlet’s tweet regarding Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in January. “These materials may have been obtained through hacking or may be manipulated,” reads the earlier warning label on the tweet, which is in Italian.

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”.. the United States is swiftly “moving into a coup situation, a police state..”

Naomi Wolf Sounds Alarm At Growing Power Of ‘Autocratic Tyrants’ (Fox)

America is becoming a “totalitarian state before our eyes” under President Biden’s leadership, feminist author and former Democratic adviser Naomi Wolf told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday. Wolf, who served as an adviser on Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign in 1996, told host Tucker Carlson that in her view, the United States is swiftly “moving into a coup situation, a police state” as a result of Biden’s ongoing coronavirus-related economic shutdowns. Wolf added that she believes the orders are being improperly extended under the “guise of a real medical pandemic.” “That is not a partisan thing,” Wolf told Carlson. “That transcends everything that you and I might disagree or agree on. That should bring together left and right to protect our Constitution.”

Wolf has ramped up her warnings against extended lockdowns on Twitter in recent months. In November, the author wrote on Twitter that Biden’s openness to reinstating additional shutdowns made her question her decision to vote for him. “The state has now crushed businesses, kept us from gathering in free assembly to worship as the First Amendment provides, is invading our bodies … which is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, restricting movement, fining us in New York state … the violations go on and on,” she said. The outspoken liberal, who previously authored a book outlining the ten steps that “would-be tyrants always take when they want to close down a democracy,” believes the United States is heading toward what she refers to as “step 10.”

“Whether they are on the left or the right, they do these same ten things,” Wolf explained, “and now we’re at something I never thought I would see in my lifetime … it is step 10 and that is the suspension of the rule of law and that is when you start to be a police state, and we’re here. There is no way around it.” Wolf said she has interviewed U.S. citizens of various backgrounds and political affiliations who are in a state of “shock and horror” as “autocratic tyrants at the state and now the national level are creating this kind of merger of corporate power and government power, which is really characteristic of totalism fascism in the ’20’s,” she told Carlson.

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“..more powerful than QAnon and far more destructive.”

Tucker Carlson Calls CNN a ‘Disinformation Network’ (Med.)

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson went after CNN on Tuesday night and called the cable news rival “more powerful” and “more destructive” than the QAnon conspiracy theory. Carlson brought up people on CNN talking about disinformation online and said they’re the ones who are really pushing disinformation, telling viewers that CNN is upset at the internet because “it’s exposing their scam.” In particular Carlson referred to coverage from CNN and others about issues of race and police shootings. “It’s worth finding out where the public is getting all this false information, this disinformation, as we will call it,” Carlson mockingly said. “So we checked. We spent all day trying to locate the famous QAnon, which in the end we learned is not even a website.


“If it’s out there, we could not find it. Then we checked Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter feed because we have heard she traffics in disinformation, CNN told us, but nothing there.” He continued taking shots at CNN, and said the media talking about racism is meant to distract people from questions about Wall Street, before concluding with this: “It takes a sophisticated operator to lie this effectively, to take the central problem of American life, which is the agonizing death of our middle class and cover it with a smokescreen of manufactured race hatred, so that no one even realizes it’s happening. You’d really need to be a — as CNN would put it — a disinformation network to pull that off. And of course the irony is… CNN itself has become a disinformation network, more powerful than QAnon and far more destructive.”

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Inevitable.

60 Years After Eisenhower’s Warning, The ‘Digital-Intelligence Complex’ (RCI)

In June 2019, Susan Gordon stood on a stage at the Washington Convention Center. Behind her loomed three giant letters, “AWS,” the abbreviation for Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division of the giant Internet retailer. After three decades at the Central Intelligence Agency, Gordon had risen to one of the top jobs in the cloak-and-dagger world: principal deputy director of national intelligence. From that perch she publicly extolled the virtues of Amazon Web Services and the cloud services the tech giant provides the CIA. She told the crowd that the intelligence community’s 2013 decision to sign a multi-year, $600 million contract with AWS for cloud computing “will stand as one of those that caused the greatest leap forward.

… The investment we made so many years ago in order to be able to try and harness the power of the cloud with a partner who wanted to learn and grow with us has left us not only ready for today but positioned for tomorrow.”The agreement was also a “real game-changer,” said André Pienaar, founder and CEO of a tech firm called C5 Capital, whose business includes reselling AWS services. “When the CIA said they were going adopt the AWS cloud platform,” Pienaar said at another AWS event. “People said if the U.S. intelligence community has the confidence to feel secure on the AWS cloud, why can’t we?” Gordon left government in August 2019, two months after her AWS summit talk. In November 2019 she became senior advisor to a consultancy with close Amazon connections and in April joined the board of defense contractor with extensive AWS business.

Gordon is one of scores of former government officials who have landed lucrative work in Big Tech. The synergy between Washington and Silicon Valley can be seen as the latest manifestation of the Beltway’s revolving door. But the size and scope of Big Tech – and the increasing dependence of government on its products and talent – suggest something more: the rise of a Digital-Intelligence Complex. Like the Military-Industrial Complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in 1961, it represents a symbiotic relationship in which the lines between one and the other are blurred.

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They’re first going demand to see what he has and then silence him.

Why a Durham Report Is Becoming Highly Unlikely (ET)

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee say they want to know if President Joe Biden’s nominee for Attorney General Merrick Garland will allow Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crossfire Hurricane probe to continue. “I have no reason to think he should not remain in place,” Garland told Sen. Chuck Grassley Monday.In reality, if confirmed Garland will not allow Durham to stay in place, never mind issue a report. The prospect that Biden’s attorney general might allow Durham to indict former Barack Obama administration officials is ludicrous. Remember that documents released over the last year gave evidence that as vice-president Biden was not only aware of the spying operation against Trump officials but participated in it.

Biden not only knew that the FBI was framing incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn but suggested that the Department of Justice might charge Flynn for violating the Logan Act. In other words, the FBI officials that Durham is reportedly investigating are Biden’s co-conspirators. To allow them to be indicted would not only point to Biden’s guilt but also show that the most powerful man in the world is unable or unwilling to protect allies who have helped advance the cause of the party he now leads. That would show Biden to be weak. Garland understands that his primary duty as Biden’s chief law enforcement officer is not to oversee the fair and equal treatment of all Americans under the law, but to protect the president and the party he serves.

[..] Biden’s attorney general has an additional incentive to shut down Durham for good. Let’s say the special counsel has the evidence to indict the senior FBI officials he has been investigating. That would confirm what Republicans have been saying about Crossfire Hurricane since 2017—the FBI wasn’t investigating Russian interference, it was spying on a presidential candidate and then the commander-in-chief. To show that Biden’s party was lying about that would suggest that maybe the Democrats were lying about other things, too, maybe lying about everything. They lied about the phone call that got Trump impeached; they lied about the “mostly peaceful” George Floyd riots; they lied about the Jan. 6 protests by calling them an armed insurrection; and most importantly, they lied about the transparency and legitimacy of the 2020 election.

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“The U.S. has seen its share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity plummet in recent decades, according to Boston Consulting Group. What was 37% in 1990 is now down to 12%.”

US And Allies To Build ‘China-free’ Tech Supply Chain (Nikkei)

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order as early as this month to accelerate efforts to build supply chains for chips and other strategically significant products that are less reliant on China, in partnership with the likes of Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. The document will order the development of a national supply chain strategy, and is expected to call for recommendations for supply networks that are less vulnerable to disruptions such as disasters and sanctions by unfriendly countries. Measures will focus on semiconductors, electric-vehicle batteries, rare-earth metals and medical products, according to a draft obtained by Nikkei.

The order states that “working with allies can lead to strong, resilient supply chains,” suggesting that international relationships will be central to this plan. Washington is expected to pursue partnerships with Taiwan, Japan and South Korea in chip production and Asia-Pacific economies including Australia in rare earths. The U.S. plans to share information with allies on supply networks for important products and will look to leverage complementary production. It will consider a framework for speedy sharing of these items in emergencies, as well as discuss securing stockpiles and spare manufacturing capacity. Partners could be asked to do less business with China.

The issue has taken on added urgency with a chip shortage this year that has hit automakers particularly hard. The U.S. has seen its share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity plummet in recent decades, according to Boston Consulting Group. What was 37% in 1990 is now down to 12%. While it has asked Taiwan — which tops the list at 22% — to ramp up output, plants there are already operating at full blast, and there are few options for boosting supply in the short term.

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You’re using the wrong test.

Finland COVID-19 Variant Reportedly May Not Show Up In Tests (NYP)

Scientists fear that a new COVID-19 variant in Finland — different from the UK and South African strains — may be fueling the spread of the disease by not showing up in tests, according to reports. The Helsinki-based Vita Laboratories, which made the discovery, said it’s unlikely the variant emerged in Finland, given the Scandinavian country’s low rate of infection, the Evening Standard reported. “Vita Laboratoriot Oy and the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki have detected a previously unknown variant of the coronavirus in a sample from southern Finland,” the lab said about the variant, dubbed “Fin-796H.”


“Mutations in this variant make it difficult to detect in at least one of the WHO-recommended PCR tests. This discovery could have a significant impact on determining the spread of the disease,” it added. Ilkka Julkunen, a professor of virology at the University of Turku, told the local news outlet Yle that the emergence of the variant was not a major concern yet. “I would not be hugely worried yet because we do not have clear information that this new strain would be more easily transmitted or that it would affect the immune protection brought about by already having had the virus or having received a vaccination,” he said, according to the Standard.

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Lockdown Syndrome.

Japan Appoints “Minister Of Loneliness” (ZH)

Japan like many other developed nations witnessed an alarming rise in suicides or attempted suicides over this past year of pandemic shutdowns and social distancing measures. The country was already at crisis levels even before the pandemic (though generally on a downward trajectory the prior decade), with recent studies showing it to be “the leading cause of death in men among the ages of 20-44 and women among the ages of 15 to 34.” To tackle the crisis, especially in the midst of this COVID-induced period of greater social isolation, Japan’s government has appointed a “Minister of Loneliness” after the UK became the first country to establish such a position in 2018.

The most recent numbers cited in Japanese media reports say that 879 women killed themselves in the country during the month of October, a figure that marks a whopping 70% increase compared to the same month from 2019. Officials have noted that the pandemic and oftentimes mandated social distancing measures have appeared to have a harsher impact on women. According to Japan Times, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga earlier in the month appointed as the new Minister of Loneliness a 70-year old veteran politician named Tetsushi Sakamoto. It is a cabinet level position which aims to alleviate social isolation among citizens.

He’ll head up an ’emergency taskforce’ to battle the disturbing spike in suicides nationally as his first order of business. “With isolation tied to an array of social woes such as suicide, poverty and hikikomori (social recluses), the Cabinet Office also established a task force Friday that seeks to address the problem of loneliness across various ministries, including by investigating its impact,” Japan Times writes. “According to preliminary figures released by the National Police Agency, 20,919 people took their own lives in 2020, up 750 from the previous year and marking the first year-on-year increase in 11 years. The surge is largely attributed to a noticeable rise in suicides among women and young people,” the report pointed out.

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 February 21, 2021  Posted by at 10:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Ceiling painting from the palace of Amenhotep III, New Kingdom ca. 1390–1353 B.C.

 

46 Die in Spain Nursing Home After First Pfizer Shot, Second Shots Halted (CB)
Public Health Authorities Blocking Effective Treatment (PCR)
Newsweek ‘Fact Check’ Claims India Vaccine Ban “Mostly False” (SN)
Russia Registers Third Domestically-Created Vaccine Against Covid-19 (RT)
White House ‘Working Directly’ With Big Tech To Censor ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ (RT)
Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More (Greenwald)
Nursing Home Industry Avoids Scrutiny For Covid-19 Deaths With Lobbying (IC)
For Albany’s Biggest Bully, The Hits Keep Coming (TU)
Lincoln Project Implosion Has Derailed Plan For A Media Empire (VF)
Reuters, BBC, Bellingcat Part Of Covert UK Programs To “Weaken Russia” (GZ)
Texas Blackouts Spark First Lawsuit; AG Vows Probe (ZH)
The Future Of Money Is Gold (Macleod)
Assange’s Lawyers Consider a Cross Appeal (Mercouris)

 

 

 

 

Picked this up. Can’t seem to be able to double check it.

46 Die in Spain Nursing Home After First Pfizer Shot, Second Shots Halted (CB)

The Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) nursing home is reeling due to mass deaths after mRNA inoculations. All residents and workers at the facility received the first dose of Pfizer mRNA in early January, according to Spain mainstream media outlet ABC de Sevilla. Most residents became extremely ill shortly after the shots. It is believed many came down with COVID-19, despite being “vaccinated against it.” The Andalusian Health Service reported that at least 46 residents have died since January. For perspective, Our Lady has a maximum capacity of 145 residents. The Junta de Andalucía (regional government) intervened in early February to curtail the death count. But people continued dying. Spain’s Ministry of Health is now in charge of mitigation.


The Ministry said in a statement: “In view of the imminent risk to public health, and in particular for the [residents] and workers of this center, as the current protocol for disinfection and isolation of positive cases cannot be guaranteed.” The situation remains dire, as at least 28 residents and 12 staff members were COVID-19 positive last week. Health officials halted all further mRNA shots as a result. The Federation of Public Services criticized Our Lady for not taking action sooner. The workers’ union said the response was inadequate after eight people died by January 18. The death count grew to 30 by January 28. Spain is continually in the news related to mRNA shots. Health Minister Salvador Illa said in December that his agency is keeping a database of all citizens who refuse the mRNA. He said the list will be shared with all EU members.

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“What reason is there for people in any country to have confidence in their government and public health authorities?”

Public Health Authorities Blocking Effective Treatment (PCR)

[..] the vaccines themselves have not undergone long-run testing, and many serious reactions and more than 1,000 deaths are associated with the vaccinations. Some scientists are concerned that the untested technology in some of the vaccines will have adverse effects on the immune system and result in a jump in the overall death rate. However, we look at it, we are flying at least partly blind. Why as there is a far superior way to proceed? First, begin with prevention. Vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and NAC are effective and inexpensive immune boosters that ward off infection and reduce the severity of infection. Then turn to cures. Both the HCQ/zinc/antibiotic treatment and the Ivermectin/zinc/antibiotic treatment are proven, safe, and inexpensive.

Yet the evidence has been kept from the public. Even the most knowledgeable experts are deplatformed when they say anything that is in conflict with the vaccination/lockdown agenda. The media are complicit in keeping the public uninformed. Why is this? How does information suppression help deal with an alleged world pandemic? Clearly, it does not help. I have reported many times on the effectiveness of HCQ/zinc. You can use the search feature on this website to locate my reports. Ivermectin has proven to be even more effective than HCQ. Dr. Marc Wathelet, a leading virologist, has brought the evidence for Ivermectin before the government of Belgium. There is no justifiable reason for not using these cures, and there is no justifiable reason for not initiating a prevention program based on supplements, diet, and a more healthy life style.

The failure of governments and health authorities to employ these proven means amounts to premeditated mass murder. The reason people have died from Covid is the refusal to treat and to prevent with known effective means. Instead, governments and health authorities have interfered with doctors and prevented treatment with HCQ and Ivermectin, while using the presstitutes to brainwash the public that these effective and safe treatments are dangerous. The massive disinformation campaign waged against effective prevention and treatment does not come from ignorance and incompetence of public authorities. It comes from the agendas that Covid is being used to advance, agendas whose toll in human life and suffering is unimportant to those whose agendas are being served. What reason is there for people in any country to have confidence in their government and public health authorities?

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“The Newsweek fact check itself is “mostly false.” The fact checkers have been fact checked.”

Newsweek ‘Fact Check’ Claims India Vaccine Ban “Mostly False” (SN)

Newsweek published a “fact check” which labeled claims that India had banned the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as “mostly false” despite admitting in the article that India has in fact temporarily banned the vaccine. Last week, discussion around the issue intensified after it was revealed that Indian health authorities had refused to give permission for the vaccine to be distributed. “On February 3, 2021, India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), a panel that advises the nation’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), a national regulatory body focused on pharmaceuticals and devices, ruled that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should not be recommended for an EUA in the country “at this stage,” reports Newsweek.

The report quotes India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which ruled, “The committee noted that incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis and other SAE’s have been reported during post marketing and the causality of the events with the vaccine is being investigated. Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety and immunogenicity data in Indian population.” In response, after the meeting with the regulator, Pfizer Inc. withdrew its application for the vaccine’s use in India. The Newsweek report admits all this, including but then asserts that that the claim India banned the vaccine is “mostly false.”Indian authorities refused to allow the vaccine to be distributed in India. That’s also known as a “ban”. The ban might be lifted at a future date, but it’s a ban nonetheless.

For Newsweek to claim that this is “mostly false” is completely erroneous. The Newsweek fact check itself is “mostly false.” The fact checkers have been fact checked.

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Three different techniques.

Russia Registers Third Domestically-Created Vaccine Against Covid-19 (RT)

A third Covid-19 vaccine has been registered in Russia, the country’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on Saturday morning. The drug, dubbed CoviVac, has been developed by the Chumakov Scientific Center in Moscow. The new formula, which has yet to complete phase three trials, uses the most traditional technology out of all of the Russian-made anti-coronavirus solutions. CoviVac is a whole virus vaccine that contains either weakened or deactivated strains of the infection, cultivated specifically for its production. Its developers have previously said that the vast majority of vaccines worldwide have been built on this technology and using it against the Covid-19 pandemic was a viable option.

The pilot batch of 120,000 doses is expected to become available for Russia’s public in mid-March, Mishustin stated. The developers are also seeking to export the vaccine to other countries, following in the footsteps of the Gamaleya Center’s pioneering Sputnik V. The virus sample used to create the vaccine was collected from a Covid-19 patient hospitalized in the Moscow region, the head of Chumakov Center, Aidar Ishmukhametov, revealed back in December. The sample turned out to be both bold and ‘cooperative’ enough to thrive in the laboratory, providing scientists with the material needed to produce the vaccine.

The first coronavirus vaccine registered by Russia, Sputnik V, relies on a unique two-vector human adenovirus technology. Basically, coronavirus particles are inserted into a weakened adenovirus, which is a genetically modified flu virus that cannot reproduce in the human body. It then triggers the required immunity reaction. Sputnik V uses two different adenoviral vectors for the first and second dose and is more effective defense compared to other vaccines that use the same vector for both shots. The second jab, the EpiVacCorona developed by the Siberia-based Vector Institute, uses synthesized particles of the virus instead. They are put into the human body by carrier proteins. Unlike some foreign competitors, all the Russian-made vaccines, including the brand new CoviVac, can be stored in regular refrigerators, which greatly facilitates the logistics and distribution of the shots.

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There is only one religion.

White House ‘Working Directly’ With Big Tech To Censor ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ (RT)

Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly working directly with Silicon Valley giants to root out ‘misinformation and disinformation’ that hampers US vaccination efforts, indicating hands-on involvement in Big Tech censorship. “Disinformation that causes vaccine hesitancy is going to be a huge obstacle to getting everyone vaccinated and there are no larger players in that than the social media platforms,” a source with direct knowledge about the cooperation told Reuters. “We are talking to them… so they understand the importance of misinformation and disinformation and how they can get rid of it quickly.” The White House previously acknowledged working with tech giants like Facebook and Google on the issue, but direct engagement was not confirmed, Reuters said.


The Biden administration wants digital platforms to suppress content that can result in events like the anti-vaccination protest at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in late January, the source said. The arena has been repurposed as a drive-in mass vaccination site, one of the largest in the US, after being used for Covid-19 testing since May. Police shut it down for about an hour on January 30, after around 50 protesters gathered at the entrance, decrying a “Covid scam” and demanding an end to lockdown in California. The event went off peacefully and was rebuked by state officials, including Governor Gavin Newsom – whom the protesters wanted to be recalled, according to one of the signs they carried.

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“..Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing.”

Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More (Greenwald)

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.” The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.”

They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.” House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.

I’ve written and spoken at length over the past several years about the dangers of vesting the power in the state, or in tech monopolies, to determine what is true and false, or what constitutes permissible opinion and what does not. I will not repeat those points here. Instead, the key point raised by these last threats from House Democrats is an often-overlooked one: while the First Amendment does not apply to voluntary choices made by a private company about what speech to allow or prohibit, it does bar the U.S. Government from coercing or threatening such companies to censor. In other words, Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing.

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Who thinks there will be a thorough probe?

Nursing Home Industry Avoids Scrutiny For Covid-19 Deaths With Lobbying (IC)

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, as the country was being hit by the first wave of the deadly outbreak, New York state, under the leadership Gov. Andrew Cuomo, issued an order directing over 9,000 coronavirus-positive patients be discharged from hospitals into nursing homes. The Cuomo administration claimed that the order was necessary due to the risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed by Covid-19. In fact, nursing homes tend to have much less effective infection control policies than hospitals, and the order, which likely contributed enormously to the spread of Covid-19 in nursing homes, was reversed in May.

In the meantime, though, the Cuomo administration moved to further protect nursing homes. In April, New York became one of the first states to implement liability relief for nursing home operators, after aggressive lobbying and years of donations from the hospital and nursing home industries. Besides New York, at least 27 other states have implemented liability protections for nursing homes.

Across the country, 161,000 nursing home and other long-term care residents have died from Covid-19, an astonishing 36 percent of the total coronavirus deaths in the U.S., and there have been over 1.2 million cases in nursing homes, meaning about half of all nursing home residents contracted the virus. The Government Accountability Office released a report in May 2020 titled “Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic.” And study after study has shown a connection between nursing home staffing and Covid-19 deaths, from the New York Attorney General’s office to researchers at the University of Chicago to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

[..[ The industry, with its powerful lobby, has escaped significant scrutiny, however. Just two nursing home executives have been indicted for Covid-19 deaths, while the industry showered over $10 million on candidates and political action committees in 2020, according to data collected by the National Institute on Money in Politics. Congress has held just one hearing on Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, in the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, chaired by progressive Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

And in the CARES Act, passed in March 2020, Congress gave the industry $10 billion through the Provider Relief Fund — with no strings attached for quality or staffing — as the Trump administration reduced nursing home inspections and fines. As a result, “there are some nursing home chains where the chain had more profits in 2020 than in 2019,” said Toby Edelman, an attorney and nursing home resident advocate with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

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“You haven’t seen my wrath.” Who, other than raging megalomaniacs, talks that way? Why do we insist on electing such miserable people to positions of power?”

For Albany’s Biggest Bully, The Hits Keep Coming (TU)

Andrew Cuomo’s team insists the governor didn’t threaten Ron Kim, the Queens assemblyman who has been a persistent and effective critic of the governor’s nursing home policies. But nobody who follows state government heard Kim’s story and said, “Gee, that doesn’t sound like Andrew Cuomo.” The alleged threat to “destroy” Kim sounds exactly like the governor. It’s who he is. For a decade, until the pandemic temporarily elevated his reputation, Cuomo was Albany’s leading bully, the secretive, scheming, petty narcissist who used fear and threats to subdue friends and opponents alike. Some perhaps believed such distasteful pugilism was needed to wrestle New York’s anarchic government under control. If nothing else, Cuomo seemed competent. He was reelected, twice, without breaking a sweat.

But now, suddenly, everything is crashing down around him. The searing report released at the end of January by Attorney General Letitia James, the one that castigated the governor for dramatically undercounting nursing home deaths, was a watershed, perhaps because James had been considered a Cuomo ally. It’s been a drumbeat of bad news for the governor ever since. The blows keep coming. You probably know that a state judge said the Cuomo administration illegally ignored Freedom of Information Law requests for truthful nursing home information. You’re aware of the firestorm that erupted when a top Cuomo aide blamed a federal inquiry for the administration’s stonewall.

This week, we learned the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have launched a new probe into the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. Lawmakers, increasingly frustrated by the administration’s intense gaslighting, are calling for investigations and threatening to strip the governor’s pandemic power. There’s even impeachment talk. So, Cuomo was in real trouble even before he spent 20 minutes angrily assailing Kim at a press conference Wednesday, an assault that led the assemblyman to talk publicly about frightening threats from a raging governor. I will destroy you!” Cuomo screamed, according to Kim. “You haven’t seen my wrath.” Who, other than raging megalomaniacs, talks that way? Why do we insist on electing such miserable people to positions of power? Why do they get away with behavior that would get anyone else fired?

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Why does this make me think of Epstein?

Lincoln Project Implosion Has Derailed Plan For A Media Empire (VF)

That executives at the organization—including Steve Schmidt—may have known about allegations against Weaver before they were made public. (Schmidt has denied prior knowledge of the allegations. In a statement, the Lincoln Project said it had been “betrayed and deceived” by Weaver.) If true, the stories, which have blasted through the group with bombshell force, represent a spectacular and horrific denouement. In response, many of the Lincoln Project’s members have fallen back on their favorite mantra: Donald Trump is worse. “You know who would be the happiest man in the world if he knew he’d never have to deal with [Lincoln Project] again? Donald Trump,” tweeted cofounder Stuart Stevens last week. “Pick a side. I’m with [Lincoln Project].” He then urged readers to stand with the group.

“Most effective Super PAC in US history,” Stevens wrote. (In fact, though the Lincoln Project’s viral attack ads racked up millions of views, the videos seemingly didn’t do much to accomplish their stated goal of swaying the GOP electorate. Trump received a larger share of the Republican vote nationally in 2020 than he did in 2016.) Others appeared resigned. “Just shut it down already,” wrote Kurt Bardella, who departed from his position as a senior adviser amid the whirlwind of bad press. George Conway, another since-departed cofounder, likewise tweeted that, at this point, shuttering the PAC is the “right” move. On Thursday, the Lincoln Project announced the formation of a “transition advisory committee” that will support the internal investigation of Weaver, as well as a “Stewardship Report” to outline its finances.

As the organization flounders, its plans for the future have been thrown into doubt. The group’s stars had planned to work for Israeli prime minister hopeful Gideon Sa’ar in his bid against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an election that will be held in March. Sa’ar’s campaign had brought on the Lincoln Project’s Schmidt, Reed Galen, Stevens, and Rick Wilson a few weeks ago in the hopes that the group’s aggressive attack ads would work against Netanyahu, but their relationship has since been dissolved, according to a Tuesday report in the Jerusalem Post. Just before the 2020 election, Axios reported that the Lincoln Project had potential plans for a sprawling media organization—Lincoln Media—and had been approached by “several media and entertainment companies and podcast platforms looking to launch franchises from its brand.”

Those talks reportedly included interest from a TV studio in developing a fiction series; queries from networks about streaming the Lincoln Project’s proprietary show, LPTV; and potentially creating a nonfiction film. The organization had planned to launch a revamped version of its podcast, telling Axios it would be “unveiling new episodes imminently” and expanding its LPTV programming “in the coming weeks.” Those plans are now, presumably, in limbo.

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The incompetence is baffling.

Reuters, BBC, Bellingcat Part Of Covert UK Programs To “Weaken Russia” (GZ)

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have sponsored Reuters and the BBC to conduct a series of covert programs aimed at promoting regime change inside Russia and undermining its government across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a series of leaked documents. The leaked materials show the Thomson Reuters Foundation and BBC Media Action participating in a covert information warfare campaign aimed at countering Russia. Working through a shadowy department within the UK FCO known as the Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD), the media organizations operated alongside a collection of intelligence contractors in a secret entity known simply as “the Consortium.”

Through training programs of Russian journalists overseen by Reuters, the British Foreign Office sought to produce an “attitudinal change in the participants,” promoting a “positive impact” on their “perception of the UK.” “These revelations show that when MPs were railing about Russia, British agents were using the BBC and Reuters to deploy precisely the same tactics that politicians and media commentators were accusing Russia of using,” Chris Williamson, a former UK Labour MP who attempted to apply public scrutiny to the CDMD’s covert activities and was stonewalled on national security grounds, told The Grayzone. “The BBC and Reuters portray themselves as an unimpeachable, impartial, and authoritative source of world news,” Williamson continued, “but both are now hugely compromised by these disclosures. Double standards like this just bring establishment politicians and corporate media hacks into further disrepute.”

[..] The Grayzone reported in October 2020 on leaked materials released by Anonymous which exposed a massive propaganda campaign funded by the UK FCO to cultivate support for regime change in Syria. Soon after, the Foreign Office claimed its computer systems had been penetrated by hackers, thus confirming their authenticity. The new leaks illustrate in alarming detail how Reuters and the BBC – two of the largest and most distinguished news organizations in the world – attempted to answer the British foreign ministry’s call for help in improving its “ability to respond and to promote our message across Russia,” and to “counter the Russian government’s narrative.” Among the UK FCO’s stated goals, according to the director of the CDMD, was to “weaken the Russian State’s influence on its near neighbours.”

[..] The UK FCO projects were carried out covertly, and in partnership with purportedly independent, high-profile online media outfits including Bellingcat, Meduza, and the Pussy Riot-founded Mediazona. Bellingcat’s participation apparently included a UK FCO intervention in North Macedonia’s 2019 elections on behalf of the pro-NATO candidate.

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Who will be sued?

Texas Blackouts Spark First Lawsuit; AG Vows Probe (ZH)

A Corpus Christi man has accused the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s primary electric grid, of ignoring repeated warnings that the state’s electric power infrastructure had weaknesses, according to a new lawsuit. In a statement by the Dallas law firm which filed the suit, ERCOT and American Electric Power utility are also accused of causing property damage and business interruptions as last week’s cold snap shattered water pipes and caused widespread power outages to millions of Texans, according to NBCDFW. “This cold weather event and its effects on the Texas energy grid were neither unprecedented, nor unexpected, nor unforeseen,” states the lawsuit, filed by Donald McCarley.

“In fact, similar cold weather events in 1989 and 2011 led to exactly the same type of rolling blackouts that have affected and continue to affect Texas residents and businesses.” The lawsuit also cites a clause in the Texas Constitution which holds that “no person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made.” “The rolling blackouts ordered by Defendant ERCOT took, damaged, or destroyed Plaintiff’s property without adequate compensation,” the suit claims. “The lawsuit filed Friday in a Nueces County court at law in Corpus Christi alleges the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, manager of the state’s main electric grid, ignored repeated warnings of weaknesses in the state’s electric power infrastructure.” -NBCDFW

“The resulting widespread property damage from blackouts was caused by their negligence and gross negligence. In addition, the disruptions rendered private property unusable and amounted to an illegal `taking’ of private property by the government,” the law firm said in a statement. The lawsuit also claims that utility companies should have winterized their plants and increased generation to meet skyrocketing demand, “but consciously chose not to do so.”

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Not everyone will agree, but this is intriguing: “.. when gold is the basis of all transaction settlements, economies become self-regulating and self-correcting..”

The Future Of Money Is Gold (Macleod)

As a circulating medium, gold and its properly established and exchangeable substitutes have proved to be the most effective lubricant for economic progress. It behoves us to take a moment to understand why this is the case, and why its circulation as money was central to the rapid and unprecedented improvement in living standards in the nineteenth century. People in a community, town, city or even a nation set their own monetary requirements and the level of their trade. Let us assume that in doing so, the general price level differs from that of a neighbouring population. The conditions then exist for an arbitrage to take place, whereby gold payments will flow to the community with the lower prices when economic actors in the community with higher prices take advantage of them.

Price differentials will tend to close to a level that reflects transaction and transport costs, so the purchasing power of gold in the two communities converge. This understanding in classical economics is the basis behind purchasing power parity theory. Additionally, savings in gold will seek out the higher investment returns between the two centres. It is likely that the centre with lower costs will offer the greater attraction to capital flows, but this is less certain. However, the quantities of gold held as savings are always significantly less than the quantities spent in consumption in an economy that uses monetary capital efficiently. The arbitrage takes place both through the trade of goods and also by the deployment of capital exploiting interest rate and opportunity differentials, so that a convergence in both prices and interest rates is achieved.

And what applies between two communities using gold as money applies between them all, so that across all unfettered, free market economies which maximise the benefits of the division of labour, the benefits of gold as money are enjoyed by all. It is therefore easy to see that in a commercial world with effective transport and communications, whatever the local preferences for holding money relative to goods may be, multi-centre arbitrage tends to produce a common price level and a common level for interest rates. These adjustment factors are conducive to trade, not only between communities but between nations. And trade priced and settled in gold is, all else being equal, far more efficient than when individual fiat currencies are involved, because with gold as the common money national boundaries are no longer barriers to payments and trade is truly global.

Given gold’s ubiquity as money, the effect of localised changes in general preferences for holding gold relative to goods can be regarded as minimised. An additional but unrelated factor is the inflation of above-ground stocks of gold through mine supply, but this is broadly offset by population growth. And a substantial element of gold usage is non-monetary, mainly for jewellery, which becomes a flexible source of monetary gold if markets demand it. Technological innovation and improvement in production methods as well as competition all tend in the long run to reduce the general price level of goods and services measured in gold. So, while there is little change in the general level of prices from the money side, there can be a significant reduction in prices over long periods of time from the goods side.

The effect is to enhance the purchasing power of savings, leading to stable, low interest rates and improved living standards for all but the indolent. In summary, when gold is the basis of all transaction settlements, economies become self-regulating and self-correcting. Successful economic activity is rewarded with profits and the opportunity to accumulate wealth. In every respect, government intervention and regulation results in the opposite.

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“If Assange’s lawyers do decide to bring a cross appeal, then the High Court hearing of that and the U.S. appeal will acquire epochal importance.”

Assange’s Lawyers Consider a Cross Appeal (Mercouris)

Julian Assange’s lawyers are considering bringing a cross appeal to the High Court in London disputing parts of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s Jan. 4 judgment not to extradite Assange to the United States, according to a report by journalist Tareq Haddad. Baraitser refused the U.S. request on narrow grounds, saying Assange’s extradition would put his life and health at risk. But Baraitser sided with the U.S. on every other point of law and fact, making it clear that in the absence of the life and health issues she would have granted the U.S. request. That opens the way for the U.S. government to seek the extradition of other persons, including journalists, who do the same things as Assange did, but who cannot rely on the same life and health issues.

It also means that if the U.S. wins the appeal it filed last Friday in High Court it can try Assange in the U.S. on the Espionage Act charges that went unchallenged by Baraitser. If Assange’s lawyers counter the U.S. appeal with one of their own in the High Court against Baraitser’s upholding of the espionage charges, it would be heard simultaneously with the U.S. appeal. Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, has written that Assange’s lawyers are indeed considering a cross appeal: “The next step in the legal case is that Julian’s legal team will respond to the US grounds for appeal. Julian’s lawyers are hard at work. Julian’s team has asked the High Court to give them more time to consider whether to lodge a cross appeal in order to challenge parts of the ruling where the magistrate did not side with Julian and the press freedom arguments. A cross appeal would provide an opportunity to clear Julian’s name properly.

Although Julian won at the Magistrates’ Court, the magistrate did not side with him on the wider public interest arguments. We wanted a U.K. court to properly quash the extradition and refute the other grounds too. We wanted a finding that the extradition is an attempt to criminalise journalism, not just in the U.S. but in the U.K. and the rest of the world as well; and that the decision to indict Julian was a political act, a violation of the treaty, a violation of his human rights and an abuse of process. Julian’s extradition team is considering all these issues, and whether they can be cross-appealed.”

[..] One should be cautious about the idea of a cross appeal to the High Court on Assange’s behalf. Despite the fact that Baraitser sided with the U.S. government on most of the contentious issues of law and fact in the case, she did in the end refuse the U.S. government’s request for Assange’s extradition. The normal practice in an appeal is to uphold a judgment made in one’s favour, not to challenge it by bringing a cross appeal, which could serve to undermine it. That often means going along with things in the judgment with which one is unhappy.

There is however nothing normal about Assange’s case. As Moris’ comments show, one has to be aware, perhaps more than in almost any other case, of the overriding and even transcendent issues of media freedom and human rights that arise. It may be that Assange’s lawyers will decide that Ainsworth’s comments to the House of Commons in 2003; Davis’s recent comments about parliament’s intentions at the time when the 2003 Extradition Act was passed into law; and any other points of law or fact that carry sufficient weight, justify bringing a cross appeal, despite the attendant risks. If Assange’s lawyers do decide to bring a cross appeal, then the High Court hearing of that and the U.S. appeal will acquire epochal importance.

Assange Facebook
https://twitter.com/i/status/1362662696739500037

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Feb 082021
 


Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, Sunset 1904

 

South Africa Halts AstraZeneca Vaccinations Over Variant Data (R.)
New Israeli Drug Cured 29 Of 30 Moderate/Serious Covid Cases In Days (ToI)
In Corzano 10% Of Population Positive For English Variant (ANSA)
Even ‘Scientist’ Models Now Forecast COVID Scourge Ending By Summer (ZH)
WaPo Says COVID Lab Accident “Plausible”, “Must Be Investigated” (ZH)
UK Vaccine Minister Says Gov’t Is Not Planning Covid Vaccine Passport (RT)
The World Welcomes Biden But Hedges Its Bets (Feffer)
US Moves To Rejoin UN Human Rights Council (AP)
The Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows (Greenwald)
The Coming “Monetary Hurricane” Is A White Swan (Bassman)
“This Is For You, Dad”: Interview With An Anonymous GameStop Investor (Taibbi)
Shark Deaths Have Left a ‘Gaping Hole’ in Ocean Life (SA)

 

 

NOTE: Don’t miss John Day MD’s guide for COVID prevention and treatment that I published earlier today: Treat Your Own COVID.

It could save your life.

 

 

What happens when you bet everythig on red under emergency authorizations.

..preliminary data showed efficacy dropped to 22% against the South African variant..

South Africa Halts AstraZeneca Vaccinations Over Variant Data (R.)

South Africa will put on hold use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot in its vaccination programme, after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant coronavirus variant. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday that the government would await advice from scientists on how best to proceed, after a trial showed the AstraZeneca vaccine did not significantly reduce the risk of mild or moderate COVID-19 from the 501Y.V2 variant that caused a second wave of infections starting late last year. Prior to widespread circulation of the more contagious variant, the vaccine was showing efficacy of around 75%, researchers said.

In a later analysis based mostly on infections by the new variant, there was only a 22% lower risk of developing mild-to-moderate COVID-19 versus those given a placebo. Although researchers said the figure was not statistically significant, due to trial design, it is well below the benchmark of at least 50% regulators have set for vaccines to be considered effective against the virus. The study did not assess whether the vaccine helped prevent severe COVID-19 because it involved mostly relatively young adults not considered to be at high risk for serious illness. AstraZeneca said on Saturday that it believed its vaccine could protect against severe disease and that it had already started adapting it against the 501Y.V2 variant.

Still, professor Shabir Madhi, lead investigator on the AstraZeneca trial in South Africa, said data on the vaccine were a reality check and that it was time to “recalibrate our expectations of COVID-19 vaccines”.

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EXO-CD24

New Israeli Drug Cured 29 Of 30 Moderate/Serious Covid Cases In Days (ToI)

A new coronavirus treatment being developed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center has successfully completed phase 1 trials and appears to have helped numerous moderate-to-serious cases of COVID-19 quickly recover from the disease, the hospital said Friday. Hailing a “huge breakthrough,” the hospital said Prof. Nadir Arber’s EXO-CD24 substance had been administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered — 29 of them within three to five days. The medicine fights the cytokine storm — a potentially lethal immune overreaction to the coronavirus infection that is believed to be responsible for much of the deaths associated with the disease.

It uses exosomes — tiny carrier sacs that shuttle materials between cells — to deliver a protein called CD24 to the lungs, which Arber has spent decades researching. “This protein is located on the surface of cells and has a well known and important role in regulating the immune system,” said researcher Shiran Shapira of Arber’s lab. The protein helps calm down the immune system and curb the storm. “The preparation is inhaled once a day for a few minutes, for five days,” Arber said. “The preparation is directed straight to the heart of the storm — the lungs — so unlike other formulas… which selectively restrain a certain cytokine, or operate widely but cause many serious side effects, EXO-CD24 is administered locally, works broadly and without side effects.”

The medicine will now move on to further trial phases, but hospital officials were already hailing it as a possible game-changer in fighting serious COVID-19 illness. Ichilov director Roni Gamzu, the former coronavirus czar, said the research “is advanced and sophisticated and may save coronavirus patients. The results of the phase 1 trial are excellent and give us all confidence in the method [Arber] has been researching in his lab for many years.” He added: “I am proud that at Ichilov we are… possibly bringing a blue and white remedy to a terrible global pandemic.”

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Through Google Translate.

10% of the village of Corzano Flag of Italy has the #B117 variant—10% of all residents! 60% of cases are kids from kindergarten and primary school, other 40% are their parents.

In Corzano 10% Of Population Positive For English Variant (ANSA)

10% of the population of Corzano, a town of 1400 people in the province of Brescia, is positive for covid. “We have 140 positives and 60% are elementary and kindergarten students who in turn infected their families”, the mayor of the town Giovanni Benzoni, also positive, explained to ANSA. “Three out of four have covid at home,” he said. According to the analyzes of Ats Brescia, the population is infected by the English variant of Covid. The mayor has closed schools until February 8. “But the ordinance will be extended – he specified – because the recall swabs begin today and therefore we will have to wait for the results”. The authorities would be considering the possibility of closing the country in and out. “I didn’t know anything, but I can say that in the last few hours we have had only one more case. All the families are in solitary confinement and we expect the curve to go down again,” commented the mayor.

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How much of the good news is due to adjusting PCR testing cycles?

Even ‘Scientist’ Models Now Forecast COVID Scourge Ending By Summer (ZH)

The covid pandemic was front and center today in economic news, when its impact was felt throughout the January payrolls report (if not to the same extent as December payrolls), whose disappointing +49k reading could be easily explained by continued job losses in the Leisure & Hospitality sector due to COVID-19 outbreaks and associated lockdown measures and restrictions. However, as BofA’s Hans Mikkelsen writes, “given that the US COVID-19 situation is improving rapidly – for example the number of people hospitalized is down one-third over the past month – and restrictions are lifted in many large states like California, it is straightforward to expect much stronger payrolls going forward.” Indeed, the latest Covid data shows that absent any major shocks – such as a mutant strain that is fully immune to any existing vaccines – the pandemic should be a thing of the past relatively soon.


Here are the latest facts: the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US has declined dramatically to 88,668, or 43,806 – one-third – off the peak which occurred on January 5th (Figure 4) – a rapid turn in the crisis (Figure 5). The decrease is broad-based (48 states+DC, except for AK, MT and VT that saw minimal 1, 1 and 7 person increases over the past week, respectively).

The weekly percentage change in US COVID-19 hospitalized is consistent with the largest declines seen during the Coronavirus crisis (Figure 6). Moreover the 7-day test positivity rate has declined to 7.6% from the 13.6% peak on January 8th (Figure 7).

Since hospitalizations are lagged relative to time of infection the US Corona outbreaks peaked back in the second half of December. Finally, the vaccine rollout continues in the US at a rapid pace of around 1mn doses per day and a cumulative 35.2mn doses administered through February 2rd.

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And now we’ll never know.

WaPo Says COVID Lab Accident “Plausible”, “Must Be Investigated” (ZH)

Exactly one year ago today, Zero Hedge was ‘enjoying’ our suspension by Twitter after we pointed out that scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been experimenting on bat coronaviruses, and that investigators trying to determine the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak might want to have a word with them. We later reported that the same scientists had been using ‘gain-of-function’ research to make bat coronaviruses more transmissible to human beings – for which they were roundly criticized in 2015. Thus, it seemed only logical that the possibility of a lab escape at ‘ground zero’ was at least non-zero, and should be investigated alongside the ‘natural origin’ theory which posits that the virus jumped from bats to an intermediary species, which then infected a cluster of people at a Wuhan wet market.

According to a study published in The Lancet, 66% of patients admitted to Wuhan hospitals (27 out of 41) as of January 2nd, 2020 had been exposed to the Huanan seafood market. Since then, the lab leak hypothesis has gained traction – and has been elevated to let’s at least investigate status by legitimate bodies. Three weeks ago, the US State Department announced that while they haven’t determined whether the COVID-19 pandemic “began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the US government “has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”

And in late January, A World Health Organization (WHO) adviser who previously worked under President Clinton and then-Senator Joe Biden said that COVID-19 was most likely an accidental lab leak. Which brings us to the Washington Post, whose editorial board on Sunday suggested that the lab leak hypothesis was “plausible” and “must be investigated.” “Many scientists have speculated that the virus leaped from animals, such as bats, to humans, perhaps with an intermediate stop in another animal. This kind of zoonotic spillover has occurred before, such as in the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014. But there is another pathway, also plausible, that must be investigated. That is the possibility of a laboratory accident or leak. It could have involved a virus that was improperly disposed of or perhaps infected a laboratory worker who then passed it to others.”

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I would like to see them try, and then get stiffed in court.

UK Vaccine Minister Says Gov’t Is Not Planning Covid Vaccine Passport (RT)

Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi denied claims that the UK government is planning to introduce a “vaccine passport” detailing which Brits have been vaccinated and which haven’t, calling the idea “discriminatory.” Asked during an interview with Sky News on Sunday whether the government is looking at the possibility of creating a vaccine passport, as has been speculated, Zahawi said, “No we are not.” The minister explained that those who receive their first dose of the vaccine get “a card from the NHS with their name on it,” the date they received their first dose, and the date of the second dose, and that this is all the government is currently supporting.

Zahawi said the major reasons why the government is not planning a vaccine passport is because “we don’t know the impact of the vaccines on transmission,” with vaccinated Brits currently being warned that they could still carry the virus, and that the practice “would be discriminatory.” “I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward and be vaccinated because they want to, rather than it being made in some way mandatory through a passport. If other countries demand proof of vaccination for entry, he added, “then you can ask your GP, because your GP will hold the record.” Zahawi did acknowledge that technology companies have received funding from UK Research and Innovation to look at the creation of vaccine passport apps, but concluded, “We are not planning to have a passport in the UK.”

“I just want to repeat that because I’ve had a lot of it on my social media,” he explained, adding, “We are certainly not looking to introduce this as part of the vaccine deployment program.” A petition calling for the UK government to commit against rolling out a vaccine passport received nearly 60,000 signatures after reports indicated that it was looking at such a system to allow Brits to go abroad. The concept of a vaccine passport has become extremely controversial in the UK and elsewhere, with figures like former Prime Minister Tony Blair in support, but others arguing it would turn those who have not been vaccinated into ‘second-class’ citizens and essentially strongarm them into getting vaccinated against their wishes.

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Nothing changes. Other than the window dressing.

The World Welcomes Biden But Hedges Its Bets (Feffer)

The nightmare is over. The vanquished beast has crawled back to Mar-a-Lago to lick his wounds. The heroes are hard at work repairing the damage. As America returns to the international stage, the world heaves a collective sigh of relief. That, at least, is the story the incoming Biden administration is telling. “America is back, multilateralism is back, diplomacy is back,” as Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the administration’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, put it shortly after the election. According to this narrative of redemption, the globe’s Atlas shrugged off its burden during the four years of Donald Trump’s tenure but is now ready to reassume its global leadership responsibilities.

Don’t believe it, though. Much of the rest of the world seems visibly queasy at the prospect of sitting on America’s shoulders, since who’s to say that Atlas won’t shrug again? And perhaps Atlas wasn’t such a responsible fellow in the first place.

Over the last several decades, the United States has displayed all the hallmarks of a country suffering from a serious personality disorder characterized by mood swings of gargantuan proportions. From the compromised multilateralism of the Bill Clinton years, the United States pivoted to the aggressive armed unilateralism of George W. Bush. Then, after boomeranging back to the centrist (if still over-armed) internationalism of Barack Obama, it took the wildest of detours into MAGA-land with Donald Trump. In the latest case of foreign-policy whiplash, Joe Biden is now preparing to return the country to a “new and improved” version of Obama’s global liberalism (with a dash of anti-Chinese fervor thrown in). Americans are by now remarkably familiar with such side effects of twenty-first-century democracy. We’ve skimmed the fine print on the label more than once and become reasonably inured to the adverse consequences of our civic religion.

Much of the world, however, is not accustomed to such volatility. The Kim family has ruled North Korea from day one, while Paul Biya has run Cameroon since 1982. Over the last 30 years, China has settled into its predictable version of market Leninism. Putatively democratic countries like Russia and Turkey have had the same leadership for two decades, while a genuinely democratic country like Germany has had the same chancellor for 15 years. The rest of Western Europe has seen numerous changes in those who hold the reins of power, but oscillations in governance have generally stayed within a relatively narrow political spectrum. European Union policies have similarly remained on a remarkably even keel, despite disruptions like Brexit. These days, however, democrats and dictators alike are unsure, from one day to the next, whether the United States will be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.

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“Neither Obama nor Trump were able to reform this fundamentally broken UN agency that institutionally legitimizes human rights abusers. Biden must not only confront the Council’s systemic antisemitism, but its complicity in China’s human rights abuses.”

US Moves To Rejoin UN Human Rights Council (AP)

The Biden administration is set to announce this week that it will reengage with the much-maligned U.N. Human Rights Council that former President Donald Trump withdrew from almost three years ago, U.S. officials said Sunday. The decision reverses another Trump-era move away from multilateral organizations and agreements. U..S. officials say Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a senior U.S. diplomat in Geneva will announce on Monday that Washington will return to the Geneva-based body as an observer with an eye toward seeking election as a full member. The decision is likely to draw criticism from conservative lawmakers and many in the pro-Israel community.

Trump pulled out of the world body’s main human rights agency in 2018 due to its disproportionate focus on Israel, which has received by far the largest number of critical council resolutions against any country, as well as the number of authoritarian countries among its members and because it failed to meet an extensive list of reforms demanded by then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. In addition to the council’s persistent focus on Israel, the Trump administration took issue with the body’s membership, which currently includes China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela, all of which have been accused of human rights abuses.

One senior U.S. official said the Biden administration believed the council must still reform but that the best way to promote change is to “engage with it in a principled fashion.” The official said it can be “an important forum for those fighting tyranny and injustice around the world” and the U.S. presence intends to “ensure it can live up to that potential.”

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Cancel Culture.

The Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows (Greenwald)

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.

Just as the NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony.

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Harley Bassman, creator of the MOVE index, aka the “VIX for bonds”.

The Coming “Monetary Hurricane” Is A White Swan (Bassman)

When one hears hoof beats, look for horses not zebras. There is no reason to ruminate over exotic possibilities when the problems we face are quite clear. Once again, ignore the merits of the public policy response – what is important is that there is wide support from both the Democrats and Republicans to offer significant Fiscal relief supported by massive Monetary expansion. Will this be inflationary – Yes; but it is unclear how soon. I made the case in my December 2, 2020 commentary, ”The Wages of Fear”, that demographics will set ablaze the dry kindling of printed money sometime between 2023 to 2025; and nothing has occurred to change that prediction. What is clear is that a financial bubble is being inflated, and there is risk on both sides of the distribution.

Ordinarily the bloviating pundits advise one to sell assets, or perhaps execute some sort of hedge such as buying puts or selling covered calls. They are looking in the wrong direction. While I am not a stomping bull, the approaching monetary hurricane could well make the “surprise” a further rally in equities. Printed money should elevate stocks; either via a continued flow into assets, or into the pockets of consumers who will spend it and thus increase corporate profits. (Yes, higher taxes could be an offset, but let’s save that for another Commentary.) As noted, inflation is an eventual certainty, so one should own real assets; and over the longest run stocks will hold their real value. Notwithstanding the Robinhood day traders, stock equity is an ownership right in a real company.

Weimar Germany is the nightmare scenario for inflation; but contrary to expectations, stockholders were protected. While the German Papiermark vs. USD exchange rate exploded (4.2 Trillion per USD), the German Stock Index, currency adjusted into USD, held its value. As such, when faced with nominal inflation – Do not sell call options.

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Great interview. Must read.

“This Is For You, Dad”: Interview With An Anonymous GameStop Investor (Taibbi)

Thursday, January 21st was a critical day in the story of the video game chain GameStop (ticker name: GME). Retail investors, including many subscribers to a Reddit forum called wallstreetbets, pushed the company’s stock from $6 to $43.03, but experts said playtime was over. It was time for the big shots to clean up. According to Citron Research, one of many funds that had bet on the brick-and-mortar store to fail, those investing in GME were “the suckers at this poker game,” and would soon be sorry when the stock went “back to $20 fast.” They were wrong. Instead of amateurs being shoved aside by hedge funds, it was the pros who had their backs broken, as GME soared to $65.05, beginning a steep ascent that would become an international news phenomenon.

It was the “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” moment for Wall Street. The pros had been sloppy. By late 2020, shares in GameStop were well over 100% short. A sudden rise in value would force shorts to pay exorbitant prices just to get out of the trade. By the afternoon of the 21st, all the “suckers” on Reddit had to do to beat them was nothing, and they did just that, behind the rallying cry “diamond hands,” signifying a determination to hold at all costs. Why hold? One of the millions of subscribers to wallstreetbets posted a note, explaining what the trade meant to him:

This is for you, Dad

I remember when the housing collapse sent a torpedo through my family. My father’s concrete company collapsed almost overnight. My father lost his home. My uncle lost his home. I remember my brother helping my father count pocket change on our kitchen table. That was all the money he had left in the world. While this was happening in my home, I saw hedge funders literally drinking champagne as they looked down on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I will never forget that. My father never recovered from that blow. He fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism and exists now as a shell of his former self, waiting for death. This is all the money I have and I’d rather lose it all than give them what they need to destroy me. Taking money from me won’t hurt me, because I don’t value it at all. I’ll burn it down just to spite them. This is for you, Dad.

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Don’t count on them bouncing back.

Shark Deaths Have Left a ‘Gaping Hole’ in Ocean Life (SA)

Overfishing has wiped out over 70 percent of some shark and ray populations in the last half-century, leaving a “gaping, growing hole” in ocean life, according to a new study. Researchers found alarming declines in species ranging from hammerhead sharks to manta rays. Among the worst affected is the oceanic whitetip, a powerful shark often described as particularly dangerous to man, which now hovers on the edge of extinction because of human activity. Targeted for their fins, oceanic whitetips are caught up by indiscriminate fishing techniques. Their global population has dropped 98 percent in the last 60 years, said Nick Dulvy, the study’s senior author and a professor at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

“That’s a worse decline than most large terrestrial mammal populations, and getting up there or as bad as the blue whale decline,” he told AFP. Dulvy and a team of scientists spent years collecting and analysing information from scientific studies and fisheries data to build up a picture of the global state of 31 species of sharks and rays. They found three-quarters of the species examined were so depleted that they face extinction. These are “the most wide-ranging species in the largest, most remote habitats on the earth, which are often assumed to be protected from human influence”, the study’s lead author Nathan Pacoureau told AFP. “We knew the situation was bad in a lot of places but that information came from different studies and reports, so it was difficult to have an idea of the global situation,” added Pacoureau, a post-doctoral fellow at SFU’s department of biological science.

[..] For 18 species where more data was available, the researchers concluded global populations had fallen over 70 percent since 1970. Dulvy said the figure was likely to be similar, or even worse, for other oceanic sharks and rays, but gaps in data made it difficult to draw conclusions. The results were a shock even for experts, Pacoureau said, describing specialists at a meeting on shark conservation being “stunned into silence” when confronted with the figures.

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