Jan 312022

Pablo Picasso Women running on the beach 1922


1 in 5 Canadians May Never Be Comfortable Without Masks, Vaccine Mandates (I.)
Did Justin Trudeau Pick the Wrong Fight With Canadian Truckers? (Bridge)
Unvaccinated and Undeterred: Austria Holdouts Dig In Despite New Law (Y!)
Concern As Republicans Push To Make Dubious Covid Cures Easier (G.)
University of Minnesota Ivermectin Trial Nearing Completion (Star T.)
Japan’s Kowa Says Ivermectin Effective Against Omicron In Phase III Trial (R.)
University Offers Help To Students ‘Affected By A Free Speech Event’ (DM)
US Close To Approving ‘Mother Of All Sanctions’ Against Russia (G.)
EU Threatens To Halt Nord Stream 2 & Cut Russia Off From SWIFT (RT)
Year in Review 2021 Part 3 – Rise of Global Authoritarianism (Dave Collum)
Biden Promises To Replace Tom Brady With A Woman Of Color (BBee)



Joe Rogan



We are standing at the battle line.



U turn





Mass formation.

1 in 5 Canadians May Never Be Comfortable Without Masks, Vaccine Mandates (I.)

As we approach the second anniversary of the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic and viral case loads continue to break records, it’s not surprising that many Canadians are wary about “returning to normal.” A new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News shows that while one in five (18%) Canadians feel things are normal now, the same proportion (19%) say they’re not sure they’ll ever be ready to live without masks or vaccine mandates. Regardless of when Canadians feel the new normal will materialize, two thirds (64%) agree (27% strongly, 37% somewhat) that governments are not doing enough to facilitate the return to normal, a figure that is higher among Albertans[..].

How will we reach the new normal? Four in ten (38%) Canadians think mandatory vaccination is the most effective means of getting COVID-19 under control. This opinion is stronger among men (42% vs. 34% women) and Boomers (50% vs. 37% Gen X, 29% Millennials, 27% Gen Z). The use of border closings and rapid tests in the workplace are also both favoured by 14%. Relatively few Canadians believe that removing all public health measures and allowing COVID-19 to spread more quickly (10%), penalizing people who don’t get their vaccines (i.e. a tax, further restrictions, etc.) (9%), or shutting down all non-essential businesses (8%) would be the most effective way to get the pandemic under control.

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“This is, perhaps, the greatest act of cowardice from a sitting Canadian PM in this nation’s history..”

Did Justin Trudeau Pick the Wrong Fight With Canadian Truckers? (Bridge)

Since Jan. 15, unvaccinated truckers entering Canada are required to be tested and quarantined for 15 days; the U.S. mandated similar restrictions on Jan. 22. Naturally such regulations made their job impossible to perform. Thus, the mandates have removed some 20-25% of the estimated 175,000 cross-border American and Canadian truckers due to noncompliance in both countries. But these sidelined workers are not leaving their jobs without a fight, and it seems that many Canadians support the cause.

While mainstream media and social media has largely been able to control the flow of information that Canadians receive with regards to Covid and the vaccination mandates, the trucker convoy has given the public a chance to really express themselves. Judging by early indications it doesn’t look particularly good for the Trudeau administration. Telegram, the censorship-free messenger application, is chockfull of videos and photographs of overpasses near Toronto loaded with placard-waving supporters as the convoy grinds its way towards Ottawa to the east. Other platforms showed the local residents of small towns handing out meals to the truckers despite the frigid temperatures.

Undoubtedly the most influential advocate of the truckers’ cause thus far has been Elon Musk, who tweeted a three-word message that certainly did not sit well with Justin Trudeau: “Canadian truckers rule.” Speaking of Trudeau, the 50-year-old leader of the Labor Party announced just this week that he had been “exposed to Covid-19,” and would therefore be isolating at home for five days. That announcement sparked a small riot on social media, with many suggesting that the Canadian leader had used the excuse of Covid to hopefully avoid the truckers. Keean Bexte, a journalist with Counter Signal, suggested in a tweet that a new variant of “Coward-19” was detected.

“This is, perhaps, the greatest act of cowardice from a sitting Canadian PM in this nation’s history,” Bexte wrote in an accompanying article. “When Canadians finally take a stand, finally take real action, Trudeau merely waves it away, practically flipping them the bird through a single Tweet, ending it with “please get vaccinated” to rub salt in wounds he’s opened.” This is the problem when the media and government refuses to permit any sort of formal debate on a serious issue that affects millions of people on so many different levels. Trudeau has given his countrymen just one option, and that is to get the vaccination or essentially become second-class citizens in their own country. Unlike other effected industries, however, truckers have the option of putting their machines to use for a very effective form of protest, and one that promises to cause severe logistical problems as far as transport goes.


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“..there is already this parallel community. It’s already being built. There is already everything,”

Unvaccinated and Undeterred: Austria Holdouts Dig In Despite New Law (Y!)

Despite vaccination against Covid-19 becoming mandatory in Austria on Friday, musician Katharina Teufel-Lieli insists she won’t bow to pressure to get the jab. “I have the right to decide over my body… to simply say ‘no,'” the harpist told AFP at her home in Neumarkt-am-Wallersee, not far from the western city of Salzburg. Austria this week becomes the first European Union country to make Covid-19 vaccination legally compulsory for adults. Under the new law, those holding out against the jab can face fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,100) from mid-March after an introductory phase. Teufel-Lieli, 49, is one of tens of thousands to have joined massive demonstrations against the law and other coronavirus-related measures since November, when plans for the legal change were announced.

The mother of six said that she used to be “apolitical” but the state is “overstepping the mark” by “attacking people” through this act of “totalitarianism”. Access to certain services has already been restricted since last year under government-imposed measures. Entry to restaurants, hairdressers, hotels, non-essential shops, sports and cultural venues has only been permitted since November to those who are vaccinated or recently cured. This has sparked complaints within the retail sector about staff having to act as “an auxiliary police” in checking vaccine passes in shops. Frustrations since the beginning of the pandemic have also led opponents to create a new political party, known by its acronym, MFG which stands for People, Freedom, Fundamental Rights.

One of three MFG representatives to have already won a state legislature seat, Dagmar Haeusler, said that she just did not see the point of compulsory Covid vaccination. “If there was a valid reason, as with smallpox which has a mortality rate of 20 to 30 percent, we could talk about mandatory vaccination, which would benefit everyone. “But in the case of Covid-19, I don’t see the point,” the 38-year-old biomedical scientist and MFG co-founder told AFP. Demonstrators and other opponents say the measures just create a “parallel society” — with the unvaccinated forced to do things under the radar. According to Teufel-Lieli, there are already hairdressers willing to cater to those not vaccinated or cured, while people still have coffee together in private meet-ups, mostly organised over social networks. “In fact, there is already this parallel community. It’s already being built. There is already everything,” she said.

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“..legislation that they say keeps the government from interfering with doctors..”

Concern As Republicans Push To Make Dubious Covid Cures Easier (G.)

Republican state lawmakers across the United States have proposed – and in some cases passed – legislation that they say keeps the government from interfering with doctors who want to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to help prevent and treat Covid-19. But those treatments have not proven effective at preventing or treating Covid and infectious disease experts see the bills as examples of right-wing lawmakers politicizing medicine – a trend that is increasing as the pandemic wears on in America in to its third year amid an increasingly fraught political atmosphere. And so it goes with the latest suspect Covid-19 treatment that has become about more than just a drug, but rather about whether to trust established public health organizations or doctors who stray from their guidelines, and podcast and cable news hosts.

“We really need to have the politicians step aside and let scientists and public health officials make the decisions on what is going to be beneficial in preventing and treating Covid,” said Sunil Parikh, an associate professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. Kansas is one of at least 11 states, according to Buzzfeed, where Republican lawmakers have proposed, and in some cases passed, legislation to limit medical licensing boards’ ability to take action against providers who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, another drug that has not been shown to be effective against Covid but nevertheless promoted by some politicians on the right. “We are leaving it up to medical professionals like it should be, not bureaucrats trying to maintain a single message,” said Kansas state Senator Richard Hilderbrand, the chair of the committee that sponsored the legislation.

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“..the nation’s first clinical trial of ivermectin to treat COVID-19..”

Just how crazy is that?

University of Minnesota Ivermectin Trial Nearing Completion (Star T.)

University of Minnesota researchers expect to finish enrollment this week in the nation’s first clinical trial of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, and the study’s highly anticipated results could be only a month away. The COVID-OUT study is reviewing three common drugs, including the antidepressant fluvoxamine and the diabetes treatment metformin, but gained attention for its inclusion of ivermectin. The controversial drug has been championed by opponents of COVID-19 vaccines, despite a warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that ivermectin is cleared only to treat parasitic infections, head lice and certain skin conditions. Anti-inflammatory benefits of all three medications prompted the U study, which was delayed by slow enrollment over the summer until the delta and omicron waves of the pandemic emerged.

Lead researcher Dr. Carolyn Bramante said the results will provide clinical guidance to doctors who are facing record pandemic cases and to the FDA about whether to authorize the drugs for treatment of COVID-19. “Sooner would have been better, but I’m really proud of my team,” she said. “We will be done very quickly.” Proven outpatient COVID-19 treatments have been limited, and supplies in Minnesota have been scarce. Providers in the state discontinued two types of monoclonal antibody infusions in December because they were ineffective against the omicron variant, and providers had to ration the effective types. New antiviral COVID-19 pills that have received emergency FDA approval are coming in small shipments every other week to Minnesota.

[..] The U trial is enrolling 1,100 patients with COVID-19 to receive fluvoxamine and ivermectin, alone or in combination with metformin, or a nonmedicating placebo for comparison. The study is tracking whether patients taking the drugs for 14 days avoid hospitalization and maintain healthy blood oxygen levels. Bramante said the drugs have potential to reduce excessive inflammation — a hallmark of some of the most severe and fatal COVID-19 cases. Ivermectin has been tried in other countries, such as India, with less access to vaccine, despite a World Health Organization warning against its use outside clinical trials until its benefits are proven. Some global studies of the drug have been debunked while others in the U.S. are behind the U study.

Duluth-based Essentia Health on Monday announced it was joining the ongoing national ACTIV-6 clinical trial that is studying ivermectin in combination with fluvoxamine and fluticasone, an inhaled steroid. “The aim of the study is to see if these medications make you feel better sooner and prevent hospitalization,” said Dr. Rajesh Prabhu, an Essentia infectious disease specialist. Bramante is not allowed to see the patient data from the U study until after enrollment is finished, but she said it is a positive sign that a data safety monitoring board has allowed it to continue. That means the drugs aren’t causing harm but also there is no proof yet they absolutely work or don’t work against COVID-19.

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Japan goes its own way.

Japan’s Kowa Says Ivermectin Effective Against Omicron In Phase III Trial (R.)

Japanese trading and pharmaceutical company Kowa Co Ltd said on Monday anti-parasite drug ivermectin has been found effective for treating the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in a Phase III trial. The trial found ivermectin has “an antiviral effect” against the variant, Kowa said without providing further details. The firm has been working with Kitasato University, a medical university in Tokyo. Clinical trials evaluating the drug, which is used to treat parasites in animals and humans, are ongoing but promotion of the drug as a COVID-19 treatment has generated controversy. The drug is not approved for treatment of COVID-19 in Japan and the U.S. Federal Drug Administration has repeatedly warned against its use.

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Yes, it’s about vaccines.

University Offers Help To Students ‘Affected By A Free Speech Event’ (DM)

Colorado State University is promoting resources aimed at students who claim to be ‘affected by a free speech event’ on campus. A sign was spotted on campus and posted to social media which reads: ‘If you (or someone you know) are affected by a free speech event on campus, here are some resources.’ The sign then proceeds to list 17 different departments or offices on the university campus that may be of help. It includes Multicultural Counseling, Incidents of Bias Reporting, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and a Victim’s Assistance Hotline. Even university staff are taken care of with specific services for employees including the Office of Ombuds, and the Employee Assistance Program.

The roll call continues with a host of departments and programs set up to assist minority students, including Student Diversity Program centers for Asian Pacific, Black/African, and Native Americans. LGBTQ+ are not forgotten either with various services and cultural resources designated for the community. Students with disabilities and given their own hotline together with women, through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. Campus Reform first reported on the sign. The sign was posted on the Instagram account Turning Point USA Rockies Territory. Turning Point Action is an American nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative values on high school, college, and university campuses across the country. The account called out the school for ‘intolerance,’ adding, ‘We haven’t even had an event yet gotta love the intolerance of @coloradostateuniversity.’

Colorado State University, where tuition is $31,712 a year for out-of-state students, has been hostile in recent months to conservative organizations. Several incidents occurred during the fall 2021 semester. In one, a student was filmed harassing Turning Point group members calling them ‘right-wing goons’ and noting that ‘disrupting one of your activities is actually probably one of the most ethical and best things I can do with my time.’ [..]Also in the fall, a student was caught as they stole a sign advocating against vaccine mandates after the university threatened any student who didn’t register their vaccine status with arrest for trespassing. The university later clarified their policy saying that they were ‘not arresting students who are unvaccinated’, so long as they provided their vaccination information or declared an exemption.

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Whole cloth.

US Close To Approving ‘Mother Of All Sanctions’ Against Russia (G.)

The leaders of the Senate foreign relations committee said on Sunday they were on the verge of approving “the mother of all sanctions” against Vladimir Putin, warning there would be no appeasement as the Russian president contemplates an invasion of Ukraine. “We cannot have a Munich moment again,” the panel’s Democratic chair, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, told CNN’s State of the Union, referring to the 1938 agreement by which allies ceded parts of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, believing it would stave off war. “Putin will not stop if he believes the west will not respond,” Menendez said. “We saw what he did in 2008 in Georgia, we saw what he did in 2014 in pursuit of Crimea. He will not stop.”

Menendez said he believed bipartisan negotiations for severe sanctions were “on the one-yard line”, despite disagreements with Republicans over whether measures should be imposed before or after any Russian invasion. The UK government promised to ramp up sanctions against Putin and his associates. The negotiations come ahead of an expected UN security council meeting on Monday, at the request of the US, to give Russia the opportunity to explain its actions. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, said: “We’re going to go into the council prepared to listen to Russia’s security concerns, but we’re not going to be distracted by their propaganda.”

On Sunday, Kyiv urged Moscow to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s border and continue dialogue with the west if it was “serious” about de-escalating tensions that have soared amid fears of a Russian invasion. Canada moved its Ukraine-based military units westward on Sunday and announced the temporary withdrawal of all non-essential employees from its Kyiv embassy, citing ongoing Russian threats along the border. “We will continue to take all precautions necessary to keep our Canadian Armed Forces safe and secure,” said Canada’s Defense Minister Anita Anand at a press conference in Kyiv. Canada has 900 military members supporting the Nato mission in Ukraine via “land, air and sea,” she said.

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EU Threatens To Halt Nord Stream 2 & Cut Russia Off From SWIFT (RT)

The EU is discussing the possibility of excluding Russia from the SWIFT international bank payment system and completely putting a halt on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Moscow launches an invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has revealed. Speaking to CNN on Thursday, the Eurocrat said the EU would not rule out any possible angles for sanctions, adding that nothing is “off the table.” The EU and the US are currently working on a package of measures designed to deter Russia from considering a military incursion into Ukraine. Moscow stands accused of placing 100,000 troops on the border, with some alleging it is planning an attack. This claim has repeatedly been denied by the Kremlin.

Von der Leyen’s latest statement comes despite some reports that many foreign leaders have given up on some of the harshest sanctions, including on the financial and energy sectors, due to fears that the European economy and the continent’s energy security could see significant blowback. These include the suggestion that the EU could place a total ban on the usage of Nord Stream 2, a controversial gas pipeline that connects Russia to Germany. “I want to be very clear: Nothing is off the table, everything is on the table,” von der Leyen said when asked directly if the EU would make sure the energy system is stopped from ever being used. She repeated the same line when also asked about SWIFT. “The Commission is responsible for designing, shaping, and developing the sanctions – in the financial field, in the economic field, in the technology field. This includes everything,” she explained.

According to von der Leyen, any EU sanctions against Russia would have a devastating effect. Brussels is Moscow’s largest trading partner, and 75% of direct foreign investment in Russia comes from the EU, she explained, suggesting that economic measures would be painful. Earlier in January, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that the EU and the US had refused to consider disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international bank payment system. It noted that it could destabilize financial markets and help create an alternative payment infrastructure that would no longer be dominated by Western nations.

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Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
~ Albert Einstein

Year in Review 2021 Part 3 – Rise of Global Authoritarianism (Dave Collum)

So, here we are at the third and final part of the 2021 Year in Review and it’s no longer 2021. Sorry about that pfuck-up. Think of it as not in 2021 but from 2021. You may have noticed that the first 200 pages (parts 1 and 2) were laced with a recurring catchphrase, “WTF is happening?” It was a literary device for noting that the events ceased to make sense within a conventional worldview, suggesting it is time to torch the old model and start anew. Our response to a disease that was killing a very small slice of the population was to sequester and vaccinate the entire population with an experimental drug of real but unquantified fatality rate. The apparent scientific illiteracy was not some mass psychosis. Y’all just got suckered by America’s Most Trusted Psychopathic Mass Murderer assisted by an epic media blitz sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry that had a distinct authoritarian quality.

During the brief period after uploading part 2 while grinding on this last portion, the Supreme Court took on the vaccine mandate issue, ruling that the only people forfeiting control of their own healthcare are the healthcare workersref 2 The court also illustrated their profound ignorance of the pandemic and what they were even charged to assess—the Constitutionality of mandates, not the efficacy.ref 3 The CEO of a major insurer reported a 40% spike in fatalities within the 18–65 age bracket that was not from Covid.ref 4 He said 10% would be a 3-sigma, once-every-200-year event: 40% is unheard of. Although he refrained from identifying a cause—deaths of despair, neglected healthcare, or a toxic vaccine—he knows precisely what did them in. They have been studying this stuff for centuries. I suspect his real message was that the insurance industry is about to contribute to inflation with rising premiums.

Meanwhile, the pathological liars running the covid grift decided after two years the masks you’ve been wearing served no medical purpose and that the vaccines don’t work either. Wait: who said the masks and vaccines don’t work?

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“I was a civil rights hero, darn it! It’s time for the rest of the world to catch up!”

Biden Promises To Replace Tom Brady With A Woman Of Color (BBee)

Legendary quarterback Tom Brady has announced his plan to retire from the NFL to spend more time carving little wooden toys for his grandkids. In response to the earth-shattering news, President Joe Biden has announced his commitment to replace the outgoing football star with a woman of color. “Listen, folks, it’s time,” said Biden to the press. “In the hundred-year history of the NFL, not a single quarterback has ever been a woman of color. That’s racist! We all know that poor women are just as smart and powerful as white kids. As president, I will nominate a new quarterback to replace Tom Brady that reflects America’s diversity.”

When told he doesn’t have the authority to nominate quarterbacks to the NFL, Biden told his staff he would just sign the executive order and let the courts deal with it later. “There’s no excuse,” said Biden. When I used to play Nine Pins with Jehoshaphat Jenkins and the townsfolk, we always used to let the black women play with us. I was a civil rights hero, darn it! It’s time for the rest of the world to catch up!” So far, candidates being considered for the empty position include Michelle Obama, Tyler Perry, and Colin Kaepernick in a woman’s wig.

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Super immunity





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Jan 022022
 January 2, 2022  Posted by at 9:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , ,  63 Responses »

Caravaggio St. John the Baptist in the wilderness 1604


Omicron Breaks Through Immunity in a Battle Against Delta (McCullough)
Omicron Offers an Off-Ramp From Our Failed Pandemic Policy (ET)
Stop Letting Them Test You: Breaking The COVID Construct (Fed.)
My Secret Plan To End The Vaccine Madness (Kirsch)
The Psychological Cruelty of Denying Natural immunity (Tucker)
Not Vaccinating Kids ‘Doesn’t Make Any Sense’ – Fauci (RT)
“Omicron DEATH!” (Taibbi)
When Covid Vaccine With Lifelong Protection Might Be Available (RT)
Forecast 2022 — Dumpster Fire Blazing on the Frontier of a Dark Age (Kunstler)
2021 Year in Review: Crisis of Authority and the Age of Narratives (Collum)



YouTube has now removed the Joe Rogan interviews of both Dr Robert Malone as well as Dr Peter McCullough.



The most heavily vaccinated large US county




With 92% of adults fully vaccinated and 67% boosted, cases in Iceland have skyrocketed to new highs — up 4,564% since they were credited with “hammering COVID with science”






“..Omicron appears to generate immunity not only against itself, but also against Delta..”

Omicron Breaks Through Immunity in a Battle Against Delta (McCullough)

From an evolutionary biology perspective, we are witnessing the full range of ways a virus works to survive and propagate the species relying on hosts for replication and spreading to more hosts. As we were coming down from the formidable Delta outbreak curve, there was hope that natural immunity and whatever meager herd immunity that could have been building from mass vaccination would bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a low simmer.Instead, we have witnessed two months of building and now explosive epidemic curves all around the world with Omicron, the most highly mutated form of SARS-CoV-2. It is now clear that Omicron can infect those with previous COVID-19 infection and natural immunity, as well as those fully vaccinated, and of course, the smaller fraction of individuals who are COVID-19 naive.

While we have a mix of prolonged Delta cases and in many cases with moderate to severe symptoms, Omicron syndrome has been characterized as mild and brief with a notable absence of pulmonary symptoms. How did Omicron secure this large and growing ecological niche? We have learned that Omicron replicates at a 70-fold increased rate over Delta. Additionally, Omicron appears to generate immunity not only against itself, but also against Delta, the prior dominant variant. So as Omicron moves through the population rapidly, it is providing a larger immunologic barrier to further Delta expansion and will likely work to bring down the Delta curve as the same time the Omicron peak continues to build in a sharply upward, and hopefully brief spike in cases.

There are modeling studies suggesting that the dual Lilly (bamlanivimab and etesevimab) and Regeneron (casirivimab and imdevimab) monoclonal antibody products are unlikely to neutralize Omicron, leaving only sotrovimab by GSK as the remaining monoclonal antibody in our armamentarium for high-risk seniors who develop severe symptoms with Omicron. While many have said Omicron is “mother nature’s booster,” it will be some time before we can celebrate as the blend of Delta and Omicron, which present with similar features but take two separate clinical courses, is bound to confuse both the patients and the doctors trying to grapple with this new clinical reality.

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“..an opportunity for leaders to use the novel Omicron variant to save face..”

Omicron Offers an Off-Ramp From Our Failed Pandemic Policy (ET)

IGiven the magnitude of our failure as a society in dealing with COVID, and the cardinal rule that human beings (but especially politicians) will go to gargantuan lengths to avoid responsibility, I posit that Omicron provides an off-ramp that doesn’t require admission of guilt. We need to halt the highly objectionable COVID policies being employed today, while giving up, for now, the assigning of blame. Omicron has changed the game. With the preliminary research in, the data appears to show several things:
• Omicron is more contagious than Delta and other variants
• COVID vaccines seem to do little to stop Omicron infection
• Remarkably, there is some evidence that Omicron is breaking through natural immunity from previous variants
• Omicron is much less severe than other variants, with many scientists comparing its symptoms to the common cold
• Omicron is unexpected—its high level of mutation leaves scientists asking questions

Whatever the past reality, the difference in risk from COVID infection between the vaccinated and unvaccinated now appears to be lower than it was with previous variants. Whatever the past reality, the unvaccinated are not more a danger to society than the vaccinated. As the infection goes endemic, many people will get the virus, irrespective of vaccination status or past inflection. The obsession with asymptomatic testing for COVID can be left behind with heads held high, as can masks. Ignorance of the past power of natural immunity vs. the virus becomes a non-issue at present. And, unlike past variants, Omicron is indeed a bit of an enigma in terms of both its genetics and of how it functions.

In other words, a perfect opportunity to effect a dramatic shift in pandemic policy, for example to policies laid out in the Great Barrington Declaration and past pandemic public health standards. Vaccine mandates can be dropped in an instant, policy can indeed be “left to the states” as President Biden has suggested, and state leaders can also follow in kind. It’s an opportunity for leaders to use the novel Omicron variant to save face, as an “off ramp” off the current authoritarian and unpopular policy track, enacting policies that will have them celebrated and also work well, helping us start to heal our society. The sooner, the better.

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“Have local health care “experts” done anything to gain my trust? Or have they done everything they possibly can to betray it?”

Stop Letting Them Test You: Breaking The COVID Construct (Fed.)

DC Health is giving out “Home COVID-19 Testing Kits” at libraries across the capital city. At the majority of these sites, you’ll be handed two plastic, red, white, and blue envelopes per person. “Muriel Bowser, Mayor,” they read at the bottom. “Testyourselfdc.com.” “Isn’t that wonderful!” you might be thinking, as you tear open the seal. “I want to be sure these winter sniffles aren’t COVID before I see my mother, or visit grandpa, or go away with some friends.” Inside the envelopes, you’ll find a one-ended Q-tip (a “Nasal Self Swab”), wrapped in plastic; an official-looking LabCorp test tube, wrapped in plastic; and instructions to report your name, race, age, and sex to the city government, stick the Q-tip up your nose, deposit it in the test tube, put the “specimen bag” in the return envelope and drop it off at “one of the District’s specimen collection boxes by 8 p.m. the same day.”

Staring at this kit Wednesday morning, sniffling, I thought, “Why would I do that?” Seriously, why the hell would I do that? Do I live in Florida, where if seriously ill, I’ll be given access to monoclonal antibody treatments while family, friends, and neighbors go about their lives? Do I live in Georgia or Texas, where I’d receive the same? Or Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana? Or do I live in a city where the numbers will be rushed to the press, schools will be shuttered, mask mandates will be extended, new restrictions on the eternally wicked “unvaccinated” will be rolled out, and if I have a bad case I’ll have to drive hours to find a pharmacy willing to fill a doctor’s prescription? Have local health care “experts” done anything to gain my trust? Or have they done everything they possibly can to betray it?

By and large, Omicron is the sniffles. A cold; maybe some aches, and the sniffles. If you live on the East Coast, you might already know more than a dozen people with Omicron and aside from an occasional fever, every one of them is fine. “But don’t forget,” the headlines blare – “a man died in Texas last week.” Don’t you dare believe your lying eyes. “Just because the per-individual risk of severe illness may be lower,” CNN’s resident doctor politician warns, “that doesn’t mean on a societal level Omicron doesn’t pose a real risk.” “Omicron’s cold-like symptoms mean UK guidance ‘needs urgent update,’” The Guardian newspaper screams.

“You’re looking,” the president of the United States threatened, “at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.” It’s like we’re not experiencing this bug ourselves; like we’re incapable of observing it in our friends and families, and seeing what it does. It’s like we trust the “experts” more than we trust ourselves; damn our eyes. But if we dare take a step back and process the very thing we’re told we’re living through, we might recognize – more than ever – the increasingly obvious truth that COVID is a construct: a word we’ve been trained to fear more than the disease itself. COVID means fear, control, and lockdowns because we’ve allowed people to make it mean fear, control, and lockdowns.

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“Find a way to discredit the “authorities” in a way that the “blue pill” public can relate to..”

My Secret Plan To End The Vaccine Madness (Kirsch)

There is no one thing that ends the madness. Each activity contributes to moving the ball forward. The good news is that people in healthcare are getting really upset now and many are sacrificing their jobs to speak out. So I think this will end sooner than later. As always, our biggest “convincer” is the vaccine itself. Sooner or later doctors and nurses are going to have to stop ignoring the side effects and speak out just as occurred here. I’m currently of the belief that there are only two basic ways to victory: 1/ End the censorship of doctors. Enable the 30% of “red pill” healthcare providers to speak out without fear of retribution 2/ Discredit the authorities. Find a way to discredit the “authorities” in a way that the “blue pill” public can relate to, e.g., a debate, show “hidden camera footage,” get The New York Times to run a whistleblower story, etc.

Here are some of the activities I’m involved in now (in my copious free time while not writing Substack articles):

  1. Enable doctors to speak the truth without fear of retribution from medical boards and hospitals. Stopping the censorship of doctors either in a single state, or across the country with a coordinated day where 100,000 healthcare providers speak out at the same time. This includes activities such as suing state medical boards for violating the free speech rights of doctors and creating a special substack to coordinate action
  2. Get RFK Jr. on Rogan
  3. Publicizing the actual rates of child injury from school medical officials and making this public with names of the institutions
  4. Discredit the ringleaders (Fauci, CDC) with evidence that they can’t defend. This is harder than it sounds. For example, Malone mentioned the Biden / Modi call. Professor Peter Schirmacher who is beyond reproach showed at least 30% of the deaths post-vaccine were caused by the vaccine, but the CDC was able to get the story quashed and the mainstream media refused to acknowledge it.
  5. Survey of the public on vaccine side effects using professional polling organizations to show the CDC has been lying the American people
  6. University study of vaccine side effects so that the survey can be published in peer-reviewed medical journals making it hard to challenge
  7. Showing people what is in the vials (analysis done by a very trusted actor). Multiple brands, multiple batches, multiple labs. Just to remove all doubt. This one thing alone can end it instantly depending on what they find.
  8. Debate with prominent pro-vaxxer(s). This is a low probability event. Nobody on their side wants a fair debate. We couldn’t even get pond scum like @ZdoggMD to the debate table. Even very low-profile people like “Your local epidemiologist” wouldn’t debate. Apparently, all these “experts” are deathly afraid of being challenged publicly.
  9. Careful athlete/pilot adverse event analysis that survives every fact checker showing comparison with previous years.
  10. Expose Gavin Newsom as lying about his vaccine injury (requires a relative to permanently end his Newsom relationship so that is hard).
  11. Using humor to educate people on what is going on (similar to JP Sears videos). I’m talking with comedian Tyler Fisher about this (he does a great Fauci impersonation).
  12. Convince some prominent narrative supporters to switch sides, e.g., imagine if Sanjay Gupta told the truth about the vaccines and then was fired from CNN. Or a prominent writer for the New York Times to blow the whistle. These acts of courage will start to wake people up.
  13. Creating mass awareness, e.g., I’m funding the Jan 23 Defeat the Mandates March on Washington event and follow @dchomecoming on Twitter.
  14. Continue to educate people on the evidence in plain sight. Sadly, this moves the needle very slowly. For example, it’s crystal clear from the data that masks do nothing, but people can’t read science so they keep their masks on.
  15. Get people like Robert Malone, Peter McCullough, Brian Tyson, etc. back on Twitter so that their voices can be heard and not silenced.
  16. Organize volunteers. We have hundreds of volunteers. If you want to help, register your skills here on the resource registration form.
  17. Encourage all my followers to do something to advance the ball on a daily basis. Can you convince one person a week to switch? Can you share your success with others?

If you have other ideas that you think will help move the needle, let me know in the comments. There are many approaches, but convincing the public is the hardest since they trust their doctors. The fastest way to win this is either: 1/ Get lots of doctors to convince their peers/speak out in unison and/or 2/ Thoroughly discredit Fauci/CDC in a way the public will embrace. By discrediting the top authority figures, the entire narrative topples.

Read more …

“You promote despair. You create a permanent state of fear. You rob people of optimism. You create dependency and promote sadness. No one can live this way. And we do not have to.”

The Psychological Cruelty of Denying Natural immunity (Tucker)

Covid’s coverage of the country is so broad now that everyone knows one or many people who have had it. They share stories. Some are short bouts. Others last a week or longer. Nearly everyone shakes it off. Some people die from it, particularly the elderly and infirm. And this universal tactile experience has also given rise not so much to another round of panic – that is certainly there – but exhaustion and the great question: when will all this end? It ends, as the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration said, with the arrival of population immunity. In this sense, it is like every pandemic that has come before. They swept through the population and those who recover have lasting immunity to the pathogen and probably others in the same family.

This happens with or without a vaccine. It is this upgrade of the immune system that provides the way out. And yet even now, millions of people have not been made aware of the payoff to confronting the virus. They have been denied hope that it ever will end. They simply do not know. The authorities have not told them. Yes, you can find out if you are curious and read competent opinion on the topic. Maybe your doctor has shared that view. But when you have the leading voices in public health seeming to go out of their way to pretend that natural immunity does not exist, you are going to throttle that knowledge in the general population. The immunity passports do not recognize it. The people who are fired despite having demonstrated robust immunities know this all-too-well.

Of all the scandals and outrages of the last two years – the incredible failings of public officials and the silence of so many people who should have known better – the strange silence on acquired immunity is among the worst. It has a medical cost but also a huge cultural and psychological one. This is not just an arcane matter of science. It is a main means by which the population can see the other side of the pandemic. For all the fear, suffering, and death, there is still hope on the other side, and we can know this because of our awareness of how the immune system works.

Take that away and you take away the possibility of the human mind to imagine a bright future. You promote despair. You create a permanent state of fear. You rob people of optimism. You create dependency and promote sadness. No one can live this way. And we do not have to. If we know for sure that all this suffering was not for naught, the universe and its functioning seem a bit less chaotic and appears to make a greater degree of sense. We cannot live in a pathogen-free world but we can confront this world with intelligence, courage, and conviction that we can get to the other side and live even better than we did before. We do not need to give up freedom.

Read more …

It’s all about Pfizer’s immunity.

Not Vaccinating Kids ‘Doesn’t Make Any Sense’ – Fauci (RT)

White House health adviser Anthony Fauci has pushed back on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children based on the low number of serious cases among minors, insisting their arguments don’t make sense. During an appearance on NewsNation’s ‘Morning in America’ on Thursday, he took a blunt approach with those hesitant to vaccinate their offspring. After host Adrienne Bankert observed that only zero to four children per 1.1 million in the US had required hospitalization due to Covid-19 last week, despite a general surge in cases, Fauci said the rationale of parents who refer to such statistics to justify declining to immunize their kids “doesn’t make any sense.” “We vaccinate children for any number of childhood diseases when the mortality of those diseases is far less than the mortality and the morbidity of Covid-19 in children,” Fauci said.

With a rising number of child hospitalizations, it was the “responsibility” of parents to vaccinate their children, he went on. He acknowledged that children were at “less” risk of experiencing severe outcomes from Covid than those in other age groups, however. “It’s true that when you compare hospitalizations and severe illness in young children compared to adults, particularly the elderly, there’s no doubt that the likelihood of getting seriously ill for a child is less than for an adult when you’re dealing with Covid-19,” Fauci said, though he added that this did not mean “children don’t get seriously ill.” They are “suffering” and “dying,” Fauci noted, adding that this would be “avoidable” if their parents simply vaccinated them. Children aged five and up have been eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in the US since November. As cases surge across the county, significantly increased by the Omicron variant, so have the number of minors admitted to hospital.

Read more …

“..an address urging calm from President Mumbles..”

“Omicron DEATH!” (Taibbi)

It was the world’s loudest record-scratch when the WHO in the first week of December said the ominous “Omicron variant” of Covid-19 had been detected in 38 countries, but without any known deaths.No deaths? How could that be? In the United States in late November, we’d already skipped past the stunned-curiosity phase and moved straight into active mass panic, with “fallout from the Omicron variant” causing the Dow to fall 652 points in a day when news of the mutant contagion arrived. Right away, we had a travel ban from southern Africa, an address urging calm from President Mumbles, and a declaration of a “Variant of Concern” from the CDC, as “scientists raced” to learn more about this “almost Frankensteinish” new strain of Covid-19.

The next month of Omicron coverage offered a fascinating window into our Covid-fixated future. For most of December, we were presented with an unbroken string of scare stories that in many cases actively buried the lede on the most important question: is this thing going to kill me? The Washington Post on December 14th, for instance, ran a story about how the “CDC warns” that a “punishing wave” could be coming as soon as January. The piece noted Omicron was “dramatically more transmissible” and “a more slippery foe when encountered by neutralizing antibodies,” but ignored the issue of lethality altogether, which would seem impossible to do by accident. “How deadly is the Omicron variant? WHO releases death report,” wrote the Express U.K. earlier this week, with the following sub-headline:

OMICRON cases have increased more than tenfold since authorities identified the first UK infections in November, but scientists’ knowledge of the variant has increased in kind. The World Health Organization (WHO) released its first death report this weekend, outlining how dangerous it really is. Reading that headline hits your fear center, making you anxious to know just exactly “how dangerous it really is.” What does that mean? Scrolling down, you first read that Omicron mutations “allow it to escape immunity provided by both vaccine doses,” that “it reduces two doses of Pfizer to 30 percent effectiveness, with AstraZeneca potentially down to zero,” and that while boosters can restore effectiveness to 75 percent, “many are at Omicron’s mercy.” Not good! Only far down the piece do you read that since the WHO’s “no deaths” report in early December, the disease has “spread rapidly, and one person in the UK has died with the new variant… Recent data suggests the disease Omicron causes is milder than its predecessors…”

Read more …

Why the obsession with vaccines?

When Covid Vaccine With Lifelong Protection Might Be Available (RT)

A Covid-19 vaccine potentially able to give lifelong protection has proved effective on mice and primates and is set for clinical trials. Production is planned for 2024, Japanese scientist Michinori Kohara told the Japan Times. With all the existing Covid-19 vaccines requiring booster shots to remain effective, the emeritus investigator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science decided to create one based on the 18th-century smallpox vaccine, which is credited with the elimination of the deadly disease. “I have worked on various vaccine technologies such as the adenovirus and messenger RNA, but the vaccine using the vaccinia virus vector is the most powerful of all with few side effects,” Kohara said, adding that the vaccine “can induce antibodies and lifelong immunity.”

According to the researcher, one shot of a recombinant vaccinia virus containing the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains effective for more than 20 months, and “there is no other vaccine that can achieve these effects.” Two shots taken three weeks apart increase neutralizing antibodies tenfold, he said. Testing the vaccine on avian flu-infected mice and coronavirus-infected macaques proved to be effective. Clinical trials are set to start in the first half of 2023 with the participation of 150 to 200 volunteers. If the trials, which will be conducted by Japanese pharmaceutical company Nobelpharma Co., turn out to be a success, the final phase will be launched. Mass production is planned for 2024 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, a number of new vaccines are being developed around the world. Cambridge University professor Jonathan Heeney recently announced trials of a new needle-free Covid-19 jab that he hopes will be able to give broader protection against Covid variants and other coronaviruses. A new Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, called Convasel and created by the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums, is set to be registered before the end of the first quarter of 2022, the head of the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency Veronika Skvortsova, said on Friday.

Read more …

“Dr. Anthony Fauci’s treasonous public health empire, the murderous pharmaceutical companies, the recklessly dishonest news media, and a demonic host of federal agencies..”

Forecast 2022 — Dumpster Fire Blazing on the Frontier of a Dark Age (Kunstler)

The American people have been played backwards and forwards, inside and out, through and through, and up and down; driven to the very edge of national suicide by a combine of enemies within and without. If China’s CCP wanted to take maximum advantage of a weakened, confused USA, they couldn’t have found more zealous help-mates than the seditious Democratic Party, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s treasonous public health empire, the murderous pharmaceutical companies, the recklessly dishonest news media, and a demonic host of federal agencies, especially the three-stooge “Intel Community” — the CIA (Moe), DOJ (Larry), FBI (Curley) — plus the many secret horror chambers in the Pentagon. Throw in the Big Tech tyrants, the Marxist mandarins on campus, and the satanic narcissists of Hollywood. Oh, and let’s not forget the evil principality of grift and swindling that is Wall Street.

We still don’t know exactly what role the CCP and its Peoples’ Liberation Army played in the origins of Covid-19, and we don’t know because the US government doesn’t want us to know — because they had a role in it — and the news media won’t lift a finger to find out, either, because they are the propaganda arm of the regime in power. We do know an awful lot about the operations of Dr. Fauci and his colleagues in funding the development of the virus in Wuhan for the purpose of introducing a wildly profitable set of “vaccines” which, if anything, prolonged and exacerbated the pandemic, and harmed or killed millions all over the world.

We also know that this same set of players in public health and Big Pharma gamed the clinical trials that preceded the emergency use authorizations that loosed the “vaccines” on the people, and that they deliberately obstructed and suppressed proven treatments with inexpensive off-patent drugs that would have saved many hundreds of thousands of lives if they had been allowed within so-called standards-of-practice that rule medicine these days. The same gang fudged their statistical reporting wherever possible, especially by failing to fix the kludgy CDC VAERS website for listing adverse reactions to the “vaccines,” but also in creating conditions that made it impossible to discern actual Covid deaths from “vaccine” deaths, and deaths either caused by co-morbidities or extraneous occurrences such as highway accidents or gunshot killings.

Read more …

One can be forgiven for thinking that the years are getting longer, because Dave Collum’s review does all the time. It now takes as long for you to read as it takes him to write. That is, a whole year.

Well, at least he has one reliable source left:

2021 Year in Review: Crisis of Authority and the Age of Narratives (Collum)

I am an openly white, right-leaning, closeted hand-sexual male with audacious opinions. I promise, however, that I will sling barbs without regard to race, creed, or color. If I think you are a douche bag, I will say so. When anger consumes me, however, it gives way to angst because somebody may have suckered me into playing a role in some higher authority’s master plan to disrupt the American Dream. As we are being dazzled by the Harlem Globe Trotters, recognize that we are the Washington Generals. Remember the olden days when the wealthy and powerful nefariously assaulted the unsuspecting populace? If caught, scandal followed, heads rolled, and we moved on, leaving us plebes with the sense that justice was served. Since the government was small relative to GDP, the systemic corruption represented a few percent of the system. It’s now growing like a tumor and devoid of consequences for the powerful. In the Age of Narratives, we snarf down platters of propaganda served by powerful media empires. This bread and circuses is free but leaves us marinating in ignorance.

It’s a trap Mickey: the cheese is not free! The Western media is now the arm of the State, no better than Pravda. Failed business model led the media into the oldest profession. How many narratives have we fallen for? How many have you fallen for? I think you owe it to yourselves to replay the tape from years past and ask whether you were duped. Malcolm Gladwell’s latest (see Books) suggests we are hard-wired to trust. As social animals, we cannot function if we don’t. It’s difficult to push back but push back we must. The more highly politicized the topic—climate change, pandemics, vaccines, elections, central banking, foreign wars—the greater the urgency to repel. I offer up one of several quotes from Gore Vidal, a thought-leader canted profoundly left whom I have come to view as the intellectuals’ George Carlin: “Our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own.” ~ Gore Vidal

Sources and Social Media. I am a Twitter long hauler with 70,000 followers but haven’t yet figured out how to monetize the micro-fame enough to buy a mocha Frappuccino. I do, however, find it a useful sounding board. One tweeter—probably a Twitter bot—captured the essence: “If you need something researched for free and you don’t feel like doing it just post a tweet about it that’s mildly incorrect and wait.”~ @InternetHippo

My Twitter long hauling has occasionally been interrupted by Twitter time-outs. They range from 12 hours to ponder the err in my ways for posting an inappropriate link to Bichute or The Lancet, to a full week for calling Tony Fauci “a skanky whore.” A permanent ban would (will) be painful because I have old and new friends there—Rudy: I love ya man!—who enrich my life with their wisdom. New posse members joining the already eclectic mix include @JonNajarian (getting me closer to winning CNBC Twitter Bingo), scholar and author @BretWeinstein (see Books), actor @AdamBaldwin, polymath rapper @ZubyMusic, and waves of bitcoin hodlers. Favorite news sources include podcasts—I am an audiophile—as well as blogs and newsletters by Tony Greer, James Grant, Jesse Felder, Bill Fleckenstein, Automatic Earth, Grant Williams, Ron Griess of The Chart Store, Chris Martenson, emails from a woman named Denise, and the 500 lb. gorilla of the internet—Zerohedge. I know I’ve missed many more. Apologies.

Read more …











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Oct 282020
 October 28, 2020  Posted by at 7:46 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  5 Responses »

Henri Rousseau The Flamingoes 1907



Had a little email exchange with Dave Collum this week. We go way back, more than two weeks even. It’s been a while though, Twitter cut me off from Dave’s tweets ages ago for some reason, and that’s just one person I know they did that with; how many others, no clue. My Twitter followers, @AutomaticEarth, have been just below the same certain number for years.

Regularly a few hundred are shaved off, and then they slowly revert back to just below that number. I don’t even care anymore. No more than I care about Facebook shutting down our account without any explanation. Let them be. We should not depend on these people, that’s just a bad idea.

Anyway, so Dave was reacting to a mail I sent him of the October 26 Debt Rattle -he’s always remained on one of my mailing lists- and that’s how we started talking again. Dave:

I have never spent a year so completely baffled by the world as this year. Nothing makes sense to me without invoking some seriously bizarre thinking (which I am not averse to doing.)

My reaction:

The game hasn’t even started yet. We’re still just warming up. Still, baseball is not the right analogy, that’s a civilized sport, this will feel much more like gladiators in the Forum fighting to the death. Biden has neither the energy not the -killer- instinct for that.

Yes, Dave, like Jim Kunstler, and like me, and many other people, have changed our views and positions on American politics quite a bit over the past 4-5 years. Mostly independently of each other. We just recognize the same patterns. I think it’s fair to say that we all realize that there may be a million things wrong with Donald Trump, but there’s a lot more wrong with collusion to unseat a fairly elected president.

And that is what we all have faced. The FBI, and Robert Mueller, opening a years-long investigation based on a report that they already knew was fake, paid for by the DNC and Hillary campaign, relentlessly edged on by the -former- “media” sympathetic to that same campaign, and ending in absolute crickets, trying to save face by accusing Julian Assange and 13 Russians.

We have reached whole new depths with Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann. So, yes, sure, we all feel a bit vindicated when it turns out that the collusion was not on the Trump side, but on the DNC one, and very much on the Biden family’s one. That the DNC media refuse to report on that hardly matters anymore.

They’ll have huge problems if Biden wins, because their day-to-day coverage has been based exclusively on Trump and scandal and intrigue for 5 years now, and they don’t remember how they used to make money without that, with just reporting honestly on what is going on. Trump is their golden goose. What will they do, report on Joe hiding in the White House basement? “Today, Joe slept only 12 hours!” Truman Show.

They will have even bigger problems if Trump wins, since that means his supporters will come after the entire DNC/FBI etc. cabal, including the media. I’ve often said that Michael Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell will not be satisfied anymore with a full exoneration of her client, and her legal team is sure to have accumulated an entire library of fabricated media pieces against him on top of FBI and Judge Sullivan “mishaps”.

And whatever side of politics, or even the law, you’re on, and no matter who wins the election, the judicial system will still churn on. She won’t stop, she won’t wave a white flag, guaranteed. Trump must have offered Flynn a full exoneration many times, but every one of his refusals of the offers must have been more stern than the last one.



And now, 6 days before the election, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai are testifying in front of a congressional committee. While, from what I’ve seen, half of US eligible voters have already cast their vote. 50% of the social media job is done. And no-one on Capitol Hill will dare touch them. Because they are the new arms and tools of US intelligence, and you don’t mess with that.

Trump wins, we’ll see a huge increase in the violent street parties dressed up as “peaceful protests” we’ve become accustomed to over the past 6 months. Just last night, like it’s some kind of warning shot, things got way out of hand in New York and Philadelphia.

Biden wins, the right wing will come looking for what’s been taken away from them over the past 4 years, with the president they elected under constant investigation based on nothing other than party political gossip – and that’s putting it nicely. The Hunter and Joe Biden files that have been revealed so far give them ample reason to do just that.

To get back to Collum’s “Nothing makes sense to me without invoking some seriously bizarre thinking”, I think we should all prepare for just that. Unless there’s a landslide win for either side, which looks impossible, there doesn’t seem to be any way to know who will win in six days, before the new year. While the “peaceful protests” rage on.

And then we end up in the Supreme Court and Amy Handmaid Barrett casts the deciding vote. That’s not her fault, it’s everybody else’s. Everything about American politics has gotten out of hand, on all sides of all aisles. We don’t want the most qualified judges anymore, or the most qualified presidents, we instead want people in all these positions who agree with everything we think is right, which we know because our media has told us.

Collum: “I have never spent a year so completely baffled by the world as this year.”

My friend, you’re in for a treat. Try 2021.





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Mar 292018

Rembrandt van Rijn Christ In The Storm On The Sea Of Galilee 1633
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, single largest art theft in the world. Never recovered


I am gullible. Very. I betcha I am more gullible than you. And that tells you something, because you know how gullible you are. Or so you think. Still, as bad as I got it, something physically snapped in the back of my head this morning, I could hear it snap, when I saw this Guardian headline:

Skripals Poisoned From Front Door Of Salisbury Home, Police Say

Detectives investigating the attempted murders of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal have said they believe the pair were poisoned with a nerve agent at the front door of his Salisbury home. Specialists investigating the poisoning of the the Skripals have found the highest concentration of the nerve agent on the front door at the address, police said. Counter-terrorism detectives will continue to focus their inquiries on the home address for the coming weeks, and possibly months…

See, because of my gullibility, I’ve decided that if I’m to have any idea of what really goes on around me, I’m condemned to reading a lot. Obviously, like you, I’ve found that the vast majority of what passes for news is as fake as it gets. More so by the day. So we have to read between the lines all the time. It’s what it is. But this…

If these two people have actually been poisoned, that’s a really terrible thing. But maybe lying about such things is much worse. And I doubt that anything at all we’ve been told about the Skripal case is true. Not because I don’t want to believe it, but because the storytellers plant so many trees they’re getting lost in their own forest.

Today the British press reports that the Skripal father and daughter pair were poisoned “from their front door”. They do that with the same level of certainty that just a few days ago they used in telling us they were poisoned through the air vents of the dad’s BMW. Exact same story, just a different location. And that’s after a by now long sequence of headlines that claimed it had happened inside the home, or in a bar, a pizzeria, or on the parkbench they were ostensibly ‘found’ on.

What that headline above, and all others on the topic that came before it, tells me is that evidently the hundreds of ‘experts’ involved in the case have not yet been able to locate the ‘nerve agent’. They’re still just guessing, even 25 days after the incident is supposed to have happened. How would that be done? I have no idea, but I’m surely thinking that after almost 4 weeks it’s essentially a pure guessing game, and nothing more than that.

Does the alleged nerve agent leave traces after all that time? I don’t have a clue, but I do know from what I’ve read that it’s apparently so toxic (as in lethal) that even very faint traces of the stuff are, well, lethal. So when I first read the BMW air vent theory last week I was thinking: did the guy who towed that car to the police station wear a full hazmat suit? He would have had to if he’s still alive.

And where is that car anyway? Come to think of it, where are the Skripals? And how is it possible that they survived the ‘attack’? Were they given a full blood transfusion? Are they being treated 24/7 by dedicated personnel in hazmat suits? There are too many questions for me to answer. And that goes for you too. And for Boris Johnson. And Donald Trump. And the governments of the 30-or-so nations that nevertheless expelled well over a hundred Russian diplomats.


Now, I’m not a chemist, let alone an organic chemist. So perhaps I should consult with my friend Dave Collum, who is. But I was going to write this from memory, not go back and find all those headlines, or ask around. This is not about me being 100% correct, it’s about the ‘news reports’ being so far off the truth.

Here’s what I have picked up about the nerve agent. The press calls it “Novichok“ (Russian for newbies), but Novichok is not a nerve agent, it’s a group of them. In the Skripal case, the journalists -who I can only hope are not as gullible as I am- behind all the ‘news’ have been told by ‘authorities’ that we’re dealing with A-234, which is a novichok nerve agent.

Developed by Russia a long time ago, but no longer produced in Russia after 1993, as the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed. Its chemical formula has been made public, which means that at least in theory anyone could produce it.

Russia would seem to be the last country to try that, because it would point straight to them. And they haven’t stood still for 25 years, they can make Novichok 2.0 if they want. Not that they appear to have much if any reason to poison the Skripals, there are quite a few parties that have at least as much incentive to do that.


Wait, before I forget, there was a policeman who allegedly ‘treated’ the Skripals first, and was himself ‘poisoned’ in the act and hospitalized, but was released a few days ago. What exactly happened to him? How did the A-234 not kill him? Did he receive such a faint trace that he was ‘cleaned’ within days? Where is he now? Why has he not released any statement? Doesn’t he strike you, too, as being a little bit pregnant?

But, again, I’m not a chemist. Collum, who I can’t really claim as a friend anymore, because he’s everybody’s friend these days, tweets a hint:

Hey organic chemists: the Novichuk nerve agents are like those below. [..] You could just use the racemate with plenty of effect. Unlike drugs, the goal here is to kill the recipient.

From what I understand, A-234, like all novichoks, is just a pesticide with a fancy dress on. Not terribly unique or special, and not terribly Russian after 25 years either. Just terribly lethal. Which by the way is saying something about how we produce our food, too. Can we blame Putin for losing our insects as well, please? It’s so much easier that way.


But I digress. As I started out saying, it’s the ‘news’ that yet another ‘location’ for the ‘nerve agent’ had been discovered after 25 days and hundreds of specialists, at the bleeping front door of the ‘victims’ home, as if nobody ever thought of looking there, that snapped that thingy in my head. Location, location, location.

Still, when I venture beyond what can be or has been proven, which is about as near to zero Kelvin as I even want to think about, there was this other thing this morning. Julian Assange has been cut off from the internet by his gracious Ecuadorian hosts in their London embassy. And I betcha that’s because he dared question Britain in the Skripal case, on Twitter.

Here’s my theory, borne off my gullibility in all its glory: Theresa May and her government have been stumbling from disaster to catastrophe over the Brexit calamity for months now, and they needed some relief. But they themselves are not smart enough to provide it. So someone got it for them.

They’re keeping Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn occupied for all he’s worth with a cocked-up narrative of him being an antisemite. Stupid as can be story, but it works for as long as they need it to. The other day the BBC photoshopped a Russian hat on Corbyn’s face; that stuck less than the Jew-hater tale, so they went with that one. Some UK parliamentary fake news committee wants to talk to Zuckerberg, but they should look closer to home. If fake news is what they’re really after.

So anyway, they all went with the Novichok concocted thing, and boy did that ever catch on. Even every western politicians’ pet hamsters have now sent their Russian caregivers packing. And you know what it is, even if May and Boris had any proof of Russian involvement, all those countries certainly do not. Even if they had the evidence, they’re not going to send it around to dozens of countries. Just not.

Boris Johnson couldn’t resist comparing Putin to Hitler. You can’t fall any lower than that. Or can you? The diplomats were all expelled on a day that Russia was lamenting the death of 64(?) victims (mostly children) in a shopping mall fire, in what they declared a day of national mourning. You think Boris sent his condolences?


I can write about this all day long, and weekends too. You know, Crimea, Ukraine, MH17, the new cold war narrative has been well prepared. And now John Bolton, who may well be the deadliest cartoon character we’ve ever seen -let alone imagined-, is all set to score the easy tip-in. But that is possible only because all of you are as gullible as I am. Don’t forget that. They’re blinding you with silence, with stupidity, with your own lack of neuron activity.

Even if this is a story with too many holes in it to qualify as Swiss cheese. The story doesn’t make any sense? Who cares, really, all the front pages shout it out in bold print. And if you get tired of it: where’s the remote, Mildred?


British politician and former candidate for mayor of London, George Galloway, on Twitter, says it so much better than I ever could, and shorter too, which is why I quote him at the end of this article:

Why do I not believe you? Let me count the ways. You’re not looking for anyone in connection with the attack on the Skripals. There is no manhunt, no all points alert, no description, no identikit drawing, no CCTV. No suspects. That means you already know what happened. #Russia

We know Facebook is trying to screw with your brains. Well, they’re not the only ones. Your government -and ‘intelligence’ services- want the monopoly on that, too.

I can not make this a definitive, or final, or complete story. Because nobody can. But I can tell you this: if you think that Russia or God forbid Putin, ‘poisoned’ the Skripals, you’re so wrong you’re beyond salvation. Not because it may or may not be true, but because you have seen no evidence. And you still go with it. Where’s the remote, Mildred?



Dec 232017
 December 23, 2017  Posted by at 9:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »

Ansel Adams Boulder Dam 1941


Bitcoin Briefly Plunges As Low As $10,400, Down 47%, In Volatile Trading (CNBC)
2017 Year In Review (David Collum)
2017 Year in Review (Jim Kunstler)
Foreign Cash Driving Top-End House Prices In Vancouver And Toronto (R.)
Canadian Housing Affordability Hits 27 Year Low (Saretsky)
Saudi Government Wants $6 Billion For al-Waleed’s Freedom (ZH)
What’s Going On With Cars? (Gaines)
Greek Pensioners May Face Further Cuts In 2018 (K.)
Make Supermarkets And Drinks Firms Pay For Plastic Recycling, Say UK MPs (G.)



Keep the faith. It’s Christmas time after all.

Bitcoin Briefly Plunges As Low As $10,400, Down 47%, In Volatile Trading (CNBC)

Bitcoin plunged Friday, taking the digital currency briefly below $11,000 and down 47% from a record high hit at the start of the week. Bitcoin had rallied to a record high above $19,800 on Sunday and was trading near $15,500 for much of Thursday New York time, according to Coinbase. But an afternoon selloff accelerated into the night, and bitcoin dropped 30.2% Friday morning to a low of $10,400 on Coinbase. It had recovered above $14,600 by Friday afternoon, off 27% from the all-time high. There were no immediately apparent explanation for the selloff and extreme volatility.

“I would say the drop in bitcoin is a result of the massive new inflows of retail investors who are relatively ‘weak hands’ and more prone to sell at the sight of falling prices than the capital that has been in the system for a while that has a longer term outlook,” Alex Sunnarborg, founding partner at cryptofund Tetras Capital, said in an email. Adding to the confusion, trading on Coinbase was disabled for more than two hours in the middle of the day. The company had more than 13 million users at the end of November. At its lows, bitcoin had fallen 47% in just five days and lost about $9,400. The digital currency erased more than $1,000 in one hour alone Friday morning.

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You’re on your own with Collum’s as always very very long review:

2017 Year In Review (David Collum)

A poem for Dave’s Year In Review

The bubble in everything grew

This nut from Cornell

Say’s we’re heading for hell

As I look at the data…#MeToo


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We have reviews in all sorts and sizes. But with Christmas still to come, can they be complete?!

2017 Year in Review (Jim Kunstler)

2017 was the kind of year when no amount of showers could wash off the feeling of existential yeccchhhhh that crept over you day after day like jungle rot. You needed to go through the carwash without your car… or maybe an acid bath would get the stink off. Cinematically, if 2016 was like The Eggplant That Ate Chicago, then 2017 was more like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, a gruesome glimpse into the twisted soul of America. And by that I do not mean simply our dear leader, the Golden Golem of Greatness. We’re all in this horror show together. 2017 kicked off with the report by “seventeen intelligence agencies” — did you know there were so many professional snoops and busybodies on the US payroll? — declaring that Russia, and Vladimir Putin personally, tried to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“Meddling” and “collusion” became the watch-words of the year: but what exactly did they mean? Buying $100,000 worth of Google ads in a campaign that the two parties spent billions on? No doubt the “seventeen intelligence agencies” the US pays for were not alert to these shenanigans until the damage was done. Since then it’s been Russia-Russia-Russia 24/7 on the news wires. A few pleas bargains have been made to lever-up the action. When and if the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Mueller, pounces, I expect the GGG to fire him, pardon some of the plea-bargained culprits (if that’s what they were and not just patsies), and incite a constitutional crisis. Won’t that be fun? Anyway, that set the tone for the inauguration of the Golden Golem, a ghastly adversarial spectacle.

Never in my memory, going back to JFK in 1960, was there such a bad vibe at this solemn transfer of power as with the sight of all those Deep State dignitaries gathering gloomily on the Capitol portico to witness the unthinkable. From the sour scowl on her face, I thought Hillary might leap up and attempt to garrote the GGG with a high-C piano wire right there on rostrum. The “greatest crowd ever” at an inauguration, as the new president saw it, looked pathetically sparse to other observers. The deed got done. Five days later, the Dow Jones stock index hit the 20,000 mark and began a year-long run like no other in history: 50 all-time-highs, and a surge of 5000 points by year’s end, with 12 solid “winning” months of uptick.

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That 15% foreign buyers tax didn’t help much.

Foreign Cash Driving Top-End House Prices In Vancouver And Toronto (R.)

Foreign buyers are driving up the prices of homes in Canada’s two largest housing markets, according to research which will intensify the debate around overseas property ownership in the expensive cities of Vancouver and Toronto. While people living outside Canada own less than 5% of residential properties in the two cities, those homes are worth significantly more than those held by residents, according to a Reuters analysis of data released this week by Statistics Canada. Public debate over the role of foreign investment in Canada has reached a fever pitch, with locals saying price increases of 60% in Vancouver and 40% in Toronto over the past three years are keeping them out of the market. In Toronto, the average value of a detached home built in 2016-2017 and owned by a non-resident is C$1.7m (US$1.3m), a whopping 48.7% higher than C$1.1m for residents.

Those values for Vancouver average a lofty C$2.5m for non-residents and C$1.8m for residents for a difference of 40.6%. Among all detached homes, not just new ones, those owned by non-residents were larger than residents’ houses by 13.1% in Vancouver and 2.2% in Toronto. The new data reinforces anecdotal evidence that foreign buyers tend to focus on the most affluent neighborhoods, said Jane Londerville, a real estate professor at the University of Guelph in Southern Ontario. “If the goal is to get a couple million dollars out of their country and put it in a very safe, calm economy, you might as well buy a C$2m house,” she said. “So they’re buying in Forest Hill in Toronto and Kerrisdale in Vancouver.” The Statscan data does not look at sales, or flow, but rather is a static snapshot of ownership of housing stock at the time of collection.

Foreign capital also targets new condos, with new Vancouver units owned by non-residents valued at 19.7% more than those owned by residents. In Toronto, the difference is 11.2%. “There’s been a huge spike in foreign ownership in newer buildings,” said Diana Petramala, senior researcher at Ryerson University’s urban policy centre in Toronto. [..] A 15% foreign buyers tax was imposed in Vancouver in 2016 and Toronto in 2017 amid a backlash against foreign buyers, particularly from China. This has cooled both markets at least temporarily.

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Canada doesn’t want to solve the issue anymore than any other country does.

Canadian Housing Affordability Hits 27 Year Low (Saretsky)

“Nothing says Merry Christmas like a 27 year low for Canadian housing affordability. That’s right, real estate across Canada has not been this un affordable since the year 1990 per RBC. Spoiler alert house prices tumbled shortly thereafter. RBC Bank released their updated Q3 numbers for housing affordability. To no surprise, Vancouver leads the nation in the most unaffordable market to buy a home. Followed by Toronto and then Victoria. “The deterioration in the latest two quarters, in fact, put Vancouver buyers in the worst affordability position ever recorded in Canada.“ The area experienced the sharpest affordability drop among Canada’s major markets between the second and third quarters. RBC’s aggregate measure surged by 5.3 percentage points to 87.5%. This represents a new record high for any market in Canada. We see further downside to Vancouver’s home ownership rate in the period ahead. The rate fell from 65.5% in 2011 to 63.7% in 2016.”

What RBC didn’t mention in their report is the correlation between elevated house prices that cause affordability issues and recessions. When too much household money is spent servicing mortgage payments it eventually becomes a drag on consumer spending and ultimately triggers a recession. This is not to suggest a recession is imminent. But when the percent of income the median family would have to use to service debt pushes above 50% in Toronto and Vancouver, a recession typically follows in Canada. Currently Toronto is at 71.7%, and Vancouver is at 79.87%. With the Bank of Canada expected to follow our US counter parts in 2018, a couple more interest rate increases are sure to erode affordability even further. Across Canada, Household income would need to climb by 8.5% to fully cover the increase in homeownership costs arising from a 75 basis-point hike in mortgage rates. Buckle in.

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Would you bet on MBS?

Saudi Government Wants $6 Billion For al-Waleed’s Freedom (ZH)

In case you were wondering what the going-rate was for one of the world’s richest men’s freedom… it’s $6 billion… in unencumbered cash (not Bitcoin). That is the price that Saudi authorities are demanding from Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal to free him from detention. The 62-year-old prince was one of the dozens of royals, government officials and businesspeople rounded up early last month in a wave of arrests the Saudi government billed as the first volley in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s campaign against widespread graft. According to the Mail, al-Waleed, who is (or was, until recently) one of the richest men in the world, has also been hung upside down and beaten.

The Saudi government has disclosed few details of its allegations against the accused, but as The Wall Street Journal reports, people familiar with the matter said the $6 billion Saudi officials are demanding from Prince al-Waleed, a large stakeholder in Western businesses like Twitter, is among the highest figures they have sought from those arrested. While the prince’s fortune is estimated at $18.7 billion by Forbes – which would make him the Middle East’s wealthiest individual – he has indicated that he believes raising and handing over that much cash as an admission of guilt and would require him to dismantle the financial empire he has built over 25 years. Prince al-Waleed is talking with the government about instead accepting as payment for his release a large piece of his conglomerate, Kingdom Holding Co., people familiar with the matter said.

The Riyadh-listed company’s market value is $8.7 billion, down about 14% since the prince’s arrest. Kingdom Holding said in November that it retained the support of the Saudi government and that its strategy “remains intact.” According to a senior Saudi official, Prince al-Waleed faces accusations that include money laundering, bribery and extortion. The official didn’t elaborate, but said the Saudi government is merely “having an amicable exchange to reach a settlement.” The prince has indicated to people close to him that he is determined to prove his innocence and would fight the corruption allegations in court if he had to. “He wants a proper investigation. It is expected that al-Waleed will give MBS a hard time,” said a person close to Prince al-Waleed, referring to the crown prince by his initials, as many do.

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As I said yesterday, this won’t’ be as big as subprime houseing, but it’ll be much messier: “The problem with high rebate numbers is it absolutely kills the resale value of a car.”

What’s Going On With Cars? (Gaines)

Automotive credit has become easier in the last few years, and manufacturers are still seeking whatever growth they can come up with in our market at any cost. People are buying cars they can’t afford or shouldn’t even have been able to buy. Used car depreciation is at an all time high for many cars and yet everyday more and more people are trading them in. This whole scenario has a bleak end that became evident when I went to my buddy Paris’ repo lot. He called me to check out a 2016 BMW 435i he jacked for BMW Financial Services. It was a beautiful Estoril Blue M-Sport car with just under eight thousand miles on the clock. I could only imagine the circumstances where someone let go of a year old BMW, but as we walked through I noticed all of the cars seemed to be nearly new.

Paris confirmed my fears when he told my about nine-out-of-ten vehicles he’s repossessed in the last few months were model year 2016 or newer. To make matters worse Paris only does work for prime and a few captive lenders, meaning a majority of these cars went out to consumers with good credit. On the other end, every time I look up from my desk there is a customer who is absolutely drowned in their vehicle. Six thousand dollars in negative equity is the norm, but I’ve witnessed numbers as high as twenty thousand in the last year. Customers are always astounded by how their car has lost so much of its value so quickly. What they fail to realise is their car was worthless from the beginning. Rebates and incentives are at an all time high at many manufacturers, J.D. Power quoted an average around four thousand dollars earlier this year, and I’m sure that number has risen since then. The problem with high rebate numbers is it absolutely kills the resale value of a car.

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Keep squeezing, there’s still some blood left there.

Greek Pensioners May Face Further Cuts In 2018 (K.)

Auxiliary pensions appear headed for a fresh cut in 2018, as the single auxiliary social security fund (ETEAEP) will end 2017 with a deficit, against the small surplus originally forecast. Crucially, while the ETEAEP budget for next year provides for a surplus of €176.01 million, expenditure on pensions will be reduced by 150 million euros. Based on the latest social security laws introduced by former minister Giorgos Katrougalos and current minister Effie Achtsioglou, the new auxiliary pensions – when they are finally issued – will be reduced by 22% on average, with a cut of up to 18% expected to existing pensions in 2019. The provisions of the ETEAEP budget that Kathimerini has seen suggest that existing pensions might be cut as early as next year. The single auxiliary social security fund is now projecting a deficit of €166.6 million for this year, compared to an original forecast for a €10.07 million surplus.

For next year’s surplus of 176.007 million euros to be attained, spending on auxiliary pensions will have to be reduced from €4.30 billion in 2016 and €4.17 billion this year to €4.02 billion in 2018. This means the sum of auxiliary pensions will decline by 3.59% next year. Revenues from next year’s social security contributions are estimated at €2.68 billion, against €2.566 billion this year (compared to a forecast for €2.581 billion). The ETEAEP budget also shows that the fund sold bonds worth €200 million this yea – at a considerable loss – while next year it will need to cash in bonds worth €80 million from the special fund at the Bank of Greece. In total, takings from the fund’s cash and bond handling for this year are estimated at €397.14 million, against an original projection of €200.54 million. Revenues from the utilization or sale of assets will amount to an estimated €311.65 million next year.

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How typical is this of mankind on the verge of 2018? The idea is environmental problems can be solved by putting monetary values on everything. The idea is as wrong as it is stupid. Cleaning the planet will not be done for monetary reasons.

Make Supermarkets And Drinks Firms Pay For Plastic Recycling, Say UK MPs (G.)

Supermarkets, retailers and drinks companies should be forced to pay significantly more towards the recycling of the plastic packaging they sell, an influential committee of MPs has said. Members of the environmental audit committee called for a societal change in the UK to reduce the 7.7bn plastic water bottles used each year, and embed a culture of carrying reusable containers which are refilled at public water fountains and restaurants, cafes, sports centres and fast food outlets. British consumers use 13bn plastic bottles a year, but only 7.5bn are recyled. MPs said the introduction of a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) was key to reducing plastic waste in the UK, as part of a series of measures to reduce littering and increase recycling rates.

Michael Gove, the environment secretary, has called for evidence on a plastic bottle deposit scheme, and it is expected to be part of measures he announces in the new year. Major retailers have yet to support such a scheme, but Iceland and the Co-op recently announced their backing for a DRS. The report published on Friday underlines the need for government intervention to tackle plastic waste in the UK and calls for higher charges on companies to contribute to clearing up the waste they create. Mary Creagh, chair of the environmental audit committee, said: “Urgent action is needed to protect our environment from the devastating effects of marine plastic pollution, which if it continues to rise at current rates, will outweigh fish by 2050.

“Plastic bottles make up a third of all plastic pollution in the sea and are a growing litter problem on UK beaches. We need action at individual, council, regional and national levels to turn back the plastic tide.” In the report MPs called for the “polluter pays” principle to be applied to companies to increase their contribution to recycling plastic waste.

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