Aug 122021
 


Julian #Assange attending today’s hearing by video-link from H.M.P. Belmarsh. It is astounding how much he seems to have aged in the space of six months. Puffed-up face and tired eyes. Hair and beard growing unruly. Very sad state of affairs. – Tareq Haddad

 

Microscopic Covid Vaccine-Induced Blood Clots (LSN)
Delta Variant Has Made Herd Immunity Impossible – AZ Developer (BI)
The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Contagious (NPR)
La Pampa Ivermectin Monitored Intervention Program Results (IC)
India’s Ivermectin Blackout (Hope)
CDC Adjusts Florida Covid-19 Numbers After Health Department Call-Out (Fox)
SAGE Advisor Says Lockdowns Can No Longer Be Justified (SN)
Australia Can’t Escape Covid Lockdowns Even If 90% Is Vaccinated – Expert (DM)
Joe Biden Never Mentioned Covid ‘Quarantine Camps’… But The CDC Did (Bridge)
The Ultimate Power of The Word “NO” (Rossini)
Andrew Cuomo Is Resigning, But The Investigations Will Continue (USAT)
US Allowed To Challenge Key Psychiatric Evidence in Assange Case (RT)

 

 


 

 

Serious covid cases in Israel spike — 90% of serious cases are people over 50.

Fun fact: 95% of people over 50 are vaccinated

 

 

Oh, just great. And not even surprising anymore.

“And so, we understood in the end, the reason why the lungs fail is not because the virus is there. It is because micro blood clots are there..”

Microscopic Covid Vaccine-Induced Blood Clots (LSN)

Dr. Charles Hoffe has been practicing medicine for 28 years in a small, rural town in British Columbia, Canada, and recently gave a long interview. He has given about 900 doses of the Moderna experimental mRNA vaccine to his patients. So, contrary to some critics, he is no anti-vaccine doctor. The core problem he has seen are microscopic clots in his patients’ tiniest capillaries. He said, “Blood clots occurring at a capillary level. This has never before been seen. This is not a rare disease. This is an absolutely new phenomenon.” Most importantly, he has emphasized these micro-clots are too small to show up on CT scans, MRI, and other conventional tests, such as angiograms, and can only be detected using the D-dimer blood test, a standard test that indicates whether blood clots are being actively formed somewhere within a person’s vascular system.

Using the latter, he found that 62 percent of his patients injected with an mRNA shot were positive for clotting, not a small fraction that can be easily dismissed. He has explained that what is happening in bodies is that the spike proteins in the vaccine become “part of the cell wall of your vascular endothelium. This means that these cells which line your blood vessels, which are supposed to be smooth so that your blood flows smoothly, now have these little spikey bits sticking out. … when the platelet comes through the capillary, it suddenly hits all these COVID spikes, and it becomes absolutely inevitable that blood clots will form to block that vessel.” He made an important distinction: “The blood clots we hear about, which the media claim are very rare, are the big blood clots, which are the ones that cause strokes and show up on CT scans, MRI, etc.

“The clots I’m talking about are microscopic and too small to find on any scan. They can thus only be detected using the D-dimer test.” “The most alarming part of this is that there are some parts of the body like the brain, spinal cord, heart and lungs which cannot re-generate. When those tissues are damaged by blood clots, they are permanently damaged.” This is his pessimistic, scientific view: “blood vessels in their lungs are now blocked up. In turn, this causes the heart to need to work harder to try to keep up against a much greater resistance trying to get the blood through your lungs. This is called pulmonary artery hypertension – high blood pressure in the lungs because the blood simply cannot get through effectively. “People with this condition usually die of heart failure within a few short years.”

[..] The eminent Dr. Peter McCullough noted, “So, this is a very different type of blood clotting that we would see with major blood clots in the arteries and veins, for instance, blood clots involved in stroke and heart attack, blood clots involved in major blood vessels in the legs. This was a different type of clotting, and in fact, the Italians courageously did some autopsies and found micro blood clots in the lungs.” “And so, we understood in the end, the reason why the lungs fail is not because the virus is there. It is because micro blood clots are there. … When people can’t breathe, the problem is micro blood clotting in the lungs. … The spicule on the ball of the virus itself which damages blood vessels that causes blood clotting.”

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Some of this stuff is plain weird. This guy admits his vaccine fails to do what it promised, but says it’s only because there’s a new variant. And herd immunity can only be reached with vaccines. Which is contradicted even by the WHO’s new distorted definition that now says: “Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur with some diseases when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections..”

Delta Variant Has Made Herd Immunity Impossible – AZ Developer (BI)

The Delta variant has changed the equation for achieving herd immunity, the developer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has said. Speaking at a UK parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, Sir Andrew Pollard, a professor of pediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, said that achieving herd immunity is “not a possibility” now that the Delta variant is circulating. “We know very clearly with coronavirus that this current variant, the Delta variant, will still infect people who have been vaccinated, and that does mean that anyone who’s still unvaccinated, at some point, will meet the virus,” Pollard said. He said it was unlikely that herd immunity will ever be reached, saying the next variant of the novel coronavirus will be “perhaps even better at transmitting in vaccinated populations.”


Some experts had hoped that herd immunity could be reached with COVID-19, as was the case with measles, which is also highly infectious. Many countries have achieved herd immunity with measles by vaccinating 95% of the population against it, such as the US, where endemic transmission ended in 2000. That is because once a person is vaccinated against measles, they cannot transmit the virus. With COVID-19, vaccines still fulfill their primary role: protecting against severe disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated people who catch the Delta variant are 25 times less likely to have a severe case or die. The overwhelming majority who do catch it will have mild or no symptoms. But growing evidence suggests that, with the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people can still transmit the virus.

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The CDC lied again. Who notices anymore?

The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Contagious (NPR)

In a leaked report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a surprising claim about the delta variant of the coronavirus: It “is as transmissible as: – Chicken Pox,” the agency wrote in a slideshow presentation leaked to The Washington Post on July 26. Chickenpox is one of the most contagious viruses known. Each individual can spread the virus to as many as “90% of the people close to that person,” the CDC reports. Is the delta variant that contagious as well? The short answer is no, says evolutionary biologist and biostatistician Tom Wenseleers at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “Yeah, I didn’t find the CDC’s statement entirely accurate,” says Wenseleers, who was one of the first scientists to formally calculate the transmission advantage of the alpha and delta variants over the original versions of SARS-CoV-2.

Nonetheless, delta is still highly transmissible, he adds. It’s one of the most contagious respiratory viruses that we know of, he says. Here’s why. When scientists measure a virus’s transmissibility, they often use what’s known as R0, or “R nought. ” It’s the number of people a sick person will infect when the entire population is vulnerable to the virus. “So it’s the virus’s potential of spreading, given ideal conditions for the virus, when no one has any immunity,” says computational biologist Karthik Gangavarapu at the Scripps Research Institute. For example, the flu has an R0 of about two. Each person infected with flu passes the virus on to two people on average. Some people will infect more than two people, and some will infect fewer. But over time, the average will be about two.

Chickenpox, on the other hand, is way more contagious, Gangavarapu says. Chickenpox has an R0 of about nine or 10. So each person with chickenpox infects about 10 other people on average. Outbreaks are explosive. For SARS-CoV-2, the R0 has actually risen over the course of the pandemic as the virus evolved. When the coronavirus first emerged in 2019, SARS-CoV-2 was slightly more contagious than flu, Gangavarapu says. “The initial COVID-19 strain had an R0 between two and three.” Then about a year later, the virus began to mutate quickly. The alpha variant emerged, likely in the U.K., and was more transmissible than the original strain. A few months later, the delta variant emerged, most likely in India. It was even more transmissible than alpha.

“For the delta variant, the R0 is now calculated at between six and seven,” Wenseleers says. So it’s two- to three-times as contagious as the original version of SARS-CoV-2 (R0 = 2 to 3) but less contagious than the chickenpox (R0 = 9 to 10).

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Google translate from Argentina. Bit confusing, 4 different percentages in a few paragraphs. And I don’t get why they specifically focus on mortality (or even how), given that 99.9% of people survive.

La Pampa Ivermectin Monitored Intervention Program Results (IC)

“The primary objective in the community of the two populations was to evaluate mortality related to COVID-19. In this context, we studied 3,269 patients older than 18 years of the Ivermectin Group, and in the same period we compared it with a group of 18,149 patients who did not participate in the program. In the results of the mortality analysis in the Ivermectin Group, we found that it was 27.4% lower compared to the group of patients who did not use the drug. And when we evaluate the population over 40 years of age, the cut-off point that we established, the decrease was 33.4%. It means that, if confirmed with a randomized clinical study, 1 out of every 3 deaths would be avoided, it is a very strong figure, ”said Kohan.

The minister added that, in the Program, a dose of 0.6 milligrams per kilo of weight was used, in a period of 5 days. “The previous work carried out gave the clue that this was the correct dose in the first 5 days of transit of the disease with mild symptoms,” he added. Kohan. With the statistical data in hand, he considered it valuable that the study carried out in La Pampa was made known to the scientific community through the fastest possible channels. “We are going to publish it, we have discussed it with the working group, and we believe it is important that it be made available. And we are going to try to pave the way for rapid dissemination, so we first thought of making a preprint (in academic publication it is an original manuscript of an author before peer review) in a specialized journal.

We want others to discuss this issue and, as I said in June, we are not fans of Ivermectin but we found valuable elements in favor of the population. The statistics are there, and we also find more favorable statistics even in patients with comorbidities ”he added. Even under the encouragement of positive statistics, Kohan considered it important to be cautious with the dissemination of them. “Those who intervened and signed the consent are specifically detailed in specific files, those of the Control Group are not. For this reason, when you add the risk factors in people over 40 years of age, the mortality reduction is 44%, it is amazing, but you have to take it with great caution, “he said. Finally, he gave an account of the evaluations of intensive care hospitalizations and/or deaths “where we verified a 38% reduction in the patients of the Ivermectin Group” he concluded.

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Obesity may play a major role here. US is 15 times worse than even Tamil Nadu.

India’s Ivermectin Blackout (Hope)

The graphs and data from the Johns Hopkins University CSSE database do not lie. On the contrary, they provide a compelling trail of truth that no one can dispute, not even the NIH, CDC, FDA, and WHO. Just as Galileo proved with his telescope that the earth was NOT the center of the Universe in 1616; today, the data from India shows that Ivermectin is effective, much more so than the vaccines. It not only prevents death, but it also prevents COVID infections, and it also is effective against the Delta Variant. In 1616, you could not make up the telescopic images of Jupiter and its orbiting moons, nor could you falsify the crescent-shaped images of Venus and Mercury. These proved that the earth was NOT the center of the Universe – a truth the Catholic Church could not allow.

Likewise, the massive drop in cases and deaths in India to almost nothing after the addition of Ivermectin proved the drug’s effectiveness. This is a truth that the NIH, CDC, and FDA cannot allow because it would endanger the vaccine policy. Never mind that Ivermectin would save more lives with much less risk, much less cost, and it would end the pandemic quickly. Let us look at the burgundy-colored graph of Uttar Pradesh. First, allow me to thank Juan Chamie, a highly-respected Cambridge-based data analyst, who created this graph from the JHU CSSE data. Uttar Pradesh is a state in India that contains 241 million people. The United States’ population is 331 million people. Therefore, Uttar Pradesh can be compared to the United States, with 2/3 of our population size.

This data shows how Ivermectin knocked their COVID-19 cases and deaths – which we know were Delta Variant – down to almost zero within weeks. A population comparable to the US went from about 35,000 cases and 350 deaths per day to nearly ZERO within weeks of adding Ivermectin to their protocol. By comparison, the United States is the lower graph. On August 5, here in the good ol’ USA, blessed with the glorious vaccines, we have 127,108 new cases per day and 574 new deaths. Let us look at the August 5 numbers from Uttar Pradesh with 2/3 of our population. Uttar Pradesh, using Ivermectin, had a total of 26 new cases and exactly THREE deaths. The US without Ivermectin has precisely 4889 times as many daily cases and 191 times as many deaths as Uttar Pradesh with Ivermectin.

Uttar Pradesh on Ivermectin: Population 240 Million [4.9% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 26
COVID Daily Deaths: 3

The United States off Ivermectin: Population 331 Million [50.5% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 127,108
COVID Daily Deaths: 574

Let us look at other Ivermectin using areas of India with numbers from August 5, 2021, compiled by the JHU CSSE:
Delhi on Ivermectin: Population 31 Million [15% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 61
COVID Daily Deaths: 2

Uttarakhand on Ivermectin: Population 11.4 Million [15% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 24
COVID Daily Deaths: 0

Now let us look at an area of India that rejected Ivermectin. Tamil Nadu announced they would reject Ivermectin and instead follow the dubious USA-style guidance of using Remdesivir. Knowing this, you might expect their numbers to be closer to the US, with more cases and more deaths. You would be correct. Tamil Nadu went on to lead India in COVID-19 cases.
Tamil Nadu off Ivermectin: Population 78.8 Million [6.9% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 1,997
COVID Daily Deaths: 33

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By close to 50%. How often does the CDC make such “mistakes”?

CDC Adjusts Florida Covid-19 Numbers After Health Department Call-Out (Fox)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday updated its COVID-19 tracker for Florida over the past few days after the state’s department of health appealed publically for an update. The CDC told Fox News in an email on Tuesday that it was working with the state’s health department to correct the information. The state took to Twitter on Monday to ask the CDC to update its COVID-19 case tracker because it incorrectly combined “MULTIPLE days into one.” The Sunday total was the state’s worst ever, according to the CDC data. Multiple media organizations picked up on the number and the department corrected the stories online with some bite.


“Wrong again. The number of cases @CDCgov released for Florida today is incorrect,” it responded to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record.” The CDC initially reported 28,317 new cases on Sunday but adjusted that number to 19,584 by Tuesday. The health department said there were 15,319 cases on Sunday.

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They’re going to do them anyway.

SAGE Advisor Says Lockdowns Can No Longer Be Justified (SN)

A top SAGE adviser to the UK government says that COVID lockdowns can no longer be justified and that measures to control the virus should instead be aimed at protecting the most vulnerable. Professor Andrew Hayward, a University College London epidemiologist, said that the days of disruptive restrictions imposed on everyone should end in favor of a more targeted approach. “I think as we generally move into an endemic rather than pandemic situation the potential harm that a virus can cause at a population level is much less,” Hayward told BBC Radio 4. “So you can’t really justify such broad population-wide control measures and we tend to target the control measures more to those who are most vulnerable,” he added.

“And so I think, not only in testing but in all sorts of forms of control, as we move into a situation where we’re coming to live with this virus forever, then we target the measures to the most vulnerable rather than having the more disruptive measures,” said the professor. Hayward’s view that we need to learn to live with the virus was echoed by signatories to the Great Barrington Declaration, in which 12,000 scientists asserted that the strategy should be centered on “focused protection,” not endless lockdowns. However, the UK government is still pursuing the idea of vaccine passports for some venues from September onwards while eliminating the option of negative COVID tests, despite the fact that fully vaccinated people can still catch and spread the virus.

The domestic passports have proven highly controversial in France, where police were seen earlier this week checking the medical papers of people sitting outside at cafes. As we previously highlighted, some lockdown advocates appear to be upset that the restrictions might not make a return, with a Guardian journalist writing about how he is “going to miss being locked down.”

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Build a wall around it. Shut down the airlines and the ports. Don’t let anyone leave ever again.

Australia Can’t Escape Covid Lockdowns Even If 90% Is Vaccinated – Expert (DM)

A top US disease expert who was among the first to sound the alarm when the Covid pandemic first appeared in Wuhan has painted a bleak picture for millions of Australians hoping to be released from stay-at-home orders. Harvard-trained epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned that even with 90 per cent of Australia’s population vaccinated – 10 per cent higher than the federal government’s reopening target of 80 per cent – it still won’t be enough to fend off the relentless cycles of lockdowns. Dr Feigl-Ding said in order to live with the highly infectious Indian Delta variant, life will need to remain in a perpetual state of restrictions including a ban on indoor dining and a move to premium face masks.

But despite the grim outlook, he’s still urging everyone to get the potentially life-saving jab as its proven to reduce hospitalisation rates by about 90 per cent. ‘Even for highly vaccinated countries, relying on vaccines alone is not a panacea to stop Delta,’ he told A Current Affair. ‘What that means is just relying on that single vaccine approach is very, very narrow minded. ‘We must do other layers in addition to waiting around for vaccines.’ He says life returning to normal is still a long way off and suggests a public health strategy ‘in between’ being locked down or fully opened is needed. This would include bans on indoor dining and cloth-made masks, improved ventilation standards and a nationwide vaccine passport system.

‘No one wants lockdowns… but if you don’t have these in place I guarantee you, you will be headed towards a lockdown because the cases will be surging so quickly and the hospital beds will be filling up,’ Dr Feigl-Ding said. ‘Without these measures you’re headed for disaster.’

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The CDC is just one long horror story. Bunch of career bureaucrats in no way up to an actual challenge.

Just like Fauci, who spent 40 years in his job in silence, building ties with Big Pharma. Of course he’s going to screw up after all that.

Joe Biden Never Mentioned Covid ‘Quarantine Camps’… But The CDC Did (Bridge)

As a number of politicians push for ‘vaccine passports’ amid fears that a new brand of medical apartheid is coming, a re-surfaced CDC publication advocating internment camps for the ‘high-risk’ has some people fearing the worst. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a paper that floated the totally not suspicious idea of relocating “high-risk” individuals into green zone “camps.” While the proposal didn’t attract much attention at the time, as draconian anti-Covid measures are beginning to ramp up, and basic human rights and liberties are coming under attack, the document has attracted newfound attention. And not without reason, it seems.

The very first line of the document discusses the implementation of a “shielding approach in humanitarian settings… focused on camps, displaced populations and low-resource settings.” Essentially, and this will be important later on, ‘humanitarian settings’ is just another way of saying ‘camps’. Many people are quick to associate the idea of camps with the containment of refugees, for example, or illegal aliens who have breached the border. Yet the only time the word ‘refugee’ is mentioned in the paper is in reference to a camp in Kenya. At the same time, ‘camp’ and ‘camps’ are referred to about 20 times. There is another ambiguous thing about this document, and that involves its description of “high-risk” individuals and the “general population.”

The paper reads: “In most humanitarian settings [i.e. camps], older population groups make up a small percentage of the total population. For this reason, the shielding approach suggests physically separating high-risk individuals from the general population to prioritize the use of the limited available resources and avoid implementing long-term containment measures among the general population.” In other words, the CDC is saying that older people being held in camps (humanitarian settings), because they are in the ‘high-risk’ category, should be separated from the ‘general population’ in these facilities so as to reduce the ‘containment measures’. OK, fine. But the document never explains who makes up the general population inside the camps, and why these ‘low-risk’ individuals are being held in these humanitarian ‘green zones’ in the first place.

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Via Ron Paul.

The Ultimate Power of The Word “NO” (Rossini)

Fear is the primary tool of authoritarians. It mentally disarms the population. We know about the desire to physically disarm the population, by trying to take away guns. Well, fear is the tactic for mental disarmament. When one is afraid, one makes bad decisions. One doesn’t think things through. One tends to act impulsively in an attempt remove immediate dissatisfaction. One tends not to question, but blindly obey. In a state of fear, one may submit and agree that 2+2=5; only to afterwards be filled with regret at doing such a stupid thing. Fear is meant to break your individual will. Your will to say the word “NO” stands in the way of every authoritarian scheme. The authoritarian needs you to say “YES,” even if you don’t really believe it. The authoritarian will pull all the levers available, and move all the pieces on the board to corner you, all with the goal of getting you to say “YES.”

Mass propaganda is designed to get you to say “YES”. Everywhere you look, you see the same exact message. “Say YES”…”Say YES”…”Say YES”… Slapping the mask on your face provided two wins for authoritarians: First, you said “YES” to allowing authoritarians to dress you when you left your house. Second, it conditioned you to realize that all others had their wills broken too. Everyone’s face was now dressed up, and hidden from view. What a powerful visual to break down your will. Saying “YES” to unprecedented “Lockdowns” and isolation has led to massive mental and physical illnesses that will reverberate through the ages, and will be talked about for the rest of our lives, much in the same way that the World Wars and Great Depression are talked about.

Now, the levers are being pulled, and pieces are being maneuvered for the grand slam: Saying “YES” to having foreign chemicals injected into your body, even if you don’t want them and don’t need them. Medical treatments, especially those that will be with you and inside of your body for the rest of your life, should never (EVER) be mandatory. Most people would agree with this in a heartbeat. Yet, with a constant diet of fear, the goal is to get you to say “YES.” Saying “YES” to this not only breaks your will, but surrenders your sovereignty over the one (and only) body that you will ever have. Allow this, even a single time, and saying “NO” to future mandated injections will be neutralized. It’s too late. Whatever injections are decreed, your body will always be at the mercy of other human beings.

One word from you puts an end to this: “NO.” One word keeps your sacred will intact: “NO.” One word can possibly and literally save your life: “NO!”

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They won’t go after him for killing old people. Too many other Democrats did the same.

Andrew Cuomo Is Resigning, But The Investigations Will Continue (USAT)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving up the powerful job he’s dedicated most of his life to keeping within his family, but his resignation won’t end a bevy of pending investigations into him and his administration. No fewer than five district attorneys have made preliminary inquiries into Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment detailed in the scathing, 165-page report last week from Attorney General Letitia James’ office that ultimately led to the governor’s announcement Tuesday that he will resign in two weeks. That includes Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who is in the midst of a criminal investigation into claims by a Cuomo executive assistant who says the governor groped her breast at the Executive Mansion last year.

There’s also a pending investigation by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who are looking into the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes and its withholding of certain death data at the height of the pandemic last year. And that’s not all. James is still looking into whether Cuomo illegally used state resources to pen his book on the COVID-19 crisis, for which he is due to be paid $5.1 million. And the Assembly’s impeachment inquiry continues on, though its immediate future is no longer clear. The investigations and litigation could enmesh Cuomo for months or years after his scheduled departure from public office in two weeks. “The inquiry into criminal conduct in our jurisdiction remains open and pending,” Soares spokesperson Cecilia Walsh said Tuesday, just after Cuomo announced his pending resignation.

[..] Separately, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York have subpoenaed material related to Cuomo’s recent memoir as part of an investigation of the state’s handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes on Cuomo’s watch, The Wall Street Journal reported in June. [..] James, meanwhile, told reporters last week that her investigation into Cuomo’s book deal remains underway. “The investigation with respect to the book and whether or not public resources were utilized is ongoing and it’s separate and apart from this investigation,” she said Aug. 3. The Assembly Judiciary Committee, which has been investigating various Cuomo-related issues to determine whether to impeach the governor, is scheduled to meet Monday.

Lawmakers had been moving toward impeaching the governor, but Cuomo’s resignation could change their plans. The Assembly could still pursue an impeachment that could prevent Cuomo from running for state office again. Such an endeavor, however, would cost millions of dollars in taxpayer money, which Cuomo himself highlighted during his resignation speech. “It will consume government,” Cuomo said of his potential impeachment. “It will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It will brutalize people.”

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The presence of judges makes you think this is about law. It is about politics. No matter that the key witness, without whom there would be no case, says he made it all up. No matter that Julian helping Manning crack something was a blatant lie. Those things have become part of the case, accepted as facts.

Yesterday was only about whether his two kids will prevent him from suiciding. As if this should ever have been allowed to become about that.

There have been people walking around with signs for a decade, and writing righteous texts on social media. When will they realize this is no use? As a society, we will never process the death through torture of our bravest and smartest. And we don’t deserve to. We deserve to be forced to explain this to our grandchildren.

US Allowed To Challenge Key Psychiatric Evidence in Assange Case (RT)

The High Court in London has allowed the US to challenge a psychiatric evaluation of Julian Assange, which was key in an earlier court ruling refusing Washington’s request to extradite him for trial. Wednesday’s appeal proceeding is the latest development in the continuing effort by the US to extradite Assange to stand trial on American soil for alleged computer-related crimes. A British judge refused the request in January on humanitarian grounds, ruling that there was a high risk of Assange taking his own life if she agreed to his extradition. Testimonies by psychiatrist Michael Kopelman about the poor state of the Australian’s mental health were crucial in the case. The US was allowed to challenge the ruling of the District Court on three points and wanted to pursue two further arguments.

One of their extra lines of attack, which was granted by Lord Justice Tim Holroyde, was to seek the dismissal of Kopelman’s testimonies, due to the fact that he initially concealed Assange’s relationship with Stella Moris and the fact that they had two children together. Clair Dobbin, who represents the US side, argued that the professor had misled the court and that his opinion about Assange’s state of mind should have been dismissed by Judge Vanessa Baraitser. The name of Assange’s partner was not public at the time of Kopelman’s initial testimony, but it became known before the ruling was passed. The expert witness for the defense did report Assange’s fatherhood, and said when pressured by the US side during the extradition hearings that he didn’t disclose Moris’ identity out of respect for her privacy.

Judge Baraitser decided when rejecting the extradition request that although Kopelman did mislead the court, he didn’t fail in his role as an impartial witness. Edward Fitzgerald, who represents Assange, argued against the challenge, saying concern for family safety was natural in his situation. He recalled that a Spanish private security firm hired to spy on Assange allegedly snatched a diaper from his baby son to test his DNA and identify the child’s parents. The baby boy was regularly brought by an associate of Assange to visit him at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was staying for seven years to avoid extradition proceedings. The firm is suspected to have worked on behalf of the US government, and its alleged activities were cited extensively before Judge Baraitser.

Matt Kennard

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Inflation, right? So what’s going to make the money flow?


 

 

Pilger

 

 

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Aug 112021
 


Henri Matisse Window at Tangiers 1912

 

Public health experts must check ‘egos at the door’ – Malone (JTN)
Teenage Boys Are 14 Times More Likely To Suffer Rare Heart Complication From Pfizer’s Covid Jab
Pfizer and Moderna Go Head to Head Against Delta (MPT)
Hawaiian Airlines Latest Carrier To Mandate Covid Vaccinations For Staff (CNBC)
3 Major US Airlines Will Not Mandate Shots For Unvaccinated Workers (CNN)
What Would Our Economy Look Like In The Shadow Of Vaccine Passports? (Smith)
Oregon High School Grads Need Not Be Proficient in Reading, Writing, Math (JT)
Cuomo’s Legacy: Normalizing Corruption And Lawlessness (Sirota)
Billionaire-Backed Mining Firm To Seek EV Metals In Greenland (R.)
Assange In Court Today (Rozenberg)

 

 

 

 

Ducky Bomb

 

 

Vaxx the young!

 

 

Pr. Raoult: viral loads are not correlated to the symptomatic/asymptomatic condition of the patient.

 

 

Sometime I think I have Malone overkill, but kudo’s to him. John Solomon has lots of readers.

Public Health Experts Must Check ‘Egos At The Door’ – Malone (JTN)

Dr. Robert Malone urges public health officials to “check [their] egos at the door” and change their policies with the science regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Malone, an immunologist and epidemiologist who says he invented the mRNA technology that’s used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, explained on the John Solomon Reports podcast on Monday that new mutant variants of COVID-19 “are able to bypass, to a significant extent, the protection afforded by the current vaccines.” With the immune systems of everyone who’s vaccinated trained to fight the virus in the same way, “what that’s going to do is create a setup where once we do have a fully functional viral escape mutant, there will be no barriers to it spreading rapidly through the human population and, basically, completely abrogating any benefits associated with the vaccines,” he warned.

“What we had been told, that these vaccines are protective, they’re going to protect us, they’re going to prevent us from getting infected, they’re going to prevent us from having virus replicate in our bodies, and they’re going to prevent us from infecting other people, those are not true,” Malone said. “And there has been a variety of statements to the effect that those responsible for these effects, this viral evolution, are the unvaccinated. That’s just not true.” Malone, who has received the Moderna vaccine, recommends using therapeutics early on in COVID-19 infections to recover from the virus. He mentioned that the director of the National Center for Advanced Technology at National Institutes of Health (NIH) resigned from his position because he was frustrated when his team identified “repurpose drug candidates” that could be used to fight COVID-19 “but just couldn’t get any capital from NIH to advance them.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci has “two odd, exclusive focuses,” Malone said. One is “only focusing on antivirals when this is a hyperinflammatory disease, and we’ve got a lot of great anti-inflammatories. And the other is the focus on hospitalized, as opposed to early-onset patients, outpatients.” Malone compared the “paradox” of focusing on hospitalized patients, rather than early-onset patients, to someone going to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms but being turned away because they weren’t sick enough to be hospitalized.

He added that instead of admitting they were wrong with their COVID-19 policies, like scientists do when confronted with a changing reality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is censoring people by “using these incredibly powerful new tools to suppress any dissent or discussion.” Malone has personally experienced censorship. His LinkedIn account was suspended without explanation over his comments on the COVID-19 vaccines before it was later restored.

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Very small study.

Teenage Boys Are 14 Times More Likely To Suffer Rare Heart Complication From Pfizer’s Covid Jab (DM)

Pfizer’s Covid vaccine may pose more of a risk to boys, a study claimed today amid growing calls for No10 to rethink plans to dish out jabs to children. New research has suggested boys are 14 times more likely to be struck down with a rare heart complication called myocarditis. The data, from the US, will likely fuel an already fierce debate over Britain’s decision to press ahead with inoculating all 16 and 17-year-olds. Last week, the Government’s advisory panel ruled older teenagers should be given their first dose. Ministers plan to invite them before they head back to schools and colleges in September. But health officials have yet to make concrete plans for children to get top-ups. They want to wait for more safety data about myocarditis before pressing ahead.

Real-world data from the US, which has been vaccinating children for months, have shown teenage boys to be at a higher risk. It prompted one member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which green-lighted the move to jab children, to admit different advice for boys was ‘theoretically on the cards’. There is already precedent for just giving vaccinating just one gender, with the HPV jab offered only to girls until 2018. The new research, published in JAMA Cardiology, was based on an analysis of just 15 children struck down with myocarditis after getting Pfizer’s vaccine — which will be given to British children. Only one was a girl.

The findings echo data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which suggests the risk is up to nine times higher among teenage boys. All 15 experienced chest pain, which started a couple of days after being vaccinated and lasted for up to nine days. None were struck down with a serious bout of myocarditis or required intensive care. All were discharged within five days. But doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital cautioned that the long-term risks of post-vaccination myocarditis ‘remain unknown’.

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Pfizer 42% effective in July. Not enough for a EUA.

Pfizer and Moderna Go Head to Head Against Delta (MPT)

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared to have a higher effectiveness rate compared with the Pfizer vaccine during the period of time when the Delta variant first became predominant, researchers reported. While both vaccines were highly protective against infection from January to July in Minnesota (Moderna 86%, Pfizer 76%), their effectiveness estimates declined during the month of July, with an estimate of 76% for Moderna (95% CI 69-81) and 42% for Pfizer (95% CI 13-62), reported Venky Soundararajan, PhD, of nference, a healthcare research company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues.

Moreover, in a matched cohort from multiple states, a two-fold risk reduction against breakthrough infection was seen with Moderna’s vaccine versus Pfizer’s (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.50, 95% CI 0.39-0.64), the authors wrote in a study published on the preprint server medRxiv. However, they found no significant differences in the rate of complications in breakthrough cases from either vaccine, with similar rates of 21-day hospitalizations, 21-day ICU admissions, and 28-day mortality. An earlier report of a Cape Cod cluster of breakthrough infections published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report late last month did not seem to find an imbalance between the percentage of breakthrough infections and the percentage of Massachusetts residents who received the vaccine (46% and 56% with Pfizer, and 38% and 38% with Moderna, respectively).

In the current study, Soundararajan and co-authors examined adults in the Mayo Clinic Health System or affiliated hospitals in Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and Wisconsin with at least one PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 who received at least one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after Dec. 1, 2020 but before July 29, 2021, and who did not test positive prior to receiving their first vaccine dose. Overall, 119,463 patients met this criteria for the Pfizer vaccine, and 60,083 met this criteria for Moderna, the authors said. Notably, the prevalence of Delta variant in Minnesota in July was 70% compared with a prevalence of 0.7% in January.

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Oh well. Take a different airline.

Hawaiian Airlines Latest Carrier To Mandate Covid Vaccinations For Staff (CNBC)

Hawaiian Airlines told U.S. staff they will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, becoming the third major carrier to issue such a mandate in less than a week. CEO Peter Ingram told employees Monday that they must receive their second shot, if they are getting a two-dose vaccine, by Nov. 1, though there will be exceptions for medical or religious reasons, according to a staff memo reviewed by CNBC. Last week, United Airlines became the country’s first major carrier to mandate vaccines, requiring that its 67,000-person U.S. workforce show proof of inoculation by Oct. 25 at the latest. Frontier Airlines also announced that it will require that its employees be vaccinated against Covid by Oct. 1 or that they are regularly tested.


“It is not a decision I take lightly, and I would acknowledge that my own thinking on this has evolved over the last few months as I have watched this pandemic continue to take its terrible toll,” Ingram said in his note. He said senior leadership “deliberated extensively” and consulted the board of directors. “Safety is the foundation of air travel, and it is ingrained throughout our operation and service. This is no different,” he said. Most other U.S. airlines have encouraged but not mandated that staff get vaccinated. However, Delta Air Lines said in the spring that new hires would need to show proof of vaccination. United had followed suit several weeks later. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told employees Monday that United’s announcement last week sparked questions from its own staff about the airline’s stance. “We continue to strongly encourage Employees to get vaccinated,” Kelly said. “We are continually evaluating the effects of the pandemic. Obviously, I am very concerned about the latest Delta variant, and the effect on the health and Safety of our Employees and our operation, but nothing has changed.”

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“We certainly encourage it everywhere we can, encourage it for our customers and our employees, but we’re not putting mandates in place..”

3 Major US Airlines Will Not Mandate Shots For Unvaccinated Workers (CNN)

The CEOs of Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines say they are not requiring unvaccinated employees to receive the shot, breaking with United Airlines’ mandate that workers get vaccinated by October 25 or face getting fired. In an internal memo obtained by CNN, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the airline will “continue to strongly encourage” that workers get vaccinated, but the airline’s stance has not shifted. “Obviously, I am very concerned about the latest Delta variant, and the effect on the health and Safety of our Employees and our operation, but nothing has changed,” Kelly said. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told Good Day New York on Tuesday that 75% of its workforce has already been vaccinated even without a companywide mandate.


In May, Delta became the first major carrier to require that all new hires be vaccinated. United Airlines made a similar announcement in June. “I think there’s some additional steps and measures we can take to get the vaccine rates even higher, but what we’re seeing is every day is those numbers continue to grow,” Bastian said. Both announcements follow a New York Times podcast interview with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, who said the airline is giving workers who get vaccinated by the end of this month one extra day of vacation in 2022. “We certainly encourage it everywhere we can, encourage it for our customers and our employees, but we’re not putting mandates in place,” said Parker. In a statement, American Airlines said there was “no update at this time” to its vaccination policy. “We are strongly encouraging our team members to get vaccinated, and we are offering an incentive for those who do.”

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“Simply put, vaccine passports could result in the death of what’s left of the free market as we know it.”

What Would Our Economy Look Like In The Shadow Of Vaccine Passports? (Smith)

The real concern with a vaccine passport has nothing to do with coronavirus, or herd immunity, or saving lives. It’s a tool of control. Like the Soviet Union’s communist party membership card, it’s an official document that demonstrates compliance to authority. It’s a tool to divide the U.S. population. If this autocratic diktat was directed at a tiny minority of people within the population, it might work at frightening them into accepting the vaccinations; to go along to get along. But, with hundreds of millions of people saying “no way,” history tells us the more pressure applied the more rebellion is inspired. Second, we have to consider what the immediate economic and financial effects will be in light of this conflict. For example, look at the amount of relocation and migration that has happened in the U.S. in the past year alone.

Many millions of people have escaped from predominantly blue states based on political and social factors; and the covid mandates and lockdowns are a big part of what inspired most people to leave. As has been well documented, blue states are much slower in recovering economically when compared to red states with less restrictions. Not only that, but money moves with people. This is a hard reality. Conservative states are seeing ample cash inflows from tourism and mass migration while blue states are bleeding tax revenues. In light of this revelation, red states are going to ask themselves this question: “Why would we commit economic suicide like the blue states by following their example? Wouldn’t vaccine passports be the equivalent of blue state covid mandates times a hundred?”

But let’s say for a moment that vaccine passports were somehow implemented everywhere in the country at the same exact time. What would happen then? Well, the amount of bureaucracy that would be added between the average consumer and everyday trade would be immense, and with red tape comes a slowdown in business. Whole new wings of the government would have to be created to track and enforce vaccine passports rules (I say “rules” because none of the mandates have ever been passed into law or voted on by the public). Regular inspections of businesses would have to be enacted, and new taxes would have to be created to pay for the system. The amount of space and employees needed to meet new standards for retailers would increase in order to check every customer that comes through the door for a passport.

Also, let’s not forget that many thousands of people in multiple states have had “breakout” covid infections despite being fully vaccinated, which means rules on social distancing and masking will also still be in place. The amount of capital that a business owner would have to spend to meet the government requirements would continue to rise while their profits would continue to fall. Eventually, the majority of small businesses would close, just as we saw during the first series of lockdowns. Smaller businesses, which represent about half of the U.S. retail economy, would be under so much stress from maintaining the proper restrictions and adding infrastructure that they simply would not be able to compete with major corporations and Big Box stores.

The end result would be the complete disintegration of the small business sector (except perhaps online retailers). Only national and international conglomerates would be left behind to provide brick-and-mortar services to the public, and of course many millions of jobs would be lost in the process. Less competition means ever increasing prices and a lower quality of goods and services. Simply put, vaccine passports could result in the death of what’s left of the free market as we know it. The majors will know they have the public by the scruff of the neck, so why bother trying anymore? They can throw us scraps from the table and we would have to take them and be happy with what we get.

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The pilot story is great: “no one dies on the plane.”

Oregon High School Grads Need Not Be Proficient in Reading, Writing, Math (JT)

I was once told by a pilot that jet bridges are the most dangerous places in aviation because “no one dies on the plane.” When someone has a fatal episode on a plane, the preference is to move the person outside to “call the code” on the bridge rather than require the plane to be held or quarantined due to the death. If you just move them outside, they died somewhere else. The result is that it can be challenging to determine how many people actually die on airplanes. That story came to mind this week as more schools moved to end standardized testing — a move that can guarantee no one fails in their schools. In this case, students who lack proficiency in basic subjects are being sent out into society or even college to fail somewhere else. Anywhere other than the school.

Many of us have long objected to the chronic failure of public schools in major cities like New York, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore to achieve bare proficiency for many students in reading, writing, and math. The response in many districts is for some to declare standardized testing or meritocracy as racist while other district eliminate special programs or schools for gifted students. Oregon has found a simpler approach. Gov. Kate Brown (D) just signed a bill last month that drops any proficiency requirement in reading, writing or math, before graduation. Problem solved. The short bill includes this provision: “SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any rules adopted by the State Board of Education, a student may not be required to show proficiency in Essential Learning Skills as a condition of receiving a high school diploma during the 2021-2022, 2022-2023 or 2023-2024 school year.”

The pandemic was the basis for initial suspension of such requirements but now it is being extended. The call for a more “inclusive and equitable review of graduation and proficiency requirements” was supported by Foundations for a Better Oregon to change requirement to “reflect what every student needs to thrive in the 21st century.” That appears not to include proven proficiency in being able to write, read, or do simple math. The supporters insist that it is unfair to require students to show knowledge on tests. Charles Boyle, the deputy communications director from Gov. Brown’s office, is quoted as saying that the new standards for graduation will help benefit the state’s “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.” The “benefit” however is more to the school district in getting kids out the door with a diploma without shouldering the burden to get them to a point of bare proficiency.

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He’ll get away with everything.

Cuomo’s Legacy: Normalizing Corruption And Lawlessness (Sirota)

The amazing thing about Andrew Cuomo’s announcement this week that he is stepping down as governor of New York is not that he left office, it is that it took this long for him to resign. And among the most troubling parts of the interminable saga is how many crimes he and New York politicians normalized in the process — because so many of these officials were complicit, too. Cuomo resigned in the wake of Attorney General Tish James’ report detailing his sexual crimes. But here’s the truth that’s hard to say aloud: If the New York governor had not been a sex pest, he likely would have gotten away with hiding thousands of people’s deaths in nursing homes and shielding his health care industry donors from any liability — all while profiting off a $5 million book deal and being venerated by liberals and corporate media outlets as a shining star.

In fact, unless things suddenly change, he will get away with those crimes. With U.S. Attorneys so far declining to prosecute Cuomo on those matters — and with New York’s legislature refusing to begin impeachment proceedings on those issues — the federal and state political systems made sure these crimes weren’t considered transgressions at all. Same goes for many New York Democratic voters — a new poll shows that even now, a plurality of them say they approve of the way Cuomo has done his job. To be sure, Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim’s nursing home crusade, and his allegations that Cuomo tried to bully him into silence, created a singular political earthquake that shook the New York political system and media into finally scrutinizing the gubernatorial monster that had long been rampaging through Albany.

But the refusal to prosecute or impeach Cuomo over that epic scandal has further normalized that kind of corruption. Indeed, presiding over a massacre of elderly people and shielding the perpetrators all to ingratiate oneself with political financiers is now just regular politics. That’s now what politicians are allowed — and even expected — to do, everywhere. While President Biden’s former top aide lobbies the White House on behalf of the nursing home industry, the Biden Justice Department recently said it will not open an investigation into nursing home negligence and COVID-related deaths in New York and other states. Case closed. The nursing home massacre is just one of many examples of Cuomo lawlessness that should have elicited a law enforcement response — but didn’t.

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Even more reason to promote electric cars. Bill Gates is here to help you. There is still hope.

Billionaire-Backed Mining Firm To Seek EV Metals In Greenland (R.)

Mineral exploration company KoBold Metals, backed by billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, has signed an agreement with London-listed Bluejay Mining to search in Greenland for critical materials used in electric vehicles. KoBold, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hunt for raw materials, will pay $15 million in exploration funding for the Disko-Nuussuaq project on Greenland’s west coast in exchange for a 51% stake in the project, Bluejay said in a statement. Shares in BlueJay traded 26% higher on the news. The license holds metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum and the funding will cover evaluation and initial drilling.


KoBold is a privately-held company whose principal investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. Other KoBold investors include Silicon Valley venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz and Norwegian state-controlled energy company Equinor. BlueJay said previous studies found the area in western Greenland has similarities to the geology of Russia’s Norilsk region, a main producer of nickel and palladium. “This agreement is transformative for Bluejay,” said the comany’s CEO Bo Steensgaard. “We are delighted to have a partner at the pinnacle of technical innovation for new exploration methods, backed by some of the most successful investors in the world.”

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La honte.

Assange In Court Today (Rozenberg)

Two judges in the High Court will be dealing with a preliminary issue this morning in the extradition case against Julian Assange. The US government wants the Wikileaks founder to face trial in the US on charges of conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information. In January, District Judge Baraitser ruled that it would be oppressive to extradite him. Last month, Mr Justice Swift granted the US permission to appeal to the High Court on three of the five grounds in its application for permission. I explained what we know of Swift’s reasons last week. Today’s hearing is before Lord Justice Holroyde and Mrs Justice Farbey. It starts at 10.30 and is expected to conclude before lunch. The judges will be sitting in the largest courtroom in the Royal Courts of Justice in London with a video link to an adjoining courtroom.


The hearing will take place remotely — which I understand to mean that not everyone involved will be present in court. It’s understood that the US will be renewing its request for permission to appeal on the two grounds dismissed by Swift. These related to the evidence of a defence psychiatrist and the risk that Assange would commit suicide. Swift found that Baraitser’s findings were reasonably open to her and her conclusions on the disputed evidence were also reasonable. He said the matters referred to in the application for permission to appeal — we have no idea what these were — “are no more than an attempt to re-run determination of the evidential disputes reached by the district judge”. It’s not known whether Assange’s lawyers will be challenging the grounds on which Swift granted the US permission to appeal.

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Aug 102021
 
 August 10, 2021  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  134 Responses »


Pablo Picasso The three dancers 1925

 

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines, Breakthrough Infections and Lasting Natural Immunity (CH)
Estimating Vaccine-Induced Mortality, Part II (Crawford)
Boost The Insanity (Berenson)
90% Of Covid Patients Treated With New Israeli Drug Discharged In 5 Days (JP)
You Must Have ENJOYED Covid! (Denninger)
This Is Why You Can’t Get There From Here (Denninger)
French Cafés Sit Empty As Police Raid Outdoor Diners For Vaccine Pass (RT)
USA to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Military (GR)
Fauci ‘Hopes’ Masks Won’t Have ‘Lasting Negative Impact’ On Young Kids (Fox)
Danger, Cover Blowing (Kunstler)
Gov. Cuomo Making Last-ditch Attempt To Avoid Impeachment (NYP)

 

 

Kory’s getting worried.

 

 

“He explains with great clarity why there has been a summer resurgence of covid in the US (ADE) and what treatments we should be giving – Vit D, Zinc, Ivermectin.”

 

 

Differences in immunity. A few articles that don’t quite fit the Debt Rattle format. Go read them.

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines, Breakthrough Infections and Lasting Natural Immunity (CH)

The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes for 5 proteins, which are made of chains of amino acids. For example, the virus uses the 1,273 amino acid long Spike (S) protein to infect human cells. When a COVID-19 variant is discussed, the implied variation is in S amino acid sequence. In fact, S is the only protein mentioned on the CDC’s variant webpage. You can break full length proteins into smaller fragments, called peptides, and more precisely study immunity. This allows you to tease apart vaccine and natural infection antibody responses.


Variants have specific amino acid changes. For example, the Delta variant contains about 13 amino acid changes in S, compared to the Alpha variant. These changes allow the virus to sometimes escape from antibody binding. Antibodies bind to small 5-15 amino segments called epitopes. That means several distinct antibodies can target a full length protein. The vaccines induce an immune response against S receptor binding domain (RBD), which provides many epitope targets for antibodies. However this is not the only region of of full length S protein that induces an immune response. Nor is S the only SARS-CoV-2 protein targeted by your immune system in natural immunity.

Cure-Hub’s data indicates strong antibody production against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein after vaccination and natural infection. However, natural infection tends to produce antibodies against a greater number of targets. In fact, the 3 individuals with the most antibody targets post-immune event had a natural infection (Figure 1)

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Nice serious study, spreadsheets and all. You could win $25K through @VaccineTruth2!

Conclusion: “adjusted (excess) deaths per million vaccine doses delivered is 411 ..” (673 million doses have been administered, so 276,603 deaths)

“Win $25K if you are the first person to find an error in this paper that changes the result by a factor of 2 or more. It shows 411 vaccine deaths per million doses. This is consistent with 10 other methods.”

Estimating Vaccine-Induced Mortality, Part II (Crawford)

In Part I, I examined the first 30 days of vaccination programs throughout Europe, showing an estimated 1018 deaths per million doses (not even people—doses) of COVID-19 vaccines administered, judging by excess deaths compared to a starting baseline based on case fatality rates (CFRs). After a quick, but seemingly reasonable adjustment, I estimated 200 to 500 deaths per million doses delivered—based solely on deaths seemingly categorized as COVID-19 deaths. This would suggest, based on 4 billion doses already administered throughout the world, that 800,000 to 2,000,000 of the COVID-19 deaths recorded are actually vaccine-induced deaths. This does not even include vaccine-induced deaths that have not been recorded as COVID cases, though I suspect that latter number is smaller since the only good way to hide the vaccine mortality signal is to smuggle deaths through the already-established COVID death toll.


As a quick observation, Norway reported 23 deaths at a time when 40,000 Norwegians had been vaccinated. Forgetting about the possibility of underreporting (including lagged reporting at that moment), this total represents 575 deaths per million doses administered. When Norwegian health officials finished assessing the first thirteen of these deaths, all of them were determined to be linked to the vaccines. Meanwhile, erstwhile health authorities in the U.S. continue to behave as if examination of the bodies is completely unnecessary [for their purposes].

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“THE VACCINES MAKE YOUR CELLS PRODUCE THE SPIKE PROTEIN. YOUR BODY THEN MAKES ANTIBODIES TO THOSE PROTEINS.”

Boost The Insanity (Berenson)

The real-world data – from Israel, the United States, and everywhere else – are clear. Protection from infection fades within months even against the original coronavirus. It shrinks essentially to zero against the Delta variant (we can argue about time vs. variant effects, but the answer doesn’t matter in this context, either way the vaccines have stopped working). For now, vaccine advocates are clinging to the hope that even if the vaccines do not protect against infection, they still provide some protection against more serious illness and death. I think the jury is still out on that question, but again it is largely irrelevant for this conversation – the Covid wards are filling in Israel, and most people in them are older and vaccinated. If the vaccines do offer any help after a few months against serious illness, it is far less than the 95-99 percent protection that advocates have claimed.

Thus the move for a third shot. And possibly more shots to come. But please – please! – understand how radical a move this is. At this point, these shots are basically being pushed forward on the basis of VERY early data from VERY small trials – a few dozen volunteers, at most – showing that people had significantly more antibodies a month after receiving a third dose. I don’t doubt these slides are accurate. THE VACCINES MAKE YOUR CELLS PRODUCE THE SPIKE PROTEIN. YOUR BODY THEN MAKES ANTIBODIES TO THOSE PROTEINS. That’s what they do, and they’re very good at it. More vaccine makes your body do it more. But that’s only the beginning of what we should know before encouraging a third dose. Here’s a PARTIAL list of questions we haven’t answered:

Does a third dose of the vaccine ACTUALLY REDUCE INFECTIONS IN THOSE PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE IT? Does it reduce deaths (remember, even the original, huge Covid trials didn’t answer that question)? Will the third dose produce a transient spike in infections, as the first dose appears to? Will the antibodies last longer this time because we have more of them after the second dose, or will they decline more quickly? Does the vaccine confer ANY long-term protection through T-cell immunity? Will people who have received a third dose be vulnerable to future variants? Will they be more or less vulnerable than people who have been infected and recovered and are are naturally immune? Will the side effects – which are generally much worse after the second dose than the first – be still worse after the third?


Will some people die from those side effects? What is the overall safety profile of the third or more doses in a large population? Does it differ by age? I could go on, but I hope this is enough to show you how little we know. Offering a third dose essentially means offering an entirely new vaccine regimen. If the FDA or other regulators had any guts they would insist on a new, full-size clinical trial (a BETTER trial, one powered to detect reductions in death) before allowing it. Instead governments are rushing ahead based on what are basically early Phase 2 clinical trials – tiny and providing evidence of efficacy based on lab benchmarks rather than clinical data.

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CD24. Join the ranks of things that DO work.

90% Of Covid Patients Treated With New Israeli Drug Discharged In 5 Days (JP)

Some 93% of 90 coronavirus serious patients treated in several Greek hospitals with a new drug developed by a team at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center as part of the Phase II trial of the treatment were discharged in five days or fewer. The Phase II trial confirmed the results of Phase I, which was conducted in Israel last winter and saw 29 out of 30 patients in moderate to serious condition recover within days. “The main goal of this study was to verify that the drug is safe,” Prof. Nadir Arber said. “To this day we have not registered any significant side effect in any patient from both groups.” The trial was conducted in Athens because Israel did not have enough relevant patients. The principal investigator was Greece’s coronavirus commissioner, Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras.

Arber and his team, including Dr. Shiran Shapira, developed the drug based on a molecule that the professor has been studying for 25 years called CD24, which is naturally present in the body. “It is important to remember that 19 out of 20 COVID-19 patients do not need any therapy,” Arber said. “After a window of five to 12 days, some 5% of the patients start to deteriorate.” The main cause of the clinical deterioration is an over activation of the immune system, also known as a cytokine storm. In case of COVID-19 patients, the system starts attacking healthy cells in the lungs. “This is exactly the problem that our drug targets,” he said. CD24 is a small protein that is anchored to the membrane of the cells and it serves many functions including regulating the mechanism responsible for the cytokine storm.


Arber stressed that their treatment, EXO-CD24, does not affect the immune system as a whole, but only targets this specific mechanism, helping find again its correct balance. “This is precision medicine,” he said. “We are very happy that we have found a tool to tackle the physiology of the disease.” “Steroids for example shut down the entire immune system,” he further explained. “We are balancing the part responsible for the cytokine storms using the endogenous mechanism of the body, meaning tools offered by the body itself.” Arber noted that another breakthrough element of this treatment is its delivery. “We are employing exosomes, very small vesicles derived from the membrane of the cells which are responsible for the exchange of information between them,” he said. “By managing to deliver them exactly where they are needed, we avoid many side effects,” he added.

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“How many lies do you let the CDC run before you call BS on the entire charade? How many people does the medical and political complex get to slaughter for profit?”

You Must Have ENJOYED Covid! (Denninger)

Well, the CDC and a number of other articles claim that natural antibodies are “poor” in quantity compared to that of the vaccines. Is that true? Not really. The distribution and type of antibodies are different; that much is certain. The vaccines produce spike protein antibodies only, where natural infection produces mostly “N” protein antibodies. In addition there is a very significant difference between CD4 and CD8 response between natural infection and the jabs. But wait: Is the CDC lying through obfuscation? That MMWR every major media outlet appears to be parroting was poorly-researched, had an extremely small sample and was wildly slanted, as damn near everything that comes out of that evil organization has been for the last 18 months. How about Lombardi, which as we all know got monkey-hammered in the early part of 2020.

“During the follow-up (mean [SD], 280 [41] days) 5 reinfections (0.31%; 95% CI, 0.03%-0.58%) were confirmed in the cohort of 1579 positive patients. Most of these patients were evaluated, treated, and followed in hospitals or dedicated COVID-19 ambulatories.6 Only 1 was hospitalized…..” Ah, they are lying. This showed an 0.3% chance of reinfection and do note that Lombardi was a situation where most of the people who got hammered were older and thus presumably at least partially immune-compromised. This does not stand alone. Here’s another paper on it showing a zero reinfection rate among over 1,000 persons who had confirmed Covid-19. Zero, of course, cannot be improved upon. It wouldn’t be the first time; if you recall the CDC previously published an MMWR claiming masks work which was based on a study that was later rejected in peer-review.

Yet to this day they continue to argue for masking in schools and elsewhere. Let’s not forget their claim that “98% of the people in the hospital with Covid are unvaccinated”; a false statement that was trivially disproved, or that “children with Covid are filling hospitals” which was also trivially disproved. Yes, kids are in the hospital this summer — in the case if Eastern Tennessee the largest group of them are in there with RSV, a viral infection that usually only comes around in the winter. Or the claim that vaccination is “97% effective” in preventing symptomatic disease; that is, if you got Covid despite being vaccinated you wouldn’t know you had because you’d have no symptoms. “The latest analysis from the MoH proves that two weeks after the second vaccine dose protection is even stronger – vaccine effectiveness was at least 97% in preventing symptomatic disease.”

That turns out to be a lie too; 11 of 14 vaccinated people got Covid at a party and they certainly knew they had it, so they were symptomatic. How many lies do you let the CDC run before you call BS on the entire charade? How many people does the medical and political complex get to slaughter for profit? They’re still sticking Redesivir in anyone who goes to the hospital for Covid at $3,000 a crack despite there being zero evidence that it actually improves outcomes at all. And, like all drugs, it has side effects — some pretty nasty ones, in fact.

Read more …

“..IPV was non-sterilizing; that is, “leaky.” Guess what? All the Covid vaccines are too. That’s bad. It is, in fact, what promotes mutation.”

This Is Why You Can’t Get There From Here (Denninger)

I’m stunned that CNN published this, to be honest. “Does it make sense that someone would want to avoid putting unknown chemicals in their body? Is it reasonable not to fully trust the pharmaceutical industry? It doesn’t take a lot of Googling to find lawsuits and settlements of billions of dollars involving harms, false claims and withheld information by drug companies. Isn’t it true that we have only short-term data on the effects and side effects of the vaccines, if only because the trials began less than two years ago?”: Why yes, yes it does. Vioxx, for one. And not just once either. There was a wee problem with the original IPV (Injected, Salk polio vaccine) too. It was contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. How many did it harm at the same time it helped? We don’t really know, but we do know it caused cancers – including in kids.

Then there’s the fact that IPV was rapidly followed by OPV, oral polio, which until the 1990s was still used in America. Why? Because IPV was non-sterilizing; that is, “leaky.” Guess what? All the Covid vaccines are too. That’s bad. It is, in fact, what promotes mutation. We’ve known that for 70 years which is why we used both. Every single so-called expert in the field knows this and that what they attempted to do this time was very likely to fail, as I pointed out before we began. Now it has failed exactly as I expected. The question becomes this: Why did those so-called “experts” go down a path that was known decades ago to be nearly-certain to not work? “And then, encourage them to talk. That’s where curiosity comes in. Ask questions, not to trap them in logical inconsistencies, but because you are truly curious about their answers. How do they compare the relative risks of vaccines and Covid? What data are they looking at? What makes them doubt the safety of the vaccine? What have they seen and heard?”


That’s the punch line, isn’t it? For those who are not morbid the data is clear: Covid is not very dangerous. Sure, it can get you. I can get run over by a car getting my mail too, but we must have perspective. I operate a motor vehicle and accept a roughly 1 in 8,000 risk of dying every year that I do. There’s nothing I can do about it, other than not drive or ride in a car.

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How is that not the scariest thing you ever saw?

French Cafés Sit Empty As Police Raid Outdoor Diners For Vaccine Pass (RT)

Police in France have begun enforcing the vaccination pass mandate to enter cafés and restaurants, leading to many of their tables being empty during the usually busy lunchtime, as the French lunched on public benches instead. On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron’s government extended the controversial ‘pass sanitaire’ requirement to dining venues, even outdoor ones, disregarding the weekend of mass protests that drew at least 250,000 people onto the streets across France. A video doing the rounds on social media, shot by a Reuters photographer, showed French police checking diners’ papers. Those without the pass face a €135 *($158) fine, which increases to €9,000 ($10,560) for a repeat offense.

Paris

By lunchtime, many sidewalk cafés were sitting completely empty as their regular customers chose instead to sit on public benches outside – according to a multitude of photos and comments posted on social media, anyway. Another video showed outdoor venues with few diners on the Champs Élysées, Paris’ main thoroughfare. There were photos of empty tables right across the city at times when such places would ordinarily be full. The famous Grande Brasserie, near the Bastille square, had a few customers inside, but no one out on its patio. One Twitter user speculated that the outdoor seating areas were empty as the result of some kind of nationwide boycott of the health pass.


The pass, introduced by Macron to compel vaccinations against Covid-19, has been mandatory for entrance to museums, movie theaters, swimming pools, and other venues since July 21. The courts have also ruled that it was constitutional to mandate vaccinations for healthcare workers, some of whom have gone on strike in protest. Facing a rising number of Covid-19 cases attributed to the Delta variant of the virus, the French authorities have pressed hard to vaccinate everyone. Meanwhile, vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna have drastically increased the price of their vaccines in the European Union.

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Sure, we don’t know how real or severe ADE will be, but how is this wise?

USA to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Military (GR)

The Pentagon announced today that members of the U.S. military will be required to received the COVID-19 vaccine starting Sept. 15. President Joe Biden has endorsed the Pentagon’s plan. In a memo sent out to military personnel, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he “will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon [licensure by the Food and Drug Administration], which ever comes first.” Austin noted that if cases continue to surge that he “will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if I feel the need to do so. To defend this Nation , we need a healthy and ready force.”

The FDA is still in the process of giving the vaccine final approval, and Austin is hoping to dovetail this with the start of his mandate. If the approval does not come in time, a waiver from Biden will be necessary to make the shots mandatory. Biden has expressed that he would do this if the situation arises. The plan seeks to include the COVID-19 vaccine with a group of other inoculations already mandatory for those enlisted in the military. The close conditions under which service members spend their time while working together create an environment particularly prone to spreading the virus. If the infection rate were to surge within the military, the United States’ ability to respond to urgent national or international crises may be dramatically impaired.


The Pentagon has shared that over 1 million service members are fully vaccinated and that 237,000 have gotten their first dose. The six branches of the military differ significantly in their vaccination rates. Over 74% of active duty and reserve sailors in the navy have had their first dose of the vaccine. The Air Force trails this number, with just over 65% of its active duty and 60% of its reserve forces receiving their first shot. The Army, which it the U.S.’s largest military branch, is approaching just 50% partial vaccination.

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Kids are the new scapegoats.

Fauci ‘Hopes’ Masks Won’t Have ‘Lasting Negative Impact’ On Young Kids (Fox)

White House Chief Health Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that “hopefully” making young kids wear face masks won’t have any “lasting negative impact” on them. During an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Dr. Fauci said it’s important to keep an “open mind” about masking after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that unvaccinated children ages 2 and older wear masks and that students wear masks in all K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, in light of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant. “It’s not comfortable, obviously, for children to wear masks, particularly the younger children,” he said.

“But you know, what we’re starting to see, Hugh, and I think it’s going to unfold even more as the weeks go by, that this virus not only is so extraordinarily transmissible, but we’re starting to see pediatric hospitals get more and more younger people and kids not only numerically, but what seems to be more severe disease. “Now we’re tracking that, the CDC is tracking that really very carefully, so it’s going to be a balance that we would feel very badly if we all of a sudden said OK, kids, don’t wear masks, then you find out retrospectively that this virus in a very, very strange and unusual way is really hitting kids really hard,” he continued. “But hopefully, this will be a temporary thing, temporary enough that it doesn’t have any lasting negative impact on them.”


Hewitt pushed back, citing an editorial Sunday by The Wall Street Journal, titled, “The Case Against Masks for Children,” which argues that long-term masking can cause physical and developmental issues in children and that there’s little evidence to back up a mandate. “Facial expression are integral to human connection, particularly for younger children who are only learning how to signal fear, confusion and happiness,” Hewitt said. “Covering a child’s face mutes these nonverbal form of communications, can result in robotic and emotionless interaction. So, Dr., what did you base it on? Why?” Dr. Fauci responded by claiming the data cited in the editorial “dates back to the alpha variant, not necessarily all the most recent data on delta.”

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“..Dr. Fauci just got in too deep with China’s PLA-connected bioweapons lab in his mad scientist quest to be remembered as the man who defeated all coronaviruses with a single silver bullet..”

Danger, Cover Blowing (Kunstler)

Really, the emerging questions about all this must be: 1) Have they done it on purpose? And 2) Is all the messaging confusion the result of Dr. Anthony Fauci desperately trying to cover his ass for his role in developing Covid-19, as well as the so-called vaccines marshaled to heroically defeat it? Perhaps both. You could construct a case that it was done on-purpose and, in this age of manufactured narratives, some have proposed the story that the disease was a mere excuse to introduce a slow-working lethal pseudo-vaccine to reduce the global population efficiently and drastically — so that nefarious “elites” could enjoy life (and its immortal transhuman successor state) on a planet uncluttered by billions of human riffraff. That story has seemed pretty preposterous to me.


More likely, the hyper-ambitious and heedless Dr. Fauci just got in too deep with China’s PLA-connected bioweapons lab in his mad scientist quest to be remembered as the man who defeated all coronaviruses with a single silver bullet — enabling a “release” of this virus, with (from China’s point of view) the advantageous weakening of Western economies, and the socio-political destruction of their once-cohesive cultures. If so, well done! At this point, at least half the country now distrusts and disbelieves the incoherent messages emanating from “Joe Biden’s” government about this Covid-19 problem and any attempt to force vaccinations on the “hesitant” public will pull the pin out of the national grenade that has been waiting to go off. The “insurrection” next time will be the real thing, not Nancy Pelosi’s faked-up soap opera.

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Getting the impression that Cuomo’s sexual misconduct is not that crazy, it’s just a way to get rid of him. He did much worse things.

Gov. Cuomo Making Last-ditch Attempt To Avoid Impeachment (NYP)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to cut a deal with the state Legislature — offering to drop his bid for a fourth-term in exchange for not getting impeached, The Post has learned. But no one seems to be buying what the 63-year-old governor is selling. The three-term Democrat made the dubious offer before Attorney General Letitia James’ damning report on his conduct was released last Tuesday, according to a top party official. “It was something that was floated to me by the folks in the Cuomo camp as a possible option before the attorney general’s report came out,” NYS Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told The Post, adding, “I never saw it as a viable option.”

Still, it looks like Cuomo and his winnowed-down inner circle haven’t given up on the last-ditch effort to avoid impeachment. A source told The City on Monday that the gov’s team has been busy making calls to try to save his skin in the wake of the official report, which concluded Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women in violation of state and federal law. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Before she resigned Sunday night, top aide and confidante Melissa DeRosa had been asking executive staffers for strategies to quiet the impeachment talks, the source told The City. Jacobs said he told the governor’s staff he didn’t think it was a plausible plan.


“I shot it down pretty quick,” Jacobs said. “Either you can survive the AG’s report and run again or you don’t survive the AG’s report. There’s no compromise.” Charlie King, a longtime Cuomo pal, was apparently among those making inquiries about the deal, a source told The Post. King denied the claim, saying, “No. He’s not running for a fourth term, period.” The governor has ignored deafening calls for his resignation coming from as high as President Biden. Sources said Steve Cohen, a longtime Cuomo adviser and a former federal prosecutor, has told Cuomo it’s time to pack it in, as has Jacobs.

Read more …

 

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Aug 042021
 


René Magritte The son of man 1946

 

Fauci and the NIH Knew Covid-19 “Vaccines” Could Lead to ADE (Ghion)
Informed Consent Disclosure To Vaccine Trial Subjects Of ADE Risk (Wiley)
How Much Spike Protein Is Being Made (Lincoln)
Unvaccinated People Need to Bear the Burden (Atl.)
Covid-19 Natural Immunity Compared To Vaccine-induced Immunity (Attkisson)
My Own Country Kicked Me Out Because My Immunity Was Acquired Naturally (RT)
A Plea To Allow The Use Of Ivermectin As Covid-19 Treatment (Biz)
Biden Message For DeSantis On Covid Mask Opposition: ‘Get Out Of The Way’ (MH)
Mayor De Blasio And Governor Cuomo Are Pushing Hard For Vaccinations (F.)
Vaccine Cards Are Just The Beginning (Whitehead)
We Stand in Solidarity with Dr. Peter McCullough MD (Change)
Julian Assange: Peering Through The Murk (Rozenberg)
America Has Become Its Own Worst Enemy (Unherd)
Meet Your New Feudal Overlords (Weems)
2020: A Propaganda Masterpiece (Perspectives on the Pandemic)

 

 

To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles—this they name empire;
and where they make a desert, they call it peace.

— Tacitus (quoting Calgacus), Agricola 30.

 

 

Vaccine safety under Trump

 

 

 

 

“..over 160 million Americans and more than 2 billion people around the world were never told about the distinct possibility that they could end up developing a disease called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).”

Fauci and the NIH Knew Covid-19 “Vaccines” Could Lead to ADE (Ghion)

Late last night, an anonymous source forwarded a screenshot of a report attributed to Timothy Cardozo and Ronald Veazey that is found at the bottom of NIH’s website. The report specifically warned of the distinct possibility that people who are injected with Covid-19 “vaccines” could develop the very Antibody-Dependent Enhancement that Dr. Malone keeps ringing the alarm about. Not only was this information suppressed from the public, the government-media-corporate complex went out of their way to censor—in the case of Dr. Malone destroy—anyone who questions the safety and efficacy of these boosters that are still undergoing clinical trials. Even though I knew all along that the US government, and governments around the world, were lying through their teeth about the origins of Covid-19 and were likewise peddling medical misinformation about the scientific integrity of the “vaccines”, it was still shocking to read the following paragraph right on NIH’s website:

“The specific and significant COVID-19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.” [source NIH] Despite Cardozo and Veazey’s explicit instruction that NIH must disclose the full risks of the “vaccines” to test subjects in the clinical trials that were conducted last year as well as to all recipients once the “vaccines” garnered approval for general use, over 160 million Americans and more than 2 billion people around the world were never told about the distinct possibility that they could end up developing a disease called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).

A significant percentage of the world’s population is now at risk of contracting an ailment that could lead to their body’s natural immune system getting compromised and attacking their vital organs. If that sounds familiar, that is because ADE is an autoimmune disease that is very similar to HIV/AIDs. [..] This is not some fluke occurrence that could not have been foreseen, “vaccines” that produce spiked proteins by way of mRNA or adenovirus were studied on lab animals—specifically ferrets and cats because they are more susceptible to Coronavirus—for over twenty years. Though the test subjects initially acquired synthetic antibodies, once their immunization window expired and they were challenged with SARS-CoV-1, the lab animals that were injected with the “vaccines” were wiped out.

The warning on NIH’s website was alluding to this very real possibility but the very authorities we entrust to protect us instead concealed this information and conditioned billions of people to get jabbed without informed consent. Every plutocrat, politician and opinion leader who took part in this conspiracy of silence should be frogmarched and tried before an international tribunal similar to the trials Nazis faced after World War II for violating the Nuremberg codes and committing brutalities that will once day be judged to exceed the evils of Hitler.

Read more …

This from October 2020 is the basis for the article above, both referenced by Dr. Robert Malone.

Informed Consent Disclosure To Vaccine Trial Subjects Of ADE Risk (Wiley)

Vaccine-elicited enhancement of disease was previously observed in human subjects with vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), dengue virus and measles.1 Vaccine-elicited enhancement of disease was also observed with the SARS and MERS viruses and with feline coronavirus, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, the causative pathogen of COVID-19 disease. The immune mechanisms of this enhancement have invariably involved antibodies, from direct antibody-dependent enhancement, to immune complex formation by antibodies, albeit accompanied by various coordinated cellular responses, such as Th2 T-cell skewing. Notably, both neutralising and non-neutralising antibodies have been implicated.

A recent study revealed IgG-mediated acute lung injury in vivo in macaques infected with SARS that correlated with a vaccine-elicited, neutralising antibody response.8 Inflammation and tissue damage in the lung in this animal model recapitulated the inflammation and tissue damage in the lungs of SARS-infected patients who succumbed to the disease. The time course was also similar, with the worst damage occurring in delayed fashion in synchrony with ramping up of the immune response. Remarkably, neutralising antibodies controlled the virus in the animal, but then would precipitate a severe, tissue-damaging, inflammatory response in the lung.

This is a similar profile to immune complex-mediated disease seen with RSV vaccines in the past, wherein vaccinees succumbed to fatal enhanced RSV disease because of the formation of antibody-virus immune complexes that precipitated harmful, inflammatory immune responses. It is also similar to the clinical course of COVID-19 patients, in whom severe COVID-19 disease is associated with the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies, with titres correlating directly with the severity of disease. Conversely, subjects who recover quickly may have low or no anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies.

The elicitation of antibodies, specifically neutralising antibodies, is the goal of nearly every current SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. The prior evidence that vaccine-elicited, antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease is likely to occur to some degree with COVID-19 vaccines is vertically consistent from controlled SARS studies in primates to clinical observations in SARS and COVID-19. Thus, a finite, non-theoretical risk is evident in the medical literature that vaccine candidates composed of the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike and eliciting anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, be they neutralising or not, place vaccinees at higher risk for more severe COVID-19 disease when they encounter circulating viruses.

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Fun with numbers. Much more at the link.

How Much Spike Protein Is Being Made (Lincoln)

This thread is to shed a bit of light on the mysteries of how much spike protein is being made, where it is going and how is it going there. Sadly our captured regulatory agencies did not insist the mfr do so
1/ I start by estimating how much spike protein is being created by the mRNA vaccines
2/We know there is 30 microgram for Pfizer
3/Molecular weight is estimated at > 1.25 x10^6 gm/mole. (~330 gm per mole of nucleotide). This comes out to 30 x 10^-6 grams/ 1.25 x 10^6 gm/mole =24 x 10^-12 moles. 6 x 10^23 molecules/mole x 24 x 10^-12 moles =14.4x 10^12 molecules mRNA (14.4trillion)
4/14.4 trillion spike protein if 1 mRNA produces 1 spike protein. A more reasonable number is 1000 spike per mRNA X1000 14,400 trillion spikes
5/So basically 30 micrograms of mRNA will theoretically produce about 14,400 trillion individual spike proteins (if 100% efficient)
6/Now we ask this. How many cells are transfected by the vaccines. In other words, how many mRNA molecules are in each LNP
7/Since we can estimate how many mRNA molecules there are (14.4 trillion for Pfizer), we must estimate how many LNP’s
8/First we must estimate the size of LNP “Together with the mRNA, these components form particles of about 60–100 nm in size by using a rapid mixing production technique (Evers et al., 2018).”
9/So lets call it 80 nm and assume a spherical shape.
10/So LNP particles of 80 nm have a total weight of about 0.5 mg. Lipids are typically less dense than water but using the density of water we may estimate the volume of 0.5 mg as 5 x 10^17 cubic nm

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These people have lost their connection to the world. This girl wants unvaccinated on a no-fly list. But not because of the flying, no, the problem occurs when they leave the airport:

“..air-filtration systems and mask requirements make transmission of the coronavirus unlikely during any given passenger flight, infected people can spread it when they leave the airport and take off their mask…”

Unvaccinated People Need to Bear the Burden (Atl.)

When you go to the airport, you see two kinds of security rules. Some apply equally to everyone; no one can carry weapons through the TSA checkpoint. But other protocols divide passengers into categories according to how much of a threat the government thinks they pose. If you submit to heightened scrutiny in advance, TSA PreCheck lets you go through security without taking off your shoes; a no-fly list keeps certain people off the plane entirely. Not everyone poses an equal threat. Rifling through the bags of every business traveler and patting down every preschooler and octogenarian would waste the TSA’s time and needlessly burden many passengers. The same principle applies to limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of COVID-19 cases keeps growing, even though remarkably safe, effective vaccines are widely available, at least to adults. Many public agencies are responding by reimposing masking rules on everyone. But at this stage of the pandemic, tougher universal restrictions are not the solution to continuing viral spread. While flying, vaccinated people should no longer carry the burden for unvaccinated people. The White House has rejected a nationwide vaccine mandate—a sweeping suggestion that the Biden administration could not easily enact if it wanted to—but a no-fly list for unvaccinated adults is an obvious step that the federal government should take. It will help limit the risk of transmission at destinations where unvaccinated people travel—and, by setting norms that restrict certain privileges to vaccinated people, will also help raise the stagnant vaccination rates that are keeping both the economy and society from fully recovering.

Flying is not a right, and the case for restricting it to vaccinated people is straightforward: The federal government is the sole entity that can regulate the terms and conditions of airline safety. And although air-filtration systems and mask requirements make transmission of the coronavirus unlikely during any given passenger flight, infected people can spread it when they leave the airport and take off their mask. The whole point of international-travel bans is to curb infections in the destination country; to protect itself, the United States still has many such restrictions in place. Beyond limiting the virus’s flow from hot spots to the rest of the country, allowing only vaccinated people on domestic flights will change minds, too.

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A long list of articles about natural immunity.

Covid-19 Natural Immunity Compared To Vaccine-induced Immunity (Attkisson)

Hard data counters widespread public misinformation that claimed “virtually all” patients hospitalized and dying of Covid-19 are unvaccinated. Pfizer and Moderna had claimed their vaccines were “100% effective” at preventing serious illness. Many in the media even popularized a propaganda phrase designed to push more people to get vaccinated: “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Not so, says CDC and other data. Recent CDC data found that 74% of those who tested positive for Covid-19 in a Massachusetts analysis had been fully-vaccinated. Equally as troubling for those advocating vaccination-for-all: four out of five people hospitalized with Covid were fully-vaccinated. And CDC said “viral load” — indicating how able the human host is to spread Covid-19 — is about the same among the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

Contrary to the infamous misinformation by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky last May, vaccinated people can— and are— spreading Covid. (CDC officials later corrected Walensky’s false claim.) CDC’s newest findings on so-called “breakthrough” infections in vaccinated people are mirrored by other data releases. Illinois health officials recently announced more than 160 fully-vaccinated people have died of Covid-19, and at least 644 been hospitalized; ten deaths and 51 hospitalizations counted in the prior week. Israel’s Health Ministry recently said effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has fallen to 40 percent. Last month, 100 vaccinated British sailors isolated on a ship at sea reportedly came down with Covid seven weeks into their deployment.

In July, New Jersey reported 49 fully vaccinated residents had died of Covid; 27 in Louisiana; 80 in Massachusetts. Nationally, as of July 12, CDC said it was aware of more than 4,400 people who got Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated and had to be hospitalized; and 1,063 fully vaccinated people who died of Covid. But health officials still argue that vaccinated people make up only a small fraction of the seriously ill. Critics counter that CDC’s recent Massachusetts data calls that into question.

[..] As of May 29, CDC estimated more than 120 million Americans— more than one in three— had already battled Covid. While an estimated six-tenths of one-percent died, the other 99.4% of those infected survived with a presumed immune status that appears to be superior to that which comes with vaccination. If doctors could routinely test to confirm who has fought off and become immune to Covid-19, it would eliminate the practical need or rationale for those protected millions to get vaccinated. It would also allow them to avoid even the slight risk of serious vaccine side effects. Unfortunately, virologists say no commonly-used test can detect with certainty whether a person is immune.

A common misconception is that antibody tests can make that determination. But experts say immunity after infection or exposure often comes without a person producing or maintaining measurable antibodies. Because of that reality, people who have had asymptomatic infections — infections where they suffered no symptoms — have no easy way to know that they’re immune. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that the millions who know they got Covid can be assured they’re unlikely to suffer reinfection, for at least as long of a time period that scientists have been able to measure. Possibly far beyond.

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Rachel Marsden. Canada. Vying for first place in idiocy with Australia.

My Own Country Kicked Me Out Because My Immunity Was Acquired Naturally (RT)

I went home to visit my mother. Canada tried to force me into a Covid detention facility threatening fines and police action as they don’t recognize my natural immunity. I had no choice but to immediately fly back to Europe.
At the time of writing, I’m at an altitude of exactly 11,277m, 5,230km away from Vancouver, Canada, and 3,159km from my stopover in Munich, Germany, en route back to Paris, France. Where I really should be is relaxing on the backyard patio or in the jacuzzi at my home near Vancouver with a cold drink on a hot summer day. Instead, I’m on a Lufthansa flight heading back to Paris – just a few hours after arriving across the ocean on a 10-hour flight – because my own country’s officials kicked me out.

All because I committed the apparent violation of trying to re-enter my own country with proof of naturally acquired Covid-19 antibodies made by my own immune system post-recovery rather than those generated by the manmade Covid-19 vaccine about which much is still to be learned. Daily life for a Covid-19 survivor with natural immunity from the disease is not for the faint of heart. As someone with a high level of laboratory tested antibodies whose levels have yet to drop even after several months post-illness, my doctor has advised against vaccination. Much is obviously still to be learned about the Covid jabs, still in stage 3 of clinical trials and considered experimental by health authorities – particularly with reports abounding of breakthrough cases of vaccinated people catching and spreading Covid.

To protect and preserve my acquired immunity by opting out of vaccination that risks interfering with it or causing a risk to my health, France now requires me to succumb to nasal swab antigen tests every 48 hours if I wish to continue accessing everyday venues like public transit, gyms, restaurants, some shopping malls, and bars. But it’s a price that I’m willing to pay for my health.

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From South Africa.

A Plea To Allow The Use Of Ivermectin As Covid-19 Treatment (Biz)

Twenty countries are using Ivermectin to treat Covid-19. They include Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Nigeria, and Egypt. In South Africa doctors are allowed to prescribe Ivermectin, but it is not being rolled out everywhere and in hospitals and clinics. According to Jackie Stone, a doctor in Zimbabwe, since January – when Ivermectin began to be used – it has cut COVID hospital admissions and deaths over 70%. “The death rate rose sharply in January and peaked on the 25th at 70 deaths per day. Official authorisation for the use of Ivermectin was granted on 26th January. Just one month later, on 26th February, the COVID death rate had fallen to zero”.

A meta-analysis gold standard review of 24 randomised trials conducted in 15 countries among more than 3400 people worldwide of clinical trials – just released by the BIRD group in the UK – showed that deaths are dramatically reduced when Ivermectin is administered. Published in the American Journal of Therapeutics the most rigorous statistical standards were applied by world-leading biostatistician, Mr Andrew Bryant, and medical doctor and researcher Dr Tess Lawrie. The results concluded that Ivermectin has an over 70% success in preventing deaths in hospitalised patients. Mexico City authorities created a home-treatment-kit, including Ivermectin, for its 22 million-strong population in December 2020 and cut hospitalisations by over 70%.

Those Indian states that adopted Ivermectin policies saw their cases fall far more than 80%; Uttar Pradesh – down 98% [37,944 to 596], Uttarakhand – down 97% [9642 to 287] and Goa – down 90% [4195 to 423]. Delhi saw a 99% drop [28,395 to 238]. The bottom line is that Ivermectin works, and it works extraordinarily well. You do not need to be a scientist to understand these numbers, as they are self-evident. If South Africa had a policy of testing and treating – as does Mexico City, which has emptied its hospitals since they implemented it, does – and of using Ivermectin for prevention for health workers and those not vaccinated – we could end the effects of the pandemic here.

Besides cutting hospitalisations and deaths Ivermectin can also be used as a preventative. In Argentina, 788 health workers took Ivermectin weekly and 407 did not. After ten weeks, 58% of those not taking Ivermectin had become sick – but not one of those who took it became sick. The use of Ivermectin has been restricted because the WHO says that further clinical trials are needed before they can recommend it. When asked about this, Dr Stone replied, “I find it very hard to understand how they can say that there is not sufficient evidence. There are three thousand patients plus in, I think, twenty-four trials where they demonstrate an over 75% reduction in mortality. Those figures fit exactly with what we have seen.”

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Of course Florida is mostly fine, but you already guessed that. This is about raw power, and about DeSantis being popular.

Biden Message For DeSantis On Covid Mask Opposition: ‘Get Out Of The Way’ (MH)

President Joe Biden delivered a stern message on Tuesday to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the Republican’s opposition to mask mandates: “Get out of the way.” DeSantis has attributed the state’s uptick in COVID-19 cases to seasonal factors and rejected calls to impose a mask mandate. He last week signed an executive order threatening to withhold state funds from school districts that put mask mandates in place to follow federal health guidance for areas experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases.

“Look, we need leadership from everyone. If some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said in remarks about the pandemic. “I say to these governors please help. But if you are not going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.” For the third consecutive day, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida reached a pandemic high at 11,863 patients. Federal health officials said on Monday that one in three cases of coronavirus nationwide occurred in Florida and Texas last week. [..] DeSantis has likened the recent surge to the spike in cases last summer.

“These things have a pattern,” he said last month. “We saw the pattern last summer. It’s similar. I think it started a little later. I think people should just be prepared for that.” At a news conference in the Everglades on Tuesday, DeSantis repeated his belief that the surge will subside soon, saying: “These things come — you know we have summer season for whatever reason in the Sunbelt and particularly Florida, you know. It will probably come back in the winter, just like last year, not as much as the Northeast, but we’ll see.” DeSantis also downplayed the surge in hospitalizations and did not address the increasing strain on hospital staff. “Our hospitals are open for business,” he said, adding that in hospitals with high COVID cases, those patients “represent a fraction of the overall hospital beds.”

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They should both go.

Mayor De Blasio And Governor Cuomo Are Pushing Hard For Vaccinations (F.)

The surge of the Delta variant has prompted New York City and state officials to take swift action. This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended that residents of the city wear masks when inside with crowds, even if you’re vaccinated. De Blasio said, “We want to strongly recommend that people wear a mask in indoor settings, even if you’re vaccinated.” The mayor added, “This is particularly true of course if you might be around anyone unvaccinated.” De Blasio emphasized, “Vaccination, vaccination, vaccination, that’s the ballgame.” He offered a $100 financial incentive for people to get their shots. City workers won’t have a choice, and will be mandated to get vaccinated. Additionally, all new government hires will have to show proof of vaccination or else they can’t start their jobs.

The Mayor will also be initiating a “Key to NYC Pass,” which is like the Covid-19 passport talked about a few months ago. It’s a carrot-and-stick approach, as people will be required to show that they are vaccinated if they want to go to restaurants, gyms and other events. No vaccinations, no entrance. “If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio proclaimed. “If we’re going to stop the Delta variant, the time is now,” said the mayor. “This is going to make clear, you want to enjoy everything great in this summer of New York City? Go get vaccinated.”

In an interview with MSNBC, de Blasio dialed up his frustration over the unvaccinated. “We’ve got to shake people at this point and say, ‘Come on now.’ We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate. Free testing, everywhere you turn, incentives, friendly, warm embrace. The voluntary phase is over,” de Blasio said last week. “It’s time for mandates, because it’s the only way to protect our people.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, similar to de Blasio, is pushing for people to get vaccinated. He’s requesting private businesses, such as bars and restaurants, to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19, as a condition for admission to their establishments. The governor also called for a vaccine mandate for employees of the state’s MTA and Port Authority, similar to his previous order for state hospital employees.

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Once you do them, they’re impossible to undo.

Vaccine Cards Are Just The Beginning (Whitehead)

It used to be that “we the people” had the right to come and go as we please without the fear of being stopped, questioned by police or forced to identify ourselves. In other words, unless police had a reasonable suspicion that a person was guilty of wrongdoing, they had no legal authority to stop the person and require identification. Unfortunately, in this age of COVID-19, that unrestricted right to move about freely is being pitted against the government’s power to lock down communities at a moment’s notice. And in this tug-of-war between individual freedoms and government power, “we the people” have been on the losing end of the deal.

Now vaccine passports, vaccine admission requirements, and travel restrictions may seem like small, necessary steps in winning the war against the COVID-19 virus, but that’s just so much propaganda. They’re only necessary to the police state in its efforts to further brainwash the populace into believing that the government legitimately has the power to enforce such blatant acts of authoritarianism. This is how you imprison a populace and lock down a nation. It makes no difference if such police state tactics are carried out in the name of national security or protecting America’s borders or making America healthy again: the philosophy remains the same, and it is a mindset that is not friendly to freedom.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t live in a constitutional republic if you allow the government to act like a police state. You can’t claim to value freedom if you allow the government to operate like a dictatorship. You can’t expect to have your rights respected if you allow the government to treat whomever it pleases with disrespect and an utter disregard for the rule of law. If you’re tempted to justify these draconian measures for whatever reason—for the sake of health concerns, the economy, or national security—beware: there’s always a boomerang effect. Whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to carry out now, rest assured, these same practices can and will be used against you when the government decides to set its sights on you.

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Click link, sign petition.

We Stand in Solidarity with Dr. Peter McCullough MD (Change)

We the undersigned stand in deep support and gratitude of Dr. Peter McCullough MD. We recognize his unwavering commitment to upholding his fiduciary responsibility to his patients, the highest standards of science and to the Hippocratic Oath. Most notably Dr. McCullough has and continues to be a forerunner and promoter of early ambulatory treatment of covid symptoms. Due to Dr. McCullough’s contribution, protocols such as those described in Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection, countless lives have been saved. Going further, Dr. McCullough, with other respected researchers and physicians developed an early treatment plan for senior care facilities as well as raised valid concerns over both the safety and efficacy of the covid vaccines, especially considering the increasing number of breakthrough cases being experienced the world over, as well as the number of adverse events reported.


Instead of commending Dr. McCullough and backing these lifesaving discoveries, Baylor Scott and White has initiated a law suit, claiming that Dr. McCullough is falsely associating with their organization, and is demanding 1,000,000 in monetary aid as well as non monetary aid. We the undersigned strongly and emphatically urge that the individuals working on behalf of Baylor Scott and White dismiss this case. Your time and energies are much better spent in supporting Dr. McCullough in saving lives. Let it be known that the scientific, medical and lay communities are watching this development very closely and resolutely stand with Dr. McCullough.

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Murky indeed, even the article itself.

Julian Assange: Peering Through The Murk (Rozenberg)

Assange remains in prison. The district judge refused him bail after the US government said it would seek to appeal to the High Court against her decision. And on 5 July Mr Justice Swift granted the US permission on three of the five grounds set out in its application for permission to appeal. What were those? This is where the story becomes murky. The judge’s two-page order, which has not been published but is readily available from the court, explains briefly why he refused the US permission to appeal on grounds 3 and 4. It says nothing about Swift’s reasons for granting permission on grounds 1, 2 and 5. That’s not a problem as far as the parties are concerned: they know what the grounds of appeal were. And when the appeal is heard – this autumn or next year – we shall find out too.

But if, as Swift has held, the US has raised ‘arguable issues that should be considered at a final hearing’, lawyers with clients currently facing extradition to the US need to know – now – precisely what these are. Foreign governments seeking extradition are represented by the Crown Prosecution Service. I asked the CPS for a copy of the application they had filed for permission to appeal. They refused to let me see it. Instead, they suggested I asked the High Court. The court told me I needed to make a written application to the judge and pay a fee of £255. I was not willing to do so – it raises concerns about access to justice data that were the subject of an important report by the Legal Education Foundation last month – and I have not been able to get hold of a copy in any other way.

After further requests, the CPS agreed to send me an informal briefing note that had been supplied to other journalists shortly after Swift’s ruling. This note, which includes a minor inaccuracy, is the source of all media reports and legal commentaries on the judge’s ruling. The first arguable ground, according to this note, was that Baraitser had made errors of law in applying the test under section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003. This says that if the physical or mental condition of a suspect ‘is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him’, the judge must either order his or her discharge or adjourn the hearing until he or she is better. We don’t know what Baraitser’s alleged errors were. The second arguable ground is that, having decided that the threshold for discharge was met, Baraitser should have notified the requesting state of her provisional view and given the US a chance to offer assurances.

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Following the Soviet model of falling apart.

America Has Become Its Own Worst Enemy (Unherd)

Back in the 1970s, Russian women marvelled at how their American equivalents could afford to leave work while they had children. As the New York Times reported, they “express astonishment when they learn that an American father can support a family of two, three or four children without his wife’s working. Many are also surprised that American women would willingly have more than one child.” For them, it was a huge struggle to raise just one. The Soviet Union’s main adversary in the Cold War was also defined by ideology, to some extent. Many western nations had embraced liberalism, but no other was created with the words of John Locke enshrined in its foundation. Yet liberalism, too, faced its challenges in the late 20th century, not from the obviously failing Soviet Communism, but from rival ideas within the democratic tradition.

Starting in the 1960s, a new way of thinking began to predominate in the US that was not really liberal, although its opponents confusingly still referred to it as such. This new way of thinking was more hostile to freedom of speech, and its adherents began the process of chasing deviant thinkers out of academia that began in the late 1960s and would massively reduce political diversity by the 21st century; it supported not just personal sexual freedom, as did liberalism, but radical ideas about sex, including hostility to the family; it was anti-religion and would become more so when religion clashed with sexual rights. As for freedom of association, the “master freedom” in Christopher Caldwell’s words, this was also incompatible with a worldview that prioritised equality over liberty.

This new way of thinking — progressivism is probably the fairest term — is far less tolerant than liberalism. Indeed, in its hostility to freedom of speech, its Manichean worldview, its suspicion that its opponents are fascists, and the belief that politics should be inserted into everything — from science to children’s books — it is closer to the totalitarian tradition. American progressivism is not communism, obviously, anymore than its opponents are Nazis; the market is perfectly capable of achieving most progressive goals, and America has become more culturally Left-wing as Right-wing economic policies have dominated, globalisation being the common theme that links the two. But globalisation came with a price, with millions of jobs lost after the 2001 trade deal with China, made two months after George W. Bush had followed the Soviet example by invading Afghanistan.

It was in those former industrial heartlands where people first began to notice an epidemic of drug-related deaths that now constitutes one of the greatest social disasters in history. Four decades on from its superpower rival, the United States had now become a country in which people were dying younger, driven by overdoses and suicides. That this epidemic took so long to register may have been the solitary and often legal nature of the drug problem; unlike Aids, it did not affect too many celebrities, Prince being the exception. But it could also be who the victims were — predominantly rural white Americans, neither powerful themselves nor championed by powerful supporters.

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All your base do belong to us.

Meet Your New Feudal Overlords (Weems)

Classic feudalism was a system where a wealthy land-owning nobility (the 1%) controlled the peasant class of workers known as serfs (everyone else). The elites provided serfs with a small piece of land on which to live. Although they paid taxes, generally, serfs owned no property, had no economic power or upward mobility. During the Middle Ages, as much as 90% of Europe’s population fell into this category. Sound familiar? I admit it’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s something worth considering — especially given what’s happening not just with housing but with land ownership in general. In our system, owning real estate is the most common vehicle for wealth accumulation. So what happens when only the wealthiest Americans can afford to own property?

Before you answer, you should know that billionaires are buying up land like it’s going out of style. Do you know who owns the most farmland in the United States? Bill Gates and his soon-to-be ex-wife Melinda, that’s who. With 242,000 acres of cropland plus nearly 30,000 additional acres of land in their real estate portfolio, they’re playing real-life monopoly. According to The Land Report, 100 families own 42 million acres across the country. The Gates family barely breaks the top 50. Former TCI chief John Malone is at the top of the list with 2.2 million acres. While billionaires snatch up the country’s ranches and farmland, Wall Street is buying up all the houses they can get their hands on.

I wrote last August about my personal experience with renting a house in North Carolina. In 2013, we searched for a home in a town just outside of Raleigh. We noticed corporations owned almost all the houses. Every rental sign had a QR code in one neighborhood, so you never actually saw a real estate agent. The company, American Homes 4 Rent (AMR), was the landlord for most of the single-family rental properties in the area, including the one we ultimately rented. Interestingly, the same billionaire, an investor named B. Wayne Hughes controls both the company where we stored our furniture and American Homes 4 Rent. At the time, tapping Wall Street investors made sense. In the wake of the housing crisis of the early aughts, a wave of foreclosures devastated the real estate markets.

By 2010, the housing market was in free fall. Across the country, the glut of empty homes numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Faced with the risk of stalling an already sluggish economic recovery, the government looked to Wall Street. In 2012, the Obama administration launched a program making it easier for private investors like AMR and Blackrock to acquire foreclosed homes by the hundreds. The plan worked. According to The Atlantic, institutional investors jumped into the housing market, buying foreclosed properties then renting them out. The billions in transferred middle-class wealth made inequality worse. At the time, there were few good options.

In the same piece last August, I wrote about how hedge funds and private equity firms like Blackrock and AMH scooped up single-family foreclosures left and right: From 2011 to 2017, the largest global investors bought over 200,000 homes in the U.S., spending over $30 billion. In Atlanta, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and hedge funds bought almost 90% of homes sold from January 2011 to June 2012. By February of last year, institutional investors owned one-fifth of all single-family rentals in the Atlanta area. Until late 2019, Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, owned 40% of Invitation Homes (INVH), capitalizing on the glut of foreclosures following the housing crisis. American Homes 4 Rent (AMH), a REIT founded by billionaire B. Wayne Hughes, currently owns 52,052 homes across the country. AMH owns nearly 10% percent of all single-family homes in Atlanta.

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Very interesting man.

2020: A Propaganda Masterpiece (Perspectives on the Pandemic)

“Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government,” wrote Edward Bernays, the father of modern propaganda. In part one of Episode 17, Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies at New York University, discusses the propaganda onslaught that defined the year 2020, when what was dismissed one week is confirmed the next, and why questioning official narratives “necessarily means taking ‘conspiracy theory’ seriously.”

Read more …

 

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


Henri Matisse Reading woman in violet dress 1898

 

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

 

 

 

 

Seneff long term effects

 

 

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

 

 

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

Google translated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fully impartial.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because the vaccinated are no longer tested.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In religion, credibility is not a factor.

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

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


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

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Great video.

The Other Side of the COVID Vaccination Argument (CTH)

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


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Very rare.

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

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


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

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He’s a made man.

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

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

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

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

Read more …

Oh sure. As the media scream Armageddon.

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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


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

Read more …

 

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Jun 092021
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Conversation in the Jardin du Luxembourg 1892

 

Pfizer Begins Testing Its Covid Vaccine In Children Aged 5-11 (DM)
Moderna CEO: Vaccine Boosters, Flu/Covid Combo Shots Likely For The Future (F.)
India Accuses WHO Chief Scientist of Suppressing Ivermectin Data (ET)
Indian Health Regulator Removes Ivermectin from Its Covid-19 Protocol (NC)
Oh, Once Again Right -Rank Corruption And Lies (Denninger)
Greek Leaders Take Stand On Mandatory Vaccination (K.)
Segregated Dining In NYC (DM)
Beijing’s Useful Idiots (Unherd)
China, Russia to Take Up Korea Issue Together (NW)
Blinken Says 100s of Sanctions Will Remain on Iran Despite Talks (Antiwar)
Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Material From Andrew Cuomo’s Book (DM)
US State Sues To Have Google Declared A Public Utility (Y!)

 

 

McCullough
https://twitter.com/i/status/1402221070061649920

 

 

 

 

Russell Brand
https://twitter.com/i/status/1402239104432193545

 

 

I see nothing but pure evil. It’s too easy to propagandize children. That’s why we protect them.

Pfizer Begins Testing Its Covid Vaccine In Children Aged 5-11 (DM)

Pfizer-BioNTech has entered late-stage clinical trials of their coronavirus vaccine in children between ages five and 11. Just a few weeks after the shot was approved for teens ages 12 to 15 in the U.S., the companies are now testing safety and efficacy on younger children. Around 4,500 participants will be enrolled at nearly 100 clinical trial sites in 26 states, Finland, Poland and Spain, according to a press release. Trials for kids as young as six months to four years old are still in early stages and will expand once the researchers can determine safety. It comes as Moderna Inc’s CEO says he believes his company’s COVID-19 jab should be available for U.S. children as young as age five by fall of this year.

Parents and doctors have been debating about whether or not to inoculate children because they make up just 0.1 percent of all COVID deaths. According to clinicaltrials.gov, Pfizer’s study in younger children will work similarly to the way it did in older children and adults. About half of the ages five-to-11 group will receive two doses 21 days apart and the other half will be given placebo shots. The team will test the safety, tolerability and immune response generated by the vaccine, likely by measuring antibody levels in the young subjects.

[..] In a recent poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, parents were asked if they would get their child immunized once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and available for their child’s age group. Only about three in 10 parents – 29 percent – of children under 18 said they would get their child vaccinated ‘right away.’ The poll also found 15 percent only plan to vaccinate their children if the school requires it and 19 percent said their child will definitely not be getting vaccinated. What’s more, although children can contract COVID-19 and pass the disease on to others, they tend to not get very ill. More than 3.97 million children have tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Pfizer trial

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Snake oil.

Moderna CEO: Vaccine Boosters, Flu/Covid Combo Shots Likely For The Future (F.)

As new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to spread around the world, vaccines produced by Moderna, BioNTech/Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson won’t be enough to provide immunity forever, says Stéphane Bancel. Speaking at the Forbes Health In Action Summit, the Moderna CEO says it’s likely booster shots will be needed in the near future, both to bolster waning immunity and to protect against new virus mutations. “First, immunity wanes with time meaning rollover of antibodies you have in your body from the vaccine – all natural infection goes down over time,” he says. “Two is you don’t know which virus you’re going to get infected with down the road, which variant is one of the four areas alpha, beta, gamma, delta, or even a new one that we don’t know of yet. And then it depends on your age and medical condition.”

To make future vaccine shots an easier process, Bancel says, the company is working on developing a booster shot to both reboot pre-existing antibodies as well as “provide new antibodies in your body that will bind specifically to those new mutations.” He also shared that Moderna is working on a booster for seasonal flu that operates with a 90-95% efficacy, and in the long run the company hopes to produce a shot where a single dose can vaccinate against both Covid-19 and the flu.

But while Moderna’s CEO looks at the future, the present still has a long way to go to get enough people vaccinated to reach herd immunity. Tom Polen, CEO and President of Becton, Dickinson and Company said his company received orders for over 2 billion syringes to assist with vaccine demand. “All of the syringes that we provide in the U.S., which are routinely used to deliver a variety of different vaccines and injectable therapies in hospitals, we make in the U.S. and always made in the U.S., so we work with the U.S. government to expand some of that capacity. For example, one of our manufacturing locations in Nebraska who work with the government to install new capacity that’s coming online right now just to scale that up even further to deliver vaccines,” Polen says.

Pfizer vs AZ

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“..claiming that she was “spreading disinformation and misguiding the people of India, in order to fulfill her agenda” and sought to prevent her from “causing further damage.”

India Accuses WHO Chief Scientist of Suppressing Ivermectin Data (ET)

The Indian Bar Association has taken legal action against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan for her alleged role in spreading disinformation on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. The association served a legal notice on Swaminathan on May 25, claiming that she was “spreading disinformation and misguiding the people of India, in order to fulfill her agenda” and sought to prevent her from “causing further damage.” They further say that Swaminathan, in her statements against the use of ivermectin, ignored research and clinical trials from two organizations – the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance and the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) – who have presented solid data showing ivermectin prevents and treats COVID-19.

“Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has ignored these studies/reports and has deliberately suppressed the data regarding effectiveness of the drug Ivermectin, with an intent to dissuade the people of India from using Ivermectin,” the plaintiff said in a statement. In a May 10 tweet that has since been deleted after the notice was issued, Swaminathan wrote, “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 except within clinical trials.”

Swaminathan made the Twitter post soon after Goa’s health minister announced that every Goa resident 18 and older would be given ivermectin as prevention regardless of their COVID-19 status, as part of the state government’s effort to stop the transmission of the virus. India has been hit hard in the second wave of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic beginning in March 2021. The legal notice calls for a clear response from Swaminathan on a number of key points, and the association said that in the case of a failure to provide a clear response, it reserves the right to initiate prosecution under sections of the Indian Penal Code and Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Read more …

It’s getting hard to know who allows it and who doesn’t anymore.

Indian Health Regulator Removes Ivermectin from Its Covid-19 Protocol (NC)

India’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has executed a policy reversal that could have massive implications for the battle against covid-19, not only in India but around the world. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, are at providing stake. Providing no explanation whatsoever, the DGHS has overhauled its COVID-19 treatment guidelines and removed almost all of the repurposed medicines it had previously recommended for treating asymptomatic and mild cases. They include the antibiotic doxycycline, hydroxychloroquine zinc, ivermectin and even multivitamins. The only medicines that are still recommended for early treatment are cold medicines, antipyretics such as paracetamol and inhaled budesonide.

“No other covid-specific medication [is] required,” say the new guidelines, which also discourage practitioners from prescribing unnecessary tests such as CT scans. “Patients are advised to seek tele consultation; and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour must be observed such as mask, strict hand hygiene and physical distancing… [Patients are also advised to maintain] a healthy diet with proper hydration… [and] to stay connected [with family] and engage in positive talks through phone, video-calls, etc.”

The decision to remove ivermectin, multivitamins and zinc from the treatment guidelines is hard to comprehend given the current state of play in India — unless, of course, you assume After suffering one of the worst covid-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, India is not just flattening the curve, it is crushing it. And the widespread use of ivermectin, a potent anti-viral and anti-inflammatory with an excellent safety profile, appears to have played an instrumental role.

Read more …

“..in the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2, the CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally..”

Oh, Once Again Right -Rank Corruption And Lies (Denninger)

“In the case of the gain-of-function supercharge, other sequences could have been spliced into this same site. Instead of a CGG-CGG (known as double CGG) that tells the protein factory to make two arginine amino acids in a row, you’ll obtain equal lethality by splicing any one of 35 of the other two-word combinations for double arginine.” Yep. And here’s the rub – while this is a “preferred” (lowest energy) combination for human cells it is not in other animals. Biology is a thermodynamic process as is everything else in the universe. For instance, your body prefers to burn glucose rather than fats; that is, the process by which ATP is generated prefers glucose or glycogen over lipids (fat.) Why? It’s easier, metabolically. If you are out of glycogen (what glucose is stored as), and those stores are very limited, then your body will burn fats.

In addition you body will not store fat (which also requires energy) until it fills up the glycogen stores for the same reason — it is more efficient. That’s thermodynamics folks — and everything in the universe follows those laws. That which is easier is always preferred over that which is harder, or another way to put it is that all things, absent input, go from higher energy states to lower ones. We call that “entropy” and it’s part and parcel of thermodynamics which tell us that there is no such thing as a free lunch – indeed, you can’t even break even. If the insertion takes place naturally, say through recombination, then one of those 35 other sequences is far more likely to appear; CGG is rarely used in the class of coronaviruses that can recombine with CoV-2.

In fact, in the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2, the CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here. A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn’t present in any other virus. I did not know back in early 2020 that there were no other coronaviruses found naturally that had the CGG-CGG pairing. I did know that it was not the preferred coding for that amino acid in other potential candidate source or pass-through animals than humans, and it was on that basis that I put forward early in 2020 that the odds of this virus naturally jumping to humans as a result of infecting other animals was statistically non-existent since recombination in those animals with that pairing was impossible.

Oh sure, anything can happen, but the odds of it happening are basically nil. That was the basis on which I stated that I believed it was a lab leak; no other explanation was logical. But now we know that the most-common means by which viruses mutate, which occurs when one cell is infected by two or more viruses at once (called “recombination”) could not have occurred in humans at all as the viruses must be compatible to do that and all the other coronaviruses lack that sequence. Therefore it could not have happened that way; you can’t exchange for what’s not there. Could it have occurred by just wild random chance instead of recombination? Perhaps. But damned unlikely — like asteroid strike unlikely.

Read more …

A new twist: “Beyond protecting public health, the Constitution in no way recognizes a person’s right to jeopardize another’s life and health..”

From what I hear, resistance to vaccines is high here, as things go, they’ll never get above 50% vaccinated. But tourism!

Greek Leaders Take Stand On Mandatory Vaccination (K.)

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hinted Tuesday that the government could make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for healthcare professionals and nursing home carers. Speaking during a debate on a bill on the digital Covid certificate, Mitsotakis said that the government is mulling the mandatory vaccination of workers working in hospitals and clinics, as well as in elderly care units. “The government will make a decision in a sensitive manner, setting public health as a top priority,” he told lawmakers.


Earlier Tuesday, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou also weighed in on the issue of compulsory vaccination during a conversation with the premier at the Presidential Palace, saying that the Constitution does not give anyone the right to put the lives of others at risk. “Beyond protecting public health, the Constitution in no way recognizes a person’s right to jeopardize another’s life and health,” said Sakellaropoulou, previously a high-ranking judge who also served as president of the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court.

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Politics likes to push the responsibility onto the private sector.

Segregated Dining In NYC (DM)

Some bars and restaurants in New York City have begun segregating diners, creating separate seating areas where vaccinated customers can mingle while the unvaccinated have to remain outdoors or behind plexiglass. It came after bars were last month given the go-ahead by New York State to operate at 100% capacity and remain open until 4am. But while state law now says that vaccinated parties in bars and restaurants do not have to be socially distanced, bars must allow six feet of distancing or appropriate physical barriers for unvaccinated customers. It means that bars are under pressure to demand proof of vaccination to maximize the number of people who can fit inside.

And while the new policies might sound good in theory, they don’t make much sense from a legal, and, in some cases, a health standpoint. State laws do not require proof of vaccination at ‘indoor catered events of 250 or less’, meaning customers could just claim to be vaccinated to get better seats. And even if restaurants and bars could could enforce policies based on who is and who isn’t vaccinated, health experts say being indoors, segregated or not, presents the same risk of infection, particularly for the unvaccinated crowd. The policies seem to be taking different forms at different bars, with some reserving their indoor seating exclusively for the vaccinated in a bid to once again take full advantage of their indoor space.

Llama San in Manhattan’s West Village, for example, is asking that in order to seat its dining room close indoor capacity, diners are asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. ‘We believe this will help bring peace of mind to you and your guests to fully enjoy your dining experience with us,’ the restaurant says on its Resy. ‘Similarly, the entirety of our staff has been vaccinated or will provide frequent negative covid tests.’

Read more …

Daszak is everywhere.

Beijing’s Useful Idiots (Unherd)

Only now is acceptance emerging that the science establishment colluded to dismiss the lab leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory, assisted by prominent experts with clear conflicts of interest, patsy politicians and a pathetic media that mostly failed to do its job. And yet, at the heart of this scandal lie some of the world’s most influential science journals. These should provide a forum for pulsating debate as experts explore and test theories, especially on something as contentious and fascinating as the possible origins of a global pandemic. Instead, some have played a central role in shutting down discussion and discrediting alternative views on the origins, with disastrous consequences for our understanding of events.

Many scientists have been dismayed by their actions. “It is very important to talk about the scientific journals — I think they are partially responsible for the cover-up,” said Virginie Courtier-Orgogozo, a leading French evolutionary biologist and key member of the Paris Group of scientists challenging the established view on these issues. The rejection of the lab leak hypothesis, she argues, in many places was not due to Trump’s intervention but the result of “respectable scientific journals not accepting to discuss the matter”.

The Paris Group, for instance, submitted a letter to The Lancet in early January signed by 14 experts from around the world calling for an open debate, arguing that “the natural origin is not supported by conclusive arguments and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded”. This does not seem contentious. But it was rejected on the basis it was “not a priority for us”. When the authors queried this decision, it was reassessed and returned without peer review by editor-in-chief Richard Horton with a terse dismissal saying “we have agreed to uphold our original decision to let this go”. The authors ended up publishing their statement on a pre-print site.

Yet this is the same prestigious journal that published a now infamous statement early last year attacking “conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin“. Clearly, this was designed to stifle debate. It was signed by 27 experts but later turned out to have been covertly drafted by Peter Daszak, the British scientist with extensive ties to Wuhan Institute of Virology. To make matters worse, The Lancet then set up a commission on the origins — and incredibly, picked Daszak to chair its 12-person task force, joined by five others who signed that statement dismissing ideas the virus was not a natural occurrence.

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“Biden has signaled no desire to rush into the decades-long dispute.”

China, Russia to Take Up Korea Issue Together (NW)

China and Russia have signaled a greater desire to work together on the issues plaguing the neighboring Korean Peninsula amid uncertainties that continue to surround U.S. President Joe Biden’s approach to the region. A readout published Tuesday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry detailed a conversation the previous day between Special Representative on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov “to exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.” “Recognizing the cooperation on the Peninsula issue as a major component of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era,” the statement said, “Liu reaffirmed China’s willingness to enhance communication and coordination with Russia in a joint effort to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula, and play constructive roles in promoting the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.”

Morgulov “stressed that the two countries’ positions are highly consistent, and the cooperation on the Peninsula issue has been fruitful,” according to the Chinese side. “He also expressed the readiness of his country to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China through bilateral and multilateral channels to move the Peninsula situation to a more positive direction.” The Russian Foreign Ministry also shared an account of the call, during which the two sides were said to have “reaffirmed their mutual disposition to deepen cooperation between Russia and China in the interests of a comprehensive settlement of the problems of this subregion on the basis of existing joint initiatives.”

The exchange comes just over two weeks after Biden hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House for their debut summit. While both leaders have eagerly sought to reemphasize their nations’ longstanding alliance, Moon has appealed to Biden to further a now-frozen peace process launched by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Nearly three years after the historic meeting between the two men, Biden inherits a U.S.-North Korea dialogue that has unraveled. Facing an array of domestic crises plaguing the economy, public health and civil society, as well as pressing foreign policy issues involving China, Russia and Iran, Biden has signaled no desire to rush into the decades-long dispute.

Read more …

Deep state.

Blinken Says 100s of Sanctions Will Remain on Iran Despite Talks (Antiwar)

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said even if the US rejoins the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, “hundreds” of sanctions would still remain on Iran, including Trump-era measures. “I would anticipate that, even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration,” Blinken told a Senate hearing. Blinken’s remarks are just his latest bad faith comment about the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that have been ongoing since April. Because the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions, the talks are being dragged out.

Blinken and other Biden officials justify their refusal to lift all of Trump’s sanctions by claiming they will only lift measures that are “consistent” with the economic relief Iran expects from the JCPOA. “If they are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, they will remain unless and until Iran’s behavior changes,” Blinken said. The Trump administration imposed an enormous number of sanctions on Iran. Some were implemented over Tehran’s nuclear program, while others were put in place over claims of “terrorism” and alleged human rights violations. From the start of negotiations, the Biden administration has been clear that it is not going to lift all human rights and terror sanctions.

One terror-related measure the Biden administration is reportedly unwilling to lift is the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “foreign terrorist organization.” But the IRGC designation is a sweeping measure, as it subjects current and former members of the military organization to US sanctions. Keeping the IRGC designation would likely not be acceptable to Tehran, especially after the June presidential elections, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to be replaced by a more hardline candidate.

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“The DOJ is said to be after a host of materials that would have been used during the pitching process to publishers – including various contracts and documents.”

Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Material From Andrew Cuomo’s Book (DM)

The U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed material connected to a memoir written by the Democratic governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, as part of an investigation into a possible cover-up of COVID deaths in the state’s nursing homes. Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York are said to have requested communications associated with Cuomo’s book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The DOJ is said to be after a host of materials that would have been used during the pitching process to publishers – including various contracts and documents. The subpoenas have been issued as prosecutors continue to probe the the details of the nursing home debacle which was discussed in the memoir.

The governor’s office has been under multiple investigations as to a possible cover-up of the true number of deaths in nursing homes that could be attributed to COVID-19. State officials who helped with the editing of early versions of Cuomo’s book were among the individuals who received subpoenas for materials, The Wall Street Journal reported. It’s thought prosecutors might be interested in book-related materials because they will have captured a real-time snapshot of Cuomo’s work surrounding nursing homes. ‘If reflections memorialized in records and notes are inconsistent with what he was saying publicly or with disclosures to health or government officials, that is potentially problematic,’ said Michael Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor to the Journal.

Republican lawmakers have accused Cuomo’s administration of intentionally manipulating and obscuring the COVID fatality data. The data saw the intentional undercounting of thousands of deaths, in New York’s assisted-living facilities in an attempt to shield the governor from political criticism. Federal prosecutors began a criminal investigation into the governor’s alleged mismanagement of the state’s nursing homes during the pandemic in February. One month earlier, a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office suggested that nursing home deaths were potentially undercounted by as much as half.

Read more …

A start?!

US State Sues To Have Google Declared A Public Utility (Y!)

The state of Ohio on Tuesday filed an unprecedented lawsuit calling on a local court to declare Google as much a public utility as an electric company. Google should be designated a public utility subject to government regulation regarding its search engine and other services, Ohio attorney general Dave Yost contended in the legal filing. Public utilities supply essential goods or services such as water or power, and are often effectively monopolies. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access,” Yost said in a release announcing the suit. Yost accused Google of favoring its own products, websites, and services in search results, putting competitors at a disadvantage. Google said the lawsuit had no basis in fact and that it will defend itself in court.


“AG Yost’s lawsuit would make Google Search results worse and make it harder for small businesses to connect directly with customers,” a company spokesman said in reply to an AFP inquiry. “Ohioans simply don’t want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company.” Ohio late last year was among some three dozen US states that filed a federal lawsuit accusing Google of abusing its market dominance. That case is still pending. France’s competition regulator fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million) on Monday for favoring its own services for placing online ads at the expense of rivals, as US tech giants face growing pressure in Europe and the United States. The penalty is part of a settlement reached after three media groups – News Corp, French daily Le Figaro and Belgium’s Groupe Rossel — accused Google in 2019 of abusing a dominant market position over ad sales for their websites and apps.

Read more …

 

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Apr 242021
 


John La Farge Girls Carrying a Canoe, Vaiala in Samoa 1891

 

India COVID Triple-Mutant May Be Much More Deadly, Resistant To Vaccines (ABI)
The West Does Not Have Any Moral High Ground Over China (OpIndia)
No Doctor, You’re Wrong (Denninger)
Big Pharma Employs Army Of Lobbyists To Block Generic Covid-19 Vaccines (IC)
Cuomo Blocks Release Of Covid Nursing Home Data Sent To Feds (NYP)
Putin Invites Zelensky To Moscow For Discussions On ‘Bilateral Relations’ (RT)
Pentagon Deploys More Forces to Afghanistan Over Fears of Taliban (Antiwar)
Biden’s Plan To Create Over 10 Million Well-Paying Jobs With His Clean Energy Initiative
Bitcoin Leads Massive Cryptocurrency Market Sell-off (RT)
Big Banks Charged Billions in Overdraft Fees During Pandemic (Pros.)
The Heroic Congressional Fight to Save the Rich (Taibbi)
Plato, Aristophanes and Aristotle on Money-Lust (Michael Hudson)
Anyone Still Wearing A Mask At This Point Is Probably Just Super Ugly (BBee)

 

 

 

 

“..two triple-mutant varieties..”, an “immune escape variant”.

India COVID Triple-Mutant May Be Much More Deadly, Resistant To Vaccines (ABI)

Scientists found two triple-mutant varieties in patient samples in four states: Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh. Researchers in the country have dubbed it the “Bengal strain” and say it has the potential to be even more infectious than the double-mutant variant. This is because three COVID variants have merged to form a new, possibly deadlier variant. The Times of India spoke to Vinod Scaria, a researcher at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, who said that the triple mutant was also an “immune escape variant” – a strain that helps the virus attach to human cells and hide from the immune system.


He added that it could have evolved from the double-mutant variant – which experts say is likely behind the recent surge of COVID in the country . Sreedhar Chinnaswamy, a researcher from the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in India, told the Times of India that the variant also carried the E484K mutation, a characteristic found in both the South African and Brazilian variants. “In other words, you may not be safe from this variant even if you were previously infected by another strain, or even if you have been vaccinated,” said Chinnaswamy.

Read more …

View from India. Talk about condescending language:

Merkel said, “Of course, we have only allowed India to become such a large pharmaceutical producer in the first place, also from the European side, in the expectation that this should then also be complied with.”

The West Does Not Have Any Moral High Ground Over China (OpIndia)

The United States of America has projected its geopolitical rivalry with China as a great conflict between good and evil, between liberty and tyranny. The USA and other western countries claim to care a great deal about human rights but quite clearly, they do not care enough about the human right to life. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that western emphasis on human rights is one humoungous farce. At a time when India is suffering a tragedy dealing with the pandemic, western countries have chosen to offer sermons and lectures instead of sympathy and support. German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued veiled threats on Thursday. Amidst the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, she said that there are concerns that India will not be able to meet pharmaceutical demands in her country and they will have to ‘rethink’ their policies should that be the case.

Merkel said, “Of course, we have only allowed India to become such a large pharmaceutical producer in the first place, also from the European side, in the expectation that this should then also be complied with. If that is not the case now, we will have to rethink.” But Germany is not the only country that has been making such insensitive remarks. The USA has enforced an embargo on the export of raw materials essential for the production of Covid-19 vaccines, which jeopardised vaccine production in India. CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII), Adar Poonawalla, appealed to the Biden administration to lift the embargo but to no effect. When asked about the matter, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “We have a special responsibility to the American people.”

“It’s, of course, not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated, it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,” he said. “Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people. Number two, the American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world — more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone,” Price added. The western media, which demonises India over its nationalist concerns, does not see any dichotomy with the approach by the USA and has been remained conspicuously silent over the matter. US concerns are understandable but it is starkly at odds with what it preaches to other countries.

Read more …

Fun with numbers:

“..your base survival rate was not 98% since that presumes you got infected — it was in fact 99.8% like you would survive the year without dying from Covid to start with!”

No Doctor, You’re Wrong (Denninger)

In addition people love to mix relative and absolute risk to deceive people on a regular basis and in every case doing so is a fraud. This was repeatedly done in “selling” the vaccines to the public. You must compare like with like or you’re lying. For example if the risk of death if you do not get the vaccine is 1/50 (2%) and the risk if you DO get the vaccine is 1/500 (0.2%) then while it is true that your risk of dying has been cut by 90% you only had a 2% risk of dying if infected in the first place. That is, you were going to survive 98% of the time; now you will survive 99.8%. That sounds like a fabulous improvement except if only 10% of the people got the infection in a year with no vaccine to start with then your base survival rate was not 98% since that presumes you got infected — it was in fact 99.8% like you would survive the year without dying from Covid to start with!

That is there’s only an 0.2% risk of death that can possibly be improved upon! Thus you must now rate the risk of the vaccine doing evil things to you against the 2/1,000 chance of death, not 2/100 since if you get stabbed that risk is certain where infection is not. But for those who are not morbid isn’t 2/100 — in fact the absolute risk if you are infected and not particularly morbid is, by the CDC, 1/50,000. This is confirmed by the NY Coroner data, which when back-computed winds up in approximately the same place; for statistical purposes they are the same, and that is good because independent confirmation from actual “boots on the ground” in confirmation of a theoretical framework provides assurance that the “best guess” is likely close to reality. Thus I am quite comfortable with that number.

The CDC also says that about 10% of the population (~33 million, approximately) people got Covid-19 in that they “tested positive” for it. I do not believe that number because it is based on PCR testing with extremely high Ct values and we know that results in lots of false positives. But assuming it is correct this means that the actual risk across one year is not 1/50,000 it is 1/500,000 since you’re only 10% likely to have gotten the infection. Again, this is by the CDC data, not my data. Note that if 2/3rds of those “positives” are false then the risk of death for a non-morbid person over a year would be approximately 1/1,250,000. These are vanishingly small odds. The CDC and so-called “experts” are all started out saying that the blood clot risk was 1-in-1,000,000.

Well, that appears to have been blatantly false too as the data on the mRNA shots says it’s far more-likely than that and that it is not confined to the J&J vaccine. As more data comes in it appears that risk is more like 1in 100,000-250,000. That’s a huge change and until it stabilizes, which will take several more months, I have no confidence in any of these figures whatsoever. I remind you that the difference between the jab and infection is that the risk from the jab is assured if you take it while the risk from infection it only occurs if you get the virus, which by the CDC again was 10% over the first year and will fall each year thereafter with successive reductions in those who are not immune either by vaccination or infection.

Read more …

“Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries..”

Big Pharma Employs Army Of Lobbyists To Block Generic Covid-19 Vaccines (IC)

The pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines.Newly filed disclosure forms from the first quarter of 2021 show that over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally. Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO.

Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative.The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration “oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights.” Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chair, has similarly criticized the proposal, echoing many of the arguments of the drug industry.

Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries, and projections show much of the world’s population may not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024. In response, a coalition of countries, led by India and South Africa, have petitioned the WTO to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights on coronavirus-related medical products so that generic vaccines can be rapidly manufactured. The waiver requests a suspension of IP enforcement under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS, treaty. If granted, local pharmaceutical plants could be granted compulsory licenses to produce coronavirus vaccines without the threat of being sued by the license holder.

Read more …

Just get rid of the man.

Cuomo Blocks Release Of Covid Nursing Home Data Sent To Feds (NYP)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office won’t reveal what it told the Justice Department about COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes, rejecting Freedom of Information requests from The Post and other media outlets — claiming in part that doing so would be an “invasion of personal privacy.” “Please be advised that portions of the records that respond to your request are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87(2)(b) because, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,’” Jaclyn Clemmer, the governor’s record access officer, wrote in a denial response to The Post. The Associated Press received a similar denial letter.

Clemmer didn’t explain whose privacy might be invaded, or how. The Post did not request any personal ID information of nursing home residents. She also said the records sought were exempt from public disclosure because the release would “interfere with law enforcement investigations.” The Justice Department last year requested that New York and other states turn over data regarding COVID-19 infections and deaths inside nursing homes. The US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn and the state Assembly Judiciary Committee are also investigating claims that the Cuomo administration intentionally undercounted or lied about the number of nursing home residents killed by COVID.

Federal prosecutors initiated a probe after The Post exclusively revealed in February that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, privately admitted to state Democratic lawmakers that his administration withheld the total nursing home death toll from COVID-19 from them due to a pending federal probe. Just weeks before, state Attorney General Letitia James issued a stinging report that found Cuomo officials undercounted the COVID-linked deaths of New York’s nursing home residents by 50 percent. Within hours, a defensive state Health Department Commissioner Howard Zucker added thousands to the death toll.

Read more …

Troops gone, Zelensky dismantled, Putin winning.

Putin Invites Zelensky To Moscow For Discussions On ‘Bilateral Relations’ (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that he is ready to welcome his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky “at any convenient time in Moscow.” The suggestion comes after Kiev offered to meet in war-torn Donbass. Speaking before talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday, Putin said Zelensky should first discuss the problems of Donbass with the heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics before speaking with representatives of third countries. He included Russia in this category. “And if we are talking about the development of bilateral relations, then, please, we will receive the president of Ukraine in Moscow at any time convenient for him,” Putin said. “If President Zelensky wants to start restoring relations, Russia will only welcome it.”

The Russian leader’s statement comes after Zelensky suggested a summit “anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbass where the war is going on,” earlier this week. “Ukraine and Russia, despite their shared past, look to the future in different ways. We are us. You are you,” Zelensky said. “But this is not necessarily a problem; it is an opportunity. At the very least, an opportunity, before it is too late, to stop the murderous mathematics of future war losses.” [..] the self-declared Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LNR) – are unrecognized by both Russia and Ukraine. However, according to Kiev, they are under the control of the Kremlin, a charge Moscow denies. Following Zelensky’s invite to Putin, the heads of both the DNR and LNR invited the Ukrainian leader to meet and hold talks in Donbass, suggesting he deals directly with them instead.

“I urge you, Mr. Zelensky, not to invite the leaders of third countries to the line of contact, but rather to go there yourself for an honest and open conversation with us,” said Denis Pushilin, the leader in Donetsk.

Read more …

They will never leave.

Pentagon Deploys More Forces to Afghanistan Over Fears of Taliban (Antiwar)

The US is deploying additional forces to Afghanistan and the surrounding regions to aid in President Biden’s plan to withdraw all combat troops by September 11th. Since Biden broke the US-Taliban peace deal by extending the withdrawal deadline, attacks against US forces in Afghanistan could start up again after May 1st, the original pull-out deadline. The Pentagon said that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the deployment of a number of B-52 bombers to Afghanistan, two of which already arrived. Austin also ordered the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to stay in the Gulf region. “It would be foolhardy and imprudent not to assume that there could be resistance and opposition from the Taliban,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday.


On Thursday, the Taliban said it’s “too early” to say if they will start attacking US and NATO forces after May 1st, although the group has warned of “consequences” for Biden’s failure to meet the withdrawal deadline. February 8th marked the first full year that no US troops died in combat in Afghanistan since the war started. President Biden’s decision to extend the withdrawal deadline does little but risk US casualties. President Biden said he wants all troops out of Afghanistan by September 11th, but questions remain over the presence of Pentagon contractors, and US military officials have made clear that they want to maintain the ability to bomb targets in the country.

Read more …

Cui bono?

Biden’s Plan To Create Over 10 Million Well-Paying Jobs With His Clean Energy Initiative

President Joe Biden’s proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan is working its way through Congress. Biden’s primary goals are to improve and rebuild the nation’s deteriorating highways, bridges, tunnels, hospitals, airports, water systems, electricity grids and other important structures, while also saving the environment and creating millions of new jobs in the green and clean energy space. Biden is calling for solar and wind industries to become the new leaders of the U.S. economy. A big part of his “Build Back Better” program entails developing a “modern, resilient climate infrastructure and clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying union jobs.”

According to Biden’s green energy jobs plan, there are already three million people in the United States presently employed in the clean energy economy. Wind turbine service technician is No. 1 on the list of the fastest-growing occupations, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Solar panel installers are in third place. “But, that is only the beginning of what is possible if we harness all of our talent and creativity,” Biden’s plan reads. “If executed strategically, our response to climate change can create more than 10 million well-paying jobs in the United States that will grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class enjoyed by communities across the country, not just in cities along the coasts.”

[..] Here are some of the examples how it will be accomplished. “This target prioritizes American workers. Meeting the 2030 emissions target will create millions of good-paying, middle class, union jobs—line workers who will lay thousands of miles of transmission lines for a clean, modern, resilient grid; workers capping abandoned wells and reclaiming mines and stopping methane leaks; autoworkers building modern, efficient, electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure to support them; engineers and construction workers expanding carbon capture and green hydrogen to forge cleaner steel and cement; and farmers using cutting-edge tools to make American soil the next frontier of carbon innovation.”

“The U.S. can create good-paying jobs and cut emissions and energy costs for families by supporting efficiency upgrades and electrification in buildings through support for job-creating retrofit programs and sustainable affordable housing, wider use of heat pumps and induction stoves, and adoption of modern energy codes for new buildings. The U.S. will also invest in new technologies to reduce emissions associated with construction, including for high-performance electrified buildings.” While new jobs may be added, there are concerns over workers who may lose their livelihoods. CBS News reported, “The oil sector is still the largest employer in the energy field.” Before the pandemic, there were more than 600,000 workers employed in the oil industry. Natural gas, fracking and coal-related positions account for hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be in jeopardy.

Read more …

Taxation fears?

Bitcoin Leads Massive Cryptocurrency Market Sell-off (RT)

The cryptocurrency market fell sharply on Friday amid concerns over new taxes that could be unveiled by US President Joe Biden, and after one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges went bust. The most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, fell below its key psychological threshold of $50,000 on Friday morning. As of 07:05 GMT bitcoin was down nearly 10% percent to trade at around $48,800, according to CoinDesk data. The drop has stalled bitcoin’s enormous rally, and it’s currently heading for the biggest weekly drop since February. The slide also sees bitcoin losing its market dominance. According to the data from price-tracking website CoinGecko, the ratio of bitcoin’s value to the overall crypto market cap has fallen below 50%. Other top crypto assets also took a dive on Friday. Second-largest cryptocurrency ethereum faced similar losses to bitcoin and was trading at $2,215.


The sharp drop came less than 24 hours after the currency hit a new all-time high. Ripple’s XRP saw the biggest drop among the top 10 cryptocurrencies. The third-largest digital currency plunged almost 20%. The drops came hours after reports emerged that President Biden was planning to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. According to the plan, capital gains taxes may be nearly doubled for people earning more than $1 million, triggering concerns that it will affect gains from digital assets. Other bad news weighing on the crypto market happened earlier this week, when Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex abruptly halted its trading operations, while its CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer left the country. The company said that it needed five working days to resume operations, but hundreds of thousands of investors fear that their assets may be lost.

Read more …

What kind of society allows this?

Big Banks Charged Billions in Overdraft Fees During Pandemic (Pros.)

Last week, the country’s largest banks announced their quarterly earnings, crushing estimates and expectations nearly across the board. It marked another surprisingly profitable quarter in what’s become quite a run since the coronavirus hit the U.S. over a year ago. Banks, to the surprise of nobody, have been among the first American institutions to recover, and have done so dramatically. Millions of working people lag behind. One of the more unheralded profit centers that has driven that money train is the return of overdraft fees. In the last three months of 2020, 12 of the 15 largest American banks, all of them with consumer-facing banking operations, reaped huge revenue just from slapping overdraft fees on needy and vulnerable Americans during the very worst days of the pandemic.

JPMorgan Chase, for example, made a stunning $1.5 billion in revenue on overdraft alone in 2020, according to recent FDIC filings. During that same period, Bank of America made $1.1 billion in profits, and Wells Fargo made $1.3 billion. The final three months of 2020, when the pandemic was at its most widespread and deadliest, were also the year’s most profitable, with all three of those banks pulling down over $300 million just in overdraft fees. So while Americans suffered through the worst wave of our worst public-health crisis in 100 years, with unemployment sky-high and intermittently lapsed federal benefits, the country’s biggest banks were gouging the poorest Americans for billions of dollars in punitive fees.

“Banks could’ve capped overdraft fees for a certain number of months, or had no fees during the pandemic, but they didn’t want to give up a dollar of overdraft revenue in any formal way,” said Rebecca Borné, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. “So what we see now is a return to business as usual, where our largest banks each took over a billion dollars out of the checking accounts of people during one of the worst years in our history. It’s a gobsmacking amount of money.” Overdraft is essentially a forced high-cost payday loan. When a bank customer overdraws their account, they can still pay for whatever put them over the limit, but they are assessed an overdraft fee, typically around $35, for the privilege. That is often imposed on an overdrafted amount of money even much smaller than that, and can be repeated every day that an account remains overdrawn. The other option would be to deny transactions based on nonsufficient funds, but that wouldn’t make the bank any money.

This uniquely profitable part of the banking sector almost exclusively targets the very poor. According to a 2017 study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 5 percent of all accounts have over 20 overdrafts a year, which produce 63.3 percent of all overdraft fees paid by consumers. Another 4.2 percent of bank accounts have over ten overdrafts a year and make up more than 15 percent of fees paid by consumers. Overdraft is a particularly pernicious form of predatory financial activity, functionally more exploitative and expensive than what we call the “alternative” financial sector of payday loans and check-cashing stores. As University of California, Irvine professor Mehrsa Baradaran writes in her book How the Other Half Banks, “If you consider the fee as a payment the customer makes for the extension of credit for the overdrawn amount, a 2008 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) study showed that these fees carry an effective APR in excess of 3,500 percent!”

Read more …

“He did it for all the wrong reasons,” says David Sirota of The Daily Poster, “but it was the one progressive thing he ever did.”

The Heroic Congressional Fight to Save the Rich (Taibbi)

Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey, made an inspired plea recently. The Harvard man and Alpha Epsilon Pi brother is a member of the so-called “SALT caucus,” a group of congressfolk threatening to hold up Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill if it doesn’t include a full repeal of a Donald Trump-imposed $10,000 cap on deductions of state and local taxes. “It is high time that Congress reinstates the state and local tax deduction, so we can get more dollars back into the pockets of so many struggling families,” intoned Gottheimer, one of 32 members of the SALT caucus, which includes 8 Republicans. Pressure on Biden to repeal the SALT cap has been amping up, mainly from tri-state Democrats like Gottheimer, fellow New Jerseyan Bill Pascrell, and Tom Suozzi of New York.

“No SALT, no deal!” the trio power-tweeted a few weeks back. Just a few days ago, Gottheimer even came up with a new way to argue the plan, offering to pay for the repeal of the SALT cap by increasing audits. “There is a way to do this by going after what people owe already,” he said. The effort by the “SALT caucus” to hold a $2 trillion relief bill hostage in order to help what they’re calling “struggling families” in the “middle class” is just the latest development in a years-long saga revealing Congress at its phoniest and most shameless. This issue that “means so much to the American people,” according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is really a niche matter concerning a sliver of the most well-off Americans in a handful of blue states, who were made the target of a political prank of sorts by the Trump administration in 2017.

There are a lot of people who own homes in blue states, could use the deduction, probably don’t think of themselves as rich, and would balk at the idea that repealing the cap would be a luxury giveaway. The story has been framed in the press as more of an everyman issue, and the fact that most of the money at stake involves people at the very top of the curve has been obscured. The start of this story was classic Trump. Looking for ways to help pay for his own monster tax break at the end of 2017, the Donald decided to poke Democrats with a long stick, via the cap on the unlimited state and local tax deduction. “He did it for all the wrong reasons,” says David Sirota of The Daily Poster, “but it was the one progressive thing he ever did.”

Economist Stephen Moore, who advised Trump, called the cap “Death to Democrats.” On October 11th, 2017, Trump explained to an approving Sean Hannity that he, Trump, was just trying to help states with fiscal problems help themselves. Note the loving repetition here of the word, “borrowing”: “You know, you have some really well-run states that have very little borrowing. Some have no borrowing, very little borrowing. And it’s unfair that a state that is well-run is really subsidizing states that have been horribly mismanaged. I won’t use names, but we understand the names. But there are some states that have hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in borrowing.”

Read more …

Very long, but hey, from Michael Hudson!

Plato, Aristophanes and Aristotle on Money-Lust (Michael Hudson)

Delphi’s warning that lust for monetary silver (philarguria) was the only thing that could destroy Sparta was echoed by Plato, Socrates and other philosophers accusing wealth addiction of leading to greedy and hubristic behavior that impoverished society at large. Creditors were singled out for reducing debtors to bondage and taking their land. Near the outset of Plato’s Republic (1 at 331c-d, written c. 380 BC), Socrates (who was put to death nearly twenty years earlier, in 399) discusses the morality of repaying debts in circumstances where this would lead to anti-social consequences. Cephalus, a businessman living in the commercial Piraeus district, states the typical ethic that it is fair to pay back what one has borrowed.

Socrates asks if it would be just to return weapons to a man who has become a lunatic. If a madman is intent on murder, Socrates asks, will not returning his weapon to him enable him to commit unjust acts? In view of the likely adverse social consequences, paying back such a creditor would be the wrong thing to do. It all depends on what creditors will do with their returns, and how their actions affect society. Book 8 of the Republicelaborates upon this discussion, describing how wealth leads its owners to act in ways detrimental to society.

In contrast to 20th-century price theory assuming diminishing enjoyment or “marginal utility” for each additional unit of a specific consumer good, Greek philosophy saw monetary wealth as being insatiable, becoming more addictive and compulsive. In Aristophanes’ last play, Ploutos(written in 388), the character Karion observes that one may become over-satiated with food – bread, sweets, cakes, figs and barley – but no one ever has enough wealth. His friend Chremelos (the root of whose name is chrema, exchange value and hence money-wealth) observes:

Give a man a sum of thirteen talents,

and all the more he hungers for sixteen.

Give him sixteen, and he must needs have forty,

or life’s not worth living, so he says. (lines 189- 93)

Read more …

“.. if you’re still wearing a mask at this point, let’s be honest: you probably have a very homely face,” said Dr. Vance Ryder, a very handsome doctor not wearing a mask. ”

Anyone Still Wearing A Mask At This Point Is Probably Just Super Ugly (BBee)

A new study found that anyone still wearing a mask at this point is probably just super ugly. The study looked at thousands of Americans still wearing masks and thousands who have long since thrown away all their masks. The findings were conclusive: the vast majority of people who still choose to wear a mask everywhere they go were much uglier than those who are currently blessing the world by letting everyone see their beautiful faces. “Look, the vaccine is out there, numbers are way down, your risk of dying is very, very low — if you’re still wearing a mask at this point, let’s be honest: you probably have a very homely face,” said Dr. Vance Ryder, a very handsome doctor not wearing a mask.


“You might have what we call a ‘face for radio’ in the business, if you know what I’m saying.” “Like, let’s just be honest here. We’re not gonna judge you. If you want to keep wearing the mask because you have a sad, no-good, loser face, fine. No one is going to stop you. Just don’t keep pushing for mask mandates for those who have incredibly good-looking faces.” The study also found that those who no longer wear a mask are tremendous, beautiful, “maybe the best-looking people of all time.”

Read more …

 

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Plagiarism

 


Leonardo 1489


Mars 2021

 

 

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Mar 292021
 


William Eggleston Coupe de Ville, Los Angeles 1964

 

Cargo Ship Blocking The Suez Is Partially Floated – Suez Canal Authority (CNBC)
The Great Unvaxxed (TE Creus)
Pandemic Upsurge Hits Europe Recovery Hopes (Y!)
First Covid Jab Cuts Infection Risk By 62% In England Care Home Residents (G.)
Fauci and Chinese Counterpart Envision Lengthy Covid Restrictions (JTN)
Self-Isolation After Covid Contact Will Be Necessary For ‘Years’ (Ind.)
Madeira Lets In Tourists Who Can Show Covid ‘Vaccine Passport’ (G.)
Congress Demands Tech CEOs Censor Internet Even More Aggressively (Greenwald)
Ray Dalio Warns Bitcoin Ban ‘Likely’ (F.)
One Man Stands In The Way Of Cuomo Nursing Home Scandal Investigation (IC)
In Quest Of A Multipolar Economic World Order (Saker)
Stoltenberg Comes Clean On China “Opportunity” For NATO (SCF)
The Lawyer Who Took On Chevron Marks His 600th Day Under House Arrest (G.)

 

 

Vaccine job interview

 

 

 

 

Full Moon.

Cargo Ship Blocking The Suez Is Partially Floated – Suez Canal Authority (CNBC)

The giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal was partially refloated early Monday, days after the vessel got stuck and brought a vital global trade route to a standstill. A statement by the Suez Canal Authority said the ship, known as the Ever Given, “responded to the pulling and towing maneuvers.” It added that the ship’s course has been corrected by 80% and further maneuvers will resume when the water level rises later in the day. The statement followed an earlier tweet by maritime services company Inchcape, which said the Ever Given was refloated and being secured.

It remains unclear what the condition of the stranded ship is and when the canal would be open to traffic, with Inchcape saying that “more information will follow once they are known.” Efforts to free the mega vessel have lasted for nearly a week. The ship became stuck last Tuesday after running aground while entering the Suez Canal from the Red Sea. Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. It is a 220,000-ton mega ship nearly a quarter-mile long with a 20,000 container capacity. The ship completely blocked the canal that’s home to as much as 12% of the world’s seaborne trade, and caused a traffic jam with hundreds of ships waiting to enter the Suez.

[..] Experts told CNBC that problems caused by the Suez blockage will not immediately ease when the Ever Given is freed. Tim Huxley, director of Mandarin Shipping, said it will take “some time” for traffic that has built up to cross the narrow canal. And when those ships and tankers arrive at their destinations, ports will likely face congestion that will also take time to clear, he added. “You normally have about 50 or so ships a day going through the canal, obviously at the moment it’s about 300 ships backed up … this is an enormous traffic jam, which is at both ends of the canal,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday. “This will take quite awhile for the whole supply chain to get back to normal and that’s gonna have an impact on manufacturers, retailers right across the board,” said Huxley.

Ever Given

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A fantasy.

The Great Unvaxxed (TE Creus)

The vaccine was a resounding success. Yes, there had been a final death rate of 10% among the vaccinated, but this was mostly among the elderly or the already ill, so it was probably not the vaccine’s fault, and if it was, no one could prove it one way or another, and even if they could, well, the vaccine manufacturers were not liable to lawsuits due to the agreements they had made with the various governments. In any case, the pandemic had ended, that was for sure. Of course the masks and the lockdown mandates continued to be enforced; the reason was that while the pandemic had most certainly been defeated, the virus still existed in its natural form somewhere out there, and so it was vital to continue with the safety procedures to avoid any possible resurgence of the disease. So what? People got used to it, as they had gotten used to so many other things before that.

And was wearing a mask in the end much worse than wearing a helmet or a safety belt? Was being forced to stay at home for a few months every year much different than being forced to be at the office working for five days out of the seven in the week? Rules are rules, and those were not as bad as others that had been instituted in the past. But there was something that worried the authorities. While most people had predictably complied with the mandatory vaccination campaign, there were a few groups that had refused them, alleging religious or health reasons, and found refuge in rural communities living off the grid. They had abandoned the use of mobile and network technology and so could not be traced so easily, and, since non-digital cash had been abolished, they appeared to have returned to a form of commerce based in the exchange of physical goods.

At first, the authorities ignored them; most people saw them as a minority of loser hicks, “anti-vaxxers” as they had been called in earlier pre-scientific times, and since it was unlikely that too many among the masses would opt for such a harsh lifestyle away from the comforts of modern urban life, they were not seen as a menace. But what happened, in the end, was that rumours started to appear, even in the cities, about small communities where no one needed to wear masks, and people were dancing and smiling, and food was delicious and natural and people were even – gasp! – falling in love and procreating in natural ways.

Of course this was an obvious and mendacious falsity, but the authorities could not permit such fairy tales to gain acceptance among the people at large. So they started to persecute “the great unvaxxed”, as they called them, or the “free renegades” as they preferred to call themselves. Their communities were dispersed. Their leaders were arrested. Planting organic, unmodified seeds became illegal.

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After a 6-month lockdown, Greece now has higher case numbers than ever.

Pandemic Upsurge Hits Europe Recovery Hopes (Y!)

An upsurge in new coronavirus cases is forcing governments across Europe into new, damaging lockdowns that threaten to delay a much hoped-for return to growth, economists say. The plan was that mass vaccination programmes would turn the tide on the pandemic, allowing locked-down consumers free rein after months penned up at home. Instead the virus has embarked on a third wave which is proving more difficult to bring under control. French President Emmanuel Macron warned Thursday that the European Union would have to do more and beef up its already massive 750 billion euro ($885 billion) virus recovery fund as a result. The EU had made a major effort after the first wave last year, Macron said, but “following the second and third waves… we will no doubt have to add to our response”.

In September, as the economy picked up sharply after a rapid reverse in the first wave, expectations were high that by the middle of this year it would be solidly back on track, thanks especially to the vaccine rollout. Just a couple of weeks ago, European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde was even talking about a “firm rebound in activity in the second half of the year”. Now the EU’s strongest economies — Germany, France and Italy — have reimposed restrictions and the vaccine programme in Europe is mired in a blame game over supplies. Credit insurer Euler Hermes estimates that the EU is now seven weeks adrift of its target to have 70 percent of the population vaccinated by the end of the summer, compared with five weeks in February.

It estimates the delay will cost the bloc’s 27 member states some 123 billion euros this year. “If you compare us with the US, where the outlook is so much more positive, we are falling further behind on the recovery because of this third wave,” said Charlotte de Montpellier, economist with Dutch bank ING. ING now expects eurozone growth of 3.0 percent this year, down more than half a percentage point from its previous estimate. Most of the growth will also come from the third quarter, slightly later too, ING added. Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, said he does not expect the bloc to return to pre-pandemic activity levels before the second half of 2022, a year behind the US.


As of March 28, covid19 cases in Greece per million people are higher than Germany, the UK and US. Chart shows 7 day rolling average

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“..what you want to do is reduce the total number of people who’ve been infected..”

Is that so? Isn’t it about the number of vulnerable people?

First Covid Jab Cuts Infection Risk By 62% In England Care Home Residents (G.)

A government-funded study of care home residents in England has found that their risk of infection with Covid-19 – either symptomatic or asymptomatic – fell by 62% five weeks after they received their first Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine dose. Those who were infected after having the vaccine may also be less likely to transmit Covid-19, initial findings showed. The study, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, is key, given that most clinical trials and observational studies evaluated the impact of the vaccines on symptomatic infections, but whether the vaccines can reduce asymptomatic infections – which play a crucial role in the spread of the virus – is still unclear. “It’s helpful to look at people who don’t have symptoms because what you want to do is reduce the total number of people who’ve been infected,” noted UCL’s Dr Laura Shallcross, an author of the analysis.

Researchers tracked more than 10,400 care home residents in England (with an average age of 86) between December and March, comparing the number of infections occurring in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups – using data retrieved from routine monthly PCR testing. Both vaccines reduced the risk of infection by about 56% at 28-34 days after the first dose, and 62% at 35-48 days. The effect is maintained for at least seven weeks, the authors concluded in their analysis, which has not yet been peer-reviewed. This data is notable, given older adults with underlying illnesses have largely been excluded from vaccine trials. It also supports the UK’s decision to extend dose intervals beyond what was studied in clinical trials.

[..] In clinical trials, both vaccines were found to be very effective in reducing the risk of severe illness and death. But understanding whether these interventions can thwart the spread of the disease is imperative to public health policy, given vaccinating the world will take a long time, the risk of vaccine-resistant virus variants emerging and percolating, and that vaccines have not yet been proved safe and effective in children.

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“to do that … will take about two or three years time with global collaboration.”

Fauci and Chinese Counterpart Envision Lengthy Covid Restrictions (JTN)

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci on a recent public health panel signaled common ground with a renowned Chinese doctor and public health administrator on the matter of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, with both Fauci and his Chinese counterpart suggesting that those restrictions could continue for many months or even years. Fauci in early March appeared on the virtual panel, titled “The Future of Health,” hosted by the University of Edinburgh. Also present in the meeting was Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, who has been at the forefront of China’s response to the pandemic and who has been referred to by national spokeswoman Hua Chunying as “China’s Fauci.”

Zhong has a long career in the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy, having served for years in delegatory positions in both the CCP’s National Congress and its National People’s Congress. He has also served on numerous state research initiatives and is the founder of the state-funded Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases. On the panel, Fauci and Zhong both expressed hopes that COVID-19 restrictions worldwide would continue well into the future. Zhong himself claimed that efforts to develop natural immunity to COVID-19 are inadvisable from a national policy standpoint. “It doesn’t work this way,” he said. “And it’s not realistic, and less scientific, and … inhumane.” Zhong argued that “mass vaccinations” are the “commonsense” approach to engendering herd immunity in the population, but “to do that … will take about two or three years time with global collaboration.”

“I have noticed in other countries,” the doctor said elsewhere, “that actions [are] not so strict enough. So that will be not enough to stop the spreading of [the virus].” Fauci himself echoed those concerns, warning against the danger of what he said was “jump[ing] the gun or do[ing] it too quickly” and seeming to imply that countries should keep COVID-19 measures in place even if they appear to have suppressed the virus within their borders. “It is important to realize,” Fauci claimed, “that variants arise, and if you suppress the virus in one country, but it is allowed to spread uninhibited in other areas of the world, sooner or later, the variants, the new lineages, the mutants, will come back and rekindle the outbreak, even in countries that seem to have it under control. So we still have a considerable amount of task in front of us.”

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Still no mention whatsoever of prophylactics.

Self-Isolation After Covid Contact Will Be Necessary For ‘Years’ (Ind.)

People will have to self-isolate after coming into contact with Covid-19 for many years as the UK learns how to “live with this virus”, a government adviser has warned. Mark Woolhouse, a professor of epidemiology, said the test-and-trace system is here to stay – as are some social distancing measures. He also admitted to being “nervous about a full relaxation in June”, calling the idea of emerging from the lockdown “in one great bound” wide of the mark. “I still suspect that looking forward – and I am talking now right through 2021 and into the years ahead – that we are still going to have to be alert to coronavirus,” Prof Woolhouse said. “There are still going to be situations where we might need to use personal protective equipment, we might well need to do some kind of social distancing, put some kind of biosecurity measures in place.”


It would also be necessary to “maintain our capacity to test and trace, and particularly to isolate people who are infected,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “That final thing is going to remain important for the entire future – that, when we get cases of novel coronavirus, that those people are then going to have to be asked to self-isolate and their contacts.” Prof Woolhouse, who sits on the SPI-M modelling group, which feeds advice into the main Sage body, also said vaccine certificates to enter nightclubs and other venues might be necessary. It’s certainly something we have to consider seriously as part of a wider package of measures that are designed to make our activities safe, he warned. And, on another lockdown, he said: We should regard that as a failure of public health policy if we have to go that route again.

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“..visitors who can show either a vaccination certificate or proof they have recently recovered from the virus…”

Being healthy and strong and having natural immunity has been rendered fully meaningless.

Madeira Lets In Tourists Who Can Show Covid ‘Vaccine Passport’ (G.)

Sara Pedro is sat at a beach-side restaurant with friends. It is her first time dining out in three months. She is in Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, having left her home city of Lisbon’s strict coronavirus restrictions to take advantage of the more relaxed atmosphere on the Atlantic island and its “green corridor” for visitors who can show either a vaccination certificate or proof they have recently recovered from the virus. “I came to Madeira because in continental Portugal we are under absolute lockdown, so there was a certain fatigue about it,” she says. Sara, who has recovered from Covid-19, entered Madeira without having to take a PCR test, as would typically be required. Instead, she presented a medical certificate proving she has been in contact with the virus.

The island has a 7pm curfew, but in its capital of Funchal the esplanades are full of people having coffee in the sun as customers go in and out of the shops. It’s in stark contrast with the empty streets and closed shopfronts across mainland Portugal, which is still under tough restrictions imposed on 15 January to tackle what was then the world’s worst coronavirus surge. “Obviously, border closures are necessary for extreme situations, but I think it’s time to bet on safe tourism. Why can’t this be done in other European countries?” Sara asks, as a waiter arrives with drinks.

Located off the coast of Morocco and more than 800km from mainland Portugal, Madeira is one of the few places in Europe accepting tourists – and since 18 February it has been operating a green corridor for tourists who have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous 90 days or who have been fully vaccinated against it, in a foretaste of what may be a future of vaccine passports for EU travel. Vaccinated travellers must present an immunisation certificate in English, validated in their home country, that includes their name, date of birth, type of vaccine, and the date (or dates) it was administered. Tourists must also respect the activation period set out in the vaccine’s summary of product characteristics.

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Orwell.

Congress Demands Tech CEOs Censor Internet Even More Aggressively (Greenwald)

Over the course of five-plus hours on Thursday, a House Committee along with two subcommittees badgered three tech CEOs, repeatedly demanding that they censor more political content from their platforms and vowing legislative retaliation if they fail to comply. The hearing — convened by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of its Subcommittees, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) — was one of the most stunning displays of the growing authoritarian effort in Congress to commandeer the control which these companies wield over political discourse for their own political interests and purposes.

As I noted when I reported last month on the scheduling of this hearing, this was “the third time in less than five months that 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.” The bulk of Thursday’s lengthy hearing consisted of one Democratic member after the next complaining that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have failed in their duties to censor political voices and ideological content that these elected officials regard as adversarial or harmful, accompanied by threats that legislative punishment (including possible revocation of Section 230 immunity) is imminent in order to force compliance (Section 230 is the provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields internet companies from liability for content posted by their users).

Republican members largely confined their grievances to the opposite concern: that these social media giants were excessively silencing conservative voices in order to promote a liberal political agenda (that complaint is only partially true: a good amount of online censorship, like growing law enforcement domestic monitoring generally, focuses on all anti-establishment ideologies, not just the right-wing variant). This editorial censoring, many Republicans insisted, rendered the tech companies’ Section 230 immunity obsolete, since they are now acting as publishers rather than mere neutral transmitters of information. Some Republicans did join with Democrats in demanding greater censorship, though typically in the name of protecting children from mental health disorders and predators rather than ideological conformity.

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“My understanding from people who are sort of in government surveillance is yes, they can understand, they can track it.”

Ray Dalio Warns Bitcoin Ban ‘Likely’ (F.)

Bitcoin has soared back after losing ground earlier this week, climbing toward its all-time high price of over $60,000. The bitcoin price hit an all-time high of around $62,000 per bitcoin earlier this month—more than double where it began the year—but has since fallen back, despite Elon Musk’s Tesla bombshell this week. Now, the billionaire founder of the world’s largest hedge fund and legendary investor Ray Dalio has warned he thinks there’s a “good probability” bitcoin will be banned by the U.S. government—comparing it to the 1930’s U.S. gold ban. “Every country treasures its monopoly on controlling the supply and demand,” Bridgewater Associates’s Dalio told Yahoo Finance this week.


“They don’t want other monies to be operating or competing, because things can get out of control. So I think that it would be very likely that you will have it under a certain set of circumstances outlawed the way gold was outlawed.” In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made gold ownership illegal in the U.S. in an attempt to shore up the Federal Reserve’s gold supplies so the Fed could justify printing more dollars. Dalio pointed to reports of a proposed bitcoin ban in India as potentially laying the groundwork for a more widespread crackdown on bitcoin. “[We] have to see what [reports of a proposed bitcoin ban in India] means,” Dalio said. “Now, can they do it? Yeah. Now we get into the particulars. My understanding from people who are sort of in government surveillance is yes, they can understand, they can track it. They can know who’s dealing with it … I would suspect it would be very hard to hold up against that kind of action.”

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Clique.

One Man Stands In The Way Of Cuomo Nursing Home Scandal Investigation (IC)

Over the past two months, two scandals have subsumed the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: the state’s gross mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the state’s nursing homes, and the governor’s reported harassment of several women around him. But the state attorney general has launched a formal investigation into only one of those scandals. In January, New Yorkers were shocked to learn that the actual Covid-19 death tolls in the state’s nursing homes were as much as 50 percent higher than what had previously been disclosed. The misreporting, which was revealed in a report released by New York Attorney General Tish James on January 28, meant that thousands of deaths may have gone uncounted. And many of these deaths occurred in the early days of the pandemic, as Cuomo told hospitals to send coronavirus-positive patients back to the facilities, leading to rapid spread of the virus.

That scandal gained legs in February when the top aide to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, said that the misreporting was deliberate; Cuomo’s office wanted to throw off an investigation into the state’s handling of nursing homes. “We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she said on a conference call with Democratic legislators. But the spotlight quickly turned to a second scandal, as eight women reported inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment by the governor. The sexual harassment allegations, which have attracted the bulk of media coverage, prompted an investigation into Cuomo by James, by referral from Cuomo himself.

And many of the top Democrats in the state have called for Cuomo’s resignation. James has not, however, begun an investigation into the Cuomo administration on its actions last spring, for a bureaucratic reason: She needs a referral from either Cuomo himself or Tom DiNapoli, the state’s low-profile comptroller, who has served since 2007. James has the statutory authority to investigate nursing homes, hence the January 28 report. She does not have the statutory authority to launch an investigation with subpoena power into the Cuomo administration without DiNapoli’s referral. (Theoretically, James could decline to investigate Cuomo’s handling of the nursing home crisis even if she received the referral from DiNapoli, though that seems very unlikely given her willingness to investigate the issue so far.)

A nursing home investigation has the potential to be explosive for a much broader range of actors than just Cuomo, and DiNapoli is himself considering a run for governor. While DiNapoli, a mainstream Democrat who nonetheless has occasionally clashed with Cuomo, is among the Democratic politicians calling for Cuomo’s resignation over sexual harassment claims, so far his office has declined to make a referral.

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Professor Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar discuss the emerging economic world order..

In Quest Of A Multipolar Economic World Order (Saker)

Hudson: 50 years ago, I wrote Super Imperialism about how America dominates the world financially, and gets a free ride. I wrote it, right after America went off gold in 1971, when the Vietnam war – which was responsible for the entire balance-of-payments deficit – forced the country to go off gold. And everybody at that time worried the dollar was going to go down. There’d be hyperinflation. But what happened was something entirely different. Once there was no gold to settle U.S. balance-of-payments deficits, America strong armed its allies to invest in US Treasury bonds, because central banks don’t buy companies. They don’t buy raw materials. All they could buy is other government bonds. So, all of a sudden, the only thing that other people could buy with all the dollars coming in were US Treasury securities.

The securities they bought essentially were to finance yet more war making and the balance-of-payments deficit from war and the 800 military bases America has around the world. The largest customer – I think we discussed this before – was the Defense Department and the CIA. They looked at it as a how-to-do-it book. That was 50 years ago. What I’ve done is not only re-edit the book and add more information that’s come out, but I’ve summarized how the last 50 years has transformed the world. It’s a new kind of imperialism. There was still a view, 50 years ago, that imperialism was purely economic, in the sense that there’s still a rivalry, for instance, between America and China, or America and Europe and other countries.

But I think the world has changed so much in the last 50 years that what we have now is not really so much a conflict between America and China, or America and Russia, but between a financialized economy, run by financial planners allocating resources and government spending and money creation, and an economy run by governments democratic or less democratic, but certainly a mixed economy. Everything that made industrial capitalism rich, everything that made America so strong on the 19th century, through its protective tariffs, through its public infrastructure investment all the way down through world war two and the aftermath, was that we had a mixed economy in America. Europe also had a mixed economy, and in fact, every economy since Babylon has had a mixed economy.

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One small step from “Multipolar Economic World Order” to “Multipolar Global Political Economy”.

Stoltenberg Comes Clean On China “Opportunity” For NATO (SCF)

Jens Stoltenberg and other European leaders have been swooning over the “new chapter” in transatlantic relations under the Biden administration. After four years of dealing with vulgar-mouth Donald Trump and his relentless hectoring over military budgets, some European leaders are sighing with relief at Biden’s seemingly dulcet assurances that “America is back”. Of course people like Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister who has been the civilian head of NATO since 2014, are reliant on pushing a stronger alliance for their comfy livelihoods and no doubt for future sinecures at corporate-funded think-tanks. Stoltenberg is constantly striving to find a new vision and mission for NATO, an organization founded over 70 years ago at the start of the Cold War, and which has been expanding ever since despite the official end of the Cold War three decades ago.

The buzz phrase he uses is to make the alliance “future-proof” – that is to find a permanent pretext for the U.S.-led military organization to continue its existence regardless of real-world security needs. In his interview with Deutsche Welle this week, Stoltenberg commented on the rise of China. He said, inferring something menacing: “China is coming closer to us, investing in our critical infrastructure.” Well maybe that’s because China is the world’s biggest trading partner with the European Union and a major foreign direct investor in European nations which have become bankrupt from decades of neoliberal capitalism and austerity. Stoltenberg went on: “There’s no way we can avoid addressing the security consequences for our regional alliance of the rise of China and the shift in the global balance of power.”

And then the usually cautious, wooden Stoltenberg let it slip: China, he said, provided “a unique opportunity to open a new chapter in the relationship between North America — the United States — and Europe.” Voila! So the real strategic value of China being presented as a “threat” or an “adversary” is to give a new purpose to the U.S.-led NATO bloc which subordinates Europe to Washington’s geopolitical objective of hegemony. The emphasis here is on China “being presented as a threat” and not what the real relationship actually is, that is, one of a vital economic partner. (Same for Russia and its vast energy partnership with Europe.)

The United States in pursuit of global dominance by its corporations and its capitalist order must, by definition, thwart a multipolar global political economy which the rise of China and Russia embody. The fiendish political problem, however, is that Washington and its European surrogates cannot justify such a stance based on the normal and natural relations that exist. For in doing that, they would be seen as obnoxious, unwarranted aggressors. It is imperative therefore to conflate China and Russia as “security threats” to the presumed Western “rules-based order”.

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The Donziger story is almost as crazy as Julian Assange’s.

The Lawyer Who Took On Chevron Marks His 600th Day Under House Arrest (G.)

Many of us will have felt the grip of claustrophobic isolation over the past year, but the lawyer Steven Donziger has experienced an extreme, very personal confinement as a pandemic arrived and then raged around him in New York City. On Sunday, Donziger reached his 600th day of an unprecedented house arrest that has resulted from a sprawling, Kafkaesque legal battle with the oil giant Chevron. Donziger spearheaded a lengthy crusade against the company on behalf of tens of thousands of Indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest whose homes and health were devastated by oil pollution, only to himself become, as he describes it, the victim of a “planned targeting by a corporation to destroy my life”.

Since August 2019, Donziger has been restricted to his elegant Manhattan apartment, a clunky court-mandated monitoring bracelet he calls “the black claw” continuously strapped to his left ankle. He cannot even venture into the hallway, or to pick up his mail. Exempted excursions for medical appointments or major school events for his 14-year-old son require permission days in advance. An indoor bike sits by the front door in lieu of alternative exercise options. “There’s no comparison to quarantine because I can’t even go outside for a walk. If my kid is sick I can’t go to the drug store to get a prescription,” Donziger said. “I never truly understood freedom until I was put in this situation.”

The nights are hardest for Donziger, when he has to struggle to get his jeans off over the boxy tag and lie in bed next to his wife “with the government still there on my ankle”. Each morning he wakes up in angst. A flag reading “SOS Free Steven” sometimes flutters defiantly from the window, but efforts to end the unusually long detention have yet to be granted. “It’s been brutally difficult for him,” said Paul Paz y Miño, associate director of Amazon Watch, a conservation group allied to Donziger. “It’s taken a huge toll on him and his family. Chevron wants the narrative to be that he’s a criminal. The implications of that for the entire environmental movement against oil companies is terrifying.”

[..] The dispute with Chevron centres upon a landmark 2011 decision by the Ecuador courts to order the company pay $9.5bn in damages to people blighted by decades of polluted air and water. Chevron has never paid up, claiming “shocking levels of misconduct” and fraud by Donziger and the Ecuadorian judiciary. But the subsequent web of events that has led to Donziger being detained and stripped of his law license is befuddling even to legal scholars. “Frankly, I scratch my head when I look at this case,” said Larry Catá Backer, a professor of international law at Penn State University. “It is this strange multi-front battle with one extraordinary explosive development after another. It has had this magical quality to enrage everyone involved in it.”

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Mar 212021
 


Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) German artist, philosopher, composer, mystic Cosmic Tree

 

Europe’s Covid-19 Setbacks Risk Another Summer Travel Washout (R.)
Massive Anti-Lockdown Protests Rage Worldwide (ZH)
How Chicago Avoided A Second Wave Of Spanish Flu (Orla Hegarty)
Printing Money in Times of Corona (AC)
FBI Investigating If Cuomo, Aides Lied To DOJ About Nursing Deaths (SAC)
UK Prepares Antitrust Probe Into Facebook (ZH)
Liberals Blame Rightwing ‘Misinformation’ For Our Problems. Get Real (Frank)
How The Censors Won (Michael Tracey)
Federal Judge Alleges Democrats Control Almost All Major News Outlets (ZH)
NYT Used ‘Deceptive Disinformation’ To Smear Project Veritas – Judge (RT)
The IRS Is Letting Rich People Fleece Everyone Else (DP)
Russia Set For Showdown With International Law Over Yukos & Navalny (RT)

 

 

 

 

Germany Deaths
https://twitter.com/i/status/1373207960420253697

 

 

UK has already said: forget about summer travel abroad.

Europe’s Covid-19 Setbacks Risk Another Summer Travel Washout (R.)

Europe’s airlines and travel sector are bracing for a second lost summer, with rebound hopes increasingly challenged by a hobbled Covid-19 vaccine rollout, resurgent infections and new lockdowns. Airline and travel stocks fell on Friday after Paris and much of northern France shut down for a month, days after Italy introduced stiff business and movement curbs for most of the country including Rome and Milan. The setbacks hit recovery prospects for the crucial peak season, whose profits typically tide airlines through winter, when most carriers lose money even in good times. “If there’s no confidence there, demand just doesn’t come back,” said Dublin-based Alton Aviation consultant Leah Ryan, who expects the bad news on vaccines and lockdowns to hurt already weak bookings.

The summer outlook also has been dented by rising infections in Greece and elsewhere, and a suspension of AstraZeneca’s vaccine by a number of European countries over health fears. Several countries announced resumption of use of the AstraZeneca shot this week after the European Medicines Agency said the benefits clearly outweigh its risks. Airlines that have already racked up billions in debt face further strain that some may not survive without fresh funds. British Airways owner IAG raised 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion) in a bond issue on Thursday, saying the cushion would protect it from a drawn-out slump. A patchy stop-start summer may pose fewer difficulties for low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air, which can redeploy planes quickly between routes.

But Ryanair’s home market expects to keep strict travel curbs in place at least throughout June, Irish health official Ronan Glynn said on Thursday, citing the “deteriorating situation internationally” and emerging more contagious virus variants. Ryanair shares traded 4.2% lower on Friday, with IAG down 4% and easyJet and Wizz both down 3.5%. Rebound hopes had driven travel stocks higher over the past month, led by IAG’s 25% gain. While ultra-low cost carriers can take the pain of another summer washout, analysts say, rivals such as easyJet and Virgin Atlantic could face renewed balance-sheet pressures. Air France-KLM is also seeking to raise capital and reduce debt from last year’s 10.4 billion-euro bailout. The Franco-Dutch airline group aims to fly more than 50% of pre-crisis capacity this year, compared with 40%-50% for Lufthansa – targets that could still prove ambitious.

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Much of this stuff is brutal. Police state material.

Massive Anti-Lockdown Protests Rage Worldwide (ZH)

Thousands, and possibly tens-of-thousands of protesters across Europe marched on Saturday against continued government lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions based on questionable science – which have resulted in mass unemployment, destroyed small businesses, stoked widespread depression and mental illness, and cost taxpayers trillions to keep the whole ship from sinking. Protesters in London, Germany, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Japan, Vienna and elsewhere came out for the Worldwide Rally for Freedom. In central London, thousands of anti-lockdown activists were seen walking through Hyde Park, chanting “stand up, take our freedom back!”


In Germany, police used pepper spray on protesters in the city of Kassel, where 15,000 – 20,000 demonstrators showed up, according to the Daily Mail. Some 1,800 officers were placed on standby in Berlin. “Several thousand people gathered at the main protest site on a square in Kessel’s city centre, packed closely together without wearing face masks, an AFP reporter saw. Scuffles erupted when a group of demonstrators tried to break through a police cordon to join up with other protesters, resulting in shoving and prompting officers to use pepper spray.” -Daily Mail.

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Fascinating. Orla Hegarty in Ireland focuses on cleaning the air inside buildings to prevent transmission. Chicago, after a massive campaign, in 1918 re-opened in 6 weeks, no vaccine. Lots of pics from that time here.

Where is the focus on clean air these days?

How Chicago Avoided A Second Wave Of Spanish Flu (Orla Hegarty)

[Thread] Chicago didn’t have a second wave of Spanish Flu.. so what did they do, & how did the city re-open when there was no vaccine? #Ventilation #COVID19 1/ ..here are the public health measures that Chicago took on the autumn of 1918 ‘open window ventilation in all school rooms.. pupils warmly dressed.. daily check on pupils & absentees in schools.. use of masks.. landlords required to heat homes.. ’ 2/ documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri… ..’isolation & quarantine.. home nursing provided (see my thread on home nursing).. churches required to improve ventilation.. 150 city health officers on full time service’ 3/ ..’closure of dance halls, theatres, restaurants in order to keep schools open .. ventilation of public transport.. public health doctors & nurses’ 4/

& then by late October/early November (just 6 weeks into the outbreak) theatres were allowed to reopen, social functions & public meetings resumed 5/ So what was happening to make this re-opening possible? The Chicago Bureau of Sanitation (1911-18 report) 6/ ..who understood airborne disease & spread in buildings ‘the most important factor in prevention is the air that we breath’ ‘buildings merit earnest study & attention in a program of real & effective work in preventing the spread of disease’ 7/ they had boots on the ground, ‘one man for every 100,000 of population’ & a regime of regulating, inspecting, investigating & enforcing ventilation standards in buildings for public health 8/ ..they had very detailed ventilation standards & buildings were inspected.. including measuring air temperature, humidity, velocity, dust particles &.. CO2 (carbon dioxide) monitoring was used to catch inadequate ventilation 9/

& Chicago had a head start on other cities, having been the first to regulate in 1911, & then having targeted improvements every year in picture-houses, street-cars, restaurants, garages etc .. then in September 1918 the Spanish Flu epidemic arrived /10 Chicago had 1,700 street-cars, so ventilation on public transport received a lot of attention.. there were concerns about the cost of improving poor ventilation /11 but The Chicago Bureau of Sanitation prevailed.. 12/ so the Spanish Flu epidemic in Chicago pandemic was fought on the ground with building inspectors.. who measured, targeted & eliminated actual public health risks in actual buildings ‘while the work involved was enormous, the results obtained outweighed the difficulties’ /13

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“Just as there are epidemiological factors to consider in this crisis, there are also economic, social, cultural, political and other health factors at play.”

Printing Money in Times of Corona (AC)

The coronavirus has dominated all of our lives in recent months. Radical paths were taken by politicians in the form of lockdowns to contain the pandemic. But we should recognize that even if the coronavirus is a (major) challenge for us, we always have to keep a holistic view of world events. Just as there are epidemiological factors to consider in this crisis, there are also economic, social, cultural, political and other health factors at play. It is precisely these other factors that are so often forgotten in the panicky reporting, in the constant, manic tracking of the current infection numbers, that we want to take a look at in our series “The Costs of Coronavirus Lockdowns” in the coming weeks.

Monetary policy is the second primary tool, alongside fiscal policy, used by governments to influence economic activity. When a crisis hits, an economy is stimulated either by the state budget – which arises from the taxpayers – or silently through monetary expansion. By either lowering interest rates, issuing government-backed securities, or even purchasing corporate bonds the central banks increase the money supply in the economy. Ever since the beginning of the crisis, the U.S. Federal Reserve has done all of the above. One of the most popular measures of the money supply used by economists is M1. It consists of the most highly liquid assets. In other words, the most easily exchangeable assets are used as payment for goods and services.

As Trading Economics data shows, the Fed has created 39% of all the “dollars” in the economy in 2020. To put it on its head, in 2020 the Fed has created more money than in almost a hundred years of its existence. Monetary policy effectiveness has its boundaries. As good as it might seem at first glance, creating money “out of thin air” doesn’t bring prosperity. It is true, inflation still hasn’t start banging on our doors. But looking no further than the asset prices, we can see that the low inflation rate is masked by the asset price inflation. Even with the sharp drop of the GDP and an unemployment rate that stands more than double the rate before the crisis started, the S&P 500 is more than 10% higher than on the day the pandemic rolled around. This also shows who profits from the economic response to the COVID-19 crisis: those with assets, i.e. those already wealthy anyway.

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We know they did. His aid literally said so.

FBI Investigating If Cuomo, Aides Lied To DOJ About Nursing Deaths (SAC)

The FBI is investigating whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his aides gave false numbers to the DOJ on nursing home deaths in New York state. Lawyers for the aides have been contacted by the FBI and his office has been subpoenaed, as first reported in the New York Times. According to the Times, interviews with aides have included questions on the reporting of COVID deaths in the state. The FBI traveled to some aides’ homes and interviewed others over the phone. A lawyer for Cuomo’s office said the original numbers submitted to the FBI months ago are factual.


“The submission in response to D.O.J.’s August request was truthful and accurate and any suggestion otherwise is demonstrably false,” lawyer Elkan Abramowitz said. The news comes as Cuomo’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, told the New Yorker former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is no longer her “hero” because of her reaction to the Cuomo accusations. “These stories are difficult to read,” the former secretary of state said in a March 1 statement, “and the allegations brought forth raise serious questions that the women who have come forward and all New Yorkers deserve answers to.”

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Lots of lawsuits, but…

UK Prepares Antitrust Probe Into Facebook (ZH)

Earlier this week, Rep. Ken Buck, the top Republican on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, said during an antitrust hearing that “Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have reached monopoly status, and their behavior won’t change until Congress acts, the enforcement agencies do their job, and the courts move quickly to rein in their predatory conduct.” On Friday, sources told FT that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is preparing an antitrust investigation into Facebook within the coming months, which is the latest crackdown on Silicon Valley’s big tech dominance. Similar probes were launched into Apple and Google earlier this year. Sources said CMA “would take a sweeping look at the way Facebook allegedly uses customer data to squash rivals in social media and online advertising.”

CMA’s potential investigation into Facebook comes as the government agency recently announced inquiries into Apple’s App Store fees and Google’s privacy settings. CMA expects to follow European Union’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s investigation into Facebook, launched in December. She told lawmakers in Brussels how big tech is increasingly facing more stringent scrutiny around the world. “It’s a sign that the debate on tech dominance has been shifting over the last couple of years,” Vestager said of the US antitrust move. A person close to the CMA said the focus of the upcoming investigation would be on the social media platform’s digital advertising.

Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, vowed to take on Facebook and other big tech companies with a series of antitrust cases. He’ll be working with lawmakers in Brussels to combat big tech. Meanwhile, in the US, Facebook requested a federal judge earlier this month to dismiss landmark antitrust suits against it, claiming that its “innovative free products deliver value” is helpful to users, adding there’s no evidence whatsoever of anti-competitively. The Federal Trade Commission and almost every state have filed lawsuits against the social media platform for its market power abuse after acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp.

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Thomas Frank.

Liberals Blame Rightwing ‘Misinformation’ For Our Problems. Get Real (Frank)

The Republicans didn’t suffer the landslide defeat they deserved last November; the right is still as potent as ever; therefore Trumpist untruth is responsible for the malfunctioning public mind. Under no circumstances was it the result of the Democrats’ own lackluster performance, their refusal to reach out to the alienated millions with some kind of FDR-style vision of social solidarity. Or perhaps this new taste for censorship is an indication of Democratic healthiness. This is a party that has courted professional-managerial elites for decades, and now they have succeeded in winning them over, along with most of the wealthy areas where such people live. Liberals scold and supervise like an offended ruling class because to a certain extent that’s who they are.

More and more, they represent the well-credentialed people who monitor us in the workplace, and more and more do they act like it. What all this censorship talk really is, though, is a declaration of defeat – defeat before the Biden administration has really begun. To give up on free speech is to despair of reason itself. (Misinformation, we read in the New York Times, is impervious to critical thinking.) The people simply cannot be persuaded; something more forceful is in order; they must be guided by we, the enlightened; and the first step in such a program is to shut off America’s many burbling fountains of bad takes.

Let me confess: every time I read one of these stories calling on us to get over free speech or calling on Mark Zuckerberg to press that big red “mute” button on our political opponents, I feel a wave of incredulity sweep over me. Liberals believe in liberty, I tell myself. This can’t really be happening here in the USA. But, folks, it is happening. And the folly of it all is beyond belief. To say that this will give the right an issue to campaign on is almost too obvious. To point out that it will play straight into the right’s class-based grievance-fantasies requires only a little more sophistication. To say that it is a betrayal of everything we were taught liberalism stood for – a betrayal that we will spend years living down – may be too complex a thought for our punditburo to consider, but it is nevertheless true.

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“..journalism which unduly inflames domestic divisions and/or undermines confidence in institutions ipso facto helps Russia..”

How The Censors Won (Michael Tracey)

[..] The star witness in that 2017 hearing, appearing right alongside former National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander, was Thomas Rid. Impressively presented by C-SPAN as a “War Studies Professor” at King’s College London, Rid made a passionate case that the US body politic had been woefully unprepared to contend with an onslaught of what he called “the dark art of disinformation.” [..] the three entities that Rid singled out for condemnation in the testimony — WikiLeaks, Twitter, and “over-eager journalists” — either capitulated to varying degrees in the ensuing years to his demands, or were otherwise neutralized. The founder of WikiLeaks was prosecuted by the US government and currently languishes in UK prison, which removed one of the central threats that so troubled Rid.

Twitter, whose founder once espoused a relatively maximalist conception of free speech (at least compared to other social media companies) drastically changed its philosophy on such issues — embarking on repeat banning sprees, suppressing newsworthy materials falsely classified as “Russian disinformation” just weeks before the 2020 election, and eventually purging the sitting president from the platform. Even more excitingly for Rid, elite journalists’ attitude toward the alleged menace of “disinformation” became increasingly indistinguishable from his own. In the years since that 2017 testimony, it was more and more the journalists themselves who led the charge in demanding censorship to curtail supposed “disinformation,” especially if they could somehow speciously link such “disinformation” to “harassment” and/or “violence.”

And the “over-eagerness” of journalists to report newsworthy information that Rid had condemned was replaced by journalists instead harboring extreme paranoia about being accused of aiding scary foreign influence campaigns — and thereby turning into “unwitting agents” of those scary foreigners. That created a new industry-wide taboo against doing anything which may be perceived as assisting in the dissemination of unjustly “hacked” materials, even if those materials are authentic and expose the malfeasant conduct of powerful officials.

[..] The most telling part of the “Intelligence Community Assessment” was its contention that a key tactic of Russia is “exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US.” Variations on this Rid-adjacent theme have frequently percolated in elite discussions of the horrors of “Russian interference” since 2016: the idea that Russia seeks to gain world domination by inflaming domestic divisions in the US and undermining confidence in US institutions, and so journalism which unduly inflames domestic divisions and/or undermines confidence in institutions ipso facto helps Russia.

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“Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet..”

Federal Judge Alleges Democrats Control Almost All Major News Outlets (ZH)

A federal judge this week said that the Democrat Party is close to controlling the press as he detailed what he described as shocking bias against Republicans. D.C. Circuit Court Judge Laurence Silberman outlined his opposition to the Supreme Court’s key decision in 1964 in New York Times v. Sullivan, which has since protected many media outlets from lawsuits. Silberman, a Reagan appointee, wrote that the ruling is “a threat to American Democracy” and must be overturned. “The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions. Our court was once concerned about the institutional consolidation of the press leading to a ‘bland and homogenous’ marketplace of ideas. It turns out that ideological consolidation of the press (helped along by economic consolidation) is the far greater threat,” he continued.


“Although the bias against the Republican Party—not just controversial individuals—is rather shocking today, this is not new; it is a long-term, secular trend going back at least to the ’70s. (I do not mean to defend or criticize the behavior of any particular politician). Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets. And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction. The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe). Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along,” he added.

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Project Veritas hardly ever loses a suit.

NYT Used ‘Deceptive Disinformation’ To Smear Project Veritas – Judge (RT)

A defamation suit from Project Veritas against the New York Times is moving forward, as a judge has ruled the newspaper posed opinion as fact in their coverage of the conservative news outlet. A New York Supreme Court judge handed Veritas, known for its undercover and whistleblowing videos, a big “win” this week, allowing a defamation suit against the paper and two reporters to proceed forward. In the ruling denying a motion to dismiss the suit, the Times was accused of acting with “actual malice” and “reckless disregard” in multiple articles covering a 2020 video report from Veritas on alleged illegal voting practices taking place in Minnesota. It was not the only voter fraud allegation Veritas covered in 2020, with one video expose actually leading to the arrest of a Texas political consultant on charges of election fraud and illegal voting.


In the Minnesota video, multiple people are seen taking part in or discussing ballot harvesting and linking the act to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota). The report alleged ballots were being paid for and even filled out for voters to favor certain candidates. One ballot harvester featured in the video, Liban Osman, has since claimed footage of him was heavily edited and that he was offered money to connect the alleged fraud to Omar – an allegation Project Veritas denied. The five Times articles in question called Veritas’ Minnesota videos deceptive, but Justice Charles Wood determined this was not fact, but rather opinion from reporters Maggie Astor and Tiffany Hsu. “The Articles that are the subject of this action called the Video ‘deceptive,’ but the dictionary definitions of ‘disinformation’ and ‘deceptive’ provided by defendants’ counsel certainly apply to Astor’s and Hsu’s failure to note that they injected their opinions in news articles, as they now claim,” he wrote in his decision.

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“..a 72-percent drop in the number of audits of those making more than $1 million. In all, 98 percent of those making more than $1 million did not face an audit last year.”

The IRS Is Letting Rich People Fleece Everyone Else (DP)

By some estimates, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans manage to avoid paying about a quarter trillion dollars of owed taxes every single year. Now, new government data show that audits of the super-rich and large corporations have hit a new low, leaving billions of dollars of uncollected taxes at precisely a moment when lawmakers say new revenue is needed to fund infrastructure and climate investments. In response, two progressive Democratic lawmakers have authored legislation cracking down on tax evasion. The new Internal Revenue Service figures compiled by Syracuse University researchers show that in the last eight years, there has been a 72-percent drop in the number of audits of those making more than $1 million. In all, 98 percent of those making more than $1 million did not face an audit last year.


Source: Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse

Similarly, there has also been a 55-percent drop in the number of audits of America’s largest corporations. In 2012, almost all corporate giants were audited. In 2020, however, almost two thirds of those corporations were not subjected to audits. Amid this decline in scrutiny of the rich, a letter to the Biden administration from 88 progressive groups pointed out: “Since 2011, audit rates for millionaires, who are disproportionately white, have dropped more than twice as much as for taxpayers claiming the (Earned Income Tax Credit), who are disproportionately people of color. Audit coverage is now the heaviest in many low-income majority-Black counties.” The sharp reduction in audits of the rich contributes to the tax gap between the amount of taxes owed and paid.


In 2012, audits of wealthy individuals and large corporations recovered roughly $29 billion of revenue. Eight years later, the far fewer audits recovered less than $7 billion. IRS referrals for criminal prosecution and Justice Department tax convictions have both hit an all-time low. “At a time when Americans face growing economic inequality and financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is letting billions of dollars in tax revenue slip through its fingers,” wrote Syracuse researchers. “As public attention focuses on how the country can restore faith in our democratic institutions, one area that should not be overlooked is how the nation can better ensure that our income tax laws are fairly and effectively administered.”

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“The requirements of international law and treaties, as well as decisions of international bodies, can act on the territory of Russia only to the extent that they do not entail restrictions on the rights and liberties of man and citizen, and do not contradict our constitution../”

Russia Set For Showdown With International Law Over Yukos & Navalny (RT)

What matters more: Rulings from overseas courts, or laws made by politicians back home? That’s the question Russian officials are weighing up, after a string of court orders they say are at odds with the country’s own principles. An international legal battle over the collapsed Yukos oil empire has been raging for more than a decade in courts across the world, most notably in the Netherlands and the US. A record-breaking $57 billion legal bill now hangs in the balance. Former shareholders in the now-defunct company accuse the Russian government, which regards them as oligarchs acting in bad faith, of “appropriating” its assets and causing it to go bankrupt. Appealing initial decisions by a Dutch tribunal in favor of the claimants, the country’s lawyers have said that judges had failed to take into account Russian laws against corruption and fraud.

According to Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko, the case is part of a “legal war” being waged against the country in international courts. “The situation is very difficult and serious,” he said. “Russia must adequately defend itself, and sometimes even attack back.” Quite how the state might strike back became clear in December, when the Constitutional Court, one of its highest judicial bodies, ruled that Moscow should refuse to pay the colossal sum if it loses the latest ongoing appeal over Yukos. The case is being litigated under the terms of the Energy Charter Treaty, which Russia signed up to but never ratified, with foreign courts insisting they still have jurisdiction. The Russian judges claim that entering into the pact and supposedly agreeing to foreign mediation broke a fundamental provision of the country’s constitution.

Specifically, judges said, subjugating national laws to international rulings is against those principles, and therefore, when Boris Yeltsin’s government entered into the treaty in 1994, it did so on an invalid basis. No leader, the court claimed, has the right to trade away the sovereign right of self-determination, or to “challenge the competence” of Russian courts. If the judges in The Hague eventually uphold the decision to hand the multibillion-dollar sum to those who lost cash after the collapse of Yukos, stumping up the funds would therefore be optional, the ruling insists. This decision would effectively cut Moscow free from any obligations to foreign courts under the terms of treaties it might have signed, and acting on it would put the country on a collision course with the West, which could look to take unilateral action to enforce any settlement.

[..] Speaking ahead of a national vote on the constitution last year, President Vladimir Putin set out in no uncertain terms that he views domestic laws as more important than overseas rulings, a position that he shares at times with leaders in the US and China. “I believe that the time has come to make some changes,” he said, “which directly guarantees the priority of the Russian constitution in our legal environment.” “The requirements of international law and treaties, as well as decisions of international bodies, can act on the territory of Russia only to the extent that they do not entail restrictions on the rights and liberties of man and citizen, and do not contradict our constitution,” Putin added.

[..] Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered the country to release jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny. The anti-corruption activist is serving time in prison after being found guilty of breaching the terms of a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence for fraud. In a statement, the Strasbourg-based court said “a Chamber of Seven judges of the Court decided… to indicate to the Government of Russia… to release the applicant. This measure shall apply with immediate effect.” However, the country’s Justice Ministry rejected the calls outright, saying that they were “unenforceable” and unprecedented for a number of reasons. “Firstly, this is a clear and gross interference in the activities of the judiciary of a sovereign state. Secondly, this demand is unreasonable and unlawful, since… it does not include a single rule of law that would allow the court to make such a decision.”

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Mar 192021
 
 March 19, 2021  Posted by at 8:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Camille Corot Study for “The Destruction of Sodom” 1843

 

Biden’s Tough-Guy Flexing At ‘Soulless Killer’ Putin Would Be Funny If.. (RT)
Putin Challenges Biden To A Live Public ‘Discussion’ (JTN)
Biden ‘Clearly Doesn’t Want Good Relations’ With Russia – Kremlin (RT)
A Brief List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus (Taibbi)
Journalists Yesterday Spread a Significant Lie All Over Twitter (Greenwald)
US and China Publicly Rebuke Each Other In First Major Talks Of Biden Era (G.)
Covid Spiking In Over A Dozen States—Most With High Vaccination Rates (F.)
Norwegian Scientists Say AstraZeneca DID Cause Blood Clots (RT)
Your Unvaccinated Kid Is Like a Vaccinated Grandma (Oster)
How The US Military Subverted The Afghan Peace Agreement (GZ)
FBI Now Probing Cuomo’s Corporate Immunity Law (DO)
Without Trump, Is A “Depression In Television” Coming? (Taibbi)
Building or Unbuilding America? (Nomi Prins)
Growth Of US Homelessness During 2020 Was Devastating – HUD (NPR)

 

 

 

 

My thought exactly. He made the whole thing up. Or rather, someone did it for him.

Biden’s Tough-Guy Flexing At ‘Soulless Killer’ Putin Would Be Funny If.. (RT)

[..] the likelihood of the Biden-Putin meeting occurring as described by Joe Biden is slim to none. When Biden made his trip to the Kremlin in 2011, he was fronting for the Obama administration’s “reset” with Russia. There was no opportunity, or need, for Biden’s faux machismo. The two men did meet, but as part of delegations discussing the possibility for improving relations. Not only would Biden’s insulting verbal flexing have been wildly inappropriate and inconsistent with the larger policy objectives of his visit, but it ran counter to his own feelings, expressed at the time, about Russia. “Russia has the best engineers in the world,” Biden said in a press conference after his meeting with Putin (who was serving as Russia’s prime minister, not president, at the time.) “Russia has intellectual capital. Russia is a great nation.”

These are not words one utters after telling a Russian leader in private that he has “no soul.” Biden’s struggle with the truth is well known, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that he possibly made up a meeting with Putin. Biden has been caught plagiarizing a speech delivered by former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, lied about his academic record and accomplishments, and manufactured from whole cloth a narrative that has him participating in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Biden’s lies all have one goal in common: to make him out to be that which he is not. So, too, his apparent lie about calling Putin soulless. Biden is desperate to be a ‘tough guy’. But for that reputation to stick vis-à-vis Putin, there had to be a ‘showdown’ moment, where the good guy faced off against the bad guy and called him out.

Since no such event exists, Biden had to make one up. And, like most of his lies, Biden repeats them long enough and often enough that they take on a life of their own, embraced as fact by unquestioning journalists. In his interview with Stephanopoulos, Biden raised the findings of the DNI report, and his conversation with Putin. “He will pay a price. We had a long talk, he and I. I know him relatively well and the conversation started off [like this]: I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.’”

Biden does not know Putin well at all. If he did, he would know that the last thing that would give the Russian leader pause were the fanciful tough-guy posturing of a geriatric president. There is little doubt that the Biden administration will impose additional sanctions against Russia in the days and weeks to come, citing the report as justification. There is also little doubt that these sanctions will have no impact whatsoever on the policies and practices of the Russian government. But that is not the point. Biden is not flexing for the benefit of Putin. His audience is the American people, and part and parcel of a coordinated campaign designed to drive home his mantra that “America is back.”

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Biden’s too busy.

Putin Challenges Biden To A Live Public ‘Discussion’ (JTN)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that he and American President Joe Biden engage in a live public “discussion.” The Russian leader’s proposal comes after Biden, when asked earlier this week during an ABC News interview whether he believes Putin is a killer, responded that he does believe that. A U.S. intelligence report indicates that Putin authorized influence operations related to the 2020 U.S. election, and during the interview Biden said that Putin “will pay a price.” Biden said that he told Putin: “If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”

The intelligence report states in part: “We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US.” “I’ve just thought of this now,” the Russian president told a Russian state television reporter, according to ABC News. “I want to propose to President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it basically live, as it’s called. Without any delays and directly in an open, direct discussion. It seems to me that would be interesting for the people of Russia and for the people of the United States.”

Putin suggested that the “discussion” with Biden could be held on Friday or Monday: “I don’t want to put this off for long. I want to go the taiga this weekend to relax a little,” Putin said. “So we could do it tomorrow or Monday. We are ready at any time convenient for the American side.” When asked during Thursday’s press briefing if the idea is one that the administration would consider, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the reporter she would need to “get back to you if that is something we are entertaining,” and noted that Biden will be busy in Georgia on Friday.

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Recalling your ambassador is a serious step.

Biden ‘Clearly Doesn’t Want Good Relations’ With Russia – Kremlin (RT)

The Kremlin has claimed that comments from American President Joe Biden, in which he said he believes his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to be a “killer,” is proof Washington isn’t serious about relations with the country. Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was no precedent for the remarks in the history of the two nations. “These are very bad statements by the US president,” he added. “He clearly doesn’t want to establish a relationship with our country, and we will proceed on that basis.” In the TV interview with ABC, which aired on Wednesday, Biden was asked by chief anchor George Stephanopoulos whether he thought Putin was “a killer.” “Mmm hmm, I do,” he replied.

He added that he had warned the Russian leader that the US would take action if it found evidence of Moscow meddling in the country’s 2020 presidential election. “He will pay a price,” Biden said. “We had a long talk, he and I… I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.’” A joint report by Washington’s spy agencies, published the day before, alleged that Russia was behind a campaign to “denigrate” Biden’s reputation during the campaign. The Kremlin has blasted the allegations, insisting it had not engaged in political smears against any candidates.

On Wednesday evening, Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, was recalled to Moscow for talks on the future of ties with Washington. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that consultations were needed “to analyze what to do and where to head in the context of relations with the US.” The remarks have sparked a wave of criticism from Russian officials. The speaker of the country’s parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, added his voice to those claiming the remarks were indicative of a diplomatic rift. The top politician argued that “this is a tantrum that comes from powerlessness. Putin is our president, attacking him is an attack on our country.”

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“We’ve spent the last five years watching as anonymous officials make major Russia-related claims, only to have those evidence-free claims fizzle.”

A Brief List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus (Taibbi)

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released a much-hyped, much-cited new report on “Foreign Threats to the 2020 Elections.” The key conclusion: “We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, [and] undermining public confidence in the electoral process…” The report added Ukrainian legislator Andrey Derkach, described as having “ties” to “Russia’s intelligence services,” and Konstantin Kilimnik, a “Russian influence agent” (whatever that means), used “prominent U.S. persons” and “media conduits” to “launder their narratives” to American audiences.

The “narratives” included “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden” (note they didn’t use the word “false”). They added a small caveat at the end: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” As Glenn Greenwald already pointed out, the “launder their narratives” passage was wolfed down by our intelligence services’ own “media conduits” here at home, and regurgitated as proof that the “Hunter Biden laptop story came from the Kremlin,” even though the report didn’t mention the laptop story at all. Exactly one prominent reporter, Chris Hayes, had the decency to admit this after advancing the claim initially. With regard to the broader assessment: how many times are we going to do this? We’ve spent the last five years watching as anonymous officials make major Russia-related claims, only to have those evidence-free claims fizzle.

From the much-ballyhooed “changed RNC platform” story (Robert Mueller found no evidence the changed Republican platform was “undertaken at the behest of candidate Trump or Russia”), to the notion that Julian Assange was engaged in a conspiracy with the Russians (Mueller found no evidence for this either), to Michael Cohen’s alleged secret meetings in Prague with Russian conspirators (“not true,” the FBI flatly concluded) to the story that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress (“not accurate,” said Mueller), to wild stories about Paul Manafort meeting Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, to a “bombshell” tale about Trump foreknowledge of Wikileaks releases that blew up in CNN’s face in spectacular fashion, reporters for years chased unsubstantiated claims instead of waiting to see what they were based upon.

The latest report’s chief conclusions are assessments about Derkach and Kilimnik, information that the whole world knew before this report was released. Hell, even Rudy Giuliani, whose meeting with Derkach is supposedly the big scandal here, admitted there was a “50/50 chance” the guy was a Russian spy. Kilimnik meanwhile has now been characterized as having “ties” to Russian intelligence (Mueller), and as a “Russian intelligence officer” (Senate Intelligence Committee), and is now back to being a mere “influence agent.” If he is Russian intelligence, then John McCain’s International Republican Institute (where Kilimnik worked), as well as embassies in Kiev and Moscow (where Kilimnik regularly gave information, according to the New York Times), have a lot of explaining to do.

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“..these career spies and propagandists, led by Obama CIA Director and serial liar John Brennan..”

Journalists Yesterday Spread a Significant Lie All Over Twitter (Greenwald)

Journalists with the largest and most influential media outlets disseminated an outright and quite significant lie on Tuesday to hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, on Twitter. While some of them were shamed into acknowledging the falsity of their claim, many refused to, causing it to continue to spread up until this very moment. It is well worth examining how they function because this is how they deceive the public again and again, and it is why public trust in their pronouncements has justifiably plummeted. The lie they told involved claims of Russian involvement in the procurement of Hunter Biden’s laptop. In the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, The New York Post obtained that laptop and published a series of articles about the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere.

In response, Twitter banned the posting of any links to that reporting and locked The Post out of its Twitter account for close to two weeks, while Facebook, through a long-time Democratic operative, announced that it would algorithmically suppress the reporting. The excuse used by those social media companies for censoring this reporting was the same invoked by media outlets to justify their refusal to report the contents of these documents: namely, that the materials were “Russian disinformation.” That claim of “Russian disinformation” was concocted by a group of several dozen former CIA officials and other operatives of the intelligence community devoted to defeating Trump.

Immediately after The Post published its first story about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine that traded on his influence with his father, these career spies and propagandists, led by Obama CIA Director and serial liar John Brennan, published a letter asserting that the appearance of these Biden documents “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” News outlets uncritically hyped this claim as fact even though these security state operatives themselves admitted: “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails…are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.” Even though this claim came from trained liars who, with uncharacteristic candor, acknowledged that they did not “have evidence” for their claim, media outlets uncritically ratified this assertion.

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Blinken got his ass handed to him.

US and China Publicly Rebuke Each Other In First Major Talks Of Biden Era (G.)

The United States and China have clashed over human rights during their first face-to-face high-level talks since Joe Biden took office, with one senior Chinese official urging the US to address “deep-seated” issues such as racism, and accusing his American counterparts of “condescension”.Any hopes that the meeting, in Anchorage, would reset bilateral ties after years of tensions over trade and cyber security during Donald Trump’s presidency evaporated when US secretary of state Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan opened their meeting with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and state councillor Wang Yi.

After Blinken referred to rising global concern over Beijing’s human rights record, Yang said: “We hope that United States will do better on human rights. The fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the US itself,” he said in a 15-minute speech that appeared to irritate Blinken. He added that US human rights issues were “deep-seated … they did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter”. In his opening remarks Blinken had said world leaders had voiced “deep satisfaction” that the US was re-engaging with the international community after four years of Trump’s “America First” doctrine. “I’m also hearing deep concern about some of the actions your government is taking.”

Blinken, who added he had heard similar sentiments during his visits this week to Japan and South Korea, said the Biden administration and its allies were united in pushing back against China’s increasing authoritarianism and assertiveness at home and abroad. In response, Yang angrily demanded that the US stop pushing its own version of democracy at a time when it was dealing with discontent among its own population. “We believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world,” he said. “Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.” “China will not accept unwarranted accusations from the US side,” Yang said, adding that recent developments had plunged relations “into a period of unprecedented difficulty” that “has damaged the interests of our two peoples.”

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Get healthy.

Covid Spiking In Over A Dozen States—Most With High Vaccination Rates (F.)

Coronavirus cases are again spiking in 13 U.S. states, according to an analysis of trends over the past week, including some states among the highest in vaccination rates as health experts warn more contagious variants of Covid-19 will soon dominate the United States. An Axios analysis found Michigan by far leading the way in new cases, with the 7-day rolling average spiking by more than 53%. Michigan is above the U.S. average in terms of vaccination rate, according to Johns Hopkins University, but cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations are all on the rise. State health officials have placed the blame on highly contagious new variants now spreading in the state, as health experts caution national vaccination efforts are a race against the contagious strains.

Other states among the highest in vaccination rates, including West Virginia, Maine and Montana are also dealing with case spikes. Only two of the states with rising cases—Mississippi and New Hampshire—are below the U.S. average in terms of vaccination rate, according to Johns Hopkins. Top health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, have said a variant that originated in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by the end of the month. That strain is believed to be some 56% more contagious and perhaps twice as deadly than the existing dominant strain in the United States. Health experts say the country is continuing to move in the right direction as a whole, with the vaccine effort hopefully ending the pandemic this year.

But what had been a rapid national case decline starting in January has slowed significantly over the past few weeks, with the U.S. continuing to average over 50,000 new cases a day, a plateau level Fauci said “concerns me.” Top health officials and President Joe Biden are also advising against expansive reopening measures that states are putting into effect, including some that have decided to lift mask mandates.

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“The clotting in those patients was triggered by a very specific “strong immune response” likely caused as a result of the AstraZeneca jab..”

Norwegian Scientists Say AstraZeneca DID Cause Blood Clots (RT)

Norwegian scientists have linked the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots – a condition seen in some people that led countries around the world to halt its use. But British and Dutch medics say there’s no evidence for such a link. “The cause of our patients’ condition has now been found,” Pal Andre Holme, the head of a research group at the Oslo University Hospital, told Norway’s VG media outlet. He was referring to the cases of three health workers under the age of 50 who suffered from severe blood clotting after receiving the AstraZeneca jab. One of the medics then died on Monday. The clotting in those patients was triggered by a very specific “strong immune response” likely caused as a result of the AstraZeneca jab, Holme explained.

In collaboration with the University Hospital of North Norway, Holme’s team detected specific antibodies that “activate” platelets and in some cases can lead to blood clots. Asked by VG if the vaccine was the “most likely” cause of this specific immune response, Holme said he believes “there is no other thing” in the history of the three individual patients which would generate such a response. None of the three patients had a history of similar health issues before, he said. I am pretty sure it is these antibodies that are the cause and I see no other reason than that it is the vaccine that triggers them.

The professor still admitted that such side effects are likely to be very rare since “we are talking about very specific antibodies.” Norway halted the use of the AstraZeneca jab in its vaccination campaign alongside many other European nations. Some 120,000 Norwegians already received the jabs produced by the British-Swedish company. According to Norwegian media, “very few” serious side effects were reported by those vaccinated to date. [..] Norwegian scientists revealed the results of their analysis just as the British medical regulator, MHRA, said that it found no evidence that could prove the link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting.

“This type of blood clot can occur naturally in people who have not been vaccinated, as well as in those suffering from COVID-19,” the MHRA CEO, Dr. June Raine, said in a statement, adding that her agency’s “thorough and careful review” showed that blood clots in veins of affected persons are occurring just as often as they would “in the absence of vaccination.”

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But you still want to vaccinate all kids?

Your Unvaccinated Kid Is Like a Vaccinated Grandma (Oster)

Different vaccines yield different results, but all of the vaccines approved by the FDA (Pfizer-BioNTech’s, Moderna’s, and Johnson & Johnson’s) are very effective, which is why the CDC has indicated that vaccinated individuals can interact unmasked with other vaccinated individuals. It hasn’t yet commented on flying, but I’m guessing the CDC will relax its flying advisories for vaccinated individuals in the next few weeks. It will continue to recommend masks, for the sake of protecting the unvaccinated population, because the science on transmission by the vaccinated is still hazy. Now think about your child. The CDC has published some risk assessments by age. For comparison’s sake, I’ll phrase the findings the way I would the results of a vaccine trial:

Being a child aged 5 to 17 is 99.9 percent protective against the risk of death and 98 percent protective against hospitalization. For children 0 to 4, these numbers are 99.9 percent (death) and 96 percent (hospitalization). The central goal of vaccination is preventing serious illness and death. From this standpoint, being a child is a really great vaccine. Your unvaccinated first grader appears to have about as much protection from serious illness as a vaccinated grandmother. Comparisons are more difficult when it comes to the risk of any infection at all. An Israeli study undergoing peer review found that the Pfizer vaccine reduces infection in asymptomatic cases by about 90 percent, and in symptomatic cases by almost 94 percent.

Child case counts haven’t been well documented, in part because asymptomatic infection appears to be so common among kids. However, the available data suggest that children are less likely than adults to contract the coronavirus, but more likely to contract it than a vaccinated grandmother. (Below, I’ll address the latest thinking on variants, and research on the possible long-term effects of less-than-serious infections, which remains murky, and controversial.) This news may feel a little mixed: Yes, kids are protected from serious illness, just like their vaccinated grandparents, but they are not as protected from contracting the virus at all. Here is where the concept of herd immunity comes in to save the summer. If the Israeli Pfizer study is anywhere near right, then case rates will fall once a large share of adults are vaccinated. They are likely to fall a lot as the virus finds fewer and fewer receptive hosts.

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Must have war.

How The US Military Subverted The Afghan Peace Agreement (GZ)

In an exclusive interview with The Grayzone Col. Douglas Macgregor, a former senior advisor to the Acting Secretary of Defense, revealed that President Donald Trump shocked the US military only days after the election last November by signing a presidential order calling for the withdrawal of all remaining US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. As Macgregor explained to The Grayzone, the order to withdraw was met with intense pressure from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark M. Milley, which caused the president to capitulate. Trump agreed to withdraw only half of the 5,000 remaining troops in the country. Neither Trump’s order nor the pressure from the JCS Chairman was reported by the national media at the time.


The president’s surrender represented the Pentagon’s latest victory in a year-long campaign to sabotage the US-Taliban peace agreement signed in February 2020. Military and DOD leaders thus extended the disastrous and unpopular 20-year US war in Afghanistan into the administration of President Joseph Biden. The subversion of the peace agreement with the Taliban initiated by the US military leadership in Washington and Afghanistan began almost as soon as Trump’s personal envoy Zalmay Khalilzad negotiated a tentative deal in November 2019. The campaign to undermine presidential authority was actively supported by then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

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“Critics say that the immunity law removed a key deterrent to corporate malfeasance, and victims and their families were subsequently stripped of their legal rights.”

FBI Now Probing Cuomo’s Corporate Immunity Law (DO)

Federal law enforcement officials are scrutinizing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial move to help his donor shield nursing home executives from legal consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report. The probe follows a Daily Poster investigative series detailing how one of Cuomo’s biggest donors, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) — a lobby group that represents hospital systems and nursing home operators — said it “drafted and aggressively advocated for” the corporate immunity provision. Cuomo’s administration quietly inserted the measure into his state’s budget as thousands lay dying from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes.

Critics say that the immunity law removed a key deterrent to corporate malfeasance, and victims and their families were subsequently stripped of their legal rights. Cuomo’s original executive order shielding front line health care workers from lawsuits was widely reported, but not the governor’s separate budget language extending immunity to hospital and nursing home corporations’ executives and board members. On Thursday, THE CITY disclosed that federal investigators looking into Cuomo’s handling of nursing home policy are now specifically asking questions about the immunity provision. The New York news outlet reports:

“FBI investigators probing the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic last spring are seeking information about a state budget provision that gave operators legal immunity, THE CITY has learned. In recent weeks, FBI officials have been looking to interview members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff and other state officials about the eleventh-hour addition to the state budget last March, according to three people familiar with the matter. The measure granted nursing homes and hospitals broad legal protections against lawsuits and criminal liability for care provided to residents and patients during the pandemic. FBI officials started to make house calls this month, showing up at people’s residences and leaving business cards, according to the three sources. Investigators’ questions have focused primarily on the nursing home immunity provision and how it “got in the state budget,” said one legislative source, who did not want to be named because of the ongoing probe.”

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Not coming, but already here.

Without Trump, Is A “Depression In Television” Coming? (Taibbi)

[..] the Democratic Party’s response to Trump — which involved multiple efforts to remove him, premised on the idea that every day he spent in the Oval Office was an existential threat to humanity — allowed stations to turn every day of the Trump years into a baby-down-a-well story (the baby was democracy). Between the Mueller investigation, two impeachments, the Kavanaugh confirmation, multiple border crises, the “Treason in Helsinki” fiasco, and a hundred other tales, every day could be pitched as a drop-everything emergency. Add the partisan rooting angle, and you had ratings gold. Imagine three or four dozen Super Bowls a year, each one played in the middle of a category 5 hurricane, and you come close to grasping the magnitude of the gift that Donald Trump was to MSNBC, Fox, and CNN.

Six or seven years ago, it was common to see CNN or MSNBC fall outside the top 20 rated cable networks, below titans like Disney, USA, TBS, and the History Channel. By 2020, the three top networks on cable — not just news networks, but overall — were Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. The fact that news ate away so much of the market share of the entertainment business in the Trump years raises questions about what exactly we were watching. Jump in your Dr. Who police box and go back to 2014, the last year Trump was not a major political figure. The cable news genre had what Variety described as an “overall down year.” It was a particularly grim time for CNN and MSNBC:

Total Primetime Viewers, 2014 Change
Fox News 1.779 million (even)
MSNBC 600,000 (down 8%)
CNN 528,000 (down 8%)
HLN 337,000 (down 16%)

CNN exemplified the pre-Trump dilemma. In 2011, the network’s average primetime viewership was 689,000. That dropped to 670,000 in 2012, and the year after that, in 2013, it fell all the way to 568,000, a 20-year low. Imagine the pucker factor at Time Warner the next year, when CNN’s entire 8-11 p.m. programming slate dropped 8% off that 20-year dip. 2013 was CNN’s first year under the management of Jeff Zucker, whose career arc leading into the Trump years was a dazzling study in failing upward. He was named head of NBC Entertainment in 2000, and rode the successes of a handful of shows — including, notably, The Apprentice — into a job as CEO of NBC Universal, where he presided over one of the most disastrous tenures of any TV executive in history. Under his leadership, NBC dropped to fourth behind ABC, CBS, and Fox, amid catastrophic decisions like trying to move Jay Leno into primetime.

When Zucker moved to CNN, he trumpeted a new plan to save the news. This is from Politico in 2013: “Zucker has told staff he wants to “broaden the definition of what news is,” meaning more sports, more entertainment, more human interest stories — and, at times, less politics.” That didn’t work out so well in 2014, though to be fair to Zucker, the ratings narrative started reversing at least somewhat before Trump jumped on the scene. But the first giant leap forward for the business as a whole came in 2015, when CNN’s average primetime audience soared to 730,000, a 30% increase, in significant part because it hosted two Republican debates starring Trump.

The news business had never seen anything like the Trump effect. The first Republican debate on Fox drew 25 million viewers and was the most-watched non-sports event in the history of cable, while the second debate drew 23 million and was merely the top show in the history of CNN. Taking note of all this was Trump himself, whose poll numbers were dipping a bit at the end of 2015. Some were predicting his demise. To this, Trump snapped, “I’m not a masochist,” and promised he’d pull out if his numbers worsened. However, he said, if he did, “There’d be a major collapse of television ratings,” adding a poisonous prediction: “It would become a depression in television.”

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“The cost of what we need but haven’t done to modernize our infrastructure has expanded to $5.6 trillion over the last 20 years ($3 trillion in the last decade alone)”

Building or Unbuilding America? (Nomi Prins)

During the Trump years, the phrase “Infrastructure Week” rang out as a sort of Groundhog Day-style punchline. What began in June 2017 as a failed effort by The Donald’s White House and a Republican Senate to focus on the desperately needed rebuilding of American infrastructure morphed into a meme and a running joke in Washington. Despite the focus in recent years on President Trump’s failure to do anything for the country’s crumbling infrastructure, here’s a sad reality: considered over a longer period of time, Washington’s political failure to fund the repairing, modernizing, or in some cases simply the building of that national infrastructure has proven a remarkably bipartisan “effort.”

After all, the same grand unfulfilled ambitions for infrastructure were part and parcel of the Obama White House from 2009 on and could well typify the Biden years, if Congress doesn’t get its act together (or the filibuster doesn’t go down in flames). The disastrous electric grid power outages that occurred during the recent deep freeze in Texas are but the latest example of the pressing need for infrastructure upgrades and investments of every sort. If nothing is done, more people will suffer, more jobs will be lost, and the economy will face drastic consequences. Since the mid-twentieth century, when most of this country’s modern infrastructure systems were first established, the population has doubled. Not only are American roads, airports, electric grids, waterways, railways and more distinctly outdated, but today’s crucial telecommunications sector hasn’t ever been subjected to a comprehensive broadband strategy.

Worse yet, what’s known as America’s “infrastructure gap” only continues to widen. The cost of what we need but haven’t done to modernize our infrastructure has expanded to $5.6 trillion over the last 20 years ($3 trillion in the last decade alone), according to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Some estimates now even run as high as $7 trillion. In other words, as old infrastructure deteriorates and new infrastructure and technology are needed, the cost of addressing this ongoing problem only escalates. Currently, there is a $1-trillion backlog of (yet unapproved) deferred-maintenance funding floating around Capitol Hill. Without action in the reasonable future, certain kinds of American infrastructure could, like that Texas energy grid, soon be deemed unsafe.

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Make the right to housing a law.

Growth Of US Homelessness During 2020 Was Devastating – HUD (NPR)

The nation’s homeless population grew last year for the fourth year in a row. On a single night in January 2020, there were more than 580,000 individuals who were homeless in the United States, a 2% increase from the year before. The numbers, released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Thursday, do not reflect the impact of the pandemic. “And we know the pandemic has only made the homelessness crisis worse,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a video message accompanying the report. She called the numbers “devastating” and said the nation has a “moral responsibility to end homelessness.” Among the report’s more sobering findings: homelessness among veterans and families did not improve for the first time in many years.


Also, more than 106,000 children were homeless during the once-a-year count, conducted in most communities across the nation. While the majority of homeless children were in shelters or transitional housing, almost 11,000 were living outside. As has been the case for years, a disproportionate share of those experiencing homelessness were Black — about 39% of the total, though African Americans make up about 13% of the nation’s overall population. Twenty-three percent of those who were homeless last year identified as Hispanic or Latino. California was home to the largest number of people experiencing homelessness — 161,548 — according to the 2020 count. A quarter of all homeless individuals in the United States were living in either New York City or Los Angeles. For the first time since the government began doing the annual count, the number of single adults living outside — 209,413 — exceeded the number of individuals living in shelters — 199,478.

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It is a mark of prudence never to place our complete trust in those who have deceived us even once.
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