Aug 282022
 


Henri Matisse The terrace, St. Tropez 1904

 

All The Way To Odessa (Escobar)
Blame West For Global Inflation — Former Czech President (RT)
China Calls On Putin To End Russian Roulette At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (iN)
US Comments On American Fighter Death In Ukraine (RT)
Amnesty Issues Warning About Donbass Tribunal (RT)
Sanctions War Isn’t Going As Well As Planned – The Economist (RT)
Serbia Comments On Russia Gas Supplies (RT)
Pentagon Signs Deal To Make Air Defense Systems For Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Site Threatens 1000s, Incl. Americans, With Extrajudicial Killings (A.)
What Did Not Happen With The Release Of The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit? (Turley)
Judge Announces ‘Preliminary Intent To Appoint A Special Master’ (Fox)
Don’t Charge Trump With Espionage (John Kiriakou)
Let Djokovic Play (Vinay Prasad)
62% of Democratic Students Oppose Sharing Dorm Rooms With Republicans (Turley)
Assange Files Appeal To Stop US Extradition (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zelensky

 

 

Biden showering with his daughter is creepy as hell, but for me it’s more: what if Ivanka had written this about her dad? He would have been crucified.

 

 

Tucker Rumble

 

 

 

 

“..the NATO-Bandera alliance..”

All The Way To Odessa (Escobar)

Europe is now a runaway TGV – minus the requisite Hollywood production values. Assuming it does not veer off track – a dicey proposition – it may eventually arrive at a railway station called Agenda 2030, The Great Narrative, or some other NATO/Davos denomination du jour. As it stands, what’s remarkable is how the “marginal” Russian economy hardly broke a sweat to “end the abundance” of the wealthiest region on the planet. Moscow does not even entertain the notion of negotiating with Brussels because there’s nothing to negotiate – considering puny Eurocrats will only be hurled away from their zombified state when the dire socio-economic consequences of “the end of abundance” will finally translate into peasants with pitchforks roaming the continent.

It may be eons away, but inevitably the average Italian, German or Frenchman will connect the dots and realize it is their own “leaders” – national nullities and mostly unelected Eurocrats – who are paving their road to poverty. You will be poor. And you will like it. Because we are all supporting freedom for Ukrainian neo-nazis. That brings the concept of “multicultural Europe” to a whole new level. The runaway train, of course, may veer off track and plunge into an Alpine abyss. In this case something might be saved from the wreckage – and “reconstruction” might be on the cards. But reconstruct what? Europe could always reconstruct a new Reich (collapsed with a bang in 1945); a soft Reich (erected at the end of WWII); or break with its past failures, sing “I’m Free” – and connect with Eurasia. Don’t bet on it.

The SMO may be about to radically change – something that will drive the already clueless denizens of US Think Tankland and their Euro vassals even more berserk. President Putin and Defense Minister Shoigu have been giving serious hints the only way for the pain dial is up – considering the mounting evidence of terrorism inside Russian territory; the vile assassination of Darya Dugina; non-stop shelling of civilians in border regions; attacks on Crimea; the use of chemical weapons; and the shelling of Zaporizhzhya power plant raising the risk of a nuclear catastrophe. This past Tuesday, one day before the SMO completing six months, Crimea’s permanent representative to the Kremlin, Georgy Muradov, all but spelled it out.

He stressed the necessity to “reintegrate all the Taurian lands” – Crimea, the Northern Black Sea and the Azov Sea – into a single entity as soon as “in the next few months”. He defined this process as “objective and demanded by the population of these regions.” Muradov added, “given not only the strikes on Crimea, but also the continuous shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir, peaceful facilities on the territory of Russia, the DNR and LNR, there are all preconditions to qualify the actions of the Banderite regime as terrorist.” The conclusion is inevitable: “the political issue of changing the format of the special military operation” enters the agenda. After all, Washington and Brussels “have already prepared new anti-Crimean provocations of the NATO-Bandera alliance”.

So when we examine what the “restoration of the Taurian lands” implies, we see not only the contours of Novorossiya but most of all that there won’t be any security for Crimea – and thus Russia – in the Black Sea without Odessa becoming Russian again. And that, on top of it, will solve the Transnistria dilemma. Add to it Kharkov – the capital and top industrial center of Greater Donbass. And of course Dnipropetrovsk. They are all SMO objectives, the whole combo to be later protected by buffer zones in Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts. Only then the “tasks” – as Shoigu calls them – of the SMO would be declared fulfilled. The timeline could be eight to ten months – after a lull under General Winter.

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“The ‘green delirium..’”

Blame West For Global Inflation — Former Czech President (RT)

Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus has rejected the notion that the Ukrainian conflict has been the sole reason for the economic problems now experienced around the globe. “The issues that led to spiking inflation and to a huge increase in energy prices that we have now originated long before February 24” when Russia sent its troops into Ukraine, Klaus told outlet Seznam Sravy on Friday. “This is self-inflicted, this is self-inflicted by the West. The Russian invasion just added to that,”he insisted. Russia is a major supplier of gas, oil and coal, but it’s “just one of the players” on the international market, the 81-year-old economist, who was the Czech Republic’s president between 2003 and 2013, pointed out.


So, the reduction of supply of Russian hydrocarbons to the EU and soaring energy prices – which came as a result of sweeping sanctions imposed on Moscow by the bloc – just can’t be the number one cause for high inflation rates and soaring energy prices, Klaus insisted. “I don’t understand why the number one cause isn’t being mentioned. The ‘green delirium,’ the supposed fight against climate change and the EU’s Green Deal – that’s the fundamental cause for the rise in prices,” he said, referring to the Western attempts in recent years to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The ex-president has urged the sides involved to find a solution to the conflict in Ukraine, which has already been going on for half a year, warning that the situation will only “get worse and worse” if it’s not done soon. “It won’t be enough for the representatives of Ukraine and Russia to get together. It’s necessary for the West, especially the US, to start negotiating with Russia. Every person with at least some intelligence understands this,” he also remarked.

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How news is fabricated. Michael Day at iNews.uk comes with this headline, but nowhere in his quotes is it repeated. Instead, China simply called on both sides to be careful. And of course the article talks about Russian shelling, which we know is nonsensical. Russia’s held the plant since March, and there was never an issue until Ukraine started firing at it. But yeah “Russian Roulette” sounds cute, and so does “China Calls On Putin To End..” [it].

China Calls On Putin To End Russian Roulette At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (iN)

China has issued a thinly veiled attack on Russia’s brinkmanship over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as fears of disaster escalate following a near-miss at the site. A senior Chinese official told the UN on Friday that just one incident might cause a serious nuclear accident “with irreversible consequences for the ecosystem and public health of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries”. Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative at the UN, pointedly called on all parties involved “to exercise maximum restraint strictly abide by international law and minimise the risk of accidents”, adding: ”We must not allow the tragedies of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents to be repeated.”

In addition to an international public health emergency, a serious accident and radiation release at the plant would be another blow to the world economy, already severely impoacted by Covid-19 and the energy crisis. China’s warning is signficiant as it is perhaps the only world power with real influence over the Putin regime. Beijing issued its statement just hours after an incident at Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – when electricity was cut off for hours, according to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr Zelensky said Russian shelling on Thursday sparked fires in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station, wihch disconnected the Zaporozhzhia plant from the power grid. A Russian official claimed Ukraine was to blame.

Back-up diesel generators ensured that the power supply to the plant, vital for cooling and safety systems there, continued, Mr Zelensky said. He urged international bodies to act faster to force Russian troops to vacate the site, located in the south of country. Oleh Savitskyi, an energy policy expert with the Ukrainian Climate Network who has worked in the country’s ministry of energy and environment protection, told the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists (BOAS) that relying on back-up diesel generators was not enough “Russians are using Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as their military base, they could have been stealing that diesel fuel or using it for their vehicles. Nobody knows how much fuel is available,” he said.

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Why do you have to hear this through RT, and not a US source, who should be all over it? Easy:

“..the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.”

US Comments On American Fighter Death In Ukraine (RT)

Another American has died in fighting in Ukraine, the US State Department revealed on Friday, confirming previous claims made by Russian officials. “We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine,” a US State Department spokesperson told Newsweek on Friday. “Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time.” On Friday, Oleg Kozhemyako, who serves as the governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Region, said that the ‘Tiger’ military unit from his area had eliminated an American while repelling an attack from a group consisting of mercenaries from several countries.

“An American mercenary was destroyed in Ukraine,” he said on his Telegram, attaching photos of both a US passport and Ukrainian military service card, apparently issued in the name of Joshua Alan Jones. The ID documents say he was born in Tennessee and joined the Ukrainian Army on July 14 with the A3449 military unit. According to Andrey Rudenko, a Russian military reporter, the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.” The State Department spokesperson offered a reminder that “US citizens should not travel to Ukraine, due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”

“US citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options,” the representative reiterated. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has repeatedly claimed it had destroyed foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, including by conducting high-precision missile strikes. Moreover, earlier this month, authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic said that three Western nationals accused of fighting as mercenaries for Ukraine could be sentenced to death while another two are facing up to eight years behind bars for the same reason. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that mercenaries aren’t viewed as combatants under international law and “the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.” s

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Amnesty still feels queasy. More interesting is Duma Speaker Volodin:

“He and his inner circle ordered to bomb, shoot and kill peaceful citizens: the elderly, women, children. That is why Zelensky is doing everything to prevent the tribunal.

Amnesty Issues Warning About Donbass Tribunal (RT)

Amnesty International is against putting Ukrainian POWs on trial for alleged war crimes, insisting that Russia and Donbass are in no position to do so. Describing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as “Russian-backed armed groups,”the organization called the upcoming tribunals “illegal and abusive.” The organization also blasted the decision to set up the trials in the city of Mariupol, captured by Russian and Donbass forces during the ongoing conflict, saying it was “a further act of cruelty against a city.” “Any attempts by Russian authorities to try Ukrainian prisoners of war in so-called ‘international tribunals’ set up by armed groups under Russia’s effective control in Mariupol are illegal and unacceptable,” Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, said in a statement on Friday.

The remarks echoed those recently made by top Ukrainian officials, including Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who threatened to cut any potential negotiations with Russia should Ukrainian POWs, primarily fighters of the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment, be placed on a “show trial.” “If this despicable show trial takes place … This will be the line beyond which any negotiations are impossible. Russia will cut itself off from any negotiations,” Zelensky said in a video address on Monday. Zelensky’s call, however, has been promptly snubbed by top Russian and Donbass officials, with the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, stating such threats will have “no effect” on the tribunal plans.

“The data on 80 counts of crimes committed by the Azov has been collected, 23 people have been arrested and are in custody,” Pushilin stated. Russian Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin issued a darker warning in response to Zelensky’s threats, suggesting the public hearings will expose Kiev’s crimes, which is why the Ukrainian president rightfully fears them. “He and the Kiev regime have reasons to be afraid,” Volodin said. “He and his inner circle ordered to bomb, shoot and kill peaceful citizens: the elderly, women, children. That is why Zelensky is doing everything to prevent the tribunal.”

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“The biggest flaw [of sanctions] is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world GDP..”

Sanctions War Isn’t Going As Well As Planned – The Economist (RT)

The harsh sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the conflict in Ukraine have so far been unable to deliver the desired result, The Economist magazine has acknowledged, adding that the strategy has “flaws.” “Worryingly, so far the sanctions war is not going as well as expected,” the British publication said in its article on Thursday, insisting that the effectiveness of economic restrictions on Moscow “is key to the outcome of the Ukraine war.” “Russia’s GDP will shrink by 6% in 2022, reckons the IMF, much less than the 15% drop many expected in March… Energy sales will generate a current-account surplus of $265 billion this year, the world’s second-largest after China. After a crunch, Russia’s financial system has stabilized and the country is finding new suppliers for some imports, including China,” it pointed out.

At the same time, the energy crisis, which has been provoked by the sanctions war, “may trigger a recession” in Europe, where gas prices spiked by another 20% this week, according to the British magazine. This all means that the expected “knockout blow [from restricting Russia] has not materialized,” The Economist said. “The unipolar moment of the 1990s, when America’s supremacy was uncontested, is long gone, and the West’s appetite to use military force has waned since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” it acknowledged. Economic restrictions “seemed” to be the new tool that would allow the US, EU and its allies to project their power globally, but the conflict in Ukraine has revealed that “the sanctions weapon has flaws,” it said.

One of those flaws is “the time lag,” the magazine continued. For example, “blocking [Russia’s] access to tech the West monopolizes takes years to bite,” it added. The Economist suggested that isolation from Western markets could only “cause havoc in Russia… on a three- to five-year horizon.” “The biggest flaw [of sanctions] is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world GDP,” the outlet insisted. “A globalized economy is good at adapting to shocks and opportunities, particularly as most countries have no desire to enforce Western policy.” With economic curbs failing to cripple the Russian economy, one should “discard any illusions that sanctions offer the West a cheap and asymmetric way to confront China” if it decides to use force against Taiwan, The Economist warned.

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Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, who’s next?

Serbia Comments On Russia Gas Supplies (RT)

Serbs would not have to save energy and reduce their consumption this winter thanks to Belgrade’s policies and gas imports from Russia, President Aleksandar Vucic told his fellow citizens in an address on Saturday. “There are no plans for electricity restrictions next winter,” he said, adding, however, that the situation in the energy field remains “extremely difficult.” At the same time, the Serbian cabinet is expected to provide “large discounts” to those who did save electricity this year in comparison to the previous one, he said. Such measures have become possible particularly due to gas imports from Russia, the Serbian leader believes. Serbia purchases 2 million cubic meters of gas – or between 63% and 64% of all gas it needs – from Russia and its total cost amounts to €800 million ($797 million), Vucic said, calling such a price “fantastic.”


If Belgrade had to buy gas at the current European market prices, it would go bankrupt, he said, arguing that the remaining 1.2 million cubic meters of gas – or around 36% of its total consumption – would cost Serbia €4.8 billion ($4.7 billion) now. “And our entire budget is around €13 billion,” the president said. Vucic also praised a deal Belgrade struck with Budapest that would see Hungary storing between 300 and 500 cubic meters of gas purchased by Serbia in its gas storages. The Serbian president’ comments come as the European gas prices continue to soar. September futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands rose to nearly $3,500 per thousand cubic meters on Friday, according to data on the London ICE exchange.

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Raytheon pay day. But this stuff won’t be ready for another two years. They are actively trying to create a 10-year war. Why would Russia wait that long, though?

Pentagon Signs Deal To Make Air Defense Systems For Ukraine (RT)

The Pentagon has signed a $182-million deal with US arms manufacturer Raytheon to produce NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems) for the Ukrainian military. The work on short-and medium-range air defense weaponry will be conducted at Raytheon’s facilities in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, with an estimated completion date of August 23, 2024, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on Friday. Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden announced yet another military aid package for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia. At $2.98 billion it is the largest to date, and will include six NASAMS systems.


The military assistance will be funded as part of the so-called Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), meaning the hardware will be specifically produced for Kiev, and not taken from US stocks. In an article earlier this month, Air Force Magazine described the NASAMS as a vital piece of technology that could help the Ukrainian forces to shoot down Russian cruise missiles, which have so far been hitting targets in the country “nearly unimpeded.” Moscow has long been critical of weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its allies, saying that they only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.

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“In total, nearly 200,000 people have been declared ‘criminals’ over the five years.”

German politicians, a French actor, Victor Orban, Henry Kissinger, and of course as per last week, Roger Waters.

Ukraine Site Threatens 1000s, Incl. Americans, With Extrajudicial Killings (A.)

Mirotvorets, which compiles lists of ‘enemies of Ukraine’, has been operating with impunity for eight years. For the last eight years, a group of publicly unknown activists in Ukraine have been compiling lists of ‘enemies of the people’ with impunity. Hundreds of thousands have been declared criminals without trial. Among them are not only Russian citizens, but also Ukrainian opposition figures and bloggers, European politicians, and US citizens. At the very least, being added to this list is a stigma that makes life difficult in Ukraine, but it can also serve as justification for imprisonment or, in some cases, even being killed. This is exactly what happened last weekend to Daria Dugina, daughter of world-famous Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who’s name also can be found on that list.

RT explains what is behind the Mirotvorets, or ‘Peacemaker’, website, whose creators seek to bring ‘peace’ to their country with the help of extrajudicial killings, and why the Ukrainian authorities have done nothing about this despite condemnation from the international community. What is Mirotvorets? The main page of the Ukrainian Mirotvorets website proclaims that the outlet represents a ‘Center for Research of Signs of Crimes against the National Security of Ukraine, Peace, Humanity, and the International Law’. It claims to have been created by a group of academics, journalists, and other specialists. However, their names are known to no one, and the outfit itself has never even been officially registered in Ukraine. Nevertheless, this organization has been in operation for nine years, since August 2014.

[..] As long as Mirotvorets was limiting itself to publishing information on Ukrainian citizens living in Crimea and Donbass, Ukrainian opposition politicians and journalists, and Russian residents and officials, the odious organization went unnoticed in the ‘civilized world’. But a scandal erupted in 2016, when Mirotvorets published information on employees of a host of media outlets, including the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, AFP, Le Monde, the Guardian, Le Figaro, France 24, El Mundo, CBS News, CNN, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Cheska Televize, Radio France, Channel 9 Australia, the Associated Press, Japan TV, the Daily Mail, Die Welt, the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as representatives of Human Rights Watch and many other organizations, for “cooperating with a terrorist organization” (i.e., the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics).

[..] so far, calls for the closure of Mirotvorets have, in fact, been limited to a chorus of journalists, human rights defenders, and parliamentarians, who lack the power to make legally binding decisions with respect to Ukraine. This issue is not included among the list of requirements put forth by the Council of Europe or the European Commission that Kiev must fulfil in order to implement the EU Association Agreement.

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“..the largest Rorschach test in history..”

What Did Not Happen With The Release Of The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit? (Turley)

With Friday’s release of the redacted affidavit from the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the largest Rorschach test in history seemed to play out on cable television. Instead of ink blots, pundits and politicians stared at pages of solid black lines and offered strikingly different “ah-ha” observations. For former Mueller top aide Andrew Weissmann, the affidavit meant one thing — that “the former president is going to be prosecuted.” (Of course, Weissmann once expressed certainty that Donald Trump would pardon himself by his last day in office.) There already are a plethora of news and opinion columns focusing on five things we learned from the redacted affidavit. Equally telling, I think, is what did not happen with the affidavit’s release.

[..] There is every reason to believe that what followed contained some facts that could be released on the FBI’s communications with the Trump team or the breakdown of such communications. After all, the Trump team already knows about that. Yet the government is saying that everything which occurred in that critical month cannot be disclosed in even the smallest detail. The court could have pushed for additional disclosures but chose to call it a day, based on government representations that more would cause harm. Yet this is the same department that maintained all of the pages released this week could not be released without causing harm.

There is still more that can be done by the court. One option is the special master requested, belatedly, by Trump’s team. I previously argued that Attorney General Merrick Garland should have proposed such an appointment to assure the public that this was not a pretextual search using sensitive documents as an excuse for a massive seizure. The scope of the warrant was ridiculously broad, allowing the seizure of virtually every document in the storage room and every document generated during Trump’s presidency. A special master could have sorted through this mass of material and separated privileged or immaterial documents. That would add to the legitimacy of an otherwise unlimited search.

That also did not happen. However, a special master could still serve the same interests of transparency and legitimacy. By dividing these documents into classified material, unclassified but defense-related information, and unclassified material we would have a better understanding of the scope and seriousness of any alleged crimes. That is why the most curious thing about the redacted affidavit is what did not happen. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Silver Blaze,” a police inspector asks Sherlock Holmes if anything about a crime scene bothered him. The brilliant detective responds, “To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.” When the confused inspector objects that “the dog did nothing in the night-time,” Holmes replies: “That was the curious incident.”

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“A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m.”

Judge Announces ‘Preliminary Intent To Appoint A Special Master’ (Fox)

A federal judge on Saturday announced her “preliminary intent to appoint a special master” to review records seized by the FBI during its unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month, at the request of former President Trump and his legal team, citing the “exceptional circumstances.” Trump and his legal team filed a motion Monday evening seeking an independent review of the records seized by the FBI during its raid of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, saying the decision to search his private residence just months before the 2022 midterm elections “involved political calculations aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican Party, President Trump.”

U.S. District Judge from the Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen M. Cannon on Saturday afternoon said that the decision was made upon the review of Trump’s submissions and “the exceptional circumstances presented.” “Pursuant to Rule 53(b) (1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case,” Cannon wrote in a filing Saturday. A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. in West Palm Beach, Fla. Cannon also ordered the Justice Department to file a response by Aug. 30 and provide, “under seal,” a “more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022.”

The current property receipt shows that FBI agents took approximately 20 boxes of items from the premises, including one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which refers to top secret/sensitive compartmented information. Records covered by that government classification level could potentially include human intelligence and information that, if disclosed, could jeopardize relations between the U.S. and other nations, as well as the lives of intelligence operatives abroad. However, the classification also encompasses national security information related to the daily operations of the president of the United States. The property receipt also showed that FBI agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents, but the document does not reveal any details about any of those records.

Maher Reiner

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Word du jour: Overreach.

Don’t Charge Trump With Espionage (John Kiriakou)

To understand the damage that this deeply flawed law has done, and will continue to do, we have to look at its origins. The Espionage Act was written in 1917, at the height of World War I. The U.S. was panicked at the thought of German spies working undercover to steal its secrets and to disrupt its ability to produce war materiel and support its allies. Congress drew up a law in which one provision, Section 794, made it a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death to provide “national defense information” to a foreign power. But another provision, Section 793, made it a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison to “provide national defense information to any person not entitled to receive it.”

The problems with the law were myriad. First, nobody ever bothered to define what “national defense information” was. The law doesn’t even mention the term “classified information” because the classification system wouldn’t be invented for another 40 years. Second, there was no “affirmative defense” written into the law. A defendant was forbidden from saying in court, “Yes, I gave national defense information to a reporter because I was revealing a crime” or “I did it in the national interest.” And to make matters worse, the Sedition Act, which was passed a year later, amended the Espionage Act to criminalize many forms of speech, including “any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the Army or Navy.”

Even a Hollywood studio was prosecuted under the Espionage Act. In United States v. Motion Picture Film, a federal court upheld the Justice Department’s seizure of the film, called Spirit of ’76, because a scene showed British soldiers being cruel to colonists. The Justice Department had argued that such a depiction, even if true, could undermine public support for the British in the world war. The film’s producer, Robert Goldstein, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $5,000. He served three years. These are only a few of the dozens of “espionage” prosecutions from the period. The law’s Section 793 was largely ignored from the mid-1920s to the early 1970s, when the Nixon administration charged Daniel Ellsberg with multiple counts of espionage for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the media. The case fell apart when Nixon ordered his “plumbers” to break into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, steal his files and send them to newspapers. Section 793 then went dormant again until Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

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It’s theater. And it’s too late.

Let Djokovic Play (Vinay Prasad)

The credibility and legitimacy of public health demands two things. The rules have to make sense; they can’t be nakedly contradictory. And the rules have to benefit people. You can’t demand jumping through hoops merely for optics. The treatment of the tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is officially blocked from competing in this year’s U.S. Open, set to begin on Monday, violates both. Keeping him from playing because he has not received a Covid-19 vaccine undermines the credibility of the White House, which set the policy, and public health more broadly. I’m saying this both as a Democrat and a doctor gravely concerned about eroded trust in our institutions.

Djokovic is one of the best tennis players of all time. He is currently vying for most majors of any champion (21 to date), competing with Rafael Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20). But there will forever be an asterisk next to those comparisons because Djokovic is banned from entering the U.S. to compete in this year’s U.S. Open because of a byzantine rule that non-U.S. citizens cannot enter the country without proof of vaccination. This rule makes no sense from a medical or public health standpoint. Consider the facts. Djokovic is 35 years old, and he is in terrific health. He has had and recovered from Covid-19 twice. This—and the fact that current variants are less lethal than prior strains—means that Djokovic’s odds of doing well were he to get sick with Covid-19 again are remarkably good, and lower than his risk of seasonal influenza.

If Djokovic gets a vaccine at this moment it would be against the ancestral, Wuhan strain of the coronavirus and there is no good evidence this would further improve his odds. Now consider Djokovic’s risk to others. At least 140 million Americans have had and recovered from Covid-19 as of January (this number is higher today), and both vaccinated and unvaccinated can spread the disease. Data shows, when infected, that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals shed virus at similar rates and for similar durations. Forcing Djokovic to get vaccinated won’t protect others. Sars-cov-2 will circulate in the United States for a thousand years whether we let Djokovic in, or keep him out forever.

Then, there are the absurd contradictions in our current rules. Unvaccinated American citizens can move freely in and out of the country without testing. Unvaccinated people can pack the stadium to watch this year’s U.S. Open, where face masks are optional. There is no vaccine or testing requirement to attend. Worst of all, Novak Djokovic competed in last year’s U.S. Open, where he made the finals before the travel rule barring his entry was in place. Joe Biden, who made the rule that blocks Djokovic, has received four Covid-19 vaccine doses. He has had Covid-19 twice, and taken at least 2 courses of Paxlovid. His wife, first lady Jill Biden, has also had four vaccine doses, also had Covid-19 twice. Yet, for some reason, their concern is the Novak Djokovics of the world.

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“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Is there any comparable time in history?

62% of Democratic Students Oppose Sharing Dorm Rooms With Republicans (Turley)

It is a sign of our times. It used to be that the key criterion for college roommates was whether you are a “partier v. non-partier.” Now, it is just your party. A new NBC and Generation Lab study of the class of 2025 showed that roughly half of college students refuse to live with someone who voted for a member of a different political party. That percentage is notably much higher with Democrats rather than Republicans. According to the poll, 46% responded that they would “probably not” or “definitely not” be willing to share a room with someone from another political party.


Of those, 62% of young Democrats refused to share a room with a member of the Republican party while only 28% of young Republicans took that position. That attitude extended to marriage where 52% ruled out a spouse from an opposing party. So much for opposites attracting. Notably, 62% would not work for a company that does not share their political values. It seems Twitter is going to be busy this hiring season. sThe poll reflects not just our age of rage but the increasing siloed news consumption of citizens. People now largely remain in echo chambers for news from the left or the right. It appears that such self imposed isolation now extends socially and professionally for the rising generation, particularly for Democratic students.

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“Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse..”

Assange Files Appeal To Stop US Extradition (RT)

Julian Assange’s legal team filed an appeal on Friday to stop the WikiLeaks co-founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces espionage charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 175 years. According to WikiLeaks, Assange’s lawyers filed “perfected grounds of appeal” before the UK High Court of Justice against the US government and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who approved the extradition of the Australian-born editor in mid-June. The appeal argues that “Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions,” while the US government “misrepresented the core facts” of the case to the UK judiciary. It adds that the request to extradite the WikiLeaks co-founder violates the relevant treaty between the US and the UK, as well as international law.


The document also reportedly contains some new evidence that has been compiled since the UK court ruled on Assange’s extradition in early 2021. The editor’s wife, Stella Assange, said: “Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse,” adding that the high court will now decide whether her husband is given the opportunity to make his case against the US before open court at the appeal. In early June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Assange’s lawyers had filed two appeals to fight his extradition to the US, just a day before the deadline for the legal action was set to expire. The exact details of the appeal, however, were unclear.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick prayer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1563382574139207682

 

 

German power baseload price

 

 

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Jul 232022
 
 July 23, 2022  Posted by at 8:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Salvador Dali Mme. Reese 1931

 

Deal Between Ukraine And Russia Aims To Ease Global Food Crisis (NYT)
Servant of the Corrupt (Gonzalez)
Russia About To Run Out Of Steam In Ukraine – MI6 Chief (BBC)
Western Currencies Will Fail (Vilches)
IEA Chief: Europe Must Cut Gas Usage 20% To Survive Winter (OP)
EU Debates Revised Plan To Reduce Gas Use After Opposition (R.)
Triple/Quadruple Vaccinated Account For 91% Of All UK Covid Deaths (DE)
Unvaccinated Fans Can Attend the U.S. Open. Why Can’t Novak Djokovic? (NW)
The State of Banks in China (Balding)
Trump ’25: A Radical Plan For Trump’s Second Term (Axios)
Liz Cheney Said Trump Family and Aides Have Now Publicly “Confessed” (Turley)
People, Get Ready (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

“Everybody that has an mRNA injection will die in 3 to 5 years.”

 

 

 

 

“If the research done on rats is applicable to humans we will see massive infertility in the next 5 years followed by death via various organ system failure and/or cancers.”

 

 

 

 

Bannon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550527743565053953

 

 

 

 

Conflicting info.

Deal Between Ukraine And Russia Aims To Ease Global Food Crisis (NYT)

Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on Friday to free more than 20 million metric tons of grain stuck in blockaded Black Sea ports in Ukraine, a deal aimed at bringing down soaring grain prices and alleviating a mounting global hunger crisis. The breakthrough comes after months of talks and was brokered with the help of the United Nations and Turkey. The agreement provides a method for exporting Ukrainian grain through Turkey, and it comes after the United Nations gave Russia assurances that it can export its grain and fertilizers. If the agreement holds, it could help ease catastrophic food shortages that worsened when Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Ukraine is one of the world’s breadbaskets, and the invasion reverberated across the global economy, aggravating a growing food crisis, contributing to famine in Africa and threatening political unrest in some countries.

“This agreement did not come easy,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, said at the signing ceremony, calling the deal a “beacon in the Black Sea.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to block food exports to gain international leverage has led to some of the gravest global consequences of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, undermining a global food distribution network that was already strained by pandemic-related disruptions and climate change. Senior U.N. officials said that the first shipments of grain out of Odesa, Ukraine, and neighboring ports were only weeks away and would quickly bring 5 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs to the world market each month. That would also free up storage space in Ukraine’s silos for freshly harvested grain, the officials said.

Ukraine and Russia have agreed on very little since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began Feb. 24. Peace talks held in Belarus that month and in March went nowhere, largely because Russia insisted on a change of government in Kyiv, Ukraine. Later in March, talks in Turkey were also ultimately fruitless. Negotiators have been able to reach agreements on prisoner exchanges and on the evacuation of a steel plant in Mariupol where hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were holed up for 80 days. But Friday’s pact was the first time that representatives from the warring countries have publicly signed an agreement.

“It’s a big step forward,” said Stephen E. Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, crediting the Turks with an “elegant approach.” But he warned that it will be difficult to speedily deliver food to where it is most needed. The mechanics of transporting grain through the Black Sea under wartime conditions with little or no trust between the warring sides are extremely complex. “It will not move quickly,” he said.

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“It might be hard to believe now, but revelations from documents in the Pandora Papers [..] sent Zelensky reeling last year, threatening to end his political career.”

Servant of the Corrupt (Gonzalez)

In February 2021, by order of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine shut down three domestic television channels, accusing them of spreading Russian “propaganda.” Three months later, Zelenksky arrested Viktor Medvedchuk, who was at the time leading the second-biggest party in Ukraine’s national parliament, the pro-Russia and Eurosceptic Opposition Platform for Life (OPZZh). Zelensky didn’t have trouble incinerating vaunted democratic norms well-before Russia crossed the Rubicon into Ukraine this year. So it was no surprise when he did it again amid the war in late March, invoking emergency powers under martial law to nationalize TV channels and ban 11 opposition parties, including OPZZh — all supposedly done in the name of combatting Russian misinformation and Russian sympathizers, even though OPZZh’s then-chairman, Yuriy Boyko, denounced the war and called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Zelensky, however, wouldn’t miss another opportunity to clip the wings of political opposition in his country, certainly not now that Western media rationalizes and glorifies his every move. The portrait of the Ukraine president as a democratic paragon whitewashes the real Zelensky and conceals a vast web of corruption and international skullduggery of which Ukraine is situated in the center. Understanding the real Zelensky, requires seeing him as a creation of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. He is, in truth, a puppet of intrigue. It might be hard to believe now, but revelations from documents in the Pandora Papers — millions of files from offshore service providers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with partners around the world — sent Zelensky reeling last year, threatening to end his political career. Though the actor-turned-politico campaigned as an anti-corruption reformer, the Pandora Papers showed him to be just as crooked as his predecessors.

Of more than 300 politicians and public officials, including several current and former national leaders, in more than 91 countries and territories to whom the documents were linked, Ukraine was home to more secret offshore holdings than any other, including Russia. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which contributed to the investigation, found that just before Zelensky was elected president, “he gifted his stake in a key offshore company, the British Virgin Islands-registered Maltex Multicapital Corp., to his business partner — soon to be his top presidential aide. And in spite of giving up his shares, the documents show that an arrangement was soon made that would allow the offshore to keep paying dividends to a company that now belongs to his wife.”

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Spooks never lie.

Russia About To Run Out Of Steam In Ukraine – MI6 Chief (BBC)

Russia will struggle to maintain its military campaign and Ukraine may be able to hit back, the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service says. MI6 chief Richard Moore said Russia had seen “epic fails” in its initial goals; removing Ukraine’s president, capturing Kyiv and sowing disunity in the West. He was speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, in a rare public appearance. He called the invasion “the most egregious naked act of aggression… in Europe since the Second World War.” He said recent Russian gains were “tiny” and that Russia was “about to run out of steam”. “Our assessment is that the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to find manpower and materiel over the next few weeks,” Mr Moore told the conference in Colorado. “They will have to pause in some way and that will give the Ukrainians the opportunity to strike back.”

That view may be seen as optimistic and Ukraine’s ability to counter-attack may well depend on greater supplies of Western weaponry, which its officials say has often been too slow in arriving. The MI6 chief said some kind of battlefield success would be an “important reminder to the rest of Europe that this is a winnable campaign” – particularly ahead of a winter which was likely to see pressure on gas supplies. “We are in for a tough time,” he said. A further reason to maintain support to help the Ukrainians win, or “at least negotiate from a position of significant strength”, he said, was because China’s leader Xi Jinping was “watching like a hawk”.

[..] On China, he said MI6 had “never had any illusions whatsoever about Communist China”. He revealed MI6 now devoted more effort to China than to any other single subject – the effort in this field having just moved past that devoted to counter-terrorism. He said it was “too early to tell” what lessons China would draw from Putin’s actions in Ukraine, but there were lots of signs officials in Beijing were going into overdrive to work out what they thought. “It is quite difficult to read at the moment,” he said. He said it was “important” to remind China’s leadership of how an invasion of Taiwan could go wrong. He said China’s leadership underestimated US resolve and power and this might lead them to miscalculate. “I don’t think it is inevitable,” he said when asked about a major conflict.

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“Russia does not need, care to have, or find a valid use for dollars or euros which are strictly Western nonsense, not Russia’s..”

Western Currencies Will Fail (Vilches)

As Prof. Michael Hudson has repeatedly explained, printing humongous ´money´ specially for the FIRE rentier sector (Finance Insurance Real Estate) and beyond anyone else has tremendously increased Western GDPs… but did not increase at all its effective, real-life tangible products and services economy that would benefit flesh & blood human beings. The GDP formula and its 4 terms by themselves are clear evidence of such a problem. So today Western central banks have painted themselves into a far away “false GDP” corner with no effective tools, space, or time left to maneuver with or issue yet “new” forward guidance (lip service) for their “financial policies” to change such outcome.

Per multi-billionaire and Bill Gates’ partner Warren Buffett — a.k.a. the ´Omaha Oracle´ — derivatives are a weapon of Financial Mass Destruction which today would sum up a notional sum exceeding USD $ 2 quadrillion. Of these, the central bank-induced and managed “paper gold chimera” could be as high as 30%. Flat-footed as they now are, central bankers can thus awkwardly run around in circles, but they can’t ever effectively hide. They might still be kings for a little while longer but they wear no clothes. And so back to the 2022 world, Russia now says “it´s our products so you pay in our Rubles, okay?” Why euros or dollars? The West plain robs them anyways, so Russia cannot give away something for nothing. Russia does not need, care to have, or find a valid use for dollars or euros which are strictly Western nonsense, not Russia’s.

This includes oil + nat-gas + LNG + refined products + wheat + everything else. And the Chinese may also start gradually doing something equivalent until a new, stable, fairer, BRICS-non-NATO monetary system is developed, installed, and accepted. How the transition will unfold is not yet very clear other than that it´d probably be a bumpy road and that it will take time. Of course, physical gold would work as perfect money so recall that the Global South has plenty of gold — and highly valuable silver — buried deep in the ground but still environmentally recoverable with adequate mining practices. This might turn out to be a game-changer both for these Global South regions of the world and for the Russian and Chinese investments to be made especially if the countries in question belong to BRICS and/or the BRI – Belt and Road Initiative.

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No, Europe must make peace.

IEA Chief: Europe Must Cut Gas Usage 20% To Survive Winter (OP)

After calling on all member states to reduce gas consumption by 15% in the face of the threat of a complete Russian gas cutoff, the IEA says the European Union will need to cut even more in order to get through the winter. “Even if there is no single accident… #Europe still needs to reduce its gas consumption about 20% compared to today in order to have safe and normal winter months,” IEA chief Fatih Birol said, issuing what he called a “red alert” for energy markets. The short-term issue with the Nord Stream 1 pipeline may have been resolved, Birol told CNN, but “it’s too early to be happy about this”. The amount Europe is receiving now from Russia is only about one-third of what it was receiving prior to the force majeure, and the IEA chief warned that even that reduced flow “can be cut anytime”.

After a 10-day pause for regular maintenance, Russian gas flows via Nord Stream resumed on Thursday morning, with orders for gas set at around 40% of Nord Stream’s capacity, the level from before the maintenance after Russia slashed flows in mid-June. Flows early on Thursday were at around 21.5 GWh, compared to 30GWh prior to the start of maintenance on July 11th, and compared to 70 GWh before Russia reduced supplies by 60% on June 13th. On Wednesday, the European Commission unveiled measures for the bloc to conserve gas to pre-empt a Russian cutoff, asking member states to reduce consumption by 15% until next spring.

According to Birol, this won’t be enough to ensure a smooth winter for Europe, and there is no alternative to consumption reductions. Even assuming that the current Russian gas flow is maintained, and considering all the LNG Europe is getting from the United States and elsewhere, plus other natural gas sources, and even if there are no accidents that hamper supply, Europe still needs to reduce more, starting now, Birol said. There is not enough gas around the world for Europe to rely on, the IAE chief said, and there is no choice but to reduce consumption to avoid shortages and rationing this winter.

Read more …

Whistled back.

EU Debates Revised Plan To Reduce Gas Use After Opposition (R.)

European envoys debated revisions on Friday to a proposal by the EU executive that all bloc members cut natural gas use to prepare for potential Russian supply cuts, hoping for a compromise by next week after some governments, including in Greece, balked at the plan. The European Commission proposed on Wednesday that all EU countries should cut their gas use from August to March by 15%. The target would initially be voluntary, but would become mandatory if the Commission declared an emergency. But from the outset, the proposal met criticism from a range of countries. Spain, Portugal and Greece are among the most openly hostile, while diplomats say Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland also have reservations about giving the Commission the power to order cuts.

Under a proposal put forward by the Czech Republic, which holds the rotating EU presidency, EU governments would have to approve any proposal by the Commission to make the cuts mandatory, EU diplomats said. The revised text would also cut the time period for which the system would apply from two years to one, to emphasize the emergency nature of the measure. Some countries complain that a uniform 15% cut would inflict more pain than necessary on householders in some parts of the bloc, to protect gas-hungry industrial users in other regions. Envoys will discuss possible further revisions on Monday before energy ministers meet for an emergency session designed to forge an agreement. “It’s not just fine-tuning. There is still more work to be done,” an EU diplomat said.

Spanish Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said in a letter to the Commission on Friday that Spain shared the final goal of the EU executive’s proposals, but believed there were more effective measures than a uniform and mandatory gas demand cut. “It is essential that the European response to this situation not be perceived as unfair and economically damaging for our citizens and industry,” she wrote, adding Spain was committed to engage constructively. The Commission said on Friday the need for gas consumption cuts was clear and that an energy issue could quickly become a broader economic problem. “It’s based on the fact that there is a serious risk of cut-off of supply of gas from Russia and we need to prepare for this eventuality,” a spokesperson said. “This is not the first time that we are having fierce debates…. on crucial subjects.”

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And not because that many people went for the boosters.

Triple/Quadruple Vaccinated Account For 91% Of All UK Covid Deaths (DE)

In January, the vaccinated accounted for 85% of Covid-19 deaths, whilst the unvaccinated accounted for 15%. By March, the vaccinated accounted for 93% of Covid-19 deaths, whilst the vaccinated accounted for just 7%. And by May, the vaccinated accounted for 94% of Covid-19 deaths, whilst the vaccinated accounted for just 6%. Many people may believe that this is simply because, according to data published by the UK Health Security Agency, 50% of the population of England refused the third jab, and those vaccinated deaths are among the double vaccinated and partly vaccinated. But unfortunately, those people are wrong.

[..] Overall, there were 15,113 Covid-19 deaths by 31st May 2022, and a shocking 13,666 of those deaths were among the vaccinated population. But what’s even more shocking than this is that 12,442 of those deaths were among the triple/quadruple vaccinated population. This means the triple/quadruple vaccinated population have accounted for a frightening 91% of all Covid-19 deaths among the vaccinated since the beginning of 2022.

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Because he’s a symbol for failed policies.

Unvaccinated Fans Can Attend the U.S. Open. Why Can’t Novak Djokovic? (NW)

While Djokovic’s absence undoubtedly would be bad for the game, it also makes no sense from the standpoint of public health. First, it’s noteworthy that Djokovic had COVID-19 in December. Many sporting organizations—including the NCAA—recognize prior infection as a form of immunization, and rightly so. An abundance of scientific evidence shows that natural immunity offers as much protection as vaccination alone, if not more. A recent Cornell University-led study, for example, found that people with prior infection saw “little decline in protection even a year after their prior infection.” Their level of protection was higher than that of people who had received two Pfizer shots and a booster. Importantly, the study found that both vaccines and natural immunity offer “strong and durable protection” against COVID-related hospitalization and death.

These findings and others point to a simple reality: both natural immunity and vaccination offer significant protection against COVID, especially against a severe symptomatic reaction. Second, it’s worth noting that spectators are allowed to attend the Open regardless of their vaccination status. “At this time, ticket holders will not be required to show proof of COVID vaccination for admission into the US Open,” the event’s official website states. In other words, fans can attend the U.S. Open even if they haven’t had the shot—but the world’s greatest tennis star will not be able to set foot in the country. How we arrived here is not a mystery. Vaccination has become one of the most partisan and politicized issues in the world today.

People around the world (not just Americans) were divided over vaccines—not over whether they should be available or even whether they are safe and effective, but over whether it was okay to force people to take them. Coerced vaccination was always problematic because it violates a basic human right: bodily autonomy. But in light of abundant research showing the strength and durability of natural immunity, vaccine mandates don’t just look morally dubious; they look senseless. This helps explain why efforts to coerce vaccination are failing all around the world.

Tucker Harvey Risch

Read more …

“Chinese banks have significantly less capital to absorb losses and less cash on hand for withdrawal by depositors.”

The State of Banks in China (Balding)

The state of banks in China dominates concerns about the economy and global growth. With pictures of angry crowds outside banks and tanks on the street in one city to quell discontent about being unable to withdraw funds, it bears asking what the true state of Chinese banks is. Officially, Chinese banks are in fine shape. Nonperforming loans are low and are disposed of in a controlled manner. Banks remain comfortably within their regulatory limits of loan growth, and deposits continue to rise. However, as with all things China, a look behind the official statistics gives cause for concern. First, loan classifications in China fail to capture the true level of risk of defaults. Loan classification in China is notoriously pliable, so Chinese banks can set standards for loans being classified as nonperforming that would not pass regulatory scrutiny in other countries, a fact they openly acknowledge.

While an interest payment in most jurisdictions that was overdue by 90 days would change the classification, some Chinese banks have said they do not change the classification of the loan to doubtful until “the operations of the borrower have been suspended for at least half a year.” The cessation of a company’s operations would make any outstanding loans dubious. Second, Chinese banks are highly leveraged and short on capital. The weighted reserve rate for all banks in China is now just 8.4 percent of all capital. This is a drop from over 21 percent a decade ago. This means Chinese banks have significantly less capital to absorb losses and less cash on hand for withdrawal by depositors. These reserve figures are the official numbers, so even small changes to the bad loan numbers, an issue as just noted is highly suspect, can rapidly make that 8.4 percent even smaller.

Third, banks are facing a wave of stressed borrowers right as their capital is at historic lows, and they have been fudging the data for some time. Local governments have seen revenue plunge from lower economic activity from COVID-19 and real estate. The property sector, which is responsible for around 30 percent of GDP, is under enormous pressure, with buyers and developers alike feeling the pressure. In other words, right when banks need that capital most, they have the lowest capital levels in years. The bad news is that the choices available to Beijing are limited due to the years of pushing rapid expansion in fiscal and monetary policy to support growth. Recapitalizing the banks would require vast sums of money that would require significant inflation or devaluation of the Chinese yuan against the U.S. dollar.

Read more …

Drain the Deep State.

Trump ’25: A Radical Plan For Trump’s Second Term (Axios)

Former President Trump’s top allies are preparing to radically reshape the federal government if he is re-elected, purging potentially thousands of civil servants and filling career posts with loyalists to him and his “America First” ideology, people involved in the discussions tell Axios. The impact could go well beyond typical conservative targets such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service. Trump allies are working on plans that would potentially strip layers at the Justice Department — including the FBI, and reaching into national security, intelligence, the State Department and the Pentagon, sources close to the former president say. During his presidency, Trump often complained about what he called “the deep state.”

The heart of the plan is derived from an executive order known as “Schedule F,” developed and refined in secret over most of the second half of Trump’s term and launched 13 days before the 2020 election. The reporting for this series draws on extensive interviews over a period of more than three months with more than two dozen people close to the former president, and others who have firsthand knowledge of the work underway to prepare for a potential second term. Most spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive planning and avoid Trump’s ire. As Trump publicly flirts with a 2024 comeback campaign, this planning is quietly flourishing from Mar-a-Lago to Washington — with his blessing but without the knowledge of some people in his orbit. Trump remains distracted by his obsession with contesting the 2020 election results.

But he has endorsed the work of several groups to prime an administration-in-waiting. Personnel and action plans would be executed in the first 100 days of a second term starting on Jan. 20, 2025. Their work could accelerate controversial policy and enforcement changes, but also enable revenge tours against real or perceived enemies, and potentially insulate the president and allies from investigation or prosecution. They intend to stack thousands of mid-level staff jobs. Well-funded groups are already developing lists of candidates selected often for their animus against the system — in line with Trump’s long-running obsession with draining “the swamp.” This includes building extensive databases of people vetted as being committed to Trump and his agenda.

The preparations are far more advanced and ambitious than previously reported. What is happening now is an inversion of the slapdash and virtually non-existent infrastructure surrounding Trump ahead of his 2017 presidential transition. These groups are operating on multiple fronts: shaping policies, identifying top lieutenants, curating an alternative labor force of unprecedented scale, and preparing for legal challenges and defenses that might go before Trump-friendly judges, all the way to a 6-3 Supreme Court.

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550704392315310080

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“Can a President who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6 ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?”

Cheney’s losing bigtime in the polls. Trump is not.

Liz Cheney Said Trump Family and Aides Have Now Publicly “Confessed” (Turley)

Cheney ended the hearing this week by calling for more officials to come forward and noting that Trump family members and former officials have now come forward with their own public “confessions.” As with past hearings, the summation included a direct call by Cheney for voters to oppose Donald Trump in the coming election: “Can a President who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6 ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?” It is the type of pitch that is as unnecessary as it is counterproductive. Many voters tuned out the hearings weeks ago due to the absence of any balance in the presentation of evidence. To add direct political pitches only reduces the audience further. The result is that it is left telling largely Democratically aligned voters not to vote for Trump.

Tucker Bannon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550645124824186887

The alternative was to secure a larger audience by allowing more balance. It would not have altered the power of these accounts. It would have simply added greater credibility to the proceedings. It could have changed minds rather than just reaffirm preexisting views. Instead, once again, the Committee simply edited out conflicting evidence. For example, the Committee again edited out the line of Trump where he said “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” That line does not exonerate the former president. However, it is illustrative of the Committee’s refusal to hold these hearings for investigative rather than persuasive purposes.

What was particularly bizarre was Cheney’s effort to dismiss the need for any opposing views in the hearings. In one of the most counterintuitive and forced claims, Cheney said that such balance would not have made a difference: “And for those of you who seem to think the evidence would be different if Republican Leader McCarthy had not withdrawn his nominees from this committee, let me ask you this. Do you really think Bill Barr is such a delicate flower that he would wilt under cross-examination? Pat Cipollone, Eric Herschmann, Jeff Rosen, Richard Donoghue?” No one is suggesting that Barr would have changed his testimony. Rather, the argument is that there were questions not being asked for the witnesses and evidence not being presented. For example, when the two former members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers testified, members carefully avoided a host of countervailing questions, including any direct contacts with Trump or the White House.

However, it was the true confessions moment that stood out in the closing summation. Cheney said that more people will be called to come forward. She then added: “The case against Donald Trump in these hearings is not made by witnesses who were his political enemies. It is instead a series of confessions by Donald Trump’s own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years, and his own family. They have come forward. And they have told the American people the truth.”

Dick Morris

Read more …

“We enter the new frontier of the Green New Deal and Build Back Better. In other words, the USA completely collapses.”

People, Get Ready (Jim Kunstler)

My political fantasy du jour: Thus, Kamala accedes to greatness! She must then appoint a new vice-president. That would be… wait for it… California governor Gavin Newsom — who else? (He was recently captured on video skulking into a back door of the West Wing while “Joe Biden” was out-of-town schmoozing up the honchos of Saudi Arabia.) Gov. Newsom is easily confirmed in the House and narrowly in the Senate when Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski vote with the Party of Chaos. Kamala soon resigns, citing “anxiety problems.” Now president, Mr. Newsom proceeds to accelerate the wrecking of the old USA along the lines of his recent work in California. All D.C. gas stations are ordered shut to promote the transition to renewables. The D.C. Mall is declared the National Homeless Camp….

I called it a fantasy, but this may be their only move left as the nation utterly loses its patience with the “Joe Biden” fiasco and the escalating disorders of Western Civ take us into August. The mid-term election must be revamped at all costs, they’ll say, “to save our democracy.” A new pandemic is declared in early October, complete with lockdowns, while Google partners with Facebook to roll out a new vote-by-phone app. By some miracle, then, the Democrats add thirty more seats to their house majority and five in the Senate. We enter the new frontier of the Green New Deal and Build Back Better. In other words, the USA completely collapses.

A dark scenario, I confess, but doesn’t that seem exactly where things are going? An epic crackup is upon us. Every place in the world is primed for meltdown, and a few lands in the periphery are already sinking. Sri Lanka is broke and out of gas after being set up as a WEF / Schwabenklaus low-carbon eco-state experiment. Panama is in revolt over extreme government corruption, food scarcity, and the after-effects of an especially severe two-year-long Covid lockdown that the rest of the world hardly heard about — perhaps because China has operational control over the vital Panama Canal and the CCP has operational control over the World Health Organization, which set up Panama as a lockdown lab project.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Vicky Spit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 202022
 


Gustave Moreau Helen on the Walls of Troy 1885

 

In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions (MoA)
On Liberating Europe (Batiushka)
Kiev Names Condition For Peace Talks With Moscow (RT)
Kiev Threatens To Destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (RT)
Zelensky Widens Purge Of Security Services (BBC)
Timetable For Return Of Nord Stream Turbine Revealed (RT)
Costs Of Ukraine War A Test For European Leaders – And It May Get Worse (G.)
US Army Cuts Force Size Amid Unprecedented Battle For Recruits (AP)
Ex-Trump Official In Demand After Twitter Backs Down On Covid Censorship (JTN)
Paul Pelosi $1M Chip Stock Purchase: A Long History Of ‘Timely’ Buys (JTN)
Prediction For Unvaccinated And Never Previously Infected (Geert)
Don’t Let ‘Voodoo Science’ Keep Djokovic From Competing in US Open (Thakur)

 

 

About eating bugs…

 

 

Attali

 

 

 

 

Biden Poroshenko

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ray Epps
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549054198855122947

 

 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called for an international investigation of war crimes by the UK and the US
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549152060276441092

 

 

Soros Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549374225290596352

 

 

 

 

“With such a large deal will also come protection. Iran will be able to call on Russia should someone start hostilities against it…”

In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions (MoA)

But the greatest news for Iran is a new deal with Russia’s Gazprom that was signed today: “The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russian gas producer Gazprom signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding worth around $40 billion, Iran’s oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported. The deal was signed during an online ceremony by the CEOs of both companies on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran for a summit with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts. Gazprom will help NIOC in the development of the Kish and North Pars gas fields and also six oil fields, according to SHANA. Gazprom will also be involved in the completion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and construction of gas export pipelines. Iran sits on the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia, but US sanctions have hindered access to technology and slowed development of gas exports.”

Gazprom is a strong partner and can not be hindered by U.S. sanctions. Iran will finally be able export more of its plentiful gas. Russia will also have a chance to work with Iran to keep the prices at a certain level. With such a large deal will also come protection. Iran will be able to call on Russia should someone start hostilities against it. When Iran produces enough gas it can also revive the old project of a pipeline to India. This could either go through Pakistan or, as India would probably prefer, through an undersea pipeline: “A 1,300-km undersea pipeline from Iran, avoiding Pakistani waters, can bring natural gas from the Persian Gulf to India at rates less than the price of Liquefied Natural Gas available in the spot market, proponents of the pipeline said on Tuesday. Releasing a study on the Iran-India gas pipeline, former oil secretary T.N.R. Rao said natural gas imported through the over $4 billion line would cost $5-5.50 per million British thermal unit at the Indian coast, cheaper than the rate at which some of the domestic fields supply gas”

Despite U.S. sanctions Iran is again becoming fully integrated into its region. It is a great success and the gas and transit deals will help its economy to make some gains even as the U.S. adds new sanctions. Russia, India and China are partners who can and will ignore those. Iran now also has the capability to produce sufficient nuclear material for a number of bombs. It will not use this capability as its religious ideology prohibits the making and use of such weapons. But it is a latent threat that can be used to deter Israel and the U.S. from any attack. That Trump left the nuclear deal was dumb. That Biden did not revive it immediately after taking office was even dumber. To now stay out of it, only to keep some stupid sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp, is the dumbest step I can think of.

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“..the bankruptcy of the West that should have happened over thirty years ago is happening now..”

On Liberating Europe (Batiushka)

Just over thirty years ago the Communist USSR went bankrupt – it could not raise enough money to pay off its debts on capital markets. The West should have gone bankrupt at the same time because it too had colossal debts, however through the financial manipulations of its Capitalism it was able to raise the capital. So it went morally bankrupt instead. Firstly, there was the fascism of political correctness. Like so many destructive movements the initial intentions were good, but as we know that the road to hell is paved with them. It was precisely after 1991 that the use of the phrase ‘political correctness’ as a pejorative phrase became widespread in the USA.

Secondly, at the same time there began the Western attack on Islam, or rather the Western grab of Arab oil and gas, by telling Saddam Hussein that he could recover Kuwait, which had been illegitimately cut off from oil-rich Iraq by British imperialism, but then withdrawing that support once he had done it and so pretexting a reason to attack him. The first Gulf War followed, with a second one to follow after the invasion and failed occupation of Afghanistan, and then chaos in the ‘Arab Spring’. Thirdly, at the same time, in 1992 there began the attempt to depopulate, dismantle and destroy the Russian Lands, culminating 22 years later in the US coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014, which cost US taxpayers $5 billion and has cost them many times more since. Inbetween there have been all manner of Western manipulations, from 9/11 to covid.

Such is hubris. ‘We are the only Superpower’. ‘The end of history has come’. And so today the Western world finds itself isolated. The ‘international community’, ‘the free world’, has only 13% of the world population and depends on the rest of the world, on the 87%. Outmatched by the population of the rest of the world and its GDP, it produces only a smallish amount of oil, gas, food, fertiliser and manufactured goods. Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, indeed nearly all of Asia, Africa and Latin America, stand together against the neocolonial manipulations and neocon lies of the Western world, whose unity is now crumbling. Moreover, the Western world is bankrupt. The USA alone owes an unpayable £30 trillion. Thus, the bankruptcy of the West that should have happened over thirty years ago is happening now.

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“..after Russia’s defeat on the battlefield..”

Kiev Names Condition For Peace Talks With Moscow (RT)

Peace negotiations with Moscow will make sense only after Russia’s defeat on the battlefield, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has declared. In an interview with Forbes Ukraine published on Monday, Kuleba named Russia’s “aggressive behavior” as a reason for the absence of peace talks, arguing that any negotiations “are directly linked to the situation at the front.” “I tell all partners a simple thing: ‘Russia should sit down at the negotiating table after defeat on the battlefield. Otherwise, it will be the language of ultimatums again,’” Kuleba explained. He stressed that President Zelensky does not rule out “the possibility of negotiations” but believes that “there is no reason” for talks now. “He communicated this very clearly to the leaders of the countries who had hinted at negotiations.

These leaders have also stopped talking about it,” Kuleba said. In June, Ukraine’s top negotiator David Arakhamia suggested that Kiev believes it could achieve “favorable position” by late August after it conducts “counteroffensive operations in certain areas.” On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who is now a deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, said that there shouldn’t be any doubts that all the goals of his country’s military operation in Ukraine would be achieved. At the same time, he noted that “such actions are not of an immediate nature,” referring to some of Vladimir Putin’s previous statements. “The President has repeatedly spoken about this, there are certain scenarios of how such operations are unfolding,” Medvedev explained.

Moscow and Kiev started peace talks four days after the start of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The sides have held several rounds in person in Belarus and then continued the talks via video link. In late March, the delegations from Russia and Ukraine met once again, in Istanbul. Since then, however, the talks have completely stalled. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had provided Ukraine with a draft agreement but Kiev has ignored it. Peskov has previously accused the US and its allies of “actively betting on the continued war” and of not allowing Kiev “neither to think nor talk about or discuss peace.” Moscow has also warned the West against supplying Ukraine with weapons, saying that this would only lead to prolongation of the conflict and unnecessary casualties but would not change the outcome.

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With US weapons. What could go wrong?

Kiev Threatens To Destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (RT)

Russian ships and Crimea could be attacked with Western-supplied weapons, Ukrainian deputy defense minister says Ukraine will crush Russia’s Black Sea fleet and regain control of Crimea with Western weapons, the country’s Deputy Defense Minister, Vladimir Gavrilov has vowed during a visit to the UK. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, is “a permanent threat” to Ukraine, and Kiev has to address this issue, Gavrilov said in an interview with the Times on Tuesday. Kiev was waiting to get longer-range weapons from foreign nations before launching an assault, he added. “We are receiving anti-ship capabilities and sooner or later we will target the fleet. It is inevitable because we have to guarantee the security of our people,” the deputy defense minister explained.

Gavrilov claimed that Ukraine is also planning to take back Crimea – which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a 2014 referendum after a coup in Kiev. According to the official, the Ukrainian government was holding discussions with their Western backers on whether it could use foreign-supplied arms to target Russian forces on the peninsula. American officials earlier assured that Kiev had promised that US-made arms, including 142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS multiple launch rocket systems, would not be used to attack Russian territory. However, Kiev says it doesn t view Crimea as part of Russia, considering it to be a Ukrainian area occupied by Moscow. Sooner or later we will have enough resources to target Russia in the Black Sea and Crimea.

Crimea is Ukrainian territory, that s why any target there is legitimate for us, the deputy defense minister stated. Gavrilov also didn’t rule out the use of diplomatic means in order to reclaim Crimea, saying that we have to think very carefully how to do it in the right way. Russia will have to leave Crimea if they wish to exist as a country, Gavrilov insisted. His statements didn’t go unnoticed in Moscow, with Kremlin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov saying that they were “yet another proof that [Russia’s] special military operation was a correct and absolutely justified move because it was the only way to save Ukraine from such leaders” as Gavrilov.

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I don’t think we’re getting the real story here.

Zelensky Widens Purge Of Security Services (BBC)

President Volodymyr Zelensky has continued his purge of Ukraine’s security service (SBU) by dismissing the organisation’s deputy director. Volodymyr Horbenko is the latest official to lose his job after Mr Zelensky said bosses failed to root out pro-Russian elements in the agency. Regional chiefs in several other cities were also dismissed, Mr Zelensky said. It comes as MPs voted to dismiss SBU chief Ivan Bakanov and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova. On Monday, an adviser to Mr Zelensky suggested that the pair had merely been suspended pending an investigation, after the president initially appeared to sack them in a late-night address. But on Tuesday the Ukrainian leader laid down a motion of no-confidence in the pair before parliament, which was approved by an overwhelming majority of MPs.


There have been reports for several weeks that Mr Zelensky wanted to replace Mr Bakanov after coming to blame him for failures in stopping the Russian advance in February. Neither of the top officials, both of whom Mr Zelensky personally appointed, are accused of betraying their country. But they ran agencies where Russian interference appears to have impacted Ukraine’s ability to hold territory in the opening days of the war. Speaking after the vote, the leader of Mr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, David Arakhamia, said new information had recently come to light, and the purge of the SBU would continue in the coming days. “There will be many ‘cleanses’, because over the years many residents of the Russian special services have secretly entrenched themselves within the walls of the SBU, unfortunately,” Mr Arakhamia said, adding: “They got access to materials that they didn’t have before.” On Sunday, Mr Zelensky said over 60 former SBU and prosecutor’s office employees were now working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied areas.

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Early August.

Timetable For Return Of Nord Stream Turbine Revealed (RT)

A crucial turbine from the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline was airlifted from Canada to Germany on Sunday, Kommersant newspaper has reported, citing its sources. The part will then travel for another five to seven days by ferry to its destination in Russia, the paper revealed on Monday. If everything goes smoothly and there’s no delay at customs, the turbine will be fitted and ready to pump gas in early August, Kommersant noted. The Siemens turbine was stuck in Canada after undergoing repairs there due to Ottawa’s Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia. Canada initially refused to return the part, as it regarded the equipment as a dual-use product subject to sanctions.


After negotiations with Berlin, however, Ottawa decided to use an indirect delivery route to avoid violating its own sanctions against Moscow. The delay forced Russian gas exporter Gazprom to slash exports of natural gas to Germany by as much as 60% last month, as the pumping station was technically unable to pump at normal levels without the turbine. The Nord Stream pipeline is an important route for gas exports from Russia to the EU because it offers direct deliveries to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. Deliveries via the pipeline were temporarily stopped on July 11 for 10 days of scheduled maintenance.

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Whack-a-mole.

Costs Of Ukraine War A Test For European Leaders – And It May Get Worse (G.)

Desperate efforts in Italy to prevent the fall of Mario Draghi’s government are only the latest political firestorm in Europe tied to Vladimir Putin’s tests of the west’s powers of endurance. Draghi’s foreign minister, Luigi di Maio, suggested it will be Putin who celebrated the fall of another western government if Draghi does not survive a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday. “A boat without a rudder goes adrift,” said Ferruccio Resta, the president of the Conference of Italian University Rectors – a metaphor that could apply, to Putin’s satisfaction, to much of Europe as governments come under growing pressure over the perceived domestic cost of the war in Ukraine.

The narrative of a brewing popular revolt against western sanctions on Russia certainly fits well with Putin’s central narrative that time and economics are on his side since the sanctions are damaging European consumers more than Russia’s. He feels soaring fuel prices are the most lethal of macroeconomic shocks for politicians as they drive inflation while slowing economic growth. As yet it is premature to take a definitive view about the scale of the potential electoral backlash in Europe, and Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs spokesperson, for instance, angrily complained that rising prices were being attributed to EU sanctions without any evidence. Borrell said of the critics of EU sanctions: “Don’t they have eyes? Do they not look at the graphs? Do they not consider figures or facts?”

In France, Emmanuel Macron has been weakened if not muted by the loss of his parliamentary majority to parties more naturally sympathetic to Putin. In Spain, the Socialists, facing elections next year, have just lost their power base in Andalusia, the most populous region. The centre-right People’s party achieved a new record high of 36.3 % in the latest GAD3 poll, its best result since April 2017. If repeated in an election it would be its best result since 2011. In Estonia, the fiercely anti-Putin prime minister, Kaja Kallas, survived last week after her previous coalition government fell in a dispute linked to the country’s inflation rate of 19%, the highest in the 19-nation eurozone. Electricity prices in Estonia are at a record high, averaging €300 per megawatt-hour last week.

Kallas skilfully reconstructed her government, but at some cost to the Estonian budget and her credibility. If the economy has not improved by the time of legislative elections next March, she could be in trouble. In Warsaw, the PiS frets about electoral defeat next autumn, even if the opposition would remain supportive of Ukraine. In Bulgaria, a pro-western government has fallen. And, of course, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has just been let down spectacularly by the self-inflicted demise of Boris Johnson in Britain. The politician who has fared best at the ballot box most recently is probably Viktor Orbán, Putin’s greatest ally in Europe. Orbán is glorying in it. He said at first he believed European politicians had only “shot themselves in the foot”, but now it is clear that it was a shot to the lungs of the European economy, which is struggling for air everywhere.

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Jesse Kelly’s comment is spot on.

US Army Cuts Force Size Amid Unprecedented Battle For Recruits (AP)

The Army is significantly cutting the total number of soldiers it expects to have in the force over the next two years, as the U.S. military faces what a top general called “unprecedented challenges” in bringing in recruits. Army officials on Tuesday said the service will fall about 10,000 soldiers short of its planned end strength for this fiscal year, and prospects for next year are grimmer. Army Gen. Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff for the Army, said it is projecting it will have a total force of 466,400 this year, down from the expected 476,000. And the service could end 2023 with between 445,000 and 452,000 soldiers, depending on how well recruiting and retention go. With just two and a half months to go in the fiscal year, the Army has achieved just 50% of its recruiting goal of 60,000 soldiers, according to Lt. Col. Randee Farrell, spokeswoman for Army Secretary Christine Wormuth.

Based on those numbers and trends, it is likely the Army will miss the goal by nearly 25% as of Oct. 1. If the shortfalls continue, Martin said, they could have an impact on readiness. “We’ve got unprecedented challenges with both a post-COVID-19 environment and labor market, but also competition with private companies that have changed their incentives over time,” Martin told a House Armed Services subcommittee on Tuesday. Asked if the Army will have to adjust its force structure to meet national security and warfighting missions around the world, Martin said: “We don’t need to do that immediately. But if we don’t arrest the decline that we’re seeing right now in end strength, that could be a possibility in the future.”

Cutting the size of the Army is the best option, said Wormuth. “The Army is facing our most challenging recruiting environment since the inception of the all-volunteer force. This is not a one-year challenge. We will not solve this overnight,” she said, adding that the service is looking at a wide range of steps to recruit more soldiers without lowering standards or sacrificing quality. “We are facing a very fundamental question,” she added. “Do we lower standards to meet end strength, or do we lower end strength to maintain a quality, professional force? We believe the answer is obvious — quality is more important than quantity.”

The Army’s recruiting problems are the most severe across the military, but the other services are also having a tough time finding young people who want to join and can meet the physical, mental and moral requirements. Senior Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps leaders have said they are hopeful they will meet or just slightly miss their recruiting goals for this year. But they said they will have to dip into their pool of delayed entry applicants, which will put them behind as they begin the next recruiting year.

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“I won’t lose,” he said, tagging Twitter support. “I have your receipts and it’s clear you have amateurs in charge of your censorship operation.”

Ex-Trump Official In Demand After Twitter Backs Down On Covid Censorship (JTN)

A Trump administration lawyer secured journalist Alex Berenson’s reinstatement to Twitter in a legal settlement and got quick results when he warned the social media platform on behalf of Ivy League epidemiologist Andrew Bostom last week. James Lawrence III, former Department of Health and Human Services deputy general counsel and chief counsel at the FDA, is now being sought by other users also sanctioned for sharing “misleading and potentially harmful” information related to COVID-19. Kevin McKernan, a veteran genomics researcher on the verge of permanent suspension, said he’s “in contact” with Lawrence but declined to specify further to Just the News.

Daniel Kotzin, an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccines with a large Twitter following, suggested he’d hire Lawrence after losing his first lawsuit, which alleged Twitter colluded with federal officials to sanction him. (A similar lawsuit by Republican attorneys general is moving into discovery.) Bostom told Just the News that Twitter reinstated his account, suspended for sharing a peer-reviewed study on COVID vaccines and male fertility, within “a few hours” of Lawrence’s legal threat letter, which gave Twitter a July 21 deadline. Lawrence noted Bostom’s voluminous research and publishing when he was on the faculty at Brown University’s medical school. He’s now a research physician at a Brown-affiliated hospital.

Bostom was not saying “the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility” but rather “citing research and asking questions,” Lawrence told Twitter head of legal Vijaya Gadde. Twitter’s misinformation ban explicitly exempts “debate about research” that does not “intentionally misrepresent research findings.” Using the same breach-of-contract argument that convinced a federal judge to let Berenson’s lawsuit continue, Lawrence said Twitter ignored “its own progressive discipline policy” and instead “retrofit” Bostom’s single flagged tweet into its repeated-violation policy. Kevin McKernan managed MIT’s research and development for the Human Genome Project. “You can restore this account to zero strikes, or prepare for some legal expense,” he wrote in a Saturday tweet thread after his latest lockup in “TwitMo.” “I won’t lose,” he said, tagging Twitter support. “I have your receipts and it’s clear you have amateurs in charge of your censorship operation.”

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Shameless.

Paul Pelosi $1M Chip Stock Purchase: A Long History Of ‘Timely’ Buys (JTN)

Paul Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, purchased between $1 million and $5 million of stock in a semiconductor company ahead of an upcoming vote on legislation containing $52 billion for chipmakers — the latest in a long history of similar purchases. A Data for Progress poll found that 70% of respondents support a ban on lawmakers trading individual stocks and 68% agree with extending the ban to their spouses. Pelosi’s husband made headlines when he purchased a substantial amount of tech stock last year under his wife’s speakership. Pelosi made millions on “timely” bets with Big Tech stock buys in advance of an antitrust bill that was moving through the House, according to a Fortune report from July 2021. The antitrust legislation ultimately stalled, but Pelosi tech stock buys have continued throughout this year.

In March, the speaker disclosed that her husband bought Apple as well as Disney and PayPal shares. Retail traders track Pelosi’s trades to “find winners,” Yahoo reported. Pelosi was involved in controversy regarding Visa stock purchases he made in 2008 while credit card companies were reportedly lobbying his wife to stop legislation that would curb credit card swipe fees to vendors, CBS News reported at the time. “The Pelosis purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars,” the CBS report read. “Two days later it was trading at $64.” CBS noted that the swipe fee legislation, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, eventually did pass the House. “I will hold my record in terms of fighting the credit card companies as speaker of the House or as a member of Congress up against anyone,” Speaker Pelosi told “60 Minutes.”

[..] Peter Schweizer, author of the 2011 book “Throw Them All Out,” was instrumental in educating the public about the lack of stock trading laws applicable to members of Congress. After his book was published, Congress passed the STOCK Act, and former President Obama signed it into law. The bill is designed to prevent insider trading, but it doesn’t ban members of Congress or their spouses from buying individual stocks. Under the bill, lawmakers are required to file financial disclosure reports that show the purchases made. Schweizer has long called on Congress to prohibit lawmakers and their spruces from trading individual stocks.

“They still sort of continue to blatantly trade in stocks,” Schweizer told Just the News in October 2021. “So in the case of the Pelosis, for example, she’s the Speaker of the House, legislation that’s going to affect Big Tech in a positive way or big contracts going to Big Tech, her husband’s not only buying and selling stock in Big Tech, he’s actually buying options, which are sort of leveraged bets that the stock is going to go one way or the other. And, of course, Paul Pelosi Sr. just happens to be really good at making those predictions.”

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“Unvaccinated can now largely forget about contracting severe C-19 disease as the next big mutation will most likely make the unvaccinated resistant to the virus..”

Prediction For Unvaccinated And Never Previously Infected (Geert)

What would be your prediction for those who are both unvaccinated against COVID-19 and never previously infected? Let’s say those of working age(20 – 55) in fairly good health. Should they be worried about Avian Flu and Monkeypox, since they have not experienced an infection by SARS-CoV-2? Are they at risk for serious illness from these more infectious (and future more virulent) SARS-CoV-2 mutants?

Answer: It would be quite unbelievable that they didn’t get exposed to SC-2 given the high infectiousness of previously and currently circulating variants. Ideally, they should have their Abs tested (anti-S would be sufficient since they’re not vaccinated). They can also have their Abs tested against Flu. If all this is negative (which would point to poor activation of natural immunity), they can just take one shot of a live attenuated measles or mumps or rubella or varicella vaccine (or all together in one shot) to boost their innate immune response. (However, they should only do so if they got MMR(V)-vaccinated in the past. The better their innate immune status, the lower the likelihood they are going to catch severe disease from these viruses. But anyhow, for a person in good health, it is highly unlikely to develop severe disease from Monkeypox (as it is – for now(!) – not highly infectious) or from Avian Flu as they must at least have had contact with Flu viruses in the past and hence, have some ‘Flu-trained’ innate immunity.)

Unvaccinated can now largely forget about contracting severe C-19 disease as the next big mutation will most likely make the unvaccinated resistant to the virus. However, if they have not yet been infected at all by any of these highly infectious variants, they could still contract C-19 disease (before that new variant emerges) and become seriously ill (but not ‘severely ill’ as long as they are in good health with no comorbidities and predisposing factors). To avoid this, they should either prevent risky contacts (difficult) till the next variant appears (in my opinion, just a matter of weeks) or take Ivermectin orHCQ as soon as symptoms manifest (but not prophylactically).

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“Djokovic had to be kept out of Australia not because he could infect others but because he is a visible reminder of vaccine failure.”

Don’t Let ‘Voodoo Science’ Keep Djokovic From Competing in US Open (Thakur)

So Novak Djokovic has won Wimbledon, the second tennis major this year to be plagued by self-inflicted wounds following the Australian Open whose crown Djokovic was unceremoniously prevented from defending. I concluded then that God must be a Djoker. How else to explain that banks that once feared masked robbers insisted on masked customers in 2020-21, Big Pharma blamed the failure of a product on those who refused to take it and sporting bodies that banned drug-injecting competitors mandated a drug with no long-term safety data? According to one site that tracks the adverse events associated with sportspeople, by mid-July 1,174 athletes — by definition one of the fittest cohorts in society — had suffered cardiac arrests and other serious side effects, of whom 779 had died.

The claim that “No-vax” Djokovic poses a threat to others’ health is risible. Among the best tennis players of all time, one of the greatest contemporary athletes across all sporting codes and also possibly the healthiest human being on the planet who is obsessive-compulsive about his fitness, Djokovic was unable to play in the Australian Open because he refused to take a COVID vaccine. Now he faces the repeat prospect of the Biden administration barring him from entering to compete in the US Open, even though unvaccinated Americans can compete. That would be unfortunate. The vaccination mandate for international arrivals made little sense back in January and is now demonstrably reliant on voodoo science.

[..] It’s indisputable that vaccination does not provide protection against getting infected or infecting others. If health authorities were honest, then to be consistent with their 2021 messaging, they would now be using the language of the pandemic of the vaccinated. The scale of the problem is such that suspicions arise that rapidly waning efficacy, especially after repeated boosters, might not be the only issue. In addition to the studiously ignored problem of adverse events, many serious and some fatal, could the vaccines themselves be sustaining and driving the pandemic? Against this hard data that is now available, the decision in January to stop Djokovic from coming into Australia seems even more perverse. As a BBC analysis made clear, that decision was neither medical nor legal but political.

A court overturned the entry ban on procedural and substantive grounds. The government then made an end run around the legal system by relying on ministerial discretion that had deliberately been made nonjusticiable. Accepting that Djokovic posed “a negligible individual risk of transmitting COVID-19” to others, the minister nonetheless concluded that because Djokovic had a “well-known stance on vaccination,” his very presence could fuel anti-vaccination sentiment in Australia. Consequently, his participation was not in the public interest. Thus Djokovic had to be kept out of Australia not because he could infect others but because he is a visible reminder of vaccine failure.

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Simpsons 2006

 

 

Tucker Harrowing

 

 

 

 


Mount Fuji

 

 

 

 

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Jul 192022
 
 July 19, 2022  Posted by at 7:36 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Trafalgar Square 1939-43

 

Operation Z – Don’t Interrupt (Larry Johnson)
Gazprom Declares Force Majeure, To Halt Gas Flows To Germany Indefinitely (ZH)
Russian Economy Expected To Thrive By Year’s End (RT)
Germany’s Energy Crisis About To Get Worse As Rhine Water Levels Plummet (ZH)
Staged Incidents As The Western Approach To Doing Politics (Lavrov)
Germany and France ‘Killed’ Minsk Agreements – Lavrov (RT)
Ukraine Treated Donbass People As Sub-humans, Making Peace Impossible (Ugolny)
Canadian Energy Firm Declares Force Majeure On Keystone Pipeline (ZH)
The Recession May Already Be Here (Lacalle)
House Democrats Push Bill To Add Four Seats To Supreme Court (JTN)
Novak Djokovic US Open Row Escalates (Exp.)
The Last Days of “Joe Biden” (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Makary

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..you should never interrupt your enemies when they are making a mistake..”

Operation Z – Don’t Interrupt (Larry Johnson)

One of Napoleon’s observations is that you should never interrupt your enemies when they are making a mistake. Russians know this, not least because they were careful not to interrupt Napoleon himself in 1812. Putin and his team have had plenty of opportunities to meet NATO’s leaders, observe them, negotiate with them and assess them. It’s unlikely they’re very impressed. But when they started their “special military operation” in Ukraine they could never have dreamed how self-destructive NATO would be. What mistakes? First, the West has not shot itself in the foot with its economic sanctions – Hungary’s Viktor Orban is right when he observes that it has put a slug into its lungs.

One can still limp along with a broken foot, but a shot to the lungs is pretty serious. Second, who in Moscow could have imagined that NATO would shovel its ammunition and weapons stockpiles into the Ukrainian black hole in the expectation that if they can get the latest wonderwaffe to General Steiner they’ll be in Moscow by Christmas. A good reason for Moscow to take it slowly – let the mistakes develop, compound and metastasize. It’s happening by itself. Naturally, inevitably, logically. No outside effort required. An unexpected bonus. Don’t interrupt.

Consider Germany, “the engine of Europe“. It stands on one thing – the reputation of German engineering and quality – Mercedes/Miele/Bosch, they may cost more but they’re cheaper in the long run because they’re so well made. No Western country manufactures much these days but Germany still does. In fact, only South Korea and China have a bigger share of their economies in manufacturing. (America, the colossus of former times, is half Germany!) But manufacturing needs energy. German energy comes from Russia – not all of it – about 20%. But coal is 40% and nuclear 10% and they have to reduce these because Greta wants them to which means they need more gas which is cheaper and “cleaner” and which mostly comes from Russia which requires another pipeline to be built. But then they decide that Ukraine is The Big Moral Issue and close the pipeline and step up coal which they’re going to get rid of altogether in 2030 thanks to more wind energy.

And what about the nukes? Unicorn wings flapping. Hard to be green and hate Russia too. And let’s ban potash from Russia and Belarus. That’s about a third of world production. Ban Russian wheat (it is the number 1 exporter) and oil (it is the number 2 exporter). Oh, and by confiscating Russian assets they’ve shown the whole world that only an idiot would keep his wealth in NATO currency in a NATO bank. And all this for a country they lied to about NATO membership. Don’t interrupt.

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The turbine is on its way.

Gazprom Declares Force Majeure, To Halt Gas Flows To Germany Indefinitely (ZH)

Already days before the July 22 European “Doomsday” when the scheduled Russian 10-day maintenance of the crucial Nord Stream pipeline to Germany is slated to end – but which was thrown into deep doubt given Gazprom recently said it can no longer guarantee its “good functioning” due to crucial turbines being previously held up in Canada related to sanctions – the Russian energy giant has declared Force Majeure to one major European customer. Simply put, Gazprom declared extraordinary and extreme circumstances to void itself from all contractual obligations to this customer, thus the gas will stop flowing indefinitely, as Reuters reports in a breaking development Monday, “Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom has declared force majeure on gas supplies to Europe to at least one major customer starting June 14, according to the letter seen by Reuters.”

The letter is dated July 14. “It said the force majeure measure, a clause invoked when a business is hit by something beyond its control, was effective from deliveries starting from June 14,” writes Reuters. As we’ve been detailing, German authorities have of late taken unprecedented steps in anticipation of an enduring Russian gas halt, essentially dimming the lights across the country – which has included everything from limiting hot water, to shutting down swimming pools, to quite literally dimming city street lights as it entered “alarm” stage over dwindling supply.

And as demonstrated in the Monday morning oil price spike, the bid for oil will remain strong the longer the force majeure holds, given utility companies and the manufacturing sector are likely to seek transition to oil from gas… It seems this letter declaring its legal release from supply obligations going back to June 14 is in preparation for definitive action on July 22, namely that the pipeline’s operations are likely to remain suspended past the scheduled reboot/supply back online designated date. In an analysis from earlier this month (available to pro subscribers), UBS economists laid out a detailed vision of what they see happening if Russia halts gas deliveries to Europe: It would reduce corporate earnings by more than 15%.

The market selloff would exceed 20% in the Stoxx 600 and the euro would drop to 90 cents. The rush for safe assets would drive benchmark German bund yields to 0%, they wrote. “We stress that these projections should be seen as rough approximations and by no means as a worse-case scenario,” wrote Arend Kapteyn, chief economist at UBS. “We could easily conceive economic disruptions that lead to more negative growth outcomes.” To be sure, markets are already pricing in some of the damage beginning with the euro which starting this month traded at a fresh two-decade low and touched parity with the dollar, something it hasn’t done since 2002.

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The only one.

Russian Economy Expected To Thrive By Year’s End (RT)

The Russian economy is expected to show positive developments by the end of the year, Maksim Oreshkin, economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said during a speech at a youth forum on Saturday. “The wheels of our economy are building momentum step by step, lending volumes are increasing, and interest rates are falling. We see that the loan portfolios of banks are already growing, while during the most difficult periods in April-May, they were declining. All this indicates that the wheels of the economy have started to work. And by the end of the year, we should see positive developments,” Oreshkin said. The presidential aide noted that the situation is improving in retail sales, which are showing growth compared to last year, boosting business revenue.

Oreshkin also said Russia’s key task is to build a “sovereign economy” which would be “confident in its abilities, working with any partners, but at the same time does not depend on them and is invulnerable.” His remarks echo the view of the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, who said earlier this week that Russia should strive to reach “technological sovereignty” and focus the economy on prioritizing domestic needs, while continuing to increase export potential. In early June, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would not close off its economy, despite Ukraine-related Western sanctions. Speaking at the SPIEF forum, the president called openness one of the key principles of Russia’s new economic policy, and said the country has no wish to retreat behind an iron curtain comparable to the Soviet era.

The Russian economy has been put under intense pressure by Western sanctions, introduced in response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Moscow has been prevented from conducting many international transactions, with businesses and individuals sanctioned, while half of Russia’s foreign currency reserves have been frozen abroad, and many international companies have quit the Russian market. Nevertheless, Moscow says Western policies have failed to destabilize the country’s economy.

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When it rains…

Germany’s Energy Crisis About To Get Worse As Rhine Water Levels Plummet (ZH)

What has already been a year from hell for Germany, which is suffering energy hyperinflation as a result of Europe’s sanctions on Russia, and which is “facing the biggest crisis the country has every had” according to the president of the German employers association, is about to get even worse as the declining water level of the Rhine river, which has historically been a key infrastructure transit artery across Germany, continues to fall and as it does, the flow of commodities to inland Europe is starting to buckle threatening to make an already historic crisis even worse. The alarming lack of water is contributing to oil product supply problems in Switzerland and preventing at least two power plants in Germany from getting all the coal they need, and what’s more, the continent’s sizzling summer temperatures are forecast to climb even higher in the coming week, leading to even lower water levels.

The 800-mile (1,288-kilometer) Rhine river runs from Switzerland all the way to the North Sea and is used to transport tens of millions of tons of commodities through inland Europe. But with water levels at their lowest for the time of year in 15 years, there is a limit how much fuel, coal and other vital cargo that barges can carry up and down the river. Low water levels on the Rhine River mean that barges hauling middle distillate-type oil products – typically gasoil/diesel – past Kaub in Germany, are limited to loading about 30% of capacity, according to maritime brokerage services firm Riverlake.

A barge loading in the energy hub of Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (or ARA), which can haul 2.5k tons when fully laden, is restricted to taking on about 800 tons if sailing to destinations beyond Kaub. As shown below, the water level at Kaub has fallen in recent days and is at its lowest on a seasonal basis since at least 2007. According to Riverlake, further decreases in loading volumes for barges hauling middle distillates from ARA to inland destinations beyond Kaub are expected in coming days.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s op-ed in Izvestia.

Staged Incidents As The Western Approach To Doing Politics (Lavrov)

February 2014, Ukraine – the West, represented by the German, French, and Polish foreign ministers, de facto forced President Viktor Yanukovich into signing an agreement with the opposition to end the confrontation and promote a peaceful resolution of the intra-Ukrainian crisis by establishing a transitional national unity government and calling a snap election, to be held within a few months. This too turned out to be a fraud: the next morning, the opposition staged a coup guided as it was by anti-Russia, racist slogans. However, the Western guarantors did not even try to bring the opposition back to its senses. Furthermore, they switched immediately to encouraging the coup perpetrators in their policies against Russia and everything Russian, unleashing the war against their own people and bombing entire cities in the Donbass region just because people there refused to recognise the unconstitutional coup. For that, they labelled the people in Donbass terrorists, and once again the West was there to encourage them.

At this point, it is worth noting that, as it was soon revealed, the killing of protestors on the Maidan was also a staged incident, which the West blamed either on the Ukrainian security forces loyal to Viktor Yanukovich, or on the Russian special services. However, the radical members of the opposition were the ones who were behind this provocation, while working closely with the Western intelligence services. Once again, exposing these facts did not take long, but by that time they already did their job. Efforts by Russia, Germany, and France paved the way to stopping the war between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk in February 2015 with the signing of the Minsk Agreements. Berlin and Paris played a proactive role here as well, proudly calling themselves as the guarantor countries.

However, during the seven long years that followed, they did absolutely nothing to force Kiev to launch a direct dialogue with Donbass representatives for agreeing on matters including the special status, amnesty, restoring economic ties, and holding elections, as required by the Minsk Agreements which were approved unanimously by the UN Security Council. The Western leaders remained silent when Kiev took steps which directly violated the Minsk Agreements under both Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky. Moreover, the German and the French leaders kept saying that Kiev cannot enter direct dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, and blamed everything on Russia, although Russia is not mentioned in the Minsk agreements even once, while remaining basically the only country that kept pushing for the agreements to be implemented.

If anyone doubted that the Minsk Package was anything but yet another fake, Petr Poroshenko dispelled this myth by saying on June 17, 2022: “The Minsk Agreements did not mean anything to us, and we had no intention to carry them out… our goal was to remove the threat we faced… and win time in order to restore economic growth and rebuild the armed forces. We achieved this goal. Mission accomplished for the Minsk Agreements.”

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“Zelensky’s presidency gave an initial boost to the peace process, but stalled after a series of protests by right-wing radicals..”

Germany and France ‘Killed’ Minsk Agreements – Lavrov (RT)

Germany is demanding that Russia guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but such a deal was previously signed, only to be “killed” by Berlin and Paris, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “When [German Chancellor] Olaf Scholz demands that Russia should be compelled to sign an agreement granting Ukraine guarantees of territorial integrity and sovereignty, all his attempts are in vain. There was already such a deal – the Minsk agreements – which was killed by Berlin and Paris. They were shielding Kiev, which openly refused to comply,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Russian newspaper Izvestia. Russia, Germany and France brokered the 2015 Minsk agreements between Ukraine and Donbass, which were designed to put an end to hostilities. But according to Lavrov, Berlin and Paris failed to ensure Kiev’s compliance.

[..] The Minsk agreements included a series of measures designed to rein in hostilities in Donbass and reconcile the warring parties. The first steps were a ceasefire and an OSCE-monitored pullout of heavy weapons from the frontline, which were fulfilled to some degree. Kiev was then supposed to grant a general amnesty to the rebels and extensive autonomy for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Ukrainian troops were supposed to take control of the rebel-held areas after Kiev granted them representation, and otherwise reintegrate them as part of Ukraine. Poroshenko’s government refused to implement these portions of the deal, claiming it could not proceed unless it fully secured the border between the breakaway republics and Russia.

He instead endorsed an economic blockade of the rebel regions, initiated by Ukrainian nationalist forces. Zelensky’s presidency gave an initial boost to the peace process, but stalled after a series of protests by right-wing radicals, who threatened to depose the new Ukrainian president if he tried to deliver on his campaign promises. Kiev’s failure to implement the roadmap, and the continued hostilities with rebels, were among the primary reasons cited by Russia when it attacked Ukraine in late February. Days before launching the offensive, Moscow recognized the breakaway Ukrainian republics as sovereign states, offering them security guarantees and demanding that Kiev pull back its troops. Zelensky refused to comply.

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Vladislav Ugolny is a Russian journalist based in Donetsk

Ukraine Treated Donbass People As Sub-humans, Making Peace Impossible (Ugolny)

No Ukrainian politicians were saints, and neither were the people of Donbass – not that anyone had asked them to be, though. The fact of the matter is that every escalation of violence was aimed at them. It was the Ukrainians who kept upping the ante, and nobody cared. The miners have always died, you know. Why should anyone feel sorry for them? They’re ‘dumb slaves’, they wear no balaclavas. Back then, in 2014, balaclavas were seen as a symbol of superior people, while the ‘stupid miners’ from Donbass (led by Valery Bolotov) and their volunteer supporters from Russia (led by Igor Strelkov) deliberately spurned them. The lives of the residents of impoverished mining towns cost less than the lives of those living in prosperous towns near the Carpathian Mountains. The air in Donbass stinks of soot and is full of coal dust and industrial emissions, so people die of cancer there, whereas the mountain air in Galicia is fresh and fragrant, and the wind of freedom blows in from Poland.

Children were killed in Donbass. Nobody gave a damn, except Russia and the repressed Russians in the rest of Ukraine. It was rather amusing for the other side – people scraping their dead children off the asphalt and saying: ‘We’re being bombed, we’re scared, our children are dying!’ Ukrainians thought it was funny, a just punishment for those dehumanized earth-diggers. They called their children ‘Colorado beetle larvae’, because the stripes of the Colorado potato beetle resemble the St. George’s ribbon, which became the symbol of the uprising in Novorossiya.

All of this convinced Donbass it had the moral high ground, which allowed it to stand tall and weather eight years of incredible hardship. The Ukrainians were granted the chance to reach a political settlement with the Minsk agreements, if they agreed to treat Donbass as a sovereign region within Ukraine. Had they done this, Donbass would have lost interest in politics, returned to its industrial roots, and left policymaking in the hands of western Ukraine again in a few years’ time. But they wouldn’t do this, even for the sake of stopping the war. Recognizing the sovereignty of Donbass was a red line for Ukraine, and so was dialogue with Donbass.

The Ukrainian leadership stuck to those red lines even after Russia said it was going to put an end to the ongoing slaughter at its doorstep. So, what we now have is a new season of war, which has been going on for Donbass since 2014. The two people’s republics’ armies are storming Ukrainian fortifications as the Ukrainian military continues to bomb residential areas in Donetsk. People in Donbass stopped wondering “what they are capable of.” Now they know that the Ukrainian army and government are capable of anything – bombing cities, torturing people, and trying to pass off Donetsk people that they killed for Kiev residents, supposedly killed by Russian missile strikes. The only thing they can’t do is admit that the citizens of Donbass are people just like them, people who have their own interests and are prepared to fight for them until they win or die in battle.

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Force majeure is popular…

Canadian Energy Firm Declares Force Majeure On Keystone Pipeline (ZH)

Just hours after Gazprom declared force majuere with a number of its European clients – implicitly cutting off NatGas supply to the continent; Canadian energy firm TC Energy has declared force majeure on some crude shipments on the Keystone pipeline after a power failure at a pump station in South Dakota. The power failure was reportedly driven by the extreme temperatures spreading across the US (it was reportedly around 20 degrees above normal at around 100 degrees). The pipeline “is operating at a reduced rate due to damage to the third-party power utility,” according to a statement by the company. Notably this is affecting shipments from Canada to the United States, according to the company.

As a reminder, the pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta into North Dakota, through South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska, where it splits – one arm running east through Missouri for deliveries into Wood River and Patoka, Illinois and the other running south through Oklahoma to Cushing and onward to Port Arthur and Houston, Texas Bloomberg reports that the discount at which Cold Lake crude for August delivery trades to benchmark futures along the Gulf Coast narrowed by more than 8% to $8 a barrel, according to Link Data Services. Perhaps most notably, Cold Lake crude is a type of heavy oil mined from the oil-sands region of northern Alberta and favored by some Texas and Louisiana refiners equipped to turn it into gasoline, diesel and other products. For now there is no reaction in RBOB prices.

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“Negative real wage growth, weakening consumption, decade-low consumer confidence and collapsing investment..”

The Recession May Already Be Here (Lacalle)

The debate about recession risk is pointless. We are already in a recession. Real GDP in the United States declined at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first quarter. The Atlanta Fed Nowcast shows a 1.5% contraction in the second quarter. But the underlying figures are scarier. According to the Atlanta Fed, “the GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2022 is -1.5% on July 15, down from -1.2% on July 8”. That is an enormous negative change, -0.3% of GDP, in one week. They go on to say that “the nowcast of second quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth and real gross private domestic investment growth decreased from 1.9% and -13.7%, respectively, to 1.5% and -13.8%, respectively”.

Investment is collapsing, consumption is barely kept alive and if we look at other components, imports are soaring while exports rise less than expected. This is the backlash of massive stimulus packages. An artificial boost to GDP in one year from two trillion US dollars of excessive spending generated a non-structural rise in GDP that immediately leads to a contraction. However, the debt increase remains, and the structural problems are evident. The labor market is only strong in headlines. In June, the number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 1.3 million. This is 215,000 higher than in February 2020. Labor force participation rate was 62.2%, employment-population ratio 59.9%. Both remain below February 2020 levels (63.4% and 61.2%) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Meanwhile, inflation eats any wage rise and real median wage increase is negative in 2022. Real average hourly earnings decreased 3.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from June 2021 to June 2022, the BLS reports. Negative real wage growth, weakening consumption, decade-low consumer confidence and collapsing investment means we are already in recession and the massive stimulus plans have created nothing but debt.


s
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Won’t fly.

House Democrats Push Bill To Add Four Seats To Supreme Court (JTN)

House Democrats on Monday demanded legislation to add four seats to the Supreme Court in hopes of moving the judicial body away from its current conservative slant. The lawmakers made their push at a press conference hosted by the Take Back the Court Action Fund on Monday. Their demands follow rulings from the high court handing conservatives major wins on both abortion and gun rights. The court in late June overturned the landmark abortion precedent in Roe v. Wade, returning the right to regulate the procedure to the states. One day prior, it struck down a New York law restricting the issuance of concealed carry permits
The Supreme Court is “making decisions that usurp the power of the legislative and executive branches,” said Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., according to The Hill.


Some preemptively addressed detractors who would call the effort “court-packing” saying the Republicans did so first. “The nightmare scenario of GOP court-packing is already upon us,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.). “That’s how they got this far-right 6-3 majority in the first place.” The Court’s 6-3 conservative slant is in part due to President Donald Trump’s appointment of three associate justices to the bench. Neil Gorsuch replaced Antonin Scalia, while Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, and Amy Coney Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Congress has previously changed the number of justices on the court seven times, The Hill noted. The measure is unlikely to become law as Democrats will likely be unable to clear the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold in the Senate in the face of stiff Republican opposition.

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“How many jabs did Fauci get? Banning Djokovic would be equally stupid.”

Novak Djokovic US Open Row Escalates (Exp.)

Two more political figures have thrown support behind Novak Djokovic as he remains unable to play the US Open as an unvaccinated traveller. The United States currently bans any unvaccinated foreign nationals from entering the country but one of Donald Trump’s former aides has become the latest to criticise the rules and put pressure on Joe Biden, with a Senator echoing his calls. Djokovic is still in doubt to play the final Grand Slam tournament of the year with unvaccinated travellers unable to enter the United States. The world No 7 has already confirmed he does not intend to get vaccinated just to compete and will find himself banned from the country unless the rules change.

Several American politicians have condemned the ban already and called for the Serb to be allowed into the country to compete, and now two more have ridiculed the policy of stopping unjabbed visitors from entering the United States. “Let @DjokerNole play in the @usopen! The U.S. Open cheapens itself when it bans one of the best players in the world,” Richard Grenell tweeted. The former politician was picked by Donald Trump to be the U.S. Ambassador to Germany in 2017 and the U.S. Acting Director of National Intelligence in 2020. He was also the Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations for 15 months from October 2019, linking him to the Serb’s home country. And current Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has now echoed Grenell’s words, slamming the idea of keeping Djokovic out of the country as “stupid”.

He tweeted: “RichardGrenelli is 100% correct on this. “Has anyone noticed the vaccines are NOT preventing infection and transmission? The mandates are idiotic, pointless and destructive. How many jabs did Fauci get? Banning Djokovic would be equally stupid.” Johnson and Grenell’s tweets come after two other US politicians criticised the ban on Djokovic and other unvaccinated travellers. Texas State Senator Drew Springer and Senator for Kentucky, Rand Paul pressured Biden over the issue last week. “Biden is banning Novak Djokovic from coming to USA to play the US Open but allows millions of unvaccinated illegals to flood across the border. Hey Joe, what’s one more unvaxed person?!?! Springer tweeted last Sunday, before Paul said: “Hooray for heroic stances for medical freedom by Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic. Boo for unscientific policy of banning visitors to US that already have natural immunity.”

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“The Russians end up with control of the Black Sea and probably the Ukraine bread-basket as well. So, now, Europe will starve and freeze.”

The Last Days of “Joe Biden” (Kunstler)

It’s like our country is trapped on one of those swirling carnival rides beloved of the county fairs… only, the felonious mutt who runs the ride has nodded off in a fentanyl delirium with the motor running at maximum speed… and the children-of-all-ages locked in the pods of this infernal machine shriek and vomit with each sickening rotation… as the half-century-old swing arms groan and wobble from metal fatigue on their squealing pivots… and suddenly comes a deafening crunch of gnashed gears, the smell of burning oil, and the pathetic whimpering of the nearly dead. That’s us. Some terrible midsummer accident-of-state has befallen the USA Carnival, and most are too dazed to know it. Whose idea was it to send the wind-up doll president called “Joe Biden” to Saudi Arabia?

I can just imagine what went on in the chamber in private with “JB” and MBS (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman), virtual autocrat of the oil-soaked desert land. The American visitor muttered something about wanting an ice-cream cone before dropping into a catatonic thousand-yard stare. “How does this thing work?” MBS asks his chief vizier, the foreign minister (in Arabic, of course), gesticulating disdainfully at the ghostly figure sunk in the plush camel-hair armchair yards away. “Joe Biden” sits motionless. Someone has forgotten to rewind him, some “aide” who carries the president’s Adderall. Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud tells the boss, “We’ll make up some camel-dung for release to CNN and friends. They’ll fall for anything.” It’s like a crime scene where the forensic experts have entered. The Saudi leader and his entourage only hang around the room for three minutes until the US State Department shoots enough photos to prove that “JB” was there and not stuffed in the basement of his Delaware beach house for the weekend, as usual.

The American news media gets briefed: Saudi Arabia graciously agrees to bump up its oil production somewhere in the 2025-2027 time-frame — a triumph for US diplomacy, the networks are informed. Air Force One wings home through clouds of despair. The White House team members spend the flight updating their resumés. I think we have witnessed “Joe Biden’s” final appearance at any world-stage event. He can do no more for the Party of Chaos. It has done what it can to wreck the joint with him as the pretend head-of-state. The Ukraine gambit is a bust, a foolish miscalculation that was obvious from the start. All it accomplished was to reveal the pitiful dependence of our European allies on Russian oil and gas, leaving their economies good and truly scuppered without it. The Russians end up with control of the Black Sea and probably the Ukraine bread-basket as well. So, now, Europe will starve and freeze.

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Emmanuel Todd Lopez

 

 

 

 

Kung fu

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 162022
 
 February 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  163 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Ginevra de’ Benci 1474-78

 

The Global Covid Vaccination Campaign Is Courting Catastrophe (Kohlmayer)
New Research Points To Possible Reason For Long Covid (JPost)
Ukraine Crisis: A Nightmare Caused by US Interventionism (Ron Paul)
US Has New Ukraine Coup Plot Theory (RT)
‘West Has Been Destroyed Without A Shot Fired’ – Russia (RT)
US Accuses Zero Hedge Of Spreading Russian Propaganda (AP)
Protesters to End Border Blockades as Trudeau’s Threats Hit Home (BBG)
Democrats, the More Effective Evil (Chris Hedges)
Novak Djokovic’s Propensity For Self-sabotage Has Become A Defining Trait (G.)
Special Counsel John Durham Has Triggered a Media Meltdown (Turley)
’60 Minutes,’ CNN, MSNBC, Downplayed, Criticized Durham Probe (Fox)

 

 

 

 

I was ‘barred’ from publishing anything on Fauci: Former Forbes contributor

 

 

Dowd: Summation of Major Insurance company corporate group policy Loss Ratios (Death Claims) Q4 rate vs 2019 rate:

Unum $UNM +36%
Lincoln $LNC +57%
Pru $PRU +41%
$RGA +21%
Hartford $HIG +32%
MetLife $MET +24%

 

 

 

 

“..Under the normal schedule, the Covid vaccines Phase III trials would be completed in April of 2024. If this phase went without a hitch, April of 2024 would be the earliest that anyone could justifiably start saying that the Covid vaccines are “safe and effective.”

The Global Covid Vaccination Campaign Is Courting Catastrophe (Kohlmayer)

After receiving full approval, vaccines continue to be carefully monitored for adverse events in case some vaccinal flaw may have escaped detection during the multi-year trial phase. There have been a number of vaccines that were pulled from the market after they received full approval due to unexpected safety issues. Some of these include vaccines for Rotavirus, Lyme Disease, and Whole-Cell Pertussis among others. Therefore, for a vaccine to be justifiably declared “completely safe,” it must undergo at least five years of intensive testing in clinical trials and then several years of monitoring as it is administered in populations at large. The Covid vaccines, however, were publicly declared to be “completely safe” less than 8 months after the start of human clinical trials.

On the normal vaccine trial timeline, month 8 is in Phase 2 of the three-stage clinical trial regime. The claim that the Covid vaccines were “completely safe,” was, therefore, completely unjustifiable and unsubstantiated. Those who made this claim engaged in a deliberate and unconscionable act of public deception. And yet this claim was used as the basis for a worldwide campaign in which more than half of Earth’s inhabitants have been injected with experimental pharmaceuticals that did not undergo proper testing. The phrase “safe and effective” became the de-facto slogan of the planet-wide vaccination enterprise. Believing that the vaccines were “completely safe,” billions of people willingly – and even enthusiastically – lined up to receive their Covid injections.

Needless to say, not everyone was ready to accept the propaganda. Disregarding all reasonable objections, however, many governments decided that universal vaccination was their goal and decided that the unwilling needed to be coerced. This they sought to do through direct vaccines mandates and covid passports or digital certificates. The latter two were designed in such a way as to compel the hesitant to submit to the shots on pain of being excluded from the normal course of societal life. Government and public health officials justified this drastic approach by repeatedly stating that the vaccines were “completely safe” and effective, and because of this it was okay to force the shots even on those who did not want to take them.

The claim “safe and effective” was thus used as a means of allurement and coercion for the planet-wide Covid vaccination crusade. We need to pause here and contemplate the enormity of what the vaccinators have “accomplished.” Less than 22 months after the beginning of the clinical trials, they have managed to inject the plurality of mankind with their inadequately tested products. If things were being done properly, right now the vaccine developers would have been gearing for Phase III of clinical trials. This stage normally takes place between months 24 and 48 after the initiation of the trial process. This is how Johns Hopkins University describes what this stage is about: “Phase III clinical trials are critical to understanding whether vaccines are safe and effective.”

[..] Under the normal schedule, the Covid vaccines Phase III trials would be completed in April of 2024. If this phase went without a hitch, April of 2024 would be the earliest that anyone could justifiably start saying that the Covid vaccines are “safe and effective.”

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“It runs from the brain throughout the entirety of the face and chest, reaching the abdomen.”

New Research Points To Possible Reason For Long Covid (JPost)

Many symptoms of post-COVID syndrome could be caused by lasting damage sustained to one of the most important nerves in the human body during initial infection with coronavirus, new research has suggested. What is the vagus nerve? The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and is the longest and most complex of all of them. It runs from the brain throughout the entirety of the face and chest, reaching the abdomen. The vagus nerve serves as the main connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, sending back information about the state of the inner organs.

As well as being crucial to the gastrointestinal system, as it controls the transfer of food from the mouth to the stomach and moves food through the intestines, the vagus nerve is also responsible for multiple other processes, such as controlling the heart rate, sweat production and the gag reflex, as well as certain muscle movements in the mouth, including those necessary for speech. New research set to be presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) investigates the connection between post-COVID syndrome, also known as long COVID, and the vagus nerve. The pilot study was authored by Dr. Gemma Lladós and Dr. Lourdes Mateu of the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona, Spain. Its findings will be presented at the congress in Lisbon from April 23-26.

The study suggests that SARS-CoV-2-mediated vagus nerve dysfunction (VND) could be responsible for many of the symptoms of long COVID, including persistent voice problems, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, abnormally high heart rate (tachycardia), low blood pressure and digestive issues.

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“..Or it’s coming next Tuesday, or Wednesday, or surely before the end of the Olympics.”

Ukraine Crisis: A Nightmare Caused by US Interventionism (Ron Paul)

Over the weekend we heard that the US is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a Russian invasion. We also heard that Russia is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a US-backed provocation in eastern Ukraine that may lead to a Russian military response. We are in “uncharted territory” the media tells us. Yes, that is true. But it is uncharted because no one had ever imagined in the past that the US government would be so foolish to risk a thermonuclear war over the borders of a country – Ukraine – that have changed so many times over the past century. An urgent Biden-Putin phone call on Saturday did not lead to any breakthrough – as if anyone thought it would. Instead, it provided cover for Biden Administration hawks to claim they tried every diplomatic approach, but war seems to be the only option.

But this whole thing is a farce. As I see it, here is the Ukraine crisis in a nutshell: Biden to Putin: “Don’t invade Ukraine.” Putin to Biden: “We have no intention of invading Ukraine.” Biden to the US media: “Putin is about to invade Ukraine!” Then Biden’s top officials proceed to embarrass themselves by warning that the invasion was imminent. Or it’s coming next Tuesday, or Wednesday, or surely before the end of the Olympics. Does anyone think they have any credibility left with their constant hysterical warnings? Meanwhile “US intelligence” continues to leak incendiary information – likely self-serving – to a US media that has lost any interest in skepticism toward any “scoop” handed down by US government officials.

What the US media will not report is that this entire crisis – and the threat of a serious war – has all been brought about by US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, specifically the US-backed coup that overthrew an elected government in 2014. Every bit of unrest in Ukraine proceeded from that single foolish and immoral act by the Obama Administration.

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“..the former presidential candidate called the suggestion “funny,” noting that his current job description is “director of a sanatorium.”

US Has New Ukraine Coup Plot Theory (RT)

American intelligence believes that former MP Oleg Tsaryov could be made leader of a Ukrainian puppet regime after a successful Russian invasion causes the Kiev government to fall, Britain’s Financial Times reported on Tuesday. Citing an anonymous source in a Western intelligence agency, the outlet suggested that Tsaryov, who served in Ukraine’s parliament until 2014, would be made head of the country. Moscow “might position Oleg Tsaryov, and others, in leadership roles as part of this effort,” the source said, as quoted by FT. According to the newspaper, his name appeared in US intelligence materials that were shared with Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand, all members of Five Eyes intelligence alliance.


Tsaryov, who served in Parliament for twelve years, is best known for standing as a pro-Russia candidate in the 2014 presidential election until he withdrew after attacks from Ukrainian nationalists. He then defected to Donetsk, where he became the first speaker of the parliament of Novorossiya, a breakaway state in east Ukraine that lasted less than a year. He later moved to Crimea, where he now resides and runs a medical retreat. Speaking to the FT, the former presidential candidate called the suggestion “funny,” noting that his current job description is “director of a sanatorium.”

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“15 February 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed..”

‘West Has Been Destroyed Without A Shot Fired’ – Russia (RT)

With Russia announcing that its troops are pulling back following the completion of exercises near the border with Ukraine, Moscow has insisted that predictions it could be just moments away from ordering a full-blown invasion have been proven false. In a fiery statement on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova poured scorn on weeks of reports and claims from US and European officials that Moscow’s armed forces could be just hours away from launching a strike against its neighbor. “15 February 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed,” she wrote. According to her, the West has been “shamed and destroyed without firing a single shot.”


At the same time, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced that a number of Russian troops had finished their training exercises in Belarus, close to the Ukrainian border, and will begin the process of withdrawing. Zakharova’s comments come after American business outlet Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing unnamed officials, that an offensive against Ukraine could take place as early as Tuesday. The agency reported that a possible attack might include a provocation in the Donbass region or against Kiev. The White House’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, told CNN over the weekend that “sources” and “gathered intelligence” suggested “major military action” could “begin any day now.” He said that this included the coming week before the end of the Olympic games.

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Ha ha ha ha ha!

US Accuses Zero Hedge Of Spreading Russian Propaganda (AP)

U.S. intelligence officials on Tuesday accused a conservative financial news website with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda and alleged five media outlets targeting Ukrainians have taken direction from Russian spies. The officials said Zero Hedge, which has 1.2 million Twitter followers, published articles created by Moscow-controlled media that were then shared by outlets and people unaware of their nexus to Russian intelligence. The officials did not say whether they thought Zero Hedge knew of any links to spy agencies and did not allege direct links between the website and Russia. Zero Hedge denied the claims and said it tries to “publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.”

In a response posted online Tuesday morning, the website said it has “has never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia, nor are there any links to spy agencies.” The officials briefed The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence sources. It was the latest effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to release U.S. intelligence findings about Russian activity involving Ukraine as part of a concerted push to expose and influence the moves of Russian President Vladimir Putin. U.S. officials previously accused Putin of planning a “false-flag” operation to create a pretext for a new invasion of Ukraine and detailed what they believe are final-stage Russian preparations for an assault. It’s unclear whether U.S. efforts are changing Putin’s behavior.

And without releasing more proof of its findings, Washington has been criticized and reminded of past intelligence failures such as the debunked allegations that pre-war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter. While perhaps best known for its coverage of markets and finance, the website also covers politics with a conservative bent. In its response online, the website accused the AP of publishing a “bizarre hit piece” and said government officials were trying to distract from “our views of the current dismal US economic situation.” “The bottom line is that such hit piece accusations that we somehow work with or for the Kremlin are nothing new: we have repeatedly faced similar allegations over the years, and we can absolutely confirm that all of them are ‘errors,’” the website said.

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According to Bloomberg, the truckers are utterly defeated.

“A lot of grown men were crying,” Klassen said. “We didn’t think he was going to enact that. We could lose everything.”

Protesters to End Border Blockades as Trudeau’s Threats Hit Home (BBG)

Protesters against vaccine mandates at two border crossings in Western Canada plan to leave after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government invoked emergency powers that could freeze their bank accounts and suspend their insurance. A border crossing between Coutts, Alberta and Sweet Grass, Montana that had been closed Monday has partially reopened to traffic, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Gina Slaney said Tuesday by phone. Demonstrators have been at the border post since late January in a protest against vaccine mandates and Covid-19 restrictions. “People are going home,” Slaney said, noting traffic is moving slowly as there are still vehicles on the road. “Vehicles can get through north and southbound lanes right now and it seems that vehicles are crossing the border.”

Demonstrators at a border crossing between Manitoba and North Dakota are also preparing to leave in unison Wednesday with a police escort, said Jake Klassen, a truck driver who joined the protest out of frustration he can not visit his daughter receiving palliative care unless he is fully vaccinated. People are worried the government will seize their property and protesters plan to leave in a “slow roll” tomorrow and reopen traffic, Klassen said by phone. “A lot of grown men were crying,” Klassen said. “We didn’t think he was going to enact that. We could lose everything.” The Manitoba border to the U.S. at Emerson was still closed as of 12:14 p.m. New York time, according to the website of Canada’s border agency. “We accomplished something, I believe, but we didn’t accomplish what we went there to accomplish,” Klassen said.

Ezra Levant

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“The war industry [..] is a bipartisan project. ”

Democrats, the More Effective Evil (Chris Hedges)

The desperate measures to stave off an economic crisis are self-defeating. The bag of tricks is empty. Massive defaults on mortgages, student loans, credit cards, household debt, car debt and other loans in the United States is probably inevitable. With no short-term mechanisms left to paper over the disaster, it will usher in a prolonged depression. An economic crisis means a political crisis. And a political crisis is traditionally solved by war against enemies inside and outside the nation. The Democrats are as guilty of this as the Republicans. Wars can get started by Democrats, such as Harry S. Truman in Korea or John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam, and perpetuated by Republicans. Or they can get started by Republicans, such as George W. Bush, and perpetuated by Democrats such as Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Bill Clinton, without declaring war, imposed punishing sanctions on Iraq and authorized the Navy and the Air Force to carry out tens of thousands of sorties against the country, dropping thousands of bombs and launching hundreds of missiles. The war industry, with its $768 billion military budget, along with the expansion of Homeland Security, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the National Security Agency, is a bipartisan project. The handful of national political leaders, such as Henry Wallace in 1948 and George McGovern in 1972, who dared to challenge the war machine were ruthlessly hounded into political oblivion by the leaders of both parties. Biden’s bellicose rhetoric towards China and especially Russia, more strident than that of the Trump administration, has been accompanied by the formation of new security alliances such as those with India, Japan, Australia, and Great Britain in the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. aggression has, ironically, pushed China and Russia into a forced marriage, something the architects of the Cold War, including Nixon and Kissinger with their opening to China in 1971, worked very hard to avoid. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, after meeting recently in Beijing, issued a 5,300-word statement that condemned NATO expansion in eastern Europe, denounced the formation of security blocs in the Asia Pacific region, and criticized the AUKUS trilateral security pact between the US, Great Britain and Australia. They also vowed to thwart “color revolutions” and strengthen “back-to-back” strategic coordination.

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People with principles are dangerous today. But he sabotages himself by NOT getting vaxxed?!

Novak Djokovic’s Propensity For Self-sabotage Has Become A Defining Trait (G.)

Over the past 11 years of men’s tennis, during which Novak Djokovic rose to dominance and improbably positioned himself as one of the greatest to play the game, the only time his success has been in doubt came after the summer of 2017 when he suffered through many months with an elbow injury. The injury became a point of contention between himself and his then-coach, Andre Agassi, who later said he had swiftly advocated for surgery. But Djokovic addressed the injury by resting for nearly six months, believing his body was built to heal itself naturally. It was not. After returning the next year to pain and early losses, Djokovic finally underwent surgery in February 2018. As he digested his guilt about agreeing to the surgery, he cried for days.

On Tuesday, Djokovic gave his first full interview since his deportation from Australia after arriving in the country without being vaccinated against Covid. Djokovic acknowledged that, as things stand in a worldwide sport that moves from country to country each week, his unvaccinated status means he is unable to play in the majority of tournaments. “That is the price I am willing to pay,” he said. In the same breath, Djokovic said with a smile that at such a critical moment in tennis history he understands his actions may deprive him of the possibility of winning the highest number of grand slam tournaments. He framed his decision in libertarian terms: “The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.”

Djokovic’s conversation with the BBC was a reminder that his propensity for self-sabotage has become a defining trait. The principles that made him so averse to surgery in 2017 were not in tune with reality. After his surgery, he won the final two majors of that 2018 season and he has won eight since. The most controversial on-court moment of his career so far, his disqualification from the 2020 US Open after unintentionally hitting a line judge with a ball, came after near misses from which he failed to learn. Here he is again, his own worst enemy. As Djokovic attempts to navigate the world while unvaccinated – and while his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, just took advantage of his absence to win a historic 21st grand slam title at the Australian Open – according to the ATP 99% of the top 100 is now vaccinated. He stands alone.

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“..to this day, many refuse to cover extensive evidence of how the Clinton campaign manufactured this story that largely occupied the entire term of President Donald Trump.”

Special Counsel John Durham Has Triggered a Media Meltdown (Turley)

What is striking about the Durham filings is the audacity of the Perkins Coie operation. While the funding was buried away, the lawyers were seemingly unconcerned about approving such efforts or personally reaching out to sympathetic government and media figures. They were, to some degree, justified in their sense of immunity. Indeed, to this day, many refuse to cover extensive evidence of how the Clinton campaign manufactured this story that largely occupied the entire term of President Donald Trump. Before the Steele dossier was given to the FBI and the press, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie candidate Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” That operation appears to have been launched through Elias and Perkins Coie.

After the 2020 election, Democratic members and legal experts demanded the disbarring of a host of Republican attorneys for their spreading disinformation of a widespread election fraud. These same figures, however, are entirely silent about the role of Clinton lawyers in secretly funding the debunked Russian collusion claims. There is no interest in whether, as alleged by reporters, figures like Elias lied about the involvement of the Clinton campaign. Sussmann is now facing a trial on this role in the operation. Elias remains unindicted. With little sense of irony, he has established a law firm to deal with ethics and campaign disclosures. Durham’s continued investigation may be pushing the media to the final stage called “postsyncope,” which involves “protracted confusion, disorientation, nausea, dizziness, and a general sense of poor health.”

That has reflected in the flailing effort by some to deflect from the alarming disclosures. New York Times reporter Mike McIntire seemed to express alarm that the Durham story was “trending.” However, McIntire offered “a periodic reminder that Trump’s campaign chairman secretly met and shared info with a Russian intelligence agent.” The “info” was polling data on the campaign that Paul Manafort gave a person with Russian intelligence ties. That, of course, has no relevance to the question of whether the Clinton Campaign spied on the Trump Tower, campaign, or the White House itself. The “periodic reminder” seemed to be to other media that they needed to continue to hold their breath and not recognize a major story. Such “protracted confusion” is natural, but it will not dissipate any time soon. Durham apparently is calling more people into the grand jury.

Durham Zero

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“This is ’60 Minutes.’ We can’t put on things we can’t verify.”

’60 Minutes,’ CNN, MSNBC, Downplayed, Criticized Durham Probe (Fox)

The mainstream media is getting a wake-up call after new allegations in the Durham investigation that President Trump and his campaign were being spied on. Special Counsel John Durham released in a filing Saturday that the Hillary Clinton campaign hired techs to “infiltrate” Trump Tower and White House servers to establish a “narrative” to link Trump to Russia. The new findings contradict various doubtful media coverage from programs like CBS’ “60 Minutes.” In an October 2020 interview, Trump appeared on the newsmagazine to address the ongoing investigation and his claim his campaign was spied on. He was shot down by host Lesley Stahl, who insisted the president was spreading unverified information. “There’s no real evidence,” she said.

“This is ’60 Minutes.’ We can’t put on things we can’t verify.” Meanwhile, former CNN dynamic duo Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo criticized John Durham and the Trump administration back in December 2019 for being adamant about uncovering the truth, yet coming up short. “Nothing happens and they just move on to the next conspiracy theory,” Lemon said to Cuomo during a handover. “It is never going to end and guess what? People who want to believe that BS are going to believe it.” In an October 2021 episode of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow suggested the intention behind efforts to probe the investigation was always to re-route the investigation away from Trump himself. “It’s a boomerang,” she said.

“Because it’s apparently an ongoing, concerted Republican and pro-Trump project to try to turn the investigation of the Russia scandal into some kind of scandal itself.” Since Durham’s bombshell report dropped, media pundits on the left have gone largely quiet. Publications like the Washington Post and The New York Times have failed to commission any coverage of the latest allegations as of Monday, nor has CNN.

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Kolakusic

 

 

 

 

Arthur C. Clarke

 

 

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

 

Jan 202022
 


Johannes Vermeer Woman holding a balance 1662-63

 

WHO: Lift International Traffic Bans, Proof Of Vaccination Not Needed (G.)
England Ends All COVID Passports, Mask Mandates, Work Restrictions (ET)
Starbucks Says Will No Longer Require Vaccine Or Testing For Employees (JTN)
Health Department Warning Over Vaccine Mandate For NHS Staff In England (G.)
Perspectives on the Pandemic With Dr. Peter McCullough (Mercola)
Proximal Origin (ET)
The Vaccinators Will Never Stop Vaccinating (eugyp)
Novak Djokovic Holds 80% Of Danish Biotech Developing Covid Treatment (MC)
The Correcting Decades Old Medical Fraud Act (Denninger)
Paul Krugman Is Still Wrong About Money (Steve Keen)
How Did Fox News Become The Voice Of Reason? (RT)
Senate Democrats Fail To Change Filibuster, Handing Biden Stinging Defeat (JTN)
Biden Asked Why Americans Think He’s Not ‘Mentally Fit’ (RT)
Schumer Holds Antitrust Bills As His Daughters Work for Facebook, Amazon (NB)
Why I Am No Longer A Tenured Professor at Uni of Toronto (Jordan Peterson)

 

 

 

 

Schwab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1483418602300661760

 

 

The more vaxx, the more infections.

 

 

180º. Do we get apologies?

WHO: Lift International Traffic Bans, Proof Of Vaccination Not Needed (G.)

The World Health Organization has recommended lifting or easing international traffic bans, citing the ineffectiveness of the measures to suppress the spread of the Omicron variant. The UN health agency recently updated its international health regulations recommendations during an emergency committee meeting on Wednesday. Recommendations included to “lift or ease international traffic bans as they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress” of some countries. Implementing blanket travel bans are “not effective in suppressing international spread” and “may discourage transparent and rapid reporting of emerging variants of concerns” the agency said in a statement.

The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of Omicron variant to limit international spread of Omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time. Travel measures such as masking, testing, isolation/quarantine and vaccination should be based on risk assessments and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers, according to their recommendations. The WHO also said the requirement to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for international travel may not be needed as “the only pathway or condition” permitting international travel.

Do not require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for international travel as the only pathway or condition permitting international travel given limited global access and inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. State parties should consider a risk-based approach to the facilitation of international travel by lifting or modifying measures, such as testing and/or quarantine requirements, when appropriate, in accordance with the WHO guidance.”

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The fun is in the details: no more mask in one week’s time. But you can still be fined for not wearing one till then.

England Ends All COVID Passports, Mask Mandates, Work Restrictions (ET)

Restrictions including COVID-19 passes, mask mandates, and work-from-home guidance will be removed in England, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday. Johnson also suggested that self-isolation rules may also be thrown out at the end of March as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic becomes endemic. Effective immediately, the UK government is no longer asking people to work from home. The COVID pass mandate for nightclubs and large events won’t be renewed when it expires on Jan. 26. Also from Jan. 27, indoor mask-wearing will no longer be compulsory anywhere in England. The requirement for secondary school pupils to wear masks during class and in communal areas will be lifted on Jan. 20.


The Department for Education is expected to update its national guidance soon. Health Secretary Sajid Jajid will also announce plans to ease restrictions on care home visits in the coming days. Roaring cheers from lawmakers could be heard in the House of Commons following Johnson’s announcements on masks. People who test positive for COVID-19 and their unvaccinated contacts are still required to self-isolate, but Johnson said he “very much expect[s] not to renew” the rule when the relevant regulations expire on March 24. “As COVID becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others,” the prime minister said.

UK face masks

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220,000 U.S. employees. Many companies must follow.

Starbucks Says Will No Longer Require Vaccine Or Testing For Employees (JTN)

Starbucks has opted to do away with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement following a decision last week by the Supreme Court that blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to mandate vaccine requirements for large U.S. companies. “We respect the court’s ruling and will comply,” John Culver, chief operating officer for the major coffee shop chain, said Tuesday. The company will continue to encourage employees to get vaccinated, but the shots will not be a requisite of employment.


The “vaccine is the best option we have, by far, when it comes to staying safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Culver also said, in a memo. Prior to the court’s decision, Starbuck’s announced it would be enforcing a vaccine-or-test model for the company’s 220,000 U.S. employees. Last week, the high court, in a 6-3 decision, blocked the Biden administration’s mandate for large employers from taking effect while other legal challenges to the mandate play out in lower courts.

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They basically came out and said: the vaccines don’t work: “32% effectiveness against Omicron infection, which wanes to in effective zero 20 weeks later..

But dismissal letters are ready to get sent in 2 weeks.

Health Department Warning Over Vaccine Mandate For NHS Staff In England (G.)

Ministers have been issued with a stark warning over mandatory Covid vaccines for NHS workers in England, with a leaked document saying growing evidence on the Omicron variant casts doubts over the new law’s “rationality” and “proportionality”. Two jabs will become compulsory for frontline NHS staff from 1 April after MPs voted on the legislation last month. But the document, drawn up by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials and seen by the Guardian, said the evidence base on which MPs voted “has changed”, creating a higher chance of objections and judicial review. The effectiveness of only two vaccine doses against Omicron, and the lower likelihood of hospitalisations from the milder variant, are cited. More than 70,000 NHS staff – 4.9% – could remain unvaccinated by 1 April, the document says. NHS trusts in England are preparing to start sending dismissal letters from 3 February to any member of staff who has not had their first dose by then.


[..] The document prepared by DHSC officials noted that two vaccine doses provide up to 32% effectiveness against Omicron infection, which wanes to in effective zero 20 weeks later. At the time the policy was developed, two-dose effectiveness against infection with the Delta variant was substantially higher – 65% with Oxford/AstraZeneca and 80% with Pfizer/BioNTech, the DHSC memo said. Booster jabs have since been shown to be highly effective but are not part of the law for NHS workers. The document says: “While Omicron is more transmissible there appears to be a substantially lower risk of hospitalisation and mortality for those vaccinated vs Delta. “The low VE [vaccine effectiveness] against infection (and consequently effect on transmission) plus the lower risk posed by Omicron brings into question both the rationality of the VCOD2 policy and its proportionality and makes the case for vaccination requirement weaker than when [ministers] decided on the policy.

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“..It’s the scariest time to be an American, and thank goodness half of Americans didn’t take it.”

Perspectives on the Pandemic With Dr. Peter McCullough (Mercola)

McCullough believes many health care providers and the U.S. public are in a vaccination trance. It defies logic and commonsense how public officials and hospital executives can see the vaccines failing to work, can see the rising cases of adverse effects and deaths, and yet increasingly issue vaccine mandates or recommend the vaccine to groups for which it clearly shouldn’t be, like pregnant women. McCullough likens it to a form of psychosis or a group neurosis. The U.S. public, however, has seen so much fear, hospitalization and death during the pandemic that they may have been prepared to accept casualties associated with the vaccines. Still, a sizable number of Americans aren’t being fooled. “We’re at this pressure point, and I think right now, in talking to American people in my circles, they’re ready to take a time out,” McCullough said.

If it means taking a sabbatical from work or delaying school for a year, many Americans are willing to do it to avoid getting vaccinated. “The only way to stay healthy right now is to stay away from this vaccine. If you get COVID-19, get to one of these treatment networks and get immunity on the other side.” McCullough is a proponent of early treatment of COVID-19 and believes treatment options have been suppressed to allow for mass vaccination: “I think we’ve completely suppressed any form of treatment or help to people in order to promote the vaccine. Now the vaccine doesn’t work completely and it’s, frankly, dangerous. We’re down to almost one message: Take the jab or else … It’s the scariest time to be an American, and thank goodness half of Americans didn’t take it.

We’re going to have to see what this is going to look like. I think the next month or so is going to be incredibly interesting and it’s going to be ominous.” McCullough believes that eventually people will break out of the jab trance and realize that the answer isn’t these injections, while the handling of the pandemic, including mass jabs, will become a course in violation of human ethics and the Nuremberg code. With fear, isolation, hospitalizations and deaths still occurring, however, it may take years before the fog is lifted.

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In the thesaurus under “corruption”.

Proximal Origin (ET)

Four prominent scientists who played key roles in shaping the public narrative around the origin of COVID-19 received substantial increases in grant money from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, in the subsequent two years, a review of funding data by The Epoch Times has found. Three of these scientists—Kristian Andersen, Robert Garry, and Michael Farzan—were advisers to a teleconference organized by Fauci held on Feb. 1, 2020, in response to increasing public questions about the origin of the virus. The scientists were also instrumental in the publication of Proximal Origin, a highly influential paper that promoted a natural origins theory for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and has been frequently cited by the government and media.

Emails released under Freedom of Information Act requests, showed that the scientists had told the senior members of Fauci’s teleconference that they were 60 to 80 percent sure that COVID-19 had come out of a lab. Notably, despite their private concerns about the origin of the virus, the first draft of Proximal Origin was completed on the same day as the teleconference. Andersen and Garry were co-authors of Proximal Origin and Farzan was acknowledged in the Nature version of Proximal Origin for his participatory discussions in the article’s creation. Additionally, Fauci’s NIAID provided a substantial increase in funding to EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak, through whom NIAID had funded controversial gain-of-function coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

Some of these funding amounts have continued through 2021—and one of the newest grants will continue through at least 2025. A significant portion of the funding increase for Daszak, as well as for Andersen and Garry, was provided through NIAID’s creation of the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID). The program, which was originally referred to as Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Centers (EIDRCs) during the early planning stages in 2019, was formally announced under a new name on Aug. 27, 2020. It is not known why the program was initially delayed or why it was renamed.

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“..we now face a prolonged, multi-year struggle to retain control of our bodies and our bloodstreams..”

The Vaccinators Will Never Stop Vaccinating (eugyp)

The vaccinators are deranged lunatics, and whatever happens with Corona, we now face a prolonged, multi-year struggle to retain control of our bodies and our bloodstreams. This is what I get from COVID-19: What’s Next?, a World Economic Forum panel discussion featuring Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. Like everything produced by the WEF, it’s stultifying, boring and terrifying all at the same time. Below the fold, I’ve transcribed the key moments for you, but the takeaways are simple enough:

—Moderna, just one of multiple pharmaceuticals eager to exploit our new vaccine mania, are expanding their manufacturing capacity to produce as many as 6 billion mRNA vaccine doses per year. —Moderna will have an Omicron-specific vaccine as early as March, and they won’t be the only ones. The compliant triple jabbed can look forward to having their fully vaccinated status revoked once again. —Moderna are working in close collaboration with “Dr. Fauci’s team” and with public health experts to develop an annual combined mRNA flu, RSV and Corona vaccine to reduce “compliance issues.” —The industry more broadly has targeted about 20 pathogens for vaccine development, from Zika to Nipah, with a view towards being able to rapidly deploy mRNA vaccines against future virus threats.

The vaccinators are a great sword of Damocles over our heads. As I type this, they are scouring the earth for the novel pathogens their products require, and they, together with their bureaucratic and academic allies, will do their level best to call into being new pandemic scares and vaccination campaigns whenever possible – perhaps every flu season.

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“The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell..”

Novak Djokovic Holds 80% Of Danish Biotech Developing Covid Treatment (MC)

Tennis champion Novak Djokovic has an 80% stake of Danish biotech firm QuantBioRes, which is aiming to develop a medical treatment to counter COVID-19, the company’s chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday. CEO Ivan Loncarevic, who described himself as an entrepreneur, said the investment was made in June 2020 but declined to say how much it was. QuantBioRes has around 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who stressed they were working on a treatment, not a vaccine. The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell, expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, he added.

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All forgotten in the space of less than a year.

The Correcting Decades Old Medical Fraud Act (Denninger)

II. Definitions As used in this Title the following terms are defined:
• Sterilizing immunity – The induction of immune response in an individual by either infection or immunization, that both prevents the acquisition of the infection and its forward transmission.
• Durable – In a person of less than 15 years of age protection must be maintained at the specified level for at least five (5) years from the completion of the prescribed original sequence and for a person of 15 years of age or older protection at the specified level must be maintained for least ten (10) years from the completion of the original sequence. Boosters may be required to maintain protection beyond these time limits.

******* – As defined in 25 US Code Sec 4132 (2), a preparation given to a human being for the purpose of, and which does by scientific evidence, produce durable sterilizing immunity in no less than 90% of healthy human subjects.
• Prophylaxis – A preparation given to a human being for the purpose of, and which does by scientific evidence, attenuate or treat the symptoms of a disease should it be contracted, and which is given prior to exposure to the disease-causing agent. Scientific evidence of prevention of the infection or prevention of forward transmission is not required.

III. Prohibitions
1. It shall be unlawful for any medical practitioner in the United States, any public health authority, manufacturer, distributor, retailer or person otherwise providing a substance intended for use in a human being to represent that said substance is a ******* unless that substance has been shown, by scientific evidence, to produce sterilizing immunity when the prescribed sequence is completed for not less than five (5) years in a person under the age of fifteen (15) and for ten (10) years in a person 15 years of age or older.

2. It is the public policy of the United States to strongly discourage the combining of prophylaxis and ******* preparations into one unit dose. In order to discourage this practice a combined preparation that contains both one or more legally-defined *******s and prophylaxis as one unit dose must be labeled as, and treated for the purpose of this title, as a prophylaxis for the purposes of this title and in all matters related to public health.

3. No public health authority, school, business, medical establishment or other entity, public or private, including but not limited to CMS, State Agencies, border and customs agents, health service firms and others, without exception, may require that a person produce evidence of or accept a prophylaxis to condition any right or privilege, including but not limited to employment, transportation, education, lodging or entry into any place or facility within the boundaries of the United States and its territories. All such existing statutes, regulations and private claimed rights of action are void as of the date of enactment of this Title and of no force or effect.

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Isn’t this clear yet? Steve explains again.

Paul Krugman Is Still Wrong About Money (Steve Keen)

When a writer starts a new column, his first battle is to justify why people should read it. Paul Krugman has just made that task much easier for me, by publishing a column on money that, to use his favorite phrase, is “all wrong.” The crucial point at which Krugman gets it “all wrong” —yes, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics is wrong about money—is his assumption that, when they lend, banks lend out reserves: Since the 2008 financial crisis, however, banks have been voluntarily holding vast excess reserves, apparently because they don’t see enough good lending opportunities. If you’ve studied economics, you might think there’s nothing wrong with that statement, because that’s what the textbooks tell you: banks take in deposits from some customers, and then lend out the reserves these deposits create to other customers.


But in 2014, the Bank of England said that the textbooks were wrong: rather than banks lending out deposits that are placed with them, the act of lending creates deposits—the reverse of the sequence typically described in textbooks. Krugman read this paper, and expressed only confusion about it: he began his column with “OK, color me puzzled,” and the post got more puzzling from there. This week’s column, 8 years later, shows that he’s simply ignored what he didn’t understand—and he’s not alone. Virtually all mainstream economists still get this wrong, and textbooks continue to teach a story that the Bank of England said is false. This is a crucial mistake, and it’s why economists are so often wrong about the economy—including their failure to see the 2008 financial crisis coming. So, let’s get it right.

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The neocons have moved to where they think they can do most damage.

How Did Fox News Become The Voice Of Reason? (RT)

Imagine traveling back in time 20 years and explaining the current US geopolitical predicament to someone in 2002. They’d easily believe the country’s leadership is barreling headlong into a war it can’t win for reasons it hasn’t adequately explained. But the American of 2002, if you could pry him away from ‘CSI: Miami,’ would find it shocking to flip on the news networks and find the sole anti-war message at prime time coming from Fox News, and the loudest pro-war shrieking coming from the liberal CNN and MSNBC. As the Biden administration seriously entertains the prospect of war with Russia over Ukraine (the latest bright idea from the White House is to funnel arms to Ukrainian paramilitaries, Syria style), that’s exactly what’s happening. Fox News host Tucker Carlson opined at length on Tuesday night against going to war over Ukraine, arguing that such a conflict would be “incredibly destructive.”

Carlson’s guest, analyst Clint Ehrlich, expounded on this, stating that bringing Ukraine into NATO – the plan that triggered the current descent toward war – would not serve US strategic interests, or those of NATO itself. “It’s not just nuts. It’s dangerous. We’re sleepwalking toward a conflict with a country that has more than 4,000 nuclear weapons,” Ehrlich told Carlson. “It’s just shocking that people are not more upset by this.” Once considered a sewer pipe of neoconservative jingoism, Fox News is now anti-war – or at least its top-rated host is. On the liberal networks, things are different. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough – a man who once accused “the Russians” of killing Jeffrey Epstein – practically pounded his fists into the news desk earlier this month, demanding that President Joe Biden “move aggressively” against Russia.

“We’ve got to be aggressive in our defense of our allies. And Ukraine, despite what you hear from Putin propagandists … we have to defend our democratic allies,” he said. In print media, rehabilitated warmonger John Bolton is in the Washington Post calling on the US to send troops to Ukraine “and possibly Georgia and others,” Jonah Goldberg is arguing in the LA Times that even meeting with Vladimir Putin is “a concession” to Moscow that the US should avoid, and The Guardian – the favored read of soy-eating peaceniks – is publishing rosy profiles of the brave Ukrainian civilians “ready to resist” a Russian advance because they “don’t like dictators.” Even the relatively centrist Wall Street Journal ran a column this week arguing for the formation of “an American and coalition force to defend Ukraine,” presumably forgetting that such almighty international coalitions were humiliated by shoeless goat-herders in Afghanistan and Iraq, never mind in mechanized combat against a rival superpower.

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Why let it come to a vote if this is obvious?

Senate Democrats Fail To Change Filibuster, Handing Biden Stinging Defeat (JTN)

Senate Democrats failed twice on Wednesday night to pass their signature legislation to nationalize elections, handing President Joe Biden a stinging defeat that was delivered in part by two centrists in his own party. The second vote came late Wednesday night when the Senate refused to change the filibuster rules in a 52-48 vote. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.V.) and Krysten Sinema (Ariz.) voted with Republicans to keep the filibuster rules, rejecting their party’s bid to end the 60-vote threshold for passing legislation in the chamber. A few hours earlier, Senate Republicans, joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), voted against moving forward with the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act,


The motion to failed in the Senate by 51-49. Schumer joined Republicans “in order to enter a motion to reconsider the vote,” according to the Senate Press Gallery. Minutes before the Senate voted Schumer threatened that “if the GOP blocks this vote—we must change the rules of the Senate to pass these bills.” The bill, which was expected to fail, required 60 votes to move forward and overcome the Republican filibuster. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) complained about the legislation on Twitter. “Dems hv spent afternoon claiming 2 want to debate voting bill, claiming Rs don’t want to then they voted 4 motion 2 CUT OFF debate & amendments same day Senate took up bill w all amendments blocked by Sen Schumer,” he tweeted shortly after the vote.

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Bit of a cheap shot, perhaps, but his numbers set off major alarm bells.

Biden Asked Why Americans Think He’s Not ‘Mentally Fit’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden said he has “no idea” why a growing number of voters see him as mentally unfit, after a new survey found a large proportion of respondents are in doubt of his intellectual capacity. The president was asked about his faculties during a Wednesday news conference, with Newsmax reporter James Rosen fielding a carefully worded question about a poll conducted over the weekend. “I’d like to raise a delicate subject, but with utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the high office you hold,” Rosen said. “A poll released this morning by Politico-Morning Consult found 49 percent of registered voters disagreeing with the statement ‘Joe Biden is mentally fit.’” The journalist added that “not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement,” to which Biden replied “I’ll let you all make the judgment whether they’re correct.”


Rosen continued to press, however, asking why “such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness.” Biden responded curtly: “I have no idea.” “I don’t believe the polls,” Biden said in response to another question about moderate and independent voters increasingly dissatisfied with his job performance. Republican women questioned Biden’s mental state more than any other demographic in the poll, with a combined 87% saying they “strongly” or “somewhat” disagree with the statement that he is fit. Democratic men, meanwhile, were among the least critical. Some 49% of registered voters also said the president is not “stable,” with another 43% stating that he is and the rest declining to answer.

Biden Ukraine

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“..Facebook and Twitter gave over 90 percent of their political contributions to Democrats for the 2020 election cycle..”

Schumer Holds Antitrust Bills As His Daughters Work for Facebook, Amazon (NB)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer decides what bills come up for a Senate vote. But with Schumer’s daughters employed by Facebook and Amazon, antitrust legislation may go the way of President Joe Biden’s popularity: down into oblivion. As majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Schumer (D-NY) controls the vote timing and selection of legislation that moves through the chamber, according to the New York Post. The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing Big Tech legislation that would prevent platforms from favoring their own products over competitors’, and that legislation may come up for a vote soon. Schumer reportedly has not said where he stands on the legislation. Might that stem from the fact that his two daughters work for Big Tech companies? Jessica Schumer is a registered lobbyist for e-commerce giant Amazon, per New York state records. Alison Schumer works for Facebook as a product marketing manager, the New York Post wrote.

The two sisters’ employment, it would seem, poses a potential conflict of interest for Schumer around antitrust legislation. “When they are on opposite sides of the divide it can make the public servant member of the family too sympathetic to the company that employs their child or family member,” Jeff Hauser of Revolving Door Project, which studies money in politics, reportedly told the New York Post. Schumer is not the only lawmaker with a potential tech-related conflict of interest. “When you put together the amount of money Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi made off tech with the fact that leader Schumer’s two kids work for giant tech companies, Democrats are going to have a very hard time explaining if major legislation doesn’t move forward this session,” a “progressive operative” reportedly told the New York Post.

The publication also has reported that the daughter of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), “one of the most vocal opponents of antitrust bills,” works for Google’s legal team. Big Tech employees have proven before how leftist they are. Facebook employees orchestrated a movement demanding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg censor then-President Donald Trump in 2020, for instance. Open Secrets records revealed that for “all federal candidates,” by October 2020, both Facebook and Twitter gave over 90 percent of their political contributions to Democrats for the 2020 election cycle, particularly to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Hundreds of Amazon employees demanded the platform stop selling a book that challenged the woke left’s narratives on gender identity in July 2021.

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The world is a different place.

Why I Am No Longer A Tenured Professor at Uni of Toronto (Jordan Peterson)

First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked. My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions. And this isn’t just some inconvenience. These facts rendered my job morally untenable. How can I accept prospective researchers and train them in good conscience knowing their employment prospects to be minimal?

Second reason: This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough (BIPOC: black, indigenous and people of colour, for those of you not in the knowing woke). This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job. And we’ve seen what that means already in the horrible grievance studies “disciplines”. That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colours everything. As we have discovered.

All my craven colleagues must craft DIE statements to obtain a research grant. They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same. And they do it constantly, with various rationalizations and justifications, further corrupting what is already a stunningly corrupt enterprise. Some of my colleagues even allow themselves to undergo so-called anti-bias training, conducted by supremely unqualified Human Resources personnel, lecturing inanely and blithely and in an accusatory manner about theoretically all-pervasive racist/sexist/heterosexist attitudes. Such training is now often a precondition to occupy a faculty position on a hiring committee.

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Québec kids

 

 

 

 

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Jan 182022
 
 January 18, 2022  Posted by at 10:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Johannes Vermeer The lacemaker 1669-71

 

No Time for Crybabies (Jim Kunstler)
Israel Finds 4 Covid Vaccine Jabs ‘Not Good Enough’ Against Omicron (RT)
The War on Treatment Is Fiercer Now Than Even Covid Itself (Pfeiffer)
Incriminating Evidence (Steve Kirsch)
Returning Travellers To Hand Over Phones, Passcodes At Australian Border (G.)
Australia’s Government Is From the Dark Ages (Simon Black)
Watch Australia Closely (Berenson)
Djokovic Facing Fresh Grand Slam Blow (RT)
Oh Look, MORE BS! (Denninger)
Beta and Delta Variants Trigger Fc Effector Function (Cell)
Poor UK Households May Have To Spend Half Their Income On Energy (G.)
Airlines Say 5G Will Create ‘Economic Calamity’ (RT)
Eisenhower’s Warning About The Military-industrial Complex Is Still Valid (CST)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covid profits

 

 

“..a culture of junk food, junk work, junk art, junk environments, junk government, junk economics, and, lately, junk science..”

No Time for Crybabies (Jim Kunstler)

[..] it’s obvious now, after a year on-the-scene, that the vaxxes work poorly at best to protect against infection or control the spread, and, at worst, induce terrible long-term damage to organs, blood vessels, and the immune system. The vaxxes can kill you or gravely disable you. The statistics in the CDC’s VAERS registry show this in no uncertain terms: 1,003,992 Covid vaxx adverse event reports including 21,745 deaths linked to them through January 7 — and these figures are said to be deeply understated due to the poor design and difficulty using the VAERS website with its clunky, out-dated code that the CDC refuses to fix.

Dr. Fauci has avoided addressing these adverse reactions and the negative efficacy of the “vaccines.” He simply states that the vaxxes are “safe and effective.” That so many Americans believe him, despite all the evidence, and go along with the crusade to vaxx-up everybody, is proof that they are insane. But now that the whole story is unravelling, they are ever more determined to stick to the script. Covid-19 has been their security blanket for two years. As long as it was in the picture, raging and killing as an invisible demon, it could be the focus of all their free-floating terror.

Terror of what, you might ask? Of the meaninglessness, alienation, and debility induced by the managerial class in its own sick institutions and corporations… in short, the 21st-century America that the managers evolved in and supported — a culture of junk food, junk work, junk art, junk environments, junk government, junk economics, and, lately, junk science… a sickening panorama of systems out-of-control and entering failure mode. Confronting the disaster of its own incapacity to sustain a healthy culture and an economy with a future, the managerial class went nuts. Its insane actions now are killing people while seeking to punish those who refuse to walk sheepishly into America’s version of the gas chamber, the Anthony Fauci “vaccines.”

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5,6,7….

Israel Finds 4 Covid Vaccine Jabs ‘Not Good Enough’ Against Omicron (RT)

A fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine showed dwindling effectiveness against the Omicron variant, according to a trial conducted in Israel, with one its lead researchers saying the immunization is simply “not good enough.” A study involving 154 medical staffers at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv found that a fourth shot of the Pfizer vaccine gave only marginal protection against the Omicron strain compared to previous mutations. A separate group of 120 volunteers were also given a fourth dose of Moderna’s inoculation following three rounds with Pfizer, but their immune response was similar. “We see an increase in antibodies, higher than after the third dose. However, we see many infected with Omicron who received the fourth dose,” said Gili Regev-Yochay, one of the head researchers on the trial, adding that while “the vaccine is excellent against the Alpha and Delta [variants],” for Omicron “it’s not good enough.”


Despite the new findings, Israeli health officials already moved ahead with fourth doses for the elderly, the immunocompromised and medical workers beginning earlier this month, with some 500,000 receiving a second booster on top of an initial two-dose regimen as of Sunday. Though the trial is still in an early phase and the hospital did not offer specific figures, Regev-Yochay said she made its preliminary conclusions public as boosters are a matter of “high public interest,” according to the Times of Israel. She noted that giving fourth doses to high-risk residents is “probably” still the best approach, but suggested the booster campaign should be limited to an even older age group than the current over-60 guideline.

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Good overview.

The War on Treatment Is Fiercer Now Than Even Covid Itself (Pfeiffer)

Omicron is tearing through the country, with Covid cases quadrupling and quintupling in thirty-five states from last winter’s peak.That’s the bad news, but only sort of.The good news: For the first time in twenty-two months, experts are uttering words we haven’t heard in answer to the central question: Are we nearing the pandemic’s end? “I think we are,” said Dr. Pierre Kory, a pulmonary and critical care specialist and president of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.“I am optimistic for this,” said Dr. Harvey Risch, a Yale epidemiologist and treatment advocate. “The more Omicron cases the better until the peak starts to turn downward.”

These two early treatment pioneers echo the sentiments of other experts, some guarded but mostly hopeful, that the highly transmissible, less-virulent Omicron may end covid as we know it. “I’m so happy that Omicron is milder, that Omicron is winding up the pandemic,” said Dr. Mobeen Syed, known to a half-million subscribers of Drbeen Medical Lectures on YouTube.From France, treatment advocate Dr. Christian Perronne, author of the aptly titled, Is There A Mistake They Didn’t Make?, told me, “It could be the end of the pandemic soon.” By all indications, the U.S. and Europe—where a “west-to-east tidal wave” is unfolding—will follow the South Africa–United Kingdom model.

There, Omicron rose and fell fast, obliterating the more fearsome Delta, and leading to far lower rates of hospitalization and death. Experts are anxiously waiting for that to happen in exploding Omicron hot spots like the United States. But one certainty remains. The U.S. and first-world governments still do not want doctors to treat covid early and are doing all it can to stop them. This article covers that ongoing problem, how to adapt to a veritable blockade on safe effective generics, and how I got around those obstacles when I got sick.

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Steve risks overkill.

Incriminating Evidence (Steve Kirsch)

For many people, the most convincing argument is not the scientific data presented here, but seeing what happened to a formerly perfectly healthy friend or family member (or famous public figure) after they took the vaccine. In my case, I lost confidence in the COVID vaccines when a friend told me that three of her relatives died shortly after being vaccinated (and they were all perfectly healthy before the shot). A week later, another friend had a heart attack 2 minutes after getting the vaccine and his wife developed Parkinson’s symptoms after she got her vaccine. Today, my wife just told me that one of her friends recently got boosted and now her four kids don’t have a mother anymore. It’s tragic, but for most people, it takes many events like this before people wake up and realize they’ve been lied to.

In most cases, the victims remain silent because they don’t want to be ostracized or receive death threats. So you rarely hear of the incidents. Also, the press will never cover the reactions because the media cannot prove the vaccine was the cause of the event. [..] Tragically, when all these events happen, the news reports never mention that the person was recently vaccinated. Many never realize it was due to the vaccine because the vaccine is supposed to be completely safe. For example, Celine Dion’s career ended shortly after she got vaccinated. Did anyone ever notice that the singer never announced the cause of her sudden uncontrolled muscle spasms? Did her agent ever tell the public why the vaccine was ruled out as a possible cause? Nope.

Uncontrolled muscle spasms post-vaccination is a very common side effect of the vaccine, especially in women. Is it possible that her injury was just bad luck? Of course, but statistically, it is far more likely that her injury was caused by the COVID vaccines. If she isn’t being treated by a specialist in vaccine injury, she may never return to the stage.

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Freedom.

Returning Travellers To Hand Over Phones, Passcodes At Australian Border (G.)

A man who was forced to hand over his phone and passcode to Australian Border Force after returning to Sydney from holiday has labelled the tactic “an absolute gross violation of privacy”, as tech advocates call for transparency and stronger privacy protections for people’s devices as they enter the country. Software developer James and his partner returned from a 10-day holiday in Fiji earlier this month and were stopped by border force officials at Sydney airport. They were taken aside, and after emptying their suitcases, an official asked them to write their phone passcodes on a piece of paper, before taking their phones into another room. It was half an hour before their phones were returned, and they were allowed to leave. James initially posted about his ordeal on Reddit.


“We weren’t informed why they wanted to look at the phones. We were told nothing,” he told Guardian Australia. “Who knows what they’re taking out of it? With your phone and your passcode they have everything, access to your entire email history, saved passwords, banking, Medicare, myGov. There’s just so much scope.” James said he has no idea what officials looked at, whether a copy of any of the data was made, where it would be stored and who would have access to it. “It’s an absolute gross violation of privacy.” Under the Customs Act, ABF officers can force people to hand over their passcodes to allow a phone search, as part of their powers to examine people’s belongings at the border, including documents and photos on mobile phones.

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“..these politicians think that Australian residents will only become vaccine hesitant if Djokovic is physically present in Australia..”

Australia’s Government Is From the Dark Ages (Simon Black)

Vaccination rates in Australia are among the highest in the world, and they’re feverishly (no pun intended) administering booster shots to the population. Yet despite this adherence to public health authorities, cases are surging to record highs. In the last 24 hours there were 55,232 new Covid cases in Australia. By comparison, Australia had 10 (yes, ten) new daily cases a year ago in January 2021, just prior to the vaccine rollout.But now that 92.6% of eligible Australians have been vaccinated, the infection rate has increased more than 5,000x from a year ago. Obviously vaccinated people are transmitting the virus to other vaccinated people.Yet the government seems to be asserting that only unvaccinated people like Djokovic can spread Omicron… which is a very flat-earth, anti-science view.

But the Australian government’s dumbest reason to expel Djokovic was that his presence in the country may increase vaccine or booster hesitancy. This one is really extraordinary.Let’s we assume for a moment that their point is true, i.e. Djokovic could infect Australian people with his dangerous ideology.Even so, the Australian government apparently believes that ideas only spread through physical contact.In other words, these politicians think that Australian residents will only become vaccine hesitant if Djokovic is physically present in Australia, as if he’s going to sneeze and his ideas will spread like Omicron droplets.But as long as they keep him out of the country, then Australians will be sufficiently socially distanced from his ideas and no one will be exposed to his heresy.

Just like the rest of their arguments, this notion is completely absurd. And yet it was their ‘rational’ basis for punishing someone whose only transgression was exercising independent thought.Back in the 1600s (and prior), anyone who disagreed with the civil or religious authorities was branded a heretic. And their censorship was especially brutal; people were expelled, imprisoned, tortured, and even put to death for questioning authority and expressing a different view.We have once again returned to medieval intolerance for ideological differences.

Australia’s government is a sad example of this Dark Ages-era mentality– that they (and they alone) dictate truth. And anyone who questions their supreme wisdom must be banished.Back then people faced Inquisition, witch hunts, and public beheadings. Today it’s the Twitter mob, cancel culture, and expulsion.It’s not quite as bloody, but still ruinous.

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“..because their risk of infection is higher, a vaccinated person will need to have substantial post-infection protection to have an overall lower risk of serious outcomes.”

Watch Australia Closely (Berenson)

Australia now averages more than 100,000 new Covid cases per day – equal to about 1.5 million in the United States. One fine day last week, it reported 175,000, the equivalent of about 2.5 million, maybe the highest per-capita total any country has ever reported.Not even six months ago, Australia was still chasing zero Covid and patting itself on the back for “Doughnut Days” – with no new Covid infections. (Because a doughnut is shaped like a zero, see?) By the way, Australia is among the world’s most Covid vaccinated counties. Its policy of open coercion and discrimination against the unvaccinated has “succeeded” – more than 95 percent of Australians 16 and over have received at least one vaccine dose, and 93 percent two doses. Those figures effectively represent full vaccination – many of the people left are probably simply too frail to tolerate Covid vaccines.

Deaths are still relatively low by American standards. But they have risen sixfold in the last two weeks and are now at their highest level ever, equal to almost 700 deaths in the United States a day. The trend adds to other worrisome signs about Omicron in highly vaccinated countries. At this point two facts about Omicron are near-certain: 1: Vaccinated people are at HIGHER risk of being infected with Omicron than the unvaccinated (and whatever protection boosters offer does not last). In Scotland, another highly vaccinated country, vaccinated people are more than twice as likely to be infected as the unvaccinated – and people who have received a booster are 30 percent more likely. 2: Omicron is less dangerous than earlier variants.

But how much less dangerous is not entirely clear, because infections have risen so fast that hospitalizations and deaths are still catching up. In South Africa, the first country to see an Omicron spike, deaths from Omicron didn’t peak until Jan. 11 – almost four weeks after infections peaked. In Britain, infections peaked 10 days ago, but deaths are still soaring; they have tripled since late December. Unfortunately, at this point we still do not know how those two facts interact. In other words, if you are vaccinated and infected with Omicron, will your risk of being hospitalized or dying the same, higher, or lower than someone who is infected but unvaccinated? Remember, because their risk of infection is higher, a vaccinated person will need to have substantial post-infection protection to have an overall lower risk of serious outcomes.

In other words, vaccinations will only help and not hurt against hospitalization or death from Omicron if they somehow substantially reduce the risk of getting very sick even though they substantially increase the risk of infection. Is that tightrope even biologically possible? Sure, it’s possible. The vaccine advocates have lately been writing stories about T-cell protection. But possible doesn’t mean plausible. In reality the vaccines do little to drive broad B- or T-cell responses – and that fact was known before Omicron.

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That only took 48 hours.

Djokovic Facing Fresh Grand Slam Blow (RT)

After his deportation from Australia, Novak Djokovic could be forced to miss another Grand Slam after French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu signaled a vaccination pass will be mandatory for international athletes. World number one Djokovic was deprived of the chance to defend his title in Melbourne after a federal court backed the decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel the unvaccinated tennis star’s visa. Djokovic is due to arrive back in Serbia on Monday, but could now find himself barred from the second Grand Slam of the season after the French National Assembly approved the introduction of a controversial new vaccine pass which will exclude anyone who is not fully jabbed from restaurants, sports arenas and other venues.

The legislation is set to come into force in the coming days, and was backed by Sports Minister Maracineanu. “The vaccination pass has been adopted. As soon as the law is promulgated, it will become mandatory to enter public buildings already subject to the health pass (stadium, theater or lounge) for all spectators, practitioners, French or foreign professionals,” she tweeted. “Thank you to the sports movement for the work of conviction with the last rare unvaccinated. We will work together to preserve the competitions and to be the ambassadors of these measures at the international level.” Sunday’s parliamentary vote in France means Sports Minister Maracineanu appears to have been forced to backtrack on previous comments which suggested Djokovic’s vaccination status would not be an issue for his participation at the French Open.

“He would not follow the same organizational arrangements as those who are vaccinated,” Maracineanu told the FranceInfo radio station earlier this month. “But he will nonetheless be able to compete [at Roland Garros] because the protocols, the health bubble, allows it.” That position now appears to be in doubt after the more stringent rules are due to be imposed.

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“It’s hard to sell fear — and jabs — to those who have already been infected if you tell them the truth..”

Oh Look, MORE BS! (Denninger)

Not only do the shots not work they have negative efficacy — that is, they make it more likely for you to not only get it but get seriously ill with it. Of course that’s exactly the opposite of what the medical “profession” has claimed, isn’t it? When you make pronouncements without evidence that has a way of happening. Let’s not forget you’ve been bull****ting people for quite some time in public, haven’t you?”Not only that, but multiple studies have shown that the Omicron variant itself affects the upper airways far more than the lungs, even as it’s much more transmissible than any other variant. This is exactly what happened in the later stages of 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to John M. Barry, author of “The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History,” who spoke to me about it on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio this week.”

I thought *****-19 was the deadliest plague in history? Oh, you mean it isn’t? In fact its not even close, as you’re well-aware, but scaring people is hard when you admit that there have been many pandemics through history that have been worse, isn’t it? Indeed. And yes, this very same pattern did happen in 1918. It has also happened in every other respiratory pandemic, including the one in the late 1800s that we think was caused by a beta coronavirus that is known as OC43 and circulates today. We can’t prove that one because we have no preserved samples to test, but genetic sequencing and back-fitting does appear to line up with a pandemic that caused disease very similar to what we saw this time around — and both are beta coronaviruses. In fact there is not one respiratory pandemic where this pattern has not been true.

How do I know this is a fact? You and I are both on this planet along with many billions of other humans, that’s how. Were this not true the human race would have ceased to exist long ago — well before anything known as “modern medicine” showed up.Of course admitting that blows up all the screaming and fear-mongering too, doesn’t it, including that nice fear-mongering OpEd you got published in August? Yeah, it does. Especially for those who already had it, they’re ok, and thus no longer have a reason, statistically-speaking, to fear it in any way. It’s hard to sell fear — and jabs — to those who have already been infected if you tell them the truth about how every respiratory pandemic in history has played out isn’t it? Never mind it being rather tough to convince such people they should wear a mask too eh?

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Going to have to take a closer look at this.

Beta and Delta Variants Trigger Fc Effector Function (Cell)

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) exhibit escape from neutralizing antibodies, causing concern about vaccine effectiveness. However, while non-neutralizing cytotoxic functions of antibodies are associated with improved disease outcome and vaccine protection, Fc effector function escape from VOCs is poorly defined. Furthermore, whether VOCs trigger Fc functions with altered specificity, as has been reported for neutralization, is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the Beta VOC partially evades Fc effector activity in individuals infected with the original (D614G) variant.


However, not all functions are equivalently affected, suggesting differential targeting by antibodies mediating distinct Fc functions. Furthermore, Beta and Delta infection trigger responses with significantly improved Fc cross-reactivity against global VOCs compared to D614G-infected or Ad26.COV2.S vaccinated individuals. This suggests that, as for neutralization, the infecting spike sequence impacts Fc effector function. These data have important implications for vaccine strategies that incorporate VOCs, suggesting these may induce broader Fc effector responses.

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Trumped by Nordstream 2 posturing.

Poor UK Households May Have To Spend Half Their Income On Energy (G.)

Soaring energy bills could eat up more than half of some UK households’ incomes, a leading poverty charity has said, amid warnings that vulnerable people will be left unable to eat regularly or could even be at risk of death from the cold. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said that while households across the board faced bill increases of 40% to 47% from April, there would be huge variations in the ability of families to cope. Energy bills would amount to 6% of the average income of a middle-income family but 18% for a low-income family. This would rise to 25% for lone parents and couples without children, while single-adult households on low incomes could be forced to spend 54% of their income on gas and electricity when the new energy price cap comes in on 1 April, the JRF found.

“Rising energy prices will affect us all but our analysis shows they have the potential to devastate the budgets of families on the lowest incomes. The government cannot stand by and allow the rising cost of living to knock people off their feet,” said Katie Schmuecker, the deputy director of policy and partnerships at the JRF. The warning came as one of the UK’s most respected financial advisers, Martin Lewis, said ministers must intervene urgently to help vulnerable people whose lives could be at risk. Lewis, the founder of the consumer advice website MoneySavingExpert, said the government must provide billions of pounds in support to millions of poorer households who faced major financial stress and “heat or eat” decisions.

“We absolutely know we need a substantial increase in the billions of pounds funding to vulnerable people, and people on low incomes, or it is not an exaggeration to say some will have to choose between heating or eating, and that is not appropriate in one of the world’s richest economies and a civilised nation,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “What we can’t get away from is we are going to need to put money into the system or we are going to have an absolute, not a relative, an absolute poverty crisis in this country, with people really being unable to eat or dying because of the cold.”

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Rollout is tomorrow.

“The ripple effects across both passenger and cargo operations, our workforce and the broader economy are simply incalculable… To be blunt, the nation’s commerce will grind to a halt.”

Airlines Say 5G Will Create ‘Economic Calamity’ (RT)

Some of the US’ largest commercial and cargo airlines have sounded the alarm about the potentially “devastating” effects of 5G service around airports, saying the technology could effectively grind travel and shipping to a halt. Airlines for America – a lobbying group that represents JetBlue, American Airlines, Southwest, United, Delta, UPS, and FedEx, among others – issued a letter on Monday warning that the new 5G C-Band service could have a massive impact on aircraft operations around the country and create a “completely avoidable economic calamity.” “Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded,” it said, adding that up to 1,100 flights and 100,000 passengers could experience delays and cancelations per day.


While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has acknowledged the new cell network could interfere with key aircraft systems – namely radio altimeters, which help pilots land in low visibility – as of Sunday, the agency said it had cleared less than half of the US fleet to operate alongside C-Band towers. The latest update came just days ahead of a planned rollout set for January 19, which itself followed several delays due to the ongoing safety concerns. However, the airlines stressed that the interference goes beyond one system, as altimeters “provide critical information to other safety and navigation systems in modern airplanes,” which could mean that “huge swaths of the operating fleet” are “indefinitely grounded” until the issues are resolved.

Read more …

MORE valid.

Eisenhower’s Warning About The Military-industrial Complex Is Still Valid (CST)

President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address of Jan. 17, 1961, is just as relevant today as back then. Ike warned American citizens of the “military-industrial complex” and the dangers it presented to our nation and the world. Eisenhower was rightly wary of the armaments industry, which at that time was relatively new. Ike knew that such a massive arms industry could dominate the nation. Eisenhower said in his speech, “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

Resources for this arms industry would come from the American people. And if the arms industry is large, that burden becomes substantial. The more you finance the military, the less money you have for other priorities. With people profiting from armaments and their development, there will inevitably be the push for more weapons. Any arms buildup will encourage other nations to build up their weapons. Arms races remain a continuing danger. Eisenhower further warned, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Ike believed the American people needed to be politically active when it came to regulating the arms industry. He said, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” We need to question military spending, especially when it comes at the expense of social programs. For example, the Build Back Better legislation is being rejected by many senators complaining about its costs. This means important social programs, such as the Child Tax Credit, free school meals and summer feeding for impoverished children won’t get passed because they claim they’re too expensive.

Yet those same senators are not questioning a nearly $2 trillion program of nuclear weapons modernization. Spending on nuclear weapons simply encourages arms races with Russia and China. Eisenhower warned against such reckless military spending that comes at the expense of the American people. Ike said, “As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow.” Eisenhower emphasized in his speech the need for diplomacy and peacemaking. He said, “Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLK

 

 

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

 

Jan 172022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Man with a falcon on his wrist (possibly St. Bavo) 1661

 

Editorial Calls For National Guard To Keep Unvaccinated In Their Homes (Fox)
Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated (Rasmussen)
Djokovic ‘Must Pay Huge Sum To Australia’ (RT)
Australia Deports Novak Djokovic Citing His Threat to Social Cohesion (CTH)
Civil Rights Groups’ Alarm At Government’s Djokovic Case (Age)
Doctor Loses License, Must Have Psych Evaluation For Covid Falsehoods (MH)
The Death Of Science (Exp.)
After 28 Days on Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle to Try Ivermectin (ET)
Will the Omicron Wave Carry Us Onto Endemic Beach By March? (Kory)
Greek Seniors To Be Fined For Violating Vaccine Mandate (RT)
Vaccine Mandate for Cross Border Trucking Now in Effect (CTH)
Economics Ripe For A Post-pandemic Shake Up (Janda)

 

 

The madness genie is out of the bottle. And as these things go, it will be very hard to put it back in. It’s not as if the end of the pandemic will end the madness, too. Less than 1 year ago, even people like Biden ad Fauci said never a mandate. And now the Salt Lake City Tribune calls for the National Guard to lock the unvaccinated in their homes, and half of Democrats want a fine or prison time for questioning the efficacy of the vaccines. Australians are en masse cheering the destruction of their main tennis tournament. And destroyed it is. What’s the value of winning with the no. 1 out for political reasons?

The mental damage will be with us for a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

Covid school money

 

 

 

 

 

Rutte

 

 

No, nobody put anything funny in the drinking water. This is simply the media.

Editorial Calls For National Guard To Keep Unvaccinated In Their Homes (Fox)

The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board published an editorial on Saturday that called on the Utah governor to use the National Guard to prevent unvaccinated citizens from going anywhere. In an editorial titled, “Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic, the Editorial Board writes” the paper lays blame at elected officials for failing to mandate the vaccine for all citizens. The paper asserted that if Utah was a “civilized place,” Republican Gov. Spencer Cox would implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the state and have the National Guard enforce the mandate by not letting unvaccinated people go “anywhere.”

“Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial board wrote. While the editorial board placed blame at all levels of government, they were more critical of Republicans like Cox. “Government officials, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, were apparently determined not to be caught governing in the face of this challenge. Any move or recommendation to mask up or, when safe and effective vaccines became available, to make vaccination a requirement of admission to public places and society in general was shouted down as an unwarranted imposition on individual freedoms,” it wrote.

“Cox and so many others have not carried the courage of their convictions. Cox, state legislative leaders, our congressional delegation and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes have so proudly stood against the kind of vaccine mandates that civilized society has used for generations to effectively wipe out everything from polio to diphtheria to the measles.”

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48% of Democrats support prison time for individuals who “publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines”.

Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated (Rasmussen)

A new Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of voters favor President Joe Biden’s plan to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the employees of large companies and government agencies. That includes 33% who Strongly Favor the mandate. 48% are opposed to Biden’s vaccine mandate, including 40% who Strongly Oppose the mandate. Voters are similarly divided over the federal government’s top COVID-19 expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. 45% view Fauci favorably, including 28% who have a Very Favorable impression of him. 48% have an unfavorable impression of Fauci, including 34% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

The even split among voters is the result of deep partisan divisions. While 78% of Democratic voters support the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate plan, only 22% of Republicans and 41% of voters not affiliated with either major party support the vaccine mandate. And many Democrats would support even harsher measures, including fines for Americans who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine and criminal punishment for vaccine critics. “After two excruciatingly long years, likely voters are beginning to question the federal government’s handling of the pandemic,” said Chris Talgo, senior editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, which commissioned this poll. “First and foremost, likely voters are beginning to sour on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who seems to have lost credibility after countless flip-flops.”

Talgo continued: “Moreover, almost half of likely voters oppose President Biden’s vaccine mandates, which seem less about stopping the spread of COVID-19 and more about increasing the power of the federal government. When asked about several other potential strategies, such as fining those who refuse to get vaccinated, the consensus among likely voters is that the federal government should do less, not more.” [..] Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications. Only 27% of all voters – including just 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters – favor criminal punishment of vaccine critics. 45%) of Democrats would favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Such a policy would be opposed by a strong majority (71%) of all voters…

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“..a message of support displayed prominently on the Belgrade Tower in the Serbian capital on Sunday evening..”

Djokovic ‘Must Pay Huge Sum To Australia’ (RT)

Novak Djokovic’s stare-down with Australian immigration officials looks set to hit the world number one financially, with a report claiming to reveal the vast costs he is said to have been ordered to pay the country’s government. The unanimous decision by Australian judges to rubber-stamp Djokovic’s deportation ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2022 came with certain caveats including a potential ban for Djokovic on entering Australia for three years. Djokovic is financially liable for “all the costs” associated with the case, which are expected to be around $500,000, according to Telegraf – a sum which would have likely fallen on the Australian taxpayer had the court reached a different conclusion on Sunday.


The world number one, who admitted afterwards that he was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome of the hearing which finally ruled out Djokovic’s drive for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title win and a tenth Australian Open crown – accolades that would have set him apart from his peers as the most successful player of the modern era. While it remains unclear exactly when Djokovic will return to Serbia, his home nation has emphasized its support for Serbia’s most famous sporting export after his legal issues down under. The tennis icon, who has already received emphatic backing from the likes of Serbian president Aleksander Vucic and even Serbian royalty, will have a message of support displayed prominently on the Belgrade Tower in the Serbian capital on Sunday evening. “Nole, you are the pride of Serbia,” the message, which will be displayed between 8pm and 9pm local time, will read, before being replaced by the Serbian tricolor.

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“The concept of minority rights or individual sovereignty, restrictions on the mob’s ability to interfere in your life, is unfathomable to Australians.”

Australia Deports Novak Djokovic Citing His Threat to Social Cohesion (CTH)

None of the statements by the government, and none of their legal arguments had anything to do with COVID-19, or any medical issue or threat represented by Mr. Djokovic. The government didn’t even attempt to make any such case in their court arguments. Instead, the government relied upon convincing the court that Djokovic’s physical presence represented a threat to “social cohesion“. To support the position of the government, Australian Chief Justice James Allsop stressed the court was ruling on the “lawfulness and legality” of the decision and not whether it was right or wrong to deport him. The government can arbitrarily decide who comes and goes into the country, therefore, if the government wants to ban Djokovic for whatever reason, they can. That was the determining legal factor, nothing else.

Now we get to the key distinction between Americans and Australians. This is the point where many Americans find it difficult to reconcile with the outlook of Australians. This is where the distinctions in democracy become very important to understand. Americans view any form of tyranny as bad. Americans, in the whole, view any effort to crush your freedom as a negative. Australians only view tyranny as bad if it is not applied equally. As long as everyone suffers the punishment of government equally, the pain is approved. In Australia, government oppression is only bad if it is applied unequally. If every Australian is forced to have their right hand removed to comply with government rules, then the removal of the hand is permitted. Everyone gets in line at the hand-chopper.

However, if someone jumps out of the line and tries to escape, because they don’t want their hand removed, all the other people in line will chase him down, bring him back and hold him down while the government hand-chopper does the removal. The American looks at this mindset with jaw agape and says, “F**k you, my hand isn’t getting removed, and neither should anyone else’s; and I will fight the government hand-chopper if it means stopping them, even if you are okay with your hand getting chopped.” Generally speaking, the line of Americans to get their hands chopped will look scornfully as the two-handed rebel departs, but they accept his decision. (Although this outlook is changing in America) When an American sees a person fighting Australian tyranny (Djokovic), our gut instinct is to support him (we would if his confrontation was inside America – his location is irrelevant).

We support the freedom fight, because we see the underlying reason for him fighting -his medical and health freedom- as having merit. [..] There’s also a weird part of this where we recognize that Australians are unwilling to contemplate or accept that non-Australians might have different inherent rights because, well, they are not Australians. The Australian system of government is based on a pure democracy. Extreme democracy. As soon as 50% plus one is achieved, the other 50% accept the rules of the majority, regardless how small that majority position might be. This is why everyone in Australia is required by law to vote. The concept of minority rights or individual sovereignty, restrictions on the mob’s ability to interfere in your life, is unfathomable to Australians. Once a law is passed by majority consent, they all agree to follow it. That is their social compact.

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“..The crowd went silent as the decision was announced and one woman began to cry.”

Civil Rights Groups’ Alarm At Government’s Djokovic Case (Age)

The government’s barrister, Stephen Lloyd, SC, argued on Sunday that Djokovic’s views were “widely understood” and he had “become an icon for the anti-vaccination groups”. However, he said it was not only what Djokovic had stated in the past that had an impact, but also how people perceived him now and how that might encourage them to reject vaccination. Pauline Wright, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said it was reasonable for the government to suggest a famous person such as Djokovic who is unvaccinated may influence some people to refuse inoculation. But it was a “big leap” to argue his previous comments on vaccination were serious enough to deem his presence in Australia a public health risk.

“Do the comments in 2020 disentitle him from playing a tennis game in Australia in 2022?” she said. “Does that really pose such a threat to public health in a situation where we’ve got 95 per cent of the adult population vaccinated? “People are free to be sceptical of vaccination … As long as they can prove they are COVID-free, I don’t see why they should be excluded from public life.” Michael Stanton, a barrister and the president of Liberty Victoria, said it was “particularly unfair” to focus on how others might perceive Djokovic’s views, rather than the seriousness of what he has actually said. “It’s very different from [denying a visa] for someone who has expressly said something about inciting violence or encouraging unrest,” he said. “The reliance on how someone might be perceived sets an impossible standard for that person to meet.”

It was also ironic that the government’s attempt to remove Djokovic had given his views a week of international attention, he said. “They have magnified the anti-vax voice.” Mr Stanton and Ms Wright said the case highlighted the danger of the Immigration Minister’s power to make what they described as arbitrary decisions. Under powers described by a former Labor immigration minister as “god-like”, the minister can cancel someone’s visa if they believe the person may – rather than will – risk public health or good order. The debate came as fans of the 20-time grand slam winner protested outside Melbourne’s Federal Court buildings on Sunday. The crowd went silent as the decision was announced and one woman began to cry.

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Yes, ivermectin.

Doctor Loses License, Must Have Psych Evaluation For Covid Falsehoods (MH)

A doctor with decades of experience can’t practice medicine after her license was temporarily suspended over complaints that she shared coronavirus misinformation, according to a Maine licensing board. The board has ordered her to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation, it said. Dr. Meryl J. Nass, who got a license to practice medicine in Maine in 1997, had her license “immediately” suspended for 30 days after a board investigation and review of complaints against her on Jan. 12, according to a suspension order from the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. Nass, who’s an internist in Ellsworth, must “submit” to an evaluation by a “Board-selected psychologist” on Feb. 1, the board’s evaluation order issued Jan. 11 said.

“I have no comment about submitting to a neuropsych exam, except that the board ordered me to do so on shaky grounds,” Nass told McClatchy News, adding that she’s had her license for a total of 41 years. “The information received by the Board demonstrates that Dr. Nass is or may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to her patients by reason of mental illness, alcohol intemperance, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, or as a result of a mental or physical condition interfering with the competent practice of medicine,” the evaluation order states. The complaints against Nass include how the board was told she engaged in “public dissemination of ‘misinformation’” about COVID-19 and vaccinations “via a video interview and on her website,” the board said about the October 26, 2021 complaint. It lists several comments Nass made that were subject to the board’s investigation.

Roughly 10 days later, the board got another complaint about Nass “spreading COVID and COVID vaccination misinformation on Twitter,” it said. Nass called “disinformation and misinformation” a “fuzzy concept” that the board hasn’t defined for her, she said. “There’s no law that says doctors can’t express their educated opinion on any subject.” Other grounds for her suspension include how Nass treated COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, according to the board. The board noted that Ivermectin isn’t Food and Drug Administration “authorized or approved” as a treatment for COVID-19 in the suspension order. Ivermectin is used as a parasitic treatment for animals, according to the FDA.

“For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea,” the agency explains online. Additionally, it noted the FDA “revoked’ emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine since it “may not be effective” against COVID-19.

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“This has been a whitewash. This whole thing has killed science. Science is meant to look at evidence. It is truly unbelievable.”

The Death Of Science (Exp.)

Professor Dalgleish co-authored a paper in summer 2020 after spotting “unique fingerprints” in Covid-19 samples that he believes prove they must have been manipulated in a laboratory. The work was rejected by a string of journals, before finally being published in a watered-down form. Prof Dalgleish, an oncologist who discovered how HIV entered and killed cells in 1984, then found himself “ostracised” and frightened. In February 2020, the Lancet had published a letter that “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin. This highly influential letter – subsequently cited in thousands of scientific publications – was signed by 27 experts including Wellcome Trust head and former Sage member Sir Jeremy Farrar.

However, it has since emerged that two weeks before the letter was published, Sir Jeremy stated in private emails that some senior scientists believed a ‘likely explanation’ was that the virus was man-made. He had led a teleconference call on February 1 2020. The emails discuss the call and reveal one virologist was ‘80 percent sure this thing had come out of a lab’. Others shared the view. Sir Jeremy was uncertain, stating “this will remain grey unless there is access to the Wuhan lab”. But virologist Dr Ron Fouchier said: “Further debate about such accusations would . . . do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.” Professor Dalgleish, author of a new book on covid, The Origin of the Virus, warned the affair had profound implications for the scientific community.

He said his team had found amino acids on the spike with a positive charge, allowing the virus to cling to negative parts of the human body. But it was highly unusual to find so many positive charges in a row because they also repel each other, he said. “We realised when they released the sequence of the virus it broke the laws of physics for a natural virus meaning it was genetically modified. “At the time my position was supported by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 who now chairs the University of London board of trustees.” However, when they tried to publish their work they were turned down by numerous papers, including the Lancet. “My paper was rejected within five hours”, he said. “Normally it takes three weeks before it is even peer reviewed.”

Prof Dalgleish said: “It was a political decision for this to be suppressed.” Describing the impact after his paper was finally released, he said: “I was ostracised. I was fearful – really frightened at the way I was being treated. “I was told I was not an expert on coronavirus’ and should just shut up. People tried to push us away. We were told our theory had no rationale and it was a conspiracy theory. I am so angry about this. I have more virus papers cited than most virology experts and they tried to push me aside. “They did not even look at the science. It was obvious it was a gain of function escape from a lab and I say escape, but that is generous. We had this data in late February after the sequences were released. “This has been a whitewash. This whole thing has killed science. Science is meant to look at evidence. It is truly unbelievable.” Last year an expert who has studied the lab leak said the debate about coronavirus will be reduced to “insults on twitter” unless medical journals allow uncensored discussion.

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This is so immoral, where does one begin?

After 28 Days on Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle to Try Ivermectin (ET)

A Florida family fighting to give their loved one on a ventilator alternative treatments for COVID-19 have lost another battle—this time in Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The wife and son of Daniel Pisano first squared off against Mayo Clinic Florida at an emergency hearing on Dec. 30 in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. Before that, they’d been begging the hospital to allow them to try treating Pisano—who’s been on a ventilator now for 28 days—with the controversial drug ivermectin, along with a mix of other drugs and supplements, part of a protocol recommended by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). The family’s request for an emergency injunction to force the Mayo Clinic to allow treatments recommended by an outside doctor was denied by Judge Marianne Aho. They appealed the decision.

On Jan. 14, Aho’s decision was upheld by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The three-judge panel deciding the case included Judge Thomas “Bo” Winokur, appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2015; Judge M. Kemmerly Thomas, appointed in 2016 by Scott; and Judge Robert E. Long, Jr., appointed in 2020, by Gov. Ron DeSantis. “An opinion of this Court explaining its reasoning will follow,” the judges stated in the order they issued. “So we wait to see what that looks like, unless it takes too long,” said Jeff Childers, an attorney for the family. Seventy-year-old Daniel Pisano doesn’t have unlimited time, says Eduardo Balbona, M.D., an independent doctor in Jacksonville who’s been advising the family since they reached out to him while researching other treatments that could potentially help their loved one.

Balbona, who has been monitoring Pisano’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic through an online portal, testified on behalf of the Pisano family in the first hearing. The Mayo Clinic has argued that the treatment plan doesn’t fit with the hospital’s standard protocol for treating COVID-19 patients and they don’t know what the effects of following Balbona’s recommendations would be. The hospital has told the family that Pisano has a less-than-five percent chance of survival, and all that’s left to do is wait and see if he recovers on the ventilator.

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“..we should be “getting to the other side” of the wave by March!”

Will the Omicron Wave Carry Us Onto Endemic Beach By March? (Kory)

Woke up last Sunday to a text forwarded to me by my wife. It was a series of notes taken by a good friend of hers which summarized the main points heard on a conference call with the International Head of Infectious Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital (i.e. “Haavaad”). This is what it looked like: I found it remarkable on a number of fronts given that this information; 1/ Comes out of the Top of the Ivory Tower of Ivory Towers (Harvard) 2/ Comes from the Director of International Infectious Disease.

Despite #1 and #2, the Director; 1/ Subtly questions the accuracy of publicly disseminated hospitalization data (a large number of us have long stopped placing high value on the disseminated aggregate U.S data as it is not only severely discordant with other countries’s data (U.K, Israel, S. Africa etc) but the underlying granular, “source” data is almost never supplied to the public. Plus, the U.S agencies history of data shenanigans in the pandemic is terrifying – i.e. remember when they made a rule to stop testing the vaccinated and to advise docs against checking antibodies on anyone prior to vaccinating them?

2/ Says that boosters will not be needed for Omicron. Wait, what? Scientific truth and logic is now coming out of a major academic institution in the U.S? No more of their long-standing, complicit (silent) support of an unending series of illogical policies around these novel vaccines? He openly says this while all the public health agencies and mass media continue to whip up fear of Omicron so as to try to increase vaccination rates? He even implicity brings up the reality that vaccines designed for older and fundamentally different variants have already shown either negligible or negative protection against Omicron. Whoa. He also didn’t bother (or forgot) to parrot the manipulative lie that vaccines are responsible for preventing hospitalization and death in Omicron? Who slipped this guy the Truth Serum?

3/ Offers a highly positive message in line with my growing and large network of COVID-expert colleagues in that the global data on Omicron strongly suggests it will infect such large swaths of society that things will get back to normal, based on the fact that natural immunity to (and displacement of) the more dangerous variants will result. And, we should be “getting to the other side” of the wave by March!

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Petty.

Greek Seniors To Be Fined For Violating Vaccine Mandate (RT)

The Greek prime minister has made a final appeal to the country’s senior citizens to get inoculated before monthly punishments for violating the country’s vaccination mandate kick in next week. “Our fellow citizens who are over 60 and still unvaccinated – I encourage them today: take this step,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a visit to a health center in Megara, near Athens, on Saturday. “Protect your life and the lives of those you love, and understand that the vaccine is safe and saves lives.”


Citizens aged over 60 will be fined €50 ($57) from Monday and €100 ($114) each month from February unless they get vaccinated. All proceeds will go to the country’s health system, Greek media said. Those with Covid recovery certificates and proven medical exemptions will not be subject to the fines. People vaccinated abroad will be able to register their vaccination through a government website. The AMNA news agency cited government sources as saying that 90% of citizens aged over 60 have already been vaccinated or have booked an inoculation appointment.

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Do watch the video. And then maybe stock up.

Vaccine Mandate for Cross Border Trucking Now in Effect (CTH)

The cross border vaccine mandate for truckers in/out of Canada is now in effect. The U.S. vaccine mandate takes effect on January 22nd.It will take a few days to see the consequences, but there will be consequences. Keep in mind, any impact is taking place in a supply chain system that is already tenuous and unstable at best. A small disruption that may have been minimally significant against a fully operational supply chain, is more likely to be a much bigger disruption in a supply chain that is already under a severe amount of demand side stress. Somewhere in the range of 16,000 to 38,000 daily loads are likely to be impacted.

When questioned about this, Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc says the trucking industry “has had adequate time to prepare for this.” Keep in mind, the mandate was announced 45 days ago (November 30th). According to the Canadian government, changing the structural rules for all the logistics and commerce in cross border shipping, 45 days is enough notice. […] The mandate throws a “major wrench” in the Canadian and North American supply chains, he added, with grocers, food producers, the auto parts industry and building materials among the sectors expected to be most affected. “I really hope that we’re not at the stage where you see food insecurity, where you’re actually going to grocery stores and there’s nothing on the shelf,” Winder said. “That could be the worst-case scenario.”

Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, told CTV News Channel on Saturday that there were as many 23,000 vacancies at the end of the third quarter of 2021, with his group’s own studies showing that roughly 20 per cent of Canadian truck drivers operating across the border are unvaccinated. […] “If we remove a fifth of that workforce, we’re going to see shortages on shelves and we’re going to see inflation of prices, because the cost to bring this stuff here is going to go up.”

Canadian truck driver

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“So when 30, 40 or 50 per cent of your staff are absent through COVID illness or isolation, there is no way to keep functioning as usual.”

Economics Ripe For A Post-pandemic Shake Up (Janda)

Who do we miss most when they don’t turn up to work? If I couldn’t work from home and write this column, would it inconvenience you in the slightest? If your employer’s CEO was out of action for a fortnight, would it affect your work? Federal parliament hasn’t sat for a month and a half and won’t sit again until the second week of February. How many of us even noticed? On the other hand, if your garbage collection doesn’t turn up this week and your bin is overflowing, it’ll certainly catch your attention. When you turn up to the supermarket to buy fresh produce for dinner and the shelves are bare, it’s more than a minor annoyance. If your toddler can’t go to childcare, you’ll definitely notice.

As the Centre for Future Work’s Jim Stanford pointed out last week, COVID has shown again and again that the basis of a healthy economy is healthy humans. But it has also reminded those of us paying attention that our most essential workers also happen to be some of our lowest-paid, while our (arguably) less-essential workers are often paid far more. Of course, in a modern capitalist democracy, we need CEOs, politicians and, yes, even journalists. But their temporary absence doesn’t spark a crisis. But take the nurses, chefs and cleaners out of a nursing home and you’ll have a crisis very quickly, as some facilities are already seeing in the Omicron wave.

Yet the fruit and veggie pickers, abattoir workers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, nurses, childcare workers, garbage collectors, cleaners and many others whose daily work is directly essential for others’ wellbeing generally earn much less than the average — which is currently around AUS $90,000 per year for full-time workers. Does that not hint at something fundamentally wrong with a social science concerned with distribution? That many of the people whose work is most valued by others in society are among those least valued by that society in a monetary sense? There’s another hard lesson for economists and managers in the way COVID has exposed weaknesses in supply chains.

Those who run the economy, corporations and public services, perhaps above all, tend to strive for efficiency and productivity. In recent decades, firms, governments and even households have been operating on lean “just-in-time” models, where we keep stocks in hand as low as possible. That’s fine in normal times, but when your usual supply suddenly dries up — whether it’s computer chips, face masks or toilet paper — you very quickly find yourself in a tricky bind, with little time to adapt. The same is true for staffing. So many companies and public services have down-sized, or “right-sized” as it is now sometimes euphemistically termed, that losing just 10 per cent of their workforce is a crisis. So when 30, 40 or 50 per cent of your staff are absent through COVID illness or isolation, there is no way to keep functioning as usual.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Pollination – Must watch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1482908859454869507

 

 

Amsterdam

Groningen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1482853258897076227

 

 

Spain

Barcelona

Perth

 

 

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Jan 162022
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Moonlight c1850

 

Novak Djokovic Faces Deportation From Australia After Court Verdict (G.)
Life Insurer Refuses To Cover Vaccine Death (FWM)
Mass General Expert: No Boosters. Normal Life. We Can Move on From Covid (TSN)
Covid in the UK: Reported Cases At Lowest Level For A Month (BBC)
Is The Pandemic Entering Its Endgame? (BBC)
Dr. Peter McCullough: Official Covid ‘Narrative Has Crumbled’ (WND)
Intracranial Infection Cases Up 60-Fold Since Vaccines Rolled Out (Kirsch)
Denial of Natural Immunity in Vaccine Mandate ‘Unprecedented’ – Atlas (ET)
The Lesson from the Downing Street Parties Is: The Rules Were Wrong (DS)
Russia Is Right: The West Promised Not To Enlarge NATO (RT)

 

 

Bodily autonomy was always very important; until about a year ago, that is. Still, most people couldn’t define it to save their lives. So when Novak Djokovic appealed to it, they didn’t recognize it as their own basic right, and instead replaced it with Stockholm Sydrome. The captors set the captives against a common enemy to make them ignore the captors’ failures. And they all cheer the court’s decision, unaware of the damage they are doing to their own country. The captives believe they still are free people. Job well done.

 

 

The motivation for the decision is curious:

 

 

Immigration minister Hawke carefully avoids the real issues:

 

 

And the Guardian says:

“The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, backed the cancellation decision, arguing that Australians had “made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected”.

What is the result of those sacrifices? Why, this. So let’s all be proud and stick together against the heretic:

 

 

 

What a coordinated attack looks like: 270 health workers turn against Joe Rogan and those he interviewed, and the media ignore their 16,000 colleagues who support them.

 

 

More coordination:

 

 

The healthiest man involved gets booted out. So it’s not about health.

Novak Djokovic Faces Deportation From Australia After Court Verdict (G.)

Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open after the full federal court dismissed the world No 1’s bid to restore his visa. On Sunday the court rejected a challenge to the decision of Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, to cancel the visa on the basis Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk “civil unrest” as he is a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”. Chief Justice James Allsop announced the court unanimously dismissed Djokovic’s application, with costs to be paid by the tennis star. Allsop explained the decision of the court did not reflect on “the merits or wisdom of the decision” but rather whether it was so irrational as to be unlawful. Full reasons will follow at a later date. The decision is a major setback for Djokovic’s quest to win a 10th Australian Open crown and a record 21st grand slam title.


Djokovic’s lawyers had argued Hawke’s decision was “illogical, irrational or unreasonable” and the minister based it on Djokovic’s public statements about vaccination without actually seeking his views. In fresh submissions overnight, Djokovic’s lawyers added that Hawke had failed to consider the impact on anti-vaccination sentiment if his visa were cancelled. In court on Sunday, the minister’s counsel, Stephen Lloyd, argued Australia “must not be bound to suffer the presence of an alien for fear of what might happen if they were removed”. Use of the ministerial power to cancel a visa comes with a three-year ban on re-entering Australia, except in compelling circumstances, such as compassionate or Australian national interest grounds.

Read more …

“According to the company, an experimental vaccination resulting in death is like suicide..”

Life Insurer Refuses To Cover Vaccine Death (FWM)

An explosive case is currently being hotly debated on social media: In France, a rich, older entrepreneur from Paris is said to have died as a result of a Corona injection. Previously, he had taken out multi-million dollar life insurance policies for the benefit of his children and grandchildren, according to a media report. Although vaccination is recognized as the cause of death by doctors and the insurance company, it has refused to pay out. The reason is because the side effects of the Corona jabs are known and published. They argue that the deceased took part in an experiment at his own risk. Covid-19 in itself is not classed as a “critical illness”.

The insurance company justified the refusal of payment to the family by stating that the use of experimental medication or treatments, including Corona injections, is expressly excluded from the insurance contract. The family’s subsequent lawsuit against the insurance company has been unsuccessful. The court allegedly justified its ruling as follows: “The side effects of the experimental vaccine are published and the deceased could not claim to have known nothing about it when he voluntarily took the vaccine. There is no law or mandate in France that compelled him to be vaccinated. Hence his death is essentially suicide.” Since suicide is not covered by the policy from the outset, the insurance refuses to budge.

“The court recognizes the classification of the insurer who, in view of the announced side effects, including death, legally regards participation in the phase three experiment, whose proven harmlessness is not given, as voluntarily taking a fatal risk that is not covered by the contract and legally recognized as suicide. The family has appealed. However, the insurer’s defense is recognized as well-founded and contractually justified, as this publicly known fatal risk is legally considered suicide, since the customer has been notified and has agreed to voluntarily take the risk of death without being obliged or compelled to do so.”

[..] The refusal to pay for a vaccine-related death may not be surprising since globally the life insurance industry has been hit with reported claims of $5,5 billion in the first nine months of 2021 versus $3,5 billion for the whole of 2020, according to insurance broker Howden. Dutch insurer Aegon, with two-thirds of its business in the US, said its American claims in the third quarter were $111 million, up from $31 million a year earlier.

Read more …

“We won’t need a booster for omicron because they wouldn’t be able to develop one before it’s completely gone..”

Mass General Expert: No Boosters. Normal Life. We Can Move on From Covid (TSN)

The director of global infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital is predicting what was unthinkable less than a month ago: The end of the pandemic. Dr. Edward Ryan made stunning and encouraging comments on the Omicron variant that give hope for a return to normalcy. Among these: Omicron will make boosters unnecessary. The covid virus will join the ranks of the “common cold.” And the latest wave will enter “clean up mode” shortly. “We are fighting the last war with COVID and should be pivoting back to normal life,” the summary of Dr. Ryan’s comments states. “Spring/Summer will be really nice!” Dr. Ryan is professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

He also directs the Tropical and Geographic Medicine Center and Travelers’ Advice and Immunization Center, which is supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His comments come from an undated summary of a conference call with Ryan that was shared last weekend among doctors and provided to me. In response to a request for comment, Massachusetts General Hospital issued a statement acknowledging that Dr. Ryan’s remarks had been shared “from an individual’s personal notes.” “These notes lack context, details, and nuance,” the statement said, noting they fail to reflect “the role that vaccines play in mitigating severe disease or death,” or to note that at-risk people should “continue to take extra precautions.” Significantly, the statement did not take issue with the accuracy of the conference call summary, which I had forwarded to both Ryan and media officials. Ryan did not respond to requests for comment.

Assessing the situation in the Boston region, Ryan said that close to 100 percent of cases were Omicron. “Delta is almost completely gone from New England,” the notes said, meaning, significantly, that a more deadly variant has been displaced by a far milder one. “This surge will peak [in New England] sometime between 1/10 and 1/21 and then begin a quick downhill journey of two to four weeks,” the summary of the call stated. Perhaps the most surprising, and potentially controversial, statement from the call notes pertained to Ryan’s take on boosters for Omicron. “We won’t need a booster for omicron because they wouldn’t be able to develop one before it’s completely gone and we’re all going to get it which will give us the immunity we need to get through it,” the summary states.

Read more …

As predicted long ago.

Covid in the UK: Reported Cases At Lowest Level For A Month (BBC)

The UK has reported another 81,713 coronavirus cases, the lowest daily level seen since 15 December. The apparent ebbing of the Omicron wave comes as some experts claim the end of the pandemic is in sight for the UK. However, the number of deaths within 28 days of a test remains high, with 1,843 over the past seven days – a 45% rise from the previous week. The number of hospital patients with Covid has dropped – though the most recent figures date from Monday. The 15,698 admitted in the seven days to 10 January represented a slight week-on-week fall.

Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool, told the BBC that we are heading towards a new phase of the pandemic where the virus has a lesser impact on daily life. “We’re almost there, it is now the beginning of the end, at least in the UK. I think life in 2022 will be almost back to before the pandemic,” he said. Daily reported cases and deaths are often lower at the weekend, but reported infections have been falling steadily since the new year. However, confirmed cases are still significantly higher than the peaks of previous waves during the pandemic, following the arrival in November of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

[..] From this week, people without symptoms in England no longer need a lab-processed PCR test to confirm a positive lateral flow. People are still asked to report the results of their lateral flow tests. There were 287 deaths within 28 days of a positive test reported on Saturday. The lag between infection and death may partly explain why deaths remain high despite the fall in cases.

Read more …

Say what?

“It seems like it’s taken a long time, but only a year ago we started vaccinating and we’re already an awful lot freer because of that.”

Is The Pandemic Entering Its Endgame? (BBC)

Who hasn’t let out an exasperated “Is the pandemic finished yet?” or a “When can I just get on with my life?” over the past two years? I know I have. The answer to those questions could be… very soon. There is growing confidence that Omicron could be hurtling the UK into the pandemic endgame. But what comes next? There will be no snap of the fingers to make the virus disappear. Instead, the new buzzword we’ll have to get used to is “endemic” – which means that Covid is, without doubt, here to stay. So, is a new Covid-era truly imminent and what will that actually mean for our lives? “We’re almost there, it is now the beginning of the end, at least in the UK,” Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool, tells me. “I think life in 2022 will be almost back to before the pandemic.”

What’s changing is our immunity. The new coronavirus first emerged two years ago in Wuhan, China, and we were vulnerable. It was a completely new virus that our immune systems had not experienced before and we had no drugs or vaccines to help. The result was like taking a flamethrower into a fireworks factory. Covid spread explosively around the world – but that fire cannot burn at such high intensity forever. There were two options – either we would extinguish Covid, as we did with Ebola in West Africa, or it would die down but be with us for the long term. It would join the swarm of endemic diseases – such as common colds, HIV, measles, malaria and tuberculosis – that are always there. For many, this was the inevitable fate of a virus that spreads through the air before you even know you’re sick.

“Endemicity was written into this virus,” says Dr Elisabetta Groppelli, a virologist at St George’s, University of London. “I am very optimistic,” she says. “We’ll soon be in a situation where the virus is circulating, we will take care of people at risk, but for anybody else we accept they will catch it – and your average person will be fine.” Epidemiologists, who study the spread of diseases, would consider a disease endemic when levels are consistent and predictable – unlike the “boom and bust” waves so far in the pandemic. But Prof Azra Ghani, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, says other people are using it to mean Covid is still around, but that we no longer need to restrict our lives. She thinks we’ll get there “rapidly”, adding: “It seems like it’s taken a long time, but only a year ago we started vaccinating and we’re already an awful lot freer because of that.”

Read more …

“The vaccines should be pulled off the market. They clearly are not solving the problem.”

Dr. Peter McCullough: Official Covid ‘Narrative Has Crumbled’ (WND)

Dr. Peter McCullough – a renowned cardiologist and highly published medical scientist whose confrontation of the government’s COVID-19 policies has drawn more than 40 million views on Joe Rogan’s podcast – told WND in a video interview Thursday night the official pandemic narrative that has been fiercely guarded by establishment media and social-media censors is “completely crumbling.” That narrative, he said, included “false statements regarding asymptomatic spread, reliance on lockdown and masks – which obviously didn’t work – the suppression of early treatment, the mass promotion of vaccines that failed.” “And now here we are, almost in complete free fall,” McCullough said, referring to the record number of COVID-19 cases as officials acknowledge the vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission.

McCullough noted that in California, with the more contagious but much milder omicron variant now dominant, health care workers who tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms were told to go back to work. “With that, I think that’s it. I think that’s the end. The narrative has crumbled. People don’t want these vaccines,” McCullough said. “The vaccines should be pulled off the market. They clearly are not solving the problem.” The focus, he said, should be on “treating high-risk patients who develop symptoms” with some of the early treatments that he and other physicians around the world have found to be effective, including ivermectin and a new drug granted emergency use authorization by the FDA, Paxlovid.

McCullough cited a study from Denmark and data from the U.K.’s health agency showing that the vaccines have zero effectiveness against omicron. “That’s not misinformation,” he said. “I’m just quoting the data. All of this can be looked up. Fact-checkers can look at it. I know I’ll never have any problems with allegations of misinformation, because I just quote the data.” President Biden clearly had McCullough in mind when on Thursday he urged social media companies and media outlets to “please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that’s on your shows. It has to stop.” McCullough pointed out his work has been relied upon by courts across the nation, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has testified to the U.S. Senate and will be back there later this month. “I think America knows who is giving them the straight story.”

Read more …

“..she said she operated in 5 kids like this in the past month! We see normally one a year.”

Intracranial Infection Cases Up 60-Fold Since Vaccines Rolled Out (Kirsch)

I got the message below from one of my followers. It’s an anecdote, but it is not an isolated incident as you’ll agree from reading the comments. A 60-fold increase in intracranial infections (5/month vs. 1 per year). Nobody can figure out why. Only started happening after the vaccines rolled out. You won’t hear of this since the surgeons aren’t going to speak out since they’ll lose their license (as noted in the message). That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Steve, I got this message from my neurosurgeon friend… “I just took care of an 11-year-old African American cheerleader (she is a “flyer” which means she is the person who is lifted up into the air during a stunt; they are usually very strong and have excellent balance while in the air) in amazing health who had a headache. She got worse and mother brought her to my hospital. She was in a coma and had a brain abscess. I had to put a tube in her head to save her life. Pure pus from her head…. And MRI showed a brain abscess as well as sinusitis, and she had a tooth infection.” So I called my friend (the anti-Vax NS) and said WTF: she said she operated in 5 kids like this in the past month! We see normally one a year. We both said at the same time, “Masks!”

So I wrote to another ped NS friend in the Midwest and this is what he just sent me: “Yes, it is raining intracranial infections here. We just did one and have done 10-12 since October. This is weird as it’s the wrong season for them. We get them in spring and only a sprinkling of them. ENT is having a similar issue with severe sinusitis’s in kiddies. We asked ID and they just shrug their shoulders”. [Ed note: ID is short for infectious disease ] Steve, I asked my neurosurgeon friend to call you as she is still pro vaccine despite what she is seeing with her own eyes, but she is afraid that she could jeopardize her license. The other NS recently got fired for not getting the jab, so maybe she would speak with you. Thank you.

The vaccination status of the patients wasn’t known (since we all know that the COVID vaccines never cause any bad effects, the physicians didn’t bother to ask such irrelevant questions). According to my neurologist, the most likely cause is the vaccine, but masks could also be implicated (sinus infection that goes to the brain). She gave it 60:40 odds, where 60% it is the vaccine, 40% it is masks. Then I asked her about the COVID test swabs they stick up your nose and she said, “YES, that is a huge possibility.”

Read more …

“..unprecedented in modern history..”

The same issue as Djokovic and bodily autonomy.

Denial of Natural Immunity in Vaccine Mandate ‘Unprecedented’ – Atlas (ET)

Denying natural immunity in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) vaccine mandates is “unprecedented in modern history,” a prominent public health expert said. Dr. Scott Atlas, a former White House COVID-19 Task Force adviser during the Trump administration, made the remarks after the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decide to uphold the CMS vaccine mandates in a Thursday ruling. He told The Epoch Times that the ruling is “another serious denial of scientific fact” specifically mentioning the denial of natural immunity in CMS vaccine mandates. “Our continued denial of superior protection in recovered individuals, with or without vaccination, compared to vaccinated individuals who’ve never had the infection,” he said.

“The denial of that is simply unprecedented in modern history, proven fact and decades of fundamental immunology are somehow denied.” “If we are a society where the leaders repeatedly deny the fact, I’m very concerned about the future of such a society,” he added. The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s private business vaccine mandate imposed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Meanwhile, America’s highest court decided to uphold the CMS vaccine mandate covering 10.4 million health care workers at 76,000 medical facilities. In the 5–4 ruling in the CMS vaccine mandate, John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the Democrat-nominated trio of justices, while Clarence Thomas offered a dissent that was joined by Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.

The majority of the court stated that the vaccine mandate “falls within the authorities that Congress has conferred upon” the Health and Human Service Secretary (HHS) Xavier Becerra. CMS is part of the HHS. The ruling also disagrees with the dozens of red states who said that CMS failed to consider the benefits of natural immunity. “Given the rule-making record, it cannot be maintained that the Secretary failed to ‘examine the relevant data and articulate a satisfactory explanation for’ his decisions to require vaccination of employees with ‘natural immunity’ from prior COVID-19 illness,” read the majority opinion.

Read more …

The queen will have to fire Boris.

The Lesson from the Downing Street Parties Is: The Rules Were Wrong (DS)

With Labour now ten points ahead following fresh allegations of partying at No. 10, the Prime Minister’s job hangs in the balance. While joe public was living life under lockdown, complete with hefty fines for rule-breakers, Boris and chums were living it up in the Downing Street garden. The Prime Minister has said he “implicitly believed it was a work event”. Yet the leaked invitation email told attendees to “bring your own booze!”. This means either that the Prime Minister’s lying about what he “implicitly believed”, that he’s incapable of distinguishing work events and social events (hint: booze goes with the latter), or that he considers drinking at work to be perfectly fine.

At this point, there have been so many reported parties at 10 Downing Street (including the Daily Mirror’s latest scoop) that it’s hard to keep track of them all. You wonder how Boris and chums ever got any work done. I mean, those sweeping lockdown rules didn’t write themselves. The public is rightly indignant at the hypocrisy of it all. And indeed, most of the media coverage has focused on this angle. How could Boris say one thing, while he was doing another? (Well, we already knew that his policy on cake is pro-having it and pro-eating it.) No. 10’s hypocrisy certainly should be condemned. But that’s not the most important lesson here. No, the most import lesson is: the rules were wrong. As Will Jones notes, if Boris ends up resigning, it should be for the absurd, draconian policies that made his behaviour hypocritical in the first place.

The very fact that Boris and chums were comfortable meeting up for “socially distanced drinks” at a time when the official guidance was “stay home, save lives” indicates they knew the rules were pointless. (Either that or they don’t actually care about saving lives.) Indeed, of all the various curbs and restrictions imposed over the past two years, stay-at-home orders may be the most egregious. For a start, they constitute a brazen violation of our civil liberties. Although an Englishman’s home is his castle, that doesn’t mean the Government has the right to besiege him there. Recall the scenes of ramblers being tracked across the countryside by drones, like something out of a Jason Bourne movie:

But on top of that, confining us in our homes serves no purpose, when transmission overwhelmingly occurs indoors. To claim the individual pictured above was posing any kind of threat to his fellow citizens is preposterous. Add the fact that staying inside means less exposure to sunlight, and you have a dog’s breakfast of a policy. Hypocrisy from politicians is one thing. But freedom-wrecking policies are quite another. As Philippe Lemoine notes, “by focusing on their hypocrisy, we encourage the notion that the rules themselves were okay”. They weren’t.

Read more …

Too obvious to discuss.

Russia Is Right: The West Promised Not To Enlarge NATO (RT)

With Russia challenging Western unilateralism in a way not seen since the end of the Soviet Union, two major issues keep coming to the fore. Both, it seems, are centered on America’s flagship military bloc, NATO. First, there is Moscow’s claim that there was a Western promise not to expand NATO beyond its Cold War area. Second, there is a Western claim that NATO cannot, let alone will not, put an end to admitting new member states. This is no mere rhetoric; these are crucial points. Russia’s insistence on a thorough review and comprehensive, bindingly codified reset of post-Cold War security relations with the West hinges on its claim that prior Western assurances were broken. Talk and informal promises, the Kremlin says, are not enough anymore because they have turned out to be unreliable.

On the other side of the quarrel, the West is rejecting a Russian key demand – to stop NATO expansion – by entrenching itself behind its claim that NATO simply must keep the door open to new members. Both claims can be verified. Let’s take a look at the facts. Moscow is right in its assertion that the West has broken its promises. Such pledges were made twice to Russia, as a matter of fact. In 1990, during the negotiations over the unification of West and East Germany, and then, again, in 1993, when NATO was extending its Partnership for Peace policy eastward. In both cases, the assurances were given by US secretaries of state, James Baker and Warren Christopher, respectively. And in both cases, they took it upon themselves to speak, in effect, for NATO as a whole.

Despite clear evidence, there are still Western publicists and even active politicians who deny or relativize these facts, such as, for instance, Cold War Re-Enactor and former American ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. Let’s address their objections. Regarding the 1993 promises, the case is extremely simple. As Angela Stent – a widely recognized American foreign policy expert and practitioner with no bias in Russia’s favor – has summarized it in 2019, two “US ambassadors… later admitted that Washington reneged on its promises” – of 1993, that is – “by subsequently offering membership to Central Europe.” Then-Russian president Boris “Yeltsin was correct in believing that explicit promises made… about NATO not enlarging for the foreseeable future were broken when the Clinton administration decided to offer membership,” – and not merely partnership, as Christopher had assured Yeltsin – “to Central Europe.”

The 1990 case is a little more complicated, but not much. There, too, the evidence for an explicit promise is clear. Here is the foremost American expert, Joshua Shifrinson – like Stent beyond any suspicion of favoring Russia – on the issue, writing in 2016: “In early February 1990, U.S. leaders made the Soviets an offer… Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, [the] U.S. could make ‘iron-clad guarantees’ that NATO would not expand ‘one inch eastward.’… Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks. No formal deal was struck, but from all the evidence, the quid pro quo was clear: Gorbachev acceded to Germany’s western alignment and the U.S. would limit NATO’s expansion.”

To be clear, Shifrinson, a careful scholar, has also explained that American negotiators and leaders started going back on this promise very quickly. But that makes zero difference to two facts: First, the promise was made, and timing suggests strongly that it mattered to Russia’s acquiescence to German unification on entirely Western terms. In other words: Moscow kept its part of the deal, the West did not. Second, even while rapidly backpedaling internally, American politicians continued to give Russia the – false – impression that its security interests would be considered. Put differently, the initial – and consequential – promise was not only broken; the deception was followed up with even more deception.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Works in either direction.

 

 

 

 

Montpellier

Paris

 

 

Nice

Genova
https://twitter.com/i/status/1482474204050370560

 

 

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Jan 152022
 
 January 15, 2022  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Johannes Vermeer The geographer 1668-69

 

Omicron Wave of COVID-19 Has Peaked in UK (ET)
What’s Really Going On With Covid Deaths Data? (BBC)
Face Masks Make People Look More Attractive, Study Finds (G.)
Australia Minister Says Djokovic ‘Talisman’ Of Anti-vaccine Sentiment (ABC)
Australian Minister Says Risk Of ‘Civil Unrest’ Behind Djokovic Cancellation (G.)
Senator Plans To Introduce ‘FAUCI Act’ After Doctor Called Him A ‘Moron’ (Fox)
GE Halts Covid Mandate For Employees After Supreme Court Decision (BG)
YouTube Suspends And Demonetizes Dan Bongino Over ‘Mask Fascists’ Content (PM)
Dog Gone (Kunstler)
How To Read The US Paper For Peace For Our Time (Helmer)
Putin’s Challenge To Western Hegemony – The 2022 Edition (Tooze)
To Save Time, Biden To Ship 500 Million Free Masks Directly To Landfill (BBee)

 

 

“There needs to be a complete lockdown of vaxxed people until we can figure out what the hell is going on..”

 

 

Seneff

 

 

 

 

That’s settled then.

“Meanwhile, UK media report wall-to-wall…tennis players, No.10 parties, a playboy Prince and his uniforms …and occasionally repeat their masters’ fantasy mantra ‘Russian aggression’.”

Omicron Wave of COVID-19 Has Peaked in UK (ET)

The Omicron wave of COVID-19 has peaked in the UK and cases are starting to decrease in all age groups and in almost all regions in the country, a British scientist said on Jan. 13. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and the lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, said data suggests the Omicron wave has peaked, with hospitalisation, deaths, and early data on the severity of the Omicron variant all “looking positive.” He said COVID-19 symptoms are now “for the first time this winter more common than colds and flu and are indistinguishable.” According to data from the ZOE COVID Study, 52.5 percent of people experiencing new cold-like symptoms are likely to have symptomatic COVID-19, an increase from last week’s 51.3 percent.


According to ZOE data, there are currently 183,364 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the UK on average, a clear decrease of 12 percent from 208,471 reported last week. Among people who have received at least two vaccine doses, there are currently 83,699 new daily symptomatic cases, a decrease of 11 percent from 93,540 new daily cases reported last week. The study found that cases are dropping in all regions apart from the northeast, but even there the increase is already slowing and should start dropping soon. New daily symptomatic cases are also going down in all age groups, with cases among the over-75s plateauing at low levels. Spector said this is a “reassuring sign” that the more vulnerable group has been spared from the worst of the Omicron wave. He said he does not expect these rates to go down to zero, but he thinks Omicron “will probably continue to circulate at manageable levels in the population until late spring.”

Read more …

The BBC trying to fess up to the WITH or FROM. But they claim it’s not just the numbers that go up with Omicron, it’s also the percentages?! Really? Why?

What’s Really Going On With Covid Deaths Data? (BBC)

Covid deaths are rising sharply in the UK, but an increasing proportion of these are actually due to something else, BBC analysis suggests. That’s because some people die with Covid rather than from it. The Omicron wave is driving rising infections, which means more people will catch it and some will get sick. Deaths will inevitably increase too, but not all will be “true” Covid ones. Others will be people who happened to test positive. There are a number of ways we monitor the number of deaths connected to Covid. The most prominent is the daily count of anyone who has died within 28 days of testing positive. For the vast majority of those people, Covid has been the primary cause of their death. But there has always been a minority who died from another cause.

And with Omicron infecting so many people, there is a higher likelihood of people dying from an unrelated reason in the month after testing positive than there has been in the past. Doctors registering a death record what may have contributed to it, and what most likely caused it. If Covid contributed in some way, that’s a death “involving Covid”. The number of these deaths has tracked the daily death count closely throughout most of the pandemic. During autumn and the run-up to Christmas, only about 15% of deaths involving Covid in England and Wales did not list Covid as the cause. In the week after Christmas, that rose to 22%. And in the coming weeks “we might expect that to rise further” says Cambridge statistician Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter “reflecting the very high levels of people with coronavirus”.

About 4.3 million people in the UK have coronavirus at the moment – a historically high level – and four times more than at the start of December. So the number of people who might happen to test positive for coronavirus in the month before their death is likely to be on the rise too. This wasn’t as much of an issue when fewer people had coronavirus. But at the moment you might expect to see, very roughly, about 55 of these “coincidental” Covid deaths a day, based on the roughly 2,000 people who die each day in the winter months – and the nearly 6% of people in the UK who have tested positive in the past four weeks (mostly young people at lower risk of dying).

Read more …

Brilliant idiocy.

Face Masks Make People Look More Attractive, Study Finds (G.)

There have been precious few positives during the Covid pandemic but British academics may have unearthed one: people look more attractive in protective masks.Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised to find that both men and women were judged to look better with a face covering obscuring the lower half of their faces. In what may be a blow for producers of fashionable coverings – and the environment – they also discovered that a face covered with a disposable-type surgical mask was likely to be deemed the most appealing. Dr Michael Lewis, a reader from Cardiff University’s school of psychology and an expert in faces, said research carried out before the pandemic had found that medical face masks reduced attractiveness because they were associated with disease or illness.

“We wanted to test whether this had changed since face coverings became ubiquitous and understand whether the type of mask had any effect,” he said. “Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks. This may be because we’re used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these with people in caring or medical professions. At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find the wearing of medical masks reassuring and so feel more positive towards the wearer.” The first part of the research was carried out in February 2021 by which time the British population had become used to wearing masks in some circumstances. Forty-three women were asked to rate on a scale of one to 10 the attractiveness of images of male faces without a mask, wearing a plain cloth mask, a blue medical face mask, and holding a plain black book covering the area a face mask would hide.

The participants said those wearing a cloth mask were significantly more attractive than the ones with no masks or whose faces were partly obscured by the book. But the surgical mask – which was just a normal, disposable kind – made the wearer look even better. “The results run counter to the pre-pandemic research where it was thought masks made people think about disease and the person should be avoided,” said Lewis. “The pandemic has changed our psychology in how we perceive the wearers of masks. When we see someone wearing a mask we no longer think ‘that person has a disease, I need to stay away’. “This relates to evolutionary psychology and why we select the partners we do. Disease and evidence of disease can play a big role in mate selection – previously any cues to disease would be a big turn-off. Now we can observe a shift in our psychology such that face masks are no longer acting as a contamination cue.”

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Both the OZ government and their citizens try to hide their failures and cowardice behind Djokovic.

Australia Minister Says Djokovic ‘Talisman’ Of Anti-vaccine Sentiment (ABC)

Lawyers for Novak Djokovic say Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has erroneously cancelled his visa on the grounds the tennis star is seen as a “talisman of a community of anti-vaccine sentiment”. In an application lodged with the Federal Circuit Court last night, and released online by the Federal Court today, Djokovic’s lawyers argue the visa cancellation is legally invalid. The world men’s number one was this afternoon taken to detention at Melbourne’s Park Hotel after spending several hours meeting with his lawyers. They are disputing Mr Hawke’s decision to cancel the visa on the grounds that Djokovic’s “presence in Australia may cause an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment, in effect because he may be perceived by some as a talisman of a community of anti-vaccine sentiment, leading to various negative consequences”.

Mr Hawke’s reasons for the decision, emailed to Djokovic’s lawyers last night and published by the court this morning, say his presence in Australia poses a health risk because it could encourage fewer people to get vaccinated and boosted. The minister argues it could also lead to an increase “in civil unrest of the kind previously experienced in Australia with rallies and protests which may themselves be a source of community transmission”. Djokovic’s legal team argues the minister failed to consider that his detention and forced removal from Australia may also foster anti-vaccination sentiment. They also argue that the minister “cited no evidence that supported his finding that Mr Djokovic’s presence in Australia may ‘foster anti-vaccination sentiment’, and it was not open to the minister to make that finding”.

Their final argument is that it was not open to the minister to make a finding “concerning Mr Djokovic’s ‘well-known stance on vaccination'”. The court documents show Mr Hawke received health advice showing Djokovic would be of “low” risk of transmitting the virus, and the risk of transmission at the Australian Open would be “very low” given the additional controls at the tournament. The Federal Court will hear Djokovic’s appeal against his visa cancellation on Sunday at 9.30am AEDT. The court set a timetable for dealing with the case during a brief Saturday morning administrative hearing. Djokovic’s lawyers agreed to file their outline of submissions by midday. Lawyers representing Mr Hawke will have until 10pm to file their written response.

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Just saying what he think his voters like to hear.

Australian Minister Says Risk Of ‘Civil Unrest’ Behind Djokovic Cancellation (G.)

Tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who has been described as a risk to “civil unrest” and a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”, may never get the chance to defend his Australian Open title, facing a three-year ban from the country ahead of a last-ditch court challenge to stay. Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, personally cancelled the unvaccinated world No 1’s visa, arguing his presence in Australia could incite “civil unrest” and encourage others to eschew vaccination against Covid-19. Djokovic faces a federal court hearing Sunday morning, Australia time, which will determine whether the minister acted unreasonably in rescinding his visa. Documents filed in the court reveal the minister’s reasons sent to Djokovic as justification for cancelling his visa.

Hawke said he accepted Djokovic’s recent Covid-19 infection meant he was a “negligible risk to those around him”, but that he was “perceived by some as a talisman of a community of anti-vaccine sentiment”. “I consider that Mr Djokovic’s ongoing presence in Australia may lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community, potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the kind previously experienced in Australia with rallies and protests which may themselves be a source of community transmission. “Mr Djokovic is … a person of influence and status.

“Having regard to … Mr Djokovic’s conduct after receiving a positive Covid-19 result, his publicly stated views, as well as his unvaccinated status, I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may encourage other people to disregard or act inconsistently with public health advice and policies in Australia.”

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“..the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act..“

Senator Plans To Introduce ‘FAUCI Act’ After Doctor Called Him A ‘Moron’ (Fox)

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., published White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci’s unredacted financial records and accused him of being misleading when he told the Senate his financial disclosure forms were publicly available. While Fauci’s financial disclosure documents can be requested from the National Institute of Health, they aren’t listed in the same searchable database as many other federal officials. Fauci is “more concerned with being a media star and posing for the cover of magazines than he is being honest with the American people and holding China accountable for the COVID pandemic that has taken the lives of almost 850 thousand Americans,” Marshall told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“Just like he has misled the American people about sending taxpayers dollars to Wuhan, China, to fund gain-of-function research, about masks, testing, and more, Dr. Fauci was completely dishonest about his financial disclosures being open to the public — it’s no wonder he is the least trusted bureaucrat in America,” Marshall continued. “At the end of the day, Dr. Fauci must be held accountable to all Americans who have been suing and requesting for this information but don’t have the power of a Senate office to ask for it,” the Kansas Republican said, adding that for “these reasons” he is planning on “introducing the FAUCI Act so financial disclosures like these are made public and are easily accessible online to every American.”

Marshall’s office obtained the doctor’s most recent disclosure after filing an Office of Government Ethics request with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While Fauci’s financial disclosures are technically open to any member of the public who requests them, the records are not listed in an easily-accessible public database, and it can take months for a request to be fulfilled. The Center for Public Integrity submitted a request for Fauci’s financial disclosures with the NIH in May 2020, but did not receive the information until August of that year. When the organization did receive it, it was produced under the Freedom of Information Act and came back partially redacted.

The NIH is currently being sued for the production of Fauci’s financial records by watchdog organization OpenTheBooks.org. Fauci had told the Senate during his Tuesday hearing that his financial disclosures were publicly available online after Marshall had pointed out they are not. The two officials verbally sparred, culminating with Fauci calling Marshall — a fellow medical doctor — a “moron” and sparking headlines. Marshall announced that he would be introducing the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act after the doctor called the sitting U.S. senator a “moron.”

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I’m reading this thinking what an incredible mess they’ve managed to make of it.

GE Halts Covid Mandate For Employees After Supreme Court Decision (BG)

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to block President Biden’s vaccine-or-testing rule for large companies, General Electric said it would suspend the implementation of the mandate for its employees. The Boston-based maker of jet engines, wind turbines, and medical scanners confirmed the decision Friday via e-mail. GE is the first major company to announce a halt after the court’s decision to block the centerpiece of Biden’s push to boost COVID-19 vaccinations. GE holds a number of government contracts, so its 56,000 employees in the US originally fell under a separate vaccination mandate for federal contractors. The company paused that requirement in December — after a federal judge temporarily blocked the rule from going into effect — and then planned to comply with the vaccine-or-testing mandate for private employers. The federal mandate would have applied to all private employers with more than 100 employees, covering some 84 million workers in the United States.


[..] GE employees could still be required to be vaccinated under the rule that applies to federal contractors, which is in legal limbo. The Biden administration has said it would not enforce the federal contractor mandate until the court challenges are resolved. When GE was planning to roll out the vaccination policy, it ran into early stumbles with the employee union in Lynn, which has about 1,200 members. Justin Richards, a business agent for IUE-CWA Local 201, said at the time that employees felt that they didn’t have enough time to collectively bargain over the consequences of the mandate. It wasn’t clear what would happen if they failed to meet the deadline, and being terminated, laid off, or furloughed have different impacts on the status of health care benefits or severance packages, he said.

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Nothing to do with you liking Bongino or not. It’s about how much you like your own freedom.

YouTube Suspends And Demonetizes Dan Bongino Over ‘Mask Fascists’ Content (PM)

Conservative commentator Dan Bongino has been suspended by YouTube for questioning “mask fascists.” The Bongino Report announced on Twitter on Friday that the platform suspended Bongino for violating the site’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. “YouTube just suspended Dan’s channel for daring to question the mask fascists. I guess they were waiting for an apology from us. But that’s not quite how it worked out for them. Here’s Dan’s email to ‘Coco’ at YouTube telling them to plant a big wet kiss on his ass,” The Bongino Report tweeted Friday.The Post Millennial reached out to Bongino, who said: “I was anxiously waiting for YouTube to show us all who they are, and they finally did. Tyrants always show their true colors. I’m immediately going to post some of the content that got us suspended when the suspension is over, and I’m daring them to do something about it.”


Bongino also published his email to YouTube. “I was sent your email about YouTube’s suspension of my channel. If I said I was surprised here. I’d be lying,” Bongino said. “We knew it was just a matter of time before the tyrannical, free-speech hating, bullshit, big tech sh*thole you work for, would try to silence us. I anxiously waited for this moment however, as I’ve said on my show many times,” Bongino continued. “Thankfully, I’m one of the investors in Rumble, a video platform that respects free-speech. As a matter of fact, I have more than double the number of followers there, than on your sh*t platform.” “So here’s my deal to you, and there will be NO negotiation. After your ‘suspension’ I will immediately post content questioning why masks have been totally ineffective in stopping this pandemic. I dare you to do something about it,” he continued. “Respectfully Kiss My Ass, Dan Bongino,” ends Bongino’s email to YouTube.

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“..Vlad Putin, election-meddler supreme, is fixing to invade Ukraine, we’re told. Obviously, that would interfere with “Joe Biden’s” plan to make Ukraine America’s fifty-first state.”

Dog Gone (Kunstler)

[..] shall it be a foreign war or a civil war? Isn’t that the question? From the looks of things around “Joe Biden’s” White House, where a weird concrete fortification is being hoisted up on the north lawn as I write, it looks like they’re planning for action on the home front, perhaps a full-out assault by the lurking forces of white supremacy — painted savages in horned head-dresses screaming MAGA-MAGA-MAGA as they loot Dr. Jill’s walk-in closet. The Attorney General, Mr. Garland, has been warning us about this Satanic host of backward-facing demons. They breed like botflies in the red state hills and hollers, swarm and buzz in the school board meetings, caress their AR-15s in prostrate worship of their Trump bobbleheads, scheming to deprive BIPOCs of their votes.

They’d like to tie Democracy to the back bumper of a Ford Alpha F-150, drag it over seven miles of broken Southern Comfort bottles, and feed whatever’s left to the hogs. They must be stopped! Except… what if they fail to materialize? Maybe a foreign war would play better on social media and The View. Our arch-enemy, Vlad Putin, election-meddler supreme, is fixing to invade Ukraine, we’re told. Obviously, that would interfere with “Joe Biden’s” plan to make Ukraine America’s fifty-first state. When Sec’y of State Tony Blinken mentioned that to Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister blew mineral water through his nose all over the conference table. Would a friendly little tussle over that sad-sack country lift America’s animal spirits… like, get the economy firing on all cylinders?

Roust up all those work-force dropouts who disdain fine jobs waiting for them in the Amazon warehouses and the fry-lanes of Mickey-D? Put the brakes on all this fentanyl snorting…? All this porn-watching…? Turn around America’s long sickening slide into its own Hollywood fantasy of the zombie apocalypse? Well, I must be frank: probably not. Probably only hasten America’s journey to the political pits of hell (and Ukraine’s to its special sub-hell). What would be our strategy in this war over Ukraine? Arm Ukraine with the all the latest US gee-whiz fighting gear and let them have a go at the Russian army poised along the border of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts? That’ll work, I’m sure. Call it Operation Russian Roulette, only with a bullet in every chamber.

You see, it is not a generally-accepted fact among world military professionals that Ukraine has — how you say? — a well-disciplined, experienced fighting force. I hope that does not offend. If that doesn’t seem like a viable game-plan, do “Joe Biden,” Tony Blinken, and Lloyd Austin really suppose we would transport x-number of US troop divisions six thousand miles from Kansas to slug it out with those Russian divisions poised at the edge of their own homeland? Have a look at the world map and contemplate the logistical picture. Not so favorable for us, wouldn’t you agree? A long way to re-supply our boys, gals, and theys in uniform with fresh Kit-Kat bars.

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“Or else, Lavrov also told Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, the US will have war with Russia.”

How To Read The US Paper For Peace For Our Time (Helmer)

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, announced on Thursday evening the US should now produce on paper its proposals for reducing the risk of war. Or else, Lavrov also told Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, the US will have war with Russia. Enough “arrogance of the highest degree”, and “foaming at the mouth”, Lavrov told Blinken. That “the Secretary of State of a serious state declares such things” is – Lavrov left the expletive unsaid. “We hope that the promises made now in Geneva and Brussels will be fulfilled. They concerned the fact that the United States and NATO would put their proposals ‘on paper’. We have clearly and repeatedly explained to them that we need to have an article-by-article reaction to our documents. If some position is not suitable, let them explain why and write ‘on paper’.

If it is suitable with amendments, then they should also be done in writing. If they want to exclude or add something – a similar request. We gave our thoughts in writing a month ago. There was plenty of time in Washington and Brussels. Both of them promised that they would put their reaction ‘on paper’.” Lavrov was waving the American piece of paper to remind that the piece of paper which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain displayed on September 30, 1938 (lead image), on his return from talks with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler, contained the line expressing “the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again”. That turned out to be false – Hitler didn’t mean it; Chamberlain wasn’t sure but wanted his electorate to believe it, plus time to prepare.

Lavrov is announcing that Russia today knows the US intention is to go to war; and that Russia is prepared and is already on war footing on all fronts. That Sherman told Ryabkov on Monday “the United States and Russia agree that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought” is just as false, Lavrov has now declared — unless what follows is Sherman’s paper. On that paper there must be “legal guarantees of non-expansion of NATO to the East, legal guarantees of non-deployment of shock [nuclear] weapons in our neighbouring territories that pose a threat to Russia’s security, and in principle, the return of the configuration of the European security architecture to 1997, when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed. On its basis, the Russia-NATO Council was subsequently created. These are three key requirements. The rest of the proposals depend on how the conversation goes on these three initiatives.”

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“Comprehensive sanctions would be too destabilizing to global energy markets and that would blow back on the United States in a significant way.”

Putin’s Challenge To Western Hegemony – The 2022 Edition (Tooze)

As NATO meets to discuss the tension on the Russian border to Ukraine, and the papers fill with denunciations of Putin’s aggression, I still find it useful to return to the framework I developed in Crashed for analyzing the intersection of geopolitics and economics and the rise of Russia as a challenger. This framework consists of three basic propositions. The first is that though it is tempting to dismiss Putin’s regime as a hangover from another era, or the harbinger of a new wave of authoritarianism, it has the weight that it does and commands our attention because global growth and global integration have enabled the Kremlin to accumulate considerable power. The sophistication of Russian weaponry and its cyber capacity betoken the underlying technological potential of the broader Russian economy.

But what generates the cash is global demand for Russian oil and gas. And Putin’s regime has made use of this. It is reductive to think of Russia as a petrostate, but if you do indulge in that simplification you must recognize that it is a strategic petrostate more like UAE or Saudi than an Iraq, or Algeria. Russia is a strategic petrostate in a double sense. It is too big a part of global energy markets to permit Iran-style sanctions against Russian energy sales. Russia accounts for about 40 percent of Europe’s gas imports. Comprehensive sanctions would be too destabilizing to global energy markets and that would blow back on the United States in a significant way. China could not standby and allow it to happen. Furthermore, Moscow, unlike some major oil and gas exporters, has proven capable of accumulating a substantial share of the fossil fuel proceeds.

Since the struggles of the early 2000s, the Kremlin has asserted its control. In the alliance with the oligarchs it calls the shots and has brokered a deal that provides strategic resources for the state and stability and an acceptable standard of living for the bulk of the population. According to the WID-er data after the giant surge in inequality in the 1990s, Russia’s social structure has broadly stabilized. Putin’s regime has managed this whilst operating a conservative fiscal and monetary policy. Currently, the Russian budget is set to balance at an oil price of only $44. That enables the accumulation of considerable reserves. If you want a single variable that sums up Russia’s position as a strategic petrostate, it is Russia’s foreign exchange reserve. Hovering between $400 and $600 billion they are amongst the largest in the world, after those of China, Japan and Switzerland.

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“..his son Hunter being named chairman of the board of a large Ukrainian facemask conglomerate.”

To Save Time, Biden To Ship 500 Million Free Masks Directly To Landfill (BBee)

The White House is releasing new details surrounding President Biden’s plan to send free facemasks to every American. In an effort to save time, the free masks will be shipped directly to landfills nationwide. “The science tells us that wearing a high-quality mask over your nose and mouth probably might possibly help prevent COVID maybe,” said press secretary Jen Psaki. “Therefore, the President is committed to making sure every American has access to a medium-quality government mask manufactured by the lowest bidder.” “That being said, we realize that anyone who wants to wear a mask probably owns several dozen already,” Psaki continued.


“We also know that many others want your grandmother to die and thus refuse to wear masks at all. So, to save money, we’ll be shipping all masks directly to local landfills.” Joe Marsecci, chairman of the Masked Citizens Environmental Alliance, praised the Biden administration’s decision. “The decision to ship these masks directly to the landfill saves both time and money, as well as reducing carbon emissions from delivery and waste-hauling services,” Marsecci said. “The only thing more ecologically responsible would be dumping all the masks directly into the ocean.” At press time, the White House was denying reports that Biden’s plan to purchase 500 million facemasks was in any way related to his son Hunter being named chairman of the board of a large Ukrainian facemask conglomerate.

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