Oct 202021
 


Paul Gauguin Fatata te Miti (By the sea) 1892

 

Even Fully Vaccinated Older People Are At High Risk For Severe Covid (NatGeo)
Even Doctors In Red States Are Punished For Saving People From Covid (Blaze)
‘Terrible Mistake’ Could Send Execs To Jail Over Vaccine Certificates (AFR)
We Accidentally Solved the Flu. Now What? (Atl.)
Study Destroys Justification for Vaccine Mandates (Siri)
SF’s Only In-N-Out Refuses to Enforce the City’s Vaccination Mandate (SFE)
9 In 10 Large Employers Worry About Losing Employees Over Vaccine Mandate (CTH)
Southwest Drops Plan To Put Unvaccinated Staff On Unpaid Leave (CNBC)
Things Are Getting Messy In Draghi’s Italy (NC)
The Frightened Class (Harrington)
Andrew McCabe’s Settlement With The DOJ Is A Signal To John Durham (Brock)
Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant (Turley)

 

 

Fauci Fail

 

 

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Seattle

 

 

 

“If you’re under 45, your chances of dying are almost nonexistent, and then it increases exponentially.”

Even Fully Vaccinated Older People Are At High Risk For Severe Covid (NatGeo)

Mounting data suggest that older people are at higher risk of severe disease from a breakthrough infection of COVID-19—and scientists say that should come as no surprise. After all, older age brackets have been disproportionately at risk throughout the pandemic, and that continues to be true even once someone is fully vaccinated. Concerns about breakthrough infections bubbled up again this week when news broke on October 18 that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had died after contracting COVID-19. Powell was 84, but his cause of death was more complex: The former statesman suffered from multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. People with this form of cancer tend not to respond well to vaccines.

But in addition to the immunocompromised, health officials are seeing worrying evidence that older age groups continue to be at higher risk from the pandemic. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 65 account for 67 percent of hospitalizations and 85 percent of deaths from breakthrough cases. And recent media reports citing data from Seattle, Washington, and the United Kingdom show that older vaccinated people face similar—and, in some cases, greater—risks of severe disease than unvaccinated children. “The huge risk factor is age,” says William Petri, an immunologist at the University of Virginia. That’s why the U.S. prioritized vaccinating older people and those in long-term care facilities when it first rolled out the vaccines, he explains.

“If you’re under 45, your chances of dying are almost nonexistent, and then it increases exponentially.” [..] Experts say they still don’t have an adequate explanation for why older people were more susceptible to COVID-19 even before vaccines were available. “It’s just one of the great mysteries of the virus,” says Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist at the University of Arizona. Scientists who study aging say it likely has to do with some of the hallmarks of getting older. For example, the human body normally clears away cells that have become damaged due to disease, injury, or stress. But as the body ages, this process becomes less efficient, and it starts to accumulate so-called senescent cells, which are damaged but won’t die. These cells secrete chemicals that damage neighboring healthy cells and trigger inflammation. Senescent cells thus weaken the body and make it harder to fight off infections.

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Ryan Cole.

Even Doctors In Red States Are Punished For Saving People From Covid (Blaze)

You are not allowed to treat COVID outpatient. It’s not about any one drug. You will be punished if you dare treat patients with anything that works. What began as 15 days to flatten the hospital curve has grown into a ban on all treatment outside the hospital to ensure everyone sick with moderate disease lands in the ER. No, they will not prosecute a doctor, they will just threaten to pull his license, which is why doctors won’t even prescribe azithromycin or prednisone, much less ivermectin and other proven antiinflammatories. What if you are part of the 1% of doctors who actually save lives — who run toward the fire rather than away from it? Instead of getting a medal of honor, these national heroes are now losing their licenses.

Idaho is not California. In fact, many Californians are fleeing to Idaho to escape the progressive persecution of the once Golden State. Yet now, with their investigation of Dr. Ryan Cole, the Idaho Medical Board wants to ensure that no doctor will ever treat you for this virus. If you contract this virus, there is probably nobody in the world you’d want access to more than Dr. Cole. A Mayo Clinic-trained anatomic and clinical pathologist who is licensed in 12 states, Cole knows the mechanisms of pathogens and various medicines as well as you know the streets of your neighborhood. He has lived the COVID pandemic in his Idaho lab since last March, diagnosing over 100,000 cases, and has given up much of his regular work to treat patients on his own time and own dime for months. His record is remarkable, and I have many friends and listeners of my podcast who are alive today because of his brilliance and kindness.

So there will be a ceremony in the Oval Office next week to present Dr. Cole with a medal for treating people in a pandemic while others let their patients die, right? At least the Idaho governor, Brad Little, will offer him some state reward? Nope. Instead, they are threatening to yank his license. Steven Kohtz, MD, president of the Idaho Medical Association’s board of trustees, and Susie Keller, CEO of the association, wrote a letter to the state’s board of medicine on Oct. 7, lamenting that “he has treated patients ‘from Florida to California'” with ivermectin. The horror! He should have let them die and not treated them at all, like Kohtz and his colleagues have done since last March.

In the letter, they claim Cole’s statements have killed people. “Many of those statements have advocated that people not be treated appropriately and undoubtedly have led to and will continue to lead to poor health outcomes as people are encouraged not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain appropriate treatment for it when such treatment could improve their health.” Well, how could treating pulmonary symptoms with steroids and antiinflammatories be worse than not treating them at all? This is the ultimate exercise in projection. They assuage their own guilt of letting patients die by preventing others from treating people in the critical early days of the virus.

ADE

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Oops.. There’s a reason your medical data are private.

‘Terrible Mistake’ Could Send Execs To Jail Over Vaccine Certificates (AFR)

Collecting COVID-19 vaccination certificates from customers or employees poses a serious legal and cyber security risk to businesses that exposes them to lawsuits, hefty fines and even executive jail sentences if the data isn’t handled properly, experts warn. The risk is so grave that businesses that have already stored images of government-issued vaccination certificates from employees or customers are advised to scour their email or human resource systems and delete the images, or at the very least remove a sensitive piece of information prominent on the certificate that exposes businesses to a “world of data security pain”, one expert says. As part of state and federal requirements for emerging out of the pandemic lockdown, businesses are asked to check whether customers and employees are vaccinated before allowing them to enter their premises.

Businesses storing information about whether someone has been vaccinated are therefore storing health information, quite possibly for the first time, exposing them to the Privacy Act, which requires they take “reasonable steps” to secure that information, said Anna Johnston, a former NSW deputy privacy commissioner who runs her own data privacy consultancy, Salinger Privacy. Worse than that, the federal government certificates contain a unique identifier, known as the Individual Health Identifier (IHI), that is covered by its own law, with much stricter data security requirements and with punishments that could include jail if that one piece of data is mishandled, Ms Johnston told The Australian Financial Review.

Together with the Tax File Number, the IHI is the most sensitive piece of data used by government, she said. It uniquely identifies Australians for healthcare purposes, far more so than a Medicare number, which can be shared by family members. It’s so sensitive that, when it was brought in 2010, it came with its own privacy legislation, the Healthcare Identifiers Act. “Including the IHI on the vaccination certificate, which is a document we’re supposed to be showing to our gyms, hairdressers and restaurants, as well as to our employers and customers, was a terrible mistake by the federal government,” she said. “It’s a bad data-security problem that the government has created.

“I really feel for small businesses in particular. They don’t have an in-house compliance officer telling them what to do. They don’t have an information security officer telling them how to secure these records. They probably don’t have the foggiest clue that there are special rules for the use and disclosure of the IHI that, if they breach those rules, expose them to both a civil penalty and a criminal penalty. “You face up to two years imprisonment for use or disclosure of the IHI for any purposes outside of supporting healthcare. And now that number is on a PDF that is being emailed around willy nilly.”


Australia’s vaccination certificate has a piece of data experts warn shouldn’t be there.

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Kimberley Strassel: “Here we go. Some of us wondered how long it would take for the liberal/media establishment to argue that we needed to keep pandemic measures going forever–even for things that we previously lived with, like the flu. It didn’t take long..”

We Accidentally Solved the Flu. Now What? (Atl.)

Perhaps the oddest consolation prize of America’s crushing, protracted battle with the coronavirus is the knowledge that flu season, as we’ve long known it, does not have to exist. It’s easy to think of the flu as an immutable fact of winter life, more inconvenience than calamity. But each year, on average, it sickens roughly 30 million Americans and kills more than 30,000 (though the numbers vary widely season to season). The elderly, the poor, and people of color are all overrepresented among the casualties. By some estimates, the disease’s annual economic cost amounts to nearly $90 billion. We accept this, when we think about it at all, as the way things are.

Except that this past year, things were different: During the 2020–21 flu season, the United States recorded only about 2,000 cases, 17,000 times fewer than the 35 million it recorded the season before. That season, the flu killed 199 children; this past season, as far as we know, it killed one. “We’ve looked for flu in communities and doctors’ offices and hospitals, and we’ve gotten almost zero,” says Emily Martin, a University of Michigan epidemiologist who’s part of the CDC’s flu-monitoring network. The same was true of other seasonal respiratory viruses last winter, says Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at George Mason University in Virginia, though some have since rebounded. RSV, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, adenovirus—for a while, they all but vanished.

For this, perversely, we can thank the pandemic. The coronavirus itself may have played some role—infection could produce a general immune response that would also confer protection against the flu—but most of the epidemiologists I spoke with instead emphasized the importance of the behavioral changes adopted to slow the spread of the coronavirus: masking, distancing, remote learning, working from home, limiting indoor social gatherings. Despite the inconsistency with which America deployed them, these measures helped tamp down the spread of the virus, but they completely crushed influenza, a less transmissible foe to which the population has considerable preexisting immunity. We set out to flatten the curve, and we ended up stamping out the flu.

This was one of the few blessings in an otherwise abysmal winter, in which COVID cases and deaths surged to their highest levels ever in the U.S. At least we didn’t face the dreaded “twindemic.” But our triumph over the flu also poses a dilemma, as much ethical as epidemiological. We’ve demonstrated conclusively that saving nearly everyone who dies of the flu is within our power. To do nothing now—to return to the roughly 30,000-deaths-a-year status quo without even trying to save some of those lives—would seem irresponsible. So what do we do? Which measures do we maintain and which do we let go?

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You mean there was ever any justification?

Study Destroys Justification for Vaccine Mandates (Siri)

Civil and individual rights are only meaningful if they continue to protect individuals during difficult situations. It is why the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of neo-Nazis to march through Jewish neighborhoods. It is why it upheld the right to burn the American flag. Protecting these rights when it is difficult protects us all. It assures that government will not erode these civil and individual rights, including during a pandemic. The CDC and State Health Department scientists just released a study that again reflects the dangers of making civil and individual rights contingent on a medical procedure. This study, titled Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination, reviewed swab specimens from 36 counties in Wisconsin from the end of June to the end of July 2021. They then checked the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in each swab.

What did they find? High viral load in “158 of 232 unvaccinated (68%…) and 156 of 225 fully vaccinated (69%…) symptomatic individuals.” Meaning there was effectively no difference between the symptomatic vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of who was carrying, and therefore spreading, the virus. But the study does not end there. It also found high viral loads in “7 of 24 unvaccinated (29%…) and 9 of 11 fully vaccinated asymptomatic individuals (82%…).” Meaning, among asymptomatic individuals, the vaccinated had a higher percentage with a high viral load. As I explained in an interview with Shannon Bream, this reflects that the unvaccinated that catch the virus are more likely to be at home in bed with symptoms, while the vaccinated that catch the virus are more likely to have no symptoms and hence continue their daily routine unknowingly spreading the virus.

These findings are depicted in the following chart. Note that the lower the “N1 Ct value” the higher the viral load (and that a team at Oxford concluded that an N1 Ct value over 24 should not be taken to indicate the presence of any actual virus):

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Make In-N-Out your destination.

“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government..”

SF’s Only In-N-Out Refuses to Enforce the City’s Vaccination Mandate (SFE)

The only San Francisco location of wildly popular California-based fast food chain In-N-Out Burger was temporarily shut down and remains closed for indoor dining after the SF Department of Public Health found the restaurant was not properly enforcing the city’s vaccination mandate for indoor dining, KRON4 reported first. The city shut down the restaurant at 333 Jefferson Street on Thursday, October 14, after learning staff weren’t checking diners’ proof of vaccination or preventing customers without proof of vaccination from entering. The restaurant has since resumed takeout and outdoor dining, but the company seems to be digging its heels on the vaccination mandate.

In a statement provided to Eater SF, In-N-Out Chief Legal & Business Officer Arnie Wensinger says the company believes requiring its staff to enforce a vaccination mandate constitutes government “overreach” and is refusing to do so. “We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business,” Wensinger’s statement reads. “This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.” In an email to Eater SF the San Francisco Department of Public Health says it’s been trying to get In-N-Out to adhere to the city’s vaccination order for weeks.

The city’s Joint Information Center Outreach Team first visited the restaurant on September 24 after receiving a complaint to the 311 non-emergency service line. Inspectors from the Environmental Health division who followed up on October 6, found the restaurant was still in violation of the health order and issued a Notice to Comply. The department finally issued a Notice of Closure on October 14, at which point the restaurant was “instructed to cease all operations on site immediately because of the threat it poses to public health,” according to the Department of Public Health. The owner of the property, Anchorage Holdings LP, which is based in Addison, Texas, was also issued a Notice of Violation.

The company says it has “properly and clearly posted signage to communicate local vaccination requirements.” But In-N-Out also admits employees were not checking customers’ vaccinations cards and IDs, nor were they preventing customers who are not able to prove they’ve been vaccinated from entering the restaurant, which the health department told the company that staff must do. “As a Company, In-N-Out Burger strongly believes in the highest form of customer service and to us that means serving all Customers who visit us and making all Customers feel welcome,” the statement continues. “We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant Associates to segregate Customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason.”

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“It will be interesting to see if, and how quickly, a parallel economy with a vaccination option workforce, will take root.”

9 In 10 Large Employers Worry About Losing Employees Over Vaccine Mandate (CTH)

In an unusual twist to the strength of the multinationals, many large corporations are worried they will lose critical employees to smaller organizations with less than 100 employees who do not have to enforce the national worker vaccine mandate. By itself the 100 worker rule, in combination with the exemptions being provided by the federal government for some politically connected union organizations, would seem to undercut the premise of the “national health emergency.” If the COVID pandemic is such a national threat, why would any groups be excluded from the mandate? However, until the Dept of Labor rule is officially registered, court cases to hear such arguments are not possible. A recent survey by The Society for Human Resource Management, as shared by The Hill, indicates that 9 out of 10 large employers are concerned about losing significant amounts of workers due to the federal mandate:

The Hill – […] “The survey reveals uneasiness among employers over the impending workplace rule, which will require employers with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or frequent testing. They’re most concerned about losing workers amid an extremely tight labor market. Another two-thirds of employers surveyed said that they cannot afford to pay for weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated workers. […] Others are worried that they could lose unvaccinated workers to rival firms with fewer than 100 employees or to independent contracting companies that aren’t subject to the rule.”

It will be interesting to see if, and how quickly, a parallel economy with a vaccination option workforce, will take root.

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Well, not really.

Southwest Drops Plan To Put Unvaccinated Staff On Unpaid Leave (CNBC)

Southwest Airlines has scrapped a plan to put unvaccinated employees who have applied for but haven’t received a religious or medical exemption on unpaid leave as of a federal deadline in December. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are among the carriers that are federal contractors and subject to a Biden administration requirement that their employees are vaccinated against Covid-19 by Dec. 8 unless they are exempt for medical or religious reasons. Rules for federal contractors are stricter than those expected from the Biden administration for large companies, which will allow for regular Covid testing as an alternative to a vaccination.

Executives at both carriers in recent days have tried to reassure employees about job security under the mandate, urging them to apply for exemptions if they can’t get vaccinated for a medical reason or for a sincerely held religious belief. The airlines are expected to face more questions about the mandate when they report quarterly results Thursday morning. Pilots’ labor unions have sought to block the mandates or sought alternatives such as regular testing. Southwest’s senior vice president of operations and hospitality, Steve Goldberg, and Julie Weber, vice president and chief people officer, wrote to staff on Friday that if employees’ requests for an exemption haven’t been approved by Dec. 8, they could continue to work while following mask and distancing guidelines until the request has been reviewed.

The company is giving employees until Nov. 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for an exemption. It will continue paying them while the company reviews their requests and said it will allow those who are rejected to continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation).” “This is a change from what was previously communicated. Initially, we communicated that these Employees would be put on unpaid leave and that is no longer the case,” they wrote in the note, which was reviewed by CNBC. Southwest confirmed the policy change, which comes just weeks before the deadline.

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“..if none of the unvaccinated workers were to cave in to the government’s demands — some will, of course, we just don’t know how many — the number of people without work in Italy would increase by well over 150% — in the space of just one week!”

Things Are Getting Messy In Draghi’s Italy (NC)

As of last Friday all residents of Italy need a covid passport, or Green Pass, to access not only public spaces but also public and private workplaces. The pass proves that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have recovered from the disease in the past six months or have recently tested negative. And now they need it to make a living, to feed their families. The “no jab, no job” rule applies to workers of all kinds, including the self employed, domestic staff and even people working remotely. If you’d still rather not get vaccinated, you have the option of showing proof of a negative test every two days. That can cost anywhere between €15 and €50 each time — far beyond the means of most low-paid workers. If you still refuse to get vaccinated or present proof of negative tests, you face unpaid suspension as well as a fine of up to €1,500. Public sector workers have five days to present the green pass before being suspended. Private sector workers without a green pass face suspension from the first day.

Here’s more from Politico: “By law, all workers must be able to show a so-called Green Pass, proving they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative in the past 48 hours. Roughly 81 percent of Italians over 12 are fully vaccinated. While polls suggest the majority of Italians are in favor of vaccine passes (just as the majority of people in all countries are in favour of vaccine passes, according to polls), there are still 3.8 million unvaccinated workers, many in strategic sectors and public services such as ports, trucking, health care and law enforcement, who will be unable to work.”

This is by any measure a massive cull of workers. Three point eight million is more than 5% of Italy’s entire population and over 16% of the country’s officially employed workforce (22.7 million). The total number of people currently unemployed in Italy is 2.3 million. In other words, if none of the unvaccinated workers were to cave in to the government’s demands — some will, of course, we just don’t know how many — the number of people without work in Italy would increase by well over 150% — in the space of just one week! And as the Politico article mentions, many of these workers are in strategic sectors and public services.

This is all happening as Europe — and the world at large — faces the worst supply chain crisis in decades as well as acute energy and labor shortages. The move also risks giving a huge boost to Italy’s already quite large informal economy. Given as much, this is a huge, high-stakes bluff on the part of Draghi’s technocratic government, which was formed eighth months ago. If it pays off, the vast majority of Italy’s vaccine holdouts will fall into line and go back to work, and other governments across Europe will follow suit with similar mandates. If it doesn’t, Italy’s economy could be plunged into chaos.

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Laptoppers.

The Frightened Class (Harrington)

They’re all around us, especially those of us who live in relatively prosperous metropolitan neighborhoods in the US or Western Europe. Despite being—at least in material terms—among the most fortunate people who have ever walked the earth, they are very scared. And they want you to be very frightened too. Indeed, many of them see your refusal to be as frightened as they are about life’s inevitable risks as a grave problem which entitles them and their often powerful and influential fellow travelers to recur to all manner of authoritarian practices to insure that you adhere to their increasingly neurotic view of reality.

This tendency has been in full bloom lately as the people who have sat safely behind their laptops during the last 20 months have harangued and threatened those who have been out on job sites and meatpacking plants mixing freely with others and the virus, to internalize their own obsessions. And when these supposedly ignorant others—whose storehouse of empirical evidence about the dangers of the virus easily outstrips that of the laptoppers—refuse to buckle to the demand to be scared, they are met with all sorts of opprobrium. Viewed in historical terms, it’s an odd phenomenon.

For most of recorded time prosperity and education have been the gateway to a life of relative freedom from worry. But now, the people who most enjoy these benefits are, it seems, wracked with anxiety and, in the not infrequent way of many people suffering that plague, and hellbent on sharing their misery with others. The point here is not to belittle the very real costs of anxiety in the lives of many people, nor to dismiss it as a real public health concern. Rather, it is to ask how and why it is proliferating so rapidly among those who, at least on the surface, have less reason than the vast majority of their fellow human beings to suffer from it.

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“.. the inspector general’s public report states that McCabe lied to investigators on four occasions, three of them while under oath. His firing followed the standards consistently applied to all other FBI agents.”

Andrew McCabe’s Settlement With The DOJ Is A Signal To John Durham (Brock)

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was un-fired when the Department of Justice (DOJ) — now firmly under a Democratic administration — agreed to settle with McCabe by fully restoring his FBI pension and removing all records from his FBI personnel file that indicate he was fired for cause. It wasn’t really a settlement. McCabe sued the government, and the DOJ said, “Okay, we’ll give you what you want.” The agreement does not change the findings of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz that McCabe lied under oath to investigators on three occasions; it simply eliminates all consequences for doing so. Oh, and it also forks over half a million dollars of taxpayer money to cover McCabe’s attorney’s fees. That’ll teach him a lesson for lying after raising his right hand three times and swearing not to.

DOJ’s magnanimity comes as special prosecutor John Durham has begun noose-tightening indictments in his probe of individuals involved in creating and furthering the discredited “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation. The DOJ cannot prevent Durham from pursuing indictments of any former FBI executives, including McCabe, should the evidence lead to that. However, if he does, McCabe’s stunning absolution by a DOJ now controlled by the Democrats strongly indicates that a presidential pardon is likely in play for anyone who so vigorously investigated Republicans without an adequate basis to do so. In other words, it looks like these former FBI executives now have an “insurance policy” — to borrow an infamous phrase from former FBI special agent Peter Strzok.

McCabe’s re-polishing also has the secondary salutary effect of perpetuating the longstanding Washington tradition of pushing blame as far down the hierarchy stack as possible, in order to leave unsullied the elite command staff who set the tone and lead the charge. [..] McCabe was hurriedly fired on the one-yard line just short of retirement eligibility, which affected his access to a full FBI pension. His beef with that action has some merit as inordinately punitive. Restoration of his retirement benefits is not something that most FBI agents are going to begrudge him, given his otherwise long career in the FBI. However, the inspector general’s public report states that McCabe lied to investigators on four occasions, three of them while under oath. His firing followed the standards consistently applied to all other FBI agents.

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“Committee Chairman Adam Schiff assured that public that “this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.”

Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant (Turley)

How Houdini made his 10,000 pound elephant Jennie disappear every night in New York’s Hippodrome remains a matter of some debate. There are no good pictures of his famous cabinet and Houdini later threatened to sue those claiming “disappearing elephants.” What is clear is that the sheer size and the audacity of the act (like that of the Bidens) contributed to the trick. The fact is that Jennie never left the large cabinet, people just didn’t see it. The Bidens achieved the same effect. They made a full-sized scandal disappear with the help of media and members who did not want the public to see it. Twitter banned postings about the laptop until after Biden was elected. The media dismissed the story as a conspiracy theory with some mocking the “New York Post and everyone else who got suckered into the ridiculous Hunter Biden Laptop story. Take a bow.”

Committee Chairman Adam Schiff assured that public that “this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.” Some 50 former intelligence officials, including Obama’s CIA directors John Brennan and Leon Panetta, also insisted the laptop story was likely the work of Russian intelligence. The laptop is, of course, now recognized as genuine even by some of the early deniers. Hunter remains under criminal investigation for possible tax and money laundering violations. But the greatest “reveal” is the person referred to as “the Big Guy” and “Celtic” in these emails: President Biden.

Recently released emails reference payments to President Biden from son’s accounts and indicate the possible commingling of funds. Even more embarrassing, the shared account may have been used to pay a Russian prostitute named “Yanna.” In one text, a former secret service agent warns Hunter (who was holed up with a prostitute in an expensive hotel) “Come on H this is linked to Celtic’s account.” The question is whether prosecutors will continue to act like they do not see the elephant.

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Oct 132021
 
 October 13, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  33 Responses »


M. C. Escher Bond of union 1956

 

The Coming Real Pandemic of the Vaccinated (S&F)
Airline Pilot Warns Biden’s Mandate Will Create ‘Massive Disruptions’ (WJ)
911 System In Jeopardy As First Responders Reject Jab (ZH)
The Great New Normal Purge (CJ Hopkins)
Senators Seek Federal Grand Jury For Covid-19 Statistical Manipulation (JTN)
Are the COVID Shots Working? (Mercola)
Australia Building Quarantine Camps For “Ongoing Operations” (SN)
Covid, Lockdown And The Retreat Of Scientific Debate (Kulldorff)
OSHA Submits Vaccine Rule To White House (CNN)
Brooklyn Nets Ban Kyrie Irving From Playing Until He Gets Covid-19 Vaccine (ZH)
Texas Businesses Stuck Between Federal And State Vaccine Rules (Y!)
NY Post Editorial Board Bashes Biden’s ‘Cabinet of Horrors’ (NM)
Wisconsin’s Election Probe Zeroes In On Democrat Machine Tactics (JTN)
Former DNI Ratcliffe Says He’s Given Durham 1,000 Intel Documents (JTN)
John Durham and the Amazing Disappearing DNC Hack (Parry)

 

 

Kory Merck

 

 

 

 

Sir Christopher Chope MP

 

 

Try some melatonin. Works vs Covid.

 

 

Israel

 

 

What we’ve been afraid of for quite some time now.

The Coming Real Pandemic of the Vaccinated (S&F)

Drs. Trozzi and Alexander explain ADE and other dangers of the ‘vaccines’, and warn of the coming wave of deaths among those who have received these experimental gene therapies. Dr. Mark Trozzi is an ER doctor with 25 years experience. He took a leave of absence early this year to fight Covid tyranny full time. His website is drtrozzi.com. Dr. Paul Alexander is a world-class clinical epidemiologist who was trained at McMaster University, Canada’s top university for epidemiological research. Dr. Alexander was fired from his position at the university for speaking the truth about the harms being caused by the Covid ‘vaccines’.


“78% of the deaths in the U.K. are among the ‘double-vaccinated.” Dr. Mark Trozzi. “If we vaccinate our children the deaths we’ve seen in adults so far we will now see in children.” Dr. Paul Alexander. Watch and share this very important interview. The next fear-mongering tactic coming down the pipe is a ‘wave of pediatric cases’, but in actual fact children are in no danger from Covid whatsoever. Sadly, many are likely to die as a result of the bioweapons being falsely represented as ‘vaccines’.

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Just in: Boeing will require its 125,000 workers in the United States to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8.

Airline Pilot Warns Biden’s Mandate Will Create ‘Massive Disruptions’ (WJ)

An airline pilot and activist for individual liberty told Fox News on Monday that situations such as mass flight cancelations will become more common if the Biden administration refuses to backdown from its hardline stance against coercing Americans to get vaccinated against COVID. Speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Joshua Yoder, a commercial airline pilot and the co-founder of a group called U.S. Freedom Flyers, cautioned that events such as this past weekend’s Southwest Arlines flight cancellations could soon be unavoidable. The reason: Yoder said the people who do skilled jobs, such as flying planes and driving trucks, will stand against President Joe Biden and their own employers. “My motive for resisting [the COVID vaccine] is primarily religious for myself,” Yoder told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“Among my friends I saw a need. Many of us don’t want to take this. People were being coerced. I believe in freedom, and I’m here to support the freedom of my fellow employees and all people across this country.” “I’m not going to take a mandate. I’m not going to be forced to do something that I don’t believe in,” he added. “If you have flights reduced by 30 percent because 30 percent of pilots are fired because they won’t take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they are distributed to the store,” he said when asked to describe the effect on the national transportation infrastructure. “The same thing is happening with the truckers; it’s happening in the shipping industry. Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days, you might be looking at three weeks,” he continued, making note of a reported shortage of truckers and dock workers as ports — such as the one at Long Beach in Los Angeles Country — experience a backlog of ships waiting to be unloaded.

[..] Yoder, when speaking of staffing shortages and logistics, asserted that more shortages of employees, such as the one which that hit Southwest, could come. He blamed Biden for the issues and challenged any notion that the federal government is in control of what American citizens and workers choose with regard to vaccines. “It’s squarely his [Biden’s] fault,” he said. “First of all, we have all the control, and the control comes from a simple word, and that’s ‘no,’” he said. “We just don’t need to comply. As far as I’m concerned, I will never promote a sick-out or a work action that is illegal. With U.S. Freedom Flyers, the organization I’m with, we will never promote such a thing. With that being said, we also cannot control the actions of individuals.”

“And I think that you will see massive disruptions in supply chain and in your travel if we just stand up and say no,” he said. “If these companies fire us and they fire 30% of the workforce, aircraft are going to stop moving, and it’s going to affect you. It’s going to affect your air travel, and it’s going to affect the economy.”

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What will the world look like by Christmas? Will anything function at all?

911 System In Jeopardy As First Responders Reject Jab (ZH)

The American Ambulance Association (AAA) warned House and Senate leaders the “nation’s EMS system is facing a crippling workforce shortage, a long-term problem that has been building for more than a decade. It threatens to undermine our emergency 9-1-1 infrastructure and deserves urgent attention by Congress.” “The magnitude has really blown up over the last few months,” AAA President Shawn Baird told NBC News. “When you take a system that was already fragile and stretched it because you didn’t have enough people entering the field, then you throw a public health emergency and all of the additional burdens that it put on our workforce, as well as the labor shortages across the entire economy, and it really has put us in a crisis mode,” Baird said.


What’s making the EMS labor shortage worse is President Biden’s vaccine mandates. First responders are quitting across the county because they don’t want to get the jab and have realized they can transfer to other higher-paying jobs. Waldoboro, Maine, town manager Julie Keizer told News Center Maine that “the vaccine mandate has contributed to the loss of first responders.” “I think part of the problem is everybody thought they (workers) would conform because nobody wants to lose their jobs,” Keizer added. “But when you look at the rate of pay for emergency workers, they can make more delivering packages than patients.”

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“The purge must be conducted openly, brutally, so that the masses understand that the rules of society have changed forever, that their former rights and freedoms are gone, that from now on any deviation from official ideology will be ruthlessly punished.”

The Great New Normal Purge (CJ Hopkins)

So, the Great New Normal Purge has begun … right on cue, right by the numbers. As we “paranoid conspiracy theorists” have been warning would happen for the past 18 months, people who refuse to convert to the new official ideology are now being segregated, stripped of their jobs, banned from attending schools, denied medical treatment, and otherwise persecuted. Relentless official propaganda demonizing “the Unvaccinated” is being pumped out by the corporate and state media, government leaders, health officials, and shrieking fanatics on social media. “The Unvaccinated” are the new official “Untermenschen,” an underclass of subhuman “others” the New Normal masses are being conditioned to hate. But it isn’t just a purge of “the Unvaccinated.” Anyone deviating from the official ideology is being systematically demonized and persecuted.

In Germany, Australia, and other New Normal countries, protesting the New Normal is officially outlawed. The New Normal Gestapo is going around to people’s homes to interrogate them about their anti-New Normal Facebook posts. Corporations are openly censoring content that contradicts the official narrative. New Normal goon squads roam the streets, checking people’s “vaccination” papers. And it’s not just governments and corporations carrying out the New Normal Purge. Friends are purging friends. Wives are purging husbands. Fathers are purging children. Children are purging parents. New Normals are purging old normal thoughts. Global “health authorities” are revising definitions to make them conform to New Normal “science.” And so on … a new official “reality” is being manufactured, right before our eyes. Anything and anyone that doesn’t conform to it is being purged, unpersoned, memory-holed, erased.

None of which should come as a surprise. Every nascent totalitarian system, at some stage of its takeover of society, launches a purge of political opponents, ideological dissidents, and other “anti-social deviants.” Such purges can be brief or open-ended, and they can take any number of outward forms, depending on the type of totalitarian system, but you cannot have totalitarianism without them. The essence of totalitarianism — regardless of which costumes and ideology it wears — is a desire to completely control society, every aspect of society, every individual behavior and thought. Every totalitarian system, whether an entire nation, a tiny cult, or any other form of social body, evolves toward this unachievable goal … the total ideological transformation and control of every single element of society (or whatever type of social body it comprises). This fanatical pursuit of total control, absolute ideological uniformity, and the elimination of all dissent, is what makes totalitarianism totalitarianism.

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“The CDC’s National Vital Statistics System told mortality data compilers to emphasize COVID-19 as the “cause” of death in a March 2020 alert, departing from a 2003 federal manual on recording infectious disease as a “contributing factor to death” in the presence of preexisting conditions, the letter said.”

Senators Seek Federal Grand Jury For Covid-19 Statistical Manipulation (JTN)

The CDC adopted a “double-standard exclusively for COVID-19 data collection” that inflated cases and deaths starting early in the pandemic, violating multiple federal laws and distorting mitigation policies, Oregon lawmakers told the feds’ top lawyer in the state. Advised by “a large team of world-renowned doctors, epidemiologists, virologists, and attorneys,” state Senators Kim Thatcher and Dennis Linthicum petitioned U.S. Attorney Scott Asphaug to approve a grand jury investigation into how the pandemic is being measured. “Public health policy must be based upon accurate and independently verifiable data to optimize outcomes and strengthen the public’s trust in the people leading them through this crisis,” the Republican lawmakers, whose state has imposed some of the harshest and longest COVID restrictions, wrote in a letter with several attached exhibits.

One is a synopsis of allegations, findings, relevant law and implicated agencies intended to “assist grand jury members in orienting themselves to the scope of alleged crimes committed.” Their letter is dated Aug. 16, but the materials were not released for a month to “protect those involved,” Stand for Health Freedom (SHF), the holistic medicine and legal nonprofit behind the petition effort, said in last month’s announcement. “I’m not sure there has ever been an allegation of government wrongdoing on this scale,” so the group wanted to assess “accuracy and safety” before going public, relationship manager Bailey Kuykendoll told Just the News. Asphaug’s office said Thursday it referred the petition to the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs. That office didn’t respond on whether or how it had answered the Oregon lawmakers’ request.

[..] The lawmakers’ petition also accuses the FDA of withholding “safe and effective evidence-based treatments” just as the Tuskegee study withheld penicillin from black men with syphilis. They name vitamin D and ivermectin, which have “extensive clinical histories of safety following the administration of billions of doses.” Doctors who prescribe these for COVID may face loss of license, fines and imprisonment, Thatcher and Linthicum said. [..] Thatcher said she was troubled that even as the infection’s high survivability rate became clear, arbitrary restrictions that worsened child abuse, suicide and mental health remained in place. “I began to really question whether the cure was worse than the disease,” said Thatcher, who is better known in Oregon for her legislative effort to compensate people wrongfully convicted.

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Well, they’re doing something alright.

Are the COVID Shots Working? (Mercola)

In a Twitter thread, Ben M. double-checked and recalculated the vaccine efficacy, taking into account all CLI admissions, not just those where the patient had been vaccinated at least 14 days prior. When adding those previously excluded patients back in, Ben M. came up with a vaccine effectiveness rate of 13%. He also discovered that if you look at how many people actually had a CLI (covid like illness) clinical diagnosis code among the 41,552 included patients, the rate of diagnosis between the unvaccinated, the partially vaccinated and the fully vaccinated was nearly identical: 73% for the unvaccinated, 71% for the partially vaccinated and 72% for the fully vaccinated.

Here’s where it gets interesting. When you look at the rate of CLI, and add in the rate of positive PCR tests, all of a sudden, differences between the groups become clear. Only 2% of the fully vaccinated had a positive PCR test, compared to 6% of the partially vaccinated and 18% of the unvaccinated. Ben M. speculates that vaccinated patients may be tested less routinely (12.5% less frequently to be exact), or unvaccinated patients are tested more routinely (11% more frequently than the vaccinated). But there may be another explanation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually has two different sets of testing criteria, depending on the patient’s vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated individuals suspected of having contracted COVID-19 are to be tested using a CT of 28 or less, whereas unvaccinated patients are to be tested using a CT of 40. Anything over 35 CTs has been shown to produce 97% false positives, so this biased testing guidance virtually guarantees that vaccinated patients are more likely to test negative, while unvaccinated patients are more likely to get a false positive.

v$xxine effectiveness

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“Why anyone who had left Australia would come back again is unclear..”

Australia Building Quarantine Camps For “Ongoing Operations” (SN)

Despite some states tentatively beginning to lift lockdown restrictions, Australian authorities are building quarantine camps that won’t be completed until next year in order to prepare for “ongoing operations” and to house those “who have not had access to vaccination.” According to ABC Australia, one such 1,000-bed quarantine facility at Wellcamp Airport outside Toowoomba will be fully completed by the end of March 2022. “At this stage, the cabins will be used by domestic travellers returning from COVID hotspots,” states the report. However, it also makes clear that the camp will be used for “ongoing operations” and will be a source of employment for the local area.

The camps is split into different zones and accommodates singles, doubles, and family rooms while being patrolled by police and security guards 24/7. Citing new strains of COVID and people “who have not had access to vaccination,” Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles told the media outlet, “We anticipate there to be a continuing need for quarantine facilities.” The government is leasing the land on which the camp is being built from the Wagner Corporation for 12 months with an option for a further 12 months after that. Another 1,000-bed quarantine facility is also being built on a 30-hectare Army barracks site in the industrial area of Pinkenba, near Brisbane Airport.

“Why anyone who had left Australia would come back again is unclear,” writes Dave Blount. “It is possibly the most repressive country in the world regarding Covid tyranny.” As we previously highlighted, state authorities in America are also constructing new “quarantine facilities” for Americans who are “unable to quarantine at home.” As we reported last year, Authorities in Quebec City, Canada announced they will isolate “uncooperative” citizens in a coronavirus facility, the location of which remains a secret. New Zealand also announced plans to place COVID infectees and their family members in “quarantine facilities.” Back in January, German authorities also announced they would hold COVID dissidents who repeatedly fail to properly follow the rules in what was described as a ‘detention camp’ located in Dresden.

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“The language, here, is non-scientific: herd immunity is not a creed. It’s how pandemics end.”

Covid, Lockdown And The Retreat Of Scientific Debate (Kulldorff)

The BMJ article is full of errors that ought to have never found their way into any publication. Here are some examples:

1/ My colleagues and I are described as ‘critics of public health measures to curb Covid-19’. On the contrary, throughout the pandemic we have strongly advocated better public health measures to curb Covid-19 – specifically protection of high-risk older people, with many ‘clearly defined’ proposals. The failure to implement such measures, in our view, has led to many unnecessary Covid deaths.

2/We are described as ‘proponents of herd immunity’ which is akin to accusing someone of being in favour of gravity. Both are scientifically established phenomena. Every Covid strategy leads to herd immunity. The key is to minimise morbidity and mortality. The language, here, is non-scientific: herd immunity is not a creed. It’s how pandemics end.

3/ It says we have ‘expressed opposition to mass vaccination’. Dr. Gupta and I have spent decades on vaccine research and we are all strong advocates for Covid and other vaccines. They are among the greatest inventions in history. To falsely credit the anti-vaccine movement with support from professors at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford is damaging for vaccine confidence. This is unworthy of a medical journal.

4/ The GBD is referred to as a ‘sophisticated science denialism’. Note here how something that challenges an orthodoxy is described as anti-science – a label that presumably could have been applied to any scientific innovator who ever questioned a failed orthodoxy. Collateral public health damage from Covid restrictions are real and enormous on cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, backsliding childhood vaccinations, starvation and mental health, just to name a few. It is not the GBD, but those who downplay lockdown harms who should be equated with those who question the harms of tobacco or climate change.

5/ The GBD was not ‘sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) – and I’m pleased to see that the BMJ has at least retracted this claim. We were there for media interviews, with no sponsorship. How did such a blunder end up in print in the first place? The AIER staff did not even know about the Declaration until the day before it was signed, and the AIER president and board did not know about it until after publication. If we had written the Declaration at say, Starbucks, would the BMJ have claimed that it was sponsored by the coffee shop?

6/ The BMJ article mentions ‘AIER contributor Scott Atlas’, but Dr. Atlas has never been affiliated with nor written for AIER. Neither have we – unless the BMJ also views us as affiliated with hundreds of universities and organisations that we have visited during our careers or that have reprinted some of our articles. Dr. Atlas was not even aware that AIER had reprinted one of his articles until the BMJ linked to it. Several AIER employees have gracefully supported the GBD, just like countless other people around the world, but we have never received any money from the AIER. This basic error again exposes how normal checks did not appear to have been applied by the BMJ.

7/The BMJ article ends by saying that my colleagues and I are peddling a ‘well-funded sophisticated science denialist campaign based on ideological and corporate interests’. Nobody has paid us money for our work on the GBD, or for advocating focused protection. None of us would have undertaken this project for professional gain: it is far easier to stay silent than put your head above the parapet. As a vaccine developer, Dr. Gupta has connections with a pharmaceutical start-up, but Dr. Bhattacharya and I are among the few drug/vaccine scientists who purposely avoid pharmaceutical company funding to be free from conflicts of interests.

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Weekly testing is still valid. Businesses that go beyond that do that on their own accord.

OSHA Submits Vaccine Rule To White House (CNN)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which falls under the Labor Department, has submitted the text of a new vaccine rule for large employers to the Office of Management and Budget, bringing the emergency standard announced by President Joe Biden last month one step closer to taking effect. “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been working expeditiously to develop an emergency temporary standard that covers employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing to protect employees from the spread of coronavirus in the workplace,” a Labor Department spokesman said Tuesday.

“On Tuesday, October 12, as part of the regulatory review process, the agency submitted the initial text of the emergency temporary standard to the Office of Management and Budget.” Once OMB concludes its review of the regulation, the emergency temporary standard will be published in the Federal Register, when it will go into effect. Last month, Biden announced the Labor Department would draft an emergency rule compelling private companies with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations or weekly testing. “While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact: We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for awhile,” the President said in a White House speech at the time.

The new emergency temporary standard will require large employers to give their workers paid time off to get vaccinated. If businesses don’t comply, the government will “take enforcement actions,” which could include “substantial fines” of up to nearly $14,000 per violation, according to officials. Officials have said the standard was a “minimum” and that some companies may choose to go further, including by mandating the vaccine instead of offering a testing alternative. “Each employer will decide exactly what they want to do, but what we’re saying through the Department of Labor rule making process is a minimum of testing once a week or full vaccination,” a senior administration official previously told CNN.

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Make that: Weekly testing is still valid, but not for Kyrie.

Brooklyn Nets Ban Kyrie Irving From Playing Until He Gets Covid-19 Vaccine (ZH)

The Brooklyn Nets have banned 29-year-old Kyrie Irving from both games and practice until he gets the Covid-19 vaccine, just one week before the team kicks off their regular season against the Bucks. The star point and shooting guard will even be barred from playing during away games – the vast majority which will be held in locations where there is no local vaccine mandate. The Nets said they won’t allow Irving to be deemed “part-time” in terms of his availability for games. The move comes after Irving missed Monday’s preseason loss to the 76ers (115-104) over his refusal to get the jab. “Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” said the team in a statement.


“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.” The mostly word-salad statement continues: “It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.” Irving earns more than $400,000 per game – and forfeited some $817,000 in salary in January after missing two games to take part in a league-ordered quarantine after attending a birthday party in a club. He earned around $35 million last season, and was slated to earn $36.6 million this year – the last year of his contract.

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“A Federal Judge in TX has temporarily put on hold United Airlines’ policy that places employees on unpaid leave for claiming a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Texas Businesses Stuck Between Federal And State Vaccine Rules (Y!)

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said Tuesday they will continue requiring employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, deferring to federal regulations as Texas and the White House square off over vaccine mandates. The clash comes as the Republican governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott, signed an order Monday banning all vaccine mandates in his state, including those coming from private companies. But that state rule is in direct contradiction with a regulation announced by President Joe Biden last month, which would require all companies with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday the new Texas law does not change the federal government’s vaccine mandate plans, which could cover some 100 million US workers. “We know that federal law overrides state law,” Psaki said. But the Biden administration has yet to detail the practical applications of the federal order. “There isn’t a big historic precedent for this and we want to get it right,” Psaki said, assuring that plans for the federal order could be expected within “weeks.” As federal contractors, major airlines must require their employees to be vaccinated by December 8, which could prove complicated for those based in Texas. American Airlines said it will defer to federal law over the state law.

“We are reviewing the executive order issued by Gov. Abbott, but we believe the federal vaccine mandate supersedes any conflicting state laws, and this does not change anything for American,” a spokesperson for the carrier said in a statement to AFP. Fellow Texas-based airline Southwest also said Tuesday it would continue requiring vaccines for employees, despite Abbott’s order. “According to the president’s executive order, federal action supersedes any state mandate or law, and we would be expected to comply with the president’s order to remain compliant as a federal contractor,” Southwest said in a statement.

And the Greater Houston Partnership, a Texas business group that includes Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Shell and JP Morgan Chase, said in a statement Tuesday: “The governor’s executive order does not support Texas businesses’ ability and duty to create a safe workplace.” Abbott said Monday he supported vaccination, but would not allow mandates for it in his state. “I issued an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates by ANY entity in Texas,” the governor wrote on Twitter.

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“Halloween came early this year, courtesy of the Biden administration..”

NY Post Editorial Board Bashes Biden’s ‘Cabinet of Horrors’ (NM)

The New York Post Editorial Board has come out to blast the “scandals from top to bottom in Joe Biden’s Cabinet of horrors” in a scathing review of the early struggles of the administration. “Halloween came early this year, courtesy of the Biden administration,” the editorial began. “While the president is primarily to blame for the choices in Afghanistan, the border and holding an infrastructure bill hostage to the Squad, his team is facing their own crises, many self-created. Here, some of the lowlights of many of the members of Joe Biden’s Cabinet of Horrors.” From calling Vice President Kamala Harris the VP in the shadows — “Harris has gone into hiding, barely making public appearances as her favorables have tanked”— to White House chief of staff Ron Klain being the “shadow president,” few were spared in Biden’s Cabinet from the Post’s critique of the administration’s first 10 months. Among the Post’s scathing rebukes:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “He has no answers for the debacle in Afghanistan.” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen: “Yellen promised that she would ‘be a voice for fiscal sanity.’ So much for that!” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin: How can he trust Gen. Mark Milley after the joint chiefs of staff went behind former President Donald Trump’s back? And “How can he not tell Biden he must be removed from his post?” Attorney General Merrick Garland: His call for the FBI and U.S. attorneys to investigate and prosecute school board protests is “a spectacular overreach of federal power”; yet, the Post adds, “But in a fight between angry moms and a weaponized Department of Justice, our money is on the moms.”

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland: She moved the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado, “but not enough bureaucrats wanted to live there (300 retired or quit), so Haaland is now moving it back to the swamp.” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: Take a Democrat’s word for it: Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., former House Agriculture Committee chairman. “I would argue this transfer tax, which could be as high as 43.4%, is the worst idea that has been proposed in terms of its impact on agriculture in my lifetime.”Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: “Argued, counterintuitively, that companies needed to be taxed more in order to compete globally.”Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh: “When 194,000 jobs were added in September, far below the 500,000 forecast, Walsh said, ‘I don’t think it’s as bad as what everyone’s reporting.’ It’s his own department that reported it!”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra: “Politico noted that the guy who should be in charge of the nation’s COVID response doesn’t even attend meetings. ‘They brief him,’ a person close to the pandemic response team told the outlet. ‘But he’s not a decider on response activities.’ Why? Because of his ‘lack of experience as a public health policymaker and communicator.'”Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge: “As Democrats rush to spend even more money, only 11% of the $46 billion in emergency rental assistance has been distributed.”Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg: “With supply issues impacting the economy and cargo ships waiting offshore, Buttigieg’s answer is a task force.”

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Drip drip drip.

Wisconsin’s Election Probe Zeroes In On Democrat Machine Tactics (JTN)

Move over Arizona and hold on Pennsylvania, the next election integrity investigation to take center stage is occurring in Wisconsin, where a former state Supreme Court justice empowered by the Legislature to compel testimony and document production is gathering steam. Interviews with more than a dozen witnesses, officials and lawyers who have interacted with retired Justice Mike Gableman and his staff suggest a strong focus on the role election bureaucracies played in changing the rules — without legislative consent — for how ballots were sent out, filled out, collected and counted.

Gableman’s early investigative work as special counsel appointed by Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is shining a spotlight among other things on the Wisconsin Election Commission, a statewide body created by GOP lawmakers after an earlier political rigging scandal in the state known as the John Doe investigations. The commission provides guidance and rules to the 1,852 election clerks in the state on how to conduct voting. The commission in 2020 altered numerous state voting rules and procedures during the pandemic, often without seeking legislative permission. The changes range from allowing nursing home staff to help fill out resident ballots to giving permission to election clerks to fill out missing witness information required for absentee ballots.

Those two changes alone affected thousands of ballots in a state in which Joe Biden was declared the winner with a narrow margin of just 20,600 votes. Perhaps even more consequential, the commission gave its blessing to an idea first conceived by election clerks in the blue counties of Dane and Milwaukee that voters could claim the normally rare status of “indefinitely confined” if they were too scared to go out during the COVID outbreak. The change allowed nearly 250,000 people to vote by absentee without complying with required voter ID rules. That advice, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled after the election, was unlawful. Only people who determine they have bona fide disabilities and infirmities are allowed to vote as “indefinitely confined,” and regulators had no right to declare the pandemic as such a condition, the justices ruled in the only major court decision after Nov. 3 to declare a large bloc of votes as potentially illegally cast.

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How close is Durham to looking at Hunter Biden?

Former DNI Ratcliffe Says He’s Given Durham 1,000 Intel Documents (JTN)

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says he’s given John Durham, investigating the Justice Department actions in its Russia collusion probe, a trove of documents that he thinks support charges beyond those recently filed against cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussman. “Sussmann’s is the first of what I would hope would be a number,” of additional people charged, he told Fox News on Sunday. Ratcliffe made the argument on what he said was “1,000 intelligence community documents” that he thinks support additional charges that he would “expect” Durham to bring, in addition to the declassified documents he’s provided.

Durham, a former Connecticut attorney general, was appointed by the Trump administration to look into the origins of the federal investigation into whether the 2016 Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the election. A grand jury recently indicted against Sussmann, former federal prosecutor, of lying to the FBI. Ratcliffe, who oversaw the country’s 17 intelligence agencies in the latter part of the Trump administration, announced in October that he handed over the roughly 1,000 pages of materials to the Justice Department to assist with Durham’s investigation, according to the Washington Examiner. Ratcliffe has also declassified two heavily redacted Russia-related documents, including handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan showing he briefed then-President Barack Obama in 2016 on an unverified Russian intelligence report.

The report claimed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned in July 2016 on tying then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee to distract from her improper use of a private email server, the Examiner also reports. Sussmann, a former attorney at Perkins Coie, is accused of falsely telling an FBI lawyer he was not representing any clients when acting on behalf of a technology executive and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign during a September 2016 meeting on possible links between Trump and Russia.

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The FBI not doing its own investigation remains very weird.

John Durham and the Amazing Disappearing DNC Hack (Parry)

[..] at the same time as the alleged DNC hack, there were similar reports regarding the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (“DCCC”) server as well as DNC Chairman John Podesta’s personal email devices. In testimony before the Senate, FBI Director James Comey stated the following: Question (by Senator Burr): Did the FBI request access to those devices [the servers and Podesta’s devices] to perform forensics on? A: Yes, we did. Q: And would that access have provided intelligence or information helpful to your investigation in possibly finding … including to the Intelligence Community Assessment? A: Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the original device or server that’s involved. So, it’s the best evidence.

Q: Were you given access to do the forensics on those servers? A: We were not. We were … a highly respected private company eventually got access and shared with us what they saw there. Q: But is that typically the way the FBI would prefer to do the forensics or would your forensic unit rather see the servers and do the forensics themselves? A: We always prefer to have access hands on ourselves, if that’s possible. Q: Do you know why you were denied access to those servers? A: I don’t know for sure. Um, I don’t know for sure. Q: Was there one request or multiple requests? A: Multiple requests at different levels and ultimately what was agreed to is that the private company would share with us what they saw.

So, instead of using a search warrant or some other legal process to perform a direct, hands on forensic examination of the DNC server, the FBI agreed to base its investigation on the findings of a private cybersecurity company. And, as discussed in the previous article, that company, CrowdStrike, was to do the investigation pursuant to its contract with Michael Sussmann of Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Think about that. When presented with allegations of a devastating foreign cyber attack on one of the two major political parties, the FBI meekly agreed to allow CrowdStrike and Perkins Coie to do the forensic examination and, for all intents and purposes, run the investigation.

Not even the lowliest local police department would agree to such an absurd arrangement. What if this was a murder case? Would the Smallville PD allow a private investigator and lawyer hired by the murder victim’s family to process the crime scene, do the autopsy, and tell the police and district attorney what they supposedly found? Wouldn’t such findings be subject to attack in court as coming from sources that may have had an interest in shaping and tailoring the investigative results to suit the needs and desires of their client? Wouldn’t there be legal problems with the evidence’s provenance, chain of custody, and the reliability and comprehensiveness of the investigative work that supposedly produced it? Would the police and district attorney ever allow themselves to get roped into such a bizarre, ridiculous, nightmarish, and self-defeating arrangement?

Of course not. No rational person or organization intent on conducting a serious investigation would. But that, in effect, is precisely what the FBI — the self-proclaimed greatest investigative agency in the world — did when faced with this purportedly monumental foreign attack on the Democrat Party apparatus.

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Oct 122021
 


Pablo Picasso Two naked figures 1908

 

Covid Response ‘One Of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’ (G.)
Down To Only One Question Now.. (Denninger)
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Kunstler)
Seattle PD May Lose 40% Of Officers Over Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (ZH)
Southwest Says Staffing Shortages Contributed To Flight Snarls (Y!)
Texas Gov. Abbott Issues Order Banning Covid Vaccination Mandates (NBC)
Ivermectin as Covid Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Method in Healthcare Workers (NIH)
Russian Drug To Calm Cytokine Storm (RT)
FDA Responds To Nordic Countries Suspending Moderna COVID Vaccine Usage (ET)
Thousands More People Than Usual Are Dying … But It’s Not From Covid (Tel.)
Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters (Miele)
Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? (Turley)
Southwest Offers Free Flights To Anyone Vaccinated Who Can Fly A Plane (BBee)

 

 

 

 

The report itself is as big a failure. What went wrong? Lockdowns came too late.. But the vaccines are a resounding success. Yeah, sure. Just look at all the new cases. Oh, and in the 2nd graph, what are all those recent excess deaths? Where do they come from? Couldn’t be the vaccines, could it?

Not one word on early treatment or prophylaxis. Not one.

Covid Response ‘One Of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’ (G.)

Britain’s early handling of the coronavirus pandemic was one of the worst public health failures in UK history, with ministers and scientists taking a “fatalistic” approach that exacerbated the death toll, a landmark inquiry has found. “Groupthink”, evidence of British exceptionalism and a deliberately “slow and gradualist” approach meant the UK fared “significantly worse” than other countries, according to the 151-page “Coronavirus: lessons learned to date” report led by two former Conservative ministers. The crisis exposed “major deficiencies in the machinery of government”, with public bodies unable to share vital information and scientific advice impaired by a lack of transparency, input from international experts and meaningful challenge.

Despite being one of the first countries to develop a test for Covid in January 2020, the UK “squandered” its lead and “converted it into one of permanent crisis”. The consequences were profound, the report says. “For a country with a world-class expertise in data analysis, to face the biggest health crisis in 100 years with virtually no data to analyse was an almost unimaginable setback.” Boris Johnson did not order a complete lockdown until 23 March 2020, two months after the government’s Sage committee of scientific advisers first met to discuss the crisis. “This slow and gradualist approach was not inadvertent, nor did it reflect bureaucratic delay or disagreement between ministers and their advisers. It was a deliberate policy – proposed by official scientific advisers and adopted by the governments of all of the nations of the UK,” the report says.


“It is now clear that this was the wrong policy, and that it led to a higher initial death toll than would have resulted from a more emphatic early policy. In a pandemic spreading rapidly and exponentially, every week counted.”

Read more …

“.. that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established.”

Down To Only One Question Now.. (Denninger)

Unfortunately what this means is that now for anyone over 30 you are more likely to get infected, yes, adjusted for the population that is vaccinated, if you are vaccinated. Indeed in the 40-49 age group you’re close to double as probable on a per-population basis. This means that if your employer mandates the jabs he or she can be sued for putting those who can’t get vaccinated at double the risk, on purpose, by enforcing the mandate. Since there are people who can’t (due to immune compromise, such as cancer patients) be vaccinated this is now intentional risk. In other words this is hard, scientific evidence that these mandates by employers have increased the risk of customers (and other employees) contracting Covid-19. This isn’t a natural risk, it’s a man-made one created by the employer.

That’s actionable. So far this is not translating into higher risk of Covid hospitalization and death on a per-100,000 basis. But that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established. It is fact. It is in fact true for everyone who is over 30. I have pointed out that preventing infection was never in the cards; it was not part of the EUA, it was not part of the studies, it was never demonstrated. But this is much worse because now we are talking about a direct threat to others The CDC, NIH and Biden almost-certainly know this. This is why the mad rush to demand you get jabbed; they know damn well what this means and that while the manufacturer is immune the employers are not and in fact any such mandate leaves them wide open legally as soon as an unvaccinated person gets infected after being at said firm either as an employee or customer and sues the company on the basis of intentionally and maliciously increasing their risk by forcing their employees to get the jab, which is exactly what they did.

The data from England is conclusive in that regard. I bet that they’ve known this was happening right here in the US for months now. I expected no effective protection. What I did not expect was negative protection, but that’s what we got. This portends the potential for very, very bad things. Specifically, if the impairment is only toward Covid-19; that is, this is some sort of VEI specific to Covid, then the issue ends there. For those with natural (recovered) immunity they don’t care and absolutely should not get the jab; indeed, if you’re recovered and take them you may destroy your protection in part or whole and wind up susceptible to repeat infection you would otherwise not be hit with! If you do that you’re stupid and may well win a stupid prize.

But the 900lb Gorilla is that the impairment may not Covid-19 specific. In other words the impairment may be immune system generalized, in which case those who took the jabs are screwed because that immune damage could be long-lasting or even permanent, yet the protection against serious outcomes is specific to Covid. So yes, you’re “safer” against a serious outcome even while screwing everyone else, but at the same time you are wildly more-susceptible to a severe or fatal outcome due to, for example, influenza.

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“If you were paranoid, you might suspect that something was up in this attempt to roadblock cheap, safe, and effective treatments..”

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Kunstler)

Meanwhile, we have the arrival on-the-scene of another joker: Merck’s new anti-Covid-19 drug molnupiravir, said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid by 50 percent. Merck and its partner, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, have applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDC for this new drug, the same legal loophole that Pfizer and Moderna got for their mRNA vaxes. “Joe Biden” promised to spend $1.2 billion procuring a big batch of the new drug, so bringing it on must be a done deal. The catch is, molnupiravir is in the same order of nucleoside analogue drugs as remdesivir, a clinically-proven failure in the treatment of Covid 19. The stuff killed patients left and right. Molnupiravir’s mutagenic mechanism is supposed to mess with the DNA of Covid-19 viruses, incrementally disabling them and killing them off.


The trouble is, mutagenic drugs are notorious for broad spectrum action, so Molnupiravir might do the same thing to the various cells in your body, too: instant cancer. I guess we’ll have to stand-by and see how that works out. It pays to remember, though, that the EUA didn’t work out so well for the Covid-19 vaccines, did it? The waiting is the hardest part. Molnupiravir was shoved out onstage after two years of the public health authorities (Drs. Fauci, Collins, et al.) and the corporate news media casting curses on the existing suite of cheap drugs that proved clinically effective in the early treatment of Covid-19, namely ivermectin (a.k.a. “horse paste”), hydroxychloroquine, fluvoxamine, prednisone, etc. If you were paranoid, you might suspect that something was up in this attempt to roadblock cheap, safe, and effective treatments in favor of untested novelties that would just happen to be another multibillion-dollar boon for drug companies.

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How many of these “leaders” will give in before Christmas?

Seattle PD May Lose 40% Of Officers Over Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (ZH)

It was inevitable – as vaccine mandates across the country approach their deadlines, vast swaths of American workers, service members and atheletes face termination or disciplinary action for refusing to take the Covid-19 jab. In Los Angeles, nearly 1,000 firefighters are about to sue the city over the mandate. Southwest Airlines’ pilot union sued the company last week, before staffing shortages led to the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights over the weekend (and more on Monday). Meanwhile, doctors and nurses across the country have begun suing their employers. Interestingly, after a group of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department sued over the mandate, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that he would not ‘force anyone’ to take the jab.


But not Seattle – which stands to lose 40% of its 1,000 person force for failing to get vaccinated as an Oct. 18 deadline approaches. “The environment has been pretty toxic and negative,” one officer anonymously told Fox 13. “Not just from this whole mandate, but prior to that as well. I’m not sure this would be a good place for me to work long-term for my mental health. It has been very stressful.” Recall that this is on the heels of the city losing around 300 officers amid Black Lives Matter riots and the “defund the police” movement. By the numbers, as of Oct. 6, 292 sworn personnel had yet to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination per the report, down from 354 on Tuesday. An additional 111 officers are awaiting the results of exemption requests, meaning the total number of potentially fired Seattle cops is as high as 403.

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The hide and seek game continues.

Southwest Says Staffing Shortages Contributed To Flight Snarls (Y!)

After initially blaming air traffic control issues and weather for thousands of flight cancelations, Southwest Airlines on Monday acknowledged that staffing shortages also played a role in the service disruption. The carrier cancelled 1,124 flights on Sunday — by far the highest rate of any airline — 800 the day before and another 326 on Monday, according to airline tracker FlightAware. “On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday,” the low-cost carrier said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.”


CNBC reported Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven acknowledged to employees that the company “is still not where we need to be on staffing, and in particular with flight crews.” Like most airlines, Southwest let employees go when air traffic collapsed as the Covid-19 pandemic began, but has seen business surge this year as vaccinations spur people to travel again. The weekend’s snarls caused speculation that some pilots or other Southwest staff were participating in a work slowdown as a way to express opposition to the company’s decision to require its employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In their statement, Southwest said “the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest employee demonstrations” and they hope to restore normal operations “as soon as possible.”

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The value of freedom.

Texas Gov. Abbott Issues Order Banning Covid Vaccination Mandates (NBC)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday prohibiting any entity, including private businesses, from imposing Covid-19 vaccination requirements on employees or customers. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement. Abbott, a Republican, said in his order that it was prompted by the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate, which he said was federal overreach. President Joe Biden announced a mandate last month requiring companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforces are vaccinated or regularly tested. The Labor Department has yet to release details of the emergency rule, but Biden last week called on companies to act now and not to wait for the requirement to go into effect.


Abbott, who tested positive for Covid in August, has also resisted mask mandates and requiring proof of vaccination. Texas has continued to experience a rise in cases and crowded hospitals, prompting Abbott to invest in monoclonal antibody infusion centers. Abbott issued executive orders over the summer banning local governments and school districts from requiring either masks or vaccinations, issuing $1,000 fines to those who failed to comply. School districts in San Antonio and Dallas have challenged the order in court. The Legislature also passed a bill in June banning private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from customers.

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From the NIH: ” Ivermectin is a drug that has been shown to be active against coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in previous studies”.

Any further questions?

Ivermectin as Covid Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Method in Healthcare Workers (NIH)

Background: Ivermectin is a drug that has been shown to be active against coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in previous studies. Healthcare personnel are highly exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Therefore, we decided to offer them ivermectin as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) method.

Purpose: Primary outcome was to measure the number of healthcare workers with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and a positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test in the ivermectin group and in the control group. Secondary outcome was to measure the number of sick healthcare workers with a positive RT-PCR COVID-19 test whose condition deteriorated and required hospitalization and/or an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or who died, in the ivermectin group and in the control group.

Material and methods: This observational and retrospective cohort study was carried out in two medical centers, Centro Medico Bournigal (CMBO) in Puerto Plata and Centro Medico Punta Cana (CMPC) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The study began on June 29, 2020, and ended on July 26, 2020. A Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Propensity Score Matching procedure was applied in a 1:1 ratio to homogeneously evaluate 271 healthcare personnel that adhered to a PrEP program with ivermectin at a weekly oral (PO) dose of 0.2 mg/kg, and 271 healthcare personnel who did not adhere to the program were assigned as a control group.

Results: In 28 days of follow-up, significant protection of ivermectin preventing the infection from SARS-CoV-2 was observed: 1.8% compared to those who did not take it (6.6%; p-value = 0.006), with a risk reduction of 74% (HR 0.26, 95% CI [0.10,0.71]). Conclusions: These results suggest that compassionate use of weekly ivermectin could be an option as a preventive method in healthcare workers and as an adjunct to immunizations, while further well-designed randomized controlled trials are developed to facilitate scientific consensus.

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Promising, but…

Russian Drug To Calm Cytokine Storm (RT)

A group of Russian scientists have created a drug that may potentially revolutionize the treatment of Covid-19 by defusing the most catastrophic reaction the disease causes in patients, while not destroying their immune response. The drug, called Leitragin, was developed by the Biomedical Technology Research Center of the Russian Federal Medical and Biology Agency (FMBA), and is currently undergoing clinical trials in Russia. Although its base substance was previously known and used in ulcer treatment medicine by Soviet and Russian doctors, it was the FMBA team that discovered how to apply it for the treatment of severe cases of Covid-19 and, potentially, other deadly diseases that cause life-threatening lung inflammation.


The Russian scientists had tasked themselves with finding a substance that would act as an ‘off switch’ for the chain reaction that, after being triggered by the invading SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually causes potential organ failure and death. This reaction of the immune system, dubbed the “cytokine storm,” has been variously described as our body’s overreaction to the virus or a “suicide attack” against the invading pathogen, and even as an evolutionary mechanism to stop the spread of deadly infections with the death of the host. Trying to stop this uncontrolled immune response while still preserving the body’s ability to fight the virus without causing more damage is what scientists and medics in intensive care units across the world have been wrestling with during the Covid-19 pandemic. In that regard, Leitragin is being touted as a game-changer, since its novel mechanism acts in a targeted way, and is said to be completely safe for one’s health.

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Wait, so Iceland ditches Moderna because it has enough Pfizer… which it says has the same effects as Moderna.

FDA Responds To Nordic Countries Suspending Moderna COVID Vaccine Usage (ET)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded to Nordic countries limiting the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine last week, saying the shot’s benefits outweigh the risks. Health officials in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for younger people due to a risk of side effects including myocarditis. Sweden said it would pause the vaccine for people under the age of 30, and Denmark did the same for those under 18. Finland said that males under the age 30 shouldn’t receive the jab, while Icelandic officials added over the weekend that they would suspend use of the shot.

“The FDA is aware of these data. At this time, FDA continues to find that the known and potential benefits of vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine,” an FDA official said in a statement to news outlets over the weekend in response to the Nordic nations’ decision to suspend the vaccine for certain age groups. Moderna, meanwhile, said in a statement after the countries’ decision that it was “aware of the very rare occurrence of myocarditis and/or pericarditis following administration of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.” “These are typically mild cases and individuals tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest. The risk of myocarditis is substantially increased for those who contract COVID-19, and vaccination is the best way to protect against this,” the company’s statement continued.

Moderna’s vaccine is still being administered under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization. The company’s application for full approval is still pending. On Oct. 10, Iceland’s Health Directorate said the Moderna vaccine would be entirely suspended due to the risk of cardiac inflammation. “As the supply of Pfizer vaccine is sufficient in the territory … the chief epidemiologist has decided not to use the Moderna vaccine in Iceland,” according to a statement published on the Health Directorate website. The move was handed down due to “the increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine, as well as with vaccination using Pfizer/BioNTech,” its statement continued.

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Sep 24. yeah, we have no idea what kills all those people…

Thousands More People Than Usual Are Dying … But It’s Not From Covid (Tel.)

While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths that were not caused by coronavirus. According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull. This year is a worrying outlier. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), since July 2 there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19. So if all these extra people are not dying from coronavirus, what is killing them?

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that during that period there were 2,103 extra death registrations with ischemic heart disease, 1,552 with heart failure, as well as an extra 760 deaths with cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and aneurysm and 3,915 with other circulatory diseases. Acute and chronic respiratory infections were also up with 3,416 more mentions on death certificates than expected since the start of July, while there have been 1,234 extra urinary system disease deaths, 324 with cirrhosis and liver disease and 1,905 with diabetes. Alarmingly, many of these conditions saw the biggest drops in diagnosis in 2020, as the NHS struggled to cope with the pandemic.

A report released last week by the Government detailing the direct and indirect health impacts of the pandemic reported that there were an estimated 23 million fewer GP consultations – both in-person and online, in 2020 compared with 2019. Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) fell by 51 per cent, atrial fibrillation 26 per cent, heart failure 20 per cent, diabetes 19 per cent, coronary heart disease, 17 per cent and stroke and transient ischemic attack by 16 per cent.

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“I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself.”

Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters (Miele)

I think vaccines have done the world a world of good. I remember getting my smallpox vaccine and waiting eagerly to get the scar on my arm that my mother’s arm showed off like a badge of courage, but it never appeared for me. Then when the oral polio vaccine was developed, I remember lining up in the gym at North Garnerville Elementary School in New York to get my first dose on a sugar cube. Yum. So yes, I’m pro-vaccine. I also generally get the flu vaccine every year. I even got a shot last year, although for some peculiar reason, influenza vanished last winter while COVID was enjoying its greatest reign of terror. And naturally, my three children have all been vaccinated against the usual childhood diseases and taken whatever was recommended to keep them safe.

But one thing I never thought of doing was forcing my neighbors to get vaccinated against the flu. Did you know that influenza kills as many as 50,000 Americans a year? That’s approaching the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the entire length of the Vietnam War. On average, flu kills as many Americans every year as car crashes. Yet did anyone — even St. Anthony Fauci — ever dare to suggest that vaccination for flu should be mandatory because it would save lives? Hell, no, and even though many vaccinations are required of school children for good reasons, we also have allowed religious and medical exemptions for families that needed them. Because we aren’t supposed to be a nation of slaves, but a nation of citizens. If someone had a personal reason why they rejected vaccines, we didn’t put them through an inquisition or try to burn them at the stake of public opinion. This was America — land of the free.

I also never thought of celebrating when a person who opted not to get the flu vaccine died of influenza. But vaccine mandate supporters seem to get giddy when a vaccine refusenik falls ill from COVID and dies on a ventilator or worse. This isn’t science; it’s scientific imperialism — and the CDC centurions are ruthless in their application of power to the masses. Obey or die. So why might a reasonable person decide not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in such a hysterical climate? Maybe because it’s an experimental and untested drug using a technology (mRNA) that has the power to tamper with the very genetic makeup of the cells in my body. Maybe because I’m more worried about herd instinct than herd immunity. Maybe because I’ve heard wonky scientists gloating about the power they wield over everyday Americans.

Maybe because Big Pharma’s getting rich by inventing reasons why you just might need to get a new shot every year. Maybe because I want to decide for myself what’s best for me. Think of it this way. You are afraid of dying of COVID-19. So am I. But that doesn’t mean I am going to die from COVID. In fact, there is what I would characterize as an acceptably small chance I will die of COVID, and I’m 66 years old, right smack in the realm of the supposedly at-risk elderly population. According to data from the CDC reported at RationalGround.com, from Jan. 1, 2020 until Sept. 11, 2021, there were 12,702 U.S. deaths from COVID for my age cohort out of an estimated population of 3,618,069. That’s a death rate of 0.365%.

Meanwhile, 100,449 people my age died during the same period of all causes, suggesting I have about a 12% chance of dying of something this year, a much scarier possibility than dying of COVID-19. Think of it! If I’m going to die this year, I’m 33 times more likely to die of anything else besides COVID. Based on the propaganda we are inundated with every day about the virus, I should be terrified! There are way worse things out there trying to kill me than COVID. But I’m not terrified, not even slightly, because life is always a risk. I can temper my risks by avoiding downhill skiing, ATVs, booze, surfing, and motorsports. Those are my choices, but heaven forbid I should dictate that you have to avoid those activities because they are not 100% safe. Your behavior is none of my business. I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself.

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Wouldn’t he be circling Biden then?

Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? (Turley)

As soon as the conspiracy theory was packaged and delivered the FBI and the media by Sussman, the indictment recounts an exchange between some of those “VIPs”: “… on or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign’s campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter-1.” The campaign lawyer reportedly was Elias, and the “foreign policy advisor” reportedly was Sullivan. Sullivan was quoted in an official campaign press statement as stating that the Alfa Bank allegation “could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.”

In the statement, Sullivan said: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia … This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin.” The U.S. intelligence community ultimately rejected the Alfa Bank conspiracy. It also concluded that the Steele dossier not only relied on a suspected Russian agent but likely was used by Russian intelligence to spread disinformation through the Clinton campaign. Yet, when Sullivan was later questioned by Congress, he went full Sergeant Schultz, claiming he basically did not have a clue about the basis or origins of the Alfa Bank controversy or other campaign-orchestrated scandals.

Sullivan was adept at laying qualifiers upon qualifiers to render statements useless: “broadly speaking, at some point in the summer, and I don’t remember exactly when it was, around the convention, I learned that there was an effort to do some research into the ties between Trump and Russia.” That will make any false statement claim difficult absent direct involvement in the planning of these “campaign efforts.” Sullivan denied knowing that Elias or Sussman were working for the Clinton campaign, despite numerous news articles identifying Elias as the campaign’s general counsel. Sullivan just shrugged and said: “To be honest with you, Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn’t sure who he was representing. I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in this campaign effort.”

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“..other skills that were not required, but beneficial: Experience calming herds of rabid, sleepless passengers, expertise in flying through mysterious, invisible weather events, and the ability to land the plane.”

Southwest Offers Free Flights To Anyone Vaccinated Who Can Fly A Plane (BBee)

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines has announced delays in flights due to strange weather that seems to pass over competitors’ planes, only affecting their own signature blue and orange aircraft. The airline has stated these delays have no connection to their pilots protesting vaccine mandates. The spokesperson then announced a new Southwest Airlines incentive program for potential passengers: All flights, domestic or international, are free to any passenger who is vaccinated and can also fly a plane.


“The requirements to take advantage of these incredible savings are simple,” said Southwest CEO Bob Southwest to a crowd of customers who have been stuck at the airport all weekend and were frothing at the mouth in anger. “Show us proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and promise us you know how fly commercial airliners, and your flight is on us.” The CEO then mentioned other skills that were not required, but beneficial: Experience calming herds of rabid, sleepless passengers, expertise in flying through mysterious, invisible weather events, and the ability to land the plane.

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Oct 012021
 
 October 1, 2021  Posted by at 8:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


M. C. Escher Development II 1939

 

Boosters Aren’t Effective Because They Target Viruses Previous Identity (DCP)
The Impact Of Covid Vaccination On Alpha And Delta Variant Transmission (Mxiv)
It’s A MYSTERY! -The Hell It Is (Denninger)
Berejiklian Resigns As New South Wales Premier (Sky)
NSW Threatens Jail Time For Unvaccinated Who Try to Enter Businesses (SN)
Los Angeles Moves Toward Barring The Unvaccinated From Most Businesses (R.)
Majority Of Americans Think Those Refusing Vaccine Should Not Lose Job (JTN)
‘Build Back Better’ Act Proposes To Increase Unvaxx Fines Ten Fold (SN)
Progressive Democrats Derail Pelosi’s Planned Vote On Infrastructure Bill (JTN)
Durham Issues Fresh Round Of Subpoenas (CNN)
The News is America’s New Religion (Taibbi)
Julian Assange Supporters Write To Scott Morrison Over Reported CIA Plot (Abc.au)

 

 

Rand Paul

 

 

 

 

Land of the free

 

 

“..Iceland, where 77% are vaccinated but cases are now 677 per-cent higher than a year ago. Norway is 66% vaccinated and cases are up 1.067 per-cent.”

Boosters Aren’t Effective Because They Target Viruses Previous Identity (DCP)

Dr. Ryan Cole, a pathologist and a Mayo Clinic-trained medical expert said the so-called “vaccines” against COVID-19 aren’t really effective because they are made to address the virus as it previously was, not as it is now. “It’s because the coronavirus mutates,” Dr. Cole said when he was interviewed on the Steve Deace Blaze TV show online. Dr. Cole has dealt with thousands of COVID cases in recent months. Deace posed questions about the extremely inconsistent results from around the globe. For example, in Israel, 80% of adults are vaccinated, yet year-to-year cases are up 130% and deaths are up 56%. And in Iceland, where 77% are vaccinated but cases are now 677 per-cent higher than a year ago. Norway is 66% vaccinated and cases are up 1.067 per-cent. But in Malta, cases are down 10% from a year ago.

Cole explained that the inconsistencies and randomness come because the vaccine really isn’t a vaccine; it’s more of a “therapy.” Dr. Cole added, “A true vaccine would allow one to be immune. We’re not seeing that.” “What would be good is to implement are the drugs that shall not be named, as prevention protocols,” Cole explained. Deace then commented, “The government and its media allies have for more than a year now tried to suppress access to and information about products like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine which have been shown to reduce the impact COVID-19. Dr. Cole responded, “With the existing programs to withhold treatments for COVID, and push ‘vaccines,’ both the vaccinated and unvaccinated get sick.” “Early treatments save lives in both of those groups,” he added.

Dr. Cole further explained, “The viral mutations, however, prevent any developed vaccine from being fully effective, because it was made to address a previous rendition of the bug.” “What we have done is obviously made a shot that was partially effective, but these boosters are the wrong protection for the wrong virus,” Cole added.

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3 months. 12 weeks. Until your next shot.

The Impact Of Covid Vaccination On Alpha And Delta Variant Transmission (Mxiv)

Background Pre-Delta, vaccination reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from individuals infected despite vaccination, potentially via reducing viral loads. While vaccination still lowers the risk of infection, similar viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals infected with Delta question how much vaccination prevents onward transmission.

Methods We performed a retrospective observational cohort study of contacts of SARS-CoV-2-infected index cases using contact testing data from England. We used multivariable logistic regression to investigate the impact of index case and contact vaccination on transmission, and how this varies with Alpha and Delta variants (classified using S-gene detection/calendar trends) and time since second vaccination. Results 51,798/139,164(37.2%) contacts tested were PCR-positive. Two doses of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 vaccines in Alpha variant index cases independently reduced PCR-positivity in contacts (aOR, adjusted odds ratio vs. unvaccinated=0.18[95%CI 0.12-0.29] and 0.37[0.22-0.63] respectively).

The Delta variant attenuated vaccine-associated reductions in transmission: two BNT162b2 doses reduced Delta transmission (aOR=0.35[0.26-0.48]), more than ChAdOx1 (aOR=0.64[0.57-0.72]; heterogeneity p<0.001). Variation in viral load (Ct values) explained only a modest proportion of vaccine-associated transmission reductions. Transmission reductions declined over time since second vaccination, for Delta reaching similar levels to unvaccinated individuals by 12 weeks for ChAdOx1 and attenuating substantially for BNT162b2. Protection from vaccination in contacts also declined in the 3 months after second vaccination.

Conclusions Vaccination reduces transmission of Delta, but by less than the Alpha variant. The impact of vaccination decreased over time. Factors other than PCR-measured viral load are important in vaccine-associated transmission reductions. Booster vaccinations may help control transmission together with preventing infections.

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“Clotshot indeed.”

It’s A MYSTERY! -The Hell It Is (Denninger)

“During the summer there was a 25 per cent rise in the number of people rushed to the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank with partially blocked arteries cutting blood supply to the heart.”

C’mon jackasses — a 25% increase in one year? You know good and damn well that’s not environmental nor is it due to people’s lifestyles. Yes, lifestyle causes this in many cases but it takes decades to get you due to your lifestyle, not months or a year. What did we change in the subject population less than a year ago, and since this is now happening what leads you to believe it is a one-off?

Oh, this is largely in older people too. Which is exactly who the US Government, anyway, would like to see take the dirt nap since that cuts down Medicare expenses and, to the extent they wind up in nursing homes later, Medicaid expenses too if they have no money. Congratulations on increasing your odds of pulling the short straw — by a lot. Oh, and how many people have an occlusive heart attack at 42? Not many. This guy did — here in the US. DVT, heart attack and a PE at 42? Uh huh. You’re damned lucky you’re not dead and you and I both know damned well why it happened too. Clotshot indeed.

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Some things you can’t make up. Gladys Berejiklian is possibly the worst face of all lockdowns. She resigns because of a corruption investigation. What corruption? I kid you not: She’s been accused of taking tens of millions from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Berejiklian Resigns As New South Wales Premier (Sky)

Gladys Berejiklian has resigned as premier of New South Wales after it was revealed she is under investigation from ICAC. She will also step down as the member for Willoughby, which will trigger a by-election. “I have made it clear on numerous occasions that if any of my ministers were the subject of allegations being investigated by an integrity agency or law enforcement, then he or she should stand aside during the course of the investigation until their name was cleared,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The reason for my stance was not to have made any presumptions, as to their conduct, but rather to maintain the integrity of the public office which has held, which that person is held whilst an investigation was completed.


“That same standard must always apply to me also as the premier, however standing aside is not an option for me as the premier of New South Wales as the people of this state need certainty as to who the leader is during the challenging times of the pandemic. “I cannot predict how long it will take the ICAC to complete this investigation, let alone deliver a report in circumstances where I was first called to give evidence in a public hearing nearly 12 months ago. “Therefore, it pains me to announce that I have no option but to resign from the Office of Premier, my resignation will take effect as soon as the New South Wales Liberal Party can elect a new parliamentary leader in order to allow the new leader and government, a fresh start.”

Clive Palmer

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Yeah, same state, same woman.

NSW Threatens Jail Time For Unvaccinated Who Try to Enter Businesses (SN)

Authorities in New South Wales are threatening to jail Australians who don’t show a COVID-19 vaccination pass when they enter businesses. Yes, really. NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello threatened people who he described as “fraudsters” with arrest if they try to enter premises with “fake vaccine passports” “If people want to do the wrong thing, if they get found out, as I said, it could be jail time there,” said Dominello. According to the report, people who also try to enter without showing anything will also be subject to arrest.


“Mr Dominello reiterated that those who refuse to show their vaccine status when entering shops, restaurants and other venues should be reported to the police,” reports News.com.au. Enforcing such a system may be problematic however, as the Police Commissioner of New South Wales recently asserted that his officers wouldn’t be checking medical papers. “The role of police in terms of vaccine passports, we will not be walking through restaurants, cafes and pubs checking if people are double vaccinated,” said Mick Fuller. We now face a two tier society where the unvaccinated are not only brazenly discriminated against, but actually thrown in prison if they try to engage in basic commerce or lifestyle activities.

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People are planning to leave LA in droves. Businesses will follow.

Los Angeles Moves Toward Barring The Unvaccinated From Most Businesses (R.)

Los Angeles officials on Wednesday signaled they would vote next week to prohibit unvaccinated people from entering most businesses in the United States’ second-largest city, one of the nation’s most severe crackdowns so far of the COVID-19 pandemic. All but one of the City Council members present on Wednesday said they supported the proposed “emergency” ordinance, which would require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, shopping centers, gyms and other indoor spaces. “I am sick and tired of yahoos going into Trader Joe’s (grocery store) refusing to wear a mask,” City Council member Paul Kerkorian said in angry remarks. “I am fed up with people who want to make this into such a politicized issue they have lost all semblance of civility in our society.”


If the proposal is approved next week, as expected, Los Angeles would join San Francisco and New York among major U.S. cities requiring proof of vaccination for indoor businesses. The new rule would take effect in November. Political leaders across the United States, led by Democratic President Joe Biden, have ratcheted up pressure on the unvaccinated in recent weeks. Laws requiring proof of vaccinations are deeply controversial in the United States, with many Americans criticizing them as unconstitutional and authoritarian. A majority of the Los Angeles City Council was prepared to vote in favor of the proof-of-vaccine measure on Wednesday. They were frustrated in that effort by council member Joe Buscaino, who, by withholding his vote, stood in the way of a so-called “unanimous consent.” Buscaino said the vaccine mandate could not be enforced, citing a report by the city’s Department of Building and Safety that it was not equipped to take on such a law enforcement role.

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Impossible to even imagine a year ago, But here we are.

“..83.5% of Republican voters don’t want the unvaccinated to lose their jobs while 47.9% of Democrats feel the same way..”

Majority Of Americans Think Those Refusing Vaccine Should Not Lose Job (JTN)

New polling on President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate shows the majority of Americans do not think unvaccinated workers should lose their jobs. Convention of States Action released the poll Wednesday, which reports that 65% of surveyed voters “do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.” The poll also found 22.2% believe those who refuse the mandate should lose their job, while 12.8% aren’t sure. The data comes as health care workers around the country have lost their jobs for refusing the vaccine, causing staffing problems in some hospitals. Under Biden’s rule, millions of more workers could be in the same position.

Feelings on the mandate differed significantly based on political affiliation. According to the poll, “63.6% of Independent voters do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine, while 15.5% believe they should, and 20.9% aren’t sure.” Those independents tend to be key swing voters targeted by both parties in election years. The poll found 83.5% of Republican voters don’t want the unvaccinated to lose their jobs while 47.9% of Democrats feel the same way. The mandate in question requires all federal employees and government contractors to be vaccinated. It also requires all businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or test them weekly, among other new rules and guidelines released by the Biden administration earlier this month.

“This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage,” the White House said when announcing the mandate. Convention of States Action partnered with The Trafalgar Group to conduct the survey Sept. 17th through Sept. 19th. They queried 1,000 likely 2022 election voters. Biden already faces lawsuits over the requirement, and more than two dozen Republican governors have made clear their opposition to the vaccine mandate. The legal challenges and nationwide split on the federal order have set up a likely legal showdown that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A different poll from the same group released earlier this month found that Americans support the Republican governors who oppose the mandate. The poll reported that 58.6% of those surveyed “do not believe President Biden has the constitutional authority to force private businesses to require vaccine mandates for employees.”

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“..any business that refuses to mandate COVID vaccination will face financial ruin…”

‘Build Back Better’ Act Proposes To Increase Unvaxx Fines Ten Fold (SN)

Joe Biden’s so called “Build Back Better’ Act has included COVID as an occupational hazard, and proposes to increase fines for non-compliant companies by TEN TIMES, meaning they could face punishments of $700,000 per violation for employees who are not vaccinated. The Daily Mail reports that fines for “willful and repeated violation” of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) will increase from $70,000 for each violation to $700,000 under the $3.5 trillion spending legislation. The report also notes that serious violations will go up from $7,000 to $70,000, while repeated violations will mean fines of no less than $50,000 per violation, increased from $5,000.


Any business that does not address and correct the violation within an allocated time period will then be fined $70,000 PER DAY, up from $7,000. In other words, any business that refuses to mandate COVID vaccination will face financial ruin. Biden has decreed that any company with over 100 employees will be subjected to the mandate. As we have previously noted, around half of Americans are opposed to the mandate, with almost 60 per cent saying they do not believe Biden has the constitutional authority to enforce vaccine mandates. Biden’s commerce Secretary has claimed that ‘no one is being forced’ to take the vaccines, and that “There’s always been a choice” for workers to stay at home.

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Tastes like a game.

Progressive Democrats Derail Pelosi’s Planned Vote On Infrastructure Bill (JTN)

Progressive Democrats derailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned vote on the Biden-backed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday. Moderate House Democrats had pushed for a vote on the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill as opposed to waiting for the completion of the Democrats’ final filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill. To pass the framework in August for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, Pelosi negotiated with moderate Democrats and had agreed to hold a vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill by Sept. 27. As of Thursday morning, Pelosi was not backing down from holding a vote on that bill, but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said later in the day that he was not confident the bill would pass alone.

Meanwhile, on the Senate side, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin reiterated he would not vote for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal and tartly rejected its level of spending on new public benefit programs as “fiscal insanity.” Manchin indicated that he would support some of the tax reform items in the bill. Ahead of the scheduled House vote on the infrastructure bill, many progressives had said they were ready to vote against it if a final $3.5 trillion filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill wasn’t voted on first. House Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal said recently that progressives had enough votes to sink the infrastructure bill. This scenario played out on Thursday evening when the vote was delayed, prompting Pelosi to send out a “Dear Colleague” letter indicating that she was pressing the pause button on the infrastructure bill vote.

“It has been a day of progress in fulfilling the President’s vision to Build Back Better,” Pelosi wrote. “Thanks to so many members and staff, the work is being done. Discussions continue with the House, Senate and White House to reach a bicameral framework agreement to Build Back Better through a reconciliation bill. Many thanks to members of our caucus for your participation and patience over the past few days. The bipartisan infrastructure bill has already had its rule passed and its debate has concluded. All of this momentum brings us closer to shaping the reconciliation bill in a manner that will pass the House and Senate.”

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CNN getting worried about Durham?

Durham Issues Fresh Round Of Subpoenas (CNN)

Special Counsel John Durham has issued a new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, an indication that Durham could be trying to build a broader criminal case, according to people briefed on the matter. So far, Durham’s two-year probe into the FBI’s Russia investigation hasn’t brought about the cases Republicans has hoped it would. The grand jury subpoenas for documents came earlier this month after Durham charged Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI in a September 2016 meeting. During that meeting, Sussmann handed over data purporting to show links between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. That tip became part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but the FBI ultimately couldn’t find evidence of a link.

In seeking additional documents from Sussmann’s former law firm, Perkins Coie, investigators from the special counsel’s office appear to be sharpening their focus on the Democratic political machinery during the 2016 campaign and efforts to tie Trump to Russia. Perkins Coie’s clients in 2016 included the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The law firm also hired on the campaign’s behalf a research company that commissioned the dossier from ex-British spy Christopher Steele that alleged that Trump was compromised by Russia. Durham has already accessed reams of the law firm’s records, such as billing records, meeting calendars and a log of documents that the firm protects under attorney-client privilege. Some of the newly sought-after documents have been guarded so far by attorney-client privilege.

Durham’s new subpoenas could lead to a court fight over privileged information and draw more about the Clinton campaign into the open. While working for Perkins Coie, Sussmann also represented Rodney Joffe, a cybersecurity expert referred to in Durham’s indictment as “Tech Executive-1.” In 2016, Joffe, who has not been previously identified, worked with researchers to collect internet data about the Trump Organization that Sussmann took to the FBI. Durham’s continued use of the federal grand jury in Washington, DC, signals that he could be interested in adding to Sussmann’s charges or bringing cases against additional defendants. Still, more than two years after being commissioned by then Attorney General William Barr to investigate whether federal authorities improperly targeted the Trump campaign, Durham has little to show for his efforts.

His special counsel probe, which has lasted longer than Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, has so far brought only two lying charges against little-known figures, including the case against Sussmann, who has pleaded not guilty. The results have underwhelmed Trump supporters who had hoped former top FBI and intelligence officials would be prosecuted for “spying” on Trump and his campaign. Already the scope of Durham’s probe has narrowed after Barr announced last year that investigators had found no wrongdoing by the CIA. Yet Durham has continued his investigation, largely in secrecy, working out of a non-descript office building near trendy Washington’s Union Market.

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Feels a bit stale, Matt.

The News is America’s New Religion (Taibbi)

News in America used to be fun to talk about, fun to joke about, interesting to think about. Now it’s an interminable bummer, because the press business has taken on characteristics of that other institution where talking, joking, and thinking aren’t allowed: church. We have two denominations, both as fact-averse as real churches, as is shown in polls about, say, pandemic attitudes, where Americans across the board consistently show they know less than they think. Surveys found a third of Republicans think the asymptomatic don’t transmit Covid-19, or that the disease kills fewer people than the flu or car crashes. But Democrats also test out atrociously, with 41% thinking Covid-19 patients end up hospitalized over half the time — the real number is 1%-5% — while also wildly overestimating dangers to children, the percentage of Covid deaths under the age of 65, the efficacy of masks, and other issues.

This is the result of narrative-driven coverage that focuses huge amounts of resources on the wrongness of the rival faith. Blue audiences love stories about the deathbed recantations of red-state Covid deniers, some of which are real, some more dubious. A typical Fox story, meanwhile, might involve a woman who passed out and crashed into a telephone pole while wearing a mask alone in her car. Tales of each other’s stupidity are the new national religion, and especially among erstwhile liberals, we take them more seriously than any religion has been taken in the smart set in a long, long time.

In the eighties we made celebrities out of televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, but none were believable as religious authorities. They were too interesting: they dressed like Vegas club acts, humped everything that moved, and had the enormous balls to stare at cameras and ask for money so the minister and his wife could be driving the right fully-loaded Caddy when Christ returned. By the Reagan years no one believed in miracles or divine retribution anyway, not even Catholics, whose priests had all read Nietzsche and would quietly concede the church’s whole act was a well-meaning metaphor, if cornered by an adult. (Their rap to kids was obviously different; insert your own joke here).

By the time Trump arrived, there was only one route left for media companies, who’d lost ad revenue to Internet platforms, to make money: putting content behind a paywall. Essentially, news companies passed a hat and asked for donations, just like churches. Also like churches, they began to sell belief instead of fact. They turned viewers and readers into congregationalists, people who’d be less interested in news than calls to spiritual battle. Fox had already proven this revenue model could work. In the Trump years, led by the New York Times — which lost other forms of income but went from 1.2 million digital subscribers in 2016 to 7.5 million in 2020 — the rest of the commercial media followed suit.

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I hope they don’t expect an honest answer.

Julian Assange Supporters Write To Scott Morrison Over Reported CIA Plot (Abc.au)

A group of prominent Australians have written to the Prime Minister, asking what the government knew about an alleged CIA plot to kill or kidnap WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, the ABC can reveal. The members of the group, who all visited Assange in London, have also demanded the government reveal whether they were caught up in the US plot and if their lives, too, were ever at risk. The group of 21 lawyers, journalists, academics, and activists wrote to Scott Morrison after revelations in the US media this week the CIA had contemplated kidnapping or assassinating Assange and others in 2017 while the WikiLeaks founder was living in Ecuador’s London embassy.

One of the letter’s signatories, barrister Julian Burnside, who has been negotiating with Canberra to have Assange returned to Australia since 2012, said the new allegations of a planned assassination were of concern. “It’s one thing [for the government] to ignore an Australian overseas who’s in difficulty,” Mr Burnside said. “It’s altogether another to ignore an Australian overseas who may be murdered by another government, a government that is ostensibly an ally.” Another of the signatories, Melbourne lawyer Lizzie O’Shea, said: “Recent events suggest that we’re in a closer relationship with the US than ever before.” “I would like to think that doesn’t come at the expense of our citizens’ rights, and this [letter] is one test of whether that’s true.”

The letter is signed by prominent Australians including Jennifer Robinson, Scott Ludlam, Mary Kostakidis and Kathy Lette. All of them have visited Assange at one time or another. All are concerned they may have been caught up in US intelligence operations. “We wish to know what surveillance or monitoring we have been subjected to by the intelligence agencies of our allies, the United Kingdom and United States,” the letter, sent yesterday afternoon, states. “Were any of us placed on speculative kill lists? “We also believe we have a right to know whether the Australian government was informed or consented to our communications and movements being tracked.”

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

 

Sep 162021
 


Pablo Picasso In “Le Lapin Agile” or harlequin with a glass 1905

 

The Spike Will Not Be Found In The Blood. It Travels “Incognito” (Chesnut)
Are Booster Shots Increasing Covid Spread And Covid Deaths? (Gato Malo)
CDC Now Lists Vaccinated Deaths as Unvaccinated (Mercola)
So You’d Like To NOT Have Society Collapse? (Denninger)
39% of Australians Unable To Perform Daily Activities After Vaccine (TE)
Mask Mandates And Vaccine Passports Are A Performance (Stuart Waiton)
91% Of China’s Youth Aged 12-17 Are Fully Vaccinated Against Covid (RT)
Are You Kidding Me, Pfizer, Volume 1 Gazillion (Berenson)
A Slog Vaxicide Special (Ward)
France Leads The Way In Holding Covid Incompetents To Account (RT)
33 Districts In Uttar Pradesh Are Now Covid-free (HT)
EU Red Tape Prevents Russia From Boosting Gas Supplies To Europe – Lavrov (RT)
US ‘Lost Focus’ In War On Terror – Oliver Stone (RT)
Durham Reportedly Seeking Indictment Against Clinton Campaign Lawyer (JTN)

 

 

Looking worse, fast. I’m starting to think you will need ivermectin -and/or HCQ- to fight off the vaccine. Preferably, don’t get vaccinated, but if you have been, get ivermectin. And whatever you do, stay away from booster shots.

“We are very certain about this, the vaccine is directly killing individuals”.

“The growing consensus among vaccination researchers is that exposure to 5-8 of these mRNA jabs over a relatively brief period of time will – dependent on the underlying health of the individual – result in death.”

 

 

McCullough NZ the vaccine is directly killing individuals

 

 

Thread by @Parsifaler (Walter Chesnut). Yikes.

The Spike Will Not Be Found In The Blood. It Travels “Incognito” (Chesnut)

The Autoimmune Mechanism. THE SPIKE WILL NOT BE FOUND IN THE BLOOD. IT IS TRAVELLING “INCOGNITO” INTRACELLULARLY. WE KNEW IT ENTERED CELLS VIA ENDOCYTOSIS IN 2008! Yesterday I observed that every cell the Spike Protein invades seems to cause the body to develop autoimmunity against it. I believe I have discovered the mechanism. It is a very brief and straightforward mechanism. Most likely many spikes do NOT stay on the cell surface, once they are expressed via spike protein therapied. The Spike is proven to be brought into the cell by Endocytosis. The spike protein is internalized into cells rapidly and is detected in cells within 5 mi, a hallmark of endocytosis. The amount of spike protein in cells continues to increase for up to 30 min. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein enters cells via endocytosis.

Once it is in the cell, its signaling damages mitochondria. The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2. This binding disrupted ACE2’s molecular signaling to mitochondria (organelles that generate energy for cells), causing the mitochondria to become damaged and fragmented. Once the mitochondria are damaged, this then activates the autoimmune response of the body. The accumulation of defective mitochondria led to overproduction of an inflammatory protein called type 1 interferon.

The findings suggest that failed quality control of mitochondria may cause Sjogren’s, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases through production of interferon. The Spike Protein then proceeds to travel from cell to cell via EXTRACELLULAR VESICLES. This means, of course, they will NOT BE FOUND IN THE BLOOD. We would not have been aware all this time. As the S1 unit has been found in monocytes 15 months post infection, it may be traveling intracellularly, executing a “Sherman’s March Through Georgia” on the mitochondria, resulting in multisystemic autoimmunity. Again, we have known the spike enters cells via endocytosis since 2008.

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“..we are seeing such a strong surge in deaths from a delta variant that looks to have a much lower CFR than prior variants..”

Are Booster Shots Increasing Covid Spread And Covid Deaths? (Gato Malo)

israel has been playing an interesting role as a bit of a canary in the coal mine. They have been pushing vaccines, vaccine passports, and now boosters harder than just about anyplace else on earth. They also make a good lab as they report solid (by covid standards) data and occupy only one regional climate zone so we do not need to adjust for heterogeneous seasonal surges within the aggregate (as we do in the US). And one thing is becoming very clear: whatever they are doing is not working and even their health ministers are having to admit this. This dip was (as i expected) driven by a drop in testing and reporting due to rosh hashanah (and will likely dip again late this week for yom kippur) but next week, we should be starting to get clearer data again.

With over 30% of the total population now having had a booster shot since the commencement of that program in earnest on august 1st, we should be able to get a sense of efficacy. I ran the series of booster uptake and plotted it vs deaths per day. What i saw looked like cause for concern and appears to validate calls from the departing FDA vaccine experts to get a good, hard look at this data before doing anything aggressive. Boosters began to rise and by the time they hit even 0.5%, deaths were starting to rise with them. the two move in near perfect lockstep. Clearly, correlation is not proof of causality, but this is an awful lot of signal to ignore out of hand especially given our strong reasons to presume causal linkage. (that said, the alignment with seasonal surge poses difficulties in separating signal source)


It’s further worrying that even with a 67% vaccination rate at the beginning of this rise and a significant portion of the population having already had exposure to covid and cohorts of the highest risk already having been depleted in past waves, that we are seeing such a strong surge in deaths from a delta variant that looks to have a much lower CFR than prior variants. (0.4% vs 1.1% per UK variants of concern data) It has barely attenuated at all (and it’s not clear we’ve reached highs. Consider the “false flat” from last year and how much later this surge was this year. We could be at the half way mark. This will bear watching.)

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“..if you have received a COVID injection, the CDC’s guidelines call for your PCR test to be run at a CT of 28 or less. If you are unvaccinated, your PCR test is to be run at a CT of 40..”

CDC Now Lists Vaccinated Deaths as Unvaccinated (Mercola)

According to the CDC,6 you’re not counted as fully vaccinated until a full 14 days have passed since your second injection in the case of Pfizer or Moderna, or 14 days after your first dose of Janssen. This is how the CDC defines a vaccine breakthrough case: “… a vaccine breakthrough infection is defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.” In other words, if you’ve received one dose of Pfizer or Moderna and develop symptomatic COVID-19, get admitted to the hospital and/or die from COVID, you’re counted as an unvaccinated case. If you’ve received two doses and get ill within 14 days, you’re still counted as an unvaccinated case.

The problem with this is that over 80% of hospitalizations and deaths appear to be occurring among those who have received the jabs, but this reality is hidden by the way cases are defined and counted. A really clever and common strategy of the CDC during the pandemic has been to change the definitions and goalposts so it supports their nefarious narrative. For example, the CDC has quietly changed the definition of “vaccine,” apparently in an attempt to validate calling the COVID mRNA gene therapies vaccines. In an August 26, 2021, archived version7 of vaccine, the CDC defines it as a “product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.”

But a few days later, a new definition appeared on the CDC’s website,8 which now says a vaccine is a “preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.” The differences in the definitions are subtle but distinct: The first one defined a vaccine as something that will “produce immunity.” But, since the COVID-19 vaccines are not designed to stop infection but, rather, to only lessen the degree of infection, it becomes obvious that the new definition was created to cover the COVID vaccines. It’s not just the CDC’s definition of a breakthrough case that skews the data. Even more egregious and illogical is the fact that the CDC even has two different sets of testing guidelines — one for vaccinated patients and another for the unvaccinated.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC has recommended a PCR test cycle threshold (CT) of 40.9 This flies in the face of scientific consensus, which has long been that a CT over 35 will produce 97% false positives, essentially rendering the test useless. In mid-May 2021, the CDC finally lowered its recommended CT count, but only for patients who have received one or more COVID shots. So, if you have received a COVID injection, the CDC’s guidelines call for your PCR test to be run at a CT of 28 or less. If you are unvaccinated, your PCR test is to be run at a CT of 40, which grossly overestimates the true prevalence of infection. The end result is that unvaccinated individuals who get tested are FAR more prone to get false positives, while those who have received the jab are more likely to get an accurate diagnosis of infection.

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“I give this right up into the Christmas season when Biden’s mandate allegedly will go into effect before it totally screws the economy.”

So You’d Like To NOT Have Society Collapse? (Denninger)

Go ahead Governors, let businesses mandate jabs and masks. Let Biden get away with his bull****. Don’t put in place E/Os and don’t call back the legislature into special session right here and now, today, and put a conclusive stop to all of it. I give this right up into the Christmas season when Biden’s mandate allegedly will go into effect before it totally screws the economy. With that, down goes the market, commercial real estate detonates (what happens when that Lowes closes due to lack of staff and so do another couple of nice big-box stores for the same reason down the street — everywhere at once!) and with it the debt markets.

There are already places where WalMarts are being forced to close to restock shelves as they’re so short of people and can’t hire more, having put in place employee mandates which enough prospective and current employees are responding to with “**** that!” that the only option remaining to them is to lock the doors and repurpose the few people they do have. This area is tourist-heavy and now, with schools allegedly back open, the traffic shifts — down a bit now, down more as we go into the winter. That local places still can’t manage to hire tells the tale — the people are tired of the abuse and, for the offered wage, they won’t apply or work. Give someone 18 months to figure out how to give you the finger and many will do exactly that.

On top of this you have all of those who complied with said mandates and now are out sick, many with the coof which, the company and the government assured us all would not happen if you just rolled up your sleeve. Of course they lied and still are, trying to claim it’s “rare” that people get materially ill after being vaccinated against Covid. That’s just the latest line of bull**** and, given the sick rate among those who have been jabbed it’s obvious if you pay a single bit of attention. Good luck Biden along with governors and local officials — you’re going to need it, and were I you in this market today I’d be rather careful if you’re not ok with a 201k — which is what you might have left of your 401k as we approach Christmas.

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It gets worse fast.

39% of Australians Unable To Perform Daily Activities After Vaccine (TE)

The National Centre for Immunisation and Research (NCIRS) in Australia are currently leading a collaboration with the Australia’s Government known as AusVaxSafety. The group has been conducting active vaccine surveillance of the Covid-19 vaccines in use in Australia to “ensure their ongoing safety”. Up to the 16th August 2021 over 1.4 million Austalians had partipated in the surveillance completing more than 2.4 million safety surveys, outlining their experience following the Covid-19 vaccination and the published results show the following –


Pfizer Vaccine – 1st DoseFollowing the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine 1,007,479 people responded to an SMS/email about their health in the three days after having the jab. The results show that 37.2% reported having an adverse reaction, with 374,832 reporting at least one adverse event. 0.5% of participants also reported seeing a doctor or attending hospital in the three days following vaccination due to an adverse reaction. This equates to 5,037 people. Whilst 6.7% of participants reported missing work, study or routine duties for a short period – meaning 67,501 people were left unable to perform daily activities following their first dose of the Pfizer mRNA Covid-19 injection.

Pfizer Vaccine – 2nd Dose Following the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine 770,864 people responded to an SMS/email about their health in the three days after having the jab. The results show that 56.4% reported having an adverse reaction, a significant increase on the percentage of people who reported having an adverse reaction after having their first dose of the Pfizer jab. 1.3% of participants also reported seeing a doctor or attending hospital in the three days following vaccination due to an adverse reaction. This equates to 10,021 people – double the number of people who reported seeking medical attention after having the first dose despite there being 237,000 less particants in the 2nd dose survey. However, a huge 21.2% of participants were left unable to perform daily activities, that’s 163,423 people who reported missing work, study or routine duties.

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Dr Stuart Waiton is a senior lecturer in sociology and criminology at Abertay University. He is a columnist for the Glasgow Herald, author of three books, and is currently writing a book entitled The Criminalisation of Everything.

Mask Mandates And Vaccine Passports Are A Performance (Stuart Waiton)

The illiberal actions of Western nations over Covid are as much about a worrying shift in politics as it is about ‘the science’. Some very basic freedoms that we have traditionally enjoyed are in grave danger. In America, Joe Biden is putting pressure on workers to get the vaccine. Without proof that you do not have Covid, or evidence of vaccination, you will no longer be able to enter a workplace that has more than 100 staff. This policy will affect two-thirds of the workforce – around 100 million people. While many liberals in America have understandably reacted with outrage at changes to abortion regulations in places such as Texas, the idea of bodily autonomy as a basic human right, a right that should apply to vaccinations, barely gets a mention.

In France, vaccine passports have been introduced in cultural and leisure venues – cinemas and museums, as well as bars, restaurants, cafés, trains… Basically anywhere and everywhere you go in that country, you will be expected to show your papers. In England, thus far, vaccine passports have been ruled out. However, in Scotland, the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) have once again shown that it is always prepared to take authoritarian measures one step further than their English counterparts by introducing passports for major venues. Suggesting a puritanical dimension to this policy, not only are outdoor venues of 10,000 people and indoor venues of 500 being targeted, but all “sexual entertainment venues” will need evidence of vaccination.

Despite the fact that 84% of over-18s have had both jabs, the policy in Scotland is being introduced, in part, and arguably in large part, to put pressure on younger people to get a vaccination for a virus that has little or no effect on them.

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Again: Yikes!

91% Of China’s Youth Aged 12-17 Are Fully Vaccinated Against Covid (RT)

Just over 90% of students in China aged 12-17 have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, state media has revealed. Despite the high inoculation rate, the Ministry of Education has urged caution in schools over the virus.
On Wednesday, People’s Daily shared that the two-dose vaccination rate of teachers and students over 18 years old stands at 95%, slightly higher than the rate among younger pupils. Despite the wide vaccine coverage among China’s school children, the Ministry of Education has issued a notice imploring institutes and schools to make Covid prevention and control a top priority.

The statement came after China’s National Health Commission warned that coronavirus infections were circulating at a primary school in Putian, a city home to three million in East China’s Fujian Province. The region has recorded over 150 local cases in five days, prompting some cities in other parts of the country to impose travel warnings before major holidays. A number of cities in Fujian province, such as Quanzhou and Fuzhou, have decided to suspend primary schools and kindergartens, with others switching classes to online learning.

The Chinese government has manufactured and authorized two of its own Covid jabs. While the domestically produced vaccines have been given the green light for administration to children as young as three, authorities have yet to expand the inoculation campaign to the under-12s. Several regions across China started vaccinating its teenagers against Covid in July, including the capital Beijing. Figures from the National Health Commission showed that China has so far managed to administer close to 2.16 billion vaccine doses.

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“..it conducted a single “Phase 1” trial that covered 12 people over 65..”

Are You Kidding Me, Pfizer, Volume 1 Gazillion (Berenson)

The FDA just released its briefing book for Pfizer’s request for a third dose of Comirnaty (or is that BNT162b2? No matter! It’s approved either way, sorta). It is every bit the mess we all expected. Let’s go to the highlights: Pfizer basically hasn’t bothered to test the booster AT ALL in the people actually at risk – it conducted a single “Phase 1” trial that covered 12 people over 65. The main Phase 2/3 booster trial (beware efforts to cover multiple “phases” of drug research at once, you want it bad you get it bad) included no one over 55. No one. As in NONE. Which makes total sense – why test the booster in people who actually need it because they’re at high risk from the ro? Nothing good can come of that. So that’s our trial design. Now safety:

Of the 300 people who received the booster, one had a heart attack two months later. No worries, Pfizer concluded it wasn’t related. Yay! Five percent of recipients had enlarged lymph nodes. How about effectiveness? Well, we don’t have enough data – or any data, really – telling us how well the booster will work. But the FDA made Pfizer go back and review its data from the pivotal clinical trial from last year. Pfizer compared people who received the vaccine with those who received the placebo and THEN the vaccine (the best we can do at this point, since Pfizer blew up the trial by giving placebo subjects the vaccine, double-yay!) Pfizer concluded that your annual risk of getting Covid-19 IF YOU ARE VACCINATED is about 7 percent.

Further: “An additional analysis appears to indicate that incidence of COVID-19 generally increased in each group of study participants with increasing time post-Dose 2 at the start of the analysis period.” Oh. But don’t worry, Uncle Joe already told you you can get your booster on September 20. If it’s good enough for our fearless leader, it should be good enough for the FDA, amirite? SCIENCE!

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“The growing consensus among vaccination researchers is that exposure to 5-8 of these mRNA jabs over a relatively brief period of time will – dependent on the underlying health of the individual – result in death.”

A Slog Vaxicide Special (Ward)

One can observe categorically that medical researchers in Australia, India, France, the US, Germany and Japan are showing why the mRNA Covid “vaccines” tested by Oxford Recovery on dogs killed all the vaccinated animals. The detailed nature of deadly Cytokinic overreaction is closely allied to the study of how ‘autoantibodies’ develop. These little mothers are not always good news. Antibodies are produced by our B cells in two ways: (i) randomly, and (ii) in response to a foreign protein or substance within the body. Initially, one B cell produces one specific kind of antibody. In either case, the B cell is allowed to proliferate or is killed off through a process called clonal deletion. Normally, the immune system is able to recognise and ignore the body’s own healthy proteins, cells, and tissues.

But sometimes, the immune system ceases to recognise one or more of the body’s normal constituents as “self,” leading to production of pathological autoantibodies. When this happens, these psycho antibodies go into a frenzy of destruction. The more the body is exposed to mRNA formulations, the more certain death becomes. That certainty helps to explain the emerging narrative about “booster” shots of “vaccine”. This is Anthony Fauci of the US CDC from a live media interview five days ago: “You know, I think we are going to need boosters. And I think very likely, when we look back on this, the proper complete regimen for good full protection will almost certainly be three shots – the first two that we’ve spoken about and a late third boost several months later.”

For the already vaxxed, that would make five jabs in all….and no doubt, a new strain would miraculously appear to justify a 6th and 7th top-up. The growing consensus among vaccination researchers is that exposure to 5-8 of these mRNA jabs over a relatively brief period of time will – dependent on the underlying health of the individual – result in death. In a bid to head off awkward questions about the efficacy of such drugs, Fauci then resorted to the current default lie: “This is still an outbreak, a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And when you look at the percentage of cases, particularly those that wind up with severe consequences leading to hospitalization, it is overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated.”

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That would be Macron?!

France Leads The Way In Holding Covid Incompetents To Account (RT)

Former French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn faces a possible prison term and heavy fine for “endangering the life of others” in her mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, as France leads the way in making its leaders accountable. Despite the massive failures by governments and public health officials across the globe in dealing with the pandemic, it’s only the dead that really pay any sort of price. Most of the so-called experts simply move on, retire, or fade back into academia or big pharma where many of them came from. Not so in France, where the appetite for accountability has landed former Health Minister Agnès Buzyn in la merde,having just been indicted by the Court of Justice of the Republic – a special court established specifically to hold government ministers accountable for their actions – for “endangering the life of others” through mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has cost the French 115,000 lives. If found guilty, she faces a year in jail and a €15,000 fine.

Buzyn, a former doctor, did not have a good pandemic. She stood on the steps of the Elysee Palace in January last year and foolishly declared, “The risks of the coronavirus spreading to the population are low.” Ooops. But Buzyn is not the only French politician with their neck on the block. Her successor, Health Minister Olivier Véran, is also under investigation, along with former Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe. Surely, this is the sort of ministerial accountability that every democratic nation should be enforcing. Too often, incompetent, bungling, and plainly dishonest politicians escape sanction when they step aside, trying to present their resignation – or sacking – as some kind of noble gesture for which they should be congratulated, not imprisoned.

[..] But what about the rest of the Covid clowns around the world, with their misinformation, backtracking on guidance, exaggeration, underestimation, and sheer, cack-handed incompetence? Right up there is WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who, when meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, was full of praise for China’s containment of the coronavirus. The very least we could expect would be the WHO boss clearing his desk. In the US, Dr Anthony ‘Flip-flop’ Fauci faced his own messaging problems, having initially announced that the pandemic posed a “very, very low risk to the United States,” in January 2020. Since then, there have been more than 40 million reported covid cases in the US and around 652,000 deaths. I hope he likes golf, because Dr Fauci might soon have a lot more time to work on his handicap.

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Ivermectin.

33 Districts In Uttar Pradesh Are Now Covid-free (HT)

There are no active cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in 33 districts of Uttar Pradesh, the state government informed on Friday. About 67 districts have not reported a single new case of the viral infection in the last 24 hours, the government said, noting the steady improvement of the Covid-19 situation in the state. [..] Overall, the state has a total of 199 active cases, while the positivity rate came down to less than 0.01 per cent. The recovery rate, meanwhile, has improved to 98.7 per cent. As per the state’s health bulletin, Uttar Pradesh reported only 11 new Covid-19 cases and zero deaths in the last 24 hours. The fresh cases came out of 2.26 lakh samples that were tested in the last 24 hours.


As of Friday, the state government has conducted 7.42 crore tests, according to the data published by Uttar Pradesh’s health department. On the vaccination front, around 7 crore people in the state have received their first dose of the jab. The vaccination coverage in the state has exceeded 8.47 crores, out of which, 12 lakh people have been inoculated in the last 2 hours. Meanwhile, the overall nationwide tally climbed to 33,174,954 after recording 34,973 cases in the last 24 hours. This was around 19% lower than Thursday when the country had logged 43,263 fresh infections. The death toll stands at 442,009.

India home kit.

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As prices are soaring all over Europe, the EU keeps playing politics. My guess is Merkel will put a stop to that. She does’t want to leave her country in a state of huge unrest.

EU Red Tape Prevents Russia From Boosting Gas Supplies To Europe – Lavrov (RT)

Despite the completion of Nord Stream 2, Europe should not expect the Russian pipeline to start deliveries this year due to bureaucracy within the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Wednesday. “Now the process of obtaining the necessary permits from the German regulator is underway. The process is not fast. The beginning of 2022 has been indicated,” Lavrov told the press. Experts say this could be the reason behind the current surge in gas prices, which have been smashing records for several days now. According to the press secretary of the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), Fita Wolf, Nord Stream 2’s certification may take several months, a prospect which practically forces market participants to raise prices.


To add to the problem, the pipeline’s main adversaries, Ukraine and the United States, have both vowed to complicate the certification procedure. According to Lavrov, there will be many roadblocks before certification is finally granted. “I have no doubt that attempts to attack this gas pipeline will continue,” the Russian foreign minister said. Gas prices in Europe have risen 20% since the start of trading on Wednesday. The price of October futures on the Dutch TTF exchange exceeded $964 per 1,000 cubic meters by 11am GMT, ICE data shows.

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There was ever any focus.

US ‘Lost Focus’ In War On Terror – Oliver Stone (RT)

On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, in a conversation with RT, award-winning director Oliver Stone condemned the US response as rooted in “exaggerated hype to go to war” and a misguided attempt at revenge-seeking. Stone condemned the bloody-minded drive for vengeance that characterized the US’ reaction to the attacks from the outset. “‘We’ve gotta get them for this’ – [but] we didn’t even know who ‘them’ were!” he exclaimed to Going Underground’s Afshin Rattansi on Wednesday, pointing out that it was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, rather than the better-known terrorist bogeyman Osama Bin Laden, who put together the entire plan “in his brain.”

“We lost focus in that moment – we were terrified, horrified, but we didn’t really look at what happened. We should have looked at why. A lot of [the government’s reasoning] was BS. A lot of it was exaggerated hype to go to war by the US and Israel,” Stone explained. Regarding US President Joe Biden’s controversial pullout from Afghanistan, Stone’s was a rare voice of support, insisting he “didn’t think it was a bad withdrawal at all” and that the sense of crisis was inflated by the media. “I appreciate a man who isn’t rushing to judgment like Bush was or Trump would be. A man who thinks about things and is deliberate … Most American presidents would fold – change their minds because of the polls,” which are “always tough on presidents.”

Stone observed that the reasons the terrorists gave for the 9/11 attacks were relatively simple: former president George H.W. Bush’s decision to station US troops on Saudi holy land and the US’ increasingly ‘one-sided’ support for Israel, despite international law. “We should have looked at why [the attacks occurred]. Bush said they envy our freedoms, but that was nonsense. They did it because of two reasons, as Osama stated very clearly,” Stone continued. “Instead of disengaging when the war was over in November, we sent in a huge amount of troops, didn’t understand the landscape, went out again and again on patrols, and, as we did in Vietnam, [the US Army] antagonized people by just being there.”

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Coming too close to Clinton?

Durham Reportedly Seeking Indictment Against Clinton Campaign Lawyer (JTN)

Special counsel John Durham reportedly is seeking a grand jury indictment against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at a Democratic-allied law firm that represented Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. According to the New York Times, the charge is said to be related to an alleged false statement to the FBI about a client’s identity when Sussmann pushed now-debunked claims about secret communications between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Durham “has told the Justice Department that he will ask a grand jury to indict a prominent cybersecurity lawyer on a charge of making a false statement to the FBI,” the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Prior testimony and documents show Sussmann, who worked at Perkins Coie, delivered allegations about the Alfa server to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in fall 2016. Baker has told invetsigators Sussman told him his approach was not on behalf of any client. But Sussmann told Congress he made the approach on behalf of a computer security client. The newspaper said Durham’s team has obtained records showing Sussmann billed work on the Alfa Bank matter to the Clinton campaign, the newspaper said. Sussmann’s lawyers, Sean M. Berkowitz and Michael S. Bosworth, acknowledged Wednesday that they expected him to be indicted, but denied wrongdoing.

“Mr. Sussmann has committed no crime,” they told the Times. “Any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented and an unwarranted deviation from the apolitical and principled way in which the Department of Justice is supposed to do its work. We are confident that if Mr. Sussmann is charged, he will prevail at trial and vindicate his good name. Durham has until the weekend to charge Sussmann because of a five-year statute of limitations, the newspaper said.

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McCullough Delta
https://twitter.com/i/status/1438056517001904130

 

 

 

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

 

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


Paul Klee Dancing Under the Empire of Fear 1938

 

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

 

 


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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Yes, but .. les jeux sont faits.

What IS the Truth About Covid Deaths? (DM)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So many questions … under the carpet.

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

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

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

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

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

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Well, she’s out for now.

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

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

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

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

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No, I’m talking to the father now…

Biden Doesn’t Penalize Saudi Crown Prince (CNN)

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

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

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

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

Smedley Butler

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

Shadowland (Jim Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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…shadow nationalization..

Trapped (CHS)

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

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

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

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

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Ultimate globalization.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Congress And The Slippery Slope Of Censorship (Turley)

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

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

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

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Don’t hold your breath.

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

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


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

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Feb 242021
 


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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

The Vaccine (Dis)Information War (CJ Hopkins)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Censoring Fox News Is An Insanely Stupid Idea (Taibbi)

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

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

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

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

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

House Democrats Are Assaulting Core Press Freedoms (Greenwald)

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

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

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

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

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Twitter is full of tweets that MIGHT contain hacked materials.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Inevitable.

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

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

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

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

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

Why a Durham Report Is Becoming Highly Unlikely (ET)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You’re using the wrong test.

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

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


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

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Lockdown Syndrome.

Japan Appoints “Minister Of Loneliness” (ZH)

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

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

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

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Dec 052020
 


Paul Cézanne Young Italian Woman at a Table c1900

 

Jerusalem Hospital Orders 1.5 Million Doses of Russian COVID Vaccine (Haaretz)
Moderna Says Its Vaccine Provides COVID19 Immunity For At Least 3 Months (NYP)
Intent to Get a COVID19 Vaccine Rises to 60% (Pew)
Nursing Homes Create ‘Perfect Storm’ For COVID Outbreaks (CNBC)
The Jobs Report is a Mess, December Will Be Messier (WS)
The Beltway Left Is Normalizing Corruption And Corporatism (DP)
Joe Biden’s Cabinet Is a Lost Cause for the Left (TNR)
Barr’s Appointment Of Special Counsel Leaves Biden, Dems In A Muddle (Turley)
A Hall of Smoke and Mirrors (Kunstler)
Sidney Powell: Plenty of Time for Trump to Overturn Election Results (NM)
Judge Emmet Sullivan Still Refusing To Dismiss Michael Flynn Case (JTN)
AZ Senate, House Call For Audit Of Dominion Machines In Maricopa County (JTN)
Dutch Taxi Company Is Taking Tesla To Court Over “Defective” Cars (Sifted)
Oliver Stone, America Firster (AC)

 

 

 

 

“There’s a good probability that the vaccine is safe. And there’s a reasonable probability … that it’s also effective.”

Jerusalem Hospital Orders 1.5 Million Doses of Russian COVID Vaccine (Haaretz)

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center has ordered 1.5 million doses of a Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, hospital director Zeev Rotstein said Tuesday. First reported on Army Radio, Rotstein added that the hospital will give the Health Ministry all necessary data about the vaccine this week, with the goal of obtaining a permit to administer it to Israelis. Rotstein, who has clashed repeatedly with the ministry in recent months, is convinced that the fears voiced in the media about the vaccine aren’t well-founded, and that they have more to do with the global struggle between Russia and the United States than with the scientific data. But even if the ministry refuses to approve the vaccine, he said in an interview with Haaretz, “We’ll have something do with it,” because Hadassah also operates overseas.

The Russian vaccine has been in phase three clinical trials since August and has already been given to tens of thousands of people. Hadassah’s branch in Moscow has both given the vaccine to people and monitored them afterward, “and the results and safety we’ve seen have been very good,” Rotstein said. Hadassah’s activities in Moscow are what led the Russian authorities to propose that the hospital seek Israeli approval for the vaccine, he added. If the phase three trials show that the vaccine is both safe and effective, and if the Health Ministry approves its use, the vaccine could be available in Israel in two to three months.

Rotstein stressed that until the phase three trial ends and the data has been analyzed, it’s impossible to know if the vaccine will be effective in preventing the virus. But based on the data so far, he said, “There’s a good probability that the vaccine is safe. And there’s a reasonable probability … that it’s also effective.” Both the development of the Russian vaccine and Russia’s unusual decision to administer it to its own citizens, even before the phase three trials ended, have been widely criticized worldwide. But Rotstein insisted that much of this criticism stems from the American-Russian battle over who will develop a vaccine first.

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Yeah, very convincing.

Moderna Says Its Vaccine Provides COVID19 Immunity For At Least 3 Months (NYP)

Moderna’s vaccine against COVID-19 has been shown to create immunity against the bug for at least three months, the biotech company said. Thirty-four healthy adults who received two doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, were shown to have antibodies for 90 days, according to new findings published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The first dose “produced high levels of binding and neutralizing antibodies that declined slightly over time, as expected, but they remained elevated in all participants 3 months after the booster vaccination,” the study said. The two doses were administered 28 days apart.


The report did not make clear what level of risk people would have after 90 days and whether another shot would be needed. Earlier this week, Moderna asked the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization, saying data shows its vaccine is more than 94 percent effective against coronavirus. On Friday, the Massachusetts-based company said it would be able to produce 500 million doses of the vaccine in 2021. “For 500 million, I am very comfortable we are gonna get there,” chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said at the Nasdaq Investor Conference.

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More confidence? Based on what? Just news stories?

Intent to Get a COVID19 Vaccine Rises to 60% (Pew)

As vaccines for the coronavirus enter review for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the share of Americans who say they plan to get vaccinated has increased as the public has grown more confident that the development process will deliver a safe and effective vaccine. Still, the U.S. public is far from uniform in views about a vaccine. A majority says they would be uncomfortable being among the first to take it, and a sizable minority appear certain to pass on getting vaccinated. Overall, 60% of Americans say they would definitely or probably get a vaccine for the coronavirus, if one were available today, up from 51% who said this in September.

39% say they definitely or probably would not get a coronavirus vaccine, though about half of this group – or 18% of U.S. adults – says it’s possible they would decide to get vaccinated once people start getting a vaccine and more information becomes available. Yet, 21% of U.S. adults do not intend to get vaccinated and are “pretty certain” more information will not change their mind. Public confidence has grown that the research and development process will yield a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19: 75% have at least a fair amount of confidence in the development process today, compared with 65% who said this in September.

These findings come on the heels of preliminary analysis from two separate clinical trials that have produced vaccines that are over 90% effective; the FDA is expected to issue decisions about the emergency authorization of these vaccines in the coming weeks. While public intent to get a vaccine and confidence in the vaccine development process are up, there’s considerable wariness about being among the first to get a vaccine: 62% of the public says they would be uncomfortable doing this. Just 37% would be comfortable.


The toll of the pandemic is starkly illustrated by the 54% of Americans who say they know someone personally who has been hospitalized or died due to the coronavirus. Among Black Americans, 71% know someone who has been hospitalized or died because of COVID-19.

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What is being done about this? Why do we never read about that?

Nursing Homes Create ‘Perfect Storm’ For COVID Outbreaks (CNBC)

The coronavirus death toll at U.S. nursing homes at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic was brutal and unrelenting. The Life Care Center nursing home outside Seattle made international headlines in March after the coronavirus infected residents and staff, resulting in at least 123 cases and dozens of deaths. In New Jersey, public officials discovered 17 bodies piled into a makeshift morgue in a nursing home in April when Covid-19 fatalities overwhelmed the facility. Nursing homes, which house the most vulnerable of society, quickly became ground zero for countless coronavirus outbreaks across the U.S. in the early months of the pandemic. While the outbreak subsided somewhat this fall, long-term care facilities are now seeing their most intense surge in Covid cases since at least the summer.

As new cases break record after record most days, infections at long-term care facilities reached a new weekly high in late November, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project, an organization launched by The Atlantic magazine. More than 46,000 infections at those facilities were recorded in what was the worst week in six months; reliable data only goes back that far. Despite making up just 5.7% of all U.S. Covid cases, nursing home and assisted living facilities residents and staff accounted for 39.3% of the deaths, according to tracking project data. That number is generally considered low since many nursing home deaths tend to get reported without an underlying cause, physicians have said.

Deaths at U.S. nursing homes for the week ended last Thursday topped 3,000 — the highest weekly death toll since June, pushing cumulative fatalities over 100,000, according to the tracking project. “I’ve likened nursing homes to being like a tinderbox. It takes one person, one person, to unknowingly bring the virus into a facility and it could kill several people, make a lot of people sick,” said Dr. Joseph Ouslander, a geriatrician at Florida Atlantic University who works as a clinician in nursing homes. No matter what precautions staff take, it’s going to be difficult to prevent outbreaks in nursing homes, said Ouslander, who is also a professor of integrated medical science. “All those elements of the perfect storm are in place.”

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The Households Survey showed an actual decline of 74,000 working people. 100s of 1000s no longer count as in the labor force.

The Jobs Report is a Mess, December Will Be Messier (WS)

Everyone seems to be baking the highly anticipated potential future vaccines into the economic cake, but what has been happening for weeks is a spike in Covid cases across the US that has already triggered economic restrictions, including various versions of stay-at-home orders in Los Angeles County, San Francisco, and some other Bay Area counties, with restaurants closed for outdoor dining, strict capacity restrictions in retail stores, and many other restrictions. These moves are ahead of the State of California’s new framework for dealing with the spiking infections. Other states and cities have similar programs, either on the front burner or on the back burner. The Covid spike has already crimped economic activity and jobs over the past few weeks and is going to do more severely going forward.

But the jobs report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was based on surveys of “establishments” for the pay period through November 12; and on surveys of households for the week through November 14. So the data we got today largely missed the labor market consequences of the spike in Covid cases. Those consequence are coming in the next employment reports, starting with the report for December. Despite the cut-off dates having kept much of the Covid-impacted jobs data out of the results, the data have actually deteriorated in several aspects, including the number of people with jobs as reported by households, the employment-population rate, and the labor force.

The headline number of 245,000 jobs created came from surveys of establishments (companies, governments, nonprofits, educational institutions, etc.). That survey doesn’t track gig workers. It depicted a lousy recovery. But lousy as it was, it was the more benign part. The survey of households, on the other hand, tracks people who are working full or part time, including gig workers. And households reported that the number of people with jobs ticked down to 149.7 million. This wasn’t a slowdown in growth, but an actual decline of 74,000 working people – the first month-to-month decline since April.

The chart shows both results, from establishments (green) and from households (red) – the biggest part of the difference being gig workers. It’s obvious that even by November 12, before the real impact of the Covid surge, this was no good, in terms of catching up with population growth, or in terms of anything else:

The employment-population ratio, which tracks the number of employed workers against the working-age population (16 years or older) also dipped in November, to 57.3%, a level first seen since in 1972:

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From Bernie campaigner Sirota. He’ll never be left near a Dem campaign again.

The Beltway Left Is Normalizing Corruption And Corporatism (DP)

Last night, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Joe Biden and Kamala Harris a straightforward question: “Who would you point to now as a leading progressive voice in the cabinet?” Harris had no answer, saying only that “we’re not even halfway there” on nominations. Biden touted only his Homeland Security nominee, who previously helped run Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The spectacle was revelatory and honest: A month after the election, Biden’s nominations make clear that the president-elect is most focused on trying to fulfill his promise to donors that nothing fundamentally changes. And yet, that tacit admission may have stunned those who keep hearing from liberal and progressive groups in Washington that, in fact, the left has been notching monumental victories in Biden’s cabinet appointments.

This disconnect between Biden nominating business-friendly corporatists and Beltway liberals effusively celebrating those nominees spotlights the latter groups’ decision to genuflect for access and influence — rather than being brutally honest about the situation. That strategy of appeasement has almost never worked in an America where change has typically come only through opposition, struggle and sacrifice. And yet somehow, prostration remains the dominant strategy among the professional left. Why? In some cases, liberal groups are naively trying to curry favor with an incoming Democratic administration. Others are probably just trying to demonstrate to their supporters and future donors they won’t be completely irrelevant in Biden’s Washington.

Some are just too chickenshit to ever stand up and have any real fight with Democrats — and still others are just auctioning off their principles because the establishment counterrevolution offers better, stable career prospects. The result, though, is the same: What little organized left political infrastructure exists in Washington is largely valorizing or publicly defending swamp creatures who at minimum deserve a loyal opposition. The good work being done by a small handful of under-resourced groups to mount a real opposition is getting trampled by a culture of obsequiousness. This culture of acquiescence gives swamp creatures a free pass — and it may not just deliver an incrementalist Biden administration that takes progressives for granted and consequently fails to address national emergencies. It could also help permanently change what is even considered politically possible in the future.

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Seems the left has little to no spine.

Joe Biden’s Cabinet Is a Lost Cause for the Left (TNR)

Few portions of political discourse are as predictably shallow as presidential Cabinet discourse. Who should run the Department of Transportation? An affable also-ran in the Democratic primary who once said something about trains? A moderate politician or a businessman who might bring the country together from their perch at the agency that handles civil aviation and our highways? “No,” a sage voice somewhere in Washington, or Delaware, says. “It should be Rahm Emanuel.” As Chicagoans know, Emanuel’s most ambitious step into transportation policy as mayor was his endorsement of a high-speed tunnel project from Elon Musk that has yet to materialize. Chicagoans also know that Emanuel’s efforts to cover up video of a black teen’s murder by a Chicago policeman probably better qualify him for a post at the CIA.

That agency, we’ve been told this week, might finally be headed by a Black man; we also know a woman has been chosen to run the Department of Defense. Overall, Democratic policy professionals of all identities and stripes have been given plenty of reasons to rejoice at Biden’s choices so far. Civilians in Yemen have not. It’s been noted elsewhere that the left has responded much more quickly and aggressively to Biden’s selections than it did to Obama’s as he put together his first presidential Cabinet. If so, it doesn’t seem like the flurries of statements, social media posts, and articles that have been written to counter every stray rumor and announcement have mattered very much at all—the process is chugging along, and Biden’s nominees are just a couple of notches left of the Obama team; activists might take a small victory in torpedoing an Emanuel nomination.

There was never good reason to expect more. This is partially because a Republican Senate, should Democrats lose in Georgia’s runoff elections next month, will be an obstacle to the confirmation of even moderate nominees. But it’s more substantially because the moderates in the Democratic Party don’t share the left’s policy goals and would oppose giving them a meaningful presence in the Biden administration even if they could. The conventional wisdom about the left’s relationship with the Democratic Party has fully reversed itself in the space of six to eight months. As the Democratic primary ended, it was often argued that Sanders and the left lost because they had marginalized themselves—anti-establishment rhetoric, refusals to accept compromise, and the toxicity of prominent voices had alienated not only most of the Democratic electorate but also Democratic elites who might have otherwise been won over.

“Twitter isn’t real life,” it was said. But naturally, after Election Day, Democratic underperformance down-ballot from Biden was blamed mostly on the left’s influence. Democratic elites, it’s said now, were persuaded by the left to take on or accept unpopular messaging about socialism and policing—thanks in part, evidently, to the awesome and terrible power of tweets from left activists, writers, and podcasters.

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Turley points out that the timing indicates Durham now focuses on members of the perspective Biden administration.

“From a political perspective, the move is so elegantly lethal that it would make Machiavelli green with envy.”

Barr’s Appointment Of Special Counsel Leaves Biden, Dems In A Muddle (Turley)

Attorney General Bill Barr made two important evidentiary decisions yesterday that delivered body blows to both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. First, Barr declared that the Justice Department has not found evidence of systemic fraud in the election. Second, he declared that there was sufficient evidence to appoint United States Attorney John Durham as a Special Counsel on the origins of the Russia probe. The move confirmed that, in a chaotic and spinning political galaxy, Bill Barr remains the one fixed and immovable object. By appointing Durham as a Special Counsel, Barr contradicted news reports before the election that Durham was frustrated and found nothing of significance despite Barr’s pressure.

Some of us expressed doubts over those reports since Durham asked for this investigation to be upgraded to a criminal matter, secured the criminal plea of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, and asked recently for over a thousand pages of classified intelligence material. Under the Justice Department regulations, Barr had to find (and Durham apparently agreed) that there is need for additional criminal investigation and “[t]hat investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances.” He must also find the appointment in the public interest. Notably, the investigation of Clinesmith is effectively completed. So, what is the criminal investigation and what is the conflict?

Presumably, the conflict is not in the current administration since it would have required an earlier appointment. The conflict would seem to be found in the upcoming Biden administration. Some conflicts developing seem obvious as Biden turns to a host of former Obama officials for positions, including the possible selection of Sally Yates as Attorney General. Yates was directly involved in the Russian investigation and signed off on the controversial surveillance of Trump associate Carter Page. She now says that she would never have signed the application if she knew what she knows today.

Durham is now authorized to investigate anyone who may have “violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.” The list of the names of people falling within that mandate is a who’s who of Washington from Hillary Clinton to James Comey to . . . yes . . . Joe Biden. Bizarrely, reports have claimed that Trump was irate at the move as a “smokescreen” to delay the release of the report. That ignores not just the legal but political significance of the action. From a political perspective, the move is so elegantly lethal that it would make Machiavelli green with envy.

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“Is it outlandish to wonder if Joe Biden is a national security risk?”

A Hall of Smoke and Mirrors (Kunstler)

Is it outlandish to wonder if Joe Biden is a national security risk? Is it, at least, worth looking into, considering the evidence trail? Many people on the Left, who read and view only the captive Left news media, may know nothing about Hunter B’s laptop and the tales it told because social media blacked out all the news about it and the mainstream media went along with the blackout. Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave $350-million to a “safe elections” project run by the non-profit Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), that was chiefly active in setting up Democratic vote-harvesting operations. Could he be liable for prosecution in enabling ballot fraud? Has the FBI asked him any questions?

Another story ‘out there’ says that behind the election hijinks a war is underway between the DOD and the CIA. On Wednesday, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced that all special operations run by the CIA would henceforward report to the SecDef. In effect, the President has ordered the dismantling of the CIA’s troublemaking capabilities, reducing the agency to the task of intel analysis. This means, for instance, ending the CIA’s ability to foment “color revolutions” (coups d’état) in foreign lands — with the implication that irregularities around the Dominion System may have amounted to an attempted color revolution in the USA. Is it worth wondering whether former CIA Director John Brennan, a leftist activist and probably an architect of RussiaGate, was involved in any of the election ops? If the FBI won’t question him about it, who will? (Answer: The Department of Defense.) Ditto Gina Haspel, current CIA Director. After all, what were the Dominion servers doing at the CIA’s server farm in Germany?

Events are moving quickly under the plodding surface of the ongoing swing state hearings, which are largely concerned with on-site mail-in ballot fraud shenanigans. Will the Supreme Court take a case in the few days left before the state vote certification deadline next Tuesday? Will Mr. Trump intervene with some extraordinary measure — martial law, the Insurrection Act? — to actually abort the election and bring about some kind of do-over? Will the country survive its own feckless inability to hold a credible vote? Stand by with me on all that.

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Let the dice roll where they may. Still, Dec 14 doesn’t sound like “plenty of time”.

Sidney Powell: Plenty of Time for Trump to Overturn Election Results (NM)

Attorney Sidney Powell says there’s plenty of time for President Donald Trump’s legal team to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. ‘With the fraud case, the Dec. 8 deadline doesn’t apply,” Powell said Friday during an appearance on Newsmax TV’s ”Stinchfield” in reference to the ”safe harbor” deadline that frees a state from further challenge if it resolves all disputes and certifies its voting results. ”We have at least until Dec. 14,” she said. ”We might file more suits. The court in Michigan or Wisconsin today just gave us a great order recognizing that. These are not pure election contests we are filing. These are massive fraud suits that can set aside the results of the election due to this fraud at any time. The states should not be certifying election results in the face of it.”


Powell, a former member of Trump’s legal team, has been a part of multiple lawsuits in a crusade to overturn results from the 2020 election. Several states have certified Joe Biden as the winner of the election. Newsmax has yet to project a winner as Trump continues to contest the results in court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday said it wouldn’t accept a lawsuit by Trump’s legal team, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through the lower courts. The president asked the court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democrat counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered.

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It doesn’t shut up Flynn anymore.

Judge Emmet Sullivan Still Refusing To Dismiss Michael Flynn Case (JTN)

In a Freedom of Information case related to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, District Judge Reggie Walton said on Friday that Judge Emmet Sullivan doesn’t have a lot of options in dealing with the fact that President Trump granted Flynn a full pardon, “unless he takes the position that the wording of the pardon is too broad, in that it provides protections beyond the date of the pardon.” “I don’t know what impact that would have, what decision he would make, if he makes that determination that the pardon of Mr. Flynn is for a period that the law does not permit,” said Walton, according to the National Law Journal. “I don’t know if that’s correct or not,” the judge continued. “Theoretically, the decision could be reached because the wording in the pardon seems to be very, very broad. It could be construed, I think, as extending protections against criminal prosecutions after the date the pardon was issued. I don’t know if Judge Sullivan will make that determination or not,” Walton added.


[..] Emmet Sullivan, who was presiding over the case, refused to dismiss the charges even though there was no one attempting to prosecute the case. The legal process has dragged on through the appeals process, and finally President Trump issued a full pardon on November 25. On November 30, the DOJ notified Sullivan of the pardon, but he has still refused to drop the case. Judge Walton appears to have hinted at what Sullivan is thinking as he refuses to dismiss the case. Solomon Wisenberg, former deputy independent counsel, told Just the News that “It is disappointing but not surprising that Sullivan has yet to dismiss the case.”

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Shouldn’t all these machines be audited? And then be retired?

AZ Senate, House Call For Audit Of Dominion Machines In Maricopa County (JTN)

Leaders in the Arizona state legislature on Friday called for an audit of Dominion Voting Systems software and equipment in Maricopa County, a request of which county leaders appear “supportive.” The Arizona Senate Republican Caucus announced it intent to seek such an audit via Twitter on Friday afternoon. “As a longtime advocate for improving and modernizing our election system,” incoming Senate Government Chairperson Michelle Ugenti-Rita said in the news release, “I am pleased to learn that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is supportive of conducting an independent audit of their voting software and equipment.” House Majority Leader Warren Petersen said: “A significant number of voters believe that fraud occurred. And with the number of irregularities it is easy to see why.” Petersen also called it “imperative” that officials conduct a forensic audit on Dominion’s setup in the county. Democrat Joe Biden currently has a lead of about 0.3% in Arizona in the Nov. 3 presidential balloting.

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“Tesla owners reported 250 problems per 100 vehicles..”

Dutch Taxi Company Is Taking Tesla To Court Over “Defective” Cars (Sifted)

The Netherlands was one of Europe’s most prolific buyers of Teslas but now the Dutch honeymoon seems to be over, with Tesla facing a lawsuit from a large taxi company, and a group of disgruntled car owners considering a class action suit. Bios Group, a taxi firm that operates a fleet of more than 70 Teslas out of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is taking Elon Musk’s company to court over €1.3m in damages, citing a high number of defects in the vehicles and difficulties in getting them repaired. There are defects with some 20 of the 70 taxis, ranging from broken power steering to broken drive shafts and broken power steering, according to the Hella Hueck’s story in Dutch financial newspaper Financieele Dagblad.

Bios had to have 75 defects repaired in 2018 and another 60 in 2019. Even more problematically Bios says there have been problems with odometer readings in the cars being inaccurate, registering journeys from the wrong location or for the wrong distance, something which could land the taxi company in legal difficulties. Though the European car industry may feel like it has been outcompeted by Tesla in electric vehicles — Tesla has a bigger share of the electric vehicle market than all the European carmakers combined — these types of service quality problems may yet give the incumbent automakers an opportunity to win back customers. Bios says it has recently bought 5 Audi E-trons, in part because it expects better after-sales service from Audi.

There have been many recent reports about problems with Tesla vehicles. In June, JD Power, a consumer intelligence company whose car reliability report is considered the industry standard found that Tesla owners reported more problems in their first 90 days of ownership than the other 31 US auto brands included in the study. Tesla owners reported 250 problems per 100 vehicles, compared with an industry average of 166 problems per 100 vehicles. Bios bought the fleet of 72 Model S Teslas in 2014 for €5.7m, one of Europe’s biggest fleets at the time, creating a splash of publicity for the young car company as the fleet paraded around the streets surrounding Schiphol, proclaiming the airport’s commitment to going 100% electric.

But in the last few years, Bios says, it has grown steadily more difficult to get the faulty cars repaired, finally leaving them with no option but to launch a court case to get a resolution. In October, meanwhile, a group of disgruntled Dutch Tesla owners have started the Tesla Claims Foundation, bringing together owners who want Tesla to do more to repair faults in their cars. Some 200 people have so far joined the foundation, with complaints ranging from relatively simple things like rattling noises and poorly working windscreen wipers to broken computers and charging problems.

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Stoen in the conservative press.

Oliver Stone, America Firster (AC)

Ah, a left-wing America Firster! Not quite, as his subsequent work and his entertaining new memoir, Chasing the Light, illumine, but Oliver Stone, our most political major filmmaker, evinces a rowdily heterodox vision shaped by the unusual quartet of Jim Morrison, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Capra, and Jean-Luc Godard. What do you call a man who joins the Merchant Marine on a whim, runs up big pro football gambling debts, and takes the Old Right view of FDR’s foreknowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? I’d call him an American. Stone was a rich kid, the son of an FDR-hating Jewish Republican who had served on Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force staff and a French Catholic party girl. He attended the Hill School, played on the tennis team, was devastated by his parents’ divorce, and then went seriously off script.


Avid for experiences, Stone dropped out of Yale, taught in a Catholic school in Taiwan, and volunteered to fight in Vietnam. He came home with a Bronze Star, shrapnel in his ass, and a taste for “powerful Vietnamese weed.” Stone’s politics hadn’t changed all that much, though. He had supported Barry Goldwater in 1964 and would vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980. In later years he became more explicitly libertarian, expressing support for Ron Paul and making a film about Edward Snowden. At root, Oliver Stone is a patriot who despises the American Empire for corrupting his country. JFK, his fantasia on the Deep State, echoes Dwight Eisenhower’s warning that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence” by “the military-industrial complex.” Platoon and Salvador bespeak an old-fangled American anti-interventionism in an age when that tendency, once the default position of ordinary Americans, is a virtual thoughtcrime.

Read more …

 

 

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Dec 042020
 


Stanley Kubrick Walking the streets of New York 1946

 

Pfizer Not Sure If Someone Can Transmit Virus After Vaccination (Hill)
NHS Staff No Longer Top Priority For Covid Vaccine (G.)
Half The World Could Get Russian Sputnik V COVID19 Vaccine (RT)
Facebook Bans Anti-Vaccine “Conspiracy Theories” As US Rollout Begins (ZH)
GOP Senators Release 400 Pages Of New Docs On Crossfire Hurricane (SAC)
DNI Ratcliffe Says He Has Given ‘1000s Of Documents To John Durham’ (JTN)
The Georgia Runoffs and Our Embattled Constitution (RCP)
Confessions of a Clintonworld Exile (VF)
Bill Clinton ‘Couldn’t Stay Away’ From Jeffrey Epstein (ZH)
Will The Empire Sacrifice the Dollar? (CHS)
Banks To Chairman Powell On Libor: Foxtrot Oscar (Whalen)
Bank of England Criticised For Losing Track Of £50bn Of Banknotes (G.)
China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy (Wired)
Dispossession and Imperialism Repackaged as “Feeding the World” (CP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s starting to feel like we’re going to need new definitions for “vaccine” as well as for “immunization”.

Pfizer Not Sure If Someone Can Transmit Virus After Vaccination (Hill)

Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla told Dateline host Lester Holt that the pharmaceutical company was “not certain” if the vaccine prevented the coronavirus from being transmitted, saying, “This is something that needs to be examined.” In a prime-time special titled “Race for a Vaccine” set to air Thursday, Holt questioned Bourla and other individuals involved in the development and distribution of the medicine. In November, Pfizer announced that its vaccine candidate had been shown to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 and has applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The U.K. became the first country to approve Pfizer’s vaccine this week with the first round of immunizations expected to roll out next week.


In a list of interview highlights released before the special, Holt asked Bourla, “Even though I’ve had the protection, am I still able to transmit it to other people?” “I think this is something that needs to be examined. We are not certain about that right now with what we know,” Bourla responded. Though Pfizer’s vaccine has shown promising results, challenges have surfaced when it comes to distributing and administering it. The vaccine must be delivered and stored in extreme sub-zero temperatures, which has heightened the demand for dry ice. Once the vaccine is kept at normal refrigeration temperatures, it must be used within four or five days or be discarded. The vaccine is administered in two doses spaced a few weeks apart.

Read more …

“NHS personnel will be able to take the vaccine into care homes to immunise residents later this month..”

NHS Staff No Longer Top Priority For Covid Vaccine (G.)

NHS staff will no longer get the coronavirus vaccine first after a drastic rethink about who should be given priority, it emerged last night. The new immunisation strategy is likely to disappoint and worry thousands of frontline staff – and comes amid urgent warnings from NHS chiefs that hospitals could be “overwhelmed” in January by a third wave of Covid-19 caused by mingling over Christmas. Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “If we get a prolonged cold snap in January the NHS risks being overwhelmed. The Covid-19 restrictions should remain appropriately tough. “Trust leaders are worried about the impact of looser regulations over Christmas.”

Frontline personnel were due to have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine when the NHS starts its rollout, which is expected to be next Tuesday after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved it on Wednesday. However, hospitals will instead begin by immunising care home staff, and hospital inpatients and outpatients aged over 80. The new UK-wide guidance on priority groups was issued by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) amid uncertainty over when the rest of the 5m-strong initial batch of doses that ministers ordered will reach the UK.

NHS personnel will be able to take the vaccine into care homes to immunise residents later this month if, as expected, the MHRA agrees that the batches of 975 doses it comes in can be subdivided and the stability and safety of the drug be maintained. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the leader of the British Medical Association, said it backed care home residents getting the jab first. However, that means NHS staff will be left at higher risk of getting infected and potentially dying, he added.

Read more …

How does Sputnik V differ from the Pfizer “vaccine”?

Half The World Could Get Russian Sputnik V COVID19 Vaccine (RT)

At least 40 countries, representing more than half of the world’s population, have expressed interest in Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, the team behind it have said as mass vaccination begins in Moscow. At a presentation to the United Nations on Thursday, scientists from the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the formula, said that preliminary orders have been placed for more than 1.2 billion doses. Trials involving 45,000 people across the globe have concluded that 95 percent of those given both doses of Sputnik V develop immunity to the virus. On Wednesday, the vaccine’s creators released footage of vials touching down in India ahead of the start of studies into its efficacy there.


A number of countries, including Hungary, Venezuela and the UAE, have already imported sufficient quantities to conduct their own tests. At the same time, the Philippines announced that it would work with Russia to secure access to supplies in order to begin mass immunizations early next year. On Thursday, Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin announced that residents of the capital would be able to access the vaccine from Saturday. Doctors, teachers and social workers will be first in line for appointments, and an “electronic immunization record” will be set up. According to Sobyanin, Muscovites will be able to get the jab at ‘vaccine points’ set up around the city. President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of the program on Wednesday, adding that “the production of Sputnik V, the world’s first registered vaccine against the coronavirus infection, is what allows us to begin the vaccination.”

Read more …

Our new Supreme Court.

Facebook Bans Anti-Vaccine “Conspiracy Theories” As US Rollout Begins (ZH)

It was probably inevitable. Just in time for the vaccine rollout in the US this coming week (as Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said, inventory has already been loaded on to trucks, and will be en route to destinations across the country as soon as the FDA gives the green light) Facebook said Thursday that it’s “updating its policies around the coronavirus by removing false claims about upcoming vaccines”. The social media giant said it will be monitoring for misinformation that has been debunked by public health experts on both Facebook and Instagram. “This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines. For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list,” Facebook said in its announcement.

The company added that it will also remove conspiracy theories about Covid-19 vaccines that we know today are false, such as that specific populations are being forced to test the vaccine against their will. “Since it’s early and facts about COVID-19 vaccines will continue to evolve, we will regularly update the claims we remove based on guidance from public health authorities as they learn more,” Facebook added, but also said that it would “not be able to start enforcing these policies overnight.” Previously, Facebook removed Covid-19 misinformation that could contribute to “imminent physical harm.” That included false claims or cures about the disease, that the coronavirus is caused by 5G, or that it does not exist.

According to the Independent, PA News Agency editor Tom Phillips said social media companies should do more to combat misinformation, but they also must be extremely careful not to go too far and quash public debate. “We have seen a lot of the internet platforms take stricter measures against vaccine misinformation and I think that is the correct approach. Could some of them go further? Yes, possibly.” “But at the same time, it is important to remember the importance of free speech. It’s not illegitimate to have questions or worries about the vaccine and it’s important that we don’t just react by trying to suppress those questions. We allow people to ask the questions, get good quality answers and make up their minds based on good quality information.”

Read more …

How crazy would it be if Crossfire Hurricane never gets thoroughly investigated?

GOP Senators Release 400 Pages Of New Docs On Crossfire Hurricane (SAC)

Two top GOP Senators released more than 400 pages of documents related to the FBI’s investigation of the now-debunked probe into President Donald Trump and his alleged ties with Russia, known as the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ probe. The Senators also stated in their letter Thursday that the documents they received are still far less than what they had originally requested in their official letters sent in May to the FBI and State Department. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, R- Wisconsin, and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R -Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released the documents as part of their ongoing probe into the FBI’s malfeasance during the Obama administration’s probe into Trump.

Some of the documents, which SaraACarter.com is still reviewing, are now declassified Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of State documents. “The Committees obtained these records through joint requests, as well as Chairman Johnson’s August 6, 2020, subpoena to the FBI,” stated a press release. “The Chairmen also released a comprehensive timeline of key events related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.” In a joint statement from Grassley and Johnson they said “for years, the American people have demanded answers to questions regarding the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and its targeting of the Trump campaign, the presidential transition, and the Trump administration.”

“Our committees have sought to uncover and expose misconduct by calling on agencies to declassify and produce text messages, internal emails, and other investigative material, which in turn we have made public,” they noted. “Although agency bureaucrats have fought tooth and nail to keep records hidden, our commitment to transparency has never wavered.” The chairmen added that “the documents we are releasing today are the product of our continued fight for transparency. These documents are far less than what we have requested, but we are making them public so the American people can decide for themselves what wrongdoing did and did not occur.”

In May, the Senators asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to turn over all material regarding former British Spy Christopher Steele’s communications and documents related to the now debunked dossier used to investigate Trump. Wray has been uncooperative with the Senate requests and has been slow to produce the documents since he was appointed by Trump to the position, said numerous Congressional staff familiar with the requests. In the letter to Wray, Johnson and Grassley requested that they were “seeking information about Christopher Steele’s interactions with State Department employees before the 2016 presidential election.”

Read more …

Durham is starting to look like a black hole.

DNI Ratcliffe Says He Has Given ‘1000s Of Documents To John Durham’ (JTN)

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Thursday said that he has given thousands of documents to U.S. Attorney John Durham, but Ratcliffe noted that much of the material includes information that cannot be publicly released. “Between my predecessor Richard Grenell in an acting capacity and myself, we have declassified most of the intelligence community documents that would be suitable for the public to see, that wouldn’t jeopardize sources and methods,” Ratcliffe told the Washington Examiner. “There are others, many many documents — I think it’s been out there that I’ve provided literally thousands of documents to John Durham, but many of those do contain sources and methods that we can’t make public for a number of reasons, including to jeopardize any investigation that’s going there. So I think the level of cooperation — I’ve given them everything that they’ve asked for.”


Ratcliffe said that wrongdoing definitely occurred and Americans are entitled to “an accounting.” “There was an abuse of power and of legal authorities, and it’s not a question about whether those things took place — they did. I mean, there’s an FBI lawyer who is going to jail for counterfeiting evidence before the FISA court. And that after all of the Obama-Biden senior national security officials said the idea of illegal spying and abuse at the FISA court is a bunch of nonsense, and now, they’re sprinting the opposite direction,” Ratcliffe stated. “I mean, literally, every one of them — Comey, McCabe, Yates — they’ve all said, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re shocked and had we only known.’ And so, again, the American people deserve an accounting, and I’ve certainly provided a lot of information to the now-special counsel to provide that accounting, and I’m counting, like all Americans, on him to talk about a lot of the things that I know that I can’t talk about.”

Read more …

“..the rise of political parties undermines the separation of powers and, with it, one of the Founders’ barriers against consolidated, oppressive power..”

The Georgia Runoffs and Our Embattled Constitution (RCP)

If Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win Georgia’s Jan. 5 Senate runoffs, Democrats will control both houses of Congress as well as the presidency. The Republican Party, which won nearly half the national vote, will have no check on the Democrats, aside from the Senate’s filibuster rule. Although that rule requires a supermajority to pass some legislation and appointments, it can be abolished by a simple majority when the new Senate convenes. Preventing one-party rule is one of the strongest arguments advanced by Republican incumbent Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. They are reminding voters of the threat posed by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who proudly announced: “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world.”

That might be a winning line for national fundraising, but it’s more problematic for the Georgia electorate. Not many voters there want to “change the world,” so Warnock and Ossoff are downplaying it. Don’t expect to seek to see Schumer on the stump in Atlanta, Augusta, or Macon. It’s understandable that the national debate should focus on which party will control the Senate and just how radical the Democrats’ program will be if they do. But just beneath the surface lurk potential constitutional issues, which have received almost no attention. The basic problem is this: although America’s Founders were deeply concerned about tyranny, centralized power, and the suppression of individual rights and constructed institutional barriers to prevent those abuses, they never envisioned the mechanisms that pose serious threats today.

One of those threats is one-party rule. It’s understandable the Founders missed that since they worked before the age of entrenched and nationalized political parties. The closest analogues were England’s Whigs and Tories, but they were a far cry from modern parties. The political world envisioned by America’s Founders was populated not by parties but by cross-cutting “factions,” much like today’s interest groups. The Federalist Papers (especially the famous No. 10, written by James Madison as “Publius”) argued that, in a large republic like America, multiple factions would emerge, push against each other, and usually block any one from dominating.To prevent government authority from becoming too centralized and oppressive, the Constitutional Convention divided that authority among the three branches.

Each one, they figured, would have strong institutional interests in preventing the others from encroaching. It was a profound insight, and a remarkably successful one. But with the rise of modern political parties, it faced a challenge that no 18th century politician could imagine. Strong political parties unify their members across the legislative and executive branches. The stronger their common interests as Democrats or Republicans, the weaker their institutional interests as members of House or Senate, if those interests diverge from fellow partisans in the other house or branch. Put differently, the rise of political parties undermines the separation of powers and, with it, one of the Founders’ barriers against consolidated, oppressive power.

Read more …

is Doug Band fully turning on the Clintons?

Confessions of a Clintonworld Exile (VF)

Doug Band’s office at Teneo, the corporate advisory firm he cofounded, is decorated like a wing of the Bill Clinton presidential library. Framed photographs of the 42nd president adorn virtually every surface except for windows overlooking the rush hour traffic crawling down Park Avenue. “A lot of these pictures are just about moments,” Band said one morning last winter as he showed me his collection. Band, a broad-shouldered man with dark eyes and prematurely graying hair, appeared in many of the pictures. There were photos of Band and Clinton playing golf with Barack Obama, posing backstage with Michael Jackson, and meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. “Bill Clinton was my life for almost 20 years,” Band said.

Band was 22 when he landed an unpaid internship in the White House counsel’s office midway through Clinton’s first term. He served as Clinton’s “body man” during the second while earning a Georgetown law degree at night. On paper, the job is a glorified gofer, but Band leveraged the position to build a filial bond with the leader of the free world. When Clinton left office in January 2001, Band was one of the aides Clinton invited to go with him. Band took on a role that was equal parts fixer, gatekeeper, wingman, consigliere, and adopted son. (Officially, his title was counselor.) “They were with each other all the time,” said former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, who first got to know Band in the Clinton White House.

Band virtually invented Clinton’s postpresidential life. He set up Clinton’s Harlem office, helped launch the Clinton Foundation, and created the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the annual Davos-style conference that Clinton hosted in New York. Band and Clinton circled the globe in a private jet with a Rat Pack of billionaires that included supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, movie producer Steve Bing, and, infamously, Jeffrey Epstein. Before Clinton had quadruple-bypass surgery in 2004, he dialed Band at the first sign of chest pains. There were years that Clinton spent more time with Band than with any other person—including Hillary and Chelsea. But when I met Band last February, he hadn’t been in a room with Bill Clinton in nearly five years. He couldn’t remember the last time they had spoken. “I don’t want anything to do with that whole world,” Band said after we’d been talking for nearly an hour.

Read more …

More Doug Band.

Bill Clinton ‘Couldn’t Stay Away’ From Jeffrey Epstein (ZH)

Bill Clinton’s former top aide and Chelsea Clinton nemesis Doug Band has told Vanity Fair that former President Bill Clinton did visit Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous “pedo island” in January 2003, and that he was unable to push Epstein out of Clinton’s orbit since they flew to Africa together in 2002 aboard the the pedophile’s (Epstein’s) private 727, dubbed the “Lolita Express.” “Band said he had no idea about Epstein’s sex crimes back then but got enough bad vibes that he advised Clinton to end the relationship. But Clinton continued to socialize with Epstein and take his money. In 2006 Epstein donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton made more than two dozen trips on Epstein’s jet around this time, Epstein’s flight logs show. In January 2003, according to Band, Clinton visited Epstein’s private Caribbean island, Little St. James. Band said it was one of the few trips he declined to go on in his time with Clinton.” -Vanity Fair

Band – who revealed the Clinton Foundation’s ‘for-profit’ activity and accused Chelsea Clinton of tapping Foundation funds to pay for her wedding (known only because of WikiLeaks) – also says Chelsea Clinton had a relationship with Epstein and his alleged co-conspirator in an underage sex trafficking ring, Ghislaine Maxwell. “Chelsea had ties to Epstein and Maxwell, Band said; he showed me a photo of Bill and Chelsea posing with Epstein and Maxwell at the King of Morocco’s wedding. Chelsea remained friends with Maxwell for years after the press revealed Maxwell was a close associate of Epstein’s. For instance, Chelsea invited Maxwell to her 2010 wedding at the Brooke Astor estate in Rhinebeck, New York, after Epstein had pleaded guilty in Florida to procuring sex from a minor.” -Vanity Fair

“Ghislaine had access to yachts and nice homes. Chelsea needed that,” said Band. Band notably created the now-defunct Clinton Global Initiative, which has helped to raise $74 billion for Clinton global charities, according to Newsmax. Thanks again to WikiLeaks, we also know that Band was soliciting donations for Clinton through his PR and investment firm, Teneo in an sordid example of “pay for play” which most of the mainstream media refused to cover – which he worried about in an email to John Podesta, saying: “If this story gets out, we are screwed.”

Read more …

As rumors swirl about the Euro’s steep rise due to the ECB running out of powertools.

Will The Empire Sacrifice the Dollar? (CHS)

Let’s keep it simple: US dollar up, stocks down. US dollar down, stocks up. Stocks up, billionaires get richer. Since that spot of bother in March 2020 when the US dollar (USD) soared and stocks cratered, the USD has been in a free-fall, boosting the wealth of America’s Robber Barons and various other skimmers, scammers and other undeserving scoundrels. Chief among the undeserving scoundrels feasting on the decline of the USD are global stock markets which have soared not because revenues and profits are soaring but because the USD has plummeted. The Federal Reserve is widely worshiped as the Ultimate Power in the Universe, a kind of financial Death Star. The Fed has seen fit to crush the USD to further boost the wealth of billionaires and save global stock markets from their well-deserved ruin.

[..] The Fed is not the Empire, it is the handmaiden of the Empire. The Fed’s dual mandate– for PR purposes, stable employment and prices–is actually balancing the conflicting demands of a global and domestic currency–Triffin’s Paradox writ large. The inherent problem with a reserve currency is that it must meet global economic needs and domestic needs, and these are intrinsically in conflict. America’s billionaires and pension funds want the US stock market to loft higher on the back of a declining USD, but that diminishes the global purchasing power of the USD–a trend heading for economic ruin.

The Fed has had numerous reasons to weaken the dollar since March: a desperate need to “save” global stock markets from well-deserved collapse, and an equally desperate need to keep the dollar weak so global debtors with loans denominated in dollars can manage to service their trillions in USD-denominated debts. But drawing a line extending this short-term necessity all the way to hyper-inflationary oblivion is a grave misreading of the Empire’s need for the exorbitant privilege of a strong dollar. The Fed is about done with its “rescue” of billionaires and global markets and debtors. Against virtually all expectations of seers, pundits, gurus, etc. the USD is about to start serving the Empire in its foundational role. As for stock markets–the devil take the hindmost.

Read more …

“The 2017 decision by the Fed to do away with LIBOR is one of the most ill-considered and thoughtless actions taken by the US central bank in many years..”

Banks To Chairman Powell On Libor: Foxtrot Oscar (Whalen)

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve Board and other agencies blinked on the ill-advised transition from LIBOR as a pricing mechanism for financing various types of assets and secured money market transactions. “The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today issued a statement encouraging banks to cease entering into new contracts that use USD LIBOR as a reference rate as soon as practicable and in any event by December 31, 2021, in order to facilitate an orderly—and safe and sound— LIBOR transition.” Unfortunately, as we wrote back in September in National Mortgage News (“Housing market needs SOFR alternative — now”), the proposed “replacement” for LIBOR — the secured overnight funding rate or SOFR — is not really a market price at all.

“According to the Fed, SOFR is a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by Treasury securities,” we wrote in NMN. “In fact, SOFR is an imaginary, backward-looking benchmark dreamed up by the economists at the Fed with no discernable market.” The 2017 decision by the Fed to do away with LIBOR is one of the most ill-considered and thoughtless actions taken by the US central bank in many years. Not only did the Fed displayed its ignorance of the workings of the US capital markets, but it also revealed its arrogance and stupidly. Simply stated, LIBOR is a price for conducting financing in dollars. SOFR is an economists’ wet dream, a backward-looking measure that may seem interesting from a research perspective, but one that lacks actual liquidity.

As we noted in NMN, the solution for the “problem” with LIBOR is to fix the existing benchmark, not to dream up some farcical concept and then try to bully insured depository institutions to use SOFR for actual risk taking. We understand that many banks have told regulators privately the same thing we hear from clients in the too-be-announced (TBA) market for mortgage backed securities (MBS): SOFR is a non-starter and must be discarded. As late as last week, the Fed and other regulators were trying to bully the large dealer banks to stop using LIBOR by December 31st. The resounding answer: “Foxtrot Oscar.” Indeed, a growing number of analysts seem to have reached the same conclusion that we made months ago, namely that asking banks to take tens of billions of dollars in risk every day using SOFR as the pricing mechanism would be unsafe and unsound.

Read more …

Go to the mattresses.

Bank of England Criticised For Losing Track Of £50bn Of Banknotes (G.)

It is known throughout the world as a byword for security. But the Bank of England is evidently a tad unclear on the whereabouts of £50bn of banknotes, and it doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about it, a powerful group of MPs has said. In a stiff rebuke for Threadneedle Street, the Commons public accounts committee said the money – equivalent to a stack of £5 notes more than 800 miles high – had essentially gone “missing” because the Bank did not keep close enough tabs on cash usage in modern Britain. Despite walls 8ft thick and an imposing reputation for guarding billions of pounds of gold bars in its vaults, the PAC said the Bank had nonetheless displayed a “lax attitude to whereabouts of bulk of sterling cash supply”.

However, banknotes by their very design are not traceable, making it hard for the Bank to follow the money and know exactly where its notes end up. According to a report from the National Audit Office, there are about £50bn worth of issued banknotes that may be being used overseas or in the UK, a tiny fraction of the trillions of pounds in money circulating in the UK economy in physical notes and by digital transfers. The PAC speculated that this money could be stashed away under mattresses as unreported household savings, may have been taken abroad, or used in the shadow economy. “The Bank of England doesn’t know,” it said.

The value of banknotes in circulation has shot up this year, which the Bank has said is probably because more people started hoarding cash during the Covid-19 pandemic in case they needed it. Coin use has declined over recent years, with the production of new pennies and pounds by the Royal Mint falling by about 65% in the last decade, a trend which could be accelerated by the pandemic as more people move to using contactless debit card payments. Meg Hillier, chair of the PAC, said: “£50bn of sterling notes – or about three-quarters of this precious and dwindling supply – is stashed somewhere but the Bank of England doesn’t know where, who by, or what for, and doesn’t seem very curious.

Read more …

“..produced results in minutes calculated to take more than 2 billion years of effort by the world’s third-most-powerful supercomputer..”

China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy (Wired)

Last Year GOOGLE won international acclaim when its prototype quantum computer completed a calculation in minutes that its researchers estimated would have taken a supercomputer 10,000 years. That met the definition for quantum supremacy—the moment a quantum machine does something impractical for a conventional computer. Thursday, China’s leading quantum research group made its own declaration of quantum supremacy, in the journal Science. A system called Jiuzhang produced results in minutes calculated to take more than 2 billion years of effort by the world’s third-most-powerful supercomputer. The two systems work differently. Google builds quantum circuits using supercold, superconducting metal, while the team at University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, recorded its result by manipulating photons, particles of light.

No quantum computer is yet ready to do useful work. But the indications that two fundamentally different forms of the technology can outperform supercomputers will buoy the hopes—and investments—of the embryonic industry. Google and rivals including IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, and several large startups have all spent heavily on developing quantum computing hardware in recent years. Google and IBM offer access to their latest prototypes over the internet, while Microsoft’s and Amazon’s cloud platforms each host a smorgasboard of quantum hardware from others, including Honeywell.

The potential power of quantum computers springs from their basic building blocks, dubbed qubits. Like the bits of conventional computers, they can represent 0s and 1s of data; but qubits can also exploit quantum mechanics to attain an unusual state called a superposition that encapsulates the possibilities of both. With enough qubits it’s possible to take computational shortcuts conventional computers can’t—an advantage that grows as more qubits work together. Quantum computers don’t yet rule the world, because engineers haven’t been able to get enough qubits working together reliably enough. The quantum mechanical effects they depend on are very delicate. Google and the Chinese group were able to stage their supremacy experiments because they managed to corral qubits in relatively large numbers.

Read more …

Ukraine once fed half of Europe. Seems worth a Maidan revolution.

Dispossession and Imperialism Repackaged as “Feeding the World” (CP)

The world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of rich and powerful land speculators and agribusiness corporations. Smallholder farmers are being criminalised and even made to disappear when it comes to the struggle for land. They are constantly exposed to systematic expulsion. In 2014, the Oakland Institute found that institutional investors, including hedge funds, private equity and pension funds, are eager to capitalise on global farmland as a new and highly desirable asset class. Financial returns are what matter to these entities, not food security.

Consider Ukraine. The organisation Grain found that in 2014 small farmers operated 16% of agricultural land in that country, but provided 55% of agricultural output, including: 97% of potatoes, 97% of honey, 88% of vegetables, 83% of fruits and berries and 80% of milk. It is clear that Ukraine’s small farms were delivering impressive outputs. Following the toppling of Ukraine’s government in early 2014, the way was paved for foreign investors and Western agribusiness to take a firm hold over the agri-food sector. Reforms mandated by the EU-backed loan to Ukraine in 2014 included agricultural deregulation intended to benefit foreign agribusiness. Natural resource and land policy shifts were being designed to facilitate the foreign corporate takeover of enormous tracts of land.

Frederic Mousseau, policy director at the Oakland Institute, stated at the time that the World Bank and IMF were intent on opening up foreign markets to Western corporations and that the high stakes around the control of Ukraine’s vast agricultural sector, the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat, constitute an overlooked critical factor. He added that in recent years, foreign corporations had acquired more than 1.6 million hectares of Ukrainian land. Western agribusiness has been coveting Ukraine’s agriculture sector for quite some time, long before the coup. That country contains one third of all arable land in Europe. An article by Oriental Review in 2015 noted that since the mid-90s the Ukrainian-Americans at the helm of the US-Ukraine Business Council had been instrumental in encouraging the foreign control of Ukrainian agriculture.

Read more …

 

 

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Nov 172020
 
 November 17, 2020  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Paul Klee Still Life 1929

 

2018 NY Times Video: How Easy It Is to Hack a Dominion Voting Machine (Vaughn)
Voting Fraud Is a Real Concern. Just Look Around the World (NW)
Don’t Mess with Miz Powell (Jim Kunstler)
Trump May Try To Deny Biden 270 Electoral Votes – Dershowitz (ET)
Biden Campaign Director Arrested For Electoral Fraud (PN)
Durham’s Lame Duck Period (Turley)
The Lawless Campaign To Harass Lawyers Representing The Trump Campaign (Turley)
Moderna COVID19 Vaccine Candidate Is 94.5% Effective – Trials (RT)
The Endemic Mindset (Guinn)
65 Virus Cases, With 1 Cluster, In WHO Geneva Staff (AP)
The Economy is Imploding from Over-Capacity and Corrupt Cartels (CHS)
Zombification in Europe in Times of Pandemic (Vox.eu)
Is There Really A China Economic Miracle? (Lacalle)
Rents In British Cities Fall By Up To 15% Amid Covid ‘Exodus’ (G.)

 

 

The Trump legal team doesn’t have to prove the voting machines WERE manipulated, only that they COULD BE.

 

 

 

 

The only reason to use voting machines is to allow cheating.

2018 NY Times Video: How Easy It Is to Hack a Dominion Voting Machine (Vaughn)

Much to their current chagrin, in April 2018, The New York Times published a video of a University of Michigan computer scientist, J. Alex Halderman, showing a group of students how easy it is to rig a Dominion Voting Machine. The name of the video is “I Hacked an Election. So Can the Russians.” A caption next to the title read, “It’s time America’s leaders got serious about voting security.” At the time, Democrats were focused on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation and were anxiously waiting for his team to find evidence that President Trump had colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election. A colleague of mine, The Western Journal’s Jared Harris, dug up this little gem.

The video shows Homer Simpson using a touch screen to vote for Barack Obama, but it instantly turns into a vote for John McCain. Professor Halderman narrates the brief video and tells students that the Dominion Accuvote TS and TSX machines are obsolete models, but were still being used in American elections.Halderman continues his monologue:”I’m here to tell you that the electronic voting machines Americans got to solve the problem of voting integrity, they turned out to be an awful idea. That’s because people like me can hack them, all too easily.I once turned a voting machine into a video game. Imagine what the Russians and the North Koreans can do.I’ve even gone to Congress to raise the alarm. He is seen testifying at a Congressional hearing. “These machines are vulnerable to sabotage and even to cyberattacks that could change votes.”


Halderman tells viewers how to hack the Dominion voting machines. Step 1: Buy a voting machine on eBay, or if you’re the North Koreans, Hack the manufacturer and steal their software code. Step 2: Write a virus. Step 3: Email your virus to every election official responsible for programming the voting machines with new ballots. Step 4: Wait. Step 5: Hijack the programming and let the election officials copy your invisible malicious code onto the voting machines. Step 6: Watch your code silently steal votes.

How I Hacked an Election

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Good overview.

Voting Fraud Is a Real Concern. Just Look Around the World (NW)

Thirty-seven states have changed their mail-in voting procedures this year in response to the coronavirus. They have followed the lead of Democrats and the media, who claim that concerns about voter fraud and vote buying are figments of the Republican imagination. President Trump’s comments on Thursday and Friday about voter fraud with mail-in ballots have sent the media into a frenzy. One “news” article after another since then has asserted that President Trump’s warning is “baseless” (Associated Press and The Washington Post) or “without evidence” (The New York Times, Politico and NBC News). Liberals and progressives often try to model the U.S. on Western European countries, but you never hear them arguing that we should adopt their voting rules. There is a reason for that.

Banning mail-in voting or requiring people to use photo IDs to obtain a mail-in ballot is quite common in developed countries, especially in Europe. To study this, the Crime Prevention Research Center, of which I am the president, created a database on voting rules around the world. Here is what we found. Besides the United States, there are 36 member states in the OECD. Forty-seven percent ban mail-in voting unless the citizen is living abroad, and 30 percent require a photo ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Fourteen percent of the countries ban mail-in voting even for those living abroad. In addition, some countries that allow voting by mail for some citizens living in the country don’t allow it for everyone.

For example, Japan and Poland have limited mail-in voting for those who have special certificates verifying that they are disabled. France has made an exception this year to its ban on mail-in ballots to those who are sick or at particular risk during the coronavirus pandemic. Poland will allow mail-in ballots for everyone for this year only. Brazil and Russia satisfy the economic standards of the OECD, but are excluded for various political reasons. Both countries completely ban mail-in voting and require photo IDs for in-person voting. Among the 27 countries in the European Union, 63 percent ban mail-in voting unless living abroad and another 22 percent require a photo ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Twenty-two percent ban the practice even for those who live abroad.

There are 16 countries in the rest of Europe, and they are even more restrictive. Every single one bans mail-in voting for those living in the country or require a photo ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Sixty-three percent don’t allow mail-in ballots even for citizens living outside of the country. Are all of these countries, socialist and non-socialist alike, Western and Eastern European, developed and undeveloped, acting “without evidence?” It is not as though people in these countries haven’t heard the same arguments about the importance of the ease of voting—or about how photo ID requirements will, as one professor in the U.K. explained, supposedly “lead to people not being able to vote.”

These countries have learned the hard way what happens when mail-in ballots aren’t secured. They have also discovered how hard it is to detect vote buying when both those buying and selling the votes have an incentive to hide the exchange. France banned mail-in voting in 1975 because of massive fraud in Corsica, where postal ballots were stolen or bought and voters cast multiple votes. Mail-in ballots were used to cast the votes of dead people.

Dominion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1327511568993701888

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“Maybe ex-CIA chief John Brennan never should have messed with General Mike Flynn. Just sayin’.”

Don’t Mess with Miz Powell (Jim Kunstler)

An eerie silence oppressed the election news-space much of last week as Mr. Trump and his people seemed to lay low, Br’er Rabbit style, and a lot of folks wondered what was going on in that-there briar patch. Towards the weekend, Rudolf Giuliani methodically described some of the evidence at hand about janky ballot reporting, but that must have been too plodding for the Big Media gang. Then another Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, came on Lou Dobbs’s Friday evening news show and some people started paying attention to some things she said, like, “I’m going to release the kraken” — referring to the largest and most feared sea monster in Old Norse mythology. Miz Powell, she means bidness. She went on, “We have staggering statistical evidence; we have staggering personal testimony… we’re beginning to collect evidence on the financial interest of the governors and secretaries of state who bought into the Dominion [vote tabulation] systems… President Trump won this election in a landslide, it is irrefutable… we are gonna go after it, and I am going to expose every one of them.”

Well, that might have put the fear of Gawd in some people. In case anyone in the back-of-the-class wasn’t paying attention, Miz Powell went back on the air Sunday morning with Maria Bartiromo and said, “We’re fixing to overturn the results of this election in multiple states… President Trump won not by hundreds of thousands of votes but by millions of votes that were shifted by this software that was designed expressly for that purpose…. We have so much evidence I feel it’s coming in like a firehose.” Is Ms. Powell bluffing? Why would she try, since the time left in this game is short and her only play is to show her cards? “I never say anything I can’t prove,” she declared.

[..] It’s a pretty rich gameboard out there and the clock is ticking. The possible outcomes are several: The state legislatures in disputed states could choose their own elector slates. In short order, the President’s lawyers will take their case to the US Supreme Court, which might invalidate the disputed states’ elections and send the contest into the House of Representatives a la the 1876 Hayes-Tilden election. The Department of Justice could level felony charges before December 8 at a long list of companies and persons involved in demonstrable ballot fraud. This could amount to decapitation of the Deep State. Would Mr. Barr dare? A lot of people doubt it. I’m sure readers can conjure up other possibilities.


In any case, a final victory for Joe Biden would hopelessly taint any administration he leads and would lead to much harsher resistance coming from the other side this time — while he is trying to govern during an economic calamity worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. Maybe ex-CIA chief John Brennan never should have messed with General Mike Flynn. Just sayin’.

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“.. if the one vote doesn’t give the leading candidate 270 electoral votes, then automatically it goes to the House of Representatives, where a whole new process takes over, and a process that clearly favors President Trump..”

Trump May Try To Deny Biden 270 Electoral Votes – Dershowitz (ET)

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz predicted that President Donald Trump will attempt to settle the election in a way not seen since the 19th century. In an interview with Newsmax, the longtime legal expert said Trump no longer is attempting to reach 270 Electoral College votes but will instead focus on denying Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s chances of getting 270 votes. “Let’s look at the big picture: The big picture now has shifted,” Dershowitz told the website. “I do not believe that President Trump is now trying to get to 270 electoral votes. I think he thinks that’s out of the question.” Trump hasn’t signaled in public about his chances of securing 270 votes due to several legal challenges.

“What he’s trying to do is to deny Joe Biden 270 votes, by challenging in Pennsylvania, Georgia, in Nevada, in Michigan, in Arizona,” Dershowitz said, adding that not allowing Biden to reach 270 out of 538 votes would eventually force House state delegations to vote, where Republicans have an advantage over Democrats. Currently, the GOP has a 26-23-1 state delegation majority in the House of Representatives. “If he can keep the Biden count below 270, then the matter goes to the House of Representatives, where, of course, there is a Republican majority among the delegations of states, and you vote by state if it goes to the House,” Dershowitz said. “He’s trying to follow the playbook of three elections of the 19th century.”


Dershowitz noted that a number of things would have to align perfectly for Trump to win under that circumstance. “You need a perfect storm for it to work,” he said. “You need to get enough states, enough state attorneys general, or state departments, or whoever, secretaries of state or governors that are Republican that legitimately refuse to certify the results because they’re under challenge on the day the Electoral College meets by statute.” “If on that day, Biden doesn’t have 270 votes—you don’t get to vote two or three times on that; as far as the Constitution’s concerned, it’s one vote—and if the one vote doesn’t give the leading candidate 270 electoral votes, then automatically it goes to the House of Representatives, where a whole new process takes over, and a process that clearly favors President Trump,” added the former law professor.

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Hmmm.

Biden Campaign Director Arrested For Electoral Fraud (PN)

The Democrat Director of Texas state political strategy for the Joe Biden Presidential campaign has been arrested for electoral fraud. Democratic Party operative Dallas Jones was formally accused of helping to run an illegal ballot harvesting operation in the state of Texas on behalf of the Joe Biden campaign during this contested Presidential election. According to the National File, two investigators, including a former FBI agent and former police officer, testified under oath that they have Democratic Party internal documentation, as well as video evidence and witnesses, for their investigation. The following is an affidavit from private investigator and retired Houston police officer Mark A. Aguirre, which was submitted under oath.

“My name is Mark A. Aguirre. I am above the age of eighteen years and am fully competent to make this affidavit. The facts stated in this affidavit are within my personal knowledge and are true and correct. “I am a retired captain with the Houston Police Department. I am now a private investigator. “I am currently involved in an investigation related to a wide-ranging and fraudulent ballot harvesting scheme in Harris County intended to rig the elections in the Houston/Harris County area. This scheme involves voter fraud on a massive scale. “Based on interviews, review of documents, and other information, I have identified the individuals in charge of the ballot harvesting scheme. These individuals include political consultant Dallas Jones, who was recently hired by the Joe Biden for President campaign to oversee their Harris County initiative, District 13 Texas State Senator Borris Miles, who is the handler of Mr. Jones, political consultant Gerald Womack, and Precinct 1 Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.


One of the companies these individuals are using as a front for this operation is AB Canvassing, although there are others that have been identified that we are investigating.” “I have in my possession video-taped interviews of witnesses attesting to the aforementioned people having groups of people completing thousands of absentee and mail-in ballots, including completing ballots for deceased individuals; illegally going into nursing homes, with the complicity of the nursing home staff, and filling out and forging the signatures of nursing home residents; signing up homeless individuals to vote using the ballot harvester’s address, then completing the ballot and forging the homeless individual’s signature.

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Where is Durham?

Durham’s Lame Duck Period (Turley)

Before going dark in October, U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation made headlines with the criminal plea of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in order to continue surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser. There have been rumors for months that Durham found material not disclosed by special counsel Mueller or the Justice Department’s inspector general in their prior investigations. He also is known to have been working with a grand jury as part of his investigation. There is ample reason why a Biden administration would want to see Durham’s investigation closed.

Earlier this year, disclosures contradicted Biden’s denials that he knew of or was involved in the investigation of figures like Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; the disclosures indicated Biden may have sought to “unmask” Flynn in surveillance reports. There also are accounts from the Oval Office that Biden was briefed on the Flynn investigation, including the fact that the FBI thought his discussions with Russian diplomats were “legit.” Earlier, FBI investigators sought to end the Flynn investigation for lack of evidence of any crime; according to one report, Biden raised the possibility of prosecuting Flynn under the Logan Act, a federal law widely viewed as unconstitutional.


The Durham investigation may not result in new indictments but could result in the release of new evidence. Indeed, the greatest risk of intervention by the Biden administration would be the withholding of any report or the use of classification rules to bar parts of its release. That report could shed light on how the Russia investigation began and was sustained, despite early intelligence refuting the collusion allegations. This includes recently released information that President Obama was briefed on intelligence suggesting that Hillary Clinton was working to falsely paint Trump as colluding with Russians. Such findings could be highly embarrassing not only to Obama administration officials but a number of congressional Democrats — including Rep. Schiff, who assured the public that, after contrary findings by the special counsel and the inspector general, his House committee had clear evidence of collusion. Schiff never produced that evidence.

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A “dangerous attack on our democracy” indeed.

The Lawless Campaign To Harass Lawyers Representing The Trump Campaign (Turley)

As in the past, there is a disturbing symbiosis of the media and activists feeding off each other. When Biden was viewed as the likely winner, theories of voting irregularities instantly became “conspiracy theories.” Groups like the Lincoln Project targeted law firms and launched a campaign to force lawyers to abandon Trump as a client. This effort resulted in Twitter blocking the Lincoln Project for targeting individual Trump lawyers in a tweet (accompanied by a skull-and-crossbones emoji) that was deemed threatening and abusive. That only seemed to thrill the Lincoln Project. It reportedly joined Democrats in targeting law firms like Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur and threatening its lawyers with professional ruin. It claimed that any firm working for Trump on election litigation was part of a “dangerous attack on our democracy.”

Trying to strip people of their counsel, of course, is the real attack on our democracy — and it worked: The firm buckled and withdrew, saying the pressure caused internal struggles and at least one lawyer’s resignation. Other campaigns have targeted individual lawyers and what used to be called “fellow travelers” during the McCarthy period. After the election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for liberals to assemble enemies lists of those “complicit” in the Trump administration. (Ironically, the first entry by a Bernie Sanders surrogate were the Republicans who founded the Lincoln Project). Former Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan proudly tweeted: “WH staff are starting to look for jobs. Employers considering them should know there are consequences for hiring anyone who helped Trump attack American values.”


However, the effort to intimidate lawyers representing Trump or his campaign is not about vengeance. It is about insurance. Even though the success of these challenges is small and shrinking, opponents do not want to risk any judicial scrutiny of the vote. Social media campaigns targeted the clients of firms like Jones Day, while the Lincoln Project pledged $500,000 to make the lives of these lawyers a living hell. It is the kind of tactic used by Antifa and other activists to “deplatform” speakers or harass individuals at their homes. Trump is highly unpopular with many Americans — and virtually all of the media — so it is popular to harass anyone who supports or represents him. It is mob justice targeting the justice system itself.

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The Moderna vaccine appears to be far superior when it come to storage:

ZH: “Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored ultra-cold until a few days before it is used, but can be kept at refrigerator temperatures for as much as five days. Moderna, meanwhile, pointed to new data showing its vaccine is stable at refrigerator temperatures for 30 days, much longer than a previously estimated seven days.”

Moderna COVID19 Vaccine Candidate Is 94.5% Effective – Trials (RT)

A new Covid-19 vaccine candidate is almost 95 percent effective, its American manufacturer has said, potentially giving it the edge in the race to defeat the virus. US-based biotechnology company Moderna announced on Monday that the two-dose mRNA-1273 vaccine it is developing has an efficacy of 94.5 percent, based on the results of a Phase-3 study, involving over 30,000 people. In the clinical trials, 90 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the group given the placebo, compared to five cases among those given the vaccine. It comes as a rival vaccine by US-based Pfizer and German firm BioNTech was found to have an efficacy of 90 percent, while the developers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine reported a 92 percent efficacy.


“The overall effectiveness has been remarkable…it’s a great day,” Moderna’s chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, told BBC News. The company now intends to apply for an emergency use authorization with US regulator the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks. Europe’s health regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said on Monday that it had started a real-time “rolling review” of Moderna’s vaccine candidate, following similar checks on Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s vaccines. Moderna expects to have 20 million doses of its vaccine ready to ship to the US by the end of the year and said it remains “on track” to manufacture between 500 million and a billion doses globally in 2021. It also announced on Monday that its vaccine has a better shelf life and stability than that of Pfizer’s, which must be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, or -94 Fahrenheit.

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“In the real world, the difference between 1,500 deaths in a day and 1,000 is staggering, real and personal. To the endemic mindset, they are functionally identical.”

The Endemic Mindset (Guinn)

The endemic mindset is the world of abstractions we see under the influence of learned helplessness. There are only so many days in which death or hospitalization counts may still function as information for the human mind. There are only so many descriptions, images or videos of hospitals in the early stages of being overwhelmed which will be able to change anyone’s perspective. There is a point of diminishing informational returns from another story about a lost small business, or a struggling low income family. In the real world, the difference between 1,500 deaths in a day and 1,000 is staggering, real and personal. To the endemic mindset, they are functionally identical. In the real world, the difference between a 60% drop in revenue and a 30% drop in revenue is breathtaking.

To the endemic mindset, they are functionally identical. In the real world, the difference between being out of work for 9 months and being out of work for 4 months may be nearly existential. But if we are not the one affected, to the endemic mindset, they are functionally identical. In short, the endemic mindset is one in which our default expectation is that our world has become permanently worse in a way that we are helpless to do anything about.I don’t think I miss the mark by saying that ALL of us are suffering from this just a little bit.At some point in the last several months, did it start to feel like checking in every few days with elderly neighbors wasn’t really helping? Did it feel like extraordinary support of waitstaff, servers and owners of local businesses demanded much of you and still couldn’t keep them from going under?

Did your capacity to give to local food security charities give way to a recognition that the need never went away? Are you a financial advisor or professional being asked for good advice or wisdom about how to navigate “these challenging times”, and feeling like you ran out of both months ago? Are you a parent forced into remote learning supervision, feeling like you’ve botched it and waiting out the clock to give you a reprieve?Does the choice between standing outside in the cold, six feet apart, mask obscuring any sign of warmth or human emotion, or staying at home for Thanksgiving with the same people you’ve seen day in and day out for 8 months make you want to scream?


In your heart of hearts, do all of those things make it a little bit easier to believe that there’s just maybe nothing we can do that’s really going to take this shock away? That maybe we live our lives and weather all of this as best we can? If you are feeling that a bit – I feel that pull from time to time, too, if it helps – it doesn’t make you bad. It makes you human.

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Listen to the scientists.

65 Virus Cases, With 1 Cluster, In WHO Geneva Staff (AP)

The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, including at least one cluster of infections, an internal email obtained by The Associated Press shows, despite the agency’s past assertions that there has been no transmission at the Geneva site.The revelation comes amid a surge of cases in Europe, host country Switzerland, and the city of Geneva, in particular, and the email said about half of the infections were in people who had been working from home. But 32 were in staff who had been working on premises at the headquarters building, indicating that the health agency’s strict hygiene, screening and other prevention measures were not sufficient to spare it from the pandemic.

Farah Dakhlallah, a WHO spokeswoman, confirmed the accuracy of the information about the case count in an email to the AP and that officials were still investigating.“We have not yet established whether transmission occurred on campus, but are looking into the matter,” Dakhlallah said. Raul Thomas, who heads business operations at WHO, emailed staff on Friday noting that five people — four on the same team and one who had contact with them— had tested positive for COVID-19. While the email did not use the term “cluster,” one is generally defined as two or more cases in the same area, and the five cases indicate basic infection control and social distancing procedures were likely being broken.


A previous email he sent on Oct. 16 indicated that no clusters had been found at the site. “As per standard protocols, these colleagues are receiving the necessary medical attention and are recovering at home,” the email Friday said. “These last five cases bring the total reported number of affected members of the Geneva based workforce to 65 since the beginning of the pandemic.”

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Zombies.

The Economy is Imploding from Over-Capacity and Corrupt Cartels (CHS)

Here’s the fantasy: if we stop the shutdowns, the economy will naturally bounce back to its oh-so wunnerful perfection of Q3 2019. This is a double-dose of magical thinking and denial. The U.S. economy was unraveling in 2019 from 11 long years of Fed-induced over-capacity in almost everything (except integrity, competition, transparency and social cohesion) and the bone-crushing burden of corrupt, greedy cartels that have the nation by the throat. The reality nobody dares mention is that thanks to 20 years of the Federal Reserve’s easy money, there’s rampant over-capacity everywhere you look: there’s too many cafes, bistros, restaurants, fast-food outlets, hotels, resorts, AirBnBs, unprofitable Tech Unicorns, airline flights, Tech startups, office towers, retail space, malls, absurdly overpriced apartments for rent, storage facilities, delivery services, office sublets, colleges, attorneys, unemployed workers with multiple credentials–the list of too much, too many is endless.


Thanks to the Fed, the most profitable venture was borrowing to increase capacity, then borrow some more to extract the phantom value created by the greater capacity. Nobody cared if the office tower remained mostly empty; the money was made in building it and extracting its “value” via debt, not operating a legitimate enterprise. This Fed-created house of cards was never sustainable, or healthy, as all the incentives to add capacity were perverse. The illusion that every mall, office tower, retail space, college, apartment building, etc. would be filled was only plausible as long as consumers and zombie corporations were borrowing and spending more than they earned. That was never sustainable, but rather than look at the systemic set-up of an insanely predatory, fragile debt bubble resting precariously on over-capacity, the status quo is blaming Covid and lockdowns. The problem isn’t the pin, it’s the bubble that was begging to be popped by something, anything.

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A double edged sword.

Zombification in Europe in Times of Pandemic (Vox.eu)

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted extraordinary financial support to firms by governments and central banks. This support has taken the form of public credit guarantee schemes, debt moratoria, direct support to firms via financial aid programmes, central bank lending and purchase programmes, and a loosening of micro- and macro-prudential supervisory rules. While this support is crucial to keep a cash-strapped economy afloat, it has invigorated a debate on whether such policies are promoting ‘zombie’ lending and ‘zombie’ firms. Zombie lending is generally defined as lending to non-viable (i.e. zombie) firms. The literature proposes different methods to measure zombies, which remains challenging, however.

The ‘zombification’ of the economy refers to a situation where public support programmes and bank lending actions keep unviable firms alive. This term gained widespread prominence following the Japanese crisis of the 1990s, when a collapse in real estate prices followed by a prolonged period of low growth resulted in many weak banks and firms, with weak banks preserving their lending relationships with weak firms, rolling over credits to unviable firms. Why would banks lend to alleged zombie firms? The literature has put forward two main explanations. On the dark side, banks may want to engage in the ‘evergreening’ (i.e. rolling over) of existing loans to avoid loan loss recognition. Recognising loan losses implies a deterioration of capital buffers.


It therefore follows that especially low-capitalised banks have an incentive to lend to zombies. On the bright side, banks may lend to zombies to preserve valuable relationships. To the extent that relationship lenders have an informational advantage over their customers, this may allow them provide credit to illiquid but viable firms in crisis times. Provision of such liquidity to firms in distress has the positive externality that it can avoid disruptions of supply chains.

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“If the economic situation were in the announced expansion, inventories would be falling rapidly when sold.”

Is There Really A China Economic Miracle? (Lacalle)

The year 2020 will be an extremely tough year for the European economy. Added to an unprecedented drop is a strong impact in the fourth quarter due to the new lockdowns. Morgan Stanley estimates that the eurozone’s GDP will fall by 2.2% in the fourth quarter, a 7% drop in the full year 2020. In addition, the investment bank lowers the outlook for 2021 with a rebound of only 5% in the average of the euro area, delaying the recovery of 2019 GDP to 2023. The “jobless recovery” is even more worrying. The apparently spectacular rebound data for the third quarter resulted in zero job creation. Unemployment in the eurozone in September stood at 8.3% and in Spain at 16.5%, not counting the millions of furloughed jobs in Europe.

In this environment, the United States’ recovery seems much stronger. GDP recovered in the third quarter to just 3.5% below 2019 levels. Unemployment has fallen to 6.9% in October but remains well above the record employment levels of 2019. However, the data from China is apparently spectacular. The manufacturing and services index already show an enviable expansion. GDP for the first three quarters is already growing at 0.7% after an expansion of 4.9% in the third quarter. Urban unemployment in China is 5.4% after shooting to a paltry 6%. What is behind the Chinese miracle compared to the poor eurozone?

A planned GDP. The GDP of China is dictated by production, not demand. It is not an observed GDP, but rather planned by the government together with the provinces. For this reason, many analysts scrutinize the data and deduct various factors, including the increase and valuation of inventories. It is not by chance that inventories of iron ore, automobiles and finished goods have risen to the highest level in seven months as the economy recovers. If the economic situation were in the announced expansion, inventories would be falling rapidly when sold.


Much is produced that is then not sold and remains in warehouses. Thus, it is not surprising that industrial prices fell 2.1% in September, export prices 0.9%, and the country’s debt soared 13.5% amid an apparently miraculous recovery. Industrial business profits have fallen 2.4% between January and September and, furthermore, factory door prices fell faster than expected in September and were at risk of deflation. These are signs of a slowly recovering economy, like all others, but not of a growth miracle.

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People flee cities everywhere.

Rents In British Cities Fall By Up To 15% Amid Covid ‘Exodus’ (G.)

Private rents in Britain’s cities have fallen by as much as 15% over the past year as tenants quit urban areas for a new life in the suburbs or the countryside, data shows. What has been described by some an “exodus” from the cities sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic is now pushing up rental costs in rural areas. In October, average rents in the countryside were 5.5% higher than a year earlier, while typical city rents were down by almost exactly the same amount (5.3%), according to figures for Great Britain from the estate agents Hamptons International. This gear change in demand has created a glut of properties in some areas and shortages in others. There were 29% more homes available to rent in cities than at the same time last year, while the number available in the countryside was down sharply – by 48%.


The reassessing of priorities brought on by the pandemic, with millions working from home and many wanting more space, combined with plummeting numbers of international students, is wreaking particular havoc on central London. Hamptons said rents in inner London were down by 14.9% year on year as landlords slashed costs to attract tenants – lopping almost £400 off the average monthly rent, which fell from £2,564 in October 2019 to £2,182 last month. The figures come after a series of surveys suggesting that many city dwellers have either moved out or are planning to do so after re-evaluating their lifestyle. Many are likely to have concluded that they will be able to continue working from home for at least part of the week once the crisis has subsided.

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Cars collecting food in Dallas

 

 

 

 

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