Sep 172021
 
 September 17, 2021  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Henri Matisse The painter and his model1916-17

 

Interview with Dr. Vanessa Schmidt-Kruger (Enformt)
Biden Seizes And Rations Supply Of Life-Saving Monoclonal Antibodies (RT)
Delta Poised To Acquire Full Resistance To Wild-type Spike Vaccines (Biorxiv)
Israeli Study Claims Covid Vaccine Boosters Reduce Infection Risk TENFOLD (RT)
Pfizer, Moderna Release Data Supporting Booster Shot (Claus)
UK Study To Test Mixed Covid Vaccines On Children & Teens (RT)
The Plot Against Ivermectin (Bonvie)
France Suspends 3,000 Unvaccinated Health Workers (F24)
China Fully Vaccinates More Than 1 Billion People (RFI)
Clinton Lawyer Michael Sussmann Indicted For Lying to FBI (CTH)
Powell, Juggling Policy And Renomination, Now Faces An Ethics Blowup (R.)
Powell Orders Ethics Review Of Federal Reserve (JTN)
China Braces For “Nightmare Scenario” As Evergrande Collapses (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember a lot of these people died because early treatment and prophylaxis was forbidden. And what’s with the white flags? We surrendered?

 

 

Been reading up on this a little. This is from January, but interesting. About the consistency (integrity) of the vaccines. Which changed a lot from clinical trials to mass production. Who knew? They’re not the same substance at all.

Hearing # 37 of German Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee. 30 January, 2021

Interview with Dr. Vanessa Schmidt-Kruger (Enformt)

We know that normally vaccine development takes a very long time. It’s not just the clinical phase: with this vaccine, it’s set at three times two and a half years, i.e., three phases of 2.5 years each plus the evaluation phase, which makes 7 1/2 years in total. And then one shouldn’t forget that the production optimisation is also important, at least a year would surely be needed for that. That hasn’t taken place at all. The vaccine is already being sold and used, but the production optimisation isn’t yet by any means completed. And there are considerable deficiencies. One issue I would like to discuss are the deficiencies relating to the active substance: by that, I mean the modified RNA that they are synthesising.

As a second issue there are deficiencies in the consistency of the various production batches: they need to always be consistent so that one always obtains the same vaccine volume and quality. The problem that BioNTech had is that in the clinical phase the product, i.e. the RNA, was produced with completely different techniques to how it is being produced now. During the clinical phase they only needed small volumes of vaccine, they were able to use very expensive techniques that delivered highly purified end products. Now that they have entered mass production, that is no longer possible, they have had to switch to lower-cost processes, e.g. using huge quantities of DNA that functions as the substrate to be able to produce the RNA in an in-vitro transcription reaction.

This is done via bacteria, via the fermentation of transformed bacteria that contain this DNA. The bacteria multiply the DNA in huge amounts, and this leads to new dangers or risks, particularly contamination. At the moment for instance the situation is that the DNA is transformed in the bacteria, it is multiplied, next the bacteria are opened and the DNA is extracted, then it is linearised via enzymes, and after that the linearised DNA undergoes in-vitro transcription to produce the RNA using various procedures. The EMA Committee made various requirements of the vaccine manufacturer, i.e. BioNTech. The applicant needs to now develop and introduce various analysis processes to ensure that the substrate is free of microbiological contaminants – they probably mean E Coli bacteria for example.

There don’t seem to be any processes to ensure or monitor for that. They also need to ensure that all the buffers – those are the solvents that are used – are free of RNAses. RNAses are enzymes that degrade RNA. If there are any contaminants of these RNAse solvents, then RNA in the vaccine will be degraded and the vaccine won’t have any effect anymore. They also have to analyse how strong the activity of the enzymes is; that is very important because I explained that after that the RNA is transcribed from the DNA and then the DNA has to be eliminated, it is digested by enzymes: by DNAses. And if this DNA is not digested well enough, if residues are left, this harbours risks – I’ll come back to the risks from DNA residues, but the activity of the enzymes has to be monitored well and at the end you need to have a pure RNA without any more DNA. And that is not the case. BioNTech has admitted that there are DNA contaminants.

[..] It was found that the integrity of the RNA always varies in the batches that had been made. I will come back to that again. There needs to be a standard that is always the same for each batch. This should be used as the reference to measure the standard. And they only have this of course for the processes of the clinical phase. Now we have to generate a new standard for the new manufacturing processes, i.e., for the commercial sales. That hasn’t been done yet, they are in the process of doing that now.

So – the integrity of the RNA means of course the RNA quality. They have found that this is not very high: it was higher for the processes during the clinical phase. In this report they don’t say how high it is, but I have other information that says 78% of the RNA was good [translator: this refers to the integrity], the remainder was not, but now they have found new batches with only 55% RNA integrity, i.e., half of it is basically unviable.

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Politics kills. The only shortages here are those that are created. “The manufacturer has confirmed supplies are ample..”

Biden Seizes And Rations Supply Of Life-Saving Monoclonal Antibodies (RT)

Seven southern US states, mostly led by Republican governors, say they are now facing shortages of monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid-19 after the federal government took over the distribution, citing the need for “equity.” Monoclonal antibodies (MAB) are lab-created proteins that help those already infected deal with the virus. They have been intensively deployed in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas – states dealing with the recent surge of Delta-variant cases. With the exception of Louisiana, they are all run by Republicans. On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced it would take over the distribution of these treatments using the Defense Production Act and would be centralizing them under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A HHS spokesperson said this was being done to avoid shortages, as the seven states account for 70% of all orders.

“Given this reality, we must work to ensure our supply of these life-saving therapies remains available for all states and territories, not just some,” the spokesperson told CNN. “HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis. State and territorial health departments will subsequently identify sites that will receive product and how much,” the spokesperson said. “This system will help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country – providing states and territories with consistent, fairly-distributed supply over the coming weeks.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican who has clashed with President Joe Biden on Covid policies – from mask mandates to compulsory vaccination – said that the move has resulted in cutting the supply to his state by more than 50%.

The federal government has allocated fewer than 31,000 doses to Florida this week, while the average need for hospitals and state clinics is 72,000, his office said. DeSantis said on Thursday that he has reached out to GlaxoSmithKline, another pharmaceutical company, to purchase their MAB treatment in order to make up the shortfall. In Texas, the Biden administration told the state “to reduce its use of the therapeutic treatment that has literally been saving lives and reducing hospitalizations,” Mark Keough, a judge in charge of Montgomery County, just north of Houston, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “The manufacturer has confirmed supplies are ample but due to the Defense Production Act, the White House and it’s agencies are the only entities who can purchase and distribute this treatment,” Keough added.

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“.. it is necessary to develop vaccines that protect against such complete breakthrough variants..”

There has never been a vaccine against a coronavirus, but this is all you can take away from this?

Delta Poised To Acquire Full Resistance To Wild-type Spike Vaccines (Biorxiv)

mRNA-based vaccines provide effective protection against most common SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, identifying likely breakthrough variants is critical for future vaccine development. Here, we found that the Delta variant completely escaped from anti-N-terminal domain (NTD) neutralizing antibodies, while increasing responsiveness to anti-NTD infectivity-enhancing antibodies. Although Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2-immune sera neutralized the Delta variant, when four common mutations were introduced into the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Delta variant (Delta 4+), some BNT162b2-immune sera lost neutralizing activity and enhanced the infectivity.


Unique mutations in the Delta NTD were involved in the enhanced infectivity by the BNT162b2-immune sera. Sera of mice immunized by Delta spike, but not wild-type spike, consistently neutralized the Delta 4+ variant without enhancing infectivity. Given the fact that a Delta variant with three similar RBD mutations has already emerged according to the GISAID database, it is necessary to develop vaccines that protect against such complete breakthrough variants.

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Wait, where is that graph?

Israeli Study Claims Covid Vaccine Boosters Reduce Infection Risk TENFOLD (RT)

A third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine could cut the risk of Covid infection by more than 10 times in elderly patients, according to an Israeli study, which was peer-reviewed just ahead of a key FDA meeting on boosters for Americans. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday night, the newly peer-reviewed study found that infections and severe Covid cases “were substantially lower among those who received a booster (third) dose of the [Pfizer-BioNTech] vaccine” compared to those who took only two. “The rate of confirmed infection was lower in the booster group than in the nonbooster group by a factor of 11.3,” the study said, also finding the rate of severe illness was slashed by nearly twentyfold, or by a factor of 19.5.


The findings are based on a review of official data for some 1.1 million Israelis over the age of 60, who were divided into two groups: those who received a booster within 5 months of their second dose, and those who did not. Citing ‘other recent research’, the study noted that vaccine-induced immunity could drop significantly in just six months after a recipient’s second dose – providing only twice the protection compared to non-vaccinated individuals. After a third shot, however, effectiveness was pushed back up to 95%, “a value similar to the original vaccine efficacy reported against the alpha variant,” the study said. While the researchers said they did their best to correct for any potential biases in the data, they acknowledged that their findings could reflect “behavioral changes after vaccination” rather than improved immunity alone, as the study did not attempt to measure antibody levels and instead relied on official case counts.

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Brave New Bizarro World.

Note that this is based on research from before mass vaccination.

“88 known breakthrough cases out of 11,431 individuals who had been vaccinated between December of 2020 and March of 2021, compared with 162 such cases out of a total of 14,746 trial subjects who had received their inoculations in July through October of 2020.”

Pfizer, Moderna Release Data Supporting Booster Shot (Claus)

Late on Wednesday, the pharmaceutical firm Moderna released new data regarding breakthrough cases of the coronavirus that it says supports the need for a third booster shot of its coronavirus vaccine. Earlier the Pfizer Corporation had announced that evidence from Israel shows a third coronavirus vaccine shot restores protection back up to the original effectiveness rate of 95% as it made the case to the US Food and Drug Administration for boosters. Pfizer stated that the need for the authorization of a booster shot is in response to what it called an “urgent emerging public health issue” as the much more contagious Delta variant of the virus races across the globe.

Adding further assurance to those who may shun the third shot for fear of additional side effects, Pfizer officials stated that such occurrences are similar to those observed after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. For its part, Moderna officials offered up a new analysis that showed breakthrough Coronavirus cases were experienced less often in those who were more recently vaccinated, indicating that the effectiveness of the shot does indeed wane over time. The Cambridge, Massachusetts firm noted that analysis gleaned from its phase three study showed the incidence of breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated people, occurred less often in a group of trial volunteers who had been inoculated recently, suggesting that immunity for those who received the coronavirus vaccines has begun to wane. In all, Moderna cited a total of 88 known breakthrough cases out of 11,431 individuals who had been vaccinated between December of 2020 and March of 2021, compared with 162 such cases out of a total of 14,746 trial subjects who had received their inoculations in July through October of 2020.

[..] Meanwhile, FDA officials declined earlier on Wednesday to endorse any position regarding Pfizer’s third shots, saying that there is a lack of verified data at this point. As of now, there has been no peer review of the Moderna analysis. The new flurry of vaccine claims appeared on the scene just two days before an important FDA vaccine advisory committee meeting; this initial panel of outside experts is tasked with debating whether or not there is enough evidence to support the wide distribution of booster shots across the country. This advisory group, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, was also the first body to consider the first coronavirus vaccine to come on the market in November of last year. Now it will debate the administration of a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech product.

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But of course. “Informed consent” from a 12-year old. They should look you people up.

UK Study To Test Mixed Covid Vaccines On Children & Teens (RT)

British researchers are set to study the effects of mixed vaccine schedules on children and teens, hoping to figure out whether second doses have the intended immune response in youths amid concerns of possible side effects. Designed by the Oxford Vaccine Group and dubbed “Com-COV3,” the upcoming trial will recruit 360 volunteers aged 12 to 16 in order to better understand how to distribute second doses to younger age groups. The study comes soon after UK health officials approved Covid vaccinations for kids 12 to 15-years-old, which will begin next week.

“This will provide the [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] with information crucial to informing their advice about immunising teenagers in the UK,” Matthew Snape, the trial’s head researcher and an associate professor in pediatrics and vaccinology at Oxford, told reporters on Thursday. While all trial participants will be given an initial dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, second doses administered eight weeks later will be divided into four different groups: a full or half dose of Pfizer, a full dose of the jab developed by Novavax, or a half dose of Moderna’s immunization.

“As well as looking at the standard two full doses of the Pfizer vaccine, we will look at how well volunteers respond when their second dose of Pfizer is half that of the first dose, or if different vaccines are used altogether, such as the vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Novavax,” Snape added. However, while vaccinations for the 12-15 age group will begin in a matter of days, British health orgs have approved only a single dose for youths so far due to possible adverse reactions from additional shots. Snape explained the “concern here is about the risks of myocarditis, particularly with the second dose with Pfizer vaccine in young men.”

Bhakdi

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About the “horse paste” calls to the Mississippi Department of Health: “..not 70%, as stated by the state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, but under 2%..”

Q: does the state epidemiologist still have a job?

The Plot Against Ivermectin (Bonvie)

When the Mississippi Department of Health released a “Health Alert Network” bulletin on August 20th stating that “70% of the recent calls (to its state poison control)” were over people taking livestock versions of the human drug ivermectin, the media went wild. Outlets such as The Hill, The New York Times, The Washington Post and scores of local news stations reported on this “crazy Covid” treatment that so many Mississippians were taking. Only, it just wasn’t true. Despite a retraction by the Associated Press on August 25th on this “erroneously reported” information, the Mississippi alert created a media feeding frenzy generating sexy headlines over people taking a “horse dewormer” for Covid-19 that has persisted to this day – one reason perhaps being that the Mississippi Department of Health has kept the uncorrected alert still posted and in public view.

After several freedom-of-information-act requests, it turns out that the actual number of calls during August 2021 to Mississippi Poison Control over animal ivermectin was not 70 percent, as stated by the state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, but under two percent – representing 11 inquiries related to people taking veterinary versions of the drug. If you include July in the tally, it’s down to around one percent of calls. So why did the Mississippi Department of Health put out such erroneous information, one that still states that media-mesmerizing 70 percent number? At this point, various print and broadcasting outlets, major, minor and even alternative, all have their own spurious slants on the supposedly grave danger ivermectin veterinary drugs pose to a gullible public trying to treat or prevent Covid-19.

These range from a bogus report that doctors can’t treat gunshot victims at an Oklahoma hospital because they’re too busy handling ivermectin overdoses to claims of poison-control centers around the country being overrun with ivermectin calls to the slandering of an Arkansas prison doctor, accused of “cruel and unusual punishment” after prescribing human-grade ivermectin (referred to as “cow dewormer”) to his inmates to treat Covid. From the extensive research I’ve done, it appears that this “horse/cow dewormer” narrative went into full swing with the issuance of that Mississippi alert. Rather than work these facts into a story, I’ve compiled a timeline that begins on August 18.

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Our hospitals are overwhelmed! Let’s make it worse!

France Suspends 3,000 Unvaccinated Health Workers (F24)

Thousands of health workers across France have been suspended without pay for failing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of a deadline this week, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday. “Some 3,000 suspensions were notified yesterday to employees at health centres and clinics who have not yet been vaccinated,” Veran told RTL radio. He added that “several dozens” had turned in their resignations rather than sign up for the jabs. That compares with 2.7 million health workers overall, Veran said, adding that “continued healthcare is assured”.


President Emmanuel Macron gave staff at hospitals, retirement home workers and the fire service an ultimatum in July to get at least one shot by September 15 or face unpaid suspension. Many nurses in particular have been reluctant to get vaccinated, citing safety or efficacy concerns, posing the risk that France’s inoculation drive could stall. France’s national public health agency estimated last week that roughly 12 percent of hospital staff and around six percent of doctors in private practices have yet to be vaccinated. Overall, 70 percent of the French have received both doses required to be fully vaccinated, which are available to everyone over age 12 — one of the highest rates in the world.

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“..most young children remain unvaccinated in China, sparking fears that the latest Fujian outbreak could hit the most vulnerable people in the country disproportionately.”

China Fully Vaccinates More Than 1 Billion People (RFI)

China has fully vaccinated more than one billion people against the coronavirus — 71 percent of its population — official figures showed Thursday. The country where the virus was first detected has mostly curbed the virus within its borders, but is racing to get the vast majority of its population vaccinated as a new outbreak flickers in the southeast. “As of September 15, 2.16 billion vaccine doses have been administered nationwide,” said National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng at a press briefing. Chinese health authorities said late last month that 890 million people in China had been fully vaccinated and two billion doses administered.


The government has not publicly announced a target for vaccination coverage, but top virologist Zhong Nanshan said last month that the country is likely to have 80 percent of its population inoculated by the end of the year, reaching herd immunity. China is currently battling an outbreak of the Delta variant in the southeastern province of Fujian that has infected almost 200 people so far in three cities, dozens of whom are schoolchildren. The Fujian cluster is the biggest rebound in weeks and comes after the country declared the Delta variant under control, in a test of China’s “zero-case” approach to the pandemic. China reported 49 new domestic transmissions on Thursday, the vast majority in Fujian. Authorities said the cluster’s suspected patient zero was a man who had recently returned from Singapore to the city of Putian, and developed symptoms after completing a 14-day quarantine and initially testing negative for the virus.

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But what role did the FBI play in this?

Clinton Lawyer Michael Sussmann Indicted For Lying to FBI (CTH)

U.S. Special Counsel John Durham has released an indictment of Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann for lying to federal investigators in 2016 about the people and motives behind his FBI contact. He failed to tell them his intent was to spread a false Alfa Bank conspiracy theory on behalf of the Clinton campaign. Working for the Perkins Coie law firm, while under contract with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, partner Michael Sussmann contacted FBI Legal Counsel James Baker to pitch evidence that a Russian bank was in digital communications with servers in Trump Tower. The Alfa Bank allegation was one of the key components for the ridiculous Trump-Russia narrative put together by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Sussmann wanted the FBI to investigate Donald Trump, so that Hillary Clinton could push a political fabrication about Donald Trump working with Russians to steal the presidential election.


According to the indictment, Sussmann failed to tell the FBI that he was giving them this information on behalf of the Clinton campaign. The FBI investigated the claims and found nothing; however, it was the appearance of the investigation that Clinton needed in order to leak/push the Trump-Russia story to the media and stir up the controversy. There had to be something to the “Trump-Russia” story, because the FBI was investigating it. That fabricated smear served its intended purpose, and the media ran with it.

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Do they present it this way so you will think the Fed is accountable to you?

Powell, Juggling Policy And Renomination, Now Faces An Ethics Blowup (R.)

It is perhaps as predictable as it is problematic: Within days of news that two Federal Reserve bank presidents had engaged in controversial stock trades, one of the fiercest critics of the U.S. central bank’s financial system oversight demands new ethics rules that would bar such dealings in the future. For Fed Chair Jerome Powell, however, it is the wrong problem at the wrong time. Under consideration for reappointment as Fed chief while also juggling how to pull off a critical change in U.S. monetary policy, Powell faces a controversy of the Fed’s own making that helps reinforce arguments by progressives for broader change at the central bank.

Powell remains favored for renomination by President Joe Biden, and if history is a guide a decision may come in the weeks between the Fed’s policy meeting next week and its two-day session on Nov. 2-3. That would match a point in the calendar when the last two Fed chair appointments have been announced. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Wednesday letter to the Fed’s 12 regional presidents asking them to “impose strong and enforceable ethics and financial conflicts of interest rules” and send her an action plan “no later than Oct. 15,” is at a minimum a distraction to Powell at a time when he is steering the Fed through complex debate over monetary policy.

The Fed meets next week and is expected to take a potentially decisive step that flags likely changes to some of its pandemic crisis programs at an upcoming meeting. It is the type of moment that requires deft communication at the Fed chair’s post-meeting press conference – now muddled by likely queries about his colleagues’ investing habits and the possible blow to public trust. “Institutionally, it’s a bad look,” said Tim Duy, chief U.S. economist at SGH Macro Advisors and an economics professor at the University of Oregon. “It’s better to get ahead of this.” Powell has moved to do so, launching a broad review of the Fed’s rules governing investments by senior officials.

But unless change comes quicly, Warren’s direct demands set up a possible clash with a key Democratic lawmaker when Biden’s eventual Fed pick goes for Senate confirmation. Warren, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which will provide the initial vetting of the nominee, voted against Powell as Fed chair four years ago, has criticized the Fed’s approach to financial regulation on his watch and has yet to state an opinion about his possible renomination. She credited the move by Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren to sell the investments in question, but said a decision “made amidst an ethic firestorm” left no guarantee “that Fed officials are acting solely in the public interest, not based on their own financial interests.”

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Thought I’d add this one because of this line:

“Current Fed regulations forbid the trading of individual stocks by senior officials around the time of policy meetings due to the sharing of information that could have significant influence on the nation’s economy.”

You mean like 15 minutes before and 15 mimues after, but otherwise you’re fine?

Powell Orders Ethics Review Of Federal Reserve (JTN)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell ordered staff to review ethics guidelines governing the financial dealings by top central bank officials. News of Powell’s inquiry broke after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sent 12 letters to the Fed’s regional banks demanding stricter ethics guidelines be implemented by the Fed’s top officials. The Massachusetts Democrat called on each president to ban the ownership and trading of personal stocks by top officials at each regional bank office. Powell requested the ethics review late last week, a spokesperson said in a statement, following reports that two regional presidents actively invested during 2020. A Fed spokesperson told CNBC that Powell ordered the review “because the trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission.”


According to documents released last week, Fed Presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren both bought or sold private stocks in excess of $1 million dollars. Other Fed presidents reported little to no trading activity. Amid the public backlash and scrutiny from Congress, both Kaplan and Rosengren said they would sell any individual stock holdings by the end of the month. Current Fed regulations forbid the trading of individual stocks by senior officials around the time of policy meetings due to the sharing of information that could have significant influence on the nation’s economy. Powell emphasized that although it is not illegal for regional presidents to buy or sell stocks, the Fed’s internal rules require officials to avoid even the appearance of conflict or of using their position for personal gain.

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“..unfinished properties with enough floor space to cover three-fourths of Manhattan..”

China Braces For “Nightmare Scenario” As Evergrande Collapses (ZH)

Up until now the collapse of China’s Evergrande was very much a slow motion affair, captured perhaps best by Forte Securities trader Keith Temperton who said that “the Asian banks will get hit hard if there’s a default, but then there will be a 10-year recovery process. The market’s getting a hang of it. The way they’ve managed the news flow seems quite clever. They haven’t let a swathe of bad news at once.” But while Beijing was indeed successful in extending the period of collapse as long as possible, now that Evergrande is effectively insolvent and having suspended its bonds from trading we have finally gotten to the endgame and the realization that hundreds of billions in capital (Evergrande’s total debt was just over $300 billion) is gone for ever.

This realization has already prompted angry protesters at China Evergrande Group offices across the country as the developer has fallen further behind on promises to more than 70,000 investors. Construction of unfinished properties with enough floor space to cover three-fourths of Manhattan grinds to a halt, leaving more than a million homebuyers in limbo. In an effort to appease its angry (and very soon, poor) stakeholders, Evergrande plans to let consumers and staff bid on discounted properties this month to repay them for billions in overdue investment products as the embattled developer seeks to preserve cash, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg, the company will organize an online property event by Sept. 30 for investors who opt for discounted real estate in lieu of cash, said two employees who were briefed on an internal call Thursday and asked not to be identified. The world’s most-indebted property developer is pushing the discounted real estate as the preferred of three options for angry investors seeking repayments. The high-yield “shadow bank” products paying as much as 13% a year have become a lightning rod for cash-strapped Evergrande, with investors and staff protesting losses and delayed payments from investments that were marketed as safe. Indeed, demonstrations that are breaking out across China could sway any bailout decisions by the government, which places a high priority on social stability, although it’s likely too late for that.

More than 70,000 people bought the products, including many Evergrande employees, Bloomberg reported earlier, citing an executive of Evergrande’s wealth division. And with about 40 billion yuan ($6.2 billion) of them are now due according to Caixin, there is about to be a whole lot of angry investors, who will not be swayed by the company’s hail mary plan to offer steep discounts on property assets. Investors can invest in residential housing units at a 28% discount, offices at a 46% discount and stores and parking units at 52%. Discounted rates can’t be lower than price floors designated by local governments. The property discounts are a voluntary repayment option, according to the briefing.

[..] As Bloomberg notes, it’s impossible to know for sure what would happen if Beijing allows Evergrande’s downward spiral to continue unabated, but China watchers are already mapping out worst-case scenarios as they contemplate how much pain the Communist Party is willing to tolerate. Pressure to intervene is growing as signs of financial contagion increase and as more and more popular anger builds. “As a systemically important developer, an Evergrande bankruptcy would cause problems for the entire property sector,” said Shen Meng, director at Beijing investment bank Chanson & Co. “Debt recovery efforts by creditors would lead to fire sales of assets and hit housing prices. Profit margins across the supply chain would be squeezed. It would also lead to panic selling in capital markets.”

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There’s a Cuomo in there!

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 252021
 
 July 25, 2021  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Claude Monet Water lilies 1904

 

Lab Alert: Changes to CDC RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 Testing
Adverse Reactions To The Covid-19 Vaccines Suffered By Infants (DE)
CNN: Segregate Unvaccinated, Make Them Pay For Tests Every Day (SN)
Who Watches The Watchmen? – Fauci’s ‘Noble Lie,’ Exposed (Rixey)
Big Protests Mark Global Anger At Covid Restrictions (F24)
Sydney Police Fine 100s Of Protesters For ‘Filthy, Risky Behaviour’ (G.)
Australian Leaders Blast Protesters, ‘Strike Force’ To Track Them Down (RT)
Protesters Slam Italian PM Draghi For Introducing Covid Health Pass (RT)
London Anti-vax Speaker Threatens Doctors With ‘Nuremberg Trials’ (RT)
FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror (Greenwald)
Space Returns Unwanted Amazon Delivery (BBee)

 

 

 

 

McCullough on long covid

 

 

The lower the vaccination rates, the lower the new infections.

 

 

Dalhousie: If a Professor of Infectious Diseases claims she’s been “immunized”, what hope is there for others?

 

 

 

 

Served its purpose?

Lab Alert: Changes to CDC RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

Level: Laboratory Alert

After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only. CDC is providing this advance notice for clinical laboratories to have adequate time to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives.

In preparation for this change, CDC recommends clinical laboratories and testing sites that have been using the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR assay select and begin their transition to another FDA-authorized COVID-19 test. CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Such assays can facilitate continued testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save both time and resources as we head into influenza season. Laboratories and testing sites should validate and verify their selected assay within their facility before beginning clinical testing.

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“These vulnerable children will be used as part of a real-world experiment to determine whether the Covid-19 vaccine should be offered to all children, they are being treated in essence as sacrificial lambs.”

Adverse Reactions To The Covid-19 Vaccines Suffered By Infants (DE)

They’re coming for the children. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued advice to Sajid Javid’s Department of Health and Social Care, stating that children with disabilities should be offered a Covid-19 vaccine, despite the fact real world data shows that children as young as two-months-old in the USA have suffered paralysis, cardiac arrest and death after being given one of the experimental jabs. The JCVI said in a statement issued on the 19th July 2021 that “children aged 12 to 15 with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities, should be offered the Pfizer / BioNTech mRNA Covid vaccine.

They have also recommended that “children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should be offered the vaccine”. The reason the JCVI give for this is that “immunosuppressed household contacts, who are at higher risk of serious disease from COVID-19 may not generate a full immune response to vaccination.” therefore in their opinion this will indirectly protect them. Perhaps the JCVI aren’t aware that the Covid-19 vaccines have not been proven to prevent infection or transmission? But they are aware that real-world data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in children is limited, and they are also aware that the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine are causing myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart) in younger adults; they say as such in their statement.


They’re also aware that all children and young people are at very low risk from Covid-19. Symptoms, and they know that fewer than 30 children have died because of Covid-19 in the UK since March 2020, all of them having severe underlying conditions which were the probably cause of death rather than the alleged Covid-19. So why are the JCVI recommending the Pfizer Covid-19 jab is given to children with disabilities and learning difficulties when they are fully aware of the above? These vulnerable children will be used as part of a real-world experiment to determine whether the Covid-19 vaccine should be offered to all children, they are being treated in essence as sacrificial lambs. That is evident from the fact that the JCVI recommend children with learning difficulties should be offered the jab.

Read more …

They finally found a target that is not Trump. Same MO. Clickbait wars.

CNN: Segregate Unvaccinated, Make Them Pay For Tests Every Day (SN)

CNN continued its wall to wall broadcasts calling for unvaccinated people to be punished, with analysts again calling for those who haven’t gotten the COVID shots to be segregated from society and forced to pay for tests every single day. First up was CNN’s resident medical health “expert” Dr. Leana Wen who called for vaccine passports and forever masking. “I think it depends on the circumstance,” Wen said, explaining “So if you’re going to the grocery store, and the grocery store doesn’t have the capacity to enforce some kind of proof of vaccination, then they have to say that indoor masking needs to apply, because we don’t know who’s vaccinated and who’s not.” “The same thing for schools,” Wen continued, adding “Schools, you can’t expect the teacher in every school to be asking ‘well you’re not wearing a mask so are you vaccinated or not?’

And so that’s the case, everyone should be wearing masks.” “But I can imagine there are already concert venues or workplaces that are saying ‘if you are not vaccinated, you can’t come, or you have to get a negative test.’ And that’s what’s needed in order to really incentivize vaccines at this point,” Wen further stated. Wen previously suggested that life should be made as difficult as possible for those who are still opting not to take the shots, and that Americans should be banned from engaging in social events and forced to undergo PCR tests twice a week if they want to stay unvaccinated. She also previously advocated directly linking the amount of freedom Americans should be allowed to their vaccination status.

Next up on CNN, which should probably be renamed VNN, was Former White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt who proclaimed that the Biden administration should become “very aggressive” and force unvaccinated workers and students to take daily tests and to cover the costs themselves. “We should be really seriously considering whether schools, workplaces, government agencies ought to be saying, ‘Hey, if you’re coming here, you need to be vaccinated. If you’re not, you need to show you have a negative test every single day,” Slavitt declared.

He continued, “Look, if people say they don’t want to be vaccinated, which some people might say, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say that’s fine. We want you to show up every morning an hour before work and get a negative test. Maybe even at your own expense. Until the point where people will say, you know what? It makes more sense to actually get vaccinated. If you give people that option, I think you’re going to see more and more people take the option to get vaccinated.” “Option.” Right.

Read more …

Amazing deep dive. Primarily on Fauci.

Who Watches The Watchmen? – Fauci’s ‘Noble Lie,’ Exposed (Rixey)

Six months ago, I began my first article on scientific censorship during COVID-19 by introducing Dr. Fauci as a surprise character that had emerged unexpectedly while digging through what was then 83,000 FOIA emails, published by US Right-to-Know over the course of the last year: [see files related to Ralph Baric, Linda Saif, Rita Colwell, Colorado State/Rocky Mountain National Laboratory & the NCBI; other FOIA releases from Judicial Watch, Buzzfeed & the Washington Post include NIH funding of the WIV & Dr. Fauci’s emails]

I’ve been trying for quite some time to get people to understand the full scope of the Dr. Fauci ‘situation,’ but it’s clear that segments of our national leadership are preventing an honest and open inquiry into his actions because they fear the backlash/collateral damage that will result from the tarnishing of their sacred cow. It’s time Americans were told the truth – that the grant money sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology [WIV] is merely a footnote in this narrative. After all, Dr. Fauci controls nearly $4 billion of annual grant funding for the NIAID, the institute within the NIH he has directed since 1984; over 37 years, more than 50,000 research projects have been supported with more than $50 billion [conservatively] of taxpayer funds have been doled out to them.

It’s reasonable to hold him accountable for the results of his organization’s efforts, but the direct funding received by the WIV for Gain-of-Function (GOF) research represents only a tiny fraction of Fauci’s involvement in enabling risky research – the 2017 repeal of the GOF ban was decided without the consultation of the Trump administration, even though news coverage during the pandemic blamed him for the decision. Neither Fauci nor his boss Francis Collins [the NIH director] bothered to clarify the record, which looks especially disgusting in the wake of persistent rejections of Senator Rand Paul’s assertions [with accompanying evidence] that the NIH ever financially supported such research.

Read more …

The crowds are still too small, and protesting on a weekend day doesn’t truly count.

Big Protests Mark Global Anger At Covid Restrictions (F24)

More than 100,000 people protested in Australia, France, Italy and Greece on Saturday, sparking clashes with police as they railed against Covid-19 measures and government sanctions against the unvaccinated aimed at prodding more people into getting jabs. Dozens of protesters were arrested after an unauthorised march in Sydney, with the city’s police minister branding those who took part as “morons”. Organisers had dubbed the protest a “freedom” rally. Attendees carried signs and banners reading “Wake up Australia” and “Drain the Swamp”. In France, where police deployed teargas and water cannon against some protesters, an estimated 160,000 took to the streets in nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s health pass that will drastically curtail access to restaurants and public spaces for unvaccinated people.

“Freedom, freedom”, chanted demonstrators in France, carrying placards denouncing “Macron, Tyrant”, “Big Pharma shackles freedom” or saying “No to the pass of shame”. The demonstrations highlight the conflict globally between people caught between the advice of the World Health Organization and other public health agencies and the need to earn a living — or simply to return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle. In Indonesia and the UK, governments have pressed ahead with easing of restrictions even in the face of surging. Meanwhile, around 5,000 people demonstrated in Athens, carrying placards touting slogans such as, “Don’t touch our children”, according to an AFP journalist at the scene. And in Italy protesters gathered in Rome to demonstrate against a mandatory “green pass” for indoor dining and entertainment.

Earlier in Sydney, demonstrators pelted officers with pot plants and bottles of water as they defied a month-long stay-at-home order, a day after authorities suggested the restrictions could remain in place until October. New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “utterly disgusted” by the protesters whose “selfish actions have compromised the safety of all of us”. Police said they issued nearly 100 fines and arrested 57 people. In Melbourne, meanwhile, six people were arrested. police said. New South Wales Police Minister David Elliott said a team of detectives would be scouring footage to identify and charge as many people as possible in the coming days. “Sydney isn’t immune from morons,” he said.

Read more …

When you address your own citizes like this, you aim to rule and divide.

Sydney Police Fine 100s Of Protesters For ‘Filthy, Risky Behaviour’ (G.)

Hundreds of fines have been issued and dozens charged in Sydney after anti-lockdown protesters marched and clashed with police in what one deputy commissioner called “violent, filthy, risky behaviour”. The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said was “utterly disgusted” by the thousands who had breached the region’s coronavirus measures to protest, saying on Sunday that the scenes “broke my heart”. Detectives are now combing social media and footage from CCTV and police-worn body cameras to identify and punish everyone who defied stay-at-home orders, which are now entering their fifth week. Police issued 510 fines on Saturday, with the “vast majority” coming from Saturday’s protest. Two have been charged with allegedly striking a police horse.

State police minister David Elliott was scathing of Saturday’s unrest, saying: “Sydney isn’t immune from morons.” Victorian officials criticised similar protests in the state capital, Melbourne. The state’s Covid-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar described those who took to the stresses as a “small minority having a self-indulgent tantrum”, with the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews warning that you “cannot vaccinate against selfishness”. The Sydney region is struggling to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant that started in Bondi last month, amid a sluggish vaccination rollout and persistent violation of stay-at-home orders among family groups. A Guardian Australia analysis has found it could take months to recede.

Around half of Australia’s 25 million people are in lockdown across several cities and states, with anger growing at the federal government for a vaccine programme that has fully inoculated less than 13% of the population since it began in February. New South Wales reported another 141 cases on Sunday, and two deaths, including a woman in her 30s who had no pre-existing conditions. “If anybody think this is a disease just affecting older people, please think again,” said Berejiklian. The ugly scenes in Sydney and Melbourne, – as well Adelaide and Brisbane – were also reflected across Europe as people railed against Covid-19 measures and government restrictions aimed at improving uptake of vaccines.

Read more …

Australia is lost.

Australian Leaders Blast Protesters, ‘Strike Force’ To Track Them Down (RT)

Australian police have already issued hundreds of fines in the wake of mass anti-lockdown rallies, and are looking for more info about the violators, as state leaders condemn protesters for endangering other people’s lives. In just 24 hours after Saturday’s mass protest, police in New South Wales issued 510 penalty infringement notices, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. He vowed that the authorities will continue to investigate the acts of “violent, filthy, risky” behavior. “A strike force is set up right at this moment that continues to ask for people to bring forward any video files or telephone footage that they have of that sort of behaviour.”

NSW Police Minister David Elliott earlier announced that at least 22 veteran detectives will be working as part of a special unit to identify and track down people who attended the rallies. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian echoed these sentiments, saying she was “absolutely disgusted” by the mass gatherings, and urging anyone who recognized any of the activists to contact police immediately. “I’m just so utterly disgusted, disappointed and heartbroken that people don’t consider the safety and wellbeing of their fellow citizens. NSW reported two deaths and 141 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, which is slightly lower than the day before. Authorities, however, have hinted that as the protest risks turning into a superspreader event, the month-long lockdown in Sydney might be extended even further.

“We don’t want a setback, and yesterday could have been a setback – time will tell,” Berejiklian said. The state’s current lockdown rules bar residents from leaving home except to obtain food and other “essential” goods and services, for medical care, including vaccinations, and for outdoor exercise and “essential” work. The state of Victoria in the meantime recorded only 11 new cases, but Premier Daniel Andrews blasted the protesters for putting “many other people in real danger,” and said that he could not rule out that the state’s own lockdown will also be extended. “We can’t vaccinate against selfishness, and these people should be ashamed, absolutely ashamed, it’s just wrong.”

Since the pandemic began, Australia has repeatedly staved off the spread of Covid-19 with some of the world’s most draconian lockdown measures, in pursuit of driving new cases down to zero even at the expense of civil liberties. Over the course of the pandemic, the country recorded just over 32,700 cases and 916 total deaths. On Saturday, thousands of people sickened by perpetual restrictions and confinement marched through major Australian cities, chanting “Freedom!” and clashing with police who were deployed to disperse these “illegal gatherings.”

Read more …

In the US, it’s the right that clamors for freedom. In Europe, not so much.

Protesters Slam Italian PM Draghi For Introducing Covid Health Pass (RT)

Protests against the Italian government’s plan to introduce health passes were held in more than 80 locations on Saturday, where people denounced the measure as discriminatory. Around 3,000 rallied in Rome and 5,000 in Turin, the capital of the northwestern Piedmont region, while smaller protests were held elsewhere across the country, Italian media said. Overall, demonstrations were reported in more than 80 cities and towns. People took to the streets to denounce the plan of the government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi to introduce a health pass, known as the ‘Green Pass’. The document serves as proof that a person has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, has tested negative for Covid-19 in the last 48 hours, or has recovered from the virus.

Starting from August 6, only Green Pass holders will be allowed into cafes, restaurants, gyms, and open-air shows. Protesters view the measure as discriminatory. Some marched with signs that read, ‘Draghi Like Hitler’ and ‘Freedom, No More Dictatorship’, while others carried Italian flags and lit flares. “We say no to the Green Pass because it creates A-class and B-class citizens – those who have rights and those who have no rights,” a protester in Rome told RT’s Ruptly video agency. “This is against Italy’s constitution.” La Stampa newspaper reported that some business owners took part in the protest, fearing that the introduction of the pass will lead to a drop in clientele and endanger their livelihood.

Draghi said the Green Pass is necessary to stop the spread of the disease and restart the economy. Some politicians criticized Saturday’s protests. “Hearing words like ‘slavery’ and ‘Covid scam’ makes me shudder. According to these irresponsible [people], 130,000 deaths were perhaps only imaginary,” Senator Licia Ronzulli from the center-right Forza Italia party said, as quoted by La Stampa.

Read more …

Posted on RT, but sounds like MSNBC.

London Anti-vax Speaker Threatens Doctors With ‘Nuremberg Trials’ (RT)

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination activists rallied in multiple British cities against the vaccine passport initiative. In London, one of the speakers triggered a major controversy by likening NHS staff to Nazi doctors. Thousands of people gathered at Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday for the ‘Freedom Rally’, to protest the restrictive measures introduced amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Demonstrators flooded almost the entire square, holding placards and banners reading: “No to forced testing” and “No to forced vaccination.” Many activists went as far as accusing the government of “crimes against humanity,” while banners seen in the crowd ranged from 5G conspiracy theories to flags reading “Trump for 2024.” Though minor scuffles erupted on the sidelines of the event, resulting in several arrests, the rally was otherwise peaceful.


The gathering was attended by controversial media personality Katie Hopkins, who just returned from Australia after her visa was canceled over a quarantine breach. Former TV presenter turned-conspiracy theorist David Icke was also present, as well as Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. One of the speakers, Kate Shemirani, a former nurse turned-anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist, triggered a major controversy, calling the vaccines “Satanic” and describing them as part of a larger surveillance scheme – while urging people to send her the names of doctors and nurses involved in the vaccination campaign. “At the Nuremberg trial the doctors and nurses stood trial, and they hung.” “If you are a doctor or a nurse, now is the time to get off that bus… and stand with us, the people,” she said, claiming that a group of lawyers is helping her collect the information.

Read more …

The whole Whitmer thing stank from the get-go. But that no longer matters in the US. What counts is what words make you feel, not what they actually mean.

FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror (Greenwald)

The narrative that domestic anti-government extremism is the greatest threat to U.S. national security — the official position of the U.S. security state and the Biden administration — received its most potent boost in October 2020, less than one month before the 2020 presidential election. That was when the F.B.I. and Michigan state officials announced the arrest of thirteen people on terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges, with six of them accused of participating in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had been a particular target of criticism from President Trump for her advocacy for harsh COVID lockdown measures. The headlines that followed were dramatic and fear-inducing: “F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” announced The New York Times.

That same night, ABC News began its broadcast this way: “Tonight, we take you into a hidden world, a place authorities say gave birth to a violent domestic terror plot in Michigan — foiled by the FBI.” Democrats and liberal journalists instantly seized on this storyline to spin a pre-election theme that was as extreme as it was predictable. Gov. Whitmer herself blamed Trump, claiming that the plotters “heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry — as a call to action.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) claimed that “the president is a deranged lunatic and he’s inspired white supremacists to violence, the latest of which was a plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer,” adding: “these groups have attempted to KILL many of us in recent years. They are following Trump’s lead.”

[..] Yet from the start, there were ample and potent reasons to distrust the FBI’s version of events. To begin with, FBI press releases are typically filled with lies, yet media outlets — due to some combination of excessive gullibility, an inability to learn lessons, or a desire to be deceived — continue to treat them as Gospel. For another, the majority of “terror plots” the FBI claimed to detect and break up during the first War on Terror were, in fact, plots manufactured, funded and driven by the FBI itself. Indeed, the FBI has previously acknowledged that its own powers and budget depend on keeping Americans in fear of such attacks. Former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes, in a documentary called “The Newberg Sting” about a 2009 FBI arrest of four men on terrorism charges, uttered this extremely candid admission:

If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that “We won the war on terror and everything’s great,” cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive. In the Whitmer kidnapping case, the FBI’s own affidavit in support of the charges acknowledged the involvement in the plot of both informants and undercover FBI agents “over several months.” [..] An excellent piece of investigative journalism published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday documents that, far from being passive observers of the plot, FBI informants and agents were the key drivers of it:

An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.

Read more …

“..a giant metal gumdrop with 4 dudes in it..”

Space Returns Unwanted Amazon Delivery (BBee)

Outer space has returned an unwanted Amazon package that was sent to it unsolicited yesterday. According to witnesses, the package floated gently back down to earth after being rejected. Locals have asked Amazon to please “pick this thing up and bring it back to the warehouse” as no one really wants it around or knows what to do with it. If you know who ordered a giant metal gumdrop with 4 dudes in it, please call Amazon immediately.

Read more …

 

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Money

 

 

Protests July 24.

 

 

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Jul 222021
 
 July 22, 2021  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  100 Responses »


Edward Hopper Western Motel 1957

 

Israeli Lab: Some Existing Drugs Could Stop Covid At Almost 100% (JPost)
Mefloquine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Physiologically Relevant Cells (BX)
Israel Reports Sharp Decline In Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Efficacy (YNet)
5,522 People Have Died Within 28 Days Of Having A Covid-19 Vaccine In Scotland (DE)
English Care Homes Could Lose 70,000 Staff Over Mandatory Covid Jab (G.)
There Goes The Rest Of The Narrative (Denninger)
When Will Covid-19 Vaccines Be Fully Approved—And Does It Matter? (Sci.Mag)
When Will We FORCE A Stop To The BS? (Denninger)
Whitmer Kidnapping Defendants Claim Entrapment (ZH)
US Women’s Soccer Team To Boycott Scoring Goals Until Racism Is Defeated (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Vaccine covid

 

 

`from a a fected goldmine: CDC posting today: Attack rate for Gamma variant was 0% (0/6) among persons with a previous history of COVID-19 versus attack rate was 60% (15/25) among fully vaccinated [Pfizer] miners and 75% (3/4) among unvaccinated miners without history of infection

 

 

Ron Paul VAERS

 

 

9 in 10 adults in UK regions likely to have covid antibodies. In Scotland, 88.6% estimated to have antibodies, 90.0% for Northern Ireland, 91.9% for England & 92.6% in Wales. Office for National Statistics based on a sample of blood test results for week beginning June 28;

 

 

“Arkin and his team culled through a library of more than 2,800 approved-for-use compounds, identifying 18 drugs they felt could be effective..”

Israeli Lab: Some Existing Drugs Could Stop Covid At Almost 100% (JPost)

Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have identified several drugs that could potentially help treat, if not “cure,” people who develop COVID-19. Prof. Shy Arkin, a biochemist in the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Science, told The Jerusalem Post that in lab tests in which cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 were placed together with the drugs for two days, “almost 100% of the cells lived despite being infected with the virus.” In contrast, without the preexisting drug compounds, around 50% of the cells died after coming in contact with the virus. Arkin and his team culled through a library of more than 2,800 approved-for-use compounds, identifying 18 drugs they felt could be effective. In unpublished work, the researchers were able to show that several of these compounds “exhibited remarkable potency against the whole virus in in vitro experiments.”

Two of them are Darapladib, used for the treatment of atherosclerosis, and Flumatinib, used for the treatment of certain blood cancers. Arkin said he was hesitant to share the names of any of the drugs, adding that he could not recommend them until they underwent proper clinical trials. The team focused on drug repurposing to potentially expedite any future regulatory steps. Since the drugs are already being used for other indications, their toxicity and side effects, for example, are known and approved. The way the drugs work is by inhibiting two targets in the virus: the E (envelope) protein and the 3a protein. The E protein is the most conserved of all virus proteins. For example, while the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 (the 2003 virus) are only about 75% identical, their E proteins are roughly 95% alike.

This means the drugs would likely remain effective even when the virus mutates, Arkin told the Post. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines target the spike protein. In previous studies, E and 3a proteins were shown to be essential for viral infectivity. Arkin’s team was among the first to study the E protein of the first SARS coronavirus in 2004. As part of research that Arkin’s team has been conducting for more than two decades, they identified that the E protein is an ion channel, a type of protein family expressed by virtually all living cells that because of its structure has “served as excellent and frequent targets for pharmaceutical point interventions,” including for cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, arrhythmia, neurodegenerative diseases, hypertension, angina and more, the report said.

It is important that “a large arsenal” of drugs exist to fight SARS-CoV-2, Arkin said. “We should never be in a situation where in our arsenal we only have one firearm,” he said. “If we only have one and we rely solely on it, and then there comes a time that it fails, we will be in a very precarious situation.” Arkin believes his team is set for in vitro and in vivo studies, and he is looking for a pharmaceutical partner to help carry these trials through. Citing the success of Gilead obtaining US Food and Drug Administration approval for Remdesivir in record time at the start of the pandemic, Arkin said he was optimistic that at least some of these compounds could be approved for use against COVID “very quickly with the right partner.”

Read more …

Here’s another candidate,

Mefloquine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Physiologically Relevant Cells (BX)

Antimalarial drugs, such as chloroquine (CQ)/hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and mefloquine have emerged as potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 antivirals. CQ/HCQ entered the Solidarity and RECOVERY clinical trials against COVID-19 and showed lack of efficacy. Importantly, mefloquine is not a 4-aminoquinoline like CQ and HCQ and has been previously repurposed for other respiratory diseases. Unlike the 4-aminoquinolines that accumulate in the high pH of intracellular lysosomes of the lung, the high respiratory tract penetration of mefloquine is driven by its high lipophilicity. While CQ and HCQ exhibit activity in Vero E6 cells, their activity is obviated in TMPRSS2-expressing cells, such as Calu-3 cells, which more accurately recapitulate in vivo entry mechanisms for SARS-CoV-2.


Accordingly, here we report the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of mefloquine in Calu-3 type II pneumocytes and primary human monocytes. Mefloquine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication, including the gamma variant, in Calu-3 cells with low cytotoxicity and EC50 and EC90 values of 1.2 and 5.3 uM, respectively. In addition, mefloquine reduced up to 68% the SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in infected monocytes, reducing viral-induced inflammation. Mefloquine blocked early steps of the SARS-CoV-2 replicative cycle and was less prone than CQ to induce drug-associated viral mutations and synergized with RNA polymerase inhibitor. The pharmacological parameters of mefloquine are consistent with its plasma exposure in humans and its tissue-to-plasma predicted coefficient points that this drug may accumulate in the lungs. These data indicate that mefloquine could represent an orally available clinically approved drug option against COVID-19 and should not be neglected on the basis of the failure of CQ and HCQ.

Read more …

The clincher: the one thing left the vaccines were still supposed to do: protection from severe illness has also recorded a sharp drop of up to 60%.

Israel Reports Sharp Decline In Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Efficacy (YNet)

Israel on Tuesday reported a sharp decline in the efficacy of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine after receiving data from a recent analysis. Data from the analysis conducted by the Health Ministry suggest the efficacy of the vaccine declines over time in preventing infection and severe illness. Health officials presented their findings during a meeting of the ministry’s Epidemic Management Team on Monday night, which showed that protection from coronavirus infections among vaccinated people decreased by 42% since the start of the inoculation drive in Israel. In addition, protection from severe illness has also recorded a sharp drop of up to 60% among those who were inoculated in the early stages of the vaccine rollout.


However, most people who had been vaccinated at the early stage of the vaccine drive appear to be over the age of 65 and findings may not reflect the vaccine’s efficacy among those in other age groups. Ministry officials deemed the findings disturbing but claimed those were only preliminary analyses of very raw data. It was not yet clear whether the results were linked to an apparent erosion of the vaccine’s protection against the virus or greater resistance of the Delta variant to the inoculation. [..] Last week, Israel began administering a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech inoculation to patients with compromised immune systems, including people who have had heart, lung and kidney transplants.

Read more …

920 per month over 6 months, when Covid deaths were 866 per month. Note: In Dec 2020, far fewer people were jabbed than later, so the 2021 per month number is higher.

5,522 People Have Died Within 28 Days Of Having A Covid-19 Vaccine In Scotland (DE)

Public Health Scotland have revealed that 5,522 people have died within twenty-eight days of having a Covid-19 vaccine within the past 6 months in Scotland alone. Due to dozens of freedom of information requests being made, asking Public Health Scotland (PHS) to provide the current total number of deaths of any individual who has died within 28 days of having a Covid-19 vaccine, PHS decided the best way forward was to publish the information routinely and periodically within their Covid-19 statistical report. The most up to date figures published by PHS and within the report released by on the 23rd June 2021, and they reveal that between the 8th December 2020 and the 11th June 2021 a total number of 5,522 people died within 28 days of having a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

According to the spreadsheet provided by Public Health Scotland; which includes the quantity of deaths by type of vaccine and the date they occurred, 1,877 deaths have been due to the Pfizer mRNA jab, 3,643 deaths have been due to the AstraZeneca viral vector jab, and 2 deaths have been due to the Moderna mRNA jab. This equates to an average of 920 deaths occurring every month due to the Covid-19 vaccines in Scotland alone. Outnumbering the average number of people who have died of Covid-19 in Scotland by 866 per month. A freedom of information request made on the 30th January asked the Scottish Government to reveal the total number of people who had died of Covid-19 since March 2020. To which the Scottish Government responded on the 11th March 2021 with – “The answer to your question is 596 deaths involving COVID-19 has been registered where there was no pre-existing medical condition between March 2020 and January 2021 (including).”

Public Health England has so far refused to publish any data on the number of deaths occurring within 28 days of having the vaccine in England, but it is not for the want of people trying. Dozens of freedom of information requests have been made to PHE asking the question but they never fail to respond with the statement that “Public Health England can confirm it does not hold the information that you have requested. However, using the data on the number of deaths due to the Covid-19 vaccines in Scotland we can estimate what the likely number of deaths are due to the jabs in England. Adjusting to the size of the population we estimate the actual number of deaths due to the jabs in England in the past 6 months could be as high as 57,470.

Read more …

How many people must lose their jobs before someone says STOP?

English Care Homes Could Lose 70,000 Staff Over Mandatory Covid Jab (G.)

Up to 70,000 care home staff in England could leave the workforce or lose their jobs because the government is insisting they must be vaccinated against Covid, with women and ethnic minorities disproportionately affected, according to an official estimate. In an impact statement from the government, officials believe between 3% and 12% of care home staff may still resist getting a Covid jab by the end of a 16-week grace period. The central estimate was that 40,000 could be left without jobs, but it could be as high as 70,000 or as low as 17,000.

In a separate statement on the public sector equality duty, the government said the policy of mandatory vaccination for care home staff was “likely to have a significant impact on ethnic minorities” as one in five members of the social care workforce are black, Asian or from another ethnic minority, a higher proportion than in the overall population of England. It added: “The evidence suggests that vaccine hesitancy is highest among black people, people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage, and non-UK/Irish white ethnic groups.” The statement also acknowledged there was a “risk that issues such as lack of trust could be exacerbated by this policy” in relation to social care workers from minority ethnic backgrounds.

A group of Conservative MPs opposed to the policy had been repeatedly pressing the government to release an impact assessment before it called a vote on the issue last week. Boris Johnson managed to get the policy through the House of Commons but there was a sizeable rebellion of more than 30 MPs who joined with Labour and other opposition parties in opposing the policy. Defending the move in the House of Lords, James Bethell, a health minister, said: “We did not take lightly the decision to introduce this legislation. However, the risks that this winter will undoubtedly pose to the most vulnerable in our society make clear the choice that we must make, to do everything in our power to protect them.”

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“..there is no public health benefit to the jabs. These fully vaccinated people not only got the virus, they gave it to others. That, my friends, is what everyone claimed wouldn’t happen — if you got jabbed you protected other people. ”

There Goes The Rest Of The Narrative (Denninger)

There are 67 Democrats in the TX Delegation. I presume not all of them flew to DC; the news says “more than 50”, which is enough to deny the quorum and was the point of the exercise. There are now six confirmed Covid infections among them, and all are fully vaccinated. That’s a failure rate of roughly 10% for symptomatic infections, and not just preventing infection either — they transmitted it to each other as the infections were serial; not all got it on the same day. Since the CDC says somewhere between 6 and 24 (best guess 11) people are entirely asymptomatic and untested for each tested, symptomatic infection this means that more than half of the delegation in fact has the virus and is presumably, under the CDC’s claim of “asymptomatic transmission” spreading it to others.

Is ten percent failure rare? How about more than fifty percent? That sounds rather more like “worthless” to me. What say you? In addition a White House official also has tested positive after coming into contact with the delegation. Said person is also fully vaccinated and is symptomatic. They, since they are symptomatic, are presumptively contagious despite being “fully vaccinated.” How many White House officials were there? One? Boy, that’s a pretty good breakthrough case percentage isn’t it? Never mind the 10%+ symptomatic failure rate, which strongly implies at least half the delegation actually got infected, among the delegation itself. May I remind you that 80%, according to a study first published last summer, of the population has pre-existing resistance and thus would likely either by asymptomatic or only mildly so even if not vaccinated.

Have we improved anything at all other than, perhaps, individual outcomes with these shots? The data says, within the confidence interval, no. In other words there is no public health benefit to the jabs. These fully vaccinated people not only got the virus, they gave it to others. That, my friends, is what everyone claimed wouldn’t happen — if you got jabbed you protected other people. That claim was never in evidence; the original studies were underpowered to determine that and this was clearly stated in the study itself. The media and politicians, on the other hand, either didn’t read the studies or didn’t give a crap about the truth and talked you into taking a jab not to protect yourself if you are at specific risk but by lying to you that doing so would protect others.

We now know that claim was a lie. It was a lie by lack of knowledge before; now it is a straight-up knowing lie to repeat it. Add this to all the other lies. Why would you take any sort of personal health advice — now that it’s admitted that’s all the jab advocacy is — from the very same people who have been caught lying serially on virtually every topic related to Covid since last spring? You have to be a special brand of stupid to listen to people who get caught lying repeatedly, and then double-down on said lies. You’re only mistaken when you admit to that which is later proved false. As soon as you double-down on it you’re intentionally misleading people.

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People are so willing to ignore established scientific protocols, completely unaware that in doing so they step on the graves of the scientists who wrote them, AND those of the victims whose misery made them necessary.

When Will Covid-19 Vaccines Be Fully Approved—And Does It Matter? (Sci.Mag)

On 16 July, FDA accepted Pfizer’s application “under priority review”—meaning it will move faster than during standard reviews, which typically take at least 10 months; the agency now has until January 2022 to review the materials. That seems like a long time, but last week an FDA official told CNN that the decision is likely to come within 2 months. “The review … has been ongoing, is among the highest priorities of the agency, and the agency intends to complete the review far in advance of the [January] Date,” an FDA press officer confirmed to Science in a statement. FDA has not formally accepted Moderna’s application, possibly because the company has not yet submitted all the required materials.

Full approval could help overcome vaccine hesitancy, Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, wrote in a recent op-ed in The New York Times. “Some people who understand that the ‘E’ in ‘EUA’ stands for ‘emergency’ are waiting for full FDA approval before they receive a shot,” he wrote. “I think it’s fair to say that any number of us who are clinical infectious disease doctors and in public health are frankly a little surprised at how long the process is taking,” says William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “I want [FDA] to be careful. I also want them to move it along,” Schaffner says. “Frankly, I’d like them to work on the weekends. The people who are vaccinating are working on the weekends. The virus is working on the weekends.”

About 30% of unvaccinated people say they were waiting for vaccines to receive full approval, according to a survey of 1888 adults conducted in June by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But the report cautions that for many people, FDA approval is likely “a proxy for general safety concerns.” Not everyone now focused on approval may actually get a vaccine, especially if they perceive the approval process as rushed or politically motivated. “For the people who are really dead set against getting the vaccine at this point, I don’t know that the FDA giving it full approval is going to make a huge difference,” says Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease doctor at the Medical University of South Carolina who says many of her patients are wary of COVID-19 shots.

But full approval may sway some people. For example, for members of groups that have been treated poorly by the health care system, signing a consent form to get vaccinated—a requirement for vaccines with an EUA—may be a psychological barrier, Gandhi says: “Signing a consent that says ‘experimental’ and the phrase ‘experimental’ brings up issues of experimentation on Black and brown communities.”

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Some lies are bigger than others.

When Will We FORCE A Stop To The BS? (Denninger)

Ok, enough folks. “I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” she wrote. “A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.” This sort of lie should cost Ms. LIAR her license and everyone who ran this bull**** should be ruined. Her “hospital” — any agency or entity that allows her to infest their premises should be flat-out destroyed along with every single person who works in any such place and gives her credibility by doing so. Why? This story is from Alabama. Now I want you to look very carefully at this table.

[..] According to that table not one person has died since the end of April in Alabama from Covid-19 according to that graph which goes through 7/20 — yesterday. What is “99% (unvaccinated) of ZERO (all people who died of Covid in Alabama SINCE APRIL)”? ZERO! But yes, Ms. Smiling Crazy Bitch is imploring people to get jabbed for what, she says, will stop becoming part of a wave of death that is happening right now. If someone died today, well, that’s one. Where are all the others? Oh, and the story? It’s not, allegedly, from today. It references a viral Facebook post from the weekend. AGAIN: Where is the pile of bodies in the above graph that Ms. Crazy claims are stacking up? If you look elsewhere you will find that perhaps Statista gave up. Why? Too small to matter.


Let’s put perspective on this, assuming it’s accurate: The 7-day average according to that second site state-wide has been at or under 10 since April. Ok, Alabama has approximately 5 million people in it, or 1.52% of the total of the nation. Roughly 8,200 people die daily in the US of all causes, so in Alabama that would be 124 dead bodies. Do you really think three, four, five on a 7-day average state-wide — with lots of zeros — is material in the whole? How many of those are people who are seriously ill with other things? Most of them, as has always been the case with Covid. And has also always been the case if you’re positive at death or within 30 days of it you count and Biden just extended the hospital toe tag bounties for both admissions and ventilator use. People need to go straight to prison for this bull****.

10 years for Ms. Ex-Preggers tossing her new kid (along with any others she has) in an orphanage should wake her ass up for lying and threatening people that they will surely die in order coerce them to do something they do not otherwise want to do. If the jabs work so well why are both Malta and Israel, two of the highest-vaccinated percentage populations in the world, both taking huge case spikes? In addition explain India which has 6% of their population vaccinated (one of the lowest among the world) and their case rate has collapsed by 90%. How is that possible if the jab is the only way forward and the only way we can defeat this horrible virus? Is it not more likely that the jabs are nearly worthless in terms of infections and the virus is, in fact, following Farr’s Law — as places release lockdowns and strictures the infections which were delayed occur anyway? How many times has Australia breathed an “all clear!” sign of relief and then oops — guess not!

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J. Edgar Hoover must have been a fan of the Keystone Cops. But hey, the J6 people get convicted, so why not these schmucks?

Whitmer Kidnapping Defendants Claim Entrapment (ZH)

At least a dozen FBI informants infiltrated an anti-government group of aspiring extremists, and were involved in virtually every aspect of a plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to BuzzFeed. “Some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported,” according to the report. One ‘informant,’ an Iraq war veteran, “became so deeply enmeshed in a Michigan militant group” that he rose to second-in-command – telling members of the group to meet with other potential suspects, and even footing the bill to transport members to meetings. Another FBI ‘informant’ advised the militia group on where they should plant explosives, and offered to procure as many as were needed.

“Everybody down with what’s going on?” an Iraq War veteran in the group demanded to know when they ended their recon mission, well past midnight, at a campsite where they were all staying. “If you’re not down with the thought of kidnapping,” someone else replied, “don’t sit here.” The men planned for all kinds of obstacles, but there was one they didn’t anticipate: The FBI had been listening in all along. For six months, the Iraq War vet had been wearing a wire, gathering hundreds of hours of recordings. He wasn’t the only one. A biker who had traveled from Wisconsin to join the group was another informant. The man who’d advised them on where to put the explosives — and offered to get them as much as the task would require — was an undercover FBI agent. So was a man in one of the other cars who said little and went by the name Mark.” -BuzzFeed

Three weeks later, over a dozen men were arrested by federal and state agents in what one federal prosecutor described as a “deeply disturbing” criminal conspiracy hatched over several months via secret meetings, encrypted chats, and paramilitary-style training exercises. In total, 14 men were charged last year in the alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer. They’ve all pleaded not-guilty, and say the FBI set them up. They claim their talk never rose beyond the level of fantasy, and that they never intended to harm Whitmer or anyone else. The defendants claim there was no conspiracy to kidnap the governor – and instead say they were targeted because of their political views.

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Not everyone likes the woke girls.

US Women’s Soccer Team To Boycott Scoring Goals Until Racism Is Defeated (BBee)

People were stunned after the U.S. women’s soccer team lost to Sweden in the Olympics this week by a score of 3-0—until the team revealed they are boycotting scoring any goals until racism is defeated. “Yeah, we didn’t score any goals against Sweden last night, but that was totally on purpose,” said star player and beloved activist Megan Rapinoe. “This isn’t the time to score goals—when America is still racist. We totally could have beaten Sweden but we decided as a team that no goals will be scored until complete equality has been achieved in America. Also, we demand a hefty raise.”


Onlookers were stunned during the second half of the game when Rapinoe dribbled the ball all the way to Sweden’s unprotected goal and whispered “This is for you, people of color,” before kicking the ball straight into the air and running headfirst into the goalpost. “This may be one of the most powerful performances in the history of sports,” said Teen Vogue’s sportswriter who has never watched sports. The U.S. Women’s team is demanding to remain in the Olympic tournament and promises to continue its streak of zero goals. Inspiring!

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Hudak Hodkinson

 

 

Seneff2

 

 

Evil Tiger Eye.

 

 

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Jul 122021
 


Henri Matisse The goldfish 1912

 

No End In Sight For Sydney Lockdown As Delta Variant Outbreak Worsens (F.)
Covid Unlocking On 19 July Must Come With A Warning: Boris Johnson (G.)
Mask Wearing Will Be ‘Expected’ In UK After 19 July (G.)
40% Of Brits Want Mask Mandates Forever, Travel Ban For Unvaccinated (SN)
Lift All Mask Mandates (HART)
FBI Encourages Family Members To Rat Each Other Out For ‘Extremism’ (RT)
The Fed: The Captured Regulator That’s Wrecking The US Economy (Martens)
Private Equity And Public Ignorance (Buyniski)

 

 

We have reached the end of the usefuless of masks, lockdowns and vaccines. But it will take a long time before we acknowledge it. In the meantime, expect madness. You can’t lock down people for more than a very short time. You can’t make them wear masks for much longer than that. You can’t force them to get jabbed if those jabs don’t work, and instead prove very risky.

So our homework is: what are we going to do with masks, lockdowns and vaccines off the table? The answer is simple: vitamin D, ivermectin and HCQ. Prophylaxis and early treatment. But it will take a long time before we acknowledge that too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s fun when the police don’t stand up for the law
https://twitter.com/i/status/1414372211025010689
Anna de Buisseret: “Our expert psychologists evidence states that psychological warfare is being conducted on the population as a whole and on individuals. The expert analysis is that the impact of this is that not a single person is capable of giving informed consent as they have been brainwashed.”

 

 

 

 

Let’s see those white flags please.

No End In Sight For Sydney Lockdown As Delta Variant Outbreak Worsens (F.)

Sydney’s Delta-variant fueled Covid-19 outbreak has shown no signs of relenting as the city and surrounding areas reported yet another daily rise in new cases, a development which may force authorities to further extend the lockdown in the region which has been in place for two and a half weeks now. Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), reported a record 112 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Monday, most of them in and around its capital Sydney. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at least 34 of new cases had interactions with the community during their infectious period, while the movement of 18 other cases is still being investigated

Monday is the third straight day the state has reported a record high, which could force the local government to extend the current three-week-long lockdown which is scheduled to end on Friday. Berejiklian noted that the state would like to see the number of local infections drop close to zero before ending the lockdown. “A large part of it is dependent on all of us doing the right thing and being extra cautious,” Berejiklian said, adding this was “not the time to cut any corners.” Of the 63 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the state, 25 are under the age of 55, and 14 are younger than 35, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Of the 18 people currently in intensive care units, one is in their 20s, one in their 30s, and one in their forties. Local authorities have previously warned that the largely unvaccinated young population remains vulnerable to the more infectious delta variant.

8.37%. That’s the total population of New South Wales that has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the Sydney Morning Herald’s tracker. This is largely in line with the overall vaccine rollout across Australia which is just under 9%. While close to a quarter of NSW’s population has received at least one vaccine dose, the effectiveness of a single dose against the delta variant is significantly lower. Fearing a Delta variant outbreak, nearly half of Australia’s population went into lockdown for around three days last month with major urban centers across the country tightening their pandemic restrictions due to fears of a delta variant-fueled outbreak. However, the brunt of the current outbreak has largely been restricted to Sydney and its surrounding regions. Australia had previously managed to almost completely clamp down on the local spread of Covid-19 by using a mix of contact tracing, movement curbs, and strict quarantine measures for incoming travelers. But the country’s sluggish vaccine rollout threatens to undo its previous pandemic success.

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Make it as confusing as you can, please.

Covid Unlocking On 19 July Must Come With A Warning: Boris Johnson (G.)

Boris Johnson has said caution is “absolutely vital” before the abandonment of virtually all formal Covid restrictions as ministers toughen their language amid expectations of soaring infection rates. The Guardian understands that ministers have been told to brace for at least one to two million new cases of coronavirus in the coming weeks, though the vaccination programme means far smaller proportions of those infected will be hospitalised and die than in previous waves. The move into the final stage of unlocking on 19 July, to be announced by the prime minister on Monday afternoon, has been billed as the moment for people to rely on their own judgment over coronavirus precautions, rather than official prescriptions.

And while Johnson will outline the end of virtually all statutory restrictions on everything from business capacity to distancing and mask use, people will still be urged to wear masks in crowded enclosed spaces, with similar vigilance expected over the swift return to workplaces. The move “must come with a warning”, said Johnson, who will host a Downing Street press conference at the same time as Sajid Javid, the health secretary, briefs MPs in the Commons. “Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS.”

There has been a marked shift in the tone taken by ministers on the subject of mask-wearing amid government jitters about the risks of the so-called “big bang” approach to unlocking. Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, stressed the need for the public to remain “cautious and careful”. He told Sky News: “The guidelines that we will set out tomorrow will demonstrate that, including guidelines that people are expected to wear masks in indoor enclosed spaces, and of course to remain vigilant.” His comments contrast with the tone taken a week earlier by Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, who said he would abandon mask use when the restrictions ended, adding: “I don’t particularly want to wear a mask.”

Adverse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1414368116931444739

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They’re just trying to confuse you, don’t pay them any attention.

Mask Wearing Will Be ‘Expected’ In UK After 19 July (G.)

Masks will still be “expected” in crowded places such as public transport when most remaining Covid restrictions are lifted later this month, a minister has said, in a marked toughening up of rhetoric amid concerns over soaring infection rates. Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, who in effect confirmed Boris Johnson would announce the reopening on Monday, said the government would provide very clear guidance on issues such as the wearing of masks, as England moves away from using laws to govern the response to Covid. “I think it’s important that we remain cautious and careful,” he told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme. “The guidelines that we will set out tomorrow will demonstrate that, including guidelines that people are expected to wear masks in indoor enclosed spaces, and of course to remain vigilant.”

In another sign that the end of almost all lockdown rules on 19 July will be accompanied by robust messaging on the need for caution, a leading public health official said on Sunday that people should not rush back to offices if possible. “If you are able to do your business effectively from home then I think over the next four to six weeks we should try our best to do that,” said Dr Susan Hopkins, the incident director for Covid at Public Health England. Even once case rates started to fall, it would be better to see “a cautious return to the office”, Hopkins told Times Radio. The comments represent a change in tone from officials over the past week, with Johnson in particular having previously insisted there would be a move away from the government telling people what to do, towards people using their own judgment.

Zahawi said the move to the final stage of reopening from 19 July was responsible, despite predictions from the health secretary, Sajid Javid, that daily infection levels could top 100,000, a record for the pandemic, noting that almost 87% of adults in England had received a first vaccine dose, and that 65% had had two. The target was to double-vaccinate 66% of adults by 19 July, he said, in an earlier interview with BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show. “We will meet that target. So I am confident that we can proceed to step 4, but cautiously. “We will be setting out tomorrow guidelines on everything from mask wearing, the transition from mandating, or government by diktat, to taking personal responsibility, whether for our own actions or corporate responsibility.”

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Always a nation of sheep.

40% Of Brits Want Mask Mandates Forever, Travel Ban For Unvaccinated (SN)

A new poll finds that 40 per cent of Brits want mask mandates to remain in place forever, while almost half think unvaccinated people should be permanently banned from foreign travel. Yes, really. “New polling by Ipsos MORI for the Economist suggests that a high percentage of Brits believe a number of lockdown restrictions should stay in place “permanently”, including nighttime curfews (19%), travel quarantine (35%), and face masks (a whopping 40%!),” reports LockdownSceptics. “Well over 40% of Brits also believe that only those who have been vaccinated against Covid – and are able to prove it – should be allowed to travel abroad (again, “permanently”).” In other words, almost half of the population never want to unmuzzle and think those who haven’t taken the jab should remain under de facto lockdown forever.

That will be music to the ears of government adviser and lifetime Communist Party member Susan Michie, who when asked how long social distancing and mask mandates should remain in place, replied “forever.” More than one-fifth of Brits are also “very nervous” about the lifting of existing lockdown restrictions, which is due to take place on July 19th. The results of the poll once again underscore how behavioral psychologists have been so successful in terrifying the British public into absolute subservience. As we previously highlighted, scientists acting as government advisers acknowledged using “totalitarian” and “unethical” methods of instilling fear into the population as a means to scare them into complying with lockdown rules.


The comments were made by members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B), a sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) the government’s chief scientific advisory group. Scientists admitted exaggerating the risk of COVID to the public and using “dystopian” methods of “mind control” to make people more fearful than they should have been. As the poll results prove, this has resulted in large numbers of the population developing a form of PTSD which has traumatized them out of thinking life can ever return to the pre-coronavirus normal.

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The only approach that makes sense at this point.

Lift All Mask Mandates (HART)

HART welcomes Boris Johnson’s announcement of his intention to lift the mask mandates on 19 July, and allow people to take personal responsibility for deciding whether to wear one rather than relying on the government diktat. Some SAGE scientists are already expressing concern about lifting this restriction, with psychologists on the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) being the most vocal, predictably so given that mask wearing comprises a key element of their ethically-dubious covert ‘nudges’ that harness fear and peer pressure to promote compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.

A major concern is that, even if the national mandates are removed, some local businesses will continue to insist that masks are worn on their premises. Persisting with a requirement for face coverings does not take account of the evidence that, in real-world settings, they are of little-to-no benefit in reducing viral transmission and are associated with a range of negative consequences. Nor — contrary to what Professor Whitty said — is it a ‘common courtesy’ to wear a mask because others may feel uncomfortable if they see a person without one. Many people, including the 1-in-5 of UK adults with hearing difficulties who may rely on lip reading, are at risk of social exclusion when around mask wearers. Furthermore, those who are aware of the profound social and psychological harms associated with masking the healthy in the community will also feel uneasy when around those with their faces covered.

It is encouraging to hear the Prime Minister say that we must now live alongside the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Continuously striving to minimise the danger posed by a virus, to the exclusion of the plethora of other risks we all manage as a routine part of a worthwhile life, is counterproductive. Indeed, the continuation of widespread mask wearing after 19 July will perpetuate the excessive fears many currently experience about returning to a normal life: ongoing mask usage is a ‘safety behaviour’ that may lead people to falsely conclude that their survival following social interaction was due to the mask rather than drawing the reassuring conclusion that it is now safe enough to return to normal activities.

HART has no objection to individuals using masks if they so choose, but turning them into a social superstition — and requiring others, such as hospitality staff to conform so as to give a false veneer of ‘safety’ — is wrong. An elderly resident in a care home, during a TV interview, recently said: ‘I want to live until I die’. In keeping with this expressed wisdom, HART believes we should all now be given the option to unmask, reclaim our humanity, and return to an enjoyable and worthwhile life.

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Divide and rule.

FBI Encourages Family Members To Rat Each Other Out For ‘Extremism’ (RT)

The FBI has asked Americans to examine their own family members for signs of “homegrown violent extremism,” and report them. The call for snitches comes as the FBI turns its surveillance powers on regular Americans. “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence,” read a tweet from the FBI on Sunday. To help prevent “homegrown violent extremism,” the agency advises Americans to visit its website, “to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the FBI.” The link provided by the FBI brings visitors to a 2019 document listing “mobilization indicators” that may suggest an individual is preparing to engage in terrorism – for example, “preparing and disseminating a martyrdom video,” “communicating directly with violent extremists online,” and “preparing to travel to fight with or support terrorist groups.”

The indicators and imagery used in the document suggest that its focus was on radical Islamic terrorism, but the FBI, along with the rest of the US security apparatus, has in recent months has turned its surveillance powers on white, conservative America. Since the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January, FBI Director Christopher Wray has testified before Congress that the anti-government sentiment responsible for the affray has been “metastasizing” in the US for years, and that “the problem of domestic terrorism … is not going away anytime soon.” Former Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi was more explicit last month when he called for the arrest of high-level Republicans to “really tackle terrorism, this time domestically.”

President Joe Biden has linked the Capitol mob to “white supremacism,” which he called “the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today” during his first speech to Congress in April. Against this supposed “threat,” the Justice Department has asked for new powers of prosecution, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has claimed that right-wingers and conservatives, “inspired by foreign terrorist groups” and “emboldened by the breach of the US Capitol Building,” are “plotting attacks against government facilities” and “threatening violence against critical infrastructure.” In addition to their own powers, the DHS, FBI, and National Security Council also want to hire third-party ‘researchers’ to spy on Americans, recent reports have claimed.

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“..we have the three great asset classes moving into bubble territory simultaneously.”

The Fed: The Captured Regulator That’s Wrecking The US Economy (Martens)

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will take his seat before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday at noon and before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy. Some embarrassing questions may come up for Powell based on an investigative report on the Fed that’s airing earlier in the week. This Tuesday evening, the PBS investigative program, Frontline, will broadcast a documentary covering its year-long investigation of the Federal Reserve’s bailouts of Wall Street, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the present. According to the information about the program that Frontline has released, the documentary, titled “The Power of the Fed,” will include interviews with multiple people who believe that the Fed has been captured by Wall Street and is creating dangerous asset bubbles.

Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham will tell viewers this about the Fed’s policies: “They have the housing market, the stock market and the bond market all overpriced at the same time. And they will not be able to prevent, sooner or later, the asset prices coming back down. So we are playing with fire because we have the three great asset classes moving into bubble territory simultaneously.” Grantham characterizes what the Fed has created on Wall Street as a “giant bloodsucker,” that is “sucking more than twice the blood out of the rest of the economy.” Andrew Huszar, a former insider at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where the Federal Reserve has a serial habit of outsourcing its bailout programs for the mega banks on Wall Street (likely because it is literally owned by those same banks) will explain to viewers how he was “single-handedly responsible for directing the deployment of $1.25 trillion of Fed funds, and we did not see the knock-on benefits that we had hoped for the average American.”

Huszar is talking about the $1.25 trillion the Fed spent in buying up agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) following the 2008 financial crash on Wall Street. Despite the fact that the Fed saw no benefits accrue from that program to the average American, it doubled down on the same program during the pandemic, buying up $40 billion a month in agency MBS. The Fed’s current total of agency MBS on its balance sheet stands at $2.3 trillion as of last Wednesday. The custodian of the securities purchased in the Fed’s MBS program has been, from the outset, JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest owners of the New York Fed. The fact that the bank has received an unprecedented five felony counts from the Department of Justice since 2014 hasn’t changed the Fed’s mind about entrusting the bank with $2.3 trillion of its assets. (JPMorgan Chase admitted to all five felony counts.)

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“Other private equity funds have gotten their blood funnels into the hospital system – where the profits, driven by Covid-19, truly have no end.”

Private Equity And Public Ignorance (Buyniski)

As the US runs out of concrete resources to sell, bankers have had to get clever – whether this means repackaging assets already sold six times over or inventing new ways to cash in on items once considered intangible.
By the time Americans realized that the promised ‘trickle-down’ theory of neoliberal economics was in fact more of a speedy trickle-up, the government had all but destroyed the reputation of unions and the public sector that employed many of them, convincing the average American that these were corrupt and bad. Indeed, the whole public sector was supposed to be corrupt and bad, in the messaging of the Reagan era, but that corruption was somehow negated when offset by private corporations engaged in so-called public-private partnerships.

But far from attempting to reverse the financial bleed of money for social programs into private corporations, politicians have embraced the public-private partnership with a vengeance. This is unsurprising, given the generous handouts they receive from the non-profits who have cast themselves as the only truly righteous replacement for those government programs. This may sound like old news, but the extent to which those firms have morphed into horrifically powerful entities with trillions of dollars under management – including, most likely, your pension or the retirement savings of someone in your family – capable of setting international policy with a mere yearly memo, remains stubbornly unacknowledged by millions.

Perhaps for the sake of their sanity, they just can’t admit their retirement is in the hands of men who see nothing wrong with gambling away millions of Americans’ savings in precarious financial instruments just because they can. The kind of people who’d buy a boat with ill-gotten foreclosure gains, then spit in the face of those ex-homeowners by naming the boat ‘Su casa es mi casa’ [..] In the aftermath of the 2008 mortgage crisis, private equity firms realized they could package and sell anything they wanted – and it doesn’t seem they’ve stopped. Blackstone became notorious for slurping up foreclosed homes at below-market rates, then juicing rent and fees as they turned around to rent out those same properties, in some cases back to the same people. But Blackstone is far from the only private equity firm to participate in these loathsome schemes.

But fiendishly huge as their profits have been, the private equity bunch were still responsible for keeping the properties they rented in some degree of habitability – sometimes even for answering to angry retirement fund execs when the vultures gambled away their money. In order to further shore up profits, the firms have bought big into vertically integrated predation. Blackstone bought up an entire chain of self-storage units to complement its continuing acquisition of houses. The continued inflation of the already precariously bloated real estate bubble (and the mathematical certainty of time running out for the Covid-19 eviction moratorium) means people are going to have to throw their stuff somewhere when the financial feces hit the fan. Other private equity funds have gotten their blood funnels into the hospital system – where the profits, driven by Covid-19, truly have no end.

Read more …

 

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D-dimer test

 

 

 

 

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Jun 192021
 


Vincent van Gogh The sower 1888

 

Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word? (Taibbi)
Feds Now See the Need for Funding Antivirals (TSN)
What If The Mainstream Media Had Told The Truth? (PF Whalen)
AstraZeneca Vaccine Not Good Enough to See ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ (NM)
‘I’d Rather Die Actually Living’: Buffalo Bills’ Wide Receiver (G.)
EU Regulator Won’t Impose 50% Efficacy Threshold For Covid-19 Vaccines (RT)
Only 41.9% Of French Nursing Home Workers Vaccinated (RT)
Greece Bioethics Committee To Green-light Mandatory Vaccinations (K.)
Dying Of Covid-19 Has Become Optional In Russia (RT)
Will US Meet Biden’s Vaccine Goal? (ZH)
Chinese Defector’s Identity Confirmed, Was Top Counterintelligence Official (RS)
Democracy Dies at the Washington Post Editorial Board (MPN)
Who Is A “Terrorist” In Biden’s America? (Whitney Webb)
Questions About the FBI’s Role in 1/6 (Greenwald)
Free At Last (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Positive test does NOT mean infected with SARS-CoV-2….
It means one or multiple target genes of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, that has never been purely isolated, showed a hit after immense amplification.
But what is SARS-CoV-2 besides a computersimulation?

 

 

Experimental

 

 

Taibbi should ask not only “Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word?” but also “When Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word?”. And then apologize to his readers for completely missing the story for a year, or at least the half year it’s been since Kory’s Senate testimony -which he talks about- was cancelled.

Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word? (Taibbi)

One of the challenges of the pandemic period is the degree to which science has become intertwined with politics. Arguments about the efficacy of mask use or ventilators, or the viability of repurposed drugs like hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, or even the pandemic’s origins, were quashed from the jump in the American commercial press, which committed itself to a regime of simplified insta-takes made opposite to Donald Trump’s comments. With a few exceptions, Internet censors generally tracked with this conventional wisdom, which had the effect of moving conspiracy theories and real scientific debates alike far underground. A consequence is that issues like the ivermectin question have ended up in the same public bucket as debates over foreign misinformation, hate speech, and even incitement.

The same Republican Senator YouTube suspended for making statements in support of ivermectin, Ron Johnson, has also been denounced in the press for failing to call the January 6th riots an insurrection, resulting in headlines that blend the two putative offenses. “You have these ideas about the need to censor hate speech, calls for violence, and falsity,” Kory says, “and they’ve put science on the same shelf.” As a result, doctors and organizations that may have little to do with politics but have advocated for ivermectin, from Dr. Tess Lawrie’s British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) to California pulmonologist Roger Seheult to many others, have been shut down online with the same unilateral abruptness platforms apply to hate speech or threats.

Dr. Sabine Hazan, a gastroenterologist and CEO of a genetic sequencing laboratory called ProGenaBiome in Ventura, California, was blindsided. She got involved with ivermectin when she was pulling out the stops for Covid-19 patients. “I’m a doctor. My job isn’t to do nothing. If I wanted to do nothing, I’d be selling shampoo,” Hazan says. When patients got really sick, she tried everything, treating off-label with a number of drugs in combination, including ivermectin. Eventually, she ended up taking it upon herself to run clinical trials with repurposed, off-patent drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, fearing that the lack of a profit angle would prevent a major corporate effort in that direction.

“I felt, no one is going to be investigating a cheap solution, so I did it myself,” she says. Some weeks ago, Hazan got up early on a Sunday to present findings to a group of physicians that included Dr. Kylie Wagstaff, one of the physicians in the first in vitro ivermectin study, a family doctor in Zimbabwe named Jackie Stone, and others. She uploaded the talk on YouTube, and “lo and behold, it got taken down. It’s amazing. These are doctors talking. It’s not anyone selling anything.”

Read more …

And Trial Site News should not pretend they invented the wheel.

Feds Now See the Need for Funding Antivirals (TSN)

After over a year of TrialSite reporting on the need for early-onset, antiviral-like care for COVID-19, now the U.S. government will launch a mini “moonshot” targeting antivirals necessary not only for viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 but for the inevitable new ones that will surface in the future. Powered by the same players—that is, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) as well as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)—under the current Executive Branch administration, a new program under Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NIAID called the “Antiviral Program for Pandemics” will target the 90% of cases involving either asymptomatic to mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection.

But now with a focus on “sustainable platforms” to discover and develop antivirals, perhaps one of the key players in what’s been a total failure on the part of the federal research apparatus to address affordable repurposed antivirals (other than ensure Gilead could secure billions starting last May), Dr. Anthony Fauci was still able to get his customary quote, emphasizing, “New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives.”

TrialSite makes the case below that the time to act to save lives with antivirals, especially cost-effective ones, addressing the pandemic was last summer at the latest. The federal money train spent probably north of $20 billion not only to help accelerate vaccines but also several novel experimental therapies with little pragmatic utility during a pandemic where 90% of the cases are asymptomatic to early-onset mild-to-moderate infections, necessitating care over advanced experimentation.

This platform supported the experimentation but implored that the NIH move aggressively with dozens of identified repurposed drugs to consider for treating COVID-19 early on. More on that below. But what the federal bureaucracy has done now is created yet another program where more than likely over-paid bureaucrats will be able to take credit for first and foremost handing lots of money over to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. In this post-free market, crony capitalistic world, one where regulatory capture is the norm, not the exception, this is exactly what happens as the same old cast of characters behind the last efforts are at it all over again.

They will “evaluate, prioritize and advance antiviral candidates to Phase 2” while benefitting from the present day and “expanded contract resources” of the NIH as well as the infrastructure provided by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to “de-risk” those early pipeline candidates. They’ll spend over $300 million for research and lab support and toss in almost $1 billion for preclinical and clinical evaluation plus nearly $700 million for development and manufacturing via NIAID and BARDA.

Moreover, the feds will now spend up to $1.2 billion to create and support a new group called the Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens and Pandemic Concern that seeks to “harness the creativity of the biomedical research community and drive innovative antiviral drug discovery and development.” Seeking to develop “platforms,” the initial target is SARS-Cov-2, although as TrialSite has and will argue, they’re about a year or more late in the game, and unfortunately, the lives lost can’t be changed.

Read more …

Whalen has 5 things the media got wrog on Trump. One of them is HCQ.

What If The Mainstream Media Had Told The Truth? (PF Whalen)

2. Hydroxychloroquine Last year at this time it was verboten to even bring up the name of the drug and doing so was enough to get you booted off Twitter or Facebook. President Trump frequently touted hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy in battling COVID, and it was that advocacy which sent the media into conniptions on the subject. If Trump supports the drug, it must be bad. Last week, over a year after most Americans became familiar with the medication, a new study out of New Jersey, the hardest hit state by COVID, shows that if used in conjunction with a regimen of zinc, hydroxychloroquine can give COVID patients upwards of a 200% better survival rate against COVID. Hydroxychloroquine is indeed a miracle drug.

With modern news cycles, our attention spans are merely fractions of what they once were, but we must remember the context with which the attacks on Trump and hydroxychloroquine were being made. The media was whipping up everyone into a full-blown panic with COVID. “It’s highly infectious to the point you can’t go to church or walk around the park. If you get it bad enough to be sent to the hospital, you’re probably going to die. And there’s no cure; we’re doomed.” Meanwhile Trump was right all along, and this treatment was available the whole time. So, what if the media had told us the truth from the beginning with hydroxychloroquine? Patients who died having refused the drug because of the media’s lies need not have perished. How many thousands of patients died because of the media’s deceit? We’ll never know.

Doctors who refrained from administering the drug based on the treachery of so-called experts and the menaces in the media had patients die for no reason other than politics. Again, how many thousands of Americans died because of their fraudulence? We’ll never know. For many patients who survived severe cases of COVID, they will carry the long-term effects of the virus around with them for the rest of their lives. Severe, long-lasting damage to both the lungs and hearts of severe COVID patients is common, and it’s likely many of those folks must now endure shortened life expectancies as a result. There were undoubtedly scores of them, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, who could have been treated with hydroxychloroquine but weren’t. If the media had told the truth, many of those patients would now be living normal lives.

Roadmap to Recovery
https://twitter.com/i/status/1406046367542169600

Read more …

Badlands. No more freedom fighter.

AstraZeneca Vaccine Not Good Enough to See ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ (NM)

Bruce Springsteen is returning to Broadway, though certain people inoculated against COVID-19 will not be allowed to see him. Springsteen’s show, set to run June 26-Sept. 4, will not be open to people who’ve been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the New York Post reported Friday. “At the direction of New York State, Springsteen on Broadway and the St. James Theatre will only be accepting proof of FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson),” the show’s website reads.

People attending the show must be fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved shot to get in. That means at least 14 days after a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. The Post reported Springsteen said in a statement he wanted to make the 2-hour-plus shows as “personal and intimate as possible.” Some Canadian fans who received the AstraZeneca shot were upset about potentially being denied entrance. “It’s just plain not fair,” said University of Toronto bioethicist Kerry Bowman in Wednesday’s Toronto Star.

“From an ethical point of view, it’s very difficult, because what has happened is people have made their commitment to being vaccinated for their own health and the health of their communities and the world, and people are turning their nose up at it.” The only exceptions to the vaccine policy will be for children under the age of 16 who have had a negative antigen COVID-19 screening within six hours of the show’s start, or a negative nose swab test within 72 hours of the start. Masks were not mentioned on the show’s website, which reminded guests that all seating is “not socially distant.”

Read more …

I got my vaccine from God.

‘I’d Rather Die Actually Living’: Buffalo Bills’ Wide Receiver (G.)

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley leaned into the sharp backlash from statements he’s made critical of the coronavirus vaccine on Friday, disclosing that he is not vaccinated and pledging to “live my one life like I want to regardless”. “I will be outside doing what I do,” he wrote in a statement posted to social media. “I’ll be out in the public. If your (sic) scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated. Point. Blank. Period. I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living. “I have family members whose days are numbered. If they want to come see me and stay at my house then they are coming regardless of protocol. I don’t play for the money anymore. My family has been taken care of. Fine me if you want. My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar.


I love my teammates and enjoy playing ball because all the outside bs goes out the window in these moments. I just want to win the Super Bowl and enjoy these relationships that will be created along the way. “I’m not going to take meds for a leg that isn’t broken. I’d rather take my chances with Covid and build up my immunity that way. Eat better. Drink water. Exercise and do what I think is necessary to be a healthy individual. That is MY CHOICE based on MY experiences and what I think is best. I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one. If I’m forced into retirement, so be it.” The 32-year old veteran also said that he has spoken with the NFL Players Association about his issues with the NFL’s new virus policies. Beasley said he is not inoculated against Covid-19 and made it clear he did not want to receive the vaccine.

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Feel lucky, punk?

EU Regulator Won’t Impose 50% Efficacy Threshold For Covid-19 Vaccines (RT)

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said it will not bring in a minimum efficacy threshold for Covid-19 vaccines. The comment comes after clinical trials showed Germany’s CureVac jab to be only 47% effective against the virus. CureVac announced data on the efficacy of its jab on Wednesday after it was tested in second- and third-phase trials involving 40,000 people across ten countries. The company suggested variants of the virus may be behind the poor result.


On Thursday, the EMA’s vaccine chief Marco Cavaleri said it was “a bit early to say” after being asked by a journalist about the CureVac results and the threat variants may pose to vaccine efficacy. “We will need to collect all the final data from this clinical trial, and have a good analysis of the outcome throughout different regions, age groups and according to different variants,” he told an EMA briefing. Asked specifically about a 50% efficacy minimum level for vaccines, he added that the EMA had “always felt it was difficult to define upfront a threshold.”

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“He said it could not be the case that there was more vaccine uptake in the general population than there was among care home workers.”

They simply know more.

Only 41.9% Of French Nursing Home Workers Vaccinated (RT)

Public Health France (SpF) has said that less than half of health professionals working in nursing homes are vaccinated against Covid-19 after the health minister called on workers to come forward and get their shot.
In data published on Thursday evening, SpF stated that only 41.9% of people working in nursing homes in France had been fully vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 virus, despite the country’s vaccination program being nearly six months old, and 55.3% had received one shot. Healthcare workers were among the first in the country to be offered the jab. The health agency had stopped publishing this data for several weeks as it reworked its calculation method. SpF has reportedly realized that the figures were overestimated.


Meanwhile, of the care home residents surveyed, some of society’s most vulnerable people to the Covid-19 virus, only 81.1% were fully vaccinated. SpF estimates that as of June 15, 87.8% had received at least one dose. Earlier on Thursday morning, Health Minister Olivier Veran, speaking on BFM TV, made a “solemn appeal” to caregivers, in particular in nursing home staff, who have not yet been vaccinated. He also threatened to make inoculations compulsory for them. He said it could not be the case that there was more vaccine uptake in the general population than there was among care home workers. As of Wednesday, approximately 46% of France’s population has received at least one shot.

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Desperate for tourists.

Greece Bioethics Committee To Green-light Mandatory Vaccinations (K.)

The National Bioethics Committee is expected to give its approval for the mandatory vaccination of specific social and professional groups, such as health workers, in its report on Friday to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The obligation will apply in the fall once all the opportunities for the voluntary vaccination of citizens have been exhausted over the summer. In the meantime, a “persuasion campaign” will be undertaken to ensure that as many people are vaccinated as possible. Kathimerini understands that the conditions set by the committee before mandatory vaccinations begin include making the process as easy as possible and allowing people to choose the vaccine they want, and to have additional vaccination centers so that people don’t have to travel far to get the vaccine.

What’s more, the committee is set to insist on the need for information campaigns over the summer targeting specific groups, such as health professionals, educators, young people and the elderly who have not yet been vaccinated. Discussions are being held about including statistics that will prove the benefit of the vaccine. Those who refuse to be inoculated will not be fired, but they will be transferred to other divisions that are not in contact with vulnerable citizens, Kathimerini understands. The campaigns are expected to go on air from July onward, and will run for a full two to three months before any final decisions on mandatory vaccination are made.

It is a given, however, that from next autumn vaccinated people will enjoy privileges such as being able to eat in indoor dining areas. Fully vaccinated people will begin enjoying privileges in the coming weeks, as they will be able to head to gyms without a mask and enter indoor cinemas that open at the beginning of July with the demonstration of their certificate without having to upload their self-test results. As of July 1, the fully vaccinated are expected to be excluded from the program of mandatory self-tests.

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More vaccine hesitancy.

Dying Of Covid-19 Has Become Optional In Russia (RT)

In a speech on Tuesday, the head of Russia’s central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, announced that the country’s finances had recovered from the losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The economy has recovered to its pre-crisis level, and in many industries it has exceeded it and continues to grow,” she said. This success has been achieved without racking up substantial debts. While Western states plunge deeper into the red with borrowing, Russia’s reserves keep growing. It’s quite an achievement. However, next is the bad news. On the same day as Nabiullina was giving her triumphant speech, Russian statistical agency Rosstat released new figures on coronavirus deaths in the country, indicating that the number of people who died in the country last year was around 340,000 higher than the year prior, before the pandemic.

This means that the country suffered an increase in its mortality rate of 2,328 per million inhabitants, a figure well in excess of most other developed nations. By comparison, the equivalent numbers in the UK and USA stand at 1,275 and 1,535 per million, respectively. The good news and bad news are not unrelated. One of the reasons why Russia’s economy has been able to recover so rapidly from the impact of the virus is that after an initial tough lockdown in spring 2020, the government refused to reimpose the harshest available measures. That saved the economy, but by allowing people to freely mix, it may have enabled the spread of the virus. The economy’s recovery came at a price paid in human lives.

Cynics might accuse the Russian state of putting money before people, but Russia’s large death rate is a result of more than a lax attitude to social mingling. This is shown by a third story coming out of the country this week, with the city of Moscow issuing an order to make vaccination against coronavirus compulsory for all workers who have direct contact with the public. Justifying the move, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin declared, “ultimately, it’s up to everyone to get vaccinated or not.” He added that whether you get the jab is “a personal matter… as long as you sit at home.” But, the politician argued, “when you go out into public places… you become an accomplice of the epidemiological process.”

The reason why Sobyanin has had to issue this order is clear. Residents of his city simply aren’t getting vaccinated. Russia is believed to have administered about 33 million vaccine doses to its 145 million population, a rate of only 23 doses per 100 people. This now lags far behind much of the rest of Europe. The UK, for instance, has administered over 100 doses for every 100 inhabitants (most Covid-19 vaccines require two doses, so a complete vaccination program would require 200 doses). Russia’s vaccination rate is therefore about one-fifth of the UK’s.

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They’ll play with the data.

Will US Meet Biden’s Vaccine Goal? (ZH)

White House officials on Thursday brushed off questions about President Joe Biden’s July 4 vaccine goal, which appears to be in jeopardy due to the current vaccination rate. Asked about the goal during a virtual briefing on Thursday, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients did not say whether the goal could still be met. “We’ve made tremendous progress. Today, more than 175 million Americans have gotten at least one shot: as I said, 87 percent of seniors, 74 percent of people over the age of 40. And we’re now nearly 2 in 3 adult Americans, hundreds of thousands of people are continuing to get their first shot each day,” he said.

“And we are going to get to 70 percent. And we’re going to continue across the summer months to push beyond 70 percent,” he added. Biden earlier this year said he wanted 7 out of 10 adults to get at least one COVID-19 jab by Independence Day. But the rate of vaccination has fallen sharply, dropping from over 4 million to around 1 million on an average day. Only 184,847 shots were administered on Memorial Day, and several other recent days have seen a figure well under 1 million. Biden also wanted 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by July 4. Fully vaccinated refers to a person getting both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna shots or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson, and then two weeks elapsing.

Just 147.7 million people have been fully vaccinated as of June 17. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Sunday, after being asked whether she was concerned the goals wouldn’t be reached, that while the government can provide incentives to get a vaccine, “it is ultimately up to individuals to do that.” “What you’ve seen is that a number of states have met and surpassed that goal, right? Many have not yet. But we’ve started—kicked off this one-month campaign to do everything we can to reach it. And we’ll see where we get. We’ve got some time,” she said.

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“If the stories are true, Dong would be the highest-level defector in the history of the People’s Republic of China.”

Chinese Defector’s Identity Confirmed, Was Top Counterintelligence Official (RS)

We now know the name of the Chinese defector who has been working with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for a few months and what his position within the Chinese military and government was, among other details. Matthew Brazil and Jeff Stein at Spy Talk reported on the “rumor,” and gave the name and background of the rumored defector: “Chinese-language anti-communist media and Twitter are abuzz this week with rumors that a vice minister of State Security, Dong Jingwei defected in mid-February, flying from Hong Kong to the United States with his daughter, Dong Yang. Dong is, or was, a longtime official in China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), also known as the Guoanbu. His publicly available background indicates that he was responsible for the Ministry’s counterintelligence efforts in China, i.e., spy-catching, since being promoted to vice minister in April 2018. If the stories are true, Dong would be the highest-level defector in the history of the People’s Republic of China.”

RedState’s sources confirmed that the defector is, in fact, Dong, that he was in charge of counterintelligence efforts in China, and that he flew to the United States in mid-February, allegedly to visit his daughter at a university in California. When Dong landed in California he contacted DIA officials and told them about his plans to defect and the information he’d brought with him. Dong then “hid in plain sight” for about two weeks before disappearing into DIA custody. According to Spy Talk, Dong’s name came up during the Sino-American Summit held in Alaska in March 2021: “In a tweet on Wednesday, Han [Dr. Han Lianchao, a Chinese defector], citing an unnamed source, alleged that China’s foreign minister Wang Yi and Communist Party foreign affairs boss Yang Jiechi demanded that the Americans return Dong and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken refused.”

RedState’s sources say that Chinese officials did demand that the United States return Dong, but Blinken didn’t exactly refuse; at that time Blinken wasn’t aware that Dong was with the US government, the sources say, and told China that the US didn’t have Dong. It’s only in the last three to four weeks that anyone outside DIA knew about the defector, according to RedState’s sources. Prior to that time, DIA was vetting the information provided and confronting Langley officials with what they’d learned without divulging the source.

Read more …

A proud tradition.

Democracy Dies at the Washington Post Editorial Board (MPN)

The Washington Post’s glaring conflicts of interest have of late once again been the subject of scrutiny online, thanks to a new article denouncing a supposed attempt to “soak” billionaires in taxes. Written by star columnist Megan McArdle — who previously argued that Walmart’s wages are too high, that there is nothing wrong with Google’s monopoly, and that the Grenfell Fire was a price worth paying for cheaper buildings — the article claimed that Americans have such class envy that the government would “destroy [billionaires’] fortunes so that the rest of us don’t have to look at them.” Notably, the Post chose to illustrate it with a picture of its owner, Jeff Bezos, making it seem as if it was directly defending his power and wealth, something they have been accused of on more than one occasion.

There was considerable speculation online as to whether Bezos himself wrote the piece, so blatantly in his interest it was. Unfortunately, this sort of speculation has raged ever since the Amazon CEO bought the newspaper in 2013 for $250 million. Being owned by the world’s richest individual does not mean that The Washington Post and its employees are rolling in dough themselves. Far from it: Bezos’ revolution at the newspaper, which has led to both increased pageviews and company value, has been largely based on simply squeezing workers harder than before. In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review, management acknowledged that Post reporters are pushed to produce almost four times as many stories as their peers at The New York Times.

Furthermore, the Post writes and rewrites the same story but from slightly different angles and with different headlines in order to generate more clicks, and thus more revenue. Thanks to new technology, reporters’ every keystroke is monitored and they are under constant pressure from management not to fall behind. The technique of constant surveillance is not unlike what hyper-exploited Amazon warehouse workers who wear GPS devices or Fitbit watches have to endure.

Read more …

Everyone, potentially.

Who Is A “Terrorist” In Biden’s America? (Whitney Webb)

In the latest sign that the US government’s War on Domestic Terror is growing in scope and scale, the White House on Tuesday revealed the nation’s first ever government-wide strategy for confronting domestic terrorism. While cloaked in language about stemming racially motivated violence, the strategy places those deemed “anti-government” or “anti-authority” on a par with racist extremists and charts out policies that could easily be abused to silence or even criminalize online criticism of the government.

[..] In introducing the strategy, the Biden administration cites “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” as a key reason for the new policy and a main justification for the War on Domestic Terror in general. This was most recently demonstrated Tuesday in Attorney General Merrick Garland’s statement announcing this new strategy. However, the document itself puts “anti-government” or “anti-authority” “extremists” in the same category as violent white supremacists in terms of being a threat to the homeland. The strategy’s characterization of such individuals is unsettling. For instance, those who “violently oppose” “all forms of capitalism” or “corporate globalization” are listed under this less-discussed category of “domestic terrorist.”

This highlights how people on the left, many of whom have called for capitalism to be dismantled or replaced in the US in recent years, could easily be targeted in this new “war” that many self-proclaimed leftists are currently supporting. Similarly, “environmentally-motivated extremists,” a category in which groups such as Extinction Rebellion could easily fall, are also included. In addition, the phrasing indicates that it could easily include as “terrorists” those who oppose the World Economic Forum’s vision for global “stakeholder capitalism,” as that form of “capitalism” involves corporations and their main “stakeholders” creating a new global economic and governance system. The WEF’s stakeholder capitalism thus involves both “capitalism” and “corporate globalization.” The strategy also includes those who “take steps to violently resist government authority . . . based on perceived overreach.”

This, of course, creates a dangerous situation in which the government could, purposely or otherwise, implement a policy that is an obvious overreach and/or blatantly unconstitutional and then label those who resist it “domestic terrorists” and deal with them as such—well before the overreach can be challenged in court. Another telling addition to this group of potential “terrorists” is “any other individual or group who engages in violence—or incites imminent violence—in opposition to legislative, regulatory or other actions taken by the government.” Thus, if the government implements a policy that a large swath of the population finds abhorrent, such as launching a new, unpopular war abroad, those deemed to be “inciting” resistance to the action online could be considered domestic terrorists.

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“A laughable conspiracy theory,” chortled The Huffington Post, who has done more to help the FBI find citizens allegedly at the Capitol riot than any local law enforcement agency.”

Questions About the FBI’s Role in 1/6 (Greenwald)

In 2011, Mother Jones published an outstanding, lengthy investigation by reporter Trevor Aaronson, entitled “The Informations,” which asked: “The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots—or leading them?” Aaronson covered numerous similar cases for The Intercept where the FBI designed, directed and even funded the terror plots and other criminal rings they then boasted of disrupting. A widely praised TEDTalk by Aaronson, which, in the words of organizers, “reveals a disturbing FBI practice that breeds terrorist plots by exploiting Muslim-Americans with mental health problems,” featured this central claim: “There’s an organization responsible for more terrorism plots in the United States than al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and ISIS combined: The FBI.”

So far from being some warped conspiracy theory, that the FBI purposely targets vulnerable people and infiltrates groups in order to create attacks and direct targets to engage in them is indisputably true, well established, and a commonly reported fact in mainstream liberal media. Exactly that has been happening for decades. Yet the DNC-loyal sector of the corporate media reacted to the Revolver News article and Carlson’s segment which raised these questions as though they were positing something that no sentient being could possibly regard as viable. CNN — which spent years leading its viewers to believe that the Kremlin controlled the U.S. Government through sexual and financial blackmail — published what they labeled a “fact-check” that denounced this as a “haywire theory” that “is nothing more than a conspiratorial web of unproven claims, half-truths and inaccurate drivel about perceived bombshells in court filings.”

As it usually does, The Washington Post — which told Americans that Russians had invaded the U.S. electricity grid and that a huge army of Kremlin-loyal American writers was shaping our discourse — echoed the instant CNN/liberal consensus by mocking it as “Tucker Carlson’s wild, baseless theory,” claiming that “it’s the kind of suggestion journalists in other organizations would quite possibly be fired for if they sought to push it nearly as hard.” The standard liberal blob of HuffPost/ DailyBeast/ BusinessInsider all recited from the herd script. “A laughable conspiracy theory,” chortled The Huffington Post, who has done more to help the FBI find citizens allegedly at the Capitol riot than any local law enforcement agency.

Read more …

“But Americans have to do something to make a living,..”

Free At Last (Jim Kunstler)

The biggest question that the authorities want to evade is: if the virus did originate from the Wuhan lab, was it released by accident… or on purpose? The “Joe Biden” government is now forced to, at least, pretend that it will investigate. My guess is: they don’t want to know. It would raise enough subsidiary questions to leave a normal person panting with nausea. For instance: was China trying to soften-up the USA by disabling our economy? And soften us up… for what? Some observers who are hardly dumb or crazy think that China wants to reduce the USA to a vassal nation that can only supply China with food, oil, and other resources.

Sound far-fetched? Maybe. After all, we still have that fleet of submarines armed with multiple-warhead nuclear missiles circulating around the oceans as a kind of insurance policy. But Americans have to do something to make a living, and it sure isn’t going to be mass production of consumer goods, like in the old days. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of the service economy got gutted during the lockdowns — millions of businesses bankrupted, restaurants, yoga studios, concert venues, dog groomers, shops of all kinds, you name it — gone, and a lot of the people who took livelihoods from all that are financially ruined for good.

What’s left? Health care and pharma, two odious rackets preying on the psychological weakness of people so beaten down by adversity that they can only console themselves with junk food, liquor, sexual debauchery, and drugs, and then must beg the health care system to fix them — after which it squashes them to death with outlandish charges for services rendered? Or government, another reprehensible racket, seeking desperately now to control its citizens’ every move while everything it does is not only running wildly out of control, but via the most idiotic, suicidal policies — such as throwing the border with Mexico wide open to all comers, while it pays Americans to not work.

Read more …

 

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Feb 182021
 
 February 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Ansel Adams Church, Taos, Pueblo 1942

 

Masked Drivers Banned From Wearing Sunglasses & Hats in Saxony (RT)
Facebook Blocks News From Australia – Yes, The Entire Country (CTH)
The Deplatforming Of Australia (Mark Pesce)
Hong Kong Aiming For Legislation To Ban Insulting Public Officials (ZH)
Vaccine Rollout Will Trigger New Covid Variants, Oxford Scientist Warns (RT)
Many Top NBA Players Hesitant To Promote Coronavirus Vaccines (ESPN)
Waitress Fired From NYC Eatery For Not Getting Covid Vaccine (DM)
How Well You Fared With Covid19 Might Be Down To Neanderthal Genes (RT)
Cuomo-gate: A Nixonian Scandal Is Engulfing New York (DP)
Texas Governor Blames Power Outages on Wind, Solar (CD)
Subzero Rates Are Coming to the US and the UK (Lacalle)
Twenty Days Of Infamy: The January 2017 Red Flags The FBI Blew Past (JTN)
VP Harris Gets Two Pinocchios For ‘Starting From Scratch’ Comment (JTN)
‘A Love As Real As Climate Change’: Tucker Carlson About Joe & Jill Biden (RT)

 

 

Perfectly in line with today’s news. Insanity rules. Just find someone to hate.

 

 

Ha ha ha. Brilliant. What people think of. “… general facial features” of the driver must still be visible to the road safety cameras…

Masked Drivers Banned From Wearing Sunglasses & Hats in Saxony (RT)

Drivers must still be identifiable by traffic cameras, even when they follow existing health protocols and wear masks, a new rule in Germany’s eastern region says. According to the Bild newspaper, Saxony became the first region in Germany to ban hats and sunglasses on masked drivers. “Wearing a hat and sunglasses in addition to a mask that covers the face and mouth makes [the driver] unrecognizable. So that’s not allowed,” Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Woller said. Woller explained that “general facial features” of the driver must still be visible to the road safety cameras.


He added that officials responsible for handing out fines to drivers were advised to handle the new rule on a case-by-case basis. Starting from Monday, people are required to wear masks in vehicles in Saxony if members of more than two households are traveling together. Last month, Germans were mandated to wear medical-grade respirator-type masks on public transport and when going to supermarkets. Simple cloth or homemade masks are not allowed in such cases.

Read more …

Will this wake up more politicians?

Facebook Blocks News From Australia – Yes, The Entire Country (CTH)

Australian officials are pushing back against the totalitarian grip of Big Tech. {Go Deep} As a result of investigations into Google and Facebook the Australian government is set to establish fines against tech companies for anti-trust violations. However, some officials are now discussing taking actions that are beyond civil lawsuits, and are now advocating for arrest of company officers for unlawful conduct. The battle lines are being drawn, and in response to the Australian government position on anti-trust Facebook (feeling they are elite and above the law) has now decided to block all news articles from the entire country from their social media platform.


FACEBOOK ANNOUNCEMENT – […] this means people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted. To do this, we are using a combination of technologies to restrict news content and we will have processes to review any content that was inadvertently removed.

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“Does Facebook truly believe that their actions will change the political outcome? Or are they sending a signal to other sovereign powers—such as the EU, India and the USA—that Facebook is itself a sovereign power..”

The Deplatforming Of Australia (Mark Pesce)

Can a whole country be deplatformed? That question confronts all of Australia today, as Facebook (for Facebook, read Mark Zuckerberg, who autocratically controls the social media giant) suddenly went nuclear, blocking all postings from news sites by its Australian users, and blocking those same users from seeing news postings from any source, anywhere in the world. All of this seemingly in response to a law that hasn’t even passed through Parliament. It feels like a dummy spit for the ages, the kind of moment that historians will simply chuckle over—and it is. But there’s much more here: never before in history has any technology firm gone head-to-head with the legitimate democratic apparatus of a highly advanced state. Australia is neither an economic backwater nor new to the Internet. That’s what makes this all a bit terrifying.

The cheek of it: a trillion-dollar social media firm twists a few dials, drops in some barely-functioning algorithms—that blocked NASA and The Betoota Advocate along with the ABC, News, Seven and Nine—and voila! the entire media landscape alters, bringing the nation’s focus to a foreign technology firm that appears to be acting to interrupt the legislative workings of a democratic sovereign power. If Facebook had acted after the bill had passed through Parliament, after the Governor General had given the law royal assent, then, perhaps, it would have seemed somewhat proportionate—just a protection of business interests. Happening now—in the middle of the political process, and seemingly designed to derail that process—it feels a bit more like the Capitol Insurrection: a bit of violent theatre designed to derail another political process.

Does Facebook truly believe that their actions will change the political outcome? Or are they sending a signal to other sovereign powers—such as the EU, India and the USA—that Facebook is itself a sovereign power, and will use that power to assert its own interests? Both of these alternatives feel like a scenario from dystopian science fiction. Yet this is the problem we now find ourselves in with Big Tech. We’ve nurtured these firms with our attention and our dollars, both of which they’ve converted to raw power. And now, when that power has been turned against us, we recognise the true cost of our addictions to our newsfeeds, our community groups—even those status updates from our families. All of it fed a monster, now unleashed, wreaking havoc with Australia’s democratic interests.

Read more …

Facebook, Hong Kong, the vaccine industry, what’s the difference?

Hong Kong Aiming For Legislation To Ban Insulting Public Officials (ZH)

Hong Kong’s government is currently in the process of introducing legislation that would prohibit insulting public officials. We can only imagine the insults that were muttered when local citizens read the news from local media. Hong Kong’s Security Bureau is in the midst of leading a study on how the legislation could work and how it would be overseen, according to Bloomberg. Local outlets said, citing Civil Service Secretary Patrick Nip, that the issue was under examination. The legislation would be part of a broader agenda by China to “erode basic freedoms” in Hong Kong. The move would be the biggest to censor free speech in Hong Kong since China’s institution of a law that has been used to combat mass protests in Hong Kong.


Beijing has also implemented a “patriotism test” to weed out pro-Democracy lawmakers. The test prompted mass resignations from opposition members in the Legislative Council last November, Bloomberg notes. Bloomberg also noted that Hong Kong judges and law enforcement are unlikely to challenge any new legislation from Beijing: Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s top court ordered that media tycoon and democracy activist Jimmy Lai remain in jail ahead of his trial on foreign collusion charges, a victory for Beijing that suggested Hong Kong judges were unlikely to challenge the security law. Hong Kong police also separately arrested Lai for assisting in an activist’s attempt to flee to Taiwan, the Oriental Daily reported on Wednesday, without citing anyone. Recall, back in June 2020, Hong Kong passed a law banning insults to China’s National Anthem.

Read more …

There are thousands already. If you boost your immune system, that is much less scary.

Vaccine Rollout Will Trigger New Covid Variants, Oxford Scientist Warns (RT)

A senior scientist at Oxford University has warned the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will prompt the virus to mutate, driven by “immunological selection” rather than the adaptations we have seen so far. Speaking to the UK Commons Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday, Professor Sir John Bell, Oxford’s regius professor of medicine, said that the Covid-19 mutations observed so far are a result of the virus adapting to be more effective in its new hosts, humans. “Most of the variants we have seen so far represent that kind of adaptation to a new species; it’s a bit like moving into a new apartment, you are shuffling the sofa around and making sure the TV is in the right place,” Bell told colleagues and lawmakers.


“What we will see between now and the end of the year is a number of variants which are driven by immunological selection, largely by the vaccines, and that will add another layer of complexity.” Bell added that a number of variants that currently exist have already demonstrated some “quite profound resistance” to existing immunity, either from previous Covid-19 infection or vaccines, citing people who have been reinfected by the Brazilian and South African strains. Despite this, Bell said there was good news in the fight against Covid-19, in that current vaccines do appear to have an impact on existing variants and are capable of stopping severe disease. “We need to be conscious of the new variants, we need to be ready to make new vaccines if we need them, but I am pretty clear our existing vaccines are going to work to some extent [against known variants],” the Oxford scientist stated.

Read more …

“Player apprehensions about receiving the vaccine are consistent with those that also exist in Black communities..”

Many Top NBA Players Hesitant To Promote Coronavirus Vaccines (ESPN)

Many of the NBA’s top players are expressing apprehension about accepting invitations to participate in league-sponsored public service announcements to bolster broader acceptance of the coronavirus vaccine, sources told ESPN. The NBA’s outreach to the agents of many of the league’s elite players — with hopes of getting stars to participate in PSAs to promote the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine — has been met with a tepid response, sources said. Player apprehensions about receiving the vaccine are consistent with those that also exist in Black communities throughout the country, agents and players told ESPN.

Sources describe a number of factors contributing to many players’ reluctance to participate, including uncertainty about taking the vaccine themselves, reluctance to advocate its use for others and resistance to extending favors to a league amid the largely unpopular plans for an All-Star Game. On a call with league general managers on Tuesday, commissioner Adam Silver continued to tell top team executives that the league wouldn’t “jump the line” of the general public to get vaccines, but he suggested an optimistic timeline that included the possibility of late March and early April for the start of player vaccinations, sources said. Nevertheless, that’s considered a fluid timeline, largely meant to reaffirm to teams the need to be prepared for whenever the opportunity to vaccinate players comes from public health officials, sources said.

The NBA shared with teams an expectation of 70 million to 100 million vaccine doses likely distributed by mid-March. In the hours after the call with the league’s GMs, Dr. Anthony Fauci — the nation’s leading infectious disease expert — told CNN that his original hope of April as a target for widespread vaccine availability for those outside of priority groups could be pushed back. “That timeline will probably be prolonged into mid- to late May and early June,” Fauci told CNN.

Read more …

“The way I see it, getting the vaccine is for me. It protects me. If I am not getting it, it’s my choice, and I’d only be hurting myself,” she said. The coronavirus vaccines available haven’t been tested on pregnant women, but also haven’t been shown to affect pregnancy and are viewed as generally safe. [..] The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that getting vaccinated is “a personal choice for people who are pregnant..”

Waitress Fired From NYC Eatery For Not Getting Covid Vaccine (DM)

A New York waitress was fired from her job on Monday after she told her bosses at a tavern that she wanted to wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine until she could learn more about its side effects on women who are pregnant. Bonnie Jacobson, 34, said she is not an ‘anti-vaxxer’ but wanted to wait for more research as she recently starting trying to get pregnant with her husband, she told DailyMail.com. Jacobson, who started working at the Red Hook Tavern in August, said the restaurant first sent out an email on February 8 which said: ‘If you choose to get vaccinated, here’s what you need to know.’ That email, reviewed by DailyMail.com, did not tell employees that vaccinations were required.

Jacobson said she told her manager during a staff meeting that she wanted more time to research the vaccine and said her manager initially understood her concerns, telling her she would not be required to get the shot. But the Brooklyn tavern changed its mind days later on February 12 and sent workers and email noting the vaccines were mandatory. Please be advised that we will require that all employees receive the vaccination,’ notes the email. This will be mandatory for all existing employees and any new hires. The exception to this policy will be if your own personal health or disability prohibits you from obtaining this vaccination. We encourage you to consult your healthcare professional to determine if getting a vaccine is right for you.’

Jacobson then emailed her employers on Saturday and said that she did not yet want to get the vaccine, which she said she ‘fully supports.’ ‘I am choosing not to get the vaccine because there just isn’t enough data or research at this point on its effects on fertility,’ she wrote to her boss.

Read more …

How do I find out?

How Well You Fared With Covid19 Might Be Down To Neanderthal Genes (RT)

Has Covid-19 floored you? Or did you only suffer mild symptoms? The answer to how your body responds to coronavirus could very well be influenced by the Neanderthal genes you carry, according to researchers in Germany. Svante Paabo and Hugo Zeberg of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have been looking to the genes inherited from our Neanderthal ancestors – and the pair’s studies suggest that our modern-day responses to Covid-19 are part of a genetic lottery played out over 40,000 years. Their latest study suggests that a genetic mutation in genes linked to our ancestral Neanderthal relatives might reduce the risk of severe infection by about 22 percent.

The mutation, which helps fight off RNA viruses, has been found in all Neanderthal DNA samples tested and is present in about 30 percent of samples from people with European and Asian backgrounds today. In September, the pair co-authored another study that looked at a different set of Neanderthal genes found in some 50 percent of Asians and 16 percent of Europeans. People that carried that particular gene sequence were found to be more susceptible to developing serious respiratory problems after contracting Covid-19. Neanderthals are known to have lived alongside – and interbred with – modern humans in Europe and Asia before becoming extinct some 40,000 years ago.

Paabo and Zeberg compared DNA samples from 2,200 people with samples taken from four ancient humans – a 70,000-year-old Neanderthal from Siberia, a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal from Croatia, and two separates samples from Denisova Cave in Siberia, to reach their findings for the most recent study. Previously, they had looked at samples from some 3,000 people for the study published in Nature.

Read more …

How is he still in office?

Cuomo-gate: A Nixonian Scandal Is Engulfing New York (DP)

The biggest political scandal in America right now is playing out in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in a lot of trouble — and rightly so. The Democratic governor did not merely wildly mismanage his state’s response to the COVID emergency, while netting himself a lucrative book deal and an Emmy. He did something worse. In the middle of a public health emergency, he used his office to help one of his largest political donors shield itself from legal consequences as 15,000 nursing home residents died from COVID — and then he and his administration underreported that death toll, helping the same donor. The Daily Poster had been covering the story for months before it exploded this week. The scandal is a cautionary tale of hubris, megalomania, and corruption that left a literal mountain of preventable COVID deaths in its wake.

Now we are about to see whether a blue state’s democratic institutions can hold wrongdoers accountable, or whether America’s culture of impunity can once again protect the powerful from facing any consequences at all. Amid a cacophony of demands for Cuomo to resign, the governor and his aides are frantically trying to cover up the basic facts of what happened, and that includes launching a Nixonian campaign of intimidation and retribution against Democratic lawmakers who have for months been sounding the alarm. Two national news outlets today detailed Cuomo’s new campaign of retribution against one lawmaker in his own party who dared to ask questions about constituents and family members who died under Cuomo’s nursing home policies.

Cuomo held a press conference to publicly berate the same Democrat, while another New York news outlet reported that other lawmakers are now facing threats. For months, these legislators’ questions were ignored by a national media that has seemed far more interested in valorizing Cuomo than in reporting inconvenient facts. But those facts are worth reviewing, because they illustrate the direct link between the underreporting of nursing home deaths and the push for corporate immunity. They also spotlight the very real human carnage that can result when an imperious, out-of-control politician is unwilling to engage in any contrition, self-reflection, or reform.

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Whether it’s Cuomo or Abbott, it’s clear that crises expose incompetence.

Texas Governor Blames Power Outages on Wind, Solar (CD)

As millions of Texans struggled desperately to keep warm amid power outages stemming from the devastating winter storm sweeping the nation, the state’s Republican governor late Tuesday blamed solar and wind for the blackouts—despite the fact that Texas relies overwhelmingly on fossil fuels—and claimed the crisis shows that the Green New Deal would be a “deadly deal” for the United States. “Texas is blessed with multiple sources of energy, such natural gas and oil and nuclear, as well as solar and wind,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in an appearance on “Hannity” Tuesday night. “Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid. And that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power in a statewide basis.”

Abbott was far from the first Republican to deploy such blatantly false talking points in response to the ongoing crisis in Texas, which has left at least 10 people dead. But the governor’s decision to appear on Fox News and attack a policy that has not even been implemented as Texans resorted to burning their belongings to keep their children warm was viewed as yet another example of his failed leadership. “Five million Texans are without power tonight and temperatures are below freezing. People will most certainly die tonight because of it,” said Sawyer Hackett, senior adviser to Julián Castro. “But Gov. Abbott had time to go on Sean Hannity to blame the Green New Deal.” Citing an official with the state’s Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT), The Texas Tribune reported that as of Tuesday afternoon “16 gigawatts of renewable energy generation, mostly wind generation, was offline. Nearly double that, 30 gigawatts, had been lost from thermal sources, which includes gas, coal and nuclear energy.”

“Texas is a gas state,” Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Tribune. “Gas is failing in the most spectacular fashion right now.” But that hasn’t stopped Texas Republicans like Abbott and Rep. Dan Crenshaw from attempting to blame frozen wind turbines for outages that could continue for days, endangering lives and coronavirus vaccines. In response to Abbott’s “Hannity” interview, Texas voting rights advocate Charlie Bonner tweeted, “He is lying. People are dying, and he is on Fox News lying to you. We are living in fear and Greg Abbott is playing politics with our lives.” “Greg Abbott doesn’t care if you live or die tonight so take care of each other, my friends,” Bonner added. “We’re living in a failed state.”

Read more …

“The financial repression of central banks begins with a misdiagnosis assuming that low growth and below-target inflation is a problem of demand, not of the previous excess..”

Subzero Rates Are Coming to the US and the UK (Lacalle)

Negative rates are the destruction of money, an economic aberration based on the mistakes of many central banks and some of their economists, who all start from a wrong diagnosis: the idea that economic agents do not take more credit or invest more because they choose to save too much and therefore saving must be penalized to stimulate the economy. Excuse the bluntness, but it is a ludicrous idea. Inflation and growth are not low due to excess savings, but because of excess debt, which perpetuates overcapacity with low rates and high liquidity and zombifies the economy by subsidizing the low-productivity and highly indebted sectors and penalizing high productivity with rising and confiscatory taxation.

Historical evidence of negative rates shows that they do not help reduce debt, they incentivize it. They do not strengthen the credit capacity of families: the prices of nonreplicable assets (real estate, etc.) skyrocket because of monetary excess and because the lower cost of debt does not compensate for the greater risk. Investment and credit growth are not subdued because economic agents are ignorant or saving too much, but because they don’t have amnesia. Families and businesses are more cautious in their investment and spending decisions, because they perceive, correctly, that the reality of the economy they see each day does not correspond to the cost and the quantity of money.

It is completely incorrect to think that families and businesses are not investing or spending. They are only spending less than what central planners would want. However, that is not a mistake from the private sector side, but a typical case of central planners’ misguided estimates, which come from using 2001–07 as “base case” of investment and credit demand instead of what those years really were: a bubble. The argument of the central planners is based on an inconsistency: that rates are negative because markets demand them, not because they are imposed by the central bank. If that is the case and the result would be the same, why don’t they let rates float freely? Because it is false.

Think for a moment what type of investment, company, or financial decision is profitable with rates at –0.5 percent but unviable with rates at 1 percent. A time bomb. It is no surprise that investment in bubble-prone sectors is rising with negative rates and that nonreplicable and financial assets are skyrocketing. Instead of strengthening economies, negative rates make governments more dependent on cheap debt. Public debt trades at artificially low yields, and politicians abandon any reformist impulse, preferring to accumulate more debt. The financial repression of central banks begins with a misdiagnosis assuming that low growth and below-target inflation is a problem of demand, not of the previous excess, and ends up perpetuating the bubbles that it sought to solve.

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“Between Jan. 4, 2017 and Jan. 24, 2017, nearly every major assumption of the FBI’s Russia collusion theory was gutted..”

Twenty Days Of Infamy: The January 2017 Red Flags The FBI Blew Past (JTN)

From its earliest moments, the FBI’s Russia collusion probe was always fraught with warning signs. Agents were told Christopher Steele provided faulty information, had likely been compromised by Russian intel disinformation, wanted to defeat Donald Trump, had leaked to the media and was being paid by Hillary Clinton, who herself might be carrying out an epic dirty political trick to vilify Trump with false information to distract from her own scandals. Those intelligence reports alone should have given agents pause. The fact that Steele had been terminated by the FBI as an informant for leaking also should have weighed heavily.

But if ever there were red lights screaming for the FBI to end the counterintelligence probe, they were flashing during a harrowing 20-day window in January 2017 as Barack Obama was leaving office and Trump was coming in. Between Jan. 4, 2017 and Jan. 24, 2017, nearly every major assumption of the FBI’s Russia collusion theory was gutted, according to recently declassified evidence reviewed by Just the News. Months of investigating Trump adviser Mike Flynn had turned up “no derogatory information,” and agents recommended shutting down that part of the inquiry after concluding Flynn wasn’t aiding Moscow. Two separate informant recordings of Trump adviser Carter Page — the target of an ongoing FISA warrant — produced stunning evidence of innocence.

U.S. intelligence had concluded a key allegation in the Steele dossier was Russian disinformation. And Steele’s primary sub-source — whom the FBI assessed was likely tied to Russian intelligence — discounted much of the information attributed to him in the dossier. Even Director James Comey was telling colleagues there wasn’t much corroborated in the dossier. And yet somehow, some way, the FBI accelerated the investigation even though overwhelming evidence showed — as lead investigative agent Peter Strzok would later text his colleague — there was “no big there, there.”

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It doesn’t matter. She will be believed by her fans, and that’s all that counts.

VP Harris Gets Two Pinocchios For ‘Starting From Scratch’ Comment (JTN)

A Washington Post fact check has given a statement made recently by Vice President Kamala Harris a rating of two Pinocchios. “There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways, we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year,” Harris said during an interview with Axios. In the Post fact checking piece Glenn Kessler writes that Harris “gets into trouble when she says ‘we’re starting from scratch.’ The Biden administration appears to have had to fill in the blanks of the Trump plan and certainly did speed up the tempo of what the Trump administration envisioned. It has added a federal component and pushed for funding for states,” Kessler wrote.


“Biden administration officials may be proud of what they have accomplished, but they shouldn’t suggest that nothing was in place when they walked in the door. They have built on an existing structure left behind by the Trump team. Harris modified her comment by saying ‘in many ways,’ but that’s not quite enough to avoid Pinocchios,” he wrote. Two Pinocchios is like a rating of “half-true,” according to the Post’s explanation of the Pinocchio Test ratings. “Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people,” the Post says about the two Pinocchio rating.

Read more …

Ha ha ha. “His latest comments quickly sparked a liberal uproar on social media, with critics calling the Fox News host “bitter,”“offensive,” and “deranged.”

‘A Love As Real As Climate Change’: Tucker Carlson About Joe & Jill Biden (RT)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has outraged Democrats once again after he appeared to suggest President Joe Biden’s relationship with his wife is a carefully-devised PR campaign, mockingly saying it is “as real as climate change.” Reacting to the glowing coverage celebrating Biden’s public displays of affection with his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, and glee over a supposed return to ‘normalcy’ following chilly public interactions between former President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, Carlson put his own spin on the situation. “Not since Antony dined with Cleopatra at downtown Antioch, before they killed themselves obviously, has a country witnessed a love story as moving and poignant as Jill and Joe’s,” said Carlson sarcastically on his Tuesday show.


“No, ladies and gentlemen, Jill Biden is not Joe’s caretaker. She isn’t his nurse. She’s his fully-equal romantic partner. Together they are like besotted teens, yet at the same time they are the wise and knowing parents of a nation,” he continued. He then implied the public displays of affection were “part of a slick PR campaign devised by cynical consultants,” designed to “hide the president’s senility,” adding that in his view, their love is “as real as climate change.” Carlson has previously shot down concerns about climate change, calling it “systemic racism in the sky” – “You can’t see it, but rest assured it’s everywhere and it’s deadly.” His latest comments quickly sparked a liberal uproar on social media, with critics calling the Fox News host “bitter,”“offensive,” and “deranged.”

Read more …

 

 

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Jan 272021
 


Gustave Courbet Sunset on Lake Geneva 1876

 

Bill Gates Advised Oxford to Ditch Open Source COVID Vaccine (MPN)
FBI Knew DOJ Was Preparing To Fire Comey Long Before Trump Ordered It (JTN)
Washington Will Remain Militarized Until At Least March (Greenwald)
Biden is Already Breaking Promises (Lawrence)
Legal Counteroffensive Against Big Tech Crackdown On Conservative Dissent (JTN)
Meet the Censored: Status Coup (Taibbi)
US Billionaires ‘Have Received $1.1tn Windfall In Covid Pandemic’ (G.)
Ted Cruz Attempts To Impose Term Limits On Members Of Congress (JTN)
Judge Bars President Joe Biden From Enforcing 100-Day Deportation Ban (AP)
Migrants Increasing At “Concerning Rate” On Southern Border – CBP Agent (ZH)
Ghislaine Maxwell Asks To Throw Out Case Over Epstein Plea Deal (G.)
UK Sells Arms To Nearly 80% Of Countries Under Restrictions (G.)
Humans Are Estimated To Eat A Credit Card Worth Of Plastic Every Week (USPIRG)

 

 

 

 

Tulsi Brennan Schiff
https://twitter.com/i/status/1354035548524957697

 

 

“As a result, the planet’s poor will have to wait until at least 2024 to be immunized.”

Bill Gates Advised Oxford to Ditch Open Source COVID Vaccine (MPN)

Europe is reeling from the shock news that biotech giant AstraZeneca will not be delivering anything like the number of vaccines it promised. The company informed European Union officials that they will only be supplying 31 million doses to 27 E.U. countries, rather than the 80 million they had promised would arrive by the end of March. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti predicted that the news would reap “enormous damage” on the continent that has already sustained over 32 million confirmed cases and 703,000 deaths due to COVID-19. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been hailed last year as a miracle in the global fight against the coronavirus primarily because the research team at Oxford University had promised to share the rights to its product with any and all drugmakers, meaning that poorer countries could produce and inoculate their citizens at cost price ($3-$4 per shot — a fraction of the price of those from Pfizer or Moderna).

Last year, economist and drug patent reform advocate Dean Baker told MintPress that, “The Oxford vaccine is even more striking, since the point was to pay researchers, but not to rely on patent monopolies to generate large profits. We ended up with a cheaper, better vaccine…It would be great if we could take away some lessons from the experience of vaccine development in this crisis and get away from the antiquated patent monopoly mechanism for financing research.” However, behind the scenes, the Oxford team reneged on their promise, signing an exclusive deal with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, who made no commitment to selling the lifesaving vaccine at a low price. Even less well-known is that the decision was taken at the behest of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

“We went to Oxford and said, ‘Hey, you’re doing brilliant work,’” Gates said, “But…you really need to team up.” The 65-year-old tech tycoon is a strong proponent of patents and spends much of his time shaping global health policy. James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, a nonprofit that works to expand access to medical technology, said that “Gates has staked out this outsized role in the vaccine world…He has an ideological belief that the intellectual property system is a wonderful mechanism that is necessary for innovation and prosperity.” The decision to put profit before people is likely to have a devastating impact on the Global South. Poor countries are not in a position to inoculate their entire populations, especially as the world’s wealthiest nations hoard the large majority of the available vaccines while refusing to support moves by companies in the Global South to produce them for themselves.

As a result, the planet’s poor will have to wait until at least 2024 to be immunized. This latest news is unlikely to do anything but set that clock further back. Unable to secure a profit in immunizing Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans, Western multinationals have turned their back on those regions, prioritizing those who can pay the most. As a result, those in the Global South have turned to Russia and China for help. While Western media have dismissed these efforts as “vaccine diplomacy” and a “charm offensive,” while casting doubt on the Sputnik V vaccine’s efficacy, global opinion studies show the Russian offering is actually the most trusted option.

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Special Counsel.

FBI Knew DOJ Was Preparing To Fire Comey Long Before Trump Ordered It (JTN)

Newly declassified FBI memos provide startling new details that undercut the frenzied 2017 effort to investigate Donald Trump for obstruction, revealing the FBI knew Director James Comey’s firing had been conceived by Justice Department leadership long before the president pulled the trigger during a key moment in the Russia probe. The memos written in May 2017 by Acting Director Andrew McCabe and a lieutenant also provide contemporaneous proof for some of the more jaw-dropping lore of the now-discredited Russia collusion scandal. For instance, the memos directly state that then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire to secretly record Trump in the Oval Office and that Rosenstein also wanted to seek Comey’s advice — after his termination — on a possible Russia special counsel. The bureau nixed both ideas, the memos show.

The documents — declassified by Trump during his final 24 hours in office — also provide a tantalizing list of names the Trump administration considered for FBI director, including former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, ex-director and eventual Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and retired Gen. John Kelly. Eventually, Trump settled on former prosecutor Chris Wray for the job. But the memos’ most explosive revelations chronicle the decision by McCabe in his early days on the job to open a formal investigation of Trump on the grounds that Comey’s firing may have been an act of obstruction of justice designed to thwart the Russia probe. The notes show McCabe informed Rosenstein during a May 16, 2017 meeting — one of their first after Comey was fired and McCabe became acting director — that he had opened the obstruction probe.

“I explained that the purpose of the investigation was to investigate allegations of possible collusion between the President and the Russian government, possible obstruction of justice related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and possible conspiracy to obstruct justice,” McCabe wrote in typewritten notes of the meeting. One of McCabe’s lieutenants who also attended the meeting, then-bureau attorney Lisa Page, took her own notes, observing that Rosenstein’s expressed outrage over Comey’s firing seemed odd since Rosenstein had revealed to FBI officials he and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had been contemplating it since January 2017. “This was a strange comment,” Page wrote, “because it was my understanding that the DAG had previously indicated that he and AG Sessions had been discussing firing Director Comey since January, but given the nature of the conversation there was no room for follow-up.”

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“The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.”

Washington Will Remain Militarized Until At Least March (Greenwald)

Washington, DC has been continuously militarized beginning the week leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration, when 20,000 National Guard troops were deployed onto the streets of the nation’s capital. The original justification was that this show of massive force was necessary to secure the inauguration in light of the January 6 riot at the Capitol. But with the inauguration over and done, those troops remain and are not going anywhere any time soon. Working with federal law enforcement agencies, the National Guard Bureau announced on Monday that between 5,000 and 7,000 troops will remain in Washington until at least mid-March. The rationale for this extraordinary, sustained domestic military presence has shifted several times, typically from anonymous U.S. law enforcement officials.

The original justification — the need to secure the inaugural festivities — is obviously no longer operative. So the new claim became that the impeachment trial of former President Trump that will take place in the Senate in February necessitated military reinforcements. On Sunday, Politico quoted “four people familiar with the matter” to claim that “Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial poses a security concern that federal law enforcement officials told lawmakers last week requires as many as 5,000 National Guard troops to remain in Washington through mid-March.” The next day, AP, citing “a U.S. official,” said the ongoing troop deployment was needed due to “ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol.”

But the anonymous official acknowledged that “the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility.” Even National Guard troops complained that they “have so far been given no official justifications, threat reports or any explanation for the extended mission — nor have they seen any violence thus far.” It is hard to overstate what an extreme state of affairs it is to have a sustained military presence in American streets. Prior deployments have been rare, and usually were approved for a limited period and/or in order to quell a very specific, ongoing uprising — to ensure the peaceful segregation of public schools in the South, to respond to the unrest in Detroit and Chicago in the 1960s, or to quell the 1991 Los Angeles riots that erupted after the Rodney King trial.

Deploying National Guard or military troops for domestic law enforcement purposes is so dangerous that laws in place from the country’s founding strictly limit its use. It is meant only as a last resort, when concrete, specific threats are so overwhelming that they cannot be quelled by regular law enforcement absent military reinforcements. Deploying active military troops is an even graver step than putting National Guard soldiers on the streets, but they both present dangers. As Trump’s Defense Secretary said in response to calls from some over the summer to deploy troops in response to the Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests: “The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.”

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“We want you to endorse our commitment to aggression, to unlawful interventions, to ‘regime change’ ops, to merciless sanctions, and altogether to the empire. But you must make it look nice. Make it look thoughtful and complicated and considered.”

Biden is Already Breaking Promises (Lawrence)

[..] let’s draw the old lesson. You can have democracy at home or empire abroad, but you can’t have both. We will continue to suffer the latter under Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Those drawn into thinking the Biden regime would conduct America’s affairs abroad decently and humanely and in principled fashion will now discover they have been savagely sucker-punched. Those who understood from the outset that Biden’s people would go nowhere near the essential, determining questions of exceptionalism, universalism, and our consequent dedication to empire will be repelled but not surprised as the policy framework is revealed. In this case, the moment of truth came even before Biden’s inauguration.

His saccharine inauguration speech last Wednesday, with its Hallmark-card calls for unity, was quite secondary to the confirmation hearings the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held the previous day. In a matter of hours, Biden’s key national security people — Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, and Lloyd Austin as defense secretary — gave us a remarkably fulsome idea of what we are in for these next four years.Haines and Austin, neither of whose records are to be admired, are at bottom functionaries who were nominated and swiftly confirmed because they do what they are told and do not think too much—always a career-advancer in Washington. It is instead Blinken, who is said to enjoy some kind of “mind-meld” with Biden, that we must consider carefully. (Such a meld must be odd terrain.)

Blinken’s Senate testimony last Tuesday sprawled over four hours. It is best to scrutinize his remarks while seated in a chair with sturdy armrests, ideally to calm one’s nerves with a pot of chamomile tea. Seen or read as a whole, those four hours gave us an extraordinary display of how empire works and how it prolongs itself. One by one, Blinken’s senatorial interlocutors told him in so many words, “Son, this is what you need to say if you want our confirmation. We want you to endorse our commitment to aggression, to unlawful interventions, to ‘regime change’ ops, to merciless sanctions, and altogether to the empire. But you must make it look nice. Make it look thoughtful and complicated and considered.”

[..] Among Blinken’s many rather sad-to-witness “Yes sirs,” two standout: his finely chiseled endorsement of Pompeo’s reckless assassination a year ago of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s revered military commander (“Taking him out was the right thing to do”), and his approval of the Trump administration’s decision to send lethal arms to the manically corrupt regime in Kiev (“Senator, I support providing that lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine,” when the Obama administration, from which he comes, did not.)

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”.. their job, under state law, is to act as a steward for shareholders. That is their legal obligation. They are not to act as an extra-governmental arm of one party of another.”

Legal Counteroffensive Against Big Tech Crackdown On Conservative Dissent (JTN)

Paxton said the tech firms also open themselves up to challenges under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which offers broad legal immunities for social media networks that claim they are neutral platforms rather than media companies making editorial decisions. “These companies put themselves out as neutral platforms,” Paxton said. “If in reality, they’re not doing that, one, they don’t deserve the protection of federal law, special protection that no other company has. And two, they may need to be looked at under consumer protection laws, because they’re presenting consumers with a choice that says, ‘We are a platform that allows any speech,’ when in reality, they are controlling what speech is being put out there.”

Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, faults conservatives themselves for long trying to brush aside the threat of social media viewpoint bias and censorship with hopeful assurances that “the free market will solve this.” “They said, ‘Just create a new platform,'” recalled Danhof. “‘If you don’t like censorship occurring on Facebook and Twitter against conservatives — which has been happening for a decade — create a new platform.’ So Parler did. But then [Big Tech] disappeared Parler.” Facebook and Twitter have both long denied any viewpoint bias against conservatives in their content moderation practices. Danhof compared what tech firms are doing in the United States to how these companies are acting in China.

“Apple — of course — deletes many apps from its app store, largely news apps, at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party,” Danhof said, alluding to deleted apps that pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were using to communicate and to get news and information. “So clearly, in China, Apple is operating as an extra-governmental arm of the Chinese Communist Party — acting at the behest of the communists to do what they want,” Danhof said. “Well, we have folks like Nancy Pelosi and AOC, Kamala Harris in the United States calling on Twitter and Facebook and others to ban President Trump. And to take down Parler. And what are they doing? They’re honoring those requests.”

Twitter’s permanent ban of President Trump led to a dramatic loss of share value for the company. Danhof argues that the company’s political decision has hurt its investors, thus exposing the company to civil action by shareholders for breach of fiduciary duty. “Lawsuits should abound from shareholders,” Danhof said. “Because boards of directors and management — their job, under state law, is to act as a steward for shareholders. That is their legal obligation. They are not to act as an extra-governmental arm of one party of another.”

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Live streamers.

Meet the Censored: Status Coup (Taibbi)

On January 6th, Jon Farina, photographer and videographer for Jordan Chariton’s Status Coup outlet, captured horrifying images. At the Capitol, a pro-Trump mob tried to burst into the building, and a police officer who attempted to intercede was caught in a door. He cried out in pain, but the crowd was indifferent, chanting, “Heave, ho!” as they tried to break in. Farina, in the middle of the physical mayhem as photojournalists often are, caught the scene up close while 30,000 people watched the live feed. Farina’s footage rocketed around the world, and major press outlets celebrated his work as an example of hard-hitting reporting. CNN did a laudatory story about the freelance photojournalist, with Pamela Brown asking Farina to “bring us inside the mayhem.”

Other outlets like USA Today quoted his recollections of that day, and the likes of Steven Colbert on CBS, as well as ABC News, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the New York Post, the Daily Mail, and others used it as fodder for outraged coverage of the riot: For a week or so, Status Coup was feted for service on the front lines of responsible journalism. Nearly two weeks later, on January 18th, another Farina live stream was shut down by YouTube, thanks to policies that will make it very difficult for non-corporate media going forward to do live reporting. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that if the incident from the 18th happened earlier, we may never have gotten the Capitol pictures.

On the 18th, Farina was in Richmond, Virginia, where a significant rally of pro-gun protesters was expected. There had been widespread reports warning of unrest. CBS relayed FBI fears of “credible threats of violence,” while the Washington Post said officials were “on edge” ahead of the Martin Luther King Day protest, gearing up for a full-scale assault: Members of the National Guard are on standby. Plywood covers the windows of the State Capitol. Tall metal barricades surround Capitol Square, with police vehicles idling on pathways just inside locked pedestrian gates. Downtown streets will be closed; signs warning against carrying guns have gone up around the city. “The violent, lawless insurrection and assault on democracy and its institutions that unfolded last week in Washington, D.C., will not be tolerated in the city of Richmond,” Mayor Levar Stoney warned on Thursday.

The threats may have been credible, but when Farina began live-streaming to an audience of 6,000, the event turned out to be peaceful and unremarkable, though not without interest from a news perspective. “Frankly, there might have been more press than protesters,” Status Coup’s Chariton said later. “And while it was live, it was pretty informative. Jon talked to 4-5 people, and they pretty much all made it clear that they weren’t Trump supporters, that they didn’t support what happened in the Capitol. They were pretty relaxed compared to the propaganda ahead of time.” Despite the seeming unremarkableness of the event, it shut down abruptly mid-feed. Chariton assumed something happened on Farina’s end. “Then I got an email from YouTube, telling me we’d violated their ‘Firearms Policy.’ I wasn’t aware they had a firearms policy.”

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And that’s just the 660 richest.

US Billionaires ‘Have Received $1.1tn Windfall In Covid Pandemic’ (G.)

The richest 660 people in the US have collected a $1.1tn (£800bn) “windfall of wealth” since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a report by a US progressive thinktank, the Institute for Policy Studies. The report found that the collective wealth of America’s 660 billionaires has risen by 39% since the World Health Organization declared that Covid-19 was a pandemic virus in March 2020. The billionaires combined wealth has increased from just under $3tn on 18 March 2020 to $4.1tn, according to Forbes magazine data. The report noted that there had also been “46 newly minted billionaires since the beginning of the pandemic”, when there were 614.

Chuck Collins, the director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program on Inequality and co-author of the Billionaire Bonanza 2020 report, said: “Billionaires are reaping unseemly windfalls of wealth during the pandemic. They benefit from having their competitors shut down or controlling technologies and services we are all dependent on in this unprecedented time. We should tax these windfall gains to pay for recovery.” Collins said the gains the billions have made since the crisis began could “pay for all the relief for working families contained in the $1.9tn coronavirus relief package proposed by President Biden, while leaving the nation’s richest households no worse off than they were before Covid-19 hit”.

Frank Clemente, the executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said: “While we can all rejoice that our nation’s response to the terrible pandemic is now in steadier and more caring hands, we can only lament that America’s billionaires are not making a meaningful contribution to that national effort, even as their wealth continues to soar. “The Covid crisis is crushing people of colour and low-income workers while billionaires who are nearly all white have seen fortunes skyrocket. This is why we need the fair-share taxes programme Joe Biden ran on, won on and is now ready to pursue.”

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Fat chance.

Ted Cruz Attempts To Impose Term Limits On Members Of Congress (JTN)

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday reintroduced an amendment that would put term limits on members of Congress, saying the rise in “political careerism” is not what the country’s founders intended. “Today my colleagues and I reintroduced a constitutional amendment to impose #TermLimits on Members of Congress,” the Texas lawmaker tweeted. “The amendment would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms.” Cruz gained the support of fellow Republican Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young of Indiana, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania for the proposed constitutional amendment.


This marks the third time Cruz has introduced legislation to impose term limits on Congress, having also done so in 2017 and 2019. His previous attempts never made it to the Senate floor. “Every year, Congress spends billions of dollars on giveaways for the well-connected: Washington insiders get taxpayer money and members of Congress get re-elected, all while the system fails the American people,” Cruz said in a statement. “The rise of political careerism in today’s Congress is a sharp departure from what the Founders intended for our federal governing bodies. I have long called for this solution for the brokenness of Washington, D.C., and I will continue fighting to hold career politicians accountable.”

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Immigration remains a touchy issue.

Judge Bars President Joe Biden From Enforcing 100-Day Deportation Ban (AP)

A federal judge on Tuesday barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which sued on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations. Tipton said the Biden administration had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations.” Tipton’s order is an early blow to the Biden administration, which has proposed far-reaching changes sought by immigration advocates, including a plan to legalize an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Biden promised during his campaign to pause most deportations for 100 days. The order represents a victory for Texas’ Republican leaders, who often sued to stop programs enacted by Biden’s Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. It also showed that just as Democratic-led states and immigration groups fought former President Donald Trump over immigration in court, often successfully, so too will Republicans with Biden in office. David Pekoske, the acting Homeland Security secretary, signed a memo on Biden’s first day directing immigration authorities to focus on national security and public safety threats as well as anyone apprehended entering the U.S. illegally after Nov. 1. That was a reversal from Trump administration policy that made anyone in the U.S. illegally a priority for deportation.

The 100-day moratorium went into effect Friday and applied to almost anyone who entered the U.S. without authorization before November. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that the moratorium violated federal law as well as an agreement Texas signed with the Department of Homeland Security late in the Trump administration. That agreement required Homeland Security to consult with Texas and other states before taking any action to “reduce, redirect, reprioritize, relax, or in any way modify immigration enforcement.”

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Touchy.

Migrants Increasing At “Concerning Rate” On Southern Border – CBP Agent (ZH)

As caravans build up in Honduras, migrants are increasing at a “concerning rate” at the United States southern border, according to Matthew Hudak, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief patrol agent of the Laredo sector in Texas. He warns that immigration is just a piece of the threat coupled with the pandemic health risk and other crimes along the border. “Like everybody, we’re tracking the formation of these caravans in Central America,” said Hudak. The Laredo Sector is one of nine CBP sectors along the southern border. It contains about 135 miles of the international border with Mexico. On Jan. 8, CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan issued a statement on potential migrant caravans: “Do not waste your time and money, and do not risk your safety and health.”

According to Hudak, the Laredo Sector hasn’t seen a reduction of migrants in response to the statement. It has made over 30,000 arrests in this fiscal year, a 50 percent increase over the same period last year. Hudak added that similar trends are identified by other sectors on the southern border. The U.S. government fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. Hudak called the 50 percent increase “a pretty concerning rate.” He told The Epoch Times that some portions of the caravan of 9,000 migrants will make their way to the southern border. Part of the group was stopped in Guatemala on Jan. 16. Depending on the pace and the means with which these migrants travel, the arrival time at the U.S.-Mexico border may be between a few days and a few weeks. As of Jan. 21, he hasn’t yet seen a dramatic increase of migrants indicative of caravans arriving at the southern border.

Hudak said that human smuggling is usually achieved with systems shared with drug and firearm smuggling, and the fees migrants are charged feed larger criminal organizations. Therefore, he sees a more significant threat: “We may be talking about one piece of it, which is immigration, but it’s part of a much larger criminal enterprise.”

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And the jury was too white.

Ghislaine Maxwell Asks To Throw Out Case Over Epstein Plea Deal (G.)

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell complained on Monday that the pool of grand jurors who indicted her was not diverse enough, according to new court documents. “The fact that Ms Maxwell herself is neither Black nor Hispanic does not deprive of her of standing to raise this challenge,” the attorneys wrote in court papers, arguing that the US constitution “entitles every defendant to object to a [pool] that is not designed to represent a fair cross section of the community, whether or not the systematically excluded groups are groups to which he himself belongs”. Maxwell’s purported concerns about diversity stem from the geographical circumstances surrounding her indictment.

Maxwell is facing charges in the southern district of New York’s Manhattan division relating to her alleged involvement in her late friend Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of minor girls. However, she was indicted by a grand jury in the SDNY’s White Plains division before her 2 July arrest, as Covid-19 had limited grand jury proceedings in Manhattan. White Plains grand jurors hail from counties outside of New York City. Maxwell’s attorneys said they were therefore “drawn from a community in which Black and Hispanic residents are significantly underrepresented by comparison. “The sixth amendment guarantees a criminal defendant a grand jury selected from a fair cross-section of the community.

“Ms Maxwell’s right under the sixth amendment to a grand jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community applies to the grand jury that indicted her. “Here, the use of a White Plains jury resulted in the systematic underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic persons from the jury selection process, in violation of Ms Maxwell’s sixth amendment right.” Maxwell’s lawyers also argued that prosecutors could have waited to convene a grand jury in Manhattan, claiming that one such panel met “as early as” 25 June. “There appears to have been no reason, other than a publicity-driven desire to arrest Ms Maxwell on the anniversary of the Epstein indictment, why the government could not have waited until that time,” they said.

Maxwell’s attorneys made the claims as part of their push to dismiss her case. Among 12 arguments attacking the indictment, they said a non-prosecution deal Epstein reached with the federal government in 2008 should shield Maxwell too. The agreement sought to protect Epstein and those around him, but Maxwell was not identified by name in a document signed when Epstein agreed to plead guilty to state charges in Florida that forced him to register as a sex offender. Lawyers for Epstein planned to argue that the deal protected him against sex-trafficking charges in New York City.

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Insane.

UK Sells Arms To Nearly 80% Of Countries Under Restrictions (G.)

British ministers and officials have approved the sale of arms to nearly four-fifths of countries subject to arms embargos, trade sanctions or other restrictions over the past five years, according to analysis. The UK has exported military hardware to 58 countries of the 73 listed as subject to restrictions by the Department for International Trade (DIT), including sniper rifles to Pakistan, assault rifles to Kenya and naval equipment to China. The exports are legal but researchers with the group that compiled the report, Action on Armed Violence, said they represented “a systemic failure to consider the human rights record of states before exporting weapons to them”.

Countries covered by sanctions range from a handful where all arms sales are banned to a larger group covered by transit controls, where a special licence is required, for political, security or human rights reasons. Five countries listed by the trade department as key export markets for British arms makers: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, also feature on the Foreign Office’s latest list of 30 “human rights priority countries”, although not all are subject to sanctions. The report’s author, Murray Jones, of Action on Armed Violence, said his research – which reviewed UK export records between January 2015 and June 2020 – “demonstrates the frailty of the UK’s commitment to human rights abroad”.

Licences have been granted to export aircraft parts, riot shields and hundreds of sniper rifles to Pakistan, including 630 in 2016 and a further 20 in 2019, despite the Foreign Office warning in November of “increased pressure on civic space and freedom of expression” in the country, including threats to minorities. The sale of 3,000 assault rifles to Kenya for £9.45m was authorised in 2017, although security forces in the African country were accused by Amnesty International the year before of carrying out “enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and torture with impunity, killing at least 122 people”.

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Even more insane.

Humans Are Estimated To Eat A Credit Card Worth Of Plastic Every Week (USPIRG)

For years, we have known that the harmful effects of plastic are found everywhere in our natural environment. We’ve seen images of birds and sea turtles choking and entangling themselves to death on plastic waste. But beyond its impact on wildlife, microplastics are now concealed in the air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat; humans are estimated to eat a credit card worth of plastic every week. We also know that plastic isn’t just harmful as physical waste; plastic products often contain harmful chemicals. A recent report compiled a summary of international research on endocrine-disrupting chemicals used to make plastic — including 144 chemicals/chemical groups known to be hazardous to human health — intended to give plastics attributes like antimicrobial properties, colorants, flame retardants, solvents, UV-stabilizers, and plasticizers.

The aforementioned report focuses on a specific kind of health effect seen in plastics and the chemicals they can leach, called endocrine or hormone disruption. Our hormones play crucial roles in many of our bodily systems and are vital to our reproductive development and growth. This means children are especially susceptible to the health risks of harmful chemicals found in plastic. The chemicals found in plastic products can linger in our environment even after the plastic has been cleaned up. A recent study found that when scientists introduced and then removed plastic from an aquatic environment, sea urchins still developed abnormal skeletons and nervous systems because of the chemicals left behind. To make matters worse, plastics have the unique ability to bind together chemicals that are otherwise more diluted in the environment, meaning they become carriers of all sorts of concentrated toxins.

Hazardous chemicals can be found in single-use plastic food wrapping and containers, which have direct contact with the food we eat and may introduce these chemicals into our bodies. One familiar example is BPA, which is well known due to “BPA-free” marketing and the European Union listing BPA as a substance of high concern. Exposure to BPA can affect brain development and behavior. BPA has also been linked to hormone disruption, reproductive problems in men and women and other harmful health impacts. There is a solution. Many of the most common single-use plastics polluting our environment contain toxic chemicals that harm human health. By banning unnecessary single-use materials — like plastic film used in plastic bags and polystyrene used in Styrofoam packaging — we could prevent a lot of these chemicals from seeping into the environment.

To reduce our risk of exposure to these toxic chemicals and maintain a cleaner environment, we must start by calling on our legislators to ban unnecessary single-use plastic and transition to non-toxic, reusable alternatives. Nothing we use for a few minutes should persist in our environments and threaten our health for generations.

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How memes are born…

 

 

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Jan 182021
 


Jean-Léon Gérôme Slave market 1866

 

Thousands Of Troops Dig In For Inauguration (Hill)
FBI Vetting Guard Troops In DC Amid Fears Of Insider Attack (AP)
The Senate’s Cadaver Synod: The Trial Of Citizen Trump (Turley)
Trump Social Media Ban Sparks Calls For Action vs Other Populist Leaders (G.)
Trump To Issue Around 100 Pardons And Commutations Tuesday (CNN)
Despair, Depression, And The Inevitable Rise of Trump 2.0 – Greenwald (RT)
Biden Team Already Holding Talks With Iran On US Return To Nuclear Deal (ToI)
Biden May Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline Permit On First Day In Office (R.)
3rd of Recovered Covid Patients Return To Hospital In 5 Months, 1 In 8 Die (Y!)
Parler Resurfaces On Web, Promises Platform To Be Revived Soon (JTN)
Prepare For A Surge In Global Inequality (RWER)
Anteroom of Our Own Extinction (Steppling)

 

 

Benefits of boosting your vitamin D levels.


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UK Parliament: David Davis Vitamin D

 

 

A lot of all this appears to be fear-mongering blown up to 11. I’ve so far seen reports from Connecticut, Utah, Florida, Mass. state capitols, and everything’s more than quiet.

Thousands Of Troops Dig In For Inauguration (Hill)

The National Guard is playing a leading role as the country confronts a domestic terrorism threat following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Capitol is now crawling with more troops than in the United States’s main theaters of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined as the National Guard fortifies key areas around Washington, D.C., for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The Secret Service is even referring to the new perimeter around the Capitol as the “Green Zone” — the same name used for secure zones in Iraq and Afghanistan’s capital cities. And it’s not just D.C. Amid FBI warnings of the potential for violence at all 50 state Capitols, governors in roughly a dozen states have called up their National Guards to bolster law enforcement.

But there are also worries the military is part of the problem, as several veterans have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riots. And at least one person arrested is a current member of the National Guard in Virginia. Following heavy criticism of the Guard’s response to last summer’s racial justice protests in the city, D.C. and Pentagon officials had originally sought to minimize its role in security surrounding the inauguration. In June, hundreds of guardsmen from around the country poured into the nation’s capital at President Trump’s request, despite objections from local authorities. A National Guard helicopter also hovered over protesters in the way the military does to insurgents overseas as a show of force, a move that drew widespread scrutiny and rebuke.

After that, as officials anticipated protests when Congress met to certify Biden’s electoral victory, D.C. officials requested and the Pentagon approved just 340 unarmed guardsmen to help the city with traffic control. Defense officials have said Capitol Police turned down offers of Guard help before the riots. That all changed after the Capitol siege. As of Friday, more than 7,000 guardsmen from across the country were in Washington, D.C., with up to 25,000 from all 50 states, three territories and D.C. expected to be in the city by Inauguration Day. Troops have erected 7-foot “non-scalable” fences around the Capitol and other nearby government buildings and set up checkpoints with military vehicles and concrete barriers on streets throughout the area.

Sacredest place

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Tweet: “The beauty of this claim is it’s perfect. If something happens, no matter how small, they can use it to target Trump supporters. And if nothing happens, they can credit their vigilance and… use it to target Trump supporters.”

FBI Vetting Guard Troops In DC Amid Fears Of Insider Attack (AP)

U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues that they were aware of. ”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said in an interview after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration. He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats.

About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country — at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals. And while the military routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI screening is in addition to any previous monitoring. Multiple officials said the process began as the first Guard troops began deploying to D.C. more than a week ago. And they said it is slated to be complete by Wednesday. Several officials discussed military planning on condition of anonymity. “The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?” said McCarthy. “We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.”

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“He pulled Formosus out of his tomb, propped him up in court, and convicted him of variety of violations of canon law. Formosus was then taken out, three fingers cut off, and eventually thrown in the Tiber River.”

The Senate’s Cadaver Synod: The Trial Of Citizen Trump (Turley)

With the second impeachment of President Donald Trump, the Congress is set for one of the most bizarre moments in constitutional history: the removal of someone who has already left office. The retroactive removal would be a testament to the timeliness of rage. While it is not without precedent, it is without logic. The planned impeachment trial of Donald Trump after he leaves office would be our own version of the Cadaver Synod. In 897, Pope Stephen VI and his supporters continued to seethe over the action of Pope Formosus, who not only died in 896 but was followed by another pope, Boniface VI. After the brief rule of Boniface VI, Pope Stephen set about to even some scores. He pulled Formosus out of his tomb, propped him up in court, and convicted him of variety of violations of canon law. Formosus was then taken out, three fingers cut off, and eventually thrown in the Tiber River.

While some may be looking longingly at the Potomac for their own Cadaver Synod, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have stated that their primary interest is in the possible disqualification of Trump from holding future federal office. Disqualification however is an optional penalty that follows a conviction and removal. It may be added to the primary purpose of removal referenced in the Constitution. The Trump trial would convert this supplemental punishment into the primary purpose of the trial. This did happen before but that precedent is only slightly better than the Cadaver Synod. That case involved William Belknap who served as Secretary of War to President Ulysses S. Grant. Belknap resigned after allegations of corruption — just shortly before a House vote of impeachment.

The Senate held a trial but acquitted him. Twenty nine of 66 voting senators disagreed in a threshold motion that Belknap was “amenable to trial by impeachment . . . notwithstanding his resignation.” In fairness to the Democrats, I have long rejected the argument that there comes a point when it is too late to impeach a president while he is in office. As I said in both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings, the House is under a duty to impeach if it believes that a president has committed a high crime and misdemeanor. If that occurred on the last day of a term, it would still be warranted.

My objection to this second impeachment was that it proceeded without any deliberation of the traditional impeachment process. It was a snap impeachment, which is to the Constitution what Snapchat is to conversations. It reduces the process to a raw, brief and partisan vote. This could have been avoided. A hearing could have been held in a day to allow the language of the article to be amended and the implications of the impeachment considered. It would also have allowed for a formal demand for a response from the president. Instead, the impeachment was pushed through on a partisan muscle vote with only ten Republicans supporting the single article.

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This is exactly what Merkel doesn’t want. It has to be done according to laws, not political preferences.

Trump Social Media Ban Sparks Calls For Action vs Other Populist Leaders (G.)

“I do not celebrate or feel pride,” the Twitter boss Jack Dorsey said this week after banishing Donald Trump. But for many around the world the decision brought hope: might similar action soon be taken against other populist provocateurs they accuse of using social media to stir chaos? “I have to follow YouTube’s rules when I post my videos, or I get banned. Journalists have to obey their outlet’s rules when they publish a story. So why shouldn’t presidents have to obey any rules when they publish something online?” wondered Felipe Neto, one of Brazil’s most famous and politicized online celebrities. “It’s as simple as that.” From Rio to Delhi, activists and academics have been asking similar questions following the US president’s suspension from platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Calls for action have been particularly loud in Brazil, which has been led since 2019 by Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right tweeter-in-chief who basks in portrayals as the “tropical Trump”. “Twitter has put a muzzle on Trump. We’ll need another for Brazil,” tweeted Marcelo Freixo, one of several political rivals urging sanctions. Critics accuse Bolsonaro of repeatedly using social media to undermine democracy and incite violence. In an incendiary YouTube broadcast on the eve of his 2018 election he promised a historic “cleanup” of “red” rivals. In office, Bolsonaro has refused to moderate, using social media to encourage anti-democratic protests and urge “upstanding” supporters to buy guns to avoid being “enslaved”. In recent months Bolsonaro has questioned Brazil’s electronic voting system, convincing many that if he loses the next election he will reject its results as Trump has done – with unpredictable consequences for a young democracy.

“His obsession with arming the greatest possible number of his followers has an obvious goal,” warned Neto, who has 41m YouTube followers. “Bolsonaro and his family are preparing the ground not to accept election defeat – and things promise to be far worse than in the US [Capitol invasion].” Pedro Doria, a technology columnist, said he felt uneasy that unelected big tech bosses had the power to silence presidents. But he was also deeply troubled by Bolsonaro’s unchecked use of social media to preach political rupture. “If Trump was expurged from Twitter because he incited a mob against the Capitol, well, Bolsonaro is preparing himself to do the same … It makes no sense to wait for him to actually act on trying to overthrow the Brazilian democratic regime.”

In India, many have called for similar sanctions against the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and figures from his ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While Modi’s regular use of Twitter is largely anodyne and uncontroversial, numerous senior and mid-level BJP politicians have been accused of politically motivated hate speech on their social media accounts.

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One last chance for Julian.

Trump To Issue Around 100 Pardons And Commutations Tuesday (CNN)

President Donald Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the matter, a major batch of clemency actions that includes white collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others but – as of now – is not expected to include Trump himself. The White House held a meeting on Sunday to finalize the list of pardons, two sources said. Trump, who had been rolling out pardons and commutations at a steady clip ahead of Christmas, had put a pause on them in the days leading up to and directly after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, according to officials Aides said Trump was singularly focused on the Electoral College count in the days ahead of time, precluding him for making final decisions on pardons.

White House officials had expected them to resume after January 6, but Trump retreated after he was blamed for inciting the riots. Initially, two major batches had been ready to roll out, one at the end of last week and one on Tuesday. Now, officials expect the last batch to be the only one — unless Trump decides at the last minute to grant pardons to controversial allies, members of his family or himself. The final batch of clemency actions is expected to include a mix of criminal justice reform-minded pardons and more controversial ones secured or doled out to political allies. The pardons are one of several items Trump must complete before his presidency ends in days. White House officials also still have executive orders prepared, and the President is still hopeful to declassify information related to the Russia probe before he leaves office.

But with a waning number of administration officials still in jobs, the likelihood that any of it gets done seemed to be shrinking. The January 6 riots that led to Trump’s second impeachment have complicated his desire to pardon himself, his kids and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. At this point, aides do not think he will do so, but caution only Trump knows what he will do with his last bit of presidential power before he is officially out of office at noon on January 20. After the riots, advisers encouraged Trump to forgo a self-pardon because it would appear like he was guilty of something, according to one person familiar with the conversations. Several of Trump’s closest advisers have also urged him not to grant clemency to anyone involved in the siege on the US Capitol, despite Trump’s initial stance that those involved had done nothing wrong.

“There are a lot of people urging the President to pardon the folks” involved in the insurrection, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday on Fox News. “To seek a pardon of these people would be wrong.” One White House official said paperwork had not yet been drawn up for a self-pardon. Still, Trump is expected to leave the White House on January 20 and could issue pardons up until noon on Inauguration Day. Other attention-grabbing names, like Julian Assange, are also not currently believed to among the people receiving pardons, but the list is still fluid and that could change, too.

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“Greenwald warned that Biden could set the stage for a “smarter, more stable version” of Trump to take power.”

Despair, Depression, And The Inevitable Rise of Trump 2.0 – Greenwald (RT)

“I don’t think it’s particularly difficult… to know what to expect from the Biden administration,” the acclaimed American journalist told Chris Hedges, host of RT’s On Contact, on Sunday. Biden, Greenwald continued, has enjoyed a five-decade career in Washington and made his policy priorities well known over these years. Biden is “somebody who has repeatedly supported militarism and imperialism” and “one of the crucial leading advocates of the invasion of Iraq,” he said. On the domestic front, Biden is “a loyal servant of the credit card and banking industry” and the “architect of the 1994 crime bill,” the latter of which has been blamed for dramatically upping the incarceration rate of black men in the US.

That leftists involved in Black Lives Matter protests rallied around Biden, given his involvement in passing the crime bill (he was one of 61 senators who voted for it) is “ironic,” Greenwald told Hedges, but also serves as an example of how the Democratic Party operates. “Democrats are very good at creating a brand that is radically different than the reality, but essentially the Democratic party serves militarism, imperialism, and corporatism,” he said. “That’s who funds them, that’s what they believe in. It’s why you see neocons migrating so comfortably back to the Democratic Party, why you see Bush and Cheney operatives cheering for Joe Biden, why Wall Street celebrated when he picked Kamala Harris.”

Biden’s campaign didn’t only draw support from the left – who Biden then spurned by packing his cabinet with Obama administration alumni while giving progressives like Bernie Sanders the cold shoulder. The former vice president was also supported by Republican hawks like Bill Kristol and Max Boot, as well as the much-maligned ‘Lincoln Project’ Republicans, who fundraised $67 million to shoot attack ads against Trump in the runup to November’s election. The rallying of the establishment – Democrat and Republican alike – behind Biden could have far-reaching consequences, Greenwald warned. “It’s not a coincidence that after eight years of Obama and Biden, we got Donald Trump,” he said. “Obviously, if you go back and do exactly the same thing that the ‘Obiden’ administration did for 8 years, which is what Biden’s preparing to do, any rational person has to expect the same outcome.”

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Is this legal? How about the Logan Act? What about Michael Flynn?

Biden Team Already Holding Talks With Iran On US Return To Nuclear Deal (ToI)

Officials in the incoming Biden administration have already begun holding quiet talks with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, and have updated Israel on those conversations, Channel 12 News reported Saturday. The network gave no sourcing for the report, and no details on what was allegedly discussed. US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated his desire to return to the accord, while Israel is pushing for any return to the deal to include fresh limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terror and destabilization around the world. On Wednesday, Walla News reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is assembling a team to strategize for the first talks with the Biden administration on Iran’s nuclear program.

The team will include officials representing national security elements, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the military, the Mossad spy agency, and the Atomic Energy Commission, the report said, citing unnamed sources in the Prime Minister’s Office. Netanyahu is considering appointing a senior official to head the team and to serve as an envoy in talks with the US on the Iranian nuclear program, the report said. A possible candidate to head the team is Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the report said. Channel 12 reported Saturday that Cohen was in Washington this week to meet with officials in the outgoing and incoming administrations.

US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to take a more conciliatory approach to Iran than the Trump administration and has said that if Iran returns to the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement, he too would rejoin, removing the crushing economic sanctions that have wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy over the past two years. The US president-elect has indicated that he wants to negotiate more broadly with Tehran if Washington returns to the deal, notably over its missiles and influence across the Middle East. Iran has said it could welcome the return of the Americans to the agreement, but only after they lift sanctions. It has rejected negotiation on other issues. Former US president Barack Obama, with Biden as his vice president, signed the Iran nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

The Trump administration withdrew from the accord in 2018 and pressured Iran with crippling economic sanctions and other measures. Obama signed the agreement despite fierce protest from Israel, and had a rocky relationship with Jerusalem and Netanyahu, while the premier and Trump have been in lockstep on most Middle East policy issues. The prospect of the US reengaging with Tehran has drawn warnings and alarm from Netanyahu and his allies. Last week, speaking alongside US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Jerusalem, Netanyahu warned against the US rejoining the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “If we just go back to the JCPOA, what will happen and may already be happening is that many other countries in the Middle East will rush to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. That is a nightmare and that is folly. It should not happen,” Netanyahu said.

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Hardly a time to open new pipelinnes.

Biden May Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline Permit On First Day In Office (R.)

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts in office, and perhaps as soon as his first day, according to a source familiar with his thinking. President Donald Trump, a Republican, had made building the pipeline a central promise of his presidential campaign. Biden, who will be inaugurated on Wednesday, was vice president in the Obama administration when it rejected the project as contrary to its efforts to combat climate change. The words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on a list of executive actions likely scheduled for the first day of Biden’s presidency, according to an earlier report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC).


Biden, a Democrat, had earlier vowed to scrap the oil pipeline’s presidential permit if he became president. Canada’s ambassador to the United States said she would continue to promote a project that she said fit with both countries’ environmental plans. “There is no better partner for the U.S. on climate action than Canada as we work together for green transition,” Ambassador Kirsten Hillman said in a statement. The project, which would move oil from the province of Alberta to Nebraska, had been slowed by legal issues in the United States. It also faced opposition from environmentalists seeking to check the expansion of Canada’s oil sands by opposing new pipelines to move its crude to refineries. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Twitter that cancellation would eliminate jobs, weaken U.S.-Canada relations and undermine American national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports.

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Covid triggers diabetes?

3rd of Recovered Covid Patients Return To Hospital In 5 Months, 1 In 8 Die (Y!)

Almost a third of recovered Covid patients will end up back in hospital within five months and one in eight will die, alarming new figures have shown. Research by Leicester University and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there is a devastating long-term toll on survivors of severe coronavirus, with many people developing heart problems, diabetes and chronic liver and kidney conditions. Out of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died. The current cut-off point for recording Covid deaths is 28 days after a positive test, so it may mean thousands more people should be included in the coronavirus death statistics.

Researchers have called for urgent monitoring of people who have been discharged from hospital. Study author Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at Leicester University, said: “This is the largest study of people discharged from hospital after being admitted with Covid. “People seem to be going home, getting long-term effects, coming back in and dying. We see nearly 30 per cent have been readmitted, and that’s a lot of people. The numbers are so large. “The message here is we really need to prepare for long Covid. It’s a mammoth task to follow up with these patients and the NHS is really pushed at the moment, but some sort of monitoring needs to be arranged.”

The study found that Covid survivors were nearly three and a half times more likely to be readmitted to hospital, and die, in the 140 days timeframe than other hospital outpatients. Prof Khunti said the team had been surprised to find that many people were going back in with a new diagnosis, and many had developed heart, kidney and liver problems, as well as diabetes. He said it was important to make sure people were placed on protective therapies, such as statins and aspirin. “We don’t know if it’s because Covid destroyed the beta cells which make insulin and you get Type 1 diabetes, or whether it causes insulin resistance, and you develop Type 2, but we are seeing these surprising new diagnoses of diabetes,” he added.

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PanQuake looks more interesting. The roll-out is a bit chaotic, but some good people involved.

Parler Resurfaces On Web, Promises Platform To Be Revived Soon (JTN)

The website of the social media platform Parler has resurfaced after going offline earlier this month. While the platform still has not become operational again, the message indicates that it will revive “soon.” “Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,” the website says. “We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before mli us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”


The platform vanished earlier this month after a move by Amazon Web Services. Buzzfeed reported that in a letter to Parler, the AWS Trust and Safety Team had stated “we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”

Introducing PanQuake: Revealing Project X (full censored event) #TalkLiberation from PanQuake – Talk Liberation on Vimeo.

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Global AND national.

Prepare For A Surge In Global Inequality (RWER)

The United States prepares for moving out of the Trump era with the incoming President promising more rounds of stimulus spending to revive an economy ravaged by Covid-19. Other members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, a predominantly rich nation’s club, have also been generous with their spending and signalled that they are willing to keep their wallets open to spend more if necessary. The evidence clearly is that the Covid-crisis has upended the fiscal conservatism that has been the hallmark of the neoliberal era since the 1980s. However, not all nations seem to display this ability to depart from the prevailing orthodoxy. Where this weakness is most visible is the developing world, where governments, with very few exceptions, have not been loosening their purse strings to deal with the health emergency, throw out a safety net to protect devastated citizens, and stall and reverse the recession to restore livelihoods and normal economic activity.


Estimates from the World Bank in the January 2021 edition of its flagship Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report point to stark differences across countries at different levels of development in the level of fiscal support governments have provided in the wake of the Covid-shock (Chart 1). While planned and under-consideration measures in the advanced economies (AEs) are expected to have taken fiscal support spending to 22.6 per cent of their GDP, the comparable figures in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) as a group and low income economies (LICs) among them are placed at 6.2 and 2.4 per cent respectively (Chart 1). Government spending in 2020 was needed not just to address the immediate crisis, but to revive employment, investment and growth in the medium and long term.

If poorer countries have spent and are likely to spend less, while richer countries pump-prime their economies, the damage inflicted by the crisis is bound to worsen preexisting inequalities. Those inequalities are bound to increase, though the performance of a few exceptional cases like China, which influences the EMDE total, may conceal the magnitude of change in the aggregate figures. Underlying the difference in spending levels are the willingness and ability to resort to enhanced deficit spending, or expenditure financed with borrowing. Not that government debt has not risen in the poorer countries, albeit to a smaller extent than in their advanced counterparts. While the fiscal deficit in the AEs is estimated to have risen from 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2019 to 14.2 per cent in 2020, that in the EMDEs has moved from 4.8 per cent to 10.4 per cent and in the LICs from 3.3 to 5 per cent (Chart 2).

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“Almost one in three households suffers hunger, regularly. Almost half of black and hispanic households. Households with children are most vulnerable to the government policies. So half of the kids in the U.S. have inadequate nutrition.”

Anteroom of Our Own Extinction (Steppling)

This is now about a year into the pandemic and there have still been no debates, no public roundtables and no referendums. Nothing. Just decrees by the government. I honestly have given up trying to make sense of statistics, really. But a couple of things have not changed; the fatality rate if you catch Covid 19 is under 1% (and yes, case fatality is different than infectious mortality and that in turn is different from mortality rate). And depending on how it is being counted, it is often a good deal less than that. And yet the entire planet has been subjected to severe restrictions on travel, and coerced to follow pseudoscientific behaviour like mask wearing and social distancing. Today in many places there is what amounts to martial law. Police or national guard patrol the streets after dark. Many countries have banned public events, closed restaurants and nightclubs, and limited any public gatherings. Many schools remain closed or only partially open.

The economic consequences of these non-debated government policies have been catastrophic. In the U.S. something like 60 million jobs have been lost, many never to return. A hundred and fifty thousand restaurants have gone bankrupt. Only one in three museums will ever reopen. In San Francisco they decided NOT to count the numbers of new homeless. No reason was given but one can guess. The homeless situation in the U.S., in big cities in particular, was critical even before the pandemic. Now the numbers are unprecedented. Not even during the ‘Great Depression’ was there anything like the current level of those without basic shelter. Food insecurity is at a crisis level. Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the US, estimates over 50 million people go hungry every night including something close to twenty million children.

“Since mid-March 2020, numerous surveys have documented unprecedented levels of food insecurity that eclipse anything seen in recent decades in the United States, including during the Great Recession. Over the past five years, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates of food insecurity in the United States have hovered around 11% to 12%. As of March and April 2020, national estimates of food insecurity more than tripled to 38% In a national survey we fielded in March 2020 among adults with incomes less than 250% of the 2020 federal poverty level (based on thresholds from the US Census), 44% of all households were food insecure including 48% of Black households, 52% of Hispanic households, and 54% of households with children.” – American Public Heath Association (Dec 2020)

And yet, congress just passed another defense budget increase. According to Defense News… “..the final version of the 2020 defense appropriations bill, part of a broad $1.4 trillion spending deal to finalize federal spending for 2020 and avert a government shutdown. The defense bill would provide $738 billion.” Almost one in three households suffers hunger, regularly. Almost half of black and hispanic households. Households with children are most vulnerable to the government policies. So half of the kids in the U.S. have inadequate nutrition. Half will suffer long term developmental problems, almost guaranteed.

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Just the roads built by the Roman Empire

 

 

 

 

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Nov 082020
 
 November 8, 2020  Posted by at 4:22 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  14 Responses »


Jasper Johns Three flags 1958

 

 

Since the US has no official institution to call an election soon after the polls have closed, and people want a result fast, it has befallen on the media to make the announcement. And by and large, this hasn’t been that big a deal. But when those same media have for 4 years relentlessly hounded one of the two candidates, it should be obvious that this “system” should not be applied. If only because it has no legal status whatsoever.

However, people both in the US and abroad don’t appear to be aware of this. So when the New York Times et al declare a winner, this is seen as an “official” announcement. It is not. That won’t come until the Electoral College gathers in December (8-14th?!). And at least until then, Trump will have every right to contest the election in court. Still, “world leaders” are congratulating the “next president”. Do they really not know how this works?

The idea behind it all is obvious, of course: to make Trump look like a sore loser, and Biden the president-elect, a title the media claim they can bestow upon him. Do remember that both Biden’s and Kamala’s campaign were considered dead in the water at one point, before they were magically resurrected by the party machine, which ensured that =two people very unpopular in their own party now lead the ticket. Be careful what you wish for.

In that light. I found this intriguing. Twitter adds a warning to this Trump tweet: “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted”. I haven’t seen one instance where they attached the same warning to tweets about Biden winning and being President Elect. But wouldn’t that be the same thing?

 

 

No, I don’t particularly mind Biden winning, Washington is a shit hole whoever occupies the White House and other posts, but this is not about Biden. It’s about the people behind him. About the people who elected him to be a candidate, and that’s not his voters; it’s the DNC, the FBI and media that made him possible.

Everyone in the MSM is talking about Trump’s alleged lies, as they have for 5 screeching years, main news networks on Thursday even cut off/short a speech by the President of the United States -that must be a first-, but nobody reflects on the 5-year neverending constant lies they have all told ABOUT Trump, on the entire Russiagate episode, the Mueller report based on only lies, the whole shebang.

The DNC that paid for the Steele dossier without which there would never have been a Mueller special counsel, commissioned by Rod Rosenstein when he was Deputy Attorney General, which was based on lies, exclusively, the FBI that used the Dossier to falsify FISA applications, people like Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler and Nancy Pelosi who kept on lying about having evidence of Russian collusion.

And still these are the people accusing Trump of lying. And they feel they can get away with it, because their media also incessantly repeated their lies, and is still doing that. Forget for a moment about what you think about Donald Trump, and tell me how you feel about an attempt to unseat an elected American president with nothing but lies.

Do you think that will be a one-off? If so, you’re blind. If Joe Biden and his handlers ever get into the White House, respect for the Office of the Presidency will still be gone, and it will be for a long time, decades. That’s the price the American people pay for the attempt to unseat Trump based on lies only. Do you really feel that’s a price worth paying? I suggest you give that some serious thought.

 

 

With Biden you don’t get Biden, you get the entire cabal that went after Trump, the Democratic Party, the media, the intelligence agencies. And yes, Biden was and is very much part of that cabal. How people do not find that a whole lot scarier than Donald Trump is beyond me.

If -and no that is not when- Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20 2021, that cabal will take over the country. And we’ve seen plenty indications that they intend to make it impossible for the Republicans to ever get one of their own elected as president again. Moreover they will not be investigated for what they concocted over the past 4-5 years.

How the Hillary campaign and the DNC leaked things to the FBI, and the FBI to the MSM, how they lied in courtrooms to get FISA applications on Trump campaign people like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. How they set up Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn so he wouldn’t be Trump’s National Security Adviser, because Flynn knew too much.

It’s a scheme so full of illegal actions that it will be devastating for the entire American political system if it is never investigated, or even if it isn’t investigated very very thoroughly, by an impartial party. And it won’t be if Biden becomes president.

The cabal wants you to think this is about Trump, and any given way to get rid of him is justifiable no matter what, but that is a very dangerous way of thinking. If crimes have been committed, they must be brought into daylight and before a court.

Problem is, of course, that at least half the nation has no idea of what’s been going on. Because they get their news and information from those media that are in on the whole deal. They won’t know that the DNC paid for the Steele Dossier, or that is was just a bunch of lies, or that the FBI knew this even before Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Counsel. All that has been kept away from them.

 

 

And yes, 4 years ago Trump said he would fight the swamp, but landed right in the middle of it. Early in his presidency he found himself surrounded by the likes of McMaster, John Kelly, Tillerson, and many other swamp creatures, and today he still has people like Mike Pompeo. But at least Trump is an outsider, and if anything can ever be done to drain the swamp, it will have to come from an outsider. That it may take more than 4 years is something we have to take for granted.

The swamp has fought back, and they may yet win. Joe Biden is the face of that. But people who celebrate that victory should think again, whether they like Trump or not. The swamp is not good for you, and it’s not good for your country, your rights, your freedoms. Its entire MO is to take all these away from you. This is not a partisan thing; the fat ass of the swamp easily fits and sits across the divide.

Joe Biden is not Joe Biden, the man doesn’t stand for anything other than holding on to power while getting richer off that power. He’s done it for 47 years. Term limits are desperately needed in Washington, but the only people who can make that decision are those who profit most from not having term limits. If there’s one area where McConnell and Schumer and Pelosi and Lindsey Graham agree, it’s that.

And meanwhile, Trump, unlike Joe Biden, is just Trump. He doesn’t represent a cabal, or a swamp. Even if he’s surrounded by them. Trump is not the biggest threat to America, that’s just something they’ve been wanting you to think for the past 4 years. Successfully, too, for millions of Americans.

The swamp is the biggest threat, whether their handpuppets come in a Democratic or Republican disguise. But to recognize that, you would have to be able to think for yourself, and if you read or watch the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, you simply can’t do that. You just think you can.

 

 

 

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Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

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Nov 032020
 


Paul Klee Fire at Full Moon 1933

 

How the Coronavirus Hacks the Immune System (Somers)
Taleb: Global Coronavirus Response A Case Study Of Incompetence, Denial (CNBC)
Mueller Declined To Indict Assange And Wikileaks Due To Lack Of Evidence (BF)
DHS, FBI Spin Dubious Russian Election Threat Days Before Voting (GZ)
Donald Trump Set To Win US Presidency By Electoral College Landslide (DI)
The Trump Vote Is Rising Among Blacks And Hispanics (NBC)
The Awful Reckoning (Jim Kunstler)
The Worst Choice Ever (Taibbi)
Twitter Flags Trump’s Tweet Warning Of ‘Violence In The Streets’ (RT)
You Are No Longer My Mother, Because You Are Voting For Trump (ZH)
Who Wins If Trump Loses (Tracey)
Ukraine’s Zelensky Calls On His Party To Fire Constitutional Court (KP)

 

 

Tucker: Trump is an indictment of America’s ruling class. They love Donald Trump because no-one else loves them.

 

 

@simongerman600: Level 1:This map from a @cgpgrey shows that winning 50.1% of each red state would be enough to become president. That means with only 22% of total US votes you could win an election. Broken system much? Source: https://buff.ly/3g6IGVq

 

 

How the Coronavirus Hacks the Immune System (Somers)

Whereas the sequencing of DNA defined molecular biology in the early two-thousands, the sequencing of RNA defines it today. If you imagine a cell as a kind of computer, then your DNA contains all the software that it could possibly run. It is a somewhat astonishing fact of life that the exact same DNA is shared by every cell in your body, from the skin to the brain; those cells differ in appearance and function because, in each of them, a molecular gizmo “transcribes” some DNA segments rather than others into molecules of single-stranded RNA. These bits of RNA are in turn used as the blueprints for proteins, the molecular machines that do most of a cell’s work. If DNA is your phone’s home screen, then transcription is like tapping an icon.

By sampling the RNA present in a group of cells, researchers can see which programs those cells are running at that moment; by sampling it after the cells have been infected with a virus, they can see how that virus substitutes its own software. TenOever’s team quickly discovered that sars-CoV-2 was uncannily good at disrupting cellular programming. A typical virus replaces less than 1% of the software in the cells it infects. With sars-CoV-2, tenOever said, about 60% of the RNA in an infected cell is of viral origin—“which is the highest I’ve ever seen. Polio comes close.” Among other things, the virus rewires the alarm system that cells use to warn others about infection. Normally, as part of what is known as the “innate” immune response—so called because it is genetically hardwired, and not tailored to a specific pathogen—a cell sends out two kinds of signals.

One signal, carried by molecules called interferons, travels to neighboring cells, telling them to build defenses that slow viral spread. Another signal, transmitted through molecules called cytokines, gets a message to the circulatory system’s epithelial lining. The white blood cells summoned by this second signal don’t just eat invaders and infected cells; they also gather up their dismembered protein parts. Elsewhere in the immune system, these fragments are used to create virus-specific antibodies, as part of a sophisticated “adaptive” response that can take six or seven days to develop. Usually, the viruses that humans care about are successful because they shut down both of these signalling programs.

The coronavirus is different. “It seems to block only one of those two arms,” tenOever told me. It inhibits the interferon response but does nothing about the cytokines; it evades the local defenses but allows the cells it infects to call for reinforcements. White blood cells are powerful weapons: they arrive on an inflammatory tide, destroying cells on every side, clogging up passages with the wreckage. They are meant to be used selectively, on invaders that have been contained in a small area. With the coronavirus, they are deployed too widely—a carpet bombing, rather than a surgical strike. As they do their work, inflammation distends the lungs, and debris fills them like a fog.

In late May, tenOever’s team shared its findings in the biweekly journal Cell. In their article, they argued that it’s this imbalanced immune response that gives severe covid-19—which can sometimes cause blood clots, strange swelling in children, and ultra-inflammatory “cytokine storms”—the character of an autoimmune disorder. As the virus spreads unchecked through the body, it drags a destructive immune reaction behind it. Individuals with covid-19 face the same challenge as nations during the pandemic: if they can’t contain small sites of infection early—so that a targeted response can root them out—they end up mounting interventions so large that the shock inflicts its own damage.

Read more …

“You have to treat it as an opaque system. You do not know what is going to happen, and therefore it is going to be one or the other 50-50,” says @nntaleb on the 2020 election.”

Taleb: Global Coronavirus Response A Case Study Of Incompetence, Denial (CNBC)

The global governmental response to the coronavirus pandemic has been rife with shortcomings that have prolonged the acute phase of the health crisis, “Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb told CNBC on Monday. “I think this is a case study of government worldwide incompetence in dealing with a problem and denial,” said Taleb, whose bestselling 2007 book warned of highly improbable events and their potential for severe consequences. In a “Squawk Box” interview, Taleb specifically pointed to the importance of coronavirus testing. While countries have improved their capacity since the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, Taleb said there has been a failure to develop quick, efficient testing at a scale that can cut off chains of transmission early. It also has the least economic cost, he said.


“Ten months into the pandemic, we still don’t have systematic testing when you board a plane or when you want to go to a restaurant or something,” said Taleb, a professor of risk engineering at New York University. “If we had instant, systematic testing, we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be talking now about the pandemic.” Taleb’s comments come as coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe are surging again, leading to governments in the U.K., Germany and France to put in place varying degrees of lockdowns in hopes of reducing the spread. In America, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said recently the country “could not possibly be positioned more poorly,” as daily case counts set a series of record highs.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. Imagine this continuing until January, February, March because in the winter people are inside so contagion rates are higher,” Taleb said. “Think about what can happen. It’s not that rosy.” Taleb said he believes everyday citizens and government leaders have, for the most part, failed to grasp the potential consequences of the pandemic. “I’m seeing a lot of denial in social life, everywhere, about this virus from the beginning,” he said. “Now we’re 10 months into this virus, and people are still hoping for a vaccine, something that will cancel it.” [..] “You should realize you have more uncertainty ahead now than you think. The returns can be a lot better or a lot worse than you think,” Taleb said, though he refused to comment on returns directly. “There’s a tendency of people to underestimate that uncertainty is chronic.”

Read more …

“At 10:04 PM on the night before an election, we discover that as part of his investigation into DNC hacking/election interference, Mueller declined to indict Assange and WikiLeaks due to a lack of evidence and First Amendment concerns.”

Ad Jesus Christ, Buzzfeed, there were never any hacked emails. Stop that nonsense!

Mueller Declined To Indict Assange And Wikileaks Due To Lack Of Evidence (BF)

Prosecutors investigated Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Roger Stone for the hacking of Democratic National Committee servers as well as for possible campaign finance violations, but ultimately chose not to charge them, newly released portions of the Mueller Report reveal. Although Wikileaks published emails stolen from the DNC in July and October 2016 and Stone — a close associate to Donald Trump — appeared to know in advance the materials were coming, investigators “did not have sufficient evidence” to prove active participation in the hacks or knowledge that the electronic thefts were continuing. In addition, federal prosecutors could not establish that the hacked emails amounted to campaign contributions benefitting Trump’s election chances and furthermore felt their publication might have been protected by the First Amendment, making a successful prosecution tenuous.

The fresh details of special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision not to charge Assange, WikiLeaks, or Stone for their role in influencing the 2016 election come just a day before voters head to the polls for the 2020 presidential election. The material sheds new light on the seriousness with which the special counsel investigated the hacks of Democratic party computers. In July 2018, Mueller indicted 12 Russian officers belonging to the Kremlin’s intelligence directorate, the GRU, for the theft and distribution of those emails. The role that Stone and Assange may have played in the hacks or their distribution has been the subject of much speculation. Little, however, was known about how intently the special counsel focused on those individuals as possible targets for prosecution during the two-year investigation into Russian election interference.

But a new version of the 448-page Mueller report released Monday by the Justice Department contains previously redacted sections on 13 pages, nearly all of them dealing with events surrounding the hacked emails and their eventual publication. The passages were disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed by BuzzFeed News and the advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, that called on the government to release the report in its entirety. In September, a federal judge ruled that while some parts could still remain hidden, the government had violated the law by withholding portions dealing with internal discussions among prosecutors. The judge ordered the Justice Department to release relevant sections by Nov. 2.

Read more …

But at the same time that Mueller’s utter failure becomes even clearer, they just start again as if nothing ever happened to discredit these ludicrous claims.

DHS, FBI Spin Dubious Russian Election Threat Days Before Voting (GZ)

Just days before the 2020 election the bureaucratic forces behind the original claim of Russian hacking of state election-related websites in 2016 launched a new drive to spawn fears of Moscow-made political chaos in the wake of the voting. The new narrative was not consistent with information previously published by the the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), however. It was so incoherent, in fact, that it suggested a state of panic on the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials worried about a possible transition to a Joe Biden administration. On October 20, Christopher Krebs, the head of CISA, issued a video statement expressing confidence that “it would be incredibly difficult for them to change the outcome of an election at the national level.”

Then he abruptly changed his tone, adding, “But that doesn’t mean various actors won’t try to introduce chaos in our elections and make sensational claims that overstate their capabilities. In fact, the days and weeks just before and after Election Day is the perfect time for our adversaries to launch efforts intended to undermine your confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.” Krebs’ warning of a possible Russian announcement that hackers had succeeded in disrupting the result of the U.S. election was so removed from reality that it suggested internal panic DHS over the failure of Russian hackers to do anything that could be cited as interfering the election.

Two days after Krebs’ dubious warning, the FBI and the DHS’s new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an “alert” reporting that “a Russian state-sponsored APT [Advanced Persistent Threat] actor” known as “Berserk Bear” had “conducted a campaign against a wide variety of U.S. targets.” Since “at least September,” according to the DHS alert, the DHS warning claimed that it had targeted “dozens” of “U.S. state, local, territorial and tribal government networks.” It even claimed that the supposed Russian campaign had compromised the network infrastructure of several official organizations and “exfiltrated data from at least two victims servers”. At the same time, it acknowledged there was “no indication” that any government operations had been “intentionally disrupted.”

The report went on to suggest, “[T]here may be some risk to elections information housed on SLTT [state, local territorial and tribal] government networks.” And then it abruptly shifted tone and level of analysis to offer the speculation that the Russian government “may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence U.S. policies or actions”, or to “delegitimize” the “government entities”. On October 28, Krebs elaborated on the latter theme in an interview with the PBS NewsHour. Referring inaccurately to government warnings about “Russian interference, some of which targeted voter registration,” which the FBI-CISA alert had never mentioned, PBS interviewer William Brangham asked, “Do you worry at all that there might be infiltration that we are not aware of?” Instead of correcting Brangham’s inaccurate suggestion, Krebs responded that “infiltration” into voter registration files was “certainly possible,” but that “[W]e have improved the ability to detect compromises or anomalous activity.”

Read more …

UK Sunday Express and Democracy Institute poll.

“Mr Biden still comes a distant third when asked about who has had the most positive impact on the criminal justice system with 14 percent behind both Mr Trump and the celebrity Kim Kardashian both on 43 percent.”

Donald Trump Set To Win US Presidency By Electoral College Landslide (DI)

Donald Trump is on course to win four more years in the White House with a one point lead in the popular win, the final Democracy Institute poll for the Sunday Express has found. The survey of voters by the US President’s favourite pollsters gives him 48 percent ahead of his rival Joe Biden on 47 percent. In the last days of the campaign the Democrat former vice president who has been dogged by corruption allegations surrounding his son Hunter which have, according to the poll, cut through with the electorate. Significantly, the President has, according to the latest findings, maintained a four point lead of 49 percent to 45 percent in the key swing states including Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

It means he is on course to easily win the electoral college by 326 to 212 votes against his Democrat rival in a result which would shock the world even more than his astonishing defeat of Hilary Clinton in 2016. The Democracy Institute/Sunday Express poll has throughout the campaign been one of the few to predict a Trump victory since March. This is because unlike other polls it only looks at people identifying as likely voters instead of just registered to vote and it has tried to identify the shy Trump vote. According to this latest poll almost eight in ten (79 percent) of Trump supporters would not admit it to friends and family compared to 21 percent of Biden supporters.

With the race hotting up in the final days allegations that Mr Biden and his family are corrupt surrounding claims about his son Hunter’s business dealings with China and the Ukraine using family connections appear to have had cut through. There was controversy when social media platforms including Twitter apparently attempted to filter out the stories surrounding Hunter Biden published by the New York Post. But the row has, according to the poll, only helped to put the issue in the public consciousness more. Asked who they thought was telling the truth about the Biden family allegations 57 percent chose businessman and former Biden associate Tony Bobulinski who has levelled accusations against the former vice President.

Meanwhile, 52 percent agreed that Mr Biden is “a corrupt politician” with 21 percent saying they are less likely to vote for him and 75 percent saying it makes no difference. Asked if the allegations made him a national security risk, 54 percent agreed that it did. [..] Mr Biden still comes a distant third when asked about who has had the most positive impact on the criminal justice system with 14 percent behind both Mr Trump and the celebrity Kim Kardashian both on 43 percent.

Trump within one state of winning

Read more …

“Trump is polling about 10 percentage points higher with African Americans than he did in 2016, and 14 percentage points higher with Hispanics.”

The Trump Vote Is Rising Among Blacks And Hispanics (NBC)

In 2016, Donald Trump got a lower share of the white vote than the previous Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, and white turnout was stagnant as compared to 2012. Trump was able to win nonetheless because he got a higher share of Black and Hispanic voters than his predecessor — up roughly 3 percentage points with African Americans and 2 percentage points with Hispanics — helping tilt pivotal races in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania toward Trump. That is, it was minorities, not whites, who proved more decisive for Trump’s victory. Going into Election Day in 2020, Trump seems poised to do even better with minority voters.

His gains in the polling have been highly consistent and broad-based among Blacks and Hispanics — with male voters and female voters, the young and the old, educated and uneducated. Overall, Trump is polling about 10 percentage points higher with African Americans than he did in 2016, and 14 percentage points higher with Hispanics. Perceptions of Trump as racist seem to be a core driving force pushing whites toward the Democrats. Why would the opposite pattern be holding among minority voters — i.e. the very people the president is purportedly being racist against? It may be that many minority voters simply do not view some of his controversial comments and policies as racist. Too often, scholars try to test whether something is racist by looking exclusively at whether the rhetoric or proposals they disagree with resonate with whites.

They frequently don’t even bother to test whether they might appeal to minorities, as well. Yet when they do, the results tend to be surprising. For instance, one recent study presented white, Black and Hispanic voters with messages the researchers considered to be racial “dog whistles,” or coded language that signals commitment to white supremacy. It turned out that the messages resonated just as strongly with Blacks as they did with whites. Hispanics responded even more warmly to the rhetoric about crime and immigration than other racial groups. That is, on balance, these “racist” messages seemed to resonate more strongly with minorities than whites! Across racial groups, most did not find the messages to be racist or offensive— despite researchers viewing these examples as clear-cut cases of racial dog whistles.

Read more …

“There’s no precedent for a president-elect resigning before he is sworn into office. No doubt there will be lawsuits over this and they will lead post-haste to Supreme Court adjudication.”

The Awful Reckoning (Jim Kunstler)

And, if by some mysterious act of God (or write-in ballot fraud) Joe Biden manages to get elected POTUS, how can he possibly be inaugurated with himself and his family tangled up in a grift case that involves the Chinese Communist Party’s intel service? It flat-out ain’t gonna happen. Mr. Biden will be forced to disqualify himself. Does Kamala Harris then become Acting-POTUS. There’s no precedent for a president-elect resigning before he is sworn into office. No doubt there will be lawsuits over this and they will lead post-haste to Supreme Court adjudication. At the same time, also look for an all-out Lawfare assault on individual state voting outcomes and the translation of dubiously harvested votes into electoral college alt-delegations.

Lawfare will bring to bear every legerdemain in the trick-bag of legal necromancy to work this scam in the Democratic Party’s favor. But they will not go unopposed by Mr. Trump’s lawyers. And what will it avail the Lawfare campaign, anyway, as Mr. Biden gets buried in allegations of criminal misconduct. And — not to lard the lily, as they say — what happens if, post-election and before January 20, Messers Barr and Durham just happen to finally deliver indictments against the perps of RussiaGate? Oh, won’t this be a world-beating political mess of all messes ever? Think the stock and bond markets will love it? Meanwhile, will we be treated to the extravaganza of Antifa and BLM burning and looting in the cities from sea to shining sea? I would ask: How might that not happen?

They’ve been rehearsing for the Big Show all year. With new Covid lockdowns, the insectile armies of black-clad street-fighters will be anxious to reactivate the social space that Antifa and BLM so nicely afford. Riots are fun! Especially when the police are not allowed to effectively intervene to stop them. Smashing stuff, burning, and looting are fun — like Halloween and Christmas put together! I’ll be voting for Mr. Trump tomorrow in my little bid to prevent the Democratic Party from getting its depraved mitts on the levers of government. I’ll chime in with a post-election-day update, right here on Wednesday, though perhaps not at the crack of dawn.

Read more …

“This week’s election is not a choice between “light or darkness,” but “pretty much anything or Donald Trump…”

The Worst Choice Ever (Taibbi)

Joe Biden is a corpse with hair plugs whose idea of “empathy” is to jam fingers in the sternums of people who ask the wrong questions, or call them “fat” or “full of shit,” or dare them to “try me” — and that’s if he remembers what state he’s in. Is he a better human than Donald Trump? Probably, but his mental decline has hit Lloyd Bridges-in-Hot-Shots! levels and he shares troubling characteristics with the president, beginning with a pathological struggle with truth. Biden spent much of 2020 lying about everything from his Iraq War vote to his educational history to a fantasy about being arrested in South Africa with Nelson Mandela. The same press that killed him for this behavior in the past let it all slide this time. Same with the growing ledger of handsy-uncle incidents that had adolescent girls and campaigning politicians alike wondering why a Vice President needs to smell their hair or plant lingering kisses on their heads while cameras flash.

Biden’s entire argument for the presidency, and it’s a powerful one, is his opponent. This week’s election is not a choice between “light or darkness,” but “pretty much anything or Donald Trump,” and only in that context is this disintegrating, bilious iteration of Scranton Joe even distantly credible as a choice for the world’s most powerful office. Donald Trump is going to be a difficult case for future historians because he’s simultaneously the biggest liar and the most lied-about politician in American history. The standard propaganda lines about Trump are all incorrect. The usual technique involves sticking his name in headlines next to absurd disqualifying descriptors: “fascist,” “traitor,” “dictator,” and so on.

“18 Ways Trump Might Be a Russian Asset” is a typical example of what passed for commentary at outlets like the Washington Post in the Trump years. Such hot takes were a sure way to get TV invites. Trump may have played cartoon Mussolini on the stump and reached for Hitlerian cliches in his campaign videos, but the dirty secret of the last four years — hidden from the broad mass of voters by both conservative and mainstream media — was that the president’s much ballyhooed strongman leanings were a fraud. Trump the Terrible was great TV, but away from cameras he was a fake despot who proved repeatedly that he didn’t know the first thing about how to exercise presidential power, even in his own defense.

Read more …

We’re about to see whose claims are right.

Twitter Flags Trump’s Tweet Warning Of ‘Violence In The Streets’ (RT)

Twitter has put a “might be misleading” label on a tweet in which President Donald Trump condemned a Supreme Court ruling that allows absentee ballots to be accepted in Pennsylvania after election day, calling it “dangerous.” “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” reads the warning the platform attached to Trump’s tweet, in which the president aired his grievances over a recent SCOTUS decision to allow mail ballots that arrive three days after November 3 to be included in the Pennsylvania tally. “The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one,” Trump argued in the tweet, referring to the court’s decision last week to deny a GOP request to block the three-day extension for counting late-arriving ballots that had been granted by Pennsylvania’s top court.

The Republicans wanted the SCOTUS to fast-track their motion, and, although they did not succeed, several conservative justices indicated they might take up the issue after election day. The GOP insists that the extension runs afoul of the US Constitution, arguing that the organization of the electoral process is up to state legislatures, rather than state courts. As he heaped scorn on the ruling, Trump rehashed his claim that the delayed ballot count “will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws.” It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!


Trump has repeatedly alleged that the system of universal mail-in voting is highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, arguing that the postal service is unprepared to deal with an unprecedented surge in absentee ballots streaming into the system due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The US Postal Service, however, brushed off these concerns, with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy saying in September that the service was “equipped” to deliver the ballots. Pennsylvania is one of the key battleground states, representing 20 Electoral College votes out of the 270 needed to win the race.

Read more …

Thanks MSM. Hope you enjoy your clickbait.

You Are No Longer My Mother, Because You Are Voting For Trump (ZH)

America hasn’t been this divided almost since the end of the “Reconstruction” era. President Trump has been labeled the most polarizing political figure of his generation. In certain areas, the red ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball cap simply cannot be worn without the risk of harassment or physical violence. This has made many Trump supporters all the more stubborn about expressing their views, provoking confrontations and arguments at the table during family get-togethers. In a recent piece published just one day before Election Day, Reuters spoke to 10 people who shared how their support for the president has impacted their relationships with family member.

One lifelong Democrat named Mayra Gomez, an immigrant to the country, told her 21-year-old son five months ago that she was voting for Donald Trump. In response, she says, he cut her out of his life. Their last argument was so acrimonious, Gomez isn’t even certain whether their differences can be overcome. “He specifically told me, ‘You are no longer my mother, because you are voting for Trump’” Gomez, 41, a personal care worker in Milwaukee, told Reuters. Their last conversation was so bitter that she is not sure they can reconcile, even if Trump loses his re-election bid. “The damage is done. In people’s minds, Trump is a monster. It’s sad. There are people not talking to me anymore, and I’m not sure that will change,” said Gomez, who is a fan of Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants and handling of the economy.

Once upon a time, elderly family members relied on their children and grandchildren to run errands and help provide for them in old age. That social contract has now eroded to such an intense degree that many believe it’s too late now: the damage to the inter-generational relationship will be almost impossible to repair, even if Trump loses, few expect the animosity animating Trump and his supporters to fade quickly. “Unfortunately, I don’t think national healing is as easy as changing the president,” said Jaime Saal, a psychotherapist at the Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “It takes time and it takes effort, and it takes both parties – no pun intended – being willing to let go and move forward,” she said. Saal said tensions in people’s personal relationships have spiked given the political, health and social dynamics facing the United States. Most often she sees clients who have political rifts with siblings, parents or in-laws, as opposed to spouses.

Read more …

“..the unholy profit-seeking alliance of social media algorithms and TV ratings..”

Who Wins If Trump Loses (Tracey)

From the moment Donald J. Trump took office, I argued it was necessary that he face a rational opposition — with an emphasis on “rational.” Discerning, targeted, evidence-based criticism would be imperative to counteract against Trump’s worst impulses, I maintained at the time, given his hardly-disguised penchant for blusterous, petty authoritarianism. While of course Trump would be far from the only president whose excesses needed checking — any occupant of the most powerful office in world history would — there was at least some reasonable cause to believe that his regular issuances of impulsive, fly-by-tweet demands could eventually raise unique civil liberties concerns. In hindsight, I might as well have been arguing for a parade of pinstriped purple unicorns to march down Fifth Avenue. Because the concept of a rational Trump opposition was an utter fantasy.

Instead what we got right off the bat was blanket “Resistance” to Trump, with the concept of “Resistance” turning into far more of a self-promotional branding exercise than any kind of sensible civic-minded disposition. Seemingly every word that came out of Trump’s mouth, no matter how inane or innocuous, prompted wild outbursts of blithering hysteria — egged on by the unholy profit-seeking alliance of social media algorithms and TV ratings. In the imaginations of his most excitable antagonists, it was taken as a truism that the United States was perpetually teetering on the edge of total Trump-induced collapse. Usually because he insulted a cable news host or something. To encapsulate this paranoid oppositional tendency, the slogan “Resistance” was picked for a specifically self-aggrandizing reason — having been derived from European anti-Nazi insurgent brigades in World War II.

As preposterous as it sounds that anyone of stable mental health could have possibly believed present-day America to be meaningfully comparable with Occupied France, this conceit became near-ubiquitous within anti-Trump activism and media circles. Sure, some who trafficked in rhetoric of “anti-fascism” probably did so out of a bizarre psychic need to feel as though they were combatants in an epic battle to save civilization from genocidal tyranny. But many also came to really and truly believe it, with full-fledged sincerity — as I can personally attest based on innumerable direct interactions with such people. A “Literal Nazi” president running literal concentration camps? Yup, that was a standard, uncontroversial viewpoint amongst the culture-media-activism industrial complex.

Clearly, to harbor such delusions about the nature of your own country’s political circumstances was antithetical to the “rational opposition” ideal that I’d initially floated. Combine it with the storyline that Trump had been illegitimately installed into power by a hostile foreign government — another profit-generating bonanza for the corporate media — and any prospect of sanity being maintained during the 2016–2020 period was rendered completely hopeless.

Read more …

Still corrupt. Still ruled by oligarchs.

Ukraine’s Zelensky Calls On His Party To Fire Constitutional Court (KP)

A day before the Ukrainian parliament convenes for its first session after the Oct. 25 local elections, President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed lawmakers of his party in an audio message, calling them to back his draft bill that seeks to fire all judges of the Constitutional Court. In an audio message that was leaked on Nov. 2 through LB.ua news website, Zelensky urged his party, Servant of the People, which holds the majority seats in the parliament, to show unity and support his bill. Zelensky came up with the proposition to dismiss the Constitutional Court after it ruled against Ukraine’s anti-corruption system last week, undoing several years of progress and jeopardizing backing by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

This week, the Constitutional Court is set to review some of the most contentious bills such as those on farmland sales, the Ukrainian language law, and the Deposit Guarantee Fund. Their reversal might further harm Ukraine’s reform record and undermine international support. The president’s bill, which was registered on Oct. 29 and marked as top priority, has to get a green light from the parliamentary committee on legal policy before being put out for a vote. The date of the committee’s meeting is unknown. Head of the committee Andriy Kostin did not respond to calls. An ideal solution to the crisis would be if all of the court’s 15 judges resigned, Zelensky said during an appearance on a political talk show on ICTV channel on the night of Nov. 2.

However, that’s not likely to happen. So Zelensky wants his lawmakers to at least pass his bill in the first hearing to provide leverage over the court’s judges. “This bill will hang above them as the Damocles sword (an impending disaster),” said Zelensky. “And they will not rule on the language law, on farmland sales, or (annul) the High Anti-Corruption Court.” Zelensky notably didn’t mention the court’s intention to rule on the Deposit Guarantee Fund on Nov. 3, which can undermine Ukraine’s whole banking system.

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