Aug 092021
 


René Magritte The evening gown 1954

 

A Hypothesis (Greer)
Fauci Warns Of ‘Worse Variant’ That ‘Could Impact The Vaccinated’ (RT)
14 Israelis Have Caught COVID-19 Even After Booster Shot (ZH)
Covid Booster Shots Coming “Soon”, Fauci Tells CNN (ZH)
What Changes The Unvaccinated Minds? Fear. (CNN)
Majority of American Physicians Decline COVID Shots (AAPS)
Prophylactic Role of Ivermectin in SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Cureus)
Information Security Expert On Revealed Pfizer Agreements (Aflds)
Covid-19 Survivors May Possess Wide-ranging Resistance To The Disease (Emory)
A Massive Black Hole With 34 Billion Times The Mass of Our Sun (SA)
Spanish Village Seeks Unesco World Heritage Status For Outdoor Chats
2500 Year Old Ancient Olive Tree Burned Down in Evia Fires in Greece (GR)

 

 

 

 

Ouch!

 

 

Iceland gives up on immunity through vaccination. Smart.


 

 

UK, Israel, US saw an early surge in vaccinations. 6 months later, they have a surge in infections.

 

 

Greer has the bleakest vision yet. It makes being vaccinated look like a crazy gamble.

Oh, and remember: ADE is not a wild hypothesis, it has been observed in numerous animal trials over the years.

A Hypothesis (Greer)

Stage Nine: Things Get Serious

All of a sudden, as a result, it was no longer enough to vaccinate 70% of the US population. Everyone without exception had to get vaccinated—if everyone gets the vaccine, after all, it will be easier to claim that what’s happening is a nasty new variant rather than vaccine-driven ADE, since nobody will be able to point out that the unvaccinated aren’t getting it. All of a sudden, officials dropped the (inaccurate) claim that the vaccines keep you from getting Covid-19. New outbreaks flared in which most people who got sick had been fully vaccinated; stories surfaced in the media about how strange it was that so many people were getting really nasty summer colds; the labor shortage somehow just kept getting worse and other shortages snowballed, but if you suggested that it was because too many people were sick you could count on being shouted down. Authorities began to talk earnestly about how a new variant might show up soon that would kill a third of the people who caught it. Under normal circumstances, there’s no way they could know that in advance. It makes perfect sense, however, if the vaccines have been found to cause serious ADE and they already have a good idea of what the fatality rate will be.

This is where we are as I write this. If my hypothesis is right, here’s what we can expect.

Stage Ten: Hoping for a Miracle

As ADE becomes more common, breakthrough infection clusters will pop up with increasing frequency, and the higher the percentage of the population in that region is vaccinated, the worse they will be. Variants will be blamed for this. Word of the imminent crisis will spread through the upper levels of society, however, causing increasingly frantic and irrational behavior, until it becomes next to impossible to get anything done if it depends on the government or big corporations. Medical laboratories will scramble to find a way to counteract ADE, though that’s been tried for decades now without success. Meanwhile the people who refuse to get vaccinated won’t budge no matter how much furious rhetoric and punitive policy gets dumped on them. Once this becomes clear, authorities will insist that everyone but a few holdouts has been vaccinated, in the fond hope that people will believe them one more time.

Stage Eleven: Into The Endgame

When ADE becomes too widespread to ignore and people begin to die in significant numbers, expect governments to proclaim the arrival of the predicted new hyper-lethal variant and impose a new round of shutdowns, mask mandates, and the like. The media will insist that the people who are dying are all unvaccinated as long as they can get away with it; pay attention to the vaccination status and health outcomes of people you know for a reality check. Unless some way of stopping ADE-enhanced infections can be found in a hurry, medical systems will buckle under the caseload and triage will become the order of the day. How soon this will happen, if it does, is impossible to say in advance. It’s also impossible to know in advance how soon it will become clear that the vaccines are responsible—or just how violent a backlash against the political and economic establishment this could provoke.

Read more …

“There’s a tenet that everybody knows in virology: a virus will not mutate unless you allow it to replicate..”

Another tenet says it’s unlikely to mutate very much unless you give it a reason to. Like a non-sterilizing vaccine.

Oh, and Tony, the vaccines allow it to replicate, remember?

Fauci Warns Of ‘Worse Variant’ That ‘Could Impact The Vaccinated’ (RT)

In his latest bid to promote Covid-19 jabs, White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci upped his pandemic warnings and cautioned vaccinated individuals about an even “worse variant” that could come after Delta. Those who remain unvaccinated, Fauci claimed in a Sunday interview with MSNBC, are responsible for the coronavirus mutating. This has led to the Delta variant, which health officials have continuously warned is partly behind the mass rise in cases and could lead to another surge in the fall. “There’s a tenet that everybody knows in virology: a virus will not mutate unless you allow it to replicate,” Fauci said. “Fortunately for us, the vaccines do quite well against Delta, particularly in protecting you from severe disease.”

“But if you give the virus the chance to continue to change, you’re leading to a vulnerability that we might get a worse variant, and then that will impact not only the unvaccinated, that will impact the vaccinated because that variant could evade the protection of the vaccine.” Despite aggressive efforts from Joe Biden’s administration to promote vaccines, rates have been lagging as coronavirus cases have been on the rise recently. Some cities, such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas, have found themselves facing reinstated mask mandates in response to the new cases. New York City also became the first this month to announce that proof of vaccination will be required at certain venues, gyms, and restaurants.

While Fauci does not see a federal mandate being imposed, he did say he believes that once the FDA gives full approval to the vaccines, which he predicts will be sometime later this month, it will make it easier for private businesses to begin mandating vaccinations, something Fauci has endorsed in the past. The infectious disease expert had previously predicted a “flood” of vaccine mandates earlier in the week when discussing the impending approval. “The time has come [when] we’ve got to go the extra step to get people vaccinated.”

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Good thing they’re cheaper by the dozen.

14 Israelis Have Caught COVID-19 Even After Booster Shot (ZH)

The population of Israel has been looked upon of late as a global guinea pig of sorts given it was the first country out of the gate to implement a large-scale booster shot program for people 60 and up who’ve already been vaccinated with two rounds of the COVID-19 shot. This was announced only at the end of July, and the early data is beginning to trickle in. Israel is considered to have among the world’s highest vaccination rates, with 5.3 million of its citizens having been inoculated with two doses, with weeks ago headlines declaring it had reached ‘herd immunity’ – only for the headlines to give way to reports of the alarming rapid rise of breakthrough cases.

And now it appears that even the much touted COVID booster shot could be failing to protect: “Internal Health Ministry data shows that 14 Israelis have been infected with COVID-19 a week after receiving a booster shot, Channel 12 news reports,” The Times of Israel writes Sunday. Already over the weekend Israeli media is reporting that “serious cases” have hit a four month high, with over 324 patients hospitalized, many of them in critical condition. It was only a little over a week ago that elderly Israelis began receiving the third shot, and so “early results” and observations have only now begun to come in, and it’s not looking good. The Times of Israel continues in its breaking report:

The network says 11 of those infected are over the age of 60 — two of whom have now been hospitalized — while the other three got their third dose because they are immunocompromised.= If confirmed in larger samples, the figures could cast doubt on the effectiveness of the booster shot, which Israel has started administering before major health bodies around the world have approved it. Channel 12 noted that the confirmed new infections were revealed based on tests performed one week after the group had received the third shot. Three of the above are being described as “younger patients”. This comes as the CDC and FDA have begun discussions on pushing forward with offering booster shots in the US – possibly as early as September, according to some reports.

[..] Anthony Fauci, has already begun making the pitch for a third shot “reasonably soon” while making the rounds on the big Sunday shows… “We need to look at them in a different light,” Fauci said of boosters on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on Sunday, according to Bloomberg. “We would certainly be boosting those people before we boost the general population that’s been vaccinated, and we should be doing that reasonably soon.” He began by noting the booster would first be made available for the immunocompromised and elderly (just like in Israel). “As soon as they see that level of durability of protection goes down, then you will see the recommendation to vaccinate those individuals,” Fauci added.

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Something I’ve been pondering:

“Fauci said the Delta variant presents the additional problem that vaccinated people can also transmit the virus to someone else.”

Whichever variant you have has been transferred to you from someone. The only “active ingredient” we know of related to the vaccines is spike proteins.

Does Alpha prevent their propagation, but Delta does not? How does that work?

Covid Booster Shots Coming “Soon”, Fauci Tells CNN (ZH)

As for the kind of data the CDC will be looking for, Fauci said that the CDC has been tracking the level of durability of protection for the elderly, those in nursing homes and young people, month by month. “As soon as they see that level of durability of protection goes down, then you will see the recommendation to vaccinate those individuals.” Speaking one day after Barack Obama’ epic birthday bash (despite it being shrunk for just the closest family and friends), Fauci said that health officials don’t take breakthrough infections “lightly,” warning that the delta variant which is more contagious and is fueling the surge of U.S. cases to more than 100,000 a day, will produce “more” breakthrough cases. Luckily, everyone inside the Barack Birthday Bash tent is exempt from such risks.


And speaking of furiously moving goalposts, Fauci said the Delta variant presents the additional problem that vaccinated people can also transmit the virus to someone else. That has led to the CDC revising its mask guidelines recently. But, he stressed: “The vaccines are still doing what you originally want them to do — to keep you out of the hospital to prevent you from getting seriously ill.” Actually, what the CDC “originally” wanted the vaccines to do, was to prevent those who were jabbed from infecting others. Only later did we learn that too was a fabrication. Finally, Fauci reminded viewers that all Covid-19 vaccines remains experimental although he assured his pals at CNN that a full approval could arrive “within the next few weeks.”

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Scare them into submission. Then get ’em a shrink.

“Of course, there will always be people who won’t get vaccinated no matter what. About half of America’s unvaccinated adult population say they’ll never get a vaccine.”

Wait, doesn’t that invalidate the entire concept?

What Changes The Unvaccinated Minds? Fear. (CNN)

So what does work to get more people to take the vaccine? One answer seems clear in the polling and in the real world: fear. Fear of getting the virus and of losing freedoms looks like it motivates people to get vaccinated. You can see this well in the latest trends in vaccination and case counts. As of Friday morning, more people have taken the vaccine in the last week than have since June. This has happened as case counts and hospitalizations have been rising nationally. Zoom in on the places where cases are the highest: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. With the exception of Florida, all have had some of the lowest vaccination rates since vaccines were made available. Over the last week, however, all five states rank in the top five for number of people per capita getting vaccinated throughout the entire country.

The correlation here is clear enough, and the polling buffers the idea of a real connection. The jump in vaccinations is happening as concern about the virus is rising once again. In Monmouth University polling, for example, concern that someone in your family would catch the virus jumped 11 points from June to late July. The Axios/Ipsos poll showed a similar trend with concern about the virus jumping in early August to its highest level since April. When we examine Ipsos’ last two polls more closely, the connection between fear of the virus and likelihood of the unvaccinated getting shots becomes clear enough. Among those who are extremely or very concerned about the virus, about 39% of the unvaccinated say they’re likely to get the vaccine. This drops to about 30% who are somewhat concerned.

It declines to only about 12% with those who are not very concerned about the virus, and a mere 5% of those who are not concerned at all about the vaccine. Kaiser Family Foundation polling confirms this trend. Of those who are open to getting the vaccine but aren’t sure (i.e. the wait and see group), 45% are concerned they could get seriously ill from coronavirus. This drops to just 8% among those who say they will definitely not get the vaccine. These findings also comport with what I showed last week: The vaccinated are most likely to fear the virus most. Protecting themselves from getting sick or fear of getting sick was the No. 1 and 2 reasons respondents who are vaccinated said they got the vaccine in a June Kaiser poll. Fear, not surprisingly, is a powerful emotion. For those who don’t fear the virus, fear of losing their job may be the answer to getting them vaccinated.

Ipsos showed this past week that 33% of unvaccinated adults said an employer requiring them to get the shot would make them likely to get one. That may seem low, but it was actually the highest rated action of any tested to see if the unvaccinated would likely get a vaccine. The only thing that came close was when respondents were told that they would get a bonus or raise (26%). [..] Of course, there will always be people who won’t get vaccinated no matter what. About half of America’s unvaccinated adult population say they’ll never get a vaccine. The key is to convince the other half who aren’t vaccinated yet to get it. Fear does seem to be working with them.

Read more …

June 16. They’re just not scared enough yet… Maybe they don’t watch CNN?

Majority of American Physicians Decline COVID Shots (AAPS)

Of the 700 physicians responding to an internet survey by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), nearly 60 percent said they were not “fully vaccinated” against COVID. This contrasts with the claim by the American Medical Association that 96 percent of practicing physicians are fully vaccinated. This was based on 300 respondents. Neither survey represents a random sample of all American physicians, but the AAPS survey shows that physician support for the mass injection campaign is far from unanimous. “It is wrong to call a person who declines a shot an ‘anti-vaxxer,’” states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.

“Virtually no physicians are ‘anti-antibiotics’ or ‘anti-surgery,’ whereas all are opposed to treatments that they think are unnecessary, more likely to harm than to benefit an individual patient, or inadequately tested.” The AAPS survey also showed that 54 percent of physician respondents were aware of patients suffering a “significant adverse reaction.” Of the unvaccinated physicians, 80 percent said “I believe risk of shots exceeds risk of disease,” and 30% said “I already had COVID.” Other reasons for declining the shot included unknown long-term effects, use of aborted fetal tissue, “it’s experimental,” availability of effective early treatment, and reports of deaths and blood clots.

Of 560 practicing physicians, 56 percent said they offered early treatment for COVID. Nonphysicians were also invited to participate in the survey. Of some 5,300 total participants, 2,548 volunteered comments about associated adverse effects of which they were aware. These included death, amputation, paralysis, stillbirth, menstrual irregularities, blindness, seizures, and heart issues. “Causality is not proven. However, many of these episodes might have resulted in a huge product liability or malpractice award if they had occurred after a new drug,” stated Dr. Orient. “Purveyors of these COVID products are protected against lawsuits.”

Read more …

India. “..reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 83%..”

Prophylactic Role of Ivermectin in SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Cureus)

Introduction
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are vulnerable to getting infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Preventing HCWs from getting infected is a priority to maintain healthcare services. The therapeutic and preventive role of ivermectin in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being investigated. Based on promising results of in vitro studies of oral ivermectin, this study was conducted with the aim to demonstrate the prophylactic role of oral ivermectin in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCWs at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhubaneswar.

Methods
A prospective cohort study was conducted at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, which has been providing both COVID and non-COVID care since March 2020. All employees and students of the institute who provided written informed consent participated in the study. The uptake of two doses of oral ivermectin (300 ºg/kg/dose at a gap of 72 hours) was considered as exposure. The primary outcome of the study was COVID-19 infection in the following month of ivermectin consumption, diagnosed as per Government of India testing criteria (real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]) guidelines. The log-binomial model was used to estimate adjusted relative risk (ARR), and the Kaplan-Meier failure plot was used to estimate the probability of COVID-19 infection with follow-up time.

Results
Of 3892 employees, 3532 (90.8%) participated in the study. The ivermectin uptake was 62.5% and 5.3% for two doses and single dose, respectively. Participants who took ivermectin prophylaxis had a lower risk of getting symptoms suggestive of SARS-CoV-2 infection (6% vs 15%). HCWs who had taken two doses of oral ivermectin had a significantly lower risk of contracting COVID-19 infection during the following month (ARR 0.17; 95% CI, 0.12-0.23). Females had a lower risk of contracting COVID-19 than males (ARR 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52-0.93). The absolute risk reduction of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 9.7%. Only 1.8% of the participants reported adverse events, which were mild and self-limiting.

Conclusion
Two doses of oral ivermectin (300 µg/kg/dose given 72 hours apart) as chemoprophylaxis among HCWs reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 83% in the following month. Safe, effective, and low-cost chemoprophylaxis has relevance in the containment of pandemic alongside vaccine.

Read more …

More ouch.

Information Security Expert On Revealed Pfizer Agreements (Aflds)

“If you were wondering why Ivermectin was suppressed, it is because the agreement that countries had with Pfizer does not allow them to escape their contract, which states that even if a drug will be found to treat COVID-19, the contract cannot be voided.”

Unredacted contracts for the experimental biological agent known as the “COVID-19 vaccine” between the Pfizer corporation and various governments continue to be revealed. Information security expert Ehden Biber told America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) Frontline News that the first document to recently emerge was discovered by Albanian newspaper Gogo.al. Biber then was able to locate the digitally-signed Brazilian contract, and at least two others, one with the European Commission, and the other with the Dominican Republic. AFLDS Chief Science Officer Dr. Michael Yeadon responded to the revelations after perusing the Albania contract, saying it “looks genuine.”

He continued: “I know the basic anatomy of these agreements and nothing is missing that I’d expect to be present, and I’ve seen no clues that suggests it’s fake.” Yeadon noted what he found “the most stunning revelation,” citing the clause that stipulates “if there are any laws or regulations in your country under which Pfizer could be prosecuted, you agree to CHANGE THE LAW OR REGULATION to close that off.” (emphasis his) In a Twitter thread that has since been removed except the first tweet in the thread, Biber explained the significance of the revealed agreements: “Because the cost of developing contracts is very high and time consuming (legal review cycles), Pfizer, like all corporations, develop a standardized agreement template and use these agreements with relatively minor adjustments in different countries.

“These agreements are confidential, but luckily one country did not protect the contract document well enough, so I managed to get a hold of a copy. “As you are about to see, there is a good reason why Pfizer was fighting to hide the details of these contracts.”

Read more …

No vaccines needed, just anti-virals.

Covid-19 Survivors May Possess Wide-ranging Resistance To The Disease (Emory)

Recovered COVID-19 patients retain broad and effective longer-term immunity to the disease, suggests a recent Emory University study, which is the most comprehensive of its kind so far. The findings have implications for expanding understanding about human immune memory as well as future vaccine development for coronaviruses. The longitudinal study, published recently on Cell Reports Medicine, looked at 254 patients with mostly mild to moderate symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection over a period for more than eight months (250 days) and found that their immune response to the virus remained durable and strong.

Emory Vaccine Center director Rafi Ahmed, PhD, and a lead author on the paper, says the findings are reassuring, especially given early reports during the pandemic that protective neutralizing antibodies did not last in COVID-19 patients. “The study serves as a framework to define and predict long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection. We also saw indications in this phase that natural immunity could continue to persist,” Ahmed says. The research team will continue to evaluate this cohort over the next few years. Researchers found that not only did the immune response increase with disease severity, but also with each decade of age regardless of disease severity, suggesting that there are additional unknown factors influencing age-related differences in COVID-19 responses.

In following the patients for months, researchers got a more nuanced view of how the immune system responds to COVID-19 infection. The picture that emerges indicates that the body’s defense shield not only produces an array of neutralizing antibodies but activates certain T and B cells to establish immune memory, offering more sustained defenses against reinfection. “We saw that antibody responses, especially IgG antibodies, were not only durable in the vast majority of patients but decayed at a slower rate than previously estimated, which suggests that patients are generating longer-lived plasma cells that can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.”

Ahmed says investigators were surprised to see that convalescent participants also displayed increased immunity against common human coronaviruses as well as SARS-CoV-1, a close relative of the current coronavirus. The study suggests that patients who survived COVID-19 are likely to also possess protective immunity even against some SARS-CoV-2 variants. “Vaccines that target other parts of the virus rather than just the spike protein may be more helpful in containing infection as SARS-CoV-2 variants overtake the prevailing strains,” says Ahmed. “This could pave the way for us to design vaccines that address multiple coronaviruses.”

Read more …

If it eats 1/34 billionth of its mass each day, it’s not all that hungry?!

A Massive Black Hole With 34 Billion Times The Mass of Our Sun (SA)

Scientists have recently reported discovering what they believe is the most massive black hole ever discovered in the early Universe. It is 34 billion times the mass of our Sun, and it eats the equivalent of one Sun every day. The research led by the National University of Australia (ANU) has revealed how massive the fastest-growing black hole in the Universe really is, as well as how much matter it is able to suck in. The black hole, known as ‘J2157’, was discovered by the same research team in 2018. The study detailing the humongous black hole’s characteristics has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


According to Dr. Christopher Onken and his colleagues, this object is 34 billion times the Sun’s mass and gobbles up the equivalent of one Sun every day. That’s billion with a b. For other comparisons, the monstrous black hole has a mass of approximately 8,000 times the mass of Sagittarius A*, the black hole located at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. “If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to get fat, it would have to swallow two-thirds of all the stars in our galaxy,” explains Onken.

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Love it.

Spanish Village Seeks Unesco World Heritage Status For Outdoor Chats

It’s a nightly summer ritual across much of Spain: as the sweltering heat of the day eases off, chairs are hauled out to the street for an alfresco chat. Now an enterprising village in southern Spain is seeking to have the tradition recognised by the United Nations as a cultural treasure. The aim is to protect the centuries-old custom from the encroaching threat of social media and television, said José Carlos Sánchez, the mayor of Algar, a town of about 1,400 people. “It’s the opposite of social media,” he told the Guardian. “This is about face-to-face conversations.” Sánchez recently applied to have the custom added to Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage, hoping it will be able to earn a spot in a catalogue that ranges from the art of Neapolitan pizza making to sauna culture in Finland and a grass mowing competition in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


It’s a novel way to think about the impromptu, often banal gatherings that have long provided a respite from the heat, he conceded. But each time extended families and neighbours in the pueblo blanco – or white town – take to their front steps, he sees it as an effort to safeguard the tradition. “But it’s not what it was,” said Sánchez. “So we want to return to having everyone outside of their doors alfresco instead of scrolling through Facebook or watching television inside their homes.” Sánchez, who regularly spends balmy summer evenings on the doorstep of his 82-year-old mother’s house, is quick to list off the many benefits of what is known as charlas al fresco, from the energy savings gleaned from turning off the air conditioning for a few hours to the sense of community forged as neighbours share in the day’s gossip or comment on the latest news stories.

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” The tree was large, with a trunk so wide ten people could fit along its diameter. The tree was fertile with olives all the way until it fell victim to the wildfire.”

2500 Year Old Ancient Olive Tree Burned Down in Evia Fires in Greece (GR)

A 2,500 year old ancient olive tree on the island of Evia was destroyed today in the ongoing wildfires consuming the region. The ancient tree was located in the olive grove of Rovia, and was such an enduring symbol of the landscape that the ancient geographer and philosopher Strabo featured it in his writings. The tree was large, with a trunk so wide ten people could fit along its diameter. The tree was fertile with olives all the way until it fell victim to the wildfire. The tragic loss of the Evian tree was posted to Twitter by Apostolis Panagiotou, and the evocative image quickly gained over a thousand likes, with many Greeks leaving responses mourning the impact of the fires.


Apostolis Panagiotou

The destruction of the treasured tree is just one of many losses experienced by the Greek people in Evia during the course of the wildfires. In a statement that showcases the desperation and pain of the people of northern Evia, Giannis Kontzias, the mayor of Istiaia – Aidipsos, said that what the people are seeing now is ”the completion of a holocaust.” ”Truth be told, we could have saved much more,” he says. ”I’ve been up on the mountain from Wednesday at 2:30 PM making dramatic calls for more aircraft in the front that we managed to keep back for 30 hours.” Kontzias described the dramatic turn of events when the wind changed direction and brought the fire to the northwest of Evia.


”The wind turned the fire towards the Municipality of Istiaia Aidipsos, multiplying the fronts,” he explains. ”I’m making a dramatic appeal (to the Greek authorities) to bring aircraft.” ”Very few of them arrived yesterday, but they were inadequate. Today, only seven of them are operating particularly near Artemisio,” the devastated mayor explains. ”One after the other our villages fall. One municipal unit after the other is being destroyed completely. What’s saved has been saved by volunteers and the soul of the residents of this land,” Kontizas noted. ”They remained the last ones to save something from their homes, something from which we’ll be able to hold onto in order to stay and live in this land.”

Evia

Read more …

 

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Greg Palast

 

 

Quiet.

 

 

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Aug 062021
 
 August 6, 2021  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  124 Responses »


Félix Vallotton The balloon 1899

 

Worse Disease Progression After Covid Vaccination? (Ziegler)
Antibody-Dependent Enhancement and SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and Therapies (Nature)
Dangers of COVID-19 Vaccine Associated Enhanced Disease (Goldstein)
“The Most Dangerous Vaccine” – Until Now, Of Course (Denninger)
Attorney Renz: MORE Than 45,000 Americans Have Died From Covid-19 Vaccines (DE)
20,595 Dead, 1.9 Million Injured in EU Database of Adverse Reactions (GR)
Project Fear: MSM Is Doing The Government’s Covid Propaganda Work (RT)
Pfizer To Require US Workers Receive Covid-19 Vaccine Or Regular Tests (R.)
“Vaccine Hesitancy” Is A Class Issue (Tracey)
French Constitutional Court Backs Macron’s Covid Pass (B’s)
Rand Paul: Mask Mandates And Lockdowns From Petty Tyrants? No, not again (RPI)
“Authorities Are Viewing Their Own People as an Enemy” (SN)

 

 

Israel

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

 

 

https://www.achgut.com/artikel/schlechtere_krankheitsverlauefe_nach_covid_impfung

Google translation from Germany.

Worse Disease Progression After Covid Vaccination? (Ziegler)

How does ADE work? The latest publication from Pfizer, which presents the follow-up to the approval study, also proves that the vaccines are at least not effective against the severe courses of COVID . It shows no effectiveness of the vaccination against death and no relevant absolute effectiveness against severe courses (we will report on this separately). But why ADE? Because an increased viral load in the nasal epithelium in vaccinated people looks like ADE after six months. How come? Infection-enhancing antibodies ( ADEs ) bind antibodies that are formed against the vaccine after being vaccinated to bind to the virus when it is infected later. But instead of neutralizing it, the antibodies increase the uptake (endocytosis) of the virus by the types of cells that the virus can infect.

There are different molecular mechanisms for this; the antibodies act like a catalyst that accelerates the biochemical reaction, here the endocytosis of the virus-receptor complex in the cell. The phenomenon is known from vaccines against RSV (respiratory syncitial virus) and the dengue virus. It was also in the development of vaccines against the closely related with SARS-CoV-2 Coronaviridae MERS and SARS-CoV-1 observed and contributed to the unsuccessful clinical development of vaccines against these viruses. ADE is very dangerous because the syndrome can cause vaccinees who would have survived an infection naturally without vaccination to become very seriously ill or even die, even though they would have hardly developed any symptoms without vaccination.

Malone rightly points out that ADE can occur 6 to 9 months after vaccination, especially in the case of an unfortunate composition of the antibodies in the phase of titer decline. What is happening there? The antibodies promote the uptake of the virus into the cells. This accelerates virus production and the viral load in the body increases exponentially faster than without ADE, since accelerated endocytosis is a factor in the exponent of the viral replication function. Although the immune system can still form new antibodies against the whole virus even under ADE, the virus now has a massive advantage over the immune system of an unvaccinated person, which does not develop ADE.

[..] Malone’s warnings about ADE seem realistic, given the signs he’s observing. How dangerous would ADE be in relation to the autoimmune diseases that we are already seeing in vaccinees? Based on the current data, I assume that 1 per thousand to 1 or 2 percent of those vaccinated will develop or die from autoimmune diseases caused by the vaccination in the course of 12 to 24 months after the vaccination (including the previous death rate). With ADE, significantly more vaccinees could become seriously ill, the rate could also be in the double-digit percentage range as with RSV – nobody can predict that. What should be done in view of the data situation? One should stop the vaccination campaign and first observe what happens to the vaccinated with the help of prospective cohort studies. All vaccinated persons under the age of 70 who do not die from an apparent cause of death must be examined by pathologists or coroners by autopsy. Autopsies should also be performed in suspected cases of elderly vaccinated persons. Because the Hippocratic oath applies to all people treated by a doctor.

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Published: 09 September 2020

Antibody-Dependent Enhancement and SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and Therapies (Nature)

ADE has been documented to occur through two distinct mechanisms in viral infections: by enhanced antibody-mediated virus uptake into Fc gamma receptor IIa (FcɣRIIa)-expressing phagocytic cells leading to increased viral infection and replication, or by excessive antibody Fc-mediated effector functions or immune complex formation causing enhanced inflammation and immunopathology (Fig. 1, Box 1). Both ADE pathways can occur when non-neutralizing antibodies or antibodies at sub-neutralizing levels bind to viral antigens without blocking or clearing infection. ADE can be measured in several ways, including in vitro assays (which are most common for the first mechanism involving Fc≥RIIa-mediated enhancement of infection in phagocytes), immunopathology or lung pathology.

ADE via FcɣRIIa-mediated endocytosis into phagocytic cells can be observed in vitro and has been extensively studied for macrophage-tropic viruses, including dengue virus in humans16 and FIPV in cats. In this mechanism, non-neutralizing antibodies bind to the viral surface and traffic virions directly to macrophages, which then internalize the virions and become productively infected. Since many antibodies against different dengue serotypes are cross-reactive but non-neutralizing, secondary infections with heterologous strains can result in increased viral replication and more severe disease, leading to major safety risks as reported in a recent dengue vaccine trial. In other vaccine studies, cats immunized against the FIPV S protein or passively infused with anti-FIPV antibodies had lower survival rates when challenged with FIPV compared to control groups. Non-neutralizing antibodies, or antibodies at sub-neutralizing levels, enhanced entry into alveolar and peritoneal macrophages18, which were thought to disseminate infection and worsen disease outcome.


In the second described ADE mechanism that is best exemplified by respiratory pathogens, Fc-mediated antibody effector functions can enhance respiratory disease by initiating a powerful immune cascade that results in observable lung pathology. Fc-mediated activation of local and circulating innate immune cells such as monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells and natural killer cells can lead to dysregulated immune activation despite their potential effectiveness at clearing virus-infected cells and debris. For non-macrophage tropic respiratory viruses such as RSV and measles, non-neutralizing antibodies have been shown to induce ADE and ERD by forming immune complexes that deposit into airway tissues and activate cytokine and complement pathways, resulting in inflammation, airway obstruction and, in severe cases, leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome.


a, For macrophage-tropic viruses such as dengue virus and FIPV, non-neutralizing or sub-neutralizing antibodies cause increased viral infection of monocytes or macrophages via Fc≥RIIa-mediated endocytosis, resulting in more severe disease. b, For non-macrophage-tropic respiratory viruses such as RSV and measles, non-neutralizing antibodies can form immune complexes with viral antigens inside airway tissues, resulting in the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, immune cell recruitment and activation of the complement cascade within lung tissue. The ensuing inflammation can lead to airway obstruction and can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome in severe cases. COVID-19 immunopathology studies are still ongoing and the latest available data suggest that human macrophage infection by SARS-CoV-2 is unproductive. Existing evidence suggests that immune complex formation, complement deposition and local immune activation present the most likely ADE mechanisms in COVID-19 immunopathology. Figure created using BioRender.com.

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July 6 2021

Dangers of COVID-19 Vaccine Associated Enhanced Disease (Goldstein)

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is an immune system phenomenon, when neutralizing antibodies bind to a virus, but instead of or in addition to neutralizing it, help it to enter cells. The term is also used when these antibodies, not finding targets on the virus, damage the healthy cells (Hellerstein 2020). ADE might happen when the quantity (titer) or quality (matching epitopes presented by the virus) is low. ADE caused by vaccines is called VAED. In the respiratory diseases, it is sometimes called VAERD (vaccine associated enhancement of respiratory disease)…. The current COVID-19 vaccines, used in the US and most Western countries, are mRNA and viral vector vaccines, targeting only the spike protein of SARS-COV-2. For the purposes of this paper, “COVID-19 vaccines” only refer to these mRNA & viral vector vaccines, unless otherwise specified.

For SARS-COV-2, the selection of the spike (S-protein) as the only antigen was an especially bad choice, because anti-spike coronavirus vaccines are known to be especially prone to cause ADE. T-cells, rather than antibodies, provide long term immunity and do not cause ADE, but only about a quarter of T-cells associated with SARS-COV-2 target its spike, compared with half to two thirds in previous coronaviruses. Many (although not all) attempts at vaccines against other coronaviruses have failed because they caused ADE in animal models. This was the case with the experimental vaccines against SARS and MERS. The same thing happened during the attempt to develop a vaccine against FIPV, a coronavirus disease in cats. On a remarkable side note, Remdesivir was tried for FIPV in cats and failed. It was then tried on humans for COVID-19 and also failed, but still received a EUA…


[..] Children 12-15 are expected to be impacted especially hard by the COVID-19 vaccines, due to higher reactivity of their immune systems. A Pfizer study has shown 1.76 higher antibody titers in this age group compared with 16–25 year-olds (FDA re-Amendment 2021). Some research suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines could possibly interfere with the development of immunity to common cold coronaviruses. This risk is totally unjustified. Very few persons <18 develop severe COVID-19, and 84% of them have obesity or other known chronic conditions. Suspected ADE from COVID-19 vaccines, especially spike protein-based ones, was explicitly linked to the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). A recent study suggests interference of the COVID-19 vaccines with the immune reaction to common cold coronaviruses. Some 12-year-olds, who have not developed natural immunity to all four common cold coronaviruses, might be unable to develop it because of the original antigenic sin with the anti-spike vaccine.

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“..the data out of NYC shows that even if you’re old — 80+ — if you do not have those conditions Covid-19 is no significant threat. But the jabs are…”

“The Most Dangerous Vaccine” – Until Now, Of Course (Denninger)

“The Most Dangerous Vaccine” Well, it was the most-dangerous vaccine. It was for Smallpox. That vaccine is very effective (unlike the Covid jabs which, on the data, are an abject failure as the virus is evolving around them and their protection wanes in months) and Smallpox kills about 30% of the people who get it with very little variation based on age (that is, 300,000 per million persons) while Covid-19 kills anywhere from 20-90,000 per million depending on your age.” Now think about this: “We know if we immunize a million people, that there will be 15 people that will suffer severe, permanent adverse outcomes and one person who may die from the vaccine,” says Dr. Paul Offit, one of the country’s top infectious disease specialists, and he knows all about vaccines that prevent those diseases. In his lab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he studies and creates new vaccines. There’s nothing new about the smallpox vaccine.”

This risk is much lower than the Covid shots which have associated more than 10,000 deaths so far out of ~170 million Americans immunized, or approximately fifty times the smallpox vaccine mortality rate. Was the smallpox vaccine worth it? Absolutely. Should it be mandated? No, but it should be made widely available. Yes, it might screw you. But if you get the disease, and it could happen in a biological attack, there is a one in three risk of death. Covid, among young and healthy people, has managed to kill under a hundred across the entire population; perhaps 50% of whom have already had it with many not knowing they had it. In most people Covid-19 produces only a mild or moderate flu-like illness. Yeah, it makes you feel like crap for a couple of days.

And just like smallpox, if you get it and survive you get broad immunity that, on the science, continues to improve for a few months afterward and which remains effective even if the virus mutates, which it will and does. If you’re old and especially if you’re fat and diabetic then Covid can be much more serious. But even then it’s a tiny fraction of the impact of smallpox. I remind you that being fat and Type II diabetic is a choice, and one that you had the last 18 months to do something about. Literally anyone could have dropped 50+ lbs over the last year and a half and the data out of NYC shows that even if you’re old — 80+ — if you do not have those conditions Covid-19 is no significant threat. But the jabs are.

Not only do they not work very well, as seen with all these “breakthrough” infections (which is a lie, by the way: Those are vaccine failures) but in addition the data is that over six months time or so the protection wanes and there is some data that OAS may be showing up. OAS, or original antigenic sin, occurs when your immune system has been “primed” to respond to something (e.g. Covid-19) via either infection or a vaccine but when challenged with the actual infection it produces an incorrect and thus ineffective response. That is what we’re seeing in Israel, Iceland and elsewhere.

But what’s much worse is that we do not know if the risk from the jabs is individual and “one and done”; that is, if you take the jab and get no nasty side effects you won’t if you need boosters every six months, whether the risk is disconnected from the number of jabs, or much worse, the risk is multiplicative or even exponential with additional inoculations. We don’t know because we didn’t look. For some people who are at the upper end of that risk range — the old and medically frail — the jabs might be worth it even with all these unknowns. But for younger, healthy people? No.

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He has a whistleblower inside the CMS?

Attorney Renz: MORE Than 45,000 Americans Have Died From Covid-19 Vaccines (DE)

Attorney Thomas Renz revealed on Truth For Health’s Stop The Shot live conference that the original figure of 45,000 people who have allegedly died from the Covid-19 vaccines within three days of vaccination is too low. Renz said that VAERS data from whistleblowers is currently being analysed and appears to show that the original statistic he revealed last month at an event hosted by Awakened America is only a fraction of the real number of deaths. The attorney said that the true number of deaths is likely “immensely higher” and is being hidden by the government. According to attorney Renz, the public is not being given access to all of the death and injury data from the 11 to 12 vaccine injury reporting systems.

Renz said: “Any public policy being made without independent study of this data will lead to poor and or dangerous policies being made for we the people.” Attorney Renz said that once the data has been analysed, he will release the information over the next few weeks. Previously, Renz stated at the Awaken America event last month that a whistleblower – referred to as Jane Doe – informed him that there are around 11 VAERS systems reporting adverse reactions and deaths across the US, and one system alone has allegedly has reported the shocking 45,000 deaths from the Covid jabs. Renz and his law firm, along with America’s Frontline Doctors, are currently suing the federal government for covering up the true number of deaths from the Covid-19 vaccines and for approving the jabs for use on children.


[..] Various hospital whistleblowers have come forward and revealed to Thomas Renz and his team that hospitals are seeing fully vaccinated breakthrough cases at an “astounding rate.” Renz said that numerous whistleblowers have stated that they are seeing fully vaccinated individuals in ICUs at a rate anywhere from 40% to 100%. “People who are fully vaccinated are accounting for 40% or more of admissions for Covid and Covid related illness. 40% or more, that is pretty amazing considering the government’s telling us you won’t ever be admitted and you’ll be safe if you get this vaccine.” Renz said that one hospital whistleblower revealed that there have been several periods where, in her hospital, 100% of the ICU patients were comprised of breakthrough cases. The attorney said that these Covid breakthrough cases are “exactly what we are seeing in the UK and Israel” and is proof that the Covid jab “is not safe or effective.”

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With 1-10% reported.

20,595 Dead, 1.9 Million Injured in EU Database of Adverse Reactions (GR)

The European Union database of suspected drug reaction reports is EudraVigilance, and they are now reporting 20,595 fatalities, and 1,960,607 injuries, following COVID-19 injections. A Health Impact News subscriber from Europe reminded us that this database maintained at EudraVigilance is only for countries in Europe who are part of the European Union (EU), which comprises 27 countries. The total number of countries in Europe is much higher, almost twice as many, numbering around 50. (There are some differences of opinion as to which countries are technically part of Europe.) So as high as these numbers are, they do NOT reflect all of Europe. The actual number in Europe who are reported dead or injured due to COVID-19 shots would be much higher than what we are reporting here.

The EudraVigilance database reports that through July 31, 2021 there are 20,595 deaths and 1,960,607 injuries reported following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots:
COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE MODERNA (CX-024414)
COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE PFIZER-BIONTECH
COVID-19 VACCINE ASTRAZENECA (CHADOX1 NCOV-19)
COVID-19 VACCINE JANSSEN (AD26.COV2.S)
From the total of injuries recorded, half of them (968,870) are serious injuries.


“Seriousness provides information on the suspected undesirable effect; it can be classified as ‘serious’ if it corresponds to a medical occurrence that results in death, is life-threatening, requires inpatient hospitalisation, results in another medically important condition, or prolongation of existing hospitalisation, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or is a congenital anomaly/birth defect.” A Health Impact News subscriber in Europe ran the reports for each of the four COVID-19 shots we are including here. This subscriber has volunteered to do this, and it is a lot of work to tabulate each reaction with injuries and fatalities, since there is no place on the EudraVigilance system we have found that tabulates all the results. Since we have started publishing this, others from Europe have also calculated the numbers and confirmed the totals.*

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“The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging. To be effective this must also empower people by making clear the actions they can take to reduce the threat.”

Project Fear: MSM Is Doing The Government’s Covid Propaganda Work (RT)

The news stories of young, perfectly healthy – unvaccinated – people dying are relentless, while those recording the deaths of people who have died after being vaccinated are ignored. It has taken some doing, and not everyone was on board initially, thanks largely to some unexpected reactions with the AstraZeneca jab, but public health officials across the globe, with the help of the mainstream media, have now stoked up Project Fear in an effort scare people into complying with vaccine demands. Of course, there are already overreaching businesses using the threat of ‘No jab, no job’, but this is something different.

As far back as March last year, the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) considered a paper looking at ways to make people stick to social distancing rules that suggested: “The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging. To be effective this must also empower people by making clear the actions they can take to reduce the threat.” It’s clear which way the vote went on that when it came to “All those in favour?” because hard-hitting emotional messaging has been the weapon of choice throughout the pandemic. From social distancing, to hugging your granny, to refusing the vaccine, public health officials have wielded the fear factor in each instance and it’s worked… until now.


Because the end is in sight and so a vast majority of those who remain unvaccinated are thinking, ‘Well, I’ve made it this far’ and are sticking to their guns. And frankly, it’s hard to disagree. Unless the government legislates that vaccination is mandatory (which would be a draconian step too far even for it), then it’s difficult to imagine how to stoke up the fear to such an extent that everyone finally falls into line. Or should that even be the plan? After all, in the UK at least, democracy and personal freedom are the names of the game, and if you don’t feel like following the official Covid advice, then you don’t have to. Of course, there might be serious consequences to flying solo, but that’s up to each individual. Their body, their choice.

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When your own employees don’t want it.

Pfizer To Require US Workers Receive Covid-19 Vaccine Or Regular Tests (R.)

Pfizer Inc, the U.S. drugmaker that developed a COVID-19 vaccine with German partner BioNTech , said on Wednesday it will require all its U.S. employees and contractors to become vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Pfizer spokesperson Pamela Eisele said the company was taking the initiative in order to “to protect the health and safety of our colleagues and the communities we serve.” Employees with medical conditions or religious objections can seek accommodations. Outside of the United States, Pfizer will strongly encourage employees who are able be vaccinated in their countries to do so, Eisele said.


At the end of 2020, Pfizer had around 29,400 U.S-based employees. With U.S. coronavirus cases rising sharply again due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, companies like Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Walt Disney Inc (DIS.N) have started putting vaccine mandates in place for their employees. read more As of Tuesday, 70.1% of U.S. adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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An email sent to Mike Tracey.

“Vaccine Hesitancy” Is A Class Issue (Tracey)

I am what is called a [REDACTED] for [FORTUNE 500 COMPANY] working in the supply chain domain; this includes manufacturing, logistics, and distribution. If you share any of this information, please do not share my job title, name, or company. My job is to work with high-level company executives to understand their overall corporate strategy ($300k+ annual types), then with low-level distribution center and factory workers ($12-$15 an hour types) to understand their day-to-day jobs — and then deliver complex, multi-dimensional technology solutions that execute on those strategic goals while making life easier for floor workers. I really cut across income levels every day.

[..] I have noticed, with absolute clarity, a stark divide in vaccination behavior. I hop around between my home in [REDACTED] to our facilities in the South, Midwest, and on the West Coast. I can tell you that at each site, the picture is the exact same. [FORTUNE 500 COMPANY] has a program where you can shed the standard COVID protocols if you provide the company with your proof of vaccination. Without fail, corporate management and executives are vaccinated at near 100% rates. Likewise without fail, hourly laborers (who are almost all white in the Midwest, almost all black in the South, and all mixed up on the West Coast) are vaccinated between 5% and 15% — and vaccinations are concentrated almost entirely in the old folks.

I have heard over and over that this is a political phenomenon. “Vaccine hesitancy is a problem of white Republicans, of course!” But in reality, I don’t believe it has anything to do with race or political alignment — and everything to do with social class. I read somewhere recently a tweet from someone who seemed insightful, who said that the centers of power in this country have so heavily relied on propaganda and psyops that the hierarchies that run those centers of power have themselves begun to select for people that are most likely to buy into the propaganda. As a result, you don’t have an evil ruling class — just a delusional one that is entirely bought into its own narrative. The people who do not move up the ladder — though they may be competent and capable — are restricted by the fact that they do not buy the narrative.

If this is true, I think it makes absolute sense. The people who are most likely to be “company men” — the people whose entire lives are defined by their status in a Fortune 500 organization, who are the most married to the corporate narrative, and who are the most likely to be absent critical thought (as all executives are — once you get to VP, you stop thinking your own thoughts and instead think only your shareholders’ or board’s thoughts) are the ones who are, almost universally, vaccinated. The people who do not live in that world are, almost universally, not. I have not seen one person break it down this way. I bet if you spent a week or two digging into the research on this, you’d see just how true it was in all of the numbers available to you.

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And breaks the back of the Republic.

French Constitutional Court Backs Macron’s Covid Pass (B’s)

France’s top constitutional authority on Thursday approved a Covid pass that limits access to cafes, restaurants and inter-city trains and planes to people who have been vaccinated or tested negative for the virus. The controversial pass, which will become ubiquitous from Monday, drew several hundred protesters outside the Council of State in Paris. “All this undermines fundamental freedoms… Freedom is, first of all, the choice to be vaccinated or not,” said Marie Jose Libeiro, 48. “We are falling into an authoritarian state.” But the Constitutional Court said the restrictions put forward by President Emmanuel Macron and approved by parliament last month represented a “balanced trade-off” between public health concerns and personal freedom.

Prime Minister Jean Castex welcomed the court ruling, saying it “will allow the full deployment of our battle strategy against Covid-19”. The biggest change concerns restaurants which will now have to turn away patrons who fail to produce the health pass. “There will be a cost, in terms of time spent checking the pass, and in terms of sales because we will lose customers,” Herve Becam, vice president of the UMIH hotels and restaurants association, told AFP. Cyril Wafik, manager of the Indiana Cafe in central Paris, said the pass presented yet another challenge for many restaurant owners who were already having trouble getting customers to wear masks. “We’re not police, that’s not our job,” he told AFP. “This will affect our relationship with our customers.”


Visitors to some shopping centres and department stores will also need the pass, as will visitors to hospitals or care homes and people seeking non-urgent medical care. But the absence of a health pass must not be an obstacle to patients receiving treatment, the court ruled. Health workers and others whose job requires them to be in contact with people at risk of Covid must now get vaccinated by law. But the court rejected as “disproportionate” the government’s wish to force people with Covid infections into isolation for 10 days. The court’s judges also struck down another provision included in the health law that brought in the Covid pass, which would allow employers to dismiss people on fixed-term or temporary contracts if they don’t have a pass.

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“Children are falling behind in school, and are being harmed physically and psychologically by the tactics you have used to keep them from the classroom last year. We won’t allow it again.”

Rand Paul: Mask Mandates And Lockdowns From Petty Tyrants? No, not again (RPI)

Resist. They can’t arrest us all. They can’t keep all your kids home from school. They can’t keep every government building closed – although I’ve got a long list of ones they should. We don’t have to accept the mandates, lockdowns, and harmful policies of the petty tyrants and feckless bureaucrats. We can simply say no, not again. Speaker Nancy Pelosi — you will not arrest or stop me or anyone on my staff from doing our jobs. We have all either had COVID, had the vaccine, or been offered the vaccine. We will make our own health choices. We will not show you a passport, we will not wear a mask, we will not be forced into random screening and testing so you can continue your drunk with power rein over the Capitol. President Biden — we will not accept your agencies’ mandates or your reported moves toward a lockdown. No one should follow the CDC’s anti-science mask mandates.

And if you want to shutdown federal agencies again — some of which aren’t even back to work fully — I will stop every bill coming through the Senate with an amendment to cut their funding if they don’t come to work. No more. Local bureaucrats and union bosses — we will not allow you to do more harm to our children again this year. Children are not at any more risk from COVID than they are for the seasonal flu. Every adult who works in schools has either had the vaccine or had their chance to. There is no reason for mask mandates, part time schools, or any lockdown measures. Children are falling behind in school, and are being harmed physically and psychologically by the tactics you have used to keep them from the classroom last year. We won’t allow it again.

If a school system attempts to keep the children from full-time, in-person school, I will hold up every bill with two amendments. One to defund them, and another to allow parents the choice of where the money goes for their child’s education. Do I sound fed up to you? That’s because I am. I’m not a career politician. I’ve practiced medicine for 33 years. I graduated from Duke Medical School, worked in emergency rooms, studied immunology and virology, and ultimately chose to become a surgeon. I have been telling everyone for a year now that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public health officials were NOT following science, and I’ve been proven right time and time again. But I’m not the only one who is fed up. I can’t go anywhere these days — from work, to events, to airports and Ubers, restaurants and stores, without people coming up to me thanking me for standing up for them.

For standing up for actual science. For standing up for freedom. For standing against mandates, lockdowns, and bureaucratic power grabs. I think the tide has turned, and more and more people are willing to stand up. I see stories from across the country of parents standing up to teacher unions and school boards. I see members of Congress refusing to comply with Petty Tyrant Pelosi. We are at a moment of truth and a crossroads. Will we allow these people to use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children? Or will we stand together and say, absolutely not. Not this time. I choose freedom.

Read more …

And enjoying it.

“Authorities Are Viewing Their Own People as an Enemy” (SN)

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer responded to police brutality dished out to anti-lockdown protesters in Germany last weekend by warning, “Authorities are increasingly viewing their own people as an enemy.”
As we highlighted earlier in the week, Melzer, a professor of international law, made a request for eyewitnesses after footage emerged of numerous examples of people being manhandled and beaten by police in Berlin merely for expressing their right to assemble. One clip showed a female anti-lockdown protester in Berlin being grabbed by the throat and brutally thrown to the ground by riot police, while another showed a young boy being struck in the face as he tried to come to the aid of his mother.

The response to Melzer’s request was overwhelming, with over a hundred reports of violence flooding in, leaving him with the task of “calling for clarification as well as punishment and reparation for rule violations,” reports Berliner Zeitung. The professor says there is clearly enough evidence “for an official intervention on my part with the federal government.” However, it was Melzer’s comments on the wider perspective of the crackdown that stirred the most interest. After seeing similar scenes during anti-lockdown protests in European cities across the continent, as well as “police operations in demonstrations worldwide,” Melzer came to a sobering conclusion. “Something fundamental is going wrong. In all regions of the world, the authorities are apparently increasingly viewing their own people as an enemy,” he stated.


Melzer went on to assert that it is totally unethical for police to engage in violence against the citizenry unless it is in clear self-defense. “It is absolutely unacceptable when the police take action against defenseless demonstrators because of mere administrative offenses or civil disobedience with sometimes life-threatening violence,” he said. The professor also noted the utter stupidity of police inflicting violence on demonstrators while claiming to do so in the name of “health protection.” “If the police do not clearly communicate that they see themselves as friends and helpers, but rather treat their own population as an enemy, then a dangerous spiral has been set in motion: namely that the next thing is that the population will also regard the police as an enemy,” concluded Melzer.

Read more …

 

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This is not just any girl. This is the daughter of Billy Evans, killed in the 4-2 attack at the Capitol.
He is the only Capitol Police officer killed in over 20 years.

 

 

Very high vaccination rate

 

 

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Jul 042021
 


Edward John Poynter Erato, Muse of Poetry 1870

 

 

 

Why the Delta scare? As a virus mutates, it becomes more contagious and less lethal. And then eventually it mostly disappears. Many voices claim that Delta will be with us for a very long time, but we should be so lucky. It’s way more likely that it will soon be followed by a next variant that will in turn become dominant. And more contagious and less lethal.

And no, that’s not because of unvaccinated people, or at least there’s no logic in that. If most people are not vaccinated, the virus has no reason to mutate. If many people are, it does. So this CNN piece is suspect. Vaccinated people are potential variant factories, just as much, if and when the vaccines used don’t stop them from being infectious, as the present vaccines don’t, far as we know.

Unvaccinated People Are “Variant Factories,” Infectious Diseases Expert

Unvaccinated people do more than merely risk their own health. They’re also a risk to everyone if they become infected with coronavirus, infectious disease specialists say. That’s because the only source of new coronavirus variants is the body of an infected person. “Unvaccinated people are potential variant factories,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN Friday. “The more unvaccinated people there are, the more opportunities for the virus to multiply,” Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said. “When it does, it mutates, and it could throw off a variant mutation that is even more serious down the road.”

“Even more serious”? Well, yes, it can become more contagious, but then it loses lethality. Maybe that’s what we want. Maybe we want a virus that everyone can be infected by, and build resistance to, without serious consequences. Maybe that’s even what we should aim for. And also, maybe that’s what we already have, with survival rates of 99.99% among most people.

And maybe, just maybe, a one-dimensional “solution” in the shape of an experimental vaccine is the worst response of all. Because it doesn’t protect from anything other than more severe disease, while unleashing potential adverse effects for decades to come in the inoculated. Maybe one dimension simply doesn’t cut it. Maybe we should not refuse to prevent people from becoming infected, or to treat them in the early stages of the disease.

Maybe the traumatic effects of lockdowns and facemasks should be part of “benefits and risks” models. And maybe we should start trying vitamin D, ivermectin and HCQ on a very large scale. No research, you say? There’s more research for those approaches than for the vaccines. But it’s largely been halted in the west to maintain the viability of the one-dimension “solution”; the medical Siamese twin of the Trusted News Initiative, one might say. Of which The Atlantic is also a valued member, look at this gem:

 

The 3 Simple Rules That Underscore the Danger of Delta

2. The variants are pummeling unvaccinated people.

Vaccinated people are safer than ever despite the variants. But unvaccinated people are in more danger than ever because of the variants. Even though they’ll gain some protection from the immunity of others, they also tend to cluster socially and geographically, seeding outbreaks even within highly vaccinated communities.

The U.K., where half the population is fully vaccinated, “can be a cautionary tale,” Hanage told me. Since Delta’s ascendancy, the country’s cases have increased sixfold. Long-COVID cases will likely follow. Hospitalizations have almost doubled. That’s not a sign that the vaccines are failing. It is a sign that even highly vaccinated countries host plenty of vulnerable people.

[..] And new variants are still emerging. Lambda, the latest to be recognized by the WHO, is dominant in Peru and spreading rapidly in South America. Many nations that excelled at protecting their citizens are now facing a triple threat: They controlled COVID-19 so well that they have little natural immunity; they don’t have access to vaccines; and they’re besieged by Delta.

First, the vaccines don’t confer immunity on the jabbed, there is no evidence of that. Second, a large majority of healthy people have an immune system strong enough to fight off the infection, even without ever being infected. So to suggest that unvaccinated people might “gain some protection from the immunity of” the vaccinated is simply nonsense.

As for “Delta’s ascendancy”, yes, cases are rising in the UK and Israel, two highly vaccinated countries. Not that anyone would acknowledge a possible connection there: it’s all despite the vaccines, not because of them. But as the graph below shows, while cases there are up a lot, hospitalization and deaths are not over the past month. They barely register.

On January 20, the UK had 1,823 deaths. Today, they had 15.

 

 

I even enlarged the hospitalizations a bit, or you wouldn’t see anything.

 

“Hospitalizations have almost doubled”, says The Atlantic. Yeah, but they’re still very low, as are deaths. And perhaps that’s not all that surprising, because the Delta variant doesn’t appear to be the big killer that everyone wants to close their borders and restaurants for again. There’s no conclusive evidence, it’s too early, but this is what we know today.

 

Rand Paul Cites 0.08% Delta Variant Death Rate Among Unvaccinated

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is telling Twitter followers to not let the ‘fearmongers’ win, amid growing concerns about the newest delta variant of the coronavirus. Paul, who is a doctor with a degree in medicine from Duke University, cited a study of the strain that shows only a 0.08% death rate among unvaccinated people. “Don’t let the fearmongers win. New public England study of delta variant shows 44 deaths out of 53,822 (.08%) in unvaccinated group. Hmmm,” he tweeted Tuesday to his 3.2 million followers. The variant, which has caused virus outbreaks in Australia and other countries, has resulted in officials reimposing recently lifted health-safety orders including mask-wearing.

In another graph, the Delta variant Case Fatality Rate in the UK even appears 8 times higher among the fully vaccinated than the unvaccinated. Maybe the press should pay a little more attention to that, instead of the Great Big Delta Scare. All they do today is sell fear and vaccines, but that will backfire, promise.

 

 

And what goes for the press is also valid for politicians and their “experts”: there will come a day that people realize you could have focused on prophylactics and early treatment, but chose not to. And that this cost a lot of lives and other misery. What are you going to do then? Apologize?

 

 

Let’s not miss this from the past week: strong immune systems kill the virus before antibodies are formed. Which means an antibody test won’t show anything, but a PCR test will come back positive because there are dead virus bits. And everyone will cry: vaccinate! vaccinate!

Maybe it’s finally time for some real science, instead of clickbait and fear and gene therapy.

Pre-existing polymerase-specific T cells expand in abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2 infection

Individuals with likely exposure to the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting some may clear sub-clinical infection before seroconversion. T cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1–5 . We hypothesised that pre-existing memory T cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-26–12, would expand in vivo to mediate rapid viral control, potentially aborting infection.

We studied T cells against the replication transcription complex (RTC) of SARS-CoV-2 since this is transcribed first in the viral life cycle13–15 and should be highly conserved. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in a cohort of intensively monitored healthcare workers (HCW) who remained repeatedly negative by PCR, antibody binding, and neutralisation for SARS-CoV-2 (exposed seronegative, ES).

16-weeks postrecruitment, ES had memory T cells that were stronger and more multispecific than an unexposed pre-pandemic cohort, and more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural protein-dominated responses seen post-detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). The postulate that HCW with the strongest RTC-specific T cells had an abortive infection was supported by a low-level increase in IFI27 transcript, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection16.

We showed that the RNA-polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and was preferentially targeted by T cells from UK and Singapore pre-pandemic cohorts and from ES. RTC epitope-specific T cells capable of cross-recognising HCoV variants were identified in ES. Longitudinal samples from ES and an additional validation cohort, showed pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T cells expanded in vivo following SARS-CoV-2 exposure, becoming enriched in the memory response of those with abortive compared to overt infection. In summary, we provide evidence of abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2 infection with expansion of cross-reactive RTC-specific T cells, highlighting these highly conserved proteins as targets for future vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.

 

 

 

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Jun 282021
 


John French Sloan East Entrance, City Hall, Philadelphia 1901

 

Coronavirus Appears Uniquely Designed To Attack Humans (DT.au)
Thousands Of Flights Cancelled As Vaccinated Pilots Fall Ill Or Die (CH)
Why Most People Who Now Die With Covid In England Have Been Vaccinated (G.)
FDA Adds Warning About Heart Inflammation To COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (ET)
White House Struggles To Increase Vaccinations As Delta Variant Surges (Pol.)
Greek Experts Urge Public To Get A Move On With Vaccines (K.)
Greek PM To Present Benefits For Fully Vaccinated Citizens (K.)
New York Prosecutors Set Deadline For Trump On Legal Action (R.)
Key Witness in US Case Against Assange Changes His Story (Lauria)
They’re Wrong About Inflation (Jim Rickards)

 

 

The best vaccine in the market RIGHT NOW is the Delta. Mild side effects and natural immunity, with 200 thousand years of satisfied customers.

 

 

Mike “Mish” Shedlock @MishGEA: “It seems like fearmongers have forgotten (or simply don’t care) that daily deaths in the USA have gone from 4,464 on January 12 to 92 today. The continuing message is to spread fear.”

 

 

Morgan Stanley estimates a $100 billion profit for Pfizer over the next five years from the Covid vaccine.

 

 

 

 

Takeaway: whatever it was, it sure wasn’t bats.

Coronavirus Appears Uniquely Designed To Attack Humans (DT.au)

A team of Australian researchers have published a scientific paper proving that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus appears to be best adapted to attack human cells, raising even more questions about the pandemic’s origins. The scientists from Flinders University and La Trobe used powerful computers to model the protein receptors in a number of animal species to see how the coronavirus’s spike protein attached itself to them. The theory was that if the coronavirus attached itself readily to an animal like a bat or a pangolin, it would have likely been the species that the bug used to make its leap into the human population. However, the modelling found that the coronavirus’s spike protein was best suited to attacking protein receptors in humans.


“The computer modelling found the virus’s ability to bind to the bat ACE2 protein was poor relative to its ability to bind human cells,” said Flinders University epidemiologist and vaccine researcher Professor Nikolai Petrovsky. “This argues against the virus being transmitted directly from bats to humans. “Hence, if the virus has a natural source, it could only have come to humans via an intermediary species which has yet to be found,” he said. While the researchers also found that the coronavirus could attach relatively easily to pangolins, as well as domestic animals like cats and dogs, the findings will add weight to the increasingly repeated charge that the coronavirus escaped the controversial Wuhan Institute of Virology in an accident involving “gain of function” research. “Overall, putting aside the intriguing pangolin ACE2 results, our study showed that the COVID-19 virus was very well adapted to infect humans,” Prof Petrovsky said.

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“..a 580% increase in cancellations globally in the past 2 days.”

Thousands Of Flights Cancelled As Vaccinated Pilots Fall Ill Or Die (CH)

According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, pilots suffer an increased risk of clotting issues due to frequent and prolonged air travel. Pilots are encouraged to be aware of the signs of deep venous thrombosis and clotting issues and take preventative measures such as compression stockings and stretching of their legs during long flights. Medical News Today published a study on June 15th, 2021 that showed an increased risk of blood clotting and low platelets in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipients. Some scientists hypothesize that since the ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) in the shot causes a full body reaction, once the vaccine comes into contact with platelets inside the human body, the vaccine activates those platelets, causing them to change shape and transmit chemical signals to the immune system. Those platelets send out platelet factor 4 (PF4), which regulates blood clotting.

However, in some people, after some undetermined amount of time, at random, PF4 latches onto the vaccine, and large “complexes” form. Since those complexes are “unknown,” the human body interprets those clusters as threats. Thus, immune cells in the body mistakenly attack PF4’s, prohibiting them from preventing the problematic clots seen in some COVID-19 vaccine recipients. Pilots have an increased risk of blood clots. COVID-19 vaccine recipients have an increased risk of blood clots. Reuter’s and Fact Checkers cannot hide the fact that an increased risk on top of an increased risk is potentially a disaster, but neither has any regard for human life or the truth, as evidenced by the propaganda they’re currently creating by the minute.

Delta Airlines now requires the COVID-19 vaccine for all new employees, potentially putting Delta employees at risk of blood clots and death. American Airlines doesn’t require the vaccine but gives its employees one day off of work and $50 for getting the vaccine. No mention of the inherent risk for non air employees, let alone those who spend ample time in the clouds, is ever made by Delta or American. [..] ccording to flightaware.com, 120,000 cancellations per year is the average for global flights. An average day would see 329 cancellations. A 2 day average would see 658 cancellations. But between Friday and Saturday, 3,533 cancellations occurred. That’s a 580% increase in cancellations globally in the past 2 days.

Only 1% of adverse reactions are reported to VAERS.

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Pretzel logic. Cute try.

Why Most People Who Now Die With Covid In England Have Been Vaccinated (G.)

A MailOnline headline on 13 June read: “Study shows 29% of the 42 people who have died after catching the new strain had BOTH vaccinations.” In Public Health England’s technical briefing on 25 June, that figure had risen to 43% (50 of 117), with the majority (60%) having received at least one dose. It could sound worrying that the majority of people dying in England with the now-dominant Delta (B.1.617.2) variant have been vaccinated. Does this mean the vaccines are ineffective? Far from it, it’s what we would expect from an effective but imperfect vaccine, a risk profile that varies hugely by age and the way the vaccines have been rolled out.

Consider the hypothetical world where absolutely everyone had received a less than perfect vaccine. Although the death rate would be low, everyone who died would have been fully vaccinated. The vaccines are not perfect. PHE estimates two-dose effectiveness against hospital admission with the Delta infections at around 94%. We can perhaps assume there is at least 95% protection against Covid-19 death, which means the lethal risk is reduced to less than a twentieth of its usual value.

But the risk of dying from Covid-19 is extraordinarily dependent on age: it halves for each six to seven year age gap. This means that someone aged 80 who is fully vaccinated essentially takes on the risk of an unvaccinated person of around 50 – much lower, but still not nothing, and so we can expect some deaths. The PHE report also reveals that nearly a third of deaths from the Delta variant are of unvaccinated people over 50, which may be surprising given high vaccine coverage; for example, OpenSAFELY estimates more than 93% among the 65-69s. But there are lower rates in deprived areas and for some ethnicities and communities with limited coverage will continue to experience more than their fair share of loss.

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The Autralian hearing is interesting.

FDA Adds Warning About Heart Inflammation To COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (ET)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a warning about the risk of developing heart inflammation to information about the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA announced earlier this month that it would add the warning after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had reported that more cases of heart inflammation—either myocarditis or pericarditis—were found in young adults and children after they received the vaccines, which use mRNA technology. On June 25, the agency said that it would add revisions to its patient and provider fact sheets about the “increased risks of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) following vaccination” using the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 shots.

The Pfizer or Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology and require two doses, whereas the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson uses an adenovirus and requires a single dose. Still, health officials have said that the risks of developing heart inflammation are outweighed by the vaccine’s benefits. “The risk of myocarditis and pericarditis appears to be very low given the number of vaccine doses that have been administered,” Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement last week. “The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination continue to outweigh the risks, given the risk of COVID-19 diseases and related, potentially severe, complications.”

The warning issued by the FDA says that there may be increased risks “particularly following the second dose and with [the] onset of symptoms within a few days after vaccination.” “Additionally, the Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers for these vaccines note that vaccine recipients should seek medical attention right away if they have chest pain, shortness of breath, or feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart after vaccination,” the agency said. “The FDA and CDC are monitoring the reports, collecting more information, and will follow-up to assess longer-term outcomes over several months.”

Australia vaccines hearing
https://twitter.com/husserl79/status/1409405260427411457

Read more …

Curious:

“New Covid-19 infections have increased by more than 50 percent over the last two weeks in under-vaccinated states ..”

“Many of the cases are tied to the Delta variant, which the CDC says now accounts for one-fifth of new infections..”

Delta=20%, new infections=50%. What?

White House Struggles To Increase Vaccinations As Delta Variant Surges (Pol.)

Top Biden administration health officials trying to slow the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant have largely given up on the possibility of reinstating mask and social-distancing rules in favor of a grassroots vaccine education campaign. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Covid-19 Task Force have discussed whether to press mayors and governors in the Midwest and South, where the highly transmissible Delta variant is spreading quickly, to once again require mask mandates, according to three senior Biden health officials. But the administration ultimately concluded that many people who are not vaccinated are also those who have resisted wearing masks.

Instead, the federal government will try to convince hesitant Americans to get vaccinated by working with state officials and trusted community members to communicate the benefits of the shots, the three senior officials said. The president’s team is not confident that the new campaign will change hearts and minds, the two officials said, but it is falling back on old messaging in part because top administration officials are unsure what other tactics will work. Only about 46 percent of the U.S. population is vaccinated, and the number of doses administered has fallen by almost 300,000 per day since June 7, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The plateauing vaccination rate underscores the extent to which the White House is struggling to find new and better ways to convince Americans to get Covid-19 shots — while much of the rest of the world struggles to secure a steady supply of vaccines. And it raises questions about how the federal government will manage increasing Covid-19 cases associated with the Delta variant in the months ahead, with businesses and schools returning to normal operations.

“This is the door-to-door campaign, this is the church-to-church, this is going into the community and meeting people where they are. We’re not going to convince everybody,” said Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. “The Delta variant and its explosive growth — I wish there was a better way to articulate the damage that it is doing and will do in those communities, but it is going to be a tough slog.” New Covid-19 infections have increased by more than 50 percent over the last two weeks in under-vaccinated states such as Missouri and Oklahoma. Many of the cases are tied to the Delta variant, which the CDC says now accounts for one-fifth of new infections nationwide.

Read more …

Greece appears to be like Russia, and I’m sure most of Eastern Europe, countries that have had recent periods of authoritarianism, leading to mistrust of authorities and experts.

Greek Experts Urge Public To Get A Move On With Vaccines (K.)

With the first cases of the Delta coronavirus variant appearing in Greece coinciding with the easing of restrictive measures, the country’s scientific community has called on the public to take advantage of the summer lull in infection rates to “hurry up” with their vaccinations. “We must take advantage of this gap to vaccinate those who have not yet done so,” said Athanasios Exadaktylos, president of the Panhellenic Medical Association, echoing the general consensus of the scientific community. “Right now only a third of over-55s have been vaccinated. This percentage should go up sharply, as this is the age group most at risk from the new coronavirus,” he said. Bearing in mind that the summer holidays may affect the fast pace of vaccinations (100,000 vaccinations per day), Exadaktylos noted that “perhaps the system needs to be made more flexible” so not a day is lost in the process.

Read more …

Only a third of over-55s have been vaccinated, and fewer among the younger. So businesses are supposed to volutarily ban over two thirds of potential customers? Yeah, sure.

Greek PM To Present Benefits For Fully Vaccinated Citizens (K.)

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsorakis will present on Monday the government’s proposals for the benefits that will be offered to those who complete their vaccinations against Covid-19, in a drive to encourage inoculation in the country. Among the measures being considered are allowing the owners of cinemas, theaters, concerts, festivals and sporting events to restrict entry to their premises only for those who have a vaccination certificate. Another is allowing business owners to increase the number of people allowed indoors if they only accept fully inoculated people. Any measures will exclude access to public sector services and vanues, hospitals, supermarkets, shops, banks and transport, where there will be no distinction between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people, but where the current health restrictions for indoor spaces will continue to be observed.

Read more …

Smells like politics.

New York Prosecutors Set Deadline For Trump On Legal Action (R.)

New York prosecutors have given lawyers for Donald Trump 24 hours to respond with any last arguments as to why criminal charges should not be filed against his family business, according to a report on Sunday. The deadline set for Monday was another strong signal that the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, and the New York attorney general, Letitia James, are considering criminal charges against the former president’s company as an entity, according to sources quoted by the Washington Post. On Friday, it was reported that Vance could announce charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, within seven days. Any criminal charges would be the first in Vance’s probe into Trump and his business dealings.


Legal experts have said an indictment against the Trump Organization could bankrupt the company by undermining its relationships with banks and other business partners. Vance’s office has said it was investigating “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the Trump Organization, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records. Even if no charges were brought, Vance’s investigation could complicate any return to politics by Trump, who has lost some of his ability to communicate publicly after being permanently banned from Twitter and suspended for two years by Facebook. James’ office has been investigating whether the Trump Organization inflated the values of some properties to obtain better terms on loans, and lowered their values to obtain property tax breaks.

Read more …

“If he conspired to get these classified documents with a member of the U.S. military, that’s fundamentally different than if somebody drops on your lap … to a press person, here is classified material,” Biden said in December 2010. The Obama administration never indicted Assange.”

Key Witness in US Case Against Assange Changes His Story (Lauria)

Given the First Amendment questions being raised about the Espionage Act case against a publisher, Stundin points out that the computer charges against Assange have taken on new significance. In weighing an indictment against Assange in 2010, the Obama administration, in the person of then Vice President Joe Biden, said it sought to prove that Assange did not merely receive stolen defense information but had participated in obtaining it. “If he conspired to get these classified documents with a member of the U.S. military, that’s fundamentally different than if somebody drops on your lap … to a press person, here is classified material,” Biden said in December 2010. The Obama administration never indicted Assange.

The central allegation in the Trump administration’s computer intrusion charge is that Assange was a “hacker” and worked with his source, U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, to crack a password to steal the U.S. government documents. Thordarson played a key role in supporting the Trump administration case that Assange engaged in hacking when he was interviewed in both Iceland, and then after being flown to Washington in 2019 at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. Stundin also reports that he was given an immunity deal by U.S. authorities. The DOJ statement at the release of the superseding indictment in June 2020 said:

“The new indictment does not add additional counts to the prior 18-count superseding indictment returned against Assange in May 2019. It does, however, broaden the scope of the conspiracy surrounding alleged computer intrusions with which Assange was previously charged. According to the charging document, Assange and others at WikiLeaks recruited and agreed with hackers to commit computer intrusions to benefit WikiLeaks. … In addition, the broadened hacking conspiracy continues to allege that Assange conspired with Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password hash to a classified U.S. Department of Defense computer.”

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A theme I’ve commented on 1000 times. No inflation without increasing velocity of money. Some prices may rise for different reasons, but not inflation.

They’re Wrong About Inflation (Jim Rickards)

Since late last summer, the main driver of rates has been an inflation narrative. The narrative is straightforward: The economy is recovering. Unemployment is declining. Employers can’t find enough workers. Wages are going up to attract help. Stimulus spending is coming by the trillions of dollars. The Fed is printing money. The economy is pushing up against capacity constraints. Add it all up, and inflation is right around the corner. Therefore, rates must go up. And when rates go up, the price of gold goes down. Markets have adopted this narrative. The yield-to-maturity on the 10-year Treasury note went from 0.508% on August 4, 2020 (about when gold peaked) to 1.745% on March 31, 2021. Gold prices went from over $2,021 per ounce to $1,686 per ounce over the same period. That’s a 16.5% drop in gold prices.

What if every part of the economic narrative is wrong? The economy was bound to recover from the pandemic recession of 2020, the worst since 1946. But, it appears the recovery is now running out of steam. For the record, the economy was weak before the pandemic hit. What if that weak growth trendline is now returning to form? The unemployment rate is declining, but real unemployment is not. We still have 7.6 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic, not counting the 10 million or more prime-age workers out of the labor force as described above. It’s true that wages are going up in some service industries such as restaurants and that workers are hard for some businesses to find. (McDonald’s is now offering $35,000 per year plus benefits and training for entry-level hires).

Still, overall wage levels are not rising significantly, and slack in the labor market is producing a powerful disinflationary overhang. Money printing is practically irrelevant because the velocity (or turnover) of money is still declining. What good is new money if the banks just give it back to the Fed as excess reserves, so the money is never spent or lent? Fiscal policy and handouts are not producing stimulus because debt levels are so high (the U.S. debt-to-GDP level is now 130%, the highest ever). Americans respond with precautionary savings and deleveraging. Data shows that 75% of the government handouts have either been saved or used to pay down debt (economically the same as saving). Only 25% have been used for consumption. That’s a pathetic amount of bang-for-the-buck.

We are seeing some supply-chain disruption and capacity constraints, especially in semiconductors, which affects automobile manufacturing. Still, manufacturers have not been able to pass through those constraints in the form of higher consumer prices. Inflation remains low once base effects from last year’s deflation are stripped out. Those base effects will disappear in the third quarter when the year-over-year comparison looks at the 2020 recovery rather than the recession. Inflation is dead in the water. I know that analysis puts me in the minority, but that’s OK; I’m used to that. I was also in the minority when I predicted Brexit and that Trump would win the 2016 election. The bottom line is, the consensus is often wrong.

Read more …

 

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Jun 092021
 


Willem de Kooning Woman 1969

 

 

We’ve been talking a lot lately at the Automatic Earth about programs to vaccinate children. It’s one more thing that people appear to blindly accept as necessary and beneficial to our societies. While the only consideration really should be how beneficial it is to the children themselves. Most people here, at least, seem to agree on that. But that’s just here.

The US, Germany, Canada, and soon France and Spain all have plans, some already have been rolled out, to carpet bomb the virus by going after their children, and there is no doubt many more countries will follow their example.

Since we know there is no medical reason to do so, we must ask what the ethical and legal aspects tell us. And I can’t find those. How and why can you justify injecting people against something that is no threat to them, with a substance that potentially is a much worse threat?

I dug up a graph again that I posted in April, which spells out the Covid risk for all age groups, including children:

 

 

If your chance of survival is 99.99996%, there is no risk. And you don’t need to be inoculated. That would -at best- be equivalent to keeping your kids home 24/7 because you are afraid of what might happen in traffic, or in social life with other kids, or some bogeyman. The risk is never zero, but close enough that we do not act on it, and call it common sense.

The arguments that are usually used are that 1) kids must be jabbed to protect others around them, and 2) that the vaccines have been tested and proven safe. Obviously, 1) is very curious, and never been used before, and 2) is simply a lie: vaccines need years of testing for side effects, not months, and certainly not weeks, as is now the case for the effects on children.

The “testing” is simply that if not too many people drop dead after 5 minutes, well, then it must be safe, as institutions like the European Medicines Agency solemnly declare. Completely ignoring potential long term effects, something that seems essential in mRNA “vaccines” because of their potential effects on fertility etc. We just don’t know, but we should before applying the substances. There’s a reason none of the vaccines have been approved.

As for that alleged safety, this is from the European version of the American VAERS system:

 

 

1,5 million adverse reactions, and those are just the ones that have been reported. Now, I don’t know how many people in Europe have been inoculated, but I bet you this is not a 99.99996% success story. The numbers of deaths are not, either.

So I was happy to see some actual common sense reported in a Dutch paper today (Google translated), where the Health Council in the Netherlands injects at least some nuance into the debate. For kids with underlying conditions, like severe obesity or lung- and heart problems, some protection might make sense. I still wouldn’t go with mRNA vaccines, I would use ivermectin instead, but I get the reasoning somewhat.

Health Council: Vaccinate Children From 12 Years Old With Medical Risk Against Corona

The Health Council advises the cabinet to vaccinate children from the age of 12 with a medical risk against the corona virus. Vaccinating all children in that age group, as is done in Germany, France and the US, for example, is not yet on the agenda. An opinion on this will follow in a few weeks. The current advice concerns children aged 12 to 17 who are annually invited for the flu shot and children with severe obesity. According to the Health Council, vaccination of these children provides significant health benefits, because they run a high risk of a serious course of Covid-19. According to chairman Bart-Jan Kullberg, that risk is twice as high as in healthy children.

The corona pandemic also indirectly has a major impact on children at medical risk. To avoid the risk of contamination, for example, they do not go to school or social activities. The Health Council also takes this ‘social-emotional impact’ into account. The council cannot estimate the number of children involved. “It concerns, for example, children with a heart or lung disease. There are also many small groups with a rare condition. General practitioners and paediatricians have a good picture of these groups,” says Kullberg.

An advice on vaccinating healthy children will only follow in a few weeks. The vast majority of children do not or hardly get sick after a corona infection. So far, almost 280,000 children in the Netherlands are known to have been infected. Usually they had only mild symptoms, such as a cold and cough. In the age group 0-12 years, 379 children were hospitalized. In the 13-17 age group, there have been 101 since September. A total of three children have died; all three had an underlying condition. Last month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children from 12 years of age. More and more countries are also vaccinating all healthy children over the age of 12 to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Vaccinating children from the age of 12 against the coronavirus can make a significant contribution to curbing the pandemic, OMT chairman Jaap van Dissel already suggested last weekend. According to him, it reduces the reproductive value (R) of the virus in winter by as much as this. about 15 percent. “That can be important to keep the spread low during that period as well.” In Germany, for example, teenagers will be vaccinated from next Monday, in France from mid-June and in Spain from mid-August. The US and Canada have been at it for weeks.

Vaccinating healthy children, who themselves hardly run the risk of becoming seriously ill after a corona infection, requires a ‘broader medical, epidemiological, ethical and legal consideration’, according to the Health Council. “It also depends on the phase of the pandemic,” Kullberg said. Because the number of infections is currently falling sharply and more than a million adults are now vaccinated every week, there is no reason to make that decision hastily, he says.

Now, mind you, that is the same country that admitted depriving children of their freedom, their development, and normal lives, in order to manipulate their parents. Talk about ethics. As I said a few days ago, “Holland closed schools not to protect children, but to make parents stay home. Think about how crazy that is.”

The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona

Due to the Dutch corona policy to close schools and thus keep parents at home, children have been used as a means to fight the epidemic. Our cabinet receives that hard slap on the fingers today in the annual worldwide children’s rights report, the KidsRights Index. According to the makers, the Netherlands has set a very bad example internationally, by not even trying to keep schools open safely. With all the consequences that entails for the mental health of our youth. The corona guidelines from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also been neglected. Youth has not been given any priority in Dutch policy, it sounds.

Statements by corona minister Hugo de Jonge, dated mid-December 2020, are presented as proof. Then De Jonge indeed mentioned on television as the reason why the cabinet decided to close the schools, that parents with children sitting at home will therefore start working from home more quickly. When parents take their children to school, that is another moment of contact, De Jonge explained at the time. “And we also learned from the first wave, when the schools were also closed, that the fact that primary education does not provide physical education also ensures that parents adhere better to another advice, namely: work from home as much as possible. ”, said the minister at the time.

“Children’s rights have been put in second place by the cabinet during corona time,” Marc Dullaert, founder of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights, now told this site. “They were the ankle bracelet for parents. These had to be kept at home in order to effectively fight the epidemic. At the expense of their mental health.” In the first phase, when everyone was looking for the right approach, this was understandable according to Dullaert. ,,But De Jonge’s statements came at a time when it was really no longer acceptable, in the second phase. And other countries – such as Belgium and Sweden – have done everything they can to keep the schools open, so there were alternatives on the table.”

Staying on topic, I liked this from the Conservative Woman site in Britain, with perhaps the best argument against child vaccination: “The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem..”

Why Subject Our Children To The Risk Of Death From Vaccination?

All non-corrupted scientific commentators have known from the very start that this pandemic only ends one way: SARS-CoV-2 is going to become an endemic virus. It will always be with us. The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem. High-risk individuals can choose to take a vaccine. Ivermectin and vitamin D can be used to prevent infection and treat confirmed cases. As we have seen, the argument that children must take vaccines so that we can achieve herd immunity is utterly false. Only those completely ignorant of virology and immunology would even attempt to make it. That brings us back to the original argument for vaccinating children against Covid: to protect them from the severe disease.

If this is the only reason to vaccinate children, there is only one calculation that parents should make: Is the risk from Covid greater than the risk from the vaccine? The present Covid vaccines being administered in the West are based on experimental technologies that are being used under emergency use authorisations (EUAs). Full safety studies will not be completed until 2023. The Covid vaccines were all created in the last year and we have no medium-term or long-term data on them. We don’t know if they will have an effect on children’s reproductive organs and fertility. We don’t know if they will produce auto-immune diseases. And we don’t know if they will lead to ADE (antibody-dependent enhancement) upon re-exposure to the virus (causing more severe illness).

We do know that the vaccines produce a range of cardiovascular and neurological events including strokes, myocarditis, pericarditis and paralysis in a significant number of people. In the small US state of Connecticut at least 18 children and young adults have come down with myocarditis, an extremely serious and sometimes fatal condition involving inflammation of the heart muscle (and they’ve only just started vaccinating children there). The Israel Ministry of Health has reported that the incidence of myocarditis for vaccine recipients is between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 6,000 in young men.

In Canada (population 38 million) only 11 children have died from Covid since the start of the pandemic. In the UK (pop 68 million) 32 children have died. It is nearly certain that all of them had one or more severe comorbidities. The fact is, most children brush off Covid without even knowing they’ve had it. For all intents and purposes, Covid poses zero risk to healthy children.

And Michael Curzon:

Child Vaccination: Who’s Selfish Now?

A number of school leaders have swung into action following the approval of the vaccination of children against Covid (a disease which almost all children aren’t at risk from) using the Pfizer vaccine (trials of which only included 1,134 children). It wasn’t very long ago that the establishment line was: if you don’t get a Covid vaccine, you are selfish. Even the Queen (disappointingly) joined in with this line [..]. But now, adult advisers to the Government suggest that children should be vaccinated not to protect children but to protect…themselves. Professor Anthony Harnden, the Deputy Chairman of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, says:


‘I think the vast majority of benefit won’t be to children, it will be an indirect benefit to adults in terms of preventing transmission and protecting adults who haven’t been immunised, for whatever reason haven’t responded to the vaccine and therefore that presents quite a lot of ethical dilemmas as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults.’ He notes that children themselves are ‘in the main’ not at risk from Covid. Over half of the adult population has been fully vaccinated (with seventy-five per cent having received at least one dose of a vaccine) and Covid deaths, while still exaggerated, have flattened. There is no reason to vaccinate most children and, given the potential side effects, many not to do so. If the Government bottles it on the vaccination of children, it is they who are being selfish.

The reactions to the virus are many times more dangerous than the virus itself. Because the reactions have been amplified by fear. Time to shake it off. But for that to happen, we need politics and media to change, because they’re doing the amplifying. Problem is, fear sells.

 

 

 

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May 172021
 
 May 17, 2021  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Landscape with Couple Walking and Crescent Moon 1890

 

Second Stage Terror Wars (Edward Curtin)
Fear Is the Mind-Killer (Alice)
How To Cure Type 2 Diabetes – Without Medication (G.)
Covid-19 Testing Turns To T Cells (Nature)
Interview with Dr Bhakdi (Schultz)
The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill (Wired)
War of Words Over Inflation Stirs Questions for the Fed (Judy L. Shelton)
Druckenmiller: “There’s Been No Greater Engine Of Inequality Than The Fed” (ZH)
‘$40 Billion’ Robinhood App Tries To Vault SEC Hurdles (NYP)
Italian Port Workers Refuse To Load Arms Shipment Destined For Israel (NA)

 

 

“According to the scientific data…

Vaccinating 300,000 people under 18yo is statistically likely to prevent one COVID death and likely to cause 3 vaccine-reaction deaths.”

 

 

 

 

Testing? That’s so yesterday.

 

 

Must read.

Second Stage Terror Wars (Edward Curtin)

It is well known that the endless US war on terror was overtly launched following the mass murders of September 11, 2001 and the linked anthrax attacks. The invasion of Afghanistan and the Patriot Act were immediately justified by those insider murders, and subsequently the wars against Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. So too the terrorizing of the American people with constant fear-mongering about imminent Islamic terrorist attacks from abroad that never came. It is less well known that the executive director of the U.S. cover story – the fictional 9/11 Commission Report – was Philip Zelikow, who controlled and shaped the report from start to finish.

It is even less well known that Zelikow, a professor at the University of Virginia, was closely associated with Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Dickey Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Brent Scowcroft, et al. and had served in various key intelligence positions in both the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. In 2011 President Obama named him to his President’s Intelligence Advisory Board as befits bi-partisan elite rule and coverup compensation across political parties. Perhaps it’s unknown or just forgotten that The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission repeatedly called for Zelikow’s removal, claiming that his appointment made a farce of the claim that the Commission was independent. Zelikow said that for the Commission to consider alternative theories to the government’s claims about Osama bin Laden was akin to whacking moles.

This is the man, who at the request of his colleague Condoleezza Rice, became the primary author of (NSS 2002) The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, that declared that the U.S. would no longer abide by international law but was adopting a policy of preemptive war, as declared by George W. Bush at West Point in June 2002. This was used as justification for the attack on Iraq in 2003 and was a rejection of the charter of the United Nations. So, based on Zelikow’s work creating a magic mountain of deception while disregarding so-called molehills, we have had twenty years of American terror wars around the world in which U.S. forces have murdered millions of innocent people. Wars that will be continuing for years to come despite rhetoric to the contrary. The rhetoric is simply propaganda to cover up the increasingly technological and space-based nature of these wars and the use of mercenaries and special forces.

Simultaneously, in a quasi-volte-face, the Biden administration has directed its resources inward toward domestic “terrorists”: that is, anyone who disagrees with its policies. This is especially aimed at those who question the COVID-19 story. Now Zelikow has been named to head a COVID Commission Planning Group based at the University of Virginia that is said to prepare the way for a National COVID Commission. The group is funded by the Schmidt Futures, the Skoll Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and Stand Together, with more expected to join in.

Read more …

“This ideological mass psychosis is religion—not science.”

Fear Is the Mind-Killer (Alice)

Can you imagine what master propagandist Edward Bernays would have done with access to today’s mainstream media conglomerate combined with the global surveillance infrastructure of Big Tech? And you really think that’s not happening now—with another century of psychological, neurological, and technological research under their belts? The present ability to curate reality and coerce obedience is unprecedented, far beyond what Orwell envisioned in 1984, Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, Huxley in Brave New World, and Burgess in A Clockwork Orange. A textbook example of Problem Reaction Solution, the current tsunami of worldwide hysteria is the latest and potentially most threatening example of mass control in history.

The recipe is simple. Take a naturally occurring phenomenon, say a seasonal virus, and exaggerate its threat far beyond every imagining—despite exhaustive evidence to the contrary. Suppress, silence, ostracize, and demonize every individual who dares present facts that expose the false mono-narrative. Whip up a witches’ brew of anger, envy, and, most importantly, fear, escalating emotions to a boil so as to short-circuit our faculties of reason and logic. Isolate us from one another, supplant real-world interactions with virtual feuds, label nonconformists as a threat to the group, and pump the public with a disinformation campaign designed to confuse and atomize. In essence, foster a cultlike mentality that shuts down thought to guarantee assent.

Cultivate and wield our cognitive biases—especially ingroup bias, conformity bias, and authority bias—against us in a comprehensive divide-and-conquer policy that keeps us too busy squabbling amongst each other to recognize and unite against those corralling us into a Matrix-like collective delusion that enables the powerful to extract our resources for their own gain. This ideological mass psychosis is religion—not science. If this were about science, the Media–Pharmaceutical–Big-Tech complex would not be memory-holing every dissenting voice, vilifying every thought criminal, and censoring every legitimate inquiry in quest of the truth.

Read more …

With obesity such a major factor in Covid deaths, two birds with one stone.

How To Cure Type 2 Diabetes – Without Medication (G.)

[..] Modest words for a man whose “useful contribution to society” has given hope to the 3.9m people diagnosed with the condition in the UK and who has shown doctors a new way to fight a disease which causes 185 amputations and 700 premature deaths every week. Now, he wants to go one step further and share everything he has learned directly with the public, in a new book, Your Simple Guide to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes. It’s a 153-page paperback that takes you through the latest research on how the disease develops and explains why rapid weight loss can be so effective at reversing the condition in the early stages – which usually means during the first six years of a diagnosis.

“If people really do want to make it happen, then in the first few years of diagnosis, it’s almost universal that their health can be returned to normal,” says Taylor, who is professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University. In one study, he found that nine out of 10 people with “early” type 2 diabetes were cured after losing more than 2 1/2 st (15kg). The book also explains who is at greatest risk and why some people who have a “normal” Body Mass Index (BMI) develop the disease, when many people who are more overweight – or even obese – do not. Taylor’s “Newcastle” weight loss programme is a clinically proven method of reversing early type 2 diabetes and his approach is currently being rolled out to people with the condition by the NHS. It involves cutting your calorie intake to 700-800 calories a day.

In the book, he explains how the people in his programme managed to do this – typically by consuming only slimming meal shakes and non-starchy vegetables, plus one cup of tea or coffee each day with skimmed milk – lost a life-changing amount of weight in just eight weeks. And how you can do the same, safely, at home. [..] One of Taylor’s most important new discoveries is that everyone has their own fat threshold: an individual level of tolerance for levels of fat in the body. “It’s a personal thing. It’s nothing to do with the sort of information that’s often provided about obesity, which is about average BMI and what the population is doing. The bottom line is, a person will develop type 2 diabetes when they’ve become too heavy for their own body. It doesn’t matter if their BMI is within the ‘normal’ range. They’ve crossed their personal threshold and become unhealthy.”

He is currently in the middle of research to find out whether there’s any way of discovering, via a blood test, when people are heading into this dangerous territory and their fat cells are putting out what he describes as “distress signals”. What we do know already is that our bodies start to have trouble controlling blood sugar when fat can no longer be stored safely under the skin and it spills over into the liver and then the pancreas. If these organs get clogged with fat, they stop functioning properly and that is when you develop type 2 diabetes.

Read more …

Does this address only vaccine-related T cells?

Covid-19 Testing Turns To T Cells (Nature)

A diagnostic test based on sequencing long-lived SARS-CoV-2–specific memory T cells provides a complement to antibody testing for determining previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Following last month’s US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization for Adaptive Biotechnologies’ T-Detect COVID-19 test, routine T-cell testing has entered a new era. The Adaptive test involves laboratory-based next-generation sequencing to identify T cells that recognize SARS-CoV-2 antigens. The test is not intended for the diagnosis of active infection but is a complement to antibody tests used to confirm recent or previous infections. The lab-based procedure, which has a seven- to ten-day turnaround time, is now authorized for use on samples taken from individuals at least 15 days after the onset of symptoms.

Increasing interest is focused on the role of T-cell immunity in fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection and in providing resistance to re-infection. A new analysis of T cells from people who recovered from COVID-19 has confirmed that they remain active against three of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: B1.1.7, B.351 and B.1.1.248. The study, conducted by a team from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Singapore-based biotech company ImmunoScape, will further boost confidence that the efficacy of vaccines developed against the original pandemic strain will not be overly compromised as these new variants—and others—spread more widely.

Until now, researchers have mostly relied on the use of lateral flow assay or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to determine whether a person has been exposed to the virus. Understanding the neutralizing antibody response has been considered central to establishing protection against the virus. “It’s easy to test,” says Andrew Redd of NIAID, who led the recent study. Although critical, antibodies are part of a larger and incompletely understood set of humoral and cellular immune responses, which has received little attention. These include additional antibody functions, such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, complement activation and phagocyte recruitment. Unravelling their contribution to SARS-CoV-2 immunity is an ongoing challenge. “There are assays to do that, it’s just complicated to do,” says Redd.

The same can be said for assaying T-cell-mediated immunity. The NIAID study relied on a complex laboratory test to identify T-cell epitopes specific to SARS-CoV-2, employing a combination of mass cytometry and combinatorial staining of peptide–major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-bound tetramers. The complexity of the assay and data generated necessarily confine the assay to use in specialist laboratories. “The data that it generates are massive. The analysis side of it is a big lift,” Redd says.

Read more …

You tell me what you think of the man.

Interview with Dr Bhakdi (Schultz)

According to the UK Government’s figures, more than 1,100 people have died due to an adverse effect caused by one of the vaccines currently being rolled out via Emergency Use Authorisation. But Dr Bhakdi reveals that worse is yet to come, with manufacturers, he says, creating a false sense of security. “It’s so easy to manipulate the nano-particles,” he said. “All you need to do is take out one component, one lipid, and the vaccine will not be taken up by the cells any more. And then you have no side-effects. And you will have a vaccine that is well-tolerated. “That is what’s happening now with the mRNA vaccines, so the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik will be removed from the market. So there will be a monopoly of the mRNA vaccines, which are being backed by Bill Gates.

“This plan was conceived years ago. Once this vaccine gets legally, fully approved, not approved for emergency use, but fully approved, no more risk analysis needs to be done. “Pfizer are going to submit an application for this in June. And the authorities have already released underground information that the approval will probably be given in October. When this happens, it means that every subsequent vaccine is automatically approved. They have to sign no more application, there will be no more trials, no more risk-benefit analysis. No more notification of side effects. “It’s such a nightmare. They can say, ‘well the care homes are overcrowded. India and South Africa…

“You know that with each subsequent vaccine the chances rise that you are going to kill people. That’s why they are starting to vaccinate children – they are going to show that the vaccine is tolerated by children – then they are going to use this wherever they want to. “Once that has come through, these guys have a free hand to do whatever they want, wherever they want. And no one can do anything about it. It’s so horrible. “How can people be so evil? How can people be so ignorant? It’s that combination of evil and ignorance that is making the world a living hell. And the only people who can do anything about it is us because we have to get the world around us to stand up and realise that they are being led to a living hell.

“It’s a devilish plan, satanic. But the very, very small chance we have is that they made a mistake, which was they thought that this vaccination programme would go through smoothly, as they were not aware that the adverse effects would be so severe and so widespread. “This is where they may trip if we can force them to turn back on the vaccination programme. Now there have been legal charges brought against the EU, for nullification against all the vaccines.”

Read more …

“Trapped in their group-specific jargon, the two camps on Zoom literally couldn’t understand one another.”

The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill (Wired)

Early one morning, Linsey Marr tiptoed to her dining room table, slipped on a headset, and fired up Zoom. On her computer screen, dozens of familiar faces began to appear. She also saw a few people she didn’t know, including Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for Covid-19, and other expert advisers to the WHO. It was just past 1 pm Geneva time on April 3, 2020, but in Blacksburg, Virginia, where Marr lives with her husband and two children, dawn was just beginning to break.

Marr is an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech and one of the few in the world who also studies infectious diseases. To her, the new coronavirus looked as if it could hang in the air, infecting anyone who breathed in enough of it. For people indoors, that posed a considerable risk. But the WHO didn’t seem to have caught on. Just days before, the organization had tweeted “FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne.” That’s why Marr was skipping her usual morning workout to join 35 other aerosol scientists. They were trying to warn the WHO it was making a big mistake.

Over Zoom, they laid out the case. They ticked through a growing list of superspreading events in restaurants, call centers, cruise ships, and a choir rehearsal, instances where people got sick even when they were across the room from a contagious person. The incidents contradicted the WHO’s main safety guidelines of keeping 3 to 6 feet of distance between people and frequent handwashing. If SARS-CoV-2 traveled only in large droplets that immediately fell to the ground, as the WHO was saying, then wouldn’t the distancing and the handwashing have prevented such outbreaks? Infectious air was the more likely culprit, they argued. But the WHO’s experts appeared to be unmoved. If they were going to call Covid-19 airborne, they wanted more direct evidence—proof, which could take months to gather, that the virus was abundant in the air. Meanwhile, thousands of people were falling ill every day.

On the video call, tensions rose. At one point, Lidia Morawska, a revered atmospheric physicist who had arranged the meeting, tried to explain how far infectious particles of different sizes could potentially travel. One of the WHO experts abruptly cut her off, telling her she was wrong, Marr recalls. His rudeness shocked her. “You just don’t argue with Lidia about physics,” she says.

Morawska had spent more than two decades advising a different branch of the WHO on the impacts of air pollution. When it came to flecks of soot and ash belched out by smokestacks and tailpipes, the organization readily accepted the physics she was describing—that particles of many sizes can hang aloft, travel far, and be inhaled. Now, though, the WHO’s advisers seemed to be saying those same laws didn’t apply to virus-laced respiratory particles. To them, the word airborne only applied to particles smaller than 5 microns. Trapped in their group-specific jargon, the two camps on Zoom literally couldn’t understand one another.

Read more …

Trump nominated her to the Fed. Her nomination stalled on November 17, 2020, with a 47–50 vote in the Senate.

War of Words Over Inflation Stirs Questions for the Fed (Judy L. Shelton)

Does it make sense, for a nation founded on the notion of individual liberty, equality under the law, and personal property rights, to allow a government agency to manipulate the value of the currency used by its citizens? Would it be better to have a stable monetary foundation to facilitate free-market outcomes, rather than empower the Federal Reserve to distort interest rates and dilute dollars in the service of government policy? It’s not as if we haven’t been here before. The question of whether rules-based monetary stability historically delivers better economic results in terms of increasing middle-class incomes than relying on the discretionary judgment of central bankers has been wholly analyzed and resolved.

In the 2015 Economic Report of the President issued under the Obama administration, a special section describes the period from 1948 to 1973 as the “Age of Shared Growth”—characterized by accelerating labor productivity, falling income inequality, and increased workforce participation. The report makes little mention of the fact that this period of remarkable growth, which increased living standards across all income levels, coincided with the existence of the Bretton Woods international monetary system under which the U.S. dollar was convertible into gold at a fixed price. The report does posit that if post-1973 productivity growth had continued at its pace from those previous 25 years, “incomes would have been 58% higher in 2013” and “the median household would have had an additional $30,000 in income.”

All of which should give pause to those who belittle the uneasiness felt by conservatives who fear that compromising monetary integrity not only violates founding principles but also economic rationality. And it’s not just conservatives per se, but rather an increasingly larger segment of the population expressing concerns about the wisdom of government officials and the correctness of government policies.

Read more …

Well, that’s what it’s for.

Druckenmiller: “There’s Been No Greater Engine Of Inequality Than The Fed” (ZH)

After his status-quo-shattering appearance on CNBC this week, during which he warned that “Fed policy is endangering the dollar’s reserve status,” billionaire fund manager Stan Druckenmiller spoke to The USC Marshall Center for Investment Studies’ Student Investment Fund Annual Meeting via Zoom, and shocked the on-lookers with his frank assessment of our current perceptions and realities. After The Bank of Canada sheepishly admitted this week that “some of the monetary policy tools it is using to address the COVID-19 pandemic, such as quantitative easing (QE), could widen wealth inequality,” Druckenmiller drops the proverbial hammer on all the hedged-speak (“could”), and blasts that

“I don’t think there has been a greater engine of inequality than the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States… so hearing the Chairman [Powell] talking about visiting homeless shelters is very rich indeed…” The outspoken fund manager went on to note that “everyone wealthy that I know is making fortunes” because “this guy [Powell] is printing money like there’s no tomorrow” adding that the kids is Harlem are not benefitting from money-printing but wealthy people are, exclaiming that “…for the life of me I can’t understand why the left is so excited about money-printing when all the data shows that the people who benefit from money-printing are rich people.”

“The odds-on bet is that we’re going to have inflation,” he continues: “and inflation is going to hurt poor people, again, a lot more than rich people.” How does this all end? “The asset bubble which [Powell] is blowing up into unbelievable proportions busts before the inflation ever really manifests itself, that’s what happened in the housing bubble in 08/09. We never really got to the inflation because the asset bubble burst… not dis-similar to what happened in 1929.” And Druck reminds us all, “there is no one, no group, that will be hurt more by a bust than the poor… they will be first in line to get screwed.”

Read more …

Gasparino.

‘$40 Billion’ Robinhood App Tries To Vault SEC Hurdles (NYP)

It’s a lot of money for a stock-trading app that’s supposedly free. Robinhood is slated to launch an initial public offering before summer’s end that could value the Silicon Valley-based company at $40 billion or more, people close to the underwriting group say. That would make it among the biggest deals of the year – and certainly the most anticipated as the day-trading app became a cultural phenom during the pandemic. A blowout IPO would be remarkable for a company created only in 2013 and which has survived its share of controversies. Last summer, I warned that Robinhood was luring in amateurs stuck at home during the COVID lockdowns who took on day trading as a sport. They would eventually lose their shirts trading stocks on its free and easy-to-use platform, and regulators would pounce.

The party, I predicted, wouldn’t end well and it almost didn’t. Amateur traders are the lifeblood of Robinhood and its user growth, and they lost lots of money on the wrong side of bets. Then came January’s meme – stock controversy, where clearing problems stymied trading of some high-volume stocks on the app, angering customers. The company s business model came under scrutiny. Congress held hearings about the episode following the wild swings in various stocks that traded over the platform, and the IPO that was planned for March was pushed off indefinitely. But for all the noise, the clients just kept coming – and the IPO is back on. The reason is simple, company execs tell me: Robinhood is printing money. Despite the hiccups, Robinhood added some 6 million additional new customers for its crypto platform alone in the first two months of the year.

Now the app’s explosive user growth has investors clamoring for a piece of the action, people close to the deal say. And mind you, underwriters and company officials are quietly calculating their $40 billion valuation for a product that founder Vlad Tenev essentially conjured up in his dorm room.

Read more …

While the US still blocks a UN ceasefire resolution.

Italian Port Workers Refuse To Load Arms Shipment Destined For Israel (NA)

A syndicate of port workers in the Italian city of Livorno in Tuscany on Friday protested a weapons and explosives shipment after discovering it was destined for the Israeli port of Ashdod. “The port of Livorno will not be an accomplice in the massacre of the Palestinian people,” said L’Unione Sindacale di Base (USB). The USB added that the ship contained “weapons and explosives that will serve to kill the Palestinian population, already hit by a severe attack this very night, which caused hundreds of civilian victims, including many children”. A report by The Weapon Watch, a Genoa-based NGO that monitors arms shipments in European and Meditteranean ports, informed the syndicate of the destination of the ship and its contents. The NGO urged the Italian government to consider whether it was “suspending some or all Italian military exports to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict areas.”


“The Union on Saturday will also be in the square in Livorno in solidarity with the Palestinian population and to ask for an immediate stop to the bombings on Gaza and a stop to the ‘expropriations’ Palestinian homes that have lived under military occupation for years,” the USB said in a statement. Although the shipment eventually embarked its journey to Naples, as most other port workers continued to load the ship, other Italian workers’ groups have called for increased coordination between port workers to prevent shipment of weapons that could be used to bomb Gaza. Protests took place in various Italian cities this week, following Israeli forces’ attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem and its escalation on the blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Read more …

 

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Mar 242021
 
 March 24, 2021  Posted by at 9:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Farm in Brittany 1894

 

We Are Living Through a Time of Fear (Cook)
Covid: £5,000 Fine For People Going On Holiday Abroad (BBC)
Lockdown One Year On – It Was Never Supposed To Work (OffG)
CoroNaspresso: A Cheap, Rapid and Simple Home Test (chemrxiv)
Every Day We Discuss Closure And Then Decide To Keep Going (MENA)
Top Yale Doctor: ‘Ivermectin Works,’ Including For Long COVID (TSN)
Logic In Lockdown: The German Corona Policy Is In Ruins (NZZ)
US Home Sales Fell Nearly 20% In February (F.)
EU Has ‘Destroyed’ Once Friendly Ties With Russia – Lavrov (RT)
Welcome To ‘Shocked & Awed’ 21st Century Geopolitics (Escobar)
H.R.1 – Is It Really “For the People”? (Farrell)
Leaked Docs Show Obama FTC Gave Google Its Monopoly (Bovard)
Big Oil Backs Carbon Tax (Reason)
Minnesota Police Ready For Pipeline Resistance (IC)

 

 

“One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

“I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest”.
– Henry David Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’

 

 

UK politics has gone completely bonkers….

We Are Living Through a Time of Fear (Cook)

Welcome to the age of fear. Nothing is more corrosive of the democratic impulse than fear. Left unaddressed, it festers, eating away at our confidence and empathy. We are now firmly in a time of fear – not only of the virus, but of each other. Fear destroys solidarity. Fear forces us to turn inwards to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Fear refuses to understand or identify with the concerns of others. In fear societies, basic rights become a luxury. They are viewed as a threat, as recklessness, as a distraction that cannot be afforded in this moment of crisis. Once fear takes hold, populations risk agreeing to hand back rights, won over decades or centuries, that were the sole, meagre limit on the power of elites to ransack the common wealth. In calculations based on fear, freedoms must make way for other priorities: being responsible, keeping safe, averting danger.

Worse, rights are surrendered with our consent because we are persuaded that the rights themselves are a threat to social solidarity, to security, to our health. It is therefore far from surprising that the UK’s draconian new Police and Crime Bill – concentrating yet more powers in the police – has arrived at this moment. It means that the police can prevent non-violent protest that is likely to be too noisy or might create “unease” in bystanders. Protesters risk being charged with a crime if they cause “nuisance” or set up protest encampments in public places, as the Occupy movement did a decade ago. And damaging memorials – totems especially prized in a time of fear for their power to ward off danger – could land protesters, like those who toppled a statue to notorious slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol last summer, a 10-year jail sentence.

In other words, this is a bill designed to outlaw the right to conduct any demonstration beyond the most feeble and ineffective kind. It makes permanent current, supposedly extraordinary limitations on protest that were designed, or so it was said, to protect the public from the immediate threat of disease. Protest that demands meaningful change is always noisy and disruptive. Would the suffragettes have won women the vote without causing inconvenience and without offending vested interests that wanted them silent? What constitutes too much noise or public nuisance? In a time of permanent pandemic, it is whatever detracts from the all-consuming effort to extinguish our fear and insecurity. When we are afraid, why should the police not be able to snatch someone off the street for causing “unease”?

The UK bill is far from unusual. Similar legislation – against noisy, inconvenient and disruptive protest – is being passed in states across the United States. Just as free speech is being shut down on the grounds that we must not offend, so protest is being shut down on the grounds that we must not disturb.

Read more …

… and I mean completely.

Covid: £5,000 Fine For People Going On Holiday Abroad (BBC)

A £5,000 fine for anyone in England trying to travel abroad without good reason is due to come into force next week as part of new coronavirus laws. The penalty is included in legislation that will be voted on by MPs on Thursday. Foreign holidays are currently not allowed under the “stay at home” rule which ends on Monday. But then the ban on leaving the UK at this time will become a specific law backed up by the threat of the fine. Under the current plan for easing restrictions, the earliest date people in England could go abroad for a holiday would be 17 May. However, another surge in Covid cases in continental Europe, as well as the slow rollout of vaccines across Europe, has cast doubt on the resumption of foreign travel.


Health Secretary Matt Hancock said restrictions on travelling abroad were necessary to guard against the importation of large numbers of cases and new variants which might put the vaccine rollout at risk. Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves told BBC Breakfast that Labour supported measures to keep the UK’s borders secure and avoid the importation of new variants but said the government’s “slowness to react” had contributed to the country’s high death rate. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Monday the UK should be “under no illusion” that it will feel the effects of a rising number of cases on the continent. One of his ministers, Lord Bethell, said England might put “all our European neighbours” on the “red list” of countries. However, Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there were no plans to do this.

Read more …

A two week lockdown can achieve something. A one year lockdown can only achieve something other than the stated intent.

An entire library on lockdown effectiveness is at The Fat Emperor.

Lockdown One Year On – It Was Never Supposed To Work (OffG)

And so we come to March 23rd, and lockdown’s first birthday. Or, as we call it here, the longest two weeks in history. 1 year. 12 calendar months. 365 increasingly gruelling days. It’s a long time since “2 weeks to flatten the curve”, became an obvious lie. Sometime in July it turned into a sick joke. The curve was flattened, the NHS protected and the clapping was hearty and meaningful. …and none of it made any difference. This was not a sacrifice for the “greater good”. It was not a hard decision with arguments on both sides. It was not a risk-benefit scenario. The “risks” were in fact certainties, and the “benefits” entirely fictional.Because Lockdowns don’t work. It’s really important to remember that.


Even if you subscribe to the belief that “Sars-Cov-2” is a unique discrete entity (which is far from proven), or that it is incredibly dangerous (which is demonstrably untrue), the lockdown has not worked to, in any way, limit this supposed threat. Lockdowns. Don’t. Work. They don’t make any difference, the curves don’t flatten and the R0 number doesn’t drop and the lives aren’t saved (quite the opposite, as we’ve all seen). Just look at the graphs. This one, comparing “Covid deaths” in the UK (lockdown) and Sweden (no lockdown):

Or this one, comparing “Covid deaths” in California (lockdown) and Florida (no lockdown):

From Belarus to Sweden to Florida to Nicaragua to Tanzania, the evidence is clear. “Covid”, whatever that means in real terms, is not impacted by lockdowns. Putting the entire population under house arrest doesn’t benefit public health. In fact, it’s (rather predictably) incredibly counter-productive. The damage done by shuttering businesses, limiting access to healthcare, postponing treatments and diagnoses, postponed surgeries, increasing depression, soaring unemployment and mass poverty has been discussed to death. The scale of the impact cannot be overstated.


Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy for Covid-19, said this of lockdowns back in October: “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of the virus[…]just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry…look what’s happening to small-holding farmers[…]it seems we may have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition […] This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe.”

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Haven’t read the whole document yet, but the picture looks intruiging.

CoroNaspresso: A Cheap, Rapid and Simple Home Test (chemrxiv)

Development of a novel LAMP device which is cheap, reusable, and can be produced in large amounts in a short period of time. The device was designed such not to require chemical exothermic reactions, have limited waste produced and with a minimum cost of the device as a whole. The device was tested for the detection of SARS-CoV2 RNA.

Read more …

In Lebanon, it’s one crisis on top of another crisis on top of another.

Every Day We Discuss Closure And Then Decide To Keep Going (MENA)

Once bustling with life, Beirut’s famed Gemmayze Street is now deserted. Lined with damaged homes, collapsed buildings and closed businesses, the residential and commercial hub was one of the city’s most vibrant destinations – but not any more. “It’s like a nightmare. We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Charbel Bassil, owner of renowned Le Chef restaurant, on the first day of reopening after a nationwide lockdown. One of Beirut’s oldest and most popular restaurants, Le Chef, in in Gemmayze, is one of many businesses struggling to stay afloat under the weight of Lebanon’s compounding crises. The family business reopened its doors on March 22, as per the government’s lockdown strategy, but customers were hardly pouring in.

The modest space, which was often full to the brim for lunchtime, now welcomed only three tables after a full day of work, or about 10 customers. The burst of vigor and energy that characterised the dining experience at Le Chef was replaced by a sense of moping and melancholy. “We’re doing our best to keep going, but everything is a mess,” Mr Bassil told The National. Le Chef , founded in 1967, weathered civil wars and crises, but none harmed trade like Lebanon’s current events. “This is our family business. I’ve been working here since I was a child, but nothing we lived through was as bad as this,” Mr Bassil said. After almost losing the restaurant in the Beirut blast, Le Chef was able to rebuild thanks to donations, $5,000 of which came from the actor Russell Crowe.

But what the port explosion could not destroy, the economic crisis shattered. “We can’t work in this crisis. Suppliers won’t give us goods because of the market rate and we don’t know how to price our dishes,” Mr Bassil told The National. “We’re a restaurant for the people. We want to serve high-quality food for affordable prices.” Lebanon’s currency lost more than 80 per cent of its value since the beginning of the economic crisis, declared one of the worst in the country’s history. In one year, the Lebanese pound, which once traded at 1,500 to the US dollar, slumped to 15,000 on the parallel market. The minimum wage shrank from $450 to an average of $50, leaving people with insufficient salaries to cover rising living costs.

[..] Despite the opportunity to be back in business, Lebanon’s hospitality sector is wary about reopening because operational costs now outweigh profits. Fewer than 1,000 restaurants and cafes are expected to reopen this week, said Aref Saade, treasurer at the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs and Pastries. Prior to the crisis, Lebanon had about 8,500 tourist institutions in business. The number decreased to 4,500 when Covid-19 struck, and is anticipated to sink below 1,000 due to the soaring and unstable currency exchange rate. “Businesses are refraining from reopening – it’s just not worth it,” Mr Saade told The National.

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“If I can save you,” he said referring to his father, “I can tell you, I save anybody.”

Top Yale Doctor: ‘Ivermectin Works,’ Including For Long COVID (TSN)

A Yale University professor and renowned cancer researcher has pored over the COVID-19 literature and treated several dozen patients. He can remain silent no longer. Dr. Alessandro Santin, a practicing oncologist and scientist who runs a large laboratory at Yale, believes firmly that ivermectin could vastly cut suffering from COVID-19. Santin joins a growing group of doctors committed to using the safe, generic drug both as an early home treatment to prevent hospitalization and alongside inpatient treatments like steroids and oxygen. “The bottom line is that ivermectin works. I’ve seen that in my patients as well as treating my own family in Italy,” Santin said in an interview, referring to his father, 88, who recently suffered a serious bout of COVID. “We must find a way to administer it on a large scale to a lot of people.”

Santin’s statements carry the prestige of a leadership position at Yale School of Medicine and the gravitas of a top uterine cancer researcher, who has authored more than 250 science journal articles and pioneered treatment, used worldwide, for the most aggressive form of uterine cancer. At Yale, he is an OB/GYN professor, team leader in gynecologic oncology at the Smilow Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-chief of gynecologic oncology. When COVID came along, Santin began reading about how best he might help his cancer patients, 10 to 20 percent of whom were coming in infected with COVID. He began using ivermectin after the National Institutes of Health changed its advisory in January to allow the drug’s use outside of COVID trials. Santin’s endorsement is not only important but broad.

He said he has seen ivermectin work at every stage of COVID — preventing it, eliminating early infection, quelling the destructive cytokine storm in late infection, and helping about a dozen patients so far who suffered months after COVID. One of them is an athlete and mother of two, 39, who had been disabled by post-COVID chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue; she confirmed in an email to me her joy at being able to walk up a hill again and breathing better within 72 hours of her first dose. “When you have people that can’t breathe for five, six, eight, nine months and they tried multiple drugs and supplements with no success, and you give them ivermectin,” Dr. Santin said of long-haul patients, “and you see that they start immediately feeling better, this is not placebo. This is real.”

[..] Beyond his outpatients, Santin has treated family members and friends infected with COVID in both his home community in Connecticut and in his native Italy via telemedicine. There, he prescribed ivermectin to more than 15 families, in which parents, children or others had became infected; the goal was both to treat early and prevent severe COVID, as studies have shown ivermectin does. “I have not a single one that right now had to go to the hospital to receive oxygen,” he said. “I have no doubt ivermectin saved my 88-year-old father’s life.” His father survived COVID despite high blood pressure, cardiac disease that led previously to seven stents and open heart surgery, and lung problems. “If I can save you,” he said referring to his father, “I can tell you, I save anybody.”

Read more …

Google translate.

Logic In Lockdown: The German Corona Policy Is In Ruins (NZZ)

Instead of easing concepts, the Chancellor and Prime Minister present the extension and tightening of the lockdown. The citizens have to pay for what the government has missed for months. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister wrestled with each other for twelve hours on Tuesday. Anyone who expected a big hit after this nightly marathon was disappointed: The result of the conference is shameful. Not only that the tentative easing of the corona measures has been discarded. Germany should also go into a tough lockdown at Easter. “We thought again today,” said the Chancellor in the early hours of the morning. In order to “break through” the third corona wave a little bit, April 1st and 3rd at Easter will be “one-off days of rest”, as “extended rest time”.

Rethought? With these resolutions, Germany’s government surrenders to the principles of reason. If you wanted to avoid hamster purchases and crowds in supermarkets until now, the opposite is now the case: the closing of supermarkets over Easter is forcing citizens to replenish their supplies. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the resulting overcrowding of the shops on Holy Saturday. Is that still wanton or already deliberate bad planning? Either way, it lacks any logic. Religious freedom could also be a victim of the comfortably formulated “extended rest period at Easter” – for all those for whom five months of rest are not enough – there should be no Easter services with an audience in attendance, according to the will of the conference.

So while in the past few days 700 Hansa Rostock football fans were allowed to go to the stadium with a negative quick test and 1,000 classical music fans who also tested negative were allowed to go back to the Berlin Philharmonic, is it not possible to organize a gathering of Christians at their highest festival? Not if you leave it to this government, that’s for sure. Local politicians such as Tübingen’s Mayor Boris Palmer show that there is another way. With test stations he enables the citizens of his city to live a little and the business people to survive.

Read more …

“..the lowest reported inventory since the Realtors association began tracking it in 1982..”

US Home Sales Fell Nearly 20% In February (F.)

Single-family home sales dropped 18.2% from January to February, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, even as annualized sales remain much higher than pre-pandemic rates. 775,000 (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) new single-family homes were sold in Feb. 2021—that’s a large drop from the 958,000 homes sold rate in Jan. 2021. Adjusted home sale rates are still far higher than they were pre-pandemic: 716,000 new single family homes were sold in Feb. 2020. The median price of new homes sold in February was $349,000 and the average sale price was $416,000. The National Association of Realtors said the decline from January was due to “historically-low inventory”, and said home sales are ahead of total 2020 sales. At the end of December 2020, there were just 1.07 million homes for sale—the lowest reported inventory since the Realtors association began tracking it in 1982.

Read more …

“Brussels “has consistently destroyed all mechanisms without exception that existed on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation.”

EU Has ‘Destroyed’ Once Friendly Ties With Russia – Lavrov (RT)

Months of political tension and a wave of new sanctions have severed all links between the EU and Russia, Moscow’s top diplomat has said, adding that his country is ready to resume cooperation if Brussels decides it is interested. Speaking at a press conference alongside his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that currently, “there are no relations with the EU as an organization. The entire infrastructure of these relations has been destroyed by unilateral decisions made from Brussels.” Some individual European countries, he argued, are still seeking closer ties with Moscow, “guided by their national interests.” However, these are being fast outpaced by growing partnerships with China, Lavrov told journalists.

“If and when Europeans decide to eliminate these anomalies in contacts with their largest neighbor, of course, we will be ready to build up these relations based on equality,” the diplomat confirmed, “while in the East, in my opinion, we have a very intensive agenda, which is becoming more diverse every year.” In February, the foreign minister stated that Moscow’s relations with the bloc had taken a tumble in 2014, after the EU “blamed the Russian Federation for everything that is happening” in Ukraine following the Maidan. Since then, he argued, Brussels “has consistently destroyed all mechanisms without exception that existed on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation.”

As part of a fiery broadcast interview, Lavrov warned that if the bloc’s leadership sought to impose sanctions on Russia that hit sensitive areas of the economy, Moscow could break off diplomatic contact altogether as a last resort. “Of course, we do not want to isolate ourselves from living in the world, but we must be ready for this. If you want peace, prepare for war,” he stressed. Earlier this month, the EU unveiled a new package of sanctions against four Russian officials it claimed were responsible for the detention of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, and “human rights violations” during the policing of subsequent protests held in his support. At the time, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said the bloc had “missed yet another opportunity to review its … approach to relations with Russia.”

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“The United States is not qualified to talk to China in a condescending manner. The Chinese people will not accept that.”

Welcome To ‘Shocked & Awed’ 21st Century Geopolitics (Escobar)

With a Russia-China-Iran triple bitch slap on the hegemon, we now have a brand new geopolitical chessboard… It took 18 years after Shock and Awe unleashed on Iraq for the Hegemon to be mercilessly shocked and awed by a virtually simultaneous, diplomatic Russia-China one-two. How this is a real game-changing moment cannot be emphasized enough; 21st century geopolitics will never be the same again. Yet it was the Hegemon who first crossed the diplomatic Rubicon. The handlers behind hologram Joe “I’ll do whatever you want me to do, Nance” Biden had whispered in his earpiece to brand Russian President Vladimir Putin as a soulless “killer” in the middle of a softball interview.

Not even at the height of the Cold War the superpowers resorted to ad hominem attacks. The result of such an astonishing blunder was to regiment virtually the whole Russian population behind Putin – because that was perceived as an attack against the Russian state. Then came Putin’s cool, calm, collected – and quite diplomatic – response, which needs to be carefully pondered. These sharp as a dagger words are arguably the most devastatingly powerful five minutes in the history of post-truth international relations. In For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska, we forecasted what could take place in the US-China 2+2 summit at a shabby hotel in Anchorage, with cheap bowls of instant noodles thrown in as extra bonus.

China’s millennial diplomatic protocol establishes that discussions start around common ground – which are then extolled as being more important than disagreements between negotiating parties. That’s at the heart of the concept of “no loss of face”. Only afterwards the parties discuss their differences. Yet it was totally predictable that a bunch of amateurish, tactless and clueless Americans would smash those basic diplomatic rules to show “strength” to their home crowd, distilling the proverbial litany on Taiwan, Hong Kong, South China Sea, “genocide” of Uighurs. Oh dear. There was not a single State Dept. hack with minimal knowledge of East Asia to warn the amateurs you don’t mess with the formidable head of the Foreign Affairs Commission at the CCP’s Central Committee, Yang Jiechi, with impunity.

Visibly startled, but controlling his exasperation, Yang Jiechi struck back. And the rhetorical shots were heard around the whole Global South. They had to include a basic lesson in manners: “If you want to deal with us properly, let’s have some mutual respect and do things the right way”. But what stood out was a stinging, concise diagnostic blending history and politics: “The United States is not qualified to talk to China in a condescending manner. The Chinese people will not accept that. It must be based on mutual respect to deal with China, and history will prove that those who seek to strangle China will suffer in the end.”

Read more …

It is a weird piece of legislation.

H.R.1 – Is It Really “For the People”? (Farrell)

A lot has been written about H.R.1 — the so-called “For the People Act of 2021.” Former Vice President Mike Pence has opined on the bill. The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal sounded the alarm back in January. The editors of National Review come right out and call it a “partisan assault on American democracy.” H.R.1 purports to, “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.” The Bill is 791 pages long. Here are just a few of the more egregious federal power grabs in H.R.1 concocted against the 50 states that run elections under the U.S. Constitution:

• Ban voter ID laws and allow ballot harvesting; • Expand Election Day to “election season” by mandating mail-in ballots be counted 10 days after the election would normally be over; • Automatic voter registration of people who apply for unemployment, Medicaid, Obamacare and college, or who are coming out of prison. There is a lot more, and it gets worse. Substantially worse. There are First Amendment restrictions on political speech and on the support or opposition of a bill and/or a candidate. Remember: This is supposed to be “fortifying our democracy.” If you are interested in a “through the looking glass” annotated analysis of H.R.1 — then head over to the Brennan Center for Justice. They are happy to explain how those pesky constitutional rights can be whittled down to something more “fair” for everyone.

For example, the Brennan Center analysis confidently assures readers about how H.R.1 “affirms Congress’ power to protect the right to vote, regulate federal elections, and defend the democratic process in the United States.” It seeks to airbrush Article I, Section 4 — The Elections Clause — from history and practice. The Clause directs and empowers states to determine the “Times, Places, and Manner” of congressional elections. H.R.1 would federally strangle the Elections Clause. In order to find our way out, it is helpful to know how we got into this terrible predicament. The foundation for the madness of H.R.1 is legal positivism, a thesis, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which states “that the existence and content of law depends on social facts and not on its merits.” H.R.1 is nearly 800 pages of meritless, militant, social engineering targeting the foundations of the U.S. Constitution, voting rights and political free speech — all dressed-up as being “for the people.”

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Too late now.

Leaked Docs Show Obama FTC Gave Google Its Monopoly (Bovard)

Eight years ago, the Federal Trade Commission had the chance to face down Google — the giant of Silicon Valley whose power now alters the free flow of information at a global scale, distorts market access for businesses large and small, and changes the nature of independent thought in ways the world has never experienced. Instead, the FTC blinked — and blinked hard, choosing to close the investigation in early 2013. A remarkable leak to Politico of agency documents about the 2012 Google investigation reveals that, despite ample evidence of market distortions and threats to competition presented by the agency’s lawyers, the five commissioners of the FTC deferred instead to speculative claims by their economists.

Records and reporting about the 2012 investigation suggest the FTC did so while bending to political pressure from the Obama White House — which was, in turn, bending to political pressure from Google. William Kovacic, a former FTC chair under President George W. Bush, reviewed the more than 300 pages of documents leaked to Politico and concluded the agency overlooked “what many experts and regulators would consider clear antitrust violations,” calling the specificity of issues outlined “breathtaking.” In short, where we find ourselves today — with Google as the primary filter of the world’s information, engaging in a network of exclusionary contracts and anti-competitive conduct, and subject to an antitrust lawsuit led by the Department of Justice and joined by 48 state attorneys general — could have, and should have, been avoided.

That it wasn’t, however, provides key takeaways about where we are now with Big Tech, and, in particular, the method of enforcement of our antitrust laws, whose application has become too tightly wrapped around the axle of price, and captured by the speculative science of economic forecasting. It also reveals just how politicized antitrust enforcement has become — influenced by the siren song of internet exceptionalism and the powerful tug of Google, one of the world’s richest companies. Perhaps the most stunning takeaway in the 2012 documents is the extent to which the recommendations of the FTC’s lawyers sharply differed from those of the agency’s economists, on whose judgment the FTC commissioners ultimately relied in their decision to drop the investigation into Google.

The FTC’s antitrust attorneys concluded that Google was breaking the law by “banishing potential competitors” with a series of exclusionary contracts on mobile phones — much of which forms the basis for the lawsuit brought nearly a decade later by the Trump Department of Justice. The FTC’s economists, however, demurred, insisting that claims of Google’s market dominance were unfounded and would soon give way to competition. This required a markedly un-curious treatment of key facts.

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Whatever Big Oil backs can never be good.

Big Oil Backs Carbon Tax (Reason)

Executives from leading oil companies, including ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and the American Petroleum Institute (API), met virtually with Biden administration officials to discuss policies aimed at addressing the problem of man-made climate change. The Wall Street Journal reported that company leaders said that “they wanted to work with the administration and pledged support for policies that would make it more expensive to emit the gases that contribute to climate change.” In a statement issued after the virtual meeting, API CEO Mike Sommers declared, “We are committed to working with the White House to develop effective government policies that help meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and support a cleaner future.” The API is rumored to be considering coming out in support of carbon emissions pricing.

ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips previously endorsed the bipartisan Climate Leadership Council’s (CLC) revenue neutral carbon tax and dividend proposal in which escalating taxes collected on oil and natural gas at the wellhead and on coal at the minehead would be entirely rebated in equal sums to each American as an annual payment. The CLC cites a 2018 study that finds that 70 percent of American households would receive more in dividend payments then they would pay in increased energy prices. Once the CLC’s carbon tax plan is adopted, all other regulations and subsidies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, such as automobile fuel efficiency and renewable portfolio standards, are supposed to be permanently repealed.

However, lots of climate activists oppose carbon taxes. Why? InsideClimateNews offered the example of Matto Mildenberger, a political scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has argued that carbon taxes make climate action unpopular because they front load the costs immediately onto consumers while the eventual benefits of lower temperatures, less fierce storms, and lower sea levels stretch into the future. As InsideClimateNews explained: “In the view of Mildenberger and others who’ve studied climate politics around the world, subsidies, regulation, and other policies that provide more immediate and visible benefits—like jobs creation—are a better way to jump-start climate policy, even if they cost more in the short run. That’s because they stimulate investment to help lower the cost of alternative energy, and at the same time help broaden political support for stronger climate policy. New actors with real investments they want to protect and advance will want more aggressive action, and politicians will respond.”

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Drilling under the Mississippi. Leave it be.

Minnesota Police Ready For Pipeline Resistance (IC)

As you drive toward the Mississippi River’s headwaters from the east, the lakes that open up on either side of the highway are still white-blue with ice. The Mississippi River, however, is flowing. The open water — a trickle compared to the expanse it will become farther south — is a hopeful sign of the end of another long Minnesota winter, but it also has opponents of pipeline construction in the area on edge. Enbridge, the Canadian energy-transport firm, is planning to route its Line 3 pipeline under the Mississippi, near where it crosses Highway 40. In winter, a pollution-control rule bars drilling under the frozen waters. As the ice melts away, so do the restrictions. Those organizing against the project worry that Enbridge could begin tunneling under the Mississippi and other local rivers any day — and the pipeline-resistance movement is getting ready for it.

“They got a lot of money, they got a lot of equipment, but we got a lot of people,” said Anishinaabe water protector Winona LaDuke at an event last week with actor and activist Jane Fonda, which took place in front of the flowing Crow Wing River, not far from where Enbridge seeks to drill under its shores. “Spring is coming. Let’s be outdoorsy.” Enbridge’s Line 3 project began construction four months ago. It was designed to replace a decaying pipeline of the same name; however, a large portion of its 338-mile Minnesota section, which makes up most of the U.S. route, plows through new land and waters. The project would double Line 3’s capacity for carrying tar sands oil, one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels in the world, at a moment when a rapid shift away from fossil fuels has become critical to address the climate crisis.

The delicate waterway ecosystems through which the pipeline passes have become the central organizing point of the anti-pipeline, or water protector, movement. Hundreds of rivers, streams, and wetlands face the specter of a tar sands leak after the replacement Line 3 begins operating. And the particularly intensive form of drilling required to tunnel the pipeline under rivers holds its own set of risks during construction.

Read more …

 

 

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God Save the Queen

 

 

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Mar 062021
 
 March 6, 2021  Posted by at 2:41 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  32 Responses »


Auguste Renoir The umbrellas 1881-6

 

 

 

The Washington Post said recently: “The anti-vaccine movement is comparable to domestic terrorism, and must be treated that way”, while the Guardian had this:

“When it comes to shifting attitudes to vaccines, it is crucial to distinguish between public information campaigns that seek to educate the public and those that seek to persuade them,” said Philipp Schmid, a behavioural scientist researching vaccine scepticism at the University of Erfurt. “[..] if you don’t proactively tackle the problem at all, you end up playing catch-up with the anti-vaxxers. In a way, governments have to work on a parallel vaccine rollout – immunising the public against science denial.”

But WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said: “it’s very important for people to understand that at the moment, all we know about the vaccines is that they will very effectively reduce your risk of severe disease. We haven’t seen any evidence yet indicating whether or not they stop transmission.” And Dr. David Martin claimed: It’s Gene Therapy, Not a Vaccine. One might add: It’s not science, it’s a sales job.

Now, I don’t know exactly who the WaPo refers to when they say “the anti-vaccine movement”, or that German guy with “the anti-vaxxers”, but it appears there is a widespread movement going on to promote mRNA vaccines, both by governments and by the press. And we’re not supposed to ask questions. Well, I’m sorry, but I make a living asking questions. And I think asking questions is not just everybody’s right, it’s an obligation. So don’t come at me with “domestic terrorism” or “anti-vaxxers”, a term that has nothing to do with the topic to begin with. Asking questions is not the same as being against something.

 

In essence the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA substances are a giant experiment, nothing else. If you can tell me what the logic is behind injecting -soon- hundreds of millions of people with something about which the WHO itself says: “we haven’t seen any evidence yet indicating whether or not they stop transmission,” try me. And how you get from there to issuing “vaccine passports” is as puzzling as the entire propaganda campaign. Who’s engaging in “science denial” here? In its core essence, an Emergency Use Authorization is unscientific.

A vaccine used to mean something that relied on -mostly- dead virus material to get your body to produce immunity “material”. What mRNA does -in this case – is force your body to produce an S1 spike protein, which is toxic to your body. Someone compared it to sticking a USB stick in your body, but one you can never take out anymore. Actually, it’s more like sticking such a USB stick into -almost- every single cell of your body. Forever.

Can it be successful? Maybe, but we have no idea. No research. No clue what mRNA does in the long term. There’s a lot of concern about what it might do to our immune systems. So lots of questions. But we’re not allowed to ask those questions, because then we’re domestic terrorists. Or maybe we can ask them, but only after getting inoculated.

 

There’s an eery similarity here to the banning of Huckleberry Finn, the Odyssey, and Dr. Seuss. We apparently cannot be trusted to form our own opinions anymore. And if we apply the same rules that got Mark Twain and Dr. Seuss banned, how on earth can the Bible remain politically acceptable? I’m sure they’ll get to that yet.

And the press help shape this new world, and Big Tech becomes Big Brother. There’s nothing either journalists or 20-something social media “guardians” like more than to tell you what you can see, hear, read or think, and I bet you never imagined that’s what George Orwell imagined. Or Mark Twain, for that matter. There is no real difference between banning books and burning them.

 

The way this is broadcast to us, is that the mRNA substances are safe, based on the fact that not too many people have died from being “vaccinated”. But not only are short-term effects not the main worry about them, there are already plenty headlines like this:
• Injuries Reported to CDC After COVID Vaccines Climb by 4,000 in One Week
• 34 Spontaneous Miscarriages, Stillbirths After COVID-19 Vaccination
• Danger of mRNA Vaccines To Elderly: 16 Deaths In Switzerland
• Norway warns of Covid-19 vaccine risk after 23 die

When you see that in Germany, France and Switzerland, half of care home workers don’t want to get vaccinated, perhaps it’s good to ask a question. Or how about this: “About 60% Of Nursing Home Staff Declined Covid Vaccines, Walgreens Exec Says”, about which Whitney Webb tweeted: “Just wondering if people consider the 60% of nursing home staffers and 1/3 of US troops declining the experimental COVID-19 vaccine to all be “crazy anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists”

 

I apparently have to be afraid of what reading Huck Finn or the Odysseus will do to me, my brain, the brains of my children and neighbors. But I’m not afraid of that at all, I think the books will enrich their brains, as they have mine, and I’m confident they will be able to figure out what is just and right in the words they read, and what is not.

I’m not overly concerned about Covid19, but I do take a cautious approach. Which means taking vit. C&D and zinc, with ivermectin in my near future. But it doesn’t rule my life, certainly not as much as the lockdowns in Athens do. And frankly, I’m more afraid of sticking a genetic USB stick that generates untested genetic material in my body for the rest of my life, than I am of a virus that is unlikely to kill me.

By now we should be asking what being ruled by fear for a prolonged period of time does to the mindset of not just individuals, but of entire societies. Well, for one thing, it makes it much easier to censor people’s thoughts and actions, to shape their lives before they themselves do it. Be very afraid, roll up your sleeve, and don’t ask questions. And if you behave the way we tell you to, you may be able, in a year, or two, three, to return to the “old normal”.

Which unfortunately absolutely certainly will no longer exist once you get there. Your society will instead look like a warzone because its economy has been ravaged by fear. For one thing, if “they” allow stores, bars, restaurants to reopen this summer (doubtful), it may well be because they can no longer afford the emergency support for businesses and workers. The very first thing to happen then is mass lay-offs. Which will snowball into more businesses closing and more lay-offs.

It’s simply all gone on too long. For our economies, our societies and our minds. And if only to help us (re)cover, we should ask questions. It’s a obligation.

 

I like this from John Scott Lewinski on fear:

Panic Has Become A Twisted New Virtue

The Covid-19 pandemic has warped humanity’s mindset, turning fear into an intellectual value. Panic is now the smart choice, and those who reject it are considered dangerous barbarians. Sociologists, political theorists and other experts credit the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with forging countless changes in global society. Some are practical, some psychological. Some are temporary, while others will remain in evolving forms.

It’s difficult to deduce if the most troubling change we’re seeing really resulted from the viral crisis, or whether it had been waiting under the surface noise of daily life for full exposure by Covid-19. For the first time in human history, fear is now considered a sign of intellectual superiority, while the choice to resist panic is seen as stubborn foolishness.

[..] If you don’t stay locked in your bedroom in favor of going about your life – still masked, scrubbed and distanced – you’re a fool. Even worse, you’re a reckless fool who lacks compassion for the people you might infect. Regardless, the underlying theme is “crisis” and desperation in place of “challenge” and problem solving.

[..] Finally, if we allow a little old-time religion into the fray and check in on the Gospel writers, we’re told Jesus wept in fear the night before defeating its temptations and facing the crucifixion. Halfway around the world, the Buddha stated: “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you.” The current psychological zeitgeist would ridicule all of those figures or those authors and their protagonists as hasty and brainless for not running away and hiding from a threat indefinitely until it did its damage or decided to go away.

Those in the cult of alarm will say all of those references are fiction, and Covid is real life. I would motion over to Joseph Campbell and remind them that myths and their fables indicate cultural values. No one ridiculing their fellows for not wearing a mask while alone in their cars, dining outside of their own kitchens or even longing to get back to their workplaces has any part to play in any stirring touchstone story or in the real world events that inspire them.

Perhaps this new worship of trepidation is another symptom of the coronavirus that will pass. Until then, we live in hope for a vaccine against our 2020 affliction of dull, self-adulatory dread.

 

Fear is a healthy and useful natural reaction to events. It can save your life. But it’s not healthy for an individual to live in fear for a prolonged period of time, and fear should never take on a mass identity. Entire societies living in fear for a prolonged period of time are highly toxic to their citizens. In war time, societies are saved not by those who fear, but by the individuals who refuse to let fear lead their lives, and turn it into bravery. Because, as the Buddha says: “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear.”

 

 

 

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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.


click to enlarge in new tab

 

 

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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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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Mar 222019
 


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leaves after the Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

 

 

Dani Lebo is the wife of Nelson Lebo III, a regular contributor at the Automatic Earth. They are two Americans who have settled in Whanganui on the North Island of New Zealand. Whanganui is over 600 km (400 miles) from Christchurch on the South Island, but that is where Dani found herself last Friday, in the park next to the mosque where most of the victims fell. This is what she wrote about that.

Dani and Nelson named their son after a Neil Diamond song.

 


Dani Lebo with son Suleiman

 

Dani Lebo: A week after my son was born, I come across his name in an article in the New York Times. I catch my breath. He is a young man. He is describing the scene after a bomb tore through his village in Afghanistan. He is terrified, he says. He doesn’t know where to sleep. I don’t sleep that night either.

A year and a half later I see my son’s name in our local paper. He arrived six weeks ago from Syria. His brother and sister were killed by a bomb that woke him in the night. He is 5 years old and has already witnessed more tragedy than I will ever see in my lifetime.

Today I say my son’s full name as he giggles and throws himself into my arms. I sing the song that he was named for. He laughs. His shaggy golden hair covers his blue eyes.

“His name means ‘peace’,” I once justified to a Plunket nurse who didn’t even attempt to pronounce it. For some reason I felt the need to explain away her unwillingness to engage in something she saw as “different” or “too hard”. It is uncommon here, but common in the Muslim world. My son shares his name with millions of boys – millions of Muslim boys. Their mothers also named them “peace”.

 


People gathered to mourn at Hagley Park, Christchurch, last weekend. Photo Michael Craig

 

And then there I was sitting on the floor of a potting shed in Hagley Park on Friday, March 15, thinking about how relieved I was that my Suleiman, my laughing, smiling, joy of a boy was nowhere near me. Relieved that my Suleiman was safe at home – protected from this scene by 627km and the colour of his skin. And while I was sitting there feeling that relief I was so acutely aware that just a few hundred metres away sat a mother who was, in that very moment, watching her own son die.

In my head I know I was safe that day, but I’m having trouble telling my mind that.

Although I was very close to the shooting, I was never a target. I have run through a few hundred scenarios in my head where the day ends differently – the gunman’s car doesn’t start and he escapes on foot through the park – or he returns to the police cordon after the initial shooting – or his hatred is just slightly less predictable and he decides to spread his terror in a more random direction.

In each of these scenarios he comes to the shed where we were waiting. I try to dismiss these thoughts as quickly as they come, but they are wearing me down. They are wearing me down and I wasn’t even in any real danger. I heard no shots. I saw no blood. My Suleiman was far far away.

I almost didn’t write this column because people are feeling fatigued by this story, by this grief. I am feeling fatigued by my story, by my grief. But I want to let you know how I am feeling. Because you might be feeling this way too one day.

On Friday I spent four hours sitting in a shed in Hagley Park surrounded by uncertainty and fear. Like hundreds of others I waited tensely within blocks of the shooting not knowing exactly where and what was happening.

The fear and sadness and rage I am experiencing this week has given me a glimpse, the smallest tiniest of understanding, of what it would be like to exist in a world of uncertainty and fear.

The world where a man sits near the window when he prays because he is certain that one day he will need to use it as an escape route. And then he does. The world where children are trained in lockdown procedures. The world that our Muslim friends, our black friends, our Chinese friends walk in every day.

My experience that day wasn’t exceptional, and to me that’s an exceptional comment on the state of the world.

 

 

• Dani Lebo has a background in international relations and education. She runs The ECO School, an organisation dedicated to accessible sustainability education.