May 012022
 


Giuseppe Sanmartino The veiled Christ (Christo velato) 1753

 

Vladimir Putin May Declare New World War In Days: UK Defence Secretary (Mirror)
It’s About Time (Edward Curtin)
What is the Collective West? (Batiushka)
Russian Cyber Attacks Fail to Materialize (LI)
Ukraine War Speeds Up US Cyber Agenda (Hill)
The Perfect Nanny To Tidy Up Mess Of Free Speech (Turley)
Time Writer Knocks Free Speech As An ‘Obsession Of The Tech Elite’ (Fox)
Diesel for Dinner (Doomberg)
Vaccine Lies Are Finally Falling (Nass)
High Energy Prices Leave Oil Giants Untroubled By Russia Exit Or Tax Hints (O.)
World Moving to Gold – Jim Rickards (USAW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

MacGregor Poland

 

 

 

 

Putin Guterres

 

 

Pelosi Ze

 

 

The weapons deliveries need the story that Russia is failing, i.e. Ukraine can “win”. In the UK, politicians actually believe that story.

Vladimir Putin May Declare New World War In Days: UK Defence Secretary (Mirror)

Vladimir Putin could declare a new world war in the coming days, the UK defence secretary has warned. Ben Wallace said that the Russian leader may start a “mass” mobilisation and use May Day to announce a war on the world’s “Nazis”. Putin started the Russian invasion of its neighbour on February 24 saying that it was a special operation to rid Ukraine of Nazis. Since then Ukrainian cities have been pummelled by shelling in a battle which government minister Liz Truss has said could go on for 10 years. And in the face of the West providing money and armaments to Ukraine, Russia has referred to its nuclear capabilities in threats to not get involved. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the “danger is serious” of a nuclear war.

Now Mr Wallace told LBC that Putin having “failed” in most of his objectives in the war with Ukraine may declare war on the “world’s Nazis”. He said: “I would not be surprised . . . that he is probably going to declare on May Day that ‘we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilise the Russian people’.” He continued: “Putin, having failed in nearly all objectives, may seek to consolidate what he’s got . . . and just be a sort of cancerous growth within the country. We have to help Ukrainians effectively get the limpet off the rock and keep the momentum pushing them back.” At the same time around 8,000 British Army troops are to take part in exercises across eastern Europe to combat Russian aggression in one of the largest deployments since the Cold War.

Dozens of tanks will be deployed to countries ranging from Finland to North Macedonia this summer under plans that have been enhanced since the invasion of Ukraine. Mr Wallace said the “show of solidarity and strength” will see UK service personnel joining with NATO allies and those from the Joint Expeditionary Force alliance, which includes Finland and Sweden, for the exercises. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the action had been long planned, but that it had been enhanced since Russia invaded its neighbour in late February.

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“..the apocalyptic sense that permeates our lives because of demonic technology and its use to transform humans into machines who can’t think clearly enough to perceive reality..”

It’s About Time (Edward Curtin)

With the start of World War III by the United States “declaring” war against Russia by its actions in Ukraine, we have entered a time when the end of time has become very possible. I am speaking of nuclear annihilation. I look down at my great-uncle’s gold Elgin pocket watch from the 19th century. His name was John Patrick Whalen, an Irish immigrant to the US who fled England’s colonialist created famine in Ireland. It tells me it is 5:15 PM on April 21, 2022, a date, coincidentally, with a history. No doubt John looked at his watch on this date in 1898 when the United States, after the USS Maine exploded from within in Havana harbor (a possible false flag attack), declared war on Spain in order to confiscate Spanish territories – Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

One colonial power replaced another and then proceeded over the long decades to wage war and slaughter these island peoples. Imperialism never dies. It is timeless. One hundred and twenty-four years go by in a flash and it’s still the same old story. In 1898 the yellow press screamed Spanish devils and today it screams Russian devils. Then and now the press called for war. If the human race is still here in another 124 years, time and the corporate media will no doubt have told the same story – war and propaganda’s lies to an insouciant and ignorant population too hypnotized by propaganda to oppose them. This despite the apocalyptic sense that permeates our lives because of demonic technology and its use to transform humans into machines who can’t think clearly enough to perceive reality and realize the threat posed by that quintessential technological invention – nuclear weapons.

This is not uplifting, but it’s true. The nuclear weapons are primed and ready to fly. The US insists on its first-strike right to launch them. It openly declares it is seeking the overthrow of the Russian government. Russia says it will use nuclear weapons only if its existence is threatened, which has become increasingly so because of US provocations over a long time period and its current expanding arming of Ukraine’s government and its neo-Nazi forces.The Russian President Vladimir Putin and its Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov have just warned the US that such involvement has made nuclear war a “serious” and “real” risk, in Lavrov’s words “we must not underestimate it,” which is a mild form of diplomatic speech. Putin said that Russia has made all the preparations to respond if it senses a strategic threat to Russia and that response will be “instant, it will be quick.”

The US response is to shrug these statements off, just as it has done so for many years with Putin’s complaints about NATO forces moving up to its border. Incredibly, Biden has said, “For God’s sake, this man (Putin) cannot remain in power.”


Donetsk war reporter Dmitry Astrakhan

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“2022. Ancient Russian Lands (recently become known as Eastern and Central Ukraine), occupied, attacked and threatened by Nazi forces, trained and equipped by NATO..”

What is the Collective West? (Batiushka)

1812. The Russian Empire was invaded by the French Empire, the Austrian Empire, the Kingdoms of Italy, Naples, Saxony, Bavaria, Westphalia, Wuerttemburg, Prussia, Spain and Denmark, the Swiss Confederation, the Grand Duchies of Hesse, Berg and Baden and the Duchy of Warsaw. The result? Although the Collective Western forces reached Moscow, they had to retreat with hundreds of thousands of deaths and in 1814 Russian troops liberated Paris from the tyranny of Napoleon.

1853. The Russian Empire was invaded by France, Great Britain, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire, supported by the Austrian Empire. This war, miscalled ‘The Crimean War’, included the invasion of the Russia through the Crimea, an attempted British invasion of Siberia from the Sea of Japan and the shelling by the British Navy of a Russian monastery from the White Sea. It lasted until 1856. The ending came when the British blew up the Russian dock installations of Sebastopol (Sevastopol), built ten years before by British engineers. For this ‘achievement’, 500,000 human-beings had died as a result of French and British Imperialism, mainly of disease. Another consequence – in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the then friendly USA, and not to the enemy British Canada.

1914. The Russian Empire was invaded by Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the German puppet kinglet of Bulgaria. After immense struggles, the enemy advanced only as far as Poland and Lithuania, never even entering Russian territory. The Russian Imperial Army, suffering fewer losses than the French and Germans on the Western Front even though facing twice as many enemy troops, was headed for total victory in summer 1917. However, in early 1917 the Russian Empire was overthrown by a British-orchestrated coup d’etat and implemented by a fifth column of treacherous Russian aristocrats (i.e. oligarchs, in modern language), generals, politicians, journalists and lawyers. We know what happened next.

1941. The Soviet Union was invaded by the troops of Fascist Germany, Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, but these were supported by detachments of Nazi troops from a great many Western countries, including France, Belgium and Norway. The result? Despite the slaughter of 27 million Soviet citizens by the genocidal Nazis who treated the Soviet peoples as wild animals to be massacred, in 1945 Soviet troops liberated Berlin, discovering the gruesome charred remains of the suicide Hitler.

2022. Ancient Russian Lands (recently become known as Eastern and Central Ukraine), occupied, attacked and threatened by Nazi forces, trained and equipped by NATO (the North American Terrorist Organisation), consisting of 30 states led by the USA, are being liberated. They are being freed by Russian forces fighting in what is not a Russian war against the Ukraine but a NATO proxy war against the Ukraine.

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“..unnamed US officials told NBC News that “there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine,” adding that Washington hurled the accusation merely to “deter Russia from using the banned munitions.”

Russian Cyber Attacks Fail to Materialize (LI)

One month after President Joe Biden warned Americans to prepare for cyberattacks from Russia, a US official said that Washington still has yet to detect any. The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has assessed that Russia has not breached US systems, with agency head Jen Easterly saying the administration has “not seen attacks manifest here.” “To date, we have not seen specific attacks on the US. What we are concerned about is the fact that Russia’s malicious cyber activity is part of their playbook,” she said in a statement on Thursday. Easterly did mention that American economic penalties could provoke Russian cyber operations in the future, despite the lack of such breaches to date. “We are very concerned that as the war drags on, there may, in fact, be retaliatory attacks given the very severe sanctions we have imposed on the Kremlin, the US and our allies,” the agency head continued.


In a March 21 speech, Biden told Americans that “the magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it’s coming,” ominous warning of major hacks on the horizon. The Biden administration has issued several similar alerts that have failed to materialize. The White House has warned for months that Moscow could deploy chemical weapons and has even shipped protective equipment to Kiev’s forces to prepare for such an attack. On April 6, however, a series of unnamed US officials told NBC News that “there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine,” adding that Washington hurled the accusation merely to “deter Russia from using the banned munitions.”

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Still, the narrative of the “Russian Cyber Attacks” works miracles to get funding.

Ukraine War Speeds Up US Cyber Agenda (Hill)

The war in Ukraine has pushed the United States to expedite its investment in cybersecurity amid constant — though so far unrealized — warnings of Russian cyberattacks on government agencies, election systems and critical infrastructure. Following the invasion of Ukraine, federal agencies have invested millions in cyber technology, seized and sanctioned hacking forums, charged Russian cyber criminals, and issued almost weekly warnings on the latest threat risks. Even lawmakers in Congress have stepped up their efforts, with the introduction of several cyber-related bills, and the passage of a new law requiring companies in critical sectors to report significant cyberattacks within 72 hours and ransomware payments within 24 hours.

The legislation passed in March as part of an omnibus spending bill that significantly increased funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which oversees federal cybersecurity infrastructure and enforcement. “The war in Ukraine is sort of a focusing event for getting some legislative initiative and momentum, and getting some public support that this is an issue that their representatives should care about,” said Jason Blessing, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “As terrible as the war has been, it’s an opportunity for the U.S. government to establish more robust cyber frameworks,” he added. Lawmakers have also held several committee hearings on cybersecurity over the last couple weeks, inviting experts – from the private sector and the government – to weigh in on current cyber threats and how to stop them.

Although many of these efforts predate the Russian invasion, experts say that the war in Ukraine gave the actions momentum and priority, such as lawmakers passing the cyber incident reporting law and the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicting Russian hackers. “The DOJ had clearly been investigating the hackers who were charged in March for some time prior to that announcement, but I think it’s possible that the war prompted them to go public with those charges sooner than they otherwise might have,” said Josephine Wolff, an associate professor of cybersecurity policy at the Tufts University Fletcher School. [..] Despite the U.S. sounding the cyber alarm, Russia is still showing restraint in the face of crippling economic sanctions. Experts and policymakers still warn that Russian cyber aggression is only a matter of time, particularly with midterm elections around the corner.

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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

The Perfect Nanny To Tidy Up Mess Of Free Speech (Turley)

“You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation.” That Twitter intro to a TikTok parody of the song, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” is now indelibly connected to Nina Jankowicz, the new head of the federal government’s announced Disinformation Governance Board. Given her record of spreading disinformation and advocating censorship, Jankowicz hardly needed the musical-inspired persona. Yet, for the Biden administration, Jankowicz — like Mary Poppins — is “practically perfect in every way” to keep track on whether we all “measure up” in our public statements. It is still unclear from the administration’s public statements what authority the board will wield, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki described the board as intended “to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities.”

President Biden already has established himself as arguably the most anti-free-speech president since John Adams. During his transition period, Biden appointed outspoken advocates for censorship; as president, he has pushed social media companies to expand censorship, while his administration has been criticized for spying on journalists. Now, with Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and his pledge to restore free-speech values to the platform, panic has set in among Democrats — including Jankowicz, who told National Public Radio that “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities.”

Jankowicz’s singing voice may be impressive, but her appointment is tone-deaf. She has been ridiculed for pushing the false “Russian disinformation” claim about the original reporting on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, stressing that “we should view it as a Trump campaign product.” She continued to spread that disinformation, including tweeting a link to a news article that she said cast “yet more doubt on the provenance of the NY Post’s Hunter Biden story.” In another related tweet, she added that “emails don’t need to be altered to be part of an influence campaign. Voters deserve that context, not a [fairy] tale about a laptop repair shop.” Conversely, she cited Christopher Steele, author of the discredited “Steele dossier” during the 2016 presidential campaign, as a source on how to stop disinformation.

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“The right to say what you want without being imprisoned is not the same as the right to broadcast disinformation to millions of people on a corporate platform..”

Time Writer Knocks Free Speech As An ‘Obsession Of The Tech Elite’ (Fox)

In a Friday piece for Time magazine, the outlet’s national correspondent Charlotte Alter dismissed Elon Musk’s quest for free speech on Twitter as a white male “obsession,” and merely an entrepreneurial way to acquire influence and power in the world. She also claimed that Musk’s idea of free speech is about the right to spread “disinformation” and has nothing to do with the Founding Fathers’ original intent. Alter began her piece by insinuating that Musk should have put his $44 billion into something more worthwhile than what he sees as “free speech,” a phrase she put in scare quotes throughout the piece.

She wrote, “They say that something is worth what someone will pay for it. If that’s true, then protecting ‘free speech,’ which Elon Musk has cited as a central reason he agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion this week, may be worth twice as much as solving America’s homelessness problem, and seven times as much as solving world hunger.” She added, “It’s worth more (to him, at least) than educating every child in nearly 50 countries, more than the GDP of Serbia, Jordan, or Paraguay.” The author then proceeded to wonder why a rich techie like Musk would even care about freedom of speech and how it “had become paramount concern of the techno-moral universe.”

She asked, “Why does Musk care so much about this? Why would a guy who has pushed the boundaries of electric-vehicle manufacturing and plumbed the limits of commercial space flight care about who can say what on Twitter?” She then cited professor of communication at Stanford University Fred Turner for the answer, who agreed, “It does seem to be a dominant obsession with the most elite.” He stated, “[F]ree speech seems to be much more of an obsession among men,” and part of “the entrepreneurial push: I did it in business, I did it in space, and now I’m going to do it in the world.”

Alter then claimed that “‘free speech’ in the 21st century means something very different than it did in the 18th, when the Founders enshrined it in the Constitution.” She elaborated, “The right to say what you want without being imprisoned is not the same as the right to broadcast disinformation to millions of people on a corporate platform. This nuance seems to be lost on some techno-wizards who see any restriction as the enemy of innovation.”

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Burn your food.

Diesel for Dinner (Doomberg)

Armed with humanity’s mastery of chemistry, we can now rearrange atoms with astonishing specificity at an unimaginable scale, pushing billions of people further up Maslow’s hierarchy than they would otherwise be. In addition to using fossil fuels to create most of the materials that surround us, we leverage them to produce fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and other inputs into the farming process, boosting crop yields to levels once thought impossible. We also synthesize mountains of edible ingredients directly from oil and gas. Touring a modern food processing factory would seem almost indistinguishable from a specialty chemical plant, mostly because they aren’t all that different.

While it makes perfect sense to leverage our bounty of fossil fuels and ability to manipulate them at the molecular level to increase global food abundance, going through the effort to grow food only to turn around and burn it for energy seems less than ideal. In a controversial piece we wrote in January titled “In Praise of Corn Ethanol,” we put forth a theory that the adoption of corn ethanol as a mandated additive to gasoline was a scheme to coverup one of the greatest environmental scandals of the past century: the use of tetraethyl lead as an anti-knock agent. While some readers interpreted our piece as supporting this policy – undoubtedly because of the title – our primary purpose was to highlight the ugly history that got us to the current situation, and how it was predominantly a dirty political compromise. In hindsight, “Why Corn Ethanol is a Thing” might have been a better title.

No such compromise underpins the decision to use foodstuffs as replacements for diesel, a policy that will make the unfolding global food crisis substantially worse if it is not soon overturned. Unfortunately for those near the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid, many cooking oils – liquid fat isolated from various crops used extensively in frying, baking, and other types of food preparation all over the world – have a molecular structure quite similar to that of diesel. It does not take much chemical magic to transform previously edible cooking oils into workable substitutes for the valuable fuel. Now that the environmental lobby has convinced government officials worldwide that “renewable carbon content” is prima facia a desirable thing – a fallacy that deserves its own Doomberg piece – various mandates exist to literally take food out of the mouths of the hungry and pump it into our trucks for burning. For the planet, and whatnot.

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“..ambulances are being summoned for a lot more calls for cardiac events and sudden deaths: 40% more to be exact..”

Vaccine Lies Are Finally Falling (Nass)

The kicker for childhood vaccines: the New York state Department of Health study of vaccine efficacy in children. After 2 months, efficacy in the 5-11 year olds had fallen to 12%. In other words, 7 out of 8 vaccinated kids derived no benefit after 2 months, only risk. The data were derived from 365,000 children, and apparently there was no way CDC could spin them, or 12% was the best spin they could put on the data. This report is a huge obstacle to universal child vaccinations. They cabal cannot surmount it. It is important to mention again — because we keep forgetting — that while the vaccines are nominally licensed for adults, in fact you can only find the EUA (unlicensed) product in the US, and legally an EUA is experimental — and therefore forcing someone to be vaccinated is a Nuremberg violation and a violation of federal law.

The imposition of mandates for these experimental gene therapy products is therefore a crime, being committed by states, federal government and certain companies and other institutions. It seems that because US law was not designed for situations in which the government is the criminal, it has been very difficult to use the judicial system to change what is happening. But surely if this persisted much longer an honest judge somewhere would finally rule that the vaccines are experimental and the COVID mandate house of cards would then collapse. Like Humpty Dumpty (it is Easter today after all): “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put COVID mandates together again.” What else has been happening that undermines the vaccine story?

Well, in addition to all the collapsing athletes, there is now a large collection of mayors suddenly dropping dead throughout Germany. In Australia, Queensland’s health minister just admitted that ambulances are being summoned for a lot more calls for cardiac events and sudden deaths: 40% more to be exact. Thanks to Igor Chudov for following this story, and including a video of the clueless minister admitting it, but having no idea why … Then there were the 3 insurance companies, one each from the US, India and Germany, that admitted there were about 40% more deaths than expected in working-age people in the second half of 2021.

The German official who blew the whistle, a CEO or VP, was immediately fired, which is a strong indication he was telling the truth. Three doctor whistleblowers released a large cache of data from the military’s DMED database showing huge increases in service-member deaths. There has been a lot of confusion about these data. In part, that is because the military then reissued its data for the preceding several years, making the 2021 comparison look less dire. Mathew Crawford has some ideas about what really happened to the data. The only thing that is absolutely clear so far is that there has been a coverup, and the health of vaccinated members of the military appears to have taken a dive. But we don’t know how deep.

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Brilliant take from the Observer: oil giants’ profits function to spite Putin. That you pay for them is not important.

High Energy Prices Leave Oil Giants Untroubled By Russia Exit Or Tax Hints (O.)

For BP and Shell, the British companies that account for two of the world’s seven oil “supermajors”, the first quarter of 2022 has been painfully fascinating. Both were heavily enmeshed in Russia and now face having to write down a combined £24bn on the value of their businesses, after cutting ties with the Kremlin. Shell is expected to take a hit of £3.5bn due to its decision to exit its joint venture with Gazprom, Russia’s state gas giant, including its stake in the Sakhalin-2 gas project. BP accounts for the lion’s share of the eye-watering sum, due to its 20% stake in state oil firm Rosneft. It seems only yesterday that BP announced it was taking the stake, in exchange for the takeover of its Russian assets by Rosneft, as part of a new alliance unveiled in a conference at the oil company’s salubrious London HQ.

BP boss Bob Dudley, who had himself fled Russia during a dispute with BP’s partners in a former joint venture there, announced the deal in 2013 alongside his new pal Igor Sechin, then chair of Rosneft. Dudley is enjoying semi-retirement, while Sechin – nicknamed Darth Vader – sits at Putin’s right hand. The result, after discussions between the government and BP, is divestment and a £20bn hit. Rosneft accounted for £1.9bn of profit last year. Looked at one way, that’s a lot of money. Looked at another, it’s practically chicken feed for a company that absorbed £50bn of costs from its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and lived to tell the tale. Moreover, the loss might have been more painful if it weren’t for the fact that oil companies have been making out like bandits due to sky-high oil and gas prices.

Bernard Looney, the BP chief executive, described his company as a “cash machine” earlier this year, thanks to the commodity price boom. Annual profits at BP, reported in February, were £10bn, compared to a £4.5bn loss the year before. Shell fared similarly swimmingly, booking £14bn. Their fortunes are widely expected to have improved still further in 2022, with first-quarter results due to be published this week offering the first insight into just how much. In February, oil and gas prices were high but had not yet been rocket-boosted by the war in Ukraine. What Putin has taken from the UK oil companies with one hand, in terms of painful divestments of Russian assets, he has given back with the other. As a result, analysts have pencilled in £3.5bn for BP (up from £2.1bn last year) and £7bn for Shell, nearly three times last year’s £2.6bn.

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“Rickards says the minimum gold price is $15,000 per ounce in the not-so-distant future.”

“..By the time you pay for gas and groceries, if you can, there is not much left over..”

World Moving to Gold – Jim Rickards (USAW)

Five-time, best-selling financial author James G. Rickards says, “We could be in a recession right now,” but the title of his most recent book “The New Great Depression” says where we are definitely going soon. Rickards says, “The current crisis is not like 2008 or even 1929. The New Depression that has emerged from the COVID pandemic is the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. Most fired employees will remain redundant. Bankruptcies will be common, and banks will buckle under the weight of bad debts. Deflation, debt and demography will wreck any chance of recovery, and social disorder will follow closely on the heels of market chaos.”

Rickards says there are many negatives to the current economy, Covid, inflation, war, sanctions, supply destruction, and on top of all that, Rickards says the Fed will ultimately kill the economy with a policy mistake. Rickards explains, “Probably in May they are going to have quantitative tightening, which means you actually reduce the money supply. So, this is triple tightening: Three interest rate hikes, no more taper . . . and doing quantitative tightening at a very rapid rate. What just happened? We had a down quarter. The economy was at recession levels in the first quarter, and the stock market is on the way down. So, here we go again. The Fed is tightening into weakness. It’s tightening into certainly a stock market bubble, and they are probably going to destroy the markets again.”

Inflation, according to Rickards, is very serious, and he explains, “It is the worst inflation in 40 years. You can’t argue about it, it’s there. . . . The inflation we are seeing now does not come from the demand side. . . . It’s from the supply side. It’s because of the war in Ukraine. That’s a supply side disruption. It’s also from the ‘Zero Covid’ policy in China. They locked down two of the biggest cities in the world. . . . There are multiple reasons for supply chain disruptions. . . . By the time you pay for gas and groceries, if you can, there is not much left over . . . .That’s going to kill discretionary spending.”

Rickards says the signs that gold is going way up are global. “The world could not destroy the dollar, but we could. . . . If you are putting sanctions on dollars and kicking people out of dollar accounts . . . why would I want dollars? The U.S. destroyed trust. . . . If you want to get away from the dollar, there is not a currency or bond market you can go to, but there is gold. . . . Gold is money good, and it’s the only form of money the whole world can agree on.” Rickards says the minimum gold price is $15,000 per ounce in the not-so-distant future. Rickards says depending on the backing and math, it could go up in value much higher. Rickards likes silver, too, and food for the common guy. Food prices are going to go much higher according to Rickards, and in some places in the world, he expects out right starvation.

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Apr 142022
 
 April 14, 2022  Posted by at 7:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Andy Warhol Shot Sage Blue Marilyn 1964 (click pic for great article!)

 

Putin Vows ‘Consequences’ For Those Who Interfere In Ukraine (DM)
The Fog of War and the Global Paradigm Shift (Vianna)
How To Wrest War Reparations From Russia: Ukraine, West Count The Ways (JTN)
Zelenskyy’s Steinmeier Snub Triggers Backlash In Germany (Pol.eu)
Bretton Woods III: “Suicidal Europe Saved By Gold?“ (Vilches)
My Video Call With The WHO This Morning (Tess Lawrie)
The Anatomy of Big Pharma’s Political Reach (CHD)
C19 “Vaccine” – The Cause Of Causes (CdC)
GOP Lawmakers Demand FDA Publish Covid Vaccine Safety And Efficacy Data (JTN)
The Horrible, Terrible, Bad, Bad Results of CNBC’s Biden Performance Poll (CTH)
Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises 11.2%, Mirroring Record CPI Numbers (JTN)
Hunter Biden Mixing Business Affairs With Hunger Charity (JTN)
My Personal Experience in Twitter’s Assault on Free Speech (Scott Ritter)

 

 

 

 

“This Is the Largest Experiment on Human Beings Ever Performed in the History of the World”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1514014220345561093

 

 

 

 

The Daily Mail says faltering invasion twice in two sentences. They must be afraid once is not enough.

I saw a headline yesterday about Russia threatening arms shipments into Ukraine, but can’t find it back right now.

Putin Vows ‘Consequences’ For Those Who Interfere In Ukraine (DM)

Vladimir Putin today warned his enemies in the West they will face ‘consequences’ if they ‘worsen the situation’ in Ukraine, as the Russian strongman threatened to create ‘waves of migrants’ in Europe. Putin, speaking in front of dozens of rockets at the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia’s Far East, insisted that his faltering invasion of Ukraine would prevail as he warned of world starvation as a result of Western sanctions against Moscow. The Russian President claimed Russia’s economy and financial system withstood the blow from what he called the Western sanctions ‘blitz’ and insisted the move would backfire by driving up prices for essentials such as fertiliser, leading to food shortages and increased migration to the West.

Despite Putin’s faltering invasion, which saw Russian troops retreat from Ukrainian cities and instead focus on the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, the leader said his war effort is going to plan as he vowed Russia would triumph in all of its ‘noble’ war aims. Putin said that ‘common sense should prevail’ and added that the West should ‘come back to reason and make well-balanced decisions without losing its face.’ He argued that new Western restrictions on high-tech exports will encourage Russia to move faster to develop new technologies, opening a ‘new window of opportunities.’ Putin also claimed on Tuesday that the images and footage of dead bodies strewn across the Ukrainian town of Bucha were fake, parroting the same lines his spokesman gave earlier this week. He compared the accusations to those concerning the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ‘It’s the same kind of fake in Bucha,’ Putin said.

[..] An unconfirmed video uploaded last night appears to show two Russian coastal defence missile systems moving along a road on the Russian side of the border that leads to Helsinki. The missile systems, which were seen driving past a sign to the Finnish capital, are thought to be the K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence system, designed to take out surface ships up to and including aircraft carrier battle groups. The Russian deployment comes as Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she expects her government ‘will end the discussion before midsummer’ on whether to apply for NATO membership.

Recent opinions polls by a Finnish market research company put 84% of Finns as viewing Russia as a ‘significant military threat’, up by 25% on last year. In response, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov euphemistically warned the move would ‘not improve’ the security situation in Europe, and Moscow lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov added more bluntly it would mean ‘the destruction of the country’. ‘We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent,’ Peskov said.

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“..the deepening of the continuous and unlimited reproduction and expansion of the american military empire is a reality that became even clearer after the first russian tank entered ukrainian territory..”

The Fog of War and the Global Paradigm Shift (Vianna)

With ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky being a kind of spokesman of a script written in Washington – or, who knows, Hollywood – the repeated attacks on european leaders who have worked so hard for the normalization of Russian-European Union relations, as is the case of the recent attack on former chancellor Angela Merkel, indicate that the instruments of fourth generation war, already used by the United States in other regions of the planet, are intensifying in the heart of the western alliance. Not only the maintenance, but the deepening of the continuous and unlimited reproduction and expansion of the american military empire is a reality that became even clearer after the first russian tank entered ukrainian territory, even if this meant destabilizing, or even destroying, old and loyal allies.

In this sense, the old premise carried by many scholars of the “realist” school of International Relations, as well as by great thinkers of the World System, that the concentration of global power in a single state would be an essential condition for lasting world peace, falls to the ground. The “Hyperpower Paradox” is confirmed as a slap in the face of the enormous theoretical consensus developed since the mid-1970s of the last century. In other words, since the first minute of the US bombing of Iraq in 1991, which followed the 48 military interventions of the 1990s, and the 24 interventions in the first two decades of the 21st century – which in turn culminated in 100,000 bombings around the globe – the International System is immersed in a somber process of permanent, or infinite, war, which contradicts the kantian utopia of perpetual peace reflected in the idea of hegemonic stability.

Thus, it was a mistake to consider that the unipolar global power that emerged with the victory in the cold war could exercise its hegemony in the name of peace and global stability, assuming, therefore, a responsible leadership and in the name of a great global governance. On the contrary, what we have witnessed over the last 30 years is the escalation of interstate competition, with the reaction of other states to the insane and inconsequential process of power expansion carried out by the American military empire.

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The same way Yemen, Libya, Syria etc etc will wrest war reparations from the US, one would presume.

How To Wrest War Reparations From Russia: Ukraine, West Count The Ways (JTN)

Seven weeks into a war that seems poised to escalate before it ends, Kyiv and Western leaders are calculating ways to exact reparations from an aggressive Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24 launched an attack into Ukraine, pummeling cities and wreaking havoc on lives and infrastructure. Aside from the intangible damages to society, experts have estimated that the damages range from $700 billion to a projected $1.5 trillion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Moscow last month that he expected that country to pay for the damages. “We will restore every house, every street, every city,” Zelensky said in a video address. “You will reimburse us for everything you did against our state, against every Ukrainian, in full.”

Although Putin most likely would dismiss such claims, the West may already have the means to earmark reparations on Ukraine’s behalf, one analyst said. “In the past, reparations have been paid after hostilities ended by the aggressor country — that was Germany in the first two world wars,” according to the Brookings Institution’s Robert Litan. “Now, the fact that many countries already have control over Russia’s holdings of foreign currency means that, in effect, reparations for the Ukrainian invasion have been pre-funded by Russia itself,” Litan wrote in a March essay. Significant sums of Russian money have been frozen by governments around the world. But funneling it toward reparations may present a number of hurdles, others say.

European officials reportedly are considering whether the seized property of Russian oligarchs can be applied toward rebuilding Ukraine. A more lucrative move would be to confiscate Russia’s central bank reserves that are held in foreign banks. But such a move would be complex in light of legal constraints, one analyst said. “There is international law that puts property of foreign states under special protection,” according to Stephan Schill, a professor at the Amsterdam Center for International Law.

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This is the US speaking. Pick on someone who has visibility but no power.

Zelenskyy’s Steinmeier Snub Triggers Backlash In Germany (Pol.eu)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decision to declare his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier unwelcome in Kyiv has triggered dismay among German politicians and warnings that the move may backfire. Steinmeier, seen as a symbol of Germany’s soft line on Moscow before the invasion of Ukraine, had planned to visit Kyiv on Wednesday along with the presidents of Poland and the three Baltic states, but the German president had to cancel his trip — which had not been made public in advance for security reasons — after Kyiv indicated that he was not welcome. The move was a humiliation for Steinmeier — a former foreign minister closely associated with Berlin’s previous policy of pursuing close economic and diplomatic ties with Russia — but also for Germany as a whole.

As federal president, Steinmeier is the highest-ranking representative of the German state. The fact that Zelenskyy communicated his decision just hours before Steinmeier’s planned secret trip, after days of preparation between Berlin and Kyiv, and that Ukrainian officials leaked the snub to German tabloid Bild, deepened the diplomatic insult for Germany. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he found Zelenskyy‘s decision not to welcome Steinmeier “irritating.” Reacting to a Ukrainian invitation for him to visit Ukraine himself, Scholz told RBB24 radio he was not planning any such trip in the near future. The chancellor argued that he had been to Kyiv just about a week before the outbreak of the war and that he was speaking regularly to Zelenskyy on the phone, most recently on Sunday.

In an official statement, a government spokesperson voiced a sober reaction to the Ukrainian move, saying that Steinmeier “has taken and is taking a very clear and unambiguous position on the side of Ukraine,” and stressed that he had also directly appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty. Others were more critical. “While understanding the existential threat to Ukraine posed by the Russian invasion, I expect Ukrainian representatives to adhere to a minimum level of diplomatic manners and not unduly interfere in our country’s domestic politics,” said Rolf Mützenich, the parliamentary group leader of the center-left Social Democrats, the party of both Steinmeier and Scholz.

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“Goal (A) is having all countries being able to gradually repatriate their gold bullion now theoretically in custody at the Bank of England..”

Good luck with that. Theoretically.

Bretton Woods III: “Suicidal Europe Saved By Gold?“ (Vilches)

In a nutshell, right now our Western Graeco-Roman Judeo-Christian millenary culture needs to rise to the occasion. Dear “Europa”, as the cradle of Western civilization that you are supposed to be, please be advised that this is it. Otherwise, not just our culture but also our species could soon become functionally disabled. Or, in financial terms which technocrats enjoy so much, we can soon become a forever ´non-performing asset´ a.k.a. wasted garbage. Accordingly, this draft Plan attempts to AVOID the UK-EU Armageddon that “NATO´s internal gold war” would necessarily bring about. And also please be advised that our success would be the only way at hand to prove the Davos agenda wrong which actually was what brought us to the situation we are now facing in the first place.

The basic philosophy behind this über urgent project is probably best represented by a photograph taken at Verdun in 1984 wherein French President Francois Mitterand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl are firmly holding each other´s hand like two school children both looking straight at the camera for the whole world to see. These two most serious, intelligent and very powerfull elderly statesmen were silently screaming something instantly understood by everyone after French and Germans had killed, maimed and hatefully destroyed each other for decades. Say no more.

Lacking public domain data, let´s accept a spitball yet trustworthy “back-of-the-envelope” guesstimate of 5000 tons of gold deposited by EU members for custody at the Bank of England. So, if such tonnage were now physically available at today´s ultra low central-bank-manipulated prices it would pay for all of Europe´s oil & gas imports for one full year …while if gold were priced at USD $ 5000 per ounce Troy it would pay for 2,5 years of Europe´s oil & gas needs… And if gold were priced at USD $ 50,000 per ounce (something quite possible if genuine price-discovery mechanisms were set free without central bank manipulation…) those 5000 metric tons of gold at current oil & gas prices (which could be lower due to deflationary pressures) would pay for 25 years of EU´s fuel needs, or more.

2022 goals of The Plan, Goal (A) is having all countries being able to gradually repatriate their gold bullion now theoretically in custody at the Bank of England if they so desire with a serious and foreseeable schedule in place to be unequivocally complied with. Goal (B) being able to sell such gold bullion even with buyers taking physical delivery but always at a genuine market price most probably very much higher than today´s fully manipulated quotes thru central bank daily interventions. s

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“No one in their right mind would want the WHO in charge of a global pandemic.”

“On Sunday, it launched a so-called ‘public participation process’ and invited video and written submissions. They gave two days to make video submissions, and written submissions must be received by 5pm CEST today. That’s five days for the world’s citizens to have their voices heard. Five days – and no public announcement.”

My Video Call With The WHO This Morning (Tess Lawrie)

As you may know, the WHO is proposing a global pandemic agreement that would give it undemocratic rights over every participating nation and its citizens. Put simply, in the event of a ‘pandemic’, the WHO’s constitution would replace every country’s constitution. Whether your country’s elected government would agree or not, the WHO could impose lockdowns, testing regimes, enforce medical interventions, dictate all public health practice, and much more. Throughout this pandemic, the WHO has demonstrated its incompetence, dishonesty and corruption. It has withheld safe and established older medicines, ignored the experiences of frontline doctors, disregarded evidence from low, middle and high-income countries, and taken no heed of the values and preferences of people affected by their recommendations.


It has ignored the huge numbers of adverse reactions on its own database and has failed to issue warnings about the gene-based vaccines. It has also advertised that the mRNA vaccines are as safe as normal vaccines – and this is simply not the case. No one in their right mind would want the WHO in charge of a global pandemic. And yet, that’s precisely what it is proposing with its global pandemic treaty. The World Council for Health wrote a response to this a while back and has been watching developments closely. Well, this week the WHO pulled a fast one on the world. On Sunday, it launched a so-called ‘public participation process’ and invited video and written submissions. They gave two days to make video submissions, and written submissions must be received by 5pm CEST today. That’s five days for the world’s citizens to have their voices heard. Five days – and no public announcement. If you’re angry, you have every right to be.

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Full portrait of the world’s biggest lobbying enterprise.

The Anatomy of Big Pharma’s Political Reach (CHD)

Pfizer has outspent its peers in six of the last eight election cycles, coughing up almost $9.7 million. During the 2016 election, pharmaceutical companies gave more than $7 million to 97 senators at an average of $75,000 per member. They also contributed $6.3 million to president Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. The question is: what did big pharma get in return? To truly grasp big pharma’s power, you need to understand how The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) works. ALEC, which was founded in 1973 by conservative activists working on Ronald Reagan’s campaign, is a super secretive pay-to-play operation where corporate lobbyists – including in the pharma sector – hold confidential meetings about “model” bills. A large portion of these bills is eventually approved and become law.

A rundown of ALEC’s greatest hits will tell you everything you need to know about the council’s motives and priorities. In 1995, ALEC promoted a bill that restricts consumers’ rights to sue for damages resulting from taking a particular medication. They also endorsed the Statute of Limitation Reduction Act, which put a time limit on when someone could sue after a medication-induced injury or death. Over the years, ALEC has promoted many other pharma-friendly bills that would: weaken the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight of new drugs and therapies, limit FDA authority over drug advertising, and oppose regulations on financial incentives for doctors to prescribe specific drugs. But what makes these ALEC collaborations feel particularly problematic is that there’s little transparency — all of this happens behind closed doors.

Congressional leaders and other committee members involved in ALEC aren’t required to publish any records of their meetings and other communications with pharma lobbyists, and the roster of ALEC members is completely confidential. All we know is that in 2020, more than two-thirds of Congress — 72 senators and 302 House of Representatives members — cashed a campaign check from a pharma company. The public typically relies on an endorsement from government agencies to help them decide whether or not a new drug, vaccine or medical device is safe and effective. And those agencies, like the FDA, count on clinical research. As already established, big pharma is notorious for getting its hooks into influential government officials.

Here’s another sobering truth: The majority of scientific research is paid for by the pharmaceutical companies. When the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published 73 studies of new drugs over the course of a single year, they found that a staggering 82% of them had been funded by the pharmaceutical company selling the product, 68% had authors who were employees of that company and 50% had lead researchers who accepted money from a drug company. According to 2013 research conducted at the University of Arizona College of Law, even when pharma companies aren’t directly funding the research, company stockholders, consultants, directors and officers are almost always involved in conducting them.

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“Though myocarditis gets the most notoriety, the entire circulatory system is under attack..”

C19 “Vaccine” – The Cause Of Causes (CdC)

The official Massachusetts database of death certificates contains proof that C19 “vaccines” killed thousands of people in Massachusetts in 2021. This article details a forensic journey in a one-of-a-kind, brute-force, pedestrian, forensic analysis of the official Massachusetts government data to discover what happened and is happening in a population of ~ 6.9 million people at the fore of C19 “science.” Massachusetts is a leading medical and pharmaceutical technology exporter to the world. Some leaders say it is a model for C19 response planning. The truth is that Massachusetts is a model for fraud on the people.

As demonstrated in particularity below, there was a short pandemic of respiratory deaths in 2020. Then, in the year of injections en masse, deaths switched to mainly circulatory system deaths. Something is attacking the circulatory systems of citizens of Massachusetts. Three main events are initially depicted: a pandemic, an extremely attenuated second wave of disease no longer a pandemic, and a nearly steady-state excess death anomaly in the second half of 2021 (likely began around February 2021, but was obscured by lower than normal deaths of 85+yo’s due to culling from C19 in spring 2020).

Investigation of the anomaly indicates that excess deaths are circulatory system involved, also known and documented in the C19 vaccine trial data. Though myocarditis gets the most notoriety, the entire circulatory system is under attack. Hereinafter, the C19 “vaccine” will be called “gene modification” because it is a more accurate descriptor of the biological injectable product. Industry and government chose “vaccine” because it is more psychologically acceptable to consumers. “Vaccine” has product-class recognition and reputation. Ergo, the definition of “vaccine” was changed in 2020 to accommodate the inclusion of C19 gene modification into this product-class. Lawsuits based on this issue of “definition” are pending.

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“Time is of the essence, as the FDA is expected to authorize vaccines for children as young as six months old..”

GOP Lawmakers Demand FDA Publish Covid Vaccine Safety And Efficacy Data (JTN)

Two months after the CDC acknowledged hiding the vast majority of its COVID-19 data, partly to protect the reputation of vaccines, the FDA is under pressure to release its current and future safety and efficacy data on COVID vaccines and therapeutics. “The fact that the data in the FDA’s possession has remained behind an FDA firewall for more than 18 months is appalling,” Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) wrote to Commissioner Robert Califf, noting the agency unsuccessfully asked a court to dribble out Pfizer vaccine data over 55-75 years. Nine House GOP colleagues joined Posey’s April 11 letter, including Kentucky’s Thomas Massie, the leading libertarian in the caucus, and Alabama’s Mo Brooks, who sponsored a bill to defund vaccine mandates.

In light of mandates and liability shields for manufacturers, “[n]othing is more important to physicians, parents, patients, public health officials and elected officials than having access to as much information as possible when evaluating immediate and long-term responses to the pandemic,” the letter says. The House Republicans want the agency to “immediately” release safety and efficacy data for COVID products granted emergency use authorization (EUA) and full approval, and ongoing publication of data within 14 days of receipt by the FDA. It’s already requiring manufacturers to submit most of this information “in redacted and releasable form” and “should have been preparing to immediately release data once licensure was granted” to enable “rigorous independent review,” they said.

[..] The responses of public health agencies to Posey’s previous letters on COVID products and authorization, going back to fall 2020, were “not serious,” Posey spokesperson George Cecala told Just the News. He shared Posey letters calling attention to a British Medical Journal investigation of a Pfizer contractor’s trial practices and a 2021 British study reporting rare polyethylene glycol-induced anaphylaxis from the coating around the vaccine. The Science Committee member also sponsored a bill to establish a COVID commission. Time is of the essence, as the FDA is expected to authorize vaccines for children as young as six months old, Cecala said. Pfizer data showed 2-4 year-olds received no benefit from two doses, but the FDA asked for an EUA application while it tests a third dose.

When the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created in the 1980s, “it was regularly understood that it would be a small percentage of people” who suffered, Cecala said. Nobody thought it was a “conspiracy theory,” which is how COVID vaccine injury is portrayed. The feds haven’t used vaccine safety systems “optimally” since the pandemic’s onset, said epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff, who was removed from the CDC’s COVID Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group for criticizing its “pause” in Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution. The well-known Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System lacks basic health information that can determine “whether the [COVID] vaccine was responsible” for reported side effects, the former Harvard Medical School professor wrote in a Brownstone Institute essay Monday.

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81 million votes.

The Horrible, Terrible, Bad, Bad Results of CNBC’s Biden Performance Poll (CTH)

CNBC commissioned a poll by Hart research and associates, a friendly outfit for the left. Unfortunately, that means CNBC then needed to tell everyone what the results were. That task fell to CNBC’s Steve Liesman; an appropriate name given the task at hand. The irony doubles when you remember this was the same CNBC pundit who refused to accept the horrible economic data that began surfacing last fall. There was even a public broadcast where Liesman said the BLS statistics had to be wrong, because the results were so horrible. A few months later, and here he is explaining how the country now feels about Joe Biden.

(CNBC) – […] The pessimism is clearly dragging on Americans’ opinions of President Joe Biden. In fact, nothing looks to be working in the Biden presidency from the public’s viewpoint. The president’s approval rating sank to a new low of just 38%, with 53% disapproving. Biden’s -15% net approval rating is measurably worse than his -9% approval in the CNBC December survey. What’s more, his approval rating on the economy dropped for a fourth straight survey to just 35%, with 60% disapproving, putting the president a deep 25 points underwater.

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“The Treasury sent out checks, transferring the reserves to people’s banks. The Treasury then borrowed another $2 trillion or so, and sent more checks…”

Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises 11.2%, Mirroring Record CPI Numbers (JTN)

Wholesale prices in March increased by 11.2%, compared to 12 months earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The report also show the prices increased 1.1% from February to March. The newly released numbers follow the agency saying Tuesday the price of consumer goods in March increased by 8.5%, compared to the same time last year, making the Consumer Price Index’s so-called “annualized rate” the highest since December1981. The wholesale numbers, officially the Producer Price Index, measures the price of goods and services that businesses pay one other. The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a global energy provider, has resulted in soaring fuel prices, which were a major fact in the wholesale and consumer inflation.


Another factor continues to be COVID-19-related supply chain problems, with some economists also arguing the federal government’s ongoing fiscal response to the pandemic, particularly the infusion of trillions of dollars into the economy, is another major factor. Hoover Institution economist John H. Cochrane wrote in a beginning-of-year message that reads: “In response to the disruptions of COVID-19, the U.S. government created about $3 trillion of new bank reserves, equivalent to cash, and sent checks to people and businesses. Mechanically, the Treasury issued $3 trillion of new debt, which the Fed quickly bought in return for $3 trillion of new reserves. “The Treasury sent out checks, transferring the reserves to people’s banks. The Treasury then borrowed another $2 trillion or so, and sent more checks. Overall, federal debt rose nearly 30 percent. Is it at all a surprise that a year later inflation breaks out?”

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“In February 2017, Hunter Biden flew to Miami to meet with CEFC chairman Ye Jianming. There, Ye offered Hunter a three-year deal at $10 million per year for “introductions alone.”

Hunter Biden Mixing Business Affairs With Hunger Charity (JTN)

With his father’s eight-year tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president waning, Hunter Biden received a remarkable overture in 2015: One of China’s richest businessmen wanted to make a sizable donation to the World Food Program USA (WFP USA), which was led by the VP’s son. WFP USA is a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and building U.S. support for the World Food Program, the United Nations organization that fights global hunger. But soon, memos gathered by the FBI show, the charitable discussions evolved into an expanding relationship between Hunter Biden and Chinese energy giant CEFC to include business deals that would eventually reap the Biden family millions of dollars.

“CEFC China is very interested in exploring humanitarian initiatives of mutual interest to the World Food Program USA and discussing investment opportunities with Burnham,” an email received and then forwarded by Hunter Biden in October 2015 stated. Burnham was one of the many firms through which Hunter Biden and his partners like Devon Archer scored large investments. The story of CEFC’s dual pitch for charity and business opportunities is documented in emails and memos stored on the notorious laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop. The device was eventually turned over in December 2019 to the FBI, which is leading an investigation into the taxes, finances and foreign business dealings of the president’s son.

The FBI’s former intelligence chief said the Chinese overture to Hunter Biden fits the classic pattern of a foreign influence operation, much like was seen with Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell a few years ago. “First, you have to understand that China does not donate to American led charities because they are altruistic,” explained former FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock. “And Chinese intelligence operatives like Christine Fang don’t cozy up to Rep. Eric Swalwell because he’s a fun guy to be around. Chinese intelligence does what it does in order to steal information and influence American policy makers.”

[..] In February 2017, Hunter Biden flew to Miami to meet with CEFC chairman Ye Jianming. There, Ye offered Hunter a three-year deal at $10 million per year for “introductions alone.” To close the deal, Ye gave Hunter a three-carat diamond valued at over $80,000, memos show. When asked about this fateful meeting in Miami, Hunter Biden told the New Yorker’s Adam Entous he was there for WFP USA charity work when the meeting unexpectedly “turned to business opportunities.” Hunter Biden, however, went there with two other business partners who had been intimately involved in pitching private business deals to CEFC. Over the next year, the CEFC money began to flow, and Hunter Biden reaped nearly $6 million from the Chinese energy giant.

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Excellent account.

My Personal Experience in Twitter’s Assault on Free Speech (Scott Ritter)

By the evening of April 5, I believed I had more than enough information to try and put forth a counter-narrative to the one being pushed by The New York Times and President Biden, namely that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for the Bucha killings. “The Ukrainian National Police,” I composed on Twitter, “committed numerous crimes against humanity in Bucha.” Drawing on the precedent of the Nuremburg International Military Tribunal established at the end of the Second World War to prosecute Nazi war criminals, I then went on to state that “Biden, in seeking to shift blame for the Bucha murders onto Russia, is guilty of aiding and abetting these crimes. Congratulations, America…we’ve created yet another Presidential war criminal!” At 9:42 p.m. I hit “send,” and the deed was done.

As far as Twitter metrics go, this tweet didn’t do so badly—5,976 “likes”, 2,815 retweets, and 321 comments, for a total of what Twitter calls 265,098 “impressions.” It also got me suspended from Twitter. The next day, April 6, at 11:57 a.m., I received an email from Twitter Support, notifying me that my account, @RealScottRitter, “had been suspended for violating Twitter Rules,” specifically for violating rules against abuse and harassment. “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.” I re-read the tweet in question, wondering how anyone could possibly interpret its contents as violating the rules cited by Twitter Support. Who had I harassed or incited others to harass?

I followed the procedures to appeal the suspension and went on with my daily routine—minus the part where I interact with the people I follow, and those who followed me, on Twitter. My suspension caught the eye of several people who follow my tweeting activity. Several of these people reached out to inquire as to what happened and were as confused as I was over the grounds cited by Twitter for the suspension. The end result of this was a very heart-warming grass-roots protest against the Twitter decision to suspend my account of such intensity, that one had to believe it caught the eye of one of the Twitter bureaucrats tasked with monitoring the temperature in Twitterdom. On April 6, at 11:54 p.m., I received an email from Twitter Support notifying me that “After further review, we have unsuspended your account as it does not appear to be in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Life, it seemed, could return to normal, with me safely ensconced in my overstuffed arm chair, frantically working the controls to the television remote while monitoring my all-important, and recently restored, Twitter account. Nothing good, however, lasts forever.

Land of the free

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Maher Joe Rogan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1513983596956196873

 

 

You were warned even as a child…

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 182022
 


Pablo Picasso Portrait de femme au col d’hermine (Olga) 1923

 

Civil Liberties Group Files Court Action Against Use of Emergencies Act (CP)
Ottawa May Euthanize Truckers’ Pets As Punishment (Bexte)
Unvaccinated Truckers Delivering Vaccines, Covid Devices Exempt From Rules (TS)
Canada Reveals the Core Conflict of Our Age (McGrogan)
American Truckers to Drive From California to DC in ‘The People’s Convoy’ (ET)
‘Russiagate’ Is Indeed Worse Than Watergate (Malic)
Australia Starts Vaccine Injury Payouts (RT)
Kulldorff: ‘Science and Public Health Are Broken’ (ET)
RFK, Jr.’s ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’ Is a Record-Smashing Bestseller (CHD)
Ukraine Invasion Scheduled for Wednesday Canceled (McGovern)
Harris Flies To Europe To Help Secure Ukraine Border, Biden Stays Behind (NYP)
German Central Bank Doesn’t Rule Out Gold Revaluation (GO)

 

 

 

 

Edward Dowd

 

 

 

 

Bank accounts have already been frozen and people have been arrested, under the Emergencies Act. Which the House of Commons and the Senate must vote on first. If they vote it down, it’s null and void. But then the damage will have been done.

Civil Liberties Group Files Court Action Against Use of Emergencies Act (CP)

The federal government faced a constitutional challenge Thursday over its historic invocation of the Emergencies Act, as police began to move on protesters with large trucks paralyzing the heart of the national capital. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said using the emergencies law was a measure of last resort to bring an end to the illegal and undemocratic blockades that had harmed Canadians for nearly three weeks. He made the remarks during debate in the House of Commons over his government’s decision to use the law for the first time since its introduction in 1988. The Conservatives accused the prime minister of failing to try to de-escalate the conflict before turning to emergency powers. Trudeau said using the act was not the first, second or even third choice of the government.

“We did it to protect families and small businesses, to protect jobs and the economy,” the prime minister said. “We did it because the situation could not be dealt with under any other law in Canada.” Hours later, the federal government was told it would face court action over its decision, as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association announced it was seeking a judicial review of the government’s invocation of the act. The group said at a Toronto news conference it did not want to minimize the effects of the protests across the country, but added it was unclear that the demonstrations endanger the lives, health or safety of Canadians so seriously that they constitute a national emergency.

“The government has brought in an extreme measure that should be reserved for national emergencies, a legal standard that has not been met. Emergency powers cannot and must not be normalized,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, the civil liberties association’s executive director. Police deal with complex law-enforcement issues every day and have cleared multiple border blockades across the country without emergency powers, the association said. The group’s criminal justice director, Abby Deshman, said the Emergencies Act orders do not apply only in Ottawa and actually affect the rights of every Canadian. The group believes the measures are clearly unconstitutional and it will be asking the courts to step in to defend the rule of law and the constitutional rights of all people across the country, she said.

“Local police across this country have cleared several highly disruptive border blockades and are successfully managing numerous other protesters in communities across the country, all without emergency powers,” Deshman said. Through the Emergencies Act, new powers have been granted to freeze bank accounts of protest participants and bar people from assembling in specific places or joining protests that threaten trade, critical infrastructure, individuals or property. It is also now illegal to bring children to within 500 metres of the blockades or provide supplies or property to participants. The new powers took effect earlier this week but the House of Commons and the Senate must both vote to confirm use of the emergencies law. The House debate will continue through the weekend and Monday with a vote planned for 8 p.m. ET that day. If the motion fails, the act will be suspended immediately.

[..] Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said at a news conference bank accounts had already been frozen and more will be put on hold in the coming days. But she refused to say how many, or even declare if accounts could be frozen for people who aren’t participating in the blockade but who donated to the convoy’s various online fundraisers.

Tow truck
https://twitter.com/Resist_05/status/1494497012234219523

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Not even surprising anymore.

Ottawa May Euthanize Truckers’ Pets As Punishment (Bexte)

The same day that videos emerged of Ottawa and Quebec police gearing up to go after peaceful Convoy supporters in the capital, the Ottawa government has warned protesters that their pets may be confiscated following their arrest. Moreover, position statements issued by the Ottawa Humane Society reveal that they may unilaterally euthanize any animal that they deem to be “not suitable for adoption.” Arbitrary behavioral and health tests would be used to make the call. These decisions about the life of a trucker’s pet would, thus, be made without their consent or knowledge while they are imprisoned for indefinite periods of time via the Emergency Powers of the Trudeau regime.

“Attention animal owners at [the] demonstration,” Ottawa By-law writes in a Tweet. “If you are unable to care for your animal as a result of enforcement actions, your animal will [be] placed into protective care for 8 days, at your cost. After 8 days, if arrangements are not made, your animal will be considered relinquished.” As anyone with experience in pet care or animal shelters will know, “relinquishment” means that ownership of pets will be handed over to animal shelters, where the pets will be housed while awaiting a prospective owner to adopt them or to be euthanized. As Adopt-a-Pet explains, “When shelters run out of kennel space, sometimes even healthy adoptable dogs are put to sleep.


Some shelters simply don’t have the manpower to spend time with each dog, so they spend most of their time alone in a small cage… What is true at every shelter is that when you surrender a dog, what happens to him is completely out of your hands.” It isn’t clear what length of time Convoy supporters may face if arrested for peacefully protesting, but the government has been clear that it could be up to one year in prison, in addition to a possible $100,000 fine.

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“..this exemption requires a ministerial invitation and had been “rarely used.”

Unvaccinated Truckers Delivering Vaccines, Covid Devices Exempt From Rules (TS)

Unvaccinated truckers bringing COVID-19 vaccines and medical devices into Canada to combat the pandemic are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements at the border, a government order says. The exemption is due to the “urgent public health necessity” of the supplies they are transporting, Health Canada states. The government has given exemptions from testing and quarantine rules for certain people crossing the border into Canada to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. They include unvaccinated and vaccinated people invited by the health minister to help with the COVID-19 “response.”

A spokeswoman for Health Canada said in a statement that this exemption requires a ministerial invitation and had been “rarely used.” She said it had been used, for example, to help with the supply of ventilators. The exemption is one of a number set out in an order-in-council published last month that outlines decisions made by cabinet, such as regulations or appointments. Drivers dropping off students on either side of the U.S.-Canada border at a college, school or university are also exempt from quarantine and testing requirements, the order says.

The order makes clear that unvaccinated truckers are not exempt from the testing and quarantine requirement in other circumstances. They must obtain a pre-arrival COVID-19 test, quarantine and undergo COVID-19 molecular testing in Canada. The restrictions on unvaccinated cross-border truckers have caused much political debate in Canada and are ostensibly a major sticking point for the protesters camped outside Parliament Hill. But the order reveals that unvaccinated truckers can avoid the border requirements if they are transporting medical supplies, including products with a drug identification number, such as medications and vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

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“It is only the state’s power that saves and secures. And since only the state can save, it is the only legitimate source of authority..”

Canada Reveals the Core Conflict of Our Age (McGrogan)

Justin Trudeau’s confrontation with the Canadian truckers may be the single most significant event of the Covid pandemic – not because of its eventual outcome, whatever that may be, but because of what it symbolises. It captures, in perfect microcosm, the tensions between the competing imperatives of the age: freedom versus security; the rule of law versus flexible ‘responsive’ governance; the priorities of the workers versus those of the Zooming bourgeoisie; the need for real-world human interaction and belonging versus the promises of splendid online isolation; the experiences of the common man, who knows where it hurts, versus those of the professional expert class, who know nothing that cannot be expressed as a formula.

More than all of that, though, it gives us a lens through which to view a much deeper, much older conflict of much larger scope – one which underlies not just the struggles of the Covid age, but of modernity itself. On the one hand, the state, which seeks to make all of society transparent to its power. On the other, alternative sources of authority – the family, the church, the community, the firm, the farm, and the human individual herself. For centuries, the state has waged a quiet war against those competitors, and bent them to its will. It has done this not through conspiracy or deliberate strategy but merely through the single-minded pursuit, across generation after generation of political leaders, of one goal: legitimacy. Governments and other state organs derive their legitimacy, and therefore their positions of rulership, from convincing the population that they are necessary.

They do this by suggesting that without their intervention, things will go badly; left to their own devices, ordinary people will suffer. The family, the church, the community, the firm, the farm, the human individual – these are inadequate to the task of securing human well-being. That task, only the state is equipped to achieve, for only the state can keep the population educated, healthy, safe, prosperous and satisfied. Since this is the case, only the state is fit to deploy power – and only those who govern the state are fit to rule. The logic of this argument is writ large, of course, in the Covid response across the developed world. What will keep us ‘safe?’

Certainly not traditional sources of succour, such as the church or the family. Certainly not individual people, who cannot be trusted to behave responsibly or assess risks for themselves. No – it is only the state, first with its lockdowns, then with its social distancing, its mask mandates, its vaccine programs, and lately its vaccine mandates and ‘passports.’ It is only the state’s power that saves and secures. And since only the state can save, it is the only legitimate source of authority – along, of course, with its leaders.

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“I think that the truckers, when they hit the Capitol, may well wake up a large number of our representatives and senators that are kind of a little bit asleep right now,” Malone said.

American Truckers to Drive From California to DC in ‘The People’s Convoy’ (ET)

California truckers fed up with the federal government’s endless emergency powers mandating masks and vaccines are gearing up for what they hope will become a Canadian-style “freedom convoy” to Washington, D.C., and are set to roll on Interstate 40 heading east from Barstow on Feb. 23. A national group, called The People’s Convoy, is organizing the truckers who will hit the road for the nation’s capital city to demand the Emergency Powers Act be lifted, ending the mandates, according to Chris Marston, chairman of the American Foundation for Civil Liberties, a non-profit that advocates for civil liberties issues and is helping coordinate the trucker’s protest. Though previous news reports stated the convoy wouldn’t depart California until March 7, organizers now say the convoy will leave earlier than planned.

“Freedoms can’t wait,” Marston told The Epoch Times. The group said it is calling on the American people to join the “call to freedom” in the spirit of “our brave and courageous neighbors to the north—our Canadian brothers and sisters who led the charge.” The Freedom Convoy in Canada has captured international attention the last handful of weeks as hundreds of truckers have parked in protest outside Parliament in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s resignation and an end to mask and vaccine mandates. A map of the convoy’s expected route will be posted to the group’s website, Maureen Steele, a The People’s Convoy organizer, said Feb. 16 on “War Room,” a streaming political talk show and podcast hosted by former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

To ensure donations for the truckers won’t be frozen or routed to other causes—a problem the Canadian truckers encountered with the crowdsourcing platform GoFundMe—The People’s Convoy is taking donations directly on their website. Peter Navarro, Trump’s former economic adviser—and a regular on Bannon’s show—praised Canadian truckers for leading the charge against what he called government tyranny. “They are like the Boston Tea Party. They’re the fountainhead of a worldwide movement, which is basically on the right side of both science and economics. And we have to thank those Canadian truckers,” Navarro said. Dr. Robert Malone, a virologist, immunologist, and inventor of mRNA vaccines, who has been an outspoken critic of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic and mandates, also suggested on the show that Washington may soon see a new kind of “woke”—that supporters have called an “awakening.”

“I think that the truckers, when they hit the Capitol, may well wake up a large number of our representatives and senators that are kind of a little bit asleep right now,” Malone said.

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“..Trump-hater John Brennan actually briefed President Barack Obama in July 2016 that Clinton had signed off on a proposal to vilify Trump by “stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

‘Russiagate’ Is Indeed Worse Than Watergate (Malic)

On Friday, Durham filed an innocuously-titled Motion to Inquire into Potential Conflicts of Interest in the Sussmann case. The 13-page document pointed out that the legal firm representing Sussmann – Latham & Watkins LLP – previously represented his firm of Perkins Coie, its former partner Marc Elias, and the Clinton campaign, all in dealings with the Durham investigation. So far, so boring – except that the filing also lays out the role of a tech company that exploited access to Trump Tower, another Trump-owned building, a “healthcare provider,” and even “the Executive Office of the President of the United States” (EOP) in order to “mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia.”

While the Durham documents do not name the company or the executive, they have since been identified by the New York Times as Neustar and Rodney Joffe, respectively. Durham says Neustar was hired by the Obama administration to “access and maintain dedicated servers for the EOP as part of a sensitive arrangement whereby it provided DNS resolution services,” and had access to these servers since at least 2014. Recall that Sussmann was accused of “coordinating” the tech company’s work with the Clinton campaign, including feeding the Alfa Bank story to the FBI. He allegedly also leaked the story to the press, which then ran multiple articles about the FBI investigation – which were promoted by Clinton herself as well as her aide Jake Sullivan, now President Joe Biden’s national security adviser.

According to Durham, Sussmann also packaged the false Alfa Bank story with another claim that came from Joffe and Neustar – that Trump and his aides used “Russian-made wireless phones” at the White House – and fed it to the CIA, on February 9, 2017, almost three weeks into Trump’s presidency. Durham “identified no support for these allegations” by Joffe. Now, the FBI is not supposed to spy on Americans without a warrant, while the CIA is not supposed to spy on US soil at all. So how did these two agencies respond to these attempts to weaponize them for political purposes? Well, we know that the FBI was instrumental in the ploy to pressure Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn to resign over allegedly lying about his perfectly legitimate conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US.

As for the CIA, its then-director and confirmed Trump-hater John Brennan actually briefed President Barack Obama in July 2016 that Clinton had signed off on a proposal to vilify Trump by “stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.” Three days later, the FBI opened a probe dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” – targeting not Clinton, but Trump.

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Same MO as the adverse effects registration sites:

“..very complicated and very hard to navigate, particularly if you’re suffering an adverse health effect..”

Australia Starts Vaccine Injury Payouts (RT)

Australians who experienced adverse reactions to Covid-19 vaccines have started receiving compensation, local media reported on Wednesday, though the number of people applying to the scheme is far lower than expected. Figures from Australia’s Health Department show that less than 10% of the more than 10,000 people who registered their interest in the government scheme before December have submitted claims. The no-fault indemnity scheme grants people a one-off payment ranging from AU$1,000 (US$720) to AU$20,000 (US$14,400) for lost wages or other expenses if they suffered bad reactions to Covid-19 vaccines. The conditions for application include having spent at least one night in hospital and having suffered at least AU$1,000 (US$720) in economic losses.

Services Australia has received 861 applications – including death claims – as of February 9, a Health Department spokesman told news.com.au. One case has been paid but 11 have already been withdrawn, they added. The authorities have requested further information from 225 claimants. A total of 849 “remain under consideration.” “With the indemnity scheme having only been opened for a short period of time, information on eligible claims and payment amounts is still being assessed,” the spokesman said. Shine Lawyers’ head of medical negligence, Clare Eves, said the number of claimants was “disappointing” and attributed some blame to the complex nature of the scheme’s application process.

The website the government had set up was “very complicated and very hard to navigate, particularly if you’re suffering an adverse health effect,” she said. As of February 6, Australia’s medicines regulator had registered a total of 108,000 total reports of adverse reactions, most of which were minor, believed to be as a result of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. Nearly 51.2 million total doses have been administered.

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Canceled.

Kulldorff: ‘Science and Public Health Are Broken’ (ET)

Dr. Martin Kulldorff is one of the most qualified public health pandemic experts in the United States. To the narrative-shapers, he’s a pariah. As a prominent epidemiologist and statistician, Kulldorff has worked on detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks for two decades. His methods are widely used around the world and by almost every state health department in the United States, as well as by hundreds of people at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kulldorff has also worked on vaccine safety for decades, developing globally used methods for monitoring adverse reactions in new vaccines. His résumé on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website is 45 pages long and includes a list of 201 peer-reviewed published journal papers. His work has been cited more than 27,000 times.

Since 2003, Kulldorff worked at Harvard Medical School, first as an associate professor of population medicine and later as a professor of medicine. In November, Harvard and Kulldorff abruptly parted ways. Kulldorff prefers to keep the reasons private, but it’s hard to ignore that he placed himself in the crosshairs of the pandemic narrative early on in the “15 days to slow the spread” lockdown and has since paid the price. It’s quite something for a public health scientist at the top of his game to admit that “both science and public health are broken.” “For some reason, a public official narrative was established, and you weren’t allowed to question it—which, of course, is very detrimental, both to the pandemic and how to deal with the pandemic, because you have to have a vibrant discussion to figure out how best to deal with these things,” he told The Epoch Times.

The Swedish native said he tried to point out in March 2020 that there was a very steep age gradient on mortality for COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Kulldorff said he attempted to publish a paper both in U.S. medical journals and mainstream newspapers stating that while anyone could contract the virus, the focus should be on protecting the elderly and those at high risk. His paper was knocked back from all directions.

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…But Mainstream Media Pretends It Doesn’t Exist

RFK, Jr.’s ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’ Is a Record-Smashing Bestseller (CHD)

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s record-smashing bestseller, “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” demolishes the public images — piously promoted by corporate media — of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates. Unfortunately, however, you won’t be able to read a review of Kennedy’s book in major media. That’s because the corporate establishment has circled the wagons to censor it — by pretending it doesn’t exist. But it does exist. The book surged to #1 on Amazon.com even before it hit the bookstores, and it swept the bestseller lists of the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly — none of which will even mention that the book was published, let alone review it.


It seems we are witnessing a mind-boggling first in U.S. book publishing history — when the hottest runaway bestseller of the season can’t even get its name mentioned in any major newspaper, TV or cable news program anywhere in the 50 states. Say hello to a new kind of suppression: censorship by oblivion — brazen, vicious, ugly and cowardly. This type of censorship subverts your right to make up your own mind after hearing both sides of a controversy. Instead, it simply labels the side it doesn’t like as “misinformation” and keeps you from hearing it at all. Astonishingly, given how much establishment firepower was lined up to crush this book, it is not working. Against all odds, the disturbing portrait Kennedy paints in “The Real Anthony Fauci” led the book to sell a record-breaking 110,000 copies in its first week. Through word of mouth, sales have reached more than 900,000 copies.

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“Biden made this commitment to Putin during the telephone call of Dec. 3..”

Ukraine Invasion Scheduled for Wednesday Canceled (McGovern)

At yesterday’s press conference, Chancellor Scholz at times played straight man for Putin, calling the announcement of the Russian troop pullback a “good signal” and agreeing that diplomatic options are “far from exhausted”, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had reported to Putin on Monday. Here’s what’s important (and was given appropriate prominence in AP’s reporting). Putin at the presser with Scholz: “… as [Lavrov] reported yesterday, the [US and NATO] responses still contain a number of considerations that we are not only ready to discuss but that we have actually suggested to our partners over the years. I am referring to our proposals on European security, certain weapons systems, notably, intermediate and shorter-range missiles, and military transparency. We are ready to continue this joint work. …


So far, the NYT has omitted that statement by Putin, which, coming yesterday together with the troop pullback, is highly significant. That the Times “forgot” to include it is yet another sign that even the most sensible, rudimentary negotiations on key matters of concern to Russia will be resisted tooth and nail by the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank) complex in which the NYT is right there in the middle, the fulcrum – the key “M.” Still, some Times editor apparently insisted on slipping in the important acknowledgment by Mr. Biden today that: “Neither the US or NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We do not, do not have plans to put them there as well.” [Emphasis added.] Biden made this commitment to Putin during the telephone call of Dec. 30 that Putin had urgently requested. It amounts to a major concession and enabled Moscow to conclude that at least one or two of Biden’s retinue – or Biden himself – have their heads screwed on right.

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Try not to laugh..

Harris Flies To Europe To Help Secure Ukraine Border, Biden Stays Behind (NYP)

Vice President Kamala Harris set off Thursday on a peace mission to Europe as Russia appeared to accelerate preparations for an invasion of Ukraine — undeterred by her failure to resolve the ongoing US-Mexico border crisis as President Biden’s point person on illegal immigration. About two hours after Harris departed DC to attend the Munich Security Conference, Biden emerged from the White House and said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will launch an invasion of Ukraine “within the next several days.” As Harris flew east to Germany, Biden traveled west to Lorain, Ohio, to talk about fixing Great Lakes pollution through his three-month-old bipartisan infrastructure law — prompting his aides to insist the jaunt wouldn’t distract him from the potential outbreak of the largest and deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II.

“I doubt [Putin’s] sitting back at the Kremlin right now shaking because Kamala Harris is over there,” Rep Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview with Newsmax TV Wednesday. “She couldn’t pour something out of a boot if there were instructions written on the heel,” Burchett added. “She can’t even find our southern border, much less the Ukrainian border. This is a joke, this is a travesty.” Biden tapped Harris in March to stem illegal immigration across the southern border, but the crisis only got worse, with a record-breaking 1.9 million arrests in 2021. Critics blame lax Biden administration enforcement policies, but Harris defended her work last month in Honduras, saying addressing the “root causes” of illegal immigration wouldn’t have an effect “overnight.”

The vice president’s performance on the US border crisis received bipartisan blowback, including from Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who said in December, “She was tasked with that job, [but] it doesn’t look like she’s very interested in this.”

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“[Banca D’Italia] can also continue to absorb debt, say, an additional €500 billion euros, and then revalue gold times ten.”

German Central Bank Doesn’t Rule Out Gold Revaluation (GO)

When the gold price rises the value of the gold on the asset side of a central bank’s balance sheet increases. At the same time, on the liability side of the balance sheet an equal increase will be recorded in what is referred to as a “revaluation account.” A gold revaluation account, which effectively has no limit, registers the unrealized gains on gold. An example: the German central bank owns 3,359 tonnes of gold, which was purchased for €8 billion euros. Currently the gold is worth €173 billion euros, creating a gold revaluation account of €165 billion euros (173 – 8).*

While researching this subject I asked the German central bank (the Bundesbank, or “BuBa” in short) if it’s possible to use gold’s revaluation account to write off bad debt. I tend to aim such questions at the Bundesbank because they always respond very quickly. I’m aware that Italy’s government debt is the elephant in the room, but these countries are part of the same monetary union and Germany is the main guarantor of the E.U. Recovery Fund (Next Generation EU). BuBa replied that according to the prevailing accounting rules any unrealized gains in gold can only be used for unrealized losses in gold, not for losses in assets such as U.S. dollars or European bonds.

[..] They could have just said no, but they didn’t. They replied that, “at this stage, we prefer not to speculate” about changing the accounting rules and revalue gold to write off bad debt. Meaning, they don’t rule out this possibility. Also note, BuBa writes that “in general” the accounting rules are set “by the ECB Governing council in accordance with the limits set by the European Treaties.” Implying that there are exceptions. Why did BuBa write this to me? Possibly, this was a signal for the market to revalue gold, saving BuBa the hassle of doing it themselves (printing money to buy gold). As a reminder, former Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann wrote in 2018 that gold is “the bedrock of stability for the international monetary system.” A comment that is anything but discouraging investors from buying gold and driving up its price.

Weidmann added that gold is a “major anchor underpinning confidence in the intrinsic value of the Bundesbank’s balance sheet.” If gold is underpinning confidence in BuBa’s balance sheet, why wouldn’t it underpin confidence in investors’ balance sheets? It’s impossible to furnish the Italian government substantial debt relief without revaluing gold. Italy’s government debt is €2.7 trillion euros, of which is €600 billion euros is held by the Italian central bank (Banca D’Italia, or BDI). BDI’s gold revaluation account is currently over €100 billion euros, so the gold price has to be multiplied by approximately five for BDI to be able to write off its domestic government bonds. Though, BDI can also continue to absorb debt, say, an additional €500 billion euros, and then revalue gold times ten.

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Jon Stewart Inflation

 

 

It used to be that everything gives you cancer. Now, everything gives you blood clots.

 

 

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

 

Jun 042021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg 1563

 

Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)
How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)
Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)
Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)
Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)
Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)
Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)
EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)
The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona (AD)
Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)
Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)
Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)

 

 

When both Vanity Fair and Newsweek come out with in-depth articles about the very same topic (in this case how the DRASTIC group reported the lab leak theory), at the very same moment, that makes me nervous.

What also makes me nervous is the one-dimensional attention for Fauci. Much as I dislike the man, it starts to feel as if others are hiding behind him.

 

 

“Ivermectin is an off-patent drug that is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and we know it is able to reduce Covid-19 symptoms at any stage of the disease by about 90%, so there is no need for vaccines.”

– Michael Yeadon, former CSO of Pfizer

 

 

 

Kory

 

 

“The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users..”

Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)

The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users, who began sharing their suspicions as early as January 2020. Then, in February, a research paper coauthored by two Chinese scientists, based at separate Wuhan universities, appeared online as a preprint. It tackled a fundamental question: How did a novel bat coronavirus get to a major metropolis of 11 million people in central China, in the dead of winter when most bats were hibernating, and turn a market where bats weren’t sold into the epicenter of an outbreak? The paper offered an answer: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.”

The first was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which sat just 280 meters from the Huanan market and had been known to collect hundreds of bat samples. The second, the researchers wrote, was the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The paper came to a staggeringly blunt conclusion about COVID-19: “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as the paper appeared on the internet, it disappeared, but not before U.S. government officials took note.

By then, Matthew Pottinger had approved a COVID-19 origins team, run by the NSC directorate that oversaw issues related to weapons of mass destruction. A longtime Asia expert and former journalist, Pottinger purposefully kept the team small, because there were so many people within the government “wholly discounting the possibility of a lab leak, who were predisposed that it was impossible,” said Pottinger. In addition, many leading experts had either received or approved funding for gain-of-function research. Their “conflicted” status, said Pottinger, “played a profound role in muddying the waters and contaminating the shot at having an impartial inquiry.”

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The bat lady returns.

How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)

If there is a moment when the DRASTIC team coalesced into something more than its disparate parts, it would be this thread. In real time, for all the world to see, they worked through the data, tested various hypotheses, corrected each other, and scored some direct hits. The key facts quickly came together. The genetic sequence for RaTG13 perfectly matched a small piece of genetic code posted as part of a paper written by Shi Zhengli years earlier, but never mentioned again. The code came from a virus the WIV had found in a Yunnan bat. Connecting key details in the two papers with old news stories, the DRASTIC team determined that RaTG13 had come from a mineshaft in Mojiang County, in Yunnan Province, where six men shoveling bat guano in 2012 had developed pneumonia. Three of them died.

DRASTIC wondered if that event marked the first cases of human beings being infected with a precursor of SARS-CoV-2—perhaps RaTG13 or something like it. In a profile in Scientific American, Shi Zhengli acknowledged working in a mineshaft in Mojiang County where miners had died. But she avoided connecting it to RaTG13 (an omission she had made in her scientific papers as well), claiming that a fungus in the cave had killed the miners.

[..] One of those scientists was Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who recognized the value of the information DRASTIC was producing and began to interpret it for scientists and nonscientists alike in crisp explainers on Twitter that made her a star science communicator. Chan acknowledged the group’s accomplishments in a long thread on Twitter. “Without the work done by the DRASTIC team, I don’t really know where we would be today with the origins of covid-19,” she wrote, adding, “The work of these outsiders…has had a measurable impact on the scientific discourse.” That scientific discourse jumped tracks on January 6, 2021, when the University of Washington virologist Jesse Bloom, one of the country’s most respected COVID-19 researchers, became the first major scientific figure to publicly legitimize DRASTIC’s contributions.

“Yes, I follow the work,” he tweeted, sending tremors through the scientific establishment. “I don’t agree [with] all of it, but some parts seem important & correct.” Bloom singled out Mona Rahalkar’s paper on the Mojiang mine, then added that in the early days of the pandemic, “I thought lab escape very unlikely. Based on subsequent work, I now say quite plausible.” Other scientists pressured Bloom to reconsider, but he held his ground, and the wall of silence began to crumble. In May, 17 scientists from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other leading institutions, including Chan, joined Bloom in a letter in Science calling for a thorough investigation of the Wuhan lab. On nearly the same day, The Seeker struck again. Visiting a database hosted by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, he searched for all theses supervised by Shi Zhengli. Boom. Three hits. “I got it on my first try,” he says. “Not sure why no one else thought of this before, but I guess no one was looking.”

If there had been any remaining doubt about the WIV’s pattern of deception, these new theses put it to rest. They indicated that the WIV researchers had never believed a fungus had killed the Mojiang miners, contradicting Shi’s remarks in Scientific American and elsewhere. In fact, WIV researchers had been so concerned about a new SARS-like outbreak that they’d tested the blood of neighboring villagers for other cases. And they had known the genetic sequences for the eight other SARS-like viruses from the mine—which could have helped researchers to understand more about SARS-CoV-2 in the early days —long before the pandemic started, and had kept the information to themselves, until DRASTIC called them out.

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THIS should be investigated. Fauci as a state within a state.

Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)

Peter Daszak, who studied controversial “gain of function” experiments on coronavirus elements in Wuhan, received $7.5 million from Anthony Fauci after Trump cancelled his grant. Last April, reports emerged that the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization run by one Peter Daszak, was involved in funding and collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were examining coronaviruses extremely similar to the one behind the COVID-19 outbreak, and allegedly engaging in “gain of function” research relating to them. In an April 17th press conference, President Trump confirmed that a grant worth around $3.7 million since 2015 given to Daszak’s group by the National Institute for Health would be ended “very quickly” following the reports.

Only one week later on April 24th, all future funding for the EHA was cut, and they were ordered to stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant. “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” Michael Lauer, the agency’s deputy director for extramural research, wrote in a letter to EcoHealth Alliance officials. From within the treasure trove of 3,200 pages of emails obtained from Anthony Fauci, one email can be found from Daszak, who thanked Fauci for dismissing the lab leak theory as being simply conspiratorial the day after President Trump announced the funding would be cut.

[..] Only a few months later in August, Fauci, who along with being put in charge of America’s response to COVID-19, is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH, helped confirm that Daszak’s organization would receive a new grant of $7.5 million to study coronaviruses as part of a new network. The CREID network, which contains 11 institutions including the EHA, “coincidentally” will continue to study the emergence of coronaviruses in Southeast Asia. Fauci said that the network will help “enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses,” while Daszak boasted that they will be working in rural hospitals, according to a statement, “in remote parts of Malaysia and Thailand to get to the front line of where the next pandemic is going to start.”

Video of Anthony Fauci announcing “NIH Lifts Funding Pause on Gain-Of-Function Research” at a NIAID Advisory Council meeting on January 29, 2018.

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That train has passed.

Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)

Dr. Anthony Fauci doubled down on claims that the coronavirus likely originated from an animal then was transmitted to humans in a Thursday morning interview on CNN, despite increasing speculation that it leaked from a China lab. Fauci, who served under former President Trump and President Joe Biden, continues to fight the idea that he downplayed theories that the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a trove of emails exchange at the beginning of the pandemic revealed he was warned about a potential lab leak. ‘I have always said and will say today to you … that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,’ Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday on CNN.

Although he said he’s keeping an open mind about the possibility of a lab leak, Fauci said it was ‘far-fetched’ to think the Chinese would kill their own people. ‘The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.’ In a separate Thursday morning interview on MSNBC, Fauci said they want to definitively find the cause of the coronavirus pandemic – whatever that origin is – but pointing the finger at China isn’t going to help. ‘It’s in China’s interest to find out exactly what it is,’ Fauci said. ‘Obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways to get it is not to be accusatory. Try to get a forensic, scientific and investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to make (China) pull back more.’

Fauci was asked during the MSNBC interview if he thought it was in China’s best interest to hide information if the origin was a lab leak or if it was designing a weapon. He sidestepped, saying no matter what he says, ‘it will be taken completely out of context,’ which he said has already happened after more than 3,200 of his emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday. The emails showed leading virus experts warned him COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.

GoF

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“The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists..”

Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists after he said during a TV interview that he believed COVID-19 originated in a lab, according to an interview released Thursday. Robert Redfield, who served as the CDC director under Donald Trump when the pandemic began, told CNN on March 26 that he thought the most likely ‘etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory – you know, escaped.’ He said he wasn’t insinuating that there was ill intent, but that was his opinion. After that 10-second sound bite, he told Vanity Fair he was ‘threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis.’ At the time, the Wuhan lab leak was widely considered a ‘fringe theory’ at best, in favor of transmission from an animal to a human.

The Vanity Fair article said ‘death threats flooded his inbox’ from strangers who said he was being racist to prominent scientists, even some he considered friends. One told him to ‘wither and die,’ Vanity Fair reported. ‘I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,’ Redfield said. Stephen Goldstein, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Utah, wrote an opinion piece on Webpagetoday on April 5 shooting down Redfield’s assertions on CNN. ‘Questions are undoubtedly going to persist about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 until, and if, a definitive answer is uncovered (and perhaps beyond),’ Goldstein wrote. ‘Until then, it’s imperative that leaders in science, public health, and government continue to call for rigorous study and stick to the science of viral evolution and viral ecology in their public commentary. ‘One of the fundamental principles of a life in science is to admit what you don’t know, and never be afraid to look it up. That’s where Redfield falls short, unfortunately on a big stage.’

[..] The magazine outlined the first moments Redfield heard about a mysterious new pneumonia affecting people in a Wuhan market from Dr. George Fu Gao, head of the Chinese CDC, on January 3, 2020. Redfield told Vanity Fair that he thought it was odd that family clusters were getting sick, and Gao later told Redfield that many cases had nothing to do with the market. That’s when it became apparent the virus was jumping from person to person, and Redfield told Vanity Fair he immediately thought of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He wanted to send researchers to the facility to rule it out, but the Chinese didn’t allow it, Vanity Fair reported. ‘A team could rule it out as a source of the outbreak in just a few weeks, by testing researchers there for antibodies,’ according to Vanity Fair.

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“All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die..”

Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)

The so-called “MSM” isn’t even debating these parts of the email dump — they’re playing Ostrich instead, hoping they can bury it by “touting” all the “pressure” that was seen in the trove while ignoring that the archive damns not one man but entire professions including the vaccine/pharma connection. Yes, there is even evidence that the intentional refusal to look at and use existing drugs and the “decision” on how they were going to deal with this goes back that far, before the first American died. Bluntly put these people didn’t just ignore the evidence that accumulated by the summer months they literally ignored it all the way back to the start and thus it can be reasonably argued they are personally responsible for all of the deaths. If you want to know how you generate international hysteria you don’t need some cabal pulling a puppet string.

All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die with nothing they can do about it, and if it gets pinned on them as it should since they caused it every one of them deserves to be swinging from a rope. Oh, incidentally, Fauci also knew that masks in the general population were worthless. He pointed this out directly; that the virus was too small and would go right though it. His own words folks, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out but cannot say as “it’s against the consensus of experts”, according to Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, without being de-monetized, having videos pulled and risking being banhammered.

Now we know factually that Fauci stated this himself, so now the media and other “tech companies” are enforcing a position that the so-called “expert” generated with an intentional lie and they’ve maintained and forced that intentional lie for a year and are continuing to do so to this day. Now you know how the hysteria, cover-ups and outright lying happened. Now contaminate that with pharma money and you get what we’re doing now.

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This reads like a vaccine ad. “..the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines.”

But remember this graph, and remember they refused to use HCQ and ivermectin.

Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)

The U.S. has brought new coronavirus infections down to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Nearly every week for the past 56 weeks, Axios has tracked the change — more often than not, the increase — in new COVID-19 infections. Those case counts are now so low, the virus is so well contained, that this will be our final weekly map. The U.S. averaged roughly 16,500 new cases per day over the past week, a 30% improvement over the week before. New cases declined in 43 states and held steady in the other seven. The official case counts haven’t been this low since Americans went into lockdown in March last year — when the pandemic was still new, no one knew how long this would go on, and inadequate testing meant that cases were undercounted.

Overall, roughly 33 million Americans — about 10% of the population — have tested positive for COVID-19. About 595,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., making it deadlier for Americans than the past 80 years of wars and other armed military conflicts combined, including World War II. The U.S. largely failed to contain the virus until the vaccines arrived. Cities and businesses began shutting down last March. From there, the virus rolled into a second wave last summer, when cases climbed to over 65,000 per day, on average, and hospitals in many parts of the country said they were overwhelmed. That failure was then eclipsed in the winter, when hundreds of thousands of people per day were contracting the virus and deaths climbed over 3,000 per day for about a month.

But now, the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines. Just over half of American adults are now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Cases and deaths are still soaring around the world, especially in the developing world, and the Biden administration is facing consistently mounting pressure to export more vaccines, now that the U.S. has contained the virus. The U.S. was never able to control the virus without vaccines, and it still can’t. The risk is still about as high as it’s ever been for unvaccinated people, as the Washington Post recently reported. An average of about 500 Americans per day are still dying from COVID-19, almost all of them unvaccinated.

There will still be some localized outbreaks in the U.S., especially in areas where relatively few people are vaccinated. But they will likely be small, and vaccinated people will be protected. Over time, the immunity from vaccines will likely wane, which, together with new variants of the virus, will likely require booster shots to stay ahead of another outbreak. For now, though, the U.S. has finally gotten the virus down to a level that just about every expert agrees is safe. Fewer than 20,000 cases per day, spread across the U.S. population of 331.5 million people, is a relatively low number of cases, and that number continues to improve across the board.

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Why not simply get ivermectin? Too cheap?

EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)

The European Union has announced the purchase of 55,000 doses of the Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 drug, marking its first foray into potential treatments involving a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies. The EU announced it secured the shipment of the doses on Wednesday, as the bloc seeks to expand its portfolio of drugs and explores potentially promising treatments that can help in the fight against the virus. The deal was agreed earlier this year but the details were only confirmed on Thursday by an EU spokesperson, who said 55,000 doses of the single-shot treatment had been purchased. Roche stated that the company’s contract will cover 37 countries in Europe, including the UK and other non-EU nations. The cost of the shipment has not been made public by the EU or the pharmaceutical companies.


While the deal agreed between the companies and the EU is for the drug’s infusion version, there is also a shot that has been tested and developed. The Roche-Regeneron treatment is still awaiting formal approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before the shipment is dispatched, with formal authorization expected between August and October 2021. The EMA is currently in the process of conducting a rolling review of preliminary data. The Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 treatment has already been granted emergency US approval for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, with Washington ordering 1.5 million doses. The monoclonal antibodies treatment seeks to replicate or boost the body’s natural immune response, helping to support Covid-19 patients who are at high risk of developing severe disease.

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Google translate. 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 (AD)

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.”

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“..it has a fatality rate of around 54%..”

Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)

The number of cases of so-called black fungus, or mucormycosis, has almost doubled in Delhi over the past seven days, reaching 1,044 infections, the local health minister has said. The disease has particularly affected India’s Covid patients. A further 440 people have been diagnosed in the city since last week, when the number of afflicted patients stood at 600. Health minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that 89 people had succumbed to the disease in Delhi to date, while 92 others had recovered. The shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis still remained a problem for the city of 29 million, the minister added. Cases of black fungus have been on the rise in India during the harsh second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.


As of May 25, the country saw 11,700 infections, which prompted several states to declare mucormycosis an epidemic. It also soon became clear that the health authorities didn’t have sufficient quantities of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B for the number of patients. Capitalizing on the weakened immune system in Covid sufferers, the fungi most commonly enter the human body through the nose and mouth before spreading to the lungs, heart, or brain. Its symptoms include facial swelling and black lesions – hence its name – and it has a fatality rate of around 54%. The spike in black fungus incidences among Indian coronavirus patients has been largely linked to the steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed during their treatment for Covid-19.

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The US did this to Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)

The completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will deprive Ukraine of about $3 billion annually, with the country’s pipelines no longer necessary for the transportation of Russian gas to Western Europe. That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who told a delegation from the US Congress that America should do what it can to prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Once finished, the pipeline will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. It aims to protect Berlin’s energy security and make the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas, thereby lowering the price. As things stand, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, around 100km remains to be completed, which should be achieved by the end of 2021.


“Only the United States and the administration of President Joe Biden can prevent the completion and commissioning of Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky explained. “Nord Stream 2 will disconnect Ukraine from gas supplies, which means ‘disconnecting’ us from at least $3 billion a year… We will have nothing to pay for the Ukrainian Army.” According to the Ukrainian leader, without this money, the country will no longer have a “powerful and well-supplied army” to continue “defending Europe and European values.” The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been significantly hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.

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They’ll move into gold.

Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)

Following a series of corporate cyberattacks that American intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian actors, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (officially the National Wellbeing Fund) has decided to dump all of its dollars and dollar-denominated assets in favor of those denominated in euros, yuan – or simply buying precious metals like gold, which Russia’s central bank has increasingly favored for its own reserves. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made the announcement Thursday morning at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “We can make this change rather quickly, within a month,” Siluanov told reporters Thursday.

He explained that the Kremlin is moving to reduce exposure to US assets as President Biden threatens more economic sanctions against Russia following the latest ransomware attacks. The transfer will affect $119 billion in liquid assets, Bloomberg reported, but the sales will largely be executed through the Russian Central bank and its massive reserves, limiting the market impact and reducing visibility on what exactly the sovereign wealth fund will be buying. “The central bank can make these changes to the Wellbeing Fund without resorting to market operations,” said Sofya Donets, economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. “This in some sense a technical thing.”

Jordan Rochester, currency strategist at Nomura International PLC, said, “This is a transfer of euros from the central bank to the wealth fund, we’ll then see the central bank the holder of the USDs and it’s up to them to manage it. No initial market impact.” The news isn’t a complete surprise: The Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, has steadily reduced its dollar holdings over the last few years amid increasing sanctions pressure from the US and Europe. That trend continued through President Trump’s term. Just a few days ago, we reported that the Russian parliament had just authorized the sovereign wealth fund to buy gold through the central bank. However, the central bank reports its holdings with a six-month lag, making it impossible to determine its current holdings.

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Brilliant Ali on how he wants to be remembered.

 

 


The red train, Landwasserviadukt, Switzerland. Drone photo by Sebastianmzh

 

 

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 February 21, 2021  Posted by at 10:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Ceiling painting from the palace of Amenhotep III, New Kingdom ca. 1390–1353 B.C.

 

46 Die in Spain Nursing Home After First Pfizer Shot, Second Shots Halted (CB)
Public Health Authorities Blocking Effective Treatment (PCR)
Newsweek ‘Fact Check’ Claims India Vaccine Ban “Mostly False” (SN)
Russia Registers Third Domestically-Created Vaccine Against Covid-19 (RT)
White House ‘Working Directly’ With Big Tech To Censor ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ (RT)
Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More (Greenwald)
Nursing Home Industry Avoids Scrutiny For Covid-19 Deaths With Lobbying (IC)
For Albany’s Biggest Bully, The Hits Keep Coming (TU)
Lincoln Project Implosion Has Derailed Plan For A Media Empire (VF)
Reuters, BBC, Bellingcat Part Of Covert UK Programs To “Weaken Russia” (GZ)
Texas Blackouts Spark First Lawsuit; AG Vows Probe (ZH)
The Future Of Money Is Gold (Macleod)
Assange’s Lawyers Consider a Cross Appeal (Mercouris)

 

 

 

 

Picked this up. Can’t seem to be able to double check it.

46 Die in Spain Nursing Home After First Pfizer Shot, Second Shots Halted (CB)

The Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) nursing home is reeling due to mass deaths after mRNA inoculations. All residents and workers at the facility received the first dose of Pfizer mRNA in early January, according to Spain mainstream media outlet ABC de Sevilla. Most residents became extremely ill shortly after the shots. It is believed many came down with COVID-19, despite being “vaccinated against it.” The Andalusian Health Service reported that at least 46 residents have died since January. For perspective, Our Lady has a maximum capacity of 145 residents. The Junta de Andalucía (regional government) intervened in early February to curtail the death count. But people continued dying. Spain’s Ministry of Health is now in charge of mitigation.


The Ministry said in a statement: “In view of the imminent risk to public health, and in particular for the [residents] and workers of this center, as the current protocol for disinfection and isolation of positive cases cannot be guaranteed.” The situation remains dire, as at least 28 residents and 12 staff members were COVID-19 positive last week. Health officials halted all further mRNA shots as a result. The Federation of Public Services criticized Our Lady for not taking action sooner. The workers’ union said the response was inadequate after eight people died by January 18. The death count grew to 30 by January 28. Spain is continually in the news related to mRNA shots. Health Minister Salvador Illa said in December that his agency is keeping a database of all citizens who refuse the mRNA. He said the list will be shared with all EU members.

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“What reason is there for people in any country to have confidence in their government and public health authorities?”

Public Health Authorities Blocking Effective Treatment (PCR)

[..] the vaccines themselves have not undergone long-run testing, and many serious reactions and more than 1,000 deaths are associated with the vaccinations. Some scientists are concerned that the untested technology in some of the vaccines will have adverse effects on the immune system and result in a jump in the overall death rate. However, we look at it, we are flying at least partly blind. Why as there is a far superior way to proceed? First, begin with prevention. Vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and NAC are effective and inexpensive immune boosters that ward off infection and reduce the severity of infection. Then turn to cures. Both the HCQ/zinc/antibiotic treatment and the Ivermectin/zinc/antibiotic treatment are proven, safe, and inexpensive.

Yet the evidence has been kept from the public. Even the most knowledgeable experts are deplatformed when they say anything that is in conflict with the vaccination/lockdown agenda. The media are complicit in keeping the public uninformed. Why is this? How does information suppression help deal with an alleged world pandemic? Clearly, it does not help. I have reported many times on the effectiveness of HCQ/zinc. You can use the search feature on this website to locate my reports. Ivermectin has proven to be even more effective than HCQ. Dr. Marc Wathelet, a leading virologist, has brought the evidence for Ivermectin before the government of Belgium. There is no justifiable reason for not using these cures, and there is no justifiable reason for not initiating a prevention program based on supplements, diet, and a more healthy life style.

The failure of governments and health authorities to employ these proven means amounts to premeditated mass murder. The reason people have died from Covid is the refusal to treat and to prevent with known effective means. Instead, governments and health authorities have interfered with doctors and prevented treatment with HCQ and Ivermectin, while using the presstitutes to brainwash the public that these effective and safe treatments are dangerous. The massive disinformation campaign waged against effective prevention and treatment does not come from ignorance and incompetence of public authorities. It comes from the agendas that Covid is being used to advance, agendas whose toll in human life and suffering is unimportant to those whose agendas are being served. What reason is there for people in any country to have confidence in their government and public health authorities?

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“The Newsweek fact check itself is “mostly false.” The fact checkers have been fact checked.”

Newsweek ‘Fact Check’ Claims India Vaccine Ban “Mostly False” (SN)

Newsweek published a “fact check” which labeled claims that India had banned the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as “mostly false” despite admitting in the article that India has in fact temporarily banned the vaccine. Last week, discussion around the issue intensified after it was revealed that Indian health authorities had refused to give permission for the vaccine to be distributed. “On February 3, 2021, India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), a panel that advises the nation’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), a national regulatory body focused on pharmaceuticals and devices, ruled that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should not be recommended for an EUA in the country “at this stage,” reports Newsweek.

The report quotes India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which ruled, “The committee noted that incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis and other SAE’s have been reported during post marketing and the causality of the events with the vaccine is being investigated. Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety and immunogenicity data in Indian population.” In response, after the meeting with the regulator, Pfizer Inc. withdrew its application for the vaccine’s use in India. The Newsweek report admits all this, including but then asserts that that the claim India banned the vaccine is “mostly false.”Indian authorities refused to allow the vaccine to be distributed in India. That’s also known as a “ban”. The ban might be lifted at a future date, but it’s a ban nonetheless.

For Newsweek to claim that this is “mostly false” is completely erroneous. The Newsweek fact check itself is “mostly false.” The fact checkers have been fact checked.

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Three different techniques.

Russia Registers Third Domestically-Created Vaccine Against Covid-19 (RT)

A third Covid-19 vaccine has been registered in Russia, the country’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on Saturday morning. The drug, dubbed CoviVac, has been developed by the Chumakov Scientific Center in Moscow. The new formula, which has yet to complete phase three trials, uses the most traditional technology out of all of the Russian-made anti-coronavirus solutions. CoviVac is a whole virus vaccine that contains either weakened or deactivated strains of the infection, cultivated specifically for its production. Its developers have previously said that the vast majority of vaccines worldwide have been built on this technology and using it against the Covid-19 pandemic was a viable option.

The pilot batch of 120,000 doses is expected to become available for Russia’s public in mid-March, Mishustin stated. The developers are also seeking to export the vaccine to other countries, following in the footsteps of the Gamaleya Center’s pioneering Sputnik V. The virus sample used to create the vaccine was collected from a Covid-19 patient hospitalized in the Moscow region, the head of Chumakov Center, Aidar Ishmukhametov, revealed back in December. The sample turned out to be both bold and ‘cooperative’ enough to thrive in the laboratory, providing scientists with the material needed to produce the vaccine.

The first coronavirus vaccine registered by Russia, Sputnik V, relies on a unique two-vector human adenovirus technology. Basically, coronavirus particles are inserted into a weakened adenovirus, which is a genetically modified flu virus that cannot reproduce in the human body. It then triggers the required immunity reaction. Sputnik V uses two different adenoviral vectors for the first and second dose and is more effective defense compared to other vaccines that use the same vector for both shots. The second jab, the EpiVacCorona developed by the Siberia-based Vector Institute, uses synthesized particles of the virus instead. They are put into the human body by carrier proteins. Unlike some foreign competitors, all the Russian-made vaccines, including the brand new CoviVac, can be stored in regular refrigerators, which greatly facilitates the logistics and distribution of the shots.

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There is only one religion.

White House ‘Working Directly’ With Big Tech To Censor ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ (RT)

Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly working directly with Silicon Valley giants to root out ‘misinformation and disinformation’ that hampers US vaccination efforts, indicating hands-on involvement in Big Tech censorship. “Disinformation that causes vaccine hesitancy is going to be a huge obstacle to getting everyone vaccinated and there are no larger players in that than the social media platforms,” a source with direct knowledge about the cooperation told Reuters. “We are talking to them… so they understand the importance of misinformation and disinformation and how they can get rid of it quickly.” The White House previously acknowledged working with tech giants like Facebook and Google on the issue, but direct engagement was not confirmed, Reuters said.


The Biden administration wants digital platforms to suppress content that can result in events like the anti-vaccination protest at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in late January, the source said. The arena has been repurposed as a drive-in mass vaccination site, one of the largest in the US, after being used for Covid-19 testing since May. Police shut it down for about an hour on January 30, after around 50 protesters gathered at the entrance, decrying a “Covid scam” and demanding an end to lockdown in California. The event went off peacefully and was rebuked by state officials, including Governor Gavin Newsom – whom the protesters wanted to be recalled, according to one of the signs they carried.

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“..Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing.”

Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More (Greenwald)

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.” The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.”

They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.” House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.

I’ve written and spoken at length over the past several years about the dangers of vesting the power in the state, or in tech monopolies, to determine what is true and false, or what constitutes permissible opinion and what does not. I will not repeat those points here. Instead, the key point raised by these last threats from House Democrats is an often-overlooked one: while the First Amendment does not apply to voluntary choices made by a private company about what speech to allow or prohibit, it does bar the U.S. Government from coercing or threatening such companies to censor. In other words, Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing.

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Who thinks there will be a thorough probe?

Nursing Home Industry Avoids Scrutiny For Covid-19 Deaths With Lobbying (IC)

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, as the country was being hit by the first wave of the deadly outbreak, New York state, under the leadership Gov. Andrew Cuomo, issued an order directing over 9,000 coronavirus-positive patients be discharged from hospitals into nursing homes. The Cuomo administration claimed that the order was necessary due to the risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed by Covid-19. In fact, nursing homes tend to have much less effective infection control policies than hospitals, and the order, which likely contributed enormously to the spread of Covid-19 in nursing homes, was reversed in May.

In the meantime, though, the Cuomo administration moved to further protect nursing homes. In April, New York became one of the first states to implement liability relief for nursing home operators, after aggressive lobbying and years of donations from the hospital and nursing home industries. Besides New York, at least 27 other states have implemented liability protections for nursing homes.

Across the country, 161,000 nursing home and other long-term care residents have died from Covid-19, an astonishing 36 percent of the total coronavirus deaths in the U.S., and there have been over 1.2 million cases in nursing homes, meaning about half of all nursing home residents contracted the virus. The Government Accountability Office released a report in May 2020 titled “Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic.” And study after study has shown a connection between nursing home staffing and Covid-19 deaths, from the New York Attorney General’s office to researchers at the University of Chicago to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

[..[ The industry, with its powerful lobby, has escaped significant scrutiny, however. Just two nursing home executives have been indicted for Covid-19 deaths, while the industry showered over $10 million on candidates and political action committees in 2020, according to data collected by the National Institute on Money in Politics. Congress has held just one hearing on Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, in the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, chaired by progressive Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

And in the CARES Act, passed in March 2020, Congress gave the industry $10 billion through the Provider Relief Fund — with no strings attached for quality or staffing — as the Trump administration reduced nursing home inspections and fines. As a result, “there are some nursing home chains where the chain had more profits in 2020 than in 2019,” said Toby Edelman, an attorney and nursing home resident advocate with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

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“You haven’t seen my wrath.” Who, other than raging megalomaniacs, talks that way? Why do we insist on electing such miserable people to positions of power?”

For Albany’s Biggest Bully, The Hits Keep Coming (TU)

Andrew Cuomo’s team insists the governor didn’t threaten Ron Kim, the Queens assemblyman who has been a persistent and effective critic of the governor’s nursing home policies. But nobody who follows state government heard Kim’s story and said, “Gee, that doesn’t sound like Andrew Cuomo.” The alleged threat to “destroy” Kim sounds exactly like the governor. It’s who he is. For a decade, until the pandemic temporarily elevated his reputation, Cuomo was Albany’s leading bully, the secretive, scheming, petty narcissist who used fear and threats to subdue friends and opponents alike. Some perhaps believed such distasteful pugilism was needed to wrestle New York’s anarchic government under control. If nothing else, Cuomo seemed competent. He was reelected, twice, without breaking a sweat.

But now, suddenly, everything is crashing down around him. The searing report released at the end of January by Attorney General Letitia James, the one that castigated the governor for dramatically undercounting nursing home deaths, was a watershed, perhaps because James had been considered a Cuomo ally. It’s been a drumbeat of bad news for the governor ever since. The blows keep coming. You probably know that a state judge said the Cuomo administration illegally ignored Freedom of Information Law requests for truthful nursing home information. You’re aware of the firestorm that erupted when a top Cuomo aide blamed a federal inquiry for the administration’s stonewall.

This week, we learned the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have launched a new probe into the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. Lawmakers, increasingly frustrated by the administration’s intense gaslighting, are calling for investigations and threatening to strip the governor’s pandemic power. There’s even impeachment talk. So, Cuomo was in real trouble even before he spent 20 minutes angrily assailing Kim at a press conference Wednesday, an assault that led the assemblyman to talk publicly about frightening threats from a raging governor. I will destroy you!” Cuomo screamed, according to Kim. “You haven’t seen my wrath.” Who, other than raging megalomaniacs, talks that way? Why do we insist on electing such miserable people to positions of power? Why do they get away with behavior that would get anyone else fired?

Read more …

Why does this make me think of Epstein?

Lincoln Project Implosion Has Derailed Plan For A Media Empire (VF)

That executives at the organization—including Steve Schmidt—may have known about allegations against Weaver before they were made public. (Schmidt has denied prior knowledge of the allegations. In a statement, the Lincoln Project said it had been “betrayed and deceived” by Weaver.) If true, the stories, which have blasted through the group with bombshell force, represent a spectacular and horrific denouement. In response, many of the Lincoln Project’s members have fallen back on their favorite mantra: Donald Trump is worse. “You know who would be the happiest man in the world if he knew he’d never have to deal with [Lincoln Project] again? Donald Trump,” tweeted cofounder Stuart Stevens last week. “Pick a side. I’m with [Lincoln Project].” He then urged readers to stand with the group.

“Most effective Super PAC in US history,” Stevens wrote. (In fact, though the Lincoln Project’s viral attack ads racked up millions of views, the videos seemingly didn’t do much to accomplish their stated goal of swaying the GOP electorate. Trump received a larger share of the Republican vote nationally in 2020 than he did in 2016.) Others appeared resigned. “Just shut it down already,” wrote Kurt Bardella, who departed from his position as a senior adviser amid the whirlwind of bad press. George Conway, another since-departed cofounder, likewise tweeted that, at this point, shuttering the PAC is the “right” move. On Thursday, the Lincoln Project announced the formation of a “transition advisory committee” that will support the internal investigation of Weaver, as well as a “Stewardship Report” to outline its finances.

As the organization flounders, its plans for the future have been thrown into doubt. The group’s stars had planned to work for Israeli prime minister hopeful Gideon Sa’ar in his bid against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an election that will be held in March. Sa’ar’s campaign had brought on the Lincoln Project’s Schmidt, Reed Galen, Stevens, and Rick Wilson a few weeks ago in the hopes that the group’s aggressive attack ads would work against Netanyahu, but their relationship has since been dissolved, according to a Tuesday report in the Jerusalem Post. Just before the 2020 election, Axios reported that the Lincoln Project had potential plans for a sprawling media organization—Lincoln Media—and had been approached by “several media and entertainment companies and podcast platforms looking to launch franchises from its brand.”

Those talks reportedly included interest from a TV studio in developing a fiction series; queries from networks about streaming the Lincoln Project’s proprietary show, LPTV; and potentially creating a nonfiction film. The organization had planned to launch a revamped version of its podcast, telling Axios it would be “unveiling new episodes imminently” and expanding its LPTV programming “in the coming weeks.” Those plans are now, presumably, in limbo.

Read more …

The incompetence is baffling.

Reuters, BBC, Bellingcat Part Of Covert UK Programs To “Weaken Russia” (GZ)

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have sponsored Reuters and the BBC to conduct a series of covert programs aimed at promoting regime change inside Russia and undermining its government across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a series of leaked documents. The leaked materials show the Thomson Reuters Foundation and BBC Media Action participating in a covert information warfare campaign aimed at countering Russia. Working through a shadowy department within the UK FCO known as the Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD), the media organizations operated alongside a collection of intelligence contractors in a secret entity known simply as “the Consortium.”

Through training programs of Russian journalists overseen by Reuters, the British Foreign Office sought to produce an “attitudinal change in the participants,” promoting a “positive impact” on their “perception of the UK.” “These revelations show that when MPs were railing about Russia, British agents were using the BBC and Reuters to deploy precisely the same tactics that politicians and media commentators were accusing Russia of using,” Chris Williamson, a former UK Labour MP who attempted to apply public scrutiny to the CDMD’s covert activities and was stonewalled on national security grounds, told The Grayzone. “The BBC and Reuters portray themselves as an unimpeachable, impartial, and authoritative source of world news,” Williamson continued, “but both are now hugely compromised by these disclosures. Double standards like this just bring establishment politicians and corporate media hacks into further disrepute.”

[..] The Grayzone reported in October 2020 on leaked materials released by Anonymous which exposed a massive propaganda campaign funded by the UK FCO to cultivate support for regime change in Syria. Soon after, the Foreign Office claimed its computer systems had been penetrated by hackers, thus confirming their authenticity. The new leaks illustrate in alarming detail how Reuters and the BBC – two of the largest and most distinguished news organizations in the world – attempted to answer the British foreign ministry’s call for help in improving its “ability to respond and to promote our message across Russia,” and to “counter the Russian government’s narrative.” Among the UK FCO’s stated goals, according to the director of the CDMD, was to “weaken the Russian State’s influence on its near neighbours.”

[..] The UK FCO projects were carried out covertly, and in partnership with purportedly independent, high-profile online media outfits including Bellingcat, Meduza, and the Pussy Riot-founded Mediazona. Bellingcat’s participation apparently included a UK FCO intervention in North Macedonia’s 2019 elections on behalf of the pro-NATO candidate.

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Who will be sued?

Texas Blackouts Spark First Lawsuit; AG Vows Probe (ZH)

A Corpus Christi man has accused the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s primary electric grid, of ignoring repeated warnings that the state’s electric power infrastructure had weaknesses, according to a new lawsuit. In a statement by the Dallas law firm which filed the suit, ERCOT and American Electric Power utility are also accused of causing property damage and business interruptions as last week’s cold snap shattered water pipes and caused widespread power outages to millions of Texans, according to NBCDFW. “This cold weather event and its effects on the Texas energy grid were neither unprecedented, nor unexpected, nor unforeseen,” states the lawsuit, filed by Donald McCarley.

“In fact, similar cold weather events in 1989 and 2011 led to exactly the same type of rolling blackouts that have affected and continue to affect Texas residents and businesses.” The lawsuit also cites a clause in the Texas Constitution which holds that “no person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made.” “The rolling blackouts ordered by Defendant ERCOT took, damaged, or destroyed Plaintiff’s property without adequate compensation,” the suit claims. “The lawsuit filed Friday in a Nueces County court at law in Corpus Christi alleges the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, manager of the state’s main electric grid, ignored repeated warnings of weaknesses in the state’s electric power infrastructure.” -NBCDFW

“The resulting widespread property damage from blackouts was caused by their negligence and gross negligence. In addition, the disruptions rendered private property unusable and amounted to an illegal `taking’ of private property by the government,” the law firm said in a statement. The lawsuit also claims that utility companies should have winterized their plants and increased generation to meet skyrocketing demand, “but consciously chose not to do so.”

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Not everyone will agree, but this is intriguing: “.. when gold is the basis of all transaction settlements, economies become self-regulating and self-correcting..”

The Future Of Money Is Gold (Macleod)

As a circulating medium, gold and its properly established and exchangeable substitutes have proved to be the most effective lubricant for economic progress. It behoves us to take a moment to understand why this is the case, and why its circulation as money was central to the rapid and unprecedented improvement in living standards in the nineteenth century. People in a community, town, city or even a nation set their own monetary requirements and the level of their trade. Let us assume that in doing so, the general price level differs from that of a neighbouring population. The conditions then exist for an arbitrage to take place, whereby gold payments will flow to the community with the lower prices when economic actors in the community with higher prices take advantage of them.

Price differentials will tend to close to a level that reflects transaction and transport costs, so the purchasing power of gold in the two communities converge. This understanding in classical economics is the basis behind purchasing power parity theory. Additionally, savings in gold will seek out the higher investment returns between the two centres. It is likely that the centre with lower costs will offer the greater attraction to capital flows, but this is less certain. However, the quantities of gold held as savings are always significantly less than the quantities spent in consumption in an economy that uses monetary capital efficiently. The arbitrage takes place both through the trade of goods and also by the deployment of capital exploiting interest rate and opportunity differentials, so that a convergence in both prices and interest rates is achieved.

And what applies between two communities using gold as money applies between them all, so that across all unfettered, free market economies which maximise the benefits of the division of labour, the benefits of gold as money are enjoyed by all. It is therefore easy to see that in a commercial world with effective transport and communications, whatever the local preferences for holding money relative to goods may be, multi-centre arbitrage tends to produce a common price level and a common level for interest rates. These adjustment factors are conducive to trade, not only between communities but between nations. And trade priced and settled in gold is, all else being equal, far more efficient than when individual fiat currencies are involved, because with gold as the common money national boundaries are no longer barriers to payments and trade is truly global.

Given gold’s ubiquity as money, the effect of localised changes in general preferences for holding gold relative to goods can be regarded as minimised. An additional but unrelated factor is the inflation of above-ground stocks of gold through mine supply, but this is broadly offset by population growth. And a substantial element of gold usage is non-monetary, mainly for jewellery, which becomes a flexible source of monetary gold if markets demand it. Technological innovation and improvement in production methods as well as competition all tend in the long run to reduce the general price level of goods and services measured in gold. So, while there is little change in the general level of prices from the money side, there can be a significant reduction in prices over long periods of time from the goods side.

The effect is to enhance the purchasing power of savings, leading to stable, low interest rates and improved living standards for all but the indolent. In summary, when gold is the basis of all transaction settlements, economies become self-regulating and self-correcting. Successful economic activity is rewarded with profits and the opportunity to accumulate wealth. In every respect, government intervention and regulation results in the opposite.

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“If Assange’s lawyers do decide to bring a cross appeal, then the High Court hearing of that and the U.S. appeal will acquire epochal importance.”

Assange’s Lawyers Consider a Cross Appeal (Mercouris)

Julian Assange’s lawyers are considering bringing a cross appeal to the High Court in London disputing parts of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s Jan. 4 judgment not to extradite Assange to the United States, according to a report by journalist Tareq Haddad. Baraitser refused the U.S. request on narrow grounds, saying Assange’s extradition would put his life and health at risk. But Baraitser sided with the U.S. on every other point of law and fact, making it clear that in the absence of the life and health issues she would have granted the U.S. request. That opens the way for the U.S. government to seek the extradition of other persons, including journalists, who do the same things as Assange did, but who cannot rely on the same life and health issues.

It also means that if the U.S. wins the appeal it filed last Friday in High Court it can try Assange in the U.S. on the Espionage Act charges that went unchallenged by Baraitser. If Assange’s lawyers counter the U.S. appeal with one of their own in the High Court against Baraitser’s upholding of the espionage charges, it would be heard simultaneously with the U.S. appeal. Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, has written that Assange’s lawyers are indeed considering a cross appeal: “The next step in the legal case is that Julian’s legal team will respond to the US grounds for appeal. Julian’s lawyers are hard at work. Julian’s team has asked the High Court to give them more time to consider whether to lodge a cross appeal in order to challenge parts of the ruling where the magistrate did not side with Julian and the press freedom arguments. A cross appeal would provide an opportunity to clear Julian’s name properly.

Although Julian won at the Magistrates’ Court, the magistrate did not side with him on the wider public interest arguments. We wanted a U.K. court to properly quash the extradition and refute the other grounds too. We wanted a finding that the extradition is an attempt to criminalise journalism, not just in the U.S. but in the U.K. and the rest of the world as well; and that the decision to indict Julian was a political act, a violation of the treaty, a violation of his human rights and an abuse of process. Julian’s extradition team is considering all these issues, and whether they can be cross-appealed.”

[..] One should be cautious about the idea of a cross appeal to the High Court on Assange’s behalf. Despite the fact that Baraitser sided with the U.S. government on most of the contentious issues of law and fact in the case, she did in the end refuse the U.S. government’s request for Assange’s extradition. The normal practice in an appeal is to uphold a judgment made in one’s favour, not to challenge it by bringing a cross appeal, which could serve to undermine it. That often means going along with things in the judgment with which one is unhappy.

There is however nothing normal about Assange’s case. As Moris’ comments show, one has to be aware, perhaps more than in almost any other case, of the overriding and even transcendent issues of media freedom and human rights that arise. It may be that Assange’s lawyers will decide that Ainsworth’s comments to the House of Commons in 2003; Davis’s recent comments about parliament’s intentions at the time when the 2003 Extradition Act was passed into law; and any other points of law or fact that carry sufficient weight, justify bringing a cross appeal, despite the attendant risks. If Assange’s lawyers do decide to bring a cross appeal, then the High Court hearing of that and the U.S. appeal will acquire epochal importance.

Assange Facebook
https://twitter.com/i/status/1362662696739500037

Read more …

 

 

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Feb 122021
 


Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake River 1942

 

Cuomo Aide Admits They Hid Nursing Home Data From Feds (NYP)
Kent Covid Variant Mutation Must Be Taken Seriously, Warns UK Scientist (G.)
‘Denier’ Is The Dirty Word Of The Pandemic (Furedi)
Biden Administration Says No Domestic Travel Restrictions Planned (F.)
Twitter Permanently Suspends ‘Project Veritas’ Group (Hill)
Instagram Removes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Account With 800,000+ Subscribers (RT)
Reckless Rhetoric Is A Reckless Standard For An Impeachment Trial (Turley)
G7 Seen Backing Issuance Of New IMF SDRs (R.)
Markets Are Giddy About Reopening – And That’s The Problem (Pol.)
The Only Way Out of the Death Trap (Rickards)
Why Victoria Nuland Is Dangerous and Should Not Be Confirmed (Antiwar)
Database Of All Ivermectin COVID-19 Studies (C19I)

 

 

A new insight:

 

 

Myopia.

 

 

Remember the hospital ships Trump set to New York? Cuomo didn’t use them. Because it was Trump.

“Cuomo sent 9000 infected patients into nursing homes instead of the USNS Comfort.”

While he be indicted, along with his helpers? I wouldn’t count on it.

Cuomo Aide Admits They Hid Nursing Home Data From Feds (NYP)

Governor Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing-home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned. The stunning admission of a cover-up was made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.” In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.” “And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers on the call. “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.” DeRosa added: “That played a very large role into this.”

After dropping the bombshell, DeRosa asked for “a little bit of appreciation of the context” and offered what appears to be the Cuomo administration’s first apology for its handling of nursing homes amid the pandemic. But instead of a mea culpa to the grieving family members of more than 13,000 dead seniors or the critics who say the Health Department spread COVID-19 in the care facilities with a March 25 state Health Department directive that nursing homes admit infected patients, DeRosa tried to make amends with the fellow Democrats for the political inconvenience it caused them. “So we do apologize,” she said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”

Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) immediately rejected DeRosa’s expression of remorse, according to the recording. “I don’t have enough time today to explain all the reasons why I don’t give that any credit at all,” said Gottfried, one of the lawmakers who demanded the death-toll data in August. State Senate Aging Committee Chairwoman Rachel May (D-Syracuse) — who was battered during her re-election bid last year over the issue of nursing-home deaths — also ripped into DeRosa, saying her former opponent had launched another broadside earlier in the day. “And the issue for me, the biggest issue of all is feeling like I needed to defend — or at least not attack — an administration that was appearing to be covering something up,” she said.

Read more …

So start sending out the vitamin D. And boost your ivermectin supplies.

Kent Covid Variant Mutation Must Be Taken Seriously, Warns UK Scientist (G.)

The Kent variant of the coronavirus with a key mutation that enables the South African variant to escape some of the vaccines used against it must be taken very seriously in the UK, according to a leading microbiologist. Prof Ravi Gupta of the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases, who is a member of the government’s scientific advisory body Nervtag, warned that the mutated variant, at the moment causing just 21 known cases, should be treated with as much concern as the South African variant. The Kent variant B117, which spreads twice as fast as the original coronavirus, is now dominant in the UK and is present in many countries around the world.

But Public Health England has identified 21 cases of B117 that also have the E484K mutation: 14 in the Bristol region, four in Greater Manchester and three elsewhere. E484K is the change to the spike protein in South Africa that scientists believe is chiefly responsible for vaccines triggering a lower antibody response to infection. Nervtag (new and emerging respiratory virus threats advisory group), which is part of the UK Sage committee of scientists, has designated this a “variant of concern”. This key mutation that had now arisen in the UK has been shown to reduce the efficacy of antibodies in many lab studies, said Gupta. So treating it as we would the South African variant itself is sensible, he said.

“Given that we think this one is responsible for a large knock-off of the effects of vaccine efficacy or even immunity, then, I think it’s wise,” he said. E484K is also found in the Brazilian variant, which it is thought may be infecting people who should be immune because they had previously become ill with the original coronavirus – although the evidence is still anecdotal. “Given all these factors, I think it should be taken very seriously,” he said.

Read more …

“The targeting of denial has little to do with the distinct features of any specific issues. It is driven by a mood of intolerance towards those who are sceptical of the received wisdom.”

‘Denier’ Is The Dirty Word Of The Pandemic (Furedi)

Legitimate views about the effectiveness of lockdown are being silenced with accusations of Covid ‘denial’. The misuse of this powerful and emotive word, often associated with the Holocaust, is morally wrong and needs to stop. These days, if you want to shut down critical or dissident views, all you need to do is shout ‘denier’. This morally charged scare word is often hurled at anyone who questions the efficacy of the current lockdown or any of the policies associated with it. Consequently, the term denial is used to delegitimise the view of someone who is sceptical about the lockdown. For some time now, scepticism – an attitude associated with a questioning mind – has been targeted by would-be censors and treated as a marker for insidious behaviour. ‘How climate scepticism turned into something more dangerous’ warns an academic in the Guardian.

The rhetorical strategy of attributing malevolent intent to scepticism is demonstrated by the decision of the Guardian to update its style guide by changing the usage of the term ‘climate sceptic’ to that of ‘climate denier’. With its long-established religious connotation as an expression of heresy, denial communicates an act of mortal sin. This quasi-religious meaning is still conveyed by 21st century moral entrepreneurs. “I have seen Covid denial up close – it was a chilling experience,” writes a commentator. In recent times, the term denial has mutated from its religious connotations to become an all-purpose secular sin. It has emerged as a turbo-charged moral crime because of its association with the Holocaust. [..] This self-conscious exploitation of the Holocaust was illustrated by a journalist for the online magazine Grist, who wanted to see global warming deniers prosecuted like Nazi war criminals.

With the tone of vitriol characteristic of dogmatic inquisitors, he noted that “we should have war crimes trials for these bastards,” adding “some sort of climate Nuremberg.” During the pandemic, the rhetoric of denial has been frequently used to associate people who are sceptical of government policy with the sins of other types of denials. As one commentator explained: “Denial is pernicious and can have dire impacts. Climate change denial leads to lack of action that would preserve a healthy planet. Mask denial leads to increased spread of and mortality from the Covid virus. Denial of sexual abuse leads to horrific instances where an abuser is allowed to persist in their malfeasance for years because those responsible for the institutions in which they operated – schools, churches, companies, scouts, etc) refused to face the terrible reality that existed under their own roofs.”

From this perspective, denial itself, without regard to any specific object is pernicious. The targeting of denial has little to do with the distinct features of any specific issues. It is driven by a mood of intolerance towards those who are sceptical of the received wisdom. The alarmist tone used to rebrand anyone sceptical of a lockdown policy as a denier makes it difficult for many people to openly voice their reservations on the predicament they face. A lockdown sceptic is not simply treated as someone with a different point of view but as a threat to the community. They are also condemned for having blood on their hands. They have “deadly beliefs” which constitute a threat to the survival of a community.

Read more …

Florida just made the whole thing up?!

Biden Administration Says No Domestic Travel Restrictions Planned (F.)

The Biden administration has denied reports that it’s actively considering domestic travel restrictions to slow the spread of new coronavirus variants, telling Reuters Thursday that “no specific decisions are under consideration” after Florida Republicans slammed the suggestion that the White House could restrict travel to the state. An anonymous Biden source told the Miami Herald Wednesday the administration was actively discussing “potential travel restrictions within the United States” as a way to curb emerging coronavirus variants, as the more transmissible variant first detected in the United Kingdom is expected to become the U.S.’s primary strain by March.

Though the official said no particular states were so far being targeted by the potential restrictions and no final decisions had yet been made, the variants are especially prevalent in Florida and California, and the official said “all options are on the table.” Republicans heavily opposed the travel restrictions: in a letter to President Joe Biden quoted by the Herald, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the move would be “an outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed the possibility of restrictions at a press conference Thursday, saying it “would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida” and “it’s unclear why they would even try talking about that.”

A White House spokesperson denied the report to Reuters Thursday, saying that while the administration is “continuing to discuss” potential travel recommendations, “To be clear, there have been no decisions made around additional public health measures for domestic travel safety.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing Thursday that while the administration is “always considering what steps are necessary” for public health, “no decisions have been made” regarding any measures that could affect domestic travel considerations.

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Twitter will go.

Twitter Permanently Suspends ‘Project Veritas’ Group (Hill)

Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas on Thursday, citing repeat violations of the site’s policies against publishing private information. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the main Project Veritas account was permanently suspended, while founder James O’Keefe had his account temporarily locked. Several recent tweets on O’Keefe’s timeline appeared to have been deleted by Thursday afternoon. [..] Founded in 2010, Project Veritas is a right-wing group that routinely published undercover sting videos, some of which have been accused of deceptive editing. Last October the group was criticized after claiming to have uncovered a witness to voter fraud in Minnesota only for the witness to backtrack on his claims days later and accuse Project Veritas operatives of trying to bribe him, according to multiple reports.

The group, which frequently targets Democratic politicians and media organizations, scored a victory last year when an ABC News correspondent was suspended after a Veritas video showed him claiming that the network does not care about newsworthy issues. They have also published videos of a “Good Morning America” anchor complaining about the network ignoring her story on disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. O’Keefe, in an emailed statement, told The Hill that the content in question was a video of Project Veritas members questioning a Facebook executive, Guy Rosen.

“Late last night, Twitter locked Project Veritas’s and my Twitter accounts, claiming we violated Twitter Guidelines by posting a video of our journalists asking questions of Facebook’s Vice President Guy Rosen which Rosen refused to answer. Twitter claimed the video published private information, which is false. Twitter invited Project Veritas to, and we did, appeal that decision with Twitter. In an apparent act of retaliation for daring to question their authority, Twitter responded to our appeal by suspending our account, continuing to tell us that Project Veritas could delete the tweet and have our account reinstated,” said O’Keefe. “This is nothing new from Twitter – just last fall Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted in Congress his company’s decision to block the New York Post was erroneous while still demanding the Post kneel before them by deleting the tweet,” he continued, adding: “Here we go again – Twitter opting to delete news and demand fealty when their decision is dared to be questioned.”

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This is worse than thought police. Cut them down to size.

Instagram Removes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Account With 800,000+ Subscribers (RT)

Facebook has taken down the Instagram page of former president John F. Kennedy’s nephew – a prominent vaccine critic with 800,000 subscribers. The tech giant has recently stepped up its offensive on what it deems Covid-19 disinfo Kennedy’s Instagram account with its massive following was erased on Wednesday. “We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” Facebook said, confirming the deletion of his hugely popular page. The account was yanked shortly after the Washington Post reported that it had alerted the Facebook-owned social network to Kennedy’s post with the viral clip from “Planet Lockdown.” The video is an interview starring Kennedy’s ally, Catherine Austin Fitts, who served as assistant secretary of housing in the George H.W. Bush administration.


In the clip, which has since been scrapped from YouTube, Facebook, and other established social media, Fitts reportedly argues that the vaccination drive against Covid-19 is a sinister plot masterminded by a global cabal, and that vaccines can change people’s DNA or render them infertile. Kennedy, who was known to be a vocal vaccine skeptic long before the pandemic, reposted the video on December 29. It had reportedly racked up some 900,000 views before it was taken down. He also boasts a sizable 214,000-strong following on Twitter, however his handle there appears to be intact. Kennedy Jr. has drawn stark criticism for his anti-vaccine stance from the mainstream media, with CNN’s Jake Tapper labeling him a “menace” for calling Dr. Anthony Fauci a “very sinister guy who has turned” America over to “Big Pharma.”

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Reckless rhetoric reflects our age of rage.

Reckless Rhetoric Is A Reckless Standard For An Impeachment Trial (Turley)

The Trump team is likely to play back similar language used by Democrats in both houses to “fight” for the country and to “retake” Congress. During Trump’s 2017 inauguration, Democrats denounced his legitimacy as riots broke out in Washington involving violent groups. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) later called on people to confront Republicans in public; Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) insisted during 2020’s violent protests that “there needs to be unrest in the streets.” Then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said “protesters should not let up” even as many protests turned violent or deadly. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has condemned fellow members as effectively traitors and the “enemy within.” She was criticized last year for stating, in the midst of violent protests, that “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be.”

All of these Democrats insist they meant peaceful acts — and I believe them. But that is the point: Rioters sought to burn federal buildings or occupy state capitals and, in some cases, seized police stations, sections of cities, even a city hall. Democrats’ words did not cause that violence on the left. Yet, this impeachment trial invites the same or similar words to be interpreted subjectively, based on whether you believe or approve of the speaker. Reckless rhetoric reflects our age of rage. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stood in front of the Supreme Court and, citing two justices by name, declared menacingly: “Hey, Gorsuch. Hey, Kavanaugh — you’ve unleashed a whirlwind. And you’re going to pay the price.” Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) seemed to defend the recent violent takeover of a St. Louis prison by tweeting the words of Martin Luther King that “a riot is the language of the unheard.”

Nor is this limited to Washington: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) defended state Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D) who called for “soldiers” to “make [Trump supporters] pay” for criticizing and harassing her. Fired FBI director James Comey has been given to reckless rhetoric, too. He recently said: “The Republican Party needs to be burned down … It’s just not a healthy political organization.” Likewise, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin declared that “We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them because if there are survivors, if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.” Since the Republican National Committee was targeted with a pipe bomb on Jan. 6, would that constitute incitement to arson or violence?

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The final step towards oblivion.

G7 Seen Backing Issuance Of New IMF SDRs (R.)

Group of Seven finance ministers are likely to back a new allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s own currency, or special drawing rights, at an online meeting on Friday to help low-income countries, sources said. A new issuance is similar to when a central bank prints money as the new SDRs give each IMF member more reserves to draw on in proportion to their shareholding in the Fund. Officials from the United States, the IMF’s biggest shareholder, have signalled they are open to a new issuance of $500 billion, sources said – a clear shift in position under the administration of new U.S. President Joe Biden. “We expect Friday’s G7 meeting to take decisions on important initiatives, and for France that is the question of a new allocation of IMF special drawing rights,” a French finance ministry source said.


A consensus among the G7 rich nations would pave the way for a broader agreement among G20 countries next month, which could in turn set the stage for a formal decision at the IMF’s annual spring meeting in April. Two sources familiar with the matter said U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had not clearly stated her views on the matter. A third source said Republicans in the U.S. Congress would “have a field day” with the potential boost in funding for China, Iran and Venezuela. Proponents said it would be difficult for countries facing U.S. sanctions to access the cash, however, as they would have to use banks wary of running afoul of Washington. Senior Democratic U.S. senators who back an even larger allocation of 2 trillion SDRs are lobbying U.S. Treasury officials personally to move forward, including through direct calls, a Senate aide said.

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Until the Fed withdraws, there are no markets.

Markets Are Giddy About Reopening – And That’s The Problem (Pol.)

Gas prices are climbing. Home prices are surging. Stock markets keep hitting fresh records as chatroom-driven mania draws in giddy investors. The economy and financial markets appear to be pricing themselves for perfection, betting on rapid vaccinations and a surge of consumer spending later this year that will pull the nation out of its pandemic funk. Serious risks are still lurking just below the surface: Vaccinations could take far longer than expected. New Covid strains could evade vaccines and spur new lockdowns. All of this could trigger falls in stock prices and other assets and stomp on job creation.

But if the dream scenario does arrive, another risk is lurking: A burst of new spending and economic growth coupled with the massive amount of fiscal stimulus in the system — possibly including nearly $2 trillion more under the White House’s latest plan — could lead to a sharp spike in inflation. That would send stocks tumbling and could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to contemplate raising interest rates to cool the economy. The Goldilocks scenario Wall Street and the White House are hoping for includes a successful vaccination effort and enough federal support to keep millions of suffering Americans afloat until then, followed by an economy that runs neither too hot nor too cold. But there is no guarantee Goldilocks will arrive.

“The Biden plan coming on top of last year’s stimulus, the budding increase in union power, the rising risk of import inflation coupled with a ballooning trade deficit, and other data suggest to me that inflation will jump,” said Richard Bernstein of financial firm RBAdvisors. And it could be that all the easy money from the Fed has created dangerous bubbles that could pop, Bernstein warned. “The Fed is providing tons of liquidity, but because banks have been hesitant to lend, the liquidity is trapped in the financial economy and bubbles are forming. Whether it’s Bitcoin, SPACs, Robinhood day traders, or anything similar, it’s clearly not healthy capital formation.”

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“The Fed can call a board meeting, vote on a new policy, walk outside and announce to the world that effective immediately, the price of gold is $5,000 per ounce.”

The Only Way Out of the Death Trap (Rickards)

Economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart carried out a long historical survey going back 800 years, looking at individual countries, or empires in some cases, that have gone broke or defaulted on their debt. They put the danger zone at a debt-to-GDP ratio of 90%. Once it reaches 90%, debt becomes a drag on growth. Meanwhile, we’re looking at deficits of $1 trillion or more, long after the pandemic subsides. In basic terms, the United States is going broke. We’re heading for a sovereign debt crisis. I don’t say that for effect. I’m not looking to scare people or to make a splash. That’s just an honest assessment based on the numbers. Tax cuts won’t bring us out of it, neither can structural changes to the economy. Both would help if done properly, but the problem is simply far too large.

So, an economic time bomb is ticking. Velocity is dropping. Debt is growing while growth is slowing. The explosion will come in the form of asset bubbles bursting and stocks crashing. There’s no way out of the debt death trap. Or is there? There is actually a way out. It’s the only solution left, really. And that’s inflation. Deflation increases the real value of debt. With deflation, the value of money increases, making it more burdensome to pay off debt. This is why debtors hate deflation. And guess who is the world’s largest debtor nation? That’s right, the U.S. On the other hand, inflation decreases the real value of debt. It’s easier to pay down debt because you’re paying back debt with dollars that are less valuable than when you originally borrowed them. But the Fed has failed to produce inflation for over a decade now, despite all the trillions of dollars it’s fabricated.

Then how can the government and the Fed produce inflation now? The solution is to increase the price of gold in order to change inflationary expectations. That will increase money velocity and get the growth engine running again. The Fed could actually cause inflation in about 15 minutes if it used this method. FDR did this to perfection in 1933, and his actions began to dig us out of the Great Depression. Jerome Powell, Biden and his Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen could do it again if they wanted to (assuming they know how, which is probably too much to assume). But how could they increase the gold price to increase money velocity and change inflation expectations? I’ve written about it before, but it bears revisiting, especially since there are newer readers who may be unfamiliar with it. Here’s how they can do it:

The Fed can call a board meeting, vote on a new policy, walk outside and announce to the world that effective immediately, the price of gold is $5,000 per ounce. They could make that new price stick by using the Treasury’s gold in Fort Knox and the major U.S. bank gold dealers to conduct “open market operations” in gold. The Fed will be a buyer if the price hits $4,950 per ounce or less and a seller if the price hits $5,050 per ounce or higher. They will print money when they buy and reduce the money supply when they sell via the banks. The Fed would target the gold price rather than interest rates. The point is to cause a generalized increase in the price level. A rise in the price of gold from $1,900 per ounce to $5,000 per ounce is a massive devaluation of the dollar when measured in the quantity of gold that one dollar can buy.

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She was involved in everything from 2000 on. So much suffering.

Why Victoria Nuland Is Dangerous and Should Not Be Confirmed (Antiwar)

Victoria Nuland exemplifies the neocons who have led US foreign policy from one disaster to another for the past 30 years while evading accountability. It is a bad sign that President Joe Biden has nominated Victoria Nuland for the third highest position at the State Department, Under Secretary for Political Affairs. As a top-level appointee, Victoria Nuland must be confirmed by the US Senate. There is a campaign to Stop her confirmation. The following review of her work shows why Victoria Nuland is incompetent, highly dangerous and should not be confirmed.

Afghanistan and Iraq: From 2000 to 2003, Nuland was US permanent representative to NATO as the Bush administration attacked then invaded Afghanistan. The Afghan government offered to work with the US remove Al Qaeda, but this was rejected. After Al Qaeda was defeated, the US could have left Afghanistan but instead stayed, established semi-permanent bases, split the country, and is still fighting there two decades later. From 2003 to 2005 Nuland was principal foreign policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney who “helped plan and manage the war that toppled Saddam Hussein, including making Bush administration’s case for preemptive military actions based on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.” The foreign policy establishment, with Nuland on the far right, believed that removing Saddam Hussein and installing a US “ally” would be simple. The invasion and continuing occupation have resulted in over a million dead Iraqis, many thousands of dead Americans, hundreds of thousands with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at a cost of 2 to 6 TRILLION dollars.

[..] Victoria Nuland has promoted a foreign policy of intervention through coups, proxy wars, aggression, and ongoing occupations. The policy has been implemented with bloody and disastrous results in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. With consummate hypocrisy she accuses Russia of spreading misinformation in the US, while she openly seeks to put “stress on Putin where he is vulnerable, including among his own citizens.” She wants to “establish permanent bases along NATO’s eastern border and increase the pace and visibility of joint training exercises.”

Victoria Nuland is the queen of chicken hawks, the Lady Macbeth of perpetual war. There are hundreds of thousands of victims from the policies she has promoted. Yet she has not received a scratch. On the contrary, Victoria Nuland probably has profited from a stock portfolio filled with military contractors.Now Victoria Nuland wants to provoke, threaten and “rollback” Russia. A quick look at a map of US military bases shows who is threatening whom. Victoria Nuland is highly dangerous and should not be confirmed.

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Dig in!

Database Of All Ivermectin COVID-19 Studies (C19I)

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Oct 062020
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Old Man Sitting 1631

 

‘Don’t Let It Dominate You. Don’t Be Afraid Of It’ – President Trump (JTN)
WHO: 760 Million May Have Been Infected With Novel Coronavirus (JTN)
CDC Acknowledges Coronavirus Spreads Through Airborne Transmission (CNBC)
Gina Haspel Banks On Trump Loss To Keep Russiagate Documents Hidden (Fed.)
Carter Page Wants McCabe Subpoenaed To Testify Before Senate (JTN)
Ginsburg’s Nightmare: The Democratic Plan To Destroy The Supreme Court (Turley)
Out of the Woods? (Jim Kunstler)
100,000 Ballot Requests Invalidated In Iowa (IC)
Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. They’re Coming for More (PP)
Facebook Refuses To Appoint Turkey Representative, Faces Penalties (Ahval)
UK Court Decision on Venezuela Gold Deals Blow to Regime Change Efforts (MPN)
Former Reserve Bank Of Australia Boss: Low Rates Haven’t Done Any Good (AFR)
John McAfee Arrested In Spain On Tax Evasion & Crypto Fraud, Awaits Extradition To US (RT)
Trump Briefly Leaves Hospital To Wave To Supporters From F-22 Raptor (BBee)

 

 

Trump has long known that it makes no difference what he says or does, everything will be presented in a form that can be used against him anyway. If he says: don’t be afraid of it, the media will tell everyone to be very afraid.

There’s only one exception: if he would start a war. Let’s hope he doesn’t fall into that trap.

 

 

US national debt
https://twitter.com/GeorgeGammon/status/1313124363541991425

 

 

 

 

Media reaction: be afraid! And: don’t let Trump dominate you! Bit late for that now.

‘Don’t Let It Dominate You. Don’t Be Afraid Of It’ – President Trump (JTN)

President Trump on Monday night released a new video message in which he urged Americans to be cautious but not fear the coronavirus or allow it to consume their lives. “I just left Walter Reed Medical Center and it’s really something very special, the doctors, the nurses, the first responders, and I learned so much about coronavirus,” the president said. “And one thing that’s for certain: Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently.” “I went, I didn’t feel so good. And two days ago, I could’ve left two days ago. Two days ago I felt great, like better than I have in a long time. I said just recently, better than 20 years ago,” Trump said.


“I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. And I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger, but that’s ok. And now I’m better, and maybe I’m immune, I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best medicines in the world and it all happened very shortly and they’re all getting approved. And the vaccines are coming momentarily,” the president said. President Trump on Monday evening departed Walter Reed Medical Center, where he had been staying since Friday evening, and returned to the White House.

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Based on what information?

WHO: 760 Million May Have Been Infected With Novel Coronavirus (JTN)

The World Health Organization estimated Monday that roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide have been infected by the novel coronavirus – more than 20 times the number of confirmed cases. The estimate was made by Dr. Michael Ryan, who leads the WHO’s emergencies division, during a session with the group’s 34-member executive board He said that the number was his “best estimates” and that “the vast majority of the world remains at risk.” He also said “many deaths have been averted and many more lives can be protected.” The new estimate from the WHO would indicate that 760 million people worldwide have been infected with the novel virus, a number far surpassing the currently reported 35 million confirmed cases. Ryan also said that the group is getting reports of a surge of cases in Asia and Europe. The doctor cautioned that the world may now be “heading into a difficult period. The disease continued to spread. It is on the rise in many parts of the world.”

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Are these people trying to clarify something, or just to confuse me? What of this didn’t we already know?

CDC Acknowledges Coronavirus Spreads Through Airborne Transmission (CNBC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its coronavirus guidance Monday, acknowledging that it can sometimes spread through airborne particles that can “linger in the air for minutes to hours” and among people who are more than 6 feet apart. The CDC cited published reports that demonstrated “limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area.” “In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise,” the CDC said in a statement. “Such environments and activities may contribute to the buildup of virus-carrying particles.”

The agency added that it is “much more common” for the virus to spread through larger respiratory droplets that are produced when somebody coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. People are infected through such droplets mostly when they are in close contact with an infected person, the CDC said. “CDC’s recommendations remain the same based on existing science and after a thorough technical review of the guidance,” the agency said. “People can protect themselves from the virus that causes COVID-19 by staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth, washing their hands frequently, cleaning touched surfaces often and staying home when sick.” To what degree the coronavirus can spread through airborne particles has been a contentious debate among scientists for months.

Some epidemiologists have charged that the World Health Organization as well as federal regulatory agencies in many countries have been slow to accept that the virus can spread by air. It’s a debate that could have implications for the importance of air filtration in reopening businesses and schools. Dr. Bill Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said the new guidance is largely in line with what he says the science indicates about the coronavirus spreading through the air. He said in a phone interview after reviewing the new guidance that airborne transmission is something of a “side street” for spread. “Some cars do get through on the side street,” he said. “But the highways of transmission are close in, usually within enclosed spaces and for periods of time longer than 15 minutes with people standing within three to six feet of each other.”

[..] Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist and biodefense expert at the University of Arizona, said the new CDC guidance is “quite good.” She added that “the term airborne means so much to so many people,” and the guidance does a good job of emphasizing that the virus appears to only spread by air in certain environments, such as crowded indoor and poorly ventilated spaces. “We know that these events are occurring, but they’re not the primary driver,” she said in a phone interview. “This is a good reminder that there are environments that are higher risk for airborne transmission and we just need to communicate that.”

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Running out the clock. Trump picked the wrong people in many high positions.

Gina Haspel Banks On Trump Loss To Keep Russiagate Documents Hidden (Fed.)

CIA Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the declassification and release of key Russiagate documents in the hopes that President Donald Trump will lose his re-election bid, multiple senior U.S. officials told The Federalist. The officials said Haspel, who served under former CIA Director John Brennan as the spy agency’s station chief in London in 2016 and 2017, is concerned that the declassification and release of documents detailing what the CIA was doing during the 2016 election and the 2017 transition could embarrass the CIA and potentially even implicate Haspel herself. “Haspel and [FBI Director Christopher] Wray both want Trump to lose, because it’s the only chance they have of keeping their jobs,” one senior intelligence official told The Federalist.

“They’re banking on Biden winning and keeping them where they are.” The Federalist first reported last week that Haspel had emerged as the primary roadblock to declassification of materials showing that the U.S. intelligence community knew prior to the 2016 election that the allegations that Trump colluded with Russia were themselves the products of Russian disinformation. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released a declassified summary last week that disclosed that Russian intelligence officials were aware that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had planned to smear Trump as a treasonous Russian asset to distract from the Clinton’s e-mail scandal. As part of her operation, Clinton hired a foreign agent who was himself working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch to spread unverified smears against Trump.


One of the key sources of collusion allegations peddled by that foreign agent via the now-infamous Steele dossier was suspected by FBI authorities of being a Russian spy.“It’s far more important for Haspel to block any embarrassment of herself or her agency than to have full transparency and accountability,” another senior intelligence official told The Federalist. “She’s just hoping she can get past the election so the documents will never come out.” “This is not a source protection issue, it’s an embarrassment issue,” the intelligence official added. Officials also accused Haspel of repeatedly lying to the White House about the status of documents that are in the pipeline for declassification and release. These officials said that Haspel has consistently provided baseless excuses for her failure to produce certain documents, falsely claiming that she can’t physically locate documents, or that her agency doesn’t technically own them and therefore cannot release them.

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New: refusing to testify by video because of coronavirus.

Carter Page Wants McCabe Subpoenaed To Testify Before Senate (JTN)

Former Trump 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page says former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should be subpoenaed to testify Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after backing out over coronavirus concerns. “Hopefully a subpoena is issued today,” Page told “Just the News AM” host Carrie Sheffield. “It’s now Monday morning, and I hope that is resolved so that he can show up and be held to account and answer for these terrible problems that were created.” McCabe was set to testify before the committee on the FBI’s now-discredited Trump-Russia probe.


However, the committee postponed the hearing over McCabe’s coronavirus concerns, after two GOP members, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), tested positive for the virus in recent days. McCabe’s attorney said the alternative, to testify remotely via video camera, would be too complex and contentious. “I think it’s another example of the complete double standards,” said Page. “So many Trump supporters including myself, were dragged in front of not only the U.S. Senate, which is what’s in question here, but the House.” Page, on whom the FBI illegally eavesdropped, also expressed frustration about being a target in special counsel Robert Mueller’s years-long collusion probe.

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“Ruth Bader Ginsburg believed it was wrong to demand assurances on how justices will vote. In her confirmation hearing in 1993, she refused to give the answer that Blumenthal, Gillibrand, Sanders, Clinton, and others now demand from her potential successor.”

Ginsburg’s Nightmare: The Democratic Plan To Destroy The Supreme Court (Turley)

[..] the call for a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees and the packing of the Supreme Court with up to six new members to secure a majority. Both ideas were expressly denounced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Indeed, to achieve these objectives, the Democratic members will have to tear down the very rule established by Ginsburg in her confirmation hearing. The refusal of Vice President Joe Biden to answer repeated questions about his position on the packing of the Supreme Court is deeply troubling. This is a proposal raised not by the Republicans but his own running mate Kamala Harris and leading Democrats. It would destroy the Supreme Court and voters should know if Biden would consider such an irresponsible act, particularly when he previously denounced it.

The refusal to stand against the proposal is a fundamental failure of leadership. Rather than confront the most extreme elements of his party, Biden has chosen to remain silent on a major issue in this election. Frankly, that is not the Biden that many of us knew from his time in the Senate. He should take a stand against this pernicious idea and defend the institution, as he did in 2019 [..] Subtlety has been a stranger to our politics. This is the age of rage, and there is little room for nuance. That is evident in the intense debate over the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Democrats have dispensed with any pretense in their calls to block her and pack the bench with more justices. What they want is a Supreme Court with litmus test confirmations where Senate votes are conditioned on pledges.


Several Democrats have said they will ask Barrett about her view of any challenge to Roe versus Wade, and cases like the pending challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, she faced such demands from Richard Blumenthal and others for her confirmation as a federal appellate judge, and several Democrats voted against her since she did not promise to uphold Roe. In their campaigns last year, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders pledged to nominate only those who would uphold Roe. [..] Ruth Bader Ginsburg believed it was wrong to demand assurances on how justices will vote. In her confirmation hearing in 1993, she refused to give the answer that Blumenthal, Gillibrand, Sanders, Clinton, and others now demand from her potential successor. In calling to protect the legacy of Ginsburg, these politicians have to first tear down the Ginsburg rule.

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“..a keening wail of lamentation rings out across the land at Mr. Trump’s possible, dastardly recovery. How dare he! — to paraphrase Saint Greta Thunberg.”

Out of the Woods? (Jim Kunstler)

CNN had a whack attack. Brian Stelter was beside himself, hinting that sinister forces had punked the network, and all the other righteous Resistance cadres, and that Mr. Trump could be endangering every federal employee down to the enlisted men posted overseas by venturing from his sickroom. The New York Times went farther afield (of course), declaring that “the murky and shifting narrative of his illness was rewritten again with grim new details.” Nicely put by an outfit that has come to specialize in shifting narratives! And indeed, the new Resistance narrative demands to know just exactly when did the president start to feel ill? Did he, perhaps on-purpose, haul his ailing, hulking, scheming Golem ass into the Cleveland debate venue with the hope of infecting his rival, delicate Ol’ White Joe Biden?

Did he recklessly put at risk the White House staff, dignitaries and luminaries coming and going, their family members, associates, underlings, servants, children? Did he threaten the global order, world peace, the fate of humanity? So now, a keening wail of lamentation rings out across the land at Mr. Trump’s possible, dastardly recovery. How dare he! — to paraphrase Saint Greta Thunberg. 209,000 other Americans died, and not him! What vile and unholy devices got him out of a sure death sentence? No doubt Democratic Party astrologasters and consulting augurers will be searching for clues among the orbiting planets and the spilled organs of sacrificed chickens in the days to come. Perhaps Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) can snare a few of the president’s attending physicians into his House Intel Committee and rev up another impeachment for going against doctors’ orders.


Wouldn’t that be a delectable counter to the looming confirmation process for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement next door in the Senate this month? Over his dead body, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is hinting — a tantalizing prospect, with Covid-19 on the loose. It was Chuck who memorably told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC in 2017 that the Deep State “has six ways from [sic] Sunday at getting back at you.” By my count, they’re well over their allotted six by now. Not only did they all fail, but the seditionists behind them are liable to wind up behind bars before this is all over, perhaps even a few of Senator Schumer’s colleagues.

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Many stories developing. A mess overall. Seemingly impossible to regulate on a federal level.

100,000 Ballot Requests Invalidated In Iowa (IC)

In 2018, Democrats won three of Iowa’s four congressional districts, picked up five seats in the state House, and lost the governor’s race by less than 3 points. The state has only trended more Democratic since, giving the party real hope that its six electoral votes could wind up in the camp of Joe Biden and that its Senate seat, now held by Republican Joni Ernst, could flip to Democrat Theresa Greenfield. It may all hinge, however, on an absentee ballot snafu affecting tens of thousands of voters that the party is scrambling to rectify. In July, the top elections officials in Linn and Johnson counties went ahead and began mailing out absentee-ballot request forms with some voter information already filled in, like names and dates of birth.

Crucially, voters need to know their voter ID number. Most don’t, and Linn County Auditor Joel Miller had the state’s vendor fill it in for them. Republicans protested, and courts sided with the GOP, saying that Miller’s decision to proceed with the mailing violated a “clear directive” from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate. More than 100,000 absentee ballot requests have already been invalidated in several Iowa counties. In late August, judges ordered two Iowa counties to invalidate at least 64,000 ballot requests, siding with a challenge brought by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the GOP, which have been filing similar lawsuits nationwide.


About 50,000 voters in Linn County and at least 14,000 in Woodbury will be informed that their absentee-ballot requests won’t count and that anyone who still wants to vote by mail in November will have to send in a new form in order to receive their ballot. In a separate case in Johnson County, home to the University of Iowa, more than 92,000 ballot request forms were voided.

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The ultimate growth industry.

Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. They’re Coming for More (PP)

Earlier this year, the pandemic swept across the country, killing 100,000 Americans by the spring, shuttering businesses and schools, and forcing people into their homes. It was a great time to be a debt collector. In August, Encore Capital, the largest debt buyer in the country, announced that it had doubled its previous record for earnings in a quarter. It primarily had the CARES Act to thank: The bill delivered hundreds of billions of dollars worth of stimulus checks and bulked-up unemployment benefits to Americans, while easing pressures on them by halting foreclosures, evictions and student loan payments. There was no ban on collections of old credit card bills, Encore’s specialty.

At the same time, the pandemic compelled households to cut spending. Finding themselves with enough money to settle old debts, people responded to collectors’ calls and letters. Debt-buying executives couldn’t help marveling at their good fortune. All this created “a perfect storm from a cash perspective,” the CEO of Portfolio Recovery Associates, Encore’s main competitor, told Wall Street analysts. After its record second quarter, analysts expect Encore to blow past $200 million in profit this year and reward stockholders with 40% earnings growth compared with last year. Portfolio Recovery is set for similar growth. The share prices of both have soared off their early April lows.


[..] In recent months, the only real bad news for debt buyers was that local courts across the country temporarily shut down. Debt collection lawsuits provide a key source of revenue for the companies, a way to extract payment from consumers, typically low-income, who don’t offer it up. But now even that hiccup is over. After a bit of a lull in the spring, Encore and other debt buyers are back at it, filing suits by the thousands every week, according to ProPublica’s analysis of state court filings. In August alone, Encore filed about 1,000 suits in Indiana and over 2,000 suits in the metro Atlanta area. Other debt buyers jumped back in as well. In Chicago, Portfolio Recovery filed over 3,000 suits in July, while LVNV, a major debt buyer privately owned by Sherman Financial Group, filed over 2,700 suits in Maryland in August.

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Might as well leave right now.

Facebook Refuses To Appoint Turkey Representative, Faces Penalties (Ahval)

Social media giant Facebook has decided against appointing a Turkey representative, defying a requirement placed on certain social media platforms by the Turkish government, cyber rights expert Yaman Akdeniz said on Monday. “Facebook has decided not to appoint a Turkey representative in line with (Turkey’s) newly-passed Social Media Law,’’ Akdeniz said on Twitter. In July, Turkish parliament ratified a bill introducing new powers to control social media. The bill was passed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), stipulates that social media companies with more than one million users must appoint a legal representative in Turkey to address the authorities’ concerns over content and includes deadlines for its removal.


Akdeniz said it remains to be seen what the government’s reaction would be, but underlined that the bill was passed by parliament in a period of 10 days without consultation and posed serious problems regarding basic rights and freedoms. Facebook’s refusal to comply with the law would mean they will be faced with “a tiered penalty system,’’ Akdeniz said. “They will be slapped with a penalty of 10 million lira ($1.28 million) in November, followed by 30 million lira in December,’’ he said. “There is a six-month period ahead that leads all the way to the reduction of Internet bandwidth.’’ According to the law, companies could face fines, blocked advertisements or have their bandwidth slashed by up to 90 percent.

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Did that coup fail or what?

UK Court Decision on Venezuela Gold Deals Blow to Regime Change Efforts (MPN)

United Kingdom court has handed the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro a major win today, overturning a previous ruling from a lower court that legitimized the British government’s decision to freeze Venezuelan government gold reserves held in the Bank of England. The English Court of Appeal ruled that the Conservative administration of Boris Johnson’s position that Juan Guaidó is the country’s legitimate ruler was far from equivocal, potentially paving the way for some $1.95 billion of the Central Bank of Venezuela’s gold to be accessed.

Following President Trump’s lead, in July, the U.K. government took the extraordinary step of derecognizing President Maduro in favor of the self-declared Guaidó, despite the fact that for nearly six months, he had not even been a member of his Popular Will party, let alone its leader. The move was labeled “highway robbery” by supporters of the Venezuelan government. A nearly unheard of politician before his ascension to the role of head of the Venezuelan National Assembly (a post given out on a yearly rotational basis among all parties in the institution) in January 2019, Guaidó shocked the country by using his appointment to unilaterally declare himself president of the country. He then led a series of coup attempts throughout 2019 and 2020, the last of which involved paying Trump-linked American mercenaries to shoot their way into the presidential palace.


However, the plan ended in complete disaster, with the Americans subsequently sentenced to 20 years of prison time. Guaidó based his claim to power on Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution, which allows a president to be removed if he “abandons his position” or becomes “permanently unavailable to serve” for whatever reason. Maduro, however, had clearly not left his post. Regardless, if he had, Article 233 states that the vice-president would take charge until a new election by universal suffrage was held. Guaidó’s party was not even registered to stand in elections, having boycotted them the year previously under U.S. orders.

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They’ve done a lot of harm though.

“Once the majority do it, you really have no choice,” Mr Macfarlane said..”

Former Reserve Bank Of Australia Boss: Low Rates Haven’t Done Any Good (AFR)

Former Reserve Bank of Australia governor Ian Macfarlane says cutting interest rates to near zero has not done “any good” and warned ultra-loose monetary policy will have long-term costs for pensioners and insurance companies. In a very rare public critique of the RBA by a former governor, Mr Macfarlane said technology and globalisation were now more powerful forces than interest rates in affecting inflation, but central bankers were reluctant to admit their limitations. “I’ve been disappointed with the recent cuts in interest rates, all of them since about 2015,” Mr Macfarlane said. “The latest round of cutting interest rates and quantitative easing, I myself don’t think they’ve done any good.

“I thought, ‘wow, you didn’t need to do that’ but I don’t think there’s any way my successors could have stood there and said to the world ‘we’re not going to do that, we’re going to do it our way’.” The Australian dollar would have jumped “through the roof” if the RBA refused to follow other central banks cutting interest rates to near-zero, to buy government bonds and deploy other extraordinary monetary stimulus, he said. “Once the majority do it, you really have no choice,” Mr Macfarlane said in long interview on The Jolly Swagman podcast. Mr Macfarlane, RBA governor from 1996 to 2006, said there would be long-term economic costs of prolonged ultra-low interest rates.


“I think the jury is out on monetary policy for another decade or more because there are very big costs to having almost zero interest rates,” he said. “The whole retirement income industry – the pension funds, the superannuation funds, including insurance companies and businesses like that – don’t quite know how to operate with interest rates that are negligible because they’ve never had to do it before.” [..] “Monetary policy hasn’t lost its power, it’s used up all its power and there isn’t any more room.”

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Perhaps John should have seen a shrink.

John McAfee Arrested In Spain On Tax Evasion & Crypto Fraud (RT)

Former software guru and one-time presidential candidate John McAfee has been nabbed in Spain on tax evasion and cryptocurrency fraud, ending his year long stint as a globetrotting fugitive. He now faces extradition to the US. The US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission both announced charges for McAfee on Monday, hitting the security software founder with 10 counts linked to dodging the IRS and another series of charges for promoting investments in cryptocurrencies without disclosing that he was paid some $23 million to do so. “John McAfee earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary,” the DOJ said in a statement. “From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources.”


McAfee was charged on five counts for willful failure to file a tax return, each of which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison, while the other five charges are linked to tax evasion itself, which could each result in up to five years behind bars. Originally filed in June, the newly unsealed indictment does not implicate McAfee’s former software company, which bears his name. The SEC also accused McAfee of promoting “multiple [initial coin offerings] on Twitter” while “pretending to be impartial and independent even though he was paid more than $23 million in digital assets for the promotions.” The complaint also alleges that McAfee and his bodyguard, Jimmy Watson Jr., engaged in a separate scheme to promote cryptocurrencies on Twitter and then sell them off as their price rose. The government did not name the particular currencies in its complaint.

Read more …

What could have been.

Trump Briefly Leaves Hospital To Wave To Supporters From F-22 Raptor (BBee)

A nurse working at Walter Reed Medical Center checked in on Trump but was shocked to discover his room was empty. She looked out the window, and sure enough, he had tied bedsheets together and escaped. Just then, the nurse noticed a cup of Diet Coke left by the bedside began to ripple and shake. “Oh, no,” she murmured. “Not again!” Looking out the window, she saw a speck on the horizon. A rapidly growing speck. It was Trump, gloriously flying by in an F-22 fighter jet. “Sorry, Pence — but it’s time to buzz the tower!” Trump radioed to his wingman, who flashed him a smile and a thumbs-up. He flew by the hospital and waved to his cheering supporters.


“America!” the president cried as he flew by the ecstatic crowd, though they couldn’t hear him over the roar of the fighter jet’s engines. “I feel the need — the need for speed!” Media condemned the move, saying Trump could very well have spread COVID to every person on the planet with his little stunt, though he was all alone in a tiny cockpit far above the ground.

Read more …

 

 

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Aug 202020
 


Pierre-Auguste Renoir The Return of the Boating Party 1862

 

Clinesmith Pleads Guilty In First Criminal Case Arising From Durham Probe (Fox)
Clinesmith Gets The Wolfe Plea Deal… (CT)
You Would Never Get The Deal That Clinesmith Got (SAC)
Operation Legend: Over 200 Charged With Federal Crimes, 1,000 Arrested (Fox)
Judge Orders New Election In New Jersey Race Cited For Mail-In Fraud (Hill)
Iraq War Cheerleaders Front & Center At Last Night’s DNC AC)
You Don’t Have To Be Excited (Sirota)
History Is On Edward Snowden’s Side (Hill)
New Zealand Lockdown Unlawful For First Nine Days, High Court Finds (NZH)
Gold Pressures Empire (Brown)
Germany Launches Universal Basic Income Experiment (ZH)
Brilliant Trump Puts Himself On All Postage Stamps (Babylon Bee)
Biden: ‘I Don’t Have Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Or Alzheimer’s’ (Babylon Bee)

 

 

US new cases now remain consistently lower than they’ve been since the last week of June. Surely a positive sign.

But the global trend looks very different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grenell LBGT issues

 

 

There’s a feeling that people in the DOJ conspire with the FBI to single out Clinesmith, paint him as a lone wolf, and leave his superiors, which also include Mueller and Weissmann, alone.

That constitutes an enormous risk for the credibility of the DOJ, the FBI, and the entire US judicial system. For better or for worse, the right will simply not accept it.

Clinesmith Pleads Guilty In First Criminal Case Arising From Durham Probe (Fox)

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg accepted the plea. Clinesmith’s sentencing date has been set for Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. ET. Durham’s office on Wednesday said that Clinesmith’s guilty plea was to “one count of making a false statement within both the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the U.S. government, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.”

Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation. The inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that he was “not a source” for another government agency. Page has said he was a source for the CIA. The Justice Department relied on Clinesmith’s assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During the plea hearing, Boasberg asked Clinesmith to affirm that he “intentionally altered an email, and added language” that “individual number one” was “not a source…and you knew that statement was in fact not true.” Clinesmith replied, “At the time I thought the information I was providing was accurate, but I am agreeing the information I inserted was not originally there, and I inserted the information.” Boasberg went on to ask: “You intentionally altered the email to insert information that was not originally in the email?” “Yes, your honor,” replied Clinesmith.

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Looks like he got a sweetheart plea deal without giving up anything for it.

Clinesmith Gets The Wolfe Plea Deal… (CT)

As noted in the DOJ press release: “Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, 38, pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a false statement offense stemming from his altering of an email in connection with the submission of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) application.” Despite the falsification of court documents within a FISA document; and despite the likelihood of an intentional conspiracy to commit fraud upon the court in order to obtain a Title-1 surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign – via Carter Page; the DOJ entered into a plea agreement on a single count of lying to federal officers. The agreement holds a maximum penalty of zero to six months in federal prison and a $250k fine.

This is the same plea agreement the DOJ (DC U.S. Attorney) previously gave to the Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director James Wolfe, who leaked the SAME, earlier, top-secret classified FISA application to the media on March 17, 2017. Judge James Boasberg noted early in the phone hearing that he is “currently the presiding judge for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” but that “this case, however, is a criminal case, it is not a FISC case, and it is a case that was randomly assigned.” As anticipated Boasberg said the FISA court could be seen as a “victim” in the case, but also said he would preside over the case fairly without recusing himself. He stated if either the defense or prosecution wanted him to recuse, then he would. Neither party requested.

Judge Boasberg noted the maximum penalty for a single false statements charge was five years in prison but the sentencing guideline calls for zero to six months. Sentencing is scheduled for December 10, 2020, after the election, at 11am. [..] From the nature of the plea, and the defense arguments in court and public, it is obvious there is no arrangement for Clinesmith’s assistance or cooperation on other investigative matters. This does not bode well for the proper administration of justice….

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How dumb is Clinesmith?

You Would Never Get The Deal That Clinesmith Got (SAC)

Judge James E. Boasberg of the federal district court in Washington, D.C.who oversees the case reminded Clinesmith that he had the right to a trial by jury, which Clinesmith declined. Boasberg accepted his guilty plea Wednesday and scheduled a Dec. 10, sentencing hearing. Clinesmith’s lawyers reiterated that their client deeply regretted his actions which were not intentional but none-the-less were in violation of the law. What? Let’s talk about what Clinesmith did and think about what would happen to you if you lied on a document like a FISA warrant? Wait, look at what happened to Trump friend and advisor Roger Stone who was accused of lying to Congress (by the way, former CIA director John Brennan, former DNI James Clapper and a litany of others blatantly lied to Congress and are now selling books on Amazon).

Clinesmith didn’t just tell a small lie, he specifically omitted information that allowed the FBI to spy on a presidential campaign for political reasons. He had worked at the FBI for four years and was a subordinate that was made the fall guy by FBI leadership. He altered an email he received from the CIA in 2017 that showed Page was in no way a Russian asset and that he was an asset for the CIA. The Judges at the FISC court approved the application to wiretap Page, according to court records and numerous investigations. He altered an official government email indicating that Page wasn’t “a source” for the CIA, when it originally said he was. WOW! Folks, that is no small crime.

More than 100 participants listened in to the court ‘plea agreement hearing’ Wednesday and listened as Clinesmith waived his right to a trial by jury. He is expected to get only six months or less for altering the FISA application, which is considered one of the most classified documents pertaining to national security and its contents must be validated thoroughly by the FBI before being submitted to the court. “Mr. Clinesmith you understand we’ve already talked about your jury rights,” said Boasberg. He then said do you understand your decision to waive your rights to a jury?” “Yes, your honor,” said Clinesmith.

What about all those above Clinesmith, who absolutely ordered him to operate the way he did and who tacitly approved his omission in the FISA application. Clinesmith is nothing more than the fall guy. He’ll serve a short sentence for a massive crime against our nation and duly elected president.

Obamagate

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Peaceful protesters one and all.

Operation Legend: Over 200 Charged With Federal Crimes, 1,000 Arrested (Fox)

At least 217 people have been charged with a federal crime, and more than 1,000 arrests have been made in major metropolitan cities since the Department of Justice launched Operation Legend in July, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced on Wednesday. Nearly 400 firearms have been seized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Barr launched Operation Legend on July 8 as “a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime,” the DOJ said in a release.

It was named in honor of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept in the early morning of June 29 in Kansas City, Mo. Last week, a Jackson County prosecutor announced second-degree murder charges against his suspected killer, 22-year-old Ryson Ellis, who was being held in Tulsa County Jail. “LeGend is a symbol of the many hundreds of innocent lives that have been taken in the recent upsurge of crime in many of our urban areas,” Barr said at a press conference in Kansas City. “His life mattered and the lives of all of those victims matter. His name should be remembered and his senseless death, like those of all the other innocent victims in this recent surge, should be unacceptable to all Americans.”

Barr said the federal government has dispatched to nine U.S. cities more than 1,000 additional agents from the FBI, ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals Service to work shoulder to shoulder with state and local partners on homicide and assault squads to crack cases. The government has also allocated $78.5 million in grants to support additional police positions, hire more prosecutors and improve technology to solve firearms crimes. “We saw one result of those efforts last week when Kansas City Police arrested the suspected murderer of LeGend,” Barr said. “This arrest will not bring LeGend back but it will make his case an example of how we can come together to take violent criminals off the street and to make our communities safer.”

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Election result in August 2021?

Judge Orders New Election In New Jersey Race Cited For Mail-In Fraud (Hill)

A New Jersey judge on Wednesday ordered a new election for a Paterson City Council seat whose apparent winner has been charged with voter fraud. State Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela ruled Wednesday that the new election will be held in November, The Associated Press reported. Alex Mendez appeared to have won the May 12 special election, but the U.S. Postal Service’s law enforcement branch said hundreds of mail-in ballots had been found in a Paterson mailbox. The Passaic County Board of Elections ultimately discounted 800 ballots. In June, Mendez and Paterson Council Vice President Michael Jackson were charged with voter fraud.


Officials also charged two other men, Abu Rayzen of Prospect Park and Shelim Khalique of Wayne, according to the AP. Lawyers for Councilman William McKoy, Mendez’s opponent, secured an injunction against Mendez being sworn in. All four defendants have denied the charges. President Trump has seized on the case, saying allowing nationwide mail-in voting in the fall election will lead to a similar scenario. In June, he cited the case, saying that comparatively, “Absentee Ballots are fine,” although many states make no such distinction between absentee and mail-in voting. The president’s reelection campaign on Tuesday sued the state in an attempt to stop plans to conduct the election predominantly by mail.

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The virtual war party. Why AOC was snubbed: a giant move to the right is how the Dems see themselves win. They feel they have BLM and #MeToo in their pocket, so now they can leave them behind.

Iraq War Cheerleaders Front & Center At Last Night’s DNC AC)

Democrats want to woo disaffected Republican and independent voters. But the degree to which the DNC convention prime time speaking slots favored defecting Republican neocons like Cindy McCain, John Kasich and Colin Powell over upstart fresh-faced Democrats like Julián Castro, Rep. Pramila Jayapal or Rep. Ayanna Pressley, was jarring; unabashed support for the Iraq War seemed to be the main thread that connects these erstwhile Republicans with Democrat speakers like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. On the first night, in a speech recorded at a literal crossroads in Westerville, Ohio, former Ohio governor John Kasich, said, “I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen. But these are not normal times.”

Kasich was followed by former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R-N.J.), former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) and former Hewlett-Packard and eBay CEO and failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman. Ostensibly, the purpose of this procession of former Republicans was to solidify Biden’s ranking with independent voters on the fence, but activists on the left were quick to notice the snub given their own compatriots’ positions. “The party should be focused on energizing Democratic voters rather than using their convention to reassure billionaires, corporate donors and Republican lobbyists that they won’t actually try to challenge the status quo,” said David Sirota, a former speechwriter for Senator Bernie Sanders and editor of Jacobin magazine.

While the left’s rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was given just a minute to speak, wherein she endorsed Bernie Sanders, Iraq War supporters and cheerleaders were prominently featured: failed Democratic presidential candidate and Obama’s former Secretary of State John Kerry unabashedly intoned that Joe Biden “knows you can’t spread democracy around the world, if you don’t practice it at home.” Gen. Colin Powell, chiefly remembered for his 2003 speech to the United Nations packed with lies about WMDs to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq, said Biden would “restore… values to the White House.” Sen. John McCain’s widow Cindy McCain also endorsed the long-time Delaware Senator, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will endorse him Wednesday night.

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Sirota is sticking out his neck, and it won’t be appreciated that he tears into his own party, but he’s also still stuck in “but Trump is so much worse” mode.

You Don’t Have To Be Excited (Sirota)

I’m wondering because this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I’m told I should be bouncing up in the morning, uplifted by the Democratic convention and its promise of a new era soon — 75 days. But at least for me, watching the cable TV snippets, the convention speeches and the celebratory Twitter dunks has left me with that feeling you get after eating junk food — full, but not nourished, bloated, tired and vaguely nauseous. I’ve worked on a lot of Democratic campaigns, wins and losses. I’m literally married to a Democratic elected official. Over 20 years, I’ve put in an almost embarrassing amount of time working to support the Democratic Party.

So these feelings are somewhat new for me, and I don’t think I’m having them just because Democratic officials decided to turn this year’s convention into a promotional platform for Republican icons who attacked unions, laid off thousands of workers, promoted climate denial, endangered 9/11 survivors and lied us into a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people. I’m also not glum just because the Democrats’ presidential standard-bearer is often an uninspiring mishmash of incoherent here’s-the-deal colloquialisms that mean nothing. I think the despair is deeper — and has something to do with the now-yawning gap between social expectation and reality.

Right now, if you are following politics at all, you are asked to feel chipper and energized. We are expected — no, required — to conjure 2008-level enthusiasm during this even darker time than the financial crisis, all so that we can move into a new, glorious moment of Hope™. Enthusiasm, though, comes from the assumption that the process is authentic and that what we’re told by our leaders is real. But that feeling has waned, because there is no pretense. For all the high-minded rhetoric, everyone on all sides of this situation — and I mean literally everyone — knows that Democratic politics today is more about brand and pantomime than about power and legislative action. You may not say it out loud, you may not like thinking about it — but I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, because somewhere deep down in there, everyone senses the fraudulence at hand.

Minds are wiped and Iraq War architects become Resistance heroes and Democratic convention speakers. Memories are scrubbed and Wall Street thieves become Democratic economic gurus and treasury secretaries. Amnesia takes hold and the Democratic governor of Mount Covid becomes a pandemic mancrush. Democrats lose a presidential campaign to Donald Trump by defending the Washington establishment — and now four years later they are running the same Washington valor campaign again, telling themselves they’re too legit to quit, baby.

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If someone can explain the logic to me of pardoning Snowden but not Assange, I’m game.

History Is On Edward Snowden’s Side (Hill)

It is an addictive tendency in politics to feel a sense of history about what it is one is fighting for. Everyone wants to believe that their heroes from ages past are smiling down on them while simultaneously rolling in their graves at the sight of whatever the opposition is doing. But the fact of the matter is that the vast network of scandal-ridden government agencies, clandestine secret courts, and diabolically unconstitutional statutes trying to destroy Snowden hails from a particularly dark, shameful chapter of America’s past. Snowden stands accused of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, championed by then-President Woodrow Wilson. Passed just two months after America’s entrance into World War I, the law sought to silence criticism of the war effort and crush dissent within the ranks of the armed forces.

In his State of the Union address just two years earlier, Wilson begged Congress to pass it, declaring, “Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out… they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once.” Now the law has withstood over a century of criticism and legal challenges from civil liberties advocates, and the misery it has inflicted on countless Americans has proven painfully obvious. In 1918, antiwar activist Charles Schenck was arrested for distributing flyers encouraging men to resist the draft. That same year, socialist Eugene V. Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison, deprived of his citizenship, and disenfranchised for life over nothing more than a speech he made criticizing the war. In January 1919, however, the Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to freedom of speech by concluding that neither’s arrest constituted a violation of the First Amendment.

And these are far from the only people to have been victimized by the very law being used to terrorize Snowden today. A search for just a few of the more well-known cases will yield the stories of journalist Victor L. Berger, activists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning, and former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) employee Henry Kyle Frese. Discussing recent events in an April 2020 interview with journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, Snowden warned, “Now, the only thing we have left — our rights, our ideals, our values as people — that’s what they’re coming for now, that’s what they’re asking us to give up, that’s what they’re wanting to change. And remember that, from the perspective of a free society, a virus is a serious problem… but the destruction of our rights is fatal — that’s permanent.”

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Unlawful but the right thing to do. Yeah, you’re really helping.

New Zealand Lockdown Unlawful For First Nine Days, High Court Finds (NZH)

The first nine days of lockdown were unlawful, a High Court decision says. New Zealanders were not actually required by law to stay at home in their bubbles until April 3, more than a week into lockdown, today’s ruling has found. “Even as this country returns to a state of semi-lockdown, there is one thing on which most commentators are agreed. The decisions taken by the New Zealand Government in March this year to “go hard and go early” were the right ones,” said the High Court decision, released this afternoon. “Even in times of emergency, however, and even when the merits of the Government response are not widely contested, the rule of law matters.” That was why Wellington lawyer Andrew Borrowdale sought a judicial review of the lockdown decision, asking for declarations of illegality in relation to three aspects of the Government’s initial Covid-19 response.

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People like to blame the rise of gold on the demise of the dollar. But is it really the weakest horse in the glue factory?

Gold Pressures Empire (Brown)

Before COVID and since the repo crisis of 2019 the stability and safety of the US financial system has increasingly come into focus. The US financial system has been forced to lower real interest rates to real negative territory, causing gold to look more attractive than holding increasingly worthless US dollars, since gold has intrinsic value when the US dollar has none. Instead of a classic store for inflationary dollars, the new demand for settlement in real bullion threatens the existence of the US gold exchange (COMEX) and threatens serious financial loss for the largest global players, including HSBC, JP Morgan, and UBS. Even Goldman Sachs has warned of this threat.

So… what has changed? It appears that some new element is at work. As explored in a prior article, the US regime’s new cold war versus China has caused that country to re-assess its relationship to US assets. China began divesting itself of US debt instruments in 2019. And, seldom reported in the west, China has recently escalated its effort to divest itself of US public debt (Treasury) holdings in 2020. In tandem with improved convertibility of the yuan (CNY) intel sources indicate that China may be the second largest holder of gold globally. Likewise, China may be using gold as a medium of exchange to avoid the aforesaid weaponization of the US dollar so favored by the current US regime. Even so, the foregoing does not fully explain the events we are seeing.

Traditionally the Federal Reserve and their dealers have controlled gold to limit central bank losses and prevent gold from effectively competing with or displacing the US dollar as a primary trusted monetary medium. But someone or some entity somewhere is now battling the US central bank for that control. Bottom line, monetary realists as observers still don’t understand why the historic central bank market manipulation of gold is presently failing. The US Central Bank must suppress the price of gold or face catastrophic losses that will cause an escalating downward spiral in the standing of the US dollar. [..] Regardless, argue, ignore, or deny it… the golden rule, “He who hath the gold rules” is as true now as it has ever been. The problem arises when that being of real value is supplanted by illusion. And it is only the illusion we have seen since August, 15th, 1971.

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One “experiment” with a group of 120 people, the other with 668. The term “universal” is apparently very hard to understand. But it’s in UBI for a reason.

Germany Launches Universal Basic Income Experiment (ZH)

Germany is about to try their hand at a universal basic income (UBI), after 1,500 people signed up for a three-year study to observe the effects on the economy and the wellbeing of the recipients, according to Business Insider. Of those who signed up, 120 individuals will receive the equivalent of US$1,430 per month for three years – just above Germany’s poverty line. Their lives will be compared to the remaining 1,380 people who will not receive the payments. The participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about their lives – including their emotional state and their work status, to see if UBI has had a meaningful impact.

Of course, as we and others have noted over and over and over, UBI experiments typically end in disaster. That said, it really helps if you’ve got a giant printing press and happen to be the world’s reserve currency during a pandemic (and for how long?). The study will also seek to determine whether UBI is a disincentive to work, or whether people will continue to ‘do fulfilling work, become more creative and charitable, and save democracy,’ according to the study’s lead investigator, Jürgen Schupp. Germany’s experiment has been funded by 140,000 private donations, and is being conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research.

“Universal basic income is the idea that a government should pay a lump sum of money to each of its citizens, usually once a month, regardless of their income and employment status, effectively replacing means-tested benefits. Its proponents argue that it would reduce inequality and also improve public wellbeing by providing people with more financial security. Its opponents say it would be too expensive and discourage people from going to work. The idea has gained traction in recent years amid recent financial crises and growing inequality in some Western countries.” -Business Insider

“A pro-basic income lobby group called Mein Grundeinkommen is funding the experiment. The group has used donations from its supporters to fund monthly €1,000 ($1,194) payments of for 668 people since 2014. Finland experimented its with own form of Universal Basic Income for nearly two years between January 2017 and December 2018 but concluded that while it led to people out of work feeling happier, it did not lead to increased employment, the BBC reported. During the experiment, 2,000 unemployed Finns received €560 ($667) a month.” -Business Insider

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“..forcing the Democrats to reverse course and abolish the USPS once and for all.”

Brilliant Trump Puts Himself On All Postage Stamps (Babylon Bee)

..Forcing Democrats To Push For Abolishing USPS


Sources are reporting that Trump has dealt a killer blow in his ongoing war against his sworn enemy, the U.S. Post Office. In a move of sheer, mind-blowing brilliance, Trump directed the Post Office to put his face on every single stamp, forcing the Democrats to reverse course and abolish the institution once and for all. The new stamp, dubbed “The Trump-Stamp,” to be used on all pieces of mail features a smiling Donald Trump, with the caption “GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER.” Don Lemon broke the news in a tearful address to the nation last night. “Our democracy is over,” he said. “It doesn’t exist anymore. I will never send another piece of mail ever again, and neither should you or else you’re a racist.” Antifa and BLM responded by marching on local post offices and burning them down. Enthusiastic Trump supporters quickly bought up all the stamps. They are now selling for $3,000 apiece online.

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“Oh, and he also cleared me of Alzheimer’s.”

Biden: ‘I Don’t Have Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Or Alzheimer’s’ (Babylon Bee)

In a recent live stream, Joe Biden proudly declared that his physician had cleared him of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. “My doc says I don’t have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Alzheimer’s,” he said confidently. “Oh, and he also cleared me of Alzheimer’s.” Aides could be heard scrambling around to try to cut the video feed. “Yep — completely clear of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s,” he said. “Wait – who are you people? What are all these cameras doing here? Who am I? WHO AM I!?!?!” At the end of the video, after aides finally calmed him down but before they were able to cut the feed, Biden added, “My doc says I don’t have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.” The Press quickly praised the speech as one of Biden’s most coherent.

Read more …

 

 

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Video Carl Jung

 

 

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Jul 262020
 


Elaine de Kooning Fairfield Porter #1 1954

 

 

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the first half of 2020 has brought, among many other things, renewed calls for the demise of the US dollar. It’s been pretty much a non-stop call for over a decade now, and longer. But this time, like all previous ones, I’m thinking: I don’t see it. I guess my first question is always: please explain why the dollar would collapse before the euro does.

For one thing, the dollar would have to collapse/default against one or more “entities”. The dollar is not like one of those highrises that collapse upon themselves. It will have to default or collapse against something(s) else. Since it is the world reserve currency, that means there would have to be a replacement reserve currency. Yes, that could also be for example gold or SDR’s, or even a basket of currencies, and something like that may happen eventually, but it doesn’t appear in the cards in the short run.

There are really only two candidates for the role, and neither looks at all fit to play it. The euro may have some ambitions in that direction, but it has far too many problems still. The yuan/renminbi certainly has such ambitions, but the Communist party refuses to let it get on stage to show what it’s got. As I recently wrote:

 

The main sticking point for Beijing is a conundrum it cannot solve. The CCP wants to have BOTH a global currency AND total control over that currency. It will have to choose between the two, and cannot make up its mind. So it pretends it doesn’t have to choose. Sure, there has been some advancement for the yuan, but I bet most of that is on the back of the Belt and Road (BRI), and that will turn out to be one of the main victims of the coronavirus. The BRI is China’s very clever way of exporting its overproduction, but potential buyers have other things on their mind today.


Meanwhile, even with that, the yuan is used in only 1.8% of cross-currency payments. [..] The sudden, and rushed, take-over of Hong Kong with the new security law will not help China’s plans to be accepted internationally. [..] The world’s large investors will not put their money into something that Xi Jinping can declare devalued by 50% on a rainy morning when he sees fit. He will have to cede that kind of control.

The euro has made some gains vs the USD recently, going from 1.07 to 1.16 or so, but that means very little once you look at the broader picture. Moreover, the reason the financial press provides for -much of- those gains, which is that the EU supposedly showed “unity” in its recent Recovery Fund talks, is bollocks.

If it showed one thing, it was a lack of unity. That’s why these were the longest talks they ever had. And if this had not been Angela Merkel’s last hurrah, they might not have agreed at all. They paid off the Frugal Four to the tune of hundreds of millions, and that’s how they got a deal. Horse traders.

A simple screenshot from Bloomberg of the USD vs EUR over the last five years makes clear why the recent changes are no big deal. (All BBG screenshots are from July 24 just before 10 AM EDT and all cover a 5 year period.)

 

 

A reserve currency has two roles: being the currency that most international trade is conducted in, and -closely related- being the currency that countries hold most as foreign exchange (FX) reserves. After WWII, the US dollar became the most important currency for trade more or less by default, a position that it greatly strengthened with the petrodollar.

A 2015 SWIFT paper provides details about the US dollar’s share of international trade:

The US dollar prevails as the dominant international trade currency, with a 51.9% share of the value of international currency usage in 2014. The euro is second, with a 30.5% share of the total value. The British pound is third, with a 5.4% share of the total value, followed by Asian currencies such as the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan.

That’s from five years ago, but things won’t have changed much. The system is complex and inert, it has a very strong resistance against large and sudden changes. (Do note that the euro’s share of international trade is substantially skewed because it includes payments between countries that use the euro as their currency, plus those EU countries that don’t -yet-). Single market, international trade.

And then there’s the dollar’s FX role.

In September 2019, Eswar Prasad at Brookings reported that the dollar’s share of global FX reserves remains around 65%.

The drop from 66 percent in 2015 to 62 percent in 2018, is probably a statistical artifact related to changes in the reporting of reserves. Compared with 2007, however, the dollar’s share of global FX reserves has declined by 2 percentage points while the euro’s share is down 6 percentage points. Over this period, the Japanese yen’s share has risen by 2 percentage points, while other less prominent reserve currencies have increased their total share by 4 percentage points. The renminbi, which was not an official reserve currency in 2007, now accounts for 2 percent of global FX reserves. [..] .. the euro has stumbled, the renminbi has stalled, and dollar supremacy remains unchallenged.

[..] In July 2019, China’s total official reserve assets amounted to just over $3.2 trillion, of which $3.1 trillion (97 percent of the total) was held in the form of FX reserves. Gold holdings amounted to about $89 billion [..] Coming amid rising trade tensions with the U.S., the 5 percent increase in China’s gold stock and the 24 percent increase in the value of its official gold holdings during 2019 have been interpreted as a sign of China’s attempting to diversify its reserve holdings away from U.S. dollars.

If this interpretation was indeed correct, China has a long way to go. Gold now accounts for 3 percent of China’s gross international reserves. From a global financial market perspective, and especially relative to its overall international reserves, the $18 billion increase in the value of China’s gold reserves during 2019 is trivial; it barely registers as a shift in the composition of China’s overall reserves.

Assuming that China still holds 58 percent of its FX reserves in dollar-denominated assets, the value of those assets in July 2019 was $1.8 trillion. So, the value of its gold reserves, $94 billion, is a mere one twentieth of that of China’s dollar-denominated reserves.

With the euro and yuan out of the way as potential reserve currency candidates, we can take a look at gold. Senior commenter Dr.D at the Automatic Earth recently wrote: “As advertised, the US$ is defaulting. What? Where? US$ has been cut in half compared to Silver in 3 months. US$ has been cut in half compared to BTC in 3 months. US$ has been cut in half compared to Gold in 4 years.

Like many people talking about a USD demise, perhaps that’s too much of a dollar-centric view and conclusion. Surely gold and silver can rise vs the USD without announcing an imminent collapse of the latter. And since precious metals tend to go up in times of uncertainty, and COVID has brought shovels full of just that, you would expect them to rise.

Therefore you would have to also look at how they do vs for example the euro, before concluding anything. Note: I didn’t include Bitcoin because it’s too new and volatile. Makes me think of the Lindy Effect, often cited by Nassim Taleb, the idea that the older something is, the longer it’s likely to be around in the future.

Here are a few more Bloomberg screenshots. And yes, gold has done well vs the USD in, say, the past two years, no doubt.

 

 

But gold has pretty much followed the exact same pattern vs the euro:

 

 

Silver has done even better, more recently, vs the USD, though compared to where it was in 2016 it’s not that big a step (barely more than 10%):

 

 

And the pattern of silver vs the euro is so similar it’s almost eery.

 

 

I don’t see anything there that would make me think the dollar is collapsing, no more than the euro is. What I see is gold and silver rising. People move into precious metals, perceived as safe havens; they always do when the world is in turmoil. And don’t forget there are trillions in additional recent central bank money sloshing around that have to move somewhere.

As for the changes of the USD vs the euro: we’ve already seen that they are not exceptional. Losing a few percent vs the euro will not collapse the dollar.

Also, there’s something missing in the discussion as far as I’ve seen: the option that it’s the US itself that wants a lower dollar at this point in time, and actively works to get it lower. A strong dollar works for a strong economy, but not for one weakened by a pandemic and an acrimonious political climate.

But the US has borrowed so much money!, you say. Yes, but so have Europe, and Japan, and China, everyone has who could.

 

A little more about gold, since some are clamoring for a return to the gold standard. Which is not likely, because too many parties would resist, either for ideological or practical reasons. But say you would consider it, then you would as one of the first things you do, look at gold reserves. Here are the top ten gold holding countries per March 2020, as assembled by TradingEconomics.com:

 

 

Note: Britain is not there, because “Between 1999 and 2002 the Treasury sold 401 tonnes of gold – out of its 715-tonne holding – at an average price of $275 an ounce, generating about $3.5bn during the period.” (BBC). Gold is at $1,900 today. Nuff said.

The US gold reserves are so large it would appear to give them an unfair advantage if a gold standard were considered. Same as they have in the current set-up. Then again, if you insert population numbers into the equation, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, even the Netherlands, have more in relative terms. Question is: where does that leave all the others?

Long story short: I don’t see a US dollar default or collapse in the near future. But by all means enlighten me.

 

 

 

 

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Jul 262020
 
 July 26, 2020  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  9 Responses »


Dorothea Lange Youngest little girl of motherless family, Toppenish, Yakima Valley WA 1939

 

The Key To Defeating COVID19 Already Exists. We Need To Start Using It (NW)
Over 40% Of US Adults Are Susceptible To Severe COVID-19 (ZH)
UK Quarantines Travellers From Spain In Sudden Blow To Europe’s Revival (R.)
Australia Reports Jump In Daily New Cases, Record Deaths (R.)
US Renters Brace For Evictions As Moratorium Ends (Pol.)
Mass Evictions Set To Begin – Communities Of Color To Be Hardest Hit (F.)
A Record 170 Tons Of Physical Gold Were Just Delivered On The COMEX (JN)
49% of Voters Believe Kremlin Interfered In Brexit Referendum (O.)
How Our Spies Missed Russian Bid To Sway Brexit (G.)
Dozens Gather In MAGA Hats In Hopes Washington Post Will Defame Them (BBee)

 

 

I’d like to pay more attention to the spreading protests/riots in the US, but I find it’s very hard to find anything neutral. Who are the bad guys and who the good guys entirely depends on your news source. And then you have opinion, not news. Lots of videos of violence perpetrated by both sides. I don’t like the use of the term stormtroopers, because that’s straight out of nazi Germany. Which is not where we are, though I know, some people would say it is.

 

 

It’s Sunday, so no new records. Just persistently high numbers. Flare-ups in Melbourne, Hong Kong, EU countries. South Africa is getting bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, HCQ. From a professor of epidemiology at Yale. Sometimes it feels like HCQ has its own private cancel culture.

The Key To Defeating COVID19 Already Exists. We Need To Start Using It (NW)

As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.

I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc. On May 27, I published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) entitled, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” That article, published in the world’s leading epidemiology journal, analyzed five studies, demonstrating clear-cut and significant benefits to treated patients, plus other very large studies that showed the medication safety.

Physicians who have been using these medications in the face of widespread skepticism have been truly heroic. They have done what the science shows is best for their patients, often at great personal risk. I myself know of two doctors who have saved the lives of hundreds of patients with these medications, but are now fighting state medical boards to save their licenses and reputations. The cases against them are completely without scientific merit. Since publication of my May 27 article, seven more studies have demonstrated similar benefit. In a lengthy follow-up letter, also published by AJE, I discuss these seven studies and renew my call for the immediate early use of hydroxychloroquine in high-risk patients.

These seven studies include: an additional 400 high-risk patients treated by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, with zero deaths; four studies totaling almost 500 high-risk patients treated in nursing homes and clinics across the U.S., with no deaths; a controlled trial of more than 700 high-risk patients in Brazil, with significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and two deaths among 334 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine; and another study of 398 matched patients in France, also with significantly reduced hospitalization risk. Since my letter was published, even more doctors have reported to me their completely successful use.

Read more …

How about you close McDonald’s permanently?

Over 40% Of US Adults Are Susceptible To Severe COVID-19 (ZH)

Several studies have found that the risk of contracting severe Covid-19 that can result in hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation or death increases with age as well as the presence of underlying health conditions. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a study showing that a considerable share of the American population has some form of underlying health issue, which, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy details below, places them at risk from severe forms of the virus. The study’s findings are based on the 2018 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and U.S. Census population data and it determined that 40.7 percent of U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) have a pre-existing health condition.

The most prevalent condition in the study is obesity, affecting just over 30 percent of Americans and it followed by diabetes which has a national prevalence of 11.2 percent. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease have a prevalence of just under 7 percent while chronic kidney disease is at approximately 3 percent. The CDC stated that “while the estimated number of persons with any underlying medical condition was higher in population-dense metropolitan areas, overall prevalence was higher in rural nonmetropolitan areas.” It also added that “the counties with the highest prevalences of any condition were concentrated in Southeastern states, particularly in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as some counties in Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and northern Michigan, among others”.

Read more …

Several EU countries have new flare-ups. Second Wave? I don’t think so. Just the effect of loosening restrictions, and people thinking it’s all over.

UK Quarantines Travellers From Spain In Sudden Blow To Europe’s Revival (R.)

Britain abruptly imposed a two-week quarantine on all travellers arriving from Spain after a surge of coronavirus cases, a dramatic and sudden reversal on Saturday to the opening of the European continent to tourism after months of lockdown. The quarantine requirement was due to take effect from midnight (2300 GMT on Saturday), making it impossible for travellers to avoid it by rushing home. The British foreign ministry also announced it was recommending against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, a move likely to prompt tour operators to cancel package holidays and trigger claims against insurers.

Spain’s Canary and Balearic Islands were not covered by the advice to avoid travel to the mainland, but holidaymakers returning to Britain from the islands will still be subject to quarantine on return. Britain’s government urged employers to be “understanding” towards staff who are unable to return to their place of work for two weeks after they return from holiday. The sudden British move followed steps this week by other European countries. On Friday Norway said it would re-impose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from Spain from Saturday, while France advised people not to travel to Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia.

But the total collapse of tourism from Britain would have far more impact. Britain accounted for more than 20% of the foreign visitors to Spain last year, the largest group by nationality. Tourism normally accounts for some 12% of Spain’s economy. Spain had been on a list of countries that the British government had said were safe for travellers to visit – meaning tourists returning home would not have to go into quarantine. The announcement of such lists just weeks ago had allowed Europe’s tourism sector to begin its revival after the near total shut-down prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more …

Almost all Melbourne.

Australia Reports Jump In Daily New Cases, Record Deaths (R.)

Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, recorded 459 cases of the new coronavirus, the second-highest daily total and up from 357 cases the previous day, the state’s leader said on Sunday. Premier Daniel Andrews also told a press briefing that Victoria had reported 10 COVID-19 deaths in past 24 hours, Australia’s highest ever daily number. The state’s second wave is being driven by workplace infections, including at aged-care and healthcare facilities, big distribution centres, slaughterhouses, cold-storage facilities and warehouses, Andrews said. “What that tells you is that some people… are feeling sick, they have symptoms and they are still going to work,” he said.


“If that continues, then we will just continue to see more and more cases.” The cases were found on the day with the highest number of coronavirus tests, at more than 45,000. Australia has avoided the worst of coronavirus crisis seen in other countries, but authorities are struggling to contain an outbreak in Victoria. It has recorded more than 14,400 cases so far. Victorians are subject to a six week lockdown, border closures with other states and mandatory face mask wearing.

Read more …

I’d like to know how many “homeowners” face eviction.

US Renters Brace For Evictions As Moratorium Ends (Pol.)

Columbus, Ohio, has turned part of its convention center into an evictions court. Denver is creating a handful of designated campsites for homeless people. And Milwaukee saw a 17 percent increase in eviction filings last month after a state ban lapsed. Cities across the country are bracing for a surge of evictions as a four-month federal moratorium that has protected millions of tenants from losing their homes in the middle of the pandemic expires Friday at midnight, with no relief in sight from Congress. The ban is ending just as a federal enhancement to unemployment benefits — a $600-a-week boost that has helped many laid off tenants pay at least some of their rent — also lapses this weekend.

Estimates of the number of people who stand to lose their homes are rough, given the patchwork of state and local bans on evictions, many of which are also expiring. But they range in the millions, and a disproportionate share of them are people of color. “The wave of evictions has already begun, and now Congress needs to act to prevent it from becoming a tsunami,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “If the federal ban is not extended, if the state and local eviction moratoriums that are scheduled to expire in the coming weeks do, and if no emergency rental assistance is provided, then from the end of August through fall, millions of Americans will be evicted from their homes,” Yentel said.

While states have imposed their own eviction moratoriums, 24 of them have already allowed the temporary bans to lapse. That leaves somewhere between 19 million and 23 million people — about one in five renters in the U.S. — at risk of eviction by the end of September if Congress fails to extend both the federal ban and supplemental unemployment benefits, according to an estimate by the Aspen Institute. The situation was dire even before both protections lapsed: Roughly 9.4 million renters have no confidence they will be able to make next month’s rent payment, according to the latest weekly survey by the Census Bureau, conducted the second week of July. Another 14.3 million have only “slight” confidence they will be able to make rent next month.

Read more …

Well, duh!

Mass Evictions Set To Begin – Communities Of Color To Be Hardest Hit (F.)

On March 27, the CARES Act was signed into law and included a moratorium through July 24 on evictions for those living in homes funded by federally backed mortgages or who rely on housing vouchers. This protection covers roughly a third of renters and expires today, putting millions of families at risk of losing their homes in the middle of an unprecedented health and unemployment crisis. Once the moratorium ends, landlords must still give renters 30 days’ notice before filing a complaint in court. Some states and cities have their own bans on evictions so renters should check with their local government if they receive notice. Over 17 million Americans are still unemployed and unable to find work, and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases only continues to rise.


Removing families from their homes amid the surge in cases will result in even more lives being lost. According to a report by The Center for Public Integrity, communities of color are most at risk of losing their homes. This same group is also the most vulnerable to the disease because of structural conditions. One example is that Black and other people of color are more likely to be considered essential workers or work in jobs that can’t be done remotely. The disparities in the quality and access to healthcare for Black individuals has been widely documented as well. These factors mean that the expiration of the moratorium on evictions will disproportionately affect Black and brown communities, and widen the racial wealth gap.

Read more …

Interesting story. If the spread between New York and London gold is too large, it pays to fly huge gold shipments around the world.

A Record 170 Tons Of Physical Gold Were Just Delivered On The COMEX (JN)

Three elements cause physical delivery on the COMEX to have reached record highs this year: strong demand for futures in New York, a persisting spread between the price of futures in New York versus spot gold in London, and arbitrage. Physical delivery on the largest gold futures exchange in the world, the COMEX in New York, has reached all time highs this year. In June more than 170 tonnes were physically delivered (5.5 million ounces). Usually, delivery is “neglectable.” What has changed? An important change in the global gold market occurred on March 23, 2020. On that day the price of gold futures in New York started drifting higher than the price for spot gold in London. Ever since, the spread has persisted, though it continuously widens and narrows.

[..] The world’s most dominant gold spot market is the London Bullion Market, where mostly “loco London” gold is traded. Meaning the metal is physically settled within the environs of the M25 London Orbital Motorway. The most dominant gold futures market is located in New York, where metal can be physically delivered within a 150-mile radius of the City of New York. Before March 23, the price in London (spot) and the price in New York (near month futures contract) always traded in tight lockstep because of arbitrage. If, for example, the futures price would trade above spot, arbitragers would “buy spot and sell futures” until the spread was closed. Arbitragers would hold their positions—long spot, short futures—until maturity of the futures contract, because at expiry the price of the futures contract was guaranteed to converge with the spot price.

In this example we can see that strong demand in New York would be translated into spot buying in London. Worth noting is that when a futures trader rolled its position into the next month, and his initial futures buying was translated into spot buying in London by an arbitrager, on a systemic level the arbitrager would roll its position as well. Of course, the opposite happened as well. When futures traded below spot, arbitragers would “buy futures and sell spot” until the spread was closed. So far, a simplified version of the market before March 23. Since March 23 of this year, futures have persistently been trading above spot, though the spread isn’t constant. As a result, arbitragers aren’t assured the futures price in New York will converge with the spot price in London. An arbitrage trade as described above, through a position in both markets, incurs risk.

What arbitragers currently do to profit from the spread is buy spot, sell futures, fly the metal to New York, and physically deliver the gold. This is how the profit is locked in. If the spread between spot and futures is $40 per ounce, the arbitrager’s profit is $40 minus costs for transport, insurance, storage, etc. Now you can see why the persistent spread between New York and London has increased physical delivery on the COMEX through arbitrage. Conclusion: Physical delivery on the COMEX is elevated because of the current unusual situation in the global gold market. The gold delivered in New York has been imported from spot markets such as Singapore, Switzerland and Australia. U.S. imports directly from the U.K. are rare, because in London 400-ounce bars are traded and the main futures contract in New York requires smaller bars for delivery.

Read more …

Just the Guardian confirming its propaganda works in Britain.

49% of Voters Believe Kremlin Interfered In Brexit Referendum (O.)

Almost half the British public believes the Russian government interfered in the EU referendum and last year’s general election, according to a poll. The latest Opinium poll for the Observer found that 49% of voters think there was Russian interference in the Brexit referendum, with 23% disagreeing. Some 47% believed Russia interfered in the December general election. The poll findings come after the long-awaited publication of the report into Russian interference by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee last week. It found that the government had not attempted to investigate potential Russian interference in the referendum. It said the UK had “badly underestimated” the Russian threat.

Opinium asked people whether they thought there was any involvement from Russia in the last three general elections, the EU referendum and the Scottish referendum. For each, the public were more likely to think that the Russian government had interfered than that it had not. Two-fifths (40%) thought Russia had interfered in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Remainers were more likely (63%) to think that the Russian government interfered in the EU referendum than Leavers (39%). Asked about the 2019 general election, 70% of Lib Dem voters and 62% of Labour voters believed the Russian government interfered, compared with 39% of Conservative voters. However, even Conservative voters were more likely to believe that the Russian government interfered in that election (39%) than not (33%).

Read more …

And for those still not with the program, Luke Harding explains that the only possible reason no Russian interference was found is that they weren’t looking. Just like Robert Mueller.

How Our Spies Missed Russian Bid To Sway Brexit (G.)

[..] the Russia report – published last week after a 10-month delay – paints a damning picture of British spooks who were too timorous or too incompetent to do much about a growing Russian threat, or the Kremlin’s surreptitious attempt to sway the Brexit vote. Over the last four years British and Russian policy have been remarkably aligned. For Theresa May as prime minister and her successor Boris Johnson, Brexit has been about delivering the “will of the people”. From Moscow, Brexit is seen as a wild success, diminishing the UK and estranging London from its European partners. And perhaps hastening Scottish secession too. The MPs who sit on parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) were incredulous at the lack of cooperation from the UK’s security agencies.


Asked about Moscow and Brexit, MI5 produced “six lines of text”, the report said. GCHQ didn’t drill down into the St Petersburg troll factory, which pumped out millions of pro-Leave messages. And MI6 failed to ask its secret agents what exactly the Kremlin was up to. Agency sources suggest such criticism is unfair. Yes, they say, MI5 has a permanent counter-intelligence mission. Its job is to keep Britain safe. Yet it also has a statutory duty to protect UK democracy. Whitehall sources last night insisted the security services fulfilled such responsibilities without political interference. Others say the security services depend on “tasking” from inside Whitehall – the Cabinet Office, the joint intelligence committee, and No 10. They have less operational freedom than the FBI in the US and they are culturally and historically reluctant to wade into politics. Plus the instructions never came.

Read more …

Babylon Bee.

Dozens Gather In MAGA Hats In Hopes Washington Post Will Defame Them (BBee)

After Nick Sandmann settled yet another nine-figure lawsuit today, dozens of people went out in MAGA hats, gathering outside The Washington Post’s offices in hopes that they too would be defamed by the newspaper. The clever entrepreneurs stood outside the paper’s headquarters wearing the pro-Trump headgear. They just stood there, not chanting or protesting or breaking anything, a protest tactic that immediately confused the liberals working at the Post. “It’s very strange — they’re not burning anything. They must not be peaceful protesters. Nonetheless, we will not be fooled by this tactic,” said a WaPo editor. “We will be able to resist the urge to commit libel against these deplora–I mean, these ordinary Americans.” At publishing time, The Washington Post had written defamatory articles about all of them. They are all preparing to retire comfortably.

Read more …

 

 

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