Oct 092022
 


Paul Gauguin Portrait of Ingeborg Thaulow 1877

 

Crimean Bridge Explosion Just ‘The Beginning,’ Ukraine Says (RT)
Kiev Amasses Troops On Donbass Border – Official (RT)
US Comments On Zelensky’s ‘Preemptive Strike’ Appeal (RT)
Michael Hudson: A Roadmap To Escape The West’s Stranglehold (Escobar)
US Asked Hungary To Invade Serbia – President Vucic (RT)
Putin Wants ‘Grand Bargain’ – Türkiye (RT)
NATO Should Give Ukraine ‘Everything We Have’ – Lithuania (RT)
Fanaticism Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)
Elon Musk, Former Exec Lead Backlash Against PayPal (DW)
Cynical Defense Of Hunter Biden: I Was Addicted To Drugs (Turley)
Lapado: Covid mRNA Vaccine- 84% Increased Risk of Death For Men Ages 18-39 (PM)
England’s Heatwaves See Highest Ever Excess Deaths Among Elderly (R.)
My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (William Shatner)

 

 

#TwoWords:


Dementia

 

 

 

 

Maté

 

 

 

 

Rus Prop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both car – and train traffic has been resumed. But the provocations will continue. Until Russia reacts in a way that can be used as a excuse for a large scale attack.

Crimean Bridge Explosion Just ‘The Beginning,’ Ukraine Says (RT)

The blast that rocked the Crimean Bridge early on Saturday is just “the beginning,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, has said. The bridge was closed in the early hours of Saturday after a truck exploded, damaging the road and causing a huge fire. “Crimea, the bridge, the beginning,”Podoliak tweeted. “Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled.” Ukrainian officials have promised to attack the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the country’s Krasnodar Region, on numerous occasions during the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.


In August, Podoliak said that Europe’s largest bridge “should be destroyed” because it’s “an illegal construction and the main gateway to supply the Russian army in Crimea.” Zelensky and other members of his team have also stated that Ukraine will use force to retake Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum in 2014. The blast occurred at around 6am local time, causing a partial collapse of the road on the section for vehicles. A blaze also broke out on the parallel rail section, where seven fuel tanks caught fire. Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that a truck exploded as it was traveling along the 19-km-long structure. The fire has been extinguished, and the damage caused by the blast is being assessed. The Crimean authorities said a ferry service will be provided while the bridge is being repaired.

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40,000 troops on the Russian border..

Kiev Amasses Troops On Donbass Border – Official (RT)

Kiev has deployed some 40,000 troops to the border with the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which recently became part of Russia, the LPR’s top representative in Moscow, Rodion Miroshnik, has said. “In the areas where attempts of a breakthrough are being made [by Kiev’s forces], large quantities of manpower and hardware have been concentrated on the Ukrainian side,” Miroshnik said during an appearance on the Soloviev Live program on YouTube on Friday. According to estimates by the LPR’s forces, “we’re talking about 40,000 men,” the official added.


Kiev’s troops have been gathering to the north and northwest of the LPR, as well as in the area around the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic, from where Russian forces withdrew a week ago amid a Ukrainian offensive, Miroshnik added. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, officially making them part of Russia. The four territories overwhelmingly supported the move during referendums in late September.

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“a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.”

US Comments On Zelensky’s ‘Preemptive Strike’ Appeal (RT)

The US is not about to get directly involved in the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev, a State Department spokesman said on Friday, after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had urged the West to conduct “preventive strikes” against Russia. When asked about the Ukrainian leader’s latest appeal to the West, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of taking part in the fighting. “As long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we are not going to get directly engaged in this conflict either by putting American troops to fight in Ukraine or attacking Russian forces,” he reiterated, adding that Washington’s message on this matter has been “very clear.”

On Thursday, Zelensky, speaking at an online conference at the Australian Lowy Institute, called for “preventive strikes” against Russia so that Moscow knew what to expect should it resort to nuclear weapons. Later, Zelensky’s press secretary attempted to clarify these remarks, arguing that they should not be interpreted as a request for NATO to attack Russia. The Ukrainian leader himself also stepped in, telling BBC on Friday that he had meant “preventive kicks, not attacks.” The UK outlet also clarified that Zelensky was “referring to sanctions.”

The comments made by the Ukrainian president sparked a backlash from Moscow, which accused him of attempting to spark a world war, which would lead to “unforeseeable disastrous consequences.” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova went so far as to describe him as “a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.” Russia has repeatedly stated that a nuclear war should never be fought, while Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in August made it clear that Moscow is not considering a nuclear strike on Ukraine, given that there are no targets warranting such drastic measures.

2016

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“US policy has created a global state of dependency in which literally There is no alternative but to break away.”

Michael Hudson: A Roadmap To Escape The West’s Stranglehold (Escobar)

Are we reaching the point when the key players of the Global South – over 100 nations – finally get their act together and decide to go for broke and stop the US from keeping the artificial neoliberal global economy in a state of perpetual coma? This means the only possible option, as you have outlined, is to set up a parallel global currency bypassing the US dollar – while the usual suspects float the notion of a Bretton Woods III at best. Is the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) financial casino omnipotent enough to smash any possible competition? Do you envisage any other practical mechanisms apart from what is being discussed by BRICS/ EAEU/ SCO?

Hudson: “A year or two ago it seemed that the task of designing a full-fledged alternative world currency, monetary, credit and trading system was so complex that the details hardly could be thought through. But US sanctions have proved to be the needed catalyst to make such discussions pragmatically urgent. The confiscation of Venezuela’s gold reserves in London and its US investments, the confiscation of $300 billion of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves held in the United States and Europe, and its threat to do the same to China and other countries resisting US foreign policy has made de-dollarization urgent. I have explained the logic in many points, from my Valdai Club article (with Radhika Desai) to my recent book on The Destiny of Civilization, the lecture series that I prepared for Hong Kong and the Global University for Sustainability.

Holding securities denominated in dollars, and even holding gold or investments in the United States and Europe, is no longer a safe option. It is clear that the world is breaking into two quite different types of economies, and that US diplomats and their European satellites are willing to tear up the existing economic order in hopes that creating a disruptive crisis will enable themselves to come out on top. It also is clear that subjugation to the IMF and its austerity plans are economic suicide, and that following World Bank and its neoliberal doctrine of international dependency is self-destructive. The result has been to create an unpayable overhead of debts denominated in US dollars. These debts cannot be paid without borrowing credit from the IMF and accepting terms of economic surrender to US privatizers and speculators.

The only alternative to imposing economic austerity on themselves is to withdraw from the dollar trap in which US-sponsored “free market” economics (markets free from government protection, and free from government ability to recover the environmental damage from US oil companies, mining companies and the associated industrial and food dependency) is to make a clean break. The break will be difficult, and US diplomacy will do everything it can to disrupt the creation of a more resilient economic order. But US policy has created a global state of dependency in which literally There is no alternative but to break away.”

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1999.

US Asked Hungary To Invade Serbia – President Vucic (RT)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic revealed on Saturday that American and British leaders, including President Bill Clinton, urged Hungary to invade Serbia by land in 1999. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who told Vucic of the request, refused. In a televised address, Vucic said that the US and UK wanted Hungarian forces to push south into Serbia in order to split the Yugoslav military between the front in Kosovo and a new front with Hungary. “Clinton and the British asked [Orban] to attack Serbia from the north so that they could extend our forces from Kosovo and Metohija to Vojvodina,” he explained. Orban, who at the time was one year into his first term in office, refused, and with the help of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, pushed back against the “pressure from the White House.”

Orban told Vucic of the request during a recent meeting and allowed him to speak about it publicly, the Serbian leader said. NATO launched a bombing campaign in 1999 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which by that time was made up of Serbia and Montenegro. In waging the air war, NATO sided with ethnic Albanian separatists, who were fighting with the Serbs for the independence of Kosovo, a province of Serbia. Hungary had joined NATO earlier that year, but did not participate in the campaign.

According to Vucic, Orban then traveled to the UK for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and former PM Margaret Thatcher. Greeting him at the door of Downing Street, Thatcher told Orban “it bothers me a lot that you refused to attack Serbia, that’s why more British soldiers will die,” Vucic said. Ultimately, no British troops died during the campaign. Hostilities ceased in June 1999 with the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement, after which NATO troops moved into Kosovo, where they remain to this day. The bombing campaign marked the first time that the US-led alliance used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council, and is still regarded by much of the world as illegitimate.

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Rebalance. I think I still prefer to use the word “Turkey” when we talk Erdogan.

Putin Wants ‘Grand Bargain’ – Türkiye (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to strike “a new grand bargain” with the West to erase the humiliations of the post-Cold War period, Turkish presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin told CNN on Saturday. In an interview with the American broadcaster, he said that the Ukraine conflict will inevitably end in a negotiated settlement, with the only question being when, “and how much damage will have been done by then?” Such a settlement will be about more than the borders of Russia and Ukraine, he continued, arguing that what Putin really aims to do is renegotiate the balance of power between Moscow and the West, after a weakened Russia accepted several rounds of NATO expansion in the aftermath of the Cold War. “Our understanding is that Mr. Putin wants to have a new grand bargain, a new deal, with the West,” Kalin said.

The Turkish official referenced agreements signed by Moscow and NATO in the early 1990s – which included the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which stated that the alliance would continue to expand, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Russia agreed not to use force against its neighbors – as decisions Putin would like to re-do. “The Russian perception is that the Russia of that day, that signed that agreement – that is, the Russia of the Gorbachevs and the Yeltsins – is over,”Kalin claimed. “There is a new Russia, there is a new world, there is a new reality, and they want to have a new bargain.” Putin declared last week that “the ongoing collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible,” and that “things will never be the same.” A multipolar world, he said, will give non-Western nations “an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty.”

According to Kalin, “This puts of course the entire global order, the liberal order, to a test.” He added: “So far the response has been war from both sides.” Western leaders have not indicated that they intend to negotiate an end to the Ukraine conflict in the near future. Washington’s official line is that it will continue to funnel tens of billions of dollars’ worth of arms to Kiev “for as long as it takes,” and will allow Ukraine to dictate its terms for ending the conflict. Amid the broader conflict between Russia and the West, Türkiye has positioned itself as a middleman, with Ankara hosting peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in March that ultimately broke down. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for both sides to return to negotiations, declaring that “even the worst peace will be better than war.”

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Lithuania has nothing.

NATO Should Give Ukraine ‘Everything We Have’ – Lithuania (RT)

NATO countries should arm Ukraine with all available weapons, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told Ukrainian media on Saturday. However, he expects the alliance’s other members to foot the bill. “Ukraine needs ‘everything we have,’” Landsbergis told Ukrinform, arguing that the Ukrainian military is already capable of working with the alliance’s arsenal now that its troops are receiving training in multiple European countries. While the US has supplied Ukraine with increasingly powerful weaponry, some of its NATO allies have balked at handing over certain arms systems. Germany, for example, refuses to send its most modern Leopard II main battle tanks for fear of causing further escalation. Even in Washington, Pentagon officials have argued that Ukrainian troops would need substantial training to operate Western tanks.

Landsbergis insisted that “these arguments no longer work,” after a series of successful offenses by Kiev’s forces, which are increasingly armed with NATO weapons. “If this is so, I see no reason why Ukraine should not be given everything we have?” the minister said. “I have already said this many times and now I will say it again.” Landsbergis has emerged as one of the most vocally anti-Russian ministers in the EU in the months since Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine. He has threatened Lithuanian entertainers with reprisals for performing in Russia, supported an EU-wide ban on all visas for Russians, and called on NATO to pursue the military defeat of Russia rather than seek a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine conflict.

However, his own military has little to give Ukraine. Landsbergis told Ukrinform that he would only provide “political arguments” for arming Kiev’s forces, as Lithuania does not have its own “significant stockpile of weapons.” While Ukraine has repeatedly called for more and heavier weapons from the West, EU stockpiles are running low, with Germany’s stocks already exhausted as of early September. Although US President Joe Biden has vowed to keep the arms pipeline open for “as long as it takes,” the US is reportedly cautious about delivering more advanced weapons systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia is now facing “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also warned that “the US, in fact, is teetering on the brink of turning into a party to the conflict” due to its lavish assistance to Kiev.

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Burn baby burn.

Fanaticism Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)

In Europe, they’re burning garbage to stay warm. “It’s so bad this season that you can smell trash burning every day, which is completely new,” said the 35-year-old mother of three from Jablonna, Poland, near Warsaw. “Rarely can you smell a regular fuel. It’s scary to think what happens when it really gets cold.” The Polish government suspended quality regulations on coal burning for those who can still afford it; 60% of households no longer can. Because of all the garbage burning, the government may soon hand out masks so its residents don’t inhale toxic fumes. Said one of Poland’s most powerful politicians last month, “one needs to burn almost everything, except for tires and similarly harmful things.” The government estimates that 40,000 people died annually from premature deaths from air pollution before the current crisis.

Forests are being hammered. In Estonia and Finland, forests that had been set aside to capture carbon dioxide to reduce climate change are now being so heavily logged that they are net emitters. Hungary lifted conservation regulations so old-growth forests could be logged; it then banned the export of wood pellets. “People buy wood pellets thinking they’re the sustainable choice, but in reality, they’re driving the destruction of Europe’s last wild forests,” said one conservationist. Wood pellets prices have doubled even in nuclear-heavy France which, under pressure from Germany, and in the grip of renewable energy mania, had been shutting down its nuclear plants so rapidly that it had stopped properly maintaining them. Romania has been forced to cap the price of firewood, which had skyrocketed. Burning wood releases more greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal, something most experts finally acknowledge.

And Europe is returning to coal as quickly as it can. This year it increased thermal coal imports more than any other region. Coal imports increased by 36% more during the first eight months of 2022 than of 2021. Europe’s coal imports are today 10% of the global total. Germany is importing coal from South Africa, which is ironic because, just one year ago, Germany gave South Africa $810 million in exchange for an agreement that South Africa not use coal. And at the United Nations climate change talks in Scotland less one year ago this month, the UN created a special CGI dinosaur to warn all nations, but particularly Africans, that they must not use fossil fuels, and instead do what Europe was doing and, supposedly, transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables.

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Is the genius who came up with the idea still working there? Look, you can silence a social media account, but you cannot steal people’s money outright.

Elon Musk, Former Exec Lead Backlash Against PayPal (DW)

PayPal reversed its decision to fine users $2,500 for violating its terms of service after Elon Musk and a former executive led a furious backlash against the move on social media. In a tweet Saturday, former PayPal President David Marcus spoke out against a new policy, first reported by The Daily Wire, that would apparently allow the digital payment processor to charge users $2,500 for posting materials that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, said he agreed with Marcus’ criticism, joining a number of others who have spoken out against the new policy. “It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to,” Marcus wrote on Twitter.

“But @PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.” “Agreed,” Musk wrote in reply to Marcus. The criticism from Marcus and Musk, who was on the board of directors and briefly CEO of PayPal during its early days, were at the front of a fury of backlash to the proposed policy. “Get your money out of [PayPal] right now,” venture capitalist David Sacks tweeted. “Seriously, close your PayPal account immediately if they don’t reverse this today,” replied Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip. “Why would anyone use @PayPal ever again?” conservative commentator John Cardillo wrote. “They’ve flat out told you they’re going to steal your money if you disagree with the regime.”

“The ‘misinformation’ police are now extending their reach beyond your social media accounts and into your financial accounts,” author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy wrote. “PayPal probably isn’t protected by Section 230, so it could face legal liability in states with political nondiscrimination statutes,” Ramaswamy added later. “It’s an easier case to make than against a social media platform.” “Orwellian. Paypal reserves the right to take your money if you post a message that Paypal decides is ‘misinformation,’” former FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. “This is why it is so vital that state and federal legislatures pass laws that prohibit discrimination by tech companies and protect free speech.”

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“Most hopeless addicts are trying to hock property or score a few bucks for their next hit. Hunter was flying around the world, arranging meetings with his father and coordinating multiple global accounts.”

Cynical Defense Of Hunter Biden: I Was Addicted To Drugs (Turley)

For years, President Biden repeated the same mantra when asked about Hunter Biden’s influence peddling and alleged crimes: “My son did nothing wrong.” It was always implausible — as was his denial of any knowledge of these dealings despite emails and pictures to the contrary. So the president and the press have been shifting to a new defense. As the father recently insisted of his son, “He fought an addiction problem. He overcame it. He wrote about it.” The family and the media have been cultivating the angle for months as they anticipated possible criminal charges. Such charges would not only be an embarrassment for the president but also the media, which have been actively complicit in covering up the multimillion-dollar influence-peddling schemes of the Biden family, including Hunter and his uncle James.

With possible criminal conduct exposed, all that’s left is the addiction defense. Hunter Biden’s autobiographical book laid the foundations for this final line of defense. While the book did not do particularly well in sales with the public, the media offered fawning interviews about his account of addiction. The narrative was ramped up by many of the same media outlets that buried the scandal, including articles on how the family fought “to keep him alive.” Now The Post reports prosecutors are second-guessing charges in light of the addiction and how it might undermine any criminal case. While there’s no question the defense would likely use such an addiction, it’s usually more of a concern for sentencing than charging. Addiction can be cited as a mitigating factor to the court in determining the defendant’s level of culpability.

The most obvious problem for the addiction defense is that Hunter did not appear to have any chemical-based challenge in maintaining a global, multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The image of a crackhead holed up in high-end hotels with call girls is undermined by thousands of emails on international money transfers and complex deals stretching from Moscow to Kyiv to Beijing. The fact is you can be an addict or alcoholic and still be a criminal. Addiction did not appear to inhibit prosecutors in cases like the murder trial involving Lillo Brancato, the actor from “The Sopranos” series and the movie “A Bronx Tale.” Brancato was a drug addict when he participated in a burglary that ended in a shooting. He was convicted and given 10 years. Indeed, in some cases, prosecutors use addiction is as a motive for committing crimes, particularly in paying for or acquiring more crimes.

Not only is this possible prosecution not based on a drug offense, it would feature a high-functioning defendant who earned millions in influence peddling. Indeed, the now-sober Hunter has repeatedly acknowledged that while his family name may have led to some of his past positions, he is a lawyer with experience that was useful in work like serving on the board of Ukrainian energy conglomerate Burisma Holdings. It will be difficult for Hunter to switch from the privileged-but-capable defense to the hopeless-addict defense. Most hopeless addicts are trying to hock property or score a few bucks for their next hit. Hunter was flying around the world, arranging meetings with his father and coordinating multiple global accounts.

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Common sense.

Lapado: Covid mRNA Vaccine- 84% Increased Risk of Death For Men Ages 18-39 (PM)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday release the state’s analysis of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, revealing an 84 percent “increased risk of cardiac-related death among men 18-39.” Florida “will not be silent on the truth,” he said. The guidance “recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old.” In a statement, Ladapo said that “Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health. Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.”

The Florida Department of Health released the findings of a self-controlled case series which they used to evaluate the safety of the Covid vaccines, which “studied mortality risk following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.” It found that “there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.” The findings also showed that “Males over the age of 60 had a 10% increased risk of cardiac-related death within 28 days of mRNA vaccination,” and that “Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks among any population. The guidance suggests that Floridians talk to their doctors and health care providers about the relative benefits and risks of vaaccination for Covid with use of mRNA vaccines, and that it should be weighed against the potential risks of Covid.

This analysis comes after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance in March that recommended against use of the Covid mRNA vaccines for “healthy children and adolescents 5 years old to 17 years old.” The state also recommends “against COVID-19 vaccination among infants and children under 5 years old, which has since been issued under Emergency Use Authorization.” When this guidance for children was issued, the Biden administration accused Ladapo of being a “politician.” Florida is not alone in their guidance. Sweden recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children ages 5-11. The Danish Health Authority recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children under 18. The UK has rolled back their offering of Covid jabs to children ages 5-11, per guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

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Hoe much longer can we hide the true cause? Reuters cover its ass from its own headline: “..possibly due to complications arising from extreme heat..”

England’s Heatwaves See Highest Ever Excess Deaths Among Elderly (R.)

England saw the highest excess mortality figure from heatwaves this year since records began in 2004, health officials said on Friday, after a hot summer that saw temperatures rise to all-time highs. England recorded 2,803 excess deaths among those aged 65 and over during summer heatwaves this year, possibly due to complications arising from extreme heat, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said in a statement. The figures exclude deaths from COVID-19. “These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable,” UKHSA Chief Scientific Officer Isabel Oliver said. “Prolonged periods of hot weather are a particular risk for elderly people, those with heart and lung conditions or people who are unable to keep themselves cool such as people with learning disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease.”


Britain recorded its highest ever temperature, of just above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in eastern England on July 19. The heatwave, which caused fires across large grass areas, destroyed property and pressured transport infrastructure, had been made at least 10 times more likely because of climate change, scientists said. read more Around 1,000 excess deaths were recorded among those over 65 between July 17-20, the UKHSA said, while the Aug. 8-17 period recorded an estimated 1,458 excess deaths. Statisticians use “excess deaths” — a term that became more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic — to describe the number of fatalities in excess of normally observed mortality numbers for a particular time of year.

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Excerpt from William Shatner’s new book, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” the “Star Trek” actor reflects on his voyage into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space shuttle on Oct. 13, 2021. Then 90 years old, Shatner became the oldest living person to travel into space..

My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (William Shatner)

With all the attending noise, fire, and fury, we lifted off. I could see Earth disappearing. As we ascended, I was at once aware of pressure. Gravitational forces pulling at me. The g’s. There was an instrument that told us how many g’s we were experiencing. At two g’s, I tried to raise my arm, and could barely do so. At three g’s, I felt my face being pushed down into my seat. I don’t know how much more of this I can take, I thought. Will I pass out? Will my face melt into a pile of mush? How many g’s can my ninety-year-old body handle? And then, suddenly, relief. No g’s. Zero. Weightlessness. We were floating. We got out of our harnesses and began to float around. The other folks went straight into somersaults and enjoying all the effects of weightlessness. I wanted no part in that.

I wanted, needed to get to the window as quickly as possible to see what was out there. I looked down and I could see the hole that our spaceship had punched in the thin, blue-tinged layer of oxygen around Earth. It was as if there was a wake trailing behind where we had just been, and just as soon as I’d noticed it, it disappeared. I continued my self-guided tour and turned my head to face the other direction, to stare into space. I love the mystery of the universe. I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of years of exploration and hypotheses. Stars exploding years ago, their light traveling to us years later; black holes absorbing energy; satellites showing us entire galaxies in areas thought to be devoid of matter entirely… all of that has thrilled me for years… but when I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold . . . all I saw was death.

I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I turned back toward the light of home. I could see the curvature of Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue of the sky. It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia. And I was leaving her. Everything I had thought was wrong. Everything I had expected to see was wrong. I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.”

I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound. It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.

I learned later that I was not alone in this feeling. It is called the “Overview Effect” and is not uncommon among astronauts, including Yuri Gagarin, Michael Collins, Sally Ride, and many others. Essentially, when someone travels to space and views Earth from orbit, a sense of the planet’s fragility takes hold in an ineffable, instinctive manner. Author Frank White first coined the term in 1987: “There are no borders or boundaries on our planet except those that we create in our minds or through human behaviors. All the ideas and concepts that divide us when we are on the surface begin to fade from orbit and the moon. The result is a shift in worldview, and in identity.”

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Elephant rock, Iceland

 

 

 

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Dec 272021
 
 December 27, 2021  Posted by at 9:28 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Wilhelm Trübner A Gorgon‘s head 1891

 

The Value Of The Vaccine Is In Getting People To Take The Vaccine (CTH)
The Beginning of the End? (eugyp)
Alpha Covid Variant Mutates To Evade Innate Immune System (RT)
‘Israel Could Be Completely Unprotected Against Covid-19 In A Month’ (JPost)
Israeli Study Urges ‘Rethink’ Of Covid, Indicates Antioxidants May Help (ToI)
Israel Attorney General Gives Nod to Sanctions on Unvaccinated (Haaretz)
Sorry Not Sorry (Denninger)
NY Times Editor, 49, Dies One Day After Moderna Booster Shot (NP)
Algerian Football Player Dies After Collapsing On Pitch (RT)
Florida Surgeon General Promotes Nutraceuticals for COVID-19 (Mercola)
New Zealand Okays Euthanasia For Covid Patients (CH)
Facebook Now Censoring the British Medical Journal (NYNR)
Declassified Documents Show How US Lied To Russia About NATO in 1990s (RT)
Russia Advises NATO to (Finally) Honor ‘Not One Inch Eastward’ Pledge (Bridge)

 

 

Michael P Senger @MichaelPSenger
“New COVID cases in Australia are skyrocketing to nearly 4x prior record highs despite some of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns, vaccine passes, outdoor mask mandates, banning of protests, strict curfews, military-enforced restrictions, and government quarantine camps.”

 

 

 

 

They know when you are sleeping…
They know when you’re awake…
They know if you’ve been vaxxed or not,
So, get vaxxed or meet the state.

 

 

He actually says it.

The Value Of The Vaccine Is In Getting People To Take The Vaccine (CTH)

Trust the science they say…. and then, accidentally, the “scientists” admit that what they are doing under the guise of public health has absolutely nothing to do with science. Anthony Fauci appears today on ABC This Week to push the vaccine narrative. When asked about a vaccine passport requirement for airline travel, Facui admits openly the only reason for a vaccine mandate is to force people to get the vaccine. There is no other benefit for the mandate other than to force people to get the vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t stop infection. The vaccine doesn’t stop the spread of infection. The vaccine has no value from the position of decreasing the spread of a COVID-19 virus or any variant therein. The value of the vaccine is in getting people to take the vaccine. It sounds goofy, but that’s exactly what Dr. Anthony Fauci admits in this interview. Watch at 09:10 prompted.


Once again, it seems the vaccine requirements overall are just a tool to create a system for the Vaccine Passport. The passport is then a simple tracking mechanism to identify the movements of all the people being forced to show it. The Vaccine Passport is essentially the gateway to a digital id system. Even with everything that has happened in this Overton window of the past two years, it is still stunning to me how many people now accept the reality of their papers being demanded to move around and live life. The axiom of “papers please” used to trigger a common American aversion. Now, there are millions of people who just comply as if they cannot see what lies at the end of this acceptance.

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“There are failures that lose you your job, there are failures that make you a public disgrace, and then there are their failures, the kind that lead to arrest, indictment, imprisonment, and worse.”

The Beginning of the End? (eugyp)

In the coming months, Omicron will outcompete all other lineages everywhere in the world. At that point, Corona will have completed its transformation into a mild coronavirus that nobody should care about, in the same way that nobody cares about other common human-infecting coronaviruses like hCoV-OC43. Unforeseen developments are always possible; Omicron might in time acquire greater pathogenicity. Particularly if we insist on vaccinating widely, we might drive its evolution in new and potentially dangerous directions. Those are, however, mere possibilities. Right now, everything tells us that the virus part of the pandemic will soon be over. The major question, is how the rest of the Corona Circus will respond. Some thoughts on that:

In the short term, rising cases will probably fuel demand for more vaccinations. This is the blunt, stupid way that our public health experts respond to infections now, but it is not a game that will go well for the vaccinators. The vaccines will fail even more profoundly in stopping Omicron transmission, and there will be far fewer severe outcomes for them to prevent. I don’t know how long the crackpot vaccination regime can survive overt absurdities like this. Omicron will probably also unwind the broader containment regime. South Africa has already abandoned their most intrusive tracing, quarantine and isolation policies, declaring a shift towards mitigation (which is what they should have done in the first place). Trying to defeat a minimally symptomatic highly contagious virus with the comically inadequate tools of the contact tracer is simply too ridiculous.

In the longer term, things look much more uncertain. It is hard to shake the feeling that Corona has swept away the last vestiges of liberal democracy in Europe, and perhaps in the whole world. I don’t think these political systems have been very good for the West, but our new theocratic regimes steered by the Corona astrologers have been vastly worse. As soon as the hysteria boils off, many of these villains will begin trying to get the panic machine up and running again. The alternative is a future where nobody much cares what they have to think, where they’re no longer able to interfere in millions lives, and – perhaps most crucially – where a lot of politicians, journalists, and ordinary people begin to realise what utter failures they and their policies have been. There are failures that lose you your job, there are failures that make you a public disgrace, and then there are their failures, the kind that lead to arrest, indictment, imprisonment, and worse.

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Maybe you should make sure you catch Omicron first.

Alpha Covid Variant Mutates To Evade Innate Immune System (RT)

The Alpha Covid variant, in the process of mutating, has gained specific ‘skills’ to block the innate immune system response. The scientists who discovered this hope it will lead to a better understanding of how the virus evolves. According to the research, published in Nature magazine, the Alpha variant’s new isolates “more effectively suppress innate immune responses in airway epithelial cells” compared to first wave isolates. According to the report, Alpha, which was first discovered in the UK in November 2020 and quickly spread around the world, “has dramatically increased” the protein levels of “innate immune antagonists.” This means that Alpha has ‘learned’ how to evade the body’s first line of response. It does so by blocking the sensors in the airways, which under normal circumstances ‘warn’ the immune system of the virus’ presence and prompt it to produce the ‘anti-viral’ protein interferon.


The researchers say the “more effective innate immune suppression” increases the chances of transmission, as well as the duration of illness. “It will be fascinating to see how the other variants, such as Delta and Omicron, perform comparatively in our lung epithelial systems,” a co-author of the research, Dr. Lucy Thorne, said, as quoted by Science Daily. A better understanding of the mechanisms used by different variants to evade the immune defenses, “will teach us not only about the viruses themselves but also about human biology,” Thorne added. The recent spread of the Omicron variant has caused a new wave of cases and prompted countries to reintroduce restrictions and travel bans.

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The conclusion is right. The way they arrive at it is shoddy. You can’t keep on saying how effective the vaccines are, and then conclude the opposite.

‘Israel Could Be Completely Unprotected Against Covid-19 In A Month’ (JPost)

Israel’s Pandemic Response Team was warned last Tuesday night that Israel could go from being reasonably protected against Omicron to not being protected at all within just a month. As a result, the team – along with the COVID-19 Vaccination Advisory Board – voted to allow the country’s highest risk population to receive a fourth shot of the Pfizer COVID vaccine, sparking controversy in Israel and around the world. Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash has still not approved the recommendation – and may not – as more data about the likelihood of developing serious infection from the Omicron variant is starting to emerge. But why did the committee make a recommendation if it did not have all the data?

The presentations shown to the committee by the COVID-19 National Information and Knowledge Center – a division of the Israel Defense Forces – as well as by a separate joint medical research team could be the reason for what seemed like an unexpectedly bold decision. “Within a month or two, the protection in Israel could be almost back to where it was before vaccines,” a report by the knowledge center warned. “The transition from Delta to Omicron will make Israel go from being reasonably protected to being almost not protected at all.” In its presentation, which The Jerusalem Post reviewed, the center showed that the protection afforded people ages 60 and older who received a third dose is expected to decline from 75% to only 25% within a month as the Omicron variant becomes the dominant strain in Israel.

Part of the reason for this is that the vaccine wanes quickly, as explained by a separate presentation to the committee made by researchers from the Health Ministry, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Hebrew University, the Technion and the Gertner Institute. A graph presented by the Weizmann Prof. Ron Milo showed that the Pfizer vaccines began to wane after only three months for both the second and third doses. In Israel, most of the elderly population (845,779 people) received their booster shots more than four months ago. “The excellent defense against infection by the Delta variant from the third dose begins to erode,” the slide said. It showed that the third shot at first provided four times more protection than the second one but stressed that “the noted protection against infection with the Delta variant for those vaccinated with the booster begins to decline.”

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“It’s time to “rethink” the notion that COVID is above all a respiratory illness [..] ..it’s actually an “immune-and-respiratory” condition..”

Israeli Study Urges ‘Rethink’ Of Covid, Indicates Antioxidants May Help (ToI)

It’s time to “rethink” the notion that COVID is above all a respiratory illness, as new research suggests it’s actually an “immune-and-respiratory” condition, Israeli scientists say. The team behind the new peer-reviewed research says the idea may help explain the unusual nature of COVID-19, and might even pave the way for over-the-counter antioxidants to help treat the disease. The geneticists from Ben Gurion University studied the mitochondria. Often called the “power plants” of cells, they generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions. “We expected to see a change in the mitochondria in the lung but not the blood, because after all, COVID-19 is supposed to be a lung disease,” Prof. Dan Mishmar, the lead researcher and president of the Genetic Society of Israel, told The Times of Israel.


“But to our surprise, we found the opposite was true. “We saw no change to mitochondria in the lung, but saw a significant change in the blood, with a reduction in mitochondria gene expression.” But Mishmar said that as the blood is a strong indicator of the state of the immune system, his study suggests that immune disruption comes before any respiratory issues. (SARS-CoV-2) But Mishmar said that as the blood is a strong indicator of the state of the immune system, his study suggests that immune disruption comes before any respiratory issues. His hypothesis is that abnormally functioning mitochondria lead to some of the most concerning effects of COVID-19, including the cytokine storm, which is often characterized as an immune overreaction that can cause rapid demise.

And Mishmar said if he is right, patients’ conditions could be improvable with existing antioxidants. “Until now the mitochondria as a system was almost overlooked, and now we’re identifying it as a central player in the disease, and starting to explore how to help and improve mitochondria function and potentially lead to an improvement in symptoms,” he said. “There are over-the-counter drugs, or strictly speaking supplements, that could help to do exactly that — they are antioxidants. They reduce the signals generated by the mitochondria, and given that the cytokine storm is essentially a signaling storm, could be very helpful in preventing this from happening.”

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The vaccines have failed dramatically in Israel. Time for desperate measures.

Israel Attorney General Gives Nod to Sanctions on Unvaccinated (Haaretz)

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has approved the imposition of government restrictions on unvaccinated people in an effort to encourage them to get the jab, regardless of whether those restrictions are demonstrably epidemiologically effective. In view of the attorney general’s legal brief, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz are weighing bringing a few proposals to the cabinet, designed to bolster restrictions on unvaccinated people. Until now, the attorney general has prevented the government implementing policies whose sole intention is to encourage vaccination regardless of whether it is epidemiologically justified. The prohibition included both the awarding of benefits to those who do get the vaccine and the imposing of restrictions on people refusing to get vaccinated.


Before any decision on augmenting restrictions, representatives of the attorney general generally request an expert opinion from the Health Ministry regarding the policy’s epidemiological efficacy. Policies would be implemented only after such an opinion was received. These opinions have been used by the state in responding to the numerous petitions objecting to various coronavirus-related restrictions that have been submitted to the High Court of Justice. With the rapid spread of the omicron variant, the attorney general’s has shifted his position. The reversal came during a cabinet debate on a proposal that would restrict entry to malls to fully vaccinated people, while prohibiting entry to unvaccinated people, even when they present negative COVID-19 test results. Several proposals came up during the discussion, including rewarding vaccinated people through a financial bonus or giving coupons to parents who vaccinate their children.

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“There was always going to be “that uncle” who refused, you know, and now he’s laughing while everyone else in the family is puking or coughing their lungs out.”

Sorry Not Sorry (Denninger)

There are now reports coming in of people being very cranked off at physicians offices and hospitals. Why? Well, they took the jabs, in many cases got boosted, and then got *****-19 anyway. Oh well. Now the docs and nurses are bent that their customers are pissed off and using the “B” word or even the “C” and “F” words. Awwwww, cry me a ****ing river. You ought to count your blessings you’re not getting shivved in the ER and Minute Clinics! Which docs strongly advocated for these jabs? Which ones backed up the so-called “official government advice” with exhortations of their own, pestering and hounding their customers? Which ones went even further and demanded it? Many threatened to fire customers (patients) who refused, and more than a few did do exactly that.

How many nurses and doctors wrote OpEds basically threatening the unjabbed with death if they didn’t take the shot? How many verbally accosted people — or worse, even engaged in assault? Remember we were all told you won’t get ***** if you take the shot and then that pivoted to you won’t get materially ill. Well, people are getting quite sick! WITH *****. AFTER BEING “FULLY” JABBED AND EVEN BOOSTED! “Oh but it would have been worse” the scolds say on the Internet. Except….. now we have multiple families showing up where only the jabbed people are getting hit. There was always going to be “that uncle” who refused, you know, and now he’s laughing while everyone else in the family is puking or coughing their lungs out.

Still trust doctors eh? Still think you should be nice to doctors or nurses? I think if you flim-flam someone, and these people clearly did, you deserve everything you get. Especially when the people you screwed took the risk of serious or even fatal side effects and now, it appears, the jabs made them more susceptible to infection rather than less! PS: It’s not just there. It’s also in England and….. the land of jab-a-holics, Australia where they literally arrest you if you try to refuse!

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“The NY Times has thus far made no reference to Tejada having received his booster shot just hours before his premature death.”

NY Times Editor, 49, Dies One Day After Moderna Booster Shot (NP)

Carlos Tejada, a New York Times Deputy Asia Editor, has died at the age of 49. He suffered a heart attack less than a day after posting to social media that he had received a Moderna booster vaccination. Tejada, who worked in part on the paper’s COVID-19 coverage, was married with two children. He had worked at the Wall Street Journal prior to moving to the Times, where he worked for almost five years. According to Tejada’s own Instagram page, he was grateful to receive the mRNA/LNP booster while in Seoul, South Korea. Tejada originally received the Johnson & Johnson DNA/AAV COVID-19 vaccination in July 2021. Less than a day after receiving his Moderna booster on December 17th, Tejada died of a heart attack. The news was shared via Tejada’s social media by his wife Nora the following morning. The Times confirmed his death on December 22nd.

Former NY Times journalist Alex Berenson reported on his Substack that Tejada did not given informed consent to receive the booster shot, as the consent form was written in Korea and Tejada did not read Korean. On his social media, Tejada joked that Omicron could “hit [him] with your wet snot,” before going on to say, “all I had to do was fill out this form in a language I cant read. Translation software tells me I now belong to the BTS army.” Berenson also noted that there have been no clinical trials on the efficacy of mixing two different types of vaccinations. Studies conducted on COVID-19 vaccinations suggest that those who receive vaccines in rapid succession are more likely to develop heart complications, such as myocarditis and pericarditis.

The NY Times has thus far made no reference to Tejada having received his booster shot just hours before his premature death. To this, Berenson, a former employee of the newspaper, said he hoped that Tejada’s death would finally “wake the Times.” Studies published to AAHA have suggested that mRNA vaccines increase inflammatory markers in patients. Prior to Tejada receiving his Moderna booster, the CDC announced that 80 percent of COVID-19 Omicron “variant” cases were found in “fully-vaccinated” individuals.

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“Algerian footballer, Sofiane Loukar (30) has became the 4th footballer to die of a heart attack this week The others include Croatian footballer Marin Cacic (23), Oman international player Mukhaled Al-Raqadi (39), Egyptian goalkeeper, Ahmed Amin 35).”

Algerian Football Player Dies After Collapsing On Pitch (RT)

Algerian footballer Sofiane Loukar has died after collapsing while captaining his team Mouloudia Saida in a second division match on Saturday. Loukar is said to have collided with his own goalkeeper in the 26th minute of the Algerian Ligue 2 meeting with rivals ASM Oran. After receiving treatment the player was cleared to return to the pitch, only to collapse suddenly around 10 minutes later. According to Reuters, citing local media, Loukar was attended to at the scene and then rushed to hospital but died of a heart attack on the way. Other reports have indicated that the cause of death has not been determined. The Algeria Press Service indicated that Loukar was 28 at the time of his death, although elsewhere he has been listed as age 30. Adding to the tragedy, the footballer is said to have married just one week before Saturday’s fatal incident.


Footage shared by UAE news outlet Gulf Today purported to show Loukar’s grief-stricken teammates after they discovered the news that he had passed away. Other clips circulating online apparently showed the desperate efforts to revive him. The tragedy comes after young Croatian footballer Marin Cacic died three days after being placed into a coma following a sudden collapse during training with his team NK Nehaj Sinj. Cacic’s club confirmed his passing at the age of just 23 in a touching message on social media on Christmas Eve. In another tragedy to rock football, Omani footballer Mukhaled Al-Raqadi died at the age of 29 on Wednesday after collapsing during the warm-up for a top-flight match for Muscat in his homeland.Local reports indicated that the cause was a heart attack, with Muscat and the Oman Football Association paying tribute on social media.

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“..certain supplements or foods containing vitamins and minerals might help boost your immune system, such as zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C and quercetin.”

Florida Surgeon General Promotes Nutraceuticals for COVID-19 (Mercola)

Florida’s new surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, has issued a statewide public service announcement in support of commonsense COVID prevention strategies such as optimizing your vitamin D, staying active, eating nutrient-dense foods, and boosting your immune system with supplements. Florida Health’s HealthierYouFL.org website now urges Floridians to “Talk to your health care provider about how certain supplements or foods containing vitamins and minerals might help boost your immune system, such as zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C and quercetin.” These are all well-known supplements that have been shown to have a positive impact on your COVID-19 risk. The surgeon general also supports the use of monoclonal antibodies in acute cases, and as prevention in high-risk patients who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Available treatment locations can be found on FloridaHealthCOVID19.gov. Florida Health even highlights emerging treatments such as fluvoxamine and inhaled budesonide. Importantly, Florida Health now states that: “Physicians should use their clinical judgment when recommending treatment options for patients’ individualized health care needs. This may include emerging treatment options with appropriate patient informed consent, including off-label use or as part of a clinical trial.” Well, no one could be happier about this than I. I’ve been calling for vitamin D recommendations since the earliest days of the pandemic—ideally nationwide, but statewide is at least a start, especially considering that Florida is the sunshine state.

Ladapo was appointed Florida surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sept. 21, 2021, and it’s refreshing to finally see COVID guidance that makes sense. In his acceptance speech, Ladapo said: “I am honored to have been chosen by Governor DeSantis to serve as Florida’s next Surgeon General. We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear. “I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country, and I have been impressed by Governor DeSantis’ leadership and determination to ensure that Floridians are afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness while preserving their freedoms as Americans.”

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No prophylaxis, no early treatment, but euthanasia is fine.

“It turns the ethos of medicine on its head..”

New Zealand Okays Euthanasia For Covid Patients (CH)

Patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 can die by euthanasia if doctors decide they might not survive, the New Zealand government has declared. The Ministry of Health confirmed that a right to a lethal injection under a new euthanasia law could extend to patients who were either dying from the coronavirus or suffering unbearably from its consequences. In response to a request for clarity on a euthanasia law which came into force last month, the government declared that “in some circumstances a person with COVID-19 may be eligible for assisted dying”. The admission that COVID patients were eligible for a lethal jab came after Henoch Kloosterboer, editor of the anti-euthanasia The Defender website, made a request under the Official Information Act – the New Zealand equivalent to the 2000 Freedom of Information Act.

He said the policy left “the door wide open for abuse” of elderly and vulnerable patients – especially if the country’s health service came under pressure from a COVID surge. He said: “It would not be hard to envisage a situation in which a speedy and sizeable rise in COVID-19 hospitalisations could result in pressure to utilise euthanasia and assisted suicide as tools to resolve such a serious crisis.” The euthanasia law, he added, “has now made the COVID-19 pandemic potentially even more dangerous for the people of Aotearoa New Zealand”. The 2019 End of Life Choice Act is considered to be one of the most extreme euthanasia laws anywhere in the world, and critics say the safeguards are so flimsy that they are easily circumvented.

It permits both euthanasia and assisted suicide for adults suffering from an illness which would be terminal within six months, or who were in an advanced state of irreversible physical decline or who were suffering unbearably. The law, ratified following a referendum in 2020, guarantees all residents the right of access to a doctor who will kill them within a period as short as four days from receiving a request. Doctors receive a government fee of $1,000 plus expenses for every euthanasia death they perform. Just 96 of the country’s 16,000 doctors have offered to participate, however, and all but one of the nation’s 32 hospices have indicated that they will not permit euthanasia.

In the UK, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a professor of palliative medicine, said the New Zealand euthanasia law contradicted the fundamental purpose of medicine and health services to heal the sick. She said: “It is bizarre that a country which has been trying to protect it citizens by closing down completely from a virus from which people can fully recover … is now suggesting that these patients should be killed by their doctors. “It turns the ethos of medicine on its head,” she said. “You really cannot predict death 100 per cent,” she added. “So why not support them while they are dying and leave the door open in case they are in the group that defies all odds and recovers completely?”

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Itty-bitty problem: the BMJ itself censors too…

Facebook Now Censoring the British Medical Journal (NYNR)

Fiona Godlee, the editor of The British Medical Journal (BMJ), has written a letter to Facebook (Meta) CEO Mark Zuckerberg blasting him for the social media platform’s “inaccurate, incompetent and irresponsible … fact-check” protocols that we now know are just a censorship tool. One of the oldest and most highly respected scientific journals in the world, The BMJ recently published a report entitled, “Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial” that calls into question the “science” behind Pfizer’s Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “vaccine.” Because the report does not unquestioningly praise the jabs as “safe and effective,” Facebook “fact checked” it and deemed it as containing “false information.”

Starting on November 10, Facebook users who tried to share the article encountered problems. Many were unable to share it at all while others say the post was flagged with a warning that stated: “Missing context … Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.” Still others were prompted with warnings advising them to not try to share “false information.” It turns out that Facebook contractor “Lead Stories” was responsible for all this censorship. After learning what had happened, Godlee ripped Zuckerberg a new one, highlighting the following points about the so-called “fact check” in her letter to him:

• It did not present any assertions of fact that The BMJ article supposedly got wrong.
• It used the following nonsensical title: “Fact Check: The British Medical Journal Did NOT Reveal Disqualifying And Ignored Reports Of Flaws In Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trials.”
• The first paragraph inaccurately labeled The BMJ a “news blog.”
• A screenshot of The BMJ report that Facebook posted with a “Flaws Reviewed” stamp over the top of it failed to identify anything false or untrue.
• It published the story on its website under a URL that contains the phrase “hoax-alert.”
• Lead Stories was contacted by The BMJ concerning these and other issues but the company refused to make any changes.
• The BMJ also tried to contact Facebook directly about removing the “fact check,” but was refused.

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Not the strongest article, but a major point.

Declassified Documents Show How US Lied To Russia About NATO in 1990s (RT)

In April 2014, President Vladimir Putin addressed Russia’s Federal Assembly in the wake of Moscow’s reabsorption of Crimea. Over the course of his speech, he laid the blame for an increase in tensions on the West, which he insisted had “lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed us before an accomplished fact.” At the heart of this apparent duplicity was NATO’s expansion to the East, “as well as deployment of military infrastructure at our borders,” contrary, he said, to its promises. Ever since, disproving the idea that Western leaders had assured Moscow the bloc wouldn’t encroach on its borders has become an obsession for think tanks and lobby groups.

For example, UK policy institute Chatham House brands the suggestion that any pledge was made not to enlarge the controversial military bloc one of the key “myths and misconceptions in the debate on Russia,” while NATO’s own website likewise claims it is wholly manufactured. Significant evidence to the contrary has long-been easily accessible, but now the National Security Archive has published a tranche of never-before-seen, highly revealing documents detailing how then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin was consistently manipulated by his US counterpart Bill Clinton on the question during the mid-1990s, while bold, false promises of a “strategic partnership” of the countries faded into nothingness.

Take for instance the transcript of a cordial July 5 1994 telephone conversation between the pair, at which time the US president was preparing to depart for Poland – which had been pushing for rapid absorption by NATO – and the Baltic states, before meeting with Yeltsin at the G7 summit in Italy. Yeltsin urged Clinton to raise the plight of Russophones in Estonia and Latvia, because “a public statement from you that the US will not support any infringement on the rights of the Russian-speaking people” would mean these countries “will act differently.” He noted Lithuania’s quick granting of citizenship to its Russian minority had prompted Moscow to withdraw its troops from Vilnius, and the same could happen by August in Tallinn and Riga if assurances were made. Yeltsin also wished to discuss NATO expansion.

In response, Clinton swore he’d “raise the issue of the Russian minorities,” and reassured Yeltsin that while NATO might “eventually expand,” he’d set out “no timetable and no requirements.” Instead, he indicated that he’d “like us to concentrate” on Partnership for Peace, a US-led initiative seeking to “achieve a united Europe where people respect each other’s borders and work together.” Yeltsin could be entirely forgiven for thinking the Partnership was Washington’s primary focus, and the military alliance an afterthought, by the conclusion of the chat.

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Putin may lose his patience.

Russia Advises NATO to (Finally) Honor ‘Not One Inch Eastward’ Pledge (Bridge)

As NATO continues its mission creep inexorably towards the Russian border, Moscow issued a security proposal to the Western military bloc, which is in fact nothing less than an ultimatum: halt any further eastward military advances or Russia will be forced to act on behalf of its national interests. The date February 9, 1990 will be forever remembered among historians as a ‘day of infamy’ as far as NATO-Russia relations are concerned. That was the date when U.S. Secretary of State James Baker famously assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, during glasnost-era talks on German unification that the Western military bloc would not advance “one inch eastward” towards Russia’s borders.

The level of deception contained in that empty pledge is easily discernible today as NATO membership has exploded since the Cold War times to 30 member states. In 2004, the former Soviet states of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO at the 2004 Istanbul summit; Albania and Croatia became members in 2009, while North Macedonia joined in 2020. Already, the Western military bloc abuts Russia’s northwestern border in the Baltic States of Latvia and Estonia. But now with the political tinderbox known as Ukraine actively seeking membership in NATO, Moscow has produced what amounts to an ultimatum, where the carrot is simply the preservation of peace among the world’s nuclear superpowers.

Will the US-led organization bite? On the question of NATO, the draft agreement on security states that “The United States of America shall take measures to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and deny accession to the Alliance to the former USSR republics.”

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