Apr 192022
 


Jean Metzinger The blue bird 1912-13

 

Thralldom and Its Uses (Jim Kunstler)
The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)
The Importance of Ignorance in Info Wars (Lauria)
Ukraine and the Profits of War (TomD)
American Commissars (Chris Hedges)
Lockdown-Heavy States Had Some of the Worst Health Results (McMaken)
Second Global Covid-19 Summit Scheduled For May 12 (R.)
Hunter Biden’s China Business Deals Should Raise ‘Alarm Bells’ (ET)
Jack Dorsey Lashes Out At Twitter Board As Elon Musk Tries To Buy Company (DW)
Macron Should Prepare For A Brutal Shock After Latest Polls (Exp.)
EU’s 18 Year Old Embezzlement Charges to Derail Le Pen Presidential Bid (SN)
From Rachel Carson to Monsanto: The Silence of Spring (OffG)

 

 

Gonzalo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1515975497397661699

 

 

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

Azov

 

 

 

 

“Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore.”

Thralldom and Its Uses (Jim Kunstler)

America has had enough of being in thrall, especially to figures and forces dedicated to our destruction. This spring is the beginning of a national life with less stuff, including, looks like, stuff to eat. That will sure enough put folks in touch with something real, and then they will naturally have to do something about it. Centralized control of the population via trackable digital money is the last thing that will avail in the face of hunger and desperation. In fact, that is just another set of empty wishes and promises. The reality is that centralized government, such as the one in Washington DC, is less and less in control of anything — except the manufactured pretense that it can fix the problems of less stuff and decaying money.

The federal government is increasingly impotent, unable to discharge its basic obligations to preserve public order and safety. Its previous attempt to fix something was the response to Covid-19, which has culminated in the fiasco of the mRNA vaccines, now pending and tending toward an astounding wave of early deaths among those in thrall to the transparently dishonest promises of officialdom (“safe and effective”). That’s the trouble with thrall. It narrows the field-of-vision so badly, you can’t see what’s coming at you indirectly, like: hardship and death. The country has been in serious trouble for more than a decade. Cavalcades of bad choices — and then lying to ourselves about these bad choices — has shoved us well over the edge of our cherished expectations. One way out, then, is to simply refuse to remain in thrall to officialdom and the manufactured bullshit that is its only product.

We are lately in thrall to the melodrama in Ukraine, largely engineered by figures and forces in our own government and for their own ends, which look suspiciously at odds with the nation’s actual interests (the nation being us, its people). Perhaps this illustrates the widening gulf between the slouching beast government has become and the people trying to operate their lives and destinies under it. No food for you, no fertilizers for future food for you, no spare parts for you, no free speech for you, no social or economic role for you, no health for you, and (watch it, now!) soon no life for you. Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore. You fell for RussiaGate and it kept you in thrall for years. You fell for the Adam Schiff orchestrated Ukraine phone call impeachment gambit. You fell for the Covid scare and the dangerously defective vaccines forced on you. You fell for the fraud-drenched election of the empty vessel known as “Joe Biden.” Don’t fall for the invitation to World War Three.

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“Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost.”

The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)

Since the Russiagate farrago overcame liberal America in 2016, there has been much debate as to whether our McCarthyesque circumstances are as bad as, similar to, or not as bad as things got during the Cold War decades. This no longer seems to me the useful question. In various important ways we have passed beyond even the worst of the Cold War’s many dreadful features. Our better reference is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, wherein the English novelist pictured a society of incubated beings — programmed from birth, hooked on a happiness-inducing drug called soma, devoid of everything we now consider human, wholly incapable of connection, of responsibility, and, indeed, desiring neither.

Infantile gratification is all that matters to those populating the World State Huxley imagined — such as anything matters. We are not there yet, let’s not exaggerate. But we ought to honor Huxley for his prescience, for we are heading in the direction of his unlivable world of mind-deprived children watched over by a small, chosen, diabolic elite. I am not surprised that it is Ukraine that brings us to what I consider a collective psychological crisis. After 30 years of post–Cold War triumphalism, Washington has decided to use Ukraine and its people in a go-for-broke attempt finally to subvert Russia. Stepping back for a better look, this is the decisive event in the imperium’s confrontation with the 21st century — its grand roll of the dice, its now-or-never moment.

Broke it will be when all this is over, however far in the future that will prove. A little like Cú Chulainn, the Irish hero who drowned swinging his sword in a rage against the incoming tide, we cannot win this one. And we are falling apart as the realization of our loss arrives subliminally among us. Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost.

Putin on Ukraine

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“..the Soviet Union destroyed 80 percent of the Wehrmacht in WWII..”

“They do not know what a revival of Nazism means to the Russian people or even that there is a revival of Nazism in Ukraine..”

The Importance of Ignorance in Info Wars (Lauria)

There is fertile ground to wage information warfare in the U.S. on Ukraine. In all of America’s wars, ignorance of foreign affairs plays a big role. Americans’ lack of knowledge of other countries is compounded by the fact that the U.S. has never been invaded, except briefly by the British in 1812, and that the U.S. itself began as an invasion by Europeans in which they wiped out the indigenous population, and then later invaded Mexico and then Spanish possessions and frankly, have never stopped invading other nations. The lack of knowledge of this history makes Americans vulnerable to propaganda cloaking American expansionism. In the context of the Ukraine war this ignorance plays an important part in the susceptibility of the American public to war propaganda.

Americans generally don’t understand the psyche of Russia, which was invaded numerous times, particularly by the biggest European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries. They generally do not know, because they are never told, that the Soviet Union destroyed 80 percent of the Wehrmacht in WWII. They do not know what a revival of Nazism means to the Russian people or even that there is a revival of Nazism in Ukraine because it is whitewashed out of the corporate media story. Under the guise of respectability and objectivity, the news media of the U.S. and Europe, which is closely aligned with their governments, has played an important role in the information war by deliberately omitting three crucial facts from their Ukraine war narrative, which completely changes the picture.

Media is leaving out the role of U.S. in the 2014 coup in Kiev; that an 8-year civil war has been fought in the eastern Donbass region against Russian-speaking Ukrainians who resisted the coup (Russia’s help at the time was falsely portrayed as an invasion); and that Neo-Nazi fighters, now incorporated into the Ukrainian state military, played a big role in the coup, in the civil war and in the current fighting in the Russian invasion. There is abundant evidence that the U.S. was behind the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president in 2014, especially a leaked phone conversation between a high-ranking State Dept. official and the American ambassador in Kiev discussing weeks before the coup who would make up the new government. There is more than abundant evidence about the influence of neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

There was also little emphasis in the media’s information war on diplomatic moves that could have prevented the Russian invasion: namely the seven-year-old Minsk accords that could have ended the civil war if the U.S., Germany and France pressured Kiev to implement it.

Volnovakh
https://twitter.com/i/status/1516110852872679428

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Lucrative.

Ukraine and the Profits of War (TomD)

The war in Ukraine will indeed be a bonanza for the likes of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. First of all, there will be the contracts to resupply weapons like Raytheon’s Stinger anti-aircraft missile and the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin-produced Javelin anti-tank missile that Washington has already provided to Ukraine by the thousands. The bigger stream of profits, however, will come from assured post-conflict increases in national-security spending here and in Europe justified, at least in part, by the Russian invasion and the disaster that’s followed. Indeed, direct arms transfers to Ukraine already reflect only part of the extra money going to U.S. military contractors. This fiscal year alone, they are guaranteed to also reap significant benefits from the Pentagon’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, both of which finance the acquisition of American weaponry and other equipment, as well as military training.

These have, in fact, been the two primary channels for military aid to Ukraine from the moment the Russians invaded and seized Crimea in 2014. Since then, the United States has committed around $5 billion in security assistance to that country. According to the State Department, the United States has provided such military aid to help Ukraine “preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.” So, when Russian troops began to mass on the Ukrainian border last year, Washington quickly upped the ante. On March 31, 2021, the U.S. European Command declared a “potential imminent crisis,” given the estimated 100,000 Russian troops already along that border and within Crimea. As last year ended, the Biden administration had committed $650 million in weaponry to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft and anti-armor equipment like the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin anti-tank missile.

Despite such elevated levels of American military assistance, Russian troops did indeed invade Ukraine in February. Since then, according to Pentagon reports, the U.S. has committed to giving approximately $2.6 billion in military aid to that country, bringing the Biden administration total to more than $3.2 billion and still rising. Some of this assistance was included in a March emergency-spending package for Ukraine, which required the direct procurement of weapons from the defense industry, including drones, laser-guided rocket systems, machine guns, ammunition, and other supplies. The major military-industrial corporations will now seek Pentagon contracts to deliver that extra weaponry, even as they are gearing up to replenish Pentagon stocks already delivered to the Ukrainians.

On that front, in fact, military contractors have much to look forward to. More than half of the Pentagon’s $6.5 billion portion of the emergency-spending package for Ukraine is designated simply to replenish DoD inventories. In all, lawmakers allocated $3.5 billion to that effort, $1.75 billion more than the president even requested. They also boosted funding by $150 million for the State Department’s FMF program for Ukraine. And keep in mind that those figures don’t even include emergency financing for the Pentagon’s acquisition and maintenance costs, which are guaranteed to provide more revenue streams for the major weapons makers.

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Character assassination. Algorithms. Shadow banning. De-platforming.

American Commissars (Chris Hedges)

The ruling class, made up of the traditional elites that run the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, is employing draconian forms of censorship on its right-wing and left-wing critics in a desperate effort to cling to power. The traditional elites were discredited for pushing through a series of corporate assaults on workers, from deindustrialization to trade deals. They were unable to stem rising inflation, the looming economic crisis and the ecological emergency. They were incapable of carrying out significant social and political reform to ameliorate widespread suffering and refused to accept responsibility for two decades of military fiascos in the Middle East. And now they have launched a new and sophisticated McCarthyism. Character assassination. Algorithms. Shadow banning. De-platforming.

Censorship is the last resort of desperate and unpopular regimes. It magically appears to make a crisis go away. It comforts the powerful with the narrative they want to hear, one fed back to them by courtiers in the media, government agencies, think tanks and academia. The problem of Donald Trump is solved by censoring Donald Trump. The problem of left-wing critics, such as myself, is solved by censoring us. The result is a world of make-believe. YouTube disappeared six years of my RT show, “On Contact,” although not one episode dealt with Russia. It is not a secret as to why my show vanished. It gave a voice to writers and dissidents, including Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, as well as activists from Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, third parties and the prison abolitionist movement.

It called out the Democratic Party for its subservience to corporate power. It excoriated the crimes of the apartheid state of Israel. It covered Julian Assange in numerous episodes. It gave a voice to military critics, many of them combat veterans, who condemned US war crimes. It no longer matters how prominent you are or how big a following you have. If you challenge power, you are at risk of being censored. Former British MP George Galloway detailed a similar experience during an April 15 panel organized by Consortium News in which I took part: “I have been threatened with travel restrictions were I to continue the television broadcast I had been doing for almost an entire decade. I have been stamped by the false label ‘Russian State Media,’ which I never had, by the way, when I was presenting a show on Russian state media. It was only given after I ceased to have a show on Russian state media, ceased because the government made it a crime for me to do so.”

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As will the most vaxxed states.

Lockdown-Heavy States Had Some of the Worst Health Results (McMaken)

As hard as it is to believe, the Chinese regime is still employing a “zero covid” strategy and claims it can eradicate covid entirely through lockdowns and vaccinations. China’s draconian, nightmarish, near-total lockdown policy—which is notably still “necessary” in spite of widespread vaccination—has recently been revived in Shanghai where residents are now struggling to find food. But the regime has only doubled down on the policy, with Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring that “persistence is victory.” This approach has no basis in any actual science, however, and contradicts decades of epidemiological research condemning lockdowns. Moreover, a 2021 joint study from USC and the Rand Corporation concluded “excess mortality increases” following “the implementation of SIP [shelter-in-place] policies.”

This week, a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the states with the harshest lockdowns tended to perform the worst in a composite measure of mortality, economic performance, and education. The states that performed the best were in many cases states where lockdowns were weak or nonexistent, with Utah and Nebraska at the top of the list. The study, authored by Phil Kerpen, Stephen Moore, and Casey B. Mulligan, also concluded that antilockdown Florida, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Utah “were outliers” that performed unexpectedly well compared to their neighbors. Prolockdown California, Illinois, New Mexico, and Colorado, on the other hand, performed more poorly than their neighbors.

The chief value of the report is that it takes economic, educational, and health variables and normalizes them across states. For example, it’s difficult to meaningfully compare economies when some states are far more reliant on service industries than others. In this case, the authors find the “combined economic performance” for states taking the nature of each state’s economy into account. By this metric, the states that performed the best during the pandemic were lockdown-light states Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, and Utah. The states with the worst outcomes were lockdown-heavy Hawaii, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Illinois.

On the matter of education—which the authors note is closely tied to both economic performance and mortality in the longer term—the authors look at bans on in-person education, state by state, and presumed resulting “learning loss.” In this case, the best performers were Wyoming, Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, and Utah. The worst performers were California, Oregon, Maryland, Washington, and Hawaii. Of course, if faced with statistics such as these, lockdown advocates are likely to admit that lost educational opportunities and lost economic prosperity are unfortunate. But, they will say education and property rights had to limited in the name of preventing mortality and protecting “public health.”

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Where the WHO will be awarded dictatorial powers.

Second Global Covid-19 Summit Scheduled For May 12 (R.)

A second Global Covid-19 Summit will be held virtually next month for countries to discuss efforts to end the pandemic and prepare for future health threats, according to a joint statement on Monday. “The emergence and spread of new variants, like Omicron, have reinforced the need for a strategy aimed at controlling Covid-19 worldwide,” the White House said in a news release with the Group of Seven and Group of 20 nations. The announcement comes amid a surge of Covid-19 cases in parts of the United States and around the world prompted by easily transmissible variants of the virus.


China’s most populous city, Shanghai, is trying to return to normal after a nearly three-week shutdown, which, along with wider China curbs, are taking a toll on the world’s No 2 economy. The summit will build on efforts and commitments made at the first global summit in September, including getting more people vaccinated, sending tests and treatments to highest-risk populations, expanding protections to health care workers and generating financing for pandemic preparedness, the statement said. “We know we must prepare now to build, sustain, and finance the global capacity we need, not only for emerging COVID-19 variants, but also future health crises,” it said.

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“We’re very clear that the Bidens got some $31 million..”

Hunter Biden’s China Business Deals Should Raise ‘Alarm Bells’ (ET)

“We’re very clear that the Bidens got some $31 million, based on the laptop, from a series of deals that happened beginning when Joe Biden was vice president of the United States. And those deals happened courtesy of four Chinese businessmen,” Schweizer said. All four Chinese businessmen were “directly linked” to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, he added. The fact that these Chinese businessmen would want to talk to the Bidens was interesting, Schweizer said, since the latter did not bring any capital or investors to the table, something financial investment firms would do. Surely, the Chinese businessmen weren’t philanthropies either, he added, the question then became what they wanted in return.

“When you look at the cluster of who provided the funds to the Bidens, and the fact that the Bidens did not really provide anything tangible in return, this has all the markings of elite capture and of a Chinese intelligence operation,” he said. According to his book, one of the Chinese businessmen was a Chinese tycoon named Che Feng, who helped Hunter Biden and his associates secure a deal involving a Chinese investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). Schweizer said the deal netted him about $20 million. Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment and advisory firm Hunter Biden co-founded, became one of the shareholders of BHR, which was incorporated in Shanghai in 2013. Hunter gained an unpaid board seat on BHR as a result. In October 2019, George Mesires, Hunter Biden’s attorney, issued a statement saying that the younger Biden had decided to resign from his seat on the BHR board of directors.

Hunter Biden held a 10 percent stake in BHR but divested as of November last year, his lawyer told The New York Times. Che was business partners with Ma Jian, who was then-vice minister of China’s MSS and was reportedly headed the ministry’s No. 8 bureau, which targeted foreigners with its counterintelligence apparatus, according to the book. Ma was vice minister of state security from 2006 until January 2015, when he was placed under Party investigation for corruption, amid a sweeping anti-corruption campaign initiated by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2012. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2018, after being found guilty of accepting bribes, insider trading, and making “coercive” business deals.

Before his political downfall, Ma was a key member of a political faction loyal to former Chinese regime leader Jiang Zemin. The so-called Jiang faction is known for opposing Xi’s leadership. Che, who is also the son-in-law of Dai Xianlong, the former governor of China’s central bank, was also named in the 2017 Paradise Papers for making about $14.6 million in preferred stocks through his offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands between 2009 and 2013. According to Chinese media, Che was placed under investigation in June 2015. “[Che] would fade from the [BHR] deal after both he and Ma were arrested and charged with money laundering and bribery, respectively. But the partnership between Hunter and Chinese officials was off and running,” according to his book.

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“It’s a doomsday machine, it’s the atomic bomb, everyone gets wiped out — that’s the key.”

Jack Dorsey Lashes Out At Twitter Board As Elon Musk Tries To Buy Company (DW)

Former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey slammed the company’s board of directors in a tweet over the weekend which comes as entrepreneur Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, offered $43 billion to buy the company outright last week. Dorsey was responding to the following tweet when he made his remark, “If look into the history of Twitter board, it’s intriguing as I was a witness on its early beginnings, mired in plots and coups, and particularly amongst Twitter’s founding members. I wish if it could be made into a Hollywood thriller one day.” Dorsey responded, “It’s consistently been the dysfunction of the company.”

Dorsey also said “big facts” in response to the following statement from venture capitalist Fred Destin: “What I do know for sure is that this old Silicon Valley proverb is grounded in age-old wisdom that still applies today: Good boards don’t create good companies, but a bad board will kill a company every time.” When later asked if he was allowed to speak like this publicly given the fact that he is still on the company’s board, Dorsey responded, “No.” Twitter has attempted to stop Musk from taking over the company by adopting a so-called “poison pill” that effectively allows all shareholders, except those trying to buy out the company, to purchase newly offered shares at a discounted price.

Musk would have to purchase the new shares at a higher price, which could end up being too much for him to afford, if he wanted to take over the company. Despite throwing a massive roadblock in Musk’s way, the adoption of the poison pill would not bar Musk from being able to buy the company, it would only make it harder. “A poison pill is a way to stave off someone until you can get a higher price. It makes it outrageously expensive for the person to buy it,” said Charles Elson, the founding director of the University of Delaware’s Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. “It’s a doomsday machine, it’s the atomic bomb, everyone gets wiped out — that’s the key.”

Mr. Wonderful

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Still can’t see him lose.

Macron Should Prepare For A Brutal Shock After Latest Polls (Exp.)

In 2017, Macron turned a comfortable second-round victory over Le Pen into an electoral route once he bested her on economic policy during their candidates’ debate. Five years ago, Macron was the pro-change candidate and his televised mastery of policy detail, in concert with his seemingly non-ideological, moderate prescriptions for French economic ills, ended Le Pen’s slim hopes. Ironically, perhaps, it is Macron’s stewardship of the economy that yet could see Le Pen victorious. Macron is seen by many as “the president of the rich,” and most say his economic reforms favour the affluent to the neglect of those on modest incomes. Hence, Le Pen’s healthy leads on issues such as inflation, jobs, and the economy. If most voters prioritise these issues when casting their ballots, Macron will be lucky to eke out a victory.


In a different political climate, Macron could have coasted home upon the support of those who care most about health care, climate change, education, and, of course, Ukraine. Unfortunately for Macron, only health policy matters a great deal to a good number of voters. Instead, a Macron victory will mirror Biden’s 2020 election over Donald Trump in one crucial aspect. It will be more about his opponent’s perceived failings than his own qualities as a candidate and officeholder. Just as most Biden voters cast a negative ballot – their vote was more against Trump than for Biden, himself – our poll finds that more Macron voters will be voting against Le Pen’s “far right” image than for Macron. And, there are certainly enough anti-Le Pen voters across France to hand Macron a second term. He may be the latest beneficiary of the cordon sanitaire, the convention that those on the moderate Left and the moderate Right vote for whichever mainstream candidate prevents the far-right candidate from winning.

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Her last name will seal her loss.

EU Uses 18 Year Old Embezzlement Charges to Derail Le Pen Presidential Bid (SN)

Presumably as part of a deliberate effort to derail her presidential chances, the European Union has exhumed 18-year-old embezzlement charges against Marine Le Pen. “The EU’s anti-fraud body has accused French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and associates of embezzling around 600,000 euros during their time as MEPs,” reports AFP. The National Rally leader is personally accused of embezzling “around 137,000 euros ($150,000) worth of public money from the Strasbourg parliament when she was an MEP between 2004 and 2017.” Le Pen’s lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut dismissed the charges, adding that the “timing” of them was suspicious. Noting that the report relates to “old facts more than ten years old,” Bosselut highlighted how Le Pen “has not been summoned by any French judicial authority” to answer the charges.


“I’m surprised by the timing of such a strong disclosure and the instrumentalisation,” said Bosselut. The EU has chosen to resurrect the old claims just days before the final round of the French presidential election, in which Le Pen will face off against incumbent Emmanuel Macron. Although still a long shot, recent polls had shown Le Pen closing the gap on Macron, causing consternation amongst globalist technocrats. Given the context, the EU dragging up old charges is clearly an act of election interference intended to tarnish Le Pen before this weekend’s vote. As we previously highlighted, after Hungary’s Viktor Orban won re-election in a landslide, the EU responded by slapping sanctions on the country as a form of punishment for the electorate exercising their democratic will.

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“After all, they were ‘just doing their job’ – and they would not want to feel harassed or burdened, would they?”

From Rachel Carson to Monsanto: The Silence of Spring (OffG)

In 2016, Rosemary Mason wrote an open letter to European Chemicals Agency Executive Director Geert Dancet: Open Letter to the ECHA about Scientific Fraud and Ecocide. More of an in-depth report than a letter, it can be accessed on the academia.edu site. In it, she explained how current EU legislation was originally set up to protect the pesticides industry and Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations helped the EU design the regulatory systems for their own products. She also drew Dancet’s attention to the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology and how, in 2016 Volume 46, Monsanto commissioned five reviews published in a supplement to the journal. Monsanto also funded them. Mason argues the aim was to cast serious doubts about the adverse effects of glyphosate by using junk science. Straight out of the Big Tobacco playbook.


Mason told Dancet: CEO Hugh Grant and the US EPA knew that glyphosate caused all of these problems. The corporation concealed the carcinogenic effects of PCBs on humans and animals for seven years. They have no plans to protect you and your families from the tsunami of sickness that is affecting us all in the UK and the US.” Meanwhile, on the US Right to Know site, the article Roundup Cancer Cases – Key Documents and Analysis sets out just why more than 100,000 cancer sufferers are attempting to hold Monsanto to account in US courts. In a just (and sane) world, CEOs would be held personally responsible for the products they peddle and earn millions from. But no doubt they would do their utmost to dodge culpability. After all, they were ‘just doing their job’ – and they would not want to feel harassed or burdened, would they?

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Australian pelican

 

 

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Apr 072022
 


Edward Hopper The Sheridan Theatre 1937

 

US Is Using Intel To Fight An Info War With Russia (NBC)
Video Appears To Show Ukrainian Soldiers Executing Russian Soldiers – NY Times (BI)
UK Delays Tariffs On Russian Whitefish (Pol.eu)
America’s Largest Farm Cooperative Warns Sanctions May Spark Fertilizer Shortages (ZH)
US Warns India Faces Significant Long-Term Costs If It Aligns With Russia (ZH)
Whistleblower To Release 450 GB Of Deleted Files From Hunter’s Laptop (DM)
Psaki Says Joe Biden And His Son Hunter ‘Were Not Office Mates’ (Fox)
President Macron Says He is “Opposed to Self-Defense” (SN)
‘Pushed to the Brink of Collapse’: Chaos Behind Shanghai Lockdown Measures (ET)
WHO Will Assume Total Control Of Future Pandemics (Kirsch)
‘Mandatory Vaccination’ For All Germans Over 60 Expected To Pass (ZH)
The Teen Girls Aren’t Going to Forget (Suzy Weiss)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter was banned from Twitter yesterday, and then reinstated.

Ukraine War Could Have Been Avoided, but Here’s Why Putin Will Achieve His Goals

 

 

US intel is very sophisticated and very credible.

US Is Using Intel To Fight An Info War With Russia (NBC)

It was an attention-grabbing assertion that made headlines around the world: U.S. officials said they had indications suggesting Russia might be preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine. President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine. They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions. It’s one of a string of examples of the Biden administration’s breaking with recent precedent by deploying declassified intelligence as part of an information war against Russia. The administration has done so even when the intelligence wasn’t rock solid, officials said, to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin off balance.

Coordinated by the White House National Security Council, the unprecedented intelligence releases have been so frequent and voluminous, officials said, that intelligence agencies had to devote more staff members to work on the declassification process, scrubbing the information so it wouldn’t betray sources and methods. Observers of all stripes have called it a bold and so far successful strategy — although not one without risks. “It’s the most amazing display of intelligence as an instrument of state power that I have seen or that I’ve heard of since the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said Tim Weiner, the author of a 2006 history of the CIA and 2020’s “The Folly and the Glory,” a look at the U.S.-Russia rivalry over decades. “It has certainly blunted and defused the disinformation weaponry of the Kremlin.”

Four days before the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the U.S. publicized spy plane photos to show the Soviet Union had deployed nuclear missiles not far from Florida’s coast. The Biden administration began releasing reams of intelligence about what it said were Putin’s plans and intentions even before the invasion of Ukraine began. Just this week, national security adviser Jake Sullivan stood at the White House podium and read out what officials said was more declassified intelligence, asserting that Russia’s pullout from areas around Kyiv wasn’t a retreat but a strategic redeployment that signals a significant assault on eastern and southern Ukraine, one that U.S. officials believe could be a protracted and bloody fight. The idea is to pre-empt and disrupt the Kremlin’s tactics, complicate its military campaign, “undermine Moscow’s propaganda and prevent Russia from defining how the war is perceived in the world,” said a Western government official familiar with the strategy.

Multiple U.S. officials acknowledged that the U.S. has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn’t high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect, as with chemical agents, and other times, as an official put it, the U.S. is just “trying to get inside Putin’s head.” Some officials believe, however, that trying to get into Putin’s head is a meaningless exercise, because he will do what he wants regardless. After this story was published, a U.S. official told NBC News that “the U.S. government’s effort to strategically downgrade intelligence to share with allies and the public is underpinned by a rigorous review process by the National Security Council and the Intelligence Community to validate the quality of the information and protect sources and methods.” The official added that “we only approve the release of intelligence if we are confident those two requirements are met.”

US intel

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”Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said it was “precise work” by Ukrainian troops.”

Video Appears To Show Ukrainian Soldiers Executing Russian Soldiers – NY Times (BI)

Video posted on Telegram Monday appears to show Ukrainian soldiers killing captured Russian troops in a village near Kyiv, according to a report from The New York Times. The video was verified by The Times, however, the outlet decided not to publish it due to its graphic nature. Per The Times it shows a Ukrainian soldier shooting a Russian soldier three times while another man says “he’s still alive. Film these marauders. Look, he’s still alive. He’s gasping.” The video, The Times reported, also shows at least three other Russian soldiers dead near the victim — identified by white armbands commonly worn by Russian troops. One of the soldiers has an obvious head wound and his hands are tied behind his back, according to the report from The Times.

The soldiers are surrounded by equipment and are laying on the road near a BMD-2 — an infantry vehicle used by Russia’s airborne units, according to military scholar Rob Lee. In the video, which was not independently verified by Insider, Ukrainian soldiers are identifiable by their blue armbands and repeat “glory to Ukraine” but their unit is unclear. A Ukrainian news agency said the ambush was the work of the “Georgian Legion” a group of Georgian volunteers that formed in 2014 to fight for Ukraine, according to The Times report.

The video was filmed north of the village of Dmytrivka, about seven miles southwest of Bucha, according to the Times report. Earlier this week, graphic videos emerged of at least 300 civilians killed in Bucha during Russia’s occupation of the city. Ukrainian officials say they were attacked as Russian troops were retreating. Ukrainian forces ambushed Russian troops around March 30, according to the Times report. In a tweet, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said it was “precise work” by Ukrainian troops.

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What the sanctions are really worth.

UK Delays Tariffs On Russian Whitefish (Pol.eu)

Plans to impose sanctions on Russian whitefish have been postponed by the U.K. government amid fears over the impact on Britain’s seafood industry. Whitefish was among the Russian exports set to be slapped with a 35 percent tariff by the U.K. in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. A U.K. government official said the sanctions have been “delayed while we sort some technicalities,” but stressed that “we are totally committed to them.” Any suggestion the plans had been dropped entirely was “totally untrue,” the official added. Roughly 30 percent of the U.K.’s whitefish originates from Russia, which controls between 40 to 45 percent of the global supply, according to industry body Seafish.


When the measure was first announced, Britain’s seafood processing industry and struggling fish and chip shops, which rely on the supply of Russian whitefish including cod, said they feared price rises as a result of the sanctions could squeeze their businesses. Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, said: “I think government wants more time to investigate the impact of sanctions on whitefish so have just held off for the time being. “We of course support any measures they deem suitable to bring the conflict to a speedier conclusion.” The whitefish sanctions were announced on March 15. However, unlike other Russian products targeted including cereal, cement and fertilizer, the tariffs were not imposed on whitefish when they came into force on March 24, according to Seafish, a public body that supports the U.K.’s seafood industry.

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It’s already done. Planting season is now.

America’s Largest Farm Cooperative Warns Sanctions May Spark Fertilizer Shortages (ZH)

America’s largest farmer cooperative sounded the alarm Wednesday about possible disruptions of fertilizer supplies from Russia due to Western sanctions on Moscow. CHS Inc., the largest agricultural cooperative in the US, said in an SEC filing that it’s concerned about obtaining Russian fertilizer because of sanctions making it “more expensive and difficult to do business with Russia.” CHS warned that sanctions could “cause delays with respect to, or prevent, shipments of fertilizer to us, cause inflationary pressures on and impact our ability to purchase fertilizer, disrupt the execution of banking transactions with certain Russian financial institutions and result in volatility in foreign exchange rates and interest rates, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.”

The cooperative said it holds no operations in Russia. However, it has $30 million in grain inventories sitting in silos in Ukraine and will have to take an “impairment charge” because of its inability to access those stockpiles. CHS warns there’s a risk the conflict in Ukraine “could lead to a much larger conflict and/or additional sanctions imposed by the United States government and other governments that restrict business with specific persons, organizations or countries or with respect to certain products or services.” And said if such an event did occur, it would wreck more global supply chains and “could materially adversely affect our business operations and financial performance.” For some context, Russia is one of the world’s largest fertilizer exports. Countries already afflicted by food insecurity, such as emerging market economies, will experience some of the first fertilizer and food shortages first. By the way, violent inflation protests are already beginning in Peru.

Famine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1511921482275999754

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The US is blind to its loss of power. Russia, India, the UAE, Brazil and Indonesia, China, that’s way more people than the US can strong-arm in 2022.

US Warns India Faces Significant Long-Term Costs If It Aligns With Russia (ZH)

Given that a handful of countries that rank among the top largest economies in the world have thus far been reluctant to firmly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this could prove the significant monkey wrench in US-EU plans to severely isolate and wreak havoc on global Russian exports. Among these include the obvious – China, but also there’s India, the UAE, Brazil and Indonesia. India for example – standing just behind the UK as the 6th largest economy – remains the the single largest buyer of Russian weapons. India is also reportedly seeking more discounted Russian oil, in what looks to be a potential move away from Saudi crude. In early March, The New York Times noted that India was among those countries dependent on many Russian imports that’s attempting to “stay above the fray”.

“When India abstained from a United Nations vote and the chorus of Western condemnation against the Ukraine invasion, it appeared to be taking sides: offering tacit support for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia,” the Times emphasized previously. And now Washington is putting New Delhi on notice that it faces ‘significant costs’ should it become aligned with Russia, and as a major export destination allowing Putin to side-step sanctions effects. The Biden administraiton’s Director of the National Economic Council of the United States Brian Deese has said the US remains “disappointed” with aspects of the Indian government’s reaction to the Ukraine crisis. “There are certainly areas where we have been disappointed by both China and India’s decisions, in the context of the invasion,” he said a Wednesday event in D.C.

He was cited as saying in Bloomberg: The US has told India that the consequences of a “more explicit strategic alignment” with Moscow would be “significant and long-term,” he said. India has so far rejected falling in line with the West’s anti-Russia sanctions, instead continuing to import Russian oil, which remains at an estimated 2% of its total oil imports.

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‘Very dear friends of mine, the sharp tip of the spear, were making welfare calls to me every day, basically to see if I was still alive.’

Whistleblower To Release 450 GB Of Deleted Files From Hunter’s Laptop (DM)

The source who distributed Hunter Biden’s laptop to congressmen and media has fled the US to Switzerland, saying he fears retaliation from the Biden administration. Jack Maxey gave DailyMail.com a copy of the hard drive from Hunter’s abandoned laptop in the spring of 2021. He also gave copies and material from it to the Washington Post, New York Times, and Senator Chuck Grassley in his role as ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee – but he claims they all sat on it for months. For the past two weeks, Maxey has been in hiding in Zurich, working with IT experts to dig out more data from the ‘laptop from hell’. Maxey, a former co-host of ex-Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s podcast the War Room, claims he and his colleagues have found ‘450 gigabytes of deleted material’ including 80,000 images and videos and more than 120,000 archived emails.

He said he intends to post them all online in a searchable database in the coming weeks. Hunter abandoned his laptop at a Delaware computer store in 2019. The owner, John Mac Isaac, gave a copy to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who passed it on to Maxey. ‘I came here so that we could do a forensic examination of Hunter’s laptop safely in a country that still respects human liberty and the ideals of liberal democratic principles,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘I do not believe this would have been possible inside the United States. We had numerous attempts on us from trying to do things like this there.’ Maxey said that after contacting DailyMail.com about the laptop last year, black suburban SUVs appeared outside his house, and former US intelligence officer friends he shared copies with told him they received strange calls.

‘I showed this to a friend of mine in desperation in February [2021] because nobody would listen to me. No news organizations would take it. In fact, the very first major news organization to take it was the Daily Mail,’ he said. ‘Very dear friends of mine, the sharp tip of the spear, were making welfare calls to me every day, basically to see if I was still alive.’

Darryl Cooper

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She’s openly calling Hunter a liar now. Shouldn’t Joe stand up for “the smartest man I know”?

And also:

“In the email, Hunter Biden also requests keys for Gongwen Dong, whom he describes as an “emissary” for Ye Jianming — the chairman of CEFC Chinese Energy Co.”

Psaki Says Joe Biden And His Son Hunter ‘Were Not Office Mates’ (Fox)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied on Wednesday previous reports that claimed Hunter Biden and his father, President Biden, were “office mates.” Asked by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy about “evidence that the president, at one point, was office mates with Hunter and his brother Jim here in D.C.,” Psaki said the reports were “not accurate.” Hunter Biden requested in 2017 that keys be made for his new “office mates,” listing his father, Jill Biden, and his uncle Jim Biden, for space he planned to share with an “emissary” for a chairman of a Chinese energy company, according to an email obtained by Fox News.


A Sept. 20, 2017 email obtained by Fox News shows Hunter requesting keys for Joe and Jill Biden, along with Jim Biden, for space he planned to share with an “emissary” for a chairman of a Chinese energy company. The email was sent to the general manager, Cecilia Browning, at the House of Sweden — a building in Washington, D.C., that contains multiple office suites and a number of embassies. “Please have keys made available for new office mates: Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Jim Biden,” said the email, with the subject “507.” In the email, Hunter Biden also requests keys for Gongwen Dong, whom he describes as an “emissary” for Ye Jianming — the chairman of CEFC Chinese Energy Co.

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“..because otherwise the country becomes the Wild West..”

Actually, that is what it is without self-defense…

Idiot.

President Macron Says He is “Opposed to Self-Defense” (SN)

After a farmer was charged with murder for shooting a man after four burglars broke into his home, French President Emmanuel Macron said people should not have the right to self-defense. Yes, really. “According to the initial investigation, the farmer fired twice with a large caliber rifle at a group of four burglars, killing one of them. The self-defense shooting took place last Friday, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., and the man was alone with his 3-year-old daughter at the time,” reports Remix News. However, Macron responded to the story by asserting that the 35-year-old farmer had no right to defend himself or his daughter in such a manner. “Everyone must be safe, and the public authorities have to ensure it,” Macron told Europe 1.


“But I am opposed to self-defense. It’s very clear and undisputable because otherwise the country becomes the Wild West. And I don’t want a country where weapons proliferate and where we consider that it’s up to the citizens to defend themselves,” said Macron. Presumably, the farmer should have just allowed the four burglars to ransack his home and potentially harm his young daughter without doing anything to intervene. Macron insisted that the farmer should have called the police, who in many areas of France are already stretched to the limit thanks to criminal gangs of migrants youths being in a perpetual state of war with them. “I’m not going to judge this news. I convey the rules,” said Macron, whose weak record on security and crime is under scrutiny.

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“Let me reiterate, do not bother checking your health cloud, it’s all a negative result. Only we will notify you when you have tested positive.” The caller responded, “So what we see is all fake?” She said, “That’s right.”

‘Pushed to the Brink of Collapse’: Chaos Behind Shanghai Lockdown Measures (ET)

While Shanghai continues its lockdown and massive PCR testing campaign as COVID-19 surges through the city, a CDC expert’s complaint about chaotic PCR test reports that have confused people was recently exposed online. Shanghai CDC issued a notice demanding staff answer public inquiries “in line with the policy.” There have been complaints about the conflicting PCR test results on Chinese social media because people receive a negative test result on their cell phones but then receive a positive test result from the CDC. Shanghai adopted the Healthcare Cloud app as its integrated Internet and Healthcare services platform. Locals register through the app for a PCR test and receive the test result on their cell phones.

However, many people received a negative test notice via the app but still were then notified by CDC that they had tested positive and were thus subject to quarantine. Complaints have flooded the Shanghai CDC hotline. A recently leaked recording of a CDC expert responding to a caller revealed how the app has been problematic, how overloaded health workers have been stymied by a lack of transparency in pandemic prevention, and how the pandemic has become a political issue. In the recording, the expert said, “We have received hundreds of calls every day, but our jobs are epidemiological investigations. We can’t solve your problem.” She said, “Let me tell you the facts: There’s no ward, the quarantine sites are filled, and there’s no ambulance.”

A male was heard complaining, “But we have no way to address our issue, even Weibo is blocked.” The expert said, “I have brought this up too many times; as an expert, I have suggested that the mild to no symptom patients stay at home. Does anyone listen? No!” She continued, “Let me reiterate, do not bother checking your health cloud, it’s all a negative result. Only we will notify you when you have tested positive.” The caller responded, “So what we see is all fake?” She said, “That’s right.”

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No, they won’t. Wanna bet?

WHO Will Assume Total Control Of Future Pandemics (Kirsch)

Thanks to Mike Yeadon for alerting me to this. Here’s Mike’s message to me (excerpt): “Steve, I’ve heard about this from half a dozen sources & I’m sorry to say that the concerns expressed are wholly justified. It’s a mad idea, but since certain individuals & nations have pretty much taken over the WHO, I think it’s a certainty that, if this new treaty gets signed, within a few years at most, a “public health emergency of International concern” will be declared, and all currently sovereign nations will become controlled subsidiaries of WHO. … No government should even have the power to throw their country over to a third party. If that happened, they’d never give it back. U.K. parliament signed up to emergency powers on the occasion of the first lockdown over two years ago. That temporary bill has never been repealed. We have no rights whatsoever if they decide we don’t. This is the main reason we emigrated.

Here’s the best practical reason not to sign such a treaty, aside from its anti-democratic central problem: Imagine there’s a new pathogen spreading across the world. Nobody, anywhere, knows what the best response should be. By definition it’s not known. History teaches us that we alight most rapidly upon probable best courses of action, not from modeling, but from empirical evidence. Running a large number of experiments, based on the smartest public health, medical & scientific brains, will quickly tell us what kinds of responses are helpful & which are not. Maintaining very good communication makes sure lessons learned are shared quickly. The worst conceivable response would be to place the decision making power in the hands of a single body. They’ll likely run one experiment. We’ll never learn the counterfactual. On this basis, I don’t even understand why anyone would fall for the idiotic notion that letting WHO have the controls would be a great idea. Even if they were honest & competent.

Please let me know if I can help in any way.

Best wishes

Mike

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Mandatory adverse effects.

‘Mandatory Vaccination’ For All Germans Over 60 Expected To Pass (ZH)

The COVID pandemic has largely subsided in Europe (although health authorities have warned about an uptick in cases caused by subvariants and hybrid variants of the omicron strain). But this hasn’t stopped German lawmakers from pushing for a new law that would legally require people age 60 and older to be vaccinated. But that’s not all. The deal struck by members of Germany’s ruling “stop sign” coalition, which includes Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the ‘classical liberal’ Free Democrats, also includes an option for making COVID shots mandatory for everybody age 18 and older. That second provision will depend on how the next wave of the pandemic develops during the fall, according to Bloomberg, which cited a local report.


According to other provisions in the proposed law, the government would initially try to “encourage” the unvaccinated to voluntary submit to inoculation (Germany still has millions of unvaccinated citizens, not unlike the US). Fortunately, even if the proposal becomes a law (it’s due for a vote on Thursday), it will also include provisions that would reverse the situation if enough people receive their COVID shots voluntarily before the summer. Lawmakers told Bloomberg that the goal of the proposal is “effective prevention.” “We are united by the goal of effective prevention through the highest possible level of basic immunity for all adults for the fall, because in this way we can prevent the health system from being overwhelmed,” they added. Germany is still recording more than 200,000 cases and more than 300 deaths from the virus on most days. But with more than 75% of its population vaccinated, the pressure on the country’s health-care system has significantly lessened since the depths of the pandemic.

UK jab effectiveness

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“it’s like a sci-fi show where people went to sleep and woke up two years later, and the world has moved on but they haven’t.”

The Teen Girls Aren’t Going to Forget (Suzy Weiss)

Lily May Holland, 16, remembers the long, lonely days during lockdown when her parents, both doctors, were at work. She’d watch “Gilmore Girls” and “Gossip Girl” and “Grey’s Anatomy” over and over. She stopped eating and started doing Chloe Ting workouts. “I’d have gum and a smoothie all day,” she said. They lived in the sticks north of Charlottesville, Virginia, on a dirt road between farms and trailer parks and the occasional Baptist church, and she didn’t have a license, so she couldn’t go anywhere or meet any friends. Teachers would post assignments online, but it was like—who cared? Everything happened in isolation, like they were atoms. “I would’ve gone to parties, and me and my friends were planning to go to concerts, and homecoming,” Lily said. “I had crushes freshman year. But all that fell away.”

Teenagers need a social life. Every single study and report and piece of data tells us so. But we don’t need studies to tell us what we all already know. Ask yourself: What would it have been like if you had spent your thirteenth year in solitude? It was more than a year, actually. Millions of American kids had gone a year-and-a-half mostly alone. And every single girl I spoke to said the same thing about the experience: They felt like they were sinking, or being swallowed up. So it almost seemed like an understatement when, in December 2021, the Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, said the effect of the lockdowns had been “devastating” for young people’s mental health. “Usually, kids would be learning to disobey their parents and stay out late and figure out the consequences, but there was just none of that,” said Regine Galanti, a clinical psychologist in New York who specializes in adolescents with anxiety disorders.

The impact of all that emptiness—the zig-zagging from one hazy, blue-ish screen to another and then to another—was starting to come into focus, and it was scary. Lily said that, at some point mid-lockdown, she got sick of communicating with other human beings via iPhone. So then she stopped communicating at all. Galanti said, “It’s almost like a volcano that we set ourselves up for.”It was an unprecedented volcano. In the past, Earth-shaking events—the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam—had forced kids to grow up. Teenagers got jobs or were deployed overseas, and when they came back they settled down and had kids or left home and fled to the big city. The point is that they started their lives.

Covid did the opposite. Instead of nudging young people out the door, it anchored them to their parents, to their bedrooms and to their screens. And now that the madness is finally ebbing, they’re unsure how to proceed. Galanti said, “it’s like a sci-fi show where people went to sleep and woke up two years later, and the world has moved on but they haven’t.”

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Tsernigov

 

 

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Mar 162022
 
 March 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Henri Rousseau The sleeping gypsy 1897

 

Ukraine Will Not Join NATO, Says Zelenskiy (G.)
Zelenskiy Says Russia’s Position In Negotiations Becoming ‘More Realistic’ (G.)
West Made A ‘Terrible Mistake’ Letting Putin Annex Crimea: Boris Johnson (F.)
Thirsty Macron Jealous of International Media Fawning Over Zelenskyy (CTH)
World Economy Braces For Supply Chain Chaos As COVID Closes China (ZH)
Saudi Arabia May Accept Yuan Instead Of Dollars For Chinese Oil Sales (JTN)
Safe and Effective? (Malone)
Senate Votes To Repeal CDC’s Mask Mandate For Airline Passengers (JTN)
Several States Mulling Lawsuit To End Biden Mask Mandate On Airlines (JTN)
Dr. Flavio Cadegiani On How Pfizer Corrupts Science (Kirsch)
These 6 Republicans Voted Against Ousting Fauci (DW)
From 15 Days to Two Years (Kelly)
A Closer Look at the Gatekeepers of Medical Research (NBW)

 

 

 

 

Alexa

 

 

The two most powerful people in US politics are well past their best before date. How is that not scary? These shaky fingers are on red hot buttons.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1503798141669285895

 

 

One demand down, two to go. No. 2 is recognition that Crimea is Russian territory. Since Crimeans have voted on this, why contest it? Third is the status of the Donbass. That’s tricky, Putin won’t want to leave any questions over this. And allegedly, Ukraine was planning large scale bloodshed there in early March. Zelensky will have to sell out the Azov batallion. But that could cost him his life.

Ukraine Will Not Join NATO, Says Zelenskiy (G.)

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has acknowledged that Ukraine will not become a Nato member, in a significant concession on a day when Kyiv was pounded by Russian shells and missiles and the invading force tightened its grip on the capital. At least five people were killed in the latest artillery barrage on Kyiv, prompting its city hall to impose a 35-hour curfew from Tuesday night amid further signs that the focus of the Russian campaign has shifted to the destruction of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Zelenskiy made his remarks about Nato while addressing leaders from the new Joint Expeditionary Force, a UK-led initiative bringing together 10 north Atlantic countries to create a capability for responding rapidly to crises.

“It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of Nato; we understand this,” the Ukrainian president said. “For years we heard about the apparently open door, but have already also heard that we will not enter there, and these are truths and must be acknowledged.” One of Vladimir Putin’s demands before unleashing his offensive on Ukraine was that its membership of Nato should be ruled out indefinitely. However, the size of the invasion force Putin amassed and his own justifications for the attack, have been widely seen as evidence he would have settled for nothing less than regime change and Russia’s unchallenged dominance of its smaller neighbour.

The White House announced on Tuesday that Joe Biden would travel to Europe next week to attend an extraordinary Nato summit on 24 March “to discuss ongoing deterrence and defence efforts” in the face of the Russian invasion, and also join a scheduled European Council summit. There were reports Biden would also visit eastern Europe on the same trip.

 

 

Children Donbass
https://twitter.com/i/status/1503696563230724097

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Zelesky preparing the world for the concessions he’s about to make. Carefully chosen wording.

Zelenskiy Says Russia’s Position In Negotiations Becoming ‘More Realistic’ (G.)

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said he sees possible room for compromise in talks with Russia ahead of a fresh round of discussions, despite Moscow’s stepped up bombardment Kyiv and as fears for the port city of Mariupol deepened. “The meetings continue, and, I am informed, the positions during the negotiations already sound more realistic. But time is still needed for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said in a video address early on Wednesday. “Efforts are still needed, patience is needed,” he said. “Any war ends with an agreement.” Top Ukrainian negotiator, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, said there were “fundamental contradictions” between the two sides but added that “there is certainly room for compromise.”


Another aide to Zelenskiy, Ihor Zhovkva, said the negotiations had become “more constructive” and that Russia had softened its stand by no longer airing its demands that Ukraine surrender. Talks were set to resume via video link on Wednesday. As the war approached its third week and heavy shelling of Ukraine’s cities continued, US president Joe Biden signed off on $13.6bn in aid. Zelenskiy thanked president Joe Biden and “all the friends of Ukraine” for the new support. An update from the Ukraine ministry of defence on Wednesday said the “worst situation remains in the area of Mariupol, where the opponent tries to block the city in the western and eastern outskirts of the city.” It came as the Associated Press reported Russian troops had seized a hospital in Mariupol and took about 500 people hostage during another assault on the southern port city late Tuesday, regional leader Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

 

 

Refugees Donbass
https://twitter.com/i/status/1503765994547855367

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Boris trying to be relevant.

West Made A ‘Terrible Mistake’ Letting Putin Annex Crimea: Boris Johnson (F.)

The West made a “terrible mistake” by letting Russian President Vladimir Putin “get away” with invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea in 2014, wrote the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Telegraph newspaper Monday. He added the West “intensified” economic ties with Russia afterwards and took “more Russian gas than ever before,” leaving it dependent on the “goodwill of Putin” and more exposed to fluctuations in global gas and oil price. Johnson said the West must break its “addiction” to Russian hydrocarbons, which has “emboldened” Putin to invade Ukraine and subject the world to “continuous blackmail.” Johnson acknowledged that it will be “painful” for the world to give up Russia’s vast fossil fuel reserves but said it is the “only way to force Putin to cease his aggression.”


The U.K. has pledged to phase out Russian oil imports by 2023 and the U.S. has banned Russian oil and gas. The European Union, which imports a significant amount of fuel from Russia, has vowed to end its use of Russian hydrocarbons as soon as possible. Green, renewable energy sources “are the quickest and cheapest route to greater energy independence,” Johnson said. “They are invulnerable to Putin’s manipulations.”

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Macron acting a comedian. And it’s actually funny.

Thirsty Macron Jealous of International Media Fawning Over Zelenskyy (CTH)

As the international media fawn over their latest social media star, the “Churchill in a T-shirt”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the former darling of EU media, French President Emmanuel Macron is apparently feeling slighted. Western PR teams have been working diligently to maintain the “better story,” as they advance the beatification of pop star Zelenskyy. The producers and directors for Volodymyr’s scruff and edgy leadership have kept his fans updated on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as Ride of The Valkyries echos as a background theme while team-Z dodge cruise missiles on their way to the local Starbucks. However, all of this unilaterally focused adoration does not sit well with King Macron of Paris.

In an effort to combat the rugged warlike appeal of St. Zelenskyy of Kyiv, the thirsty French president called for immediate poses of him in a series of similarly scruffy press shots. Thanks to social media adoration, Zelenskyy, the modern EU trendsetter, is making beatnik great again. There are already rumors of a run on vintage jeans, sneakers and T-shirts within Brussels, as several NATO leaders dispatch their aides looking for the hot, new and modern authentic war look. A daily series of live-streamed war summits are likely in the works as NATO leadership start catching up to the pop-optics by organizing burning barrels of diesel fuel in the background of their zoom calls. With resources allocated, thirsty Macron is going to climb back on top.

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Ukraine will soon be a small problem. Because this will not.

World Economy Braces For Supply Chain Chaos As COVID Closes China (ZH)

The global economy is in disarray as the war in Ukraine unleashed a commodity shock with increasing risks of stagflation. Adding to the turmoil is an outbreak of COVID-19 in China that may unleash another supply chain crisis. News from China over the last day shows a new outbreak of the highly contagious omicron variant has infected more than 5,000 people, the most since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020. China’s zero-tolerance approach has shuttered factories and placed some 51 million people into some form of lockdown. Lockdowns have forced factories to idle production and risk snarling production from Apple iPhones to Amazon Echo & Alexa devices to Toyota SUVs to smart television to all sorts of other electronic devices. Disruptions to exports may induce shortages and drive up inflation, just as the Federal Reserve embarks on hiking interest rates to control inflation at four-decade highs.

A Bank of America Corp. survey of fund managers published on Tuesday showed confidence in global growth this year is the lowest since July 2008, and stagflation expectations have jumped to a whopping 62% of respondents. “You take all these little paper cuts and you start to add them up and you could be looking at a potential significant slowing of the global economy,” said Jay Bryson, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co. China’s zero-tolerance policy has reminded us that supply chains are still subjected to massive disruptions. The lockdowns couldn’t come at a worse time, as spring tends to be one of the busiest shipping seasons of the year.

Shenzhen’s 17.5 million residents were placed under lockdown on Sunday. The city resides in Guangdong, a coastal province of southeast China known for its manufacturing hub and ports, which account for about 11% of China’s economy. The province accounted for 23% of China’s shipments in 2021. Bloomberg Economics warns that a prolonged lockdown in Shenzhen could unleash supply chain disruptions worldwide. “The forceful action to contain the worst COVID-19 outbreak since early March will deal a direct hit to the production and consumption sides of a province that accounts for 11% of GDP. Previous steps to contain virus flareups left manufacturing unscathed for the most part. This lockdown will hit output in key industries such as tech and machinery that feed into global supply chains,” Chang Shu, chief economist for Asia, said.

“Given that China is a major global manufacturing hub and one of the most important links in global supply chains, the country’s Covid policy can have notable spillovers to its trading partners’ activity and the global economy,” said Tuuli McCully, head of Asia-Pacific economics at Scotiabank. According to Stephanie Loomis, vice president of International Procurement, the global impact of lockdowns could roil supply chains once more. “If they don’t let any of these guys go to factories and produce goods, then nothing will move,” Loomis said. “It’ll just stop.”

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Biden really pissed off MBS.

Saudi Arabia May Accept Yuan Instead Of Dollars For Chinese Oil Sales (JTN)

Saudi Arabia and China are in discussions to price some oil sales in yuan instead of U.S. dollars in a slap to the Biden administration that would decrease the dominance of the American currency in the international petroleum market, sources told The Wall Street Journal. While Beijing and Riyadh have been in discussions on and off for several years about yuan-priced oil contracts, talks have accelerated recently due to U.S. security policies under President Joe Biden, people familiar with the issue told the newspaper. The Saudis are angry with the United States for not assisting in their intervention in Yemen’s civil war, started by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in 2014. The Kingdom is also upset over the Biden administration’s efforts to enter a nuclear deal with Iran.


Saudi officials also have expressed disapproval over Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. “I don’t know which word to use, whether incompetence, carelessness, bad management — it was all a combination of those things,” Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal told CNBC last year. Saudi Arabia exports 6.2 million barrels of crude oil a day and has traded in dollars exclusively since 1974 when President Richard Nixon struck a deal with the kingdom by guaranteeing security. China buys more than a quarter of all Saudi oil exports, according to the WSJ. If the sales are priced in yuan, it would be a major boost to China’s currency as 80% of all global oil sales are done in dollars. Beijing introduced yuan-priced oil contracts in 2018, but has been unable to successfully beat the dollar in the global oil market.

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“warm base manufacturing”

Safe and Effective? (Malone)

There is another important element in the national vaccine program, which is the requirement to keep the vaccine production facilities up and running. These facilities are producing a biological product; they must be kept in production or the process for re-licensure is onerous, if not impossible. In the case of seasonal flu, one of the justifications for the yearly vaccine is to keep the manufacturing plants running and ready for business in case of a truly severe strain of flu or some other, unknown pathogen become a threat. If those facilities are moth-balled, they can’t be brought back on line quickly. Bet you did not know that. One major reason for pushing annual influenza vaccines is to maintain influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The industry term used is “warm base manufacturing”. Of course, this results in a very nice annual “cash cow” for the vaccine industry, one which gets annually milked for a tidy guaranteed profit. The term “rent seeking behavior” applies. The same is true of the various “biodefense” vaccines and products which are maintained in the “strategic national stockpile”. In the context of Smallpox, these include ACAM2000. These products have half lives, which is to say that even though they are (hopefully) not used, they still have to be replaced every few years. Again, nice predictable profit. The corporation “Emergent Biololutions” has become particularly adept at exploiting this “market opportunity”, and has managed to monopolize many of the biodefense-related vaccines and products which the US Government purchases for the Strategic National Stockpile, including ACAM2000.

So, there is more than one reason to vaccinate the entire population on a regular basis, and the government basically props up the entire vaccine industry with what are functionally major annual subsidies. Once a policy decision is made to acquire a vaccine product or establish a “standard of care” involving a vaccine, it is never re-evaluated. Any politician or government administrator that even considers rethinking whether a vaccine policy makes good sense is confronted by the specter of being blamed for any outbreak or cases of that disease that may arise – regardless of how (in)effective or risky that vaccine product may be.

[..] To bring this topic home: Is avoiding COVID-19/Omicron worth taking the known and unknown risks of serious adverse events? In some age categories, it might be. In most age categories, it is not worth much risk. For young people, it is not worth any risk, and for children, the risks of the Covid vaccine far outweigh the risks of Covid. The US Government had relentlessly promoted that “The vaccines are safe and effective,” the same words used for the modern smallpox vaccine. In both cases, safety is a matter of opinion and semantics – not science. Clearly, safety is relative, such as the precautions one might take when skydiving or riding a motorcycle (e.g., having a second parachute, wearing a helmet) – in order to reach the point that an activity is acceptably safe, all the while knowing it’s safer to just skip the activity.

If I proposed a person drink some potion, and said “This potion is safe, unless you are from a family with a history of heart problems,” few people would want the drink. If I added “Oh yeah, and the Mayo Clinic says the risk of side effects from this potion are too high to justify you drinking it, I’d have even fewer takers. Mandates, which are rigid by definition, seem a bad match for assessments of personal safety, which are, by our nature, flexible and variable. Since the word safe and the idea of safety means different things to different people, such decisions are best left to those who would be most affected by, in this case, vaccination.

The smallpox vaccine shows us what the CDC means when they say something is “safe,” and it isn’t what most people using the word would mean. With risk must come choice. This is the bedrock foundation of modern bioethics and medicine. After all that we have been through over the last two years, and the admission the the CDC has been withholding data from all of us for political reasons and to avoid “vaccine hesitancy” (which is another way of saying if you knew what the data really show you would not accept the product), who are you going to trust? Your own lying eyes and brain, or what the CDC, HHS, legacy media and the “factchecking” industry tell you?

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“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., may not even allow the House to vote on the measure.”

Senate Votes To Repeal CDC’s Mask Mandate For Airline Passengers (JTN)

The Senate voted Tuesday to repeal the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 mandate requiring masks on public transportation, including airplanes. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced the resolution that received bipartisan support with a 57 to 40 vote. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was the only Republican to vote against the measure. Eight Democratic senators voted in support of the resolution: Michael Bennet, Jacky Rosen, Catherine Cortez-Masto, Maggie Hassan, Mark Kelly, Joe Manchin, Kristen Sinema and Jon Tester. The resolution, which was first introduced in February, expresses disapproval of the CDC’s mask mandate.

The resolution still faces significant challenges to become law. It did not receive enough votes to override the veto that President Joe Biden has threatened to do. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., may not even allow the House to vote on the measure. “Today, the Senate said enough is enough, and sent a message to unelected government bureaucrats to stop the anti-science, nanny state requirement of travel mask mandates,” Sen. Paul wrote in a press release after the vote. “Since March 2020, unelected bureaucrats have incessantly declared that we should ‘follow the science.’ But the same bureaucrats continue to defy science by imposing an ineffective and restrictive mask mandate for individuals travelling on public transit and airplanes,” the senator, who is also a doctor, wrote.

Sen. Paul has fought against what he sees as an abuse of power from White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. “As the entire world is learning to live with COVID, the federal government still uses fear mongering to stubbornly perpetuate its mandates, rather than giving clear-eyed, rational advice on how to best protect yourself from illness,” Paul said. “That is why, I forced this vote, and I applaud the Senate for rejecting this nonsense.”

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“There are a lot of boxes you have to check before you jump on a lawsuit..”

Several States Mulling Lawsuit To End Biden Mask Mandate On Airlines (JTN)

Several states are considering a lawsuit to end one of the Biden administration’s last COVID-19 mandates requiring airline passengers to wear masks, Indiana Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita told Just the News. “We are having discussions about that right now,” Rokita told the Just the News TV show on Real America’s Voice on Tuesday night, saying Florida is taking the lead on the idea. The Transportation Security Administration last Thursday extended its mask mandate on public transportation through April 18 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced relaxed mask guidance at the end of last month.


“I know that several states may be filing very, very soon, maybe being led by the state of Florida,” Rokita told Just the News Editor-in-Chief John Solomon and co-host Amanda Head. Indiana is currently “examining” if they can join the lawsuit, Rokita said. “It’s just not as easy as when I was in Congress, just to jump on a lawsuit like we’re jumping on a bill,” the former congressman said. States must show that they have legal standing and actual injury before joining a lawsuit, the Rokita explained. “There are a lot of boxes you have to check before you jump on a lawsuit,” he added. A group of 16 Republican lawmakers on Monday filed a lawsuit against the CDC for what they said was an “illegal mask mandate for individuals traveling on commercial airlines,” Newsweek reported.

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Flavio Cadegiani is a doctor in Brasilia, capital of Brazil.

“Dr. Cadegiani reveals an astonishing statistic on the number of vaccine injured: 85%.”

Dr. Flavio Cadegiani On How Pfizer Corrupts Science (Kirsch)

Dr. Cadegiani just published a new research paper (“Pfizergate 2.0 – Active actions against competitive anti- COVID drugs? The case of the anti-androgens.”) that shows that there is no rational explanation for the corruption of clinical trial results other than deliberate sabotage by Pfizer to ensure that there are no viable competitors to Pfizer’s products. I interviewed him just minutes before he published the paper. In the video, he talks about Proxalutimide, an anti-androgen drug he tested that is effective against variants prior to Omicron. But his main issue is in the trials of enzalutamide (another anti-androgen) and how it was conducted. At the very end, Dr. Cadegiani reveals an astonishing statistic on the number of vaccine injured: 85%.

 

 

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Rand Paul keeps pushing.

These 6 Republicans Voted Against Ousting Fauci (DW)

Six Republican senators voted against an amendment Tuesday that would eliminate the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) position, which is held by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Senators voted on Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s amendment to replace the NIAID with three separate national research institutes on Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C. Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Jerry Moran of Kansas each voted against the amendment. “We’ve learned a lot over the past two years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed ‘dictator-in-chief,’” said Paul when he introduced the amendment Monday, adding, “No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans.”


“This will create accountability and oversight into a taxpayer funded position that has largely abused its power, and has been responsible for many failures and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senator continued. Paul and Fauci have repeatedly sparred in Senate hearings over Fauci’s insistence on restricting the American public throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and the Kentucky Republican has called many times for Fauci to be ousted from his position. When Fauci suggested on “CBS This Morning” that Republicans — and former President Donald Trump — have a “misplaced perception about people’s individual right to make a decision that supersedes the societal safety,” Paul said that his comments showed a “casual disregard for what this country was founded upon.”

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“They want people stripped of wealth, isolated, and terrified.”

From 15 Days to Two Years (Kelly)

On Saturday morning, my daughter in college texted me: “I got sent home two years ago today. Feels like a dream.” After I responded, she sent an uncharacteristically brief reply: “Sad.” To say the least. In March 2020, once-free citizens around the world surrendered their liberty and livelihoods in a futile attempt to “stop” a virus. The most technologically advanced civilization in the history of mankind quickly adopted medieval fixes that bordered on quackery, sold by snake oil salesmen in the credentialied class and news media, codified through executive fiat by elected leaders of both parties. “Just 15 days,” we were told on March 16, 2020, “to slow the spread.” Do your part to promote the “common good”—the historical rallying cry of every wannabe despot—or be branded a heartless heretic.

And it worked, far better than the original architects probably anticipated. On the same day my daughter left her college dormitory in upstate New York, not to return to a normal campus life for two years, I posted this on Twitter: This is what the Left wants. They want people stripped of wealth, isolated, and terrified. They want sources of joy—church, sporting events, vacations, large social gatherings—eliminated. This is how they get control. And it’s far scarier than any virus. To say that was a very unpopular view at the time would be an understatement. But having covered the climate change movement for years, I recognized a familiar approach to the spread of COVID-19 hysteria: use flawed data to whip up a public frenzy and shut down all debate in fealty to “science!”

Any disagreement over the data, no matter how unreliable or untested the data happened to be—and in the early months, the only available data came from China—made you a “science denier,” or worse. This time around, sadly, the hysteria wasn’t pushed solely by lefty environmental activists but also by President Donald Trump, Republican governors, and “conservative” influencers throughout the media. Once that buy-in was made, all hope was lost. Trump’s catastrophic decision to acquiesce to the demands of Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx—the former a charlatan, the latter a dunce—and shut down the country two years ago this week was by far the worst moment in his presidency and rivals the worst moment in any presidency. As usual, however, Trump’s first instinct (the one he suppressed to appease those demanding we honor The Science™) was the right one.

The cure should not be worse than the disease, he fretted. He knew it, but he listened to the quacks anyway. The cure, of course, got worse. Emboldened by their success in forcing Trump to authorize the first 15-day shutdown, the then-adored Fauci and Birx took it a step further. With two dubious projection models in hand, the pair went to the White House at the end of March 2020 and convinced Trump to extend the lockdowns another month. The decision sealed his electoral fate; the booming economy he helped build entered a death spiral.

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“..viruses are worth A LOT of money (and will continue to appreciate exponentially for obvious reasons).”

A Closer Look at the Gatekeepers of Medical Research (NBW)

First, it is necessary to understand where the majority of funds go for health research. For this, we’ll rely on an article published in Health Research Policy and Systems titled The 10 largest public and philanthropic funders of health research in the world: what they fund and how they distribute their funds. According to the researchers, in 2013, the National Institute of Health (NIH) granted $4.8 billion dollars towards infectious disease research (including $113 million towards respiratory infections and $2.8 billion to HIV/AIDS research). They also gave grants to research involving cardiovascular disease ($1.9 billion), lung cancer ($208 million) and mental health ($2.1 billion). The European Commission, Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome Trust also direct the majority of their grants towards research involving infectious diseases.

A paper published in The Lancet, titled UK investments in global infectious disease research 1997–2010: a case study found that between 1997-2010, virology was the highest funded category of infectious disease research and the largest funders of such research in the UK were the Wellcome Trust (£688 million) and the MRC (£673 million). The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation also direct the majority of their “philanthropical” efforts towards combating infectious diseases, with less than 3% of their budget being directed towards non-communicable disease. So what does all this mean? Well, it means that viruses are worth A LOT of money (and will continue to appreciate exponentially for obvious reasons).

Perhaps this explains why the claim that Sars-Cov-2 doesn’t exist is treated with such ardent censorship and disdain compared to the germ-friendly “lab-leak” theory which has now wormed its way into the mainstream narrative, supported even by those on the more alternative side. Whether true or untrue, what many people fail to consider is the extent to which this theory favours the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, not only does it favour Big Pharma, it favours the WEF hoaxsters by strengthening the “deadly virus” narrative, it favours vaccine manufacturers, it favours virologists, it favours the Western powers, it favours the bankers, it favours Hollywood, it favours the CDC, and it favours the WHO!

The “lab-leak” hypothesis favours just about every organization or group associated with the Covid scamdemic. And let’s not forget that theories of mutant viruses escaping from laboratories certainly favour any researcher who could benefit from the massive amounts of money sloshing around in the kitties of the world’s medical gatekeepers. But who are these gatekeepers who control, direct and manipulate medical research for control and profit? That is the main subject of this article.

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Most of the time they do.

 

 

US biolabs and pathogens
https://twitter.com/i/status/1503682999887581191

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 152022
 
 March 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Salvador Dali Memory of the child woman 1932

 

China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)
White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)
Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)
Stop Putin’s War! (CP)
Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)
Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)
Orwell Was Right (Taibbi)
Playing Dumb (Kunstler)
France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)
Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)
Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)
UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Tulsi

 

 

 

 

Majewski

 

 

The Guardian is the ideal voice of empire. But that means a lot of things must be igored. China doesn’t see the world through US/NATO eyes. It doesn’t think the Ukraine conflict started 3 weeks ago (but 30 years). And it doesn’t think not parroting the US means turning its back on Washington. China is its own nation.

China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)

China has already decided to provide Russia with economic and financial support during its war on Ukraine and is contemplating sending military supplies such as armed drones, US officials fear. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, laid out the US case against Russia’s invasion in an “intense” seven-hour meeting in Rome with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, pointing out that Moscow had feigned interest in diplomacy while preparing for invasion, and also that the Russian military was clearly showing signs of frailty. The US delegation in Rome had not expected the Chinese diplomats to negotiate, seeing them as message deliverers to Beijing.

“It was an intense seven-hour session, reflecting the gravity of the moment, as well as our commitment to maintaining open lines of communication,” a senior administration official said. “This meeting was not about negotiating specific issues or outcomes, but about a candid, direct exchange of views.” Asked if it had been successful, the official replied: “I suppose it depends on how you define success, but we believe that it is important to keep open lines of communication between the United States and China, especially on areas where we disagree.” However, the Americans walked away from the Rome meeting pessimistic that the Chinese government would change its minds about backing Moscow.

“The key here is first to get China to recalculate and re-evaluate their position. We see no sign of that re-evaluation,” said another US official familiar with the discussions. “They’ve already decided that they’re going to provide economic and financial support, and they underscored that today. The question really is whether they will go further.” [..] Russia needs economic and financial aid most urgently, in the face of devastating sanctions imposed by the US and its allies since the 24 February invasion. The country is danger of default on its debt payments, with two interest payments due on Wednesday, though it will have a 30-day grace period.

Moscow is unable to access nearly all of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves, but still holds part of those reserves in yuan, so Beijing will be able to step in to provide immediate assistance. There is pessimism in Washington about the possibility of steering China away from throwing in its lot with Russia, largely because it sees the partnership as being driven from the top. “It really is a project of Xi Jinping. He is totally, fundamentally behind this closer partnership with Russia,” the US official said. There is more scepticism lower down the ranks, but Xi and Putin have bonded over their shared view of the US as being heavy- and high-handed, and determined to end the period of US global dominance.

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Yes, China has called for an investigation into the biolabs.

White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)

China will face major “consequences” should it help Russia evade an ever-growing raft of American sanctions, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has warned, just a day before he’s set to meet with Beijing’s top diplomat in Rome. Sullivan’s warning on Sunday came soon after unnamed Western officials told the New York Times and Washington Post that Russia is seeking weapons and economic relief from China amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Chinese government said they were unaware of such a request, while Moscow has yet to confirm the reports.

In response to the attack on Ukraine launched in late February, the Joe Biden administration has imposed countless layers of new sanctions explicitly aiming to cripple and isolate the Russian economy. China, however, is one among several nations refusing to condemn the invasion or sever its economic ties with Russia. Despite American pressure to join in on the sanctions spree, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stated that Beijing’s relationship with Russia “even exceeds an alliance” in its “closeness and effectiveness,” suggesting the country is unlikely to bow to Western demands anytime soon.

As President Biden has ruled out direct military action in Ukraine, the administration has instead focused on arming the country’s military while attempting to make Russia an international pariah in the diplomatic and economic spheres. China has so far been able to obstruct Biden on both counts. Beijing’s UN delegation is supporting Russia’s claim that US-funded labs in Ukraine were working on chemical and biological weapons – a charge rejected by Washington as a “conspiracy theory” – and is now calling for an international investigation. Chinese financial support could also help Russia to weather the storm as its economy struggles to adapt to punishing Western sanctions.

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To which I can add this graph from yesterday. And then you can make your own mind up.

Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)

President Biden on Monday said Russian President Vladimir Putin and the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame for record-high inflation in the United States and maintained that rising prices have “nothing to do” with his administration’s policies. The president spoke Monday at the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference and addressed the increase in U.S. gas prices, as well as every day household items. “We know that families are still struggling with higher prices,” Biden said. “Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high now or high for two reasons.” The first, Biden said, is due to “the way the global economy works.”

“A factory in Taiwan that makes computer chips shuts down to a COVID outbreak. It causes a ripple effect to slow down auto-manufacturing,” Biden said. “So, because of the pandemic, we had significant disruption disruptions in the supply chain, and our supply chain is so important with so many materials that come from other places.” “And now, a second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin,” Biden said. “We’ve seen the price of gas go up over a dollar just since he put his troops on the border on the border of Ukraine — they went up a dollar and five cents,” Biden said.

“Big part of that reason is Putin began amassing troops along the border and then crossed. And guess what? The world took notice,” Biden said. “The market anticipated, prices went up, and then Putin invaded.” He added: “Make no mistake, the current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin — it has nothing to do with the American Rescue Plan.” Biden said that “rescuing our economy didn’t cause this problem,” but he vowed to “fix it.”

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Strange article at Counterpunch. Lots of weird points. But it has this right: the IMF, World Bank and US have Ukraine in a death grip. What else is new?

Stop Putin’s War! (CP)

Washington’s NATO alliance is part of that imperial history. The United States set it up, as its first Secretary General Lord Ismay famously said, to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” in Europe. In other words, it is a vehicle of U.S. imperial domination of European capitalism. Most of the other NATO and EU states have a sordid history of colonialism of their own. And many have been accomplices to Washington’s wars, most recently in Afghanistan, where NATO played a large role in “pacifying” the country, committing numerous war crimes in the process. Moreover, the decision by the United States and European powers to expand NATO and the EU into Eastern Europe is one of the causes of the war in Ukraine.

It triggered Putin’s growing determination over the last decade to reclaim Russia’s lost sphere of influence. The United States and the EU offer no alternative to Ukraine but subjection to its imperial interests and neoliberal economics. In fact, through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the United States is one of the oppressors of Ukraine.These international financial institutions have locked Ukraine in debt that now exceeds $129 billion. The country’s workers and oppressed have paid an enormous price to service these loans. Like they have throughout the Global South, the international financial institutions have required Ukraine to cut social programs, privatize state industry, layoff state workers, and cut workers’ wages and benefits in return for further loans.

Ukraine’s annual payments siphon off billions of dollars that would otherwise go to much needed social reforms to improve the majority’s abysmally low standards of living. The United States and NATO aim to defend and in fact expand their military rule over Eastern Europe and enforcement of neoliberal economics. They have no solution to the plight of the majority of Ukrainians fighting for their liberation. Despite all of this, many people horrified by Putin’s war are mistakenly demanding that Washington and Brussels intervene directly or set up a no-fly zone. That would lead to military confrontations between the United States/NATO and Russia, risking World War III between nuclear powers.

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“Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid..”

Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)

US equity futures surged overnight – again – on hopes of an ‘imminent’ peace deal between Russia and Ukraine; and now – once again – equities are reverting lower following comments from the Kremlin that do not sound very ‘peace-deal-like… Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call that “Russia will realize all its plans in Ukraine operation,” adding that the “operation would be complete on schedule,” and would not rule out taking “full control” of major Ukraine cities. We don’t think this is the ‘hope’ that Zelensky and the market was looking for.


Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid,” adding that “Russia had the resources to complete the Ukraine operation alone.” And he could not resist a jab the puppetmasters, commenting that “it appears that the bosses of Ukraine across the ocean are giving orders to the Ukrainian army.” And given the recent modest bounce in Biden’s approval, do we really think his administrations wants this war over already… this far from the Midterms?

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Cui bono? Follow the money.

Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)

Germany on Monday unveiled plans to buy dozens of US-made F-35 fighter jets, as part of a multi-billion-euro push to modernise its armed forces in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Berlin intends to buy 35 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin to replace Germany’s decades-old Tornado fleet, as well as purchasing an additional 15 Eurofighter jets. Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht called the purchase agreement “a good step forwards” for Germany’s Bundeswehr armed forces. “There can only be one answer to Putin’s aggression, and that is unity in NATO and credible deterrence,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, commander of the German Air Force, told reporters.

Germany’s Tornados are the only Luftwaffe planes certified to carry US nuclear bombs stationed in Germany that are a key part of NATO deterrence. Lockheed’s fifth-generation F-35 stealth jets are considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world, and their unique shape and coating make them harder to detect by enemy radar. The additional Eurofighter jets Germany plans to purchase, made by a consortium that includes Airbus, would be used for other operations, including electronic warfare like jamming enemy air defence systems. In a landmark speech late last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to invest an extra 100 billion euros ($112 billion) to bring the nation’s chronically underfunded Bundeswehr into the modern age.

The spending boost marks a major reversal for Europe’s top economy, upending its policy of keeping a low military profile in part out of guilt over World War II. After years of criticism that the country wasn’t shouldering enough of the financial burden in the NATO military alliance, Scholz vowed to spend “more than two percent” of Germany’s gross domestic product annually on defence, surpassing NATO’s own two-percent target.

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War victims or cancel culture?

Orwell Was Right (Taibbi)

In the last weeks, Russia took an already exacting speech environment to new extremes. A law was passed that would impose 15-year prison sentences for anyone spreading “fake news” about the Ukraine invasion; access was cut to Facebook and Twitter; stations like Echo Moskvi and TV Rain as well as BBC Russia, Radio Liberty, the New Times, Deutsche Welle, Doxa, and Latvia-based Meduza were effectively shut down; Wikipedia was threatened with a block over its invasion page; and national authorities have appeared to step in to prevent coverage of soldiers killed in the war, requiring local outlets to use terms like “special operation” instead. The latter development is connected to the state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, issuing a remarkably desperate dictum requiring news outlets to “use information and data received by them only from official Russian sources.”

Russia also appears in the middle of a general crackdown on local media, not so much because those outlets are dissenting, but because they’re more likely to provide indirect evidence of war failures or the effect of sanctions. The desperation to control news has grown to the point where Russian diplomats in foreign countries are pressuring state outlets in countries like Iran to stop using the term “war” to describe what’s going on in Ukraine. On the flip side, a slew of actions have been taken to crack down on “fake news” and “misinformation” in the West. The big one was the European Union banning RT and Sputnik. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube also cut access to all Russian state media, because the EU sanctions also required that internet platforms delist any RT or Sputnik content, even from individuals.

The statute reads, “As regards the posts made by individuals that reproduce the content of RT and Sputnik, those posts shall not be published, and if published, shall be deleted.” Other governments across the West, from Australia to Canada, have taken similar actions. In the U.S., Google and YouTube disallowed Russian state media ads (following a request by Senator Mark Warner) and demonetized “a number of Russian channels,” including RT but also many non-Russian individuals, before proceeding to demonetize all individual Russian content creators, even the individuals opposing the invasion. Even DuckDuckGo, the speechier, more pro-privacy alternative to Google, announced it was de-ranking “sites associated with Russian disinformation.” A growing list of Westerners have seen accounts frozen for supposed parroting of Russian talking points or “abusive” commentary.

YouTube banned Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire, while Netflix is going so far as to shelve a production of Anna Karenina. In what might have been the craziest move of all, Meta reportedly followed up a decision to un-ban the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion with a mind-blowing decision to alter its hate speech policies to “allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion,” according to internal emails seen by Reuters.

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“The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there..”

Playing Dumb (Kunstler)

Threatened by losing the war against its own citizens, the US government now seeks a wider kinetic war over its would-be client state, Ukraine. The stakes must be pretty high for “Joe Biden” and Company to risk starting World War Three. Why else inflame a dangerous situation by sending more weapons there? I’ll tell you why: to prolong Russia’s operations to neutralize Ukraine so it won’t cause further trouble to them or anybody else in the world. The longer the US can keep that going, the longer we can put off the various reckonings at home.

America has no intention of actually defending Ukraine. It’s really just a global version of the interpersonal game “Let’s You and Him Fight,” as described by pioneering psychologist Eric Berne (1910 -1970), father of transactional analysis. The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there. So far, they have had to sacrifice desperately needed natural gas supplies from Russia. You can be sure they will find a way to sneak around US sanctions and reverse the blunder. They have no choice really, unless they want to go forward without any industries. Google-up the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and you’ll catch a glimpse of that possible European future. Of course, they’ll also have to answer to their own citizens for the awful mistakes Covid-19.

The best outcome, as others have pointed out, will be the disassembly of Ukraine into an eastern Russian zone — perhaps annexed into Russia — and a rump western Ukraine state that will be as quiet and inoffensive as Moldova and Slovakia next door (When was the last time they caused any trouble in the world?) It would be best for everyone, and especially the Third World, if the Russian operation is concluded as quickly as possible with a structured peace settlement, leaving a chance to get a Ukrainian grain crop planted, because otherwise a lot of innocent people will go hungry. Is the USA interested in a peace settlement? Or do we want to drive events further toward tragedy and our own national suicide?

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Now do this everywhere.

And also: Macron has an election coming up.

France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)

France lifted most COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, abolishing the need to wear face masks in most settings and allowing people who aren’t vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues. The move had been announced earlier this month by the French government based on assessments of the improving situation in hospitals and following weeks of a steady decline in infections. It comes less than a month before the first round of the presidential election scheduled on April 10. But in recent days, the number of new infections has started increasing again, raising concerns from some scientists it may be too soon to lift restrictions. The number of new infections have reached more than 60,000 based on a seven-day average, up from about 50,000 a week before.


Starting from Monday, people aren’t required anymore to show proof of vaccination to enter places like restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, fairs and to use interregional transport. The so-called vaccine pass had taken effect at the end of January. A restaurant owner in Paris, Laurent Negre, praised a “return to normal.” “We got used to these restrictions and complicated protocols so we will enjoy work more now … So it’s good news,” he said. Parisian Bartholome Laisi, 23, said “it’s a good thing because people will be able to get more freedom of movement. But we need to be careful and monitor it, to avoid another (virus) wave right after.” In hospitals and nursing homes, unvaccinated people must provide a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery to enter. Wearing masks are no longer required in schools, businesses and offices. They remain mandatory on public transportation and at hospitals and other health facilities.

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What’s the consequence for life insurance?

Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)

Someone sent me this article: Edward Dowd on Future Recession, Shocking Findings in the CDC Covid Data and Democide which describes his appearance on War Room. That article says: “And the money chart is really Chart 4, which shows that the Millennial age group, 25 to 44 experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality into the fall. It’s the worst-ever excess mortality, I think, in history. I called Ed to clarify where he got the chart and then looked for verification of this. I found the verification. Then I verified that the deaths couldn’t be explained by the COVID delta variant. OK, so what caused all the deaths? The only explanation is the vaccine because the deaths are so massive.


[..] Now let’s go over some of the details of what Ed Dowd found and explain why there is no other explanation. Ed’s friend (who I know but doesn’t want to be disclosed publicly) spent about a week analyzing the CDC data. The graph in the article is from the CDC data, but is plotted by Ed’s friend. He didn’t make anything up. The work was replicated independently (see also the graphs). US mortality graphs show a spike in the same time period (Aug to Oct). These graphs of excess mortality in Europe show things got worse, not better after the vaccine rollout:

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Maybe a bit too scary?

Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)

The following chart shows the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness among the triple vaccinated population in England in 4 week periods between Week 51 of 2021 and Week 9 of 2022 – As you can see the vaccine effectiveness has been falling month and month, with the lowest effectiveness recorded among 40-49-year-olds at minus-248.92%. But the sharpest decline in jab effectivness has been recorded among 18-29-year-olds, falling to minus-201.52% by Week 9 of 2022 from +10.19 in Week 51 to Week 2. However, vaccine effectiveness isn’t really a measure of a vaccine, it is a measure of a vaccine recipients immune system performance compared to the immune system performance of an unvaccinated person.

The following chart shows the immune system performance of the triple vaccinated population in England by age group in four week periods, compared to the natural immune system of the unvaccinated population – As you can see the lowest immune system performance is currently among 60-69-year-olds at minus-72.35%, but all triple vaccinated people aged 30 to 59 are not far begind, with an immune system performance ranging from minus-70.83% to minus-71.34%. Even the 18 to 29-year-olds are within this region at minus-66.84%, falling from an immune system performance of +11.35% between week 51 and week 2, meaning they have suffered the fastest decline in immune system performance.

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged. People with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system. If that immune system performance was to hit around the -95% mark then this would strongly suggest the triple vaccinated population have developed some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and unfortunately based on the current trend seen over the past 3 months, the youngest age groups do not have long to wait.

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The day his marriage is announced.

UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)

Without any explanation, the British Supreme Court denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “permission to appeal” a decision by the British High Court. The Supreme Court maintained the appeal did not “raise an arguable point of law” and sent the case back to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the district court which initially blocked the United States government’s extradition request on January 4, 2021. By refusing to grant Assange a hearing, the U.S. government effectively won their appeal. Prosecutors convinced the British courts to disregard concerns that he may be subject to treatment in a U.S. jail or prison that would be oppressive to his mental health.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court may now refer the extradition to the British Home Office for Home Secretary Priti Patel to review. According to Birnberg Peirce, the law firm representing Assange, they are entitled to make submissions to the Home Secretary for consideration before the extradition request is approved. If Patel approves the extradition, Assange’s defense may submit an appeal on the issues of freedom of the press that were not addressed before the High Court yet. That would likely prevent Assange from extradition. However, if the High Court and Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal because they did not believe it raised “arguable points of law,” he could potentially be transferred to the U.S. before the year is over.

[..] An application for appeal released by Assange’s legal team reflects the arguments they were blocked from presenting to the Supreme Court. “The manner in which assurances were permitted to be introduced in this case for the first time on appeal totally undermines the primacy of the extradition hearing and deprives the defendant of an opportunity to test them and their implications before the district judge,” attorneys argued. “It is generally regarded as unfair, wrong, and abusive for a party to elect—for a perceived or actual tactical advantage—to conduct litigation in one way and then, when met with an adverse judicial decision on that, to attempt to re-litigate or appeal on a new and different basis.”

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@BrianRoemmele
To manufacture each EV battery, you must process
25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium
30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt
5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, 25,000 pounds of ore for copper
Diging up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust
For just – one – battery.

A typical electric car battery has:
25 pounds of lithium
60 pounds of nickel
44 pounds of manganese
30 pounds cobalt
200 pounds of copper
400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic
The first 4 ingredients are from limited sources and will continue to rise in cost.

 

 

Lindsey Graham

 

 

 

Russell Brand Credit Suisse

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 212022
 
 February 21, 2022  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  147 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Saskia en profil in expensive attire 1640-45

 

Biden And Putin Accept Macron’s Proposal (RT)
Biden-Putin Peace Summit Certain to Bring Nobel Peace Nomination (CTH)
Ukraine DM: Low Probability of Major Escalation With Russia (Antiwar)
Europe Has Next To No Gas Left – Gazprom (RT)
New World Order Desperate as Plan Falls Apart – Martin Armstrong (USAW)
The Next Step for the World Economic Forum (Koops)
The Great Reset Becomes The Great Awakening (Luongo)
Why People Believe Wrong Things: A Response to Reader Critiques (Eugyp)
The CDC Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects (NYT)
Scientists Reluctant to Study Vaccine Side Effects, Notes Top Journal (DS)
American Truckers Are Launching The People’s Convoy (Malone)
Ottawa Mayor Wants To Sell Confiscated Freedom Convoy Trucks (RT)
US Congresswoman Proposes Asylum For Canadian Protesters (RT)
A Social Credit System Arrives in Canada (Sacks)
Trudeau to Make Surveillance Powers over Financial Transactions Permanent (NR)
Eric Adams Admits That Vax Mandates Don’t Work, But Won’t Change Them (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Rogan Maajid Nawaz

 

 

 

 

Ha ha ha ha!

“..such a meeting “can only be held at the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine,” the Elysee palace added”

Biden And Putin Accept Macron’s Proposal (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden have both agreed in “principle” to hold a meeting to halt escalation of conflict in Ukraine, the Elysee Palace said in a statement on Sunday night. Emmanuel Macron “proposed a summit to be held between President Biden and President Putin and then with relevant stakeholders to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe,” according to the statement. “Presidents Biden and Putin have both accepted the principle of such a summit,” it added. However, such a meeting “can only be held at the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine,” the Elysee palace added. The “substance” of the summit, should it take place, will be prepared by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting expected on Thursday, February 24.


While the Kremlin has yet to issue a comment, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that President Biden “accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following [Blinken-Lavrov] engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened.” French President briefed his US counterpart on Sunday evening on his talks with Vladimir Putin of Russia and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in a call that reportedly lasted only 15 minutes on Sunday evening. In a call with Putin earlier on Sunday, Macron offered to mediate talks in the so-called Normandy Format “in the next few hours” to secure a ceasefire along the line of contact in the disputed region of Donbass in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin confirmed that “the two leaders agreed to maintain contact at various levels,” but did not provide any specific details on such plans.

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“..they must take the manufactured crisis to the brink of thermonuclear war, so that Joe Biden can save the world and be seen as this legendary diplomat.”

Biden-Putin Peace Summit Certain to Bring Nobel Peace Nomination (CTH)

To understand why there has been so much escalating rhetoric about Russia going to invade Ukraine at any moment, you must realize the intent. The motives of the crisis narrative are crystal clear. Everything about the Russia invasion of Ukraine has to be increasingly imminent, horrible and loomingly catastrophic for the planet, so that when it doesn’t happen the glorious victory for Dear Leader Biden can be proclaimed and amplified from the mountaintops. Russia has absolutely no plan to invade Ukraine and doesn’t even have a role in this theatrical production from the White House. The way the game is played; and believe me, everything about this is a game; they must take the manufactured crisis to the brink of thermonuclear war, so that Joe Biden can save the world and be seen as this legendary diplomat.

In the annals of U.S. historym there has never been such an important summit. The nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, that Ron Klain wants in this mid-term election year, is dependent on magnanimous and strategic Biden overcoming all geopolitical odds to save the world. Everything is carefully planned and scripted with a ‘this’, then ‘that‘ approach toward sequencing. Earlier today, the Sunday news talk shows were filled with pending invasion rhetoric. Putin was mere moments away from a massive army entering Ukraine. The smells of heavy diesel loomed in the valleys as the thundering sound of tank tracks approached ever closer. Dark men with black weapons were beating drums and carrying the flag of Mother Russia, as millions were seen marching by U.S. spy satellites in the region.

The birds all fled as the sounds of the battle groups began converging on the Ukraine border. “The Russians are coming; The Russians are coming” one lad shouted to the CNN crew as he whizzed by on his bicycle, trying to peddle fast while carrying a bag of sausages for his sullen and sickly grandparents in eastern Ukraine. CBS David Martin and Margaret Brennan reported {link} the Russian generals were informing their troop commanders of the invasion plans. CNN then broke into the news cycle quoting three sources {link} “saying that the US has intelligence indicating that orders have been sent to Russian commanders to proceed with an attack on Ukraine.” Things looked really bad just before noon…

Everything within the game needs to be looming on the precipice of crisis in order for it to have maximum impact when it doesn’t happen. However, it was always never going to happen, because it is pretend. It is all a big performance, a ruse, built on a completely manufactured scenario they know will never happen… because the White House is making it up.

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“Ukraine’s own assessment is clearly far afield of America’s.”

Ukraine DM: Low Probability of Major Escalation With Russia (Antiwar)

Ukraine DM Oleksii Reznikov told parliament on Friday that there is a low probability of any major escalation with Russia. He added that Ukraine intelligence sees every move made in the area. Tensions at the Russia-Ukraine border have been ongoing, with several Western nations repeatedly predicting a huge war. Ukraine has chided those nations for causing a panic. Predictions of such a conflict go back years, and while previous Ukraine officials had similar pessimism about it, more recently officials see a lot more chance for diplomacy. President Biden again predicted a Russian invasion Friday, noting a Russian offer to talk later this month and suggesting there’d be no point if invasion happens first. Ukraine’s own assessment is clearly far afield of America’s.

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Gazprom has honored all contracts.

Europe Has Next To No Gas Left – Gazprom (RT)

Underground gas storage facilities (UGS) in Europe were 95.3% empty as of February 17, Russia’s state energy giant and major gas exporter Gazprom said on Saturday, citing data from Gas Infrastructure Europe. This means that Europe now has only 4.7% of its gas reserves left for the remainder of the winter season. The volume of active gas in storage facilities is 21% or 8.3 billion cubic meters less compared to the same time last year. In total, 44.8 billion cubic meters have already been withdrawn from Europe’s UGS this winter. According to Gazprom, gas reserves in underground storage facilities in Ukraine are also at a minimum, having dropped to 10.6 billion cubic meters, which is 45% less than last year. Also, earlier this week, authorities in Germany, which has one of the largest underground storage capacities in Europe, reported a plunge in storage volumes to historically low levels compared to previous years.


The European Union, however, this week claimed that its supplies were sufficient to last several more weeks in the event that Russia stops its gas flow to the bloc amid tensions over Ukraine. Russian gas supplies to European countries had already started to fall in mid-2021, and the decline accelerated at the beginning of 2022. Gazprom, however, repeatedly insisted that it is still supplying Europe with gas in strict accordance with existing contracts. Despite this, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Saturday called Gazprom’s supply policy intentionally harmful. “Gazprom is consciously trying to store and deliver as little as possible while prices and demand are skyrocketing,” she said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, as quoted by Anadolu news agency.

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“The financial system has come to an end.”

New World Order Desperate as Plan Falls Apart – Martin Armstrong (USAW)

Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong thinks the New World Order’s so-called “Great Reset” plan for humanity is falling apart, and the globalists are becoming increasingly “desperate.” Armstrong explains, “They are basically desperate at this stage. I don’t think they anticipate the amount of resistance that they are getting. It’s not just with the truckers in Canada, but this is starting everywhere. There has been an awful lot of resistance consistently that the press does not cover in virtually every city throughout Europe. . . . . They never step out and talk to the people because we are too stupid to actually have an opinion. They know better. This is what Klause Schwab does. He is far more sophisticated than people realize.

He has methodically gone out and created his young global leaders. He is basically sticking people in government positions that are loyal to him. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is one of them. . . . They think communism is a step up, and the last time this was attempted, it led to the death of 200 million people. This is absurd. . . . You are not allowed to think freely. That’s what communism really is. . . . You don’t realize this whole thing we are going through right now is the same thing. This is cancel culture. Someone said something I don’t like, and that was 20 years ago, so cancel them. This is exactly what took place in communism. You are destroying the right to speak freely.” The so-called “Great Reset” is all about control and tyranny. Armstrong says, “Just look at Canada. Trudeau is one of Klaus Schwab’s young global leaders. The worst countries have leaders that have graduated from his school. Make everybody comply, and if they don’t, crush them to the ground.”


The only good news is, according to Armstrong and his “Socrates” computer analysis, this is “not going to work out well for the globalists pushing communism.” Armstrong says, “With Karl Marx, at the time, people owned nothing. Schwab is saying, ‘You will own nothing and you will be happy.’ This is absurd because what you are doing is creating a fake image. Schwab is saying I am going to relieve you of all your debt. . . . That is a front because the government has gone to the point of no return. What you have to understand here is it is really the government that has to default. What I have said is, look, governments are going to have to default because this is no longer sustainable.” Armstrong predicted last year, “The financial system has come to an end.”

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A WEF overview. Can you still get elected anywhere without being a member?

The Next Step for the World Economic Forum (Koops)

If I give you the names of the following people – Biden, Trudeau, Ardern, Merkel, Macron, Draghi, Morrison, Xi Jinping – what do you think that they have in common? Yes, they are all pampered and stumble over themselves, but that is also not the connection. One can see very quickly that these names certainly connect to lockdown countries and individuals who have ignored their own laws and/or tried in some way to usurp them. But, there is more to it than that and I will give a hint by providing a link with each name. Joseph Biden, President, United States Boris Johnson, PM of United Kingdom Jacinda Ardern, PM of New Zealand Angela Merkel, Former PM of Germany Emmanuel Macron, President of France Justin Trudeau, PM of Canada Xi Jinping, CCP Leader, China Mario Draghi, PM of Italy Scott Morrison, PM of Australia

They are all associated with the World Economic Forum (WEF), a “nonprofit” private organization started (in 1971) and headed by Klaus “You will own nothing and be happy” Schwab and his family. This is a private organization that has no official bearing with any world governance body, despite the implication of the name. It could just as well have been called the “Church of Schwabies.” The WEF was the origin of the “Great Reset” and I would guess that it was the origin of “Build Back Better” (since most of the above names have used that term recently). If you think that the WEF membership ends with just leaders of countries, here are a few more names: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State Anthony Fauci, Director NIAID Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House .

Allow me to introduce more of the WEF by giving a list of names for the Board of Trustees. Al Gore, Former VP of the US Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action T. Shanmugaratnam, Seminar Minister Singapore Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank Ngozi Okonja-Iweala, Director General, WTO Kristalian Georggieva, Managing Director, IMF Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Minister of Canada Laurence Fink, CEO, BlackRock

You can see a cross section of political and economic leaders on the board. The leader of the organization, that is the leader of the Board, is still Klaus Schwab. He has built an impressive array of followers. If you want to really see the extent of influence, go to the website and pick out the corporate name of your choice; there are many to choose from: Abbott Laboratories, Astra-Zeneca, Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Serum Institute of India, BASF, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Blackrock, CISCO, Dell, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Zoom, Yahoo, Amazon, Airbus, Boeing, Honda, Rakuten, Walmart, UPS, Coca-Cola, UBER, Bank of China. Bank of America. Deutsche Bank, State Bank of India, Royal Bank of Canada, Lloyds Banking, JP Morgan-Chase, Equifax, Goldman-Sachs, Hong Kong Exchanges, Bloomberg, VISA, New York Times, Ontario (Canada) Teacher’s Pension Plan

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“That’s what the State is folks, violence. Always has been. This is why Klaus Schwab and his minions like Trudeau, Arden and others will fail.”

The Great Reset Becomes The Great Awakening (Luongo)

The reality is that Arden and Trudeau are both hanging on by a thread because public opinion already turned against them. The only thing propping Trudeau up at this point is the shock at the speed he has escalated events. That shock will wear off very soon. If parliament doesn’t act to limit/censure or simply get rid of this guy, Canadians will have a much bigger problem on their hands. Too many Canadians are still asking, “Is this Canada?” When they should be stating, “This is not Canada.” Stop asking for permission to feel outraged and feel the outrage.

In New Zealand, the veil of authority for Arden is thinner thanks to Trudeau’s mistakes in Ottawa. No doubt they are seeing the same things we are and want no part of it. The knives will come out for Arden quickly if she doesn’t back down. I say all the time, spooks start civil wars, militaries end them. In Canada, the civil war there is just beginning. What we’ve not seen in New Zealand means it’s likely over before anyone even realized they were in one. The Great Reset rests on tyrants like Justin Trudeau to win through fear, intimidation and the banal corruption of weak people to support them. With each image of peaceful people being trampled under the bootheel of Canadian stormtroopers, more people awaken from the slumber of the comfortable lie the government protects us from chaos.

That’s what the State is folks, violence. Always has been. This is why Klaus Schwab and his minions like Trudeau, Arden and others will fail. There is no law these people recognize. There is no restraint on their behavior they feel is justified for their holy cause. The sooner we accept that, like many of the truckers who organized this protest, the sooner we can all begin bridging the divide.

Schwab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1487922335864741890

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“The problems we have go a lot deeper than the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates.”

Why People Believe Wrong Things: A Response to Reader Critiques (Eugyp)

People on the establishment side of the debate mainly argue that Corona is an unprecedented and unusual virus, and that the scientific response has been totally reasonable and justified. People on our side of the discussion tend to see Corona as nothing special, but the scientific and political response as something new and unusual. I suggest that it helps to see the virus, despite its laboratory origins, as a biological threat of the kind we’ve lived with for millennia; and that it likewise helps to see our unbalanced reaction to this virus as an expression of our own declining society and institutions. That’s a big reason why fixing this has proven to be so hard.

The problems we have go a lot deeper than the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates. In many ways, those guys are just the surface manifestations of this much deeper rot. I know a lot of you conceive of what happened in 2020 as a kind of mass hysteria or hypnosis, or compare our current policies to National Socialism in the 1930s. I think there can be polemical value in both points, but I also think the most important thing, is to recognise that containment is a characteristic policy not of Nazi Germany, but of western liberal democracies. These regimes have enthusiastically embraced lockdowns, compulsory vaccination, and widespread restrictions. For two years, our governments pursued containment as their highest and most central political goal; it became a kind of ideological system unto itself, and persists as one. These are western, liberal, democratic policies by definition, and they show that something is terribly wrong with our political order.

I think it is important to come to terms with these simple facts, because these dangerous crazy lunatics are still running everything. The pandemicists have come out of the past two years more entrenched and powerful than ever before. Our public health bureaucracies have learned what they can do now, and with what little pretence. SARS-2 research will receive tidal waves of funding for decades to come; even people who study elephants or soil fungi will now find incentives to make their work at least a little bit about Corona. The SARS-related virus research will also continue, there will be more lab leaks, and the vaccinators will show up every fall with their mRNA snake oil. It would be better, if all of this nonsense were directed, or the result of some unusual passing madness. It’s not; it is the way things are. This is the nature of the political and social institutions that govern us.

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What’s more striking, that the NYT goes after the CDC, or that they do it only now?

The CDC Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects (NYT)

For more than a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected data on hospitalizations for Covid-19 in the United States and broken it down by age, race and vaccination status. But it has not made most of the information public. When the C.D.C. published the first significant data on the effectiveness of boosters in adults younger than 65 two weeks ago, it left out the numbers for a huge portion of that population: 18- to 49-year-olds, the group least likely to benefit from extra shots, because the first two doses already left them well-protected. The agency recently debuted a dashboard of wastewater data on its website that will be updated daily and might provide early signals of an oncoming surge of Covid cases. Some states and localities had been sharing wastewater information with the agency since the start of the pandemic, but it had never before released those findings.

Two full years into the pandemic, the agency leading the country’s response to the public health emergency has published only a tiny fraction of the data it has collected, several people familiar with the data said. Much of the withheld information could help state and local health officials better target their efforts to bring the virus under control. Detailed, timely data on hospitalizations by age and race would help health officials identify and help the populations at highest risk. Information on hospitalizations and death by age and vaccination status would have helped inform whether healthy adults needed booster shots. And wastewater surveillance across the nation would spot outbreaks and emerging variants early.

Without the booster data for 18- to 49-year-olds, the outside experts whom federal health agencies look to for advice had to rely on numbers from Israel to make their recommendations on the shots. Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C., said the agency has been slow to release the different streams of data “because basically, at the end of the day, it’s not yet ready for prime time.” She said the agency’s “priority when gathering any data is to ensure that it’s accurate and actionable.” Another reason is fear that the information might be misinterpreted, Ms. Nordlund said.

[..] Last year, the agency repeatedly came under fire for not tracking so-called breakthrough infections in vaccinated Americans, and focusing only on individuals who became ill enough to be hospitalized or die. The agency presented that information as risk comparisons with unvaccinated adults, rather than provide timely snapshots of hospitalized patients stratified by age, sex, race and vaccination status. But the C.D.C. has been routinely collecting information since the Covid vaccines were first rolled out last year, according to a federal official familiar with the effort. The agency has been reluctant to make those figures public, the official said, because they might be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.

Ms. Nordlund confirmed that as one of the reasons. Another reason, she said, is that the data represents only 10 percent of the population of the United States. But the C.D.C. has relied on the same level of sampling to track influenza for years. Some outside public health experts were stunned to hear that information exists. “We have been begging for that sort of granularity of data for two years,” said Jessica Malaty Rivera, an epidemiologist and part of the team that ran Covid Tracking Project, an independent effort that compiled data on the pandemic till March 2021. A detailed analysis, she said, “builds public trust, and it paints a much clearer picture of what’s actually going on.”

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CDC doesn’t publish, and scientists don’t research.

Scientists Reluctant to Study Vaccine Side Effects, Notes Top Journal (DS)

While current evidence suggests that serious side effects are rare, the same is true of Covid itself when we’re talking about healthy, young people or those with a prior infection. Hence it’s by no means clear that vaccination actually makes sense for these people – especially if you factor in the possibility of unknown, long-term effects. So far, there’s evidence of an increased risk of blood clots following the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, and an increased risk of heart inflammation following the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. While the absolute risks are still low, any side effects – however rare – have to be taken seriously. What’s more, there’s evidence that side effects are more common in young people and those who’ve already had Covid – two groups that face very little risk from the disease itself.

However, we still don’t know exactly what the risk of side effects is for specific subgroups, such as ‘people aged 18–30 with a prior infection’. In addition, some conditions that have been linked to the vaccines (including one that resembles long Covid) are not yet well-understood. Shouldn’t scientists be rushing to answer these and other unanswered questions about vaccine side effects? You’d certainly think so. But unfortunately, that isn’t the way science works in our current, politicised era. As this surprisingly candid report in the journal Science notes, scientists have other things to consider aside from how pressing certain questions might be:

“Probing possible side effects presents a dilemma to researchers: They risk fomenting rejection of vaccines that are generally safe, effective, and crucial to saving lives. “You have to be very careful” before tying COVID-19 vaccines to complications, Nath cautions. “You can make the wrong conclusion. … The implications are huge.” [Avindra Nath is clinical director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]” Researchers are reluctant to work on vaccine side effects for fear of causing, or being accused of causing, ‘vaccine hesitancy’. The Science report goes on: “Other researchers note the scientific community is uneasy about studying such effects. “Everyone is tiptoeing around it,” Pretorius says. “I’ve talked to a lot of clinicians and researchers at various universities, and they don’t want to touch it.” [Resia Pretorius is a physiologist at Stellenbosch University in South Africa]”

Needless to say, this does not bode well for science. Nor does it bode well for vaccine uptake in the long term. After all, people will only take vaccines – whether for Covid or anything else – if they trust the medical establishment. And ignoring side effects, even rare ones, isn’t the way to build trust.

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Wednesday.

American Truckers Are Launching The People’s Convoy (Malone)

American truckers are launching The People’s Convoy, a peaceful and unified transcontinental movement, on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from the Adelanto Stadium in Southern California. Starting at 10:00 a.m., hundreds of truckers will hear words of encouragement and blessings from a group of speakers including FLCCC President Dr. Pierre Kory and Godspeak Church Pastor Rob McCoy. The truckers and blue-collar workers of the United States will be joined by freedom-loving supporters from all walks of life – frontline doctors, lawyers, first- responders, former military servicemen and women, students, retirees, mothers, fathers and children – on this peaceful and law-abiding transcontinental journey toward the east coast. The truckers encourage one and all to come out to the stadium in the heart of Adelanto, California to wish them well, see them off and join in the journey.

This convoy is about freedom and unity: the truckers are riding unified across party and state lines and with people of all colors and creeds – Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Mormons, Agnostics, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Republican, Democrats. All individuals are welcome to participate by either attending the launch gathering – at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday February 23, at Adelanto Stadium – or by getting in their own vehicles and following the big rigs from Adelanto toward the east coast! The message of The People’s Convoy is simple. The last 23 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough road for all Americans to travel: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and – not least – financially.


With the advent of the vaccine and workable therapeutic agents, along with the hard work of so many sectors that contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness, it is now time to re-open the country. The average American worker needs to be able to end-run the economic hardships of the last two years, and get back to the business of making bread – so they can pay their rents and mortgages and help jumpstart this economy. To that end, it’s time for elected officials to work with the blue collar and white-collar workers of America and restore accountability and liberty – by lifting all mandates and ending the state of emergency – as COVID is well-in-hand now, and Americans need to get back to work in a free and unrestricted manner.

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“Watson said that officers had “done a remarkable job,” and were “very measured in their response.“

Ottawa Mayor Wants To Sell Confiscated Freedom Convoy Trucks (RT)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has praised the police crackdown on anti-mandate Freedom Convoy protesters in the Canadian capital. With the demonstrations cleared, he told state media that trucks, campers, and vehicles seized from the protesters should be sold off, claiming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial emergency powers allow him to do so. Speaking to CBC on Saturday, Watson commended police officers for clearing protesters from downtown Ottawa, where they had been camped for three weeks protesting vaccine mandates. The demonstrations were broken by city and federal police officers between Friday and Saturday after Trudeau invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act on Monday.

Despite video footage showing shocking scenes of police brutality, Watson said that officers had “done a remarkable job,” and were “very measured in their response.” At least 170 protesters have been arrested, more than 50 vehicles have been seized, and the government has frozen the bank accounts of at least 76 protest participants and supporters. “Under the Emergencies Act I’ve asked our solicitor and our city manager, ‘how can we keep the tow trucks and the campers and the vans and everything else that we’ve confiscated, and sell those pieces of equipment to help recoup some of the costs that our taxpayers are absorbing?’” Watson told CBC.

[..] It is unclear whether Watson’s plan will go ahead, and whether the Emergencies Act actually allows the city to auction off seized vehicles. Ottawa Police have previously stated that seized vehicles will be held for seven days, after which time they can be retrieved. Likewise the Emergencies Act is currently being enforced despite not being debated in Parliament, and could end up amended significantly. While some of Canada’s provincial premiers have relaxed their rules on masking and vaccination since the protest began, Trudeau’s nationwide vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers and a rule requiring Canadians be vaccinated to leave the country remain in effect.

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Ha! Yeah, that’ll work…

US Congresswoman Proposes Asylum For Canadian Protesters (RT)

A US congresswoman has promised to introduce legislation to grant asylum to Canadian truckers facing persecution from their government for being involved in the recent ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Republican New Mexico Congresswoman Yvette Herrell announced her campaign to provide refuge to dissident Canadians on Saturday, comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “heavy-handed crackdown against peaceful protesters” to that of “an authoritarian regime like Venezuela.”


Arguing that Canada’s treatment of protesters “is not the action of a Western Democracy,” Herrell said the US should provide asylum for protesters “who have been subjected to violence, had their property confiscated, and their bank accounts frozen by a government that is quickly becoming the embarrassment of the free world.” “I am introducing legislation that would temporarily grant asylum to innocent Canadian protesters who are being persecuted by their own government,” she said. “We cannot be silent as our neighbors to the north are treated so badly “

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“When these protestors or those that supported them end up in financial hardship because they lose their job, business, or bank account, what will happen to those who try to help them?”

A Social Credit System Arrives in Canada (Sacks)

On Monday, the rhetoric turned to action when Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. This heretofore-unused 1988 law gives the government virtually unlimited power for 30 days to deal with a crisis. Invoking the law under the present circumstance would require the threat or use of “serious violence,” yet the vast majority of protesters have been entirely peaceful—playing “We Are the World” and waving Maple Leaf flags. Indeed, the government has made little attempt to justify the need for emergency powers beyond Trudeau’s frequent bemoaning of the truckers’ alleged “hateful rhetoric.” His public safety minister Marco Mendocino stated that such extraordinary measures were necessary due to “intimidation, harassment, and expressions of hate.” Perhaps he doesn’t realize that none of these are listed in the law as valid reasons to invoke it.

Trudeau escalated things further on Tuesday night, when he issued a new directive called the Emergency Economic Measures Order. Invoking a War on Terror law called the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act, the order requires financial institutions—including banks, credit unions, co-ops, loan companies, trusts, and even cryptocurrency wallets—to stop “providing any financial or related services” to anyone associated with the protests (a “designated person”). This has resulted, according to the CBC, in “frozen accounts, stranded money and canceled credit cards.” Banks, according to this new order, have a “duty to determine” if one of their customers is a “designated person.” A “designated person” can refer to anyone who “directly or indirectly” participates in the protest, including donors who “provide property to facilitate” the protests through crowdfunding sites.

In other words, a designated person can just as easily be a grandmother who donated $25 to support the truckers as one of the organizers of the convoy. Because the donor data to the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo was hacked—and the leaked data shows that Canadians donated most of the $8 million raised—many thousands of law-abiding Canadians now face the prospect of financial retaliation and ruin merely for supporting an anti-government protest. Already, a low-level government official in Ontario was fired after her $100 donation came to light. A gelato shop was forced to close when it received threats after its owner was revealed to have donated to the protest. On Wednesday, Justice Minister David Lametti went on Canadian television to say the quiet part aloud, namely that anyone contributing to “a pro-Trump movement” should be “worried” about their bank accounts and other financial assets being frozen.

When these protestors or those that supported them end up in financial hardship because they lose their job, business, or bank account, what will happen to those who try to help them? Will Canadian financial institutions be forced to play Six Degrees of Deplorables? The fear of being ensnared in the dragnet will surely have a chilling effect on the commercial prospects of those suspected of “unacceptable views,” creating a caste of untouchables whom no one will dare to transact with or help. B.J. Dichter, one of the protest organizers who has had all of his bank accounts and credit cards frozen, expressed the sense of desperation: “It feels like being banished from the medieval village left to die.”

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Make sure you have cash.

Trudeau to Make Surveillance Powers over Financial Transactions Permanent (NR)

As all eyes were trained on the aggressive police sweep of the Ottawa trucker convoy this week, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s administration was quietly moving to implement a sweeping expansion of surveillance power at the federal level. The Trudeau government’s financial war against the truckers has been covered at length. But one underreported aspect of this broader assault on Canadian civil liberties is the effort to bring crowdfunding and payment service providers — two of the most prominent routes for financial transactions on the Internet — under the permanent control of a centralized government authority.

In a February 14 news conference, Canadian finance minister Chrystia Freeland said that the government was using the Emergencies Act to broaden “the scope of Canada’s anti-money-laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use.” That broadened power requires all forms of digital transactions, including cryptocurrencies, to be reported to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada. (I.e., “Fintrac”). “As of today, all crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use must register with Fintrac, and they must report large and suspicious transactions to Fintrac,” Freeland said. She justified the move as a way to “mitigate the risk” of “illicit funds” and “increase the quality and quantity of intelligence received by Fintrac and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement.” Trudeau, standing behind Freeland at the press conference, nodded his head in agreement.

Freeland said the trucker convoy, which had assembled to protest coronavirus restrictions, had “highlighted the fact” that digital assets and funding mechanisms “weren’t captured” by the Canadian government’s pre-existing surveillance powers. As a result, she said, “the government will also bring forward legislation to provide these authorities to FinTrac on a permanent basis.” Freeland reiterated that point in a subsequent press conference this past Friday. “We reviewed very, very carefully the tools at the disposal of the federal government, and we used all the tools that we had prior to the invocation of the Emergencies Act, and we determined that we needed some additional tools,” she said. “Now some of those tools, we will be putting forward measures to put those tools permanently in place. The authorities of FinTrac, I believe, do need to be expanded to cover crowdsourcing platforms and their payment providers.”

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New York can’t pick a decent mayor, can it?

Eric Adams Admits That Vax Mandates Don’t Work, But Won’t Change Them (NYP)

Mayor Eric Adams admitted Wednesday that vaccine mandates don’t work — yet he’s still going ahead with firing city workers who refuse to show proof they got their shots. “The rule was put in place; to start changing it now would send mixed messages,” he said while lamenting the fact that un-jabbed Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving can’t play at his home arena even though unvaxxed out-of-towners can. Mixed messages? We’ve heard time and again that vax mandates are a life-and-death question of public health, fending off some new COVID surge. That’s plainly no longer true, if it ever was. So what’s the point now? New York City’s positivity rate is below 2%, down from an Omicron peak of near 23%. It’s clearly time to rethink draconian COVID approaches

The disconnect between policy and reality here is so glaring that the best Adams can offer in defense is a lukewarm worry that changing it might scramble political messaging. But at least he’s finally, albeit inadvertently, come clean about mandates: They’ve become pure hygiene theater. As we’ve said before: The vaccines are safe and effective and almost everybody should get them. But the data reveal that mandates have near-zero effect on COVID outcomes. Look at Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis actively restricted vaccine mandates. Per Mayo Clinic data, the Sunshine State saw about 347 average daily cases per 100,000 people at its Omicron peak. New York, with vastly stricter policies, saw 366. Florida’s fatality rate at the peak was 1.2% vs. New York’s 1.4%. And those outcomes were this similar even before Delta hit.


But even if you don’t want to “follow the science,” what about basic logic? You are allowed to play ball at Barclays Center or the Garden if you’re not vaccinated; you just can’t play for a New York team. Guess we missed that epidemiological principle: Away players are never disease vectors. A rule so self-contradictory has nothing to do with health. It’s pure power politics. Kyrie Irving is lucky. He earns many multiples of what average Americans will see in a lifetime even with his haircut for missed home games. But what of the hundreds of teachers, cops, firefighters and so on Adams just axed for refusing a vaccine? If the mandate’s main purpose is now literally rhetorical, it’s indefensible.

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Police in Paris have joined the march against Covid mandates.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Jan 052022
 
 January 5, 2022  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  96 Responses »


Giovanni Bellini Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and Female Saint 1500-04

 

Crimes against Our Country (Jim Kunstler)
Vaccinated Over 21 Times More Likely To Get Omicron (NP)
CDC Is Set To Update Its Guidance ‘Any Day Now’ To Include Negative Tests (DM)
CDC Director Walensky Flip-Flops On PCR Testing Guidance (ZH)
Chilling Pandemic Data from the Insurance Industry (Rescue)
Unprecedented: Deaths In Indiana For Ages 18-64 Are Up 40% (Kirsch)
Macron No Longer Views Unvaxxed as French: ‘Piss Them Off’ and ‘Reduce’ Them (NF)
Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines Against Omicron Or Delta Infection (medRxiv)
The ‘Find Your Balls’ Challenge (Denninger)
French Covid Variant Is Not ‘Worth Worrying About’, Predates Omicron (DM)
White Blood Cells Of Immune System Can Fight Omicron (GBN)
Can Weight Loss Help Protect Against Covid-19? (CNN)
Taking Back Our Liberty in 2022 (Ron Paul)
Joe Rogan Podcast Reaches Millions More Than Cable News (JTN)

 

 

 

 

I has a Rainer Füllmilch video in this spot, but Twitter now tells me it was from a suspended account.

 

 

Malone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1477428321898184709

 

 

“Nurses turned so cynical about the remdesivir protocol that they nicknamed it “run-death-is-near.”

Crimes against Our Country (Jim Kunstler)

The year of sickening global psychosis ended with virologist and vaccine-uberspecialist Dr. Robert Malone truth-bombing the Internet with three hours of straight talk about the US health authorities’ campaign to destroy the lives of at least half a million US citizens (so far) and, leading by example, to harm multiples of that number of innocent people across all of Western Civilization. Podcaster Joe Rogan assisted skillfully in an interview that is finally rocking the world out of an epic consensus trance. By health authorities I don’t just mean Dr. Anthony Fauci, the designated National SARS-CoV-2 Coordinator, or his accomplices in the Dept. of Health and Human Services agencies, CDC, NIH, NIAID, etc., but also the purblind US medical establishment of actual doctors in clinical practice, researchers, hospital administrators, and pharma executives who acted with a collective stupid malevolence not seen since the crematory-stuffers of the Nazi bureaucracy carried out their final solution.

We know what you did. You engineered and patented a gain-of-function virus at the same time you conspired with pharma companies to devise and patent pseudo-vaccines, and then you loosed both of them on the public. You didn’t just fail to adequately test the “vaccines” cooked up by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, but you deliberately botched the trials and lied about it. You created rich $$ incentives for hospitals to mis-treat Covid patients by failing to use known, safe, effective anti-virals. You conspired with social and news media to suppress information about those common anti-viral drugs that would have informed many patients’ decisions and saved thousands of lives. You treated late-stage patients dying of Covid-induced vascular disorder with the ineffective and toxic drug remdesivir that Dr. Fauci had developed unsuccessfully for an ebola outbreak years ago. (Nurses turned so cynical about the remdesivir protocol that they nicknamed it “run-death-is-near.”) You prompted government officials to lockdown society, force useless masking, and now to coerce “vaccination” by threatening to deprive citizens of their livelihoods.

The US Supreme Court will entertain arguments this Friday, January 7, to enjoin against “Joe Biden’s” mandates to coerce “vaccination” in companies that employ more than a hundred people and a separate mandate forcing vaxxes on staff at Medicare / Medicaid certified “providers” (meaning most hospitals and doctors’ offices). There’s a pretty good chance the court will decide against the mandates. They’re expected to rule Monday, January 10, the day that the mandates are supposed to take effect.

Read more …

German government report after update/correction.

Vaccinated Over 21 Times More Likely To Get Omicron (NP)

Nearly 80 percent of reported cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in Germany occurred in fully vaccinated individuals, according to a new report from the federal government. [Note: This article has been updated following an error by the German federal government]. Following publication, the Robert Koch Institute issued a revision to the report’s figures documenting transmission of the Omicron variant. 1,097 unvaccinated people and 4,020 vaccinated people now comprise the cohort analyzed in the paper. This new data still shows that the overwhelming majority – 78.6 percent – of cases occurred in vaccinated people. The paper – published December 30th by the German agency the ‘Robert Koch Institute’ – included information on the vaccination status of 4,206 individuals who contracted the latest variant of the virus.


Four thousand and twenty people who reported contracting Omicron in the study – which equates to 95.6 percent of total cases – had received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The revised data from the German government revealed a 78.6 percent vaccinated rate of Omicron cases. Originally, only 186 people contracting Omicron were unvaccinated in the entire sample, showing that vaccinated individuals were over 21 times as likely to contract the COVID-19 variant. The new RKI numbers reported 1,097 unvaccinated people, meaning the vaccinated were 3.7 times more likely to contract the variant.

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The guidance changes now come every day and twice on Sundays.

CDC Is Set To Update Its Guidance ‘Any Day Now’ To Include Negative Tests (DM)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to further change its recommendations for Americans diagnosed with COVID-19, potentially requiring a negative test to leave isolation before ten days. Last week, the agency shortened its recommended isolation period from 10 days to five days for people who have minimal Covid symptoms. The move drew criticism from experts who said a negative test should’ve been included. But the CDC is now considering adding a negative test to the guidance, according to CNN. Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy said that the CDC is working to further revise the isolation guidance, telling CNN on Tuesday that he expects a clarification ‘any day now.’

‘What they’re trying to do – and it’s important to say more broadly – is recognize and incorporate both the evolving science on Omicron and on prior variants in terms of how long somebody remains contagious, with the critical need to maintain essential services,’ Murthy told CNN. ‘I believe that there will be a role for antigen testing here to help reduce risk as well,’ he said. The further-updated guidance could impact millions of Americans, as the country reports record case numbers during the Omicron surge. About 95 percent of all new Covid cases in the U.S. were caused by Omicron in the week ending January 1, according to new CDC data released on Tuesday.

[..] ‘Isolation’ means a period of several days or weeks in which someone sick with Covid stays home and avoids contact with other people. This is distinct from quarantine, in which someone avoids contact with other people after a potential exposure to the coronavirus and closely monitors themselves for symptoms. Early on in the pandemic, the CDC recommended isolation and quarantine periods of 14 days. That period was shortened to 10 days in late 2020, as scientists learned more about how the virus spreads and how people recover. Then, last week, the CDC shortened isolation periods further: to just five days. The new guidance comes with some caveats, however. Someone diagnosed with Covid can only leave isolation after five days if they don’t have symptoms or if their symptoms are close to over – including no fever for at least 24 hours. After that, the Covid patient must wear a mask whenever they’re around others, the CDC says.

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Stephen Colbert? Joe Rogan should be the interviewer.

CDC Director Walensky Flip-Flops On PCR Testing Guidance (ZH)

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky appeared to majorly waffle on her agency’s controversial guidance to eliminate PCR testing at the end of Covid-19 isolation because the tests can remain positive for up to 12 weeks, long after a person is no longer contagious. “The big CDC news,” said Late Show host Stephen Colbert, is that “y’all have now gone from recommending a 10-day isolation to a five-day isolation. Why the change?” To which Walensky replied that “probably about 80 to 90 percent of your transmissibility has happened in those first five days,” right before and after symptoms appear, “and we really want people to be sure if they’re gonna be home, they’re going to be home for the right period of time, when they’re maximally transmissible.” Colbert then hinted at discord within the Biden administration after Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested the CDC guidance may shift yet again.

“In the UK they went from ten to seven days, but they are also recommending a negative test before considering yourself out of quarantine. Are we going to do that here? Because Dr. Fauci on CNN and ABC suggested that that’s under consideration. Is he talkin’ out both sides of his mouth over there, and you guys are telling him ‘put a cork in it, Tony!'” Walensky’s answer, while confusing, appeared to contradict her agency’s new guidelines. “Deepest respect for Dr. Fauci,” Walensky replied. “Obviously, yes. Really important question. The FDA has authorized these tests, and they’re terrific tests for what they’re authorized for. So the FDA has authorized them for diagnosis, and what they said about these tests is they are best for diagnosis earlier in the disease course.

“Are these the rapid antigen test?” asked Colbert. “Yes. So if you have access to a test. And you want to do a test at day five. And your symptoms are gone and you’re feeling well, then go ahead and do that test. But here’s how I would interpret that test. If it’s positive, stay home for another five days. If it’s negative, I would stay you still really need to wear a mask. You still may have some transmissibility ahead of you. You still should try not to visit grandma. You shouldn’t get on an airplane. You should still be pretty careful when you’re with other people – by wearing a mask all the time.”

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“OneAmerica provided no explanation for the rise in deaths and said it was not aware of any studies being conducted by the CDC.”

Chilling Pandemic Data from the Insurance Industry (Rescue)

An Indiana-based life insurance company is expressing concern over a substantial rise in deaths in adults eighteen to sixty-four years old in 2021 that cannot be explained simply by covid infections themselves. In a statement issued to me Tuesday evening, January 4, the OneAmerica group of financial companies, a $100 billion insurance company headquartered in Indianapolis since 1877, said: “Our data shows an increase in death rates in our business across the U.S., which aligns with what we’re seeing in national industry data.” Citing its analysis of figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the statement said: “there has been a 40% increase in death rates for 18- to 64-year-old individuals across the U.S., when comparing Q3 [third quarter] 2021 data to pre-pandemic data from the same period in 2019.”

That stunning conclusion is all the more concerning because it covers an age group that is not the hardest hit by covid-19 and which accounts for 25 percent of covid deaths. Moreover, the trend covers all causes of death, suggesting that the pandemic has led to mortality in a variety of ways. A graphic prepared by OneAmerica depicts the trend with a black line rising sharply from last July to last September, the latest available numbers. “CDC data from Q3 [third quarter] 2021 shows 250,000 actual deaths (or a 45% increase over the baseline expectation) for this age group, typically the working age population. Of that total, 50,600 were attributed by the CDC to COVID.”

The company’s statement was in response to my request for its comment on an article Saturday, January 1, in The Center Square, which first reported comments by the company’s CEO Scott Davison on the alarming trend in deaths. “We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business—not just at OneAmerica,” Davison said during an online news conference, according to the article. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.” He characterized the trend in deaths in “huge, huge numbers” among people working in companies that offer life insurance plans to their employees, the article stated. He said further that the trend was continuing into the fourth quarter of 2021.

I shared the OneAmerica statement with Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology on which covid vaccines are based. He said in a phone conversation that the rise in deaths was “absolutely unprecedented, shocking, and raises serious major concerns.” The figures, he said, point to the consequences of a failed approach to the pandemic. “At a minimum, based on my reading” of The Center Square article, Malone wrote on his Substack publication Monday, “one has to conclude that if this report holds and is confirmed by others in the dry world of life insurance actuaries, we have both a huge human tragedy and a profound public policy failure of the US Government and US HHS system to serve and protect the citizens that pay for this “service”.”

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Steve Kirsch on that same OneAmerica report. “It isn’t COVID. Could it be the “safe and effective” COVID vaccine?”

Unprecedented: Deaths In Indiana For Ages 18-64 Are Up 40% (Kirsch)

This is huge. Something is killing healthy people at an unprecedented rate. It isn’t COVID. Could it be the “safe and effective” COVID vaccine? I think so. Here’s why. [..]

  1. These deaths started only after the vaccines rolled out
  2. The deaths are “primarily working-age people 18 to 64” who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica. That’s not to say 65 and over aren’t affected as well. What’s key is that we’re seeing effects in young people.
  3. There are more excess deaths than anytime in history, so it is likely caused by a new threat, never seen before in history, like a novel vaccine that has never been used before or something new like that that a huge number of people would be exposed to (such as by a state that pushes vaccination).
  4. Not due to COVID (COVID deaths are way down).
  5. They are dying from a variety of causes, not just a single cause. So this rules out food or air-based pathogens. I note that the variety of causes of death is consistent with the wide range of adverse events caused by the COVID vaccines, for example.
  6. It has to affect massive numbers of people to get an effect size that high. So it is something new affecting at least half the population, like a new mandated vaccine for example.
  7. There is a huge push for vaccines by the Indiana governor, he wants to have everyone vaccinated. Interesting. “Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb doubled down on the drive to get everyone in the state vaccinated.”
  8. Useful fact: Adults 65 and older account for 16% of the US population but 80% of COVID-19 deaths in the US, somewhat higher than their share of deaths from all causes (75%) over the same period. We’ll use that 75% stat later.
  9. It isn’t just the one life insurance company, they are all seeing this huge rises at other insurance companies. So this is something huge and national in scope, like a vaccine mandate in the entire US, or something like that.
  10. “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be a 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.” This suggests it has to be a novel pathogen (like a novel vaccine, for example). It has to be something first introduced in 2021, you know, like a new COVID vaccine.
  11. The company is seeing an “uptick” in disability claims, saying at first it was short-term disability claims, and now the increase is in long-term disability claims. So whatever it is is killing people and those that aren’t killed are disabled. You know, like what the COVID vaccines are proven to do (since I believe VAERS).
  12. Brian Tabor, the president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said that hospitals across the state are being flooded with patients “with many different conditions,” saying “unfortunately, the average Hoosiers’ health has declined during the pandemic.” In a follow-up call, he said he did not have a breakdown showing why so many people in the state are being hospitalized – for what conditions or ailments. But he said the extraordinarily high death rate quoted by Davison matched what hospitals in the state are seeing. So this could all be caused by the COVID vaccines.
  13. The number of hospitalizations in the state is now higher than before the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced a year ago, and in fact is higher than it’s been in the past five years, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana’s chief medical officer, said at a news conference with Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday. So again, whatever is killing people is worse than COVID. It can’t be COVID since we have so many vaccinated people with our safe and effective vaccine that prevents COVID deaths.
  14. The CEO of the insurance company doesn’t think the vaccines are causing the deaths and disability. Check out this tweet: he is requiring his employees to be vaccinated! So it cannot be the vaccine, even though it fits all the facts! Darn! The CEO knows that the vaccines are safe and effective. He has no evidence to back that statement up, but we should believe him since he’s an authority figure (you know, like the CDC). We can always trust authority figures, and even more so when they have no evidence. Who needs evidence? Science has been displaced in 2021.

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Little Napoleon says 10% are unvaxxed. Having gone through these numbers for a year now, I bet almost every country has one third unvaxxed. In the US, it’s 40%.

Macron No Longer Views Unvaxxed as French: ‘Piss Them Off’ and ‘Reduce’ Them (NF)

French President Emmanuel Macron told one of the nation’s leading newspapers that he no longer considers the unvaccinated to be French citizens, and that his primary COVID-19 strategy is to continue to “piss them off” until they submit to his COVID-19 mandates. The remark from Macron, delivered during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, has divided French politicians, and even has the country’s Communist Party candidate questioning Macron’s motives. “I am not about pissing off the French people,” Macron told the readers of Le Parisien on Tuesday. “But as for the non-vaccinated, I really want to piss them off. And we will continue to do this, to the end. This is the strategy.”


He declared that the “worst enemies” of “democracy” are “lies and stupidity,” then declared that his government is “putting pressure on the unvaccinated by limiting, as much as possible, their access to activities in social life.” Macron’s government claims that 90% of its citizens are vaccinated. He promised to “reduce” this minority with further restrictions. The French president repeatedly noted the minority status of the resisters. “How do we reduce that minority?” Macron asked, rhetorically. “We reduce it – sorry for the expression – by pissing them off even more.” The fallout from his remarks led the French Parliament to come to a screeching halt as it attempted to debate an expansion of the country’s vaccine passport system.

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“A third dose provides SOME protection in the immediate term, but substantially less than against Delta..”

Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines Against Omicron Or Delta Infection (medRxiv)

The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including among those who have received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, has increased substantially since Omicron was first identified in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Methods Applying the test-negative design to linked provincial data, we estimated vaccine effectiveness against infection (irrespective of symptoms or severity) caused by Omicron or Delta between November 22 and December 19, 2021. We included individuals who had received at least 2 COVID-19 vaccine doses (with at least 1 mRNA vaccine dose for the primary series) and used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the effectiveness of two or three doses by time since the latest dose.

Results We included 3,442 Omicron-positive cases, 9,201 Delta-positive cases, and 471,545 test-negative controls. After 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine effectiveness against Delta infection declined steadily over time but recovered to 93% (95%CI, 92-94%) ≥7 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine for the third dose. In contrast, receipt of 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines was not protective against Omicron. Vaccine effectiveness against Omicron was 37% (95%CI, 19-50%) ≥7 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine for the third dose.

Conclusions Two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to protect against infection by Omicron. A third dose provides some protection in the immediate term, but substantially less than against Delta. Our results may be confounded by behaviours that we were unable to account for in our analyses. Further research is needed to examine protection against severe outcomes.

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“This garbage has directly led to over half a million dead Americans and it is our fault for allowing it to go on..”

The ‘Find Your Balls’ Challenge (Denninger)

We are all currently being forced to be lab rats to some degree when it comes to *****-19, and that force is in some areas and cases being literally enforced at gunpoint, such as in NYC with “******* mandates” where cops are literally arresting people and thus, by definition, threatening the use of deadly force to compel compliance. Pilots have been coerced by their employers to take a drug that under FAA regulations immediately and conclusively voids their medical certificate, yet they are also continuing to fly. The liability for such is wildly open-ended for everyone involved yet nobody cares. Nearly two years into this crap our local county medical center has actually doubled or more the fatality rate for *****-19 admissions, now standing at over 90% fatality for the last six months of 2021, begging the question as to why, if I had needed to go to the hospital during that time when I got ***** in August, I should not have shown up there and killed everyone I could by whatever means I could obtain since they were, with more than 90% certainty, going to kill me.


We have sat for all of this and we must conclusively stop it. This garbage has directly led to over half a million dead Americans and it is our fault for allowing it to go on for the last two years under both Trump and Biden administrations Until and unless we do put a conclusive stop to this crap there is exactly nothing you can do to change my mind in terms of my opinion related to the medical industry and everyone in it who is taking home a paycheck, in many cases a very large paycheck, as a direct result of a corporate and government-run set of decisions that are killing people wholesale by deliberately refusing to treat conditions we know how to handle and have known how to treat for decades, never mind the evidence for early treatment that has emerged over the last two years and has been ignored along with the exhortation to take what has proved up over time, and which I fully expected and explained why, to be worthless or even harmful jabs.

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More contagious, less lethal. It’s the only path left. “Cases” will go up for 2-3 weeks per location, then plummet. Deaths will start to fall after that.

And remember, deaths from Omicron are non-existent. It’s all still Delta, as Omicron grows.

French Covid Variant Is Not ‘Worth Worrying About’, Predates Omicron (DM)

A new Covid variant detected in France is not worth worrying about, experts have insisted. Virologists say the strain predates Omicron but has yet to cause chaos, bolstering hopes that it may fade into the background. At least 12 cases of B.1.640.2 have been spotted so far near Marseille, with the first linked to travel to the African country Cameroon. But it is not outcompeting the dominant Omicron variant, which now makes up 60 per cent of all infections in France. Dr Thomas Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, said the variant has had ‘a decent chance to cause trouble but never really materialised’.


The strain was first uploaded to variant-tracking database GISAID on November 4, more than two weeks before Omicron was sequenced. More than 120,000 cases of Omicron have been detected since officials first raised the alarm about the ultra-infectious variant. For comparison, only 12 cases of B.1.640.2 have been spotted. But the true toll may be closer to 20, data suggests. ‘This virus has had a decent chance to cause trouble but never really materialised as far as we can tell’, Dr Peacock said. So it is definitely ‘not one worth worrying about too much’ at the moment, he added.

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Don’t let Fauci hear it.

White Blood Cells Of Immune System Can Fight Omicron (GBN)

A new study has revealed that the white blood cells of the immune system are capable of mounting an immune response against the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Due to Omicron having a higher number of mutations than other Covid variants, it can sometimes slip past the antibodies created by vaccination or infection. However, if the virus still does enter the body, the white blood cells, known as T-cells, will attack. The new research, from the University of Melbourne and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), involved investigators analysing over 1,500 fragments of SARS-CoV-2’s viral proteins – called epitopes – that have been found to be recognised by T-cells in recovered Covid-19 patients or after vaccination.


The team’s findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Viruses, suggest Omicron is unlikely to be able to evade T-cells, adding to a growing body of evidence from research groups around the world who are also investigating T-cell responses to Covid-19. University of Melbourne professor and co-leader of the research, Matthew McKay, said: “Despite being a preliminary study, we believe this is positive news. “Even if Omicron, or some other variant for that matter, can potentially escape antibodies, a robust T-cell response can still be expected to offer protection and help to prevent significant illness.

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What an excellent question, CNN. And so timely! Hardly a day over two years too late! Not a word about what makes Americans fat, bien sur.

Can Weight Loss Help Protect Against Covid-19? (CNN)

In the holiday season, when the average American can easily pack on a few pounds, experts say there is another reason to pay attention to your weight: Covid-19. People who are overweight or obese are at a much higher risk of much more severe disease and even death from Covid-19, and one new study suggests that losing weight can reduce that risk. The obesity epidemic has been a threat to Americans’ health for years. It’s the second leading cause of preventable death, after smoking. With Covid-19, it becomes even more dangerous. One study found that 30% of Covid-19 hospitalizations were in people with obesity. The obesity clinic where Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford works in Boston has a 1,000-plus person wait list that grew a lot longer with the pandemic. Even with more than a dozen specialists on staff, it’s not enough to meet the demand.


“We are overwhelmed with the volume of patients that have really made that connection between obesity and Covid and the need for them to get appropriate care,” said Cody Stanford, who is also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. People with obesity are 46% more at risk of getting Covid-19, according to a study from August. It found that they are also more at risk of getting really sick, facing a 113% higher chance of being hospitalized, a 74% higher risk of needing to be treated in the ICU and – perhaps most troubling of all – a 48% increased risk of death. “The risk goes up and up and up with each increase” in body mass index (BMI), said study co-author Barry Popkin, a distinguished professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

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Both father and son Paul are medical doctors.

Taking Back Our Liberty in 2022 (Ron Paul)

For those of us who value liberty, these past two years have been a bad dream. It seems like we fell asleep in early 2020 and woke up in 1984! They said that if we just put on a mask and stayed home for two weeks, we’d be able to return to normal. The two weeks came and went and instead of going back to normal they added more restrictions. These past two years have been a story of moving goalposts and “experts” like Anthony Fauci constantly contradicting themselves. Early on, in April 2020, I warned in an article titled “Next in Coronavirus Tyranny: Forced Vaccinations and ‘Digital Certificates,’” that the ultimate goal of the “two weeks” crowd was to force vaccines and a “vaccine passport” on Americans. My concerns were at the time written off as just another conspiracy theory. But less than a year later that “conspiracy theory” became conspiracy fact.

I am not happy about being right on this. The introduction of vaccine passports was from the beginning my worst nightmare. The idea that you must “show your papers” to participate in society is a concept that is totally opposed to a free society. It is inhuman. The history of these past two years is that the worst ideas have been adopted by force and anyone questioning those ideas has been suppressed by force. We learned recently that Dr. Fauci and the director of the National Institutes of Health conspired to deliver a “quick and devastating take-down” of the esteemed scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration. Were the Great Barrington scientists horribly wrong? Fauci and his boss could not have cared less. They were not interested in a debate. Their only goal was to shut down any opposing views. That’s not science. It’s ideology, politics, and probably self-interest.

As my son Rand said on a recent Liberty Report, thousands of people died because Fauci refused to consider the proven effectiveness of natural immunity against Covid. He and his colleagues were determined to deny any outpatient treatments and insisted on vaccines as the only way out. Now, as we see the vaccines performing so poorly versus natural immunity, their whole strategy lies in tatters. Will anyone apologize to the relatives of all those who died? When we look back at these two years, hopefully one thing that will be remembered is how the institutions of state power have all lost their credibility. They have been exposed as frauds and worse.

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The MSM is in trouble. There’s a whole new model in town.

Joe Rogan Podcast Reaches Millions More Than Cable News (JTN)

Joe Rogan has more than three times as many people per episode as his next greatest competitor “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, according to newly released data. “The Joe Rogan Experience” reaches a reported average of 11 million people per podcast episode. Fox News reigns as the most-watched cable news network, taking ten of the top viewership 15 spots. The top cable news spot goes to Carlson with 3.21 million viewers on average, Adweek reported on Nielsen data Monday. Conservative reporter Luke Rudkowski pointed out Rogan’s larger audience using 2021 Quarter 3 ratings. The most recent rating data from Adweek is slightly off from Q3, but overall remains the same. “This is why they are afraid of Rogan,” Rudkowski tweeted with a graph comparing the most popular cable news shows.


MSNBC’s primetime viewership trails behind with an average of 1.53 million primetime viewers. “Joe Rogan has completely disrupted the legacy media,” financial commentator Anthony Pompliano tweeted with a picture of Rudkowski’s graph. “Right now, Joe Rogan is the most dangerous man alive in the intellectual arena. In terms, that he is the most genuine pursuer of truth that has a big audience – therefore people will keep listening,” he later said on “The Best Business Show.” “That’s because he doesn’t lie. Or talk down to his audience. Or manipulate for his own narrow advantage,” psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson commented on Rogan’s ratings. Journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted, “The more employees of large media corporations attack Joe Rogan, the more his audience grows. The two individuals with the largest audiences happen to be the two people most hated by corporate media because they can’t be controlled or ordered around.”

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Spain TV ad

 

 

El Salvador pres. Nayib Bukele
https://twitter.com/i/status/1478201251737317385

 

 

Tucker end to lunacy

 

 

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

 

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


Félix Vallotton The balloon 1899

 

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

 

 

Israel

 

 

 

 

New Zealand
https://twitter.com/i/status/1421600041014284291

 

 

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

Google translation from Germany.

Worse Disease Progression After Covid Vaccination? (Ziegler)

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

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

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

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

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Published: 09 September 2020

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

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

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


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


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

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July 6 2021

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He has a whistleblower inside the CMS?

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

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

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


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

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With 1-10% reported.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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When your own employees don’t want it.

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

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


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

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An email sent to Mike Tracey.

“Vaccine Hesitancy” Is A Class Issue (Tracey)

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

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

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

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

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And breaks the back of the Republic.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And enjoying it.

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

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

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


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

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

 

 

Very high vaccination rate

 

 

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May 112021
 


John French Sloan A Woman’s Work 1912

 

57 Top Scientists And Doctors Demand Immediate Stop to ALL Vaccinations (EnV)
Feds Demonizing Covid-19 Treatments In Order To Promote Vaccine (WND)
Norway Health Board Rejects J&J, AZ Vaccines Over Side Effects (RT)
Doctor Warns Allowing Hugs ‘Might Be A Mistake’ (Mirror)
US Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine For 12-15 Year Olds (Y!)
Unthinkable Thoughts (Mitteldorf)
US Gas Stations Running Out Of Fuel (DM)
Free Speech Inc. (Turley)
Chevron’s Prisoner (Bragman)
Civil War Is Brewing In France And You Know It: French Military To Macron (RT)
Agent Orange Complaint vs Monsanto, Dow Chemical Rejected By French Court (RT)

 

 

 

 

Not everyone’s asleep yet.

57 Top Scientists And Doctors Demand Immediate Stop to ALL Vaccinations (EnV)

Vaccines for other coronaviruses have never been approved for humans, and data generated in the development of coronavirus vaccines designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies show that they may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) and Th2 immunopathology, regardless of the vaccine platform and delivery method [9-11]. Vaccine-driven disease enhancement in animals vaccinated against SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV is known to occur following viral challenge, and has been attributed to immune complexes and Fc-mediated viral capture by macrophages, which augment T-cell activation and inflammation [11-13].

In March 2020, vaccine immunologists and coronavirus experts assessed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine risks based on SARS-CoV-vaccine trials in animal models. The expert group concluded that ADE and immunopathology were a real concern, but stated that their risk was insufficient to delay clinical trials, although continued monitoring would be necessary [14]. While there is no clear evidence of the occurrence of ADE and vaccine-related immunopathology in volunteers immunized with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines [15], safety trials to date have not specifically addressed these serious adverse effects (SAE).

Given that the follow-up of volunteers did not exceed 2-3.5 months after the second dose [16-19], it is unlikely such SAE would have been observed. Despite errors in reporting, it cannot be ignored that even accounting for the number of vaccines administered, according to the US Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System (VAERS), the number of deaths per million vaccine doses administered has increased more than 10-fold. We believe there is an urgent need for open scientific dialogue on vaccine safety in the context of large-scale immunization. In this paper, we describe some of the risks of mass vaccination in the context of phase 3 trial exclusion criteria and discuss the SAE reported in national and regional adverse effect registration systems. We highlight unanswered questions and draw attention to the need for a more cautious approach to mass vaccination.

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“..the National Institutes of Health issued a guideline recommending physicians not treat COVID-19 until a patient needs oxygen..”

Feds Demonizing Covid-19 Treatments In Order To Promote Vaccine (WND)

“Something has gone off the rails” in the world’s approach to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with health authorities in the U.S. and abroad suppressing safe, cheap and effective treatments while promoting experimental vaccines that have received only emergency use authorization, contends Dr. Peter McCullough. McCullough, a renowned cardiologist who testified to the U.S. Senate last fall on COVID-19 treatments, pointed out in a lengthy interview with Tucker Carlson’s Fox Nation show “Tucker Carlson Today” that the National Institutes of Health issued a guideline recommending physicians not treat COVID-19 until a patient needs oxygen. “This document will go down in history as the most nihilistic medical guidance as Americans are suffering,” said McCullough, the vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Asked to explain why such guidance would be issued, McCullough said it could be “fear driven,” but it’s not in his “moral DNA” to “let people die with no treatment.” Around the world, physicians are finding success using treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, but there is no regulatory support in the United States for treating COVID-19 at all, as there would be for any other disease, he said. In November, McCullough was among the physicians who in Senate testimony decried the politicization hydroxychloroquine, invermectin and other treatments. McCullough has 600 peer-reviewed publications to his name. Many have appeared in top-tier journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet.

He is the president of the Cardiorenal Society of America, the co-editor of Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine and associate editor of the American Journal of Cardiology and Cardiorenal Medicine. He has led monitoring safety boards in major drug trials. “I have seen things in the last year that I cannot explain as a doctor,” he told Carlson. “Why are other doctors not helping, with a simple [treatment] these patients avoid hospitalization and death?” He noted three cases in which families have had to go to court to force physicians to administer the common antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In each case, the court sided with the family and the patient survived.

[..] Meanwhile, a new peer-reviewed study published by the American Journal of Therapeutics concludes that ivermectin can end the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviewed by a team that includes three top U.S. government senior scientists, the research finds the drug significantly reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 when used regularly. In February, a study published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology found ivermectin reduces COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%. In more than 30 trials around the world, the drug causes “repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease,” according to the study.

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Experts contradicting each other is another curious aspect of Covid.

Norway Health Board Rejects J&J, AZ Vaccines Over Side Effects (RT)

The Institute of Public Health in Norway has recommended against the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, adding to a recommendation of permanently avoiding the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab over side effect fears. In a press release on Monday, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) advised the government against the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab, following guidance from a government-appointed commission. The committee also supported an earlier recommendation by the NIPH not to use the AstraZeneca shot. “We do not recommend that the vaccines be used in the national vaccination program due to the serious side effects that have been seen,” Lars Vorland, chair of the expert committee, said at a press conference on Monday.

In its statement, NIPH formally published the recommendation not to use the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab. “Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to reopen society and get everyday life back. It is therefore a difficult decision to recommend that one of the Covid vaccines not be used actively in the program.” NIPH recommends that the Johnson & Johnson shot be kept in emergency storage in case the vaccine supplies of the mRNA jab should fail. They add that it is particularly suited to being an emergency vaccine, as it only requires one dose and can be stored for a long time.

[..] Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference that “the government will use this as basis for its decision, together with recommendations from the Institute of Public Health, on whether to use these vaccines.” In April, NIPH recommended that the government stop using the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a lengthy review of the jab. Oslo suspended the vaccine’s use on March 11 following reports of potentially fatal rare blood clots. The blood clotting concerns have already led to limitations in the distribution of the vaccine in multiple countries. Five healthcare workers, all aged between 32 and 54, were hospitalized after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Norway. Three of them died.

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Nowhere near the biggest mistake here.

Doctor Warns Allowing Hugs ‘Might Be A Mistake’ (Mirror)

Dr Hilary Jones had his say on reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson may allow hugging in England from next Monday, with him urging caution. The Good Morning Britain doctor told of the benefits of hugging, but warned there was a greater risk of coronavirus transmission if people started touching everybody. Hilary said that with coronavirus still spreading in the UK and around the world, with new variants detected, it could be a “mistake” to start allowing such close contact. While it is yet to be confirmed, Johnson is tipped to announce hugging will be allowed from Monday May 17 when the lockdown rules change again in England.

With bigger groups allowed to gather outdoors, and groups of six allowed indoors, the allowance of hugging is a late change to the earlier announced new rules. But Dr Hilary urged caution with the news, and told people to be “selective” if they are going to get close to people. Speaking on the show, he described the increased risk of transmission as “quite substantial” with close contact such as hugging. He explained: “If you are in hugging range and you’re touching somebody, and your face is right next to their’s, you are gonna be breathing the breath that they are exhaling.

“The virus is transmitted through aerosol droplets, so the risk is much higher.” He went on: “Professor Noakes, she’s part of SAGE, she’s saying that actually she’s worried, and that hugs should be selective. “They should be short, they should be selective… hug your children, hug your grandchildren, not promiscuous hugs we’re not talking about here, not hugging everybody, not getting too close for too long.” Hilary added: “It’s great, hugs actually have a benefit in health in terms of, forget the aerosol transmission of viruses for a moment, there’s all sorts of things that happen.”

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In the context of the survival rate, this makes no sense.

US Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine For 12-15 Year Olds (Y!)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old. “This is a promising development in our fight against the virus,” said President Joe Biden. “If you are a parent who wants to protect your child, or a teenager who is interested in getting vaccinated, today’s decision is a step closer to that goal.” The FDA previously granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals aged 16 and older. “Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.


The FDA said some 1.5 million Covid-19 cases in individuals aged 11 to 17 years old have been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. The course of the disease is generally milder in children but they can pass it on to older, more vulnerable adults. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said in March that their two-dose vaccine regimen was shown to be safe and highly effective in a trial of 2,260 12 to 15 year olds. Biden last week stressed the importance of expanding vaccinations to 12 to 15 year olds and said the authorities were “ready to move immediately” once the authorization came through. Some 20,000 pharmacies around the country were ready to begin to vaccinate adolescents, he said, and doses will also be shipped to pediatricians.

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“The most compelling evidence for a laboratory origin of COVID is that coronaviruses don’t have furin cleavage sites, and until last year, this trick has never evolved naturally.”

Unthinkable Thoughts (Mitteldorf)

The spike protein is the part of the virus structure that interfaces with the host cell. SARS 1 and SARS 2 viruses both have spike proteins that bind to a human cell receptor called ACE-2, common in lung cells but also present in other parts of the body. Binding to the cell’s ACE-2 receptor is like the wolf knocking at the door of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. “Hello, grandmama. I’m your granddaughter. Please let me in.” The virus is a wolf wearing a red cape and hood, pretends to be an ACE-2 enzyme molecule seeking entrance to the cell.

In order to enter the cell, the virus must break off from the spike protein and leave it at the doorstep, so to speak. This is an important and difficult step, as it turns out. Unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a trick for making the separation. Just at the edge of the protein is a furin cleavage site. Furin is an enzyme that snips protein molecules, and it is common in our bodies, with legitimate metabolic uses. A furin cleavage site is a string of 4 particular amino acids that calls to furin, “hey — come over here. I’m a protein that needs snipping.”

[..] One of the most credible dangers of the spike protein involves fertility. None of the vaccines were tested in pregnant women, and yet many government and other authorities are recommending it as safe for pregnant women. VAERS has reported 174 miscarriages to date after COVID vaccination. VAERS is notoriously underreported. I find the anecdotes less concerning than the fact that no one is taking this seriously, and research is being actively discouraged in the best-respected science journals. There is a credible mechanism, in that the spike protein is partially homologous to syncytin. Syncytin, in fact, was originally a retroviral protein, inserted into the mammalian genome many aeons ago, and evolved over the ages to play an essential role in reproduction, binding the placenta to the fetus.

An immune response that attacks syncytin might be expected to be impose a danger of spontaneous abortion. In any ordinary times, this would be a subject that medical researchers would jump on, with animal tests and field surveys to assess the danger. But these are no ordinary times, and the risk is being dismissed on theoretical grounds without investigation. This is especially suspicious in the context of history: a Gates Foundation vaccination program in 1995 was allegedly promoted to young women, causing infertility. (Yes, I know there are many fact-checkers eager to “debunk” this story, but I don’t find them convincing, and some of these fact-checkers are compromised by Gates funding.) Even doing what the spike protein is supposed to do — tying up ACE2 — can be a problem for our lungs and arteries, which are routinely protected by ACE2.

The most dangerous possibility, suspected but not verified, is that the spike protein causes a prion cascade. Prions are paradoxical pathogens, in that they are misfolded proteins that cause misfolded proteins. Their evolutionary etiology is utterly mysterious, so much so that it took Stanley Prusiner a decade after describing the biology of prions before the scientific community would take prion biochemistry seriously. But prions make potent bioweapons, which laboratories can design outside of natural evolutionary dynamics. The possibility of prion-like structures in the spike protein was noted very early in the pandemic based on a computational study. This recent review combines theoretical, laboratory, and observational evidence to make a case for caution. Once again, I find it disturbing that this possibility is being dismissed on theoretical grounds rather than investigated in the lab and the field.

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And not just a few of them.

US Gas Stations Running Out Of Fuel (DM)

Gas stations from Florida to Atlanta to Virginia are closing their pumps due to a fuel shortage brought on by the Colonial Pipeline hack – and a state of emergency has been declared by the governor of North Carolina. American Airlines was adding stops to two of its long-haul flights from its Charlotte, North Carolina hub, CNBC reported, as a likely effort to conserve fuel in areas where it could run short. The 5,500 mile Colonial Pipeline was shut down on Friday evening by the company when the ransomware attack was launched – seemingly by Russian-based cybercriminal group, DarkSide. Service was gradually being restored on Monday. At least 12 other companies were also affected by the ransomware attack, Bloomberg reported, and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, called for those responsible to be executed.

The pipeline supplies 45 per cent of all the East Coast’s fuel needs, including Atlanta’s airport – the world’s busiest, by passenger traffic. The pipeline also serves 90 U.S. military installations and 26 oil refineries. On Monday evening motorists were beginning to report shortages at gas stations. A spokesman for Race Trac, which operates gas stations in the Atlanta area, confirmed the shortage to WSBTV-2. At least two gas stations in Tallahassee, Florida, were completely out of stock, Bloomberg reported. Patrick de Haan, an energy expert who runs the monitoring site Gas Buddy Tracker, said his sources showed five per cent of stations in Virginia running empty. His recommendation to motorists? ‘Conserve, conserve, conserve,’ he said.

The lack of supply could soon hit users across the country in the pocketbook. AAA already predicts that gasoline prices in the Georgia region alone could rise three to seven cents per gallon this week, and said that there also could be ‘limited fuel availability’ in places. ‘This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and price, but the impact will vary regionally,’ said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman for AAA-The Auto Club Group. ‘Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the East Coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and prices increases as early as this week.’

[..] DarkSide, which cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity, said in a statement posted on the dark web that their only goal was to ‘make money’ and not create problems for society. ‘We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics,’ the statement read. ‘Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society.’ ‘From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.’ Colonial, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, has not yet said whether it has paid or is negotiating a ransom with the hackers.

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“..it sometimes seems Facebook wants to be treated like AT&T but act like the DNC.”

Free Speech Inc. (Turley)

After Facebook’s oversight board this week upheld the social media giant’s continuing ban of former President Trump, the response of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) captured the visceral joy of many on the left: She posted a series of laughing emojis. Welcome to Free Speech, Inc.: the Democratic incorporation of free speech built around the a presumption of corporate censorship (for some). Of course, Democrats insist they are not attacking free speech, just combating “disinformation.” After all, they say, private companies have every right to control speech — unless you are, say, a bakery opposed to preparing a cake for a same-sex wedding, or a company contributing to political causes. The current mantra defending Facebook’s corporate speech rights seems strikingly out of sync with years of Democrats and political activists demanding the curtailment of such rights.

When Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado refused on religious grounds to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) denounced the bakery’s claim of free speech: “It was never about a cake — it’s about making sure no one has a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans.” When the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations have free speech rights to participate in politics, Warren was appalled. She has long rejected the notion that corporations have the constitutional rights like individuals: “Corporations are not people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry. They dance. They live. They love. And they die.” Notably, Warren felt that one company (Masterpiece Cakeshop) can be forced to speak while another corporation (Facebook) should be able to stop others from speaking.

When Facebook barred Trump, Warren declared: “I’m glad that Donald Trump is not going to be on Facebook. Suits me.” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also celebrated and added: “Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.” When free speech concerns are raised over corporate censorship, Democrats often drop references to “free speech” violations and instead address “First Amendment” violations. Indeed, when Trump objected to the ban on Twitter as “banning free speech,” a host of media outlets ran stories like: “Fact Check: Did Twitter Violate President Trump’s First Amendment Rights?” Experts like Wayne State University law professor Jonathan Weinberg chimed in that, under the First Amendment, a company “gets to choose who it does business with and who it doesn’t.”

[..] These companies once were viewed as neutral platforms for people to exchange views — people who affirmatively “friend” or invite the views of others. If Big Tech wants to be treated like a telephone company, it must act like a telephone company. We wouldn’t tolerate AT&T interrupting calls to object to some misleading conversation, or cutting the line for those who misinform others. As a neutral platform for communications, telephone companies receive special legal and economic status under our laws. Yet, it sometimes seems Facebook wants to be treated like AT&T but act like the DNC.

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Donziger’s story is unbelievable.

Chevron’s Prisoner (Bragman)

Donziger was a human rights attorney representing indigenous peoples in Ecuador who brought a lawsuit against Texaco for rainforest pollution in the region. In 2011, Donziger and his clients won a $18 billion judgement against the fuel giant, which had since been bought out by Chevron, one of the largest judgments ever handed down against an oil company, even when that amount was later reduced to $9.5 billion. While the ruling was subsequently upheld by three Ecuadorian courts, Chevron moved its operation out of the country to avoid paying the damages and countersued Donziger in the United States under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), a former corporate lawyer, was assigned to the case and granted Chevron a temporary restraining order against the Ecuador judgment in an effort to block enforcement of it anywhere in the world. During the non-jury trial, former Ecuadorian judge Alberto Guerra, who presided over the case when it was first filed, testified that Donziger and his team had bribed him to ghostwrite the multi-billion dollar judgment against Chevron for presiding judge Nicolas Zambrano. Guerra claimed Zambrano had also been bribed and had offered him a percentage of his take. Guerra would later admit during an international arbitration that he had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chevron and recant some details of his testimony.

Despite Guerra’s admission, the tribunal ultimately sided with Chevron, finding that the multi-billion-dollar judgment had still been tainted by fraud and that the claims against the oil giant had been settled and released by the Ecuadorian government years earlier. Kaplan, the U.S. judge, also had ties to the oil company. The Clinton appointee had investments in funds with Chevron holdings, and had previously suggested in deposition hearings from a separate but related case that Chevron could have grounds to file a racketeering suit against Donziger. During the racketeering proceedings, Kaplan described the oil giant as “a company of considerable importance to our economy that employs thousands all over the world, that supplies a group of commodities — gasoline, heating oil, other fuels, and lubricants — on which every one of us depends every single day.”

Relying largely on Guerra’s testimony, Kaplan ruled against Donziger in March 2014, alleging a vast conspiracy and finding that the attorney had acquired the Ecuador judgment through “corrupt means.” A federal appeals court would later uphold Kaplan’s ruling. Donziger was later disbarred from practicing law in New York. After its legal victory, Chevron sought to recoup more than $800,000 in court costs from Donziger. The company’s lawyers demanded possession of the attorney’s personal computer and cell phone, which it claimed were necessary to enforce its monetary judgment against him. Donziger appealed and refused to turn over his electronics, arguing he would be handing over privileged materials.

Kaplan responded by holding Donziger in civil and then criminal contempt of court and slapping him with the largest state sanction in the history of New York courts. The SDNY U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case, citing a lack of resources, so in July 2019, Kaplan took the unusual step of turning the contempt case over to attorneys from the major corporate law firm Seward & Kissel LLP to act as special prosecutors. He also selected a colleague, Judge Loretta Preska, to hear the criminal case. As part of the proceedings, Preska sentenced Donziger to his ongoing home confinement in August 2019.

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Macron can’t just brush this off.

Civil War Is Brewing In France And You Know It: French Military To Macron (RT)

A group of active French military personnel has published a new open letter to the country’s president Emmanuel Macron, warning him of a “civil war” brewing in the country after all the “concessions” he’s made to Islamism. The letter, published in the conservative Valeurs Actuelles magazine late on Sunday, strikes a similar tone to the message published by the same outlet last month. Unlike the previous one, which was signed by 25 retired generals and active-duty soldiers, the new letter is anonymous and is open for signing by the general public. As of noon on Monday, it had attracted over 100,000 signatures. The authors of the letter have described themselves as active-duty French soldiers, belonging to the younger generation of the military that saw actual combat over the past years.

“We are what the newspapers have called ‘the fire generation.’ Men and women, active soldiers, of all armies and of all ranks, of all opinions, we all love our country. These are our only claims to fame. And while we cannot, by law, express ourselves with our face uncovered, it is equally impossible for us to stay silent,” the letter reads. The letter accuses President Macron of making “concessions” to Islamism on French soil, while the country’s military has been spilling its blood to fight against it in “Afghanistan, Mali, the Central African Republic or elsewhere.”

The authors have also indicated that at least some of them have taken part in the domestic Operation Sentinelle, launched after the devastating 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, and witnessed certain ethno-religious communities in France completely detached from the rest of the country. For such communities “France means nothing but an object of sarcasm, contempt or even hatred,” the letter reads. Like the previous letter, this new one warns the republic’s authorities of an impending “civil war,” with the very existence of France being at stake. “Once again, civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well,” the letter reads.

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“..the court said it did not have jurisdiction to rule over America’s wartime activities in Vietnam”

Agent Orange Complaint vs Monsanto, Dow Chemical Rejected By French Court (RT)

A Paris court has rejected a 2014 complaint brought against 14 companies involved in the production and sale of Agent Orange to the US during the Vietnam War, declaring it does not have jurisdiction to rule over the matter. The lawsuit in the French court was filed by French-Vietnamese former journalist Tran To Nga. She accused the companies – among them Monsanto and Dow Chemical – of being culpable for the injuries caused to her, her children, and others, as well as for damage to the environment. However, the case was rejected on Monday, after the court said it did not have jurisdiction to rule over America’s wartime activities in Vietnam, halting the suit seven years after it was filed.

Tran, who covered the conflict, has been supported by non-governmental organizations in her quest to hold companies responsible for manufacturing Agent Orange and providing it to the US military. Those accused in the lawsuit have denied any responsibility for the damage caused in Vietnam, arguing that they cannot be blamed for how the American military used the chemical. Had Tran been successful, the case would have set a legal precedent for millions of Vietnamese civilian victims to have claimed compensation for health effects caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Currently, only American, Australian, and Korean military veterans who were exposed to the chemical have been awarded compensation, with America’s Agent Orange Settlement Fund having paid out claims to 52,000 former service members or their survivors, averaging at around $3,800 each.

Agent Orange was deployed across Vietnam by American forces from 1961 to 1971. During a brutal chemical warfare campaign against Viet Cong guerilla fighters, 12 million gallons of herbicide were used to defoliate the ecosystem, thereby exposing the enemy and destroy crops. The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that around a million people are disabled or suffer from health problems as the result of their exposure to the chemical. Dioxin, a highly toxic element of Agent Orange, has been linked to birth defects, cancers, and other deadly diseases.

Read more …

 

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“The drop CNN is experiencing is profound. On Friday, not one program broke 900K total viewers. Prime averaged less than 800K overall.

For comparison, the network averaged 2.74 million viewers in January, so we’re talking about more than two-thirds of the audience – gone.”

 

 

 


©AlanMcFadyen

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Sep 112020
 


René Magritte The Art of Conversation 1963

 

‘We Quarantined The Healthy And Exposed The Sick’ (JTN)
One in 100 COVID19 Patients Suffer Punctured Lung (RT)
UK Extradition Hearing For Julian Assange Postponed Over COVID19 Concerns (R.)
US Hinders Spanish Probe Into CIA Ties To Firm That Spied On Assange (ElPais)
Trump: If Woodward Found My Covid19 Quotes Dangerous, Why Sit On Them? (RT)
Senate Democrats Block GOP Relief Bill (Hill)
Schiff’s Latest ‘Whistleblower’ Probed By House Intel, IG, Fired From DHS (ZH)
Sidney Powell On Weissmann/Mueller Special Counsel Destroying Evidence (CT)
DOJ Records Show Members Of Mueller Team Wiped Phones During Trump Probe (Fox)
Say Goodbye To Globalization, ‘The Age Of Disorder’ Is Coming – Deutsche (RT)
Trouble Mounts For The ECB And Christine Lagarde (NaYM)
Misery In Moria Is Europe’s Migration Policy (Howden)
Macron: ‘Turkey Is No Longer A Partner In East Mediterranean’ (RT)
The Plot Against Libya: An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy (Draitser)

 

 

Not good: Global new daily cases set a new record. India adds about a third of that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conspiracy or incompetence?

‘We Quarantined The Healthy And Exposed The Sick’ (JTN)

Citizens and public authorities fixated on society-wide lockdowns as a key measure to combat COVID-19 have failed to account for the devastating effects those measures can have on society as a whole, a Stanford professor of medicine says. Jay Bhattacharya, the director of Stanford’s Program on Medical Outcomes as well as the director of the school’s Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging, said in an interview this week on the John Solomon Reports podcast that he found it “shocking” that, as countless countries earlier this year moved to shut down ahead of COVID-19, so many had forgotten to “think about both the cost and benefits” of such policies. “Country after country made the same decision with a couple of exceptions,” Bhattacharya said. “And I think that was a major problem.”

The professor said the global community largely abandoned the playbooks followed during earlier pandemics, instead “jump[ing] to a global lockdown.” Bhattacharya alluded to the policies in states such as New York and Pennsylvania that instructed nursing homes to accept COVID-19-positive patients, decisions which critics have claimed led to a significantly elevated death rate in nursing homes. “We essentially, in effect, exposed people who were at high risk in nursing homes, in assisted care facilities, elderly populations,” Bhattacharya said. “We essentially, in the early days of the epidemic, did the inverse of the right policy.” “We quarantined the healthy, and we exposed the sick,” he added.

The professor noted that the World Health Organization, early on in the pandemic, suggested that the death rate for the disease might be as high as 3.4%, significantly higher than that of seasonal influenza. Revised estimates have put that rate as low as 0.26%, though some studies have put it closer to 0.5%. Health institutions “were guided by models that were not based on actual data,” Bhattacharya said. “They were based on assumptions of worst cases.” He said such policy was a “worldwide phenomenon” and not limited to any one country. [..] “I can’t understand how so many people jumped to this mitigation strategy,” he added, “when there had been a playbook … to address the epidemic in ways that took into account both the cost and benefits of the policies.”

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There are 28 million cases and counting. That’s 280,000 punctured lungs.

One in 100 COVID19 Patients Suffer Punctured Lung (RT)

As many as one in every hundred patients hospitalized with Covid-19 suffer ‘punctured lung’ according to new research led by Cambridge University, further complicating treatment for those affected. Symptoms of a pneumothorax or ‘punctured lung’ include shortness of breath and sudden, stabbing chest pains that are exacerbated by taking deep breaths during the coughing fits associated with Covid-19. A punctured lung allows air to seep out and become trapped between the outside of the lung and the chest wall, eventually leading to the organ’s collapse under the accumulated pressure.

According to the new study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, tall young men or older patients with underlying lung disease were most at risk of suffering a punctured lung while undergoing treatment for severe Covid-19 infection (they are already considered at higher risk even before infection with the coronavirus). The Cambridge researchers behind the study used admissions data from the 16 hospitals and consulted colleagues across the UK who reported similar findings. “We started to see patients affected by a punctured lung, even among those who were not put on a ventilator,” says Professor Stefan Marciniak from the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research.

[..] even patients who would not fall into the aforementioned at-risk categories might suffer punctured lungs warned Marciniak, as many of the incidents of punctured lungs were diagnosed “by chance.” Almost two thirds of patients who suffered a punctured lung survived but the researchers recorded just a 42 percent survival rate for patients over 70. Men were three times more likely to suffer a punctured lung than women, possibly as a growing body of research indicates men are disproportionately affected by severe Covid-19 than women.

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Would they really mind if Julian gets infected?

UK Extradition Hearing For Julian Assange Postponed Over COVID19 Concerns (R.)

The London extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was postponed on Thursday because of concern that one of the lawyers involved might have been exposed to COVID-19. Assange is fighting extradition to the United States where he is wanted for conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law over the release of confidential cables by WikiLeaks in 2010-2011. Judge Vanessa Baraitser adjourned the case until Monday after being told one of the lawyers representing the United States might have been exposed to the virus. The lawyer was being tested on Thursday with the result due on Friday, she said. “At the moment we would respectfully submit we have to go ahead on the assumption that she has COVID,” Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s lawyer told London’s Old Bailey court where the hearings are taking place.


“If that is the correct assumption … we shouldn’t really be here: COVID would be here in the courtroom and it’s not possible to tell how far it’s extended,” he added. The extradition hearings began for a week in February and were due to resume in May, but were then delayed until this week because of the coronavirus lockdown. Assange’s lawyers have argued he should be granted bail because he himself is at particular risk from COVID-19 as he has suffered from respiratory infections and has had heart problems. However, the judge has ordered him to be kept in jail because he is considered a flight risk, having skipped bail and fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was wanted at the time to answer questions on alleged sex crimes. Those allegations have since been dropped.

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Investigating the CIA? Not done.

US Hinders Spanish Probe Into CIA Ties To Firm That Spied On Assange (ElPais)

There will be no judicial cooperation forthcoming from the United States unless a Spanish judge reveals his information sources in an investigation into alleged espionage against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Judge José de la Mata of Spain’s High Court (Audiencia Nacional) has sent a request for judicial cooperation to US authorities as part of his probe into a Spanish private security company named UC Global S.L. and its owner David Morales, on allegations that this firm secretly recorded Assange’s private meetings with lawyers, politicians, relatives and journalists at the embassy, where he took refuge in 2012 to avoid separate legal proceedings against him in Sweden.

Morales was arrested a year ago and released pending trial. According to testimony from several protected witnesses and former UC Global workers who gave evidence in connection with the case, Morales provided the CIA with recordings, video material and reports detailing the activities of the 49-year-old Australian cyber-activist inside the diplomatic mission, where he lived until his eviction in April 2019. Judge De la Mata, who is heading the probe into UC Global, has asked US prosecutors for the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of the computers or other networked devices that allegedly connected from American soil to a server held by the private security firm at its headquarters in the southern Spanish city of Jerez de la Frontera.

That server stored all the recordings made by cameras at the embassy, where UC Global was in charge of security, as well as reports drafted by company employees detailing each visit that Assange received, images of the visitors’ passports, and photographs of their cellphones and electronic devices. According to testimony by several ex-workers as well as e-mails used as evidence in the investigation, US intelligence services allegedly had access to this central server. US prosecutors have now sent a letter to María de las Heras, a liaison judge for Spain in the US, asking her to convey their demands to De la Mata. These include showing proof that the requested IP addresses are “relevant and substantial to the investigation.”

The document requests further details about the Spanish probe, including the sources of information for most of the assertions made in the request for judicial cooperation. The Spanish judge has been asked to answer a long list of questions regarding every aspect of his investigation, including who he believes that Morales was providing information to, or whether the judge thinks Morales was working for a foreign information service or as an agent for a foreign power – or whether it was simply a case of bribery. US prosecutors have asked for all this information to be relayed before October 16, otherwise “we will assume that Spanish authorities are not interested” and the request will be shelved.

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Woodward knew Trump said what he did after having been briefed by O’Brien. Who’s not a scientist. And that Trump right after talked to Fauci et al, who didn’t agree with the assessment.

Trump: If Woodward Found My COVID19 Quotes Dangerous, Why Sit On Them? (RT)

Donald Trump is hitting back at Bob Woodward’s claims that he downplayed the deadliness of Covid-19, saying if the veteran reporter really felt his approach to the pandemic was “dangerous” he should have made it public sooner. “Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months. If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives?” the president tweeted on Thursday. Audio from Woodward’s interview with Trump discussing the coronavirus was recorded in February. It has now been released just a few weeks before Woodward’s book ‘Rage’ goes on sale — and there are reportedly more tapes soon to drop. Trump questioned whether Woodward had an “obligation” to come forward if he really felt his thoughts on the virus were so bad. “Didn’t he have an obligation to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!” he tweeted.


In the released audio, the president admits Covid-19 is “deadly” and worse than the flu. He also says he will “always play it down” so he doesn’t create public panic. Weeks after the audio was recorded, Trump publicly compared Covid-19 to the common flu. He also made public comments suggesting that the virus would eventually just “go away.” At a Wednesday press conference, the president slammed Woodward’s book and audio as a “political hit job.” While Woodward’s work is being celebrated by Trump critics, parts of his book have been disputed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who works on the White House coronavirus task force. Fauci claims he does “not recall” uttering several negative quotes about the president attributed to him in the book — and said Trump “didn’t really say anything different” about the pandemic in private than he did in public.

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Or the other way around, depending on your affiliation.

Senate Democrats Block GOP Relief Bill (Hill)

Senate Democrats blocked a GOP coronavirus bill on Thursday amid a deep stalemate over the next relief package. Senators voted 52-47 on the roughly $500 billion Republican bill, which marked the first coronavirus-related legislation the chamber has voted on since it passed a $484 billion package in April. The vote handed a symbolic victory to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who spent weeks haggling with Republicans and the White House over the contours of the pared-down GOP bill as he sought to overcome deep divisions over the path forward. GOP leadership worked behind the scenes to lock down 51 votes, a U-turn from last month when McConnell predicted that up to 20 GOP senators wouldn’t vote for any additional legislation.

GOP Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) was the only Republican to vote against the bill on Thursday. But it failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome Thursday’s procedural hurdle as congressional Democratic leadership and the White House remain at a standoff over a fifth coronavirus package. The brinkmanship was on full display ahead of Thursday’s vote, with McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) trading barbs on the Senate floor. [..] there’s no sign that congressional Democrats or the White House is willing to break the stalemate.

Mnuchin, Meadows, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remain far apart not only on the price tag but also on significant policy issues including unemployment insurance and more money for state and local governments. Republicans unveiled a $1.1 trillion bill in late July, and Mnuchin has suggested the White House could go as high as $1.5 trillion. But he’s also suggested this week that his focus is shifting to an end-of-the-month deadline to fund the government. There are no talks currently scheduled between the foursome.

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That record’s definitely broken.

Schiff’s Latest ‘Whistleblower’ Probed By House Intel, IG, Fired From DHS (ZH)

On Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has unveiled a new whistleblower – former DHS intelligence official Brian Murphy, who claims that Trump administration officials at the White House and Department of Homeland Security suppressed intelligence reports that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election, and ‘altered intelligence’ related to comments made by President Trump. “We’ve received a whistleblower complaint alleging DHS suppressed intel reports on Russian election interference, altered intel to match false Trump claims and made false statements to Congress,” Schiff tweeted, adding “We will investigate.” Except, Schiff did investigate – his whistleblower – for allegedly ‘providing incomplete and potentially misleading information to Committee staff,’ according to the New York Times.


Not only that, Murphy was fired from his job as the head of DHS’s intelligence branch and reassigned after he compiled reports about protesters and journalists reporting on the Trump administration’s response to the riots in Portland, Oregon in July. “Brian Murphy, the acting under secretary for intelligence and analysis, was reassigned to a new position in the department after his office disseminated to the law enforcement community “open-source intelligence reports” containing Twitter posts of journalists, noting they had published leaked unclassified documents, according to an administration official familiar with the matter. It was not clear what Mr. Murphy’s new position would be.” -New York Times As a result of Murphy’s actions, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf asked the Inspector General to investigate.

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“Sullivan’s court appointed amicus response brief is due [today]..”

Sidney Powell On Weissmann/Mueller Special Counsel Destroying Evidence (CT)

Michael Flynn defense attorney Sidney Powell appears for an interview with Liz MacDonald to discuss the developments in the Flynn case (note: Sullivan’s court appointed amicus response brief is due tomorrow), and the background information recently highlighted. As you review this interview, retain the 30,000/ft perspective. Ms. Powell also discusses the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel erasing evidence by wiping phones and hiding evidence of their corrupt activity. Additionally, Liz Mac circles back to the 2017 FISA report by Rosemary Collyer to support the most recent 2019 opinion filed by the FISA court showing the NSA database search abuse is ongoing.

(1) We know to a demonstrable certainty the special counsel took apart the FBI investigative file of Washington Field Office Supervisory Special Agent Brian Dugan in order to protect their corrupt investigation and the collaborative effort of the Senate Intelligence Committee. And Durham/Aldenberg knows that we know. (2) We also know with a high degree of certainty the special counsel created a missing Woods File for the Carter Page application when the IG started sniffing around and announced his intent to review the four FISA applications. And Durham/Aldenberg knows that we have strong, very strong, evidence pointing in that direction. (3) And now today we discover the same special counsel team destroyed their iPhones in an effort to cover their tracks. These three events all happened within an almost identical time-frame. C‘mon man… this is not coincidental.

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“At least 27 phones used by the Mueller team were wiped before they could be checked for records.”

DOJ Records Show Members Of Mueller Team Wiped Phones During Trump Probe (Fox)

Newly released records from the Department of Justice show that the cell phones of multiple people on then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team were “wiped” for various reasons during the probe. The records show at least several dozen phones were wiped of information because of forgotten passcodes, irreparable screen damage, loss of the device, intentional deletion or other reasons — and came before the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) could review the devices. The documents show that Mueller deputy Andrew Weissman “accidentally wiped” his phone twice after entering the wrong passcode too many times in March 2018. Lawyer James Quarles’ phone “wiped itself” without his intervention, the records say. The documents were released after a lawsuit from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.


[..] The records indicate Attorney Greg Andres phone was also wiped due to a forgotten passcode. And they say the phones of both Mueller deputy Kyle Freeny and Rush Atkinson were wiped accidentally after they entered the wrong passcode too many times. The records say that a phone belonging to FBI lawyer Lisa Page – whose anti-Trump texts with FBI agent Peter Strzok were of interest to investigators — was restored to factory settings when the inspector general’s office received it. Other officials, whose names are redacted, claim to have unintentionally restored their phone to its factory settings, deleting all records of communication. Next to the name of one redacted person, the record says: “Phone was in airplane mode, no passcode provided, data unable to be recovered so had to be wiped.”

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“The analysts note that the Chinese economy will be closing the gap with the US and could finally outperform it by the end of the decade.”

But doesn’t China’s growth come from globalization?

Say Goodbye To Globalization, ‘The Age Of Disorder’ Is Coming – Deutsche (RT)

The four-decade era of globalization may be coming to an end, and we could be entering “The Age of Disorder,” which will reshape both economies and politics, Deutsche Bank analysts have said in a new research note. One of the key characteristics of the new era will be the reversal of unfettered globalization, a team of analysts led by strategist Jim Reid predicted. While we saw “the best combined asset price growth of any era in history, with equity and bond returns very strong across the board” since 1980, “the Age of Disorder” is likely to break this trend. Deteriorating US-China relations is another theme (out of eight) that will define the next distinct era of modern times, “which is hastened, but not caused by, the pandemic.” The analysts note that the Chinese economy will be closing the gap with the US and could finally outperform it by the end of the decade.

“A clash of cultures and interests therefore beckons, especially as China grows closer to being the largest economy in the world,” the report says. Fortunately, this economic standoff is unlikely to trigger a real military conflict between the two states, as usually happens when a rising power tries to challenge the ruling one. Economic war – with tariffs, sanctions, and attacks in the technology sphere – will go on instead, the analysts believe. No matter who wins the 2020 presidential election in the US, the rift between the two superpowers will grow. While the coronavirus crisis has already put the European economy at a crossroads, Deutsche Bank says that the next decade may become “a make-or-break decade for Europe.” Among other factors defining the future are higher debt and helicopter money (distributing cash to the public) becoming mainstream – policies which are likely to spike inflation.

Inequality may even get worse in the post-Covid-19 world, before a backlash and reversal takes place, the bank says. Inequality is closely connected with the intergenerational gap, but the analysts expect that the number of younger voters will exceed those born before 1980 by the end of the decade. This could lead to major policy changes in many spheres – from taxes to climate.

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Doctors and pharmacists always tend to play “hard to understand”. And so do central bankers.

Trouble Mounts For The ECB And Christine Lagarde (NaYM)

Today is ECB ( European Central Bank ) day where we get the results of their latest deliberations. We may get a minor move but essentially it is one for what we have come to call open mouth operations. This is more than a little awkward when the President has already established a reputation for putting her Hermes shod foot in her mouth. Who can forget this from March 12th? “Lagarde: We are not here to close spreads, there are other tools and other actors to deal with these issues.” If you are ever not sure of the date just take a look at a chart of the Italian government bond market as it is the time when the benchmark ten-year yield doubled. As many put it the ECB had gone from “Whatever it takes” to “Whatever.”

This issue has continued and these days President Lagarde reads from a script written for her which begs the issue of whether the questions from the press corps are known in advance? It also begs the issue of who is actually in charge? This is all very different from when prompted by an admiring Financial Time representative she was able to describe herself as a “wise owl” like her brooch. Whoever was in charge got her to change her tune substantially on CNBC later and got a correcting footnote in the minutes. “I am fully committed to avoid any fragmentation in a difficult moment for the euro area. High spreads due to the coronavirus impair the transmission of monetary policy. We will use the flexibility embedded in the asset purchase programme, including within the public sector purchase programme. The package approved today can be used flexibly to avoid dislocations in bond markets, and we are ready to use the necessary determination and strength.”

Next comes her promise to unify the ECB Governing Council and have it singing from the same hymn sheet, unlike the term of her predecessor Mario Draghi. This has been crumbling over the past day or two as we have received reports of better economic expectations from some ECB members. This has been solidified by this in Eurofi magazine today. “Now that we have moved past the impact phase of the shock, we can shift our attention toward the recovery phase. Recently, forward looking confidence indicators look robust, while high frequency data suggest that mobility is recovering. These developments solidify the confidence in our baseline projection with a more favorable balance-of-risks. However, even if no further setbacks materialize economic activity will only approach pre-corona levels at the end of 2022.”

That is from Klass Knot the head of the DNB or Netherlands central bank and any doubts about his view are further expunged below. “Relying too heavily on monetary policy to get the job done might have contributed to perceptions of a “central bank put” in the recovery from the euro area debt crisis, where the ECB bore all of the downside risk to the economy.” Might?!

Read more …

Sleeping by the side of the road with little children, while cars rush by. The local stores won’t sell them anything, including water.

Misery In Moria Is Europe’s Migration Policy (Howden)

Five years ago, when the refugee camp at Moria was still just a bad idea, a local army officer was asked to assess the site. Surveying the hillside of olive groves, Stavros Miroyiannis warned the authorities they were going to “build a favela.” If they had to choose this site, he said, they should at least plan the camp as they would a village. They ignored him on both counts. Miroyiannis would go on to put his own advice into practice a few kilometers away as the camp manager at Lesvos’ much smaller and more humane Kara Tepe camp. Meanwhile, Moria, which burned to the ground this week, came to resemble a detention camp and function like the slum he predicted. And yet, while the ashes of Moria are still smoldering, the one certainty is that it will be rebuilt.

Moria, in all its miserable, dehumanizing squalor, was designed to be that way. It was not a mistake. The camp was the product of political calculations in Brussels and European capitals and that calculus has not changed. It is fireproof. When thousands, and then tens of thousands, of asylum seekers began to arrive by sea on Greece’s islands in 2015, the European Union’s strategic response was the creation of so-called “hot spots.” Moria was the largest and most notorious of these, and its architecture and evolution most graphically demonstrated its true intention. Its concrete terraces, nested fences and razor wire amounted to an anti-shelter. It was not meant to receive and give shelter, it was a spectacle intended to deter future asylum seekers.

Moria became the emblem of an EU deterrence policy in which the warehousing of asylum seekers in humiliating circumstances was the point. Any other approach was and is seen as creating a “pull factor” that will attract another 2015-style surge of arrivals. Migration experts have spent the last five years explaining to policymakers why this is not true but the base assumption has proven to be impervious to evidence. The European deterrence consensus is concealed behind technocratic jargon like “managed migration” but it is really evidence that the Continent prefers to pay the poor to contain the poorest. Europe’s leaders no longer care whether human warehouse fees are paid to Turkey or to Greece, or spent on a lower cost per capita basis in Jordan or Lebanon. The deal that underpins the consensus was the EU-Turkey statement unveiled in 2016.

That agreement foresaw Turkey preventing the departure for Europe of the vast majority of asylum seekers in return for billions of euros in financial assistance. The terms transformed refugees and migrants into a commodity that could be leveraged by the unpredictable and autocratic regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan When the deal collapsed six months ago, it quickly became apparent that there were no new ideas on the EU side. All diplomatic efforts have dwelt on renegotiating the old deal with some minor tweaks. Meanwhile, the dreadful logic of its original terms has reached its inevitable, damaging conclusion: People trying to access asylum in Europe are cast not as “people like us” but an invading horde — weapons in an asymmetric war.

Read more …

“We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people who deserve more than the Erdogan government..”

Macron: ‘Turkey Is No Longer A Partner In East Mediterranean’ (RT)

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the French president’s critical comments on the standoff in the eastern Mediterranean are a sign “of his own weakness and despair.” Macron “has again made an arrogant… statement,” the ministry in Ankara said after the French president urged European leaders earlier in the day to stand up to Turkey’s “unacceptable provocations.” He hosted an emergency summit in Corsica with seven leaders of EU countries that border the Mediterranean Sea at a time when Ankara seeks to expand its energy resources and influence in the eastern Mediterranean. The meeting came amid fears of an open conflict with Turkey stemming from tensions over offshore oil and gas drilling. Ankara has already lashed out at France and the EU for siding with Greece and Cyprus in the dispute.

Ahead of the Med-7 Summit, Macron said that “Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region.” He made it clear that the meeting was summoned to clarify “red lines” if a “fruitful dialogue” with Turkey was to restart. The EU states should avoid an escalation, but that does not mean they should be passive in disputes with Ankara, Macron said. “We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people who deserve more than the Erdogan government,” the French leader was quoted as saying. “All unilateral actions of Turkey, such as the Turkish-Libyan memorandum, without respecting the rights of Greece, are unacceptable.”

Apart from the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, Turkey’s ruling party did not leave Macron’s comments unnoticed either, accusing him of extending his country’s “long history of colonialism.” Omer Celik, spokesman for the Justice and Development (AK) Party, described the French leader’s statement as an “old and immoral game” of colonialists. “They offered a false show of love to exploit the people, but targeted patriotic leaders,” he tweeted.

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“The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood. These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor.”

The Plot Against Libya: An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy (Draitser)

The scorching desert sun streams through narrow slats in the tiny window. A mouse scurries across the cracked concrete floor, the scuttling of its tiny feet drowned out by the sound of distant voices speaking in Arabic. Their chatter is in a western Libyan dialect distinctive from the eastern dialect favored in Benghazi. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the shimmering desert horizon, is Tripoli, the jewel of Africa now reduced to perpetual war. But here, in this cell in a dank old warehouse in Bani Walid, there are no smugglers, no rapists, no thieves or murderers. There are simply Africans captured by traffickers as they made their way from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, or other disparate parts of the continent seeking a life free of war and poverty, the rotten fruit of Anglo-American and European colonialism.

The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood. These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor. Some are bound for construction sites while others for the fields. All face the certainty of forced servitude, a waking nightmare that has become their daily reality. This is Libya, the real Libya. The Libya that has been constructed from the ashes of the US-NATO war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The Libya now fractured into warring factions, each backed by a variety of international actors whose interest in the country is anything but humanitarian. But this Libya was built not by Donald Trump and his gang of degenerate fascist ghouls.

No, it was the great humanitarian Barack Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and their harmonious peace circle of liberal interventionists who wrought this devastation. With bright-eyed speeches about freedom and self-determination, the First Black President, along with his NATO comrades in France and Britain, unleashed the dogs of war on an African nation seen by much of the world as a paragon of economic and social development. But this is no mere journalistic exercise to document just one of the innumerable crimes carried out in the name of the American people. No, this is us, the antiwar left in the United States, peering through the cracks in the imperial artifice – crumbling as it is from internal rot and political decay – to shine a light through the gloom named Trump and directly into the heart of darkness. There are truths that must be made plain lest they be buried like so many bodies in the desert sand.

To understand the depth of criminality involved in the US-NATO war on Libya, we must unravel a complex story involving actors from both the US and Europe who quite literally conspired to bring about this war, while simultaneously exposing the unconstitutional, imperial presidency as embodied by Mr. Hope and Change himself. In doing so, a picture emerges that is strikingly at odds with the dominant narrative about good intentions and bad dictators. For although Gaddafi was presented as the villain par excellence in this story told by the Empire’s scribes in corporate media, it is in fact Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, French philosopher-cum-neocolonial adventurist Bernard Henri-Levy, and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who are the real malevolent forces. It was they, not Gaddafi, who waged a blatantly illegal war on false pretenses and for their own aggrandizement. It was they, not Gaddafi, who conspired to plunge Libya into chaos and civil war from which it is yet to emerge. It was they who beat the war drums while proclaiming peace on earth and good will to men.

Read more …

 

 

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Trump 9/11

 

 

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Jun 152020
 


Gustave Dore Dante before the wall of flames which burn the lustful 1868

 

The Masks Masquerade (Nassim Taleb)
Millions of US Job Losses Are at Risk of Becoming Permanent (BBG)
Powell Is Now Helpless (Eric Peters)
US Labor Department Throws 401k Investors To The Wolves (F.)
UK Lawmakers Urge FM Sunak To Add 1 Million Workers To Income Schemes (R.)
Beijing Lockdown Spreads In Race To Control Outbreak (SCMP)
Sudden Jump In China Virus Cases Causes Futures To Tumble (ZH)
Second Wave Has Begun in US, Medical System May Be Stressed – Doctor (CNBC)
Greeks Against Second Lockdown – Survey (K.)
Macron Says France Must Seek Greater Economic Independence After Virus (R.)
Putin: Russia Soon Able To Counter “Indefensible” Hypersonic Weapons (ZH)
To Celebrate Obama Day, Here Are Barack’s Greatest Hits (Ben Norton)
Julian Assange Indictment Fails To Mention ‘Collateral Murder’ Video (G.)

 

 

Good thing I’m not into astrology:

• Trump’s birthday: June 14 (a.k.a Obama Day)

• Xi Jinping’s birthday: June 15

 

 

Worldometer reports new cases (midnight to midnight GMT+0) at + 123,645.

My count from about 6 am EDT to 6 am EDT is + 121,464 cases.

But the graph says cases always come down in the weekend, and I’m early today.

 

 

 

 

New cases past 24 hours in:

• US + 20,004
• Brazil + 17,086
• Russia + 8,246
• India + 13,722
• Pakistan + 5,248
• Chile + 6,938

 

 

Cases 8,017,241 (+ 121,464 from yesterday’s 7,895,777)

Deaths 436,124(+ 3,242 from yesterday’s 432,882)

 

 

 

 

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-:

 

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 


 

 

Taleb goes into much more detail in the article, please read. The inane “doubts” about mask efficacy cost lives. Wear a Mask in Public!

The Masks Masquerade (Nassim Taleb)

Incompetence and Errors in Reasoning Around Face Covering

SIX ERRORS:

1) missing the compounding effects of masks,

2) missing the nonlinearity of the probability of infection to viral exposures,

3) missing absence of evidence (of benefits of mask wearing) for evidence of absence (of benefits of mask wearing),

4) missing the point that people do not need governments to produce facial covering: they can make their own,

5) missing the compounding effects of statistical signals,

6) ignoring the Non-Aggression Principle by pseudolibertarians (masks are also to protect others from you; it’s a multiplicative process: every person you infect will infect others).

In fact masks (and faceshields) supplemented with constraints of superspreader events can save us trillions of dollars in future lockdowns (and lawsuits) and be potentially sufficient (under adequate compliance) to stem the pandemic. Bureaucrats do not like simple solutions. [..] Note that by infecting another person you are not infecting just another person. You are infecting many many more and causing systemic risk.
Wear a mask. For the Sake of Others.

Read more …

This won’t sink in for a long time yet.

Millions of US Job Losses Are at Risk of Becoming Permanent (BBG)

Twenty-year-old William Lovely used to work at Jason’s Deli in Virginia Beach, delivering catering orders to surrounding businesses. Now, thanks to the coronavirus, he’s struggling to pay his bills. Laid off in March, he’s gone from regular hours and pay to gigging for UberEats or Instacart, earning up to $100 on some days but often coming home with almost nothing. While the restaurant is trying to slowly reopen, Lovely reckons the best he can hope for is a part-time position, requiring him to keep his second job if he’s going to meet his expenses. “My job stopped, but the bills don’t,” he said. Lovely’s experience goes to the heart of the dilemma facing the world economy as it gradually emerges from the virus-enforced lockdown and unprecedented recession: How many of the millions of lost jobs are gone for good?

The hope is the waves of stimulus doled out by governments and central banks should eventually buoy economies and spark a revival in hiring. Furloughed or redundant workers would then return to their employers. The risk though is that the pandemic is inflicting a “reallocation shock” in which firms and even entire sectors suffer lasting damage. Lost jobs don’t come back and unemployment stays elevated. That would force workers to retrain or relocate, both of which are hard, and governments to do more than just try to spend their way out of trouble. It was a theme hit upon last week by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as U.S. central bankers forecast leaving interest rates near zero until 2022 in part because of a surge in unemployment to the highest level since the Great Depression.


There will be “well into the millions of people who don’t get to go back to their old job,” said Powell, who will testify to Congress on the economic outlook this week. “In fact, there may not be a job in that industry for them for some time.” Unfortunately, new research by Bloomberg Economics reckons 30% of U.S. job losses from February to May are the result of a reallocation shock. The analysis — based on the relationship between hiring, firing, openings and unemployment — suggests the labor market will initially recover swiftly, but then level off with millions still unemployed.

Read more …

The louder you say that the bigger the next bank bailout is going to be.

Powell Is Now Helpless (Eric Peters)

“We’re not even thinking about thinking of raising rates,” declared America’s Fed Chairman, all but eliminating uncertainty about the Fed policy path through 2022. The S&P 500 had completed a historic recovery from the pandemic lows to trade higher on the year, its price utterly disconnected from today’s economic devastation. But markets never discount today, they discount tomorrow. And no sooner had they taken a little peek at what prices looked like back on January 1st then they began to plunge. Some blamed signs of a viral resurgence, though that had swirled for days. Others blamed Millennials whose day-trading resembles the dot.com mania. And a few blamed General Milley, America’s top-ranking general, who apologized for joining the President on his ill-fated march to St. John’s Church.

You see, the generals have turned their backs on Trump over his response to demonstrators. The NFL has too; its commissioner apologized for having opposed taking a knee. Even NASCAR banned the Confederate Flag. And as Trump’s re-election prospects tanked, expectations for a dramatic restructuring of America’s economy soared. Efforts to rebalance the division of profits between capital and labor is demanded by a riotous Main Street. But this terrifies Wall Street, which has worked for years with Republicans, Democrats, CEOs and the Fed to extract an ever-increasing share of national prosperity for those who control capital.

This imbalance is central to today’s tumult. “If we held back because we think asset prices are too high – what would happen to those people who we are legally supposed to be serving?” asked Powell rhetorically, unsuccessfully defending himself from a rising chorus of critics who see the Federal Reserve as amplifying inequality. For decades, the central bank accommodated the financialization of the world’s largest economy. Now that the process is largely complete, even a modest market wobble threatens to devastate the real economy. And Powell is now helpless, caught in a trap of the Fed’s making.

Read more …

The Forbes headline says: “Trump DOL Throws…”, but the watering down of asset quality started a long time ago (Greenspan?!). We can pretend that stocks represent real value, but if that were true the Fed would get out of the way in a split second. As I always say: Remember AAA?

US Labor Department Throws 401k Investors To The Wolves (F.)

Trump U. S. Department of Labor watchdogs just opened the door for private equity wolves to sell the highest cost, highest risk, most secretive investments ever devised by Wall Street to 401k plan sponsors. 401k investors will be devoured like lambs to the slaughter. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor opened the door for plan sponsors to add private equity funds to their 401(k) plans. That’s a huge win for the private equity industry since 401ks hold nearly $9 trillion in assets and a monstrous setback to American workers who invest in 401ks for retirement security.

After over three decades of egregious retail price gouging by mutual fund companies—as to which the DOL turned a blind eye—401k costs have in recent years been trending downward thanks primarily to widespread excessive-fee private class action litigation. Now, if private equity is embraced, 401k costs will skyrocket, risk will dramatically increase and transparency will plummet. Bad enough that DOL—the federal agency which is supposed to protect employer-sponsored retirement benefit plans—welcomed the wolves of Wall Street to feast on workers’ hard-earned savings, but the explanation the agency provided for its reckless action is perverse.

Ramping up the fees and risks to 401k savers will “overcome the effects the coronavirus had had on our economy” and “level the playing field for ordinary investors” by allowing workers to gamble their limited retirement savings like millionaires who can afford to lose lots. [..] Warren Buffett, arguably the world’s most respected investor, recently escalated his criticism of private equity firms. At last year’s Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B annual meeting Buffett stated, “We have seen a number of proposals from private equity firms where the returns are not calculated in a manner that I would regard as honest… If I were running a pension fund, I would be very careful about what was being offered to me.”

Read more …

Until he has a substantial part of the population on these schemes, and a UBI would likely be both cheaper and more efficient. But UBI is a blasphemy.

UK Lawmakers Urge FM Sunak To Add 1 Million Workers To Income Schemes (R.)

British finance minister Rishi Sunak must extend the government’s already huge coronavirus income support measures to include over 1 million more workers who have missed out, lawmakers said on Monday. People who started jobs after a cut-off date in March for the state’s wage subsidy scheme or who set up a company in the last year should not be excluded, the lawmakers from parliament’s influential Treasury Committee said.Self-employed people who earn more than a threshold set by the government, freelancers in industries such as theatre and television and directors of companies who pay themselves in dividends should also be covered, they said. Mel Stride, who chairs the committee, said Sunak had acted quickly to slow an expected surge in unemployment as the crisis escalated in March.


“If it is to be fair and completely fulfil its promise of doing whatever it takes, the government should urgently enact our recommendations to help those who have fallen through the gaps,” he said. Sunak has recognised that some people are not protected by his support plans but has shown no sign of expanding them again. Nearly 9 million jobs are covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays temporarily laid-off workers 80% of their salary, capped at 2,500 pounds a month. A separate scheme for self-employed people has received 2.6 million claims. Britain’s budget forecasters have estimated that the two programmes will cost nearly 70 billion pounds ($88 billion) this year, more than the entire government borrowing in the last financial year.

Read more …

This has birthday boy Xi really scared. 11 neigborhoods in Beijing have been shut down.

Beijing Lockdown Spreads In Race To Control Outbreak (SCMP)

Chinese vice-premier Sun Chunlan has prescribed “firm and decisive measures” to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Beijing, which reported another 36 new cases in a single day following an outbreak at a food market in the capital. Sun, who has been overseeing China’s Covid-19 control measures since January, told a meeting of the State Council late on Sunday that the risk of the latest outbreak spreading was “very high” because of the market’s large, densely packed and highly mobile population, according to state news agency Xinhua. The new cases bring the number of people affected in the capital by the latest outbreak to 79 – all of them linked to the Xinfadi wholesale market, a food distribution centre in southern Beijing which occupies 107 hectares and supplies food to northern provinces like Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei and Liaoning.


[..] Residential areas near Xinfadi market are once again under strict lockdown, with controlled access pending centralised testing for Covid-19. Beijing Health Commission spokesman Xia Xiaojun said 76,499 samples had been tested on Sunday, with 59 positive. Xia said some of those cases had already been included in the count of confirmed infections, while others were still waiting for diagnosis.

Read more …

Close to 100 new cases.

Sudden Jump In China Virus Cases Causes Futures To Tumble (ZH)

On a day when more than 20 US states are seeing a pick-up in cases, Tokyo reported a jump over the weekend and a fresh outbreak in Beijing prompted officials to close a market there, futures are tumbling, with Eminis down more than 40 points to 2,980 the lowest level since the start of June.The drop follows renewed fears of a second coronavirus wave which massacred shares on Thursday before a modest rebound Friday. But the trigger for tonight’s drop appears to have come out of China, which reported 49 new cases of COVID19 in China on June 14, including 10 imported cases and 39 local cases.

36 local cases were diagnosed in Beijing and 3 in Hebei province, according to the National Health Commission, with China’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan spooking traders saying that the risks are high for Beijing’s coronavirus resurgence to spread as all cases are related to Xinfadi wholesale market where a large population has visited, according to Xinhua. As reported yesterday, Beijing shut a major food market and imposed lockdown restrictions on residential areas nearby after dozens of people associated with the wholesale market were tested positive for coronavirus.

Additionally, the Global Times reported that 17 out of 19 new imported coronavirus cases registered on Saturday came from South Asia, Chinese health authorities said Sunday, a sharp spike which analysts said indicates that loosening restrictions and worsening contagion in the region poses a danger to the country’s domestic situation. The 17 patients were reported in South China’s Guangdong Province, with 14 flying from Bangladesh and three from India. The 14 patients and the three asymptomatic carriers arrived in Guangzhou on China Southern Airlines flight CZ392 from Dhaka to Guangzhou on Thursday, which prompted the Chinese aviation regulator to suspend the route for four weeks from June 22 in accordance with the latest policy.

Read more …

Here’s a doctor who claims a second wave has started in the US. But I don’t see it. What did happen was that peaks were not simultaneous all over the country, and the first ones were in some of the most populous areas (Northeast).

It’s really just been a shift from Northeast to South and West, though, and I see no overall second wave appearing yet. If and when it does, it will likely also be different in different regions of the country. Note: there is kind of a second wave in Houston.

 

 

 

 

Second Wave Has Begun in US, Medical System May Be Stressed – Doctor (CNBC)

A second wave of coronavirus has started in the U.S. — and people need to remain careful or risk stressing out the health-care system again, said William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “The second wave has begun,” said the professor of medicine told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday. “We’re opening up across the country, but many, many people are not social distancing, many are not wearing their masks.” Even so, he said he “cannot imagine” a second shutdown due to the impact of the first one. Several states in America have reported recent spikes in Covid-19 cases as measures are eased throughout the country. The U.S. has the highest number of cases in the world. Nearly 2.1 million people have been infected by the disease and more than 115,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Schaffner added that mass gatherings and religious services are also being held. “Many people are simply not being careful, they’re being carefree,” he said. “That, of course, will lead to more spread of the Covid virus.” Despite signs of a second wave, Schaffner said the option of another lockdown is “off the table.” Instead, governments, businesses and religious leaders have to work together to promote mask wearing and social distancing in order to flatten the curve. He said wearing masks is “very, very important” and authorities should “persuade and educate” their residents to make this a “social norm.” “If we all do that in respect of each other, then I think we can make some progress,” said Schaffner.

“If we do all the opposite — if we open up, do not have social distancing, don’t wear masks and congregate in large numbers again, we are going to be very stressed in the medical care system,” he warned. “The complete shutdown was such a financial disaster, and had so many social and cultural implications that I cannot imagine we’ll have a shutdown again,” he said. Other countries, however, have not shied away from reimposing measures when new clusters are detected in the community. In May, South Korea shut all night clubs and bars in Seoul after a new cluster surfaced there. Last week, Beijing reportedly banned tourism and locked down 11 neighborhoods in response to infections related to a wholesale market.

Read more …

If things go well, I should be back in Athens soon. The sentiment here is probably more or less the same as in many other countries.

Greeks Against Second Lockdown – Survey (K.)

Greeks are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus on public health and the economy, while also skeptical about the causes and repercussions of the pandemic, according to a survey conducted by Pulse for Kathimerini. Eighty-four percent say that Covid-19 is “definitely” or “perhaps” a serious risk to public health. The risk appears greater among older age groups and educated individuals. Meanwhile, 76 percent say that the health measures, which damaged the economy, were “definitely” or “maybe” necessary. More specifically, the measures were deemed as necessary by 90 percent of New Democracy voters and 62 percent of SYRIZA voters. Concern is widespread. Thirty-two percent are more worried about their financial situation and 23 percent about their health, while 42 percent said that both issues have them “equally concerned.”

Most people say they are against a fresh lockdown in the case of a second wave in the autumn. The restrictions on public movement appear to have taken an economic and psychological toll. As a result, only 21 percent favor a repeat of the “horizontal restrictions.” Meanwhile, 65 percent favor restrictions only in places where a spike in cases is recorded while 10 percent say that the state “must only give recommendations” to citizens. The survey shows that people with lower education and income levels are more likely to question official theories about the origin of the virus. It appears that lower income individuals (usually people with limited educational opportunities) tend to associate Covid-19 with formal structures which they hold responsible for their condition.


More specifically, 33 percent believe that the virus is being used to “intimidate” the public, an equal share say it is being used to enforce compulsory vaccination, while 35 percent say that the virus is used as an excuse to compromise citizens’ personal data. However, Greeks appear relatively immune to the 5G coronavirus conspiracy, as only 10 percent believe there is any connection between the spread of Covid-19 and mobile phone technology. A key reason perhaps is that 5G technology is still not available in Greece. [..] More than half (52 percent) said Covid-19 was created by humans. Of these, 30 percent claim that the virus was created by humans with a specific purpose in mind (like an experiment on population control), while 22 percent say that the virus was created by mistake (like an accident in a lab). Eleven percent said they did not know where the virus might have come from.

Read more …

1) Does Macron -also- mean independence from the EU?
2) The French are not averse to a bit of nationalism, and Macron like many other leaders can and does use the idea that the virus came from abroad to play into it
3) Of course countries should cut their dependence on others when it comes to essential goods, but the EU wants the opposite
4) If there’s one police force that needs reform, it’s the French

Macron Says France Must Seek Greater Economic Independence After Virus (R.)

President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he was accelerating France’s exit from its coronavirus lockdown and that the crisis had laid bare the country’s need for greater economic independence. In a televised address to the nation, Macron promised that the 500 billion euro cost of keeping companies afloat and people in jobs during the worst downturn since World War Two would not be passed to households through higher taxes. Restaurants and cafes in Paris will be allowed to reopen fully from Monday, he said, the same day France lifts restrictions at its borders for European Union travellers, bringing sorely needed relief for the hospitality industry.

He said the coronavirus pandemic had exposed the “flaws and fragility” of France’s, and more broadly Europe’s, over-reliance on global supply chains, from the car industry to smart phones and pharmaceuticals. “The only answer is to build a new, stronger economic model, to work and produce more, so as not to rely on others,” Macron said. The coronavirus has killed more than 29,300 people in France and forced Macron, a former investment banker, to suspend his economic and social reform drive aimed at spurring growth, creating jobs and deregulating the economy. The government expects the economy to shrink by 11% in 2020. Macron said he would lay out a detailed blueprint for the final two years of his mandate in July.

[..] The global outpouring of anger has forced France to confront allegations from ethnic minorities and rights groups of racism and brutality within France’s own law enforcement agencies. Macron said skin colour too often reduced a person’s opportunities in France, promising to be unflinching against all discrimination. But he expressed support for French police and said fighting racism should not lead to a “hateful” re-writing of the history of France, whose empire once stretched from the Caribbean to the South Pacific and included much of north and west Africa. “I will be very clear tonight, compatriots: the Republic won’t erase any name from its history. It will forget none of its artworks, it won’t take down statues,” Macron said.

Read more …

The US can only play catch-up, and even that it’s not good at.

Putin: Russia Soon Able To Counter “Indefensible” Hypersonic Weapons (ZH)

The thing about hypersonic missiles is they are supposed to be impossible to defend against. Since Russia began touting its experimental arsenal two years ago, the prospect of devastating weapons capable of traveling at Mach 5, or at least a mile per second, has kept Pentagon generals up at night. “The hypersonic threat is real, it is not imagination,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves told a D.C. defense conference in 2018. “Greaves comments come amid reports that assess Russia will be capable of fielding a hypersonic glide vehicle, a weapon that no country can defend against, by 2020,” a report at the time underscored alarmingly.

The “indefensible” super weapon… but Russian President Vladimir Putin now says the Kremlin will soon have the technology to defend against it — this as more and more information has been slowly revealed concerning the US Department of Defense’s own multi-billion dollar hypersonics program. Putin made the new comments Sunday: “It’s very likely that we will have means to combat hypersonic weapons by the time the world’s leading countries have such weapons,” he said according to the RIA news agency. Russian state media further said Putin referenced an emerging hypersonins ‘arms race’. The Russian president said that Russia’s rivals will soon be “surprised” when they learn the Russian armed forces will be able to “combat them”.

Putin’s words, as conveyed by RT, were paraphrased as follows: Other nations are hastily designing their own hypersonic weapons – but by the time they are acquired, the Russian military will have learned how to shield the country from them, President Vladimir Putin said. The world’s leading military powers will eventually succeed in developing the ultra-fast weapons, President Vladimir Putin told Russia-1 TV. Russia, meanwhile, which seems to be leading the race for hypersonic dominance, won’t be caught off-guard once that happens, he pledged. I think that we can pleasantly surprise our partners with the fact that when they get these weapons, we will have the means of combating them, with a high degree of probability.

Read more …

Balance.

To Celebrate Obama Day, Here Are Barack’s Greatest Hits (Ben Norton)

To celebrate Obama Day, here are Barack’s greatest hits (wars, coups, slavery, sanctions, al-Qaeda, colonialism) In parts of the United States and the bottomless pit of the internet, today, June 14, is considered “Barack Obama Day.” On social media, the hashtag #ObamaDayJune14th is going viral. So I thought I would commemorate this day by listing some of the former Democratic president’s many accomplishments.

As his supporters are so keen to point out, Obama had no major scandals, you see, except for:
• wearing that tan suit one time
• deporting more people than any other president, 2.7 million, earning the ignominious title “deporter in chief”
• dropping 26,171 bombs on seven Muslim-majority countries in his last year in office alone
• overseeing a genocidal war in Yemen that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and unleashed the largest humanitarian catastrophe on Earth
• supporting al-Qaeda in Syria, funneling billions of dollars of weapons to hardened Salafi-jihadist fanatics to try to destroy the country, and fueling the rise of ISIS
• arming al-Qaeda in Yemen as well
• destroying Libya, once the most prosperous country in Africa, leaving behind a failed state with open-air slave markets
• giving the Israeli apartheid regime $38 billion in unconditional military aid and arming it as it bombed civilians in Gaza (in three separate, barbaric wars: 2008-2009, 2012, and 2014)
• creating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a neoliberal “free trade” monstrosity that would have ensured even more dystopian corporate tyranny over the global political and economic system

Oh yeah, and here are some more unforgettable classics from Obama:
• sponsoring the military coup in Honduras, overthrowing its democratically elected left-leaning government and installing a far-right narco-dictatorship led by a neoliberal autocrat whose drug lord brother smuggled thousands of tons of cocaine and machine guns
• managing Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious, in which the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent thousands of guns to murderous drug cartels in Mexico
• backing the parliamentary coup in Brazil, removing the democratically elected Workers’ Party government and paving the way for the fascist Bolsonaro regime
• supporting a soft coup against the democratically elected government in Paraguay
• overseeing a violent coup against Ukraine’s Russia-leaning elected government with the “Euromaidan” movement, in which neo-Nazis and other fascists played a significant role
• subsequently arming the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine
• prolonging the military occupation of Afghanistan, after promising dozens of times he would end the war by 2014
• maintaining a daily “kill list” (known euphemistically as the “disposition matrix”) in which the US president personally approved extrajudicial assassinations of thousands of people, via a covert drone warfare program spanning multiple continents, regularly bombing countries including, but not limited to, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq

Read more …

The US totally ignores the video that’s central to the entire story, and the Guardian ignores teh fact that it’s published 1,000 Assange smear pieces. What a wonderful world.

Julian Assange Indictment Fails To Mention ‘Collateral Murder’ Video (G.)

US prosecutors have failed to include one of WikiLeaks’ most shocking video revelations in the indictment against Julian Assange, a move that has brought accusations the US doesn’t want its “war crimes” exposed in public. Assange, an Australian citizen, is remanded and in ill health in London’s Belmarsh prison while the US tries to extradite him to face 18 charges – 17 under its Espionage Act – for conspiracy to receive, obtain and disclose classified information. The charges relate largely to the US conduct of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Assange’s publication of the US rules of engagement in Iraq. The prosecution case alleges Assange risked American lives by releasing hundreds of thousands of US intelligence documents.

One of the most famous of the WikiLeaks releases was a video – filmed from a US Apache helicopter, Crazy Horse 1-8, as it mowed down 11 people on 12 July 2007 in Iraq. The video starkly highlights the lax rules of engagement that allowed the killing of men who were neither engaged with nor threatening US forces. Two of those Crazy Horse 1-8 killed in east Baghdad that day were the Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and a driver/fixer, Saeed Chmagh, 40. Their Baghdad bureau chief at the time, Dean Yates, said the US military had repeatedly lied to him – and the world – about what happened, and it was only when Assange released the video (which WikiLeaks posted with the title Collateral Murder) in April 2010 that the full brutal truth of the killings was exposed.

“What he did was 100% an act of truth-telling, exposing to the world what the war in Iraq looks like and how the US military lied … The US knows how embarrassing Collateral Murder is, how shameful it is to the military – they know that there’s potential war crimes on that tape,” Yates said.

Read more …

 

 

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