Oct 042022
 
 October 4, 2022  Posted by at 8:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Cafe Royan [The Coffee] 1940

 

Developing Developments (Kunstler)
The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Sabotage (Monkeywerx)
Macgregor: US Likely Attacked Nord Stream Pipelines to Isolate Germany (SN)
In Nord Stream Attack, US Sees ‘A Tremendous Opportunity’ (Maté)
Jeffrey Sachs Offers Nord Stream Theory (RT)
Medvedev Comments On Musk’s Ukraine Proposal (RT)
Duma Ratifies Accession Treaties For Donbass, Kherson, Zaporozhye (RT)
Kremlin Comments On Borders Of New Territories (RT)
Kiev’s Counter Attacks On Kherson Have Failed – Official (RT)
British Intelligence Predicted Ukraine War 30 Years Ago (Dec.uk)
Ukraine Grain Deal Not Enough – Moscow (RT)
Belgium Suffers Unplanned Nuclear Reactor Shutdown (RT)
Ukraine Scolds EU Over Aid Delays (RT)
Truss Exposes The Inherent Instability Of Western Democracies (Hryce)
Trump Seeks $475 Million In Defamation Suit Against CNN (ZH)
Hunter Biden Probe to Look Into ‘What Happened in 2020’: Jim Jordan (ET)
The Biggest Problem China Faces Isn’t Real Estate (Balding)

 

 

Best amicus brief ever?!

 

 

Tucker regime change

 

 

 

 

Greenwald Donbass

 

 

Hey! Sanctions!

 

 

 

 

“The Russian negotiation table is open for business. Failing to report to it, Ukraine will have to decide what sort of rump state it will become — a merely half-assed agricultural backwater or a fully ass-blown-off failed state.”

Developing Developments (Kunstler)

What no government official can acknowledge — even among the Euroland victim nations of this awesome stupidity — is that the US demolition of the Nord Streams was an act-of-war against our own allies. By the way, the blogger who styles himself as “Monkey Werx,” notable for tracking the world-wide military flight movements, presents a comprehensive play-by-play of just exactly how the mission was accomplished. I’ll summarize but you can read his full report (click here) for yourself. MW reports that overnight on the 26th of September, a Navy P8 Poseidon submarine-hunter jet flew out of the US to the Baltic. It did not land in the UK to refuel — thus avoiding any tracking complications — but rather rendezvoused over Grudziadz, Poland, with a US Bart-12 mid-air refueling plane, which it hooked up with for more than an hour.

The P8 was equipped with Mk54 air-launched torpedoes. After un-docking from the Bart-12 refueler, the P8 followed a route west along the Nord Stream pipelines, descended to bomb-run altitude, and dropped its weapons. Kaboom. Then, fully refueled, the P8 flew directly back to the USA. Days later, when confronted at the UN by Russia with a yes-or-no question as to US responsibility for the Nord Stream caper, the US representatives refused to answer one way or another. Cute. So, the questions loom: How many more days before Germany and the rest of Euroland begin to apprehend how they have been hosed by America into an economic collapse scenario? (How many days before a team of competent professionals hunts down Klaus Schwab and his colleagues somewhere in Switzerland?) When will the Eurofolk turn on their idiot government leaders and flush them out of office?

When will all (except for psychotic Poland) bail out of the USA’s Ukraine crusade? I will tell you: this will all begin pretty darn soon. And if so, that will be the end of the NATO alliance. Meanwhile, the US-led propaganda campaign has Russia utterly on-the-ropes against a raging and triumphant Ukraine army. Nothing could be further from the truth. Russia made a few tactical retreats the past month in preparation for a final systematic and methodical mopping-up of the remaining Ukraine army. Russia is bringing in Iskander hypersonic missiles, not necessarily nuclear-armed, and will assemble Russian army regulars to replace the mash-up of Donbas militia volunteers who have borne the brunt on the thinly defended line leading to the much talked-about tactical retreat around the Kharkov-Izium-Lyman front. The Russian negotiation table is open for business. Failing to report to it, Ukraine will have to decide what sort of rump state it will become — a merely half-assed agricultural backwater or a fully ass-blown-off failed state.

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“..why fly an aircraft all the way from the United States and not land in the UK for refueling, but instead hook up for an hour plus with another US Air Force refueler out of Germany?”

The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Sabotage (Monkeywerx)

As we sit here today, October 1, 2022, the United States has no official statement on the sabotage although Biden is pushing the standard doublespeak rhetoric and as they say, the best defense is a good offense. There is, however, an official release from the White House back in February 2022 that states the United States will take further action with Germany to end the Nord Stream Pipeline 2. So let’s look at the flight data logically… The United States has Navy P8’s stationed in the UK so why fly an aircraft all the way from the United States and not land in the UK for refueling, but instead hook up for an hour plus with another US Air Force refueler out of Germany? Could it be that the UK’s new Prime Minister would not condone the activity?

We have already seen her call out Nancy Pelosi who we know is a bobblehead and not in line with the New World Order, and we know the new UK PM is indeed a WEF appointee which is part of the NWO. Clearly, the United States did not want to land in the UK or anywhere else for a reason. Could it also be because it was armed with external weapons or they didn’t want any record of the aircraft in the area? Landing would create a log and even though we see them wipe the flight record data, the airport log is still intact. Let’s talk about the P8 weaponry for a minute. The Navy P8 Poseiden has 11 external hardpoints for mounting weapons as well as an internal bomb bay, and one weapon, in particular, is a High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) system. HAAWC is an all-weather add-on glide kit that enables the Mk54 torpedo to be launched near or below the cruising altitude of the P8 Poseidon.

What that means: the flight path and altitude of the P8 in question are indeed capable of conducting a “bomb run” on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. Now let’s look at the flight specifics. Note the last flight path just before exiting the area runs right along the pipeline in which they could have released the ordinance and continued their climb out, thus exiting the area and returning to the United States. Also, note the little hump just before the climb out (red arrow). That is consistent with a weapons release. Pitch down, increased AoA, weapon release, little bubble up, then a climb out (the blue line is the inbound leg of the same flight). You may also not the flight path. It circles over the area first, then flies downrange and starts the initial bomb run, then it does a quick readjustment on a final bomb run, releases, and exits immediately.

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“You have several inches of concrete around various metal alloys to move the natural gas. So it’s not something that you could simply drop a grenade down at the end of a fish line and disrupt. ”

Macgregor: US Likely Attacked Nord Stream Pipelines to Isolate Germany (SN)

A former Pentagon advisor says the most likely culprits behind the Nord Stream pipeline blasts are the United States and Britain, and that the attack was carried out to prevent Germany from bailing on the war in Ukraine. Retired US Army colonel Douglas Macgregor made the comments during an appearance on the Judging Freedom podcast. Macgregor said a process of elimination rules out Germany, because they are dependent on Nord Stream for their energy security, while it also served no benefit for Russia to have sabotaged its own infrastructure. “Would the Russians destroy their own pipeline? 40 percent of Russian gross national product or GDP consists of foreign currency that comes into the country to purchase natural gas, oil, coal and so forth. So the Russians did not do this. The notion that they did I think is absurd,” Macgregor said.

Referring to Polish MEP Radoslaw Sikorski’s infamous deleted tweet in which he wrote, “Thank you, USA,” Macgregor noted, “Who else might be involved? Well the Poles apparently seem to be very enthusiastic about it.” However, citing reports that more than 500 kg of TNT had been detected in both explosions, the former Pentagon advisor suggested only the United States and British Royal Navy had the capability to pull off the attack. “Then you have to look at who are the state actors that have the capability to do this. And that means the Royal Navy, the United States Navy Special Operations,” said Macgregor. “I think that’s pretty clear. We know that thousands of pounds of TNT were used because these pipelines are enormously robust. You have several inches of concrete around various metal alloys to move the natural gas. So it’s not something that you could simply drop a grenade down at the end of a fish line and disrupt. That means it takes a certain amount of sophistication,” he added.

Macgregor suggested that the motive behind the attacks was to prevent Germany from bailing on the Ukraine war after Berlin began “to give the impression that they were no longer going to go along with this proxy war in Ukraine.” “I’m hesitant to say ‘we know it must have been Washington’. I can’t say that because we just don’t know. But it’s very clear that we have foreclosed Berlin’s options. Berlin was drifting away from this alliance. [Chancellor] Olaf Scholz said ‘I’m not sending any more equipment, I won’t send any tanks’. Now he’s in a bind because the United States has simply robbed him of the option of bailing out. Who’s going to supply him gas and oil and coal and everything else if he bails out? Where does he turn now? And remember, the Germans, who are facing terrible consequences at home refuse to restart nuclear power plants,” the former official said.

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“Nord Stream 2, Trump declared in July 2018, is a “tragedy.“

In Nord Stream Attack, US Sees ‘A Tremendous Opportunity’ (Maté)

Western sanctions on Russia have already led to job losses, skyrocketing bills, and fears of energy rationing amid forecasts of exceptionally cold temperatures ahead. Just before the Nord Stream blasts, the head of German’s steel federation warned that without Russian energy, “a winter of de-industrialization threatens us in Germany.” Ahead of this feared winter of de-industrialization, Blinken’s optimistic response to a now assured shut-off of Russian gas might seem odd for a top diplomat. But it is perfectly consistent with a longstanding US effort to kill Nord Stream for good. In waging a multi-year campaign against Nord Stream, the US has sought to weaken Russia’s economy; undermine Russian integration with the rest of Europe; preserve lucrative transit fees for the US client state in Ukraine; and increase European dependence on US energy, in particular Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

In short, the “tremendous opportunity” that Blinken draws from the Nord Stream sabotage derives from the very goals that he imputed to Putin: “the weaponization of energy” for “imperial designs.” As one of Blinken’s predecessors, Condoleezza Rice, explained in 2014: “Over the long-run, you simply want to change the structure of energy dependence. You want to depend more on the North America energy platform.” The US drive to promote dependence on North American energy was escalated by President Donald Trump, who imposed sanctions to stop the Nord Stream 2’s construction while urging the German government to buy American LNG instead. Nord Stream 2, Trump declared in July 2018, is a “tragedy.” In his view, “it’s a horrific thing that’s being done, where you’re feeding billions and billions of dollars… primarily from Germany, into the coffers of Russia.”

Trump’s disdain for the “horrific” Russia-Germany energy project strained US relations with both countries. But because his actions contradicted the predominant Russiagate narrative that he was in fact a Kremlin asset being blackmailed to do Vladimir Putin’s bidding, the Nord Stream sanctions were among many confrontational Trump policies toward Russia that went widely ignored at home. Trump’s sanctions on Nord Stream 2 caused such a rift with Germany that Biden, upon taking office, initially waved them. But the Ukraine crisis gave Biden a backdoor opportunity to revive Trump’s quest. As Russian forces amassed on Ukraine’s borders in 2021, Biden pressured Germany to commit to cancelling Nord Stream 2 in the event of an invasion. When the Germans still refused, the White House announced that it would achieve its goal with or without them. “If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” Biden declared on February 7, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at his side. “We will bring an end to it.”

Trump NS2

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Includes Sachs’ role in the Shock Doctrine. Rarely mentioned.

Jeffrey Sachs Offers Nord Stream Theory (RT)

Economist Jeffrey Sachs speculated on Monday that the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines was the work of the US and maybe Poland, to the chagrin of Bloomberg TV hosts who quickly tried to change the subject. Now a professor at Columbia University, Sachs became notorious in Russia for masterminding the “shock therapy” reforms in the 1990s – but has been sharply critical of the West’s approach to the conflict in Ukraine in recent months. Invited to Bloomberg’s ‘Surveillance’ show on Monday, Sachs was asked to comment on Russia he “knew so well” under President Boris Yeltsin. Instead, the hosts scrambled to cut him off after he said the conflict is “on the path of escalation to nuclear war” and did not start in February 2022.

“Most of the world doesn’t see it the way we describe it,” Sachs told Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, at which point co-host Lisa Abramowicz tried to change the subject to inflation in Europe. The EU is in a “very sharp economic downturn,” Sachs agreed. The continent was “getting hammered” by energy shortages, made worse by “the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline which I would bet was a US action – perhaps US and Poland,” he managed to add before Keene cut him off, asking for evidence of that claim. “Well first of all, there’s direct radar evidence that US helicopters, military helicopters that are normally based in Gdansk, were circling over this area. We also had the threats from the US, earlier in this year, that ‘one way or the other, we are going to end Nord Stream.’ We also have the remarkable statement by [US] Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken last Friday in a press conference; he says ‘this is also a tremendous opportunity.’ Sorry, it’s a strange way to talk if you’re worried about piracy on international infrastructure of vital significance,” Sachs retorted.

“I know this runs counter to our narrative, you’re not allowed to say these things in the West, but the fact of the matter is – all over the world, when I talk to people, they think the US did it,” he added. Abramowicz again tried to change the subject, saying Bloomberg couldn’t provide “counterbalance” to what he was saying. Undeterred, Sachs answered the next question by describing the current situation as “the most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis” in 1962, with the US picking fights with both Russia and China, without any attempts to de-escalate things. Currently director of the Center for Sustainable Development at New York’s Columbia University, Sachs gained notoriety among the Russians for his “shock therapy” reforms in 1991-1993. The overhaul of the entire Soviet economy ended up destroying the lives of millions of Russians and handing the country’s wealth over to a handful of oligarchs.

Sachs

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“Musk sent hundreds of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites and terminals to Ukraine. Though their stated purpose was humanitarian, Kiev has since admitted to using them for the war effort.”

Medvedev Comments On Musk’s Ukraine Proposal (RT)

After Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Kiev’s online troll army savaged Elon Musk’s proposal for ending the conflict with Russia, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev jokingly called the Tesla and SpaceX founder a “shadowy agent” of the Kremlin, comparing him to Stierlitz, the legendary fictional Soviet spy. “Kudos to [Elon Musk]! However, the shadowy agent has lost the cover. Deserves a new rank, fast. His next tweet will run like, Ukraine is an artificial state. Anticipating…” Medvedev tweeted, in English, on Monday evening. On his Telegram channel, in Russian, instead of “shadowy agent” the former president called Musk “Eustace” – a reference to the code name of the main character in the Soviet-era series ‘17 Moments of Spring,’ better known under his German alias Otto von Stierlitz.


Both references were clearly tongue-in-cheek and poked fun not at Musk, but at the utter hysterics of the Ukrainian government and its online influencers over the American billionaire’s earnest peace proposal. Crimea would remain Russian and have its water supply guaranteed, Ukraine would declare neutrality, and the four regions that just joined Russia hold UN-supervised referendums on their fate, Musk suggested earlier in the day. The poll was quickly swamped by what he called the “biggest bot attack I’ve ever seen.” It wasn’t just Kiev’s info-warriors and their Western NAFO backers, however. Ukraine’s departing ambassador to Germany used some very un-diplomatic language, while President Vladimir Zelensky himself launched a poll asking his followers if they preferred Musk who supported Ukraine over this one, who “supports Russia.” Early on in the conflict, Musk sent hundreds of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites and terminals to Ukraine. Though their stated purpose was humanitarian, Kiev has since admitted to using them for the war effort.

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Russia calmly goes through the legal moves. Important point:

“..accession to Russia is the only way to save the people living in the four former Ukrainian territories from shelling by Ukrainian troops. “The only way to end this is reunification [with Russia],”

Duma Ratifies Accession Treaties For Donbass, Kherson, Zaporozhye (RT)

The State Duma has unanimously ratified the treaties on the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, to the Russian Federation. President Vladimir Putin submitted the documents regarding the four former Ukrainian territories to the lower house of parliament on Sunday. All four voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in referendums held between September 23 and 27. Addressing legislators before the vote, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that accession will “serve the interests of all people of our multiethnic country.” He added that Kiev had oppressed Russian-speaking people, which made the existence of certain territories within the Ukrainian state impossible.


State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin argued that accession to Russia is the only way to save the people living in the four former Ukrainian territories from shelling by Ukrainian troops. “The only way to end this is reunification [with Russia],” he said. The accession treaties, which were signed by Putin on Friday, were then approved by the Russian Constitutional Court. The next step in the accession process is ratification by the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament. The DPR and LPR broke off from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Russia recognized them as independent states in February.

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Kremlin is mocked in the west for not knowing exactly what they incorporated. No, because they want to be precise. To that end, Lavrov has been given special powers to negotiate borders.

Kremlin Comments On Borders Of New Territories (RT)

Moscow has yet to determine the future borders of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which are set to be incorporated into Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told journalists. “We will continue to consult with the residents of those regions on the issue of borders,” the official said on Monday. The two former Ukrainian regions voted last month to break away from Kiev and request being accepted into Russia. However, parts of them are still controlled by Ukrainian troops. The issue of borders came up last week, when President Vladimir Putin signed orders recognizing the two regions’ independence. The documents did not include any reference to the demarcation of the territories. When asked by journalists for clarification, Peskov promised to give an answer later.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that Russian forces are in control of a small chunk of Ukraine’s Nikolaev Region, which borders Kherson Region. Vladimir Saldo, the head of the Kherson administration, claimed last week that the land would be incorporated into Russia. This week, the Russian parliament is scheduled to ratify the unification treaties with the two regions, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The latter two territories, which were recognized as independent by Russia in February, are defined “by the 2014 borders,” according to Peskov. Russian troops and Donbass militias have since seized much of the disputed land, but not all of it.

Kiev blasted the referendums that paved the way for the accession as a “sham”and reiterated its intention to defeat Russia on the battlefield and oust its troops from all land that it claims as Ukrainian. Moscow said the ballots were a legitimate exercise of the right to self-determination.

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180º different from western and Kiev stories.

Kiev’s Counter Attacks On Kherson Have Failed – Official (RT)

Attempts by Ukrainian forces to break through Russia’s defenses in Kherson Region have been thwarted, the deputy head of the local administration, Kirill Stremousov, has said. In a Telegram post on Monday, Stremousov stated that “everything is under control in the Nikolayev direction,”despite Kiev’s efforts to retake the region. He noted that Ukraine’s forces had advanced southward along the Dnieper River to the village of Dudchany before “taking a beating” from Russian Aerospace Forces. The official admitted that the Ukrainians were able to advance a little bit, but noted that the region’s defense systems were working and that “at the moment, the situation is completely under control.” Stremousov concluded by urging people not to give into panic because of what they hear and read on social media. “This is not Kharkov, this is not [Krasny] Liman, we are holding the fence,” he proclaimed.


Russia’s Defense Ministry has also confirmed repelling the attack, stating that over 400 Ukrainian servicemen, 43 tanks and 89 units of special military equipment were eliminated in the Nikolayev-Krivoy Rog area. The announcement comes as Kiev’s forces have mounted large-scale offensives along several points of engagement with Russia. On Saturday, Russian troops were forced to withdraw from their defensive positions in the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic after they were nearly encircled by Ukrainian forces, which had brought in reserves and reached a “considerable superiority in men and material.” It has been noted, however, that the Ukrainian side has been suffering significant casualties in the offensive, having reportedly lost over 500 soldiers (200 dead, 320 injured), as well as ten tanks and 25 infantry fighting vehicles during the attack on Krasny Liman, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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“It is not entirely clear, even to the Ukrainians, still less to the Russians, that Ukraine is a real country..”

British Intelligence Predicted Ukraine War 30 Years Ago (Dec.uk)

When British intelligence warned that Vladimir Putin was about to attack Ukraine earlier this year, the spooks’ foresight won many plaudits. Yet their prediction mirrored a scenario Whitehall had long known might unfold. In May 1992, just six months after the Soviet Union broke up, Britain’s then Prime Minister John Major was being briefed by his staff. They were concerned about a potential clash between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea. [..] Major’s foreign policy advisor and former ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite, wrote a confidential background note that would today be considered heretical. “It is not entirely clear, even to the Ukrainians, still less to the Russians, that Ukraine is a real country,” Braithwaite noted. “Hence the tensions between the two.”

Braithwaite, who went on to chair the Joint Intelligence Committee later in 1992, gave the Prime Minister a potted history of the region, stretching back to the middle ages. He highlighted the “artificial famine which [Soviet leader Joseph] Stalin imposed on the Ukraine in 1930-31, when many millions of peasants were deported or starved to death.” “So it was not surprising then very many Ukrainians greeted the Germans as liberators in 1941, and that large numbers agreed to join the German army”, Braithwaite reasoned, referring to Nazi collaborators during World War II. Although these resistance groups were ultimately defeated by Stalin, Ukrainian nationalism survived as a political movement. “Throughout 1990 the number and size of popular demonstrations for independence swelled,” Braithwaite noted, adding that Russia looked like an “empire” to Ukrainians.

On the other hand, he said: “Russians would simply not recognise the picture. For Russians, the Ukraine is an integral part of Russia, its history and its culture. The Ukrainian language is no more than a dialect”. He went on: “I have not met a single Russian, even among the most sophisticated, who really believes that the Ukraine is now permanently severed from the motherland.” In a candid remark, Braithwaite said: “The Ukrainians know that. They also know that Ukraine itself is divided: between the ultra-nationalist…Western Ukraine…and the East which is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Russians.”

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“In the second half of 2022 we will be able to export up to 30 million tons. This is exactly the volume that we promised within the framework of our agreements with the UN to solve the problem of world hunger..”

Ukraine Grain Deal Not Enough – Moscow (RT)

The deal that unblocked Ukrainian grain exports is not enough to help poor nations put food on the table, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said in an interview with RBK news, published on Monday. “As part of this deal, about 4.6 million tons of agro-industrial products were exported from Ukrainian ports. The main product, a little less than half, was corn, about 1.2 million tons was wheat. Of course, this cannot cover the needs of starving countries, including the need for grain. In fact, it is merely a variation in the global market,” the minister stated. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko recently said that, according to estimations, the global grain market is about 800 million tons.

Patrushev also noted that the main recipients of Ukrainian grain are European countries, which “are not countries that really need it.” The official explained that Russian agricultural products could make a difference, but there are still restrains, which need to be overcome. “There are still barriers that continue to hold back our exports. If we call things by their proper names – these are hidden sanctions on the transportation of [Russian] products… Primarily, it is the limited availability of ships. International logistics companies prefer not to work with our exporters,” the minister explained. He also noted, however, that the problems are being worked out with exporters, and Russian companies which have their own fleet have fewer problems in that area.

According to Patrushev, since the beginning of the agricultural year which stared on July 1, Russia has already delivered about 8.3 million tons of grain to foreign markets, “and the growth rate of exports is increasing every day.” “This season we see an opportunity to supply no less, and maybe even more than 50 million tons of grain to the world market. In the second half of 2022 we will be able to export up to 30 million tons. This is exactly the volume that we promised within the framework of our agreements with the UN to solve the problem of world hunger,” the minister said.

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When it rains.

Belgium Suffers Unplanned Nuclear Reactor Shutdown (RT)

One of Belgium’s six functioning nuclear reactors has shut down unexpectedly, the plant’s operator Engie told VRT News on Monday. The reactor, called Tihange 3, underwent an automatic shutdown at around 8:25am local time at which point “employees then brought the power plant into a safe condition,” the company said. The reasons for the stoppage are unclear but an investigation into the incident has been launched. According to local media, the unexpected shutdown of a reactor that provided 1,038 megawatts of electricity to Belgium would not jeopardize the country’s energy supply. Belgium shut down one of the reactors at its Doel plant “for good” just over a week ago, following through on long-held plans to dismantle its nuclear energy infrastructure even as the EU finds itself in an energy crisis.

Electrabel, which runs the Doel plant, explained that the company was merely fulfilling a 2003 agreement to enact a “gradual phase-out of nuclear energy for industrial electricity production.” Belgium’s reactors had previously supplied half of the country’s electricity needs. All were due to close by 2025 until the government signed a tentative agreement with Electrabel in March to potentially extend the life of the two newest reactors by ten years. This came amid concern about the country’s increasing dependence on fossil fuels, especially from Russia. The unexpectedly stricken Tihange 3 thus had its demise postponed until 2035, as did another reactor at the Doel plant. However, the deal is not binding and efforts to similarly extend the life of the neighboring Tihange 2 reactor past its planned shutdown date of February 1, 2023 were rebuffed in July.

The Belgian government has stressed that clinging to its once-scorned nuclear energy capacity in the EU’s time of need should not be seen as discarding its commitment to renewable energy. At the same time as it revealed the draft agreement to keep Tihange 3 and Doel 4 operational until 2035, it announced a €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) investment in wind, hydrogen, and solar energy “to give a boost to the transition to climate neutrality.” The investment will also pay for small modular nuclear reactors. As early as 2007, Belgian scientists were warning that closing the country’s nuclear plants would double the price of energy, harm the country’s energy independence, and increase its reliance on fossil fuels. Costs are already at or near record highs across the EU due to sanctions on Russian energy, a situation exacerbated by last week’s alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline that had previously carried Russian gas to Europe.

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Bite the hand.

Ukraine Scolds EU Over Aid Delays (RT)

Delays in economic aid from the European Union to Ukraine are “unacceptable” and must be resolved to avert disaster, a senior Ukranian official warned, pointing to massive budget shortfalls as the EU approved another $4.9 billion (€5 billion) assistance package. Speaking to Politico on Monday, a top economic adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Oleg Ustenko, slammed the European bloc after it agreed to send another tranche of aid between mid-October and the end of the year, insisting his country’s needs must be met sooner. “Our minister of finance is under extreme high pressure, when he sends these checks to the military, to pension funds … we have to have this money in his hands. So something like one week or several weeks’ delay is just not acceptable,” Ustenko told the outlet.

While the EU initially approved $8.8 billion (€9 billion) in assistance last May, only a small fraction of that has been sent so far. The latest move would break up a $4.9 billion (€5 billion) payment into three installments to be transferred before the end of 2022, though the rest of the original package likely won’t be sent until next year. Monday’s agreement followed months of debate between EU member states over the exact form the aid should take, with Germany arguing in favor of grants instead of loans. Berlin has accepted a plan to provide the latest $4.9 billion as a loan, but the body has yet to reach a consensus on the remaining funds. Ukraine has heavily relied on foreign aid since Russia’s attack commenced in February, with the country’s economic output taking a massive hit of up to 40% this year and the government facing a budget gap of some $5 billion per month.

While the United States has raced to inject cash into Ukraine, approving some $20 billion in economic and humanitarian assistance alone, the EU has been more hesitant, instead sending a little over $13 billion between all of its members, according to an aid tracking tool created by the Kiel Institute. American weapons transfers to Kiev have also dwarfed those of Europe by nearly ten-fold. Washington has reportedly noticed the disparity, with US officials recently telling Bloomberg that the Joe Biden administration “has pressed Europe to do more” to support Ukraine and take on “more burden sharing.” Talks on future aid from the EU will be held at an upcoming meeting in the German capital later this month, where Ustenko voiced hopes that member states will be convinced to speed up the process, saying “Berlin is going to be just the next step of these discussions.”

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UK is especially unstable. She has, what, two more weeks?

Truss Exposes The Inherent Instability Of Western Democracies (Hryce)

Even fervent believers in the stability of Western democracies must surely have had their faith shaken last week by the extraordinary economic and political crises created by the newly-minted UK prime minister, Liz Truss. In the week after the prime minister’s hand-picked chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, handed down a ‘mini-budget’ on September 23, the English pound crashed; the government bond market took a dive; interest and mortgage rates rose; some mortgage markets shut down; the Bank of England staged a highly unusual fiscal intervention to prevent the collapse of major pension funds; and the IMF criticized Truss in a manner usually reserved for the leaders of debt-ridden banana republics. The global importance of these events and the ongoing economic and political disruption that they will inevitably cause should not be underestimated.

Political commentator Alastair Campbell, formerly Tony Blair’s chief of staff, accurately described last week as “the week that everything changed.” Quite simply, the fact that the Truss mini-budget provided for billions of pounds worth of unfunded and uncosted tax cuts – including, most provocatively, a cut in the 45% top level income tax rate – caused the financial markets to register a serious vote of no confidence in the Truss government, with all the attendant consequences that followed. Incidentally, the events of last week show where real power ultimately lies in the West – and it is definitely not with politicians. Truss’s mini-budget is, of course, a product of the crude neo-liberal economic ideology that she so fanatically believes in, and which proved decisive in attracting the 80,000 or so Thatcher-worshipping members of the Tory party that anointed Truss prime minister only a few weeks ago.

Faced with an economic disaster entirely of her own making – one of her first acts as prime minister was to sack the head of the Treasury – Truss simply doubled down, and retreated petulantly to her Downing Street bunker. She did emerge briefly late last week to do a round of disastrous radio interviews with regional BBC stations – in which Truss continued to robotically tout the benefits of ‘trickle-down economics’, and (unsuccessfully) tried to blame the economic crisis entirely on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the conflict in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of commentators in the UK – irrespective of their political affiliations – have been strongly critical of the Truss mini-budget and the prime minister herself. Even Daily Telegraph columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard accused Truss of having “embarked on a course of sheer madness.”

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The Nic Sandmann case may have opened some venues.

Trump Seeks $475 Million In Defamation Suit Against CNN (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN tonight, claiming the so-called news outlet defamed him in an effort to reduce his chances of running for president again in 2024. The suit, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alleges Trump has been a “long-time critic” of CNN, “not because CNN does a bad job of reporting the news, but because CNN seeks to create the news.” “CNN’s campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander against the Plaintiff has only escalated in recent months as CNN fears the Plaintiff will run for president in 2024,” the suit reads. “As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler.’”

Trump seeks $475 million in punitive damages, alleging that CNN “has sought to use its massive influence – purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source – to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.” The former president notified the outlet in July of his intention to sue for “repeated defamatory statements.” Trump also warned he would sue other outlets he alleges have “defamed and defrauded the public” about the 2020 presidential election results.

As a reminder, Trump had a lawsuit against 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and former top FBI officials tossed in early September by U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, who said Trump was “seeking to flaunt a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.” That is “a high legal bar to clear given First Amendment protections granted to the free press under the Constitution,” according to The Hill. “The New York Times, for example, has not lost a defamation case in more than 50 years.” However, as JustTheNews reports, winning such a case is not impossible, however. Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann successfully secured considerable financial settlements from both CNN and the Washington Post for their coverage of a controversy that suggested the high schooler instigated a confrontation with an Indian activist.

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“51 former intelligence officials signed a letter..”

Hunter Biden Probe to Look Into ‘What Happened in 2020’: Jim Jordan (ET)

If the GOP takes a majority in the House, one of the “key elements” of its investigatory plans into Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, next year will involve looking into “what happened in 2020,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the New York Post ran a story about Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings in Ukraine and China, which was promptly dismissed as dubious by mainstream media outlets and suppressed on social media platforms. At the time, 51 former intelligence officials signed a letter claiming that the New York Post’s story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In an interview with Breitbart, Jordan said that he wants to know on what intelligence the 51 former officials based their letter.

“We had 51 former intelligence officials tell us that this was Russian disinformation. We had the FBI sit down with Facebook and say, ‘Hey, be careful, wink wink. We think there’s Russian disinformation.’ … All that was done to suppress that story, which had an impact on how people voted in the most important election we have, the election for president of the United States,” Jordan told Breitbart. “Did someone from The New York Times tell them something? Did someone from the FBI leak some false—was it this Timothy Thibault, who [has] since left the FBI, who suppressed that information at the FBI? I want to know. That’s pretty important stuff, so I really want to look into that angle.”

Most of the investigative activities related to Hunter Biden would be headquartered at the Oversight Committee, with Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) expected to lead it. Jordan will continue to remain a member and chair of the Judiciary. Comer plans to look into Hunter Biden’s suspicious banking and business transactions, he added.

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They cannot have a real weight in a reserve currency basket. Not when Xi can devalue by 50% tomorrow morning just because he’s constipated. Nobody wants the yuan, including the Chinese.

The Biggest Problem China Faces Isn’t Real Estate (Balding)

After it joined the World Trade Organization in 2000 and anchored the Chinese yuan (a.k.a. renminbi) to the U.S. dollar, China linked its economy to the United States. Enforcing a fixed exchange rate regime with strict capital controls, China benefited from large inflows and relatively low-interest rates due largely to the low-interest rate environment in the United States. What happens to the Chinese economy when interest rates increase in the United States? Sovereign currency policy faces the intractable dilemma of what economists call the “impossible trinity.” Countries can have a fixed exchange rate, free capital flow, or sovereign monetary policy but must choose only two of three. Economics textbooks give clean and clear definitions of each. Still, in reality, China tried to manipulate each and come out worse due to its attempts to manipulate the laws of economics.

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) technocrats attempted to create a system where they could enjoy the best of the three options and leave behind the worst parts. China implemented a quasi-fixed exchange rate, which is effectively a U.S. dollar index, with tightly controlled capital flows, and a semi-sovereign monetary policy. What almost no one noticed with the convoluted creation of Chinese currency policy attempting to adhere to the ‘impossible trinity’ was that for the last 20 years, China benefited from business cycle synchronization with the United States. Because the yuan was tied directly to the U.S. dollar and the United States kept interest rates low, China could keep its interest rates low. Now that the Federal Reserve (Fed) is raising interest rates, what impact will this have on China?

First, the days of easy money flows to China are over. For large parts of the last 20 years, Chinese interest rates were 3-5 percent higher than the United States. With either a fixed or semi-fixed exchange rate, this gave investors in China access to easy higher returns. With portfolio returns and foreign direct investment based upon interest rate differentials between the United States and China, this drew investor capital with fixed or heavily managed exchange rates creating easy returns. Investors have soured on China as an investment destination for a range of reasons. But when baseline returns are higher in U.S. government debt without any of the China issues, the financial motivation will dry up the biggest reason to send money.

Second, this will place enormous upward pressure on Chinese interest rates right as China’s economy is teetering. For most of the period since 2000, the Chinese and U.S. economies have been highly correlated. This allowed Chinese interest rates to follow the United States and enjoy a sustained period of low-cost money. However, now as the Fed is seeking to tamp down inflation and overheated demand, China is suffering through its weakest economy in probably post-opening up history.

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The atlas moth has wings that mimick two cobras watching her back.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 092022
 


René Magritte L’éternité 1935

 

The Pentagon’s Response To The DEMD Data Is An Even Bigger Story (Blaze)
Pfizer Quietly Adds Language Warning On Data (ZH)
Let The Re-Writing Of Covid History Begin? (Rossini)
Joe Rogan Shows Us The Real Purpose Of Cancel Culture (OffG)
The Blue Stack Strikes Back (Jilani)
First Canadian Provinces Scrap Covid Mandates (RT)
Towing Companies Refuse to Move Freedom Convoy Trucks (TC)
Johnson & Johnson Stops Covid-19 Vaccine Production (RT)
Americans Have ‘Lost Touch With Reality’ – Russia (RT)
Scientists Divulge Easy Way To Lose Weight (RT)
Elon Musk Gives Views On ‘Traditional’ Media (RT)
Lithium Price Rockets Nearly 500% In A Year (G.)
Jeff Bezos’ Yacht Can Count On Rotten Eggs (Engelen)

 

 

Jerrycans
https://twitter.com/i/status/1491204379294277632

 

 

 

 

India’s ambassador

 

 

 

 

Calgary police officer

 

 

She loves school

 

 

Why the changes when you know Renz has all the files?

The Pentagon’s Response To The DEMD Data Is An Even Bigger Story (Blaze)

One thing is clear about the revelation of the 2021 military epidemiological data and the military’s response to it: There is undoubtedly a public health and national security crisis in the military, and the Pentagon’s reaction only seems to be concerned with exonerating the vaccine, not fixing its own alleged problem. It’s now certain that the military’s health surveillance system — DMED — showed a massive increase in sickness and injury diagnoses in 2021 over previous years, particularly in the neurological, cardiovascular, oncological, and reproductive health categories. The military, in a very terse and cryptic statement to PolitiFact last week, admitted as much, but claimed without any further explanation that the data in the system accessed by several military doctors working with attorney Thomas Renz was only a “fraction” of the true numbers that existed. In the words of the Pentagon spokesman, it was a “glitch in the database.”

Where those true numbers existed, why they weren’t in the system for five years, what exactly was in the system, and why the 2021 numbers were accurate according to the DOD account remain a mystery. However, one by one, the military public health officials have been adding back random numbers to the 2016 through 2020 codes. I’m told by Renz and two of the whistleblowers that throughout the past week, they have queried the same data again, and in most of the ICD categories, they have found that the numbers from 2016 through 2020 were “increased” exponentially to look as though 2021 was not an abnormal year. This has been done without any transparency, any press release, any statement of narrative, and sloppily in a way that makes the already unbelievable narrative simply impossible to believe.

In addition to believing that every epidemiological report for five years was somehow completely tainted with false data — including during the first year of the pandemic itself — we would have to believe that the minute they discovered this from Renz, they suddenly discovered the exact numbers. A five-year mistake fixed overnight! Just take a look at the following statement given to the Epoch Times, the only other public comment delivered by an authorized Pentagon spokesman: “Comparing the DMED database to the source data contained in DMSS, AFHSD discovered that the total number of medical diagnoses from 2016-2020 that were accessible in DMED represented only a small fraction of actual medical diagnoses for those years. In contrast, the 2021 total number of medical diagnoses were up to date in DMED. Comparison of 2021 to 2016-2020 resulted in the appearance of significant increased occurrence of all medical diagnoses in 2021 because of the under-reported data for 2016-2020. AFHSD has taken DMED offline to identify and correct the root-cause of the data corruption,” said Maj. Charlie Dietz.

That’s it! They are only concerned with downplaying any potential culpability of the vaccine, not explaining how they were flying blind, according to their official narrative, on such an important endeavor for so many years. Just consider the fact that at last week’s meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), officials revealed that they have been monitoring vaccine safety data from the DOD, among other places.

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Full immunity, but not from investors.

Pfizer Quietly Adds Language Warning On Data (ZH)

Two weeks ago, the FDA begged a Texas judge to delay production on the first monthly batch of 55,000 pages of Covid-19 vaccine data submitted to the agency by Pfizer. Originally, the agency was set to produce just 500 pages-per-month. Now, Pfizer – which just forecast $54 billion in Covid-related sales in 2022, appears to be anticipating some bad news, as evidenced by several redline changes in their Q4 earnings releases. As Rubicon Capital’s Kelly Brown notes on Twitter, the changes center around disclosures of unfavorable safety data. For example, in Q4 they added: “or further information regarding the quality of pre-clinical, clinical or safety data, including by audit or inspection.”

More from Brown, who notes that Pfizer is now highlighting “concerns about clinical data integrity…” The company also notes that Covid-19 may “diminish in severity or prevalence, or disappear entirely.”

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“Truth and Liberty go hand-in-hand; as do lies and tyranny.”

Let The Re-Writing Of Covid History Begin? (Rossini)

It took much too long, but it appears that the tide of public opinion has finally turned. The term “trust the science” has suddenly lost its luster, especially when it comes from the mouth of a politician or so-called “expert.” The meanings of the words “science” and “expert” have been blown to pieces. But such is always the case when politicians get involved in things they shouldn’t be involved in. They have an uncanny ability of destroying everything they touch. Well, they touched the words “science” and “expert” and made them completely unrecognizable. I’ve heard the phrase “You can’t tell what’s true anymore” more than enough times over the last several years. We’ve all had a front row seat in what a so-called “post-truth” world looks like — It looks like totalitarian tyranny! Truth and Liberty go hand-in-hand; as do lies and tyranny.

Miraculously, as public opinion has changed, so has the “science”! Imagine that. The “science” now says that masks, lockdowns, and mandates are bad. If only the “science” crystal ball had said such things two years ago! Imagine all the pain, suffering and death that could have been avoided. One must also wonder, if public opinion didn’t change, would the “science” have remained unchanged as well? Who knows? But as the tyranny is (reluctantly) peeled away, the predictable re-writing of history has begun. Think of the Iraq War as an analogy for what you should expect going forward. The mania of lies and smears that led up to that failed war was deafening. Now think about today… How many people actually admit to supporting the Iraq War? Roughly… You can probably count them on one hand. Very (very) few people. Only the hard-core warmongers will admit to it.

Well, as Covid “history” is fabricated and branded into digital ink, you can be sure to see the same behavior from the lying class. Denial, followed by more denial: “I never supported the wearing of masks.” “I was always against lockdowns.” “Vaccine passports? What do you think I am, some kind of Nazi?” Be prepared, because just as people will not admit that they supported the Iraq War, so will they start changing their tunes about being petty dictators for a solid two years. The blame will also be offloaded onto a fictional collective. Be prepared to see the word “we” over and over: “We” should have known better. “We” made mistakes. “We” need to do a better job. The government needs more money. “We” thought that the masks, lockdowns & “vaccines” would work.

Tucker More & more people dying in the prime of life

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“Far more likely is that it was created and deployed to discredit Rogan’s COVID-questioning without having to engage with the Covid sceptic evidence or arguments.”

Joe Rogan Shows Us The Real Purpose Of Cancel Culture (OffG)

Joe Rogan has just been cancelled. Again. It’s not about covid “misinformation” this time. No, now he’s a racist. Some enterprising young mind combed through 13 years and hundreds of episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience, and cut together around twenty instances of Rogan using “the n-word”. This video was shared by award-winning musician India Arie, and used to explain her pulling her music from Spotify’s platform in protest of Rogan’s continued presence there. Rogan claims that these clips are all taken out of context in his recent apology video, and none were ever intended to be racist. This may well be true…we can’t check for ourselves, because Spotify removed all the episodes. These important bits of context were, naturally, removed from the viral video. Besides, it has since been said that context doesn’t even matter.

And you know what, they’re right. The context doesn’t matter, perhaps the intention doesn’t even matter, what matters is “Why now?” Some of these clips are over twelve years old, and yet there have never been any calls to boycott Spotify or cancel his show until just the last couple of days. Were they not racist before? Or was everyone just OK with the racism? Could there be something else behind this? …but why bother pausing the hate-fest to ask questions, right? The only message that matters is – Joe Rogan is a racist now, and streaming giant Spotify have pulled over seventy episodes of his show from their platform as a result. Of course the cyber-torches and internet-pitchforks coming for Joe Rogan is nothing new. Having preached the tenets of a healthy lifestyle, promoted alternate Covid treatments, and invited dissenting experts onto his show, Rogan has obviously been on the establishment’s hit list for a while.

[..] Rogan’s uses of “the n-word” are not new. They are all several years old and from 23 separate episodes, all multiple hours long. And there are almost 1800 episodes of the show to plough through if you decide to go searching. So making this video is at least two days’ work of simply watching the episodes – and that’s assuming you know where to start looking. And that’s before editing or trying to make it “go viral”. Was all this done on a whim by some bored pro-vaxxer? Does that sound likely? Far more likely is that it was created and deployed to discredit Rogan’s COVID-questioning without having to engage with the Covid sceptic evidence or arguments. It’s even possible the video may even have already existed before the current controversy. After all, why create this climate of stifling sensitivity if you don’t have the tools to use it?

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“It’s designed to look like they’re doing something, but they’re not doing anything. It’s more spectacle than substance.”

The Blue Stack Strikes Back (Jilani)

[..]The U.S. government, forbidden by contemporary constitutional law from simply censoring Rogan itself, dispatched Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to reinforce President Joe Biden’s message imparted last year that social media platforms are “killing people” by allowing too much freedom of speech about the pandemic, the virus, and the vaccines. “People have a right to make their own decisions, but they also have a right to accurate information to make that decision with,” Murthy told MSNBC. “This is not just about what the government can do,” he coyly noted, “this is about companies and individuals recognizing that the only way we get past misinformation is if we are careful about what we say and use the power that we have to limit the spread of misinformation.”

Murthy’s message reinforced the media outlets that had taken aim at Rogan, inspiring a wave of new reports not only focused on his discussions of COVID but also labeling him problematic in other regards. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, whose role in this ecosystem is to disguise Democratic Party talking points as humor, criticized a segment in which Rogan and author Jordan Peterson poke fun at the absurdity of modern racial categorization, noting that nobody is actually “white” or “Black.” CNN signal boosted Noah’s criticism, as did a range of other outlets. Other activists found old clips of Rogan mentioning (but not using) racial slurs. Eventually, Spotify got the message. It announced new platform rules that include adding advisories to select content dealing with COVID.

It began deleting dozens of older Rogan episodes that contained transgressive content. Its CEO promised to devote $100 million of company money on content from “historically marginalized groups,” which in this case is likely to be defined exclusively by progressive activists (don’t expect a lot of sponsored podcasts on Asian American opposition to racial preferences in college admissions). In the span of a week, Rogan posted two separate apologies for his past content. The authors of the open letter that initiated the firestorm, however, are not satisfied. One of them told Rolling Stone that the Spotify advisories will just create a “‘false balance’ problem. It’s designed to look like they’re doing something, but they’re not doing anything. It’s more spectacle than substance.”

These activists know how to play the game. If you look back at any of the recent controversies over free speech—from QAnon to COVID to the last two presidential elections—this is how things work when a development or outcome is seen as unfavorable or undesirable by the favored political camp. First, activists create a panic about misinformation or offensive speech. Second, the social media platforms try to meet them halfway by introducing measures like warning labels. Third, the activists realize they’ve drawn blood, and continue to push for outright censorship. Finally, the social media platforms give in and remove the offending voice from their platforms altogether.

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Nothing much changed so far.

“Kenney just says he won’t bring back the vaccine passport “Unless we redefine full vaccination as having three shots”. Kenney said that “would make practical sense… make a requirement that people get a third shot.”

First Canadian Provinces Scrap Covid Mandates (RT)

Canada’s province of Saskatchewan announced on Tuesday it would stop requiring vaccine passes and masks. It comes as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted on the effectiveness of Covid-19 mandates amid trucker protests gripping the capital Ottawa. The prairie province, situated between Alberta and Manitoba, said it would stop requiring vaccine passports from next week and allow the mask mandate to expire at the end of February. It is one of the first Canadian provinces to offer a roadmap to ending the virus restrictions. Praising the soon-to-be-phased-out restrictions for helping to stem the spread of the virus, Premier Scott Moe, however, noted that they had created “two classes of citizens,” arguing that “the benefits of this policy no longer outweigh the costs.”

Urging Canadians not to “judge” their neighbors over their vaccination status, Moe said people should be entitled to decide whether to get vaccinated or not. “This government is going to respect that right,” he added. Another province, Alberta, also moved to ditch the restrictions on Tuesday. From midnight on Wednesday, residents will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination in public places, and from Monday next week children aged 12 and under would no longer be required to mask up. Compulsory masking will no longer apply to students in schools. “We’ll never be able to do a full accounting of the extent of the pain and hardship that restrictions have caused,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

[..] PM Trudeau has refused to meet with the truckers or hear their demands, referring to them as a “small, fringe minority” engaged in violence and hateful conduct. In a speech to the parliament on Monday, he accused the truckers of “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives,” and demanded that their protest “has to stop” because the people of Ottawa and Canadians in general “deserve to get their lives back.” On Tuesday, the PM defended the mandates and restrictions his government put in place during the pandemic, saying they worked and will not be removed any time soon. “I can understand frustrations with mandates, but mandates are the way to avoid further restrictions,” he told reporters.

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“..heavy-duty tow trucks can transfer air from their system to the trucks to release their brakes. However, he added that “we have all the capabilities on our tow trucks to do it … but I don’t think anyone would want to.”

Towing Companies Refuse to Move Freedom Convoy Trucks (TC)

“I’ve contacted them all and they’re all refusing, as of today, to provide heavy tow truck work,” city manager Steve Kanellakos told reporters Monday evening, according to a report from the CBC. “Right now we’re reviewing their contracts or standing offer, and reviewing what actions we can take to deal with this unprecedented situation,” Kanellakos added. There are currently more than 400 trucks parked throughout the city in protest, which began over a week ago. The drivers have said that they will not move the trucks until the COVID vaccine mandates for drivers doing trips between the US and Canada are lifted. Kanellakos said that Mayor Jim Watson has also been reaching out to towing companies in other cities, but none are willing to help stop the protest.

“Right now, the consensus seems to be that many of them — or most of them — don’t want to do the work because … they rely on on the the heavy truck industry for their livelihood, and they don’t want to damage that part of their business,” Kanellakos said. “That’s the position they’re taking, at least.” The CBC report added that deputy police chief Steve Bell confirmed that they are having trouble finding a willing tow truck operator in “every jurisdiction that’s faced this, and it’s forcing us to come up with some creative solutions.” While Bell wouldn’t say what those creative solutions may be, he did say that they are moving “toward a position where we’re not going to let the tow truck operators … be an obstacle to ending what’s occurring.”

Also speaking to the CBC, Trucker Lloyd Crowe said that there is no way the city will be able to move the trucks without cooperation from the drivers who are protesting. “If you know anything about truck air brakes, once you pull that button, all 18 wheels are locked,” Crowe told CBC on Wednesday. “Nothing can move it, except maybe a big wrecker. And no wrecker worth his salt is going to come anywhere near this, because they’re on our side.” David Allen, president of Gary’s Towing in Thunder Bay told the news organization that while it would be hard, he does not believe that it is impossible. He explained that heavy-duty tow trucks can transfer air from their system to the trucks to release their brakes. However, he added that “we have all the capabilities on our tow trucks to do it … but I don’t think anyone would want to.”

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Curious.

Johnson & Johnson Stops Covid-19 Vaccine Production (RT)

US multinational Johnson & Johnson suspended production of its Covid-19 vaccine late last year amid a massive push by the federal government and health officials to promote getting inoculated, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the situation. The pause in production is reportedly temporary, but the one plant producing the vaccine in the Dutch city of Leiden has apparently shifted its focus to producing a potentially more profitable vaccine for an unrelated virus. It’s unclear if the production pause has affected the availability of the single-jab Covid vaccine, as the company has a stockpile of doses. However, one person familiar with the situation says the suspension could mean a reduction in output of a few hundred million doses.


The plant is expected to produce more after a few months’ break. Other facilities are awaiting regulatory approval or to actually be up and running to produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the NYT report. Organizations that distribute the vaccine worldwide told the NYT they were unaware of the production pause, with some expressing concern about the timing. “This is not the time to be switching production lines of anything, when the lives of people across the developing world hang in the balance,” Dr. Ayoade Alakija, co-head of African Union vaccine distribution. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s offering requires only a single shot for the initial inoculation, while the others are delivered via two shots.

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Long ago.

Americans Have ‘Lost Touch With Reality’ – Russia (RT)

Washington’s rhetoric about the possibility of imposing colossal sanctions on Russia is so outrageous that Moscow sees little point in even responding, one of the country’s top diplomats has said. In an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin was asked about the possibility of Washington imposing unprecedentedly harsh measures on the Russian energy and financial sectors, including additional sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking the gas fields of Siberia to consumers in Germany. “It’s long been clear to everyone that American legislators have lost touch with reality and are living in a kingdom of their own phobias regarding our country, churning out obscurantist plans to deter Russia on all fronts, with any justification or without one,” Pankin replied.


“I don’t see the point in reacting to the Capitol’s routine initiatives about this. We can only repeat once more our regret about what has happened, and confirm that there will inevitably be negative consequences from the harsh restrictions laid on us by the Western initiators of such measures,” the diplomat added. Asked whether Russia is prepared for the possibility of being cut off from the SWIFT banking system, which some American and European leaders have threatened if Moscow decides to invade Ukraine, Pankin said, “Our hope is that, as opposed to Washington’s completely unjustified movement towards the ‘sanction field’, reason will still prevail in Brussels and these measures will not happen, which would damage the stability of the international finance system itself, as well as global economic recovery and the possibility of fulfilling the [UN initiative] Sustainable Development Goals on time.”

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Sleep.

Scientists Divulge Easy Way To Lose Weight (RT)

Sleeping more can help people to consume less calories per day and to lose weight, if those healthy sleeping habits are maintained over a prolonged period of time, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, Illinois. The findings were published on Monday in peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The clinical research involved 80 adults aged between 21 and 40. All the participants qualified as overweight with a body mass index ranging from 25 to 29.9, while ‘normal’ body weight falls into the range between 18.5 and 24.9. All the participants also had habitual sleep of 6.5 hours per night or less. The research was conducted for a prolonged period of time, running from November 2014 to October 2020.

The participants were observed for a two-week period to establish a baseline and were then randomly separated in two groups. The control group continued with their sleeping habits without any intervention, while another group received “an individualized sleep hygiene counseling session,” aimed at prolonging their bedtime to some 8.5 hours. No further support beyond the counseling was provided to the participants, who continued to sleep in their own beds, though they wore tracking devices to register the duration of their sleeping time. “Most other studies on this topic in labs are short-lived, for a couple of days, and food intake is measured by how much participants consume from an offered diet,” lead researcher Dr Esra Tasali at the University of Chicago’s Sleep Center stated.

“In our study we only manipulated sleep and had the participants eat whatever they wanted, with no food logging or anything else to track their nutrition by themselves.” The sleep duration was increased for the sleep extension group by 1.2 hours per night on average, which led to a significant decrease in energy intake compared to the control group. The people from the sleep extension group consumed some 270 kilocalories on average less, which is quite significant given that recommended daily intake is 2,000 kilocalories for women and 2,500 for men. “No significant treatment effect in total energy expenditure was found, resulting in weight reduction in the sleep extension group vs the control group,” the study reads.

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Fear sells, not just negative news.

Elon Musk Gives Views On ‘Traditional’ Media (RT)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, known for his prolific tweeting, questioned his 73 million followers about why “traditional” media outlets operate as a “relentless hatestream” before then engaging in discussions with his followers on the topic. “Why is the “traditional” media such a relentless hatestream? Real question,” Musk tweeted on Monday. This post was quickly followed by another, clarifying the billionaire’s position. “Most news outlets attempt to answer the question: ‘What are the worst things happening on Earth today?’ It’s a big planet! Obviously, some bad things are happening somewhere at any given time, but focusing relentlessly on those does not give an accurate picture of reality,” he wrote.


Musk then engaged in debate with followers, disagreeing with one view that “negative news sells better,” pointing to some popular “citizen podcasts” which “aren’t negative.” “Maybe part of why traditional media outlets are so negative is because old habits die hard? They so rarely even try to be positive,” Musk added, sharing his frustration over the constant flow of the “news that makes one sad & angry.” The degree of Musk’s apparent disdain for traditional news media became known when he agreed with another commenter who said the target audience of most media was “the amygdala of the bottom 50% of humanity.” “Sadly true,” the carmaker’s chief executive wrote.

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When everyone’s got an EV, they’ll be useless.

Lithium Price Rockets Nearly 500% In A Year (G.)

Lithium prices have “gone ballistic” as surging electric vehicles sales worldwide create massive demand for the critical component of lithium-ion batteries. According to figures from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI), the price of the lithium-rich raw material spodumene rose 478.3% between January 2021 and January 2022. In January alone the price of spodumene jumped 45.5% to US$2,400 a tonne, up from $1,650 in December. Similar price rises were recorded for lithium carbonate and hydroxide – refined lithium at different stages of purity – over the past year. BMI is forecasting the price will continue to increase for at least the next six month off the back of massive demand for battery cells.


In January the consulting firm McKinsey predicted the market for lithium batteries would grow to at least $360bn by 2030, with growth averaging 20% a year until the end of the decade. But some analysts have sounded a note of caution as lithium pricing can be volatile – demand can grow quickly but new mines open and increase supply, dropping the price again. Tim Buckley, an energy transition analyst and director of Clean Energy Finance, says demand for lithium is likely to remain high. “It’s unsustainably high – it’s gone ballistic. It’s just brilliant to watch – the world’s transforming before our eyes,” Buckley said. “Nothing excites financial markets more than a 500% increase in prices.”

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Google translation from Dutch.

Jeff Bezos’ Yacht Can Count On Rotten Eggs (Engelen)

Not so long ago there was a ship whose fortunes could serve as the perfect symbol of the age in which we were then. And no, I’m not talking about the Titanic, that monument of hubris and stupidity, which went down on its maiden voyage and disappeared into the icy ocean with 1,522 people on board, and with that, two years before the outbreak of the First World War, announced the end of the bourgeois belle époque. Not to mention the Probo Koala, that tanker full of chemical waste on its way to the Ivory Coast to discharge its toxic cargo, which suddenly became the focus of our nascent environmental consciousness, only to then, like a hot potato, to be shifted from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, to end up in the harbor of Amsterdam where it lay rotting for months and acted as a constant reminder of the end of our ecological innocence.

No, I’m talking about that Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, which, with over four thousand passengers on board, ran aground at nightfall off the coast of Italy, at the port of Giglio, and began to overturn slowly, because the sun-tanned captain of the ship, and I’m exaggerating oly a little here, let his Moldovan sweetheart give him a blowjob during the maneuver. Meanwhile, a new ship has forced itself as a symbol on our collective consciousness. I am, of course, talking about the three-masted three-masted ship owned by Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, which is currently being built at a cost of half a billion dollars at yacht builder Oceanco in Alblasserdam and is nearing completion. It would be a sailing yacht with a length of 127 meters long and a height of 55 meters, which, according to news agency Bloomberg, sets a new standard in the wonderful world of superyachts, with many undisclosed details.

In order to be able to choose the sea in the future, however, the yacht has to cross the Nieuwe Maas through the Koningshaven in Rotterdam. As it happens, the iconic Lift Bridge blocks the passage of the yacht: up to 44 meters high, the mouth of the bridge can be opened, too low for the masts of Bezos. And so, despite previous promises to residents, the city council has pledged to dismantle the bridge one more time to allow the yacht to escape. It is again the perfect fusion of an era, in this case of the corona pandemic entering its third year in three weeks, and of the neoliberal nature of the crisis that accompanied it. The measures taken by the state to prevent the spread of the virus and to prevent healthcare overload have had major redistributive consequences. Not only have the billions in monetary easing by central banks further exacerbated wealth inequalities, as the insane house and apartment prices in major cities illustrate: good for investors, bad luck for residents.

The shutting down or throttling of social intercourse has also greatly favored some and disadvantaged others. Household consumption expenditure did not fall during the four so-called lockdowns. What has happened is that one retail channel (the middle class with its physical stores) has been closed and the other retail channel (Amazon) has remained open, with a massive shift in terms of employees, logistics, turnover and thus profits from one channel to another. [..] That is what makes this such a significant event: after two years of corona measures, we have finally arrived in the neofeudal caste society that Thomas Piketty has been warning about since 2014. In that world, ordinary citizens with their bridges are only set pieces in the lives of the super rich. Knowing that will help you understand a little better why Twitter – another such platform – is circulating the call to treat Bezos’ ship with rotten eggs as it passes. You can hardly miss him!

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Brand/Taibbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Jan 282022
 


Pablo Picasso Bust of woman with arms raised 1922

 

White House Calls CNN Report On Russian Invasion ‘Completely False’ (RT)
The Covid Evidence Dismissed By The BBC As ‘Conspiracy-laden’ (Beck)
The High Cost of Disparaging Natural Immunity to Covid (Makary)
4 Out of 5 Americans Have Covid ‘Natural Immunity’ (KB)
Denmark Declares Covid-19 No Longer ‘Socially Critical Disease’ (TH)
Sweden Opts Against Covid Jabs For Children (RT)
Vaccine Failure In Two Charts And Two Graphs From Four Countries (Berenson)
Most Covid Patients In Wales In Hospital For Other Conditions (BBC)
Biden Admin Used Billions In Hospital Covid-19 Funds To Pay Drugmakers (STAT)
The Folly of Pandemic Censorship (Taibbi)
Joe Rogan, Elon Musk React To Canadian Trucker Convoy (RT)
Truckers Inspired By Canada Begin ‘Freedom’ Convoys Around The World (JTN)
Musk Unloads On ‘Puppet’ Biden In Twitter Rant (RT)
China Warns US Over Ukraine & Blasts “Interference” In Beijing Olympics (ZH)
Why Do American Elites Want War in Ukraine? (Kassam)
What Did Clinton Know and When Did She Know It? (Sperry)

 

 

 

 

US military: average per year 1.7 million reports of all diseases combined. First 10 months 2021: 22 million.

 

 

Scary indeed.

Ryan Cole

 

 

Natasha Bertrand posted a story about a Biden-Zelensky call that didn’t go well, but deleted it soon afterward. Still, people from the White House, Ukraine and CNN itself reacted to it. Was it all for clickbait?

White House Calls CNN Report On Russian Invasion ‘Completely False’ (RT)

The White House has pushed back on a CNN report about Thursday’s phone call between US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, calling it “completely false.” “President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February. He has previously said this publicly and we have been warning about this for months. Reports of anything more or different than that are completely false,” Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, tweeted on Thursday evening. She was responding to a tweet by CNN’s senior national security correspondent Alexander Marquardt, who was quoting his colleague in Kiev, Matthew Chance.

“A Russian invasion is now virtually certain once the ground freezes, Biden said to Zelensky, a senior Ukrainian official told [Chance]. Kyiv could be ‘sacked,’ Russian forces may attempt to occupy it, ‘prepare for impact’, Biden said, according to this official,” Marquardt tweeted. CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper had Chance cite “the Ukrainian official” live on air. “The capital, Kiev, this city here, could be “sacked.” That’s the word he [Biden] apparently used, according to this Ukrainian official. [It could be] sacked by Russian forces,” Chance told Tapper. Chance went on to quote what he called a “quite impactful line” from the Biden-Zelensky call as narrated to him by the anonymous Ukrainian official. “President Biden [was] telling his Ukrainian counterpart that Ukraine should prepare for impact. Quite a stark warning there from the US leader.”

The quote was quickly picked up by other outlets, such as the Independent, the Express and the Daily Mail. Meanwhile, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto quoted Horne as saying that “anonymous sources are ‘leaking’ falsehoods” about the call. Zelensky’s spokesman Sergii Nykyforov likewise dismissed reports citing the alleged “senior Ukranian official” as “completely false.” “Correct information can only be found in official releases from the Ukrainian and American sides,” he stated.

Phone call

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The UK Yellow Card system fails as badly as VAERS. And that is not a coincidence. It takes 40 minutes to fill out a form.

The Covid Evidence Dismissed By The BBC As ‘Conspiracy-laden’ (Beck)

Ms Bayliss has been gathering witness statements from those who allege they are vaccine-injured, and from potential expert witnesses in the US and the UK. She said: ‘We have subsequently uploaded 103 statements regarding vaccine associated deaths and injury, and 13 from identifiable whistleblowers, medical experts and scientists.’ To build his case, Mr Hyland investigated our medicines regulatory authority, specifically the alleged negligence of June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA. He said: ‘The charge against the MHRA is that they negligently conducted themselves and have caused British citizens real harm and suffering. ‘They have failed to act on any of the Yellow Card reports they have received. There are currently 2,000 deaths reported and 500,000 adverse events. They should have stopped the programme before the deaths reached 100 and launched a thorough investigation.’

The Yellow Card data show that 1 in 120 people have reported an event they considered serious enough to spend 40 minutes filling out a Yellow Card form. ‘This may be just the tip of the iceberg,’ said Ms Bayliss, ‘as the MHRA admit they receive information from around 10 per cent of those damaged.’ The figure is low because some doctors find they cannot access the Yellow Card scheme from their hospital computers, while others do not know about it. Members of the public are generally not informed about Yellow Card and most who complain to their GP that they think they have suffered a serious adverse event are told that the vaccine is an unlikely cause and their symptoms are put down to ‘coincidence’, as the Royal College of General Practitioners has not issued them with any advice.

If the coincidence theory held water, you would expect an even spread of reports across the three vaccinations used in Britain. We have Pfizer-BioNTech’s experimental mRNA jab introduced in December 2020, and Oxford/AstraZeneca’s more traditional one which has been available since January 2021. Plus the new kid on the block, Moderna’s mRNA jab introduced in April 2021. Although we began using it four months after Pfizer and three months after AstraZeneca, Moderna is clocking up 50 per cent more Yellow Cards than AZ, who have 60 per cent more reported injuries than Pfizer. Oxford/AstraZeneca has been received by 24.9million people and the Yellow Card scheme shows that 1 in 103 have been impacted, while Pfizer-BioNTech’s has been received by 25.3million people and Yellow Card shows that 1 in 162 people have been impacted.

Moderna has been given to 1.6million people and its Yellow Card reporting rate shows that 1 in 50 people have been impacted. On average, 1 in 120 people have suffered an adverse reaction. ‘In our view, we have enough evidence to show gross negligence,’ said Mr Hyland. ‘It is clear that the MHRA have failed to follow up concerns about vaccine injury and they failed to withdraw harmful batches when they knew about the issues. ‘They also exaggerated the risk of Covid by failing to distinguish the difference between dying with Covid, which is when someone has other illnesses, or of Covid, which is when the patient has no other illnesses.’ Covid-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has a low fatality rate: less than one per cent of those who contract it. The Office of National Statistics has revealed under a Freedom of Information request that only 13,597 deaths in England and Wales out of 140,000 attributed to Covid were caused by Covid alone. The bulk of deaths were of people with comorbidities.

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The immune system works.

The High Cost of Disparaging Natural Immunity to Covid (Makary)

For most of last year, many of us called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release its data on reinfection rates, but the agency refused. Finally last week, the CDC released data from New York and California, which demonstrated natural immunity was 2.8 times as effective in preventing hospitalization and 3.3 to 4.7 times as effective in preventing Covid infection compared with vaccination. Yet the CDC spun the report to fit its narrative, bannering the conclusion “vaccination remains the safest strategy.” It based this conclusion on the finding that hybrid immunity—the combination of prior infection and vaccination—was associated with a slightly lower risk of testing positive for Covid. But those with hybrid immunity had a similar low rate of hospitalization (3 per 10,000) to those with natural immunity alone. In other words, vaccinating people who had already had Covid didn’t significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization.

Similarly, the National Institutes of Health repeatedly has dismissed natural immunity by arguing that its duration is unknown—then failing to conduct studies to answer the question. Because of the NIH’s inaction, my Johns Hopkins colleagues and I conducted the study. We found that among 295 unvaccinated people who previously had Covid, antibodies were present in 99% of them up to nearly two years after infection. We also found that natural immunity developed from prior variants reduced the risk of infection with the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of the two-dose Moderna vaccine against infection (not severe disease) declines to 61% against Delta and 16% against Omicron at six months, according to a recent Kaiser Southern California study. In general, Pfizer’s Covid vaccines have been less effective than Moderna’s.

The CDC study and ours confirm what more than 100 other studies on natural immunity have found: The immune system works. The largest of these studies, from Israel, found that natural immunity was 27 times as effective as vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic illness. None of this should surprise us. For years, studies have shown that infection with the other coronaviruses that cause severe illness, SARS and MERS, confers lasting immunity. In a study published in May 2020, Covid-recovered monkeys that were rechallenged with the virus didn’t get sick. Public-health officials have a lot of explaining to do. They used the wrong starting hypothesis, ignored contrary preliminary data, and dug in as more evidence emerged that called their position into question.

Many, including Rochelle Walensky, now the CDC’s director, signed the John Snow memorandum in October 2020, which declared that “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection.” Many clinicians who talk to other physicians nationwide had have long observed that we don’t see reinfected patients end up on a ventilator or die from Covid, with rare exceptions who almost always have immune disorders. Meanwhile, public-health officials recklessly destroyed the careers of everyday Americans, rallying to fire pilots, truck drivers and others in the supply-chain workforce who didn’t get vaccinated. And in the early months of the vaccine rollout, when supplies were limited, we could have saved many more lives by giving priority to those who didn’t have recorded natural immunity.

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The Great Barrington guys also come from Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. And look what Collins and Fauci did to them.

4 Out of 5 Americans Have Covid ‘Natural Immunity’ (KB)

In the United States, the media barely mention Covid prior infections or the existence of natural immunity. But a CDC-sponsored database in partnership with Yale, Harvard, and Stanford universities shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans have natural immunity from prior infections, Wildfire can exclusively report. The CDC released a study last week called “COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations by COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis — California and New York, May–November 2021.” The findings were reported by Agence France-Presse. “During America’s last surge of the coronavirus driven by the Delta variant, people who were unvaccinated but survived Covid were better protected than those who were vaccinated and not previously infected,” AFP noted about the new study.


“The finding is the latest to weigh in on a debate on the relative strengths of natural versus vaccine-acquired immunity against SARS-CoV-2, but comes this time with the imprimatur of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” AFP added. The U.K.’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA), issued a report that echoes much of the CDC’s findings on natural immunity. It showed that those with prior infections to Covid were much less likely to test positive for Covid infections than those in the vaccinated groups. Those with prior infections even in the pre-Alpha period were tested to have natural immunity roughly equivalent to those with vaccinated immunity acquired from three shots. The UKHSA report also showed that nearly the entire population of Great Britain has some form of antibodies to Covid-19.

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Poof!

Denmark Declares Covid-19 No Longer ‘Socially Critical Disease’ (TH)

As some countries double down on punishing the unvaccinated and continue with draconian Covid-19 restrictions, Denmark has taken the opposite approach, announcing Wednesday that all safety measures will be lifted next week. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the Nordic country is reclassifying Covid-19; it will no longer be considered a “socially critical disease.” “Tonight we can shrug our shoulders and find the smile again. We have incredibly good news, we can now remove the last coronavirus restrictions in Denmark,” Frederiksen said at a press conference. Frederiksen acknowledged that the decision may seem unusual as Omicron infections are spiking in the country, with 46,000 new Covid cases reported on Wednesday.


“Recent weeks have seen very high infection rates, in fact the highest in the entire pandemic,” she noted. “Therefore, it may seem strange and paradoxical that we are now ready to let go of the restrictions.” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke pointed to high rates of vaccination and fewer hospitalizations as the reasons officials have taken this approach. “The situation in Denmark is that we have this decoupling between infections and intensive care patients, and it is mainly due to the large attachment among Danes to revaccination. That is the reason why it is safe and the right thing to do now,” Heunicke said. The UK, Ireland and the Netherlands have all taken a similar approach.

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For children 5-11 years old. Fauci wants 3 jabs each for every kid over 6 months.

Sweden Opts Against Covid Jabs For Children (RT)

The Sweden Public Health Agency on Thursday announced that it had opted against following some western countries in endorsing vaccination against Covid-19 for children 5-11 years old. Administering shots in that age group wouldn’t have a major effect on the spread of Covid-19 and would offer little medical benefit to the individual children receiving them, the agency said in its guidance for the upcoming spring term. “With the knowledge we have today, with a low risk for serious disease for kids, we don’t see any clear benefit with vaccinating them,” agency official Britta Bjorkholm told reporters. The decision may be revisited if new information becomes available or a new variant of the virus changes the risk-reward analysis for vaccinating children.


Sweden’s decision is contrary to a trend toward countries approving vaccination of younger and younger children, especially with Covid-19’s Omicron variant spreading rapidly. Such counties as Germany, France, Italy and Spain have approved jabs for children as young as 5. In the US, chief White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters on Wednesday that he expects three-dose regimens to eventually be approved for children as young as 6 months old. Proponents of vaccinating children have argued that even though risks of serious illness or death from Covid-19 are relatively low in young people, they can spread the virus to more vulnerable segments of the population. Swedish health officials, however, argue that vaccinating small kids would entails no great benefit – either to them or to the people around them. “A general vaccination from the age of 5 is also not expected to have any major effect on the spread of infection at present, neither in the group of children aged 5–11 nor among other groups in the population,” the Public Health Agency said.

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Here’s two of them. It’s repeated everywhere. The vaccinated are dying.

Vaccine Failure In Two Charts And Two Graphs From Four Countries (Berenson)

I could make the long case about original antigenic sin, falling antibodies, the issues around cellular immunity, myocarditis, and all the rest. But I’m just going to offer these four images because they speak more clearly than anything I could say. Scotland, Britain, Israel, and Denmark are four of the world’s most highly vaccinated countries. They all have 90 percent adult Covid vaccination rates and 60 percent adult boosters. Yet the vast majority of deaths are occurring in vaccinated people; serious cases are soaring; and infections are almost literally off the charts. This is Covid vaccine failure at the most profound and basic level.


SCOTLAND: Covid death rates (RATES, not raw numbers) by vaccination status for the last four weeks. Death rates in vaccinated but unboosted people have been higher than rates in the unvaccinated each week. Also, 87 percent of total deaths occurred in vaccinated people in the most recent week:

BRITAIN: (the data in the British chart below is United Kingdom-wide and thus includes Scotland – some British readers asked me to make that clear.) Covid deaths by vaccination status in the most recent four weeks (2,845 out of the 3,860 people for whom vaccine status could be determined were vaccinated – 74 percent):

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But you still label them Covid patients?

Most Covid Patients In Wales In Hospital For Other Conditions (BBC)

Well over half of patients with confirmed cases of Covid in hospital in Wales are being treated for other conditions, official figures show for the first time. A total of 42.2% of confirmed Covid patients were being “actively” treated for it on Tuesday. This means nearly six out of 10 are “incidental” Covid patients being treated for other conditions. Meanwhile, Covid hospital figures continue to fall. The number of patients being treated primarily for Covid is far higher for those in critical care – nearly 90%, according to Digital Health and Care Wales. The average for the last week for Covid patients is just over 40% being treated primarily for the virus.


Even though patients might “incidentally” have Covid, it does not mean that it cannot add complications to their health or treatment, and it still presents challenges for patient management for hospitals. Meanwhile, there were another 220 patients who “probably” or “definitely” caught Covid while in hospital, according to Public Health Wales figures for the last week. The daily average number of Covid patients in hospital beds dropped for the 12th day in a row to 560 on Wednesday, according to Digital Health and Care Wales. The daily average for those patients in critical care or on invasive ventilation with Covid has also fallen to 22 – the lowest figure since 11 August. Daily Covid admissions are also still falling, down to 27 a day.

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The big hospitals are fine. The smaller ones, not so much.

Biden Admin Used Billions In Hospital Covid-19 Funds To Pay Drugmakers (STAT)

The Biden administration quietly took nearly $7 billion from a fund meant to help hospitals and clinics affected by the pandemic and used it to buy Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics, according to a document obtained by STAT. The move is similar to the Trump administration’s decision to divert $10 billion from the same fund to Operation Warp Speed, which STAT reported exclusively in March. Now, the hospital money, known as the Provider Relief Fund, has run dry, and has no new money left to allocate, according to the agency that administers it. Providers have only been able to submit requests for expenses incurred through March 2021 — before both the Delta and Omicron surges battered the health care system.

With the new $7 billion shift, which has not been previously reported, the diversion to drugmakers totals nearly $17 billion, or roughly 10% of the overall money Congress allotted for the fund for hospitals and physician practices. Congress set aside that money to help health care providers pay for pandemic-related expenses including staffing, personal protective equipment, care for uninsured patients, and vaccine distribution. The new details about the Biden administration’s spending decision come as hospitals across the country are struggling with a crushing surge of Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths due to the Omicron variant. And their representatives in Washington are furious.

[..] A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said using the money to pay drugmakers for contracts was a reasonable use of the hospital and clinic funds because the vaccines and therapeutics purchased were given to providers at no cost. “All Provider Relief Fund dollars have been used for Provider Relief Fund purposes,” the spokesperson said. However, there is no transparency into which contracts the money was used for, and where those products were distributed. Government watchdog reports offer clues to the timeline of the spending. As of March 1, 2021, $10 billion had been used to pay drugmakers. By Aug. 31, that number jumped to $14.8 billion. And per the document obtained by STAT, the total is $16.7 billion through Dec. 23.

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“People know authorities lie, which is why the more they clamp down, the bigger their trust problem usually becomes. ”

The Folly of Pandemic Censorship (Taibbi)

NIAID director Anthony Fauci has told three different stories about masks, including an episode in which he essentially claimed to have lied to us for our own good, in order to preserve masks for frontline workers — what Slate called one of the “Noble lies about Covid-19.” Officials turned out to be wrong about cloth masks anyway. Here is Fauci again on the issue of what to tell the public about how many people would need to be vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity,” casually explaining the logic of lying to the public for its sake: “When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, “I can nudge this up a bit,” so I went to 80, 85.”

We’ve seen sudden changes in official positions on the efficacy of ventilators and lockdowns, on the dangers (or lack thereof) of opening schools, and on the risks, however small, of vaccine side effects like myocarditis. The CDC also just released data showing natural immunity to be more effective in preventing hospitalization and in preventing infection than vaccination. The government had previously said, over and over, that vaccination is preferable to natural immunity (here’s NIH director Francis Collins telling that to Bret Baier unequivocally in August). This was apparently another “noble lie,” designed to inspire people to get vaccinated, that mostly just convinced people to wonder if any official statements can be trusted.

To me, the story most illustrative of the problem inherent in policing “Covid misinformation” involves a town hall by Joe Biden from July 21 of last year. In it, the president said bluntly, “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,” pretty much the definition of Covid misinformation: It was bad enough when, a month later, the CDC released figures showing 25% of a sample of 43,000 Covid cases involved fully vaccinated people. Far worse was a fact-check by Politifact, which judged Biden’s clearly wrong statement “half true.” “It is rare for people who are fully vaccinated to contract COVID-19, but it does happen,” the site wrote. They then cited CDC data as backup.

“The data that the CDC collected before May 1 show that, of 101 million people vaccinated in the U.S., 10,262 (0.01%) experienced breakthrough cases.” Politifact’s “bottom line”: Biden “exaggerated,” but “cases are rare.” Anyone paying attention to that story will now distrust the president, the CDC, and “reputable” mainstream fact-checkers like the Pew Center’s Politifact. These are the exact sort of authorities whose guidance sites like the Center for Countering Digital Hate will rely upon when trying to pressure companies like Substack to remove certain voices.

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Big campaign to vilify the truckers. Trudeau, had Covid and is well jabbed, happens to get infected and goes in hiding for 5 days, to avoid the PR mess.

Joe Rogan, Elon Musk React To Canadian Trucker Convoy (RT)

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and podcaster Joe Rogan have spoken about the Canadian truckers driving across the country to protest the government’s Covid-19 mandates, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced them as a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views.” “Canadian truckers rule,” Musk tweeted on Thursday afternoon. The ‘Freedom Convoy’ that set out from British Columbia and is expected to reach the Canadian capital of Ottawa sometime this weekend was ignored by the major media outlets at first. As it approached Ontario, however, the convoy became a political football. Trudeau denounced the truckers and said they “do not represent the views of Canadians” in a televised speech on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, he announced he had been “exposed” to Covid-19 and would quarantine for five days – thereby missing the convoy’s arrival in Ottawa – even though he has already had the virus and been vaccinated and boosted. Jagmeet Singh, whose New Democrats are propping up Trudeau’s minority government, also condemned the truckers and accused them of spreading “false information” via “inflammatory, divisive and hateful comments.” He also criticized his brother-in-law for donating to the protest. Canadian media reported that Jodhveer Singh Dhaliwal had asked for his donation back after being told of “the true nature” of the convoy.


[..] Benjamin Dichter, one of the organizers of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ and the group’s official spokesman, said they are peaceful and law-abiding. He told the Toronto Sun that the convoy is a protest over Trudeau’s government forcing drivers to wear masks even when alone inside their trucks, a vaccine mandate, and a requirement to get the jab before crossing the US-Canada border. Dichter also denied reports that GoFundMe has frozen some Can$5 million in donations for the convoy, calling them “fake news.” Joe Rogan, who hosts the immensely popular podcast on Spotify, also shone a spotlight on the convoy during his show on Wednesday. Speaking to a guest from Montreal, he showed footage of the truckers and described it as Canada being “in revolt” over the government’s mandates. “It’s a giant convoy of trucks,” Rogan said. “That’s apparently some insane amount of people. Fifty thousand trucks are headed to Ottawa to protest the vaccine mandates by Trudeau.”

Canada: We’re Not Gonna Take it!

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My guess would be Canada won’t be repeated. The truckers also want to block US-Canada border crossings.

Truckers Inspired By Canada Begin ‘Freedom’ Convoys Around The World (JTN)

Truckers around the world are creating their own convoys to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates after being inspired by the Canadian Freedom Convoy, which reportedly has thousands of trucks. Freedom Convoy 2022, the group that organized the Canadian trucker protest, reported initially having 1,600 trucks. The convoy, which now has nearly 50,000 trucks, will be in Ottowa by Saturday with the goal of getting “the government of Canada to repeal its cross border Covid tracking passport / phone app and ALL Covid-19 vaccine mandates,” according to a press release. The Canadian convoy has reportedly been joined by some American truckers and in Ontario, farmers came in tractors to show support. Both the United States and Canada mandate cross-border truckers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Americans are invited to also protest the mandate this Saturday at three border locations: Houlton, Maine; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and Sweet Grass, Montana. In Australia, the “2022 Official Convoy to Canberra” has more than 44,000 members on Facebook and more than 10,000 followers on Telegram as of Thursday. The group is planning to meet in the capital by Jan. 31 to protest vaccine mandates. European truckers are organizing to protest vaccine mandates as well. The European Convoy Telegram channel has more than 7,300 members. Truckers are organizing across Europe, including the Netherlands, France, Hungary and more, to converge on Brussels by Feb. 7. The truckers have received an outpouring of support from celebrities as well.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk, one of the wealthiest men in the world tweeted his support for the convoy. “Canadian truckers rule,” he said, later adding: “If you scare people enough, they will demand removal of freedom. This is the path to tyranny.”

Trudeau hiding
https://twitter.com/i/status/1486870820177649666

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“Last year, the United Auto Workers union said Ford “put corporate greed and more potential profits over American jobs”..”

Musk Unloads On ‘Puppet’ Biden In Twitter Rant (RT)

Tesla tycoon Elon Musk referred to Joe Biden as a “damp sock puppet in human form” on Thursday, in response to the US president’s photo-op with General Motors chair Mary Barra. In the video, which was posted on Biden’s official Twitter account on Wednesday evening, the president praised GM’s investment in electric vehicle manufacturing as a blow to climate change. Responding to the message, Musk argued that electric vehicle manufacturing in the US “Starts with a T / Ends with an A / ESL in the middle.” He then took a dig at the president, completing his tweet with a “sock” emoji.

Musk also claimed that Biden was “treating the American public like fools” while responding to another Twitter user, who argued that Biden was “trying to cancel a great American company and rewrite EV history” by endorsing GM and Ford. Amateur fact-checkers pounced on the thread to back up Musk, posting data that shows Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 were by far the top-selling electric vehicles in the US – and both made domestically. GM’s Bolt came in at a distant fourth place in 2021, with Ford’s Mustang Mach-E beating it out for third place, according to Car & Driver. In a video with Barra, Biden wrote that “companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before,” while Barra announced a $7 billion investment in Michigan along with a battery cell plant to be opened in the US.


At least some of Ford’s electric vehicles are manufactured in Mexico, not the US. Last year, the United Auto Workers union said Ford “put corporate greed and more potential profits over American jobs” with a plan to build a new electric model in Mexico, rather than in Ohio.

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1 week till Olympics. Xi is nervous.

China Warns US Over Ukraine & Blasts “Interference” In Beijing Olympics (ZH)

China on Thursday blasted the US for continuing to interfere in its affairs, further saying nothing has fundamentally changed, but instead charging there’s been “new shocks” since the Biden-Xi virtual summit of two months ago. The scathing rebuke came on Thursday as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone call with his counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Importantly, Wang took the opportunity to for the first time side with Russia in the direct communication with the US top diplomat, saying Moscow has “reasonable security concerns” over Ukraine that must be “taken seriously”. Chinese state media and Beijing-linked pundits have also become increasingly vocal on the issue, charging NATO with overstepping…

He urged calm on the part of all sides but specifically called on the West to “abandon its Cold War mentality”. It’s been no secret that Washington sanctions and punitive actions against officials in both countries have served to make Russia and China unlikely allies against a common enemy. “All parties should completely abandon the Cold War mentality and form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation,” Wang spelled out in the call with Blinken, according to AFP. The tough rhetoric echoed the words of Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian during a Wednesday press briefing. In response to US claims that Russia is likely to invade Ukraine during the Beijing Winter Olympics, Zhao said,

“As the world’s largest military alliance, NATO should abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and ideological bias, and do things that are conducive to upholding peace and stability.” He suggested that NATO is outdated and contributes to instability: “China firmly opposes all kinds of small cliques,” he added, and urged “fully consider each other’s legitimate security concerns, avoid antagonism and confrontation, and properly address differences and disputes through equal consultation on the basis of mutual respect.”

Wang focused much of his Thursday call with Blinken on the “urgent priority” that the “US should stop interfering in the Beijing Winter Olympics.” The swipe appeared not just aimed at Washington’s continued emphasis on China’s human rights abuses, including allegations of detention centers and “genocide” targeting Uighur Muslims, but in response to the words the day prior from Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. Sherman had unexpectedly linked the Ukraine crisis with the Olympic games hosted by China: “We all are aware that the Beijing Olympics begin on Feb. 4, the opening ceremony, and President Putin expects to be there. I think that, probably, [Chinese] President Xi Jinping would not be ecstatic if Putin chose that moment to invade Ukraine, so that may affect his timing and his thinking,” Sherman said in a virtual conference.

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“Putin is the devil and Russia subverted American democracy” has become a moralistic mantra for every Biden booster and Foggy Bottom staffer.”

Why Do American Elites Want War in Ukraine? (Kassam)

George Orwell’s The Lion and the Unicorn (1941) contains the following description of the English elite: “One thing that has always shown that the English ruling class are morally fairly sound, is that in time of war they are ready enough to get themselves killed…. What is to be expected of them is not treachery or physical cowardice, but stupidity, unconscious sabotage, an infallible instinct for doing the wrong thing. They are not wicked, or not altogether wicked; they are merely unteachable. Only when their money and power are gone will the younger among them begin to grasp what century they are living in.”

America’s own ruling class has more than its share of the unteachable types, as well as the cynical scoundrelism of Orwell’s description of the U.S. ruling elite as “mere bandits…consciously clinging to unjust privileges and beating down opposition by bribery and tear-gas bombs.” And when it’s not bombs at home, it’s bombs away. Or perhaps in Joe Biden’s case, both. The current president is perhaps the leading exemplar of American banditry, coupling treachery with an infallible instinct for doing the wrong thing. His own former boss, President Barack Obama, is said to have remarked upon his Vice President’s “ability to f*** things up.” And that ability has not diminished with time.

So, of course, to war. Whether in lock-step or goose-step, the rest of the ruling class amplifies Biden’s thirst for something, anything that provides respite from domestic catastrophe. We are just days away from front-page headlines dubbing the tent cities across America “Bidenvilles.” Something must be done. And that thing, to paraphrase Vice President Kamala Harris, is the thing they have been doing, every day: point at Russia. “Putin is the devil and Russia subverted American democracy” has become a moralistic mantra for every Biden booster and Foggy Bottom staffer. But flaccid, obfuscatory jaw-jawing over the moral turpitude of Russia’s dealings with Ukraine has also whet the appetites of the long-benched war lobby. That lobby wants its turn back at the helm. Sanctions ain’t good enough, cry its advocates on Capitol Hill and in the media. Stiffen the sinews. Summon up someone else’s blood. Cry Ukraine for democracy, Joey and Uncle Sam! No one’s buying it.

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I get the feeling that if Durham doesn’t do it, someone else will. And what did Obama know?

What Did Clinton Know and When Did She Know It? (Sperry)

As indictments and new court filings indicate that Special Counsel John Durham is investigating Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for feeding false reports to the FBI to incriminate Donald Trump and his advisers as Kremlin agents, Clinton’s role in the burgeoning scandal remains elusive. What did she know and when did she know it? Top officials involved in her campaign have repeatedly claimed, some under oath, that they and the candidate were unaware of the foundation of their disinformation campaign: the 35-page collection of now debunked claims of Trump/Russia collusion known as the Steele dossier. Even though her campaign helped pay for the dossier, they claim she only read it after BuzzFeed News published it in 2017.

But court documents, behind-the-scenes video footage and recently surfaced evidence reveal that Clinton and her top campaign advisers were much more involved in the more than $1 million operation to dredge up dirt on Trump and Russia than they have let on. [..] Dossier author Christopher Steele himself has suggested Clinton was briefed on his reports. On July 5, 2016 — the same day the FBI publicly exonerated Clinton in her email scandal — Steele handed off the first installments of the dossier to an FBI agent overseas who had handled him previously as an informant. In their London meeting, Steele noted that Clinton was aware of his reporting, according to contemporaneous notes Steele took of their conversation.

“The notes reflect that Steele told [his FBI handler Michael Gaeta] that Steele was aware that ‘Democratic Party associates’ were paying for [his] research; the ‘ultimate client’ was the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign; and ‘the candidate’ was aware of Steele’s reporting,” Justice Department watchdog Michael Horowitz wrote in his 2019 report examining the FBI’s use of the dossier to justify spying on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Later that same month, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the CIA picked up Russian chatter about a Clinton foreign policy adviser who was trying to develop allegations to “vilify” Trump. The intercepts said Clinton herself had approved a “plan” to “stir up a scandal” against Trump by tying him to Putin. According to handwritten notes, then-CIA chief John Brennan warned President Obama that Moscow had intercepted information about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump.”

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Kolakusic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1486641636784357381

 

 

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

 

Dec 222021
 
 December 22, 2021  Posted by at 9:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  94 Responses »


Berthe Morisot Julie and her boat1884

 

Omicron Could Be ‘A Christmas Present’ – Malone (WND)
BioNTech CEO Says ‘Even Triple-Vaccinated’ Transmit COVID (SAC)
How Fauci and Collins Shut Down Covid Debate (WSJ Ed.)
Fauci Says Unvaxxed Relatives Not Worthy of Family Christmas Gatherings (CTH)
An Interview With Fauci’s Nemesis (Beck)
Here’s A Reality Check (Denninger)
Prepare For Fourth Covid Jab, Tony Blair Institute Says (RT)
EU Sets Binding 9 Month Validity Of Covid-19 Travel Pass (R.)
Austria Hiring People to “Hunt Down Vaccine Refusers” (SN)
Ryanair CEO Calls For Unvaccinated “Idiots” To Be Ostracised From Society (SN)
Judge Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors in 10 States (ET)
Covid Modelling Shows The Most Worrying Scenario, Not The Most Likely (G.)
A Letter from a Concerned Psychologist (Nicassio)
Americans Warned About Risk Of Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (RT)
The Fed Gets Its Ducks in a Row for the Next Wall Street Bailout (Martens)
“If You Could Die Of Irony, She Would Be Dead”: Musk Slams Liz Warren (ZH)

 

 

 

 

For context, in the UK:

• same time last year, 40,000 daily cases of Covid
• this year, 90,000

• same time last year, 21,000 hospitalised
• this year, 8,000

Additionally, hospital stays will likely be much shorter this year.

 

 

First US death

 

 

“..if you believe in a God,” the rise of the omicron variant “looks an awful lot like a Christmas present.”

Omicron Could Be ‘A Christmas Present’ – Malone (WND)

The new omicron variant that is causing renewed panic among government officials and media could turn out to be “a Christmas present,” says the inventor of the mRNA technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Robert W. Malone, in a video interview Monday with WND, explained that while the original SARS-CoV-2 virus settled in the lungs, a new University of Hong Kong study that is still under peer review is among studies indicating omicron is settling in the upper respiratory tract. That makes it more transmissible but less virulent. Consequently, the new variant, which was first detected in South Africa on Nov. 25, could act similarly to a live attenuated virus vaccine, producing mild symptoms and natural immunity to COVID-19, Malone said.

He urged caution, noting a pre-print U.K. study by Imperial College of London reporting it is finding no difference in omicron hospitalizations compared to delta. However, the U.K. researchers acknowledged in their initial report that hospitalization data “remains very limited at this time.” In fact, South African officials reported last week that only 1.7% of identified COVID-19 cases were admitted to hospitals in the second week of infections in the fourth wave. That’s compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference. [..] Malone also discussed in the WND interview a new study from Ontario, Canada, suggesting vaccination could predispose someone to a higher risk of infection by omicron.

“If so, that would be the clear indication of the vaccine-enhanced infection and disease risk that not just I had been concerned about, but that the FDA was concerned about,” he said. His main caution with the Ontario data is that there is no indication of how many cases were omicron and how many were delta.[..] Malone also commented on the new release of emails showing that outgoing National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins asked White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci to carry out a “quick and devastating published takedown” of the Great Barrington Declaration in the fall of 2020. [..] “We have now clear, clear evidence of collusion by senior government officials to suppress scientific discussion and debate about one of the most crucial issues that we’ve addressed over the last two years, which is whether or not lockdowns make sense,” Malone said.

“And the data are overwhelming. They don’t.” And, he continued, “the worst part is the rest of the world looks to the U.S. for leadership.” “There’s a good chance that Australia wouldn’t be in this hellhole that they are now in if Francis Collins hadn’t substituted his opinions for actually looking at the data,” Malone said. On Friday, Malone told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that “if you believe in a God,” the rise of the omicron variant “looks an awful lot like a Christmas present.” He said that to “the experienced vaccinologist,” it looks “like a live attenuated virus vaccine that you might design for purpose.” “It’s going to elicit a strong mucosal immune response. This is about as good as we could possibly want right now, in terms of outcomes,” he said.

Yet, Ingraham noted, the media and political establishment are “freaking out,” calling for shutting things down again. “I think they’re disappointed with the good news,” Malone said.

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Admitting your product is worthless, in an attempt to make even more money. And people will fall for it.

BioNTech CEO Says ‘Even Triple-Vaccinated’ Transmit COVID (SAC)

While President Joe Biden and his coronavirus officials are bullying Americans into getting vaccinated or they will face a “deadly winter” for themselves and their families, “one of the scientists behind Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 show said Monday that he believes vaccines alone will not be enough to fight the Omicron variant.” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told French newspaper Le Monde “even triple-vaccinated people can transmit the disease, and they will have to be tested, especially around vulnerable people.” “With the Omicron variant becoming dominant, protective measures will remain essential, especially this winter” he added, who says they are working on yet another version of the vaccine specifically tailored for the Omicron variant that could possibly be available by March.


So according to an actual scientist in an actual science-based company, even being “triple-vaccinated” will not stop people from the winter of death that Biden claims will happen to only those who are not vaccinated. Not only will vaccines and boosters not guarantee you can hug grandma, but there will be yet another vaccine created to push down our throats in the coming months. Sahin says unfortunately those who received the original Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will lose its efficacy over time. “It’s obvious we are far from the 95 percent effectiveness that we had against the initial virus. But after the third injection our vaccine seems to provide 70 percent or 75 percent protection against any form of the disease, which is still a good result for a vaccine in general — and I think we will be well beyond that for severe forms,” said Sahin.

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When the Wall Street Journal Editorial board turns on Fauci, maybe there’s still hope.

How Fauci and Collins Shut Down Covid Debate (WSJ Ed.)

In public, Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins urge Americans to “follow the science.” In private, the two sainted public-health officials schemed to quash dissenting views from top scientists. That’s the troubling but fair conclusion from emails obtained recently via the Freedom of Information Act by the American Institute for Economic Research. The tale unfolded in October 2020 after the launch of the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement by Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff, Oxford’s Sunetra Gupta and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya against blanket pandemic lockdowns. They favored a policy of what they called “focused protection” of high-risk populations such as the elderly or those with medical conditions. Thousands of scientists signed the declaration—if they were able to learn about it.

That didn’t please the lockdown consensus enforced by public-health officials and the press. Dr. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health until Sunday, sent an email on Oct. 8, 2020, to Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists . . . seems to be getting a lot of attention – and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises,” Dr. Collins wrote. “Is it underway?” These researchers weren’t fringe and neither was their opposition to quarantining society. But in the panic over the virus, these two voices of science used their authority to stigmatize dissenters and crush debate.

A week after his email, Dr. Collins spoke to the Washington Post about the Great Barrington Declaration. “This is a fringe component of epidemiology,” he said. “This is not mainstream science. It’s dangerous.” His message spread and the alternative strategy was dismissed in most precincts. Dr. Fauci replied to Dr. Collins that the takedown was underway. An article in Wired, a tech-news site, denied there was any scientific divide and argued lockdowns were a straw man—they weren’t coming back. If only it were true. The next month cases rose and restrictions returned. Dr. Fauci also emailed an article from the Nation, a left-wing magazine, and his staff sent him several more. The emails suggest a feedback loop: The media cited Dr. Fauci as an unquestionable authority, and Dr. Fauci got his talking points from the media. Facebook censored mentions of the Great Barrington Declaration. This is how groupthink works.

On CBS last month, Dr. Fauci said Republicans who criticize him are “really criticizing science, because I represent science. That’s dangerous.” He isn’t “science.” And it’s also dangerous for scientific officials to mobilize to quash dissent, without which it’s easy to make tragic mistakes. A scientific debate over pandemic policy was and still is in the public interest, especially during a once-in-a-century plague. Focused protection of nursing homes and other high-risk populations remains the policy road not taken during the pandemic. Perhaps this strategy wouldn’t have prevailed if a debate had been allowed. But it isn’t enough to repeat, as Dr. Collins did on Fox News Sunday, that advocates are “fringe epidemiologists who really did not have the credentials,” and that “hundreds of thousands of people would have died if we had followed that strategy.”

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“These are very disturbed people who have allowed a taste of power and influence to fuel an underlying narcissism.”

Fauci Says Unvaxxed Relatives Not Worthy of Family Christmas Gatherings (CTH)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is a thin-skinned, unstable ideologue with visions of grandiosity. He has wreaked havoc on our nation and permeated a major crisis on the global stage with his poor advice on COVID-19. He personifies a mentally and emotionally unstable person within his worldview. Fauci is representative of a group of psychologically unstable people who need a career operating in government systems and institutions, because they could never be successful in the private sector. They can only succeed in academia and institutions without merit-based structures.


These are very disturbed people who have allowed a taste of power and influence to fuel an underlying narcissism. Their disorder exhibits as vengeful bitterness, the result of adolescent isolation and no emotional balance. History will not look well upon Anthony Fauci any more than history reflects well upon Josef Mengele. In this short Q&A snippet, Anthony Fauci reveals his bitter worldview by saying unvaccinated people should be told to stay away from family events this Christmas. Notice the reference point of the response is that people should appreciate being in his presence.

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“..they control 61 per cent of the biomedical research on earth, so they control pretty much what gets funded.”

An Interview With Fauci’s Nemesis (Beck)

SB: Have you received any legal challenges from Anthony Fauci or Bill Gates? RFK:There is nothing in that book that is untruthful. Secondly, I would welcome a lawsuit from Bill Gates and Tony Fauci, and they know that that would be a giant strategic mistake. Even if I did put something in that book that was defamatory, I don’t think they would challenge it. They’ve got so much to lose from the truth. Their only viable strategy is silence.

SB: What kind of reaction have you had from MSM? RFK: There’s no reviews in the papers [despite the book’s No 1 best-seller status]. I am now being targeted with a barrage of ad hominem articles about me, but they don’t even mention the book, which is weird. They do not want to talk about this book because it’s full of truth. The truth is their deadliest enemy.

SB: Have you ever met either Fauci or Gates? RFK:: I’ve met Tony Fauci. Our paths have crossed for many years. I’ve been working on vaccine issues since 2005 so I’ve seen him in action on many occasions. In 2016, President Trump asked me to run a vaccine safety commission. To do that I had a series of meetings with the regulatory leadership including Fauci and Gates. One of my challenges to them was to say: ‘You have never done a single double-blind placebo-controlled trial for any of the 72 recommended vaccines being given to children.’ Publicly, Fauci was saying I had not been telling the truth about this. I said to him: ‘Show me one trial for any of those 72 jabs.’ He made a show of looking through the files he’d brought with him. He said: ‘We don’t have them here; we’ll send them to you.’ He never did send them to me and a year later I sued them. We filed a suit asking them to show us any of those studies they had and after a year of litigation they came back and said we don’t have any. Ironically, Fauci is now saying that he can’t use ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid without back-up from a double-blind placebo-controlled trials.

SB: The impression I get of Fauci is that he knows what to say in public but he seems like he has a dark side to him. The only reason for providing toxic drugs to people, like remdesivir, that has been so harmful to people with Covid, is because you know many who receive it will die. Does he know that? RFK: Of course he does. He had remdesivir in a study in Africa to see if it worked against Ebola. In 2019, the Data and Safety Monitoring Review Board (DSMB) monitored his work. Two months later, the board was saying it’s not safe, it’s killing people. It’s produced by the pharmaceutical company Gilead which Bill Gates has a huge stake in. Coronavirus does not kill 50 per cent of people who get it whereas trials show that over 50 per cent of people treated with remdesivir died.

SB: In your book you talk about two types of scientists, those who allow Fauci to dictate their careers and those who don’t want to be compromised, but he seems to be very effective at crushing dissent. RFK: Between him, Gates and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust [part of the Trust’s £29.1billion annual budget comes from Gates], they control 61 per cent of the biomedical research on earth, so they control pretty much what gets funded. Also, that funding power gives them the power to kill studies they do not want and to ruin scientists who are trying to do those studies and to bankrupt universities. I show how that works in the book. If you had a young scientist at let’s say UCLA Medical School, [University of California, Los Angeles] who says why don’t we study whether the vaccines are causing injury by doing a cluster analysis of medical records?

That’s an easy study to do. His dean will get a call from one of Tony Fauci’s flunkeys at the NIH [National Institutes of Health run by Fauci] saying you’d better stop that guy from doing the study, Tony doesn’t want it done. UCLA, like all the medical schools in this country, is getting hundreds of millions of dollars from Fauci and the NIH and are completely dependent on the royalties from pharmaceutical products that Fauci develops in his lab, farms out to the universities for phase 1 and phase 2 trials, then brings in a pharmaceutical company to produce the drug who then shares the patent with the university. Everybody is on the hook; everybody is making money and all of them have a huge incentive not to talk.

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Important to remember: “Every single attempt at vaccination against a coronavirus in the past in both man and beast has failed to produce durable immunity.”

Here’s A Reality Check (Denninger)

Pfizer has disclosed in their own data that for young people the shots are as dangerous, as measured in hospitalization, for ***** as they are for caused myocarditis. Since infection is never certain but inoculation, once you take it, is, there was never an argument for authorizing these jabs in healthy young people simply on the math. We did it anyway and we’re still advocating it. That is just one condition but let’s be clear: If you jab your kid you’re putting them at equal or greater risk of being hospitalized from one side effect of the ******* alone as from *****-19 itself. If you do that as a parent you’re a monster. If you do it as a young adult on your own absent some individualized risk you’re stupid.


Anyone who believes that an agent injected into the muscle of the arm that can and does sometimes cause inflammation of the heart will not also cause inflammation of other tissues and, through doing so, also cause damage to other tissues has rocks in their head. The scope of that additional damage is completely unknown because we’re not performing any surveillance nor did we originally. We have never, for example, taken a group of 100 people, pulled full blood work including markers for inflammation, cardiac damage and others, then vaccinated them and repeated said tests on a 2, 4, 8 and 16 week interval to determine if we got negative metabolic changes and if we did, whether they were transient or durable. Nobody knows because we never did the work.

But it is entirely reasonable to expect that additional risk of stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism and more, all of which are life-altering, produce permanent disability and can be fatal, would be made materially more-likely by an agent that causes myocarditis. Indeed that would be a reasonable medical presumption; inflammation in the body is a known contributing factor to strokes and VTE which encompasses pulmonary embolisms. Given the billions that these companies have made you’d think we would have required such in-detail tracing, collection of information and publication of the results. We did not then and still haven’t. Omicron has now thrown mud in everyone’s eye by doing exactly what every coronavirus has done through time — mutationally evaded the neutralization potential of vaccination.


Every single attempt at vaccination against a coronavirus in the past in both man and beast has failed to produce durable immunity. Several attempts have resulted in wildly-enhanced disease. We’re seeing the latter now with attack rates in vaccinated people exceeding that for unvaccinated with Omicron. The only good news is that it may be true that Omicron is less-virulent; there is some early evidence that it is much less replication-competent in the lungs. That’s a good thing because upper respiratory infection is not serious; it is the lung infection that gets you. In other words it may be that Omicron is a nasty cold. That it is more-able to infect vaccinated people than not is troubling but if its less-virulent it may not matter — indeed it may be a blessing. We don’t yet know and won’t for a few months, and that assumes we get honest data — which we may not.

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The moment such people say this, you better prepare for number six. Israel just officially announced number 4. Your country will follow soon.

Prepare For Fourth Covid Jab, Tony Blair Institute Says (RT)

The research institute founded by former UK prime minister Tony Blair has called on the government to create a command-and-control team that could help it remain “ahead of the curve” and quickly roll out more vaccines. In a paper published on Tuesday, the Tony Blair Institute said the British government should seek to develop infrastructure that would allow it to mobilize new vaccination campaigns within 48 hours. With the prospect of yet more Covid variants emerging, it highlighted that “a fourth dose of the vaccine may soon be needed.” The institute contended that the ability to respond to future Covid strain outbreaks would depend on whether administrations could implement “a better approach to ‘command and control’ through a strong and coherent public-health emergency operations center.”


The non-profit organization said the emergence of Omicron highlighted the fact that governments are often forced to react, rather than working to “stay ahead of the curve.” “To achieve this, we need to take decisions fast, take them in a coordinated manner, and execute effectively and at speed. Be prepared at all times,” the paper reads. Noting examples from other nations, the institute said the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation should be doing more, including “rapidly” approving the use of Covid-19 vaccines in children aged five to 11 in an effort to reduce transmission.

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As member countries ponder a 3 month gap between jabs/boosters, the EU goes for 9?!

Interesting that the “primary vaccination schedule” is still just 2 jabs.

EU Sets Binding 9 Month Validity Of Covid-19 Travel Pass (R.)

The European Commission on Tuesday adopted rules that will make the European Union Covid-19 certificate valid for travel nine months after the completion of the primary vaccination schedule. The proposal comes as several EU states introduce additional requirements on travellers in a bid to reduce the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Reuters the EU Commission was against additional requirements, and was assessing the measures. The new rules will be binding on the 27 EU states from Feb. 1. The rule can be blocked by a qualified majority of EU governments or a simple majority of European Parliament members, but officials have said there is sufficient support for it. The rule replaces a non-binding recommendation the EU Commission put forward in November.

Once the rule is effective, EU states will be obliged to let fully vaccinated travellers with a valid pass access their territory. However, as an exception justified by a deteriorating situation, they could still impose further requirements, such as negative tests or quarantines, as long as they are proportionate. Seven EU states are currently requiring fully vaccinated travellers from other EU countries to also show a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival, measures some see as damaging the credibility of the EU pass. The states are Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Latvia, Cyprus and Austria. “We prefer to use for the free movement in Europe only the certificate without additional measures,” Reynders said. He noted that the additional requirements could be justified by concerns caused by the spread of the Omicron variant, but governments had to prove they were proportionate and necessary.

[..] A primary vaccination schedule for Covid-19 is currently composed in the EU of two shots of vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech , AstraZeneca and Moderna, or a single jab of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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“The vaccine refusenik hunters will receive a wage of 2774 euros, which will be paid 14 times a year, making an annual income of 38,863 euros.”

Austria Hiring People to “Hunt Down Vaccine Refusers” (SN)

The Austrian government is hiring people to “hunt down vaccine refusers,” according to a report published by Blick. Yes, really. The burden for enforcing the fines unjabbed Austrians will have to pay as part of their punishment will fall to their employers, necessitating a new army of ‘inspectors’ to ensure that process is running smoothly. The city of Linz, which is home to 200,000 inhabitants, has a relatively low vaccination rate of 63 per cent. In response, “Linz now wants to hire people who are supposed to hunt down vaccine refusers,” reports Swiss news outlet Blick. The role of the inspectors will be to check on “whether those who do not get vaccinated really pay for it.” The vaccine refusenik hunters will receive a wage of 2774 euros, which will be paid 14 times a year, making an annual income of 38,863 euros.


Nice work if you can get it. “The job includes, among other things, the creation of penal orders as well as the processing of appeals,” according to the report, adding that workers need to be “resilient” and willing to work a lot of overtime. The jobs are only open to Austrian citizens, all of whom will either have to be vaccinated against or fully recovered from COVID. As we previously highlighted, the unvaccinated in Austria could find themselves imprisoned for a year under a new administrative law that would force them to pay for their own internment. Austrians who don’t get vaccinated by February face fines of up to €7,200 ($8,000) for non-compliance, and those who refuse to pay would also face a 12 month jail sentence.

Read more …

It’s clear who the idiot is here, but then again he’s just another propaganda victim, like 99.9% of people.

Ryanair CEO Calls For Unvaccinated “Idiots” To Be Ostracised From Society (SN)

Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair has declared that anyone who remains unvaccinated should be completely cut off from society, including not being allowed to travel, go to the supermarket to get food, or the pharmacy to get medicine. “If you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t be allowed in the hospital, you shouldn’t be allowed to fly, you shouldn’t be allowed on the London Underground, and you shouldn’t be allowed in the local supermarket or your pharmacy either,” the airline executive said, as reported by The Telegraph. “You can sit at home and you know, get your deliveries of medicines and food. But you should not, you know, go to work or go on public transport unless you have a vaccine certificate,” O’Leary clarified.

O’Leary admitted that making vaccines compulsory is “an infringement of your civil liberties,” but added that the way around it is “you simply make life so difficult. Or [make it that] there are lots of things that you can’t do unless you get vaccinated.” Calling the unvaccinated “idiots,” the Ryanir boss further stated “I don’t think that governments should permit those people who are not vaccinated to go and infect everybody else.” O’Leary sardonically stated “We recognise the rights of everybody to decide not to get vaccinated if you so want. If you personally object to vaccination, because it’s some huge government/big pharma conspiracy; apart from the fact that you would be plainly an idiot, we respect your right to be an idiot.”

Ryanair was previously punished by the advertising standards agency in the UK after running a campaign promoting the sale of summer flights with a “Jab & Go!” gimmick despite having previously stated that it wouldn’t require passengers to take a COVID vaccine before they fly. As we previously reported, other airlines have indicated they will not allow passengers who haven’t had the vaccine to fly, including Singapore Airlines, which became the first carrier to officially launch a COVID passport.

Read more …

I’ll admit, I’m getting confused.

Judge Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors in 10 States (ET)

A federal judge in Missouri has issued a temporary hold on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors in 10 U.S. states while litigation plays out. “We just beat the Biden Administration in court again,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced on Twitter late Monday. “This afternoon, we obtained a preliminary injunction against the vaccine mandate on federal contractors, halting enforcement of that mandate in Missouri and the other states in our coalition.” The preliminary injunction, issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce, applies to Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.


Schmitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, both Republicans, on Oct. 29 co-led the 10 states in suing the Biden administration over the mandate, calling it “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.” “It will not harm the federal government to maintain the status quo while the courts decide the issues of the President’s authority and the implications for federalism. The Court concludes that, on balance, consideration of the harms and the public interest weigh in favor of a preliminary injunction,” reads the Monday preliminary injunction order from U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce. A nationwide preliminary injunction is already in place blocking the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors, after a federal court in Georgia on Dec. 7 granted the injunction in a separate seven-state lawsuit led by Georgia.

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This should be checked for every country.

Covid Modelling Shows The Most Worrying Scenario, Not The Most Likely (G.)

Much of the pandemic modelling to make news headlines since Covid-19 hit has depicted concerning scenarios involving high case numbers and hospitalisations. On Thursday, modelling from the University of NSW and cited by NSW health minister Brad Hazzard found Covid-19 cases in the state could reach 25,000 a day by the end of January. The latest modelling to raise alarm bells came from the Doherty Institute and was leaked to the media on Tuesday after being sent to politicians ahead of a meeting of national cabinet on Wednesday. It said Australia could see 200,000 new Covid cases a day by late January or early February. Early into the pandemic in 2020, other models predicted “hundreds of thousands” of Australian deaths, while health workers in NSW were told to prepare for 8,000 deaths in the first-wave.

But these are worst-case scenario models and are just one scenario out of dozens of different scenarios that are calculated by epidemiologists and biostatisticians. What is often lost in the reporting of these worst-case models is that they rarely ever eventuate, but are calculated to allow governments to see what might happen if they did nothing at all to control an outbreak, and to plan accordingly. The leaked Doherty Institute modelling projecting 200,000 cases came with an important caveat; this would only eventuate if nothing was done, including if people did not change their behaviour at all of their own accords. It also assumed no change to the pace of booster roll-outs, and that only very basic restrictions such as requiring masks in hospitals are maintained.

[..] Ahead of national cabinet meeting on Wednesday the chair of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, Prof. Paul Kelly, said of the 200,000 figure “presents one of the worst case of all potential scenarios including assumptions that the Omicron variant is as severe as the Delta variant, an absence of hospital surge capacity, a highly limited booster program, no change to baseline public health and social measures and an absence of spontaneous behaviour change in the face of rising case numbers”. “None of these five assumptions represent the likely state of events, let alone all of them together, therefore presenting that scenario as the likely scenario that will occur is highly misleading.”

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“One can only assume that the provincial health authorities’ relationship-splitting social engineering interventions will increase loneliness and isolation and associated risks for depression, anxiety, PTSD, self-harm, suicide, and drug toxicity for all. This is psychology 101.”

A Letter from a Concerned Psychologist (Nicassio)

Attachment and the need to belong refer to the fundamental human need to maintain close social bonds and stay connected in psychologically and physically safe relationships from cradle to grave. One of the major contributions of psychology research has been to demonstrate that maintaining healthy and secure attachment and belonging is more than a psychological need: Attachment and belonging are primary and critical determinants of mental and physical health. Research in social psychology and neuroscience demonstrates that human beings’ neurobiological response to social exclusion mirrors their response to physical pain and suggests that social exclusion is one of the most painful and threatening events a person can experience.

While it’s not surprising that social exclusion and disturbances in attachment lead to negative emotions and thoughts, what’s less intuitive is that a large body of research has demonstrated that social exclusion is toxic to humans, leading to enduring changes in the brain and biological systems that regulate stress, weakening of the immune system, mental and physical illness, and earlier death. To date the narrative around social restrictions has been, “Well yes, social isolation is hard but restrictions are for the greater good!” But let’s be clear: The newest restrictions are not your run-of-the-mill isolation requirements. These restrictions require British Columbians to selectively exclude and marginalize their unvaccinated friends and loved ones during the most significant season for social gatherings and celebrations.

This is painful for everyone involved, but especially those who will be excluded and spending the holidays alone. It is also qualitatively different from previous social isolation requirements where we were all in it together. Sadly, social exclusion is actually an extremely harmful form of bullying. It’s clear to anyone with an understanding of psychology that these restrictions will cause relational fracturing and personal suffering that will last well beyond the holiday season. Not only is there strong scientific evidence that social exclusion leads to increased morbidity and mortality, but research consistently demonstrates that social exclusion, loneliness, and isolation are predictors of self-harm and suicide. The latest data have also shown a huge escalation in drug toxicity deaths since social restrictions began and this is the tip of the iceberg. One can only assume that the provincial health authorities’ relationship-splitting social engineering interventions will increase loneliness and isolation and associated risks for depression, anxiety, PTSD, self-harm, suicide, and drug toxicity for all. This is psychology 101.

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As we prepare to get rid of Fauci, let’s do the same with Victoria Nuland. Make the world a better place.

Americans Warned About Risk Of Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (RT)

American citizens considering traveling to Ukraine have been advised by Washington to reconsider the trip, citing persistent claims that Russia could be planning an all-out offensive against its Eastern European neighbor. On Monday, the US State Department updated its recommendations for the country, warning that “citizens should be aware of reports that Russia is planning for significant military action against Ukraine.” Americans were informed that this “would severely impact the US Embassy’s ability to provide consular services,” including assisting people in departing from the region in an emergency. The travel notice also continued to advise against travel due to the Covid-19 risk in Ukraine, a recommendation in place for several months.


Guidance urging US citizens to rethink their journey to the former Soviet republic because of its high rates of coronavirus infection had been issued at the end of September. The advisory came after Kiev’s intelligence services and Western officials sounded the alarm in recent weeks, insisting that Moscow could soon launch an all-out offensive against its neighbor. However, the Kremlin has repeatedly rejected the accusations, instead arguing that the prospect of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO destabilizes the situation. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned at the beginning of December that the further expansion of the organization toward Russia is a red line, and that Ukraine’s hopes to be admitted were unacceptable. She accused the US of pulling Kiev into the orbit of the military bloc and turning it into a “bridgehead” of confrontation with Russia, which she warned could cause conflict on the European continent.

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“Goldman Sachs Bank USA had $387 billion in assets versus $48 trillion (yes, trillion) in notional (face amount) derivatives.”

The Fed Gets Its Ducks in a Row for the Next Wall Street Bailout (Martens)

Last Friday, with the public’s attention diverted to the surge in Omicron variant cases of COVID in the U.S. and holiday travelers’ attention focused on the safety of air travel and family gatherings, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York quietly announced, in a one sentence statement, that it was adding the following three federally-insured banks to its list of counterparties for its newly-minted $500 billion Standing Repo Facility: Citibank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, and the New York Branch of Mizuho Bank. If you’re stunned that Goldman Sachs is allowed to own a federally-insured bank under existing U.S. law, see our previous report: Goldman Sachs’ Rich Man’s Bank Backstopped by You and Me. If you’re stunned that a New York branch of Mizuho Bank, part of the Japanese conglomerate Mizuho Financial Group, is able to have federal deposit insurance backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer, welcome to the world of borderless global banking for the one percent.

These three banks have a number of things in common: (1) each financial institution already has a broker-dealer affiliate that is already one of the Fed’s 24 primary dealers that participates in the Fed’s repo operations; (2) each of the three banks’ primary dealer affiliates took large, secret loans from the Fed’s repo facility when credit collapsed on Wall Street on September 17, 2019; (3) all three institutions have trillions of dollars in exposure to derivatives according to data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). If all three banks already have broker-dealer affiliates participating in the Fed’s repo loan facility, why would another affiliate be added? The first thought that comes to mind is the fact that the Fed puts a daily cap on the dollar amount that each counterparty can borrow per day. By having two affiliates as counterparties, the amount that can be borrowed is doubled.

Why would these three banks need to have a sugar daddy at the Fed to loan them money in a financial crisis? Because all three banks have huge exposure to derivatives. According to the latest report from the OCC, as of September 30, 2021, Goldman Sachs Bank USA had $387 billion in assets versus $48 trillion (yes, trillion) in notional (face amount) derivatives. Citibank had $1.7 trillion in assets versus $44 trillion in notional derivatives. Mizuho’s bank holding company had $48.8 billion in assets versus $6 trillion in derivatives.

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Musk is … different, and that is refreshing.

“If You Could Die Of Irony, She Would Be Dead”: Musk Slams Liz Warren (ZH)

Elon Musk just sat down with the guys from the Babylon Bee for a 54-minute interview, where the Tesla and SpaceX founder savaged Sen. Liz Warren, and described woke culture as a “mind virus.” “You were pretty mean to Senator Warren there on Twitter recently,” said Babylon Bee EIC Kyle Mann. “Ya slammed her man.””Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen,” he continued – citing Musk’s December 14th response to Warren slamming him for not paying ‘enough’ taxes. To which Musk replied: “She struck first, obviously. She called me a freeloader and a grifter who doesn’t pay taxes, basically. And – I’m literally paying the most tax that any individual in history has ever paid, this year, ever. And she doesn’t pay tax… basically at all. And her salary is paid for by the taxpayer, like me.”

“Could you even use the term irony, would that work?” asked one of the Bee guys. “If you could die of irony, she would be dead.” Musk also opined on woke culture – calling it a “mind virus,” and “arguably one of the biggest threats to modern civilization.” “Wokeness wants to make comedy illegal,” Musk continued, adding “Do we want a humorless society that is simply rife with condemnation, and hate? At its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary and hateful. It basically gives mean people a shield to be cruel, armored in false virtue.” When asked why Musk wasn’t appearing on, say, CNN, he replied: “I’m not perverted enough?” perhaps referencing their recent pedo outbreak.

Bee CEO Seth Dillon asked Musk if he gets sick of people badgering him about his wealth, to which he said that until he sold stock, he maintained relatively little cash balances – and that he happens to own 20% of a company that people decided was worth a trillion dollars. He also defended ‘not paying taxes,’ explaining that in 2017 he overpaid, which netted out in 2018, and that since the majority of his wealth is in stock anyway that he wasn’t incurring taxable events. “What am I supposed to do, send shares to the government, somehow?” said Musk.

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Dec 182021
 
 December 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:39 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  73 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Road menders at Saint-Remy 1889

 

South Africa Hospitalization Rate Falls 91% in Omicron Wave (BBG)
Pfizer Tests Extra Covid Shot For Kids Under 5 In Setback (AP)
VAERS Deaths Are Underreported By A Factor Of 20 (RG)
Guidance On Covid Vaccines Moves Closer To ‘Misinformation’ Of Skeptics (JTN)
Where Do You Stand? (Jim Kunstler)
They KNOW And LIKE IT (Denninger)
Appeals Court Reinstates Biden Vaccine Mandate For Business (JTN)
Companies, Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements (ET)
Boeing Suspends Vaccine Mandate For Employees (JTN)
Top Israel Ministers Agree On Covid Purple Ribbon Outline For Malls (JPost)
Need For Social Restrictions Will Gradually Shrink Over Time – Whitty (BMJ)
China’s Covid-zero Lockdowns Loom Over The Global Supply Chain (Qz)
Kremlin Discusses Potential Putin-Musk Meeting (RT)

 

 

 

 

Vaccine hesitancy

 

 

 

 

Massie

 

 

 

 

A Bloomberg piece without a paywall for me.

South Africa Hospitalization Rate Falls 91% in Omicron Wave (BBG)

South Africa delivered some positive news on the omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospital admissions and signs that the wave of infections may be peaking. Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference. Health officials presented evidence that the strain may be milder, and that infections may already be peaking in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng. Still, new cases in that week of the current wave were more than 20,000 a day, compared with 4,400 in the same week of the third wave. That’s further evidence of omicron’s rapid transmissibility, which a number of other countries, such as the U.K., are also now experiencing.

South Africa, which announced the discovery of the variant on Nov. 25, is being watched as a harbinger of what may happen with omicron elsewhere. Scientists have cautioned that other nations may have a different experience to South Africa as the country’s population is young compared with developed nations. Between 70% and 80% of citizens may also have had a prior Covid-19 infection, according to antibody surveys, meaning they could have some level of protection. Currently there are about 7,600 people with Covid-19 in South African hospitals, about 40% of the peak in the second and third waves. Excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths against a historical average, are just below 2,000 a week, an eighth of their previous peak.

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“It’s disappointing news for families anxious to vaccinate their tots.”

Pfizer Tests Extra Covid Shot For Kids Under 5 In Setback (AP)

Pfizer said Friday it was changing plans and testing three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in babies and preschoolers after the usual two shots didn’t appear strong enough for some of the children. Pfizer announced the change after a preliminary analysis found 2- to 4-year-olds didn’t have as strong an immune response as expected to the very low-dose shots the company is testing in the youngest children. It’s disappointing news for families anxious to vaccinate their tots. Pfizer had expected data on how well the vaccines were working in children under 5 by year’s end, and it’s not clear how long the change will delay a final answer.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said if the three-dose study is successful, they plan to apply for emergency authorization sometime in the first half of 2022. A kid-sized version of Pfizer’s vaccine already is available for 5- to 11-year-olds, one that’s a third of the dose given to everyone else 12 and older. For children younger than 5, Pfizer is testing an even smaller dose, just 3 micrograms or a tenth of the adult dose. Researchers analyzed a subset of youngsters in the study a month after their second dose to see if the tots developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies that were similar to teens and young adults who get the regular shots. The very low-dose shots appeared to work in youngsters under age 2, who produced similar antibody levels.

But the immune response in 2- to 4-year-olds was lower than the study required, Pfizer vaccine research chief Kathrin Jansen said Friday in a call with investors. Rather than trying a higher-dose shot for the preschoolers, Pfizer decided to expand the study to evaluate three of the very low-dose shots in all the study participants — from 6 months up to age 5. That third shot will come at least two months after the youngsters’ second dose. No safety concerns have been spotted in the study, the companies said.

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From October 2021

VAERS Deaths Are Underreported By A Factor Of 20 (RG)

Accurate estimates of COVID vaccine-induced severe adverse event and death rates are critical for risk-benefit ratio analyses of vaccination and boosters against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in different age groups. However, existing surveillance studies are not designed to reliably estimate life-threatening event or vaccine-induced fatality rates (VFR). Here, regional variation in vaccination rates was used to predict all-cause mortality and non-COVID deaths in subsequent time periods using two independent, publicly available datasets from the US and Europe (month-and week-level resolutions, respectively). Vaccination correlated negatively with mortality 6-20 weeks post-injection, while vaccination predicted all-cause mortality 0-5 weeks post-injection in almost all age groups and with an age-related temporal pattern consistent with the US vaccine rollout.


Results from fitted regression slopes (p<0.05 FDR corrected) suggest a US national average VFR of 0.04% and higher VFR with age (VFR=0.004% in ages 0-17 increasing to 0.06% in ages >75 years), and 146K to 187K vaccine-associated US deaths between February and August, 2021. Notably, adult vaccination increased ulterior mortality of unvaccinated young (<18, US; <15, Europe). Comparing our estimate with the CDC-reported VFR (0.002%) suggests VAERS deaths are underreported by a factor of 20, consistent with known VAERS under-ascertainment bias. Comparing our age-stratified VFRs with published age-stratified coronavirus infection fatality rates (IFR) suggests the risks of COVID vaccines and boosters outweigh the benefits in children, young adults and older adults with low occupational risk or previous coronavirus exposure. We discuss implications for public health policies related to boosters, school and workplace mandates, and the urgent need to identify, develop and disseminate diagnostics and treatments for life-altering vaccine injuries.

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“Not only do the three vaccines authorized for emergency use require boosters due to waning “protective efficacy,” but they haven’t stopped breakthrough infections..”

Guidance On Covid Vaccines Moves Closer To ‘Misinformation’ Of Skeptics (JTN)

Federal officials and advisors who have consistently boosted COVID-19 vaccines are starting to sound more like skeptics of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety. The face of the Biden administration’s COVID response is now making the same claims about vaccines that got a contrarian journalist booted from Twitter, while the CDC encouraged Americans to avoid a specific vaccine. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci cowrote a “perspective” in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Wednesday that acknowledged COVID vaccines were not living up to expectations. Not only do the three vaccines authorized for emergency use require boosters due to waning “protective efficacy,” but they haven’t stopped breakthrough infections, “allowing subsequent transmission to other people even when the vaccine prevents severe and fatal disease.”

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson wrote of the vaccines in August: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission.” They have a “limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile.” Twitter permanently suspended him the same day for “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.” The social media company didn’t respond to Just the News queries seeking its distinction between claims by Berenson and Fauci and whether it would apply an “unsafe” warning to the NEJM essay, as it recently did to a study on increased heart risks in vaccine recipients, or otherwise restrict the publisher’s account. Twitter quietly updated its “COVID-19 misleading information policy” page sometime after Dec. 2, even while claiming through Wednesday that the update was made in November. (It corrected the month on Thursday, several days after Reclaim the Net noted the discrepancy.)

Among the new authority it grants itself, Twitter will punish users who claim vaccines, regardless of their authorization status, are “experimental”; taking them “would be more harmful than getting COVID-19”; and most pertinent to Fauci’s essay, vaccinated people “can spread or shed the virus … to unvaccinated people.”

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“American doctors have proven to be cowards, cravens, zombies, and fools facilitating Dr. Fauci’s evil campaign — in concert with the rapacious pharmaceutical industry and a government in thrall to sinister forces that seek to destroy the country.”

Where Do You Stand? (Jim Kunstler)

The public health bureaucrat who styles himself as “the Science” is at it again. In his quest to eliminate the control group for his experiment in hazardous mRNA injections, Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterated his warning that the nation faces “a crisis of the unvaccinated.” Omicron is upon us, he told a US Chamber of Commerce meet-up this week, and the hospitals will soon be overwhelmed by the unvaxxed. Oh really? In fact, the gravest threat to America’s public health is… Dr. Tony Fauci and his debauchery of medical science. This will surely come as a surprise to readers of The New York Times, who see in the two-year (so far) Covid-19 event a splendid opportunity to hasten the destruction of the US economy and our culture in order to consolidate their own power to coerce and control the population. Clear the offices! Shut down the social spaces! Make ordinary business as difficult as possible! Cancel Christmas! That’ll git’er done!

In fact, Dr. Fauci is likely responsible for a preponderance of the total 802,000 US Covid deaths — putting aside the number of people who actually died from highway accidents, cancer, diabetes, old age, and other causes, but were listed as covid deaths by hospital accounting personnel avid for federal subsidy cash. It was Dr. Fauci who organized the suppression of easily marshaled and inexpensive early treatments for the disease, namely hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, fluvoxamine, budesonide, azithromycin, monoclonal antibodies, Vitamin D, etc. It was Dr. Fauci who promoted the protocol of sending sick patients home from the ER without any treatment to await the further development of fatal clotting in their lungs. It was Dr. Fauci who designated the drug remdesivir — which he developed years ago for hepatitis-C (it did not work) with a financial stake in the patents — as the primary inpatient treatment for Covid-19.

And then it turned out that remdesivir destroys patients’ kidneys and is ineffective anyway in late treatment of the disease when viral loads wane and spike proteins have already created the fatal capillary clots in the alveoli of the lungs and in other organs. It’s Dr. Fauci who is responsible for the emergency use authorization on the mRNA “vaccines” that may have killed hundreds of thousands more Americans — based on the CDC’s VAERS system and statistical analysis of its inherent under-reporting at only 2.2 percent of all actual events— and you can add multiples more in non-fatal adverse reactions, including permanent disabilities. It’s Dr. Fauci who finagled the inadequate and botched trials of the mRNA vaccines in order to rush them into use.

And now it’s Dr. Fauci who wants to vaxx up all the children in America, despite evidence that the mRNA shots permanently disable children’s innate natural immune systems and can cause lasting heart, blood vessel, brain, and reproductive damage, and also despite the fact that few children are susceptible to serious Covid illness in the first place. [..] American doctors have proven to be cowards, cravens, zombies, and fools facilitating Dr. Fauci’s evil campaign — in concert with the rapacious pharmaceutical industry and a government in thrall to sinister forces that seek to destroy the country. The doctors have disgraced and dishonored themselves. The doctors have probably undermined their own vocations, as well as the entire armature of US health care, which they have allowed to become history’s worst racketeering operation.

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“How carefully would you drive if it was mandated by law that you must have a 6″ spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel pointed at your chest — and seat belts were illegal?”

They KNOW And LIKE IT (Denninger)

Folks, can we cut the bull**** please? Insurance companies are regulated. They are only permitted to make a certain amount of gross margin, typically 10%. Said regulation is enforced; firms are required to file their rates with state regulators along with the previous year’s results and projections for next. This applies to health insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, all insurance. Therefore there are exactly two ways for an insurance company to grow in size and profits: • Have more-frequent events results in a loss. • Have the same number of events but make them more expensive. That’s it. Efficiency is backwards because if you have overhead of 30% and cut it to 20% you don’t get to keep the other 10% in the company as profit which in any other line of business is yours to pocket. You wind up having to cut rates!

I have some data for health rates for firms in the midsized corporate world. I also have the Obamacare numbers for 2021 in a number of places, since those are published. They’re up. A lot. In some cases and places, by 30%. Do you really think the health insurance and health care providers care if you get a bad reaction from the jabs? No, they like it, provided it doesn’t kill you immediately. See the above for why. That you get ****ed is just business. You think the car insurance companies push all that expensive tech and “improvements” because it results in fewer crashes? Well, has it resulted in fewer crashes? Notice how the media and car companies, along with the insurance firms and their public-facing folks such as the crash-test people, always talk about fatality rates, not crashes.

A fatal car crash means you are no longer a customer. But that collapsible steering column isn’t for you, really — it doesn’t do anything to prevent the crash, it just costs more money if you crash and increases the odds you’ll live. This means (1) you’re still a customer and (2) the car costs more to repair or must be replaced. Obviously if you’re dead you don’t need another car, do you? Nor will you ever buy car insurance again. Oh, you think this is fanciful BS? Uh, nope. How carefully would you drive if it was mandated by law that you must have a 6″ spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel pointed at your chest — and seat belts were illegal?

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“This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees.”

Appeals Court Reinstates Biden Vaccine Mandate For Business (JTN)

A federal appeals court on Friday night reinstated President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private companies with more than 100 workers, reversing lower court rulings and setting up a likely showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration had the authority to Impose the mandate due to take effect Jan. 4. “Given OSHA’s clear and exercised authority to regulate viruses, OSHA necessarily has the authority to regulate infectious diseases that are not unique to the workplace,” the court conckuddd in its majority opinion.

Within an hour of the decision, the small business group Job Creators Network filed an appeal to the high court, saying the appeals judges “irresponsibly upheld an illegal rule.” “This mandate adds an incredible burden on small business owners who are still suffering negative effects of the pandemic,” the group said. “This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees.” The ruling came after several challenges from GOP-led states and conservative and business groups were consolidated before the Cincinnati-based 6th circuit. The decision was supported by one Democrat-appointed judge and one Republican appointee and opposed by the third judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told The Associated Press she would immediately appeal to the Supreme Court. “The Sixth Circuit’s decision is extremely disappointing for Arkansans because it will force them to get the shot or lose their jobs,” she said. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, tweeted he was confident the mandate would be blocked by the justices. “We will go immediately to the Supreme Court- the highest court in the land- to fight this unconstitutional and illegal mandate,” he said. “The law must be followed and federal abuse of power stopped.”

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Too many hold-outs.

Companies, Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements (ET)

More and more businesses in recent days have walked back previous rules mandating COVID-19 vaccines as a condition for employment in a bid to keep workers. Earlier this week, Amtrak—a quasi-public corporation—became the latest to rescind its vaccine requirement amid concerns about staff shortages and cut service in January. In a memo sent to staff that was obtained by The Epoch Times, Amtrak CEO William Flynn said the company would do away with the mandate that would have given employees until Jan. 4 to get fully vaccinated or go on unpaid leave. About 500 out of more than 17,000 Amtrak workers remain unvaccinated, according to the memo. Still, the sudden loss of that many workers would have caused service disruptions, Flynn suggested, while noting that Amtrak was acting in accordance with recent court orders handed down against President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates.

Several hospitals and healthcare systems have similarly rescinded vaccine mandates for employees and cited labor issues that were triggered by the new requirements. In early December, Florida’s AdventHealth announced the end of its vaccine requirement for some 83,000 workers, also citing the several recent court injunctions against federal mandates. “Due to recent decisions by the federal courts to block the [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] vaccine mandate, we are suspending all vaccination requirements of our COVID-19 vaccination policy,” AdventHealth Chief Clinical Officer Neil Finkler said in a letter to staff. The move came after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed to The Epoch Times that the agency suspended enforcement following two court orders several weeks ago.

Tenet Healthcare, HCA Healthcare, and Cleveland Clinic recently announced they are pulling back as well, citing labor concerns. Along with AdventHealth, the three healthcare companies operate a combined 300 hospitals and have more than 500,000 workers. They cited recent court orders that blocked Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enforcing its mandate on Medicare- and Medicaid-funded medical facilities. The rule was announced by Biden on the same day that he confirmed that he would impose mandates on federal government employees, businesses who have contracts with the federal government, and, most controversially, businesses that have 100 or more workers.

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“Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”

Boeing Suspends Vaccine Mandate For Employees (JTN)

Boeing Friday said it has suspended its requirement that U.S.-based employees be fully vaccinated or face losing their jobs. The announcement comes as several attempts by President Joe Biden to require vaccinations for workers in various settings have been blocked by courts in recent weeks. “Boeing is committed to maintaining a safe working environment for our customers, and advancing the health and safety of our global workforce,” a company spokesperson told KOMO News. “As such, we continue to encourage our employees to get vaccinated and get a booster if they have not done so. Meanwhile, after careful review, Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”

A U.S. District Court judge in Georgia on Dec. 7 issued a preliminary injunction against Biden’s executive order requiring all companies that contract with the federal government to have a vaccine mandate in place. The order was to have taken effect starting Jan. 4. Earlier orders requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations and one requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated have also been blocked by courts. Biden’s executive order requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated is facing 17 lawsuits, but no judges have granted requests to block it. Courts have also ruled that private employers, states, local municipalities and public universities are able to issue vaccine mandates.

In an internal memo to employees obtained by Defense News, Boeing said 92% of its U.S.-based workforce had either provided proof of vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption. “The success of Boeing’s vaccine requirement to date positions the company well to comply with the federal executive order should it be reinstated in the future,” the memo said. Reuters reported last month that some 11,000 Boeing employees, about 9% of its North American workforce, had requested an exemption. It is unclear how many were granted.

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Every plan so far has failed.

Top Israel Ministers Agree On Covid Purple Ribbon Outline For Malls (JPost)

A “strict” Purple Ribbon outline will be applied immediately to all indoor shopping malls, the Prime Minister’s Office said late Friday night. The announcement came after two days of discussion on how to handle shopping malls, and as the number of coronavirus cases spikes across Israel. The decision was made jointly by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and MK Abir Kara. One person for every 15 square meters will be allowed to shop. And increased enforcement of mask wearing will be established. Moreover, the officials agreed, mall hours will be extended in order to accommodate shoppers and immunization complexes will be established in 50 main centers in the malls to encourage people to get the jab. Those who are vaccinated will enjoy special privileges.


Bennett had wanted to require the malls operate under the Green Pass outline, meaning that individuals would have to be fully vaccinated or take a COVID test to enter the facilities. The only exception would have been to access essential products. But fierce opposition by retailers and some members of the government on Thursday pushed the plan to the side. Friday night’s announcement said that if morbidity rates continue to climb then the Green Pass outline will once again be considered for any facility over 100 square meters. The above plan is still not final. It will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, drafted as regulations and then voted on by the coronavirus cabinet via telephone poll. Once passed, the outline will begin immediately. Bennett is also reportedly expected to bring a resolution to the meeting that would mean almost the complete closure of the skies. Bennett’s proposal, N12 reported, is expected to include a ban on travel to most countries in the world, including the United States and other countries in Western Europe.

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Just 18 more months to flatten the curve.

Need For Social Restrictions Will Gradually Shrink Over Time – Whitty (BMJ)

The development of polyvalent vaccines and new antivirals should lessen the need for social restrictions from around the middle of 2023, England’s chief medical officer has told MPs. Giving evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee on 16 December, Chris Whitty said that although the UK may need intermittent social restrictions against covid-19 over the next 18 months, future medical advances should provide the “heavy lifting” against new variants. He said, “If I project forward, I would anticipate in a number of years, possibly 18 months, possibly slightly less, possibly slightly more, we will have polyvalent vaccines which will cover a much wider range [of variants].

And we will probably have several antivirals . . . and a variety of other countermeasures that mean that the great majority, and probably almost all, of the heavy lifting when we get a new variant—unless it is extremely different—can be met by medical means.” He added, “So I don’t see this as a kind of ‘we’re going to have to do this [social restrictions] repeatedly every few months’ situation. I think the risks will gradually decrease over time; it’s incremental.” However, Whitty said that for now some social restrictions may be necessary to tackle variants such as omicron that show some partial escape from vaccines and could overwhelm the NHS if left unchecked.

He said, “We’ve come from a place where we had absolutely nothing [in terms of medical interventions], so everything had to be done by social distancing and all the disruptive things that went with that right at the beginning. Where we are at the moment is kind of in a transition period. A very large amount of it can be done by [vaccines], and this is why the boosters are so absolutely essential, but we’re not quite in the rather safer haven I expect we will have in a couple of years’ time.”

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“This is only the beginning—the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a complete wreck.”

China’s Covid-zero Lockdowns Loom Over The Global Supply Chain (Qz)

A new covid-19 lockdown imposed last week (Dec. 7) in the port city of Ningbo, China, is raising the specter of further disruptions to an already battered global supply chain. There are more than 200 cases so far in the most recent cluster in the manufacturing province of Zhejiang, which includes the city of Ningbo. The outbreak is said to be spreading “relatively rapidly,” and has led to the closures of dozens of factories. So far, the lockdowns have restricted trucks going in and out of the port, slowing operations. While there are no reports yet of the port closing, the lockdown, combined with weeks of intensifying covid-zero restrictions, is worrying logistics professionals.

“The rising covid infections may lead to shutdowns at Ningbo and some other ports in China, adding to congestion and cargo backlogs,” a source from a UK-based logistics company said on Dec. 7 to S&P Global Platts, an analytics firm. “This is only the beginning—the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a complete wreck.” China’s pursuit of covid-zero has led to swift, severe measures to control the spread of infection, and policies to contain covid have only intensified since the omicron variant began to spread. On Monday (Dec. 13), Xinhua, the state-run news agency, singled out ports as the entry point for the most recent cluster of infections, and reported that the government will be tightening covid controls at port cities.

China’s policies at port have an outsized impact on the overall functioning of the global supply chain. The country is the world’s largest exporter of goods, as well as the largest importer of commodities. More ships call into the ports of China than any other country. “The global supply chain recovery relies on China,” said Atul Vashistha, CEO of Supply Wisdom, a New York-based risk intelligence company. “That’s an alarming and troubling truth considering China’s centricity to the supply chain. While it may be a sound public health policy, China’s zero-tolerance covid policy makes supply chain matters worse.”

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”In May, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade invited the Tesla CEO to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in the country, after he indicated that he was considering such a move.”

Kremlin Discusses Potential Putin-Musk Meeting (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African-born billionaire Elon Musk could have a long-awaited meeting if the world’s richest man steps up and develops business interests in the country, the Kremlin has indicated. Speaking to journalists on Friday, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that the president has always been interested in meeting with foreigners who are keen to invest in Russia, adding that this could include Musk. “Without a doubt, the president is open to discussions with foreign businessmen,” Peskov explained. “There are regular discussions, practically every year, with French entrepreneurs, Germans, those with a large presence in our market. You and I know that Elon Musk isn’t in our market, but we hope that with time, he will become interested in it. And then, a meeting with the president isn’t out of the question.”


In February, Musk tweeted an invitation to Putin to chat with him via the audio-only social media app Clubhouse, writing, “It would be a great honor to talk with you.” The Kremlin replied that Musk’s invitation was “interesting,” and media reported that Putin hadn’t ruled out the possibility of a conversation. However, the meeting has not yet taken place. In May, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade invited the Tesla CEO to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in the country, after he indicated that he was considering such a move. In addition to heading Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, Musk is also the founder of space transportation company SpaceX. In October, Forbes estimated his net worth at $271.3 billion, making him the richest person alive and, according to some measures, the richest in history.

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Donziger

Maddow, Tucker, Assange

 

 

 

 

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

 

Oct 092021
 


Pablo Picasso Carnival Bistro [Study] 1908

 

The Unforgivable Sin (VanDen Bossche)
All You Need To Know About Vaccine Failure In One Incredible Chart (Berenson)
Joe Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Doesn’t Exist. It’s Just A Press Release (Fed.)
No FDA-Approved COVID-19 Shots Available (LC)
Covid-19 Vaccine Negative Effectiveness As Low As Minus 86% (TE)
No Biden, You’re Wrong (Denninger)
Los Angeles County Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Vaccine Mandate (SN)
The Mark of the Beast (Jim Kunstler)
Ottawa Will Ban All Unvaccinated People From Leaving Canada (Ici)
Inventor of mRNA Banned By The New England Journal of Medicine (Hope)
Bellingcat Officially Labelled ‘Foreign Agent’ By Moscow (RT)
Russia Is Not To Blame For Soaring Gas Prices – Merkel (RT)
Tesla Move Came After California Legislator Tweeted ‘f-k Elon Musk’ (SFGate)

 

 

 

 

@DrEliDavid: After vaccinating over 85% of its population, Singapore finally flattened the curve, but along the wrong axis:

 

 

“..that vaccination of youngsters and children will provide them with improved protection from contracting severe disease is a textbook example of scientific nonsense..”

The Unforgivable Sin (VanDen Bossche)

One wonders how it is possible that while it has now been reported that vaccinated shed and transmit as much virus as unvaccinated people (1), the vaccinated are still protected against severe disease whereas the unvaccinated are said to be unprotected. So, how can one explain that viral shedding and transmission and hence, viral replication no longer seem to be impacted by the vaccine whereas the opposite still applies to the occurrence of (severe) disease? Based on their study results, the authors from the above-mentioned report (1) conclude that there is no significant difference in viral load between groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated, asymptomatic and symptomatic people who became infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. So, again: Considering that vaccinees shed and transmit as much virus as unvaccinated people, how could one even postulate that unvaccinated people are susceptible to severe disease whereas vaccinees are still largely protected from severe disease? Frankly speaking, this doesn’t make any sense at all.

[..] As the mechanism of immune defense in vaccinees is totally different from the one at play in unvaccinated individuals, the mantra of mass vaccination stakeholders that vaccination of youngsters and children will provide them with improved protection from contracting severe disease is a textbook example of scientific nonsense. Their irrational, erroneous extrapolations lead people to believe that they should get their children vaccinated whereas there is barely any more catastrophic immune intervention one could think of. In line with the intrinsic functional properties of innate, multi-specific Abs, healthy children and youngsters are NOT ‘naturally’ susceptible to any Sars-CoV-2 lineage but exclusively acquire such susceptibility as a direct consequence of functional suppression of their well-established innate immune capacity due to a rapid re-exposure event or, even much worse and long-lived, due to vaccination.

The likelihood of rapid re-exposure to Sars-CoV-2 after previous infection dramatically increases when highly infectious variants expand in prevalence. Such an expansion in prevalence directly results from mass vaccination campaigns as mass vaccination turns vaccinees into an excellent breeding ground for naturally selected S-directed immune escape variants. So, unless there is any contradiction in the above reasoning and unless somebody could explain how similar viral replication and transmission dynamics in vaccinated as compared to unvaccinated individuals could lead to dissimilar clinical manifestations of infection, we can only conclude that the scenario is the following: Vaccination of children and youngsters is turning off their broadly protective innate immunity in exchange for S-specific vaccinal Abs that are becoming increasingly useless since their neutralizing capacity becomes more and more eroded as a result of enhanced escape of Sars-CoV-2 from neutralizing Abs [NAbs] (a trend that has been clearly confirmed by molecular epidemiologists (8)).

Resistance to the neutralizing effect of vaccinal Abs that are nevertheless still able to bind Sars-CoV-2 virions and thereby outcompete protective innate Abs is likely to enhance the susceptibility of vaccinees to ADE (Ab-dependent enhancement of disease). Unless virology and immunology are being rewritten, I cannot imagine how mass vaccination of our youngsters and children will not lead to an even more disastrous outcome of all the scientifically irrational and unjustifiable vaccination efforts. Not only will this dramatically increase the children’s risk to succumb to (accelerated) Covid-19 disease but it will also take away the highly efficient capacity of healthy, unvaccinated people to diminish the dangerous, ever rising viral infectious pressure in the population.

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From a study into substance abuse.

All You Need To Know About Vaccine Failure In One Incredible Chart (Berenson)

This study was large and well-conducted. It used a database that covers 85 million Americans in 63 health-care organizations. It was published Oct. 5 in World Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal. People were included if they’d had no Covid infection before vaccination and had been “fully vaccinated” – that is, 14 days after the second dose. The researchers wound up examining medical records of about 580,000 Americans, 30,000 with a substance use disorder, 550,000 without. They found that just over 7 percent of people with a use disorder wound up with a breakthrough infection between January and August, compared to 3.6 percent of those without. Okay. Set aside the small group of users and focus only on the 550,000 people in the non-using group. They had a 3.6 percent chance of infection for fully vaccinated people over eight months, January to August.


But eight months is really about four months. Why? These are BREAKTHROUGH infections, and the average vaccinated American was not “fully” vaccinated until mid-April. (Remember, too, that “breakthrough” infections do not include the two weeks after the first dose, when vaccine efficacy is somewhere between zero and negative.) So 1 in 28 “fully vaccinated” people was infected over the four months when the vaccines were at peak effectiveness. Because vaccines work! — But story gets worse. Much worse. The researchers stratified the risk of infection by month, January through August. Here’s that chart – for the 550,000 people WITHOUT a substance use disorder, in other words the vast majority of the sample.


Time trend of incidence rates (cases/person-day) of breakthrough COVID-19 infection in patients with and without substance use disorder (SUD)

The rate of breakthrough infections rose FIVE-FOLD between July and August (and roughly 20-fold from March to August). By the way, the scale here represents the rate of breakthrough infections PER DAY. In other words, in August, those 550,000 fully vaccinated people had a roughly 1 in 200 chance of being infected each day. (Which translates into about a 7 percent chance for the month, which doesn’t match the 3.6 percent total infection rate for this group for the entire time period. It is possible the data does not cover the entire month. Nonetheless the trend could not be clearer.) As the researchers explained: A similar trend was observed in the non-SUD population: the rate of breakthrough infection steadily increased from 0 cases/person-day in January 2021 to 0.0009 cases/person-day in June 2021, and then reached 0.0049 cases/person-day in August 2021 (5.4 times faster than in June 2021)


It is simply impossible to argue about vaccine failure any more. Whether it’s because of the Delta variant, waning antibodies, or some combination, the vaccines simply don’t provide infection (and thus transmission) protection. The only studies that show anything like 80 or 90 percent protection after a few months are those the companies have funded. Maybe they provide some protection against serious cases – hospitalizations and deaths – for longer, but we don’t know how long, and that efficacy declines too.

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There is no mandate, and there are no FDA approved shots available -in America. It’s a curious game.

Joe Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Doesn’t Exist. It’s Just A Press Release (Fed.)

Yes, we’ve heard all about Joe Biden’s alleged vaccine mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people. It was all over the news even before he announced it on September 9. His announcement has jeopardized the employment of millions of Americans and increased worker shortages in critical domains such as health care. There’s only one problem. It’s all a mirage. Biden’s so-called vaccine mandate doesn’t exist — at least, not yet. So far, all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet.

That’s why nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general who have publicly voiced their opposition to the clearly unconstitutional and illegal mandate haven’t yet filed suit against it, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General confirmed for me. There is no mandate to haul into court. And that may be part of the plan. According to several sources, so far it appears no such mandate has been sent to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs yet for approval. The White House, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Labor haven’t released any official guidance for the alleged mandate. There is no executive order. There’s nothing but press statements.

Despite what you may have been falsely led to believe by the media fantasy projection machine, press statements have exactly zero legal authority. “There is nothing there yet that gives employers any mandate,” Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told me Oct. 6. “The president made an announcement on this asking OSHA to do it, but we’ve not yet seen anything come from it yet,” she also said. When the state agency gets any further information, she said, they’ll review it. To impose the public perception of a mandate, the Biden administration is following an unusual rule-making process it also employed earlier this year, called an emergency temporary standard (ETS).

The spring ETS rule took nearly six months to issue. Meanwhile, companies are telling reporters their vaccine mandates will have at the latest December deadlines. (For those who can’t calendar, that’s four months after Biden’s non-existent mandate was proclaimed. According to OSHA, an ETS takes up to six months to go into effect after the initial mandate is issued in the Federal Register — which, again, for the proclaimed 100-employee mandate hasn’t happened yet.) Lawyers for big business were blunt about their love for this mandate mirage: “Everybody loves this cover,” Minneapolis employment lawyer Kate Bischoff told Bloomberg Law in September. “Many were already looking down the road at doing this, but the fact that they get to blame Biden is like manna from heaven.”

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“The FDA did a bait and switch by announcing it approved its “first COVID-19 vaccine” in order to push the “vaccine” mandates and protect the Pfizer pharmaceutical company from legal liability. The Pfizer injection, on the other hand, is still considered experimental under U.S. law.”

No FDA-Approved COVID-19 Shots Available (LC)

There are currently no fully FDA-approved licensed COVID shots available. All COVID shots remain under federal Emergency Use Authorization, meaning individuals have the “option to accept or refuse” the product. On September 22, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a follow-up letter to the original approval to Pfizer pharmaceutical company that stated, “having concluded that revising this EUA is appropriate to protect the public health or safety under section 564(g)(2) of the Act, FDA is reissuing the August 23, 2021 letter of authorization in its entirety with revisions incorporated to authorize for emergency use the administration of a single booster dose of COMIRNATY.”

On page 6, footnote 12 of that letter the FDA clearly states, “Although COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) is approved to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older, there is not sufficient approved vaccine available for distribution to this population in its entirety at the time of reissuance of this EUA. Additionally, there are no products that are approved to prevent COVID-19 in individuals age 12 through 15, or to provide: an additional dose to the immunocompromised population, or a booster dose to the authorized population described in this EUA”.

On August 23, 2021, the FDA sent an approval letter to Pfizer regarding the BioNTech injection, Comirnaty. The letter states: “Under this license, you are authorized to manufacture the product, COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA, which is indicated for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older.” The FDA did a bait and switch by announcing it approved its “first COVID-19 vaccine” in order to push the “vaccine” mandates and protect the Pfizer pharmaceutical company from legal liability. The Pfizer injection, on the other hand, is still considered experimental under U.S. law.

There is a legal difference between products approved under authorization of emergency use (EUA) compared with those the FDA has fully licensed. The FDA issued another letter for the existing Pfizer shots which confirms they are still under EUA, are not fully approved, and has a liability shield. That means people must be told the risks and benefits, and they have the “option to accept or refuse” the product. The federal Emergency Use Authorization law and the FDA, including the FDA Fact Sheet, state unequivocally that each person has the “option to accept or refuse” the shots.

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See yesterday, The Vaxx is Dead.

Covid-19 Vaccine Negative Effectiveness As Low As Minus 86% (TE)

The efficacy of all available vaccines combined is as low as – 85.71% within the 40-49 age group, and as high as – 3.4% in the 30-39 age group. This shows that the Covid-19 vaccines are making people more susceptible to catching Covid-19, rather than preventing cases of Covid-19 by the claimed 95%. By combining the numbers provided for all age groups over the age of 30, we have been able to calculate an average vaccine effectiveness of – 47.69%, and we’re definitely seeing this in the number of confirmed cases by vaccination status.


Between week 36 and week 39 of 2021 there were 41,149 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the unvaccinated over 30’s, 14,649 confirmed cases in the partly vaccinated over 30’s, and a frightening 243,373 confirmed cases in the fully vaccinated over 30’s. The new UK Health Security Agency report proves without a shadow of a doubt that the Covid-19 vaccines do not work, and actually make the recipients worse.

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“He lied and he knew it. Those who he wants to fire if they won’t follow his dictatorial Mengele-style mandate know it too; many of them see it every day because they’re health-care workers.”

No Biden, You’re Wrong (Denninger)

Yesterday Biden scolded us all about how “vax mandates work.” Well, not really. Yes, you might get people who are over-levered (their fault) and unable to erect the middle finger to “comply.” But in doing so you permanently destroyed their willingness to put 100% into their job. Now they are all pissed off, working only to the minimum required to not get fired, they hate their boss, they hate the company, they hate every screaming Karen who wagged their finger at them, they hate Biden and they’d like to see all of them bankrupt, gone, even dead. In today’s tight labor market you can’t replace them either; who are you going to hire? The bong-smoker you paid for a year to sit around and get stoned? How joyous and hopeful is such a person? Are they inclined to spend on luxuries?

Take on more leverage and build businesses, families and prosperity? When you threaten to force them to do whatever you demand again — and again — and again — even at the cost of their own health, money and life? The economic damage from this is permanent. So is firing those who won’t comply. Oh, they’ll go find something else to do — but odds are those independent thinkers are the top 5 or 10% of any organization. Get rid of them and it’s like firing five ordinary people for the one you did. Of course nobody thinks of that, but then again not many people are smart when it comes to this sort of thing. They should be — but they’re not. Never mind the defense contractors. The problem is much worse there. A handful of people are key resources. They leave, the project isn’t deliverable anymore because it can’t be completed and you can’t just go hire a replacement because of necessary security clearances.

It takes a year or more to get a new TS approved. Does that new engineer also need SCI or (god forbid) SAP access for your nice project? That takes even longer. Never mind those who “go along” and play nice-nice with your “mandate”; how sure are you they’re still loyal and not willing to stab the United States in the back? After all you just ****ed them so….. you didn’t think this through very well, did you? What happens when two months after their wife gets jabbed — because you demanded it as she’s on the health insurance plan at the company — she gets breast cancer? Now how loyal is that person? Of course there were the lies. You won’t “get” Covid if you get jabbed, so said Biden. Biden’s own government has analyzed that and found it is not true — of those over 65 as of August 7th 60% of the hospitalized Covid-19 cases were fully vaccinated. It’s almost-certainly higher now. He lied and he knew it. Those who he wants to fire if they won’t follow his dictatorial Mengele-style mandate know it too; many of them see it every day because they’re health-care workers.

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“The issue has become so politicized. There are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off, rather than get vaccinated.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Vaccine Mandate (SN)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has refused to enforce a local vaccine mandate, saying he would risk losing up to 10 per cent of his workforce if he did. After his department’s budget was cut by $145.5 million in June 2020, partly as a result of the ‘defund the police’ movement, Villanueva says he already faces losing hundreds of officers. Enforcing COVID vaccine mandates would further cripple the force at a time when homicides have surged 31 per cent in the first six months of 2021 compared to last year. “This is like the worst of two worlds right here, so we have to pick and choose,” said Villanueva, adding that he would lose 5-10 per cent of his staff “overnight” if he enacted the Los Angeles City Council’s mandate, which was passed on Wednesday. “I’m not forcing anyone,” said Villanueva.


“The issue has become so politicized. There are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off, rather than get vaccinated.” The mandate, which is one of the strictest in the nation, goes into effect in November 4 and forces anyone wishing to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and other venues to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test. It also makes the jab compulsory for city employees, a massive problem given that 24% of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 12,000 employees last month sought religious or medical exemptions to the vaccine mandate. Villanueva’s refusal to enforce the mandate follows his insistence that mask mandates are not “backed by science” and that he wouldn’t be enforcing that either.

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“Your “vaccine” makes people sick. Soon, it will be self-evident everywhere that this “vaccine” is just another side of your boutique sickness.”

The Mark of the Beast (Jim Kunstler)

The Covid-19 spell breaks. The beast thought it was a good idea to deprive millions of their livelihoods just to get its way and force them to submit to a medical experiment conceived in the utmost bad faith. You say your “vaccine” is defeating the plague that you schemed to create and beset the world with? We know exactly what you did. We know that most of the people getting sick now are the “vaccinated.” Look what happened in Israel. Too far to see? Look right here in Vermont. Your “vaccine” makes people sick. Soon, it will be self-evident everywhere that this “vaccine” is just another side of your boutique sickness.

Meanwhile, you’ve cleverly destroyed medicine itself by forcing the firings of nurses, doctors, and the people who clean up the hospitals. The people will not forgive you for this reckless and craven stupidity. And, of course, nobody knows the long-term effects of your jabbing spree. Has every vaxed-up person got a controlled demolition underway in their organs and blood vessels? Why are there suddenly a striking number of heart attacks and strokes tallied in Great Britain? Concerning, ya think? They’re counting, at least. In America, we’re not even tracking. This now-sinister enterprise called “The Science” doesn’t really want to see any numbers, and if any happen to come up, its minions like to play games with the math, which can tell any story they want it to.

Suddenly, as if from nowhere an energy crisis is upon us — but you knew it was there all along, or you should have known. Things don’t work well when the fossil fuels get scarce or pricey or have to come from so far away that getting them is beyond your control. When these things happen, everything you need costs more and some things quit working altogether. The EU bureaucrats thought they would force a dozen countries to go “green” by sheer force of will. They thought that blocking the Nordstream 2 pipeline — designed to bring Russian natgas to the West — was a good idea. “Joe Biden’s” first act in office was to shut down the Keystone pipeline. Look now, there’s color in the treetops and the temperatures are falling. That frost on the pumpkin isn’t so charming when there’s also frost inside your windowpanes.

The lights may be going out in your house, but that will finally switch on the light in your brain. You’ve been played. The global economy of interdependent super-systems is breaking apart. It seemed like a good idea at the time when the beast put it together… the Lexus and the Olive Tree and all that reassuring bullshit… and now times have changed. Now the supply lines are choking on their own hyper-complexity as each nation in the global “community” has to contend with its own bad decisions and the fragilities they have exposed. Chinese factories don’t work so well without Australian coal. Here’s an idea: maybe someday Australia will get back to work and learn how to make something with its own coal. (America, are you alert?)

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Google translate.

Ottawa Will Ban All Unvaccinated People From Leaving Canada (Ici)

The information went unnoticed. By confirming on Wednesday an announcement already made in the middle of the summer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team unveiled some details concerning the compulsory vaccination for civil servants, but also for travelers. Until now, airlines have expected compulsory vaccination for all passengers who board a plane within the country. This measure will be implemented from October 30. But the federal government is preparing to go even further. Starting this fall, no one will be able to leave Canada without being properly vaccinated. Vaccination requirements will apply to all travelers aged 12 and over who are air passengers on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from a Canadian airport.

Extract from a Transport Canada press release: “In an exchange of emails, the Department of Transport confirmed to Radio-Canada that this requirement does indeed apply to all travelers, Canadians or not, who would like to leave the country from Canadian airports. We will invite operators to determine how best to leverage the appropriate tools to implement these requirements for travelers.” “There are already rules and extensive restrictions on travelers entering Canada from abroad , says Sara Johnston, spokesman for the Department of Transport. Indeed, since the beginning of September, only adequately vaccinated tourists can enter Canada. However, temporary workers and foreign students who do not have their two doses of vaccines recognized by Canadian authorities have the right to arrive, but are subject to screening tests and a 14-day quarantine.

As soon as this regulation comes into force, the latter may not be able to leave Canada. A transition period until November 30 will allow travel without being vaccinated, provided they present a negative molecular test for COVID-19 carried out in the 72 hours prior to travel. In addition, Transport Canada promises to issue new directives by that date “concerning travel restrictions for unvaccinated temporary foreign workers or foreign students who wish to take a connecting flight as part of their return trip to Canada.”

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“..banned from reading..”

Inventor of mRNA Banned By The New England Journal of Medicine (Hope)

Today, a new level of totalitarianism was reached when Dr. Robert Malone was banned from reading the New England Journal of Medicine. We are accustomed to censorship by YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook; we are accustomed to professionals getting fired for not submitting to vaccination, but this feels different. Dr. Robert Malone discovered in-vitro and in-vivo RNA transfection and invented mRNA platform technology while he was at the Salk Institute in 1988. He is thus, the father of the modern mRNA vaccine technology, and he has spoken out against its recent misuse in the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, there has been retaliation, more than one would expect in a free society. Here is a level of retribution one would typically find in Russia or China, not in the United States of America. This country used to be the model for free speech.

[..] Now it seems that a recent email from The New England Journal of Medicine has banned Dr. Robert Malone. On October 7, 2021, Dr. Malone reported the following: “For your information, I have now been banned from reading the New England Journal of Medicine. They have blocked my IP address. I wonder how many others have been blocked?” I wonder, was Professor Albert Einstein ever locked out of his office at Princeton? I know that many did not understand the complex equations he wrote, even the sharpest physicists of his day. It was only AFTER real-world experiments such as the total eclipse of the sun in 1919. This eclipse proved his calculation from his Relativity Theory that gravity could bend sunlight. Moreover, it made him a worldwide celebrity.

However, Dr. Malone’s predictions about mRNA vaccine technology have not yet come to pass. When they do, perhaps he too will be accorded the same respect as Einstein. But does the world truly have to await the harsh results? Can’t we be a little bit smarter this time?

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“He who pays the piper calls the tune, you know. And if you receive funding from abroad, there are strong reasons to believe you are taking orders from those who pay you.”

Bellingcat Officially Labelled ‘Foreign Agent’ By Moscow (RT)

The Russian Ministry of Justice has included Netherlands-based digital investigations team Bellingcat in a list of ‘foreign agents’ published on Friday, along with journalists working for US state-run media RFERL and the UK’s BBC. In a statement, officials in Moscow confirmed that the organization, founded by British blogger Eliot Higgins in 2014, was among the outlets handed the designation, along with American-owned online current affairs site MNews. Nine individuals were also labelled ‘foreign agents,’ including employees of the Russian arm of the BBC, RFERL, 7×7 and television channel Dozhd. Dozhd, also known as TV Rain, was given the same status as an organization in August. Bellingcat has won a number of awards, in the West, for investigations into a number of issues, including the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over the east of Ukraine and the alleged poisoning of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

However, Russian officials insist that the group maintains close ties to Western spy agencies and receives confidential information to form the basis of its revelations. Russia’s foreign intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin said in August that Bellingcat “is needed to exert pressure either on the country, or on individuals and legal entities.” Bellingcat is funded by the US government, through the National Endowment for Democracy, and reportedly maintains financial ties to the British and Dutch governments, alleging that it reserves its harshest criticism for politically convenient opponents of those nations, most prominently Russia. Others have also claimed that confidential information used by the group as part of their investigations had likely been passed on by Western intelligence agencies in order to publish their narrative without their direct involvement. Bellingcat denies these charges and maintains that it is independent.

Groups handed the ‘foreign agent’ designation are required to include it prominently in their published materials when operating in Russia. Bellingcat, however, has little if any footprint within the country, working through affiliated organizations. While there has been an outcry in recent weeks over a sharp increase in the number of groups and media outlets branded with the status, the Russian government insists that it is a proportionate response to attempts to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs. “If you get money from abroad to partake in domestic political activities – say so explicitly,” Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “He who pays the piper calls the tune, you know. And if you receive funding from abroad, there are strong reasons to believe you are taking orders from those who pay you.”

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“..within the framework of the existing contracts..”

Russia Is Not To Blame For Soaring Gas Prices – Merkel (RT)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected suggestions that the increased price of gas is due to Russian policy. Instead she has pointed the finger at the EU’s own approach asking whether the bloc could have acted differently. Speaking on Wednesday, Merkel noted that Russia has never refused to deliver gas and has fulfilled its contractual obligations. “That’s why we should ask the question: was enough gas ordered, or is the high price at the moment maybe the reason for not ordering so much?” Merkel asked, according to London’s Financial Times. The European Union has sought to move gas trading to the spot market in recent years, whereas Russia has consistently preferred long-term contracts, often as long as 25 years.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has pointed at the reluctance of the bloc to sign longer deals as a cause for rising prices. The view of outgoing Chancellor Merkel was also reflected on Wednesday by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who recalled that Russian gas corporation Gazprom is pumping as much gas as it can “within the framework of the existing contracts,” insisting that Moscow is playing no role in the raised prices. In September, a group of around 40 members of the European Parliament called on the EU to investigate Gazprom, alleging that it was abusing its dominant position on the market by deliberately pushing the value up. It was suggested that Moscow is intentionally limiting gas supplies to Europe as a means to speed the launch of the controversial pipeline Nord Stream 2, which was recently completed.

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Is this what they call “woke”?

Tesla Move Came After California Legislator Tweeted ‘f-k Elon Musk’ (SFGate)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed Friday that his company’s move to Texas was, in part, inspired by a California lawmaker’s incendiary tweet to him. The tweet in question? “F—k Elon Musk,” from progressive California Assemblywoman Lorena S. Gonzalez. Musk’s confirmation came in response to a fawning Tesla blog post, claiming that “Musk selflessly tried to resist the actions of the government” by reopening a Fremont factory in violation of Alameda County’s COVID-19 precautions in 2020. For context, Musk sued the county over the stay-at-home order that shut down the company’s factory, and dropped the suit 11 days later.


The Tesla fan blog — headlined “Tesla Moved its HQ to Texas Following Explicit Offer from California Assemblywoman” — calls out Gonzalez for tweeting out an expletive to Musk, saying the tweet “indicates serious problems in the apparatus of the state.” Musk tweeted, in response to the article and its headline, “Exactly.” Gonzalez was nonplussed, tweeting that the CEO “makes too much of his money from taxpayer subsidies in CA to pull out.” This comment is in reference to the fact that Tesla will keep its California factories. “And, yes, he’s still awful,” she added on Twitter. “Worth $200 billion & left his janitors hanging during the pandemic.” She later tweeted screenshots of her being harassed on Twitter and Instagram by Tesla enthusiasts.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 142021
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Sogni (Dreams) 1896

 

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)
‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)
CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)
The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)
UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)
MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)
Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)
Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)
Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)
Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)
Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)
“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

 

 

Look how young these inoculated kids are! 236 injuries and fatalities from vaccines in the 0-1 month old group!

 

 

Eric Clapton doesn’t agree

 

 

And that makes it alright?

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)

A new poll shows that Democrats and Republicans are just about as divided on an employee’s right to choose whether to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as they are on a woman’s right to choose whether to abort her unborn child. Nearly 80% of Democrats agreed that employers should be able to force their workers to get Covid-19 shots, according to a CBS News-YouGov poll released on Sunday. In contrast, only 39% of Republicans approved of giving businesses such authority over their employees’ medical choices. The overall response was 56-44 in favor of forced jabs. Supporters of the two major parties are more split on vaccine choice than on Covid-19 inoculation in general. While 95% of Democrats have already been vaccinated or are at least considering it, 71% of Republicans are on board or thinking about taking the jab, the poll showed.

That result suggests some improvement in vaccine acceptance in the past two months. A Monmouth University poll released in mid-April indicated that 43% of Republicans don’t intend to get vaccinated against the virus. In the CBS News-YouGov survey, 29% of Republicans said they had ruled out the shots. Overall, only 18% of respondents said they won’t get vaccinated, while 71% said they had either already gotten a jab or planned to do so. The other 11% were undecided. The issue of employer-mandated vaccination is heating up, as a Texas judge on Saturday issued the nation’s first federal court ruling on whether workers can be ordered to receive Covid-19 shots.

Read more …

“Pretty” safe? Is that a slip of the tongue, or is it a warning?

‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)

A scientist advising the government has declared that there is now a “very strong argument” to vaccinate children against the coronavirus as infections rise and evidence emerges that vaccination is “pretty safe”. Professor Peter Openshaw, vice-chairman of Nervtag, a committee that looks out for emerging respiratory threats, said there were indications that the Indian variant was more transmissible among children than the original Wuhan strain. Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It strengthens the argument for extending vaccination to children. I’ve been sitting on the fence on this one, but on balance I’m coming to the view that there’s a very strong argument we should go there.


“Evidence has come out about the safety and efficacy of generating an antibody response in children. It looks like it is pretty safe and there are no adverse signals.” Coronavirus testing in secondary schools has collapsed in recent weeks, according to NHS Test and Trace. Nearly two thirds of secondary school pupils failed to take a test in the week before half-term. Data from Public Health England shows 282 Covid-19 outbreaks in schools in the past four weeks, compared with 88 in the previous four weeks.

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“In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date..”

CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now claims that “healthy young children” can die from COVID-19. Marty Makary wants to see the evidence. “In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date,” the Johns Hopkins University professor of medicine and public health said Thursday. Archived versions of the CDC’s web page comparing COVID-19 and seasonal influenza show that it revised the “differences” in the section “People at High-Risk for Severe Illness” sometime between May 31 and June 8.

“The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19,” the earlier version says. “However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19.” The new version flips the emphasis as well as adding a new claim. “Overall, COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people,” it begins. “For young children, especially children younger than 5 years old, the risk of serious complications is higher for flu compared with COVID-19. However, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization and death can occur even in healthy young children.”

Makary’s article in MedPage Today, a clinical news publisher where he serves as editor in chief, pushes back on calls to vaccinate kids ages 0 to 12 without comorbidities. He also recommends parents avoid vaccinating children who have recovered from COVID-19 infections, continuing his argument that natural immunity is just as good if not better than vaccine immunity. “The case to vaccinate kids is there, but it’s not compelling right now,” Makary wrote. He’s part of a movement of doctors at medical institutions around the world calling for far more cost-benefit analysis of COVID-19 vaccines for low-risk populations such as children.

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“..the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. ..”

The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)

The Spike Protein is a “uniquely dangerous” transmembrane fusion protein that is an integral part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “The S protein plays a crucial role in penetrating host cells and initiating infection.” It also damages the cells in the lining of the blood vessel walls which leads to blood clots, bleeding, massive inflammation and death. To say that the spike protein is merely “dangerous”, is a vast understatement. It is a potentially-lethal pathogen that has already killed tens of thousands of people. So, why did the vaccine manufacturers settle on the spike protein as an antigen that would induce an immune response in the body? That’s the million-dollar question, after all, for all practical purposes, the spike protein is a poison. We know that now due to research that was conducted at the Salk Institute. Here’s a summary of what they found:

“Salk researchers and collaborators show how the protein damages cells, confirming COVID-19 as a primarily vascular disease…. SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system (aka–The circulatory system) on a cellular level… scientists studying other coronaviruses have long suspected that the spike protein contributed to damaging vascular endothelial cells, but this is the first time the process has been documented…. … the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls. The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2…“If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID.”

Remember how everyone laughed at Trump when he said injecting household bleach would cure Covid? How is this any different? It’s not different, and whatever modest protection the vaccines provide as far as immunity, it pales in comparison to the risks they pose to personal health and survival. And did you notice what the author said about stripping-out the virus and leaving the spike protein alone?’ He said “it still has a major damaging effect” implying ‘blood clots, bleeding and severe inflammation.’ In other words, the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. Here’s how Dr. Byram Bridle (who is a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario) summed it up:

“We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now… We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So, by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.” Think about that for a minute. This is a very big deal, in fact, this is the critical piece of the puzzle that has been missing for the last 15 months. Just as the respiratory virus concealed the real killing-agent in Covid, (the spike protein) so too, the relentless hype surrounding mass-vaccination has concealed the glaring problem with the vaccines themselves, which is, they generate a substance that is “capable of causing disease.”

Read more …

How bad will the backlash be?

UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)

The U.K.’s final lifting of lockdown restrictions on June 21 is expected to be pushed back by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference on Monday evening, a government official confirmed to London Playbook. Multiple outlets report that Johnson, alongside cabinet members Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock have signed off on a month-long delay, after scientific advisers urged the prime minister to allow enough time for more people to get fully vaccinated. On Friday, The Sun reported that July 19 would be proposed as the new “Freedom Day” of lockdown end, with a review of numbers on July 5 that could see some or all restrictions lifted early.

“The prime minister sees this as the final stretch and wants people to be patient. We are nearly there, it’s one last haul,” a government source told The Times. The rules currently in place that will be kept include the wearing of face masks and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings. The reopening of nightclubs is also set to be delayed. On the other hand, according to the Financial Times, some allowances may be made for weddings, allowing for larger gatherings as is the case for funerals. Health minister Edward Argar told Sky News on Monday that weddings and those who plan to wed “will be very much in [Johnson’s] mind at the moment.”

Despite reports that Sunak is not planning to extend the furlough scheme to support businesses, Argar said Johnson is “very mindful of the need for businesses and others to get what they need if they continue to be locked down.” On Sunday, 7,490 new COVID cases were reported in the U.K., a considerable increase from 5,341 a week before, on June 6.

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“If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)

Covid Recovery Group chairman and MP Mark Harper opposes delays in the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, arguing Brits will “have to learn to live with” the virus now that the vulnerable are jabbed, or suffer constant lockdown. Harper took to Twitter after an article on Sunday in the Telegraph citing an unnamed minister claimed the planned lockdown-easing date of June 21 could be delayed until as late as next spring due to the government’s concern about the spread of Covid-19 variants. The Forest of Dean MP warned in response that it “would be devastating for business confidence, people’s livelihoods and wellbeing” if the reopening were delayed, and would send “a clear message to employers and workers that, when Covid cases increase this (and every) autumn and winter, they cannot rely on Govt to keep our society open.”


“Now that the most vulnerable have been protected with their vaccine doses, we have to learn to live with this virus, rather than endure seasonal on-off lockdowns and restrictions,” Harper argued, noting that Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has warned that coronavirus mutations “will appear for the rest of time.” Harper also pointed out that the most vulnerable people in the UK – who account for 99% of Covid-19 deaths and 80% of hospitalisations – will all have been offered two vaccine jabs by June 21, making it safer than ever to reopen. “We have to learn to live with it,” concluded Harper. “If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

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“Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)

In April, the NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens promised to have 83 long Covid clinics open by the end of the month. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that more than 1 million people in Britain have suffered from long Covid. Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College, London, has predicted that long Covid could represent a long-term burden on the NHS comparable to arthritis, which costs the service an estimated £10 billion a year, some 8 per cent of the health budget. Altmann estimates that as many as 20 per cent of Covid sufferers could have longer symptoms; many of them will be younger patients who didn’t initially face severe illness.

It seems Britain is the long Covid capital of the world. This became immediately apparent to me upon moving back here from the US last month. American media has led much of the discussion on long Covid, but fear of the syndrome hasn’t penetrated public sentiment the way it has in Britain, where many young people are terrified of getting the virus not because they fear it will kill them, but because of the potentially debilitating after-effects. The question is why? Is there more long Covid here? And if so, for what reason? Are we simply doing a better job of diagnosing and discussing it, much as we lead the world in using genomic sequencing to find new Covid variants? Or might there be other cultural and societal factors underpinning our pervasive long Covid issue?

The answer could well be some combination of the above. The difficulty in researching long Covid is that every expert that you ask gives you a slightly different answer as to what the illness is and what causes it. “The simple answer is I don’t know [what causes this] and nor does anybody else,” says Dr Paul Harrison, head of Oxford University’s Translational Neurobiology Group. “We have to start with ‘nobody knows’ and keep that uncertainty — and therefore open-mindedness — at the forefront of our approach.” [..] “It’s psychosomatic,” says Jeremy Devine, a resident psychiatrist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In March, he wrote a controversial column for The Wall Street Journal, arguing that long Covid was being incorrectly used as a catch-all for a whole host of ailments and issues, many of them psychological. There was a fierce backlash, with several UK-based patient groups writing furious letters to his supervisors.

“People do not like psychological explanations for physical symptoms,” he says. “They want something that’s perceived as real. Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

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“What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the city of Madison’s public health agency in a dispute over the power to close schools during the pandemic. A top city health official decried Friday’s decision, saying it would put children at risk. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officers cannot close schools within their jurisdictions. We are extremely disappointed in the court’s decision, which has much further reaching implications than just this current pandemic,” health director Janel Heinrich said.. “This decision hinders the ability of local health officers in Wisconsin to prevent and contain public health threats for decades to come.”


The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty brought the case. WILL argued that Public Health Madison & Dane County overstepped its bounds by unilaterally ordering all schools, public and private, to close. WILL also argued the order infringed on parents’ rights to decide about their children’s education. Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote the majority opinion, saying Heinrich’s office had relied on an over-generalized reading of state law. “The power to take measures ‘reasonable and necessary’ cannot be reasonably read as an open-ended grant of authority,” Bradley wrote. “If Heinrich’s argument were correct, then the general provision would essentially afford local health officers any powers necessary to limit the spread of communicable diseases. This cannot be. What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

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One of the main causes of disease and death, also for Covid, and nothing is done about it whatsoever.

Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is demanding U.S. airlines submit plans with updated weight averages they will use for passengers and baggage moving forward by Saturday. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Airlines officials say the weight estimates used for passengers and baggage are going up between 5 percent and 10 percent.” “That will affect some flights, possibly requiring that more passengers get bumped or more baggage left behind,” the Journal reported. The new guidelines, and likely travel disruptions to come with them, are yet another symptom of American weight gain with no signs of abatement.

While the novel coronavirus — a virus exacerbated by excessive weight where 78 percent of those hospitalized with infection were overweight or obese — should have served as a wake-up call to the decades-long obesity crisis, Americans instead packed on the pounds with apparently little concern. According to a global Ipsos poll in January, two in five Americans reported gaining weight throughout the lockdowns still in place at the time. Those surveyed said they put on an average of more than 14 pounds, putting the U.S. seventh out of 30 countries in terms of pandemic weight gain. Most Americans appeared relatively unbothered by the weight. Less than half said they believed there was a link between obesity and complications from COVID-19 which data determined early on was a major risk contributor.

“Since the pandemic began,” Science Magazine reported in September, “dozens of studies have reported that many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity.” Overweight patients in one study published in August cited by the flagship journal were 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to patients of an otherwise healthy weight. Obese patients were found 74 percent more likely to end up in intensive care units (ICU) and 48 percent more likely to die. Pre-pandemic, more than 70 percent of adults 20 years old and older were already overweight with 42 percent categorically “obese” according to the CDC.

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Never has rhetoric been more empty.

Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)

US President Joe Biden revealed on Sunday that he and other leaders in the G7 spoke about gaining access to the laboratories in Wuhan, China to determine whether Covid-19 was the result of a Chinese experiment gone wrong. During a press conference at the G7 conference in Cornwall, England on Sunday, Biden called on China to start acting “more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency.” The president then revealed that one of the concerns he and other leaders at G7 had raised was that “we haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not” Covid-19 was the result of bats in Chinese marketplaces “interfacing with animals and the environment,” or “an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”


“I have not reached a conclusion because our intelligence community is not certain yet,” Biden said, adding, however, that it was “important to know the answer” so the international community could predict and prevent another pandemic from happening in the future. “The world has to have access,” he argued, concluding that he and other leaders were trying to figure out a way to gain transparency. Former president Donald Trump has repeatedly argued that Covid-19 came from a Wuhan laboratory, and told podcast host Dan Bongino last month that he had “very, very little doubt” the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In a statement on Thursday, he demanded that China pay $10 trillion in “reparations” to the world for “what they allowed to happen.”

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Biden is outclassed 1000x. He comes with nothing.

Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)

There is a lot of optimism and big press regarding the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin. This will be the first meeting of the two since Biden took that seat behind the lovely desk in the Oval Office. There are many issues on the table for discussion and there is tension and excitement in the political press in both the West and especially in Russia. There is a growing belief that this could be a turning point or at least provide some small nudging of relations in a positive direction. This wishful thinking, although pleasant from a moral standpoint, does not reflect the realities of the current divide between the United States and Russia. This meeting simply cannot provide some sort of new start for relations between the countries and will probably look like a head-nodding and pretending-to-listen fest the likes of which we have never seen before.

Hours worth of hot air will be blown to throw words onto deaf ears with some background posturing to boot. One reason for the Russians to be suspicious of any offers from Washington is simply recent precedent. Over ten years ago when Obama was still full of Hope and Change his feisty new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a great big smile presented Foreign Minister Lavrov the infamous Russian Reset Button. The red button had the word “overload” accidentally written on it in place of “reset”. This mistake due to a fake desire to make it seem like Washington cared enough to learn one word of Russian was very telling as during the brief era of the Russian Reset, America’s Soft Power machine was working day and night to organize the Maidan in Kiev.

From a Western perspective this revolution was another piece of evidence that the people of Eastern Europe want nothing to do with naughty Moscow, but from a Russian perspective the Maidan was the beginning of an endless waking nightmare. This all led to the genocidal war in the Donbass breaking out, the return of Neo-Nazism to Europe, and the now official systemic racism that Russian speakers have to endure in the “Zimbabwe of Europe”. After an experience like that, can one really expect any sort of optimism from the Russian side because Biden sort of stepped back a bit on the whole Nord-Stream 2 thing?

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“But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem.”

“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

Why can’t this dude just shut up? That’s what people, including the SEC, want to know. But look, he just can’t. Apparently, no one can take his Twitter account away from Elon Musk, and Tesla isn’t putting it under adult supervision, as the SEC has suggested. So he was at it again today, responding to accusations by Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African tech and financial services firm Sygnia, that he’d pumped up the price of Bitcoin by tweeting all manner of things, and then “sold a big part of his exposure at the peak.” So yes. Musk acknowledged in his tweet today that Tesla had in fact dumped part of its holdings of Bitcoin, but he argued that it wasn’t a big part, that it had “only sold ~10%” of its Bitcoin holdings.

And he came up with a rationalization why Tesla had dumped 10% of its Bitcoin holdings: “to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.” That was a joke apparently. Over the past two months, the price of Bitcoin plunged from about $64,800 to around $33,000 at the low and now hovers at $39,000, after the current Musk-induced spike, with the plunge leaving a big-fat question market over his assertion that Bitcoin could be “liquidated easily without moving market.” But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem. The second part of Musk’s tweet contained an effort to pump up the price of BTC by walking back his assertion in May that Tesla would no longer allow customers to pay for vehicles with Bitcoin because of the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, which was another one of his Bitcoin 180s.

At the time, that statement had whacked the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is of course the fiat-currency equivalent of “money printing.” But money printing has a tiny carbon footprint, because it needs just enough electricity to move credits by computer and the internet. You don’t need huge arrays of special mining rigs with special power supply and cooling equipment to print money. So today he tried to walk back his carbon-foot print concern, by tweeting: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”

Read more …

 

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May 122020
 


Edward Hopper Night in the park 1921

 

Letter from Hong Kong to Covid Ravaged UK: What On Earth Are You Doing? (HKFP)
14 Million Wuhan Residents To Be Tested For COVID19 In 10 Days (SCMP)
As US Meat Workers Fall Sick And Supplies Dwindle, Exports To China Soar (R.)
Mexican Border Town Uses ‘Sanitizing Tunnels’ To Disinfect US Visitors (G.)
Tesla’s Musk Says Ready For Arrest As He Reopens California Plant (R.)
The Sum of All Broken Promises (Kunstler) ;
Record Unemployment Drives Forbearances Up (NMN)
The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich (Eisinger)
Bitcoin Goes Through Third ‘Halving’ (R.)
BOJ Will Do ‘Whatever It Can’ To Combat Pandemic Fallout: Kuroda (R.)
Trump And Biden Trade Anti-China Ads (IC)
Jan 5 Oval Office Meeting Key To Entire Anti-Trump Operation (Hemingway)
List Of Obama Officials Involved In Unmasking Declassified (SAC)
Another Former Obama Official Contradicts Her Public Statements (Turley)
2,000 Former DOJ, FBI Officials Demand Barr Resign Over Flynn Case (UPI)

 

 

• US registers less than 900 #coronavirus deaths in 24-hours for second day

• US records 830 #coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 80,352, according to Johns Hopkins University. The figure followed Sunday’s toll of 776, the lowest daily tally since March,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cases 4,273,104 (+ 72,174 from yesterday’s 4,200,957)

Deaths 287,621 (+ 3,471 from yesterday’s 284,150)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

“At the moment the number of deaths in Hong Kong [..] is four. Not 4,000, not 400, not 40. Four, as in number of gospel writers.”

Letter from Hong Kong to Covid Ravaged UK: What On Earth Are You Doing? (HKFP)

Five years ago I passed a landmark of no significance to anyone else but me: I had spent more than half of my life in Hong Kong. But I still wish you well. [..] And I need to ask, from one crowded island to another, what the hell have you been getting up to. My Facebook feed is bulging with lockdown stories. And it is horrifying to read the news that total deaths from Covid 19 in your place have passed, at the time of writing, 30,000. It seemed to me entirely irrelevant that, the week before, the total casualty toll had passed the tally of British Army deaths on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. When two highly industrialised nations put hundreds of thousands of young men in a field with instructions to kill each other you expect the blood to flow.

But we are all, give or take a few civil wars a safe distance away, at peace at the moment. And the excuse that this massacre is all inevitable, the result of a medical problem which nobody could have foreseen and for which there was no immediate remedy, doesn’t wash because the consequences have been so variable. I understand it is too early to say whether the UK will achieve the unwanted distinction of the highest death rate in Europe. But why is it even in the running for this title? At the moment the number of deaths in Hong Kong, whose government enjoys neither democratic legitimacy nor a reputation for unusual efficiency, is four. Not 4,000, not 400, not 40. Four, as in number of gospel writers.

This is in a territory with a land border to the mainland, where it all started. So we had less warning and more opportunities for imported infections. Taiwan and Thailand, similarly disadvantaged, have also managed strikingly low numbers, and Viet Nam claims to have no cases at all. [..] There is an interesting irony here, at least for the moment. It seems your government is not getting the blame it has richly earned. Ours, which has had a good epidemic so far, is not getting much credit. Partly, this is because of events in the year before the arrival of the new disease. Our Chief Executive has trodden in too many political cowpats to have a shot at the Hong Kong’s sweetheart title, whatever she does about viruses.

It is also partly because the government was propelled towards some precautions, like closing the border, by public agitation. But I think the main reason is because Hong Kong people, while they do not trust the words of their government, and still less those of the government over the boundary on the mainland, did not need to be persuaded to take the whole matter seriously. This made a big difference. Why so serious? We participated extensively in the SARS epidemic in 2003, still fresh in many memories. Indeed I imagine many households, like mine, still had a box of face masks which were tucked away when that epidemic subsided. Hygiene was already a thing.

In countries that have not seen a real epidemic since the Spanish flu in 1918 this awareness would of course be absent. But this is where, in a democratic society with a literate population and free media, public information should have come in. Instead governments dithered, at best, or denied there was a problem, at worst. I do not allow the defence that they were relying on scientific opinion. This is a contradiction in terms. Science, in its slow, tentative way, produces factual observations. The opinions of scientists about matters on which science has not yet determined the facts are not scientific. They are just opinions. You may think they are expert opinions, but expert opinions about the future (see the works of Philip Tetlock) are lamentably unreliable.

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I suggest we call this a test drive.

We can only wish the west would be as thorough. China understands Crush the Curve. It just took them a fateful 5-6 weeks too long to figure it out.

14 Million Wuhan Residents To Be Tested For COVID19 In 10 Days (SCMP)

Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic coronavirus was first detected, have ordered fresh Covid-19 tests for all of its 14 million residents after a cluster of new community cases. The Wuhan Covid-19 Epidemic Prevention Headquarters ordered all districts in the city to come up with plans for a 10-day barrage of nucleic tests and submit the plans by noon on Tuesday. The tests should cover both permanent residents and mobile populations, and target residential estates and densely populated areas, the headquarters said in the orders. The unprecedented move came after reports on the weekend of six new coronavirus cases from the same residential compound, known as Sanmin.

The cases were the first in the city since its last local Covid-19 patient was reported on April 3. One Sanmin resident, an 89-year-old man, showed symptoms as early as March but was not confirmed as a coronavirus patient until Saturday. The confirmation prompted authorities to test around 5,000 people from the complex, uncovering five more cases. Zhang Yuxin, who had been serving as the Communist Party secretary in charge of the Sanmin area, was sacked for poor management, state media reported on Monday. A Chinese professor of epidemiology, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said large-scale testing was needed to prevent a new wave of infections.


“The new cases in Wuhan show there is a real risk of a second wave of potential transmission in the community by the asymptomatic carriers or mild symptoms. Covid-19 started with a few after all,” he said. “Tests on such a broad scale can help find these hidden carriers and eliminate that risk.”

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If so many people get infected in meat plants, there appears to be a serious hygiene problem right where your food comes from, and maybe the entire industry should be revised.

Q: what are the similarities between meat plants and care homes, other then they’re all virus clusters?

As US Meat Workers Fall Sick And Supplies Dwindle, Exports To China Soar (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered meat processing plants to stay open to protect the nation’s food supply even as workers got sick and died. Yet the plants have increasingly been exporting to China while U.S. consumers face shortages, a Reuters analysis of government data showed. Trump, who is in an acrimonious public dispute with Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act on April 28 to keep plants open. Now he is facing criticism from some lawmakers, consumers and plant employees for putting workers at risk in part to help ensure China’s meat supply.

Meat buyers in China ramped up imports from around the world as a pig disease decimated its herd, the world’s largest, and pushed Chinese pork prices to record highs. The supply shock drove China to pay more for U.S. meat than other countries, and even U.S. consumers, since late 2019. “We know that over time exports are critically important. I think we need to focus on meeting domestic demand at this point,” said Mike Naig, the agriculture secretary in the top U.S. pork-producing state of Iowa who supported Trump’s order. Processors including Smithfield Foods, owned by China’s WH Group Ltd, Brazilian-owned JBS USA and Tyson Foods Inc temporarily closed about 20 U.S. meat plants as the virus infected thousands of employees, prompting meatpackers and grocers to warn of shortages.


Some plants have resumed limited operations as workers afraid of getting sick stay home. The disruptions mean consumers could see 30% less meat in supermarkets by the end of May, at prices 20% higher than last year, according to Will Sawyer, lead economist at agricultural lender CoBank. While pork supplies tightened as the number of pigs slaughtered each day plunged by about 40% since mid-March, shipments of American pork to China more than quadrupled over the same period, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

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Makes me think of how the Japanese 500 years ago called westerners dirty pigs.

Mexican Border Town Uses ‘Sanitizing Tunnels’ To Disinfect US Visitors (G.)

Fears of foreigners bringing infectious disease into the country. Enhanced border checkpoints. And the use of disinfectant spray to sanitize human beings. These aren’t notes from one of Donald Trump’s freewheeling press conferences. The United States’ troubled response to the coronavirus pandemic is such that the Mexican border city of Nogales, Sonora, has set up “sanitizing tunnels” to disinfect people leaving the US through Nogales, Arizona. On the Mexican side of two major border crossings, drivers coming from Arizona must exit their vehicles and step into an inflatable tunnel that sprays them with a cleansing solution.

Videos posted to social media by the municipal government of Nogales, Sonora, show people rotate under the vapor, stretch their arms and lean over to allow the disinfectant to reach their entire bodies. In a press release, the Nogales government states that the cleansing solution is biodegradable and protects from “any virus or bacteria, including Covid-19” for up to 24 hours. It adds that the tunnels “reduce the chances that a foreign citizen or citizen of this city who presents symptoms of the disease will infect other people on the Mexican side”.


The border city’s mayor has told Mexican news outlets that a majority of the people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Nogales, Sonora, had recently returned from the US. The Mexican border city plans to install five sanitizing tunnels to disinfect people arriving through its two main ports of entry from Nogales, Arizona. A sanitizing tunnel is also stationed outside a hospital in Nogales, Sonora, where visitors must brush open or duck through clear plastic curtains to be washed with the disinfectant mist.

https://twitter.com/Underground_RT/status/1259856428145278976

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Now talk to the shareholders.

Tesla’s Musk Says Ready For Arrest As He Reopens California Plant (R.)

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Monday said production was resuming at the automaker’s sole U.S. vehicle factory, in California, defying an order to stay closed and saying if anyone had to be arrested it should be him. The move comes as states and cities around the United States experiment with ways to safely reopen their economies after the coronavirus outbreak shuttered businesses and forced tens of millions of Americans out of work. Musk over the weekend threatened to leave California for Texas or Nevada over his factory’s closure. His move has highlighted the competition for jobs and ignited a rush to woo the billionaire executive by states that have reopened their economies more quickly in response to encouragement from U.S. President Donald Trump.

In an email on Monday, Tesla referred to an order on Thursday by California’s governor allowing manufacturers to resume operations and said that as of Sunday, previously furloughed employees were back to their regular employment status. “We’re happy to get back to work and have implemented very detailed plans to help you keep safe as you return,” according to the email seen by Reuters and titled “Furlough Has Ended And We Are Back To Work in Production!” Musk in a tweet said production was resuming on Monday, adding that he would join workers on the assembly line. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he wrote.


[..] Health officials in Alameda County, where the Fremont factory is based, late on Monday said they were aware that Tesla had opened beyond the so-called minimum basic operations allowed during lockdown, and had notified the company it could not operate without a county-approved plan. In a statement, officials said they expected a proposal from Tesla later on Monday and “hope Tesla will likewise comply without further enforcement measures.”

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People have been getting so used to dire stories about the economy, they can no longer tell when things are really going south.

The Sum of All Broken Promises (Kunstler) ;

[..] one reason the markets may not keep chugging is that money is disappearing into the ol’ black hole of extinction even faster than the Fed can enter keystrokes that magically represent new money. The reason: if, in fact, money is loaned into existence, it is defaulted out of existence when the loans are not paid back. After all, that’s what a loan is: money advanced on a promise to be paid back, generally at interest, interest representing the time-value of money, that is, the duration of the loan. Do you have any idea how many loans are not being paid back, and may now never be paid back?

Start with houses. 63 percent of homeowners pay a mortgage (a loan) every month. The national average outstanding mortgage debt is $148,000. Total mortgage debt is $10.3 trillion. Now cars: There are roughly 260 million passenger vehicles registered in America, with upward of 100 million of them bought on loans that are still active, amounting to $1.2 trillion, enough to buy 53 million Ford Fusions at $23,000 each. Now credit card debt: total for the US is $3.9 trillion with an average carried balance of $9,333. Meanwhile, 45 percent of adult Americans have no savings.


[..] Consider that a trillion is a thousand billion (and a billion is a thousand million). In an ordinary reality, a reality-based reality, that is, with reality-based money, that would be a lot of money (and a lot of debt)! It’s hard to project an exact figure, but with over 20 percent of the US work-force idle, with no income, there’s liable to be a lot of debt that’s not being paid back, will never be paid back, and a lot of money headed into extinction. That will translate into a lot of people with no money. Until all that money they owed is finished not being paid back, and the new money that Fed is busy creating, with no relationship to the production of things of value, overcomes the old money that’s finished disappearing. Then Americans will have plenty of money. The catch is that the money will be worthless. Thus, the two ways of going broke: having no money; or having lots of money that’s too worthless to buy anything. So it goes.

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Oh well, houses are way overpriced anyway.

Record Unemployment Drives Forbearances Up (NMN)

The number of mortgages in coronavirus-related forbearance rose by 37 basis points between April 27 and May 3 as the unemployment rate kept growing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Nearly 4 million mortgages sat in forbearance plans as of May 3. About 7.91% of all outstanding loans went into forbearance, compared to 7.54% the week before. The share of loans in forbearance at independent mortgage bank servicers saw a greater increase than the industry-wide average, growing to 7.54% from 7.13% over that period. At depositories, that share increased to 8.75% from 8.41%.


“With the calendar turning to May, the share of loans in forbearance increased, but the pace of the increase and incoming forbearance requests continued to slow,” Mike Fratantoni, the MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, said in a press release. “The dreadful April jobs report showed a decline of more than 20 million jobs, and a spike in the unemployment rate to the highest level since the Great Depression. It will not be surprising if the forbearance numbers continue to rise.” In April, the largest spike came in the first full week of the month. Some projections show the same could be in store for May. Forbearance requests as a percentage of servicing portfolio volume declined 12 basis points for the week ended May 3 to 0.51 % from 0.63. But call center volume as a percentage of portfolio volume increased to 8.6% from 7.2% the previous week.

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That’s the whole idea. But the rich still live in the same country. Let the economy fail and they’re no longer rich.

A bit unreal that the Fed uses the language of MMT.

The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich (Eisinger)

Ten weeks into the worst crisis in 90 years, the government’s effort to save the economy has been both a spectacular success and a catastrophic failure. The clearest illustration of that came on Friday, when the government reported that 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April. It marked a period of unfathomable pain across the country not seen since the Great Depression. Also on Friday, the stock market rallied. The S&P 500 is now up 30% from its lows in mid-March and back to where it was last October, when the outlook for 2020 corporate earnings looked sunshiny. Companies have sold record amounts of debt in recent weeks for investment-grade companies. Junk bonds, historically dodgy during an economic swoon, have roared back.

If you’re looking for investors’ verdict on who has won the bailout, consider these returns: Shares of Apollo Group, the giant private equity firm, have soared 80% from their lows. The stock of Blackstone, another private equity behemoth, has risen 50%. The reason: Asset holders like Apollo and Blackstone — disproportionately the wealthiest and most influential — have been insured by the world’s most powerful central bank. This largess is boundless and without conditions. “Even if a second wave of outbreaks were to occur,” JPMorgan economists wrote in a celebratory note on Friday, “the Fed has explicitly indicated that there is no dollar limit and no danger of running out of ammunition.”


Many aspects of the coronavirus bailout that assist individuals or small businesses, meanwhile, are short-term or contingent. Aid to small businesses comes with conditions on what they can do with the money. The sums allocated by the CARES Act for stimulus and expanded unemployment insurance are vast by historical standards. But the relief they provide didn’t prevent tens of millions from losing their jobs. The assistance runs out in weeks, and the jobless live at the mercy of a divided Congress, which will decide whether that help gets extended and, if so, for how long.


The Nasdaq has put in six consecutive daily gains of 0.50% or more. The last time we saw such a streak was 17 years ago on 9/4/2003

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The Fed props up the stock market, not bitcoin.

Bitcoin Goes Through Third ‘Halving’ (R.)

Bitcoin slid on Monday in volatile trading, after it went through a technical adjustment that reduced the rate at which new coins are created, but the outlook remained upbeat as the increase in supply slows down. Monday’s “halving” cuts the rewards given to those who “mine” bitcoin to 6.25 new coins from 12.5. The next halving will be in 2024. Bitcoin relies on so-called “mining” computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles every 10 minutes. In return, the first to solve the puzzle and clear the transaction is rewarded new bitcoins. In late afternoon trading, bitcoin was last down 1.3% at $8,620.43 against the dollar on the Bitstamp platform. It briefly turned higher.

“The incentive is less for miners now to mine bitcoin and they will probably switch to more profitable cryptocurrencies. So in the short term, there’s going to be pressure for bitcoin,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York. “But longer term, you’re probably going to see higher prices. With all the fiscal and monetary stimulus that’s being pumped into the global economy, there’s renewed interest from institutional traders looking for alternatives to modern government-backed currencies.” Bitcoin has gained more than 20% since the beginning of the year. It touched $10,000 last week, a roughly three-month high, after Bloomberg reported that hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has backed bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.


Traders said the prospect of bitcoin’s halving has fueled gains in the asset this year. Bitcoin two earlier “halvings”— one in November 2012 and the other in July 2016 — had signaled the start of bitcoin’s most dramatic bull runs over a period of several years, although not before a brief sell-off. The previous two bitcoin events propelled rallies of about 10,000% from late 2012 to 2014, and roughly 2,500% from mid-2016 to the currency’s all-time high just shy of $20,000 in December 2017, according to traders.

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Kuroda’s been head of the BOJ for over 7 years. The outcome? “Japan’s economy is in an increasingly severe state…”

BOJ Will Do ‘Whatever It Can’ To Combat Pandemic Fallout: Kuroda (R.)

The Bank of Japan will do “whatever it can” to mitigate the growing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday, warning that a collapse in global activity has had severe consequences on the the economy. The central bank has various tools at its disposal if it were to ramp up stimulus such as accelerating money printing, increasing market operation tools and cutting interest rates, Kuroda said in a semi-annual testimony to parliament. He signalled that any further steps the BOJ takes will focus on helping cash-strapped firms, rather than stimulating demand. “What’s most important for us is to take steps to smoothen corporate financing and stabilise markets,” Kuroda said.

“We will do whatever we can as a central bank, working closely with the government.” Kuroda ruled out the possibility of adding municipal bonds to the list of assets the BOJ buys, however, saying he saw no need to do so for the time being. The world’s third-largest economy is on the cusp of a deep recession with many analysts projecting a double-digit contraction in the current quarter, as the pandemic forces households to stay home and businesses to shut down. While the government plans to lift the state of emergency for some prefectures that saw infection numbers stabilise, many big cities including Tokyo will likely see current restrictions kept in place at least for the rest of this month.


Kuroda said Japan did not face an imminent risk of a sharp credit contraction, as many financial institutions have sufficient buffers to weather the pain from the pandemic. But he warned the outlook for Japan’s economy was “highly uncertain” and dependent on when the pandemic is contained, with risks skewed to the downside. “Japan’s economy is in an increasingly severe state. The outlook will remain severe for the time being,” he said.

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When will Biden start up the anti-Putin ads?

Trump And Biden Trade Anti-China Ads (IC)

As coronavirus deaths mount, President Donald Trump’s China-bashing has evolved from a short-term political tactic into a full-fledged election strategy. Take the ad “Travel Ban,” which was unveiled last week by pro-Trump Super PAC America First Action. The spot is one of several anti-China ads released by the group over the past few weeks, and it revisits some standard Trump campaign tropes: There are images of Biden from the Obama years, clips of the former vice president stumbling over his words, and allusions to the decades Biden spent in Washington. But the ad, which is part of a larger attempt to dub the presumptive Democratic nominee “Beijing Biden,” reserves its greatest ire for Biden’s purported ties to China, zooming in on a shot of him shaking hands with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“China is killing our jobs and now killing our people,” a male voice intones ominously. Instead of taking the high road, the Biden campaign has offered its own version of xenophobic hype. A Biden campaign spot released in mid-April juxtaposes Chinese medical workers in Tyvex suits with lines of Americans waiting to get tested for the virus. “Trump rolled over for the Chinese,” a narrator says. Both ads have angered Asian American activists. The Biden spot in particular has upset people who view him as a potential ally at a time of rising xenophobia.


They worry that even without going to extremes like calling Covid-19 the “Chinese virus” and the “kung-flu” — terms used by Trump and officials in his administration over the past few months — images of Asian faces and offhanded mentions of “the Chinese” are just a slightly subtler form of racist dog-whistling, and harmful at a moment when hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. “There’s a clear link between the rhetoric that’s being used and the increased harm to our community,” said John Yang, president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. “We are equally concerned about both parties. We are concerned that there will be a race to the bottom.”

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I don’t think the DOJ will go after Obama, only Sidney Powell would.

Jan 5 Oval Office Meeting Key To Entire Anti-Trump Operation (Hemingway)

Information released in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House. It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration. “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,”

National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in an unusual email to herself about the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and Vice President Joe Biden. A clearer picture is emerging of the drastic steps that were taken to accomplish Obama’s goal in the following weeks and months. Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation, explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump.

Not only was information on Russia not fully shared with the incoming Trump team, as Obama directs, the leaks and ambushes made the transition chaotic, scared quality individuals away from working in the administration, made effective governance almost impossible, and materially damaged national security. When Comey was finally fired on May 9, in part for his duplicitousness regarding his handling of the Russia collusion theory, he orchestrated the launch of a Special Counsel probe that continued his efforts for another two years. That probe ended with Mueller finding no evidence of any American colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election, much less Trump or anyone connected to him.

An analysis of the timeline from early 2017 shows a clear pattern of behavior from the federal officials running the collusion operation against the Trump campaign. It also shows how essential media leaks were to their strategy to sideline key law enforcement and intelligence officials and cripple the ability of the incoming Trump administration to run the country. Here’s a timeline of the key moments and news articles of the efforts, per Obama’s direction, to prevent the Trump administration from learning about the FBI’s operation against it.

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Can I get this straight? Susan Rice was Obama’s national security advisor. She unmasked US officials while she was no longer at the job. Even if individuals are unmasked, their identities remain highly classified. But they were leaked in substantial numbers. Which is in turn highly illegal.

Samantha Power was United Nations Ambassador. She also unmasked Trump officials. In fact she made 260 requests for unmasking. Only, she didn’t. Someone else did in her name.

List Of Obama Officials Involved In Unmasking Declassified (SAC)

In 2017, information published by this reporter and John Solomon, then with Circa, a online news organization under Sinclair Media, exposed that former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice had unmasked a number of U.S. officials connected to then President Donald Trump’s campaign. On Monday night, reports surfaced, first with ABC News and then others, that the acting Director Of National Intelligence Richard Grenell had authorized the declassification of the list of senior Obama officials that had unmasked Americans exponentially in the last months of the Obama administration. A U.S. official familiar with the declassification process confirmed to SaraACarter.com that the list of officials has been declassified and should be made public shortly.

In May, 2019 President Donald Trump authorized the Department of Justice to declassify the list, as well as all the other documentation pertaining to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance warrant used to spy on short term campaign volunteer Carter Page. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in several recent reports that the FBI and DOJ failed to validate the evidence used to obtain the warrants to spy on Page and omitted evidence that would have stopped the secret court from authorizing the warrant to spy on the campaign. The most egregious unmasking was that of Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whose prosecution has now been overturned by the Justice Department.

In January, 2017 Flynn’s name and the contents of his conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was revealed to a Washington Post reporter by a senior official in the Obama administration. The contents of the conversation were later outed in a column by Washington Post writer David Ignatius. The highly classified information led to the false allegations that Flynn and the Trump campaign were conspiring with Russia. Still, no one has been held accountable for the highly classified leak. However, sources tell this reporter there has been an ongoing DOJ investigation into the matter.

Rice, who hid her role in unmasking Trump officials, eventually admitted that she had requested unmasking of officials in the campaign. However, it was in April, 2017, when Trump White House lawyers were informed that Rice had requested the identities of U.S. persons in the raw intelligence reports. Usually in the raw reports Americans are identified as U.S. Person 1 or U.S. Person 2. Those identities are considered top secret and are limited to only a few persons. Further, there was an abundance of evidence that former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, unlike any former U.N. Ambassador before her, was also unmasking American’s identities in these highly classified reports at an extraordinary rate.

Then, in October, 2017, House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy revealed that Power had admitted under testimony that not all the “unmaskings” attributed to her were made by her but instead were done by someone else who signed in her name. She allegedly made 260 requests to “unmask” Americans who had been in communication with non-U.S. citizens that were under surveillance. Recent testimony, declassified by Grenell has shown that to be the case and Power’s testimony coincides with Gowdy’s recollection of the events. “I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made,” said Gowdy, in October 2017 to Fox News.

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There are now quite a few people known who said completely different things in public from what they said under oath.

Another Former Obama Official Contradicts Her Public Statements (Turley)

The long-delayed release of testimony from the House Intelligence Committee has proved embarrassing for a variety of former Obama officials who have been extensively quoted on the allegedly strong evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign and the Russians. Figures like James Clapper, who is a CNN expert, long indicated hat the evidence from the Obama Administration was strong and alarming. However, in testimony, Clapper denied seeing any such evidence.

One of the most embarrassing is the testimony of Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama Administration official who was widely quoted in her plea to Congress to gather the evidence that she knew was found in by the Obama Administration. In her testimony under oath Farkas repeatedly stated that she knew of no such evidence of collusion. Farkas, who served as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, was widely quoted when she said on MSNBC in 2017 that she feared that evidence she knew about would be destroyed by the Trump Administration.

She stated: “..was urging my former colleagues, and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill… Get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration, because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people that left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy . . . the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more.”

MSNBC never seriously questioned the statements despite the fact that Farkas left the Obama Administration in 2015 before any such investigation could have occurred. As we have seen before, the factual and legal basis for such statements are largely immaterial in the age of echo journalism. The statement fit the narrative even if it lacked any plausible basis. Not surprisingly, the House Intelligence Committee was eager to have Farkas share all that she stated she “knew about [“the Trump folks”], their staff, the Trump’s staff’s dealing with Russian” and wanted to get “into the open.” After all, she told MSNBC that “I knew that there was more.”

She was finally put under oath in the closed classified sessions and there was nothing but classified crickets. Farkas was repeatedly asked to share that information that electrified the MSNBC hosts and audience. She repeatedly denied any such knowledge, telling then Rep. Trey Gowdy (R, S.C.), “I didn’t know anything.” Gowdy noted that Farkas left the Obama administration in 2015 and asked “Then how did you know?” She repeated again “I didn’t know anything.”

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“If any of us [..] were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation..”

Isn’t that exactly the point? Barr said it was not properly predicated?!

2,000 Former DOJ, FBI Officials Demand Barr Resign Over Flynn Case (UPI)

Almost 2,000 former federal prosecutors and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation published an open letter Monday calling for the resignation of Attorney General William P. Barr over the dropping of the Michael Flynn case in federal court. Former U.S. Department of Justice and FBI officials, identifying themselves as both Republicans and Democrats, said Barr’s decision to drop prosecution of Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, was a case of using “the Department as a tool to further President Trump’s personal and political interests,” the letter said. “Make no mistake: The Department’s action is extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented,” the letter added.

“If any of us, or anyone reading this statement who is not a friend of the President, were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation, and admit we did so under oath, we would be prosecuted for it.” Last week, Barr’s prosecutors asked a U.S. District judge to dismiss the charge of making false statements to the FBI with prejudice against Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general. Co-signers of the letter said Barr earlier overruled sentencing recommendations to seek favorable treatment for President Trump’s close associate, Roger Stone, showing that Barr was doing the president’s bidding as Attorney General.


[..] “[Barr’s actions flout] the core principle that politics must never enter into the Department’s law enforcement decisions and undermined its mission to ensure equal justice under the law,” the letter said. Co-signers included former federal prosecutors and some former presidential appointees. The highest-ranking signee was Stuart Gerson, who served during the Clinton administration as acting attorney general, NBC News reported. The letter urged District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who’s in charge of the Flynn case, to examine the DOJ’s rationale for dismissing the charges, and to hold hearings with witnesses if necessary, then to “deny the motion and proceed with sentencing if appropriate.” Along with urging Barr’s resignation, the group urged Congress to reschedule a House Judiciary Committee meeting to censure Barr, “and demand that he answer for his abuses of power.”

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 December 7, 2019  Posted by at 10:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  12 Responses »


Dorothea Lange Homeless mother and child walking from Phoenix to Imperial County CA Feb 1939

 

Donald Trump and Jerome Powell Can ‘Take Another Victory Lap’ (Y!)
Abenomics has Failed Japan. Financial Times Wants to Make it Global. (Lacalle)
What the ‘Expert’ Panel Should Have Told You About Impeachment (ET)
A Fraught Moment (Kunstler)
Strzok and Page Did Real Damage (Cortese)
Pelosi Puts A Brave Face On A Doomed Mission (Tucker Carlson)
Bloomberg On His Democratic Rivals: ‘Trump Would Eat ‘Em Up’ (R.)
Kamala Harris, Michael Bloomberg, and a Supreme Court Decision (IC)
Musk’s Defamation Win May Reset Legal Landscape For Social Media (R.)
Saudi Arabia Retreats From The Troubles Its Clown Prince Caused (MoA)

 

 

If you look only at jobs, and not even the quality of those jobs, things may appear shiny. We get it.

Donald Trump and Jerome Powell Can ‘Take Another Victory Lap’ (Y!)

The November jobs report crushed expectations on Friday, sending the stock market surging. “Jerome Powell and Donald Trump can take another victory lap,” said Danielle DiMartino Booth, a former Federal Reserve advisor and CEO of Quill Intelligence. The economy added 266,000 jobs in November, according to a report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The prior two months of job gains were revised higher pushing the three month average of job adds to 205,000. “In stark contrast to just about every other source of economic data, the jobs data insists the U.S. economy is strong, and that is all markets care about as it is the most visible and most quoted,” Booth said. “The reaction in the dollar and bond yields speaks volumes to how surprised markets were to this data.”


[..] As for Fed Chair Jerome Powell, he has steered a Federal Reserve that cut interest rates three times so far this year in an effort to reverse the hawkishness of Fed policy last year, which included four rate hikes, and to get ahead of any economic weakness sparked by the ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The Federal Reserve meets again next week, and most market participants aren’t expecting any changes to rates. “Despite the strengthening trend, this [jobs report] will not change anything at the Fed aside from what officials say publicly,” Booth said.

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Abe and the BOJ looked only at deflation. And the harder they tried to make them spend, the more fearful of spending the Japanse people became.

Abenomics has Failed Japan. Financial Times Wants to Make it Global. (Lacalle)

A recent article in the Financial Times, “Abenomics provides a lesson for the rich world,” mentioned that the experiment started by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the early 2010s should serve as an important warning for rich countries. Unfortunately, the article’s “lessons” were rather disappointing. These were mainly that the central bank can do a lot more than the ECB and the Fed are doing, and that Japan is not doing so badly. I disagree. The failure of Abenomics has been phenomenal. The balance sheet of the Central Bank of Japan has ballooned to more than 100% of the country’s GDP, the central bank owns almost 70% of the country’s ETFs and is one of the top 10 shareholders in the majority of the largest companies of the Nikkei index.

Government debt to GDP has swelled to 236%, and despite the record-low cost of debt, the government spends almost 22% of the budget on interest expenses. All of this to achieve what? None of the results that were expected from the massive monetary experiment, inventively called QQE (quantitative and qualitative easing) have been achieved, even remotely. Growth is expected to be one of the weakest in the world in 2020, according to the IMF, and the country has consistently missed both its inflation and economic growth targets, while the balance sheet of the central banks and the country’s debt soared. Real wages have been stagnant for years, and economic activity continues to be as poor as it was in the previous two decades of constant stimulus.

[..] The wrong diagnosis will lead to worsening outcomes. When the government is surrounded by economists that tell them that the problem of the economy is that there are too many savings, the government will decide to raise taxes and create a larger problem attacking consumption. With private debt at 221% of GDP. Japan has many issues, none of them being a “savings glut.” If you abandon structural reforms, the results will be worse. The QQE program was based on three “arrows”: monetary policy, government spending, and structural reforms. Guess which arrow they forgot to implement? Exactly. Structural reforms never happened, and when they did, they came in the form of higher taxes and more interventionism, the opposite of what the economy needed.

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Back to the 18th century we go.

What the ‘Expert’ Panel Should Have Told You About Impeachment (ET)

Many phrases in the Constitution—such as “necessary and proper,” “Privileges and Immunities,” and “Convention for proposing Amendments”—carry specialized 18th century meanings not obvious to the modern reader. Recall that most of the leading Founders were lawyers and the Constitution is a legal document. Some of these phrases derive from 18th century law. Therefore, to understand them you have to consult 18th century legal materials in addition to better-known sources such as the 1787 convention debates or the Federalist Papers. Unfortunately, most of the scholars called by the House Judiciary Committee to address the meaning of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” were not able to do so accurately.

According to the authoritative Westlaw database, two of the three Democratically appointed witnesses have published no scholarly work on impeachment: Their specialties are in other areas. None showed any familiarity with 18th century fiduciary standards—which (as explained below) are part of the law of impeachment. All of the witnesses voted against President Trump, and several have been involved in anti-Trump activity. It’s not surprising, therefore, that, except for professor Jonathan Turley’s heavily footnoted 53-page written statement, the testimony was biased and superficial. [..] The core of the case against President Trump is that he used his political position to seek re-election assistance from a foreign government. Although there’s dark talk of crimes committed, the principal charge is fiduciary rather than criminal. In other words, a “high … Misdemeanor.”

House Democrats have struggled to define Trump’s alleged offense. Initially, they described it as “quid pro quo.” Then they employed the term “bribery.” The legally correct designation is “self-dealing.” Self-dealing is betraying your employer’s interests to enrich yourself. It’s a violation of the fiduciary duty of loyalty. We can assume the president might benefit from a Ukrainian investigation, but that doesn’t mean asking for an investigation was self-dealing as defined by fiduciary, and therefore by impeachment, law. There’s nothing unusual or improper about a president asking a recipient of U.S. foreign aid to address corruption. As for seeking political advantage: If we punished every politician who did that, they would all be swinging from the yardarm.

This is as true in foreign as in domestic affairs. When President Barack Obama told the Russian president he would have more flexibility after his re-election, he was saying (1) an agreement now would benefit both Russia and the United States, but (2) I’m going to sacrifice our mutual interests for the present because such an agreement might hurt my re-election campaign. Was this impeachable self-dealing? Almost certainly not. So where is the divide between “normal” conduct and impeachable conduct? To answer this, we need to weigh at least three factors: impeachment precedent, the national interest, and the practice of other presidents.

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The Horowitz report is due on Monday. He’s scheduled to testify on Wednesday.

A Fraught Moment (Kunstler)

The IG has no real law enforcement powers. He can only refer or recommend further action. Nevertheless, a great miasma of anxiety oppresses the Democratic Party now as it awaits whatever Mr. Horowitz has to say about these matters. The party’s propaganda arms at The New York Times, the WashPo, and cable news networks worked up a frenzy of distractions and ruses this past week — for instance the “bombshell” that International-Man-of-Mystery Joseph Mifsud was not a hireling of the FBI. Of course, nobody ever claimed he was. Rather, he is suspected of being an agent of the Italian intel service with links to British intel, both used by the CIA as beards for its nefarious activities around its own election meddling of 2016.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic caucus has been busy with ersatz impeachment proceedings, which are invidiously scheduled to continue next week as a smokescreen to conceal the Horowitz findings. It’s been a frantic campaign for them at a fraught moment in this long saga — but the odor of desperation is thick and rank. Of course, behind the Horowitz report loom the specters of Barr & Durham. Whatever they’ve been up to has been hermetically sealed in a globe of silence even more oppressive and nightmarish for the Dems than the IG’s inquiry. Barr & Durham are able to make things stick, most crucially genuine criminal culpability for the entire RussiaGate fiasco and all of its offshoots, including the most recent “Whistleblower” caper — a patently treasonous scheme. Who knows if and when indictments start raining down, but there’s a chance that it will be a very hard rain indeed.

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Jeff Cortese, a financial crimes manager in the private sector, is the former acting chief of the FBI’s Public Corruption Unit.

Strzok and Page Did Real Damage (Cortese)

Strzok and Page were employed by what was the world’s leading law enforcement agency. The integrity of their work and the work of their FBI peers was paramount to maintaining stability and confidence in the country and its law enforcement. It’s not news that the FBI’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years, but the extent of the impact from the imprudence of Strzok and Page is likely not fully understood by most people. Their obvious improprieties created a level of widespread distrust in the FBI not previously seen. Recruiting assets and sources, finding willing participants for interviews, and even trial success can all be adversely impacted by the decline in the FBI’s reputation.

Former colleagues have told me they recently lost otherwise strong cases because lone jurors claimed after trial they refused to convict anyone investigated by the FBI. Criminals are literally walking the streets because the FBI has lost the confidence of the American people. And that decline is directly linked to the famously poor judgment made by two senior FBI employees who knew better. This is precisely why the FBI teaches its agents never to engage in activity on FBI phones or in a public forum that reveals personal bias. The risk to the Agency is too significant. The work of all the great men and women in the FBI should not be jeopardized by the actions of one, or two, of its people.

As Americans we have a soft spot for stories of redemption. We are a country of second chances, and that is a good thing. The idea that anyone could find pleasure in someone’s downfall is abhorrent, even if they hold opposing political views. That is not to say Peter Strzok and Lisa Page did not do this to themselves. They did. They made themselves political talking points that will be used by politicians and pundits until the next election, and perhaps beyond.

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“The framers, Pelosi tells us, worried that corrupt Americans might take money from foreign powers to do their bidding. And that, class, is why we need to impeach Donald Trump. Get it? Wait a second. Trump didn’t take money from Ukraine; Hunter Biden did.”

Pelosi Puts A Brave Face On A Doomed Mission (Tucker Carlson)

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House: “Let us begin where our Founders began in 1776: “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another.” With those words, our founders courageously began our Declaration of Independence, from an oppressive monarch, for among other grievances, the king’s refusal to follow rightfully passed laws. In the course of today’s events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the president’s failure to faithfully execute the law.” It’s just mesmerizing on many levels. But what did it mean exactly? Well, it was a metaphor. Trump is a slightly more orange version of King George III.

Democrats are the patriots plotting to overthrow him with violence. If that strikes you as alarming, Pelosi has a few words of comfort. A group of 18th-century slaveholders, she assures us, would have been completely in favor of what she’s doing. Pelosi: “James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, warned that the president might betray his trust to foreign powers, which might prove fatal to the republic. Another Founder, Gouverneur Morris, feared that a president may be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust. He emphasized that this magistrate is not the king. The people are the king.” So, James Madison has given Nancy Pelosi his personal seal of approval. Remember that the next time Pelosi’s acolytes try to pull Madison’s statue off its pedestal for crimes against progressive orthodoxy.

For a brief moment, the Founders of our country are useful to the left, so they’re being presented as heroes. Enjoy it while it lasts. The framers, Pelosi tells us, worried that corrupt Americans might take money from foreign powers to do their bidding. And that, class, is why we need to impeach Donald Trump.Get it? Wait a second. Trump didn’t take money from Ukraine; Hunter Biden did. Trump just pointed that out. He was on James Madison side on that score, vigilantly policing bribery by a hostile foreign power. And for that, he must be removed from office.

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But not him?

Bloomberg On His Democratic Rivals: ‘Trump Would Eat ‘Em Up’ (R.)

Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg said on Friday that Donald Trump would easily defeat any of his Democratic White House rivals in next year’s election, bluntly declaring: “Donald Trump would eat ‘em up.” Bloomberg, 77, a billionaire media mogul and former New York mayor, was a late entry into the race last month. He has been privately disparaging of his Democratic presidential rivals but this was the first time he had been so critical of them in public. In an interview on CBS’s “This Morning,” Bloomberg said: “I looked at our national government getting worse, the way we’re behaving overseas and domestically, led by our president.”


“I said back in 2016, ‘He is the wrong person for the job. He doesn’t have the temperament or the ethics or the intellect to do the job.’” Bloomberg added: “And I said, ‘We just can’t have another four years of this.’ And then I watched all the candidates. And I just thought to myself: ‘Donald Trump would eat ‘em up’.” Bloomberg, a former Republican and independent, fears that liberal candidates such as U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and their proposed costly expansion of government programs, will alienate voters in battleground states.

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I wouldn’t want to create the impression that Kamala due to a lack of money.

Kamala Harris, Michael Bloomberg, and a Supreme Court Decision (IC)

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California suspended her presidential campaign on Tuesday. Why? Because, she said, she did not “have the financial resources we need to continue. I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign.” Meanwhile, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who definitely is a billionaire, has spent at least $57 million of his own money since he jumped into the race on November 24. Harris, by contrast, raised $36 million as of her last campaign filing in October. Of that, she’d spent almost $26 million since she announced her campaign last January 21. The divergence in the fates of the two candidates can be traced back to a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of campaign finance law.

But the case involved is not Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, from 2010. It’s a far less famous one: Buckley v. Valeo, from 1976. The decision opened the door for billionaires — and, more generally, the ultra-rich — to spend as much as they want on their own political campaigns. The divergence in the fates of Harris and Bloomberg can be traced back to a Supreme Court decision — not from Citizens United in 2010, but Buckley v. Valeo in 1976. One of the main forces behind the case was a young Republican lawyer named John Bolton, later to become President Donald Trump’s national security adviser for a time. In Bolton’s memoir, he proudly states that “Everyone knew the decision in Buckley v. Valeo could determine … the future shape of American politics.” Bolton was right — and his long-ago efforts continue to bear fruit today.

Watergate was, among other things, a scandal about money in politics. President Richard Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign had accepted bribes, including $200,000 from the chairman of the board of McDonald’s in return for permission from the federal government to raise the price of their Quarter Pounder cheeseburger. Soon after Nixon resigned in 1974, Congress responded with significant amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act. This included a new limit of $50,000 per calendar year on what presidential candidates could spend of their own money on their campaign. Adjusting for inflation, that’s about $275,000 today.

Just two years later, however, the Supreme Court struck that limit down in the Buckley case. Those running for political office could now spend any amount of their own fortune they wanted. In fact, the court stated, it could be good for the wealthy to self-fund runs for office, because “the use of personal funds reduces the candidate’s dependence on outside contributions and thereby counteracts the coercive pressures and attendant risks of abuse.”

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Are we now all free to call each other whatever we want?

Musk’s Defamation Win May Reset Legal Landscape For Social Media (R.)

Elon Musk’s daring has left its mark on electric cars and rockets, and now experts say the entrepreneur may have reshaped U.S. defamation law with his willingness to defend at a high-stakes trial a lawsuit over an off-the-cuff tweet. The victory by Tesla Inc’s outspoken chief executive over a Twitter message describing a British cave explorer as “pedo guy” has raised the bar for what amounts to libel online, according to some legal experts. Musk defended his comments as trivial taunts made on a social media platform that he argued everyone views as a world of unfiltered opinion, which is protected as free speech, rather than statements of fact.

“I think this verdict reflects that there is a feeling that internet tweets and chats are more like casual conversation whether you call it opinion or rhetoric or hyperbole and should not be punished in a lawsuit,” said Chip Babcock, a lawyer who defends against defamation lawsuits. Several other attorneys who specialize in defamation cases privately expressed surprise at the outcome of what they viewed as a strong case for the cave explorer, Vernon Unsworth. They attributed it to Musk’s fame and the perceived youthfulness of the jury. But they also agreed it would shift the legal landscape, undercutting the cases that would have seemed viable before the trial while defendants would use it to try to reduce possible settlement values.

Musk’s court papers cast his comments as part of the rough-and-tumble world of Twitter, which rewards and encourages emotional outbursts and sucks in readers worldwide but that no one takes seriously. Mark Sableman, a lawyer who defends defamation cases, said the freewheeling nature of social media has inevitably changed the understanding of language and what amounts to defamatory factual statements, versus opinion. “I think defendants in modern defamation cases are likely to point to the vitriolic no-holes-barred nature of modern social media, cable TV, and political discourse, in contending that many words and accusations formerly considered defamatory are now understood only as mere opinions, not factual assertions,” he said.

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“..some $25.6 billion will be taken out of the left Saudi trouser pocket to be put into the right one.”

Saudi Arabia Retreats From The Troubles Its Clown Prince Caused (MoA)

Iran has enabled the Houthi to resist throughout the 5 years of war the Saudis waged on them. Drones and missiles parts provided by Iran to the Houthi allowed them to compel the Saudis to file for peace. It is thereby highly unlikely that the Houthi will dissociate themselves from Iran. They will agree to end their attacks on Saudi Arabia if the Saudis end their attacks on Yemen and pay for the damage their war has caused. If the Saudis do not agree to that more of their helicopters will come down in flames and more of their oil installations will be set on fire. The war on Yemen was started by clown prince Muhammad bin Salman who was then Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia.

He had hoped for a fast victory but the well equipped Saudi military proved to be incapable of defeating barefoot Houthi in the mountains of north Yemen. The war costs the Saudis several billions per month and threatened to ruin the state. Muhammad Bin Salman’s other projects did not go any better. He had planned to sell shares of Saudi Aramco at international stock exchanges and at a total valuation of 2 trillion dollar. The move was supposed to bring in $100 billion to finance a further industrialization of the Saudi economy. After many delays Saudi Aramco is now finally making its initial public offering. The shares will start trading on December 11. But the stock will only be listed at the Saudi Tadawul exchange.

The initial share price offer puts the value of the company at $1.7 trillion which is higher than the $1.5 trillion estimate international banks had published. Today the Saudis announced a large cut in their oil output to increase the global oil prices and the company’s valuation. That might attract more urgently needed buyers to the IPO. But the stocks will still be sold to mainly domestic entities, if needed with some pressure. Instead of attracting $100 billion of fresh money from abroad some $25.6 billion will be taken out of the left Saudi trouser pocket to be put into the right one. The economic benefit for the country is dubious.

Two and a half years ago the clown prince tried to attack and occupy Qatar. The given ideological reason was the Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood. But the real reason was the Saudi need for more money which MbS tried to gain through a real estate and resource grab. The project failed when Turkish troops came to Qatar’s aid.

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Oct 052018
 


Paul Gauguin Contes barbares 1902

 

Economy on Sugar High Before Trade War Worsens (DDMB)
Gundlach Says Treasury Market Is Witnessing A ‘Game Changer’ (MW)
Republicans Aim To Confirm Kavanaugh On Weekend; Protesters Arrested (R.)
Explosive Report Details Chinese Infiltration Of Apple, Amazon And The CIA (ZH)
Mattis Says Russian GRU Caught Red-Handed Hacking OPCW (ZH)
String Of Own Goals By Russian Spies Exposes A Strange Sloppiness (G.)
Elon Musk Mocks SEC as ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’ (CNBC)
Elon Musk Accuses BlackRock Of Helping Short Sellers (CNBC)
EU Tells UK To Stop ‘Wasting Time’, Find Irish Border Solution (Ind.)
The Outsized Power Of The City Of London Makes Britain Poorer (G.)
Huge Rise In US Plastic Waste Shipments To Poor Countries After China Ban (G.)

 

 

Later today: Nobel Peace Prize. US jobs numbers. And more Kavanaugh, no doubt.

But first: Stockpiling before tariffs set in.

Economy on Sugar High Before Trade War Worsens (DDMB)

Across the U.S., companies are hitting the panic button. The Trump administration has levied 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, a charge that is expected to rise to 25 percent by 2019. This tops the tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods that were imposed in August, and is an effective tax on U.S. consumers, who will soon be paying more for everything from cosmetics to clothing to cars if they aren’t already. Against that backdrop, it’s becoming clear that many companies are rushing to secure products and materials before prices rise regardless of current demand. You could say they are in panic-buying mode.

The upside is that this behavior bolsters economic growth in the short term. The downside is that there is likely to be a nasty hangover. The noise in the economic data will be amplified by the rebuilding from Hurricane Florence. The estimates of the storm’s damage span from $20 billion to $50 billion. Evidence that panic buying has set in was seen in the September Chicago Purchasing Managers Index report, which is a bellwether for the broader national manufacturing sector. While the results “disappointed,” with the index falling from 63.6 to a still high 60.4 and the new orders component sinking to a six-month low, the inventory component surged above the 60 mark. (In these diffusion indexes, readings above 50 denote expansion.)

To put the stockpiling in context, inventories have only breached 60 twice this year. Such nosebleed readings are so rare that they rank in the 97th percentile over the last 30 years. As per the Chicago PMI: “Firms continued to add to their stock levels, building on August’s marked rise. The scarce availability of inputs continued to encourage stockpiling while forecasts of higher future demand also contributed to the rise in inventories.”

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Large sums of money are moving.

Gundlach Says Treasury Market Is Witnessing A ‘Game Changer’ (MW)

For investors looking for an inflection point in the bond market, this is it. Jeff Gundlach, chief executive of Doubleline Capital, on Thursday projected that U.S. Treasury yields are likely to rise further and investors should adjust accordingly. The so-called bond king said in an interview with CNN that the 10-year yield could rise to 3.5% and the 30-year could climb to 4%, which are likely to hurt companies sensitive to higher rates, such as auto makers. In a tweet last month, Gundlach had forecast that the 30-year Treasury yield closing above 3.25% two days in a row will signify a “game changer,” a view he reiterated Thursday.

His prophecy has been fulfilled. The 30-year Treasury yield ended at 3.357% on Thursday after rising to 3.316% on Wednesday, according to FactSet. The 30-year yield has “definitively broken above a multiyear base that should, over time, carry us to significantly higher yields,” Gundlach told Reuters. “Also, the curve is steepening a little in this breakout, which is another sign that the situation has changed.” Yields rose sharply this week on the back of strong economic data that supported the widespread belief that the Federal Reserve will maintain its hawkish bias to forestall a possible overheating of the economy.

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Ugliness assured.

Republicans Aim To Confirm Kavanaugh On Weekend; Protesters Arrested (R.)

President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans gained confidence on Thursday that his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, could win Senate confirmation after two wavering lawmakers responded positively to an FBI report on accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge. The report, sent by the White House to the Senate Judiciary Committee in the middle of the night, was denounced by Democrats as a whitewash that was too narrow in scope and ignored critical witnesses. Thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court and entered a Senate office building, holding signs such as “Believe Survivors” and “Kava-Nope.”

Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested, including actress Amy Schumer. But Republicans moved forward with plans for a key procedural vote on Friday and a final vote on Saturday on confirming the conservative federal appeals judge for a lifetime job on the top U.S. court. The timing of the vote could be complicated by Republican Senator Steve Daines, whose office said on Thursday he planned to attend his daughter’s wedding in Montana on Saturday, making him unavailable to cast his vote.

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Was reading this yesterday. What a story.

Explosive Report Details Chinese Infiltration Of Apple, Amazon And The CIA (ZH)

The story begins with a Silicon Valley startup called Elemental. Founded in 2006 by three engineers who brilliantly anticipated that broadcasters would soon be searching for a way to adapt their programming for streaming over the Internet, and on mobile devices like smartphones, Elemental went about building a “dream team” of coders who designed software to adapt the super-fast graphics chips being designed for video gaming to stream video instead. The company then loaded this software on to special, custom-built servers emblazoned with its logo. These servers then sold for as much as $100,000 a pop – a markup of roughly 70%. In 2009, the company received its first contract with US defense and intelligence contractors, and even received an investment from a CIA-backed venture fund.

Elemental also started working with American spy agencies. In 2009 the company announced a development partnership with In-Q-Tel Inc., the CIA’s investment arm, a deal that paved the way for Elemental servers to be used in national security missions across the U.S. government. Public documents, including the company’s own promotional materials, show that the servers have been used inside Department of Defense data centers to process drone and surveillance-camera footage, on Navy warships to transmit feeds of airborne missions, and inside government buildings to enable secure videoconferencing. NASA, both houses of Congress, and the Department of Homeland Security have also been customers. This portfolio made Elemental a target for foreign adversaries.

Like many other companies, Elementals’ servers utilized motherboards built by Supermicro, which dominates the market for motherboards used in special-purpose computers. It was here, at Supermicro, where the government believes – according to Bloomberg’s sources – that the infiltration began. Before it came to dominate the global market for computer motherboards, Supermicro had humble beginnings. A Taiwanese engineer and his wife founded the company in 1993, at a time when Silicon Valley was embracing outsourcing. It attracted clients early on with the promise of infinite customization, employing a massive team of engineers to make sure it could accommodate its clients’ every need.

Customers also appreciated that, while Supermicro’s motherboards were assembled in China or Taiwan, its engineers were based in Silicon Valley. But the company’s workforce featured one characteristic that made it uniquely attractive to China: A sizable portion of its engineers were native Mandarin speakers. One of Bloomberg’s sources said the government is still investigating whether spies were embedded within Supermicro or other US companies).

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Hard to believe. Holland has been targeting Russia for years, can’t trust them when it comes to these stories.

Mattis Says Russian GRU Caught Red-Handed Hacking OPCW (ZH)

Russia is facing new multiple wide-ranging charges of hacking as Western officials on Wednesday alleged its intelligence agencies conducted four high profile cyber attacks, including an attempt to spy on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is the independent body responsible for investigating chemical attacks in Syria and in the UK. The OPCW is headquartered the Netherlands, and according to breaking reports a group that the Dutch government has alleged are Russian operatives may have been caught red-handed in the act. Moscow has dismissed the charges as but more “Western spy mania” while leveling its own accusations that the Pentagon is conducting an illegal and dangerous germ and bio-weapons research program near Russia’s borders.

The BBC reports based on Dutch government statements: “The four suspects identified by Dutch officials had diplomatic passports and included two IT experts and two support agents, officials said. They hired a car and parked it in the car park of the Marriot hotel in The Hague, which is next to the OPCW office, to hack into the OPCW’s wifi network, Major General Onno Eichelsheim from the Dutch MIVD intelligence service said.” Authorities were quick to release photographs of the group’s alleged hacking equipment and computers in the trunk of a car. Police say they are GRU operatives (also known as the Main Intelligence Directorate – the intelligence arm of the Russian military) who planned to intercept login passwords to gain access to OPCW internal files (in what appears to have been a low security environment, given wifi use to store sensitive files).


The Dutch government released the above photo which it says proves Russian spies tried to hack OPCW headquarters

But strangely the four men, identified as spies, were immediately escorted out of the Netherlands as opposed to being detained for further questioning and possible trial. Meanwhile the UK government further accused the GRU of conducting cyber-attacks on private firms in Ukraine and Russia, the US Democratic Party, as well as a small TV network in Britain. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, addressing the charges on Thursday after a two-day meeting in Brussels, said Russia must be held accountable for its attempts to hack the OPCW office.

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Not only are Russians mean people, they are dumb too. Who believes that?

String Of Own Goals By Russian Spies Exposes A Strange Sloppiness (G.)

It must go down as one of the most embarrassing months ever for Russia’s military intelligence. In the 30 days since Theresa May revealed the cover identities of the Salisbury poison suspects, the secretive GRU (now GU) has been publicly exposed by rival intelligence agencies and online sleuths, with an assist from Russia’s own president. Despite attempts to stonewall public inquiry, the GRU’s dissection has been clinical. The agency has always had a reputation for daring, bolstered by its affiliation with special forces commando units and agents who have seen live combat.

But in dispatching agents to the Netherlands who could, just using Google, be easily exposed as graduates of an elite GRU academy, the agency appears reckless and absurdly sloppy. One of the suspected agents, tipped as a “human intelligence source” by Dutch investigators, had registered five vehicles at a north-western Moscow address better known as the Aquarium, the GRU finishing school for military attaches and elite spies. According to online listings, which are not official but are publicly available to anyone on Google, he drove a Honda Civic, then moved on to an Alfa Romeo. In case the address did not tip investigators off, he also listed the base number of the Military-Diplomatic Academy.

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A judge just oredred Musk and the SEC to explain their settlement.

Elon Musk Mocks SEC as ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’ (CNBC)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk mocked the Securities and Exchange Commission in a tweet Thursday, calling the agency the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission,” days after settling fraud charges brought against him by the agency. The tweet, which is missing a word and appears to take a sarcastic tone, says “the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work” and commends the SEC on a name change that did not occur. Musk doubled down on the remark when another Twitter user said Musk needs a “a social team that can get attention without typos and without enraging the Shortseller Enrichment Committee.” The Tesla CEO asked, “Why would they be upset about their mission? It’s what they do.”

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Hardly ever a useful idea to go after short sellers.

Elon Musk Accuses BlackRock Of Helping Short Sellers (CNBC)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accused large fund managers such as BlackRock for fueling short sellers, a group of investors he has been criticizing on his Twitter account. In a series of Twitter posts on Thursday night, Musk alleged that BlackRock and other financial firms pocket “excessive profit” from lending shares they hold to short sellers because “they’re suffering a net loss.” Short sellers are investors who bet on the decline of a security, such as a stock. They make money by selling the shares they borrow, and hope the price falls so they can buy them back at a lower price and make profits from it.

Musk also said those funds were “pretending to charge low rates” for their passive “index tracking” products. Fund managers have lowered management fees on certain products due to increased competition in the space. Fidelity Investments said last month it was launching two no-fee index funds, while Vanguard announced in July that investors using its online brokerage platform could trade exchange-traded funds without commission. At the same time, fund managers have been growing their business in securities lending — which is the process of temporarily transferring ownership of shares or bonds to another party, such as short sellers.

The companies earn a fee in return for loaning out their holdings. Securities lending is a lucrative business, according to an opinion piece by Financial Times in April. The newspaper, which cited a regulatory filing, said BlackRock made $597 million in revenue last year from lending securities. Musk hit out at that practice, saying “there is no rational basis” for long-term shareholders to engage in that business. He claimed that doing so “dilutes the shareholder base” while giving short sellers “a strong incentive to attack the company by whatever means possible.”

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The EU should not let Tusk do these things, he’s too easy a target. Let Barnier do the talking.

EU Tells UK To Stop ‘Wasting Time’, Find Irish Border Solution (Ind.)

The EU has told the UK to stop “wasting time” and find a solution to the Irish border row, with just two weeks until the next showdown summit over Brexit. Donald Tusk, the European Council president, turned his fire on Jeremy Hunt for likening the EU to the Soviet Union – accusing ministers of rousing the Tory faithful, instead of striving to reach an agreement. “Unacceptable remarks that raise the temperature will achieve nothing except wasting more time,” Mr Tusk said. “I was a party leader myself for 15 years, so I know what the rules of party politics are. But now, once the Tory conference is over, we should get down to business.”

Speaking alongside Leo Varadkar, the Irish president, Mr Tusk made clear the EU remained “united behind Ireland” in its determination to prevent a return to border posts and checks. But he also made clear his anger at the delay to Theresa May’s promised fresh border proposals – linking it to a reluctance to risk a backlash at the Tory conference. In Birmingham, Mr Hunt, the foreign secretary, triggered fury across the EU by accusing it of trying to keep the UK in a “prison” with behaviour similar to the Soviet Union. After the Salzburg summit, the prime minister accused Mr Tusk of showing disrespect, but he tuned that accusation on the UK, saying: “In respecting our partners, we expect the same in return.

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It sucks too many resources from the ’periphery’. Re: Rome.

The Outsized Power Of The City Of London Makes Britain Poorer (G.)

To argue that the City hurts Britain’s economy might seem crazy. But research increasingly shows that all the money swirling around our oversized financial sector may actually be making us collectively poorer. As Britain’s economy has steadily become re-engineered towards serving finance, other parts of the economy have struggled to survive in its shadow, like seedlings starved of light and water under the canopy of a giant, deep-rooted and invasive tree. Generations of leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair to Theresa May have believed that the City is the goose that lays Britain’s golden eggs, to be prioritised, pampered and protected. But the finance curse analysis shows an oversized City to be a different bird: a cuckoo in the nest, crowding out other sectors.

[..] A growing body of economic research confirms that once a financial sector grows above an optimal size and beyond its useful roles, it begins to harm the country that hosts it. The most obvious source of damage comes in the form of financial crises – including the one we are still recovering from a decade after the fact. But the problem is in fact older, and bigger. Long ago, our oversized financial sector began turning away from supporting the creation of wealth, and towards extracting it from other parts of the economy. To achieve this, it shapes laws, rules, thinktanks and even our culture so that they support it. The outcomes include lower economic growth, steeper inequality, distorted markets, spreading crime, deeper corruption, the hollowing-out of alternative economic sectors and more.

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Stop producing the stuff. It’s not hard. Stop using it.

Huge Rise In US Plastic Waste Shipments To Poor Countries After China Ban (G.)

Exports of plastic waste from the US to developing countries have surged following China’s crackdown on foreign waste imports, new research has shown. Nearly half of plastic waste exported from the US for recycling in the first six months of 2018 was shipped to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, according to analysis of US census bureau data by Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative arm. The previous year, the US sent more than 70% to China and Hong Kong. This year’s ban on foreign waste imports by China, previously the world’s biggest importer of plastic waste for recycling, has left western countries scrambling to offload its extra plastic waste. The US, along with Britain, Germany, Japan and Mexico, is among the biggest exporters of scrap plastic to China.

Campaigners said the analysis, which Unearthed shared with the Guardian, shows the US is exploiting developing countries where there is no regulatory framework to ensure plastic waste is processed in an environmentally friendly way. “Instead of taking responsibility for their own waste, US companies are exploiting developing countries that lack the regulation to protect themselves,” said John Hocevar, Oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA. The waste, some of which consists of household recycling produced in the US, includes single-use plastic bottles, plastic bags and food wrappings, said Hocevar. It can, however, contain toxic materials. “It’s a problem for the US and other developed countries to produce, often, toxic material which they can’t or won’t take care of themselves.”

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