Aug 062022
 


Odilon Redon Peyrelebade landscape 1880

 

Russia Explains Why It Won’t Use Nukes In Ukraine (RT)
The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire (Batiushka)
NATO Chief: Russia Must Not Win Its War In Ukraine (OP)
Lavrov Speaks Out On US Effort To Dominate World (RT)
Germany Risks Facing ‘Winter Of Anger’ (RT)
Zelenskyy Lashes Out At EU Aid Delay (Pol.eu)
Two EU Members Reject Gas Rationing Plan (RT)
Russia Connects USAID’s Bat Capture Program To Emergence Of Covid-19 (Tass)
FBI Director Sets New Record For Lies, Dodges, And Obfuscations (Fed.)
Pentagon Rejects DC Request For National Guard To Handle Illegal Migrants
Democrats Abandon Covid Protocols To Vote On Bill (OK)
Mass Coral Growth at Great Barrier Reef Defies Doomsday Predictions (DS)
Assange Family Barred From Taking Melzer Book Into Australia Parliament (G.)

 

 

 

 

Arming Ukraine

 

 

German electricity bill more than triples

 

 

60 years ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Blinken claimed that the US is a much more “responsible” nuclear-armed state..”

Russia Explains Why It Won’t Use Nukes In Ukraine (RT)

Allegations about Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons against Kiev are “untenable and baseless,” the deputy head of Moscow’s delegation to the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, Andrey Belousov, said on Friday in New York. “This is impossible since Russian doctrinal guidelines strictly limit emergency situations in which the use of nuclear weapons is hypothetically possible, namely in response to aggression involving weapons of mass destruction, or in response to aggression involving conventional weapons, where the very existence of the state is threatened,” Belousov explained. “None of these hypothetical scenarios is relevant to the situation in Ukraine,” he stated.

The Russian diplomat also rejected insinuations about Moscow placing its nuclear deterrent on “high alert,” explaining that the current state of “increased vigilance,” with extra personnel on duty at strategic command posts, is “completely different” from an actual “state of high alert of strategic nuclear forces.” Belousov argued that any warnings about a “serious risk of nuclear war” ever voiced by Russian officials in the context of the Ukraine crisis were directed at NATO, as a way to deter Western countries from direct aggression, as they “dangerously balance on the edge of a direct armed confrontation with Russia.”

While he did not name the accusers, Belousov’s response comes after the Ukrainian delegation to the NPT conference on Wednesday accused Moscow of “nuclear terrorism” and “openly threatening the world with its ability to use nuclear weapons,” while citing rhetoric by the “Russian media, think tanks and experts.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also accused Russia of “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling” to “those supporting Ukraine’s self-defense,” in his address on Monday. Blinken claimed that the US is a much more “responsible” nuclear-armed state, and “would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners.”

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“World War One. World War Two. Korea. Vietnam. Palestine. Iran. Nicaragua. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Ukraine. Taiwan.”

The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire (Batiushka)

Sometime in the future a learned academic will be writing a weighty tome with the title The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire. Perhaps the Contents Page will include, among others, twelve chapters with titles something like this: World War One. World War Two. Korea. Vietnam. Palestine. Iran. Nicaragua. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Ukraine. Taiwan. Indeed, Karin Kneissel, the former Austrian Foreign Minister, is at present writing a book with the working title A Requiem for Europe. In an interview with Asia Times on 31 July she declared that ‘European countries are growing ever weaker on the international stage and their places are being taken by Asian countries’. She said that the Europe ‘where she was born and grew up and to which she was devoted no longer exists’. ‘European leaders, through ignorance and arrogance, are neglecting the existing geopolitical realities and basic principles of diplomacy and this has created a dangerous situation’.


She added: ‘This is connected with Eurocentrism. We believe that we are so great that nobody can do without us…It seems to me that Europe needs Russia more than Russia needs Europe. If I am right, then is it really in the interests of the Old World to treat Moscow as an enemy, inclining Moscow to Beijing? Today Europeans are more and more disillusioned and desperate and this may cause mass disorder and anti-government violence’. Kneissel, who is from Central Europe, makes it sound as if Europe is living in the past, before 1914, when it was politically central to the world, instead of being a more or less irrelevant political backwater as it is in 2022. What is certain is that the physical fall of an empire is always preceded by its spiritual fall. What did this spiritual fall consist of?

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“..it’s also an attack on our values and the world order we want..”

NATO Chief: Russia Must Not Win Its War In Ukraine (OP)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia must not be permitted to win in the war it launched against Ukraine, which has given rise to the most dangerous moment for Europe since World War II. Speaking in Norway on August 4, Stoltenberg said the alliance and its member countries may have to continue to support Ukraine with arms and other assistance for a long time in order to keep Russia from succeeding after it launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24. “It’s in our interest that this type of aggressive policy does not succeed,” Stoltenberg said. “This is the most dangerous situation in Europe since World War II,” he said, adding, “what happens in Ukraine is terrible but it would be much worse if there was a war between Russia and NATO.”


Stoltenberg then reaffirmed the alliance’s resolve to defend all its 30 member countries. “If (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin even thinks of doing something similar to a NATO country as he has done to Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine, then all of NATO will be involved immediately,” Stoltenberg said. The war has led previously nonaligned Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, with the request so far ratified by 23 of the 30 member states, including the United States. “This is not just an attack on Ukraine, an independent democratic nation with more than 40 million people, it’s also an attack on our values and the world order we want,” the NATO chief said of the war.

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“The Americans have taken up a course of suppressing any independence..”

Lavrov Speaks Out On US Effort To Dominate World (RT)

Washington’s attempts to spread its influence to more and more areas around the globe are doomed to fail, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. “Our American colleagues demonstrate permissiveness” for themselves in international affairs “every time they try to assert their dominance” in new places, Lavrov said during a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh. “The Americans have taken up a course of suppressing any independence,” Russia’s top diplomat insisted. But those who follow their actions “understand the futility of a policy according to which you can just turn a blind eye to one situation, one crisis created by the US, and expect that everything will be more or less OK there,” he said.


Lavrov mentioned the conflict in Ukraine and the current crisis over Taiwan as examples of reckless policies pursued by the US. “They decided to turn Ukraine into a menace for Russia and for many years ignored the racist policies of the Kiev regime, which has been destroying everything Russian… they violated the principles of indivisible security, which they signed up for at the highest level and which they simply trampled upon,” he explained. Moscow has pointed to the persecution of Russian speakers in Donbass by the Kiev authorities and the US push to make Ukraine a member of NATO as being among the main reasons for launching its military operation in the neighboring country in late February. “Similarly, in the case of [US House speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, they [the Americans] ignored their own principles, which they proclaimed publicly,” the Russian foreign minister pointed out.

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“..some groups have already sought to organize protests in Berlin under the slogans “Revolt,” “Uprising,” and “Civil War.”

Germany Risks Facing ‘Winter Of Anger’ (RT)

Germany’s federal and regional governments are bracing for a potential wave of protests which might come this autumn or winter, the state-funded ARD and RBB broadcasters reported this week. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet fears that rising food and energy prices could lead to social unrest and be exploited by various “radical” movements, the outlets explained. According to the media, the protests might be similar to the ones Germany experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the government faced resistance to its lockdown and vaccination policies. ARD’s Tagesschau news service reported that some groups have already sought to organize protests in Berlin under the slogans “Revolt,” “Uprising,” and “Civil War.”

According to the reports, the protests might be similar to those experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the government faced resistance to its lockdown and vaccination policies. The new rallies might once again unite people known as the Querdenker (lateral thinkers) in Germany. This is a loose organization of grassroots movements that became prominent during the anti-lockdown protests. The German media has repeatedly pointed to the movement’s supposed links to various far-right extremist groups. A “Free Saxony” movement in the eastern German state of Saxony has also called for “massive civil resistance,” according to Tagesschau, citing Matthias Quent, a researcher with the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences.

Saxony’s interior minister, Armin Schuster, also told ARD that his ministry was preparing for “various” scenarios, adding that some “groups, activists or parties” might seek to “exploit” the current situation for their own narrow goals. Some of those who “mobilize and agitate”people had already drawn the attention of his ministry, he added. According to the media, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck also faced criticism during his summer tour across Germany and his speech in the town of Bayreuth in Bavaria was “massively disturbed” last week. The protesters, who staged demonstrations during his tour reportedly called for the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to alleviate the energy crisis. They also allegedly demanded sanctions imposed against Russia be lifted.

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The hand that feeds you..

Zelensky is hurting from the Amnesty report.

Zelenskyy Lashes Out At EU Aid Delay (Pol.eu)

A new draft proposal by the European Commission would provide €8 billion in financial aid to Ukraine through a mix of grants and loans, two EU officials told POLITICO Friday. The EU would disburse up to €5 billion as long-term loans leveraged on the back of guarantees provided by EU countries, according to their contribution to the bloc’s budget. Interest payments would be subsidized by the EU’s budget. The remaining amount, around €3 billion, would be provided as grants, the officials said. The new draft proposal comes after Germany refused to provide guarantees to back up to €9 billion in loans for Ukraine. Berlin argued that grants are better suited to help Kyiv — which is already heavily in debt — and pointed to its own bilateral grant of €1 billion.

That position caused Italy and France, which also provided bilateral aid, to raise issues as well, forcing the Commission back to the drawing board. While there’s no timeline yet, the Commission is aiming to obtain approval by the European Parliament and EU countries in September so that disbursement can start in October, one official said. The issue of aid has become fraught, with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blasting the EU for the delay in his most recent overnight address. Back in May, EU leaders pledged to provide “up to €9 billion” in macro financial assistance to Kyiv. But so far, the Commission has only been able to disburse €1 billion in loans backed by the EU’s budget.

The challenge is acute, because Kyiv has been running a budget deficit of around $5 billion per month since Russia’s invasion. It has called on international donors for help so it can cover basic costs like pensions and public sector wages — or risk financial collapse. “Every day and in various ways, I remind some leaders of the European Union that Ukrainian pensioners, our displaced persons, our teachers and other people who depend on budget payments cannot be held hostage to their indecision or bureaucracy,” Zelenskyy said. “Such an artificial delay of macro-financial assistance to our state is either a crime or a mistake, and it is difficult to say which is worse in such conditions of a full-scale war,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the remaining €8 billion.

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Make peace and your kids won’t be in the cold.

Two EU Members Reject Gas Rationing Plan (RT)

Poland and Hungary have refused to support the EU’s plan to cut gas consumption by 15%, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing a document published by the Czech Republic, which currently chairs negotiations within the bloc. EU countries last week agreed on a plan to reduce gas usage in order to fill storages amid concern of a possible shut-off of Russian supplies. The EU Council approved the plan on Friday. However, according to Reuters, the vote for approval only required a simple majority – meaning the support of 15 of the bloc’s 28 members – to be adopted. Hungary, which is currently in talks to secure more gas supplies from Russia, had opposed the scheme from the very beginning. According to the document seen by Reuters, Budapest questioned the legality of the plan, claiming that it would affect the country’s energy security.


Poland, meanwhile, initially agreed to cut consumption but on Friday voted against the plan, the agency reports. Warsaw called the legal basis of the document “defective” and said that decisions affecting the energy mix of EU countries should be made with the unanimous approval of all of member states. The newly adopted rationing plan is not mandatory unless the EU Council triggers a ‘Union alert’ on gas supply security. It also includes a number of exemptions. In particular, member states that are not connected to the gas networks of other EU countries are exempt from the requirement. In addition, members can request a relaxation of the conditions if they have exceeded their storage capacity targets or if their strategically important industries are heavily dependent on gas.

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Something George Webb is looking into.

Russia Connects USAID’s Bat Capture Program To Emergence Of Covid-19 (Tass)

Russian Defense Ministry assumes a connection between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program on bat control and the emergence of Covid, Russian Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops commander Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said Thursday. “We consider a possibility that the USAID is involved in the emergency of the novel coronavirus. Since 2009, the agency funded the PREDICT program, which focused on studying novel coronaviruses and capturing bats that transmit these viruses. One of the program’s contractors was Metabiota, notorious for its military biological operations in Ukraine,” he said. He also stated that the statements made by US congressmen also raise concerns about the role of US biologists in the emergence and spread of COVID-19.

Kirillov pointed out that member of the US House Intelligence Committee Jason Crow warned US citizens during the National Security Conference in July against handing over their DNA samples to private companies, because they could be sold to third parties. “There are now weapons under development, and developed, that are designed to target specific people,” Crow said at the time. “Considering the interest of the US Administration to research of focused action biological means, such statements provide a new angle on the reasons behind the emergence of the novel coronavirus infection and the spread of the COVID-19 pathogen,” Kirillov said.

The general noted that the Johns Hopkins University held the Event 201 exercise that focused on actions amid an epidemic of an unknown coronavirus. “According to the exercise background, [the coronavirus] was transmitted from bats to humans through an intermediate carrier – pigs. This is how the Spanish flu, which took lives of tens of millions of human lives, became a pandemic,” Kirillov noted. “The implementation of the COVID-19 development scenario, as well as the emergency shutdown of the PREDICT program in 2019, make it possible to assume the intentional nature of the pandemic and the US’ involvement in its emergence,” he concluded.

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“..concerns that “the FBI has become too politicized in its decision making” were allegedly “removed from this year’s final report”..

FBI Director Sets New Record For Lies, Dodges, And Obfuscations (Fed.)

Ranking member Chuck Grassley was just one of the many Republicans who grilled Wray about the FBI’s increasing partisanship and the effect that a weaponized federal agency has on Americans’ trust in its institutions. “Director Wray, simply put, the FBI’s credibility is on the line, as are principles that helped found and sustain our great nation,” Grassley said in his opening statement. Grassley sent a letter to Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland last month outlining how both the Department of Justice and the nation’s primary domestic intelligence agency are “institutionally corrupted to their very core to the point in which the United States Congress and the American people will have no confidence in the equal application of the law.”

That was after multiple whistleblowers alleged that high-ranking bureau officials manipulated evidence related to an investigation into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his “pay-to-play scandal of influence-peddling.” Evidence also suggests that “FBI Headquarters either improperly withheld information or presented inaccurate information to the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh and possibly also Delaware” about Hunter. When Grassley asked Wray on Thursday why concerns that “the FBI has become too politicized in its decision making” were allegedly “removed from this year’s final report” and what Wray plans to do to address those concerns, the director dodged the question.

“I think you’ve answered the process. But you haven’t answered this specific thing about why that information was taken out of the report,” Grassley noted after Wray went on a tangent about visiting various field offices. “Yeah, I don’t, I’m not familiar with that. … Let me see if there’s something we can share with you on that,” Wray said. [..] One of Wray’s talking points during the hearing was the spike in violent crime across the county. When Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas asked him how that violence is related to the crime rings operating thanks to the compromised U.S.-Mexico border, Wray danced around the issue.

“Director Wray, I’ve always thought of you as a straight shooter but you won’t answer that question?” Cornyn asked. It was then that Wray conceded that the “border presents significant security issues” that feed the violence he claims his agency is struggling to combat. “There’s a wide array of criminal threats that we encounter down at the border. You mentioned a little bit in some of your questions, the transnational criminal organizations that use diverse and complex methods to traffick drugs, that then cascades over into prison and street gangs who distribute it,” Wray admitted.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has had enough of open borders, sent 6,500 migrants aboard 160 buses to Washington..

Pentagon Rejects DC Request For National Guard To Handle Illegal Migrants

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser revealed Friday the Defense Department rejected her request to provide National Guard troops to the city to deal with a growing number of a illegal migrants being bused from Texas. Bowser said she plans to modify her request and submit it again in hopes that being more specific about the use of troops may persuade the Pentagon to change its mind. “We want to continue to work with the Department of Defense so that they understand our operational needs, and to assure that any political considerations are not a part of their decision,” she said. Bowser said the Pentagon raised “the concern about the open-ended nature of our request, and their ability to respond to it.”


“So having just looked at their letter, they appear to say a more specified request would help them understand our needs,” she said. Bowser’s announcement came the same day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed he is now beginning to ship illegal migrants to New York City after Mayor Eric Adams refused his request to come visit the border. According to Abbott’s office, more than 6,500 migrants have been moved aboard 160 buses to Washington. In its letter to the District of Columbia government, the Pentagon said troops are unnecessary because the city has already received enough federal funding through a nonprofit agency to house and care for the migrants.

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“Democrats are telling their senators not to get tested for covid to ensure they can pass their $800 billion spending bill before summer recess. They can’t lose a single vote so a positive covid test would derail the bill. ”

Democrats Abandon Covid Protocols To Vote On Bill (OK)

After years of obsessively following and promoting COVID related policies, Democrats are abandoning their precious mass testing policy now that it suits their political agenda. The laughably named “Inflation Reduction Act,” which naturally does nothing to reduce inflation, is so important to the Democrats’ legislative agenda that they’re throwing caution to the wind to ensure that no Senators will miss an upcoming vote. During the pandemic, there have been concerns over delayed votes due to potential positive COVID tests, but that won’t be getting in the way this time. According to a new report, there’s a new and unofficial “Don’t Test, Don’t Tell” policy to ensure they don’t delay enacting their latest tax and spending bill: This is, as usual from Democratic politicians these days, the height of hypocrisy.


They’ve indefinitely advocated for mass testing and “taking COVID seriously,” which causes huge disruptions to work and school life, as well as creating panic over every positive COVID test, regardless of severity. Democrats have criticized Republicans for not doing enough to combat every possible positive case, even though their politicians, including President Biden, continue to get the virus. After making COVID “interventions” a pseudo-religious ritual for those on the left, suddenly politics comes first. Possibly the most unintentionally comedic part of this unofficial announcement is that they seem to believe that wearing masks will prevent the spread of the virus: “They’re not going to delay it if a member has gotten Covid. Counterparts are saying they’re not going to test anymore. It’s not an official mandate but we all know we’re not letting Covid get in the way. The deal is happening. Less testing, just wear masks and get it done.”.

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“Only three of the 24 reefs surveyed in the last two years had decreased hard coral cover…”

Mass Coral Growth at Great Barrier Reef Defies Doomsday Predictions (DS)

The near vertiginous rise in the annual growth of coral at the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is continuing, with further major increases recorded across large areas. According to the 2021-22 annual summary from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), levels of coral cover in the northern and central areas of the reef were at their highest levels over the past 36 years of monitoring. The growth is of course excellent news for environmentalists, but curiously, at the time of writing, the news is being downplayed in the mainstream media. The demise of the world’s coral reefs has long been a go-to poster scare story for Net Zero promoters. As late as October 2020, the BBC was telling stories about the Reef losing half of its coral.[..]

This notion that global warming will cause corals to die is frankly a big whopping fib. Tropical coral, which is closely related to its cnidarian cousin the jellyfish, thrives in waters between 24°C and 32°C. It is highly adaptable but seems to dislike sudden changes in temperature, often caused by natural weather oscillations such as El Niño events. As the latest results from the AIMS show, coral quickly recovers when normal localised conditions return. In fact, coral often grows faster in warmer waters nearer the equator than the GBR. The big agitprop lie suggests minor long-term sea temperatures changes will wipe out the coral, but the scientific evidence suggests otherwise.


Recovery is said to have continued following a “period of cumulative disturbances” from 2014 to 2020. Only three of the 24 reefs surveyed in the last two years had decreased hard coral cover. The biggest disturbance, of course, arose around 2016 and was caused by a powerful, and natural, El Niño Pacific oscillation that quickly raised surrounding ocean temperatures by up to 3°C. Sudden warming spooks the coral and they expel symbiotic algae in a process commonly known as bleaching.

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The book by the UN special rapporteur on torture, no less.

Assange Family Barred From Taking Melzer Book Into Australia Parliament (G.)

Security staff at Parliament House in Canberra seized copies of a book about Julian Assange from his family members as they entered the building to meet MPs on Thursday, deeming it “protest material”. Assange’s family and supporters visited parliament on Thursday to urge the Albanese government to intervene in the proposed extradition of the WikiLeaks founder from the UK to the United States. They were carrying copies of a book on Assange’s case by Nils Melzer, the former United Nations special rapporteur on torture, which they intended to give to MPs and media. But Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said parliament security refused to let the family take the book into the building, because they deemed it to be “protest material”.


“I was saying ‘this is ridiculous. They’re books’,” Gabriel Shipton said. “I offered to call Andrew Wilkie, who was the MP who co-chaired the Parliamentary Friends of the Bring Julian Assange Home Group. He said ‘yes, go ahead, call him, but you can’t take the books in’.” The family was able to distribute books to MPs and media from a box already stored in Wilkie’s office, and a staffer from Wilkie’s office was able to later retrieve the seized books. But Louise Bennet, a campaigner with the Bring Assange Home Campaign, said the actions of security were “ridiculous”. “They were incredibly adamant that it was protest material and that it was not allowed into the building,” Bennet said. “It just blows my mind. This is the sort of thing that we see in Trump’s America, that we criticise in China. What is our parliament afraid of that we can’t bring a book in?”

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EVs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 112022
 


Robert Campin Portrait of a woman 1430-35

 

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin – Jacques Baud (TP)
Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)
Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)
Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)
UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)
Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)
Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)
Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)
Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)
Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)
Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)
Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)
Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535169325610553344

 

 

 

 

Kerseboom

 

 

Original from Swiss journal, Zeitgeschehen im Fokus.

Baud is a former strategic intelligence officer in the Swiss Department of Defense.

“This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration.”

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin -Jacques Baud (TP)

JB: It is also interesting that if one takes some distance to assess the conflict and does not immediately side with Ukraine, one is declared a ” Putin-Empathizer.” This is unbelievable. What I think about Putin has nothing to do with the assessment of the situation. That is the business of the Ukrainians. I have said this several times: if I were Ukrainian, I probably would have taken up arms. But that is not the point. I, as Swiss, will not give up my Swissness. In order to help Ukraine, I don’t have to become a Ukrainian; but I have to look at the big picture I have as Swiss to bring a less passionate but more constructive point of view. The journalists who criticize me are more Russia-haters than Ukraine-lovers.

JB: When an onlooker sees an old lady being attacked by a thug on the street, he does not encourage her to fight back, but tries to separate the two. We are in the situation of this onlooker; but our response is to give weapons so that Ukraine fights. For a Ukrainian it is legitimate to want to fight. But for a Swiss or another European, our role is to try to limit the damage. But no one is even attempting to do that in the West. When Zelensky was looking for a mediator, he turned to Turkey, China, and Israel. He did not choose a European Union country or even Switzerland. He understood that Switzerland is no longer an independent partner.

[..] JB: Paradoxically, everything we give to Ukraine today only highlights the help and compassion we have not given to those who have been unjustly attacked by the West in the Middle East and elsewhere. This will have consequences in the future. Many have noticed this with the refugees. The “blond, blue-eyed” refugees are gladly helped; the others are not. Maybe we can understand this, even if we cannot approve of it. But what is incomprehensible, remains the fact that we keep silent about one attacker, while another is punished with more than 6 000 sanctions.

[..] It also doesn’t mean that you have to be in favor of Russia; that has nothing to do with it. If you look at Justitia, she is blind and holds a scale in her hand. That is exactly what is missing today. Western countries are partial and biased. The same applies to the European Union. A modern state should not be guided by passion, but by reason. These principles were established by Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau in the 18th century. Our “woke” culture has forgotten them. We let our feelings guide us and we follow them. That is the problem.

[..] The rule of law means that decisions are not based on feelings or intuitions, but on the basis of facts. That is why modern states have intelligence services. This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration. This is a fundamental difference between enlightened governance and despotic obscurantism. Fighting a dictatorship does not entitle us to forget the principles of the rule of law. Since the Balkan War, the West seems to believe that the end justifies the means. It is irrelevant what individual ministers think as persons, they are allowed to hate Putin, that is their right as citizens —but not as ministers. Feelings cannot be the basis of their policy.

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Kissinger in 2014: “Demonizing Vladimir Putin is not politics; it is an alibi for not having politics.”

Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)

It’s worth paying attention to where and when Joe Biden is standing when he makes his ridiculous economic claims today about Russia being the cause of the energy policy from the White House. Do not let it go unnoticed that it’s June, the last month of the second quarter for economic data. Do not let it pass your reference that Joe Biden is speaking from the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) as he spins his nonsense about the inflation, he alone is responsible for. And do not overlook the attendee mentioned in this subtle statement, “And, John, I can’t thank you. You’re — you’re the real deal. Anybody — well, I won’t get into — get you in trouble, but thanks for sticking up for me.”

“John” is the White House Port Envoy John D Porcari. A severely partisan former Obama official who was selected by Joe Biden to lead the fraudulent effort to improve supply chains when the White House was under assault in the fall of 2021. Porcari was the person who designed “operation hide the ships” to give the illusion of port efficiency improvement, and it is almost a certainty that it was Porcari who leveraged his influence with the POLA to hold back the December 2021 import data in order to try and improve the GDP statistics. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters with negative GDP growth. The first quarter of 2022 was -1.5% as detailed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That means if April, May and June 2022 are also negative GDP then we are factually in an economic recession.

That makes this month, June 2022, critical for Joe Biden. The White House will do anything to avoid that label appearing on their economic policy when the reporting is released at the end of July. So it’s June, the last month of the second quarter…. and Joe Biden is giving a speech from the Port of Los Angeles….. and the White House will do anything and everything to avoid that “economic recession” label. What does that mean? That means it’s time for John Porcari to work his magic influence again and get the POLA import data held back and delayed so that it is not deducted from the GDP.

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Not how we prefer to see it.

Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasily Bodnar officially demanded weapons in exchange for resuming wheat exports by sea in what amounts to the blatant blackmailing of the Global South in the midst of the artificially manufactured food crisis. He said that “Effective security guarantees are required for maritime shipments to resume. These guarantees must be provided through the supply of appropriate weapons to Ukraine to protect its coasts from maritime threats and the involvement of the navies of third countries in protecting the relevant part of the Black Sea.” This comprehensively debunks the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s (MSM) fake news that Russia is the one that’s supposedly holding the Global South hostage by allegedly blockading Ukrainian ports.

The background context is that Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya already explained the artificially manufactured origins of the global food crisis late last month. In short, he blamed it on the economic consequences caused by the West’s response to COVID (particularly with respect to spiking inflation and influencing food demand); Ukraine’s mining of its own ports; and the anti-Russian sanctions. President Putin later reiterated these causes in a TV interview that he gave a little over a week later on the same day that he met with Macky Sall, the Chairman of the African Union. His guest extended credence to the Kremlin’s explanation by declaring that “Anti-Russia sanctions have made this situation worse and now we do not have access to grain from Russia, primarily to wheat.”

All the while and in spite of the artificially manufactured origins of the food crisis that lie entirely beyond Russia’s control, Moscow has been doing its utmost to encourage Kiev to at the very least resume its wheat exports to the Global South. To that end, it proposed four potential corridors: the Azov Sea; the Black Sea; overland through Belarus en route to Baltic ports; and across Western Europe. Suffice to say, Kiev has flat-out refused to employ any of these means, though it’s also worth noting that Nebenzya mentioned in his speech late last month that Russia has “reasonable suspicions” to believe that Kiev is exporting wheat to those Western European countries that already have copious reserves of this commodity in exchange for arms exactly as happened with the Central Powers near the end of WWI.

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“..Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery.”

Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)

The prolific Russian nationalist author of 91 books, Oleg Platonov (born 1950), relates in his work on the fall of the Soviet Union how in the 1980s, on the eve of the country’s collapse, Westerners, whom The Saker rightly calls ‘Euro-Atlanticists’, betrayed the USSR. These ‘Euro-Atlanticists’ were the ‘Communists’ who in the 1990s overnight became super Capitalists, bought shares for almost nothing in valuable, about-to-be privatised national companies and so became ‘oligarchs’. Their shameful acts, in fact thefts of national property by those with insider knowledge, created an underclass of homeless. They reveal how these money-launderers sold out their own country and people and souls, often then going to live in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Nice, Marbella, Nicosia etc.

The Traitors were opposed by the Patriots, some of whom worked in the national intelligence services, where some of the best brains met. One of these Patriots, the future President Putin, was then a lowly colonel in Dresden in East Germany, working in the Soviet intelligence services (not a head of it, like so many US Presidents, heads of the CIA). When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, his office sought answers from Moscow as to what to do. And there was no answer. ‘Moscow is silent’. I believe the story is related in many places, among them in ‘The Putin Interviews’ by Oliver Stone. It was that paralysis and silence of the Centre in Moscow that was among the most decisive events in the future President’s life. He realised that Moscow was betraying the Soviet Union, that it had been taken over by the Traitors, the ‘Nomenklatura’. They believed in nothing, except in their own disgraceful gain. They were anti-Patriots.

Since coming to power in 2000, V. V. Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery. In 19th century Russian history people like him were known as ‘Slavophiles’ and they were opposed by ‘Westerners’. These are very vague and rather crude terms, for there are many types of Slavophiles, from primitive and bigoted nationalists to genuine Patriots, who are well-educated realists and seek only the well-being of their people. Similarly, the term ‘Westerners’ can describe outright Traitors and murderers, like Litvinenko and Skripal, but also those who realise that if Russia is to defend itself against the West, it must fight obscurantism and make use of, and then improve on, Western technology. President Putin would probably not identify with either of these historical tags, but rather perhaps with aspects of both of them.

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We see this in lots of places. I added the New Brunswick chart.

Still, when Justin Bieber gets facial paralysis, it is reportedly from Covid….

UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)

New official data from the ONS released today add a further 730 non-Covid excess deaths in England and Wales to the total of the last five weeks, bringing the figure to 4,964. This means nearly 5,000 more people than usual have died in England and Wales in the last five weeks of causes other than COVID-19. The total deaths in the most recent week were 10.1% above the five-year average, as depicted in the chart below. The chart shows in blue that Covid deaths account for less than half of the excess deaths this week, though note that the chart over-counts Covid deaths as it includes any death with Covid. The 4,964 figure for non-Covid excess deaths quoted above is calculated using deaths due to Covid, i.e., where Covid is recorded as the underlying cause on the death certificate.

Private homes, care homes and hospitals are all experiencing excess deaths at present: 23.4%, 6.5% and 5.3% respectively in the most recent week. The ONS report does not comment on what might lie behind these worrying trends. The fact that it coincides with the spring vaccine booster campaign among older folk has raised worries for many, particularly in light of the ONS data showing hospitalisation rates for non-Covid reasons many times higher in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated, and the vaccine safety concerns raised by clinical practitioners who believe their vaccinated patients are at greater risk of disease and death.

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“..there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections..”

Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)

In 2020 a cell culture lab-study performed by a group of Icelandic scientists led by Dr. Einar Stefánsson, Professor of Medicine at the University of Iceland, showed that free fatty acids found in fish liver oil can quickly destroy viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The study was conducted in collaboration with U.S. partners. Laboratory results showed fish liver oil with 1% and 2% free fatty agents destroyed 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within 10 minutes. According to an article in Vidskiptabbladid in November 2020, the research, in collaboration with fish liver oil producer Lysi hf. had been approved by the Scientific Ethics Committee and the first phase of the study was being planned with the participation of 30 infected individuals.


Icelandic daily Fréttin recently contacted Professor Stefánsson for news of the project, but he said the research project had to be discontinued due to lack of funds. According to Dr. Stefánsson, the Icelandic Centre for Research, RANNÍS, had approved a “substantial grant” to finance the study, but later the grant was withdrawn without explanation. He said there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections, so unfortunately the project had to be cancelled. Related to this, it might be noted that in April 2020 the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority banned an advertisement from Lysi hf. which claimed the consumption of fish liver oil might be beneficial against viruses such as herpes, RS and coronaviruses, preventing infection. The authority had shortly before warned consumers of advertisements for products that might strengthen the immune system, for example against SARS-CoV-2 infection, since information or claims of such product characteristics was “wrong and misleading” for consumers.

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“And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm..”

Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)

If the January 6th Committee show is short-and-sweet, say a few weeks, it will be quickly forgotten in the welling summertime heat as the great masses of America groan under $5… $7… maybe $10-a-gallon gasoline prices (or maybe no gas at all) while diesel prices at $6.50 today are already destroying the trucking industry — and thus the entire system for delivering all goods around the country. The zeitgeist is quivering with intimations of food shortages and the philosopher reminds us that any given body politic is just nine missed meals away from bloody rebellion. Have another look at that motley January 6th committee group photo and consider the lampposts along Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s a dangerous game trying to beat down the population this way, and to what end, exactly? I doubt that even the Blue Team could articulate it… or would dare to… because at this point their sole aim, really, is to hide their many acts of criminality over a span of the past six years and escape prosecution, a compelling motive. And it’s getting harder and harder to conceal all that, especially their campaign to physically harm over 200-million people with mRNA “vaccines.” The body-count is rising — way higher even than deaths from the hypothetical “pandemic” that the “vaccines” were supposedly concocted to vanquish, and spectacularly failed to.

And was this Covid-19 “pandemic” itself cooked up tacitly to disorder the 2020 election with mail-in ballots so easily replicated, harvested, and stuffed by the bale into drop-boxes under cover of night? Kind of looks like it, more and more. And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm, which is otherwise quite certain to sweep them ignominiously off the game board like so many misplayed quoits.

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Outdone by a rerun of Young Sheldon.

Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)

The primetime hearings for the Jan. 6 commission’s investigation into the 2021 Capitol riot were broadcast live on almost every major station, yet failed to capture national interest and produced ratings far below other comparable national televised political events. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for the hearings on Thursday night, according to The Hill. By contrast, President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March pulled in 38 million viewers. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union attracted over 45 million, per the New York Post. The 20 million figure did stand above a typical congressional hearing, The Hill noted, citing the roughly 9 million viewers for Trump’s first impeachment trial.


Members of the Jan. 6 Commission have sought to present a case blaming Trump for the violence that occurred at the Capitol amid congressional efforts to certify the presidential election results. Their narrative stands in contrast to growing sentiment among the American public who increasingly do not blame the former president for the incident. An NBC poll released Monday, showed that only 45% of Americans blamed Trump for the riot which, while still a plurality, marked a seven-point decline in that sentiment from January of 2021. Republicans have largely denounced the hearings as a “kangaroo court” and slammed the commission’s Republican members for their participation in it.

Tucker J 6

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Trump is certainly not squeaky clean, but this is ridiculous.

Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)

Former President Donald Trump had a “sophisticated seven-point plan” to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months, January 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said, detailing how the panel plans to use its future hearings to tackle each part of the scheme. “On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in her opening statement at Thursday’s prime-time hearing.

Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement. She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump’s actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump. A committee source later provided CNN the following description of the “sophisticated seven-part plan”: “President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power.

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
  5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
  7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

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Trump himself said this too. But it was refused.

Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)

The Pentagon first raised the possibility of sending National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol four days before the Jan. 6 riots, setting in motion a series of rejections by Capitol Police and Democrats that left Congress vulnerable as threats of violence were rising, according to government memos that validate Trump administration officials’ long-held claims. An official timeline of the Jan. 6 tragedy assembled by Capitol Police shows that a Defense Department official reached out to a Capitol Police deputy chief, Sean Gallagher, on Jan. 2, 2021 to see if a request for troops was forthcoming, but the offer was quickly rejected after a consultation with then-Chief Steve Sund.

“Carol Corbin (DOD) texts USCP Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher, Protective Service Bureau, to determine whether USCP is considering a request for National Guard soldiers for January 6, 2021 event,” the timeline reads in the lone entry listed for Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. The following morning, the timeline states, “Gallagher replies to DOD via text that a request for National Guard support not forthcoming at this time after consultation with COP Sund.” The rejection came as the Capitol Police department was beginning to change its assessment, recognizing that the massive Trump rally to protest the November 2020 election results planned for Jan. 6, 2021 had the potential for violence.

Earlier analyses suggested such violence was unlikely and the Jan. 6 event was likely to be “similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December,” police records show For instance, Capitol Police had determined that as of Dec. 16, 2020 there was “no information regarding specific disruptions or acts of civil disobedience targeting this function.” But by late December, Capitol Police internal emails and documents show, information began flowing in that some groups expected to attend were talking on social media or fringe websites about tactics like blocking tunnels leading to the Capitol. On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, just hours after Gallagher rejected the Pentagon’s initial offer, the Capitol Police issued a new and darker security assessment to its commanders and executives and to the two political appointees in Congress responsible for security, the House and Senate sergeants at arms, the timeline shows.

“Due to the tense political environment following the 2020 election, the threat of disruptive actions or violence cannot be ruled out,” the new assessment declared. “Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021 as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election. This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” Within 24 hours, Sund had changed his mind and began seeking permission from the political powers surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to deploy the National Guard as a preventive measure on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

[..] “The Capitol Police timeline shows what we have been saying for the last year — that DOD support via the National Guard was refused by the House and Senate sergeant at arms, who report to Pelosi,” Patel said. “Now we have it in their own writing, days before Jan. 6. And despite the FBI warning of potential for serious disturbance, no perimeter was established, no agents put on the street, and no fence put up.”

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“..shameless and soulless..”

Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) blasted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for claiming he sought a presidential pardon because he thought he may have done something wrong on Jan. 6. On the John Solomon Reports podcast Friday, when asked if he did anything wrong on Jan. 6, Perry said, “No, of course not. I was in the Capitol doing my legislative duties on January 6.” Rep. Scott Perry: Liz Cheney’s claim that I sought a presidential pardon for Jan 6, ‘an absolute shameless and soulless lie’ “[T]he notion that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself, or other members of Congress, is an absolute shameless and soulless lie,” he added.

“It’s just simply no surprise, considering this latest fabrications come from a sham committee using a breathtaking abuse of power to conjure up political theater to destroy their opponents and … distract the American people from the economic and national security nightmare. This is a nightmare created by their one-party rule and quite honestly, rogue Republicans — and you know, Republicans in name only — and their compatriots on the radical left. “This is a kangaroo court. And it’s more fitting to be aired with the filth of scripted reality TV than masquerading as a newsworthy item, which is why I’m using all my time as a member of Congress to try to address the fact that Americans can’t literally afford gasoline, groceries, their food, and … to suffer under the policies of those who control the sham committee.”

Perry asked where the primetime committee hearing was for the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the inflation, border, and drug crises. “[T]hat’s what I’m working on and that’s exactly what the American people demand Congress work on, not producing political theater to the tune of $8 million to destroy their opponents.” During the Jan. 6 committee hearing aired on TV Thursday, Cheney said, “As you will see, Rep. Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a Presidential Pardon.” She added, “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

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A senior Turkish diplomat says Erdogan is full of it. The 1923 Lausanne Treaty simply states that all islands more than 3 km from Turkey are Greek. No more, no less. There are over 2,400 islands. No-one tried to name them all for the Treaty. No need.

Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused Greece of militarizing its islands in the Aegean Sea with an eye toward threatening Turkey, in but the latest salvo in a series of tit-for-tat accusations between the two NATO members. Erdogan urged immediate demilitarization of the islands, stressing Turkey will never relinquish its “rights” in the Aegean Sea, statements which come weeks after he condemned Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for lobbying the White House to block impending US F-16 sales to Ankara. The fresh words also came on the final day of Turkey’s multi-national “Efes-2022” military drill, centered on the coastal city of Izmir. “We invite Greece to stop arming the islands that have non-military status and to act in accordance with international agreements,” Erdogan said.

“I’m not joking, I’m speaking seriously. This nation is determined.” “I warn Greece to avoid dreams, acts and statements that will result in regret. Come to your senses,” he said in a televised speech related to the drills. “Turkey will not renounce its rights in the Aegean and will not back down from using rights that are established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands,” he added. Erdogan further vowed that Turkey would continue its controversial hydrocarbons exploration of the region, which Greece, Cyprus, and some EU countries like France have condemned as violating Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. Erdogan claimed that Greece is violating the1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Paris Treaty. He declared that Greece was previously given the islands on condition that they’d remain demilitarized.

“The agreements are there but Greece is violating them. It’s arming them. If Greece does not stop this violation, the sovereignty of the islands will be brought up for discussion,” he said. “It’s that clear. You will abide by the agreements.” In questioning the “sovereignty of the islands,” Erdogan appeared to suggest Turkish military intervention is on the table, also given he uttered the veiled threat on the occasion of major Turkish-led military exercises. Greece responded by saying Turkey has long deliberately misinterpreted and misrepresented the content of the historic treaties, and further that Ankara’s standing threat of war justifies that Greece take steps to defend itself. As The Associated Press reports: In Athens, Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said Greece was dealing with Turkish “provocations” with “calm and determination.””It is clear to everyone that our country has upgraded its geostrategic and geopolitical footprint as well as its deterrent capacity to be able at any time to defend its national sovereignty and sovereign rights,” he said.

Turkish ambassador
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535217612917026818

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Translation from Die Zeit.

Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in prison in the UK, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the UK government over allegations of spying. As the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg announced, the government in London recognized that the rights of lawyer Jennifer Robinson had been violated by spying attacks. Confidential journalistic material was also affected. Robinson received a payment of 1,000 pounds (around 1,170 euros), the statement said. The lawsuit before the Human Rights Court, which has now been dropped, was also about the disclosure of information to the United States, which wants to obtain Assange’s extradition.


How exactly the lawyer from the law firm Doughty Street Chambers is said to have been spied on is not known. The government is keeping it under wraps for national security reasons, Robinson said in an interview with the dpa news agency. “I’d really like to know that too, because it raises important questions about what information was shared.” After a court in London approved Assange’s extradition, Home Secretary Priti Patel is eagerly awaiting the decision. The US judiciary wants to put Assange on trial for allegations of espionage. He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted. He is accused of having stolen and published secret material from US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan together with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, thereby endangering the lives of US informants.

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Gonzalo blame game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Gallery
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535209164376576000

 

 

kid+dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1534956581321850880

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jan 172022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Man with a falcon on his wrist (possibly St. Bavo) 1661

 

Editorial Calls For National Guard To Keep Unvaccinated In Their Homes (Fox)
Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated (Rasmussen)
Djokovic ‘Must Pay Huge Sum To Australia’ (RT)
Australia Deports Novak Djokovic Citing His Threat to Social Cohesion (CTH)
Civil Rights Groups’ Alarm At Government’s Djokovic Case (Age)
Doctor Loses License, Must Have Psych Evaluation For Covid Falsehoods (MH)
The Death Of Science (Exp.)
After 28 Days on Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle to Try Ivermectin (ET)
Will the Omicron Wave Carry Us Onto Endemic Beach By March? (Kory)
Greek Seniors To Be Fined For Violating Vaccine Mandate (RT)
Vaccine Mandate for Cross Border Trucking Now in Effect (CTH)
Economics Ripe For A Post-pandemic Shake Up (Janda)

 

 

The madness genie is out of the bottle. And as these things go, it will be very hard to put it back in. It’s not as if the end of the pandemic will end the madness, too. Less than 1 year ago, even people like Biden ad Fauci said never a mandate. And now the Salt Lake City Tribune calls for the National Guard to lock the unvaccinated in their homes, and half of Democrats want a fine or prison time for questioning the efficacy of the vaccines. Australians are en masse cheering the destruction of their main tennis tournament. And destroyed it is. What’s the value of winning with the no. 1 out for political reasons?

The mental damage will be with us for a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

Covid school money

 

 

 

 

 

Rutte

 

 

No, nobody put anything funny in the drinking water. This is simply the media.

Editorial Calls For National Guard To Keep Unvaccinated In Their Homes (Fox)

The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board published an editorial on Saturday that called on the Utah governor to use the National Guard to prevent unvaccinated citizens from going anywhere. In an editorial titled, “Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic, the Editorial Board writes” the paper lays blame at elected officials for failing to mandate the vaccine for all citizens. The paper asserted that if Utah was a “civilized place,” Republican Gov. Spencer Cox would implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the state and have the National Guard enforce the mandate by not letting unvaccinated people go “anywhere.”

“Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial board wrote. While the editorial board placed blame at all levels of government, they were more critical of Republicans like Cox. “Government officials, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, were apparently determined not to be caught governing in the face of this challenge. Any move or recommendation to mask up or, when safe and effective vaccines became available, to make vaccination a requirement of admission to public places and society in general was shouted down as an unwarranted imposition on individual freedoms,” it wrote.

“Cox and so many others have not carried the courage of their convictions. Cox, state legislative leaders, our congressional delegation and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes have so proudly stood against the kind of vaccine mandates that civilized society has used for generations to effectively wipe out everything from polio to diphtheria to the measles.”

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48% of Democrats support prison time for individuals who “publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines”.

Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated (Rasmussen)

A new Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of voters favor President Joe Biden’s plan to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the employees of large companies and government agencies. That includes 33% who Strongly Favor the mandate. 48% are opposed to Biden’s vaccine mandate, including 40% who Strongly Oppose the mandate. Voters are similarly divided over the federal government’s top COVID-19 expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. 45% view Fauci favorably, including 28% who have a Very Favorable impression of him. 48% have an unfavorable impression of Fauci, including 34% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

The even split among voters is the result of deep partisan divisions. While 78% of Democratic voters support the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate plan, only 22% of Republicans and 41% of voters not affiliated with either major party support the vaccine mandate. And many Democrats would support even harsher measures, including fines for Americans who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine and criminal punishment for vaccine critics. “After two excruciatingly long years, likely voters are beginning to question the federal government’s handling of the pandemic,” said Chris Talgo, senior editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, which commissioned this poll. “First and foremost, likely voters are beginning to sour on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who seems to have lost credibility after countless flip-flops.”

Talgo continued: “Moreover, almost half of likely voters oppose President Biden’s vaccine mandates, which seem less about stopping the spread of COVID-19 and more about increasing the power of the federal government. When asked about several other potential strategies, such as fining those who refuse to get vaccinated, the consensus among likely voters is that the federal government should do less, not more.” [..] Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications. Only 27% of all voters – including just 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters – favor criminal punishment of vaccine critics. 45%) of Democrats would favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Such a policy would be opposed by a strong majority (71%) of all voters…

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“..a message of support displayed prominently on the Belgrade Tower in the Serbian capital on Sunday evening..”

Djokovic ‘Must Pay Huge Sum To Australia’ (RT)

Novak Djokovic’s stare-down with Australian immigration officials looks set to hit the world number one financially, with a report claiming to reveal the vast costs he is said to have been ordered to pay the country’s government. The unanimous decision by Australian judges to rubber-stamp Djokovic’s deportation ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2022 came with certain caveats including a potential ban for Djokovic on entering Australia for three years. Djokovic is financially liable for “all the costs” associated with the case, which are expected to be around $500,000, according to Telegraf – a sum which would have likely fallen on the Australian taxpayer had the court reached a different conclusion on Sunday.


The world number one, who admitted afterwards that he was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome of the hearing which finally ruled out Djokovic’s drive for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title win and a tenth Australian Open crown – accolades that would have set him apart from his peers as the most successful player of the modern era. While it remains unclear exactly when Djokovic will return to Serbia, his home nation has emphasized its support for Serbia’s most famous sporting export after his legal issues down under. The tennis icon, who has already received emphatic backing from the likes of Serbian president Aleksander Vucic and even Serbian royalty, will have a message of support displayed prominently on the Belgrade Tower in the Serbian capital on Sunday evening. “Nole, you are the pride of Serbia,” the message, which will be displayed between 8pm and 9pm local time, will read, before being replaced by the Serbian tricolor.

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“The concept of minority rights or individual sovereignty, restrictions on the mob’s ability to interfere in your life, is unfathomable to Australians.”

Australia Deports Novak Djokovic Citing His Threat to Social Cohesion (CTH)

None of the statements by the government, and none of their legal arguments had anything to do with COVID-19, or any medical issue or threat represented by Mr. Djokovic. The government didn’t even attempt to make any such case in their court arguments. Instead, the government relied upon convincing the court that Djokovic’s physical presence represented a threat to “social cohesion“. To support the position of the government, Australian Chief Justice James Allsop stressed the court was ruling on the “lawfulness and legality” of the decision and not whether it was right or wrong to deport him. The government can arbitrarily decide who comes and goes into the country, therefore, if the government wants to ban Djokovic for whatever reason, they can. That was the determining legal factor, nothing else.

Now we get to the key distinction between Americans and Australians. This is the point where many Americans find it difficult to reconcile with the outlook of Australians. This is where the distinctions in democracy become very important to understand. Americans view any form of tyranny as bad. Americans, in the whole, view any effort to crush your freedom as a negative. Australians only view tyranny as bad if it is not applied equally. As long as everyone suffers the punishment of government equally, the pain is approved. In Australia, government oppression is only bad if it is applied unequally. If every Australian is forced to have their right hand removed to comply with government rules, then the removal of the hand is permitted. Everyone gets in line at the hand-chopper.

However, if someone jumps out of the line and tries to escape, because they don’t want their hand removed, all the other people in line will chase him down, bring him back and hold him down while the government hand-chopper does the removal. The American looks at this mindset with jaw agape and says, “F**k you, my hand isn’t getting removed, and neither should anyone else’s; and I will fight the government hand-chopper if it means stopping them, even if you are okay with your hand getting chopped.” Generally speaking, the line of Americans to get their hands chopped will look scornfully as the two-handed rebel departs, but they accept his decision. (Although this outlook is changing in America) When an American sees a person fighting Australian tyranny (Djokovic), our gut instinct is to support him (we would if his confrontation was inside America – his location is irrelevant).

We support the freedom fight, because we see the underlying reason for him fighting -his medical and health freedom- as having merit. [..] There’s also a weird part of this where we recognize that Australians are unwilling to contemplate or accept that non-Australians might have different inherent rights because, well, they are not Australians. The Australian system of government is based on a pure democracy. Extreme democracy. As soon as 50% plus one is achieved, the other 50% accept the rules of the majority, regardless how small that majority position might be. This is why everyone in Australia is required by law to vote. The concept of minority rights or individual sovereignty, restrictions on the mob’s ability to interfere in your life, is unfathomable to Australians. Once a law is passed by majority consent, they all agree to follow it. That is their social compact.

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“..The crowd went silent as the decision was announced and one woman began to cry.”

Civil Rights Groups’ Alarm At Government’s Djokovic Case (Age)

The government’s barrister, Stephen Lloyd, SC, argued on Sunday that Djokovic’s views were “widely understood” and he had “become an icon for the anti-vaccination groups”. However, he said it was not only what Djokovic had stated in the past that had an impact, but also how people perceived him now and how that might encourage them to reject vaccination. Pauline Wright, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said it was reasonable for the government to suggest a famous person such as Djokovic who is unvaccinated may influence some people to refuse inoculation. But it was a “big leap” to argue his previous comments on vaccination were serious enough to deem his presence in Australia a public health risk.

“Do the comments in 2020 disentitle him from playing a tennis game in Australia in 2022?” she said. “Does that really pose such a threat to public health in a situation where we’ve got 95 per cent of the adult population vaccinated? “People are free to be sceptical of vaccination … As long as they can prove they are COVID-free, I don’t see why they should be excluded from public life.” Michael Stanton, a barrister and the president of Liberty Victoria, said it was “particularly unfair” to focus on how others might perceive Djokovic’s views, rather than the seriousness of what he has actually said. “It’s very different from [denying a visa] for someone who has expressly said something about inciting violence or encouraging unrest,” he said. “The reliance on how someone might be perceived sets an impossible standard for that person to meet.”

It was also ironic that the government’s attempt to remove Djokovic had given his views a week of international attention, he said. “They have magnified the anti-vax voice.” Mr Stanton and Ms Wright said the case highlighted the danger of the Immigration Minister’s power to make what they described as arbitrary decisions. Under powers described by a former Labor immigration minister as “god-like”, the minister can cancel someone’s visa if they believe the person may – rather than will – risk public health or good order. The debate came as fans of the 20-time grand slam winner protested outside Melbourne’s Federal Court buildings on Sunday. The crowd went silent as the decision was announced and one woman began to cry.

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Yes, ivermectin.

Doctor Loses License, Must Have Psych Evaluation For Covid Falsehoods (MH)

A doctor with decades of experience can’t practice medicine after her license was temporarily suspended over complaints that she shared coronavirus misinformation, according to a Maine licensing board. The board has ordered her to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation, it said. Dr. Meryl J. Nass, who got a license to practice medicine in Maine in 1997, had her license “immediately” suspended for 30 days after a board investigation and review of complaints against her on Jan. 12, according to a suspension order from the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. Nass, who’s an internist in Ellsworth, must “submit” to an evaluation by a “Board-selected psychologist” on Feb. 1, the board’s evaluation order issued Jan. 11 said.

“I have no comment about submitting to a neuropsych exam, except that the board ordered me to do so on shaky grounds,” Nass told McClatchy News, adding that she’s had her license for a total of 41 years. “The information received by the Board demonstrates that Dr. Nass is or may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to her patients by reason of mental illness, alcohol intemperance, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, or as a result of a mental or physical condition interfering with the competent practice of medicine,” the evaluation order states. The complaints against Nass include how the board was told she engaged in “public dissemination of ‘misinformation’” about COVID-19 and vaccinations “via a video interview and on her website,” the board said about the October 26, 2021 complaint. It lists several comments Nass made that were subject to the board’s investigation.

Roughly 10 days later, the board got another complaint about Nass “spreading COVID and COVID vaccination misinformation on Twitter,” it said. Nass called “disinformation and misinformation” a “fuzzy concept” that the board hasn’t defined for her, she said. “There’s no law that says doctors can’t express their educated opinion on any subject.” Other grounds for her suspension include how Nass treated COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, according to the board. The board noted that Ivermectin isn’t Food and Drug Administration “authorized or approved” as a treatment for COVID-19 in the suspension order. Ivermectin is used as a parasitic treatment for animals, according to the FDA.

“For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea,” the agency explains online. Additionally, it noted the FDA “revoked’ emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine since it “may not be effective” against COVID-19.

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“This has been a whitewash. This whole thing has killed science. Science is meant to look at evidence. It is truly unbelievable.”

The Death Of Science (Exp.)

Professor Dalgleish co-authored a paper in summer 2020 after spotting “unique fingerprints” in Covid-19 samples that he believes prove they must have been manipulated in a laboratory. The work was rejected by a string of journals, before finally being published in a watered-down form. Prof Dalgleish, an oncologist who discovered how HIV entered and killed cells in 1984, then found himself “ostracised” and frightened. In February 2020, the Lancet had published a letter that “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin. This highly influential letter – subsequently cited in thousands of scientific publications – was signed by 27 experts including Wellcome Trust head and former Sage member Sir Jeremy Farrar.

However, it has since emerged that two weeks before the letter was published, Sir Jeremy stated in private emails that some senior scientists believed a ‘likely explanation’ was that the virus was man-made. He had led a teleconference call on February 1 2020. The emails discuss the call and reveal one virologist was ‘80 percent sure this thing had come out of a lab’. Others shared the view. Sir Jeremy was uncertain, stating “this will remain grey unless there is access to the Wuhan lab”. But virologist Dr Ron Fouchier said: “Further debate about such accusations would . . . do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.” Professor Dalgleish, author of a new book on covid, The Origin of the Virus, warned the affair had profound implications for the scientific community.

He said his team had found amino acids on the spike with a positive charge, allowing the virus to cling to negative parts of the human body. But it was highly unusual to find so many positive charges in a row because they also repel each other, he said. “We realised when they released the sequence of the virus it broke the laws of physics for a natural virus meaning it was genetically modified. “At the time my position was supported by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 who now chairs the University of London board of trustees.” However, when they tried to publish their work they were turned down by numerous papers, including the Lancet. “My paper was rejected within five hours”, he said. “Normally it takes three weeks before it is even peer reviewed.”

Prof Dalgleish said: “It was a political decision for this to be suppressed.” Describing the impact after his paper was finally released, he said: “I was ostracised. I was fearful – really frightened at the way I was being treated. “I was told I was not an expert on coronavirus’ and should just shut up. People tried to push us away. We were told our theory had no rationale and it was a conspiracy theory. I am so angry about this. I have more virus papers cited than most virology experts and they tried to push me aside. “They did not even look at the science. It was obvious it was a gain of function escape from a lab and I say escape, but that is generous. We had this data in late February after the sequences were released. “This has been a whitewash. This whole thing has killed science. Science is meant to look at evidence. It is truly unbelievable.” Last year an expert who has studied the lab leak said the debate about coronavirus will be reduced to “insults on twitter” unless medical journals allow uncensored discussion.

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This is so immoral, where does one begin?

After 28 Days on Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle to Try Ivermectin (ET)

A Florida family fighting to give their loved one on a ventilator alternative treatments for COVID-19 have lost another battle—this time in Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The wife and son of Daniel Pisano first squared off against Mayo Clinic Florida at an emergency hearing on Dec. 30 in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. Before that, they’d been begging the hospital to allow them to try treating Pisano—who’s been on a ventilator now for 28 days—with the controversial drug ivermectin, along with a mix of other drugs and supplements, part of a protocol recommended by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). The family’s request for an emergency injunction to force the Mayo Clinic to allow treatments recommended by an outside doctor was denied by Judge Marianne Aho. They appealed the decision.

On Jan. 14, Aho’s decision was upheld by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The three-judge panel deciding the case included Judge Thomas “Bo” Winokur, appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2015; Judge M. Kemmerly Thomas, appointed in 2016 by Scott; and Judge Robert E. Long, Jr., appointed in 2020, by Gov. Ron DeSantis. “An opinion of this Court explaining its reasoning will follow,” the judges stated in the order they issued. “So we wait to see what that looks like, unless it takes too long,” said Jeff Childers, an attorney for the family. Seventy-year-old Daniel Pisano doesn’t have unlimited time, says Eduardo Balbona, M.D., an independent doctor in Jacksonville who’s been advising the family since they reached out to him while researching other treatments that could potentially help their loved one.

Balbona, who has been monitoring Pisano’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic through an online portal, testified on behalf of the Pisano family in the first hearing. The Mayo Clinic has argued that the treatment plan doesn’t fit with the hospital’s standard protocol for treating COVID-19 patients and they don’t know what the effects of following Balbona’s recommendations would be. The hospital has told the family that Pisano has a less-than-five percent chance of survival, and all that’s left to do is wait and see if he recovers on the ventilator.

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“..we should be “getting to the other side” of the wave by March!”

Will the Omicron Wave Carry Us Onto Endemic Beach By March? (Kory)

Woke up last Sunday to a text forwarded to me by my wife. It was a series of notes taken by a good friend of hers which summarized the main points heard on a conference call with the International Head of Infectious Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital (i.e. “Haavaad”). This is what it looked like: I found it remarkable on a number of fronts given that this information; 1/ Comes out of the Top of the Ivory Tower of Ivory Towers (Harvard) 2/ Comes from the Director of International Infectious Disease.

Despite #1 and #2, the Director; 1/ Subtly questions the accuracy of publicly disseminated hospitalization data (a large number of us have long stopped placing high value on the disseminated aggregate U.S data as it is not only severely discordant with other countries’s data (U.K, Israel, S. Africa etc) but the underlying granular, “source” data is almost never supplied to the public. Plus, the U.S agencies history of data shenanigans in the pandemic is terrifying – i.e. remember when they made a rule to stop testing the vaccinated and to advise docs against checking antibodies on anyone prior to vaccinating them?

2/ Says that boosters will not be needed for Omicron. Wait, what? Scientific truth and logic is now coming out of a major academic institution in the U.S? No more of their long-standing, complicit (silent) support of an unending series of illogical policies around these novel vaccines? He openly says this while all the public health agencies and mass media continue to whip up fear of Omicron so as to try to increase vaccination rates? He even implicity brings up the reality that vaccines designed for older and fundamentally different variants have already shown either negligible or negative protection against Omicron. Whoa. He also didn’t bother (or forgot) to parrot the manipulative lie that vaccines are responsible for preventing hospitalization and death in Omicron? Who slipped this guy the Truth Serum?

3/ Offers a highly positive message in line with my growing and large network of COVID-expert colleagues in that the global data on Omicron strongly suggests it will infect such large swaths of society that things will get back to normal, based on the fact that natural immunity to (and displacement of) the more dangerous variants will result. And, we should be “getting to the other side” of the wave by March!

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Petty.

Greek Seniors To Be Fined For Violating Vaccine Mandate (RT)

The Greek prime minister has made a final appeal to the country’s senior citizens to get inoculated before monthly punishments for violating the country’s vaccination mandate kick in next week. “Our fellow citizens who are over 60 and still unvaccinated – I encourage them today: take this step,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a visit to a health center in Megara, near Athens, on Saturday. “Protect your life and the lives of those you love, and understand that the vaccine is safe and saves lives.”


Citizens aged over 60 will be fined €50 ($57) from Monday and €100 ($114) each month from February unless they get vaccinated. All proceeds will go to the country’s health system, Greek media said. Those with Covid recovery certificates and proven medical exemptions will not be subject to the fines. People vaccinated abroad will be able to register their vaccination through a government website. The AMNA news agency cited government sources as saying that 90% of citizens aged over 60 have already been vaccinated or have booked an inoculation appointment.

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Do watch the video. And then maybe stock up.

Vaccine Mandate for Cross Border Trucking Now in Effect (CTH)

The cross border vaccine mandate for truckers in/out of Canada is now in effect. The U.S. vaccine mandate takes effect on January 22nd.It will take a few days to see the consequences, but there will be consequences. Keep in mind, any impact is taking place in a supply chain system that is already tenuous and unstable at best. A small disruption that may have been minimally significant against a fully operational supply chain, is more likely to be a much bigger disruption in a supply chain that is already under a severe amount of demand side stress. Somewhere in the range of 16,000 to 38,000 daily loads are likely to be impacted.

When questioned about this, Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc says the trucking industry “has had adequate time to prepare for this.” Keep in mind, the mandate was announced 45 days ago (November 30th). According to the Canadian government, changing the structural rules for all the logistics and commerce in cross border shipping, 45 days is enough notice. […] The mandate throws a “major wrench” in the Canadian and North American supply chains, he added, with grocers, food producers, the auto parts industry and building materials among the sectors expected to be most affected. “I really hope that we’re not at the stage where you see food insecurity, where you’re actually going to grocery stores and there’s nothing on the shelf,” Winder said. “That could be the worst-case scenario.”

Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, told CTV News Channel on Saturday that there were as many 23,000 vacancies at the end of the third quarter of 2021, with his group’s own studies showing that roughly 20 per cent of Canadian truck drivers operating across the border are unvaccinated. […] “If we remove a fifth of that workforce, we’re going to see shortages on shelves and we’re going to see inflation of prices, because the cost to bring this stuff here is going to go up.”

Canadian truck driver

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“So when 30, 40 or 50 per cent of your staff are absent through COVID illness or isolation, there is no way to keep functioning as usual.”

Economics Ripe For A Post-pandemic Shake Up (Janda)

Who do we miss most when they don’t turn up to work? If I couldn’t work from home and write this column, would it inconvenience you in the slightest? If your employer’s CEO was out of action for a fortnight, would it affect your work? Federal parliament hasn’t sat for a month and a half and won’t sit again until the second week of February. How many of us even noticed? On the other hand, if your garbage collection doesn’t turn up this week and your bin is overflowing, it’ll certainly catch your attention. When you turn up to the supermarket to buy fresh produce for dinner and the shelves are bare, it’s more than a minor annoyance. If your toddler can’t go to childcare, you’ll definitely notice.

As the Centre for Future Work’s Jim Stanford pointed out last week, COVID has shown again and again that the basis of a healthy economy is healthy humans. But it has also reminded those of us paying attention that our most essential workers also happen to be some of our lowest-paid, while our (arguably) less-essential workers are often paid far more. Of course, in a modern capitalist democracy, we need CEOs, politicians and, yes, even journalists. But their temporary absence doesn’t spark a crisis. But take the nurses, chefs and cleaners out of a nursing home and you’ll have a crisis very quickly, as some facilities are already seeing in the Omicron wave.

Yet the fruit and veggie pickers, abattoir workers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, nurses, childcare workers, garbage collectors, cleaners and many others whose daily work is directly essential for others’ wellbeing generally earn much less than the average — which is currently around AUS $90,000 per year for full-time workers. Does that not hint at something fundamentally wrong with a social science concerned with distribution? That many of the people whose work is most valued by others in society are among those least valued by that society in a monetary sense? There’s another hard lesson for economists and managers in the way COVID has exposed weaknesses in supply chains.

Those who run the economy, corporations and public services, perhaps above all, tend to strive for efficiency and productivity. In recent decades, firms, governments and even households have been operating on lean “just-in-time” models, where we keep stocks in hand as low as possible. That’s fine in normal times, but when your usual supply suddenly dries up — whether it’s computer chips, face masks or toilet paper — you very quickly find yourself in a tricky bind, with little time to adapt. The same is true for staffing. So many companies and public services have down-sized, or “right-sized” as it is now sometimes euphemistically termed, that losing just 10 per cent of their workforce is a crisis. So when 30, 40 or 50 per cent of your staff are absent through COVID illness or isolation, there is no way to keep functioning as usual.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Pollination – Must watch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1482908859454869507

 

 

Amsterdam

Groningen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1482853258897076227

 

 

Spain

Barcelona

Perth

 

 

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

 

Dec 132021
 


Frans Masereel Montmartre 1925

 

Another Reason Not To Jab The Children: Omicron (Malone)
Will Omicron Kill Christmas? (O.)
UK Booster Rollout To Increase To 1m A Day To Battle Omicron ‘Tidal Wave’ (G.)
Pfizer Jab Is Only 22.5% Effective Against Omicron (ZH)
Fauci: Americans May ‘Just Have To Deal With’ More Covid Boosters (Fox)
Hospitalizations, Mortality Cut In Half With Ivermectin In Brazilian City (ZH)
2022 Trends, Predictions, Collapse, Covid & Wars – Gerald Celente (USAW)
Four States Enlist National Guard To Battle Health Care Staffing Crisis (JTN)
A $40 Million Gates Foundation Grant vs A Half Million Human Lives (WT)
Twitter To Ban Users Who Repeatly Claim Vaxxed People Can Spread Covid (RTN)
China Banking Assets Are $52 Trillion, Up By $40 Trillion Since 2008 (Peters)

 

 

It is scary to see that the only thing that holds our societies together at this point is fear.
People can no longer think.

• In the entire world there are still no deaths reported from Omicron
• US: 110 total Omicron infections (UK has more)
• 1 person in US infected with Omicron hospitalized (may well be for something different)

But: UK prediction from scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine:
• Best case: 175,000 hospital admissions and 24,700 deaths from Omicron by the end of April.
• Worst case: 74,800 deaths and 492,000 hospital admissions

“Pfizer Jab Is Only 22.5% Effective Against Omicron”: South Africa study.
So obviously the UK wants 1 million jabs per day. And Fauci wants more.

 

 

 

 

Two top soccer players, Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski and Man United defender Viktor Lindelof both left their game Sunday due to chest pain/breathing problems.

 

 

Ardern fund

 

 

The media: Omicron is vaccine resistant.
Also the media: We may need to lock down again because of all the unvaccinated.

 

 

“This is madness promoted by frightened psychotic chickens and Globalists with a pro-totalitarian bias. Just stop. Now.”

Another Reason Not To Jab The Children: Omicron (Malone)

The data are clear. Officials have reported110 Omicron cases as of Saturday in the USA. Of the 66 people for whom vaccination status has been reported, 52 were fully vaccinated and many of those had been boosted. What we don’t know is whether or not those people who have already had COVID-19 actually caught Omicron, but it was so mild that they weren’t aware of it or if prior infection conferred complete immunity. What we do know is that 78% of the people in the USA/CDC report who have contracted Omicron were vaccinated. These data also directly contradict the public relations “data” press release from Pfizer that the third jab would protect against Omicron. Clinical data ALWAYS trumps lab test data.


This appears to be yet another case illustrating that Fauci/Biden parrot the Big Pharma narrative whenever possible rather than doing the job that we are paying them to do – independently analyze “The Science” and act with integrity and objectivity to protect American citizens rather than American Big Business and Big Investment firms. There have been NO DEATHS reported anywhere in the world with Omicron, including in the USA. Now there will be, because older people, people with high co-morbidities will catch Omicron and will die. People die from the common cold too. We can expect this – do not be swayed by the fear-porn that is sure to come when these deaths happen. Hospital rates in areas with a high percent of the Omicron variant are experiencing a drop off in hospitalizations. Due to low vaccination rates in some countries, this strongly implies that vaccination status is irrelevant with Omicron. Omicron is a more mild disease, more similar in symptoms to the common cold. [..] Assuming that Omicron is now the dominant variant in Botswana, lets look at the death rate in that country: It has literally gone to zero over the past month.

Omicron is 10 times more infectious than the original variant and two times more infectious than Delta. Omicron will become the predominant strain in the USA very shortly. So, whether vaccinated or not, Omicron is more mild and will spread throughout the land. Let me write that again, all evidence shows that Omicron is much more mild and vaccinated or unvaccinated will catch this variant. Now, let’s talk children. For all the reasons listed above, it is clear that vaccinating children now is a very bad idea. 146 million people in the USA have had SARS-CoV-2 , that is about 45% of the total population. This means 45% of children have had SARS-CoV-2, that is the virus – because children rarely get severe disease from the virus. It is the severe disease that is COVID-19. COVID-19 is the severe disease caused by the virus. Historically, children get infected by the virus.

Now that Omicron will become dominant very quickly and we know that there is a very good chance that natural infection confers better protection against Omicron and that for everyone this new variant is mild, why would we want to mandate vaccination for our healthy children? Remember, this is what we know already before Omicron emerged: • 1 in 2700 male adolescents will get pericarditis/myocarditis from the Pfizer vaccine and the event rate appears to be even higher for Moderna. • 1 in 2200 will get some sort of neurological event from the vaccine (based on the curious case of Pfizer clinical trial participant Maddie de Gary). • That the adverse events in children are much higher than originally reported in the phase 3 clinical trials. • That the long term sides effects for this vaccine are unknown. • That after vaccination, there is a 3-4 week period of immunosuppression, where children (and adults) are susceptible to latent viral infections and other viruses.

Now smash these facts together with what we know about Omicron. The evidence becomes overwhelming. Not only are mandates a bad idea, but vaccinating children and young adults is too. This is madness promoted by frightened psychotic chickens and Globalists with a pro-totalitarian bias. Just stop. Now.

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No, but the fear of it will.

Will Omicron Kill Christmas? (O.)

Two competing forces will determine Omicron’s impact on the nation over the next few weeks. The power of booster jabs to give last-minute protection against Covid-19 will be pitted against the new variant’s ability to elude existing immunity. The outcome will decide whether our festive season is going to be muted or miserable. If enough arms are jabbed with booster vaccines, while Omicron turns out to have poor powers to evade immunity, then there is hope hospital cases will be contained and the NHS will be protected. Severe restrictions in the new year – including the prospect of lockdowns – could be avoided. But if Omicron is found to evade existing immunity quite easily, while booster campaigns provide poor overall protection, then the country faces a very grim winter with strict restrictions needed for some time.

According to a study by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the first scenario – poor Omicron escape from immunity matched by effective booster jab protection – would trigger a wave of infection that could lead to 175,000 hospital admissions and 24,700 deaths by the end of April. Closure of some entertainment venues and restrictions on indoor hospitality would be enough to control case numbers. By contrast, the most pessimistic scenario – high immune escape from vaccines and low effectiveness of booster jabs – would see 74,800 deaths while there would be 492,000 hospital admissions, a figure twice as high as the peak seen in January 2021. Far stricter restrictions, including lockdowns, would then have to be considered.

“These results suggest that Omicron has the potential to cause substantial surges in cases, hospital admissions and deaths in populations with high levels of immunity, including England,” the team state in their paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed. Nicholas Davies, co-leader of the study team, described Omicron’s threat to the UK as “worrying”. Presented with evidence like this, many scientists have warned that urgent action should now be taken to hold back infections while booster campaigns are accelerated and given time to take effect. “Cases are doubling every two to three days which means there is a real risk the curve is going to get very steep around Christmas and New Year,” said the vaccine expert Peter English.

“That means panic measures could be brought in at the last minute and disrupt people’s festive plans. I am also desperately sad for my colleagues in clinical practice who face a January that is going to be worse than anything we’ve seen so far and at a time when they are now exhausted.”

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“Boris Johnson is gambling..”

UK Booster Rollout To Increase To 1m A Day To Battle Omicron ‘Tidal Wave’ (G.)

Boris Johnson is gambling on an unprecedented ramping up of vaccinations, rolling out 1m booster jabs a day to stem an incoming “tidal wave of Omicron” and avoid imposing further restrictions. The army will be deployed across the country to help rapidly accelerate the vaccine programme and GPs will be told to cancel appointments to dedicate resources to offering vaccines to every UK adult by the end of December. In a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, the prime minister said he was “afraid we are now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant, Omicron, and we must urgently reinforce our wall of vaccine protection to keep our friends and loved ones safe.”

Johnson, who is facing a major test of his authority this week as MPs rebel against new Covid restrictions, called the target “a national mission unlike anything we have done before in the vaccination programme”. It means vaccinating around 1 million people a day, up from 530,000 on Saturday. The UK record is 844,000 in March. All over-18s will be eligible from Monday, and NHS booking will open to that age group from Wednesday. Until now eligibility has been limited to over-40s. Jabs will be available on Christmas Day, though demand is expected to be low.

On Sunday the Covid alert level was raised from 3 to 4, indicating substantial pressure on the NHS, after a further 1,239 UK cases of Omicron were confirmed, nearly double the number reported the previous day. Omicron is expected to become Britain’s dominant variant within days, and Johnson warned it could “overwhelm the NHS and lead to very many deaths”. Announcing the booster offensive, Johnson said: “We know from bitter experience how these exponential curves develop. No one should be in any doubt: there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming.” He said two doses of vaccine were not enough, but scientists were confident that three would make a huge difference. On Friday UK data suggested that three jabs provide 70-75% protection against infection with Omicron, while two doses given three or more months ago give 30% to 40% or less.

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Throw it away.

Pfizer Jab Is Only 22.5% Effective Against Omicron (ZH)

A few days ago, researchers in South Africa shared data from a preliminary study showing that the Pfizer vaccine is less effective at blocking the omicron variant than earlier variants like beta and delta. Now, the team is telling us exactly how much less effective the vaccine is. According to the same data gleaned from the blood plasma taken from 12 patients who tested positive for omicron, the team found that a two-shot course of Pfizer’s vaccine has just 22.5% efficacy against symptomatic infection with the omicron variant, though it can thwart severe disease, according to laboratory experiments in South Africa, according to Bloomberg.

The data comes courtesy of a team of researchers at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban. Though data has been pouring out about omicron, and sometimes individual studies reach opposing findings, the general consensus is that omicron will be able to more easily evade protection afforded from the first generation of vaccines – however, the scientists say that people will still be protected against severe disease and death. But it matters less anyway, since any patient – even an unvaccinated one – has less to fear from omicron. The reason being is that it’s believed to cause a more mild, “flu-like” infection. As we’ve said before, when you hear politicians like Joe Biden talking about an omicron takeover as if it were already a certainty (only a couple thousand cases have been confirmed around the world, if that), it’s because they wish it were true.

The same is true for the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer, who have been out sharing FUD about omicron with the news media on an almost non-stop rotation. They say their companies can have a new batch of vaccines available in 90-100 days. It’s almost as if they’ve been waiting for the opportunity, and if you look back at their comments, it’s clear that they have. Still, in the US, the CDC has confirmed that only 1 of 43 patients infected with the variant has been hospitalized.

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Tony Fauci is more deadly than Tony Soprano.

Fauci: Americans May ‘Just Have To Deal With’ More Covid Boosters (Fox)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Americans will “just have to deal with” the prospect of getting more coronavirus booster shots. Fauci made the statement on Sunday morning and said that the level of protection that the current coronavirus booster shots give to individuals will have to be monitored closely over the next several months. “If it becomes necessary to get yet another boost, then we’ll just have to deal with it when that occurs,” Fauci said. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director also said that he’s “hoping” that a third mRNA shot will give longer-lasting protection. “


I’m hoping from an immunological standpoint that that third shot of an mRNA and the second shot of a J&J will give a much greater durability of protection than just the six months or so that we’re seeing right now,” Dr. Fauci said. He added that it’s possible that the booster shot could “dramatically” increase the level of protection. “It’s tough to tell because the third shot of an mRNA could not only do what we absolutely know it does, is it dramatically increased the level of protection. But from an immunological standpoint, it could very well increase the durability of protection by things that you can’t readily measure by the level of antibodies that you might have a maturation of the immune system that would prolong the durability,” Dr. Fauci said.

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“..it was found effective 70% of the time as an early treatment, and just 39% of the time as a late treatment.”

Better than the vaccines with Omicron.

Hospitalizations, Mortality Cut In Half With Ivermectin In Brazilian City (ZH)

Early on in the pandemic, before the vaccines were available, the Southern Brazilian city of Itajai offered Ivermectin as a prophylaxis against the disease. Between July and December of 2020, roughly 220,000 people were offered a dose of 0.2mg/kg/day (roughly 18mg for a 200lb person) as an optional treatment for 2 days, once every two weeks. 133,051 people took them up on it, while 87,466 did not. After analyzing the data, a team of researchers spanning several Brazilian institutes, the University of Toronto, and Columbia’s EAFIT concluded in a December pre-print study that hospitalization and mortality rates were cut in half over the seven month period among the Ivermectin group.

The authors adjusted for relevant confounding variables, including age, sex, medical history, previous diseases, and other conditions. The analysis contradicts an October report by Business Insider which claims, based on a Brazilian ICU doctor’s anecdotal evidence, that the experiment was a failure. Study limitations: The authors note, “Being a retrospective observational analysis, it is uncertain whether results would be reproducible in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, but likely, since groups of ivermectin users and non-users had similar demographic characteristics, and rates were adjusted for the relevant confounding variables.”


We’re sure the ‘fact checkers’ are already hard at work trying to debunk the pre-print, however they may also want to take a look at ivmmeta.com – a real-time meta analysis of 70 studies which found that Ivermectin works as a prophylaxis 83% of the time. In peer-reviewed studies, it was found effective 70% of the time as an early treatment, and just 39% of the time as a late treatment. As we noted during the whole ‘horse paste’ controversy: Ivermectin This widely prescribed anti-parasitic which is also used in horses has shown meaningful efficacy worldwide in the treatment of mild and moderate cases of Covid-19, plus as a prophylactic. India’s Uttar Pradesh province, with a population of over 200 million, says that widespread early use of Ivermectin ‘helped keep positivity [and] deaths low.’

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“The only way this war will be won is if people unify under one umbrella and don’t leave.”

2022 Trends, Predictions, Collapse, Covid & Wars – Gerald Celente (USAW)

Gerald Celente, a renowned trends researcher, is back this time to talk about what he is sees coming in 2022. There is the never ending Covid, Vax Wars, military wars, economic upheaval, and even new predictions on the future of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Ron DeSantis. We start with what needs to be done to defeat the tyranny of the vax war on the global population. Celente says, “Vax War,’ look at the protests going on in Austria. Look at the protests going on in Germany, Italy, in France and the UK. . . . The only way this war will be won is if people unify under one umbrella and don’t leave.”

On the economy, Celente warns, “How about that bankster, that Fed Head Powell? He said inflation was going to be ‘temporary.’ Oh no, it’s going to be ‘transitory.’ They were shooting out that BS one after another, and we said from the beginning, inflation is real and it’s going to keep going. Guess what? It’s not the supply chains–it’s all the cheap money they keep dumping into the system to artificially prop it up.” Celente predicts, “The Fed is going to have to raise interest rates,” to stop what he is calling 1980’s style inflation. And he warns, “The higher interest rates go up, the further the economy is going to go down, and that’s what they are not talking about.”

Celente says get ready for what he is calling “Dragflation.” Meaning, the economy is going to drag lower as inflation surges higher. Celente also predicts that if the Fed Funds Interest Rate, which is now at .25%, “goes to 1.5%, the entire economy could collapse.” Celente is predicting new political parties that are anti-immigration and anti-establishment to form next year. Celente also gives what his assessment of Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton and Ron DeSantis are for the year 2022 and beyond. Celente also makes a bold prediction on the so-called CV19 mandates that should make the unvaxed feel more secure. The negative effects of vaccines are going to stay in the news, but Celente expects the mainstream media (MSM) to do everything possible to cover up the deaths and injuries caused by the CV19 injections. Will the numbers be overpowering to the MSM?

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Mandate fall-out.

Four States Enlist National Guard To Battle Health Care Staffing Crisis (JTN)

Four states – Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire and New York – are deploying the National Guard to battle the COVID-19 healthcare staffing shortage. The staffing shortage rose sharply following the implementation of a vaccine mandate. Vaccination rates in New York, New Hampshire and Maine are some of the highest in the nation. More than 80% of people in these states have received at least one dose. In New York, thousands of healthcare workers were placed on unpaid leave after refusing to get the shot. The Guard, under the direction of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will send about 120 medical workers to 12 long-term care facilities, according to the Epoch Times. About 75 Guard members from Maine were deployed by Gov. Janet Mills (D). Over the past week, the largest hospital in Maine has not had any available critical care beds.


The New York Times reports that cases in Maine reached their pandemic peak recently. In New Hampshire, about 70 National Guard members are providing medical support across the state. “If unfortunately during the winter months, the hospitalization rates continue to increase, we’ll be more than happy to provide additional resources,” National Guard Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities said according to Epoch Times. Indiana called in the Guard last week to 13 facilities throughout the state following a request from Indiana University Health. The facility fired about 125 people who refused to comply with the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The Hoosier State has a vaccination rate of 56.7 percent of residents having received at least one dose.

Maine

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Someone needs to sue him.

A $40 Million Gates Foundation Grant vs A Half Million Human Lives (WT)

In a stunning admission, virologist Dr. Andrew Hill acknowledged in a zoom call that publication of his study could lead to the deaths of at least a half million people. In defending his reversal on the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, he discussed his “difficult situation” and said, “I’ve got this role where I’m supposed to produce this paper and we’re in a very difficult, delicate balance.” The incident is recounted in Robert Kennedy Jr’s New York Times Bestseller, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the global war on Democracy and Public Health. Andrew Hill, PhD, is a senior visiting Research Fellow in Pharmacology at Liverpool University. He is also an advisor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation.

As a researcher for the WHO evaluating ivermectin, Hill wielded enormous influence over international guidance for the drug’s use. Hill had previously authored a analysis of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 that found the drug overwhelmingly effective. On Jan. 6 of 2021, Hill testified enthusiastically before the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidlelines Panel in support of ivermectin’s use. Within a month, however, Hill found himself in what he describes as a “tricky situation.” Under pressure from his funding sponsors, Hill then published an unfavorable study. Ironically, he used the same sources as in the original study. Only the conclusions had changed.

Shortly before he published, Dr. Tess Lawrie, Director of the Evidence-based Medicine Consultancy in Bath, England, and one of the world’s leading medical research analysts, contacted Hill via Zoom and recorded the call (transcript below). Lawrie had learned of his new position and reached out to try to rectify the situation. In a remarkable exchange, Hill admitted his manipulated study would likely delay the uptake of ivermectin in the UK and United States, but said he hoped his doing so would only set the lifesaving drug’s acceptance back by about “six weeks,” after which he was willing to give his support for its use. Hill affirmed that the rate of death at that time was 15,000 people per day. At the 80 percent recovery rate using the drug, which Hill and Lawrie discussed earlier in the call, the number of preventable deaths incurred by such a delay would be staggering — as many as 504,000.

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But that’s what the science says?!

Twitter To Ban Users Who Repeatly Claim Vaxxed People Can Spread Covid (RTN)

Twitter has quietly updated its “COVID-19 misleading information policy” to impose new sanctions on tweets about vaccines, PCR tests, and health authorities. These sanctions include removing and labeling tweets. Both types of sanctions also result in Twitter users accruing strikes on their account which can lead to a permanent suspension. While the top of Twitter’s COVID-19 misleading information policy page currently states “Overview November 2021,” a December 2 archive of the page shows that the page was updated and the “Overview November 2021” text was added after December 2. One of the most notable changes to this “COVID-19 misleading information policy” we noticed is related to claims about whether vaccinated people can spread the coronavirus.

The policy now states that Twitter will label tweets with “corrective information” and give users a strike if they: • Claim that “the vaccines will cause you to be sick, spread the virus, or would be more harmful than getting COVID-19”. • Post what Twitter describes as “false or misleading claims that people who have received the vaccine can spread or shed the virus (or symptoms, or immunity) to unvaccinated people”. This means Twitter users could now be sanctioned for sharing or discussing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) admission that “vaccinated people can still become infected and have the potential to spread the virus to others.”

Another change is that Twitter will start giving a strike to and labeling the tweets of users that use research and statistical findings to “make claims contrary to health authorities,” if it decides that their claims “misrepresent research or statistical findings pertaining to the severity of the disease, prevalence of the virus, or effectiveness of widely accepted preventative measures, treatments, or vaccines.” Previously, Twitter would sanction what it deemed to be “false or misleading” information about research findings but there was no provision about contradicting health authorities.

In addition to this, Twitter will give users two strikes and remove their tweets if they claim that “vaccines approved by health agencies (such as Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine in the United States) did not actually receive full approval/authorization, and therefore that the vaccines are untested, ‘experimental’ or somehow unsafe.” This appears to be a reference to criticism of a footnote in the Federal Drug Administration (FDA’s) “full authorization” documents for the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine which revealed that the FDA had extended the emergency-use authorization for the same vaccine. Furthermore, users that claim that vaccines are part of a “global surveillance” effort will have their tweets removed and be given two strikes. The introduction of this provision follows vaccine-related surveillance tech, such as vaccine passports, being introduced in many countries.

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The Refrigeration Mode.

China Banking Assets Are $52 Trillion, Up By $40 Trillion Since 2008 (Peters)

“China’s rapid industrialization and hunger for global market share kept deflationary pressure on durable goods prices for thirty years, helping to keep consumer price inflation and interest rates lower in the West. And the beauty of the Magic Money Tree was that China could insulate its highly cyclical industry from any default cycle. It monetized bad debt and preserved unprotected, deflationary capacity. The stock of money ballooned. Banking assets are now around $52 trillion. They’ve grown by about $40 trillion since 2008. They’re now twice the size of the US banking system and China’s banks have added the equivalent of the US banking systems in just eight years. This is what hyper MMT looks like.”

“The net result is that western monetary policy and China’s mercantile model fed off one another to give us this Alice in Wonderland ‘through-the-looking-glass’ transformation of massive monetary growth into a deflationary mechanism: The Refrigeration Mode. Both sides got what they wanted: China leapfrogging industrial development, and the US got low inflation in the great moderation. But it had side effects. A massive monetary overhang in China, hyper financialization in the US. These extremes are now biting back on the system through the political economy.” “The Deflationary D’s may still be with us (debt, demographics, disruption, digitization), but the system dynamic is becoming inflationary and there are some new supply side shocks that aren’t deflationary for a change.

“Both sides are in (re)flux. On the macro policy side, we are seeing powerful social reactions to the extremes produced by The Refrigeration Mode. These extremes are feeding into the political economy. Whether it’s the ‘Tax the Rich’ dress at the Met Gala, politicians and celebrities at climate change marches around the world, or bipartisan support for China containment, the challenge to the status quo is clear and present. The COVID crisis merely poured petrol on it.” “It means fiscal policy is back in the driver’s seat – just as central banks put an inflationary bias into their reaction functions. Future bailouts are coming via Main Street, as much as Wall Street. And when monetary and fiscal policy combine, policy becomes more directly inflationary in CPI terms, not simply in asset price terms.”

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Georgia

 

 

Germany distances

 

 

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Sep 282021
 
 September 28, 2021  Posted by at 8:49 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Tête de femme 1926

 

Covid-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely With Vitamin D3 Status (medrxiv)
Spike Protein, Dead Cells And Male Fertility (Chesnut)
The Crazy Is Strong In This One… (Denninger)
Pfizer CEO: “Normal Life” Won’t Return Without Regular COVID Vaccinations (SN)
The Big Tell (Kunstler)
Biden Says US Will Have A ‘Problem’ Until 98% Of Americans Are Vaccinated (RT)
Gov. Hochul: New York To Deploy National Guard To Replace Unvaxxed Nurses (RCP)
NY Healthcare Workers Who Refuse Vaccine Get No Unemployment Benefits (JTN)
British Military To Deploy Trucks & Drivers Amid Fuel Supply Shortage (RT)
AZ Audit Could Not Find the Identity of 86,391 Voters (GP)

 

 

 

 

Veritas
https://twitter.com/i/status/1442640198811242500

 

 

Aussie Senators
https://twitter.com/i/status/1442589710942027783

 

 

How many lives could have been saved?

Covid-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely With Vitamin D3 Status (medrxiv)

Background Much research shows that blood calcidiol (25(OH)D3) levels correlate strongly with SARS-CoV-2 infection severity. There is open discussion regarding whether low D3 is caused by the infection or if deficiency negatively affects immune defense. The aim of this study was to collect further evidence on this topic.

Methods Systematic literature search was performed to identify retrospective cohort as well as clinical studies on COVID-19 mortality rates versus D3 blood levels. Mortality rates from clinical studies were corrected for age, sex and diabetes. Data were analyzed using correlation and linear regression.

Results One population study and seven clinical studies were identified, which reported D3 blood levels pre-infection or on the day of hospital admission. They independently showed a negative Pearson correlation of D3 levels and mortality risk (r(17)=-.4154, p=.0770/r(13)=-.4886, p=.0646). For the combined data, median (IQR) D3 levels were 23.2 ng/ml (17.4 – 26.8), and a significant Pearson correlation was observed (r(32)=-.3989, p=.0194). Regression suggested a theoretical point of zero mortality at approximately 50 ng/ml D3.

Conclusions The two datasets provide strong evidence that low D3 is a predictor rather than a side effect of the infection. Despite ongoing vaccinations, we recommend raising serum 25(OH)D levels to above 50 ng/ml to prevent or mitigate new outbreaks due to escape mutations or decreasing antibody activity.

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“..the body being unable to clear the massive number of dead cells caused by the spike protein…”

Spike Protein, Dead Cells And Male Fertility (Chesnut)

1) The continuous presence of spike protein will almost certainly cause male sterility via m6A methylation. Metformin suppresses m6A methylation! Covid-19 is not a blood vessel disease. It is a disease of impaired metabolism and autophagy (inducing senescence) caused by the spike protein’s massive upregulation of m6a methylation. The endothelial dysfunction is from the spike protein’s suppression of autophagy and simultaneous attack on ACE2 receptors. Epigenetic changes are reversible. A constant presence of spike protein will maintain the deleterious environment.

Once again, the medical establishment is completely incorrect as to the origins of the bioweapon that is SARS-CoV-2 and the disease that it causes. We are dealing with a VERY sophisticated bioweapon that impairs autophagy, metabolism and ion channels. I believe the hypercoagulation being observed is from the body being unable to clear the massive number of dead cells caused by the spike protein. The spike protein both causes massive damage and prevents its “cleanup. “

It has been determined that SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers a global increase in host m6A methylome, exhibiting altered localization and motifs of m6A methylation in mRNAs. M6A Methylation is also a hallmark of aging and is involved STERILITY. m6A modification could alter testosterone synthesis and develop oligospermia or azoospermia. These findings emphasize the essential role of m6A RNA modification in the regulation of autophagy and testosterone synthesis. THIS MAY RENDER MALES STERILE. As a result of increased m6A, m6A levels are increased on the mRNAs of ATG genes, and the transcripts of these genes became highly susceptible to degradation. Hence autophagy is suppressed. Recent research reveals that both m6A demethylases (FTO and ALKBH5) could positively regulate autophagy and showed that m6A modification is inversely associated with the autophagy process.

Several studies have suggested that there is a correlation between autophagy and the endothelial NO function. It has been shown that autophagy induction is associated with increased eNOS expression, whereas decreased autophagy is accompanied by down-regulation of the eNOS expression. It has been observed that in COVID-19 pathophysiological alterations lead to an imbalance NO production. Also, reduction of eNOS-derived NO production causes endothelial dysfunction, which represents a risk factor for severe COVID-19. It is without a doubt that repeated exposure to the spike protein must be avoided. Period.

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“..every “infection” reported now, over 100,000 a day, is another person who has no reason to ever accept a jab.”

The Crazy Is Strong In This One… (Denninger)

Those who have refused thus far fall into three broad categories:

• They’ve seen others they know get the jab and have a very bad outcome. They’re unwilling because they know damn well its dangerous as they’ve seen it with their own eyes. You cannot bull**** those people with “safe” since they’ve watched a loved one, close associate or someone in their immediate vicinity get hammered after taking it, and they’re not going to put their own ass in that position. No way, no how. They may in fact be willing to kill anyone who tries to enforce such a mandate on them because, as they see it, taking the jab means they’re dead already, so there is no downside to taking you to Hell with them. I cannot argue with that logic. Just last afternoon I saw an ambulance outside a local drugstore that dispenses jabs while waiting for a traffic light; the doors were open and the lights on. That wasn’t a “pleasure call” and the several hundred people who witnessed it while at that intersection knew damn well what probably happened. Nobody who sees a life-threatening or fatal incident associated with these jabs and has more than 2 firing neurons in their head is going to allow you anywhere near them with a needle.

• They’re presumptively immune as they’ve had Covid-19 and recovered. The CDC claims that, as of this point, that’s 41 million Americans. For them there is zero benefit, prospective or otherwise, to taking the jab and they know it. Even Washington’s much-ballyhooed “mandate” to take the smallpox inoculation by his troops (which killed a decent number of them, by the way) is bull**** for those individuals; Washington did not inoculate himself because he previously had smallpox and survived. He wasn’t stupid and neither are these people. This is not a small percentage of the population; by the NEJM numbers about 20% of the US Population as of May had been infected with and recovered from Covid-19. Today, given the “summer surge”, that is very likely to be 25% or better and I would not take a bet it’s less than 1 in 3 since the CDC’s “tested positive” numbers exclude a huge number of people who were never tested but conclusively had Covid-19. Incidentally, I’m among them, as I’ve detailed in these pages yet neither I or two other close associates are in the CDC’s numbers as none of us were ever tested or saw a physician for the disease yet we all, quite-clearly, had it and recovered. Not accounting for that is criminally insane on the part of the Administration and legally, morally and ethically unsupportable. The “mandate” will, I predict, fail for this reason alone in the fullness of time and legal challenge. If I can self-attest to having had chicken pox (and I most-certainly can) then there’s no reason someone can’t in this case.

• They’ve seen others they personally know who got the jab and then got infected and hammered. They know the claim that it “prevents severe disease or death” is bull****. They’ve seen with their own eyes a close associate or family member go from no symptoms to near death in a couple of days or less and know damn well what an unvaccinated person gets when they’re infected and gets hammered as we’ve all seen that on the TeeVee, from the punditry and in the statistics; typically you get the virus, develop symptoms and a week or more later you’re in bad enough shape to go to the ER. When someone they know, who was jabbed, goes down the ****ter in 24 hours that irretrievably blows up any claim of “effective” and raises the specter of the jab making the infection worse. Those people are in the same bucket as the first if you try to force them to take it as they’ve seen what happened to someone else.

Biden’s problem with these “mandates” is that both the second and third group are rapidly growing in size; every “infection” reported now, over 100,000 a day, is another person who has no reason to ever accept a jab. Every ten days 1 million people are added to the group that have every legal, ethical, moral and medical reason to say “**** you!” to any Covid-19 jab mandate; these people got Covid-19 and survived; they have immunity and thus the jab offers them nothing. Push them hard enough and some percentage of them may go medieval on anyone and everyone they assign blame to and no, there aren’t enough cops to stop that (never mind that some cops may be among them since they’ve been exposed and infected as “essential workers” for the last 18 months!) if that happens.

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Don’t.

Pfizer CEO: “Normal Life” Won’t Return Without Regular COVID Vaccinations (SN)

The CEO of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says that normal life will return within a year, but not for those who don’t have regular COVID-19 vaccinations. During an appearance on ABC This Week with George Stephanapoulos, Albert Bourla was asked about when he foresaw the end of the pandemic. “Within a year, I think we will be able to come back to normal life,” said Bourla, although he made it very clear that this statement only applies to those who are prepared to take regular coronavirus booster shots. “I don’t think that this means that variants will not be continuing coming,” Bourla added. “And I don’t think that this means that we should be able to live our lives without having vaccinations, basically.” Bourla said that the “most likely scenario” was “annual re-vaccinations” due to the emergence of “new variants.”


The Pfizer’s CEO’s comments on annual vaccinations are interesting given that the FDA has so far only approved booster shots for elderly people and “high risk individuals.” Bourla’s rhetoric is similar to that espoused by Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, who said last week that even younger people will have to get vaccine booster shots at least once every three years. This once again underscores how a two tier society is being created where only those who submit to regular shots will be able to enjoy a relatively normal lifestyle. For those who continue to refuse to be vaccinated, travel, employment and potentially even basic leisure activities will continue to be curtailed, leaving them in a de facto state of lockdown indefinitely.

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“Is that what a “vaccine” is supposed to do? Enhance disease transmission? If the public is not already bamboozled enough, that one will probably seal the deal.”

The Big Tell (Kunstler)

Meanwhile, New York state’s vax mandate for all health care workers goes into effect today. The order will cripple health care for certain now in a state already suffering crisis-level short-staffing in hospitals — largely due to the years-long effort of for-profit hospitals to shed employees, especially nurses, while padding the multi-million-dollar salaries of executives who run hospital conglomerates. Andrew Cuomo’s replacement, the disastrous new governor Kathy Hochul, declared hilariously last week that health care workers fired for vax refusal can be replaced by workers from foreign lands.

Of course, the US health care establishment was already imploding under the weight of embedded racketeering, and the mandated shots to workers will now deliver the coup-de-grace. This is on top of the fact that the public’s trust and respect for doctors is starting to edge out even its low esteem for the politicians who assist these racketeering operations. The medical profession that took for its motto first do no harm looks increasingly like an accomplice to mass murder — suppressing effective early treatments of Covid, promoting the known iatrogenic fiascos of intubation and Remdesivir, continuing to use the discredited PCR tests, and utilizing a VAERS system with such a defective website that doctors can’t be bothered to even report harmful reactions to vaccines while the medical bureaucrats hide and game whatever data leaks through their mighty filters. Not to mention developing the Covid-19 bioweapon in the first place and then a toxic vaccine to neatly finish the job.

In another pandemic development, CNN’s go-to doctor and vaccine pusher, Leana Wen of George Washington University, declared startlingly that vaccinated people are now a threat to the unvaccinated because the vaxed carry high viral loads, making them efficient Covid-19 spreaders. Is that what a “vaccine” is supposed to do? Enhance disease transmission? If the public is not already bamboozled enough, that one will probably seal the deal.

Which leads the non-bamboozled to suspect that we are in the midst of a monumental two-year psy-op by malevolent political forces bent on the totalistic domination of daily life in order to change it from the top down, mainly against the peoples’ wishes. There are many theories as to why. The most popular one is that the economic elite want to greatly reduce the global population for the good of the planet. That would be a pretty severe project if true. It’s hard to conceive of such megalomania outside a James Bond movie. But otherwise, you’re left with the somewhat unsatisfying conclusion that, as the old political weasel-phrase goes, mistakes were made. Yeah, for sure, but after making the first half-dozen or so mistakes, you’d think that honorable people would just cop to their errors and change course. That this hasn’t happened is the Big Tell.

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Note how the number keeps rising.

Biden Says US Will Have A ‘Problem’ Until 98% Of Americans Are Vaccinated (RT)

US President Joe Biden had his third dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine administered live before the White House press corps, insisting the ‘unvaccinated’ were a problem for America and urging everyone to get their shots. Biden was injected on Monday at a televised event inside the Eisenhower Executive Office building, telling the reporters he was doing so because the regulators had declared the Pfizer-made boosters “safe and effective.” A CNN reporter pointed out that Monday’s booster event was historic – the first time a sitting president was getting the coronavirus vaccine on camera. While Biden took both of his original doses on camera, that was before he was sworn in. His predecessor Donald Trump, who recovered from Covid-19 in October 2020, was reportedly vaccinated before he left the White House, but not publicly.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the boosters last week, but rejected the White House’s call to apply them to the general adult population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) went a step further, expanding the booster advisory to “those in high risk occupational and institutional settings” on Thursday. Biden doubled down on calling the current situation with the coronavirus in the US “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and repeated a joke he made on Friday about being over 65 and therefore needing a booster shot. “Please, please do the right thing. Please get the shot,” he said at the event. “It can save your life. It can save the lives of those around you. And it’s easy, accessible, and it’s free.”

Asked how many Americans needed to be vaccinated, he said maybe 98%. “But I’m not the scientist. I think one thing is for certain. A quarter of the country can’t go unvaccinated and us not continue to have a problem,” he added. “About 23% haven’t gotten any shots, and that distinct minority is causing an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country,” he said. While some praised Biden for answering questions “all the way through” and not flinching at the needle, others pointed out that he refused to answer questions about the border crisis. According to the Department of Homeland Security, around 12,000 migrants from Haiti who had come across the US-Mexico border illegally have been released inside the country, though their makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas has been dismantled.

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Hochul
https://twitter.com/i/status/1442579915510005760

How cuckoo is this woman really?

Gov. Hochul: New York To Deploy National Guard To Replace Unvaxxed Nurses (RCP)

New York Gov. Hochul said Friday that the state will deploy the National Guard to fill expected staff shortages as unvaccinated nurses and hospital workers are fired effective tonight. “Our top priority remains staying ahead of this constantly changing virus and protecting New Yorkers with effective, long-lasting vaccines,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul. “As we’ve heard from our federal and State medical and health experts, as with many other vaccines, the protection from the COVID-19 vaccine can wane over time. A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will help particularly at-risk New Yorkers stay protected from the virus for longer. While the focus of our vaccination effort remains ensuring all unvaccinated New Yorkers get vaccinated, those who are booster eligible should waste no time receiving maximum protection from COVID-19 as soon as possible.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1442629323870121989

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But of course. Worked their asses off for 20 months and here’s the reward.

NY Healthcare Workers Who Refuse Vaccine Get No Unemployment Benefits (JTN)

Health-care employees in New York who are fired for refusing to comply with a state law requiring them to have the COVID-19 vaccine to continue working will not be able to collect unemployment benefits, according to the New York Department of Labor. Starting Monday, hospitals and nursing homes workers across the state must have received at least one dose of the vaccine. And employees working in home care, hospice and adult care facilities must be vaccinated by October 7. The mandate also applies to all out-of-state and contract medical staff who practice in New York, unless they present a doctor-approved request for medical accommodation.


“Workers in a healthcare facility, nursing home, or school who voluntarily quit or are terminated for refusing an employer-mandated vaccination” are not eligible for unemployment insurance because the employer has a “compelling interest” for its employees to be vaccinated, reads the New York Department of Labor website, according to Insider. New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul has said she is prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and workers outside the state to aid with a potential shortage of healthcare workers once the mandate takes effect and some people are no longer eligible to come to work, Insider also reports.

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A winter of disconnect.

British Military To Deploy Trucks & Drivers Amid Fuel Supply Shortage (RT)

The British army could soon deploy its own fuel tankers to fill a major logistics gap caused by a lack of lorries and drivers, with some petrol stations running dry in some areas as deliveries have all but ground to a halt. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the plans on Monday night, with the government stating that army tanker drivers would receive specialized training to “enable them to seamlessly work with industry to address the supply chain pressures.” “The men and women of our armed forces stand ready to alleviate the transport pressures where they are felt most. That is why I have authorised their increased preparedness so they are ready to respond if needed,” he said, as quoted by Sky News.

The announcement comes after several days of panic-buying across the UK, driven by fears of a possible fuel shortage, leaving some stations out of gasoline due to the sudden surge in demand. British officials, however, insist there is no supply shortage, but rather a lack of delivery trucks and drivers needed to distribute the fuel. Before Wallace’s statement, Environment Secretary George Eustice denied reports of any army involvement, saying that there were “no plans at the moment” to do such a thing, though he did acknowledge that military personnel would remain on “standby.” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng submitted a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) request to the army to secure drivers if needed.

He argued that while “the UK continues to have strong supplies of fuel,” the request was a “sensible, precautionary step,” adding that he expects demand to return to normal levels “in the coming days.” Nonetheless he said that the government is “aware of supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease these as a matter of priority.” If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel. Echoing Kwarteng, Eustice noted that the spate of panic-buying, which continued through the weekend, was now “calming down” and that consumers were returning to “normal buying habits.”

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“If you can’t be found using these credentials, something is definitely wrong.”

AZ Audit Could Not Find the Identity of 86,391 Voters (GP)

The Arizona audit could not find an identity match on 86,391 people. This is disclosed on Page 56 of the “Results Details” report. These Maricopa voters cast ballots in Nov 2020 and don’t seem to exist. The ones registered as Democrat or selected no party affiliation represent a whopping 73.8% of these unknown voters. That’s 63,757 ballots. Not selecting a party makes monitoring of nefarious registrations much harder as everything not R or D is bulked together as “Other”. Even the new State voter registration form now only has only 3 categories (R, D, Other) and some registration reporting reduced to similar. Cyber Ninja’s used Melissa Personator which is arguably the best commercial service to validate U.S. or Canadian identities.


It scours private and government databases including USPS and Social Security Administration. Cyber Ninja’s oddly concludes most of these “unknowns” might be real people that just have limited public records. Our name, DOB, SS#, and address are in every State and Fed database. If you can’t be found using these credentials, something is definitely wrong. The Ninja’s didn’t consider Maricopa’s history, it’s registration battles, or issues with non-citizen voters. They make no consideration the database might have been manipulated but know it was hacked Nov. 5th 2020. Had the Senate subpoenaed Maricopa’s VRAS servers and tasked CyFIR to investigate, we might know a whole lot more.

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Another day in Australia

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Feb 092021
 


Horacio Coppola Avenida de Mayo entre Bolívar y Perú, Buenos Aires 1936

 

Five Ways The Government Could Have Avoided 100,000 Covid Deaths (G.)
14 Nursing Home Residents Test Positive For B117 Despite Vaccination (DF)
Israel and Greece Sign Deal To Allow Vaccinated Tourists To Travel (EN)
Why Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments To Canada Have Been Delayed (Star)
Cuba’s COVID-19 Vaccines Serve the People, Not Profits (CP)
A Very Dangerous Variant Of The Global Virus Is Spreading Again (Bilbo)
Is This The Biggest Financial Bubble Ever? Hell Yes It Is (John Rubino)
House Democrats Reject Push To Lower Income Threshold For Stimulus Checks (F.)
Yellen: US At Full Employment Next Year If Congress Passes Stimulus (CNBC)
Europe’s Debt Cancellation Would Mean Recognition of Insolvency (Lacalle)
No US Combat Deaths in Afghanistan Over Past Year (Antiwar)
As Trump Impeachment Trial Starts, Democrat Agenda Crashes Into Reality (JTN)
It Cost Taxpayers $483 Million To Send National Guard Troops To DC (F.)
Assange Supporters Urge Joe Biden To Drop Prosecution (Ind.)
The -New Normal- War on Domestic Terror (CJ Hopkins)

 

 

All suspended accounts are on the right.

 

 

U.S. COVID update: Lowest number of new cases since Oct.

 

 

NOTE: Don’t miss John Day MD’s guide for COVID prevention and treatment that I published earlier yesterday: Treat Your Own COVID.

It could save your life.

 

 

Look, Prof Devi Sridhar is chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, and he doesn’t manage one word on the government failing to boost their citizens’ immune systems. It’s all about masks and gloves and testing and borders and messaging. You know, the stuff that attracts attention AFTER people have been infected.

Nobody has a chance in the face of all this myopia.

Five Ways The Government Could Have Avoided 100,000 Covid Deaths (G.)

First, the UK had no border policies in place for months. [..] The second fatal flaw in the UK’s response happened on 12 March, when the government made the fatal decision to stop community testing [..] Third, the government made another harmful decision in March when it delayed the first lockdown. [..] The fourth error was the lack of appropriate personal protective equipment for many health and social workers [..] Finally, the UK has continually lacked both clear leadership and messaging, which are vital in a pandemic. Rather than leading from the front, the government seems to only follow public opinion and polling.

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The Pfizer vaccine. Google translate.

14 Nursing Home Residents Test Positive For B117 Despite Vaccination (DF)

In an old people’s and nursing home in Belm in the Osnabrück district, there was an outbreak of the British Corona variant despite the vaccination. In 14 seniors the virus is B.1.1.7. – although all residents had been vaccinated for the second time on January 25, the district announced. The home, all employees and their families have been quarantined. The board of directors of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Brysch, called on the Ministry of Health to closely monitor nursing homes after the second vaccination. Otherwise there would be no reliable data on the danger the mutation posed for the high-risk group. So far there have only been asymptomatic or mild courses of the disease in the residents, which could be a positive effect of the vaccination, said the press spokesman for the Osnabrück district.

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Again: no vaccine has been approved yet, just emergency authorized. But this is based on vaccination passports. Let’s have a legal expert explain it.

Israel and Greece Sign Deal To Allow Vaccinated Tourists To Travel (EN)

Israel and Greece agreed on Monday to pave the way for vaccinated tourists to travel between their two countries in an effort to boost their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the agreement in Jerusalem on Monday. The deal is designed to allow tourists with vaccination certificates to move between the countries “without any limitations, no self-isolation, nothing,” Netanyahu said at a press conference.


Both economies have large sectors devoted to tourism, an industry devastated by travel restrictions during the 11-month pandemic. The announcement comes at a time of tough new travel restrictions elsewhere around the world as governments grapple with variants of the virus. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation says international arrivals fell 74% last year, wiping out $1.3 trillion (€1 trillion) in revenue and putting up to 120 million jobs at risk. A UNWTO expert panel had a mixed outlook for 2021, with 45% expecting a better year, 25% no change and 30% a worse one.

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No proper research, emergency authorization, of course you’re going to run into gigantic problems. We haven’t seen nothing yet.

Why Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments To Canada Have Been Delayed (Star)

Moderna’s delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Canada has hit delays because the company has encountered problems with its European supply chain and restrictions on exports of vaccine supplies, the Star has learned. A senior federal source with knowledge of the file told the Star that Moderna is trying to source the material needed to produce its vaccine, and to meet demand for materials needed to package the vaccines. The source said the company’s own supply for materials has been affected by the European Union’s attempt to control how much material is exported before its member states are supplied with vaccine. In a written statement to the Star, Moderna’s country manager for Canada, Patricia Gauthier, confirmed the company’s effort to scale up production in Switzerland is a factor in delayed deliveries to countries outside of the United States.


The statement said Moderna has provided revised short-term delivery guidance “outside of the U.S., including to the government of Canada based on the ramp up trajectory of drug substance manufacturing in Switzerland.” It also suggested no problems are occurring with its packaging process. “Fill and finish activities continue as planned,” the statement said. “Moderna remains focused on operating at the highest level of quality to ensure the safety of the vaccine.” Moderna also confirmed its contract with Canada specifies “delivery volumes per quarter,” and said it will “meet its contractual commitments for the first quarter and the following quarters in order to deliver 40 million doses by the end of the third quarter.” It said its strategic collaboration with Lonza in Switzerland — which started mass production of Moderna vaccines this year — aims to manufacture up to 1 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine per year.

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Cuba has a hard time getting the ingedients for its vaccines. Embargo, don’t you know.

Cuba’s COVID-19 Vaccines Serve the People, Not Profits (CP)

Cuba’s socialist approach to developing vaccines against COVID-19 differs strikingly from that of capitalist nations of the world. Cuba’s production of four vaccines is grounded in science and dedicated to saving the lives of all Cubans, and to international solidarity. The New York Times’s running report on the world’s vaccine programs shows 67 vaccines having advanced to human trials; 20 of them are in the final phase of trials or have completed them. The United States, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, and India have each produced many vaccines; most vaccine-manufacturing countries are offering one or two vaccines. Cuba is the only vaccine manufacturer in Latin America; there are none in Africa. The only state-owned entities producing the leading vaccines are those of Cuba and Russia.

Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute has produced two COVID-19 vaccines. Trials for one of them, called Sovereign I, focus on protecting people previously infected with COVID-19. The antibody levels of some of them turned out to be low, and the vaccine might provide a boost. The other vaccine, Sovereign II, is about to enter final human trials. For verifying protection, these trials require tens of thousands of subjects, one half receiving the vaccine and the other half, a placebo vaccine. Cuba’s population is relatively small, 11 million people, too small to yield enough infected people in the short time required to test the vaccine’s protective effect. That’s why Sovereign II will be tested in Iran.

100 million doses of Sovereign II are being prepared, enough to immunize all 11 million Cubans, beginning in March or April. The 70 million remaining doses will go to Vietnam, Iran, Pakistan, India, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. Sovereign II “will be the vaccine of ALBA,” explained Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, referring to the solidarity alliance established in 2004 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro. “Cuba’s strategy in commercializing the vaccine represents a combination of what’s good for humankind and the impact on world health. We are not a multinational where a financial objective comes first,” says Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director of Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute. Income generated by vaccine sales abroad will pay for health care, education, and pensions in Cuba just as happens with exports of medical services and medicines.

Cuba’s Center for Genetic and Biotechnological Engineering is developing two other COVID-19 vaccines; One, named “Mambisa” (signifying a female combatant in wars of liberation from Spain), is administered via the nasal route, just as is Cuba’s hepatitis B vaccine. The other vaccine, named “Abdala” (a character in a Jose Marti poem) is administered intramuscularly. The two vaccines are involved in early trials.

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Austerity is that variant.

A Very Dangerous Variant Of The Global Virus Is Spreading Again (Bilbo)

There is a new variant of the global virus spreading again after being subdued throughout 2020. This is a very dangerous variant and if it takes hold will guarantee massive human suffering, and, a further, substantial shift in national income towards the top-end-of-town. I refer to the creeping infestation that is starting to pop up claiming that austerity will be required to pay for all the “profligacy” associated with government approach to the pandemic. I have seen this virus in the wild and it is creepy and being spread by those who seem to want to gain attention as time passes them by. Overheating threats, austerity threats – it is all part of the economics establishment trying to remain relevant. A vaccine will not work. They need to be permanently isolated.

The Prospect Magazine article (January, 26, 2021) – In defence of austerity – written by a “former head of Treasury” The sub-title begins the twisted framing: “Free money is in vogue—but there’s no such thing” – the only cost of the Bank of England buying all the debt being issued by H.M. Treasury is the wear and tear on the computer keyboards that type in the numbers. The pandemic has exposed to an increasing number of people that there is ‘free money’. They are realising that numbers just appear in bank accounts. Perhaps this former official should watch the recent speech and subsequent Q&A from the Reserve Bank of Australia governor, Philip Lowe to the National Press Club in Canberra (February 3, 2020).

He was asked by a journalist in the Q&A: Could you please explain in the simplest terms, perhaps keeping in mind your audience outside of this room, when the RBA decides to purchase government bonds, as it’s doing, where does the RBA get that money from? Is it simply a matter of printing new money? How does it work? The Governor replied:

“Well, it’s not printing money. People think of it as printing money, because once upon a time if the central bank bought an asset, it might pay for that asset by giving you notes, you know, bank notes. I’d have to run my printing presses to do it. We don’t operate that way anymore, obviously because we live in an electronic world. When we buy a bond from a bank, the way we pay for that is credit. The banks, we’ll use Westpac, who’s the sponsor of today’s event as an example. If we bought a bond from Westpac, we would credit Westpac’s account at the Reserve Bank, and that creates the money electronically. That’s how a modern system works. And then Westpac could use that money hopefully to make some loans to some of its customers. But we can create money electronically, and that’s what we do these days …”

Read more …

John takes a trip through all the bubbles. Read.

Is This The Biggest Financial Bubble Ever? Hell Yes It Is (John Rubino)

If you’re over 40 you’ve lived through at least three epic financial bubbles: junk bonds in the 1980s, tech stocks in the 1990s, and housing in the 2000s. Each was spectacular in its own way, and each threatened to take down the whole financial system when it burst. But they pale next to what’s happening today. Where those past bubbles were sector-specific, which is to say the mania and resulting carnage occurred mostly within one asset class, today’s bubble is spread across, well, pretty much everything – hence the term “everything bubble.” When this one pops there won’t be a lot of hiding places.


Most bubbles start when an influx of outside cash sends the price of something up dramatically. This captures the imagination of the broader investing public and the process takes on a life of its own, culminating in an orgy of bad decisions and eventually a wipe-out of the easy fortunes made on the way up. So to understand the everything bubble, let’s start at the beginning with that influx of outside money. This time it’s coming from the Federal Reserve in what can only be described as the mother of all print runs. M2, a medium-broad measure of the US money supply, has more than tripled so far in this century, and lately the arc has gone vertical, rising by nearly a third in just the past year.

All this extra money has to go somewhere, so no surprise that it’s flowing in lots of different directions. Among the recipients: The bond and money markets, made up of instruments that pay interest, are in the aggregate far bigger than the world’s stock markets. And they’ve been booming, with interest rates falling steadily for four straight decades. Since bond prices are the reciprocal of bond yields, the next chart can be read as an epic bull market in bonds, one which has gained steam in the past year as massive currency creation has forced fixed income investors (who have to invest new cash somehow) to buy bonds regardless of what they yield.

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Good Lord: “Democrats anticipate that the final package will be passed by both houses of Congress by mid-March.”

House Democrats Reject Push To Lower Income Threshold For Stimulus Checks (F.)

After days of infighting, House Democrats on Monday night released details of proposed coronavirus relief measures that would put the ceiling for full $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans at the same income levels as previous payouts, rejecting calls from more centrist Democrats to lower the threshold. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-Ma.) released a draft version of the bill Monday night proposing $1,400 stimulus checks for single earners making up to $75,000 and for joint filers earning up to $150,000. Some centrist Democrats had called for lowering the threshold to $50,000 per year for individuals and $100,000 per year for joint filers, causing outrage from progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-Ny). Child and adult dependents will now be eligible, unlike the previous rounds of stimulus payments.


Responding to concerns that wealthy people would receive checks, the stimulus payments will phase out quicker, zeroing out when individual income reaches $100,000 and at $200,000 for households. Democrats last week passed a budget reconciliation measure, which allows them to pass a stimulus plan with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. As a result, the final bill will likely be subject to intense jockeying between Democrats because the party can’t afford to lose a single vote in the Senate without Republican support. The measure still has to pass the rest of the House and the Senate, where it meets resistance from centrist Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), who has been leading the charge to lower the income threshold. Democrats anticipate that the final package will be passed by both houses of Congress by mid-March.

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Let’s do the opposite of everything she proposes, then we should be good.

Yellen: US At Full Employment Next Year If Congress Passes Stimulus (CNBC)

The U.S. could return to full employment in 2022 if President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package is passed, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday. “There’s absolutely no reason why we should suffer through a long slow recovery,” Yellen said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I would expect that if this package is passed that we would get back to full employment next year.” Long-term unemployment is nearing a historical peak nearly a year since the pandemic began. Nearly 40% of unemployed workers have been out of work for six months, the Bureau of of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, with nearly 9 million fewer Americans working now than last February. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in January.

The pandemic-fueled unemployment rate will remain elevated for years to come without more federal support, Yellen said, citing an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. Without additional stimulus, it could take until 2025 to send the unemployment rate back down to 4%. Yellen also said that former Obama economic adviser Larry Summer’s concerns over Biden’s stimulus plan posing risks to inflation are small compared to economic damage from failing to provide enough economic support during the pandemic. The U.S. has “the tools to deal with” the risk of inflation, Yellen said.

Democrats in Congress have moved to pass the stimulus plan within two weeks without GOP support, using a parliamentary procedure known as reconciliation. The plan is the first of two major spending initiatives Biden will seek and includes provisions like direct payments to Americans, weekly jobless benefits through September and funding for vaccines and testing. The second bill will focus on infrastructure reform, climate change and racial equity, among other things. “We have people suffering … through absolutely no fault of their own,” Yellen said. “We have to get them to the other side and make sure that this doesn’t take a permanent toll on their lives.”

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Everything left is dangerous.

Europe’s Debt Cancellation Would Mean Recognition of Insolvency (Lacalle)

More than 100 economists, led by French economist Thomas Piketty, creator of some of the most absurd proposals embraced by the extreme left, on Feb. 5 published an open letter in which they called for a cancellation of government debt in the hands of the ECB “in exchange for greater public investment”—which, by the way, would be paid with more issuance of public debt. Fascinating. Luís de Guindos, vice president of the ECB, has settled the controversy with two pieces of evidence. “The cancellation of debt [on the ECB balance sheet] is illegal … [and] does not make any economic or financial sense at all,” he explained in a speech, according to Europa Press. The first part is obvious. It is prohibited by the bylaws of the ECB. I will explain the lack of economic logic here.

A debt write-off or cancellation is evidence of the issuer’s insolvency. If, as the economists repeat, the solvency and credit credibility of the eurozone is not at stake, why ask for a cancellation? If, in addition, as Piketty and other defenders of massive state indebtedness maintain, deficits are not a problem and increasing debt is not a concern because it creates reserves, why cancel it? Let’s not forget that many of the parties that have embraced Piketty’s idea in Europe—Podemos, Syriza, and other European radical parties—filed a proposal to exit the euro in 2015 that they have never subsequently withdrawn or rejected. Podemos MEPs presented a resolution in Strasbourg for the European Union to prepare the mechanisms for the “orderly dissolution of the euro zone.” They also proposed to establish “the mechanisms that would allow a country integrated in the single currency to abandon it to adopt another currency,” according to Spanish newspaper Crónica Global.

So basically, radical parties in Europe demand that the ECB forgives their debt and prints more while keeping the option of leaving the euro. Call that baking the cake and eating it. Most eurozone states finance themselves today at negative rates or extremely low yields. It would be a mistake to think that these low interest yields are the consequence of good government fiscal policy. If the eurozone has low interest rates and low yields it’s because European taxpayers keep it solvent—mostly thanks to Germany’s financial solvency. European taxpayers uphold the credibility of the euro as a currency, and with this the ECB can carry out expansionary policies.

Piketty and colleagues open a dangerous option: direct monetization of all and any government spending Argentina-style. And do so ignoring that the euro is the only global reserve currency with redenomination risk, and that its credibility is maintained only because of the widespread confidence in the euro area’s commitment to repay its debts. A euro bond is an asset for many investors globally only because it’s supposed to be of the lowest risk. Opening the Pandora’s box of cancellations means its status as an asset disappears.

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And then Biden wants to go break the deal that made that possible.

No US Combat Deaths in Afghanistan Over Past Year (Antiwar)

For the first time since the US war in Afghanistan started in 2001, no US troops died in combat in the country for an entire year. The last US combat death took place on February 8th, 2020, when two US Army soldiers were killed in a firefight. This means since the US and Taliban signed a peace deal in late February of last year, no US troops have been killed by the group. But with the withdrawal deadline approaching, the Taliban is vowing to again turn their weapons on US soldiers if they stay in Afghanistan past May 1st. While the Biden administration has yet to make a formal announcement, the chances of a US withdrawal by May 1st seem slim. Last week, a congressionally mandated report was released that warned against the May 1st deadline, which could be all the excuse the US needs to stay.


Pentagon officials have said the deadline is uncertain and insist troops levels in Afghanistan remain “conditions-based.” US officials have been complaining about the amount of violence between the Taliban and the US-backed government. On Monday, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said the level of violence is “too high” and that the Biden administration is taking “a close look at the way forward in accordance with the February 2020 peace agreement.” Since the US is not the only country with troops in Afghanistan, the US-Taliban deal paved the way for all foreign and NATO forces to leave the country. While the alliance has also not made a formal announcement, NATO officials told reporters that NATO troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond May 1st.

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Get out the popcorn.

As Trump Impeachment Trial Starts, Democrat Agenda Crashes Into Reality (JTN)

[..] And the emotionally charged case that Trump incited the Capitol riot with his Jan. 6 speech, has developed deep cracks. Less than a half dozen Republicans have shown any interest in conviction as the facts increasingly show the riot was not spontaneous but rather planned for days and weeks with fund-raising, training, and combat threats. Even the former Capitol Police chief has weighed in with a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the attacks exhibited a “high level of coordination,” undercutting the Democrats’ spontaneous incitement narrative even further. The likelihood of Trump’s conviction has waned as the premeditation evidence mounts, and now Democrats once gleeful they could end the 45th president’s ability to ever hold office again are now pressing to get the trial over quickly as acquittal seems assured.

“It’s not clear to me that there is any evidence that will change anyone’s mind,” Hawaii’s Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz told Politico. Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, often an opponent of Trump, acknowledged the obvious, observing, “Both sides would kind of like to wrap it up fairly quickly.” The Senate trial will start Tuesday with a debate over whether the event is even constitutional with Chief Justice John Roberts refusing to preside, Trump already out of office, and a legitimate debate over whether Trump’s speech was protected “free speech” as Democratic law professor John Turley has argued. Once a dream of Democrats, the trial is feeling more like a burden to them as other elements pose obstacles and challenges to the Biden agenda.

Even Biden himself has little interest in watching the trial, his chief spokeswoman said Monday. “I think it’s clear from his schedule and from his intention that he will not spend too much time watching the proceedings,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

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Expensive theater.

It Cost Taxpayers $483 Million To Send National Guard Troops To DC (F.)

The federal government is projected to spend $483 million to keep National Guard troops in Washington, D.C., until mid-March, amid fears that former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial may draw more violence. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday the price of sending National Guard troops to protect the area around the Capitol from January 6 to March 15 will total $483 million, $284 million for personnel and $199 million for operations. 5,000 troops are slated to remain in the city until March 15 as Trump’s Senate impeachment trial poses security concerns, Politico reported, including “mass demonstrations,” but it’s unclear if there is a specific threat. In the aftermath of the Capitol riots, 25,000 National Guard troops flooded Washington, D.C., for Biden’s inauguration in an effort to prevent further violence.


The majority of troops remaining in the city will do so voluntarily, according to Politico. Republican lawmakers have questioned the need for National Guard troops around the Capitol Hill complex. “We still have National Guardsmen out there, away from their families, away from their jobs, supplementing the police, and yet we can’t get a briefing on what is this dire threat that requires so many people. We still don’t have answers,” Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) told Fox News. Security forces were largely unprepared for the pro-Trump mob that breached the Capitol last month. National Guard troops were only called in after rioters stormed the building, and members of both parties are calling for investigations into security lapses surrounding the attack. But keeping thousands of troops in the city has been rocky: nearly 200 have contracted Covid-19, according to the Military Times.

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Bit of a campaign going on, even the New York Times chimes in. 10 years too late.

Assange Supporters Urge Joe Biden To Drop Prosecution (Ind.)

Media freedom groups and supporters of Julian Assange have asked the Biden administration to drop the US’s pursuit of the WikiLeaks’ founder, saying Donald Trump was opposed to the idea of a “free press”. In their first appeal to the US government since Joe Biden became president less than three weeks ago, more than 20 groups working to promote human right and a free media, wrote to the department of justice, asking it to drop the case against Mr Assange, saying they were fearful “the way that a precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be leveraged”.

“The indictment of Mr Assange threatens press freedom because much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely — and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do,” said the letter, signed by groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “Journalists at major news publications regularly speak with sources, ask for clarification or more documentation, and receive and publish documents the government considers secret. In our view, such a precedent in this case could effectively criminalise these common journalistic practices.” There was no immediate response from the White House. But in a short statement released on Monday evening, a spokesperson for the department of justice, said: “We are continuing our efforts to seek the extradition of Julian Assange.”

[..] In their letter, the activists point out the Obama administration, of which Mr Biden was a key part, decided not to pursue the prosecution of Mr Assange. “The Trump administration positioned itself as an antagonist to the institution of a free and unfettered press in numerous ways. Its abuse of its prosecutorial powers was among the most disturbing,” the letter says. “We are deeply concerned about the way that a precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be leveraged—perhaps by a future administration—against publishers and journalists of all stripes.” The New York Times said the department had a deadline of Friday to file a brief in the British court if it wanted to continue to pursue the matter. The department is currently headed by a caretaker official, Monty Wilkinson, the acting attorney general. The letter was addressed to him.

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War on Domestic Terror goes global.

The -New Normal- War on Domestic Terror (CJ Hopkins)

If you enjoyed the Global War on Terror, you’re going to love the new War on Domestic Terror! It’s just like the original Global War on Terror, except that this time the “Terrorists” are all “Domestic Violent Extremists” (“DVEs”), “Homegrown Violent Extremists” (“HVEs”), “Violent Conspiracy-Theorist Extremists” (“VCTEs”), “Violent Reality Denialist Extremists” (VRDEs”), “Insurrectionary Micro-Aggressionist Extremists” (“IMAEs”), “People Who Make Liberals Feel Uncomfortable” (“PWMLFUs”), and anyone else the Department of Homeland Security wants to label an “extremist” and slap a ridiculous acronym on. According to a “National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin” issued by the DHS on January 27, these DCEs, HVEs, VCTEs, VRDEs, IMAEs, and PWMLFUs are “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority [and] perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”

They are believed to be “motivated by a range of issues, including anger over Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, police use of force,” and other dangerous “false narratives” (e.g., the existence of the “deep state,” “herd immunity,” “biological sex,” “God,” and so on). “Inspired by foreign terrorist groups” and “emboldened by the breach of the US Capitol Building,” this diabolical network of “domestic terrorists” is “plotting attacks against government facilities,” “threatening violence against critical infrastructure” and actively “citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about Covid-19.” For all we know, they might be huddled in the “Wolf’s Lair” at Mar-a-Lago right now, plotting a devastating terrorist attack with those WMDs we never found in Iraq, or generating population-adjusted death-rate charts going back 20 years, or posting pictures of “extremist frogs” on the Internet.

The Department of Homeland Security is “concerned,” as are its counterparts throughout the global capitalist empire. The (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror isn’t just a war on American “domestic terror.” The “domestic terror” threat is international. France has just passed a “Global Security Law” banning citizens from filming the police beating the living snot out of people (among other “anti-terrorist” provisions). In Germany, the government is preparing to install an anti-terror moat around the Reichstag. In the Netherlands, the police are cracking down on the VCTEs, VRDEs, and other “angry citizens who hate the system,” who have been protesting over nightly curfews.

Read more …

 

 

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Jan 252021
 


Amedeo Modigliani Jeanne Hebuterne 1919

 

Israel: 60% Drop In Hospitalizations For Age 60+ 3 Weeks After 1st Shot (ToI)
Nevada District To Partially Reopen Schools As Student Suicides Surge (Hill)
California Refuses To Disclose COVID19 Data Used To Drive Lockdowns (ZH)
Covid-19 Variant In California May Explain Sharp Rise In Cases (F.)
Tulsi Gabbard: Domestic-Terrorism Bill Targets Almost Half The Country (NR)
Biden 2020 Run Backed By $145 Million In ‘Dark Money’ (ZH)
Rubio: Trump Impeachment Trial Is ‘Stupid’ (Hill)
Impeachment Trial To Keep National Guard Troops At Capitol (Pol.)
UN Agency: China Surpassed US In Foreign Direct Investments In 2020 (Hill)
Boeing 737 Max Cleared To Fly Again ‘Too Early’ (BBC)
Australia Says ‘Inevitable’ That Facebook & Google Will Pay For Content (RT)
Facebook Feeds Private Messages of Its Users Directly to the FBI (TFTP)
Toxic Chemicals Threaten Humanity’s Ability To Reproduce (IC)

 

 

 

 

Build Back Better
https://twitter.com/i/status/1351507371386949639

 

 

Could be good news. But I’m a bit reluctant to attach too much meaning to 6 vs 18 infections among 50,777 people. Once you apply normal procedures like margin of error to this, then what are you left with? What would a bookmaker make of it?

Israel: 60% Drop In Hospitalizations For Age 60+ 3 Weeks After 1st Shot (ToI)

Vaccines are quickly averting serious cases of COVID-19 among the most vulnerable members of society, an Israeli healthcare provider has indicated. The full effects of Pfizer’s vaccine are only slated to kick in around a month after the first shot, but data from Israel, home to the world’s fastest vaccination drive, has already shown that there is a stark drop in infections even before this point. Attracting widespread international interest by sharing early data, Maccabi Healthcare Services reported earlier this month that it has seen a 60 percent reduction in coronavirus infections three weeks after the first shot is administered. But it wasn’t clear if the benefits were being felt equally by those who have a propensity to mild infection and those who would be likely to take COVID-19 badly.

Now, Maccabi is starting to answer the question that hospitals and health ministers around the world are anxiously asking, amid fears of health service meltdowns: How quickly will COVID-19 wards start to see the benefits of vaccination? The decrease in hospital admissions is swift after vaccination, Maccabi suggests in its latest data, finding that hospitalizations start to fall sharply from Day 18 after people receive the first shot. Galia Rahav, head of infectious diseases at Israel’s largest hospital, Sheba Medical Center, described the data as “very important.” By Day 23, which is 2 days after the second shot, there is a 60% drop in hospitalizations among vaccinated people aged 60-plus, Maccabi revealed after monitoring 50,777 patients. It compared their hospitalization rate at that point with their hospitalization rate soon after receiving the vaccine, using 7-day moving averages.

“This is very important data,” Rahav, who is unconnected to the study, told The Times of Israel. “It has an impact because amid high infection rates and the spread of variants it’s hard to see from general figures how vaccination is influencing things. “By giving an insight into hospitalizations among just those elderly people who were vaccinated, this data is valuable.” However, she cautioned that some of the drop may be due to a tendency of newly vaccinated people to adhere to lockdown rules, which causes a drop in infection and hospitalization.The new data also supports Maccabi’s earlier claim of a 60% infection rate drop after three weeks, reporting that it saw the same drop with a new sample comprising only the 60-plus age group. Maccabi’s graph gives a real picture of infection in Israel, showing that until Day 13, vaccinated over-60s had similar infection rates as the overall 60-plus population. Then, a gap opens, and by Day 23, there were 18 daily infections among the 50,777 overall, but just six among the vaccinated.

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One dimension is not enough.

Nevada District To Partially Reopen Schools As Student Suicides Surge (Hill)

The Clark County School District in Nevada is moving to partially reopen schools in response to a surge of student suicides, The New York Times reports. Eighteen students in the county took their own lives in the final nine months of 2020, the Times reports, leading the Clark County school board to approve returning some elementary school grades and struggling classes back to in-person learning despite the continuing spread of the coronavirus. “When we started to see the uptick in children taking their lives, we knew it wasn’t just the COVID numbers we need to look at anymore,” said Clark County superintendent Jesus Jara. “We have to find a way to put our hands on our kids, to see them, to look at them. They’ve got to start seeing some movement, some hope.”

According to Jara, the 18 suicides in the nine months that schools have been closed is double the number of suicides recorded in the school district in the entire previous year. The youngest student to kill themselves was nine years old. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on students’ mental health, grades and attendance around the world and health and education experts have struggled with the best way to protect students – and the faculty, staff and family members who may be more vulnerable – while tending to their mental health and education. In Virginia’s largest school district, the number of F’s nearly doubled among middle school and high school students.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has called for schools to remain open if at all possible, saying there is a way for them to do so safely. The Times reports that Clark County, which includes the city of Las Vegas, invested in the GoGuardian Beacon alert system following the sixth student suicide. The system monitors student writing on iPads provided by the school district, looking for suicide risks. More than 31,000 alerts were made between the months of June and October.

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“..they won’t answer why indoor religious services are strictly forbidden while other venues where people gather are just fine..”

California Refuses To Disclose COVID19 Data Used To Drive Lockdowns (ZH)

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) promised months ago that the state’s COVID-19 policy decisions would be driven by transparent data that would be shared with the public. Now, his administration is refusing to disclose key information used to determine when lockdown orders are implemented or rescinded – and has denied a public records request filed with the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency on May 28 by the Center for American Liberty (CAL) seeking both the data and science behind the state’s lockdown decisions, according to Fox News. State health officials now say they rely on a ‘very complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public,’ AP reports.

In short, California says you’re too stupid to understand their rationale for mandating thousands of businesses into financial ruin through what appear to be arbitrary and unscientific decisions. To wit, at least two California judges have struck down the state’s draconian mandates over lack of scientific evidence to support lockdowns and restaurant restrictions. Not only that, according to SFGATE, there’s growing speculation that California’s ban on outdoor dining may have contributed to the state’s COVID-19 surge. Not the best of optics as as a GOP effort to recall Newsom continues to gain momentum. According to CAL executive director Mark Trammel, the Golden State won’t answer why, for example, they won’t answer why indoor religious services are strictly forbidden while other venues where people gather are just fine.

“If it’s safe enough to go to a marijuana dispensary or Macy’s or Costco that same standard should apply to parishioners in our congregation they should be able to sep in pews and wear a mask,” Trammel told Fox News in a recent interview. Dr. Lee Riley, chairman of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health infectious disease division thinks the state’s lack of transparency is troubling. “There is more uncertainty created by NOT releasing the data that only the state has access to,” he told the Associated Press in an email.

Read more …

Get your own variant!

Covid-19 Variant In California May Explain Sharp Rise In Cases (F.)

The post-Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s surge of Covid-19 cases has been felt in nearly all 50 states, but perhaps none more so than California. More specifically, Southern California, and even more specifically, Los Angeles County, have been experiencing daily case counts never before seen in the past 11 months. Hospitals have been in surge mode since the week before Christmas, with ICU capacity down to 0% in many facilities. Reminiscent of New York City back in April 2020, refrigerated trucks for deceased bodies of those who succumbed to complications due to Covid-19 infections were seen outside of many hospitals, where morgues became full in recent weeks. Some hospitals have been using tents, hallways, and even hospital gift shops as patient care areas. Some hospitals were operating at 200% capacity.

Most have canceled non-emergency surgeries, procedures, and admissions. Death rates of hospitalized patients have risen, in part due to stresses on personnel and equipment availability, and in part due to the fact that only the very sickest patients would be provided an inpatient hospital bed. Initial thoughts that the relatively cooler weather, even for Southern California, combined with pandemic fatigue and complacency, all in the midst of holiday gatherings and travel, would explain the remarkable uptick in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. By early January 2021, test positivity in Los Angeles County was in the 20% range, and one Angeleno was dying from Covid every six to eight minutes. But just as the U.K. has identified a more transmissible variant, termed B.1.1.7, South Africa has identified another highly transmissible variant, and a third variant has arisen in Japan and Brazil, California has found one of its own.

The California strain, known as Cal.20C, has been identified in 35-50% of recently diagnosed cases in Los Angeles. And as has been the case for the other variants across the world, all of which have crossed oceans and borders, the Cal.20C variant is more infectious than the prior forms of coronavirus, or SARS-CoV2. In addition, this and the previously identified variants are not necessarily more deadly, nor do they necessarily cause more significant illnesses. The variant, although named for the western-most state, has also been found in other states in the Southwest as well as the Northeast.

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“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house..”

Tulsi Gabbard: Domestic-Terrorism Bill Targets Almost Half The Country (NR)

Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democratic representative from Hawaii, on Friday expressed concern that a proposed measure to combat domestic terrorism could be used to undermine civil liberties. Gabbard’s comments came during an appearance on Fox News Primetime when host Brian Kilmeade asked her if she was “surprised they’re pushing forward with this extra surveillance on would-be domestic terror.” “It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said. She continued:

“When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians.” She said her concern lies in how officials will define the characteristics they are searching for in potential threats.

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?” Gabbard said. She said the proposed legislation could create “a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.” “You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.

Tulsi Liberty
https://twitter.com/i/status/1353403241820635136

Read more …

We’ll never know how much. Would it be an idea to just stop this? So a billionaire gets one vote, just like a plumber?

Biden 2020 Run Backed By $145 Million In ‘Dark Money’ (ZH)

President Biden’s campaign received a record-breaking amount of anonymous donations to outside groups backing him, which means the public “will never have a full accounting of who helped him win the White House,” according to Bloomberg. In total, $145 million in so-called dark money donations, “a type of fundraising Democrats have decried for years,” backed the Biden campaign – and combined with his $1.5 billion record-breaking haul. Of note, Biden’s campaign called for banning certain types of nonprofits from spending money to influence elections, and that any organization spending over $10,000 to benefit a candidate register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and disclose its donors. They didn’t specifically call on their own supporters to do so, however.

“That amount of dark money dwarfs the $28.4 million spent on behalf of his rival, former President Donald Trump. And it tops the previous record of $113 million in anonymous donations backing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. Democrats have said they want to ban dark money as uniquely corrupting, since it allows supporters to quietly back a candidate without scrutiny. Yet in their effort to defeat Trump in 2020, they embraced it.” -Bloomberg. One such dark money recipient, Priorities USA Action Fund designated by Biden as his preferred vehicle for outside spending, backed Biden with $26 million originally (and anonymously) donated to its nonprofit arm, Priorities USA.

Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil deflected when asked about the funds, saying in a statement “We weren’t going to unilaterally disarm against Trump and the right- wing forces that enabled him.” Another entity funneling dark money to benefit Biden was the Future Forward PAC, which spent $104 million backing Biden. While they received tens of millions from known sources, such as $46.9 million from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, $3 million from Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, and $2.6 million from Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt – they received $61 million from Future Forward USA Action – none of which requires disclosure of sources.

Read more …

“I don’t own the Senate seat, it doesn’t belong to me,” he added. “If I want to be back in the U.S Senate, I have to earn that every six years.”

Rubio: Trump Impeachment Trial Is ‘Stupid’ (Hill)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday that he would vote to dismiss the article of impeachment against former President Trump at the earliest opportunity, calling the upcoming Senate trial detrimental to national unity. “I think the trial is stupid,” Rubio said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We already have a flaming fire in this country,” he added, saying the trial would be “a bunch of gasoline.” “The first chance I get to vote to end this trial I’ll do it,” the Florida senator told Fox News’s Chris Wallace. Rubio went on to say that then-President Ford’s pardon of former President Nixon after his resignation was “in hindsight important” for “moving the country forward” despite widespread consensus that Nixon had committed criminal offenses. “I think [Trump is] entitled to due process,” Rubio added.


“The House doesn’t have much of a record of witnesses because they rammed it through very quickly … I think this is going to be very bad for the country.” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) earlier in the show pushed back on claims that convicting a former president was unconstitutional, saying the “preponderance of opinion” allowed for such a conviction. Romney was the only Republican to vote for conviction in the president’s early 2020 impeachment trial. Wallace went on to ask Rubio, who is up for reelection in 2022, about rumors that former White House adviser Ivanka Trump is considering a primary challenge for the Senate seat. “I don’t really get into the parlor games of Washington,” Rubio said. “I don’t own the Senate seat, it doesn’t belong to me,” he added. “If I want to be back in the U.S Senate, I have to earn that every six years.”

Read more …

“Morale is low among the troops, who described having to stand guard for hours at a time in full gear with limited access to food and water..”

Impeachment Trial To Keep National Guard Troops At Capitol (Pol.)

Former President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial poses a security concern that federal law enforcement officials told lawmakers last week requires as many as 5,000 National Guard troops to remain in Washington through mid-March, according to four people familiar with the matter. The contingency force will help protect the Capitol from what was described as “impeachment security concerns,” including the possibility of mass demonstrations coinciding with the Senate’s trial, which is slated to begin the week of Feb. 8. Despite the threat, the citizen soldiers on the ground say they have been given little information about the extension and wonder why they are being forced to endure combat-like conditions in the nation’s capital without a clear mission.

“Quite frankly this is not a ‘combat zone,’ so combat conditions shouldn’t apply,” said one Guard member on the ground in D.C. who has deployed twice to Afghanistan. Several National Guard units have seen their deployments extended involuntarily, though a majority of Guardsmen remaining in Washington will do so on a volunteer basis. Around 7,000 troops will continue to provide riot security through the beginning of February, with that number decreasing slightly to 5,000 by the time Trump’s impeachment trial begins. “We are not going to allow any surprises again,” said one Guard member, referring to the widespread lack of preparedness for the insurrection on Jan. 6. There is also some concern over potential unrest surrounding March 4, the date some QAnon conspiracy theorists believe Trump will be inaugurated for the second time.

[..] Now, thousands of Guard members will remain in Washington far longer than they initially expected when they packed their suitcases for what they believed to be a short-term mission on Jan. 6. The rank-and-file have so far been given no official justifications, threat reports or any explanation for the extended mission, said two Guard members — nor have they seen any violence thus far. “There is no defined situation, or mission statement. … This is very unusual for any military mission,” said one member, who has deployed twice to Afghanistan. “We are usually given a situation, with defined mission perimeters, and at least a tentative plan on how to execute those objectives.”

[..] Morale is low among the troops, who described having to stand guard for hours at a time in full gear with limited access to food and water, waiting for hours to be transported to and from their hotels, and very little sleep. Many are washing socks and cold-weather undergarments in hotel bathroom sinks because they do not have access to laundry facilities. Some have been forced to purchase their own food out of pocket to supplement the sparse meals they have been provided, which do not provide enough calories to sustain the long days. Even meals ready to eat are hard to come by due to logistical and transportation issues. “Even if they do arrive all on time, the calories are just not there for the amount of work we put in and time we’re spending on our feet, in the cold, in full gear,” one Guard member said.

Read more …

Western stimulus money being transferred out of originating countries because their interest rates are too low.

UN Agency: China Surpassed US In Foreign Direct Investments In 2020 (Hill)

A United Nations trade agency reported that China surpassed the U.S. as the largest recipient of foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2020. The UN Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) concluded that China became the largest FDI receiver last year over the U.S., with flows increasing by 4 percent to $163 billion, Bloomberg News reported. Most countries saw decreases due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the U.S., which saw its flow drop by 49 percent to $134 billion, according to UNCTAD’s Investment Trends Monitor. The U.S.’s decrease was seen in wholesale trade, financial services and manufacturing. China’s return to positive GDP growth and targeted investment facilitation program assisted in the country’s FDI levels, the agency noted in a release.


Globally, flows fell by 42 percent to $859 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, compared to $1.5 trillion in 2019. The global foreign direct investment reached its lowest level since the 1990s, including 30 percent lower than investments after the 2008-2009 financial crisis. North American flows dropped by 46 percent to $166 billion, but Europe saw declines of about 66 percent to negative $4 billion. The decreases were found to be concentrated in developed countries, where flows dropped 69 percent. Meanwhile, developing countries accounted for 72 percent of the global FDI, the highest percentage recorded.

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And there’s Sully.

Boeing 737 Max Cleared To Fly Again ‘Too Early’ (BBC)

A former senior manager at Boeing’s 737 plant in Seattle has raised new concerns over the safety of the company’s 737 Max. The aircraft, which was grounded after two accidents in which 346 people died, has already been cleared to resume flights in North America and Brazil, and is expected to gain approval in Europe this week. But in a new report, Ed Pierson claims that further investigation of electrical issues and production quality problems at the 737 factory is badly needed. Regulators in the US and Europe insist their reviews have been thorough, and that the 737 Max aircraft is now safe. In his report, Mr Pierson claims that regulators and investigators have largely ignored factors, which he believes, may have played a direct role in the accidents. He explicitly links them to conditions at the company’s factory in Renton, near Seattle at the time. Boeing says this is unfounded.

Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea off Indonesia in October 2018. Five months later, Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 came down minutes after take-off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Investigators believe both accidents were triggered by the failure of a single sensor. It sent inaccurate data to a piece of flight control software, called MCAS. This automated system then repeatedly forced the nose of the aircraft downwards, when the pilots were trying to gain height. Ultimately each aircraft was pushed into an unrecoverable dive. Efforts to make the 737 Max safe have focused on redesigning the MCAS software, and ensuring it can no longer be triggered by a single sensor failure.

For Ed Pierson, this does not go nearly far enough. A US Navy veteran, who had a senior role on the 737 production line from 2015-2018, he was a star witness during congressional hearings into the disasters involving the Max. He told lawmakers he had become so concerned about conditions at the factory, he had told his bosses that he was hesitant about taking his own family on a Boeing plane. [..] Mr Pierson’s concerns are supported by the celebrated aviation safety campaigner Captain Chesley Sullenberger. Best known as “Sully”, one of the pilots who safely ditched a crippled and engineless Airbus plane in the Hudson river off Manhattan in 2009, he too believes that modifications to the Max do not go far enough. He believes changes are needed to warning systems aboard the plane, which were carried over from a previous version of the 737 and are “not up to modern standards”.

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One member of the Five Eyes defies the others.

Australia Says ‘Inevitable’ That Facebook & Google Will Pay For Content (RT)

Australia’s treasurer has advised the tech giants to accept that their platforms will have to start paying for content, amid threats from Facebook and Google to limit services in the country if such a policy is enacted. Canberra is finalizing legislation that would require the internet behemoths to obtain licenses to use content created by Australian news outlets. Both companies have warned that they would retaliate over the revenue-sharing scheme, with Google saying last week that it would remove its search engine from Australia, and Facebook declaring that it would strip news from the feeds of all Australian users. On Sunday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pushed back on the ultimatums, signaling that the Australian government wouldn’t reverse course.

“My view is that it is inevitable that the digital giants will be paying for original content,” he said, suggesting that Australia was leading the way in what would soon become a worldwide norm. He also admonished Facebook and Google for their hostility towards the proposed regulation, describing their threats to pull out of Australia as a “big disservice.” Google has been particularly unreceptive to the proposed legislation. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Silicon Valley giant has been experimenting with blacklisting some Australian news sites from its search results, apparently as a future strategy to avoid having to pay for hosting the content. The move shocked Australian media outlets, which accused Google of carrying out a flagrant show of force to stop the revenue-sharing code from becoming law.

A spokesman for Nine, the corporate owners of the Sydney Morning Herald, described the tech behemoth’s “experiment” as a “chilling illustration of their extraordinary market power.” The proposed law was drafted last July following an inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The commission concluded that a large proportion of the country’s media are reliant on referrals from Google and Facebook, despite the fact that news outlets have little or no influence over the powerhouse corporations.

Read more …

They’re US intelligence pure and simple.

Facebook Feeds Private Messages of Its Users Directly to the FBI (TFTP)

Deferring all responsibility for the planning of the raid on the capitol, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had stated shortly after the incident that the protests were largely organized off Facebook. However, she was not telling the truth, and likely knew that large portions of the pro-Trump protests were talked about and organized on Facebook. But was Facebook wiped off the internet like Parler? No, no it was not. Here’s why. This week, Facebook began furnishing the Federal Bureau of Investigation with data on Trump supporters who discussed the events at the capitol on their platform — up to and including their private messages. Through this action the social media giant is acting as a de facto intelligence collecting arm of the US government.

In contrast, when Syed Farook, otherwise known as the San Bernardino mass shooter, wouldn’t unlock his iPhone for the feds, Apple refused to create a backdoor for them to access it acting as an actual private company supporting the privacy rights of its customers. But Facebook is more than willing to open up its data mining services for their friends in the federal government — because, as we have stated numerous times, Facebook is not private. As TFTP reported in 2018, Facebook announced that it partnered with the arm of the government-funded Atlantic Council, known as the Digital Forensic Research Lab that was brought on to help the social media behemoth with “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.”

The Atlantic Council is the group that NATO uses to whitewash wars and foster hatred toward Russia, which in turn allows them to continue to justify themselves. It’s funded by arms manufacturers like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. It is also funded by billionaire oligarchs like the Ukraine’s Victor Pinchuk and Saudi billionaire Bahaa Hariri. The list goes on. The highly unethical HSBC group — who has been caught numerous times laundering money for cartels and terrorists — is listed as one of their top donors. They are also funded by the pharmaceutical industry, Google, Goldman Sachs and others. However, the funding that comes from the United States, the US Army, and the Airforce directly negates the “private” aspect of the partnership. The “think tank” Facebook partnered with to make decisions on who they censor is directly funded by multiple state actors — including the United States — which voids any and all claims that Facebook is a wholly “private actor.”

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It’s scary stuff, and it makes you wonder how it links to all the talk of erasing gender-specific words etc.

Toxic Chemicals Threaten Humanity’s Ability To Reproduce (IC)

Shanna Swan is the senior author of a 2017 study that documented a dramatic drop in sperm counts in Western countries over the past half-century. That meta-analysis of 185 studies involving 42,935 men found that total sperm count fell 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. Swan, a reproductive epidemiologist, pointed to the role of environmental chemicals in that trend. Now she has written “Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race,” a book that ties industrial chemicals in everyday products to a wide range of changes taking place in recent years, including increasing numbers of babies being born with smaller penises; higher rates of erectile dysfunction; declining fertility; eroding sex differences in some animal species; and potentially even behaviors that are thought of as gender-typical.

Your study showed that baby boys who had been exposed to four different phthalates at the end of the first trimester in the womb had a shorter anogenital distance, or AGD. Can you explain what AGD is and why it’s important? Nobody is going to like that term, so you could use taint or gooch instead. But basically it’s the distance between the anus and the beginning of the genitals. And scientists have recognized its importance for a long time. I have a paper from 1912 that looks at AGD and showed that they were nearly 100 percent longer in males than in females. Our work has shown that chemicals, including the diethylhexyl phthalate, shorten the AGD in males.

You’ve also linked phthalate exposure to a lack of interest in sex. Yes, we found a relationship between women’s phthalate levels and their sexual satisfaction. And researchers in China found that workers with higher levels of bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, in their blood were more likely to have sexual problems, including decreased desire. Of course, phthalates, which are added to plastics, food, cosmetics, and other products, aren’t the only problem. You write about lots of chemicals that interfere with the hormonal system and reproduction, including the pesticide atrazine, which you’ve linked to lower sperm quality, and glyphosate, which you’ve recently shown decreases AGD in rats and perhaps also in humans.

It’s worth pointing out that all of these chemicals we’re talking about are still in use in the U.S., while some other countries have banned them. Anyway, tell me about the relationship between endocrine disrupting chemicals and how children play? Sexually dimorphic play is controversial. Some people say it’s all socially determined. And it undoubtedly does have social determinants, but it also has physiological determinants. And we showed that in two studies. We asked mothers of young children to tell us how their children play. It’s pretty simple: How often do they play with guns? Play with dolls? Play dress-up? Play with tea sets, etc. And it turns out that when boys are exposed to the same chemicals that affect AGD, they play in a less male-typical manner.

Read more …

 

 

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Jan 222021
 


Vincent van Gogh Laboureur dans un champ 1889

 

1000s Of Guardsmen Forced To Vacate Capitol, Sleep In Parking Garage (Pol.)
Words of Division (MacDonald)
Trump as Othello in a Corporate Theater (Ford)
Round Up the Usual Suspects; Don’t Forget Putin (Ray McGovern)
The Capturing of the Capitol (Tracey)
State Legislatures Make “Unprecedented” Push On Anti-Protest Bills (IC)
12,000 Israelis Test Positive For Covid19 Despite Receiving Pfizer Jab (RT)
Merkel To Close German Borders Unless EU Agrees On Covid-19 Fight (RT)
Fauci : Covid Vaccines Less Effective Against Some New Strains (CNBC)
Time to Worry About Stock Market Leverage Again (WS)
Large US Military Convoy Enters Northeast Syria (AMN)
Google, Facebook Give Australian Local Government PR Website ‘News’ Status (R.)

 

 


The 21st second of the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century.

 

 

All good now, but what a blunder.

1000s Of Guardsmen Forced To Vacate Capitol, Sleep In Parking Garage (Pol.)

Thousands of National Guardsmen were allowed back into the Capitol Thursday night, hours after U.S. Capitol Police officials ordered them to vacate the facilities, sending them outdoors or to nearby parking garages after two weeks pulling security duty after the deadly riot on Jan. 6. One unit, which had been resting in the Dirksen Senate Office building, was abruptly told to vacate the facility on Thursday, according to one Guardsman. The group was forced to rest in a nearby parking garage without internet reception, with just one electrical outlet, and one bathroom with two stalls for 5,000 troops, the person said. Temperatures in Washington were in the low 40s by nightfall. “Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service.

Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed,” the Guardsman said. All National Guard troops were told to vacate the Capitol and nearby congressional buildings on Thursday, and to set up mobile command centers outside or in nearby hotels, another Guardsman confirmed. They were told to take their rest breaks during their 12-hour shifts outside and in parking garages, the person said. Top lawmakers from both parties took to Twitter to decry the decision and call for answers after POLITICO first reported the news Thursday night, with some even offering their offices to be used as rest areas. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted: “If this is true, it’s outrageous. I will get to the bottom of this.”

And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) noted that the Capitol complex remains closed to members of the public, “so there’s plenty of room for troops to take a break in them.” By 10 p.m., Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said the situation was “being resolved” and that the Guardsmen would be able to return indoors later in the night. “Just made a number of calls and have been informed Capitol Police have apologized to the Guardsmen and they will be allowed back into the complex tonight,” added Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who lost both of her legs in combat. “I’ll keep checking to make sure they are.”

Read more …

“This characterization of America’s worsening racism is not just factually ungrounded, it is also a tasteless rhetorical move in an inaugural address. Reflexive invocations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” have become the Tourette’s Syndrome of left-wing professors and activists.”

Words of Division (MacDonald)

It’s an odd way to seek national unity: call a significant portion of the American public white supremacists, racists, and nativists. Welcome to the Biden presidency. Joe Biden’s inaugural speech as 46th president is predictably being hailed for its “unifying” message. And just as predictably, his invocations of the divisive bromides of the identitarian Left are being swept under the rug. According to Biden, we are a “great nation” and a “good people.” But we also oppress minorities with an ever-rising fervor. “Growing inequity” is among the greatest challenges facing the country, according to Biden, along with the “sting of systemic racism” and encroaching “white supremacy.” Only now are we confronting “a cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making.”

One might have thought that more than 50 years of civil rights legislation; the banishing of Jim Crow segregation; the ubiquity of racial preferences throughout corporate America, higher education, and government; trillions of dollars of tax dollars attempting to close the academic achievement gap; and the election of black politicians by white voting districts would have reduced inequity, not increased it. But to Biden’s speechwriters, steeped in academic victimology, racial inequity is always with us, requiring constant remediation from government. Biden rattled off a litany of white America’s sins: the “harsh, ugly reality” of “racism, nativism, fear, [and] demonization”; “anger, resentment, hatred, [and] extremism.” He did not name white Americans as such, but he did not need to. That qualifier is inherent in the language he chose to adopt.

This characterization of America’s worsening racism is not just factually ungrounded, it is also a tasteless rhetorical move in an inaugural address. Reflexive invocations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” have become the Tourette’s Syndrome of left-wing professors and activists. They are au courant, shallow terms of the moment, lacking depth or weight. In fact, such terms are so overused today that it is easy to tune them out. But that would be a mistake. The “systemic racism” conceit means that every American institution is illegitimate and needs to be reconstructed. Biden’s cabinet nominees, whether in health, finance, environmental policy, or education, have declared that eradicating systemic racism is their top priority. How this agenda will play out has already been adumbrated in the CDC’s initial priority list for Covid vaccinations: hold off on vaccinating the elderly, despite their higher risk levels, because the elderly are disproportionately white. Racial quotas will become even more the order of the day than now.

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“The Democratic Party remained a safe vehicle for corporate agendas for the next 20 years – until an Orange Demon was conjured to scare the Democratic base back into the party’s corporate bosom, in 2016.”

Trump as Othello in a Corporate Theater (Ford)

Donald Trump has slunk off the national stage for the time being, but we must remember who made him a contender for president in the first place: the Democrats and their corporate media. As Wikileaks revealed , the Clinton campaign encouraged friendly media to boost Trump’s Republican primary prospects, hoping to set up a straw man that could easily be knocked down in November, 2016. By Election Day, the corporate press had lavished $5 billion in free media on Trump – more than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and all of Trump’s Republican presidential competitors, combined. If you are desperate to flush the stink of four years of Trump out of your brain, remember who put it there, through constant, daily repetition.

How long will the Orange Menace stay gone? Not long; soon either Trump will make a comeback or the corporate media will inflate another racist straw man to run against. The only way the corporate Democrats can mobilize their base to eek out slim national victories while keeping Joe Biden’s promise to the rich that “nothing would fundamentally change ,” is to position themselves as the sole defense against the racist hordes. That’s how Bill Clinton succeeded in completing Ronald Reagan’s quest to “end welfare as we know it,” while vastly expanding the structures of mass Black incarceration (Sen. Joe Biden proudly “wrote the bill”), gutting safeguards against bankers blowing up the economy, and facilitating the exodus of good jobs to sweatshops overseas. Newt Gingrich and his Contract with America confederacy stampeded Blacks and “progressives” into the corporate Democratic corral, where they were politically neutered.

The Democratic Party remained a safe vehicle for corporate agendas for the next 20 years – until an Orange Demon was conjured to scare the Democratic base back into the party’s corporate bosom, in 2016. [..] When Blacks and progressives rallied behind Bill Clinton to defeat Gingrich, the corporate rulers were enabled to plunge the society into a great leap backward that wiped out the last vestiges of the New Deal, condemned another generation of Black youth to the Gulag, and set the stage for two economic catastrophes that rivaled the Great Depression, while the U.S. military vastly intensified its rampages around the world, the national security state penetrated every digital device on the planet, and huge corporations perfected the tools of public self-surveillance.

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MICIMATT

Round Up the Usual Suspects; Don’t Forget Putin (Ray McGovern)

But, don’t go away, Russia, not just yet. The MICIMATT still finds you convenient as the kind of “threat” it can cite to justify spending untold billions of dollars on defense, enriching the already rich. The way the U.S. system is structured, it matters little in the grand scheme of things on where the money is spent – whether a Republican or Democrat sits in the Oval Office. In short, the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank complex rules the roost (MEDIA in all caps, as the linchpin). Clinton wonders aloud who Trump “is beholden to”. Well, speaking of beholden, Joe Biden enters office with zero vaccination against being beholden – to the MICIMATT. It is fair to say that, without that the MICIMATT’s blessing, candidates end up like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.

There are just enough straws in the wind to make the MICIMATT and its clients and supporters nervous. What would happen, should Putin and Russia become less demonized? Could there be a thaw in the unnecessarily chilly relations with Moscow? What could that mean for bloated defense spending – particularly at a time when those funds are so desperately and demonstrably needed at home? It appears likely that strategic arms negotiations with Russia will be high on President Joe Biden’s agenda, as will cooperation with Russia and the other parties to the Iran nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew. Assuming William Burns, former ambassador to Russia, is confirmed as CIA director, Biden will have at his beck and call a straight-speaking, highly experienced expert who has dealt with President Putin. Burns was also one of the chief US negotiators of the Iran nuclear deal.

In my view, it is also significant that President-elect Biden has held back from explicit condemnation of Russia by name amid the recent flurry of accusations of Russian hacking of several US institutions over the past several months. Yes, he has referred to what Secretary of State Pompeo and Attorney General Barr have said blaming Russia, and it can be argued that he has indirectly implicated Russia in the context of his sparse statements on this issue. In my experience, though, the Kremlin is likely to have taken note of the caution that Biden has exercised on this neuralgic issue. Nor has this likely escaped the attention of the MICIMATT and induced some worry about the long-term viability of the portrayal of Putin as villain.

Oliver Stone told me recently that, in one of his conversations in Russia, Mr. Putin, somewhat exasperated, said something along the lines of, “Now Russians are thought of like Jews before World War II”. Think about that. Amid the Russia Russia Russia over the past four-plus years, Putin has kept his voice down – and his powder dry – while staying open to negotiations to reduce arms competition, cyber warfare, and other facets of bilateral tension. If past is precedent, he is likely to see opportunities to take a fresh look at US intentions under President Biden – especially during the traditional “honeymoon” period normally accorded a new president. But clearly, Putin is also aware of the parallels between the demonization of him and Russia and how Jews were blamed for just about everything during the Thirties. Evidence-free accusations by the likes of Pelosi and Clinton will make the task of restoring a modicum of trust an uphill battle.

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“It was the refusal of American media to question the necessity of these extraordinary measures that will be one of the longest-lasting consequences of the entire bizarre affair.”

The Capturing of the Capitol (Tracey)

The US military is routinely shown to be one of the most trusted institutions in American life — so it wasn’t as though their mere presence on the streets of Washington automatically provoked universal horror. After the massive nationwide riots last summer, virtually everyone I spoke to expressed satisfaction with the National Guard’s handling of the chaos. Similarly, the vast number of soldiers deployed to DC this week to ward off a potential “insurrection” were greeted with plentiful selfies and free cheeseburger deliveries. But this operation, which reportedly consisted of 25,000 military personnel — not including the innumerable federal, state, and local law enforcement officials on the ground — was another thing altogether. Downtown DC had been transformed into a brazenly fortified, militarised zone unlike anything in living memory.

Roads were blocked off by oversized armoured vehicles which had been stationed for maximum visibility. The boarding-up of endless storefronts — a result of both the Covid-related economic downturn and prolonged riot-induced anxiety — added to the sense of dystopia. Soldiers patrolled with large rifles slung around their shoulders, directing traffic and checking the “papers” of motorists. One Guardsman from Pennsylvania told me that “legitimate business” was the standard by which they were to adjudicate whether cars would be allowed to pass through. The rifles brandished by many of the troops were conspicuously without a magazine loaded. This is not uncommon for a peacetime mission. The aim was evidently not to subdue any kind of imminent, actionable threat that would require live ammunition, as many politicians and journalists had frantically warned was the case, but to simply act as a gigantic deterrent.

That objective was apparently accomplished. I did not see a single protester anywhere in the city on Inauguration Day, much less any “insurrectionists” or “armed rebels” trawling around, as had been so gravely forecast. The FBI (then still technically under the jurisdiction of Donald Trump) had warned that all 50 state Capitols were at severe risk, and therefore also needed to fortify their defences with military deployments and obtrusive fencing and barriers. Then the day came and went, and… nothing. In both Albany, NY, and Sacramento, CA a total of one Trump hat-wearing man showed up at each.

And so Joe Biden was sworn in without incident, appealing for “unity”, while the city surrounding him was essentially under full-scale military occupation. The night before, I saw multiple platoons marching the streets in two-by-two formation — en route to who knows where. The general public couldn’t get anywhere close to the Inauguration site, the interior of which had been cordoned off with barbed wire. The few stragglers who hopelessly tried to enter the outskirts of the National Mall — mostly foreign media desperate for a story — were fooled by the Secret Service into standing in a line-to-nowhere that never moved.

It was the refusal of American media to question the necessity of these extraordinary measures that will be one of the longest-lasting consequences of the entire bizarre affair. It confirmed that journalists will uncritically accept extravagant shows of intrusive state force, so long as the political incentives are correctly aligned. During the riots in the summer, the US media generally reacted with horror to the prospect of the American military being deployed to allay “civil unrest,” with many claiming that it would be tantamount to white supremacy for soldiers to deter arson attacks against small minority-owned businesses and private residences. But place DC under complete military occupation as a final rebuke to Trump and his shameful supporters, and the show of state force is to be celebrated rather than adversarially probed. Particularly with Democrats now controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency, the wisdom of this occupation is probably never going to be examined in any meaningful way. Will we ever learn how much it cost taxpayers? Doubtful.

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Fear rules fear.

State Legislatures Make “Unprecedented” Push On Anti-Protest Bills (IC)

Elly Page had never seen anything like what’s happened in recent days. A senior legal adviser at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Page has been tracking the proliferation of anti-protest bills across the U.S. since Donald Trump became president in 2017. “The number of bills we have seen in the past three weeks is unprecedented,” she said. Since the day of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, at least nine states have introduced 14 anti-protest bills. The bills, which vary state by state, contain a dizzying array of provisions that serve to criminalize participation in disruptive protests. The measures range from barring demonstrators from public benefits or government jobs to offering legal protections to those who shoot or run over protesters. Some of the proposals would allow protesters to be held without bail and criminalize camping. A few bills seek to prevent local governments from defunding police.

The pushes by close to a fifth of state legislatures are part of a pattern that began to pick up speed after the summer’s uprisings in response to the police killing of George Floyd, which in many communities included significant property damage. In a handful of states, lawmakers did what they often do: introduced new legislation — however unnecessary — to show that they were responding to their constituents’ concerns. The rate of new bills being offered sped up dramatically this month as lawmakers kicked off their legislative sessions at the very moment that Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Bills quickly arose in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.

“There has generally been an uptick at the beginning of odd-numbered years, when most states begin their biennial legislative sessions. But this year beats prior recent years,” Page said in an email. Since January 1, she noted that 11 state legislatures have introduced 17 bills, including those filed before the Capitol insurrection. “Compare that to 0 during the same period in 2020, 9 in 2019, 5 in 2018, and 13 in 2017,” she said, adding that the 2017 spike was mostly due to North Dakota responding to that winter’s Standing Rock protests.

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That’s a lot, no matter how you see it.

12,000 Israelis Test Positive For Covid19 Despite Receiving Pfizer Jab (RT)

More than 12,400 people in Israel have tested positive for coronavirus after being vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, including 69 who had received their second dose, the country’s Health Ministry said. Some 189,000 people were tested for Covid-19 after being vaccinated, with 6.6 percent getting a positive result, according to ministry data reported by Israeli outlets. The majority were apparently infected shortly after receiving the first jab of the two-part vaccine – a period when the inoculation isn’t expected to have kicked in yet. However, 1,410 people tested positive two weeks after their first injection, by which time partial immunity should have already taken effect.

Moreover, 69 patients became infected with the novel coronavirus despite already having been administered both shots of the vaccine, the ministry said. Israel began administering the second doses almost two weeks ago, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being the first to complete the course. Pfizer has said that a spike in immunity occurs between Day 15 and Day 21 after the first jab, when the effectiveness of its vaccine increases from 52 to 89 percent. According to earlier trials, the protection offered by the vaccine reaches the 95 percent level a week after the second dose is administered, the pharma giant said. When it comes to vaccines, the results of clinical trials may differ from how the immunization performs in the field, where it’s administered to a much greater number of people.

On Tuesday, Israel’s coronavirus tsar, Nachman Ash, reportedly complained to Israeli ministers about the insufficient protection provided by the first shot of the American vaccine. It turned out to be “less effective than we had thought” and “lower than Pfizer presented,” Ash said, as cited by Army Radio. However, the head of the infection unit at Sheba Medical Center – where Netanyahu got his jabs – told Israeli media that the Pfizer vaccine “works wonderfully” after two shots. According to Professor Gili Regev-Yohai, 102 of the medics at the center were tested a week after completing the vaccination course, and all but two of them showed antibody levels between six to 20 times higher than seven days earlier.

[..] Despite already vaccinating more than 20 percent of its own population, Israel doesn’t seem as eager to share immunization with Palestinians in the occupied territories. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization expressed its “concerns” over unequal access to vaccines between Israelis and Palestinian. A WHO representative for Palestine said that the UN body has been in discussions with Israeli authorities on the possibility of allocating vaccines to the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Israeli Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, has said her department may offer the Palestinian Authoritiy surplus doses after Israelis have received their jabs.

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Scientist Angela’s not liking what she sees..

Merkel To Close German Borders Unless EU Agrees On Covid-19 Fight (RT)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the European Union must find common ground in fighting coronavirus and stopping the spread of new strains that have already swept through the UK and Ireland recently. On Tuesday, Merkel warned that Germany could close its borders unless neighboring states acted together. “We need to make sure that everyone around us is doing the same. Otherwise we have to look at measures such as entry restrictions.” “The EU is one area,” Merkel said in Berlin on Thursday morning, hours before she was scheduled to join a video summit of EU leaders focused on Covid-19. The chancellor warned about the dangers from the spread of the new mutant virus and that they need to be “taken very seriously.”


“We act out of precaution for our country,” Merkel said, adding that everything is now about getting the getting the pandemic under control. EU leaders are to consider whether to approve vaccine passports, which would allow for inoculated people to travel more freely, and whether to apply travel restrictions. Merkel said Germany is at a difficult stage of the pandemic. “On the one hand, the number of daily infections is gradually going down,” she told a press conference. “But the virus is still very dangerous. We have a shockingly high death count, more than 1,000 people today.” On Wednesday, Germany extended its national lockdown until February 14 and brought in new rules making it mandatory to wear medical-grade masks in shops and on public transport. So far, Germany has recorded 50,010 deaths and 2.1 million cases of coronavirus.

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Has anyone seen any reported evidence of vaccine efficacy?

Fauci : Covid Vaccines Less Effective Against Some New Strains (CNBC)

New data shows that the Covid-19 vaccines currently on the market may not be as effective in guarding against new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday. A handful of new strains of the coronavirus have emerged overseas that have given scientists some cause for concern. Some variants that have been identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil appear to be more transmissible than previous strains but not necessarily more deadly. While it’s no surprise the virus is mutating, researchers are quickly trying to determine what the changes might mean for recently developed lifesaving vaccines and therapeutics against the disease.

Some early findings that were published in the preprint server bioRxiv, which have yet to be peer reviewed, indicate that the variant identified in South Africa, known as 501Y.V2, can evade the antibodies provided by some coronavirus treatments and may reduce the efficacy of the current line of available vaccines. “Furthermore, 501Y.V2 shows substantial or complete escape from neutralising antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma,” researchers with South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases wrote. Their conclusions, they said, “highlight the prospect of reinfection … and may foreshadow reduced efficacy of current spike-based vaccines.”

Even if the drugs are less effective, they will still likely provide enough protection to make the vaccines worth getting, Fauci said during a White House press briefing. Both vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have proven to be highly effective, creating a “cushion effect” that would allow for some dip in their effectiveness. “We’re following very carefully the one in South Africa, which is a little bit more concerning, but nonetheless not something that we don’t think we can handle,” Fauci said.

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Stimulus arriving in the wrong places.

Time to Worry About Stock Market Leverage Again (WS)

Margin debt – the amount of money that individuals and institutions borrow against their stock holdings – spiked by 56 billion in December, after having already spiked by 63 billion in November, by far the two largest month-to-month increases on record, to $778 billion, according to FINRA which regulates brokers and exchanges. Since March, this measure of margin debt surged by nearly $300 billion, or by 62%. Margin debt as tracked by FINRA at its member firms isn’t the only form of stock market leverage, but it’s the only form that is disclosed monthly. There are many other forms of stock market leverage by institutions and individuals that are not disclosed, or are only disclosed voluntarily in SEC filings by the brokers and banks that lend to their clients against their portfolios, such as “securities-based loans” (SBLs). We don’t know how much total stock market leverage there is, but margin loans indicate the trends, and we had another WTF moment:

High margin balances tend to precede epic stock market sell-offs, as annotated in the chart above. With these two-decade charts, the long-term changes in the dollar amounts are less relevant since the purchasing power of the dollar has dropped over the period. But on a short-term basis, the movements are very indicative about rising or falling leverage in the stock market. On a year-over-year basis, margin debt surged by nearly $200 billion in December, by far the most ever. Stock market leverage is an accelerator. When stocks already rise, and investors feel confident, they borrow money to buy more stocks, and they can borrow more against their stocks because their value has risen. And this additional borrowed money is then chasing after stocks and thereby creating more buying pressure, and prices surge further.

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Aaannd …we’re baaack!

Large US Military Convoy Enters Northeast Syria (AMN)

A large U.S. military convoy was seen entering northeastern Syria on Thursday, marking the first time since Damascus issued its letter to the United Nations Security Council demanding the immediate withdrawal of American forces from the Arab Republic. According to a field report from northeastern Syria on Thursday, the U.S. military convoy entered the Al-Hasakah Governorate from neighboring Iraq, as they were observed entering the Arab Republic via the Al-Waleed Crossing. The report said the U.S. military convoy consisted of a large amount of weapons and logistical equipment, which were transferred to their bases inside the Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor Governorates east of the Euphrates River.


They would add that the U.S. military convoy consisted of over 40 trucks and armored vehicles that were escorted by helicopters until they reached their destinations. These movements by the U.S. military have become routine, with the latter often moving troops and equipment back and forth from neighboring Iraq.

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Oz threatens to make them pay for news, they threaten to limit/cut their “services”, and then decide themselves what constitutes news. Major legal battle.

Google, Facebook Give Australian Local Government PR Website ‘News’ Status (R.)

Google and Facebook Inc have granted an Australian local government news provider status, drawing questions about the internet giants’ efforts to curate news media. Bundaberg Council, a regional government, told Reuters a website it runs received classification as a Google “news source”, making it the country’s first local government with that accreditation. That means a council-funded website containing only public relations content gets priority in Google News searches about the agriculture hub of 100,000 people, accompanied by a “news source” tag. Bundaberg also has the country’s only confirmed council-run Facebook page tagged as a “News & Media Website”. The designation shows the gaps left in the country’s traditional news market as smaller publications wither and disappear.


Bundaberg Council’s news website says it does not publish court and crime reports, politics, “investigative journalism” or “negative stories”. “It’s just another example of the way these tech giants are allowed to operate outside any accountability framework at all,” said Denis Muller, an Honorary Fellow at University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism. “If they want to classify a council PR website as a news website, well, they can, and there’s nothing stopping them.” Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook are fighting an Australian federal government plan to make them pay media outlets for original content that appears on their platforms, telling a Senate inquiry that the new rules may lead them to cancel some core services in the country.

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Jean-Léon Gérôme Slave market 1866

 

Thousands Of Troops Dig In For Inauguration (Hill)
FBI Vetting Guard Troops In DC Amid Fears Of Insider Attack (AP)
The Senate’s Cadaver Synod: The Trial Of Citizen Trump (Turley)
Trump Social Media Ban Sparks Calls For Action vs Other Populist Leaders (G.)
Trump To Issue Around 100 Pardons And Commutations Tuesday (CNN)
Despair, Depression, And The Inevitable Rise of Trump 2.0 – Greenwald (RT)
Biden Team Already Holding Talks With Iran On US Return To Nuclear Deal (ToI)
Biden May Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline Permit On First Day In Office (R.)
3rd of Recovered Covid Patients Return To Hospital In 5 Months, 1 In 8 Die (Y!)
Parler Resurfaces On Web, Promises Platform To Be Revived Soon (JTN)
Prepare For A Surge In Global Inequality (RWER)
Anteroom of Our Own Extinction (Steppling)

 

 

Benefits of boosting your vitamin D levels.


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UK Parliament: David Davis Vitamin D

 

 

A lot of all this appears to be fear-mongering blown up to 11. I’ve so far seen reports from Connecticut, Utah, Florida, Mass. state capitols, and everything’s more than quiet.

Thousands Of Troops Dig In For Inauguration (Hill)

The National Guard is playing a leading role as the country confronts a domestic terrorism threat following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Capitol is now crawling with more troops than in the United States’s main theaters of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined as the National Guard fortifies key areas around Washington, D.C., for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The Secret Service is even referring to the new perimeter around the Capitol as the “Green Zone” — the same name used for secure zones in Iraq and Afghanistan’s capital cities. And it’s not just D.C. Amid FBI warnings of the potential for violence at all 50 state Capitols, governors in roughly a dozen states have called up their National Guards to bolster law enforcement.

But there are also worries the military is part of the problem, as several veterans have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riots. And at least one person arrested is a current member of the National Guard in Virginia. Following heavy criticism of the Guard’s response to last summer’s racial justice protests in the city, D.C. and Pentagon officials had originally sought to minimize its role in security surrounding the inauguration. In June, hundreds of guardsmen from around the country poured into the nation’s capital at President Trump’s request, despite objections from local authorities. A National Guard helicopter also hovered over protesters in the way the military does to insurgents overseas as a show of force, a move that drew widespread scrutiny and rebuke.

After that, as officials anticipated protests when Congress met to certify Biden’s electoral victory, D.C. officials requested and the Pentagon approved just 340 unarmed guardsmen to help the city with traffic control. Defense officials have said Capitol Police turned down offers of Guard help before the riots. That all changed after the Capitol siege. As of Friday, more than 7,000 guardsmen from across the country were in Washington, D.C., with up to 25,000 from all 50 states, three territories and D.C. expected to be in the city by Inauguration Day. Troops have erected 7-foot “non-scalable” fences around the Capitol and other nearby government buildings and set up checkpoints with military vehicles and concrete barriers on streets throughout the area.

Sacredest place

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Tweet: “The beauty of this claim is it’s perfect. If something happens, no matter how small, they can use it to target Trump supporters. And if nothing happens, they can credit their vigilance and… use it to target Trump supporters.”

FBI Vetting Guard Troops In DC Amid Fears Of Insider Attack (AP)

U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues that they were aware of. ”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said in an interview after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration. He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats.

About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country — at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals. And while the military routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI screening is in addition to any previous monitoring. Multiple officials said the process began as the first Guard troops began deploying to D.C. more than a week ago. And they said it is slated to be complete by Wednesday. Several officials discussed military planning on condition of anonymity. “The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?” said McCarthy. “We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.”

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“He pulled Formosus out of his tomb, propped him up in court, and convicted him of variety of violations of canon law. Formosus was then taken out, three fingers cut off, and eventually thrown in the Tiber River.”

The Senate’s Cadaver Synod: The Trial Of Citizen Trump (Turley)

With the second impeachment of President Donald Trump, the Congress is set for one of the most bizarre moments in constitutional history: the removal of someone who has already left office. The retroactive removal would be a testament to the timeliness of rage. While it is not without precedent, it is without logic. The planned impeachment trial of Donald Trump after he leaves office would be our own version of the Cadaver Synod. In 897, Pope Stephen VI and his supporters continued to seethe over the action of Pope Formosus, who not only died in 896 but was followed by another pope, Boniface VI. After the brief rule of Boniface VI, Pope Stephen set about to even some scores. He pulled Formosus out of his tomb, propped him up in court, and convicted him of variety of violations of canon law. Formosus was then taken out, three fingers cut off, and eventually thrown in the Tiber River.

While some may be looking longingly at the Potomac for their own Cadaver Synod, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have stated that their primary interest is in the possible disqualification of Trump from holding future federal office. Disqualification however is an optional penalty that follows a conviction and removal. It may be added to the primary purpose of removal referenced in the Constitution. The Trump trial would convert this supplemental punishment into the primary purpose of the trial. This did happen before but that precedent is only slightly better than the Cadaver Synod. That case involved William Belknap who served as Secretary of War to President Ulysses S. Grant. Belknap resigned after allegations of corruption — just shortly before a House vote of impeachment.

The Senate held a trial but acquitted him. Twenty nine of 66 voting senators disagreed in a threshold motion that Belknap was “amenable to trial by impeachment . . . notwithstanding his resignation.” In fairness to the Democrats, I have long rejected the argument that there comes a point when it is too late to impeach a president while he is in office. As I said in both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings, the House is under a duty to impeach if it believes that a president has committed a high crime and misdemeanor. If that occurred on the last day of a term, it would still be warranted.

My objection to this second impeachment was that it proceeded without any deliberation of the traditional impeachment process. It was a snap impeachment, which is to the Constitution what Snapchat is to conversations. It reduces the process to a raw, brief and partisan vote. This could have been avoided. A hearing could have been held in a day to allow the language of the article to be amended and the implications of the impeachment considered. It would also have allowed for a formal demand for a response from the president. Instead, the impeachment was pushed through on a partisan muscle vote with only ten Republicans supporting the single article.

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This is exactly what Merkel doesn’t want. It has to be done according to laws, not political preferences.

Trump Social Media Ban Sparks Calls For Action vs Other Populist Leaders (G.)

“I do not celebrate or feel pride,” the Twitter boss Jack Dorsey said this week after banishing Donald Trump. But for many around the world the decision brought hope: might similar action soon be taken against other populist provocateurs they accuse of using social media to stir chaos? “I have to follow YouTube’s rules when I post my videos, or I get banned. Journalists have to obey their outlet’s rules when they publish a story. So why shouldn’t presidents have to obey any rules when they publish something online?” wondered Felipe Neto, one of Brazil’s most famous and politicized online celebrities. “It’s as simple as that.” From Rio to Delhi, activists and academics have been asking similar questions following the US president’s suspension from platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Calls for action have been particularly loud in Brazil, which has been led since 2019 by Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right tweeter-in-chief who basks in portrayals as the “tropical Trump”. “Twitter has put a muzzle on Trump. We’ll need another for Brazil,” tweeted Marcelo Freixo, one of several political rivals urging sanctions. Critics accuse Bolsonaro of repeatedly using social media to undermine democracy and incite violence. In an incendiary YouTube broadcast on the eve of his 2018 election he promised a historic “cleanup” of “red” rivals. In office, Bolsonaro has refused to moderate, using social media to encourage anti-democratic protests and urge “upstanding” supporters to buy guns to avoid being “enslaved”. In recent months Bolsonaro has questioned Brazil’s electronic voting system, convincing many that if he loses the next election he will reject its results as Trump has done – with unpredictable consequences for a young democracy.

“His obsession with arming the greatest possible number of his followers has an obvious goal,” warned Neto, who has 41m YouTube followers. “Bolsonaro and his family are preparing the ground not to accept election defeat – and things promise to be far worse than in the US [Capitol invasion].” Pedro Doria, a technology columnist, said he felt uneasy that unelected big tech bosses had the power to silence presidents. But he was also deeply troubled by Bolsonaro’s unchecked use of social media to preach political rupture. “If Trump was expurged from Twitter because he incited a mob against the Capitol, well, Bolsonaro is preparing himself to do the same … It makes no sense to wait for him to actually act on trying to overthrow the Brazilian democratic regime.”

In India, many have called for similar sanctions against the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and figures from his ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While Modi’s regular use of Twitter is largely anodyne and uncontroversial, numerous senior and mid-level BJP politicians have been accused of politically motivated hate speech on their social media accounts.

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One last chance for Julian.

Trump To Issue Around 100 Pardons And Commutations Tuesday (CNN)

President Donald Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the matter, a major batch of clemency actions that includes white collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others but – as of now – is not expected to include Trump himself. The White House held a meeting on Sunday to finalize the list of pardons, two sources said. Trump, who had been rolling out pardons and commutations at a steady clip ahead of Christmas, had put a pause on them in the days leading up to and directly after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, according to officials Aides said Trump was singularly focused on the Electoral College count in the days ahead of time, precluding him for making final decisions on pardons.

White House officials had expected them to resume after January 6, but Trump retreated after he was blamed for inciting the riots. Initially, two major batches had been ready to roll out, one at the end of last week and one on Tuesday. Now, officials expect the last batch to be the only one — unless Trump decides at the last minute to grant pardons to controversial allies, members of his family or himself. The final batch of clemency actions is expected to include a mix of criminal justice reform-minded pardons and more controversial ones secured or doled out to political allies. The pardons are one of several items Trump must complete before his presidency ends in days. White House officials also still have executive orders prepared, and the President is still hopeful to declassify information related to the Russia probe before he leaves office.

But with a waning number of administration officials still in jobs, the likelihood that any of it gets done seemed to be shrinking. The January 6 riots that led to Trump’s second impeachment have complicated his desire to pardon himself, his kids and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. At this point, aides do not think he will do so, but caution only Trump knows what he will do with his last bit of presidential power before he is officially out of office at noon on January 20. After the riots, advisers encouraged Trump to forgo a self-pardon because it would appear like he was guilty of something, according to one person familiar with the conversations. Several of Trump’s closest advisers have also urged him not to grant clemency to anyone involved in the siege on the US Capitol, despite Trump’s initial stance that those involved had done nothing wrong.

“There are a lot of people urging the President to pardon the folks” involved in the insurrection, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday on Fox News. “To seek a pardon of these people would be wrong.” One White House official said paperwork had not yet been drawn up for a self-pardon. Still, Trump is expected to leave the White House on January 20 and could issue pardons up until noon on Inauguration Day. Other attention-grabbing names, like Julian Assange, are also not currently believed to among the people receiving pardons, but the list is still fluid and that could change, too.

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“Greenwald warned that Biden could set the stage for a “smarter, more stable version” of Trump to take power.”

Despair, Depression, And The Inevitable Rise of Trump 2.0 – Greenwald (RT)

“I don’t think it’s particularly difficult… to know what to expect from the Biden administration,” the acclaimed American journalist told Chris Hedges, host of RT’s On Contact, on Sunday. Biden, Greenwald continued, has enjoyed a five-decade career in Washington and made his policy priorities well known over these years. Biden is “somebody who has repeatedly supported militarism and imperialism” and “one of the crucial leading advocates of the invasion of Iraq,” he said. On the domestic front, Biden is “a loyal servant of the credit card and banking industry” and the “architect of the 1994 crime bill,” the latter of which has been blamed for dramatically upping the incarceration rate of black men in the US.

That leftists involved in Black Lives Matter protests rallied around Biden, given his involvement in passing the crime bill (he was one of 61 senators who voted for it) is “ironic,” Greenwald told Hedges, but also serves as an example of how the Democratic Party operates. “Democrats are very good at creating a brand that is radically different than the reality, but essentially the Democratic party serves militarism, imperialism, and corporatism,” he said. “That’s who funds them, that’s what they believe in. It’s why you see neocons migrating so comfortably back to the Democratic Party, why you see Bush and Cheney operatives cheering for Joe Biden, why Wall Street celebrated when he picked Kamala Harris.”

Biden’s campaign didn’t only draw support from the left – who Biden then spurned by packing his cabinet with Obama administration alumni while giving progressives like Bernie Sanders the cold shoulder. The former vice president was also supported by Republican hawks like Bill Kristol and Max Boot, as well as the much-maligned ‘Lincoln Project’ Republicans, who fundraised $67 million to shoot attack ads against Trump in the runup to November’s election. The rallying of the establishment – Democrat and Republican alike – behind Biden could have far-reaching consequences, Greenwald warned. “It’s not a coincidence that after eight years of Obama and Biden, we got Donald Trump,” he said. “Obviously, if you go back and do exactly the same thing that the ‘Obiden’ administration did for 8 years, which is what Biden’s preparing to do, any rational person has to expect the same outcome.”

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Is this legal? How about the Logan Act? What about Michael Flynn?

Biden Team Already Holding Talks With Iran On US Return To Nuclear Deal (ToI)

Officials in the incoming Biden administration have already begun holding quiet talks with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, and have updated Israel on those conversations, Channel 12 News reported Saturday. The network gave no sourcing for the report, and no details on what was allegedly discussed. US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated his desire to return to the accord, while Israel is pushing for any return to the deal to include fresh limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terror and destabilization around the world. On Wednesday, Walla News reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is assembling a team to strategize for the first talks with the Biden administration on Iran’s nuclear program.

The team will include officials representing national security elements, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the military, the Mossad spy agency, and the Atomic Energy Commission, the report said, citing unnamed sources in the Prime Minister’s Office. Netanyahu is considering appointing a senior official to head the team and to serve as an envoy in talks with the US on the Iranian nuclear program, the report said. A possible candidate to head the team is Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the report said. Channel 12 reported Saturday that Cohen was in Washington this week to meet with officials in the outgoing and incoming administrations.

US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to take a more conciliatory approach to Iran than the Trump administration and has said that if Iran returns to the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement, he too would rejoin, removing the crushing economic sanctions that have wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy over the past two years. The US president-elect has indicated that he wants to negotiate more broadly with Tehran if Washington returns to the deal, notably over its missiles and influence across the Middle East. Iran has said it could welcome the return of the Americans to the agreement, but only after they lift sanctions. It has rejected negotiation on other issues. Former US president Barack Obama, with Biden as his vice president, signed the Iran nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

The Trump administration withdrew from the accord in 2018 and pressured Iran with crippling economic sanctions and other measures. Obama signed the agreement despite fierce protest from Israel, and had a rocky relationship with Jerusalem and Netanyahu, while the premier and Trump have been in lockstep on most Middle East policy issues. The prospect of the US reengaging with Tehran has drawn warnings and alarm from Netanyahu and his allies. Last week, speaking alongside US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Jerusalem, Netanyahu warned against the US rejoining the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “If we just go back to the JCPOA, what will happen and may already be happening is that many other countries in the Middle East will rush to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. That is a nightmare and that is folly. It should not happen,” Netanyahu said.

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Hardly a time to open new pipelinnes.

Biden May Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline Permit On First Day In Office (R.)

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts in office, and perhaps as soon as his first day, according to a source familiar with his thinking. President Donald Trump, a Republican, had made building the pipeline a central promise of his presidential campaign. Biden, who will be inaugurated on Wednesday, was vice president in the Obama administration when it rejected the project as contrary to its efforts to combat climate change. The words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on a list of executive actions likely scheduled for the first day of Biden’s presidency, according to an earlier report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC).


Biden, a Democrat, had earlier vowed to scrap the oil pipeline’s presidential permit if he became president. Canada’s ambassador to the United States said she would continue to promote a project that she said fit with both countries’ environmental plans. “There is no better partner for the U.S. on climate action than Canada as we work together for green transition,” Ambassador Kirsten Hillman said in a statement. The project, which would move oil from the province of Alberta to Nebraska, had been slowed by legal issues in the United States. It also faced opposition from environmentalists seeking to check the expansion of Canada’s oil sands by opposing new pipelines to move its crude to refineries. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Twitter that cancellation would eliminate jobs, weaken U.S.-Canada relations and undermine American national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports.

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Covid triggers diabetes?

3rd of Recovered Covid Patients Return To Hospital In 5 Months, 1 In 8 Die (Y!)

Almost a third of recovered Covid patients will end up back in hospital within five months and one in eight will die, alarming new figures have shown. Research by Leicester University and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there is a devastating long-term toll on survivors of severe coronavirus, with many people developing heart problems, diabetes and chronic liver and kidney conditions. Out of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died. The current cut-off point for recording Covid deaths is 28 days after a positive test, so it may mean thousands more people should be included in the coronavirus death statistics.

Researchers have called for urgent monitoring of people who have been discharged from hospital. Study author Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at Leicester University, said: “This is the largest study of people discharged from hospital after being admitted with Covid. “People seem to be going home, getting long-term effects, coming back in and dying. We see nearly 30 per cent have been readmitted, and that’s a lot of people. The numbers are so large. “The message here is we really need to prepare for long Covid. It’s a mammoth task to follow up with these patients and the NHS is really pushed at the moment, but some sort of monitoring needs to be arranged.”

The study found that Covid survivors were nearly three and a half times more likely to be readmitted to hospital, and die, in the 140 days timeframe than other hospital outpatients. Prof Khunti said the team had been surprised to find that many people were going back in with a new diagnosis, and many had developed heart, kidney and liver problems, as well as diabetes. He said it was important to make sure people were placed on protective therapies, such as statins and aspirin. “We don’t know if it’s because Covid destroyed the beta cells which make insulin and you get Type 1 diabetes, or whether it causes insulin resistance, and you develop Type 2, but we are seeing these surprising new diagnoses of diabetes,” he added.

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PanQuake looks more interesting. The roll-out is a bit chaotic, but some good people involved.

Parler Resurfaces On Web, Promises Platform To Be Revived Soon (JTN)

The website of the social media platform Parler has resurfaced after going offline earlier this month. While the platform still has not become operational again, the message indicates that it will revive “soon.” “Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,” the website says. “We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before mli us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”


The platform vanished earlier this month after a move by Amazon Web Services. Buzzfeed reported that in a letter to Parler, the AWS Trust and Safety Team had stated “we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”

Introducing PanQuake: Revealing Project X (full censored event) #TalkLiberation from PanQuake – Talk Liberation on Vimeo.

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Global AND national.

Prepare For A Surge In Global Inequality (RWER)

The United States prepares for moving out of the Trump era with the incoming President promising more rounds of stimulus spending to revive an economy ravaged by Covid-19. Other members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, a predominantly rich nation’s club, have also been generous with their spending and signalled that they are willing to keep their wallets open to spend more if necessary. The evidence clearly is that the Covid-crisis has upended the fiscal conservatism that has been the hallmark of the neoliberal era since the 1980s. However, not all nations seem to display this ability to depart from the prevailing orthodoxy. Where this weakness is most visible is the developing world, where governments, with very few exceptions, have not been loosening their purse strings to deal with the health emergency, throw out a safety net to protect devastated citizens, and stall and reverse the recession to restore livelihoods and normal economic activity.


Estimates from the World Bank in the January 2021 edition of its flagship Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report point to stark differences across countries at different levels of development in the level of fiscal support governments have provided in the wake of the Covid-shock (Chart 1). While planned and under-consideration measures in the advanced economies (AEs) are expected to have taken fiscal support spending to 22.6 per cent of their GDP, the comparable figures in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) as a group and low income economies (LICs) among them are placed at 6.2 and 2.4 per cent respectively (Chart 1). Government spending in 2020 was needed not just to address the immediate crisis, but to revive employment, investment and growth in the medium and long term.

If poorer countries have spent and are likely to spend less, while richer countries pump-prime their economies, the damage inflicted by the crisis is bound to worsen preexisting inequalities. Those inequalities are bound to increase, though the performance of a few exceptional cases like China, which influences the EMDE total, may conceal the magnitude of change in the aggregate figures. Underlying the difference in spending levels are the willingness and ability to resort to enhanced deficit spending, or expenditure financed with borrowing. Not that government debt has not risen in the poorer countries, albeit to a smaller extent than in their advanced counterparts. While the fiscal deficit in the AEs is estimated to have risen from 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2019 to 14.2 per cent in 2020, that in the EMDEs has moved from 4.8 per cent to 10.4 per cent and in the LICs from 3.3 to 5 per cent (Chart 2).

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“Almost one in three households suffers hunger, regularly. Almost half of black and hispanic households. Households with children are most vulnerable to the government policies. So half of the kids in the U.S. have inadequate nutrition.”

Anteroom of Our Own Extinction (Steppling)

This is now about a year into the pandemic and there have still been no debates, no public roundtables and no referendums. Nothing. Just decrees by the government. I honestly have given up trying to make sense of statistics, really. But a couple of things have not changed; the fatality rate if you catch Covid 19 is under 1% (and yes, case fatality is different than infectious mortality and that in turn is different from mortality rate). And depending on how it is being counted, it is often a good deal less than that. And yet the entire planet has been subjected to severe restrictions on travel, and coerced to follow pseudoscientific behaviour like mask wearing and social distancing. Today in many places there is what amounts to martial law. Police or national guard patrol the streets after dark. Many countries have banned public events, closed restaurants and nightclubs, and limited any public gatherings. Many schools remain closed or only partially open.

The economic consequences of these non-debated government policies have been catastrophic. In the U.S. something like 60 million jobs have been lost, many never to return. A hundred and fifty thousand restaurants have gone bankrupt. Only one in three museums will ever reopen. In San Francisco they decided NOT to count the numbers of new homeless. No reason was given but one can guess. The homeless situation in the U.S., in big cities in particular, was critical even before the pandemic. Now the numbers are unprecedented. Not even during the ‘Great Depression’ was there anything like the current level of those without basic shelter. Food insecurity is at a crisis level. Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the US, estimates over 50 million people go hungry every night including something close to twenty million children.

“Since mid-March 2020, numerous surveys have documented unprecedented levels of food insecurity that eclipse anything seen in recent decades in the United States, including during the Great Recession. Over the past five years, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates of food insecurity in the United States have hovered around 11% to 12%. As of March and April 2020, national estimates of food insecurity more than tripled to 38% In a national survey we fielded in March 2020 among adults with incomes less than 250% of the 2020 federal poverty level (based on thresholds from the US Census), 44% of all households were food insecure including 48% of Black households, 52% of Hispanic households, and 54% of households with children.” – American Public Heath Association (Dec 2020)

And yet, congress just passed another defense budget increase. According to Defense News… “..the final version of the 2020 defense appropriations bill, part of a broad $1.4 trillion spending deal to finalize federal spending for 2020 and avert a government shutdown. The defense bill would provide $738 billion.” Almost one in three households suffers hunger, regularly. Almost half of black and hispanic households. Households with children are most vulnerable to the government policies. So half of the kids in the U.S. have inadequate nutrition. Half will suffer long term developmental problems, almost guaranteed.

Read more …

 

 

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Just the roads built by the Roman Empire

 

 

 

 

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Mar 212020
 


Dorothea Lange Ex-slave with long memory, Alabama 1937

 

Coronavirus – Getting Angry (John Bronte)
China Is Avoiding Blame by Trolling the World (Atlantic)
From ‘Chinese virus’ to ‘Trumpandemic’ (RT)
Cuomo Orders New York Lockdown, Shuts Down Non-Essential Businesses (NYP)
New Best Friends: Trump And Archfoes Cuomo And Newsom Bond (JTN) )
Trump’s Approval Rating Soars During Handling Of Coronavirus (JTN)
Biden Plans Shadow Coronavirus Briefings (Pol.)
Cuba’s Interferon Alpha 2B, Successful in Treating COVID-19 (TeleSur)
The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming (Wired)
Pentagon Sends 2,600 Europe-based Personnel Into Quarantine (RT)
Boeing Suspends Dividend, Halts Buybacks, Stops Paying CEO And Chairman (Y!)
National Guard Chief Denies Rumors Of Martial Law Response To Virus (Solomon)
Schiff Claims ‘Immunity’ To Keep Impeachment Phone Subpoenas Secret (JTN)
Strength and Weakness (Kunstler)
CoronaBonds To Hold The Payments System Together (Steve Keen)
Personal Coronavirus Update 02 March 21st 2019 (Steve Keen)

 

 

Relentless. And unfortunately incresiangly political.

 

Cases 279,320 (+ 32,126 from yesterday’s 250,618)

Deaths 11,587 (+ 1,565 from yesterday’s 10,255)

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening (before their day’s close)

 

 

From Worldometer -NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 11% !! –

 

 

I would like to have better graphs than the SCMP and COVID2019.app ones, and by that I mean things that I can use in this format. But I don’t see them. Johns Hopkins doesn’t provide these nor does COVID19info.live. The latter even has two different numbers for Confirmed and Infected. Do we need that?

Great admiration for what the Wordometer people are doing, but it would be nice(r) to have multiple sources.

From SCMP: (Note: the SCMP graph was useful when China was the focal point; they are falling behind now)

 

 

From COVID2019.app: (New format lacks new cases and deaths)

 

 

 

 

“I regard the current course of English speaking democracies (other than New Zealand) as mass murder by the political elite. I think history will regard it that way too.”

Coronavirus – Getting Angry (John Bronte)

First – no matter what you say about the Chinese data – and the Chinese data was full of lies at first – China has controlled the outbreak. Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing are all functional mega-cities with no obvious health catastrophes. The virus has been managed to very low infection rates in Singapore and Taiwan. The numbers (completely real) in Korea show a dramatic slowdown in infection. Korea has not shut restaurants and the like. The place is functioning. But it has had rigorous quarantine of the infected and very widespread testing. It has complete social buy-in. China tests your temperature when you get on a bus or a train. It tests you when you go into a classroom, it tests you when you enter a building. There is rigorous and enforced quarantine.

But life goes on – and only a few are dying. In Singapore nobody has died (yet) though I expect a handful to do so before this over. This is sad (especially for the affected families) but it is not a mega-catastrophe. There is a story in the Financial Times about a town in the middle of the hot-zone in Italy where they have enforced quarantine and tested everyone in the town twice. They have no cases. The second stylized fact – mortality differs by availability of hospital beds.
• A. Coronavirus provided you do not run out of hospital beds probably has a mortality of about 1 percent. In a population that is very old (such as some areas in Italy) the mortality will be higher. In a population that is very young base mortality should be lower. Also co-morbidities such as smoking matter.
• B. If you run out of ICU beds (ventilators/forced oxygen) every incremental person who needs a ventilator dies. This probably takes your mortality to two percent.
• C. Beyond that a lot of people get a pneumonia that would benefit from supplemental oxygen. If you run out of hospital beds many of these people also die. Your mortality edges higher – but the only working case we have is Iran and you can’t trust their data. That said a lot of young people require supplementary oxygen and will die. If you are 40 and you think this does not apply to you then you are wrong. Mass infection may kill you. Iran has said that 15 percent of their dead are below 40.

I will put this in an American perspective with a 70 percent strike rate by the end.
• Option A: 2 million dead
• Option B: 4 million dead
• Option C: maybe 6 million dead.
By contrast, Singapore: a handful of dead. China has demonstrated this virus can be controlled. The town in Italy has demonstrated it can be controlled even where it is rife. Life goes on in Singapore. Schools are open. Restaurants are open in Korea. The right policy is not “herd immunity” or even “flattening the curve”. The right policy is to try to eliminate as many cases as possible and to strictly control and test to keep cases to a bare minimum for maybe 18 months while a vaccine is produced.

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@Jake_Hanrahan: “Blown away by the amount of people talking about China’s response to Covid-19 as some kind of model to follow. Are you serious? They have disappeared at least two whistleblowers and hid news of the problem for weeks before it became impossible to do so.”

China Is Avoiding Blame by Trolling the World (Atlantic)

The evidence of China’s deliberate cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan is a matter of public record. In suppressing information about the virus, doing little to contain it, and allowing it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks, the regime imperiled not only its own country and its own citizens but also the more than 100 nations now facing their own potentially devastating outbreaks. More perniciously, the Chinese government censored and detained those brave doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens when they understood the gravity of what was to come. Some American commentators and Democratic politicians are aghast at Donald Trump and Republicans for referring to the pandemic as the “Wuhan virus” and repeatedly pointing to China as the source of the pandemic.

In naming the disease COVID-19, the World Health Organization specifically avoided mentioning Wuhan. Yet in de-emphasizing where the epidemic began (something China has been aggressively pushing for), we run the risk of obscuring Beijing’s role in letting the disease spread beyond its borders. China has a history of mishandling outbreaks, including SARS in 2002 and 2003. But Chinese leaders’ negligence in December and January—for well over a month after the first outbreak in Wuhan—far surpasses those bungled responses. The end of last year was the time for authorities to act, and, as Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times has noted, “act decisively they did—not against the virus, but against whistle-blowers who were trying to call attention to the public health threat.”

This is what allowed the virus to spread across the globe. Because the Chinese Communist Party was pretending that there was little to be concerned about, Wuhan was a porous purveyor of the virus. The government only instituted a lockdown in Wuhan on January 23—seven weeks after the virus first appeared. As events in Italy, the United States, Spain, and France have shown, quite a lot can happen in a week, much less seven. By then, mayor Zhou Xianwang admitted that more than 5 million people had already left Wuhan.

If that weren’t enough, we can plumb recent history for an even more damning account. In a 2019 article, Chinese experts warned it was “highly likely that future SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China.” In a 2007 journal article, infectious-disease specialists published a study arguing that “the presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored.” It was ignored.

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When is China going to admit they screwed up royally?

From ‘Chinese virus’ to ‘Trumpandemic’ (RT)

Washington has passed off blame to Beijing for its own failures in addressing the Covid-19 outbreak, China’s Foreign Ministry said, hitting back at the ‘Chinese virus’ rhetoric with the ironic term ‘Trumpandemic.’ “Some people in the United States attempt to stigmatize China’s fight against the epidemic and shirk its responsibility to China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters on Friday, referring to the finger-pointing adopted by President Trump and other top officials (after weeks of US media outlets calling it the ‘Chinese’ and ‘Wuhan’ virus). “This practice ignores the huge sacrifices made by the Chinese people to safeguard human health and safety, and denigrates China’s major public health security contributions.”

Over the last two months, Beijing has helped the US buy time in its efforts to combat the coronavirus by providing “timely information” and other aid, the spokesman said, noting that the US president himself acknowledged as much during a press briefing last week. But most of that assistance has gone to waste, he lamented. “It is a pity, as many US media and specialists have noted, that the US has wasted the precious time China has bought.” Despite being the only country that has managed to contain the outbreak, China has been accused of suppressing information in the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak – which began in the city of Wuhan late last year. The spokesman insisted the country has taken “the most comprehensive, strictest and most thorough prevention and control measures,” and has been “open” and “transparent” about the virus.

Geng went on to list the numerous joint meetings between American and Chinese health officials in recent weeks, arguing Beijing was doing its part to assist the US response to the lethal illness, but implored Washington to take responsibility for its own shortcomings. “We hope that the United States will respect objective facts, respect international public opinion, do its own thing… stop slandering other countries, passing on responsibilities, and play a constructive role in fighting the epidemic,” he said. While President Trump argues that the phrase “Chinese virus” is “not racist at all,” stating that he uses the term simply because the pathogen “comes from China,” his insistence on the label has piqued the ire of Beijing. In a string of tweets earlier on Friday, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua slammed the moniker as bigoted, and fired back with its own Trumpian term of derision, renaming the outbreak the “Trumpandemic.”

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After cases exploded. It’s a pattern. New York has a very big problem.

Cuomo Orders New York Lockdown, Shuts Down Non-Essential Businesses (NYP)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered the Empire State to shut down and asked local businesses and manufactures to step up as officials mounted a desperate struggle to slow the corona≠virus pandemic. “I want to be able to say to the people of New York – I did everything we could do,” Cuomo told reporters at the state Capitol. “And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.” The restrictions take effect Sunday night at 8 p.m. and will shut down all nonessential businesses across the state, leaving just grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential operations open. All non-solitary outside activities, like basketball and other team sports are also banned.

The lockdown also requires all nonessential government and private-sector employees to work from home. Cuomo said the MTA will continue to run city subways, buses and Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains. The agency announced Friday it will allow backdoor boarding on local buses beginning Monday to help protect bus drivers from exposure “We have to do it, we have to be serious,” Cuomo said. “Everyone has personal freedom, and everyone has personal liberty, and I’ll always protect that,” he added. “But everyone also has a responsibility to everyone else.”

Laundromats and gas stations will be allowed to remain open, as will liquor stores and restaurants for take-out and delivery service only. Doctors’ and veterinarians’ offices can remain open, too. The new emergency action came as the Empire State’s coronavirus case count ballooned. Officials had tallied more than 7,100 cases across the state by 12 a.m. Friday — more than 4,400 in New York City. Just 10 hours later, the city Health Department reported the Big Apple’s case load had surged to more than 5,100 cases.

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Not friends, but working together. These people all recognize their own faults. They’re all 2-3 months late.

New Best Friends: Trump And Archfoes Cuomo And Newsom Bond (JTN) )

It’s often said that crises bring out the worst or the best in people. Adrift in a lifeboat at sea, strangers will either figure out how to cooperate, or kill and eat each other. It may be that the nation’s capital is being enveloped in a cloud of nice — instead of choosing the kill and eat option. President Trump suggested as much yesterday when he looked over a slightly-less-packed-than-usual press room. “I like this social distancing,” he mused. “I think it’s making you guys nicer. All these empty spaces … “You guys over there should probably move further from each other,” he said, flapping his hand at a few reporters, “but it’s nice”

The niceness cloud has also enveloped Trump and a couple of his legendary enemies: California Governor Gavin Newsom, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and President Trump have very recently become the Three Caballeros. At every press conference — and all three leaders are doing daily COVID-19 press updates — praise is bestowed and compliments showered. There are gratuitous namechecks — as with the lover who feels compelled just to repeat the name of the beloved — and many allusions to late night phone calls when details of policy are apparently being hashed out. In his press conference yesterday, for instance, as Trump detailed the FDA’s expedited approval of a new virus treatment, he managed to work in the news that he’d spoken with Cuomo “at great, great length last night; he wants to be first in line.”

Considering that he and the governor are now besties, Cuomo will probably in fact be first in line to get the prescription drug to his state’s consumers — just as he’s recently gotten everything on his virus wish list, from a national guard deployment to Westchester County, site of an early hot spot, to a mobile testing drive-through, also for Westchester, to an Army Corps of Engineers deployment, to a Navy hospital ship which will soon be docked in New York Harbor in case New York City runs out of hospital beds.

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Red alert at the DNC: “30% of Democrats approve, which is about double the number from last week’s poll..”

Trump’s Approval Rating Soars During Handling Of Coronavirus (JTN)

New polling Friday showed President Trump’s approval ratings among Americans have soared during the coronavirus crisis, including his handling of the pandemic response and the economy A new Axios-Harris poll, released Friday, showed the president with an 53 percent overall approval among U.S. adults surveyed March 17 and 18, compared to 49 percent among those polled March 14 and 15. 56 percent of respondents in the latest poll said they approved of the president’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, an increase from 51 percent last week. And 60 percent of Americans this week said they approved of the president’s handling of the economy, a slight increase from 59 percent last week.

Despite stock market declines and rising unemployment figures released this week, the president’s approval rating for “Stimulating Jobs,” remained unchanged at 60 percent among both groups polled. When asked “Which of the following sources do you get your information from regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?” 44 percent of Americans named “The White House/President,” an increase of 11 points from the previous survey. Respondents naming “National media” fell to 53 percent from 55 percent, while those answering “Local media,” dropped to 51 percent from 57 percent. Additionally, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday found that 55 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, a double-digit increase in support from the week before.

“In the new poll, 55% of Americans approve of the president’s management of the crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove,” reported ABC’s Kendall Karson. “Trump’s approval on this issue is up from last week, when the numbers were nearly reversed.” The ABC/Ipsos poll also found “30% of Democrats approve, which is about double the number from last week’s poll, and 69% disapprove, down from 86%,” Karson wrote. “Meanwhile, an overwhelming 92% of Republicans approve, up from 86% last week. Only 8% disapprove, compared to 11% in last week’s poll.”

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The Dems of course can’t have Trump ratings rising, but pray tell, how are regular appearances of Biden going to counter that trend?

Biden Plans Shadow Coronavirus Briefings (Pol.)

Joe Biden is planning a regular shadow briefing on coronavirus to start as early as Monday to show how he would handle the crisis and address what he calls the lies and failures of President Trump. Biden gave a preview of what’s to come in a conference call with reporters Friday, where he listed a litany of false and misleading statements from Trump, who has been holding regular White House press conferences concerning coronavirus preparedness and response that have been broadcast live on all major networks. “President Trump stop saying false things, will ya?” Biden said. “People are worried they are really frightened, when these things don’t come through. He just exacerbates their concern. Stop saying false things you think make you sound like a hero and start putting the full weight of the federal government behind finding fast, safe and effective treatments.”

Biden made his comments from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he has been holed up for more than a week in adherence with Centers for Disease Control guidelines that urge people to practice social distancing. Immediately after the initial onset of the crisis, Biden also held his fire against the president out of concern it would look too political — an accusation leveled at him anyway by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, who said that “Biden will take attention from real updates Americans should know just to score political points.” Ever since his commanding victories Tuesday against Bernie Sanders in Florida, Illinois and Arizona, Biden has made no public appearances or statements. Instead, he said, he has been spending time privately talking to health officials, businesses, governors and members of Congress.

Now, he said, his house is being outfitted with equipment that would enable him to livestream events, have interactive tele-press conferences and broadcast interviews with network television.

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I’m suspicious of any cure or treatment announced, but I’m also curious to see how much coverage the US MSM will give to Cuba potentially saving American lives.

Cuba’s Interferon Alpha 2B, Successful in Treating COVID-19 (TeleSur)

For 40 years, Cuba has been using a molecule named Interferon Alpha 2B , which has successfully been used to combat the new Coonavirus in China and elsewhere. “The world has an opportunity to understand that health is not a commercial asset but a basic right,” Cuban doctor Luis Herrera, the creator of the Interferon Alfa 2-B medication, one of the most successful medications in the fight against COVID-19 told teleSUR Tuesday. Interferon has been known for more than 40 years: first, it was produced from original sources in local sites, then nationally and later in the United States and even Finland. “At the beginning of the 80s, an important professor from Houston came to Cuba and advised our President Fidel Castro than the Interferon we had here was a very interesting molecule for a different purpose,” Herrera told teleSUR.

“Then a group of people went to Finland to get training in the production of interferon,” while people were also producing Interferon from recombined sources using genetic engineering. The first one was Beta Interferon in Japan, and the second one was the family of Alpha Interferon by Genetec in California, according to the Cuban doctor. “One year later in Cuba, we cloned different genes of Interferon from local sites, and we started to produce Interferon in 1981 and 1982, which we used in the outbreak of dengue fever, and we presented the results in the United States in California.” One of the ways the virus can multiply inside the cells is by decreasing the levels of Interferon naturally produced in human cells. The molecule thus, through a different metabolic way, can create conditions to limit the replication of the virus.

During the MERS-CoV epidemic three years ago – another type of coronavirus – people realized that Interferon was decreased during the replication of the virus, highlighted Herrera. In China, practically a few weeks after the beginning of the outbreak, people started to use Interferon in a way to avoid complications in people infected with the virus. According to Herrera, this molecule has “some side effects but not too critical.” “The main idea of Interferon is just to avoid complications,” he told teleSUR. “Young people and people with a good immuno-response perhaps don’t need the medicine or people who won’t have complications and respond to the virus-like any other flu, but old people or people susceptible to have a bad immuno-response will have better chances of avoiding complications by using Interferon.”

https://twitter.com/nickylabour4eva/status/1240580660739391490

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The good doctor can’t keep himself from taking a jab at Trump. Pity. Nothing much else to say that we didn’t already know.

And as the graph shows, the mass testing that for instance South Korea is supposed to have done is not quite what it’s made out to be. 0.6% of the population is not that.

The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming (Wired)

Larry Brilliant says he doesn’t have a crystal ball. But 14 years ago, Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, spoke to a TED audience and described what the next pandemic would look like. At the time, it sounded almost too horrible to take seriously. “A billion people would get sick,” he said. “As many as 165 million people would die. There would be a global recession and depression, and the cost to our economy of $1 to $3 trillion would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their jobs and their health care benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable.”

Now the unthinkable is here, and Brilliant, the Chairman of the board of Ending Pandemics, is sharing expertise with those on the front lines. We are a long way from 100 million deaths due to the novel coronavirus, but it has turned our world upside down. Brilliant is trying not to say “I told you so” too often. But he did tell us so, not only in talks and writings, but as the senior technical advisor for the pandemic horror film Contagion, now a top streaming selection for the homebound. Besides working with the World Health Organization in the effort to end smallpox, Brilliant, who is now 75, has fought flu, polio, and blindness; once led Google’s nonprofit wing, Google.org; co-founded the conferencing system the Well; and has traveled with the Grateful Dead.

[..] When will we be able to leave the house and go back to work? I have a very good retrospect-oscope, but what’s needed right now as a prospecto-scope. If this were a tennis match, I would say advantage virus right now. But there’s really good news from South Korea—they had less than 100 cases today. China had more cases imported than it had from continuous transmission from Wuhan today. The Chinese model will be very hard for us to follow. We’re not going to be locking people up in their apartments, boarding them up. But the South Korea model is one that we could follow. Unfortunately, it requires doing the proportionate number of tests that they did—they did well over a quarter of a million tests. In fact, by the time South Korea had done 200,000 tests, we had probably done less than 1,000.

Now that we’ve missed the opportunity for early testing, is it too late for testing to make a difference? Absolutely not. Tests would make a measurable difference. We should be doing a stochastic process random probability sample of the country to find out where the hell the virus really is. Because we don’t know. Maybe Mississippi is reporting no cases because it’s not looking. How would they know? Zimbabwe reports zero cases because they don’t have testing capability, not because they don’t have the virus. We need something that looks like a home pregnancy test, that you can do at home.

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The neocons are not amused.

Pentagon Sends 2,600 Europe-based Personnel Into Quarantine (RT)

Thousands of US troops and military staff based in Europe have been ordered into self-isolation after at least 35 of them tested positive for Covid-19, further complicating Washington’s power projection across the Atlantic.
Some 2,600 European Command (EUCOM) troops and personnel were isolated on Friday in an effort to stem the spread of the lethal virus, following nearly three dozen positive test results. The Defense Department noted that the troops quarantined were not ill, but were isolated as a precaution due to recent travel, among other reasons. “These individuals are not necessarily sick, but may have been exposed and are doing their due diligence following health preventative measures,” the Pentagon said in a statement.


EUCOM commander, US Air Force General Tod Wolters, told reporters earlier about the positive tests, adding that all 72,000 of his troops were taking measures to avoid further exposure to the illness. “We’re preparing for worst-case scenarios with respect to the potential spread,” Wolters said in a teleconference from EUCOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. “For months, we have embraced precautionary measures.” The Pentagon did not clarify how it planned to isolate the 2,600 personnel, however. The quarantine comes as several branches of the US armed services struggle to contain the coronavirus, especially on board the crowded Navy vessels. The USS ‘Boxer’ became the first ship to confirm more than one infected sailor earlier this week, prompting the crew to adopt what it called an “aggressive mitigation strategy.”

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The CEO delays receiving many millions so the company will receive many billions, which will then be used to pay the CEO additional many millions. File under Business Model.

Boeing Suspends Dividend, Halts Buybacks, Stops Paying CEO And Chairman (Y!)

Boeing says its CEO and its chairman will forgo all pay until the end of the year — and that’s just one of the steps the company is taking to ensure that it weathers the financial effects of the coronavirus epidemic. CEO David Calhoun and Board Chairman Larry Kellner were named to their current positions last December, as part of a corporate house-cleaning related to the past year’s 737 MAX crisis. Calhoun was due to receive a base annual salary of $1.4 million and was eligible for millions more in performance-based payments and stock options. Kellner was getting an annual cash retainer of $250,000 and was eligible for other compensation.


Boeing said it was also suspending its dividend and extending its current pause on stock buybacks until further notice. “Boeing is drawing on all of its resources to sustain operations, support its workforce and customers, and maintain supply chain continuity through the COVID-19 crisis and for the long term,” the company said in a statement. The move came after former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said she was resigning from Boeing’s board of directors to protest the company’s request for at least $60 billion in federal support. The company’s shares have plunged from a 52-week high of $398.66 to today’s closing value of $95.01, primarily due to the virus outbreak. This week, President Donald Trump told reporters that “we have to protect Boeing” but also voiced his disdain of stock buybacks.

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What are words worth?

National Guard Chief Denies Rumors Of Martial Law Response To Virus (Solomon)

The National Guard has deployed a few thousand troops to help states hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, but it wants Americans to know that rumors of impending martial law are blatantly false. One of the Guard’s top generals tweeted out that assurance Friday as officials blamed misinformation and propaganda campaigns for the false rumor. “I hear unfounded rumors about #NationalGuard troops supporting a nationwide quarantine,” wrote Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “Let me be clear: There has been no such discussion.” From New York to Wisconsin, National Guard troops have been deployed to several states to provide assistance that ranges from sterilizing public areas to delivering needed supplies. Those missions are likely to continue for some time.

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“Sovereign immunity”, no less. Carte blanche for any and all surveillance, on peers, journalists, lawyers? Does that sound okay to anyone at all, other than Schiff?

Schiff Claims ‘Immunity’ To Keep Impeachment Phone Subpoenas Secret (JTN)

The House Intelligence Committee and its chairman Adam Schiff invoked “sovereign immunity” in a motion to dismiss a Judicial Watch lawsuit seeking to obtain controversial phone records subpoenas issued during the Trump impeachment inquiry. The committee’s subpoenas of phone records ultimately led to the publication of multiple Americans’ phone records, including those of reporter John Solomon, California Rep. Devin Nunes, the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others. In the motion, lawyers from the Office of General Counsel for the House of Representatives assert four reasons for dismissing the case, including protection under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause.

“First, the doctrine of sovereign immunity deprives the Court of jurisdiction over the House Defendants, and no express and unequivocal waiver exists,” the argument says. “Second, given that the records sought by Plaintiff involve matters pursued and obtained by the House Defendants as part of the House-authorized impeachment inquiry, they are absolutely protected by the Speech or Debate Clause.”

“Third, Plaintiff fails to state a claim because Congress has created a comprehensive scheme for the review of government records—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)—that preempts the common law right sought to be vindicated by this litigation,” the lawyers write. “Finally, under governing case law, the records Plaintiff seeks to review are not ‘public records’ and, therefore, are not subject to the common law right of public access. And even if the records are ‘public records,’ Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the House Defendants’ interest in non-disclosure.”

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“His role was not the good father, it was the half-crazy old uncle in the attic..”

Strength and Weakness (Kunstler)

Yes, he is peculiar-looking: the strange blond helmet, the orange face. Note, back in one of America’s earlier hard times, a lot people thought Mr. Lincoln looked like a great ape, and had much sport with that image of him in the newspapers. It’s also a fact that the decisions he made led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of mostly young men in the bloodiest slaughters then imaginable. Yet those young men going to their deaths called him Father Abraham in their songs around the campfire. I’m not saying that Donald Trump is another Lincoln — certainly not in sheer rhetoric — but I am saying we don’t know yet what his mettle will show in this crisis, and where it might take us. One thing for sure: he’s been subjected to more political abuse than any character on-the-scene in my lifetime, and it’s amazing that he didn’t fold or quit or lose his shit as it went on and on and on.

And so, you now have the strange and ironic spectacle of his organized opposition, the Democrats, hoisting up onto their pinnacle of leadership absolutely the weakest candidate possible to oppose Mr. Trump in the election: Joe Biden. There was something certainly supernatural about his ascent in the recent cluster of primaries, as if some gang of someones worked strenuously behind the scenes to make it happen. If Mr. Biden ever had any charisma even in his prime as a young senator, there was no sign of that now, either in his own bumbling behavior or in the sparse crowds that were flushed out of the DNC’s voter registration thickets to show up at his rallies. In fact, he emanated the exact opposite of charisma, a faltering flop-sweat odor of weakness, and of every kind of weakness: physical, mental, and ethical.

His role was not the good father, it was the half-crazy old uncle in the attic — the kind who puts on his threadbare best suit every day to go down to a corner bar and sip beers until it’s time to stagger back home, where a dutiful niece-in-law might give him supper, if he could manage to ask for it politely. The kind who, until his forced retirement due to incompetence and blundering, had worked as an errand boy for the local mob, picking up receipts from the numbers racket, and was then cast off like a banana peel in a drainage ditch when his usefulness ended.

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CoronaBonds are one way, sure. But if you take the salary pressure away from companies by having the government pay 50-70% of them, would you still need to bailout companies, or would you be only subsidizing zombies?

CoronaBonds To Hold The Payments System Together (Steve Keen)

The coronavirus could cause the financial system to collapse unless something is done to enable basic payments to continue during the fight against it. While some businesses are doing very well out of it—toilet paper and hand sanitizer produces come to mind—many, if not most, could collapse as their sales collapse and/or their workers become unable to turn up to work. Workers—especially those in the jovially-named “gig economy”—will be unable to pay their rents and mortgages. If we insist on these payments being honoured, mass bankruptcy could result that could take viable companies down with it—even toilet roll producers. So what to do? The answer is fundamentally simple: the Treasury issues “Coronabonds” that raise a substantial sum—enough to cover say 3 months of standard mortgage, rent and food payments for an average family.


These Coronabonds could be priced at zero percent yield: interest rates are at that level anyway, and given the current stockmarket carnage, financial corporations would jump at the opportunity to park their money in an asset that won’t fall in value. Using the US Economy as our template, let’s say that $1 trillion of these bonds were issued. They would then be bought by the financial sector—raising $1 trillion to be spend by the government on tenants, mortgagees and firms. The cost to the Treasury would be zero because that would be the yield of the bonds. The public debt would rise, but it would be debt carrying no servicing costs.

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Good friend Steve Keen “escaped” to Thailand.

Personal Coronavirus Update 02 March 21st 2019 (Steve Keen)

As I noted in my first update, I had decided that for both medical and visa reasons, the best place to be during the Coronavirus crisis was Thailand. Outside of China (the epicentre of this crisis), the world’s governments have been dominated by the Neoliberal emphasis upon efficiency, with a total ignorance of the need for resilience as well in a complex system. I didn’t expect any of them to be able to respond effectively as this exponential crisis exploded, so the safest thing was to go for the highest level of social isolation possible—and southern Thailand, below the major tourist spots, made sense on that ground alone. There was also nascent research implying that heat and humidity slow the spread of the virus. This is from the abstract for the paper: “One degree Celsius increase in temperature and one percent increase in relative humidity lower R by 0.0383 and 0.0224, respectively.”

I had already started to make this inference from the statistics from the John Hopkins University site. Thailand began with the second highest number of cases to China, but the number of cases rose far more slowly than in the rest of the world. On January 31st, Thailand had 19 cases, while Australia had 9, the Netherlands zero, and the UK 2. The Netherlands recorded its first cases on February 27th, finishing the day with 2 cases; by this stage, Australia had 23 cases, the UK 15 and Thailand was still far higher at 40 cases. However, as of March 19th, Australia had about 700 cases, The Netherlands and the UK about 2500 each, and Thailand had under 250. This time series plot from my soon-to-be-released program Ravel illustrates the divergence of Thai data from the rest of the world—or rather the three other countries where I could have considered living

during this crisis.

[..] My partner and I arrived in Bangkok on Thursday March 19th, one day before Thailand started closing its border to non-nationals (my partner is a Thai citizen, though she hasn’t lived here for over 25 years). One day later, and I would have had to continue on my own to Australia, which is mishandling this crisis as impressively as any other Western government. Even Thai tourists are thin on the ground now, as Thailand has wisely cancelled its annual Thai New Year holiday and festival. We went to a popular beach yesterday looking for potential places to stay for a year, and it was almost empty. We’re now looking for a house to rent here, for the year that I think it will take before there’s any prospect of a post-Covid-19 “normal” developing.

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