Aug 102022
 
 August 10, 2022  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Gustav Klimt Field of poppies 1907

 

Is The US Preparing To Throw Zelensky Under The Bus? (Diesen)
Zelensky Aide: Counterattack Claims Part Of Kiev’s ‘Information Warfare’ (RT)
Welcome To The Third World (Matt Taibbi)
FBI Even Searched Melania’s Wardrobe Inn Trump Raid (Devine)
Judge Who OK’d Mar-a-Lago Raid Once Obama Donor, Jeffrey Epstein Lawyer (NYP)
Trump Ally Rep. Scott Perry Says The FBIs Seized His Cellphone (Fox)
EU Break-up Now Inevitable (Saxty)
Z for Zorro (Batiushka)
Hungary Offers Solution To Resume Russian Oil Supply (RT)
Lies, Damned Lies, and the Jan. 6 Committee (Sperry)
The Global Debt Scam – Day of Reckoning? (Salamah)
How Greece Became Europe’s Worst Place For Press Freedom (Pol.eu)
US Occupation Loots Most Of Syria’s Oil: Ministry (AlMa)
Lockdowns Increases Obesity, And Obesity Increases Covid Risk (DM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia bombshell

 

 

Taiwan

 

 


EU imports of Russian Energy

1. Oil:
Jan – May 21: €25 bn
Jan – May 22: €43 bn
=> +71%

2. Gas:
Jan – May 21: €6 bn
Jan – May 22: €21 bn
=> +260%

3. Coal:
Jan – May 21: €1.5 bn
Jan – May 22: €4.0 bn
=> +170%

 


German front yr power futures have reached 411 €/MWh today.
Germany consumes about 500 TWh electricity annually. So at current prices the economy’s power bill stands at €205bn.
The 2010s average was €20bn.
The German electricity bill went up by €195bn. That’s 5% of GDP.

 

Myocarditis

 

 

 

 

“..there needs to be a fall guy to take the blame for the pending disaster..”

Is The US Preparing To Throw Zelensky Under The Bus? (Diesen)

Until very recently, the US successfully upheld the international image of Zelensky as some sort of reincarnation of Winston Churchill. Washington dominated the information war in which the complexity of the proxy fight was simplified with dichotomous imagery of the two leaders. Zelensky and Putin were successfully portrayed as a virtuous democrat versus a vicious dictator, a victorious David versus a failing Goliath. Presenting conflicts as a struggle between good and evil is an ideal strategy to mobilize public support and to depict the lack of compromise as a moral position. However, when a war is lost and compromise is necessary, the narrative must be changed. President Joe Biden must defend his weak political position at home and allies must be reassured about American resolve, thus there needs to be a fall guy to take the blame for the pending disaster.

While Washington will continue to send more weapons to bleed Russia, it appears to be simultaneously preparing for defeat by no longer shielding Zelensky from criticism. sIt has been a remarkably difficult month, so far, for Zelensky in the Western media, which had previously withheld all criticism. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, closely linked to the White House, reported that “there is deep mistrust between the White House and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine – considerably more than has been reported.” Friedman also detailed Washington’s growing concerns about Ukrainian corruption and mismanagement, a topic that has been denounced as Russian propaganda since February. This is the same media that until recently repeated every line from Zelensky, including labeling the mass surrender in Mariupol as an “evacuation.” No more.

It is seemingly also no longer taboo to report on the internal divisions in Ukraine as a source of failure. The New York Times reports on Zelensky’s reckless purge of the military and security services, while the Washington Post accuses Zelensky of sidelining mayors and centralizing control over all recovery aid “to weaken any future political rivals.” Sky News, a very anti-Russian news agency, also aired a segment with the title “Zelensky ‘not all he’s portrayed as’ by Western media.”An anchor accused Zelensky of dismantling Ukrainian democracy by seizing control of the national media, banning political opposition parties, and arresting the opposition leader. All true, but previously taboo..

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“All public remarks by Ukrainian officials are part of information warfare against Russia..”

“He ruled out Kiev’s military defeat as a possible scenario, predicting that Western nations will funnel weapons to Ukraine regardless of the cost..”

Zelensky Aide: Counterattack Claims Part Of Kiev’s ‘Information Warfare’ (RT)

All public remarks by Ukrainian officials are part of information warfare against Russia, Mikhail Podolyak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenksy, claimed in an interview on Tuesday. The comment came as Podolyak was discussing Kiev’s plans to take back the city of Kherson from Russia with the BBC. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly claimed that a major counterattack was looming and that Russia was concentrating its forces in return, suggesting that a major battle in southern Ukraine was about to break out. Speaking to the British broadcaster, Podolyak said that “war is a dynamic process” that entails “a constant correction of tactical goals” and that he preferred to discuss “the possibility of lifting the blockade in broad terms” rather than particular maneuvers.

When pressured on the promises of a counteroffensive, he conceded that they could have been meant to deceive Russia. “Certainly, all public comments are part of information warfare. We need to demoralize the Russian army,” he said. The official erroneously called Kherson the largest city captured by Russia since attacking Ukraine in February, explaining its symbolic importance for Kiev. The port of Mariupol is bigger, the BBC noted in an editorial remark. Zelensky’s adviser claimed that Ukrainian forces were waging a “creative war,” as opposed to Russia, which he believes has little regard for its own casualties. “Russia hates us so much that it is ready to lose 100,000 of its people just to prove that it has the right to kill,” he declared.

Podolyak said that Zelensky will remain in power in Ukraine for as long as the armed conflict continues, dismissing the idea that the country could hold a presidential election before the hostilities end. Responding to the widely-used assertion that the government would fight “to the last Ukrainian,” he said the fight would be “to the last Russian citizen in Ukrainian territory.” He ruled out Kiev’s military defeat as a possible scenario, predicting that Western nations will funnel weapons to Ukraine regardless of the cost. Western nations won’t negotiate a truce with Russia at the expense of Ukraine “because the reputation of President Zelensky is such that no such talks can be held behind his back,”Podolyak said.

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“..you’ll quickly lose track if you try to count the named and unnamed intel spooks appearing in coverage today..”

Welcome To The Third World (Matt Taibbi)

Headline from Politics Insider this morning: “Feds likely obtained ‘pulverizing’ amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts say.” Pulverizing! Hold that thought. We’ve reached the stage of American history where everything we see on the news must first be understood as political theater. In other words, the messaging layer of news now almost always dominates the factual narrative, with the latter often reported so unreliably as to be meaningless anyway. Yesterday’s sensational tale of the FBI raiding the Mar-a-Lago home of former president Donald Trump is no different. As of now, it’s impossible to say if Trump’s alleged offense was great, small, or in between. But this for sure is a huge story, and its hugeness extends in multiple directions, including the extraordinary political risk inherent in the decision to execute the raid.

If it backfires, if underlying this action there isn’t a very substantial there there, the Biden administration just took the world’s most reputable police force and turned it into the American version of the Tonton Macoute on national television. We may be looking at simultaneously the dumbest and most inadvertently destructive political gambit in the recent history of this country. The top story today in the New York Times, bylined by its top White House reporter, speculates this is about “delayed returning” of “15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives.” If that’s true, and it’s not tied to January 6th or some other far more serious offense, then the Justice Department just committed institutional suicide and moved the country many steps closer to once far-out eventualities like national revolt or martial law.

This is true no matter what you think of Trump. Despite the early reports of “cheers” in the West Wing, the mood in center-left media has already drifted markedly from the overnight celebration. The Times story today added a line missing from most early reports: “The search, however, does not mean prosecutors have determined that Mr. Trump committed a crime.” There are whispers throughout the business that editors are striking down certain jubilant language, and we can even see this playing out on cable, where the most craven of the networks’ on-air ex-spooks are crab-crawling backward from last night’s buzz-words: The hugeness of the story has become part of its explanation. An action so extreme, we’re told by expert after expert, could only be based upon “pulverizing” evidence.

Throughout the Trump years we’ve seen a numbing pattern of rhetorical slippage in coverage of investigations. The aforementioned Politics Insider story is no different. “Likely” evidence in the headline becomes more profound in the text. An amazing five bylined writers explain: Regardless of the raid’s focus legal experts quickly reached a consensus about it: A pile of evidence must have backed up the warrant authorizing the search. They then quoted a “former top official in the Justice Department’s National Security Division” — you’ll quickly lose track if you try to count the named and unnamed intel spooks appearing in coverage today — who said, “There’s every reason to think that there’s a plus factor in the quantum and quantity of evidence that the government already had to support probable cause in this case.”

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Theater. Bad theater, but still..

FBI Even Searched Melania’s Wardrobe In Trump Raid (Devine)

FBI agents scoured Melania Trump’s wardrobe and spent several hours combing through Donald Trump’s private office, breaking open his safe and rifling through drawers when they raided the former First Family’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida Monday morning. The Post has learned that the search warrant used by the FBI to enter the palatial Palm Beach property focused solely on presidential records and evidence of classified information being stored there. A source close to the former president expressed concern that FBI agents or DOJ lawyers conducting the search could have “planted stuff” because they would not allow Trump’s attorneys inside the 128-room building to observe the operation, which lasted more than nine hours.


The raid by over 30 plain clothes agents from the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Washington Field Office extended through the Trump family’s entire 3,000-square-foot private quarters, as well as to a separate office and safe, and a locked basement storage room in which 15 cardboard boxes of material from the White House were stored. Feds arrived at 9 a.m. and didn’t leave until 6:30 p.m. An eyewitness to the raid said all of the boxes were confiscated by federal agents Monday, but it is unknown if anything else was taken as no itemized list of items was provided by the FBI.

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Nothing the FBI does can be clean.

Judge Who OK’d Mar-a-Lago Raid Once Obama Donor, Jeffrey Epstein Lawyer (NYP)

The Florida federal magistrate judge who signed off on a search warrant authorizing the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort donated to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign — months after he left the local US Attorney’s office to rep employees of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who had received immunity in the long-running sex-trafficking investigation of the financier. Sources tell The Post that Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the warrant that enabled federal agents to converge on the palatial South Florida estate on Monday in what Trump called an “unannounced raid on my home.”

Reinhart was elevated to magistrate judge in March 2018 after 10 years in private practice. That November, the Miami Herald reported that he had represented several of Epstein’s employees — including, by Reinhart’s own admission to the outlet, Epstein’s pilots; his scheduler, Sarah Kellen; and Nadia Marcinkova, who Epstein once reportedly described as his “Yugoslavian sex slave.” Kellen and Marcinkova were among Epstein’s lieutenants who were granted immunity as part of a controversial 2007 deal with federal prosecutors that allowed the pervert to plead guilty to state charges rather than federal crimes. Epstein wound up serving just 13 months in county jail and was granted work release. According to the Herald, which cited court documents, Reinhart resigned from the South Florida US Attorney’s Office effective on New Year’s Day 2008 and went to work for Epstein’s cohorts the following day.

Epstein, who was found dead in August 2019 of an apparent suicide in the Manhattan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, had hired a stable of high-powered lawyers for his defense in the late 2000s, including former independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Ten months after starting work for Epstein’s co-conspirators, according to Federal Election Commission records, Reinhart gave $1,000 directly to the Obama campaign and another $1,000 to its fundraising arm, the Obama Victory Fund. Though the records show the judge made mostly small-dollar donations to his law firm’s political action committee in subsequent years, Reinhart also donated $500 to Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign in November 2015.

Reinhart was later named in a civil lawsuit by two of Epstein’s victims that accused him of violating Justice Department policies by switching sides in the middle of the Epstein investigation, suggesting he had spilled inside information about the probe to build favor with the notorious defendant, the Herald reported in 2018. In a 2011 affidavit, Reinhart denied he had done anything improper and insisted that since he was not involved in the federal investigation of Epstein, he was not privy to inside information about the case. However, in a 2013 court filing, Reinhart’s former colleagues contradicted him, saying that he had “learned confidential, non-public information about the Epstein matter” while employed by the US Attorney’s Office.

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“My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.”

Trump Ally Rep. Scott Perry Says The FBI Seized His Cellphone (Fox)

Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania says that the FBI has confiscated his cellphone. Perry, in an exclusive statement, told Fox News on Tuesday that while traveling with his family earlier in the day, he was approached by three FBI agents who handed him a warrant and requested that he turn over his cellphone. The confiscation of the congressman’s personal phone comes one day after FBI agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. “This morning, while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone. They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish.

“I’m outraged — though not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress,” Perry said in his statement. “My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.” Perry asserted in his statement that “as with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys. These kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every Citizen — especially considering the decision before Congress this week to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to further persecute law-abiding Citizens.”

Perry, a five-term congressman and loyal Trump ally, is an original member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and took over as the group’s leader at the beginning of the year. Perry was also a strong supporter of Trump’s repeated unproven claims that his 2020 election loss to now-President Biden was due to massive voter fraud. Perry has been a target of interest of the Democratic dominated January 6 House select committee that is investigating the deadly 2021 attack on the Capitol by right wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt the congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory. Perry was in communication numerous times with the Trump White House in the days and weeks ahead of the storming of the Capitol.

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“Since Orbán returned to power in 2010 marriages in Hungary have doubled, abortions have halved, divorces have hit record lows, and the birth rate has risen by a quarter.”

EU Break-up Now Inevitable (Saxty)

Back in 2020, Dutch Prime Minister – Mark Rutte – asked (perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek as to whether they might have an EU without that troublesome duo of Hungary and Poland? It was a telling moment, hinting at frustration in western Europe with what many there see as recalcitrant ex-communist states. Then in 2021, Rutte said Hungary had no business being in the European Union anymore owing to the banning of LGBT issues to under-18s. While Rutte said he could not push Hungary out of the EU by himself he somewhat candidly added: “The long-term aim is to bring Hungary to its knees on this issue”. Now bad blood is brewing between progressive Brussels and conservative-nationalist central and eastern Europe over the tying of EU cash to rule of law issues, something Hungary and Poland see as a thinly-veiled attempt to impose liberal values upon them.

To some extent, central and eastern Europe got a bait and switch with the EU, believing they were joining an enhanced free trade bloc, they ended up joining a political union with a strong progressive ideology. That said, Hungary and Poland have been in the club long enough by now to know the rules. Budapest and Warsaw must, by now, be aware the EU is not going to change to suit them. Officially, majorities in most central and eastern EU states support EU membership. In reality, however, most back being part of a beefed-up trade alliance, not an ideologically-fixed political union. Plus, the EU cannot chuck the two out. As Brexiteers know, the only way out is Article 50 and it must be triggered by the country in question. Article 7 can impose sanctions, including losing the right to vote in the European Council.

However, this requires unanimity, and Hungary and Poland – not to mention other central and eastern European states – generally have one another’s backs. How much longer then can Hungary and Poland keep doing this dance, and how much longer can both sides of the EU divide ignore the cultural Iron Curtain which has caused a schism on the Continent? Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is not just an irritant to Brussels, he sees the world from an entirely different perspective. Since Orbán returned to power in 2010 marriages in Hungary have doubled, abortions have halved, divorces have hit record lows, and the birth rate has risen by a quarter.

Orbán has also overseen a constitution with references to God and Christianity; funded Christian schools, and banned content deemed to promote LGBT issues to minors. None of this has endeared him to Brussels but has proved extremely popular in central and eastern Europe. But it is almost certainly the case that what Brussels sees as Hungary’s and Poland’s draconian policies is a direct reaction to what Budapest and Warsaw feel is coming their way from Brussels.

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“Today the question is, after the UK, who next? A popular choice is Hungary. But who knows? Apart from the imbecile-afflicted UK, there is already political turbulence in three EU countries, Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy.”

Z for Zorro (Batiushka)

The collapse of the EU has never been a question of ‘if’, only of ‘when’. The decomposition of the Brussels Yoke of unelected bureaucrats has already long been visible and its collapse foretold years ago. First there was Grexit (which was averted at the last moment at huge cost), then Brexit, which actually happened, and then was an alphabet jungle of Frexit, Italexit, Nexit, Dexit, Polexit etc. Today the question is, after the UK, who next? A popular choice is Hungary. But who knows? Apart from the imbecile-afflicted UK, there is already political turbulence in three EU countries, Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy.

It all sounds as if these are only ‘the beginning of troubles’. Winter is coming to Europe on 1 December with probable food riots, looting and mass civil disobedience, caused by the refusal and inability to pay soaring energy bills because of the EU millionaire elite’s refusal to buy Russian gas. The only way out is if European countries free themselves from the shackles of the USA in order to find their natural places as part of the Eurasian, or rather, Afro-Eurasian, world. This liberation deserves a sign. We can think of no sign more topical – or more native to the Western world – than the sign ‘Z’. Let me explain. Z was the sign of a fictional Spanish-Mexican character, El Zorro, created by an American author in 1919. Zorro is portrayed as a masked, nineteenth-century avenger who defends the common people and native peoples of Spanish-run California against an oppressive imperialist dictator in Madrid, his corrupt and tyrannical local servants and other evildoers.

His name Zorro, (in Spanish, ‘The Fox’), comes from his foxlike cunning. Using the tip of his rapier, he leaves his mark, the initial ‘Z’, on his defeated enemies and on objects in order to sign his presence. However, this purely fictional Zorro goes back to several real figures, notably to three main characters, real ones, indeed so real that they have become myths in European history. These are: Eadric was one of many Englishmen, well-known in their day, who lived in the wilder parts of England after 1066 in order to fight back against the barbaric Norman occupiers. Called ‘the Wild’ or ‘the Woodsman’, Eadric was a nobleman (‘Cild’ in Old English) and landowner in the hills of the west of England. (Remarkably, Eadric’s descendants inherited his lands in a place called Acton Scott in the west of England and these lands still belong to his descendants, the Actons, after a thousand years). Here Eadric led the English Resistance to the Norman occupation and was active in 1068–70.

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“Transneft, announced on Monday that attempts to pay Ukraine for transit have been blocked due to EU sanctions.”

Hungary Offers Solution To Resume Russian Oil Supply (RT)

The Hungarian oil and gas company MOL confirmed on Tuesday that Russian crude supplies via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline stopped a few days ago, and said it had initiated negotiations to assume obligations to pay for transit. The company responsible for Russian oil supplies to the EU, Transneft, announced on Monday that attempts to pay Ukraine for transit have been blocked due to EU sanctions. According to news outlet Origo, MOL has offered to pay transit fees on behalf of Transneft, but has not received a reply from Ukraine. “Although MOL has enough reserves for several weeks, it is working on a solution and has also initiated negotiations on the assumption of the fee obligation,” the energy company said in a statement.


On Monday, Transneft announced that Ukraine had suspended Russian oil flows to parts of central Europe since August 4 because Western sanctions prevented Moscow from making payments for transit. According to the Russian company, the suspension of pipeline flows has affected Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Transneft said it was working on alternative options for the transfer of funds. Druzhba, which is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world, carries crude some 4,000km from the eastern part of European Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Russia normally supplies about 250,000 barrels of oil per day via the southern leg of the route. The northern branch of the Druzhba pipeline running through Belarus to Poland and Germany continues to operate as normal, according to Transneft.

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“While in some cases, it lied by omission, in others, it lied outright.”

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Jan. 6 Committee (Sperry)

The Select Committee to Investigate Jan. 6 has adjourned for a well-deserved summer break. Misleading the public is exhausting work. A careful review of the official transcripts of its eight long hearings shows the committee repeatedly made connections that weren’t there, took events and quotes out of context, exaggerated the violence of the Capitol rioters, and omitted key exculpatory evidence otherwise absolving former President Donald Trump of guilt. While in some cases, it lied by omission, in others, it lied outright. It also made a number of unsubstantiated charges based on the secondhand accounts—hearsay testimony—of a young witness with serious credibility problems.

These weren’t off-the-cuff remarks. Panelists didn’t misspeak. Their statements were tightly scripted and loaded into teleprompters, which they read verbatim. In other words, the committee deliberately chummed out disinformation to millions of viewers of not just cable TV, but also the Big Three TV networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—which agreed to preempt regular daytime and even primetime programming to air the Democratic-run hearings. And because Democrats refused to allow dissenting voices on the panel or any cross-examination of witnesses, viewers had no reference points to understand how they, along with the two Trump-hating Republicans they allowed on the committee, shaded the truth.

This charade of an honest investigation appears to have had the desired effect. Polls show the Jan. 6 hearings hurt Trump, who plans to run again, with independents. Unaffiliated voters have grown more likely to blame Trump for the Capitol riot and to show support for Democrats in the midterms, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey.

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“..a mere 0.88% (US$ 866 Bill) is owed by Africa comprising 54 countries. And even then, more than half of the African debt is owed by just three countries…”

The Global Debt Scam – Day of Reckoning? (Salamah)

Global debt is now claimed to exceed $300 Trillion, while the poor countries’ debt continues to rise in percentage terms – The Poor are always the culprits. It is all a matter of definition, you set it according to your understanding, objectives, or motives. We can make it a lot more alarming by theoretically adding the liabilities of the derivatives and futures markets which could be considered hypothetical debts should they be allowed to become due; then, global debts would be in the Zillions. Economists just love creating definitions, no matter how practical or impractical they are, or how narrow and rigid they become, and end up wagging the dog! On a closer look, however, it transpires that the US$ 300 Trillion global debt includes the internal and external debts of all countries.


In other words, it probably includes Aunt Jemima’s debt to her local grocer. While this is important and helps understand how deep the world has fallen into the hole it has dug, it is probably of higher priority to address the External Debt of countries; debt owed to parties outside their borders. These are the debts that will immediately impact countries’ currency exchange rates, ability to import especially food and energy, and fund development. They are quicker to trigger inflation and disrupt economies and societies. Accordingly, when we look at the Global External Debts, we are taken aback by their distribution. (Bear in mind that the actual numbers are approximations as they cover different years as well as slightly differ from one compiler to another, however they all point in the same direction):

What is striking here is that approx. 80% of global external debt is owed by the advanced countries (the US, its close Allies, and Europe), while a mere 0.88% (US$ 866 Bill) is owed by Africa comprising 54 countries. And even then, more than half of the African debt is owed by just three countries. As for Asia, it owes 3.62% (US$ 3.5 Trill) distributed among 42 countries with the top 4 countries owing half of it. Similarly, 29 Latin American countries owe just 2.25% (US$ 2.2 Trill) with the top three responsible for more than half. Most financial data, including the World Bank and IMF, kick off with a display of debt as a percentage of GDP (a ratio) and relegate the actual nominal debt figures to links that are harder to find or access. This approach may be useful to assess the size and seriousness of the debt problem in an individual economy, but it is not the only tool.


A country’s ability to pay its debts over a period of time can also be affected by inflation, which could falsely paint a rosy shrinking debt-to-GDP picture and vice versa, at least in the short term. Also, a sudden contraction or bounce up of GDP could occur as a result of multiple causes such as wars, market collapses or spikes, and rebounds in economies after sharp falls such as the ‘post covid’ temporary activity. Hence, the actual debt numbers add an important aspect to any analysis. Not surprisingly, the global Debt-to-GDP percentages/ratios tend to tally with the conclusions of the above table of actual numbers. The ratios of advanced nations and Europe are way, way higher than those of the poorer countries. In fact, quite a few of their ratios make Japan, with its famously excessive ratio, appear to be thrifty.

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I’m not sure this is helpful. The trend is everywhere. The farmers in Holland get very little coverage. But now Rutte can say: Look at Greece, it’s much worse…

How Greece Became Europe’s Worst Place For Press Freedom (Pol.eu)

Reporters across Europe raced to follow up on the piece, which provided evidence of possible criminal behavior. Interview requests poured into Germany’s Der Spiegel, one of the outlets behind the story. One country, however, was noticeably quiet on the matter: Greece. “You’d be hard pressed to find any reference to it in the pro-government press, which dominates, especially the airwaves,” said Giorgos Christides, a reporter at Der Spiegel. “In Greece, there’s two parallel media universes.” The moment illustrated what journalists, media analysts, civil rights groups and EU investigators have been warning about for years. Greece, they say, is now seeing the troubling, violent and oppressive results of a years-long erosion of press freedom in the country.

It’s a problem, they say, born during the Greek financial crisis, which destabilized the country, polarized its politics and sapped media outlets of the profits that helped them stay independent. News organizations became increasingly partisan. Threats, attacks and surveillance targeting journalists rose. The pandemic only made things worse. Press conferences were halted and essentially never came back. Questions arose over whether the government was favoring friendly outlets with taxpayer funds. A new law claimed to curb misinformation but is fueling concerns that journalists could be tossed in jail for critical reporting. And just last week, the spying web that had ensnared journalists blossomed into a full-blown scandal that forced two top officials to resign. “Due to the financial situation, media owners have handed over the keys of their businesses to the government,” said Tasos Telloglou, an investigative reporter in Greece.

“This, combined with a government that believes that it does nothing wrong, is an explosive combination.” The situation reflects a broader trend across Europe. Demonstrators going after reporters. Demonization from officials. Public funds withheld. Countries from Germany to Luxembourg to Slovenia, Poland and Hungary have all slipped in annual press freedom rankings. But Greece fell to the bottom of all European countries on the latest list. The Greek government insists the fears are vastly overblown. Press freedom is enshrined in the country’s constitution and there is no press censorship, officials note, correctly. “Greece is a country where everyone can write and publish whatever they want about anyone, without any censorship and no government control,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the European Parliament in a recent debate, holding up two newspaper front pages featuring negative articles about the government.

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Shameless. The Russians should kick them out.

US Occupation Loots Most Of Syria’s Oil: Ministry (AlMa)

The Syrian Oil Ministry revealed that the US occupation loots the majority of Syria’s oil, knowing that the daily production of the eastern oil fields is 80.3 thousand barrels.” During a meeting held to discuss its work plans and the work of its subsidiaries during the first half of this year, the Syrian Ministry of Oil stated that “the amount of oil production during the first half of this year amounted to about 14.5 million barrels, with an average daily production of 80.3 thousand barrels.” The Ministry added that the barrels are delivered to refineries at a rate of 14.2 thousand barrels per day, stressing that the US occupation forces and their mercenaries steal up to 66,000 barrels per day from fields in areas in the eastern region that they occupy.


“Around 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas were produced, with a daily production rate of 11.3 million cubic meters, of which 11.1 million cubic meters is renewable natural gas,” it stated. The Ministry detailed that “82% of the gas produced is delivered to the Ministry of Electricity, 3% to the Ministry of Industry, and 15% to the Ministry of Oil.” It is worth noting that the daily average quantity delivered to the Ministry of Electricity is 8.6 million cubic meters, as per the Ministry. [..] Besides being an occupation force that backs armed groups for its own operations and agenda in the region, the US occupation forces continue to steal Syrian oil by smuggling it from their bases in Syria to their bases in Iraq. Convoys of tens of vehicles, including tankers loaded with stolen oil from oil fields occupied by US forces in Syria, are frequently seen crossing toward northern Iraq, in addition to trucks loaded with military equipment.

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“.. the most important independent risk factor for the development of severe infections in youths..”

Lockdowns Increases Obesity, And Obesity Increases Covid Risk (DM)

One of Australia’s top Covid-19 experts says lockdowns have drastically affected the health of children as a study shows two years of coronavirus restrictions have made people fatter and unhealthier. Professor Peter Collignon, an influential infectious diseases physician with the Australian National University, shared a medical study on his Twitter in which American experts researched the link between the pandemic response and obesity in children and adolescents. ‘Lockdown measures affected healthy lifestyle behaviors through modification of dietary habits, reduction of physical activity and alteration of sleep patterns, and also increased the levels of stress and anxiety, overall promoting weight gain and obesity,’ Prof Collignon wrote on Twitter.

‘Paediatric overweight/obesity—an alarming epidemic of increasing proportions, before Covid-19, has been demonstrated to be the most important independent risk factor for the development of severe infections in youths, requiring admission to hospital/ICUs,’ Prof Collignon said. The paper published by the National Library of Medicine concluded, ‘the dramatic lifestyle changes forced by Covid-19-related lockdown promoted weight gain, with a stronger impact on obese subjects, at higher risk of severe infection.’ The study looked at both the risk factors of lockdown-induced weight increase and the impact of obesity on the risk of hospital admission in children and adolescents. The study also concluded those who were classified as obese had a higher probability of being hospitalised compared to the normal weight population and Covid-19 and obesity represent ‘epidemic conditions with detrimental impact’.

Epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett says the full effect of Covid restrictions have had on the obesity epidemic are not yet fully grasped ‘It is one of those things we have been concerned about yet with obesity the challenge is those rates have been rising anyway, so the question is how much can be attributed to the increase from restrictions from Covid?’ Prof Bennett said. ‘Constraints on individual liberties, exercise, organised sport disruption in and outside of schools would all contribute to the nature of the problem. ‘It is really important that we invest in actively understanding the impacts of Covid restrictions. It is crucial so we can put in place things that might help minimise the long term impacts and address the impacts in terms of obesity and chronic illness.’

Read more …

 

 

 

Man

 

 

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud seeding


 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 062022
 
 May 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Nude on a beach 1929

 

NATO’s New World (Vilches)
Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)
For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)
Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)
Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)
Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)
Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)
Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)
Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)
Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)
2000 Mules (AG)
FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)
McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)
UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)
EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

 

 

 

 

Tucker MAGA

 

 

 

 

Psaki abortion

 

 

Celente

 

 

“..per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”

NATO’s New World (Vilches)

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss recently experienced her 15 minutes of glory with a blatant hissy-fit rant policy speech at a London´s Mansion House banquet. She posited that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Publically, Ms Liz Truss tapped her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly require a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics ´clearly clearly clearly´ let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons should make sure it´s the other way around, see ? So beware… With an AUKUS core, the strategic concept is “all for one, and one for all” just like ´The Three Musketeers´ except that the world´s livelihood is for real, not a novel. Liz Truss is not a cartoon character either, she is today´s United Kingdom Foreign Secretary.

Lebensraum Ukraine would only be the starting point says Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Mind you readers this is a historical certainty, unfortunately not fiction. Curiously enough, WW2 ended when Germany´s dictator shot his lover and himself in the temple only four years after the Wehrmacht had invaded Ukraine pursuing its much-needed Caucasus´ oil. So paraphrasing Mark Twain, and relating Nazis to Ukraine and oil …with the Russians defending and finally winning… history doesn´t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.

But no Sir, what Adolf Hitler conceived 90 years ago today is not large enough at all for NATO, sorry. Per Liz Truss (more on her later) it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature, understand ? The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world, okay ? Furthermore, in the meantime and so as not to waste valuable time and resources, Liz Truss urges current (limited) “European” NATO to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”. Her obvious Russo-Europhobic objective is to split Eurasia into fractions according to the very British well-proven ´divide and conquer´ philosophy.

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“The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military.”

Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)

The Russian military forces are grinding down Ukrainian ground forces by extensive use of heavy artillery. The Ukrainian artillery has been destroyed or lacks ammunition.The Ukrainian forces have orders to stay in their position and to hold the line. That only makes sure that Russian artillery strikes will destroy them. The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military. There are claims that the Russian progress in Ukraine has been slow or has even come to a halt:


“The United States assessed last week that Russian troops were making “slow and uneven” progress in the Donbas, often of no more than “several kilometers … on any given day, just because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines,” one senior U.S. official told journalists. But in its daily reports, the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian forces made no confirmed ground attacks on Monday or Tuesday. It said a Ukrainian artillery strike April 30 on a Russian command headquarters near Izium has slowed the Russian push, and noted that, farther north, a Ukrainian counterattack Monday pushed Russian forces back 25 miles east of Kharkiv.”

Those claims do not hold up to reality. As Clausewitz wrote about the Schwerpunkt in ‘On War’: “[N]o matter what the central feature of the enemy’s power may be—the point on which your efforts must converge—the defeat and destruction of his fighting force remains the best way to begin, and in every case will be a very significant feature of the campaign.” Basing our comments on general experience, the acts we consider most important for the defeat of the enemy are the following: “Destruction of his army, if it is at all significant. Seizure of his capital if it is not only the center of administration but also that of social, professional, and political activity. Delivery of an effective blow against his principal ally if that ally is more powerful than he. Accordingly the Russian military is tasked with demilitarizing the Ukraine, Clausewitz’ task one, and that is what it is doing.


Russia is using the best available means to destroy the Ukrainian military. On the ground that means ruthless systematic mass use of artillery. Reports about the high morale of the Ukrainian soldiers who halt Russian advances are copium when compared with the reality of the battlefield. From the preface of the book King of Battle: Artillery in World War: “Artillery dominated the battlefields of World War I. That was seen in various ways, from wounding patterns and doctors’ clinical data, to memoirs, diaries, and letters, through to changed military doctrine after the war. No nation that had experienced significant ground combat would blithely assume morale could replace firepower. Artillery even holds the dubious distinction of causing a new diagnosis, shellshock.”

Azov Mariupol

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“..color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction..”

For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)

A special military operation (SVO) revealed a plan prepared in advance by the US power and financial elite to seize power in Russia. It includes the following components and stages.

1. Wear out the Russian armed forces in a war with well-trained and directly controlled by the Pentagon fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “stitched” by the Nazis with a vertical of officers appointed by the US and British special services. Turn the population of Ukraine into zombies infected with Russophobia. At the same time, incite the international community against Russia, making accusations of war crimes and genocide against its leadership. On this basis, confiscate Russia’s foreign currency assets and impose total sanctions against it, causing the maximum possible damage. This stage is actually completed.

2. Terrorize the Russian population with shelling of border settlements and military infrastructure, sabotage of transport, and hacker attacks. Hit the public consciousness with a flood of negative fake news and anti-government propaganda through social networks. To impose, through their agents of influence in the financial and economic authorities, an economic policy that blocks the mobilization of resources, including: inflating interest rates, continuing the export of capital, encouraging currency and financial speculation, manipulating the ruble exchange rate, and inflating prices. Thus, the sanctions can be repeatedly aggravated and provoke a collapse in production and a decline in living standards. This stage is in full swing.

3. Provoking protest moods and destructive socio-political actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate authorities against the background of falling living standards and losses in the course of their activities. The use of the entire arsenal of methods for organizing “color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction. At the same time, we are preparing the organizational and ideological foundations for separatist actions in the regions. This stage is under active development.

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“Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts?”

Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)

Does Joe Biden intend to take the U.S. into a direct war with Russia? Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts? Perhaps, because they need a bigger distraction from the political impact of their own policies? Those questions need to be asked and answered quickly, because the White House is about to flip the switch from a “proxy war” into an actual hot war between the United States and Russia. How do we know? Because the Biden administration is openly bragging about their specific military operations inside Ukraine that are killing Russians. Consider:

NYT: “The United States provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, U.S. officials said.” NYT:”The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.”

Why would Joe Biden be bragging about killing Russians in Ukraine if he wasn’t trying to provoke us into a hot war? “The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. But in recent weeks, the United States has sped heavier weapons to Ukraine and requested an extraordinary $33 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid from Congress, demonstrating how quickly American restraints on support for Ukraine are shifting.”

Priest

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“In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.”

Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)

Donald Trump has been well relegated to the sidelines of America’s political debate, but the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) lives on, more virulent than ever. The latter is what’s behind Washington’s descent into the current mindless Ukraine war fever—an outbreak of irrationality that makes even the post-9/11 hysteria seem like an orderly discourse. At the center of this madness, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the Devil Incarnate. Prior to February 24th he had attained that designation in Imperial Washington not just because of his rough methods of governance in Russia or small time military forays in the 2008 South Ossetia/Georgia dispute or in putting down alleged terrorists in Chechnya, but because according to the RussiaGate hoax he had thrown the election to Donald Trump in 2016, thereby shockingly interrupting the rule of the bipartisan duopoly.

Accordingly, for the next four years the apparatus of official Washington–including the MSM in cahoots with the national security state—did not cease in its vilification of Putin via the running RussiaGate Hoax, the phony Mueller investigation, the rogue impeachment proceedings and the nonstop MSM linkage of Trump’s unwelcome presence in the Oval Office with the nefarious doings of Vlad Putin. At length, the TDS got so virulent and all-consuming inside the beltway that the resulting enmity toward Donald Trump became coterminous with the demonization of Putin. Consequently, when Trump got ushered off the stage (barely) by the American electorate in November 2020, Washington’s war on the Donald simply got re-focused with fevered intensity on Putin. In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.

Needless to say, with the politicians in both parties foaming at the mouth against Putin, the Deep State and military-industrial complex had a field day hyping Russia into a national security threat that was not remotely justified, but which did massively distort policy. That includes perpetuating the Donald’s insanely bloated national security budget even further to $813 billion in the FY 2023 Biden request; stonewalling Russia’s reasonable proposals of December to reset security arrangements in eastern Europe, which would have precluded the devastation now besetting Ukraine entirely; and, after February 24th, turning the intramural dispute between Russia and its historic vassal and step-child, Ukraine, into a purported history-defining contest between peaceful Democracy and belligerent Autocracy—a struggle that justified launching a global Sanctions War against the very essence of the dollar-based payments and trading system upon which America’s tenuous prosperity precariously rests.

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“You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit..”

Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)

President Joe Biden lashed out at the “MAGA crowd” and supporters of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The harsh and derogatory disparagement against tens of millions of Americans prodded former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to condemn President Biden. On Wednesday, Biden suggested that the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade was a slippery slope. Biden proposed a hypothetical situation, “What happens if you have states change the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?” President Biden told reporters at the White House, “Is that legit under the way the decision is written? What are the next things that are going to be attacked?” “Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history,” Biden said, making a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement.

[..] Gabbard was incensed by Biden’s incendiary remarks and slammed the president during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “When you look at the President of the United States of America calling millions of Americans, essentially terrorists, people who politically opposed him or voted against him, he’s calling them terrorists in an attempt to intimidate them into silence. And we know this because we’ve heard this before from both him and his attorney general.” Gabbard pointed to the Justice Department’s newly-formed “Domestic Terrorism Unit” that will target the “elevated threat from domestic violent extremists.” “You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit,” Gabbard said.

“So he’s essentially saying that this, quote-unquote ‘MAGA’ crowd are worse than terrorists. This is outrageous.” “And so for every American who’s watching, every American who’s seen this, no matter how you feel about the MAGA crowd, this is an authoritarian assault on our freedom,” the former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii proclaimed. “And we need to stand together very strongly against this attempt to intimidate and silence anyone who holds political views that are different from or opposed to what this president and his administration are furthering. This is an assault on our democracy.”

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“I’m on the warpath!” he declared.”

Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)

Billionaire tech entrepreneuer Elon Musk is “on the warpath.” Musk is now “expected to serve as a temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months after he completes his $44 billion takeover of the social media company,” according to CNBC’s David Faber. The Tesla founder and CEO has the Woke establishment in full meltdown, even reportedly bringing the Big Tech platform’s Trump-banning chief counsel Vijaya Gadde to tears. She’s now expected to be axed. Musk, known for his cryptic tweets, alluded to shaking up the leadership team; of course, he did it with a meme. The context for the meme was provided by Newsmax’s Benny Johnson. It regards an interview between Tim Pool and the Twitter chief counsel herself.

“So your platform restricts speech?” Pool asked. “Our platform promotes speech unless people violate our rules,” Gadde replied. “In a specific direction,” he said. “In any direction,” she argued. “It’s about a pattern and practice of violating our rules.” Pool pointed out the obvious: “You have a pattern and practice of banning only one faction of people.” Then, Pool cited a report from Quillette. It found that out of 22 high-profile bannings from 2015, “21 of them were only on one side of the cultural debate.” “But I don’t look at the political spectrum of people when I’m looking at their tweets,” she claimed.


Musk has big plans for one of the most influential social media platforms. At the Met Gala on Saturday, he discussed his vision with the Associated Press. “Well, I mean, the goal that I have, should everything come to fruition with Twitter, is to have a service that is broadly — is as broadly inclusive as possible where ideally most of America is on it and talking!” Musk told the AP. “I think just generally, the — I’m looking for something that’s like I said as broadly inclusive as possible, that’s as trusted as possible as a system, and I hope we are successful in that regard,” he continued. “I’ve also vowed this publicly that we have to get rid of the bots, trolls, scams, and everything,” he added. “That’s obviously diminishing the user experience and we don’t want people to get tricked out of their money and that kind of thing.” “I’m on the warpath!” he declared.

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“Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low..”

Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has the world’s elites in panic mode – with the Biden administration launching a “Disinformation Governance Board” days after his announcement…followed by the United States, the EU, and 32 non-EU countries announcing a “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” that includes language to require web services to remove illegal content and prevent ‘harm’ to users – which is code for mean tweets, among other things. Another globalist, Bill Gates, is talking greasy after Musk compared the world’s former richest man to the pregnant man emoji. Musk’s purchase also prompted a constellation of 26 Soros-linked NGOs to sign a letter expressing concern about the plan – writing that “Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized.”


The authors that under Musk’s management, “Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low,” adding “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.” Those advertising on Twitter would risk their company associating “with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” according to the letter. A quick look at the signatories:

Musk responded to the campaign against him by asking “Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” adding “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

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“..Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship…”

Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)

I previously wrote about Hillary Clinton’s call on European countries to pass censorship laws to force social media companies like Twitter to regulate speech even after Elon Musk’s pledge to restore free speech to Twitter. Now the Parliament has called on Musk to testify and to explain his alarming pledge to restore free speech. The Biden Administration’s Disinformation Governance Board head, Nina Jankowisz, previously called upon Great Britain to impose state censorship rules. That call has grown since Musk’s purchase. Until now, a unified front of corporate censors was able to maintain an extensive system of censorship with the encouragement of politicians and pundits, including Joe Biden and Democratic members .

The head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Julian Knight has assured her countrymen that they can stay calm and censor on. She issued a letter for Musk to appear before the committee to answer for his terrifying suggestion of free speech: “At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms.”

Like the EU’s censorship plans under the Digital Services Act, the proposed Online Safety Bill would introduce state censorship through the purview of Ofcom (The Office of Communications), the broadcasting regulator in Britain. It would allow the company to fine firms up to ten percent of their global revenue should they violate ill-defined “harm” standards. If passed, Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship. This includes confiscatory fines for anything deemed “grossly offensive.“ The bill would allow countries like Great Britain to impose censorship on the rest of the world.

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“These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel.”

Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)

5. Protect against Surrogate State Censors.

As it became more likely that Musk could buy Twitter, there was a notable shift in the comments of pro-censorship figures. Hillary Clinton, who has long been viewed as hostile to free speech values, went to Twitter to call on the European Union to quickly pass the Digital Services Act in Europe to force censorship “before it’s too late.” That time table appears to be the Musk takeover when the public will suddenly have a free speech alternative to the once solid alliance of censorship among social media companies. Since figures like Clinton cannot count on corporate surrogates to censor, they are returning to good old-fashioned state censorship. If the DSA is passed, they hope to force Twitter to resume censoring material – a warning echoed by EU officials this week. Congress needs to act to blunt such an attack on American companies seeking to restore free speech values.

At the same time, the United Kingdom is pushing its own Online Safety Act and recently Musk was summoned to Parliament to answer for his alarming suggestion of restoring free speech on social media. The British are assuring citizens to “stay calm and censor on” despite Musk’s pledge. It is threatening to take ten percent of the company’s profits if Musk does not censor users. Musk will have to create firewall or siloed systems for countries forcing censorship. These systems should post tweets with a warning that these users are being subjected to national censorship standards while protecting U.S. users from having their free speech reduced to the lower common denominator.

These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel. The greatest asset that Musk brings to Twitter beyond a deep pocket and deep faith in free speech is his legendary creativity. He tends to focus on a horizon rather than the obstacles or opponents before him. Free speech remains a horizonal ideal but one that is attainable for someone with unflagging commitment and creativity. This could be the ultimate “moon shot” for Musk to bring free speech back to the Internet.

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Think this was also banned from Twitter.

2000 Mules (AG)

After the 2020 election, government officials and their allies in the media repeated the mantra that the election was the “most secure in American history,” Dinesh D’Souza pointed out before the premiere of his new documentary film 2000 Mules at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday night. But how would they know that? D’Souza wondered. Even if they couldn’t prove the election was rigged, “it still doesn’t follow that it was the most secure election in history,” he said. “The only way you could prove that would be if you were to compare the amount of fraud in 2020 with 2016, with 2012, with 2008, with 2004, and show that there has been less fraud now than in any of those elections.”

D’Souza’s question is a good one. Did election officials study the security of every election prior to 2020 to make the determination that the 2020 election was “the most secure ever”? Or were they just spinning another false narrative that benefits one side of the aisle? The movie 2000 Mules handily answers that question. Using state-of-the-art technology, the film convincingly makes the case that the 2020 presidential election was perhaps the most unsecure election ever, and was stolen from former President Trump.

The election intelligence organization True The Vote gathered geospatial and temporal data—amounting to a total of 10 trillion cell phone pings—between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6 in the battleground states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The researchers looked at data surrounding ballot drop boxes in targeted areas, as well as UPS stores and select government, commercial, and non-governmental organization (NGO) facilities. This data, coupled with the surveillance video of the drop boxes, provide damning evidence of a coordinated illegal ballot trafficking operation across critical swing states. “Without free and fair elections, we are not a democracy, we are a criminal cartel masquerading as a democracy,” D’Souza argues in the movie.

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The vaccines still haven’t done enough harm, apparently.

FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)

The FDA has limited the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine to only those over 18-years-old due to blood clotting issues. Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine is now limited to adults due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome. FDA – “Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and to individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” (read more)


WHAT CHANGED? – “The FDA and CDC have continuously monitored for and investigated all suspected cases of TTS reported to VAERS. In an updated analysis of TTS cases following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine that were reported to VAERS through March 18, 2022, the FDA and CDC have identified 60 confirmed cases, including nine fatal cases. The FDA has determined that the reporting rate of TTS is 3.23 per million doses of vaccine administered and the reporting rate of TTS deaths is 0.48 per million doses of vaccine administered.”

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“..if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower..”

McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)

Are we on the precipice of a major uptick in serious heart problems among otherwise young, healthy Americans due to the mass-disseminated mRNA COVID shots? Observations from several medical experts, including a well-known cardiologist, suggest that we are. Some individuals who appear to be facing worrisome jab-related heart problems are commercial airline pilots. Advocacy groups also say these pilots are being forced to keep mum about their health issues—and that a far greater percentage of them are likely suffering than the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would like to admit. Joshua Yoder is an airline pilot and co-founder of the U.S. Freedom Flyers (USFF), an advocacy group formed to help transportation industry employees maintain their medical autonomy and oppose federal vax statutes.

As noted by the website American Greatness, Yoder recently disclosed in an interview with Vaccine Safety Research Foundation founder Steve Kirsch that the USFF has already received hundreds of reports of pilots experiencing chest pain and other adverse side effects of COVID shots while flying planes. Of course, people experiencing chest pain caused by jab-related pericarditis or myocarditis (heart inflammation) is concerning enough. But to know that men and women are experiencing these issues while flying commercial aircrafts is deeply worrisome, Yoder says. Plus, many of these airline pilots are reluctant to speak out about their health problems because they fear losing their jobs. “I’m afraid if we keep going down this path,” he said in his interview with Kirsch, “at some point, it’s going to end in catastrophe.”

“If passengers actually knew what was going on at the airlines and the FAA,” he adds, “they would be livid, and everyone would be jumping on a class action suit against all of them.” In his interview, Yoder also shared what well-known Texan cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough said to him in a prior conversation: “if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower” due to new jab-related cardiac issues.

Kolakusic

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Major US export.

UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)

The World Health Organization says the rates of people who are obese and overweight in Europe have hit “epidemic proportions,” with nearly 60% of adults and a third of children in one of those categories. In a report issued Tuesday, the UN health agency’s European office said the prevalence of obesity among adults is higher across the continent than any other world region – except for the Americas. “Alarmingly, there have been consistent increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the WHO European region and no member state is on track to reach the target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025,” the report said. Among the countries it counts in its Europe region, WHO said the highest rates of obesity were seen in Turkey, Malta, Israel and Britain.

WHO said being overweight or obese is among the leading causes of death in the region and is responsible for more than 1 million deaths every year. Scientists have long warned that being heavy significantly increases the risk of numerous diseases, including respiratory conditions, diabetes and at least 13 cancers. It is also the leading risk factor for disability. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we experienced the true impact of the obesity epidemic,” WHO Europe director Dr Hans Kluge wrote in the report. He noted that the obese were “more likely to experience severe outcomes of the Covid-19 disease spectrum, including intensive care unit admissions and death.”

Kluge also said that Covid-19 interventions like school closures and lockdowns often raised the risk of gaining weight when people turned to unhealthy diets and were forced to be sedentary. WHO called for countries to adopt policies to improve “environmental factors” linked to obesity, including taxing sugary drinks, restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and efforts to improve physical activity In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 74% of Americans over age 20 are obese or overweight.

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There goes my faith in mankind…

EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

Brussels officials are being trained to meditate to help them tackle the climate crisis as part of a new wave of “applied mindfulness” that seeks to take the Buddhism-inspired practice “off the cushion” and into hard politics. EU officials working on the 27-country bloc’s green deal climate policy are attending “inner green deal” courses intended to foster a deeper connection among decision-makers and negotiators tasked with tackling the crisis. The courses incorporate woodland walks near Brussels and meditation sessions, including one that invites participants to feel empathy for trees and animals to boost “environmental compassion”. Some managers have reportedly shown impatience at being asked to meditate and want to “get on with business”.


But early results from the first 80 participants suggest the course has strengthened officials’ motivation to tackle climate problems and overcome personal despair that little can be done. Mindfulness has boomed in the west in recent years through courses, meditation apps and books. But it has drawn criticism that it has become a “religion of the self”, with one critic warning of “McMindfulness”. However, it is recognised by the NHS as an effective treatment for recurrent depression when delivered as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Now advocates of “applied mindfulness” believe it could accelerate consensus-building between climate decision-makers. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for “inner transitions” and the potential of meditation to encourage lower-carbon lifestyles.

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From the Attorney General for Virginia

 

Unparalleled disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 102021
 
 December 10, 2021  Posted by at 9:43 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  65 Responses »


Today, two UK High Court judges will decide whether to extradite Julian Assange to the US.

 

The Geographies of the Pharma Genocide (Toby Rogers)
Scientists May Have Discovered Why COVID Hits Fat People Harder (ZH)
SARS-CoV-2 Infects Human Adipose Tissue, Elicits Inflammatory Response (bioRxiv)
South African Covid Cases Up 255% In A Week As Omicron Spreads (G.)
NOW It Is Time (Denninger)
UK Health Secretary Says ‘Unethical’ Mandatory Vaccination ‘Will Not Work’ (SN)
Fauci: Definition of Fully Vaccinated Will Be Changed (ET)
NIH: No Documents on Removal of Gain-of-Function Definition From Website (ET)
Hillsdale College Opens New Academy for Science and Freedom
Pfizer Centers To Boost Greek Economy (K.)
‘Nothing Is More Permanent Than A Temporary Government Program’ (DW)
Botoxed Camels Banned From $66mn Beauty Pageant (RT)

 

 

Julian

 

 

Snowden on Assange: “What we are witnessing is a murder that passes without comment”

 

 

IVM

 

 

 

 

“If vaccines cause net harms, are being deployed worldwide, and every vaccine failure just leads to more vaccination, then this situation is best understood as a genocide.”

The Geographies of the Pharma Genocide (Toby Rogers)

I’ve been searching for the perfect metaphor or analogy to describe what’s going on. But then I realized that while there are some similarities to prior historical periods, in many ways what’s happening now is unprecedented. So the task before us is to identify the features of this genocide, how it works, and how it’s similar to or different from the past — so that we can look for points of leverage to overthrow the system. First, some orienting principles to guide the conversation: The best available evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is a man-made gain-of-function chimera virus that escaped from a bioweapons lab. Both U.S. and Chinese bioweapons researchers are involved.

Coronavirus vaccines do not stop infection, transmission, or bad health outcomes including death. After nearly 500 million doses in the U.S., all-cause mortality and COVID-19 deaths have increased. Doubling down on vaccination, with three, four, or infinite doses or even reformulated doses will not stop the pandemic. This virus was always a bad candidate for a vaccine and mRNA and adenovirus vectors are no great breakthrough and no panacea. Pharma knows all of the above. The CIA, NSA, NIH, and senior Pentagon leadership do too. Useful idiots in government do not necessarily understand the above even though they are the ones carrying out the orders. Only a handful of elected officials understand this.

If vaccines cause net harms, are being deployed worldwide, and every vaccine failure just leads to more vaccination, then this situation is best understood as a genocide. Fauci, the FDA, CDC, NIH, and AMA are all blocking access to safe and effective treatments. This is a crime against humanity and clear evidence of genocidal intent. Pharma has taken over the media and political system and is implementing the most draconian anti-science policies since the Third Reich. Totalitarianism is Pharma’s preferred form of government and they are working extremely hard to create a global totalitarian system of governance under their control.

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The virus hides in fat cells?! Systemic inflammation I would venture.

Scientists May Have Discovered Why COVID Hits Fat People Harder (ZH)

Now, scientists may have a clue as to why Covid affects fat people more severely – it infects both fat cells and certain immune cells within body fat, prompting the body to respond aggressively, according to the New York Times, citing a study published in October. “The bottom line is, ‘Oh my god, indeed, the virus can infect fat cells directly,'” said Dr. Philipp Scherer, a scientist who studies fat cells at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who was not involved in the research. “Whatever happens in fat doesn’t stay in fat,” he continued. “It affects neighboring tissues as well.” The research has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, but it was posted online in October.


If the findings hold up, they may shed light not just on why patients with excess pounds are vulnerable to the virus, but also on why certain younger adults with no other risks become so ill. The study’s senior authors, Dr. Tracey McLaughlin and Dr. Catherine Blish of the Stanford University School of Medicine, suggested the evidence could point to new Covid treatments that target body fat. The finding is particularly relevant to the United States, which has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Most American adults are overweight, and 42 percent have obesity. Black, Hispanic, Native American and Alaska Native people in the U.S. have higher obesity rates than white adults and Asian Americans; they have also been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with death rates roughly double those of white Americans.”-NY Times

“Maybe that’s the Achilles’ heel that the virus utilizes to evade our protective immune responses — by hiding in this place,” said Dr. Vishwa Deep Dixit, a professor of comparative medicine and immunology at Yale School of Medicine. According to Stanford’s Dr. Blish, “This could well be contributing to severe disease … We’re seeing the same inflammatory cytokines that I see in the blood of the really sick patients being produced in response to infection of those tissues.” As the Times notes, body fat is more than just an inert form of energy storage. On the contrary, fat is biologically active, and produces both hormones and immune-system proteins that affect nearby cells, causing a persistent low-grade inflammation regardless of any actual infection.

Inflammation is the body’s response to an invader, and sometimes it can be so vigorous that it is more harmful than the infection that triggered it. “The more fat mass, and in particular visceral fat mass, the worse your inflammatory response,” Dr. McLaughlin said, referring to the abdominal fat that surrounds internal organs. Fat tissue is composed mostly of fat cells, or adipocytes. It also contains pre-adipocytes, which mature into fat cells, and a variety of immune cells, including a type called adipose tissue macrophages. -NY Times As part of the study, Dr. McLaughlin, Blish and other colleagues experimented on fat obtained from bariatric surgery to see if the tissue would become infected with Covid. They found that yes, they could – but certain immune cells known as macrophages were also susceptible, and produced a ‘robust’ inflammatory response.

The team also analyzed fat cells from Europeans who had died of Covid, and found the disease contained within fat near various organs. According to Johns Hopkins professor of cardiology, Dr. David Kass, a man whose ideal weight is 170 lbs, yet who weighs 250 lbs, is carrying a substantial amount of fat in which the virus can ‘hang out’ – where it can then replicate and trigger a ‘destructive immune system response.’ “If you really are very obese, fat is the biggest single organ in your body,” said Kass, who added that Covid “can infect that tissue and actually reside there.” “Whether it hurts it, kills it or at best, it’s a place to amplify itself — it doesn’t matter. It becomes kind of a reservoir.”

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More obesity, more inflammation.

SARS-CoV-2 Infects Human Adipose Tissue, Elicits Inflammatory Response (bioRxiv)

Obesity is associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this report, we demonstrate that human adipose tissue from multiple depots is permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection and that infection elicits an inflammatory response, including the secretion of known inflammatory mediators of severe COVID-19. We identify two cellular targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adipose tissue: mature adipocytes and adipose tissue macrophages. Adipose tissue macrophage infection is largely restricted to a highly inflammatory subpopulation of macrophages, present at baseline, that is further activated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Preadipocytes, while not infected, adopt a proinflammatory phenotype. We further demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detectable in adipocytes in COVID-19 autopsy cases and is associated with an inflammatory infiltrate. Collectively, our findings indicate that adipose tissue supports SARS-CoV-2 infection and pathogenic inflammation and may explain the link between obesity and severe COVID-19.

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When the headline doesn’t match the content (let alone the graph). Triggers fear though. Job done.

South African Covid Cases Up 255% In A Week As Omicron Spreads (G.)

Covid cases in South Africa have surged by 255% in the past seven days but there is mounting anecdotal evidence that infections with the Omicron variant are provoking milder symptoms than in previous waves. According to a South African private healthcare provider, the recent rise in infections – which includes the Omicron and Delta variants – has been accompanied by a much smaller increase in admissions to intensive care beds, echoing an earlier report from the country’s National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD). On Thursday, Marco Cavaleri, the head of biological threats to health and vaccines strategy at the European Medicines Agency, said the situation in Europe remained “extremely worrying”, primarily due to the spread of the Delta variant, while preliminary data on Omicron suggested it may be more transmissible than Delta but cases appeared to be mostly mild.

“However we need to gather more evidence to determine whether the spectrum of disease severity caused by Omicron is different to that of all the variants that have been circulating so far,” Cavaleri said. “Only time will tell.” He said it appeared that the currently approved Covid vaccines were considerably less effective in neutralising Omicron, but “we need to gather a more precise picture around the level of immunity that can be retained”. The World Health Organization said Africa currently accounted for 46% of reported Omicron cases globally. South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said that despite the global concern over Omicron, it was still unclear whether it was more transmissible or caused more severe disease, and he criticised western countries for imposing a travel ban on the country.

South Africa’s biggest private healthcare provider, Netcare, said data from its facilities indicated less severe Covid symptoms in the current fourth wave than in previous waves. “Having personally seen many of our patients across our Gauteng hospitals, their symptoms are far milder than anything we experienced during the first three waves,” Netcare’s Richard Friedland told the Daily Maverick on Wednesday. “Approximately 90% of Covid-19 patients currently in our hospitals require no form of oxygen therapy and are considered incidental cases. If this trend continues, it would appear that, with a few exceptions of those requiring tertiary care, the fourth wave can be adequately treated at a primary care level.”

Friedland said that in previous waves 26% of Netcare’s Covid patients were treated in high care and intensive care units. Friedland’s comments echo earlier analysis from Dr Fareed Abdullah, of the South African Medical Research Council, who said many of the patients diagnosed with Covid in hospitals in badly hit Gauteng province and elsewhere were often “incidental” identifications in patients presenting with other conditions. “The main observation that we have made over the last two weeks is that the majority of patients in the Covid wards have not been oxygen dependent. Sars-CoV-2 has been an incidental finding in patients that were admitted to the hospital for another medical, surgical or obstetric reason,” Abdullah said.

Read more …

Sue your employer if you’ve been laid off under the OSHA mandate.

NOW It Is Time (Denninger)

If you were bullied by your employer under the false pretense that the “mandates” from Biden’s administration were “required” and “lawful”, and your employer either went along with it voluntarily or actually led and lied, it is clear that they’re going to go up in smoke. The CMS/Health Care Worker mandate has been stopped, the OSHA mandate was enjoined and Biden’s attempt to move that to a more-friendly court in DC and get the injunction lifted was responded to by the Judges with a middle finger. Now the Federal Contractor Mandate has been enjoined as well. That’s all of the civilian mandates on employees. All of them have been enjoined. Three losses, no wins.

If you’re an employee who was either coerced into taking the jab or threatened with, or actually fired for refusing you should now contemplate going on offense, now and forevermore, against said employer. You were lied to by your boss who instead of standing up for you and joining said suits tried to sit with Biden and argue for that which has been ruled, with a very high degree of certainty, to be unlawful. I’m a former CEO. I understand these things. I would have never done what these goons did in the medical and other industry areas. No way, no how. There was never justification for it it in law, equity, or common sense. It was, from the start as I see it from the CEO’s side of the table, intentional, abusive and malicious. Well, such actions tend to draw lawsuits. They did.

And now the record is what it is: What was done has an EXTREMELY high probability of being ruled ILLEGAL in the fullness of time. You don’t get injunctions unless there is a very high probability of winning in the fullness of time. That means it is time for enforcement from your side of the table as an employee. It is time for lawsuits. It is time for retribution. It is time to do the minimum necessary work until and unless that retribution is handed to you and the account settled in your favor by said employer. If you were fired, you’re owed all your back pay plus all of any financial penalties you suffered plus immediate reinstatement plus no more bull****. At all. Period. If you were threatened with being fired an apology and reasonable compensation for the intentional emotional distress you were put under is owed you. If your employer doesn’t want to provide that then why would you give them anywhere near 100% ever again?

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Heretic.

UK Health Secretary Says ‘Unethical’ Mandatory Vaccination ‘Will Not Work’ (SN)

The UK health secretary has stated that he has ‘no interest’ in legislating for mandatory COVID vaccinations, describing such a policy as ‘unethical’. In an interview with the BBC, Sajid Javid said “My view is that it’s unethical and also at a practical level it wouldn’t work.” Javid added, “If you’re asking me about universal mandatory vaccination, as some countries in Europe have said they will do, at a practical level I just don’t think it would work. Getting vaccinated has to be a positive choice.” In a separate Sky News interview, Javid added “I’ve got no interest in mandatory vaccinations, apart from in high-risk settings in the NHS and social care, which we’ve already set out that we will legislate for.”


The comments come a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there will “come a point” for a “national conversation” on mandatory vaccinations. Those reacting to Javid’s comments point out that for months Brits were told new lockdowns were not coming, then the government implemented them, and that vaccine passports would never be introduced, yet this week they were, as has been the plan all along.

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Every three months, which each booster.

Fauci: Definition of Fully Vaccinated Will Be Changed (ET)

The definition of fully vaccinated in the United States will be changed, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday. “It’s going to be a matter of when, not if,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an appearance on CNN. The term fully vaccinated presently refers to a person who receives two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson jab. Fauci previously said the definition could be changed. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—which set the definition—has left open the possibility of changing it. The definition is used by authorities imposing vaccine mandates across the country, including the federal mandates against healthcare workers and government contractors.

Several of those mandates have been blocked in courts for now due to worries they’re illegal. Fauci said the timing of the change may be linked to the ongoing cases. “It has implications for that, and that’s the reason why it matters,” he said. Effectiveness of all three of the vaccines authorized for use in the United States drops the longer time goes on from a person getting one, according to real-world data and a slew of studies. There’s been “a slow but steady waning of immunity over time,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said last month. Walensky and other health authorities, citing the waning efficacy, recently cleared boosters for all adults 18 and older. Late last month, they recommended that virtually everybody in that population get an additional jab.

The drop in protection is even more pronounced against the newly identified Omicron variant, according to four studies released this week. Vaccine makers, including Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, are racing to develop reformulated shots that will target the variant specifically.

Read more …

Lots of definitions have changed over the past year. Is it because they were not true, or because they were not fit for purpose?

NIH: No Documents on Removal of Gain-of-Function Definition From Website (ET)

No documents exist explaining why officials decided to remove the definition of “gain-of-function research” from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, the agency told The Epoch Times. The NIH site used to include a 232-word definition of the research, but it was removed around the same time the agency disclosed that research it funded in China met the definition. The alteration took place sometime between Oct. 19 and Oct. 21. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any communications and other documents from between Oct. 1 and Oct. 25 relating to the change, which had been authorized by the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison.

The request was closed this week. The NIH told The Epoch Times that it “does not have documentation” on the change other than the updated page. The Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 published a document explaining how to deal with proposed research involving “enhanced potential pandemic pathogens,” or gain-of-function research. The document narrowed the definition to pathogens both highly transmissible and likely to cause significant sickness or death in humans. The page in question “had described the general definition of gain-of-function research that fell outside the scope of the HHS P3CO Framework,” an NIH spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email in October.

“However, that information was being misused/used incorrectly (and still is) and creating confusion (and still is),” she said, triggering the change. The NIH’s FOIA office sent a statement on the change that was nearly identical to the one from the spokeswoman. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, told The Epoch Times via email that the changed definition “has only muddied the waters.” “Part of understanding what happened in the Wuhan lab is understanding precisely what gain of function means, and NIH has not been helpful in this regard,” he wrote.

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Saw a bunch of comments telling these doctors they’re not really banned at all, they get so much media attention.

Hillsdale College Opens New Academy for Science and Freedom

“What we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic was a silencing of scientific inquiry in favor of policies absolutely hostile to freedom,” said Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. “Liberty is the common good that defines a free society. Policy and science should seek to preserve it whenever possible.” The Academy will feature the work of three scholars, who will be fellows at the Academy: Scott W. Atlas, M.D., of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University; and Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., of the Brownstone Institute.

“The pandemic exposed grave problems with the essential functioning of science, research and debate,” explained Atlas. “Instead of open and free discourse to seek the scientific truths underlying urgently needed solutions, we have seen silencing, censoring, and intimidation of those whose interpretations differed from the desired narrative. This dangerous trend interferes with our ability to address future crises and threatens the very principles of freedom and order essential to democracy.” Atlas added, “Our work in the Academy for Science and Freedom will expose these problems and explore solutions fundamental to the scientific process, principles that all free societies depend on.”

“Science depends on the freedom of scientists to challenge established dogma with arguments and data,” said Bhattacharya. “It cannot function when a small cartel of government scientists, who control a lion’s share of financial support for scientific activity even by private actors, can dictate scientific conclusions at odds with the facts as has happened during the pandemic. The work of the Academy for Science and Freedom will be to reform the funding and function of science so that scientists can be free to do science again and thereby contribute to the flourishing of a free society.”

Kuldorff warned that unless systemic problems within the scientific establishment are amended, the future results will be dire. “As we reflect on the worst public health fiasco in history, our pandemic response has unveiled serious issues with how science is administered. Since the pioneering work of Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Descartes, the foundational principle of science has been the free and open discussion of a variety of scientific ideas. With silencing and censoring of scientists — on for example lockdown harms and natural immunity — we will see the end of 400 years of enlightenment.”

Read more …

Greece will not dump Pfizer I guess.

Pfizer Centers To Boost Greek Economy (K.)

Drug giant Pfizer will contribute a total of 1.6 billion euros to the Greek economy in the decade up to 2030, a study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) has shown. The activity of the US pharmaceutical giant in the local economy will directly and indirectly create 2,600 jobs in Athens and Thessaloniki, according to the report, titled “The Contribution of Pfizer in the Greek Economy,” presented this week at the 32nd Greek Annual Economic Summit, organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. The study has taken into account the direct impact the company will have on Greece’s gross domestic product, its indirect influence on the supply chain connected with the company’s activity, and the effects on consumption on the part of those receiving their income from Pfizer and suppliers associated with its activity. The IOBE study explained that Pfizer’s contribution to Greek GDP has almost doubled with the addition of the Center for Digital Innovation and of the Global Center for Business Operations and Services, both of which are based in Thessaloniki.

Read more …

Musk in politics?!

‘Nothing Is More Permanent Than A Temporary Government Program’ (DW)

In recent days, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has sharply criticized the Biden administration’s social welfare agenda. Earlier this week, Musk argued that the Senate should not pass the Build Back Better Act. The $1.75 trillion legislation — which the House of Representatives has already approved — would expand various social programs, including universal preschool, childcare subsidies, and climate change initiatives. “I would say can this bill, don’t pass it. That’s my recommendation,” argued Musk during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. “If this bill happens or doesn’t happen, we don’t think about it at all really. Honestly it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass.”

On Wednesday, the entrepreneur added to his remarks by sharing an analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — Musk’s alma mater — explaining that the national debt would increase by over 24% if the bill’s provisions are made permanent. “We evaluate the Act under two scenarios. In the first scenario, PWBM presents the spending and revenue provisions ‘as written’ in the legislative text where certain provisions sunset within the 10-year budget window. Under this scenario, we project that the long-run trajectory of public debt would be 1.5 percent larger and that GDP would be 0.2 percent lower in 2050 relative to baseline projections. Under the second scenario, we assume that temporary provisions of the proposal are extended permanently. We find that, against baseline projections, government debt would be more than 24 percent larger in 2050 and GDP would be about 3 percent lower in the same year.”

“There is a lot of accounting trickery in this bill that isn’t being disclosed to the public,” said Musk, noting that the $1.75 trillion price tag is deceptively low due to the early expiration of several programs. Musk concluded with a famous quote from economist Milton Friedman, which President Ronald Reagan often borrowed: “Nothing is more permanent than a ‘temporary’ government program.”

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Who can resist a headline like that?

Botoxed Camels Banned From $66mn Beauty Pageant (RT)

Saudi Arabia has disqualified some 40 camels from its lucrative annual beauty contest for the animals on the grounds that they received Botox injections, facelifts, and other cosmetic touch-ups to become more attractive. Describing it as the biggest-ever crackdown on such “tampering and deception,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday that the animals were barred from the ‘Miss Camel’ pageant held during the popular King Abdulaziz Camel Festival. The event, which began earlier this month, invites breeders to compete for a $66 million prize. Noting that “specialized and advanced” technology was used to detect the artificially enhanced camels, the SPA warned that event organizers will “impose strict penalties on manipulators,” with the intention of halting “all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels.”


At this year’s event, held in the desert near the capital city Riyadh, authorities found that dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of their camels, used muscle-boosting hormones, injected their heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands, and used face-relaxing fillers. Such artificial alterations are strictly prohibited at the contest, where judges pick the winner according to the shape of its head, neck, hump, dress, and posture. In recent years, organizers have reportedly used ultrasound scans and x-ray machines to confirm whether the animals have received cosmetic enhancements. According to The Telegraph, camels found to have been artificially enhanced are banned from the competition for two years and can even be added to a blacklist circulated by authorities. Their owners can also be fined up to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,650).

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Nov 072021
 


Pablo Picasso Sleeping peasants 1919

 

US Appeals Court Blocks Biden’s Federal Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (NYP)
Federal Appeals Court Blocks Biden’s ‘Big-Company’ Vaxx-Mandate (ZH)
Pfizer “Vaccine”: Kill 200 To ‘Save’ One? (OffG)
How Long Does Vaccine Based Immunity Last? (SRMD)
Pfizer Board Member Gottlieb: Pandemic Could Be Over In US By January (CNBC)
Bootleggers, Baptists, and Vaccine Mandates (AIER)
Scientific Journals Censor Science: Removal of Myocarditis report in VAERS (TSN)
Feds Pay Zero Claims For COVID-19 Vaccine Injuries/Deaths (ZH)
When Pandemics Collide: The Interplay Of Obesity And Covid-19 (PMC)
Assange, Fiancee Sue Uk For ‘Preventing Them From Marrying In Prison’ (DM)

 

 

“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”

 

 

 

 

“Something very dark is going on.”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1457002810063609859
https://twitter.com/i/status/1457032388232597505

 

 

Big win. Key line:

“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”

US Appeals Court Blocks Biden’s Federal Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (NYP)

A federal appeals court in Louisiana has blocked the Biden administration’s latest COVID-19 vaccination mandate, giving the government until Monday afternoon to submit a response. An emergency stay, issued Saturday from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, prevents the White House from requiring all full and part-time workers at private-sector companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly and wear face masks. In its decision, the court cited “grave statutory and constitutional” concerns about the government’s mandate, which is scheduled to take effect on January 4. The mandate — issued Thursday under a new rule by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — would apply to some 84 million Americans.

It has been challenged in court by more than two dozen states, including Texas, Missouri and Louisiana. Employers who don’t comply could face fines of up to $14,000 per infraction, according to the government’s guidelines. “We will have our day in court to strike down Biden’s unconstitutional abuse of authority,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted after news of the stay was announced Saturday afternoon. A petition filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and representing 10 other states, declared the vaccine mandate is “unconstitutional, unlawful and unwise.” It also challenges OSHA authority, claiming the agency does not have the jurisdiction to implement the regulations.

“Its unlawful mandate will cause injuries and hardship to working families, inflict economic disruption and staffing shortages on the states and private employers,” reads the petition. In September, the president promised to impose a flurry of vaccine mandates after the Delta variant led to a spike in COVID-19 infections, ending what Biden called the “summer of freedom” from the deadly virus. “A distinct minority of Americans supported by a distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner,” Biden said in a White House address. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.” The government has until Monday at 5 pm to challenge the stay.

Read more …

Will need to read a number of reports to get the relevant details. Note: there will be as many appeals as cases brought.

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Biden’s ‘Big-Company’ Vaxx-Mandate

A federal court has issued a temporary victory in a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandate issuing a stay on the controversial federal government regulation in Texas. “Yesterday, I sued the Biden Admin over its unlawful OSHA vax mandate,” Texas’ Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted Saturday. “WE WON. Just this morning, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues,” the 5th Circuit stayed the mandate. The fight is not over and I will never stop resisting this Admin’s unconstitutional overreach!” As Fox News reports, earlier in the week, Paxton sued the Biden administration over the mandate and argued that the move to force workers at companies with over 100 employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing is “flatly unconstitutional.”

“Biden’s new vaccine mandate on private businesses is a breathtaking abuse of power,” Paxton tweeted Friday. “OSHA has only limited power & specific responsibilities. This latest move goes way outside those bounds. This ‘standard’ is flatly unconstitutional. I’m asking the Court to strike it down.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit said it would quickly consider whether to issue an injunction against the vaccine and testing requirements, ordering the Biden administration to file initial legal papers by late Monday afternoon. A number of trade groups have issued warnings about the mandate, saying that it would exacerbate supply chain bottlenecks and staffing shortages nationwide. The White House remains confident the mandate will stand up to legal challenges.

“We are very confident that it can,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “As for the legal side of this, let me be crystal clear to avoid what appears to be possible misinformation or disinformation around the emergency temporary standard being a vaccine mandate. That would be on its face incorrect as has been explicit for months. It is a standard for safe workplace to either comply with weekly testing or to be vaccinated.”

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“It’s literally the worst NNTV in the history of vaccination.”

Pfizer “Vaccine”: Kill 200 To ‘Save’ One? (OffG)

This is the absolute risk reduction for Pfizer/BioNtech (each group had over 18,000 people):
Injection Group: 8/18,198 = 0.04%
Placebo Group: 162/18,325 = 0.88%
Absolute risk reduction = 0.84%

From the “absolute risk reduction”, you can then calculate the “number needed to vaccinate” (NNTV). This is the rough number of people you need to inject in order to definitely prevent one case/death. To continue the example above, if your vaccine reduces the odds of infection from 10% to 1% (an ARR of 9%), you need to vaccinate eleven people to prevent one infection, giving you an NNTV of 11. Again, the NNTV of the Covid vaccines are much, much, MUCH higher than 11. Estimates range from between 88 and 700 to prevent a single case, and anything up to 100,000 to prevent one solitary death. And remember, all this data was for adults. Children are at a far lower risk from Covid – both in terms of hospitalisation and death. In the US, children aged 5-11 have a 99.992% chance of surviving “Covid” – so it naturally follows the NNTV for this group will be far, far higher than for adults.

But, now that the FDA has approved Pfizer’s “vaccine” for emergency use on children aged 5-11, “far, far higher” is not good enough. We need to calculate an actual figure for the “number needed to vaccinate” in order to hypothetically protect one child from dying “with Covid”. Fortunately for us, someone else has already done it. Writing on his Substack, economist Toby Rogers PhD has collated the numbers from Pfizer’s own trials, the FDA and the CDC and done a very thorough write up. You can read the whole thing here, we’ll just present you with some of the highlights: As of October 30, 2021, the CDC stated that 170 children ages 5 to 11 have died of COVID-19-related illness since the start of the pandemic. (That represents less than 0.1% of all coronavirus-related deaths nationwide even though children that age make up 8.7% of the U.S. population).

The Pfizer mRNA shot only “works” for about 6 months (it increases risk in the first month, provides moderate protection in months 2 through 4 and then effectiveness begins to wane, which is why all of the FDA modeling only used a 6 month time-frame). So any modeling would have to be based on vaccine effectiveness in connection with the 57 (170/3) children who might otherwise have died of COVID-related illness during a 6-month period.At best, the Pfizer mRNA shot might be 80% effective against hospitalizations and death. That number comes directly from the FDA modeling. I am bending over backwards to give Pfizer the benefit of considerable doubt because again, the Pfizer clinical trial showed NO reduction in hospitalizations or death in this age group.

So injecting all 28,384,878 children ages 5 to 11 with two doses of Pfizer (which is what the Biden administration wants to do) would save, at most, 45 lives (0.8 effectiveness x 57 fatalities that otherwise would have occurred during that time period = 45). So then the NNTV to prevent a single fatality in this age group is 630,775 (28,384,878 / 45). But it’s a two dose regimen so if one wants to calculate the NNTV per injection the number doubles to 1,261,550. It’s literally the worst NNTV in the history of vaccination. 630,000 children injected with 1.2 million doses to save one life. That’s incredibly inefficient. However, it could be even worse than that. As we covered last week, according to statistics cited at the VRBPAC meeting, only 94 children from the 5-11 age group have died. If this lower figure is correct, the NNTV to prevent a single death jumps up to 915,641.

In other words, in order to hypothetically prevent a single child from dying over a six month period, you would have to inject nearly one million children with almost two million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Read more …

We need solid research into this.

How Long Does Vaccine Based Immunity Last? (SRMD)

It’s unfortunate that the drug companies decided to end their trials early, by giving active covid vaccine to the members of the placebo group after just a few months. It means that there is no long term follow-up of the covid vaccines from randomized trials, and there never will be. This means that we are instead forced to rely entirely on observational data as we try to understand how safe and effective the vaccines are over the longer term. That is why a recent study out of Sweden is so very interesting. It is currenly available as a pre-print and can be found here. The purpose of the study was to determine how effective the vaccines are at protecting against covid over the longer term (i.e. after more than a few months). This was a registry based study, so it’s not surprising that it is coming out of Sweden. Sweden is generally acknowledged as being better than any other country at collecting and sorting large quantities of population data and using it to produce these types of studies.

The authors of the study began by identifying all people residing in Sweden who had been fully vaccinated against covid-19 by late May 2021. At that time, three different vaccines were being used in Sweden: Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca. The vaccinated people were then matched individually against people of the same age and gender, and living in the same municipality, who hadn’t been vaccinated. In total, 1,684,958 individuals were included in the study. They were followed until October to see if they developed covid-19. So, what did the study show? As would be expected, the vaccines were very effective at preventing symptomatic covid around two months out from vaccination. This is what the randomized trials showed, and it’s the reason the vaccines were approved for use. Overall, the reduction in relative risk at 31-60 days out from vaccination was 89%.

However, after those first two months, there was a rapid decline in efficacy. At four to six months, the vaccines were only reducing the relative risk of infection by 48%! This is pretty interesting when we consider that governments had initially set the bar for approving the vaccines at a 50% relative risk reduction. So, if the trials had been required to run for six months before presenting results instead of only running for two months, then the vaccines would have been considered too ineffective to be worth bothering with, an would never have been approved. Well, that’s not quite true. One vaccine did still provide a better than 50% relative risk reduction at six months – the Moderna vaccine. At four to six months, the relative risk reduction with the Moderna vaccine was 71%. Pfizer was at the same time point only offering a 47% reduction in risk, and AstraZeneca was at that point not doing anything whatsoever to lower risk.

It makes sense that the Moderna vaccine would offer better protection than the Pfizer vaccine. Although the vaccines are virtually identical, the dose in the Moderna vaccine is three times higher. This is likely the reason why Moderna has been associated with much higher rates of myocarditis, which is why it is no longer approved for use in people under the age of 30 here in Sweden.

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But only if you consume our products.

Pfizer Board Member Gottlieb: Pandemic Could Be Over In US By January (CNBC)

The Covid-19 pandemic could be over in the U.S. by the time President Joe Biden’s workplace vaccine mandates take effect in early January, Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. The vaccine requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration begin on Jan. 4 for any company with at least 100 employees. Some 84 million private sector workers must get either their second Moderna or Pfizer shot or one dose from Johnson & Johnson by that date or face regular testing for the virus. “These mandates that are going to be put in place by Jan. 4 really are coming on the tail end of this pandemic,” said Gottlieb, who’s also a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

“By Jan. 4, this pandemic may well be over, at least as it relates to the United States after we get through this delta wave of infection. And we’ll be in a more endemic phase of this virus.” All companies complying with OSHA’s new rules must also start enforcing indoor mask mandates for unvaccinated employees starting Dec. 5. Those personnel must also begin submitting weekly negative Covid tests after Jan. 4 to enter the workplace, and anyone who tests positive should quarantine. The federal mandate contains exemptions for religious and medical reasons. Employees who work exclusively outdoors, at home or in settings where others aren’t present are also exempt from the rules.

OSHA’s guidance doesn’t mandate that businesses pay for their employees’ Covid tests or masks, but any company caught dodging the rules could face fines of anywhere between $13,653 to $136,532 for intentional noncompliance. Gottlieb’s comments came in the wake of data from Pfizer that indicated its Covid antiviral pill, when paired with an HIV medication, slashed the potential for hospitalization or death by 89% in adults at risk for severe complications. Combining the pill with an HIV medication slowed the metabolism, allowing the Covid antiviral to work longer in the body. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in an interview Friday morning with “Squawk Box” before Gottlieb spoke that the company will submit data on the therapeutic to the FDA before Thanksgiving.

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“The Bootleggers supported the ban, too, but only because they would enjoy a thriving black market on those days and profit from illegal alcohol sales.”

Bootleggers, Baptists, and Vaccine Mandates (AIER)

In 1983, economist Bruce Yandle developed the Bootleggers and Baptists framework to explain his belief that durable government action tends to come about with the support of two types of interest groups: those with moral interests and those with financial interests. Yandle appeals to early twentieth-century blue laws, which prohibited the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Baptists, the moralists, were motivated by their beliefs that Sundays should be respected as a day of prayer and rest, not drinking. The Bootleggers supported the ban, too, but only because they would enjoy a thriving black market on those days and profit from illegal alcohol sales. Durable government action, according to Yandle, tends to emerge with the support of coalitions that share a common goal even if they don’t share common motivations.

In a global pandemic, it has not been difficult to find a plethora of public health pieties. Nor has it been hard to find profiteers, especially pharma. I doubt that Anthony Fauci has any financial interests in the Moderna/NIAID vaccine — though investigators should look. He’s in it for the glory. Still, the Moderna/NIAID partnership puts the Bootleggers and Baptists on the same team. Fauci, President Biden, and all the MSM sentinels are the moralists in this equation, that is, if Prof. Yandle will permit a not-so-bright line between moralism and savior complex. They want to be known as the ones who beat the pandemic. One might even say Fauci has been planning for this his whole career. Now he graces us with his presence daily on SAHM programs such as The View, basking in the lamps, reminding us to wear our masks and get our vaccines.

The decrepit Biden, though he needs help getting up on that high horse, once bestride it, holds his mighty executive pen aloft and commands the multitudes to get the jab or else. Waiting in the wings are shadowy corporate figures, such as Moderna’s Bancel, prepared to execute these technocratic plans using billions of dollars inked in red. Though howls against Big Pharma were once prominent in the Progressive Playbook, those have mysteriously been redacted like Anthony Fauci’s FOIA’d emails. When one stops to think that these billions will have to be repaid by the very children who won’t have a choice but to get these vaccines, much less likely Covid, she might find the idea nauseous. A considerably more disturbing thought, though, is that Fauci probably suspected all along that NIH funding led to the creation and (accidental) release of a virus that has killed 5 million people as of this writing.

Anthony Fauci is a monopsony on funding for infectious disease research. He clearly does not want to be known as the guy in charge of funding the pandemic, even inadvertently. His defensiveness, his untruths before Congress, and his moth like draw to camera lights — all seem to reveal a man who, in his moralism, refuses to acknowledge that his agency had any hand in the damage Covid dealt. He wants to be America’s doctor, and his grand plan has always been to vaccinate the world. In his favored scenario, he would not be viewed not as a negligent bureaucrat but a savior. And he wants to keep it that way. The researchers? The intermediaries? The pharma execs? They’re in it for the money upon which their careers depend.

My hypothesis, therefore, tentative but bold, is that economist Bruce Yandle must have seen this coming a mile away. The vaccine mandates of 2020-2021 is a story of Bootleggers colluding with Baptists. The only question that remains, then, is whether we’re going to let them get away with it.

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Cancelling McCullough.

Scientific Journals Censor Science: Removal of Myocarditis report in VAERS (TSN)

Dr Peter McCullough, MD, one of the most cited physicians in the world, an eminent practitioner of internal medicine, a cardiologist and epidemiologist, co-wrote a report with Dr Jessica Rose, Ph.D., a virologist and epidemiologist in Canada, called ‘A Report on Myocarditis Adverse Events in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in Association with COVID-19 Injectable Biological Products.’

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Paying means acknowledging damage. Look at the restrictions…

Feds Pay Zero Claims For COVID-19 Vaccine Injuries/Deaths (ZH)

In fiscal year 2021, the U.S. government paid $246.9 million in claims for vaccine-related injuries and deaths. Not a single payout was related to Covid-19 vaccines. Each person with a “provable” injury from a Covid vaccine could claim up to $379,000 from a special Covid vaccine fund set up by the federal government. The payout for death could be as high as $370,376. However, according to an OpenTheBooks.com investigation, the federal government didn’t pay a penny for Covid-vaccine claims. The special fund for these claims is called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). There were only 1,357 claims filed that alleged “injuries/deaths from the Covid vaccines,” and 53 were listed as deaths, according to recent reporting by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

By contrast, the self-reporting Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) lists 16,310 deaths related to Covid vaccines. Of these, “5,326 of the deaths occurred on Day 0, 1,or 2 following vaccination[.]” The low number of applicants to the CICP fund for injuries or death from the Covid vaccine suggests that people don’t know the special fund exists. The “normal” vaccine fund, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), has existed since 1988 and provides compensation for injuries or deaths associated with most vaccines routinely administered in the United States (such as pediatric and seasonal influenza vaccines), according to the Congressional Research Service. Last year, this fund paid out $246.9 million in vaccine-related injuries and deaths. Payouts include $250,000 for a vaccine-caused death and $250,000 “for pain and suffering and emotional distress.”

A special vaccine court handles these claims. However, in the case of Covid-19 vaccines developed and approved under Project Warp Speed, deaths resulting from a Covid vaccine would pay out through the CICP and would pay more money than a vaccine-related death in normal times. Since the benefit for a death caused by a Covid-19 vaccine is $370,376 for fiscal year 2021 and $50,000 per year for lost employment income (with a lifetime cap to be “generally $379,000”). So, the death benefit is $120,376 higher than for other vaccines ($250,000). However, there is no equivalent to the VICP’s $250,000 “for pain and suffering and emotional distress” under the current Covid-19 parameters. Here are some other differences between the two vaccine-injury funds:

• No attorney fees. The Covid fund is not authorized to provide reimbursement for attorneys’ fees. Therefore, lawyers have less incentive to represent claims.
• Injured children receive small payouts. A Covid vaccine-injured child would only be reimbursed for “reasonable medical expenses.” Since the child survived and isn’t employed, there’s no other compensation.
• Narrow window to file a claim. The Covid fund allows a one-year window to file a claim whereas the regular vaccine fund has a three-year window.
• And sure enough, the CICP fund hasn’t paid out a dime in Covid-vaccine claims. HHS bluntly states online, “As of October 1, 2021, the CICP has not compensated any Covid-19 countermeasures claims.”

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A good bit on inflammation, something I find sorely lacking in most reports. There’s no way chronic and systemic inflammation is not a huge factor in Covid.

When Pandemics Collide: The Interplay Of Obesity And Covid-19 (PMC)

Among 20,133 patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection across 208 hospitals in the United Kingdom, obesity was identified in 10.5% [2]. Worse, obesity was a strong predictor of mortality (HR 1.33; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19 to 1.49) after adjusting for other comorbidities. Between March 1 and April 8, 2020, 5279 patients at NYU Langone Health tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 [3]. Of these, 2741 (51.9%) required hospitalization, 990 (36.1%) developed critical illness requiring intensive care unit (ICU) services, and 665 (24.3%) died. In multi-variate analysis, obesity (especially a BMI>40 kg/m2) emerged as a risk factor for both hospital admission (OR 2.5; 95% CI:1.8 to 3.4) and critical illness requiring ICU services (OR 1.5; 1.0 to 2.2).


In another report from New York City, among 3615 individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 775 (21%) had a BMI of 30 34 kg/m2 and 595 (16%) had a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or higher [4]. Among patients under 60 years old, those with a BMI of 30 34 kg/m2 were 2.0 (1.6 2.6) times as likely to be admitted to the hospital and 1.8 (1.2 2.7) times as likely to be admitted to the ICU, as compared to those with normal range BMI. In a cohort from Mexico of 51,633 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and 5332 related deaths (10.3%), the obese, as compared to non-obese, had a higher rate of mortality (13.5% versus 9.4%), critical illness (5.0% versus 3.3%), and ventilator support (5.2% versus 3.3%) [5]. Data from France found a higher rate of obesity in those SARS-CoV-2 patients who were critically ill and required mechanical ventilation (Odds ratio of 7.36 [1.63 33.14] comparing BMI e”35 vs. <25) [6″ ].

These data highlight the devastating impact of one pandemic (obesity) on another (COVID-19). Obese individuals may have a compounded risk for acquiring more severe COVID-19 disease. First, individuals who are obese undergo gross structural and cellular level changes which puts them at greater risk for ischemic heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease, which are themselves risk-factors for acquiring COVID-19 disease. Second, obesity-specific structural changes can make caring for obese patients who acquire COVID-19 disease logistically challenging. Finally, there may be a link between obesity and SARS-CoV-2 specific receptors found in adipose tissue, possibly rendering obese individuals more susceptible to acquiring more severe disease.

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“The wedding stand-off began in May when Stella approached the prison chaplain to ask about arranging a ceremony. After an initial response, no further help was forthcoming. On October 7, Assange formally asked the Governor’s office to agree to a Belmarsh wedding, but he has had no reply.”

Assange, Fiancee Sue Uk For ‘Preventing Them From Marrying In Prison’ (DM)

Julian Assange and his fiancee Stella Moris are bringing legal action against Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and the Governor of Belmarsh Prison, accusing them of preventing the couple from marrying behind bars. They fear the obstacles put in the way of their wedding by UK authorities are linked to a US-backed political war against the Wikileaks publisher and campaigner. In September it was revealed the CIA had drawn up plans to kidnap or kill Assange during his seven years exiled in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. The agency also spied on his family and friends and led a campaign of misinformation against him. Stella, 38, a lawyer, said: ‘Those catch-or-kill plans were not implemented but other hostile measures were and this is the sting in the tail.

‘It’s part of an enormous conspiracy against Julian which makes itself felt in all that we try to do. ‘A wedding would be a moment of happiness, a bit of normality in insane circumstances. Julian needs things to hold on to because daily life is a struggle for him in Belmarsh and there is so much uncertainty about his future. ‘Our love for each other is the one thing which has carried us through and being married would be another bulwark in our emotional defences. ‘There is no reason for political interference in what is a basic human right. The CIA revelations show the lengths some agencies are willing to go to in their persecution of Julian.’ Assange, 50, and his fiancee have been engaged for five years, have two children and are both practising Catholics. They have been asking since May for help to arrange their wedding in Belmarsh.

[..] Stella is adamant their wedding ceremony would have no legal impact on extradition since his right to a family life in the UK is determined by the fact that their sons Gabriel, four, and Max, two, are British citizens. She also has rights of residency, having lived in Britain for 20 years, although she was born in South Africa. On Friday, the couple opened legal action paving the way for a judicial review. The case is brought against the Justice Secretary and Belmarsh Governor Jenny Louis. The wedding stand-off began in May when Stella approached the prison chaplain to ask about arranging a ceremony. After an initial response, no further help was forthcoming. On October 7, Assange formally asked the Governor’s office to agree to a Belmarsh wedding, but he has had no reply.

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“Any system you contrive without us will be brought down.”
— Leonard Cohen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1401284243733594119

 

 

The sights I have to look at every day.

 

 

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

 

Jun 142021
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Sogni (Dreams) 1896

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Eric Clapton doesn’t agree

 

 

And that makes it alright?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How bad will the backlash be?

UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Never has rhetoric been more empty.

Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)

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


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

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Biden is outclassed 1000x. He comes with nothing.

Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

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May 172021
 
 May 17, 2021  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Landscape with Couple Walking and Crescent Moon 1890

 

Second Stage Terror Wars (Edward Curtin)
Fear Is the Mind-Killer (Alice)
How To Cure Type 2 Diabetes – Without Medication (G.)
Covid-19 Testing Turns To T Cells (Nature)
Interview with Dr Bhakdi (Schultz)
The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill (Wired)
War of Words Over Inflation Stirs Questions for the Fed (Judy L. Shelton)
Druckenmiller: “There’s Been No Greater Engine Of Inequality Than The Fed” (ZH)
‘$40 Billion’ Robinhood App Tries To Vault SEC Hurdles (NYP)
Italian Port Workers Refuse To Load Arms Shipment Destined For Israel (NA)

 

 

“According to the scientific data…

Vaccinating 300,000 people under 18yo is statistically likely to prevent one COVID death and likely to cause 3 vaccine-reaction deaths.”

 

 

 

 

Testing? That’s so yesterday.

 

 

Must read.

Second Stage Terror Wars (Edward Curtin)

It is well known that the endless US war on terror was overtly launched following the mass murders of September 11, 2001 and the linked anthrax attacks. The invasion of Afghanistan and the Patriot Act were immediately justified by those insider murders, and subsequently the wars against Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. So too the terrorizing of the American people with constant fear-mongering about imminent Islamic terrorist attacks from abroad that never came. It is less well known that the executive director of the U.S. cover story – the fictional 9/11 Commission Report – was Philip Zelikow, who controlled and shaped the report from start to finish.

It is even less well known that Zelikow, a professor at the University of Virginia, was closely associated with Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Dickey Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Brent Scowcroft, et al. and had served in various key intelligence positions in both the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. In 2011 President Obama named him to his President’s Intelligence Advisory Board as befits bi-partisan elite rule and coverup compensation across political parties. Perhaps it’s unknown or just forgotten that The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission repeatedly called for Zelikow’s removal, claiming that his appointment made a farce of the claim that the Commission was independent. Zelikow said that for the Commission to consider alternative theories to the government’s claims about Osama bin Laden was akin to whacking moles.

This is the man, who at the request of his colleague Condoleezza Rice, became the primary author of (NSS 2002) The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, that declared that the U.S. would no longer abide by international law but was adopting a policy of preemptive war, as declared by George W. Bush at West Point in June 2002. This was used as justification for the attack on Iraq in 2003 and was a rejection of the charter of the United Nations. So, based on Zelikow’s work creating a magic mountain of deception while disregarding so-called molehills, we have had twenty years of American terror wars around the world in which U.S. forces have murdered millions of innocent people. Wars that will be continuing for years to come despite rhetoric to the contrary. The rhetoric is simply propaganda to cover up the increasingly technological and space-based nature of these wars and the use of mercenaries and special forces.

Simultaneously, in a quasi-volte-face, the Biden administration has directed its resources inward toward domestic “terrorists”: that is, anyone who disagrees with its policies. This is especially aimed at those who question the COVID-19 story. Now Zelikow has been named to head a COVID Commission Planning Group based at the University of Virginia that is said to prepare the way for a National COVID Commission. The group is funded by the Schmidt Futures, the Skoll Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and Stand Together, with more expected to join in.

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“This ideological mass psychosis is religion—not science.”

Fear Is the Mind-Killer (Alice)

Can you imagine what master propagandist Edward Bernays would have done with access to today’s mainstream media conglomerate combined with the global surveillance infrastructure of Big Tech? And you really think that’s not happening now—with another century of psychological, neurological, and technological research under their belts? The present ability to curate reality and coerce obedience is unprecedented, far beyond what Orwell envisioned in 1984, Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, Huxley in Brave New World, and Burgess in A Clockwork Orange. A textbook example of Problem Reaction Solution, the current tsunami of worldwide hysteria is the latest and potentially most threatening example of mass control in history.

The recipe is simple. Take a naturally occurring phenomenon, say a seasonal virus, and exaggerate its threat far beyond every imagining—despite exhaustive evidence to the contrary. Suppress, silence, ostracize, and demonize every individual who dares present facts that expose the false mono-narrative. Whip up a witches’ brew of anger, envy, and, most importantly, fear, escalating emotions to a boil so as to short-circuit our faculties of reason and logic. Isolate us from one another, supplant real-world interactions with virtual feuds, label nonconformists as a threat to the group, and pump the public with a disinformation campaign designed to confuse and atomize. In essence, foster a cultlike mentality that shuts down thought to guarantee assent.

Cultivate and wield our cognitive biases—especially ingroup bias, conformity bias, and authority bias—against us in a comprehensive divide-and-conquer policy that keeps us too busy squabbling amongst each other to recognize and unite against those corralling us into a Matrix-like collective delusion that enables the powerful to extract our resources for their own gain. This ideological mass psychosis is religion—not science. If this were about science, the Media–Pharmaceutical–Big-Tech complex would not be memory-holing every dissenting voice, vilifying every thought criminal, and censoring every legitimate inquiry in quest of the truth.

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With obesity such a major factor in Covid deaths, two birds with one stone.

How To Cure Type 2 Diabetes – Without Medication (G.)

[..] Modest words for a man whose “useful contribution to society” has given hope to the 3.9m people diagnosed with the condition in the UK and who has shown doctors a new way to fight a disease which causes 185 amputations and 700 premature deaths every week. Now, he wants to go one step further and share everything he has learned directly with the public, in a new book, Your Simple Guide to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes. It’s a 153-page paperback that takes you through the latest research on how the disease develops and explains why rapid weight loss can be so effective at reversing the condition in the early stages – which usually means during the first six years of a diagnosis.

“If people really do want to make it happen, then in the first few years of diagnosis, it’s almost universal that their health can be returned to normal,” says Taylor, who is professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University. In one study, he found that nine out of 10 people with “early” type 2 diabetes were cured after losing more than 2 1/2 st (15kg). The book also explains who is at greatest risk and why some people who have a “normal” Body Mass Index (BMI) develop the disease, when many people who are more overweight – or even obese – do not. Taylor’s “Newcastle” weight loss programme is a clinically proven method of reversing early type 2 diabetes and his approach is currently being rolled out to people with the condition by the NHS. It involves cutting your calorie intake to 700-800 calories a day.

In the book, he explains how the people in his programme managed to do this – typically by consuming only slimming meal shakes and non-starchy vegetables, plus one cup of tea or coffee each day with skimmed milk – lost a life-changing amount of weight in just eight weeks. And how you can do the same, safely, at home. [..] One of Taylor’s most important new discoveries is that everyone has their own fat threshold: an individual level of tolerance for levels of fat in the body. “It’s a personal thing. It’s nothing to do with the sort of information that’s often provided about obesity, which is about average BMI and what the population is doing. The bottom line is, a person will develop type 2 diabetes when they’ve become too heavy for their own body. It doesn’t matter if their BMI is within the ‘normal’ range. They’ve crossed their personal threshold and become unhealthy.”

He is currently in the middle of research to find out whether there’s any way of discovering, via a blood test, when people are heading into this dangerous territory and their fat cells are putting out what he describes as “distress signals”. What we do know already is that our bodies start to have trouble controlling blood sugar when fat can no longer be stored safely under the skin and it spills over into the liver and then the pancreas. If these organs get clogged with fat, they stop functioning properly and that is when you develop type 2 diabetes.

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Does this address only vaccine-related T cells?

Covid-19 Testing Turns To T Cells (Nature)

A diagnostic test based on sequencing long-lived SARS-CoV-2–specific memory T cells provides a complement to antibody testing for determining previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Following last month’s US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization for Adaptive Biotechnologies’ T-Detect COVID-19 test, routine T-cell testing has entered a new era. The Adaptive test involves laboratory-based next-generation sequencing to identify T cells that recognize SARS-CoV-2 antigens. The test is not intended for the diagnosis of active infection but is a complement to antibody tests used to confirm recent or previous infections. The lab-based procedure, which has a seven- to ten-day turnaround time, is now authorized for use on samples taken from individuals at least 15 days after the onset of symptoms.

Increasing interest is focused on the role of T-cell immunity in fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection and in providing resistance to re-infection. A new analysis of T cells from people who recovered from COVID-19 has confirmed that they remain active against three of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: B1.1.7, B.351 and B.1.1.248. The study, conducted by a team from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Singapore-based biotech company ImmunoScape, will further boost confidence that the efficacy of vaccines developed against the original pandemic strain will not be overly compromised as these new variants—and others—spread more widely.

Until now, researchers have mostly relied on the use of lateral flow assay or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to determine whether a person has been exposed to the virus. Understanding the neutralizing antibody response has been considered central to establishing protection against the virus. “It’s easy to test,” says Andrew Redd of NIAID, who led the recent study. Although critical, antibodies are part of a larger and incompletely understood set of humoral and cellular immune responses, which has received little attention. These include additional antibody functions, such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, complement activation and phagocyte recruitment. Unravelling their contribution to SARS-CoV-2 immunity is an ongoing challenge. “There are assays to do that, it’s just complicated to do,” says Redd.

The same can be said for assaying T-cell-mediated immunity. The NIAID study relied on a complex laboratory test to identify T-cell epitopes specific to SARS-CoV-2, employing a combination of mass cytometry and combinatorial staining of peptide–major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-bound tetramers. The complexity of the assay and data generated necessarily confine the assay to use in specialist laboratories. “The data that it generates are massive. The analysis side of it is a big lift,” Redd says.

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You tell me what you think of the man.

Interview with Dr Bhakdi (Schultz)

According to the UK Government’s figures, more than 1,100 people have died due to an adverse effect caused by one of the vaccines currently being rolled out via Emergency Use Authorisation. But Dr Bhakdi reveals that worse is yet to come, with manufacturers, he says, creating a false sense of security. “It’s so easy to manipulate the nano-particles,” he said. “All you need to do is take out one component, one lipid, and the vaccine will not be taken up by the cells any more. And then you have no side-effects. And you will have a vaccine that is well-tolerated. “That is what’s happening now with the mRNA vaccines, so the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik will be removed from the market. So there will be a monopoly of the mRNA vaccines, which are being backed by Bill Gates.

“This plan was conceived years ago. Once this vaccine gets legally, fully approved, not approved for emergency use, but fully approved, no more risk analysis needs to be done. “Pfizer are going to submit an application for this in June. And the authorities have already released underground information that the approval will probably be given in October. When this happens, it means that every subsequent vaccine is automatically approved. They have to sign no more application, there will be no more trials, no more risk-benefit analysis. No more notification of side effects. “It’s such a nightmare. They can say, ‘well the care homes are overcrowded. India and South Africa…

“You know that with each subsequent vaccine the chances rise that you are going to kill people. That’s why they are starting to vaccinate children – they are going to show that the vaccine is tolerated by children – then they are going to use this wherever they want to. “Once that has come through, these guys have a free hand to do whatever they want, wherever they want. And no one can do anything about it. It’s so horrible. “How can people be so evil? How can people be so ignorant? It’s that combination of evil and ignorance that is making the world a living hell. And the only people who can do anything about it is us because we have to get the world around us to stand up and realise that they are being led to a living hell.

“It’s a devilish plan, satanic. But the very, very small chance we have is that they made a mistake, which was they thought that this vaccination programme would go through smoothly, as they were not aware that the adverse effects would be so severe and so widespread. “This is where they may trip if we can force them to turn back on the vaccination programme. Now there have been legal charges brought against the EU, for nullification against all the vaccines.”

Read more …

“Trapped in their group-specific jargon, the two camps on Zoom literally couldn’t understand one another.”

The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill (Wired)

Early one morning, Linsey Marr tiptoed to her dining room table, slipped on a headset, and fired up Zoom. On her computer screen, dozens of familiar faces began to appear. She also saw a few people she didn’t know, including Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for Covid-19, and other expert advisers to the WHO. It was just past 1 pm Geneva time on April 3, 2020, but in Blacksburg, Virginia, where Marr lives with her husband and two children, dawn was just beginning to break.

Marr is an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech and one of the few in the world who also studies infectious diseases. To her, the new coronavirus looked as if it could hang in the air, infecting anyone who breathed in enough of it. For people indoors, that posed a considerable risk. But the WHO didn’t seem to have caught on. Just days before, the organization had tweeted “FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne.” That’s why Marr was skipping her usual morning workout to join 35 other aerosol scientists. They were trying to warn the WHO it was making a big mistake.

Over Zoom, they laid out the case. They ticked through a growing list of superspreading events in restaurants, call centers, cruise ships, and a choir rehearsal, instances where people got sick even when they were across the room from a contagious person. The incidents contradicted the WHO’s main safety guidelines of keeping 3 to 6 feet of distance between people and frequent handwashing. If SARS-CoV-2 traveled only in large droplets that immediately fell to the ground, as the WHO was saying, then wouldn’t the distancing and the handwashing have prevented such outbreaks? Infectious air was the more likely culprit, they argued. But the WHO’s experts appeared to be unmoved. If they were going to call Covid-19 airborne, they wanted more direct evidence—proof, which could take months to gather, that the virus was abundant in the air. Meanwhile, thousands of people were falling ill every day.

On the video call, tensions rose. At one point, Lidia Morawska, a revered atmospheric physicist who had arranged the meeting, tried to explain how far infectious particles of different sizes could potentially travel. One of the WHO experts abruptly cut her off, telling her she was wrong, Marr recalls. His rudeness shocked her. “You just don’t argue with Lidia about physics,” she says.

Morawska had spent more than two decades advising a different branch of the WHO on the impacts of air pollution. When it came to flecks of soot and ash belched out by smokestacks and tailpipes, the organization readily accepted the physics she was describing—that particles of many sizes can hang aloft, travel far, and be inhaled. Now, though, the WHO’s advisers seemed to be saying those same laws didn’t apply to virus-laced respiratory particles. To them, the word airborne only applied to particles smaller than 5 microns. Trapped in their group-specific jargon, the two camps on Zoom literally couldn’t understand one another.

Read more …

Trump nominated her to the Fed. Her nomination stalled on November 17, 2020, with a 47–50 vote in the Senate.

War of Words Over Inflation Stirs Questions for the Fed (Judy L. Shelton)

Does it make sense, for a nation founded on the notion of individual liberty, equality under the law, and personal property rights, to allow a government agency to manipulate the value of the currency used by its citizens? Would it be better to have a stable monetary foundation to facilitate free-market outcomes, rather than empower the Federal Reserve to distort interest rates and dilute dollars in the service of government policy? It’s not as if we haven’t been here before. The question of whether rules-based monetary stability historically delivers better economic results in terms of increasing middle-class incomes than relying on the discretionary judgment of central bankers has been wholly analyzed and resolved.

In the 2015 Economic Report of the President issued under the Obama administration, a special section describes the period from 1948 to 1973 as the “Age of Shared Growth”—characterized by accelerating labor productivity, falling income inequality, and increased workforce participation. The report makes little mention of the fact that this period of remarkable growth, which increased living standards across all income levels, coincided with the existence of the Bretton Woods international monetary system under which the U.S. dollar was convertible into gold at a fixed price. The report does posit that if post-1973 productivity growth had continued at its pace from those previous 25 years, “incomes would have been 58% higher in 2013” and “the median household would have had an additional $30,000 in income.”

All of which should give pause to those who belittle the uneasiness felt by conservatives who fear that compromising monetary integrity not only violates founding principles but also economic rationality. And it’s not just conservatives per se, but rather an increasingly larger segment of the population expressing concerns about the wisdom of government officials and the correctness of government policies.

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Well, that’s what it’s for.

Druckenmiller: “There’s Been No Greater Engine Of Inequality Than The Fed” (ZH)

After his status-quo-shattering appearance on CNBC this week, during which he warned that “Fed policy is endangering the dollar’s reserve status,” billionaire fund manager Stan Druckenmiller spoke to The USC Marshall Center for Investment Studies’ Student Investment Fund Annual Meeting via Zoom, and shocked the on-lookers with his frank assessment of our current perceptions and realities. After The Bank of Canada sheepishly admitted this week that “some of the monetary policy tools it is using to address the COVID-19 pandemic, such as quantitative easing (QE), could widen wealth inequality,” Druckenmiller drops the proverbial hammer on all the hedged-speak (“could”), and blasts that

“I don’t think there has been a greater engine of inequality than the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States… so hearing the Chairman [Powell] talking about visiting homeless shelters is very rich indeed…” The outspoken fund manager went on to note that “everyone wealthy that I know is making fortunes” because “this guy [Powell] is printing money like there’s no tomorrow” adding that the kids is Harlem are not benefitting from money-printing but wealthy people are, exclaiming that “…for the life of me I can’t understand why the left is so excited about money-printing when all the data shows that the people who benefit from money-printing are rich people.”

“The odds-on bet is that we’re going to have inflation,” he continues: “and inflation is going to hurt poor people, again, a lot more than rich people.” How does this all end? “The asset bubble which [Powell] is blowing up into unbelievable proportions busts before the inflation ever really manifests itself, that’s what happened in the housing bubble in 08/09. We never really got to the inflation because the asset bubble burst… not dis-similar to what happened in 1929.” And Druck reminds us all, “there is no one, no group, that will be hurt more by a bust than the poor… they will be first in line to get screwed.”

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Gasparino.

‘$40 Billion’ Robinhood App Tries To Vault SEC Hurdles (NYP)

It’s a lot of money for a stock-trading app that’s supposedly free. Robinhood is slated to launch an initial public offering before summer’s end that could value the Silicon Valley-based company at $40 billion or more, people close to the underwriting group say. That would make it among the biggest deals of the year – and certainly the most anticipated as the day-trading app became a cultural phenom during the pandemic. A blowout IPO would be remarkable for a company created only in 2013 and which has survived its share of controversies. Last summer, I warned that Robinhood was luring in amateurs stuck at home during the COVID lockdowns who took on day trading as a sport. They would eventually lose their shirts trading stocks on its free and easy-to-use platform, and regulators would pounce.

The party, I predicted, wouldn’t end well and it almost didn’t. Amateur traders are the lifeblood of Robinhood and its user growth, and they lost lots of money on the wrong side of bets. Then came January’s meme – stock controversy, where clearing problems stymied trading of some high-volume stocks on the app, angering customers. The company s business model came under scrutiny. Congress held hearings about the episode following the wild swings in various stocks that traded over the platform, and the IPO that was planned for March was pushed off indefinitely. But for all the noise, the clients just kept coming – and the IPO is back on. The reason is simple, company execs tell me: Robinhood is printing money. Despite the hiccups, Robinhood added some 6 million additional new customers for its crypto platform alone in the first two months of the year.

Now the app’s explosive user growth has investors clamoring for a piece of the action, people close to the deal say. And mind you, underwriters and company officials are quietly calculating their $40 billion valuation for a product that founder Vlad Tenev essentially conjured up in his dorm room.

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While the US still blocks a UN ceasefire resolution.

Italian Port Workers Refuse To Load Arms Shipment Destined For Israel (NA)

A syndicate of port workers in the Italian city of Livorno in Tuscany on Friday protested a weapons and explosives shipment after discovering it was destined for the Israeli port of Ashdod. “The port of Livorno will not be an accomplice in the massacre of the Palestinian people,” said L’Unione Sindacale di Base (USB). The USB added that the ship contained “weapons and explosives that will serve to kill the Palestinian population, already hit by a severe attack this very night, which caused hundreds of civilian victims, including many children”. A report by The Weapon Watch, a Genoa-based NGO that monitors arms shipments in European and Meditteranean ports, informed the syndicate of the destination of the ship and its contents. The NGO urged the Italian government to consider whether it was “suspending some or all Italian military exports to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict areas.”


“The Union on Saturday will also be in the square in Livorno in solidarity with the Palestinian population and to ask for an immediate stop to the bombings on Gaza and a stop to the ‘expropriations’ Palestinian homes that have lived under military occupation for years,” the USB said in a statement. Although the shipment eventually embarked its journey to Naples, as most other port workers continued to load the ship, other Italian workers’ groups have called for increased coordination between port workers to prevent shipment of weapons that could be used to bomb Gaza. Protests took place in various Italian cities this week, following Israeli forces’ attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem and its escalation on the blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Read more …

 

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May 022021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Triumph of Death c1562

 

People In England Urged To Be Patient; Hugging May Soon Be Allowed (G.)
12 Million Possible Adverse Events After Vaccination in UK, Europe, US (BOOM)
Its Your Fear, Nobody Elses (Denninger)
Pfizer Developing Pill To Treat Covid-19, May Hit Market By End Of 2021 (RT)
The Biggest Vaccine Deal in History: EU to Scoop 1.8 Billion Pfizer Shots (GR)
Obesity Increases Risk Of Severe Covid-19, Particularly In Young People (RT)
Ike’s 1950s America Beat The ‘Asian Flu’ With Science & Common Sense (NF)
Covid Lockdowns Cost Countless Jobs, Don’t Appear To Have Saved Lives (NYP)
Florida To Impose Hefty Fines On Tech Giants That Deplatform Politicians (RT)
Twitter Censors Accounts To Spoon-Feed The World Establishment Narratives (RT)
Victoria Nuland Is Now Highest-Ranking Member of US Foreign Service
US Interferes in Mexico’s Phaseout of Glyphosate and GMO Corn (CD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything that’s wrong in the world today in one headline. If a government pretends it can “allow” hugging, or not, fire it.

People In England Urged To Be Patient; Hugging May Soon Be Allowed (G.)

People are being urged to remain patient before the next relaxation of Covid lockdown restrictions as there is still a possibility for coronavirus cases to “reignite”, amid reports that family and friends in England could be allowed to hug in just over a fortnight. The success of the vaccine rollout and sharp reduction in coronavirus cases and deaths has led ministers to support the move, according to the Times. If approved, this would mark the first time that people in England have been allowed to have physical contact outside of their household or bubble for more than a year. The government had said it would keep hugging under review as England approaches the third stage of the roadmap out of lockdown on 17 May. It has not yet made a formal announcement on the decision.


However, the former chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport warned that “the virus has not gone away” because many UK adults have still not had their first vaccine jab. “We are on the cusp of being able to move to the next step of relaxation; it’s absolutely right that vaccines have been spectacularly successful but not everybody is protected,” Walport, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “We’ve got 35% of adults who are not vaccinated and 60% who have only had one dose and the truth is the virus has not gone away.” “The mistake that has been made repeatedly, really, is relaxing just slightly too early. What we need to do is get the numbers right down. It’s important that we don’t act as an incubator for variant cases that might be able to resist immunity.”

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Extrapolation.

12 Million Possible Adverse Events After Vaccination in UK, Europe, US (BOOM)

Total Adverse Events reported in the US now number 118,800

Total Adverse Events Reported in the UK now number 725,079

Total Adverse Events Reported in Europe now number 354,177

Total Adverse Events Reported in those three regions = 1,198,056

It is clear that the UK reported numbers of adverse events is far greater proportional to population than those reported in the US and in Europe. If we assume that the UK numbers are, in fact, more accurate as a representation of reported events on a population basis and then extrapolate from those UK rates, then we can guess at the total numbers that may be mis-reported in the US and in Europe. UK Population is 68 Million. Thus the Adverse Events per Million population there is 10,662. BOOM advises readers to sit down now to avoid shock. Such extrapolations reveal a (theoretically possible) Total Adverse Events number to date of almost 8 Million in Europe (where the population is estimated at 741 million) and 3.5 Million in the United States (population 332 million).

This generates a theoretically possible total of over 12 MILLION adverse events in the UK, Europe and the US combined to date. And this is after only 4 – 5 months of so-called “vaccination rollouts”. The Total Adverse Events worldwide may be greater than 20 MILLION already using the same theoretical methodology. Total Deaths worldwide may be of the order 20,000 already (or more). It is estimated that 90% of adverse events are not officially reported. Thus, those numbers may be TEN times higher in reality. The theoretical number of 200 million possible adverse events including deaths is staggering in such a short time frame. Approval for these pharmaceutical products by the US FDA is for emergency use only. The clinical trials conducted in late 2020 were conducted over just a few months.

Thus, they arguably have the status of an experimental vaccine with long term side effect rates unknown. The Nuremberg Code requires an individual’s informed consent before receiving experimental medical interventions. And that principle is in the 1964 Helsinki Declaration, which has been codified at Federal and State level in the USA. Australia has also ratified this declaration as have many other nations. The Declaration of Helsinki is an international document that influences how research is conducted in all countries. The Declaration of Helsinki was born from the history of abuses of human research subjects. Informed consent is one of the hallmarks of ethical research and ensures that individuals can make decisions that are in their best interests. Are people being adequately informed?

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Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine

“..what none of them care about is relative and absolute risk of both Covid-19 and the shots yet you have to be insane to accept a risk from a shot that is greater than the risk from the disease itself.”

Its Your Fear, Nobody Elses (Denninger)

We knew in March of last year that not everyone was susceptible to severe disease and death. We knew it because a cruise ship full of old, fat, morbid people, of which nearly every cruise ship is on a wildly over-represented basis didn’t have everyone on board drop like flies. Yes, some people got sick and a few died. But nowhere near everyone got sick, and even fewer died. Indeed, only about one in five got sick. We didn’t know why everyone wasn’t susceptible to clinical disease or worse but we knew this factually in March of 2020 yet Fauci, the CDC and indeed many other so-called “experts” intentionally lied and called this a “novel virus” to which everyone was at severe risk of serious disease and death. Nope.

Now we know why; 81% of the population of the planet has cross-immunity which is at least partially protective. None of these “advocates” and so-called “experts” care about how we got that immunity and in fact they deny it exists despite hard, scientific proof. It’s why every single one of us is alive and why we’ve all survived thus far both individually and as a species. Adaptive cross-immunity only comes from your immune system fighting off some infection. We all have done it since we were infants; indeed, the reason breast milk is a superior means of feeding a baby is that the mother passes to her infant a wildly-effective and supercharged bolster of antibodies, a “primer” if you will, in the first feedings which are called “colostrum.” It’s so important that we’ve documented over the years that children fed from the breast are wildly less-likely to get sick, including diseases that can be and sometimes are fatal to said children.

Do these “advocates and experts” propose that we jail, shun, bar from employment or even jail any woman who refuses to feed her child from the breast, or who fails to put in sufficient effort to do so if she finds it difficult or simply inconvenient? Or do we consider it a valid personal choice to reach for the Similac? These people point out that the shots claim to be 90% effective and it sucks if you’re in the 10%. Well, true enough. But what none of them care about is relative and absolute risk of both Covid-19 and the shots yet you have to be insane to accept a risk from a shot that is greater than the risk from the disease itself. That is, VAERS says there are 3,607 deaths associated with these vaccines over four months time, while the next-largest set is for the HIBV vaccine with 1,363.

But the HIB vaccine has been given routinely to children since 1987, a period of 34 years, meaning that said 1,363 associated deaths come to just 40 annually and it is the most-dangerous “next in line”; all others are less so! Note that HIB, prior to vaccination, was approximately three to five times as deadly as Covid-19 generally, killing between 3-6% of all who got it and virtually everyone who got it and died of it was a young child with decades of life ahead of them, not someone in a nursing home where the average life expectancy at admission is six months. Yes, it sucks if you die in a nursing home of Covid-19 but this does not change the fact that 53% of the time if you’re admitted to a nursing home you’re dead of something within the next six months. Dead is dead when you get down to it and we all die exactly once.

If my risk of death over six months time is 53% I’m not especially scared of a virus; yeah, it might get me but the odds are that something will cause my demise over the next 180 days one way or another. Put this up against the Covid shots which are carrying roughly 100 times the risk of associated death for a disease that, if you catch it, is much less likely to kill you in the general sense. Indeed, among healthy persons the risk of death is not 1/5th that of HIB which carries a risk of 1/25 (~4%) but rather approximately 1/50,000, including specifically among children under 18. That is among healthy people Covid-19 is two thousand times less likely to kill you than HIB is to kill a healthy baby.

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Stop the vaccines, there’s no need for them. Or wait: what’s in these pills? Is it ivermectin? With mRNA thrown in? We’ll never know, they’ll claim patent or something.

Pfizer Developing Pill To Treat Covid-19, May Hit Market By End Of 2021 (RT)

Pfizer announced this week that, if development of its pill to treat Covid-19 infection continues at the current pace, and if regulatory approval is quick, the medication could be on the market in the US by the end of 2021.
Pfizer launched an early trial in March of the oral antiviral which tackles Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, by limiting the availability of the enzyme protease which the virus needs to replicate. “If all goes well, and we implement the same speed that we are, and if regulators do the same, and they are, I hope that (it will be available) by the end of the year,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said. By limiting the coronavirus’ capacity to self-replicate, the drug would theoretically be able to stave off the worst effects of Covid-19, the so-called ‘cytokine storm’ which overwhelms the human body’s immune system and lands people in the intensive care unit.


With a severely weakened viral enemy, thanks to the Pfizer medication, the human immune system should be able to fight off the infection on its own. According to Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer and president of worldwide research, development, and medical, the new drug could be prescribed “at the first sign of infection, without requiring that patients are hospitalized or in critical care.” The only available antiviral drug authorized for treating Covid-19 at present is Remdesivir, but this must be administered via injection by a healthcare professional. Were Pfizer’s new oral medication to gain regulatory approval, it could be administered at a patient’s local pharmacy, thus freeing up medical resources and reducing hospital visits in the process. “You could get it at home, and that could be a game-changer,” Bourla added. The oral treatment may also be effective against emerging mutations and variants, though more testing is needed to definitively prove this.

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Von der Leyen screwed up bigly so she goes biglier.

The Biggest Vaccine Deal in History: EU to Scoop 1.8 Billion Pfizer Shots (GR)

On Thursday, the European Union is working to finalize a deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer-BioNTech for what is called the biggest COVID 19 vaccine deal in the world. The New York Times reports that the deal, which has not been signed just yet, will provide the EU with 1.8 billion vaccines through 2023. This would be the largest vaccine deal in history and it may go a long way in relieving the bloc’s struggling vaccination campaign. Already Pfizer had agreed to provide 300 million doses that the pharmaceutical giant has already promised the EU in a previous agreement. Pfizer and BioNTech agreed to supply an additional 200 million doses of their vaccine in February as well. The process began through extensive personal diplomacy between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla.

According to the Times report, von der Leyen and Bourla exchanged countless texts and phone calls for a month before the deal was drafted. The two first came into serious contact in January 2020 before the pace of their interaction picked up in February. Bourla explained in an interview that such conversations with a high ranking government official were not at all uncommon for him Bourla said he and von der Leyen had “developed a deep trust, because we got into deep discussions.” Previously, the EU was reliant on the British drug company AstraZeneca for its supply of vaccines. However, the bloc initiated a lawsuit this week against the company for delays in delivery of the vaccine. AstraZeneca had at one time committed to deliver 120 million vaccine doses by the end of March but in actuality only delivered 29.7 million inoculations by that deadline.

The EU has almost 448 million residents — more than one hundred million more than the US population of 328 million. The relationship hit another snag when it was reported that the AstraZeneca vaccine may be linked to some recipients suffering from blood clots. After the use of the vaccine had been paused by the EU after reports of thrombosis and death in those receiving the vaccine, the drug regulator admitted that it found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare clotting disorder.

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Chronic inflammation.

Obesity Increases Risk Of Severe Covid-19, Particularly In Young People (RT)

People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from serious cases of coronavirus, with the associated risk especially prevalent among those younger than 40, according to a new study. Researchers from Oxford University used data from a database of nearly seven million English patients aged 20 years and older to examine whether there was a correlation between body mass index (BMI) and severe cases of the virus. They found that the likelihood of Covid-19 leading to hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and death increased with weight. However, the risk was far greater for overweight patients between the ages of 20 and 39. On the other hand, high BMI did not appear to affect whether those aged 80 to 100 suffered from serious cases of the virus.

People with a BMI above 23 – the upper limit of the health range – are at risk of a more serious infection, while each one-point increase in BMI raises the chances of hospitalization by 5% and of ICU admission by 10%, the study concluded. The findings were published on Thursday in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, and represent one of the largest studies to date on how body weight affects Covid outcomes. The study’s lead author, Carmen Piernas, said that it’s possible that body fat may potentially cause a higher viral load for younger patients, but that more research was needed into the matter. Severe cases among the elderly are likely linked to weakened immune systems or pre-existing conditions, making weight a less noticeable factor.

Piernas and her colleagues noted that their observations could be used to guide public health initiatives aimed at curtailing serious cases of the disease. “Excess weight is a modifiable risk factor, and investment in the treatment of overweight and obesity and long-term preventive strategies could help reduce the severity of Covid-19 disease,” they wrote. Paul Aveyard, a co-author of the study, said that it was “highly plausible” that weight loss reduces the risk of serious coronavirus infection. The research adds to a growing list of scientific literature pointing to a correlation between weight and likelihood of severe Covid-19. A study published last year in Nature found that obesity significantly increased the risk of coronavirus-linked death. People with a BMI over 40 were at 92% higher risk of dying from the virus compared with people with a healthy BMI between 18.5-25.

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Adapted from Niall Ferguson’s new book, “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe,”

Ike’s 1950s America Beat The ‘Asian Flu’ With Science & Common Sense (NF)

The first cases of Asian flu in the U.S. occurred early in June 1957, among the crews of ships berthed at Newport, R.I. Cases also appeared among the 53,000 boys attending the Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge, Penn. As Scout troops traveled around the country in July and August, they spread the flu. In July there was a massive outbreak in Tangipahoa Parish, La. By the end of the summer, cases had also appeared in California, Ohio, Kentucky and Utah. It was the start of the school year that made the Asian flu an epidemic. The Communicable Disease Center, as the CDC was then called, estimated that approximately 45 million people—about 25% of the population—became infected with the new virus in October and November 1957. Younger people experienced the highest infection rates, from school-age children up to adults age 35-40.

Adults over 65 accounted for 60% of influenza deaths, an abnormally low share. Why were young Americans disproportionately vulnerable to the Asian flu? Part of the explanation is that they had not been as exposed as older Americans to earlier strains of influenza. But the scale and incidence of any contagion are functions of both the properties of the pathogen itself and the structure of the social network that it attacks. The year 1957 was in many ways the dawn of the American teenager. The first baby boomers born after the end of World War II turned 13 the following year. Summer camps, school buses and unprecedented social mingling after school ensured that between September 1957 and March 1958 the proportion of teenagers infected with the virus rose from 5% to 75%.

The policy response of President Dwight Eisenhower could hardly have been more different from the response of 2020. Eisenhower did not declare a state of emergency. There were no state lockdowns and, despite the first wave of teenage illness, no school closures. Sick students simply stayed at home, as they usually did. Work continued more or less uninterrupted. With workplaces open, the Eisenhower administration saw no need to borrow to the hilt to fund transfers and loans to citizens and businesses. The president asked Congress for a mere $2.5 million ($23 million in today’s inflation-adjusted terms) to provide additional support to the Public Health Service. There was a recession that year, but it had little if anything to do with the pandemic. The Congressional Budget Office has described the Asian flu as an event that “might not be distinguishable from the normal variation in economic activity.”

President Eisenhower’s decision to keep the country open in 1957-58 was based on expert advice. When the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) concluded in August 1957 that “there is no practical advantage in the closing of schools or the curtailment of public gatherings as it relates to the spread of this disease,” Eisenhower listened. As a CDC official later recalled: “Measures were generally not taken to close schools, restrict travel, close borders or recommend wearing masks….ASTHO encouraged home care for uncomplicated influenza cases to reduce the hospital burden and recommended limitations on hospital admissions to the sickest patients….Most were advised simply to stay home, rest and drink plenty of water and fruit juices.”

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“By March 8, 2021, for example, New Jersey had recorded 2,656 deaths per 1 million residents, while New York had 2,500 per 1 million residents. South Dakota had 2,149 deaths per 1 million residents, but loose-rules Utah had just 617.”

Covid Lockdowns Cost Countless Jobs, Don’t Appear To Have Saved Lives (NYP)

We’ve locked down the economy instead of the virus. Jobs are recovering slower in New York and other states holding on to stringent COVID-19 restrictions than in states that fully reopened their economies, even though continued lockdown measures don’t appear to be saving lives, an ongoing study by WalletHub shows. Measures like limiting travel, keeping restaurants operating below capacity and leaving non-essential businesses closed have kept unemployment in New York State among the highest in the nation, while states with fewer restrictions are seeing jobs bounce back faster from the pandemic-induced recession, the study shows. Tragically, the data also suggests lockdowns didn’t do much to help save lives throughout the pandemic, while it’s clear that they sent millions to the unemployment line.

WalletHub started ranking states’ lockdowns in May 2020, using a formula that assigns a numerical value to mask mandates, large-gathering limits, school closings, “shelter in place” requirements and other measures put in place to try to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The rankings did not account for things like population density, the close quarters in urban households or use of public transportation, all of which play a role in virus transmission. At the beginning of the pandemic, with the metro area besieged by the virus, WalletHub scored New Jersey’s lockdown measures the strictest in the country, followed closely by New York.

On the other end of the rankings, South Dakota, which imposed almost no restrictions, sat on top of the openness ranking, with Utah second. Over the course of the year, states imposed and eased a variety of restrictions in response to the level of virus cases and COVID-19 deaths. Where lockdowns were lifted, unemployment fell, but the restrictions didn’t seem to nudge death rates. By March 8, 2021, for example, New Jersey had recorded 2,656 deaths per 1 million residents, while New York had 2,500 per 1 million residents, according to the Covid Tracking Project. South Dakota had 2,149 deaths per 1 million residents, but loose-rules Utah had just 617.

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“[T]he Constitution does not have an asterisk that says only certain speech is free and protected..”

Florida To Impose Hefty Fines On Tech Giants That Deplatform Politicians (RT)

Florida is expected to become the first state to penalize social media companies for banning politicians from their platforms. Proponents have hailed the bill as a victory for free speech, while critics call it a political ploy. Under SB 7072, tech giants like Facebook and Twitter will be prohibited from “permanently” blacklisting a candidate running for political office. Fines of $250,000 per day will be issued for knowingly deplatforming a candidate for statewide office, while $25,000-per-day fines will be imposed for banning other office-seekers. The bill only applies to platforms with more than 100 million monthly users, and companies will still be allowed to sanction politicians with 14-day suspensions. Individual posts can also be removed if they violate the platform’s guidelines.


The bill passed both houses of Florida’s legislature on Thursday and is expected to be signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in the coming days. DeSantis advocated for the new law as part of a pledge to take on the “Big Tech cartel.” In February, he called for measures to be taken against the “monopoly of communications platforms” that “monitor and control” Floridians. State lawmakers who backed the legislation echoed similar sentiments. Republican state Rep. John Snyder said the bill would make it clear to Silicon Valley that they are not the “absolute arbiters of truth.” “[T]he Constitution does not have an asterisk that says only certain speech is free and protected,” he said.

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“I was put into Twitter jail for citing a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Cancel science is real.”

Twitter Censors Accounts To Spoon-Feed The World Establishment Narratives (RT)

It’s one thing to have policies against violence, abuse, and harassment. But in “protecting” users, Twitter is hell-bent on censoring voices that rock the boat, even when all they have tweeted is a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Last week, Simon Goddek, who has a PhD in biotechnology and researches system dynamics, tweeted a link to a scientific study titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?” Some time later, his account was frozen and he received a notice from Twitter that it would remain frozen until he deleted the offending tweet, and for the 12 hours following that. In his Telegram group, he wrote: “I was put into Twitter jail for citing a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Cancel science is real.

“What’s especially concerning is that I didn’t make any personal comment on the paper’s content. I only said that regarding that paper, masks CAN lead to massive health damages. It’s the conclusion of a scientific piece of work that has been peer-reviewed by at least 2 experts in the field.” According to Twitter, Goddek violated their policy on, “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19.” The article in question wasn’t even as risqué as others and merely addressed undesirable side effects of mask wearing. How is that “misinformation”? [..] On April 17, Naomi Wolf tweeted she had been locked out of Twitter for the fourth time for sharing a Stanford study, “proving the lack of efficacy of masks.” That study was also peer-reviewed.

This isn’t merely a case of Twitter deciding that Goddek and Wolf were not in the position to be discussing the efficacy or dangers of masks. Twitter is censoring pretty much anything about Covid that doesn’t match the narrative promoted by the WHO, CDC, and other such bodies. Even a well-known epidemiologist has faced Twitter’s wrath. An article in the American Institute for Economic Research noted: “Harvard Professor Martin Kulldorff and co-creator of the Great Barrington Declaration, one of the most cited epidemiologists and infectious -disease experts in the world has been censored by Twitter. His tweet on how not everyone needs a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was not taken down. He had a warning slapped on it and users have been prevented from liking or retweeting the post.”

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One scary girl.

Victoria Nuland Is Now Highest-Ranking Member of US Foreign Service

On Thursday the US Senate confirmed Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, which has been described as the fourth most important position in the State Department. Though as the first three are filled by political appointees and the other by a career foreign service officer, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs is the highest-ranking member of the US Foreign Service. In an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April as part of her confirmation process, she reflected on her thirty-two years in the Foreign Service working for five presidents of both parties and nine secretaries of state. She retailed some of her “historic moments” in that career, among them “working on tough arms control problems and conflicts from Rwanda to Haiti to Bosnia and Kosovo.”

But what she expressed as her last-listed and perhaps proudest moment was, while she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at NATO, the military bloc for the first time activating its Article 5 collective defense clause, which contributed to the now twenty-year-old war in Afghanistan, a comprehensive naval interdiction mission in the Mediterranean Sea (Operation Active Endeavor) and European AWACS flights over the U.S. along with several other missions. A major part of her career has been spent at NATO headquarters: she was Deputy Permanent Representative (ambassador) to NATO from 2000-2003 and Permanent Representative from 2005-2008. In both positions she was instrumental in recruiting military forces from NATO allies and partners for the war in Afghanistan, with NATO military personnel also stationed in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

At one point 130,000 of the 150,000 foreign troops in the country served under NATO command in the International Security Assistance Force: service members from 54 countries. Never before or since have troops from so many nations fought in a war, much less in one theater of war or one country. She also worked on promoting seven nations to NATO membership at the historic Istanbul, Turkey summit in 2004: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. All are in Eastern Europe; all but Slovenia were members of the defunct Warsaw Pact; three – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – were Soviet republics. Bulgaria and Romania provided the U.S. and NATO with eight military bases in the following two years. NATO has flown fighter jets from air bases in Latvia and Lithuania for years, in the case of the second nation since 2004.

[..] Yesterday no doubt there was rejoicing and exultation in Kiev. There should have been weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Donbass and Crimea. And grave concern in Moscow. Nuland like her boss Joe Biden may have unfinished business in Ukraine.

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“It is completely unacceptable for U.S. public agencies to be doing the bidding of pesticide corporations like Bayer, who are solely concerned with maintaining their bottom-line profits.”

US Interferes in Mexico’s Phaseout of Glyphosate and GMO Corn (CD)

A coalition of 80 U.S. agricultural, consumer, environmental, public health, and worker groups sent a letter Thursday to key figures in the Biden administration calling for them to “respect Mexico’s sovereignty and refrain from interfering with its right to enact health-protective policies”—specifically, the phaseout of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. “Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree,” Timothy A. Wise of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (ITAP) noted earlier this year. “His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock.”

“Mexico imports about 30% of its corn each year, overwhelmingly from the United States,” Wise added. “Almost all of that is yellow corn for animal feed and industrial uses. López Obrador’s commitment to reducing and, by 2024, eliminating such imports reflects his administration’s plan to ramp up Mexican production as part of the campaign to increase self-sufficiency in corn and other key food crops.” The groups’ letter on the Mexican policies and U.S. interference is addressed to recently confirmed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Its lead author is Kristin Schafer, executive director of Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA). “We call on Secretary Vilsack and Trade Representative Tai, as key leaders in the new administration, to respect Mexico’s decision to protect both public health and the integrity of Mexican farming,” Schafer said in a statement.

Read more …

 

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Apr 142021
 


Edgar Degas Leaving the paddock1866
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest art theft in the world. Never recovered

 

Nearly A Quarter Of Registered Covid Deaths Are Not Caused By The Virus (DM)
More Brands Are Putting Money And Clout Behind Covid-19 Vaccine Ads (F.)
Big Pharma Uses Big Tobacco’s Strategy To Defeat Ivermectin (DR)
How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines (TNR)
Russia Accuses US, NATO Of Moving Troops To Its Border (AA)
Biden Urges Russia To De-Escalate Ukraine Tensions In Call With Putin (G.)
Russia Warns US Warships To Stay Far Away From Crimea “For Their Own Good” (ZH)
Biden To Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan By September 11 (G.)
Joe Biden Is Proceeding With Donald Trump’s Biggest Arms Deal (HuffPo)
The Absentee Vote Logic of the New York Times (RCI)
CNN Staffer Admits Network’s Focus Was To ‘Get Trump Out Of Office’ (Fox)
Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies May Be Coming, Warns Kraken CEO (RT)
Republican Antitrust Bill Would Block All Big Tech Acquisitions (TC)
Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling (WS)
Airborne Plastic Pollution ‘Spiralling Around The Globe’ (G.)

 

 

 

 

The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they’re being objective.
– Noam Chomsky

 

 

We will never ever know the real numbers.

But 50% of under 25s having antibodies doesn’t seem to point to lockdowns as the main “success” factor.

Nearly A Quarter Of Registered Covid Deaths Are Not Caused By The Virus (DM)

Nearly a quarter of registered Covid-19 deaths are now people who are not being killed by the virus, new official figures show as Boris Johnson comes under renewed pressure from Tory backbenchers to end the third lockdown sooner than planned. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that 23 per cent of coronavirus deaths which are registered are now people who have died ‘with’ the disease rather than ‘from’ an infection. This means that the person who has died will have tested positive for Covid-19 at some point, but that the disease was not recorded as the victim’s primary cause of death on their death certificate. Even though just 23 deaths were announced yesterday, the Prime Minister is continuing to resist calls from his own party to lift all coronavirus curbs ahead of schedule as he warned that cases will rise in the coming weeks as people meet with friends and family in pubs and parks.

Outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail reopened on Monday under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Thousands of people rushed to high streets to splurge their cash on drinks, haircuts and clothes as economists predict a mini-boom fuelled by pent-up demand. However, in his downcast interview with Sky News, Mr Johnson even appeared to dismiss the efficacy of the vaccines his government has been busily rolling out this winter, as he claimed the shutdown – not jabs – had reduced the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths. ‘It is very, very important for everybody to understand that the reduction in these numbers – in hospitalisations and in deaths and in infections – has not been achieved by the vaccination programme,’ he said.

‘People don’t, I think, appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing. So yes of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.’ Conservative backbenchers led by Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the Covid Research Group of Tory MPs, have mounted a campaign to get the country opened up sooner than planned.

Boris
https://twitter.com/i/status/1381922550154981377

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A giant PR campaign for Pfizer, that’s all it is, paid for by the state.

More Brands Are Putting Money And Clout Behind Covid-19 Vaccine Ads (F.)

As the Covid-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, well known companies ranging from tech giants to beer brands are rolling out public service announcements to encourage people to get their shot. This past week, The Boston Beer Company debuted a new Sam Adams campaign promoting the vaccine featuring the brand’s “Cousin From Boston” character. The ad—created by the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners—shows the “Cousin” getting vaccinated by a real healthcare worker at Fenway Park’s mega site. But right before getting his jab, he passes out from his fear of needles and dreams of the day he can once again meet up with friends at a bar. (Sam Adams is also offering $7 toward a celebratory beer to the first 10,000 people to share proof of vaccination with the hashtag #ShotForSam on social media.)

According to GS&P cofounder Jeff Goodby—the legendary creative behind the iconic “Got Milk” campaign and countless Super Bowl ads—humor is a good way to reach younger audiences, especially after a year as emotionally draining as 2020. “You know what humor did for me is it puts this in perspective,’ Goodby says. “It’s just an inoculation. We’ve had a million of them in our lifetime, and this one is actually for the good of the community around you as well as for yourself and I think we tried to get that across. And it leads to a certain liberation and togetherness. And beer of course, is central to togetherness. One of the great things about getting inoculated is you can drink beer with people.” While Sam Adams went with humor, it wasn’t without first testing the ad to make sure it would be well-received, despite the serious nature of the topic, says Boston Beer Company CMO Lesya Lysyj.

Before introducing the “Cousin” last year, Sam Adams had been taking a more serious tone, even before the pandemic began. “We felt like it was important to show him showing it since he’s so relatable,” Lysyj says. “And if that guy can do it, anybody can do it . . . We did feel like you could put yourself in the shoes of this guy.” Sam Adams isn’t alone in its messaging. In fact The Ad Council—a nonprofit with a long history of collaborating with marketers to create PSAs for a variety of causes—has raised more than $50 million to fund Covid-19 PSAs and other related initiatives with a goal of appealing to a wide audience. To promote mask-wearing, it teamed up with Warner Media and the CDC in February for “Mask Up America,” a PSA featuring characters—from Harry Potter to the Joker to hobbits from Lord of the Rings—all wearing face masks in iconic scenes.

And in March, it released a vaccine PSA featuring former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush. Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s chief campaign officer, says the Covid-19 vaccine effort is the most complicated initiative undertaken by the organization, which also led polio vaccine efforts in the 1950s. “The amount of change can happen so quickly as the medical community learns more about the efficacy of vaccines and making sure that all of our messages and the content we’re creating is really where the science is because it can get very confusing for people with the flip of a switch,” she says.

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It’s about your money, not your health.

Big Pharma Uses Big Tobacco’s Strategy To Defeat Ivermectin (DR)

The Marlboro Man, as Dr. Mukherjee wrote in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies, was the most successful smoking icon by 1955. Dr. Mukherjee describes how the Tobacco Industry fought back by twisting science against the public, first by arguing that an association does not prove cause and effect, and later by offering to perform the studies. The tobacco scientists argued that lung cancer was caused by genetics: if you were born with cancer genes, you developed cancer, and if you weren’t, you didn’t get it. Cigarettes might be associated with cancer, but they argued that more studies were needed if one were to actually “prove a causal link” between cigarettes and cancer. The actual cause of lung cancer, the tobacco scientists concluded, was faulty genetics and not cigarettes.

To assist with these studies, the generous Big Tobacco even offered to fund the research by founding the Tobacco Industry Research Committee. The TIRC is described further in The Emperor of All Maladies, a book I strongly recommend everyone read. The author writes how this ingenious strategy kept the tobacco companies in business and record-breaking profits for the next 50 years despite causing many millions of lung cancer deaths. Blurring or confusing the facts as a tactic proved remarkably effective. But by far, the craftiest ruse was for the Tobacco Industry to pretend to embrace the research and set up their own studies. Because by controlling the study design, they could control the outcome. The same strategy is now used against the public in this pandemic.

Their first victim was Hydroxychloroquine, which proved easy to discredit given that Donald Trump sounded unhinged in his praise for the drug. Later studies seemed to reinforce the belief that HCQ was ineffective; however when academic misconduct was found, it threatened to expose the effort. Big Pharma successfully distanced itself when the fraudulent articles were retracted and blamed on lone scientists acting by themselves. Dr. Tess Lawrie is a highly-respected and independent research consultant to the World Health Organization and NHS. Her work is routinely relied upon in the formation of International Practice Guidelines. She has found HCQ to have an effect against the coronavirus. Most tellingly, when Dr. Tess Lawrie performed her independent review of the data on Ivermectin, she removed the Fonseca study, which purported to show no benefit against COVID with Ivermectin use.

Dr. Lawrie explained, “They (The Fonseca Group) didn’t find that much of a difference between Ivermectin and the control arm. But the control arm received HCQ. So basically, there’s a comparison between two fairly active treatments.” Dr. Lawrie explained that there were many reasons to consider HCQ active against the virus. Thus, two patient groups were compared in Fonseca, both of which received effective drugs against COVID-19, and this was not considered a valid controlled trial of Ivermectin. Therefore the study was eliminated from the meta-analysis.

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Stay away from Bill.

How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines (TNR)

In April [2020], Bill Gates launched a bold bid to manage the world’s scientific response to the pandemic. Gates’s Covid-19 ACT-Accelerator expressed a status quo vision for organizing the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of treatments and vaccines. Like other Gates-funded institutions in the public health arena, the Accelerator was a public-private partnership based on charity and industry enticements. Crucially, and in contrast to the C-TAP, the Accelerator enshrined Gates’s long-standing commitment to respecting exclusive intellectual property claims. Its implicit arguments—that intellectual property rights won’t present problems for meeting global demand or ensuring equitable access, and that they must be protected, even during a pandemic—carried the enormous weight of Gates’s reputation as a wise, beneficent, and prophetic leader.


How he’s developed and wielded this influence over two decades is one of the more consequential and underappreciated shapers of the failed global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Entering year two, this response has been defined by a zero-sum vaccination battle that has left much of the world on the losing side. Gates’s marquee Covid-19 initiative started relatively small. Two days before the WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced something called the Therapeutics Accelerator, a joint initiative with Mastercard and the charity group the Wellcome Trust to identify and develop potential treatments for the novel coronavirus. Doubling as a social branding exercise for a giant of global finance, the Accelerator reflected Gates’s familiar formula of corporate philanthropy, which he has applied to everything from malaria to malnutrition.

In retrospect, it was a strong indicator that Gates’s dedication to monopoly medicine would survive the pandemic, even before he and his foundation’s officers began to say so publicly. This was confirmed when a bigger version of the Accelerator was unveiled the following month at the WHO. The Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator, was Gates’s bid to organize the development and distribution of everything from therapeutics to testing. The biggest and most consequential arm, COVAX, proposed to subsidize vaccine deals with poor countries through donations by, and sales to, richer ones. The goal was always limited: It aimed to provide vaccines for up to 20 percent of the population in low-to-middle-income countries. After that, governments would largely have to compete on the global market like everyone else. It was a partial demand-side solution to what the movement coalescing around a call for a “people’s vaccine” warned would be a dual crisis of supply and access, with intellectual property at the center of both.

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“Over 40,000 people and 15,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be deployed on Russia’s western border in the near future..”

“In the spring of this year, the joint armed forces of NATO began the largest exercise in the last 30 years, Defender Europe 2021..”

Russia Accuses US, NATO Of Moving Troops To Its Border (AA)

The US is moving its troops to Russia’s borders, a top Russian official said on Tuesday. Over 40,000 people and 15,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be deployed on Russia’s western border in the near future, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said in a video conference with other military chiefs in the northern city of Severodvinsk. “In Poland and the Baltic states, US forces are being reinforced … the intensity of aerial reconnaissance has been doubled compared to last year, and the intensity of naval reconnaissance has increased by one-and-a-half times,” he said.


The minister accused the US and its allies of carrying out active military activities “with a clear anti-Russian orientation,” including up to 40 major military training events in Europe every year. “In the spring of this year, the joint armed forces of NATO began the largest exercise in the last 30 years, Defender Europe 2021,” he said. According to Shoygu, Russia redeployed two army and three airborne units to its western border “to counter the threat.”

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This is propaganda theater. It’s very obviously NATO that’s escalating tensions.

Biden Urges Russia To De-Escalate Ukraine Tensions In Call With Putin (G.)

In a phone call with Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden has called on Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine and proposed a summit between the two leaders amid growing concern over a Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s border. The president emphasized the United States’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and expressed concern about Russia’s military buildup, the White House said. “President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with US interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.” Biden expressed concern about Russia’s military buildup in the Crimea region of Ukraine and on Ukraine’s border, the White House said in a statement.


It said Biden also made clear that the United States will act “firmly” to defend its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. Biden also proposed holding a summit with Putin in a third country in coming months. The phone call came hours after Nato’s secretary general called on Russia to halt its military buildup around Ukraine, describing it as “unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning”. Flanked by Ukraine’s foreign minister at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Nato’s Jens Stoltenberg said Russia had moved thousands of combat troops to Ukraine’s borders in “the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014”.

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“The trend in the behavior of the Ukrainian side creates the risk of a resumption of full-scale military action.”

Russia Warns US Warships To Stay Far Away From Crimea “For Their Own Good” (ZH)

At a moment the United States appears poised to send its warships near Ukraine as a strong ‘deterrent message’ against Russian forces built up near the east Ukrainian border, Russia on Tuesday warned that US vessels better stay away from Crimea “for their own good”. A Kremlin statement further called the new US deployment into the Black Sea a serious “provocation” which serves no other purpose but to test Russia’s “strength” and “nerves”. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov issued the Tuesday warning as follows: “There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores, this is purely a provocative action. Provocative in the direct sense of the word: they are testing our strength, playing on our nerves. They will not succeed.”

“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good,” he added. It was late last week that Turkey’s foreign ministry confirmed that it’s granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea. The Pentagon has downplayed the deployment by keeping mostly mum about it, only saying that it’s “routine” for US warships to patrol the Black Sea. The Kremlin has warned that it’s Kiev’s own actions and initial troop build-up in and near Donbass that is risking “broader war” in the region. Days ago Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “The trend in the behavior of the Ukrainian side creates the risk of a resumption of full-scale military action.”

Russia’s newest warning that US ships better not come near Crimea likely also have in mind Joe Biden’s first words addressing the long-simmering Ukraine crisis issued early in his presidency. He said in a February 26 statement that the US “will never” recognize Russia’s claims over Crimea: The United States does not and will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts. We will continue to work to hold Russia accountable for its abuses and aggression in Ukraine.

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Trump wanted to do it but got obstructed by the Pentagon. So Biden can get all the glory. On 9/11, no less. Oh boy.

“The president has judged that a conditions based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”

No, seriously, that’s not about Trump, it’s about Biden. Don’t try to make this up at home, they have professionals to do it for you.

Biden To Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan By September 11 (G.)

Joe Biden will withdraw all the remaining US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaida terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a senior administration official has confirmed. The president is expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday. There are currently about 2,500 US troops in the country, serving alongside 7,000 other foreign troops as part of a Nato coalition. Most, if not all, Nato allies are likely to withdraw in coordination with the US. “We will remain in lockstep with them as we undergo this operation. We went in together, adjusted together and now we will prepare to leave together,” a US official said. The drawdown of US troops will begin by 1 May, the withdrawal deadline the Trump administration agreed with the Taliban last year, and will be completed by the 9/11 anniversary.

“We went to Afghanistan to deliver justice to those who attacked us on September 11th and to disrupt terrorists seeking to use Afghanistan as a safe haven to attack,” a senior administration official said. “We believe we achieved that objective some years ago. We judge the threat against the homeland now emanating from Afghanistan to be at a level that we can address it, without a persistent military footprint in the country and without remaining at war with the Taliban.” The only remaining US military presence after September 11 this year will be security for the US embassy, a task normally carried out by marines. The Biden administration has said it will negotiate with the Afghan government over the precise security arrangements for the diplomatic mission in Kabul.

About 800,000 US soldiers and other military personnel have served at least once in Afghanistan since the US invasion in 2001, launched in the wake of the September 11 attacks. More than 2,300 have been killed, and 20,000 wounded. The US military orthodoxy until recently has been that any withdrawal from Afghanistan would have to be “conditions based”, meaning it was dependent on the security situation and the threat posed by the Taliban to the democratic and social gains of the past 20 years. The senior US official briefing reporters on the decision said: “The president has judged that a conditions based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”

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“$23.4 billion in sophisticated weaponry”, but only after commitments to human rights.

Joe Biden Is Proceeding With Donald Trump’s Biggest Arms Deal (HuffPo)

President Joe Biden is advancing controversial Trump-era plans to transfer $23.4 billion in sophisticated weaponry to the United Arab Emirates, a State Department spokesperson told HuffPost on Tuesday – despite concerns from influential lawmakers and progressive activists, as well as the Biden administration’s promise to review the package. The news came amid an ongoing lawsuit by a nonprofit group called the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs, which echoed criticism of the deal as potentially destabilizing for the Middle East. “While we will not comment on ongoing litigation, we can confirm that that the Administration intends to move forward with these proposed defense sales to the UAE, even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have developed mutual understandings with respect to Emirati obligations before, during, and after delivery,” the spokesperson said.

Last December, nearly all Senate Democrats voted to try and block the sale, citing President Donald Trump’s rushed attempt to push it through and the UAE’s alarming violations of human rights at home and around the region. Biden put the deal – which would give the UAE the F-35 fighter jet, armed drones and associated bombs and missiles — under review shortly after becoming president. The administration has since been vague about that process. The transfers are incredibly complex and will take years to complete, so it was clear that they were not occurring yet. In January, an official told the Wall Street Journal that the UAE sales “were not frozen while they are being examined” – in contrast to Trump-era arms deals for Saudi Arabia, a UAE ally which has also faced growing criticism in Washington.

Still, many observers believed there was an effective pause on the deal and that at some point the administration would offer a public explanation of how it would handle the agreement. Democratic lawmakers and activists, who opposed to the deal because of the UAE’s aggressive activities across the Middle East, wanted to ensure the Biden administration was serious about the review, to the extent of possibly shrinking the package to pressure the Emiratis to respect human rights standards. U.S. officials will continue raising rights and geopolitical concerns with the Emiratis, the State Department spokesperson told HuffPost. “The estimated delivery dates on these sales, if implemented, are scheduled for after 2025 or later. Thus, we anticipate a robust and sustained dialogue with the UAE to [ensure] any defense transfers meet our mutual strategic objectives to build a stronger, interoperable, and more capable security partnership,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

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“..what of the Times’s cautions over decades that the most common sort of election fraud involves absentee voting?”

The Absentee Vote Logic of the New York Times (RCI)

To pass a law limiting the use of absentee ballots, as Georgia recently did, is no longer to choose a side in a legitimate debate over how to balance ballot integrity and ease of voting. Instead, to express concern about the risk of election fraud is seen as being engaged in a different sort of fraud — an illegitimate effort to disenfranchise the poor and minorities. The New York Times has aggressively insisted the last several months that worries over absentee and mail-in ballots, in particular, are dishonest violations of voting rights. Times staff opinion editor Spencer Bokat-Lindell wrote late in October that “[t]he effort to discredit and discourage mail-in voting” was the “culmination of a decades-long disinformation campaign by the Republican Party and others to suppress votes, especially those cast by Black and Latino Americans.”

Spencer Bokat-Lindell: Times opinion editor: Efforts to discredit mail voting are aimed at suppressing votes, “especially those cast by Black and Latino Americans.” Then what of the Times’s cautions over decades that the most common sort of election fraud involves absentee voting? But what of the Times itself, which for over two decades has warned readers that the most common sort of election fraud involves absentee voting? As recently as September, Times reporters Stephanie Saul and Reid Epstein quoted Richard Hasen, who teaches election law at the University of California, Irvine, saying that “[e]lection fraud in the United States is very rare, but the most common type of such fraud in the United States involves absentee ballots.”

In 2018 operatives working for the Republican candidate for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District seat, falsified absentee ballots. Times reporters Alan Blinder and Michael Wines told readers that the state’s long history of election fraud was “under a spotlight.” They quoted lawyer Bill Gilkeson saying that “absentee ballots” were “where the fraud really happens.” In 2019 Blinder wrote, “The Ninth District controversy ranks among the highest-profile examples of modern election fraud,” one that “underscores how absentee ballots remain susceptible to abuse.”

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What comes below fake news on the scale?

CNN Staffer Admits Network’s Focus Was To ‘Get Trump Out Of Office’ (Fox)

A staffer for CNN spoke candidly to an undercover journalist about the political motivations the network had during the 2020 presidential election, boasting the left-leaning outlet helped defeat former President Donald Trump and even calling his own employer “propaganda.” In the first installment of what’s billed as a three-part #ExposeCNN campaign from the right-wing guerilla news outlet Project Veritas, network technical director Charles Chester shed light on how the network wanted to remove its nemesis from the White House and help now-President Biden. “Look at what we did, we got Trump out,” Chester said in a celebratory tone. “I am 100% going to say it. And I 100% believe it that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out.”

While similar videos are sometimes deceptively edited and taken out of context, many comments made by Chester throughout the video are longer clips that feature him speaking in clear, complete sentences. In a series of sitdowns with an undercover journalist over the past month, Chester — who bragged he was “one step down” from a director — claimed CNN was “creating a story” that questioned Trump’s health that “we didn’t know anything about,” calling it “propaganda” to help remove Trump from office. “Trump was, I don’t know, like shaking his hand or whatever… we brought in like so many medical people to like all tell a story that, like, it was all speculation that he was like neurologically damaged, that he was losing it, he’s unfit to, you know, whatever,” Chester said. “We were creating a story that we didn’t know anything about.”

While Chester claimed CNN wanted to help remove Trump from office, he also said the network wanted to promote the health and fitness of Biden. “We would always show shots of him jogging… him in his aviator shades and like you paint him as a young geriatric,” Chester said of Biden, before dismissing concerns that he wouldn’t make it a full term because he’s a fan of Vice President Kamala Harris. “I think we got him through this term,” Chester said “He’s not going to f—–g die, but I’m OK with that. [Harris] probably could be like a b—-h in like a board meeting and you’d hate her as a boss, but she’s f—–g real and better than what we got regardless.”

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“It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency.”

Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies May Be Coming, Warns Kraken CEO (RT)

Governments around the world could start clamping down on the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to Jesse Powell, the chief executive of the Kraken exchange. “I think there could be some crackdown,” the CEO told CNBC, adding that regulatory uncertainty around crypto isn’t going away anytime soon. Powell’s words follow a recent anti-money laundering rule proposed by the US government that would require people who hold their cryptocurrencies in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more. “Something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case, which was to just make financial services accessible to everyone,” Powell said.


He expressed hopes that “the US and international regulators don’t take too much of a narrow view on this,” noting that “Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view.” The chief executive said he feels the US is more “shortsighted” than other nations and is “susceptible” to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses – in other words, the banks – that “stand to lose from crypto becoming a big deal.” “I also think it might be too late,” Powell added. “Maybe the genie’s out of the bottle and just trying to ban it at this point would make it more attractive. It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency.

Read more …

The CIA will stop it. Big Tech=Big Intel.

Republican Antitrust Bill Would Block All Big Tech Acquisitions (TC)

There are about to be a lot of antitrust bills taking aim at Big Tech, and here’s one more. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) rolled out a new bill this week that would take some severe measures to rein in Big Tech’s power, blocking mergers and acquisitions outright. The “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” would ban any acquisitions by companies with a market cap of more than $100 billion, including vertical mergers. The bill also proposes changes that would dramatically heighten the financial pain for companies caught engaging in anti-competitive behavior, forcing any company that loses an antirust suit to forfeit profits made through those business practices.

At its core, Hawley’s legislation would snip some of the red tape around antitrust enforcement by amending the Sherman Act, which made monopolies illegal, and the Clayton Act, which expanded the scope of illegal anti-competitive behavior. The idea is to make it easier for the FTC and other regulators to deem a company’s behavior anti-competitive — a key criticism of the outdated antitrust rules that haven’t kept pace with the realities of the tech industry. The bill isn’t likely to get too far in a Democratic Senate, but it’s not insignificant. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who chairs the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, proposed legislation earlier this year that would also create barriers for dominant companies with a habit of scooping up their competitors. Klobuchar’s own ideas for curtailing Big Tech’s power similarly focus on reforming the antitrust laws that have shaped U.S. business for more than a century.

The Republican bill may have some overlap with Democratic proposals, but it still hits some familiar notes from the Trump era of hyperpartisan Big Tech criticism. Hawley slams “woke mega-corporations” in Silicon Valley for exercising too much power over the information and products that Americans consume. While Democrats naturally don’t share that critique, Hawley’s bill makes it clear that antitrust reform targeting Big Tech is one policy area where both political parties could align on the ends, even if they don’t see eye to eye on the why.

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“In Mexico City, the local government has proposed a law that would ban the sale, delivery and distribution of packaged foods with a high caloric and energy content and sugary drinks to children..”

Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling (WS)

Since Mexico’s government has passed one of the strictest food labeling laws on the planet in October last year, all soft drinks cans and bottles, bags of chips and other processed food packages must bear black octagonal labels warning of “EXCESS SUGAR”, “EXCESS CALORIES”, “EXCESS SODIUM” or “EXCESS TRANS FATS” — all in big bold letters that are impossible to miss. Many states have also introduced legislation making it much more difficult for retailers to sell junk food and sugary drinks to children. Evidence from other countries suggests that warning labels can be effective. Chile started requiring them in 2016. It also limited cartoon food packaging, prevented schools from selling unhealthy foods, restricted TV adverts, and banned promotional toys.

Over the next two years, sugary drink sales in Chile plunged by 23%. According to one study, the labels reduced the likelihood of people choosing sugary breakfast cereals by 11% and sugary juices by almost 24%. A nightmare for the companies affected. The prospect of something similar transpiring in Mexico, a country almost seven times larger than Chile and that consumes more processed food than any other country in Latin America, unnerved global food and beverage companies. The United States, EU, Canada and Switzerland, home to some of the world’s biggest food companies, tried to derail the new legislation. But to no avail. The arrival of Covid-19, which has proven to be particularly lethal to people with three comorbidities — obesity, diabetes, and hypertension — has strengthened the government’s case and resolve.

Over a dozen of Mexico’s 36 state governments have banned or are in the process of banning the sales of soft drinks and junk food to children. In Mexico City, the local government has proposed a law that would ban the sale, delivery and distribution of packaged foods with a high caloric and energy content and sugary drinks to children. The law will also ban the presence of soft drink vending machines in schools. Mexico’s Senate also recently passed a law that will compel educational authorities to prohibit the sale of foods with low nutritional value and high caloric content in the vicinity of school facilities while promoting the establishment of healthy food outlets. There are also moves afoot to restrict the advertising of foods high in fat, salt, sugar and saturated fats on children’s television channels.

These moves have raised concerns that the government is overstepping its bounds. The business lobby group Coparmex said that banning the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to minors represents a frontal attack on commercial freedom and freedom of choice. It will also have serious economic consequences for businesses in the retail sector. But those consequences are dwarfed by the economic and health impact of widespread obesity. This is particularly true in the time of Covid when the risk of death from the virus is about 10 times higher in countries where more than half of the population is overweight, according to a report released in March by the World Obesity Federation.

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Either our bodies find a way to incorporate plastics, or we’re doomed.

Airborne Plastic Pollution ‘Spiralling Around The Globe’ (G.)

Microplastic pollution is now “spiralling around the globe”, according to a study of airborne plastic particles. The researchers said human pollution has led to a global plastic cycle, akin to natural processes such as the carbon cycle, with plastic moving through the atmosphere, oceans and land. The result is the “plastification” of the planet, said one scientist. The analysis calls plastic pollution one of the most pressing environmental issues of the 21st century. It indicates that the billions of tonnes of plastic discarded into the oceans and land and being broken down into tiny pieces are being thrown back into the air by road traffic and winds over seas and farmland. People are already known to breathe, drink and eat microplastics and the other research suggests levels of pollution will continue to rise rapidly.

The scientists said this “raises questions on the impact of accumulating plastics in the atmosphere on human health. The inhalation of particles can be irritating to lung tissue and lead to serious diseases.” Prof Natalie Mahowald, at Cornell University in the US and part of the research team, said: “What we’re seeing right now is the accumulation of mismanaged plastics just going up. Some people think it’s going to increase by tenfold [per decade]. “But maybe we could solve this before it becomes a huge problem, if we manage our plastics better, before they accumulate in the environment and swirl around everywhere.” She said clearing up ocean plastic could help reduce the amount that gets thrown back up into the atmosphere, and that more biodegradable plastics could be part of the solution.

The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined airborne microplastics, which have been far less studied than plastic in oceans and rivers. The team had more than 300 samples of airborne microplastics from 11 sites across the western US, the best dataset available globally. These were the basis for atmospheric modelling that estimated the contribution from different sources, the first such study to do so. Virtually none of the airborne microplastics came directly from plastic being discarded in cities and towns, the scientists found, but were the result of road traffic and winds across oceans and farmland whipping up plastic particles already in the environment. “We thought population centres would be a much better source, obviously, but it just didn’t work out that way,” Mahowald said. “Resuspension [of microplastics] makes the most sense with this set of data.”

[..] Microplastic pollution has been detected across the planet, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. The revelation in December of small plastic particles in human placentas was described by scientists as “a matter of great concern”.

Read more …

 

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Mick Jagger’s take on Covid. Easy Sleazy. With Dave Grohl.

 

 

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Mar 092021
 
 March 9, 2021  Posted by at 9:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Keith Haring Untitled 1983

 

Overweight, Obese Americans Make Up 8 in 10 Covid Hospitalizations (F.)
Mutant COVID Strains In Florida, New York Threaten US Recovery – BofA (ZH)
Covid Outbreak In BC Care Home Where Residents, Staff Already Vaccinated (CBC)
Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks – CDC (AP)
CDC About To Be Canceled By Google and Facebook for COVID Heresy (Black)
US Says Russia-Backed Outlets Spread Covid Vaccine ‘Disinformation’ (CNBC)
Propaganda About ‘Vaccine Disinformation’ Is Just Another Russiagate (Malic)
Pfizer Seeks Sovereign Assets As Collateral For Vaccine Injury Lawsuits (TN)
Brazil Supreme Court Ruling Annuls Ex-President Lula’s Convictions (RT)
UK Supported Coup In Bolivia To Gain Access To Its ‘White Gold’ (DUK)
The Prophet Of The Trump Era (Taibbi)
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Kaboom (Kunstler)
The Past Is Another Country – Enforcing Orthodoxy (Lawrence)
The Self-silencing Majority (Bari Weiss)

 

 

People say the Burger King International Women’s Day campaign “backfired”. But I’m thinking: look at all the free publicity they’re getting.

 

 

 

Burger King gets a lot more attention than the president.

 

 

 

Where’s the huge nationwide campaign to prevent this?

Overweight, Obese Americans Make Up 8 in 10 Covid Hospitalizations (F.)

Nearly 8 in 10 people who were hospitalized for coronavirus were either overweight or obese, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Monday, which also found a higher body mass index is associated with serious coronavirus outcomes, such as hospitalization, being placed on a ventilator and even death. The study found obese patients with BMIs higher than 30 made up about half of all coronavirus hospital admissions between March and December of 2020. Overweight patients, or people with BMIs higher than 25 but lower than 30, accounted for 28.3% of hospitalized coronavirus patients during the same time frame.

Researchers also found an association between BMI and patients requiring admission to an intensive care unit, invasive mechanical ventilation and death, especially in people aged 65 and older. According to the CDC, obesity may contribute to serious coronavirus illness because excess weight impairs lung function and may also disrupt the body’s immune system. The CDC study looked at 71,491 coronavirus patients who tested positive for the virus during emergency room or inpatient visits at 238 American hospitals that tracked patients’ height and weight. 42.4%. That’s how much of the U.S. population is considered obese based on BMI, according to a 2018 CDC study, the most recent of its kind.

Black and Hispanic Americans, whose communities have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, are also more likely to live with obesity. Nearly 40% of Black adults reported having a BMI of higher than 30, followed by Hispanics (33.8%) and Whites (29.9%), according to CDC data from 2017-2019. Last week, the World Obesity Federation released a study based on Johns Hopkins University data that found “a dramatic correlation” between obesity rates and international death rates. Countries like the U.S. and U.K, where more than half of the population is classified as either overweight or obese, see more deaths per capita. Meanwhile, Vietnam, the country with the world’s lowest coronavirus death rate, has an adult obesity rate of only 18.3%, the second-lowest globally.

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Because bankers are experts on diseases.

Mutant COVID Strains In Florida, New York Threaten US Recovery – BofA (ZH)

Dr. Fauci and other health experts are warning about the prospect of a “4th wave” of COVID infections as mutated strains of the virus comprise a growing share of new COVID infections in the US, even as the JNJ one-shot vaccine promises to accelerate the pace of vaccinations. Worries about spreading mutant strains are being amplified by research showing that B.1.1.7 (first identified in the UK, also known as the “Kent” strain, after where it was first isolated and identified) might be on the cusp of becoming the most prevalent strain in the US. According to research cited in a note published Monday by a team of researchers at BofA, Florida is on the cusp of seeing the UK variant become the “dominant” strain in the state.


And although hospitalizations, new cases and deaths have slowed in the Sunshine State, researchers are concerned that the variants are slowing the ebb of the pandemic in the state – and could possibly supercharge it. Cases and hospitalizations are still slowing in the state, just not as quickly as they were in January. The team of analysts at BofA said these trends have raised concerns about Florida becoming a bellwether state for the spread of the new variants, which many fear could surge as states from Texas to Connecticut move to loosen at least some (or in Texas’s case, practically all) virus-related restrictions. The fact that the state’s positivity ratio has declined since the start of the year suggests that the virus truly is receding (in other words, the lower case numbers aren’t due to solely to a pullback in testing).

Perhaps counterintuitively, the analysts at BofA are worried that the UK variant might not be as dominant in Florida as they believe. They also gamed out two additional scenarios that they said would lead to a greater outlook. “We see three possible explanations for Florida’s continued improvement. First, the spread of the new variant might not be as far along as estimated. So the old variant might still be contracting off a much larger base, while the new variant is growing off a small base. This would not be good news as it would suggest an imminent increase in cases as the new variant continues to spread.


Second, vaccines might be more effective at containing the virus than we thought, by making both vaccinated people and their close contacts less vulnerable. This would be good news because the cumulative effect of vaccines should increase quickly as the roll-out gains momentum. The third explanation, which is least likely in our view, is that the B.1.1.7 variant is significantly less contagious than widely estimated. This would probably be the best news of all.”

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Lovely.

Covid Outbreak In BC Care Home Where Residents, Staff Already Vaccinated (CBC)

A new outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Cottonwoods Care Centre in the Interior Health region where staff and residents had already received vaccines, B.C’s provincial health officer announced Monday. In a live news conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said being vaccinated doesn’t mean transmission will be stopped and that precautions must remain in place for seniors and care homes. “You can have transmission even when people are fully vaccinated,” she said. “The illness seems to be milder and doesn’t transmit as much [and we] won’t see rapid explosive outbreaks.”


Two staff members and 10 residents have tested positive at the Cottonwoods long-term care facility in Kelowna which has 221 publicly-funded beds. Henry said that all staff and residents at the home were offered immunizations and that there was very high uptake of the vaccine. She said some of the cases were among people who had received two doses of the vaccine. “This serves to remind us that while we are confident is very effective and prevents severe illness and death it doesn’t necessarily mean that all transmission will be stopped.” Henry added the province will give new guidance by the end of month that will allow for increased visits at long-term care centres.

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The CDC is on a roll: fresh from reporting that facemasks prevent 1.32% of infections, ignores outbreaks like the one in BC, and also ignores the WHO stating we have no idea if vaccines reduce transmission.

But let us, in turn, NOT ignore how dangerous it is to discriminate against people who are simply not infected.

Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks – CDC (AP)

Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials. The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the guidance Monday. The guidance is designed to address a growing demand, as more adults have been getting vaccinated and wondering if it gives them greater freedom to visit family members, travel, or do other things like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world last year.

“With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. During a press briefing Monday, she called the guidance a “first step” toward restoring normalcy in how people come together. She said more activities would be ok’d for vaccinated individuals once caseloads and deaths decline, more Americans are vaccinated, and as more science emerges on the ability of those who have been vaccinated to get and spread the virus. The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public. The CDC also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.

The CDC guidance did not speak to people who may have gained some level of immunity from being infected, and recovering from, the coronavirus. Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. About 31 million Americans — or only about 9% of the U.S. population — have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to the CDC.

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“..the difference between mask mandates and no mask mandate is literally just a 1.32% difference..”

CDC About To Be Canceled By Google and Facebook for COVID Heresy (Black)

On Friday afternoon, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (still called the CDC, even though they added a ‘P’) released a heretical report about mask-wearing and COVID-19. The report, authored by at least a dozen medical doctors, PhD researchers, and, bizarrely, a handful of attorneys, examined how mask mandates across the US affected COVID cases and death rates. You’d think with all of the media propaganda about mask effectiveness… and all the virtue signaling, with politicians and reporters appearing on live TV wearing masks… that the data would prove incontrovertibly and overwhelmingly that masks have saved the world. But that’s not what the report says. According to the CDC’s analysis, between March 1 and December 31 last year, statewide mask mandates were in effect in 2,313 of the 3,142 counties in the United States.

And, looking at the county-by-county data, the CDC concludes that mask mandates were associated with an average 1.32% decrease in the growth rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths during the first 100 days after the mask policy was implemented. Wait, what? Only 1.32%? You read that correctly, they didn’t misplace the decimal: according to the federal government agency that is responsible for managing the COVID-1984 pandemic, the difference between mask mandates and no mask mandate is literally just a 1.32% difference. And bear in mind, it’s entirely possible that the real figure is even lower than that, given all the questionable COVID statistics. For example, the CDC reports that influenza cases in the United States have dropped to almost zero in the 2020-2021 flu season, down from 56 MILLION the previous year.

It’s amazing they expect anyone to take this data seriously. Are we honestly supposed to believe that the flu has been eradicated? Or is it possible, that, maybe just maybe, at least some influenza cases have been misdiagnosed as COVID? If that’s the case, then the real impact of masks on COVID growth rates is potentially much lower than 1.32%. Even the CDC seems to understand this, because at the end of its report, they inspidly conclude by stating that mask mandates “have the potential to slow the spread of COVID-19. . .” Really? “Potential”? That’s HERESY! And an obvious contradiction to WHO guidance. It makes we wonder whether Google and Facebook are gearing up to censor this report, given they have self-appointed themselves as the Ministry of Truth.

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Why does the Kremlin bother to deny this?

US Says Russia-Backed Outlets Spread Covid Vaccine ‘Disinformation’ (CNBC)

The United States has identified three online publications directed by Russia’s intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a State Department spokeswoman said on Sunday. The outlets “spread many types of disinformation, including about both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as international organizations, military conflicts, protests, and any divisive issue that they can exploit,” the spokeswoman said. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported on the identification of the alleged campaign on Sunday. A Kremlin spokesman denied the U.S. claim Russia was spreading false information about vaccines to the WSJ.


[..] Russia approved its Sputnik V vaccine in August, before a large-scale trial had begun, saying it was the first country to do so for a Covid-19 shot. Peer-reviewed trials months later proved it was almost 92% effective in fighting the virus. Pfizer, headquartered in New York, and Germany’s BioNTech, produced the first vaccine that was authorized in the United States, which regulators approved in December. The second, made by Moderna, headquartered in Massachusetts, was authorized later that month. The State Department’s Global Engagement Center, set up to counter propaganda and disinformation campaigns, identified the three outlets, the spokeswoman said.

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Well, obviously.

Propaganda About ‘Vaccine Disinformation’ Is Just Another Russiagate (Malic)

By accusing Moscow of spreading disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, US propagandists that spread the original ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy are doing it again, stoking fear and hatred and projecting amid a pandemic. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed State Department official to claim that Russia is using four websites “linked to” intelligence agencies to “inject false narratives” about Western vaccines against Covid-19 that “can be amplified” by other media. Asked about this on Monday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is “monitoring” and “taking steps to address” these efforts. Meanwhile, the WSJ report was being, well, amplified on Twitter by prolific influencers declaring the alleged Russian behavior to be a “crime against humanity.”

Thing is, all of this amounts to a disinformation and influence operation itself – by the very methodology the people involved are using. The WSJ source is someone from the Global Engagement Center, set up in 2016 as a propaganda shop against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists, which was later expanded to advancing “fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests” and countering “Russian disinformation.” The claim that the four websites were Russian spy cutouts was “a result of a joint interagency conclusion,” the Journal cited an unnamed State Department spokesman as saying. In other words, just like the infamous ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ that made Russiagate official.

The WSJ article also previews a “report” – published Monday – by the Alliance For Securing Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund NGO notorious for their ‘Hamilton68 dashboard’ that promoted and amplified Russiagate by seeing ‘Kremlin bots and trolls’ everywhere. Now we’re getting somewhere! Except the report itself ends up being full of qualifications, weasel-words and hair-splitting parsing of how certain headlines in the media are “coded,” in an effort to, well, promote a narrative. ASD analyzed tweets – of course they did – from Russian, Chinese and Iranian media and concluded that “there were few instances of any studied country promoting verifiably false information about vaccines” but that reports about certain Western vaccines “were often sensationalized while downplaying or completely omitting key contextual information.”

Keep in mind that demanding “context” is a favorite trick of so-called fact-checkers to argue that something is false even when factually true. As ASD itself admits, Russia, China and Iran sought to persuade their own public that their vaccines were “safer, more effective, and more affordable than certain vaccines produced in the West.” Except, that’s what clinical trial results published in reputable Western medical journals such as Lancet literally say when it comes to Sputnik V. Doesn’t matter, it’s now “disinformation” to point out facts that the Russian vaccine costs less than the mRNA vaccines made in the West, or doesn’t require their expensive cold storage.

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It’s like a CIA operation.

Pfizer Seeks Sovereign Assets As Collateral For Vaccine Injury Lawsuits (TN)

As reported by New Delhi-based World Is One News (WION), Pfizer is demanding countries put up sovereign assets as collateral for expected vaccine injury lawsuits resulting from its COVID-19 inoculation. In other words, it wants governments to guarantee the company will be compensated for any expenses resulting from injury lawsuits against it. WION reports that Argentina and Brazil have rejected Pfizer’s demands. Initially, the company demanded indemnification legislation to be enacted, such as that which it enjoys in the U.S. Argentina proposed legislation that would restrict Pfizer’s financial responsibility for injuries to those resulting from negligence or malice. Pfizer rejected the proposal. It also rejected a rewritten proposal that included a clearer definition of negligence.

Pfizer then demanded the Argentinian government put up sovereign assets — including its bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings — as collateral. Argentina refused. A similar situation occurred in Brazil. Pfizer demanded Brazil: • “Waive sovereignty of its assets abroad in favor of Pfizer” • Not apply its domestic laws to the company • Not penalize Pfizer for vaccine delivery delays • Exempt Pfizer from all civil liability for side effects. Brazil rejected Pfizer’s demands, calling them “abusive.” As noted by WION, Pfizer developed its vaccine with the help of government funding, and now it — a private company — is demanding governments hand over sovereign assets to ensure the company won’t lose a dime if its product injures people, even if those injuries are the result of negligent company practices, fraud or malice.

[..] In the U.S., vaccine makers already enjoy full indemnity against injuries occurring from this or any other pandemic vaccine under the PREP Act. If you’re injured, you’d have to file a compensation claim with the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP),6 which is funded by U.S. taxpayers via Congressional appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). While similar to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), which applies to nonpandemic vaccines, the CICP is even less generous when it comes to compensation. For example, while the NVICP pays some of the costs associated with any given claim, the CICP does not. This means you’ll also be responsible for attorney fees and expert witness fees.

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Well, the rich got rid of him anyway.

Brazil Supreme Court Ruling Annuls Ex-President Lula’s Convictions (RT)

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has cancelled all sentences against the country’s former leftist president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, restoring his political rights to run again for office ahead of next year’s election.
Supreme Court judge Edson Fachin ruled on Monday that the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba, which had convicted Lula of money laundering and corruption, actually had no jurisdiction over the cases. The judge annulled all sentences handed to the 75-year-old in relation to ‘Operation Lava Jato’ (Car Wash) – a major anti-graft investigation in which three ex-presidents and numerous officials were indicted. Monday’s ruling means that Lula’s political rights have been restored, making him eligible to run against Brazil’s current leader, Jair Bolsonaro, in the presidential election in 2022.


The country’s so-called ‘Clean Record Act’ bars those with convictions from holding public office, a measure which already cost the veteran politician a spot in the 2018 presidential race. The judge’s decision was procedural and didn’t focus on the validity of the earlier cases against Lula. A lower court will now have to decide if he should be retried on those charges. Brazil’s Prosecutor General, Augusto Aras, has already announced that he intends to appeal the Supreme Court ruling. Lula served as Brazil’s president between 2003 and 2011, a period of rapid economic growth for the country which saw millions getting out of poverty through social welfare programs.

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Lithium.

UK Supported Coup In Bolivia To Gain Access To Its ‘White Gold’ (DUK)

On 10 November 2019, after the head of the army called for his resignation, Bolivia’s socialist president, Evo Morales, stepped down. It followed weeks of protests after the release of a report by the Organisation of American States (OAS) alleging irregularities in the election Morales had won the previous month. Persecution from the new regime forced Morales to flee the country and an “interim president”, Jeanine Áñez, was installed. Widely condemned as a coup, resulting protests were met with lethal force. Days after taking power, on 14 November, the Áñez regime forced through Decree 4078 which gave immunity to the military for any actions taken in “the defence of society and maintenance of public order”. The following day, on 15 November, Bolivian military forces shot and killed eight protesters in the city of Sacaba.

On 21 November, regime forces killed another 10 protesters in the neighbourhood of Senkata just outside the capital La Paz. Despite the deadly violence, which was condemned by human rights groups, the British embassy in La Paz moved quickly to support Bolivia’s new regime, Declassified can reveal from documents we have obtained. We have seen a project list for a Foreign Office programme in Bolivia called “Frontline Diplomatic Enabling Activity”, which the UK government describes as a “small pot of money that [embassies] receive and have authority over to spend on projects supporting [embassy] activity”. Bolivia has the world’s second-largest reserves of lithium, a metal that is used to make batteries and which has become increasingly important due to the burgeoning electric car industry.

The UK government has stated that lithium battery technology is a priority for its “industrial strategy”. In June 2019, it announced it was investing £23-million in “electric car battery development”. The government has further noted: “It’s estimated that South America holds 54% of the world’s lithium resources, which are increasingly in demand to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles and energy diversification programmes.” It added: “The UK aims to have a thriving, sustainable battery industry, which would translate to a £2.7 billion opportunity … and our bilateral partnerships are essential to ensure this.”

In February 2019, Evo Morales’ government had chosen a Chinese consortium to be its strategic partner on a new $2.3-billion lithium project which would focus on production from the Coipasa and Pastos Grandes salars (salt flats under which the lithium is deposited). But after the coup, the regime’s new minister for mining cast doubt on whether the deal would be honoured by the new government.

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“Kids ran around him like he was a shrubbery.”

The Prophet Of The Trump Era (Taibbi)

I entered Martin Gurri’s world on August 1, 2015. Though I hadn’t read The Revolt of the Public, at the time a little-known book by the former CIA analyst of open news sources, I hit a disorienting moment of a type he’d described in his opening chapter. There are times, he wrote, “when tomorrow no longer resembles yesterday… the compass cracks, by which we navigate existence. We are lost at sea.” Gurri’s book is about how popular uprisings are triggered by collapses of faith in traditional hierarchies of power. I felt such a collapse that day in Waterloo, Iowa, covering the Republican presidential primary. The first debate was five days away and the man expected to occupy center stage, Donald Trump, held a seemingly inexplicable six-point lead.

Two weeks before, on July 18th, Trump lashed out against former Republican nominee John McCain. Even McCain’s critics considered his physical and mental scars from years as a Vietnam war prisoner to be unassailable proofs of his patriotic gravitas, but the service-evading Trump was having none of it. “I don’t like losers,” he said, adding, “He’s only a war hero because he was captured.” It was the universal belief among colleagues in campaign journalism that this was an unsurvivable gaffe, a “Dean scream” moment. We expected him to apologize and wash out. Instead, he called McCain a “dummy” and kept a firm grasp on the lead.

A different candidate, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, was in Waterloo. Two years before, Time all but dubbed Christie the favorite for 2016 with a silhouette cover portrait, over the nastily shallow (but publicity-generating) double-entendre headline, THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. Christie was every Washington consultant’s idea of a “crossover” superstar. I’d describe the concept in Rolling Stone as someone “mean enough for the right-wing, but also knows a gay person or once read a French novel.” Christie parked himself in the middle of Waterloo’s annual “Irish fest” street fair, waiting for an Iowan to ask for a souvenir campaign handshake. He had his hand out and thumb stuck upwards, like an Iguanodon. Nobody came. Kids ran around him like he was a shrubbery.

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“Even the news media may seek to know who is actually in charge of the executive branch before much longer..”

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Kaboom (Kunstler)

One-time $1,400 handouts and even regular $300 unemployment subsidies won’t pay the mortgages or feed families very long, and every day there are fewer families bringing in anything close to that mythical $150,000. For many, it’s more like… nothing. The one-time bailouts of recklessly insolvent city and state governments and pension funds will only postpone their collapse. The varying guaranteed basic income schemes, enhanced child credits, advances on tax refunds, and other gimmicks would turn the former working class into sub-lumpenproles with nothing to occupy them but crime and vice. In fact, we already have a sizable underclass demonstrating exactly what you’ll get from enlarging the social group dependent on government support.

The only other question for now is when do the different population groups in this land explode in violence? The group loosely bundled as “Red” is angry enough with the ongoing insults of Wokery, failed rule-of-law, and abridgments of basic constitutional rights. The states where they dominate are likely to resist any more fiats by the federal government, like the imminent attempt to confiscate firearms. The “Blue” auxiliary armies are beyond their creators’ control. Antifa will be ready to rock-and-roll in the streets with good weather because so many young people have absolutely no prospects to thrive in the collapsing economy, and the streets have become their social space, with so little money for lattes and beers. And BLM need look no further than the Derrick Chauvin trial in Minnesota, starting today, for an excuse to resume its characteristic activities.

Does anyone seriously believe that the husk of Joe Biden will remain in office more than another few weeks? It’s obvious that he doesn’t have the mental mojo to work an authentic press conference, and surely not the customary address to a joint session of Congress. Even the news media may seek to know who is actually in charge of the executive branch before much longer. Pay close attention to events unspooling. Get ready for trouble. It’s coming every which way, from money to public order to rollicking spring weather.

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This is our exceptionalist consciousness at work: “It can’t happen here..”

The Past Is Another Country – Enforcing Orthodoxy (Lawrence)

To censor is an act of deprivation, a taking away. To enforce an intolerant orthodoxy is an act of imposition. The two cannot be understood separately from one another.

[..] It is time, then, to sit up and look squarely at the grave threats with which a creeping, apple-pie authoritarianism now faces us. Censorship and its sibling, official propaganda, have lately come to imperil our civil liberties, our civil rights — especially our right to express ourselves freely— and altogether our right to knowledge, our right to understand the world we live in and the events that shape it, and at last our right to shape those events. Compared to these, the supposed threats of the Jan. 6 protests on Capitol Hill and the running, no-evidence business of the Russians having intruded into hundreds of corporate and government computer systems are nothing. Numerous are the voices raised in opposition to this menacing, corrosive drift in America. But too few grasp the gravity of our shared predicament.

Complacency — complacency induced by propaganda, indeed — is another of our urgent problems. One can read in any history book about suppression and repression and the incessant repetition of officially approved perspectives to the exclusion of all dissenting views. But the past is another country in the American mind, ever distant. Such circumstances are supposed to befall others but never Americans. We customarily identify grim polities of this kind and blighted pubic space with the Soviets, or the Latin American dictators, or the too-numerous-to-name despotic regimes that fill history texts. This is our exceptionalist consciousness at work: “It can’t happen here,” as Sinclair Lewis titled the anti-fascist novel he published — note the date — in 1935.

It has not happened here — let us not succumb to language inflation — but we are now on notice that it can. Overcoming exceptionalism, even among those who purport to reject its ideology, is where the project must begin. When we are sitting up, we owe it to ourselves and those around us to get up. If we are to defend our rights as just enumerated, it is up to each of us to act. And taking part in a patently broken electoral system — this is my personal view —can no longer be considered acting: It amounts to acquiescing. “Aux armes, citoyens!” is a thought I leave to other sorts of columnists. My salutation is simpler: “Arise!” will do. We had better wake up, this is to say, if we are to avert a very dark age and reinvent the country and its institutions—which, forget about reform or restoration, is what must be considered the imperative now.

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Why she left the NYT.

The Self-silencing Majority (Bari Weiss)

I was born in 1984, which puts me among the last generation born into America before the phrase “cancel culture” existed. That world I was born into was liberal. I don’t mean that in the partisan sense, but in the classical and therefore the most capacious sense of that word. It was a liberal consensus shared by liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. The consensus view relied on a few foundational truths that seemed as obvious as the blue of the sky: the belief that everyone is created in the image of God; the belief that everyone is equal because of it; the presumption of innocence; a revulsion to mob justice; a commitment to pluralism and free speech, and to liberty of thought and of faith.

As I’ve observed elsewhere, this worldview recognized that there were whole realms of human life located outside the province of politics, like friendships, art, music, family and love. It was possible for Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be the best of friends, because, as Scalia once said, some things are more important than votes. Most importantly, this worldview insisted that what bound us together was not blood or soil, but a commitment to a shared set of ideas. Even with all of its failings, the thing that makes America exceptional is that it is a departure from the notion, still prevalent in so many other places, that biology, birthplace, class, rank, gender, race are destiny. Our second founding fathers, abolitionists like Frederick Douglass, were living testimonies to that truth.

This old consensus — every single aspect of it — has been run over by the new illiberal orthodoxy. Because this ideology cloaks itself in the language of progress, many understandably fall for its self-branding. Don’t. It promises revolutionary justice, but it threatens to drag us back into the mean of history, in which we are pitted against one another according to tribe. The primary mode of this ideological movement is not building or renewing or reforming, but tearing down. Persuasion is replaced with public shaming. Forgiveness is replaced with punishment. Mercy is replaced with vengeance. Pluralism with conformity; debate with de-platforming; facts with feelings; ideas with identity.

Read more …

 

 

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Mar 062021
 


Vincent van Gogh Lane near Arles 1888

 

The Trial of Winnie the Pooh (Jim Kunstler)
88% Of COVID Deaths Are In Countries With Over Half Of People Overweight (ZH)
UK Scientist: Substantial Degree Of Covid Mortality Inevitable In Future (G.)
Russia’s 3rd Vaccine Uses Classic ‘Dead Virus’ Technology (RT)
Ivermectin Does Not Alleviate Mild Covid-19 Symptoms – Study (NYT)
Europe Divided Over Covid Passports (Kern)
The Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines (IF)
Senate Clears Pathway To Passing COVID-19 Relief Bill (JTN)
Lessons From Today’s Doomed Effort To Save The $15 Minimum Wage
The Myths Of Green Energy (CHS)
100,000 Illegal Immigrants Arrested At US Mexico Border in February (ZH)
Legislature Strips Cuomo Of Emergency Powers (ZH)
US, Allies Drop 46 Bombs Per Day for 20 Years (MPN)
‘Shia Backed’, ‘Iran Backed’ Nonsense And Other Warmongering Journalism (MoA)
Neoclassical Economics III: A Machine To Destroy The World (RWER)
Love, politics, and Universal Basic Income (Meaden)

 

 

 

 

Jim gets his mojo back. Love it.

The Trial of Winnie the Pooh (Jim Kunstler)

A solemn silence turned collective gasp in the District of Columbia Woke Circuit courtroom as two bailiffs entered the door beside the jury box with the small cream-colored bear suspended between them, his stumpy hind legs wheeling fruitlessly to seek purchase in the unavailing air. The Queen of Hearts, presiding, banged her gavel as the little bear was seated at the table for the defense beside another rather small, darkish, furtive figure. The Queen of Hearts peered over her half-glasses at the defendant and snarled, “State your full name and residence.” “Winnie-the-Pooh,” the defendant said. “From the Hundred Acre Wood.” “What is your personal pronoun?” The bear looked perplexed. “Oh, bother,” he said. “Nobody I know has such a thing?”

“Of course they do,” the Queen said. “Perhaps it’s ‘the’,” the bear said. “That is a definite article, not a pronoun!” the Queen barked. “Are you an imbecile?” “I’m not sure. Maybe it’s ‘dear’”— “That’s enough out of you!” the Queen said. “And let’s have no more impertinence! Do you have counsel?” “Why, yes,” the bear said. “Mr. Kafka, who is seated beside me.” “You are mistaken,” the Queen said. “That is a cockroach seated beside you, and the court is displeased to see it. Bailiff, please remove that disgusting cockroach from my court.” Mr. Kafka, gesticulating in protest with all six arms and legs, had to be dragged out. “First witness!” the Queen screeched. “Counsel for the prosecution….” “Calling Uncle Remus,” said the prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, famous for his exploits in the Enron case and with The Mueller Team in the old Russia collusion days.

An elderly gentleman-of-color with white beard and a kindly face limped forward and took the witness stand. “Do you know this bear?” Weissmann asked. “I knows a Brer B’ar,” Uncle Remus said. “But he a black b’ar. Dishyere one a white b’ar.” “Exactly!” Weissmann said. “Dismissed.” “Dat all?” Uncle Remus asked. “It’s plenty,” Weissmann retorted and smirked at the jury, composed of members from the United Federation of Teachers, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Antifa, who all nodded amongst themselves. “A white bear!” Weissmann repeated for emphasis, shaking his head. “And not a polar bear, either. A white bear. From England. Think about it…!” The jurors emitted growls of opprobrium. “Next witness,” the Queen cried. “Calling N-Word Jim,” Weissmann said.

A strapping middle-aged gentleman-of-color, dressed in ragged clothes, strode to the witness chair. “You reside in libraries all over the world, is that correct?” the attorney asked. “Yassuh, dat is so. But I’se originally fum Hannibal, Missouri.” “Are you acquainted with the defendant?” “I done seen him on many a shelf ‘round de worl’.” “How much shelf space does he occupy compared to you?” “Well, fur as I knows, ‘bout double.” “Does that seem fair to you?” “Way I sees it, he in mebbe twice as minny books as me and Huck.” “Huck! Who is this Huck?” “White boy I done made a journey down de ribber wif one time.” “What is your experience with white folks, Jim?” “Well, dey runs mos’ everything, I ‘spect. Leas’ as fur as I kin see.”

“Exactly!” Weissmann argued. “Is it not white privilege to — as you say — run everything?” he added, shaking his head gravely. “Hegemonizing and colonizing literature everywhere you look.” “Say, what…?” the witness rejoined and pulled his chin. “You can go back to your raft, Jim,” Weissmann said. “Dismissed. Calling Mr. Christopher Robin.”

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“..obesity is a “global pandemic in its own right.”

But we’ll keep promoting corn syrup.

88% Of COVID Deaths Are In Countries With Over Half Of People Overweight (ZH)

A new report by the World Obesity Federation found that 88% of deaths in the first year of the pandemic occurred in countries where over half of the population is classified as overweight – which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) above 25. Of note, BMI values above 30 – considered obese – are associated with ‘particularly severe outcomes,’ according to the Washington Post. On the other hand, in countries where less than half of the adult population is considered overweight account, the risk of death from COVID-19 is around one-tenth of countries with the higher proportion of overweight adults. Higher BMIs are also associated with an increased risk of hospitalization, ICU admissions, and the need for mechanically assisted ventilation.


The ‘overweight’ countries in question include Britain, Italy and the United States – the latter of which has seen over 517,000 COVID deaths out of a total of 2.5 million globally. Hilariously, the Post also suggests that “correlations between coronavirus severity and weight are also tied to racial and ethnic inequality.” How, you might ask? Because “Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults have a higher prevalence of obesity and are more likely to suffer worse outcomes from COVID-19,” according to the CDC. In the UK, overweight COVID-19 patients were 67% more likely to require intensive care, while obese patients were three times more likely. The findings by the World Obesity Federation were “near-uniform across the globe,” according to the Post, which notes that the report found that increased body weight is the second greatest predictor of poor outcomes after old age. According to the United Nations, contrary to what the woke fashion industry tells us, obesity is a “global pandemic in its own right.”

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More measures, more vaccines, we’re truly stuck in one dimension.

UK Scientist: Substantial Degree Of Covid Mortality Inevitable In Future (G.)

Prof Andrew Hayward, a member of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), has said society will have to live with a degree of mortality that will be “substantial”, but added that we will “get back to normal”.He told Times Radio: “I think, you know, given the societal trade-offs, we are going to have to live with a degree of mortality that will be substantial … it will get less over time as more people get vaccinated and as more people get immune, and I do believe that we’ve been through the worst of this.” Hayward said he did not think new variants of Covid-19 would completely evade vaccine-related immunity. “The vaccines will still take the sting out of it, if you like, and reduce the case fatality rates,” he said.


“Of course, we have the technology to update the vaccines and I think that’s where we’re going really, a situation that will be much more like flu, the numbers of deaths will be much more like flu, the approach to surveillance of new strains and development of new vaccines and regular annual vaccinations will be like that. And we will get back to normal.” Looking back on the beginning of the pandemic, Hayward, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at UCL, said: “I think one of the reasons that we’ve had so many deaths is that we left things far too late, in terms of taking more restrictive measures. “We should have been taking social distancing measures – if not a full lockdown then other measures that were trying to separate people – much earlier. At that time, of course, we also didn’t really have the same mechanisms to measure how much disease there was in the community, so we were largely only really seeing the tip of the iceberg of cases.

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“The most important thing is that at this point we have a vaccine that definitely has no side effects..”

Russia’s 3rd Vaccine Uses Classic ‘Dead Virus’ Technology (RT)

The third Covid-19 vaccine registered in Russia is based on a “perfectly conventional” platform, and those who have been injected experienced no side effects, the head of the Chumakov Scientific Center, which created it, told RT. The CoviVac vaccine received national approval in Russia on February 20. The first batch of doses is expected to be available to the public in mid-March, according to the government. The vaccine is based on the most traditional technology that has been around for a long time and is widely used throughout the world, Aidar Ishmukhametov, the director general of the Chumakov Scientific Center, told RT.

“Globally, almost 100% of vaccines contain either deactivated or live pathogens,” he said, adding that the one developed by his center contains an ‘inactivated’ (dead) coronavirus. This type of vaccine simulates a natural infection process, introducing the immune system to the virus and “teaching” the body to fight the pathogen without the risk of it spreading through the body and causing disease, he explained. “Two weeks after the first shot, we give a person another jab to reinforce the immune response. As a result, the body becomes fully capable of fighting off the virus on its own,” Ishmukhametov said, adding that this vaccine involves two shots, as is the case with all other currently existing Covid-19 vaccines.

It is based on a particular specimen of the coronavirus that was found to be more susceptible to inactivation and controlled reproduction in the center. Nevertheless, Ishmukhametov believes that the vaccine will be effective against all Covid-19 strains, including the South African variant, which reportedly proved to be resistant to the AstraZeneca vaccine. “Since we are talking about a whole-virion vaccine, the deviations in the genetic sequence – something one is calling different strains or different variants – are insignificant and amount to less than one percent. So… it would be weird to think that a whole-virion vaccine might fail to work against new strains, considering how small the differences are,” he said.

CoviVac received national approval in Russia while still in the second phase of clinical trials. It now has to go through the third phase so the developers can precisely assess its effectiveness, according to Ishmukhametov. However, the first trials have already shown that it has no side effects, he said. “The most important thing is that at this point we have a vaccine that definitely has no side effects,” he said, adding that, out of 300 volunteers, none reported any symptoms except for occasional soreness around the injection site. [..] “We have been doing this for 60 years, and we’ve defeated polio and yellow fever,” he said, adding that the Chumakov Center hosts the Collaborating Centre for Poliovirus and Enterovirus Surveillance and Research of the World Health Organization (WHO) and actively cooperates with the UN health watchdog.

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The propaganda machine speaks…

Ivermectin Does Not Alleviate Mild Covid-19 Symptoms – Study (NYT)

Ivermectin, a controversial anti-parasitic drug that has been touted as a potential Covid-19 treatment, does not speed recovery in people with mild cases of the disease, according to a randomized controlled trial published on Thursday in the journal JAMA. Ivermectin is typically used to treat parasitic worms in both people and animals, but scientific evidence for its efficacy against the coronavirus is thin. Some studies have indicated that the drug can prevent several different viruses from replicating in cells. And last year, researchers in Australia found that high doses of ivermectin suppressed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in cell cultures. Such findings had spurred use of the drug against Covid-19, especially in Latin America.


“Ivermectin is currently being used widely,” said Dr. Eduardo López-Medina, a doctor and researcher at the Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Cali, Colombia, who led the new trial. “In many countries in the Americas and other parts of the world, it’s part of the national guidelines of treating Covid.” But the drug has also proved divisive. While some scientists see potential, others suspect that effectively inhibiting the coronavirus may require extremely high, potentially unsafe doses. Health officials have also worried that people desperate for coronavirus treatments might take versions of the drug that have been formulated for pets. (It is commonly used to prevent heartworm in dogs.) “There’s been a lot of conflicting views on this, sometimes extreme conflicting views,” said Dr. Carlos Chaccour, a researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health who was not involved in the new study. “I think it has become another hydroxychloroquine.”

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What a lousy idea, executed even lousier. Ergo … a winner.

Europe Divided Over Covid Passports (Kern)

Professor Christopher Dye, Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford and co-author of the Royal Society report, added: “An effective vaccine passport system that would allow the return to pre-Covid-19 activities, including travel, without compromising personal or public health, must meet a set of demanding criteria — but it is feasible. First there is the science of immunity, then the challenges of something working across the world that is durable, reliable and secure. There are the legal and ethical issues and if you can crack all that, you have to have the trust of the people. “Huge progress has been made in many of these areas, but we are not there yet. At the most basic level, we are still gathering data on exactly how effective each vaccine is in preventing infection and transmission and on how long the immunity will last.”

The Reuters News Agency reported that there are still many unanswered questions about immunity to Covid-19: “EU officials also point out there is no guidance yet from the WHO and EU agencies whether people who have received two shots of the Covid-19 vaccine can still carry the coronavirus and infect others, even if no longer vulnerable themselves. “It was also not clear if people could be infectious having already fought off the coronavirus themselves, for how long they remained immune and if they too should get certificates.” Professor Carsten Maple, a cyber security expert at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science, warned that criminals could exploit the demand from prospective travelers for vaccine passports:

“This really gives that kind of incentive. You’ll get people who’ve got these rights, especially if it’s mandatory. Other people will be excluded. People, where it is mandatory and really offers a significant difference, will be incentivized to create a market of forged documents. “We know that in Israel they’ve made statements about anybody who tries to forge will face criminal proceedings and possibly be imprisoned. So, they really think that this is a risk that could happen.”

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Mostly about “fair distribution” of as much mRNA as we can produce, but these details are interesting.

The Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines (IF)

[..] for Covid-19 vaccines, many big pharma companies received massive subsidies from governments that have mostly and in some cases completely covered research and development costs. In the US alone, the six major vaccine companies received over $12 billion in public subsidies for developing Covid-19 vaccines (MSF 2021). Other rich country governments have provided similar subsidies. Private pharma companies also benefited from prior public research (Scientific American 2020) and reduced costs of clinical testing, because of more unpaid volunteers for trials. The ‘leader’ vaccines may have already received what could be considered as reasonable returns on their own investment, and more. For example, while Pfizer did not receive direct subsidies from the US government, I received pre-orders for 100 million doses for $1.95 billion (Industry Week 2020).

Moreover, it relied on technology from BioNTech, which had received $445 million from the German government for their research (Bloomberg 2020). Pfizer claims costs of $3.1 billion to develop this vaccine (BBC 2020), while estimated sales in 2021 will be worth $15 billion (Quartz, 2020). Developing the Moderna vaccine cost $2.5 billion, apparently entirely funded by the US federal government (USA Today, 2020). The recently approved Johnson and Johnson vaccine benefited from US government subsidies and a pre-order of 100 million doses likely to cover costs (Johnson and Johnson 2020). The original distribution model [for the Oxford vaccine] was for an open-licence platform, designed to make the vaccine freely available for any manufacturer.

The case of the AstraZeneca vaccine is particularly instructive, also because it is seen as viable for developing country use. (Significant quantities of this vaccine are being produced by the Serum Institute of India under a collaboration agreement.) The vaccine was entirely developed by a publicly funded lab at Oxford University. The original distribution model was for an open-licence platform, designed to make the vaccine freely available for any manufacturer. However, the Gates Foundation, which had clout because it had donated $750 million to Oxford for vaccine development, persuaded the university to change course completely and sign “an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices” (Jay Hancock 2020).

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Dysfunctionality like in the last days of Rome. Marie Antoinette.

Senate Clears Pathway To Passing COVID-19 Relief Bill (JTN)

The Senate broke a logjam Friday night and reached agreement on an issue that had stopped debate for approximately nine hours, and which paves the way for a continuation of the “vote-a-rama” of amendments to the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The agreement was to provide $300 a week in unemployment benefits through Sept. 6, plus $10,200 in tax relief for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Democrats had been fighting for $400 a week, instead of $300. The key figure in the negotiations was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). He represented the 50th vote for Democrats, which is what they need to prevail, considering that Vice President Kamala Harris represents the 51st vote.


Manchin has indicated he will support the rest of the Democrats’ bill, making its passage in the Senate on Saturday a near certainty. Republicans have pointed out that approximately 90% of the bill, which passed the House along party lines, has nothing to do with COVID-19 relief. One of the largest components of the bill is $350 billion for states and cities, which Republicans have argued is a way to bail out poorly run and profligate states and cities at the expense of well run, mostly Republican states. Since there have been changes to the House bill that was originally introduced in the Senate, the Senate version will go back to the House where it is expected to easily pass, again along party lines. It would then go to President Biden for his signature, making it the law of the land.

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“Harris wasn’t even in the Senate chair today during the vote on Sanders’ amendment.”

Lessons From Today’s Doomed Effort To Save The $15 Minimum Wage

There was another way Democrats could have moved forward with the $15 minimum wage in their COVID-19 relief bill: Vice President Harris, as presiding Chair of the Senate, could have ruled against the parliamentarian’s advice and kept the provision in the legislation. While the Senate could vote to overturn the ruling, it would take 60 of the Senate’s 100 members to do so. A confidential memo obtained by The Daily Poster that circulated on Capitol Hill last week detailed exactly how that scenario would play out: “What would probably happen is a senator would appeal the ruling of the chair and then the full Senate would vote on whether to sustain the appeal,” the memo stated. “The Chair’s ruling would be upheld as long as there are not 60 affirmative votes to sustain the appeal. So, if the majority could hold enough members together (less than 60 affirmative votes to sustain the appeal), the ruling that runs counter to the Parliamentarian’s advice would be upheld.”

In other words, if at least 41 Democrats refused to overturn Harris’ ruling, the minimum wage provision would have remained in the bill. Today, 42 Democrats voted in support of a $15 minimum wage. That is one more than would have been necessary for the alternative approach to work. It’s fair to wonder whether some of these Democrats would have wimped out in a situation where their votes weren’t simply a symbolic gesture, as they were today. Colorado freshman John Hickenlooper, for example, was a late, surprise yes vote on the minimum wage amendment on Friday.

But these 42 Senators voted in favor of considering a $15 minimum wage even after the Biden administration signaled again and again that passing such legislation was less of a priority than, say, trying to get Neera Tanden, a scandal-plagued, union-busting, rage-tweeting apparatchik, confirmed as the head of the White House budget office. Imagine if the Biden administration had fought for the $15 minimum wage as hard as it fought for Tanden’s doomed confirmation. Instead, Harris wasn’t even in the Senate chair today during the vote on Sanders’ amendment.

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Charles cites my friend Nate Hagens, but it’s unclear to me how much of this is from Nate.

The Myths Of Green Energy (CHS)

Finance is often cloaked in arcane terminology and math, but the one dynamic that governs the future is actually very simple. Here it is: “All debt is borrowed against future supplies of affordable hydrocarbons (oil, coal and natural gas).” Since global economic activity is ultimately dependent on a continued abundance of affordable energy, it follows that all money borrowed against future income is actually being borrowed against future supplies of affordable energy. Many people believe that alternative “green” energy will soon replace most or all hydrocarbon energy sources, but this belief is not realistic. All the “renewable” energy sources are about 3% of all energy consumed, with hydropower providing another few percent. There are unavoidable headwinds to this appealing fantasy…

1. All “renewable” energy is actually “replaceable” energy, analyst Nate Hagens points out. Every 15-25 years (or less) much or all of the alt-energy systems and structures have to be replaced, and little of the necessary mining, manufacturing and transport can be performed with the “renewable” electricity these sources generate. Virtually all the heavy lifting of these processes require hydrocarbons and especially oil.

2. Wind and solar “renewable” energy is intermittent and therefore requires changes in behavior (no clothes dryers or electric ovens used after dark, etc.) or battery storage on a scale that isn’t practical in terms of the materials required.

3. Batteries are also “replaceable” and don’t last very long. The percentage of lithium-ion batteries being recycled globally is near-zero, so all batteries end up as costly, toxic landfill.

4. Battery technologies are limited by the physics of energy storage and materials. Moving whiz-bang exotic technologies from the lab to global scales of production is non-trivial.

5. The material and energy resources required to build alt-energy sources that replace hydrocarbon energy and replace all the alt-energy which has broken down or reached the end of its life exceeds the affordable reserves of materials and energy available on the planet.

6. Externalized costs of alt-energy are not being included in the cost. Nobody’s adding the immense cost of the environmental damage caused by lithium mines to the price of the lithium batteries. Once the full external costs are included, the cost is no longer as affordable as promoters claim.

7. None of the so-called “green” “replaceable” energy has actually replaced hydrocarbons; all the alt-energy has done is increase total energy consumption. This is what’s called Jevons Paradox: every increase in efficiency or energy production only increases consumption.

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“We are weeks, maybe even days, away from a crisis on the southern border. Inaction is simply not an option..”

More kids, more cages facilities.

100,000 Illegal Immigrants Arrested At US Mexico Border in February (ZH)

This may come as a shock to Joe Biden supporters. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose Congressional district lies near the U.S.-Mexico border, warned that more than 10,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in a single border sector in Texas in about a week, with Reuters adding that a stunning 100,000 migrants were detained at the border in February, the highest arrest total for the month of February since 2006. “We are weeks, maybe even days, away from a crisis on the southern border. Inaction is simply not an option,” the Texas Democrat said in a news release on Thursday. “Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of the pandemic.”

As The Epoch Times’ Jack Phillips notes, in recent days, Cuellar has issued warnings about what appears to be a looming humanitarian crisis at the border, adding that it will spread COVID-19 in southern Texas and other border communities. But now, his office has released figures showing Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley arrested about 10,000 illegal immigrants in the past week alone, according to the release, while adding that some 2,500 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in the past two days since the press statement was released. According to Border Patrol data, agents also apprehended 5,700 unaccompanied child illegal immigrants in January. Illegal immigrants are “potentially exposing border communities to the coronavirus and putting us at risk,” Cuellar said, guaranteeing the triggering of progressives everywhere. “Right now, none of the migrants are being tested for COVID-19 by Border Patrol.”

“As a border representative, I will continue to fight in Washington for my community to ensure they have the necessary funding and resources to properly care for these migrants and to keep American families safe. I urge the Biden administration to listen and work with the communities on the southern border who are dealing with the surge of migrants,” he added. Cuellar isn’t the only Texas member of Congress who is sounding the alarm. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, another Democrat, did not mince words in how he described the current White House’s immigration policy and said a proposed bill is “catastrophic.” “I can assure you, it won’t be long before we have tens of thousands of people showing up to our border, and it’ll be catastrophic for our country, for my region, for my district,” he told CNN. “In the middle of a pandemic, in an area where we’ve lost over 3,000 people in my small congressional district … I think we need to have a better plan in place.”

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Drip drip.

Legislature Strips Cuomo Of Emergency Powers (ZH)

In November, the TV Academy presented Cuomo with the International Emmy Founders Award “in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of TV to inform and calm people around the world.” It sure wishes it could take that day back. Late on Friday, three days after NY legislators reached a deal to strip disgraced NY governor Andrew Cuomo – who now finds himself in a vortex of potentially criminal scandals involving both nursing home deaths and alleged sexual assaults – of his emergency powers, and two days after an “embarrassed” Cuomo told a disgusted TV audience (well everyone except for the virtue-signaling sycophants at CNN and MSNBC) that he was “very sorry” but was “not resigning” in the aftermath of his own sexual assault scandal, late on Friday, the New York legislature approved a bill to repeal the pandemic-era emergency powers afforded to the scandal-plagued Governor Cuomo.

The measure, which received final passage from the Assembly on Friday evening, revoked temporary powers given to Cuomo in March that effectively gave him dic(k)tator powers, allowing him to supersede the legislature, as well as local laws, to issue hundreds of sweeping emergency directives on everything from closing businesses and schools to mandating the use of masks. In retrospect, this was the worst – and deadliest – decision the legislature had made who may be just as culpable of crimes as Cuomo.

[..] As Bloomberg reports, the rebuke from lawmakers, where Democrats hold a supermajority in both chambers, follows public outcry over sexual-harassment claims by what are now three women against Cuomo and allegations that his administration deliberately covered up Covid-19 deaths of nursing-home residents. In the latest twist which emerged late in the week, Cuomo’s administration said Thursday that officials had altered a July report of data on the deaths to exclude those who had died outside the facilities. The administration was responding to a New York Times report that said these changes show that the state had a fuller accounting of the deaths at the time, despite resisting requests for that data.

[..] Earlier this week, Cuomo said he had brokered the emergency-power deal with lawmakers to focus just on curbing new directives. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a fellow Democrat, disputed Cuomo, saying lawmakers didn’t work with the governor to cut a deal. Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris said on the floor that the governor lied to the public and was not involved in negotiations. Asked if he was bothered by the lie, Gianaris said: “There is so much that this governor has done that I’m bothered by.” Asked if he trusts the governor, Gianaris said: “I haven’t trusted this governor in a long time.” Gianaris is a democrat. Imagine if he was republican. Currently, only the governor may declare and end a state of emergency. “For the first time ever, we are adding a power for the Legislature to nullify a state of emergency,” Gianaris said.

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Costs? Lives?

US, Allies Drop 46 Bombs Per Day for 20 Years (MPN)

The United States and its allies have dropped at least 326,000 bombs and missiles on countries in the greater Middle East/ North Africa region since 2001. That is the conclusion of new research by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies of anti-war group CODEPINK. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen are the countries that have felt the worst of the violence, but Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Palestine and Somalia have also been targeted. The total amounts to an average of 46 bombs dropped per day over the last 20 years. CODEPINK’s numbers are based primarily on official U.S. military releases, as well as data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the Yemen Data Project, and the New America Foundation.

As striking as the figure of 326,000 is, it is an underestimate, as the Trump administration ceased publishing figures of its bombing campaigns in 2020, meaning there is no data for Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan for either of the previous two years. Also not counted are bombs or missiles used in helicopter strikes, AC-130 gunship attacks, strafing runs from U.S. bombers, or any counterinsurgency or counter-terrorism operations in other parts of the world. Last week President Joe Biden gave the order to attack Iraqi militias in Syria, dropping 1.75 tons of bombs on a border village and killing 22 people — something that brought cheers from Washington insiders and corporate media pundits alike. The move was reportedly in response to strikes on U.S. military bases in Iraq — bases that, last year, the Iraqi parliament unanimously demanded be closed.

Yesterday, anonymous administration officials claimed that Biden called off a second Syria strike after being warned that women and children were in the area. Though no evidence was offered and the officials refused to go on record, corporate media diligently parroted the State Department line, allowing the new administration to simultaneously present itself as getting tough on its enemies and as a champion of human rights. The United States has been at war for nearly every year of its existence as an independent nation, fighting in 227 years of its 244-year history. While both Barack Obama and Donald Trump offered up anti-war rhetoric when they were on the campaign trail, both moved steadfastly away from that position once in office.

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The bombs were dropped in Iraq, not Syria. And they’re trying to hide that fact.

‘Shia Backed’, ‘Iran Backed’ Nonsense And Other Warmongering Journalism (MoA)

The recent U.S. airstrike at the Syrian-Iraqi border and the missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq were followed by many examples of bad journalism. U.S. media, as FAIR documents, have purged inconvenient facts from their coverage of Biden’s ‘first’ airstrike: “The less clear the US population is about the frequency and scale of murderous violence its government carries out, the easier it is for the US ruling class to go about its wars. Fortunately for the US state, corporate media help manufacture collective amnesia by expunging US aggression from the record…. Securing consent for running a lethal, worldwide empire requires unremitting propaganda: Redacting the historical record and playing the victim are two useful strategies.”

The dozens of examples in the FAIR piece are telling. FAIR gets one thing wrong though. The attack was not in Syria, as the U.S. claimed, but on the Iraqi side of the border. Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai – 6:01 UTC · Mar 3, 2021 “Analysts keep making this mistake: 1st Biden’s bombing was in #Iraq not #Syria. An Iraqi military delegation sent by @MAKadhimi verified & confirmed that the #US bombed Iraqi security forces on the Iraqi borders with #Syria and not on Syrian territory. Nearly all U.S. media use ‘Iran-backed militia’ when describing the groups that allegedly launched the missiles. The Pentagon now wants to change that. A press briefing with spokesman John F. Kirby had several exchanges about that:

“Q: Just going back to — to the rocket attack, could you describe roughly the distance that the rockets were coming from? And what does that say about the tactics — and how does that — of the — whoever fired those? And to what degree does this resemble previous attacks by the Iranian-backed militia? MR. KIRBY: I’m not qualified to do the forensics, Dan, on — on — on how this equates to previous attacks, other than obviously it’s a rocket attack and we have seen rocket attacks come from Shia-backed militia groups in the past. So in that way, it certainly — it certainly coincides with our past experience here.”

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“Unchecked growth has no place, outside of the microbial world. Unchecked growth is called a plague, an epidemic or a cancer..”

Neoclassical Economics III: A Machine To Destroy The World (RWER)

Growth has a fundamental place in the biological world, of which we humans are a part. Unchecked growth has no place, outside of the microbial world. Unchecked growth is called a plague, an epidemic or a cancer. Growth, among mainstream economists, has become a reflexive, mindless goal, specifically growth of the Gross Domestic Product. Growth of the GDP is the dominant global criterion for allegedly successful management of an economy. GDP is an indiscriminate measure of what we spend money on: some things good, some useless, some bad and, increasingly, some attempting to repair damage from previous spending. GDP is not a useful measure of our quality of life, whose improvement should be the real goal, but it does correlate with resource use and resource waste, also known as pollution.

The claim that unchecked competitive markets are the most efficient way to increase material wealth has no basis, as I explained in Part II. Nor have free markets worked in practice. Australia’s economic performance post-1983 has never come close to that in the 1950s and 60s when it averaged over 5% annual GDP growth and 1.3% unemployment. However economists and the self-interested rich have promoted a system based on unrestrained markets that in turn promotes anything that yields short-term profit. Thus we have unsustainable extraction of natural resources, and for-profit aged care that consigns our grandparents to disgusting neglect. We also have potent and dangerous new technologies like face recognition, meta-data analysis, artificial ‘intelligence’ and various biotechnologies including, imminently, the suspension of biological ageing.

The planet really needs a plague of demanding, smart-aleck old farts. The surveillance state is a reality, and rapidly gaining in power and pervasiveness. I am only mentioning war making and killer robotics. Some older people occasionally wonder why the forecasts of our childhood have not come to pass. We were told that by the year 2000 no-one would work more than 15 hours a week. The reason is that we have been kept on the treadmill so as to keep the GDP increasing. A major motivator has been ‘labour market flexibility’, the notion that your labour is just a free-market disposable commodity that needs to be used to maximum efficiency and effect. One difficulty of course is that your labour comes with you attached. The primary effects have been to keep the employed insecure and to enrich the rich and empower the powerful.

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The Catholic church promotes UBI. What do catholics think though?

Love, politics, and Universal Basic Income (Meaden)

London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey recently said that if people were given a Universal Basic Income (UBI) they would spend it on ‘lots of drugs’. This was widely reported. Less widely reported was the response of Dr Simon Duffy, speaking in the same meeting, where he helped to persuade the Economic Committee of the London Assembly to vote in favour a pilot of UBI in the capital. Dr Duffy said: “What the UK has become is an increasingly mean-spirited society. What we’ve seen is a decline in respect for people on low incomes, and a concomitant decline in the value of basic benefits. So now, the poorest 10 per cent of people in the UK receive, after tax, about £40 to £50 per person [per week]. There’s a reason why they get less and less – it’s to do with the political choices that we make, it’s to do with the way the political system has been able to stigmatise those people as somehow unworthy.

And that’s why we increasingly move away from cash and economic security and move to increased sanctions and conditionality, and even talk of vouchers. It’s all interconnected. And what we really need to do – and this is about politics, not economics – we need to move towards a universal approach that says every citizen is entitled to economic security, every citizen is worthy of respect. And that’s where the love is, Shaun.” The idea that an economic or political policy could be an expression of love, and a recognition of the innate dignity and worth of every human being may sound unusual to our ears, but it really shouldn’t. As the Archbishop of York said recently, “Loving your neighbour is a profoundly political statement.”

This connection, between truly loving our neighbour and its and implications for politics is explored in a profound way in Catholic Social Teaching, and there we find a single phrase which fundamentally challenges the way our society and our economy are organised. That phrase is “the universal destination of goods”. The universal destination of goods means, quite simply, that as the world was created for all of us, and as we are all equal in human dignity and worth, then we are all entitled to a share of what the world has to offer. And this right does not have to be earned – it is the automatic right of every human being, by virtue of being human.

The phrase first appeared in the foundational document of CST, Rerum Novarum, written by Pope Leo XIII in 1891. The principle has largely remained in the realm of the abstract, underpinning a belief in social justice, but with no specific policy application endorsed by the church. Recently however, Pope Francis has been quite vocal in his insistence that the time has come to put such beliefs into practice, in order to protect the planet and human dignity. [..] UBI is an idea which is the logical outcome of looking at the world through a lens of love and justice. To be implemented properly it will, as Dr Duffy acknowledges, involve some redistribution of wealth. This will no doubt meet resistance, particularly from those who have most, and therefore have most to lose.

But as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “The right to private property is secondary to the right of everyone, without exception, to their share in the goods of creation. The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise” (Catechism 2403).

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