René Magritte The son of man 1946
To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles—this they name empire;
and where they make a desert, they call it peace.
— Tacitus (quoting Calgacus), Agricola 30.
Vaccine safety under Trump
— James Hirsen (@thejimjams) August 4, 2021
“..over 160 million Americans and more than 2 billion people around the world were never told about the distinct possibility that they could end up developing a disease called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).”
Late last night, an anonymous source forwarded a screenshot of a report attributed to Timothy Cardozo and Ronald Veazey that is found at the bottom of NIH’s website. The report specifically warned of the distinct possibility that people who are injected with Covid-19 “vaccines” could develop the very Antibody-Dependent Enhancement that Dr. Malone keeps ringing the alarm about. Not only was this information suppressed from the public, the government-media-corporate complex went out of their way to censor—in the case of Dr. Malone destroy—anyone who questions the safety and efficacy of these boosters that are still undergoing clinical trials. Even though I knew all along that the US government, and governments around the world, were lying through their teeth about the origins of Covid-19 and were likewise peddling medical misinformation about the scientific integrity of the “vaccines”, it was still shocking to read the following paragraph right on NIH’s website:
“The specific and significant COVID-19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.” [source NIH] Despite Cardozo and Veazey’s explicit instruction that NIH must disclose the full risks of the “vaccines” to test subjects in the clinical trials that were conducted last year as well as to all recipients once the “vaccines” garnered approval for general use, over 160 million Americans and more than 2 billion people around the world were never told about the distinct possibility that they could end up developing a disease called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).
A significant percentage of the world’s population is now at risk of contracting an ailment that could lead to their body’s natural immune system getting compromised and attacking their vital organs. If that sounds familiar, that is because ADE is an autoimmune disease that is very similar to HIV/AIDs. [..] This is not some fluke occurrence that could not have been foreseen, “vaccines” that produce spiked proteins by way of mRNA or adenovirus were studied on lab animals—specifically ferrets and cats because they are more susceptible to Coronavirus—for over twenty years. Though the test subjects initially acquired synthetic antibodies, once their immunization window expired and they were challenged with SARS-CoV-1, the lab animals that were injected with the “vaccines” were wiped out.
The warning on NIH’s website was alluding to this very real possibility but the very authorities we entrust to protect us instead concealed this information and conditioned billions of people to get jabbed without informed consent. Every plutocrat, politician and opinion leader who took part in this conspiracy of silence should be frogmarched and tried before an international tribunal similar to the trials Nazis faced after World War II for violating the Nuremberg codes and committing brutalities that will once day be judged to exceed the evils of Hitler.
This from October 2020 is the basis for the article above, both referenced by Dr. Robert Malone.
Vaccine-elicited enhancement of disease was previously observed in human subjects with vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), dengue virus and measles.1 Vaccine-elicited enhancement of disease was also observed with the SARS and MERS viruses and with feline coronavirus, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, the causative pathogen of COVID-19 disease. The immune mechanisms of this enhancement have invariably involved antibodies, from direct antibody-dependent enhancement, to immune complex formation by antibodies, albeit accompanied by various coordinated cellular responses, such as Th2 T-cell skewing. Notably, both neutralising and non-neutralising antibodies have been implicated.
A recent study revealed IgG-mediated acute lung injury in vivo in macaques infected with SARS that correlated with a vaccine-elicited, neutralising antibody response.8 Inflammation and tissue damage in the lung in this animal model recapitulated the inflammation and tissue damage in the lungs of SARS-infected patients who succumbed to the disease. The time course was also similar, with the worst damage occurring in delayed fashion in synchrony with ramping up of the immune response. Remarkably, neutralising antibodies controlled the virus in the animal, but then would precipitate a severe, tissue-damaging, inflammatory response in the lung.
This is a similar profile to immune complex-mediated disease seen with RSV vaccines in the past, wherein vaccinees succumbed to fatal enhanced RSV disease because of the formation of antibody-virus immune complexes that precipitated harmful, inflammatory immune responses. It is also similar to the clinical course of COVID-19 patients, in whom severe COVID-19 disease is associated with the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies, with titres correlating directly with the severity of disease. Conversely, subjects who recover quickly may have low or no anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies.
The elicitation of antibodies, specifically neutralising antibodies, is the goal of nearly every current SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. The prior evidence that vaccine-elicited, antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease is likely to occur to some degree with COVID-19 vaccines is vertically consistent from controlled SARS studies in primates to clinical observations in SARS and COVID-19. Thus, a finite, non-theoretical risk is evident in the medical literature that vaccine candidates composed of the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike and eliciting anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, be they neutralising or not, place vaccinees at higher risk for more severe COVID-19 disease when they encounter circulating viruses.
Fun with numbers. Much more at the link.
This thread is to shed a bit of light on the mysteries of how much spike protein is being made, where it is going and how is it going there. Sadly our captured regulatory agencies did not insist the mfr do so
1/ I start by estimating how much spike protein is being created by the mRNA vaccines
2/We know there is 30 microgram for Pfizer
3/Molecular weight is estimated at > 1.25 x10^6 gm/mole. (~330 gm per mole of nucleotide). This comes out to 30 x 10^-6 grams/ 1.25 x 10^6 gm/mole =24 x 10^-12 moles. 6 x 10^23 molecules/mole x 24 x 10^-12 moles =14.4x 10^12 molecules mRNA (14.4trillion)
4/14.4 trillion spike protein if 1 mRNA produces 1 spike protein. A more reasonable number is 1000 spike per mRNA X1000 14,400 trillion spikes
5/So basically 30 micrograms of mRNA will theoretically produce about 14,400 trillion individual spike proteins (if 100% efficient)
6/Now we ask this. How many cells are transfected by the vaccines. In other words, how many mRNA molecules are in each LNP
7/Since we can estimate how many mRNA molecules there are (14.4 trillion for Pfizer), we must estimate how many LNP’s
8/First we must estimate the size of LNP “Together with the mRNA, these components form particles of about 60–100 nm in size by using a rapid mixing production technique (Evers et al., 2018).”
9/So lets call it 80 nm and assume a spherical shape.
10/So LNP particles of 80 nm have a total weight of about 0.5 mg. Lipids are typically less dense than water but using the density of water we may estimate the volume of 0.5 mg as 5 x 10^17 cubic nm
These people have lost their connection to the world. This girl wants unvaccinated on a no-fly list. But not because of the flying, no, the problem occurs when they leave the airport:
“..air-filtration systems and mask requirements make transmission of the coronavirus unlikely during any given passenger flight, infected people can spread it when they leave the airport and take off their mask…”
When you go to the airport, you see two kinds of security rules. Some apply equally to everyone; no one can carry weapons through the TSA checkpoint. But other protocols divide passengers into categories according to how much of a threat the government thinks they pose. If you submit to heightened scrutiny in advance, TSA PreCheck lets you go through security without taking off your shoes; a no-fly list keeps certain people off the plane entirely. Not everyone poses an equal threat. Rifling through the bags of every business traveler and patting down every preschooler and octogenarian would waste the TSA’s time and needlessly burden many passengers. The same principle applies to limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of COVID-19 cases keeps growing, even though remarkably safe, effective vaccines are widely available, at least to adults. Many public agencies are responding by reimposing masking rules on everyone. But at this stage of the pandemic, tougher universal restrictions are not the solution to continuing viral spread. While flying, vaccinated people should no longer carry the burden for unvaccinated people. The White House has rejected a nationwide vaccine mandate—a sweeping suggestion that the Biden administration could not easily enact if it wanted to—but a no-fly list for unvaccinated adults is an obvious step that the federal government should take. It will help limit the risk of transmission at destinations where unvaccinated people travel—and, by setting norms that restrict certain privileges to vaccinated people, will also help raise the stagnant vaccination rates that are keeping both the economy and society from fully recovering.
Flying is not a right, and the case for restricting it to vaccinated people is straightforward: The federal government is the sole entity that can regulate the terms and conditions of airline safety. And although air-filtration systems and mask requirements make transmission of the coronavirus unlikely during any given passenger flight, infected people can spread it when they leave the airport and take off their mask. The whole point of international-travel bans is to curb infections in the destination country; to protect itself, the United States still has many such restrictions in place. Beyond limiting the virus’s flow from hot spots to the rest of the country, allowing only vaccinated people on domestic flights will change minds, too.
A long list of articles about natural immunity.
Hard data counters widespread public misinformation that claimed “virtually all” patients hospitalized and dying of Covid-19 are unvaccinated. Pfizer and Moderna had claimed their vaccines were “100% effective” at preventing serious illness. Many in the media even popularized a propaganda phrase designed to push more people to get vaccinated: “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Not so, says CDC and other data. Recent CDC data found that 74% of those who tested positive for Covid-19 in a Massachusetts analysis had been fully-vaccinated. Equally as troubling for those advocating vaccination-for-all: four out of five people hospitalized with Covid were fully-vaccinated. And CDC said “viral load” — indicating how able the human host is to spread Covid-19 — is about the same among the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Contrary to the infamous misinformation by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky last May, vaccinated people can— and are— spreading Covid. (CDC officials later corrected Walensky’s false claim.) CDC’s newest findings on so-called “breakthrough” infections in vaccinated people are mirrored by other data releases. Illinois health officials recently announced more than 160 fully-vaccinated people have died of Covid-19, and at least 644 been hospitalized; ten deaths and 51 hospitalizations counted in the prior week. Israel’s Health Ministry recently said effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has fallen to 40 percent. Last month, 100 vaccinated British sailors isolated on a ship at sea reportedly came down with Covid seven weeks into their deployment.
In July, New Jersey reported 49 fully vaccinated residents had died of Covid; 27 in Louisiana; 80 in Massachusetts. Nationally, as of July 12, CDC said it was aware of more than 4,400 people who got Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated and had to be hospitalized; and 1,063 fully vaccinated people who died of Covid. But health officials still argue that vaccinated people make up only a small fraction of the seriously ill. Critics counter that CDC’s recent Massachusetts data calls that into question.
[..] As of May 29, CDC estimated more than 120 million Americans— more than one in three— had already battled Covid. While an estimated six-tenths of one-percent died, the other 99.4% of those infected survived with a presumed immune status that appears to be superior to that which comes with vaccination. If doctors could routinely test to confirm who has fought off and become immune to Covid-19, it would eliminate the practical need or rationale for those protected millions to get vaccinated. It would also allow them to avoid even the slight risk of serious vaccine side effects. Unfortunately, virologists say no commonly-used test can detect with certainty whether a person is immune.
A common misconception is that antibody tests can make that determination. But experts say immunity after infection or exposure often comes without a person producing or maintaining measurable antibodies. Because of that reality, people who have had asymptomatic infections — infections where they suffered no symptoms — have no easy way to know that they’re immune. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that the millions who know they got Covid can be assured they’re unlikely to suffer reinfection, for at least as long of a time period that scientists have been able to measure. Possibly far beyond.
Rachel Marsden. Canada. Vying for first place in idiocy with Australia.
I went home to visit my mother. Canada tried to force me into a Covid detention facility threatening fines and police action as they don’t recognize my natural immunity. I had no choice but to immediately fly back to Europe.
At the time of writing, I’m at an altitude of exactly 11,277m, 5,230km away from Vancouver, Canada, and 3,159km from my stopover in Munich, Germany, en route back to Paris, France. Where I really should be is relaxing on the backyard patio or in the jacuzzi at my home near Vancouver with a cold drink on a hot summer day. Instead, I’m on a Lufthansa flight heading back to Paris – just a few hours after arriving across the ocean on a 10-hour flight – because my own country’s officials kicked me out.
All because I committed the apparent violation of trying to re-enter my own country with proof of naturally acquired Covid-19 antibodies made by my own immune system post-recovery rather than those generated by the manmade Covid-19 vaccine about which much is still to be learned. Daily life for a Covid-19 survivor with natural immunity from the disease is not for the faint of heart. As someone with a high level of laboratory tested antibodies whose levels have yet to drop even after several months post-illness, my doctor has advised against vaccination. Much is obviously still to be learned about the Covid jabs, still in stage 3 of clinical trials and considered experimental by health authorities – particularly with reports abounding of breakthrough cases of vaccinated people catching and spreading Covid.
To protect and preserve my acquired immunity by opting out of vaccination that risks interfering with it or causing a risk to my health, France now requires me to succumb to nasal swab antigen tests every 48 hours if I wish to continue accessing everyday venues like public transit, gyms, restaurants, some shopping malls, and bars. But it’s a price that I’m willing to pay for my health.
From South Africa.
Twenty countries are using Ivermectin to treat Covid-19. They include Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Nigeria, and Egypt. In South Africa doctors are allowed to prescribe Ivermectin, but it is not being rolled out everywhere and in hospitals and clinics. According to Jackie Stone, a doctor in Zimbabwe, since January – when Ivermectin began to be used – it has cut COVID hospital admissions and deaths over 70%. “The death rate rose sharply in January and peaked on the 25th at 70 deaths per day. Official authorisation for the use of Ivermectin was granted on 26th January. Just one month later, on 26th February, the COVID death rate had fallen to zero”.
A meta-analysis gold standard review of 24 randomised trials conducted in 15 countries among more than 3400 people worldwide of clinical trials – just released by the BIRD group in the UK – showed that deaths are dramatically reduced when Ivermectin is administered. Published in the American Journal of Therapeutics the most rigorous statistical standards were applied by world-leading biostatistician, Mr Andrew Bryant, and medical doctor and researcher Dr Tess Lawrie. The results concluded that Ivermectin has an over 70% success in preventing deaths in hospitalised patients. Mexico City authorities created a home-treatment-kit, including Ivermectin, for its 22 million-strong population in December 2020 and cut hospitalisations by over 70%.
Those Indian states that adopted Ivermectin policies saw their cases fall far more than 80%; Uttar Pradesh – down 98% [37,944 to 596], Uttarakhand – down 97% [9642 to 287] and Goa – down 90% [4195 to 423]. Delhi saw a 99% drop [28,395 to 238]. The bottom line is that Ivermectin works, and it works extraordinarily well. You do not need to be a scientist to understand these numbers, as they are self-evident. If South Africa had a policy of testing and treating – as does Mexico City, which has emptied its hospitals since they implemented it, does – and of using Ivermectin for prevention for health workers and those not vaccinated – we could end the effects of the pandemic here.
Besides cutting hospitalisations and deaths Ivermectin can also be used as a preventative. In Argentina, 788 health workers took Ivermectin weekly and 407 did not. After ten weeks, 58% of those not taking Ivermectin had become sick – but not one of those who took it became sick. The use of Ivermectin has been restricted because the WHO says that further clinical trials are needed before they can recommend it. When asked about this, Dr Stone replied, “I find it very hard to understand how they can say that there is not sufficient evidence. There are three thousand patients plus in, I think, twenty-four trials where they demonstrate an over 75% reduction in mortality. Those figures fit exactly with what we have seen.”
Of course Florida is mostly fine, but you already guessed that. This is about raw power, and about DeSantis being popular.
President Joe Biden delivered a stern message on Tuesday to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the Republican’s opposition to mask mandates: “Get out of the way.” DeSantis has attributed the state’s uptick in COVID-19 cases to seasonal factors and rejected calls to impose a mask mandate. He last week signed an executive order threatening to withhold state funds from school districts that put mask mandates in place to follow federal health guidance for areas experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases.
“Look, we need leadership from everyone. If some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said in remarks about the pandemic. “I say to these governors please help. But if you are not going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.” For the third consecutive day, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida reached a pandemic high at 11,863 patients. Federal health officials said on Monday that one in three cases of coronavirus nationwide occurred in Florida and Texas last week. [..] DeSantis has likened the recent surge to the spike in cases last summer.
“These things have a pattern,” he said last month. “We saw the pattern last summer. It’s similar. I think it started a little later. I think people should just be prepared for that.” At a news conference in the Everglades on Tuesday, DeSantis repeated his belief that the surge will subside soon, saying: “These things come — you know we have summer season for whatever reason in the Sunbelt and particularly Florida, you know. It will probably come back in the winter, just like last year, not as much as the Northeast, but we’ll see.” DeSantis also downplayed the surge in hospitalizations and did not address the increasing strain on hospital staff. “Our hospitals are open for business,” he said, adding that in hospitals with high COVID cases, those patients “represent a fraction of the overall hospital beds.”
They should both go.
The surge of the Delta variant has prompted New York City and state officials to take swift action. This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended that residents of the city wear masks when inside with crowds, even if you’re vaccinated. De Blasio said, “We want to strongly recommend that people wear a mask in indoor settings, even if you’re vaccinated.” The mayor added, “This is particularly true of course if you might be around anyone unvaccinated.” De Blasio emphasized, “Vaccination, vaccination, vaccination, that’s the ballgame.” He offered a $100 financial incentive for people to get their shots. City workers won’t have a choice, and will be mandated to get vaccinated. Additionally, all new government hires will have to show proof of vaccination or else they can’t start their jobs.
The Mayor will also be initiating a “Key to NYC Pass,” which is like the Covid-19 passport talked about a few months ago. It’s a carrot-and-stick approach, as people will be required to show that they are vaccinated if they want to go to restaurants, gyms and other events. No vaccinations, no entrance. “If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio proclaimed. “If we’re going to stop the Delta variant, the time is now,” said the mayor. “This is going to make clear, you want to enjoy everything great in this summer of New York City? Go get vaccinated.”
In an interview with MSNBC, de Blasio dialed up his frustration over the unvaccinated. “We’ve got to shake people at this point and say, ‘Come on now.’ We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate. Free testing, everywhere you turn, incentives, friendly, warm embrace. The voluntary phase is over,” de Blasio said last week. “It’s time for mandates, because it’s the only way to protect our people.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, similar to de Blasio, is pushing for people to get vaccinated. He’s requesting private businesses, such as bars and restaurants, to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19, as a condition for admission to their establishments. The governor also called for a vaccine mandate for employees of the state’s MTA and Port Authority, similar to his previous order for state hospital employees.
Once you do them, they’re impossible to undo.
It used to be that “we the people” had the right to come and go as we please without the fear of being stopped, questioned by police or forced to identify ourselves. In other words, unless police had a reasonable suspicion that a person was guilty of wrongdoing, they had no legal authority to stop the person and require identification. Unfortunately, in this age of COVID-19, that unrestricted right to move about freely is being pitted against the government’s power to lock down communities at a moment’s notice. And in this tug-of-war between individual freedoms and government power, “we the people” have been on the losing end of the deal.
Now vaccine passports, vaccine admission requirements, and travel restrictions may seem like small, necessary steps in winning the war against the COVID-19 virus, but that’s just so much propaganda. They’re only necessary to the police state in its efforts to further brainwash the populace into believing that the government legitimately has the power to enforce such blatant acts of authoritarianism. This is how you imprison a populace and lock down a nation. It makes no difference if such police state tactics are carried out in the name of national security or protecting America’s borders or making America healthy again: the philosophy remains the same, and it is a mindset that is not friendly to freedom.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t live in a constitutional republic if you allow the government to act like a police state. You can’t claim to value freedom if you allow the government to operate like a dictatorship. You can’t expect to have your rights respected if you allow the government to treat whomever it pleases with disrespect and an utter disregard for the rule of law. If you’re tempted to justify these draconian measures for whatever reason—for the sake of health concerns, the economy, or national security—beware: there’s always a boomerang effect. Whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to carry out now, rest assured, these same practices can and will be used against you when the government decides to set its sights on you.
Click link, sign petition.
We the undersigned stand in deep support and gratitude of Dr. Peter McCullough MD. We recognize his unwavering commitment to upholding his fiduciary responsibility to his patients, the highest standards of science and to the Hippocratic Oath. Most notably Dr. McCullough has and continues to be a forerunner and promoter of early ambulatory treatment of covid symptoms. Due to Dr. McCullough’s contribution, protocols such as those described in Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection, countless lives have been saved. Going further, Dr. McCullough, with other respected researchers and physicians developed an early treatment plan for senior care facilities as well as raised valid concerns over both the safety and efficacy of the covid vaccines, especially considering the increasing number of breakthrough cases being experienced the world over, as well as the number of adverse events reported.
Instead of commending Dr. McCullough and backing these lifesaving discoveries, Baylor Scott and White has initiated a law suit, claiming that Dr. McCullough is falsely associating with their organization, and is demanding 1,000,000 in monetary aid as well as non monetary aid. We the undersigned strongly and emphatically urge that the individuals working on behalf of Baylor Scott and White dismiss this case. Your time and energies are much better spent in supporting Dr. McCullough in saving lives. Let it be known that the scientific, medical and lay communities are watching this development very closely and resolutely stand with Dr. McCullough.
Murky indeed, even the article itself.
Assange remains in prison. The district judge refused him bail after the US government said it would seek to appeal to the High Court against her decision. And on 5 July Mr Justice Swift granted the US permission on three of the five grounds set out in its application for permission to appeal. What were those? This is where the story becomes murky. The judge’s two-page order, which has not been published but is readily available from the court, explains briefly why he refused the US permission to appeal on grounds 3 and 4. It says nothing about Swift’s reasons for granting permission on grounds 1, 2 and 5. That’s not a problem as far as the parties are concerned: they know what the grounds of appeal were. And when the appeal is heard – this autumn or next year – we shall find out too.
But if, as Swift has held, the US has raised ‘arguable issues that should be considered at a final hearing’, lawyers with clients currently facing extradition to the US need to know – now – precisely what these are. Foreign governments seeking extradition are represented by the Crown Prosecution Service. I asked the CPS for a copy of the application they had filed for permission to appeal. They refused to let me see it. Instead, they suggested I asked the High Court. The court told me I needed to make a written application to the judge and pay a fee of £255. I was not willing to do so – it raises concerns about access to justice data that were the subject of an important report by the Legal Education Foundation last month – and I have not been able to get hold of a copy in any other way.
After further requests, the CPS agreed to send me an informal briefing note that had been supplied to other journalists shortly after Swift’s ruling. This note, which includes a minor inaccuracy, is the source of all media reports and legal commentaries on the judge’s ruling. The first arguable ground, according to this note, was that Baraitser had made errors of law in applying the test under section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003. This says that if the physical or mental condition of a suspect ‘is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him’, the judge must either order his or her discharge or adjourn the hearing until he or she is better. We don’t know what Baraitser’s alleged errors were. The second arguable ground is that, having decided that the threshold for discharge was met, Baraitser should have notified the requesting state of her provisional view and given the US a chance to offer assurances.
Following the Soviet model of falling apart.
Back in the 1970s, Russian women marvelled at how their American equivalents could afford to leave work while they had children. As the New York Times reported, they “express astonishment when they learn that an American father can support a family of two, three or four children without his wife’s working. Many are also surprised that American women would willingly have more than one child.” For them, it was a huge struggle to raise just one. The Soviet Union’s main adversary in the Cold War was also defined by ideology, to some extent. Many western nations had embraced liberalism, but no other was created with the words of John Locke enshrined in its foundation. Yet liberalism, too, faced its challenges in the late 20th century, not from the obviously failing Soviet Communism, but from rival ideas within the democratic tradition.
Starting in the 1960s, a new way of thinking began to predominate in the US that was not really liberal, although its opponents confusingly still referred to it as such. This new way of thinking was more hostile to freedom of speech, and its adherents began the process of chasing deviant thinkers out of academia that began in the late 1960s and would massively reduce political diversity by the 21st century; it supported not just personal sexual freedom, as did liberalism, but radical ideas about sex, including hostility to the family; it was anti-religion and would become more so when religion clashed with sexual rights. As for freedom of association, the “master freedom” in Christopher Caldwell’s words, this was also incompatible with a worldview that prioritised equality over liberty.
This new way of thinking — progressivism is probably the fairest term — is far less tolerant than liberalism. Indeed, in its hostility to freedom of speech, its Manichean worldview, its suspicion that its opponents are fascists, and the belief that politics should be inserted into everything — from science to children’s books — it is closer to the totalitarian tradition. American progressivism is not communism, obviously, anymore than its opponents are Nazis; the market is perfectly capable of achieving most progressive goals, and America has become more culturally Left-wing as Right-wing economic policies have dominated, globalisation being the common theme that links the two. But globalisation came with a price, with millions of jobs lost after the 2001 trade deal with China, made two months after George W. Bush had followed the Soviet example by invading Afghanistan.
It was in those former industrial heartlands where people first began to notice an epidemic of drug-related deaths that now constitutes one of the greatest social disasters in history. Four decades on from its superpower rival, the United States had now become a country in which people were dying younger, driven by overdoses and suicides. That this epidemic took so long to register may have been the solitary and often legal nature of the drug problem; unlike Aids, it did not affect too many celebrities, Prince being the exception. But it could also be who the victims were — predominantly rural white Americans, neither powerful themselves nor championed by powerful supporters.
All your base do belong to us.
Classic feudalism was a system where a wealthy land-owning nobility (the 1%) controlled the peasant class of workers known as serfs (everyone else). The elites provided serfs with a small piece of land on which to live. Although they paid taxes, generally, serfs owned no property, had no economic power or upward mobility. During the Middle Ages, as much as 90% of Europe’s population fell into this category. Sound familiar? I admit it’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s something worth considering — especially given what’s happening not just with housing but with land ownership in general. In our system, owning real estate is the most common vehicle for wealth accumulation. So what happens when only the wealthiest Americans can afford to own property?
Before you answer, you should know that billionaires are buying up land like it’s going out of style. Do you know who owns the most farmland in the United States? Bill Gates and his soon-to-be ex-wife Melinda, that’s who. With 242,000 acres of cropland plus nearly 30,000 additional acres of land in their real estate portfolio, they’re playing real-life monopoly. According to The Land Report, 100 families own 42 million acres across the country. The Gates family barely breaks the top 50. Former TCI chief John Malone is at the top of the list with 2.2 million acres. While billionaires snatch up the country’s ranches and farmland, Wall Street is buying up all the houses they can get their hands on.
I wrote last August about my personal experience with renting a house in North Carolina. In 2013, we searched for a home in a town just outside of Raleigh. We noticed corporations owned almost all the houses. Every rental sign had a QR code in one neighborhood, so you never actually saw a real estate agent. The company, American Homes 4 Rent (AMR), was the landlord for most of the single-family rental properties in the area, including the one we ultimately rented. Interestingly, the same billionaire, an investor named B. Wayne Hughes controls both the company where we stored our furniture and American Homes 4 Rent. At the time, tapping Wall Street investors made sense. In the wake of the housing crisis of the early aughts, a wave of foreclosures devastated the real estate markets.
By 2010, the housing market was in free fall. Across the country, the glut of empty homes numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Faced with the risk of stalling an already sluggish economic recovery, the government looked to Wall Street. In 2012, the Obama administration launched a program making it easier for private investors like AMR and Blackrock to acquire foreclosed homes by the hundreds. The plan worked. According to The Atlantic, institutional investors jumped into the housing market, buying foreclosed properties then renting them out. The billions in transferred middle-class wealth made inequality worse. At the time, there were few good options.
In the same piece last August, I wrote about how hedge funds and private equity firms like Blackrock and AMH scooped up single-family foreclosures left and right: From 2011 to 2017, the largest global investors bought over 200,000 homes in the U.S., spending over $30 billion. In Atlanta, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and hedge funds bought almost 90% of homes sold from January 2011 to June 2012. By February of last year, institutional investors owned one-fifth of all single-family rentals in the Atlanta area. Until late 2019, Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, owned 40% of Invitation Homes (INVH), capitalizing on the glut of foreclosures following the housing crisis. American Homes 4 Rent (AMH), a REIT founded by billionaire B. Wayne Hughes, currently owns 52,052 homes across the country. AMH owns nearly 10% percent of all single-family homes in Atlanta.
Very interesting man.
“Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government,” wrote Edward Bernays, the father of modern propaganda. In part one of Episode 17, Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies at New York University, discusses the propaganda onslaught that defined the year 2020, when what was dismissed one week is confirmed the next, and why questioning official narratives “necessarily means taking ‘conspiracy theory’ seriously.”
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