Paul Klee Girl in Mourning 1939
I did not watch the Trump lawyers’ presser, but the strong reactions on all sides are intriguing. Even Tucker Carlson goes after Sidney Powell for not showing him evidence that she intends to present in court. Hold your horses, I’d say.
And I’m not sure why they held the conference at that point in time, knowing anything short of laying out their court case right there and then would be criticized. But I for one don’t mind waiting a few more days. Court cases require more work than press-ops.
Take me to this dimension please. Cat included. pic.twitter.com/ZwUQXmmQxF
— Fiorella Isabel (@Fiorella_im) November 20, 2020
Trump Michigan Wisconsin Data Dumps
Look at this in Michigan! A day AFTER the election, Biden receives a dump of 134,886 votes at 6:31AM! https://t.co/CTDaWTNs29 pic.twitter.com/nSmc2olraF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2020
Bit optimistic, perhaps? But the underlying science is certainly interesting.
“mRNA vaccines cannot cause infection because they do not contain the whole virus.”
• The End of the Pandemic Is Now in Sight (Zhang)
mRNA vaccines offer a clever shortcut. We humans don’t need to intellectually work out how to make viruses; our bodies are already very, very good at incubating them. When the coronavirus infects us, it hijacks our cellular machinery, turning our cells into miniature factories that churn out infectious viruses. The mRNA vaccine makes this vulnerability into a strength. What if we can trick our own cells into making just one individually harmless, though very recognizable, viral protein? The coronavirus’s spike protein fits this description, and the instructions for making it can be encoded into genetic material called mRNA.
Both vaccines, from Moderna and from Pfizer’s collaboration with the smaller German company BioNTech, package slightly modified spike-protein mRNA inside a tiny protective bubble of fat. Human cells take up this bubble and simply follow the directions to make spike protein. The cells then display these spike proteins, presenting them as strange baubles to the immune system. Recognizing these viral proteins as foreign, the immune system begins building an arsenal to prepare for the moment a virus bearing this spike protein appears. This overall process mimics the steps of infection better than some traditional vaccines, which suggests that mRNA vaccines may provoke a better immune response for certain diseases.
When you inject vaccines made of inactivated viruses or viral pieces, they can’t get inside the cell, and the cell can’t present those viral pieces to the immune system. Those vaccines can still elicit proteins called antibodies, which neutralize the virus, but they have a harder time stimulating T cells, which make up another important part of the immune response. (Weakened viruses used in vaccines can get inside cells, but risk causing an actual infection if something goes awry. mRNA vaccines cannot cause infection because they do not contain the whole virus.) Moreover, inactivated viruses or viral pieces tend to disappear from the body within a day, but mRNA vaccines can continue to produce spike protein for two weeks, says Drew Weissman, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, whose mRNA vaccine research has been licensed by both BioNTech and Moderna. The longer the spike protein is around, the better for an immune response.
Strange silence in the west about Chinese and Russian vaccines.
• 1 Million Chinese Injected With Vaccine In Emergency Use Scheme (SCMP)
Almost 1 million Chinese have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by the state-owned Sinopharm under the government’s emergency use scheme, the company’s chairman said. China is one of just two countries, along with Russia, known to have used so-called vaccine candidates – products that are still undergoing clinical trials to test their efficacy and safety – to inoculate its citizens. “In terms of emergency use, the vaccines were applied to nearly a million people and there has not been a single case of a serious adverse event. People have had only mild symptoms,” Liu Jingzhen, chairman of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), said in an interview with a Sichuan-based digital media company that was published on Wednesday.
“Until now, all our progress, from research to clinical trials to production and emergency use, we have been leading the world,” he said. Besides the recipients of the Sinopharm jabs, authorities in Zhejiang said they had made a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the privately owned pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotec available to high-risk groups in the east China province under the emergency use scheme. Exactly how many citizens have received the jabs is unknown, but local and foreign media reports showed images of people lining up outside disease control and prevention centres to receive them.
“It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.”
• Sidney Powell: Trump Team To Sue Officials To Invalidate Election Results (ZH)
Shortly before the Associated Press announced late on Thursday that Joe Biden had won the state of Georgia after its secretary of state said that Biden had remained ahead after a hand recount of the state’s 5 million presidential votes making him the first Democratic presidential candidate in 28 years to win the state pending any potential litigation by Trump, the president’s attorney Sidney Powell warned that a “flurry of lawsuits” await election officials who certify the results of the election which she believes are fraudulent. The former federal prosecutor, who is also Michael Flynn’s lead attorney in a case about lying to the FBI, told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs on Thursday that the Trump camp will press forward with legal action, targeting election officials as they certify the 2020 results in several key battleground states that have been called for President-elect Joe Biden.
One of them would be Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, who must certify the results by Friday. Dobbs also asked if Trump’s llegal team will pursue legal action against Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic: “Are you pressing forward with legal action against them for those violations?” Dobbs asked. “Not against the company and the software,” Powell responded. “But the suits will be against the election officials to invalidate the results of the election and force it to the legislatures and the Electoral College and then the Congress if necessary.” As we reported earlier, Powell asserted that Dominion and Smartmatic are “inexplicably intertwined.” She appeared with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and other members of Trump’s election legal team at a press conference in Washington, D.C., to accuse Democrats of an elaborate plot by his opponents to “rig” voting machines in the presidential.
During that conference, Giulianni said that he “can prove that [Trump] won Pennsylvania by 150,000 votes” and that “the people who did this have committed one of the worst crimes that I’ve ever seen or heard.” The former NYC mayor also said there is a pattern in the voting data that suggests “a plan from a centralized place” to commit voter fraud in Democrat-run cities. At the same time, Powell said President Trump “won by a landslide,” and that their legal team will prove it.
Fox's @KristinFisher: "So much of what Giuliani said was simply not true" pic.twitter.com/TWQVg6byZ1
— Peter Wade (@brooklynmutt) November 19, 2020
“When I saw that she was representing General Mike Flynn, I knew one thing for sure — that he was innocent.”
• I Know Sidney Powell. She Is Telling the Truth (Zmirak)
Back in 2014, I worked freelance for a public relations firm in New York City. It was there that I met an unusual woman. I didn’t know many lawyers or Texans, but I knew better than to chalk up her qualities to either her profession or her home. It’s rare that I encounter someone who I’m afraid to argue with, because of her sheer brain power and towering personal rectitude. But this was such a person. This woman had quite a career behind her. An evangelical Christian, she’d been a federal prosecutor — and quit, outraged at the corruption she saw among her colleagues. She did more than quit. Horrified by prosecutors hiding exculpatory evidence and targeting the innocent because of their personal politics, she became a defense attorney, to help people fight the feds.
But that wasn’t enough. At a huge financial sacrifice, she took time off from her practice to write a book. And self-publish it. And hire a public relations firm to get it out to people, when media ignored it. That book, Licensed to Lie, is absolutely chilling. It shows innocent Americans, even a U.S. Senator such as Ted Stevens of Alaska, unable to defend themselves against prosecutors with vendettas. It recounts how innocent companies, like accounting firm Arthur Anderson, can be broken by biased and dishonest federal prosecutors, and left in ruins. A real-life legal horror story, the book was too disturbing for me to read it through to the end. And its author was Sidney Powell, whom I used to go to lunch with in midtown Manhattan. In retrospect, I feel privileged. I knew she was a powerhouse, but I little suspected what an historic role she would someday play. When I saw that she was representing General Mike Flynn, I knew one thing for sure — that he was innocent.
Sidney’s not one of those lawyers who works for people she thinks are guilty as sin. She wouldn’t have gone on Fox News, and One America, and Newsmax, night after night and coolly laid out his defense in a tone of righteous outrage if this were just some client. Because the abuse of power and perversion of law Sidney witnessed made her more than just some lawyer. It made her a crusader. It made her … Joan of Arc. So watching the press conference with Jenna Ellis, Rudolph Giuliani, and Sidney Powell was different for me than for most. I don’t know Ms. Ellis or Mayor Giuliani, though I don’t suspect that they’re cynical, partisan hacks, as Ross Douthat suggests. Keep in mind that a week before the 2016 election, Douthat tried to suppress the pro-life vote for Trump by comparing a voting for Trump to shooting abortionists on the street. That’s one way to keep a job at The New York Times, I suppose.
“It is too early to dismiss Giuliani’s efforts as a mere clown show.”
• There Is Evidence, Actually (Athey)
Call me crazy for taking the man with hair dye dripping down his cheeks seriously, but I think it would be unfair to dismiss Rudy Giuliani. Amusingly shambolic he may be. That doesn’t mean he is wrong. The media has been claiming since the election ended that President Trump’s claims of voter fraud are ‘baseless’ and ‘without evidence’. That just is not true. The President’s lawyer gave examples of it during today’s press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington DC. But everyone is too busy mocking him to pay attention. I tried to listen to what Giuliani actually said and not what he looked like or the characterization of him by the rest of the media. The cameras started feverishly clicking the first time he wiped the sweat from his face, all but guaranteeing that would be the focus of the presser.
Giuliani did in fact present evidence of voter fraud today but many people simply didn’t want to hear it. He cited multiple Americans, one by name, who have signed sworn affidavits stating that they witness some type of fraud, whether it was pro-Trump ballots being thrown out without cause, ballots being backdated to before the election, poll workers being told not to ask voters for identification, and more. As Giuliani helpfully pointed out, affidavits are considered ‘evidence’ in a court case. Whether you agree or disagree with them is a different question. And it’s reasonable that not all of the people who signed their names would be willing to go public. If you want to hear more of the evidence that was presented, just watch the first hour or so of the press conference.
The more difficult — and crucial — question is whether Trump’s legal team has enough witnesses or other evidence to actually overturn the election in court. That is what journalists should be addressing. But it is simply wrong for the media to assert there is NO evidence of fraud. I felt like I was living in a different reality when we moved into the question-and-answer portion of the presser and reporters repeatedly demanded Giuliani ‘give us the evidence’. Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis was right when she said that ‘court cases take time to build and to try. This is not an episode of Law & Order’. I did not feel entirely satisfied by what was presented at the presser, but I am intrigued enough to want the process to play out properly in court. Any honest American should want the same. This is not a trial by media — we cannot expect a legal team to unveil all of their evidence before they get their day in court. It is too early to dismiss Giuliani’s efforts as a mere clown show.
Tucker Sidney Powell
Tucker Carlson calls on Sidney Powell to release evidence of her claim that votes were moved illegitimately by software from Trump to Biden.
He says he would have given her "the whole hour" on his show but she refused to provide evidence and told them to stop contacting her. pic.twitter.com/Lft18ZZbvq
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 20, 2020
“An unholy union of the National Security State and the neocon-backed and corporate-funded Democratic Party are about to assume power: with media-supported internet censorship a key weapon.”
• The New Ruling Coalition: Opposition to Afghanistan Withdrawal (Greenwald)
The Trump era has engendered numerous fractures, one might say realignments, in the political order. Long-time ideological allies are now adversaries, and long-time political enemies are now in full-fledged coalitions. These shifts are not temporary or Trump-dependent but enduring, because they are grounded in shared core beliefs about the defining debates shaping our new politics and how to consolidate real power: call it the Lincoln Project Syndrome. One major reason for this transformation is a fundamental difference in how to understand Trump: is he the primary author of America’s pathologies or merely a symptom of pathologies which long pre-dated him?
Relatedly: is removing Trump from power a vital step in returning the U.S. to its previous status as a benevolent and law-abiding republic, or is isolating him as the principal cause of the nation’s woes a cynical propaganda tactic for whitewashing the sins of those who are actually responsible so that they can rebuild their reputations and again assume power? Were Trump’s policies some radical, unprecedented aberration from U.S. political tradition or, stylistic quirks aside, a standard continuation of it? How one answers those questions — along with whether one believed that the Kremlin had infiltrated the White House and assumed command of the levers of U.S. power through elaborate blackmail schemes or whether one recognized that this was a CIA-fabricated propaganda fraud excavated from crusty Cold War scripts — determined where one fell on many of the most contentious political debates over the last four years (my answer to all of the questions is the latter choice).
That’s why the millions of Americans who, due to fear of Trump, began paying close attention to politics and consuming news products only in 2016 were such easy marks for peddling fear-mongering narratives and revisionism: because they lacked the crucial historical context in which to place Trump and understand his ascension to the presidency. But there is another critical debate, one that has rarely been conducted explicitly, that is also a key determinant of where one falls in this new alignment: what are the real power centers in the U.S., the ones most responsible for its worst acts and greatest dangers?
There are many places where that answer resides. One can find it right now in the ongoing effort to denounce the Trump White House for attempting to remove troops from Afghanistan, where the U.S. has been fighting and shooting and bombing in a war now about to enter its 20th year. Take a look at who is demanding that those troops remain, and there you will find the real axis of power — all of its component parts — in the United States.
“..at 82 years old he is probably getting impatient about the progress towards his personal vision of ultimate power.”
• The Global Reset Scam (Macleod)
Increasingly, people are beginning to realise that their world is undergoing a period of rapid change, with the future of fiat money now uncertain. For most, it is too difficult to even contemplate. But growing uncertainties are driving wild speculation about what those in authority now have in store for the human race in the form of a global reset. It is a time for conspiracy theorists, aided and abetted by our politicians and central bankers who are being increasingly evasive, because events are spiralling out of their control. Then there is America’s Deep State, or the British equivalent, the more recently christened Blob; an amorphous entity comprised of the permanent bureaucracy with its own agenda. These faceless planners have moved on from merely making ministers’ lives difficult if they deviate from the blob’s predetermined course — immortalised in “Yes Minister” and its sequel series “Yes Prime Minister”.
As we saw with Brexit, The Blob has been rigging political outcomes, even conniving in elections. Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 officer produced a dodgy dossier on Trump to influence the American presidential election in 2016. But there is no such thing as an ex-MI6 Agent because of the Official Secrets Act, so we can only conclude that the intelligence arm of The Blob sanctioned it on a distanced basis. MI6 works with other intelligence agencies under the five-eyes agreement and is close to the CIA. Though they do not necessarily share intelligence, it is impossible to conceive of Steele’s role in influencing the outcome of a US presidential election without the CIA’s knowledge. Almost certainly, the fact that it was commissioned must have been with the CIA’s blessing.
At the time of writing, we do not know the outcome of the current presidential election, but enough doubt has been thrown on the validity of the voting process to implicate unknown parties in managing the outcome. It can never be proved, but for increasing numbers of sceptics it looks like a Deep State operation. It is therefore hardly surprising that conspiracies abound. The most prominent of these conspiracies has hit the headlines in recent weeks. Its ambition is to take the lead in resetting the world by dismantling the capitalist system in favour of a greater technocratic rule — a fourth industrial revolution no less, even planting microchips in humans to read their brains and control them. The leader is one Klaus Schwab, whose World Economic Forum runs the annual Davos bunfight.
As leader of the Davos forum, Schwab probably sees himself as the coordinator of world government. If so, at 82 years old he is probably getting impatient about the progress towards his personal vision of ultimate power. The covid chaos and the success of his climate change agenda must be encouraging him to think he is very close to a breakthrough. Alternatively, we might consider Schwab as a latter-day Charles Fourier (1772—1837), the utopian socialist philosopher, whose forgotten ideals were only marginally more narcissistic and bizarre than Schwab’s.
“..his moves to get into bed with politicians representing a section of Israeli society he has long characterized as the enemy..”
• Netanyahu Seeks To Cement Permanent Rule By Israel’s Far-right (Cook)
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is only weeks away from the scheduled start of his long-awaited corruption trial – the endgame in a series of investigations that have been looming over him for years. As a result, he has been taking extraordinary measures to save his political skin. One of the most surprising is his moves to get into bed with politicians representing a section of Israeli society he has long characterized as the enemy. In recent weeks Netanyahu has been working overtime to prise apart the Joint List, a coalition of 15 legislators in the parliament who represent Israel’s large Palestinian minority. In particular, he has been making strenuous overtures to Mansour Abbas, head of the United Arab List, a conservative Islamic party.
This is a dramatic about-face. Netanyahu’s political trademark over the past five years has been incessant incitement against Israel’s Palestinian minority – one in five of the population. These 1.8 million citizens are the remnants inside Israel of the Palestinian people, the vast majority of whom were ethnically cleansed from their homeland in 1948, in events Palestinians call their Nakba, or Catastrophe. Netanyahu appears to hope that sabotaging the Joint List will offer him short-term help as he seeks to evade his trial. But there may be a longer-term electoral dividend too. Destroying the Joint List, now the third largest party in the Israeli parliament, would remove the main stumbling block on the path to permanent rule by the far-right coalition he dominates.
Israel’s Palestinian parties – like the minority they represent – have always been regarded as illegitimate political actors within a self-declared Jewish state. Israeli politicians, including Netanyahu, regularly depict them as a “fifth column” or “supporters of terror”. The Palestinian parties have never been invited into any of the regular coalition governments that rule Israel. The closest they have been to power was when they propped up the government of Yitzhak Rabin – very much from the outside – in the early 1990s. Even then the arrangement was implemented out of necessity: it was the only way Rabin could get the “Oslo peace process” legislation through the parliament over the opposition of a majority of Jewish legislators.
Not sure what to make of this.
• Comedians Rate Journalist Humor (Taibbi)
The Trump years were supposed to be a golden age for humor in journalism. There were tens of thousands of jokes about Trump. In fact, the grotesque cartoon of the blob in orange with a teeny Mario Kart knoblet — fat Trump in diapers, fat Trump as Jabba the Hut, fat Trump waving ICBMs at Kim Jong-Un and saying, “Mine’s Bigger” — became almost a mandatory element in op-ed pages of major dailies. It was other genres that took a hit. By the weeks before the election, even the New York Times was running features about how Trump “ruined political comedy,” as funny-for-funny’s sake gave way to the humor of political intent. The Times noted that one of the few success stories during the last four years was Trevor Noah of the Daily Show, who got there via “observational humor coupled with declarations of broader progressive values.”
Humor decoupled from Trump or “broader progressive values” grew rarer over the last four years, to the point where the last attempts left involved gentle puns in ledes and headlines, and the occasional apolitical burn by a critic in an inside section. TK sat down with Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman and longtime standup artist Tim Dillon, a regular on the Joe Rogan Show whose eponymous podcast is a hit. Some may recognize Dillon as the comedian who co-piloted a recent Rogan episode with Alex Jones. Asked if there were uncomfortable moments on the show, Dillon explained, “I don’t know that there are comfortable moments.” He laughed. “It’s hard to be funny, because you’ll say something crazy and Alex will just be like, ‘That’s a good point.’”
They’re killing off your culture. You’re being cancelled.
• BBC Edits Out ‘Derogatory’ Words In ‘Fairytale Of New York’ (RT)
The BBC was pilloried online after one of its radio stations decided to start playing an edited version of the beloved Christmas song ‘Fairytale of New York’ out of fear that an old-fashioned lyric would offend young listeners.
The 1987 song was first recorded and performed as a duet between Celtic folk punk band the Pogues and British singer Kirsty MacColl. “We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience,” the BBC said on Thursday. BBC Radio 1, which is mostly geared towards young people, said it will play an edited version of the song because its young listeners are “particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.”
The station further argued that people unfamiliar with the track “would find some of the words stark and not in line with what they would expect to hear on air.” In the lyrics, which are sung in the form of a dialogue between an alcoholic and a heroin addict, the homophobic slur “f****t” will be replaced with “haggard,” while another word will be removed entirely. The Scotsman newspaper reported that the word “slut” will be muted. BBC said its Radio 2 station, which targets a more mature audience, will continue to play the unedited version and “monitor listeners’ views.” The broadcaster’s Radio 6 Music, which specializes in alternative music, will play both versions at the “discretion” of individual DJs.
The track was briefly censored on BBC Radio 1 in 2007, but the station quickly resumed playing the original after receiving complaints from listeners. The decision to edit the song now was likewise widely slammed online as “ridiculous” and “pathetic.”“Like our delicate ears will bleed if the BBC doesn’t save us from hurty words,” one person tweeted. Some called the move “patronising,”arguing that it is not up to the broadcaster to “edit our music and art,” while others blasted the decision as “political correctness gone mad” and said more people were offended by the censorship than the song.
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