Oct 072021
 


M. C. Escher Order and chaos 1950

 

Covid-19 Response and the Tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (Amerling)
Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Integrate Into The Genome (Pnas)
New Lancet Study Confirms Plummeting Vaccine Effectiveness (DS)
GOP Senators Demand More Early Treatment Options For Covid-19 (JTN)
Sweden Halts Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Younger Adults (RT)
And… Here We Go (Denninger)
Covid Commissars Financially Squeezing, Blackballing Dissenting Doctors (JTN)
Ontario Doctor Resigns Over Forced Vaccines And Falsehoods (LSN)
Mandatory Vaccination Is A Human Rights Violation (Spec.au)
Colorado Hospital Set To Deny Kidney Transplant For Unvaxxed Woman (ZH)
That Untraversed Land (Greer)
The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State (Hedges)
Key US Witness Against Assange Arrested in Iceland (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

The protected
https://twitter.com/i/status/1445681587547299851

 

 

Yellow badges

 

 

“If hundreds of thousands of patients die unnecessarily, their doctors will not be held responsible. “I was just following the guidelines” has replaced “I was just following orders.”

Covid-19 Response and the Tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (Amerling)

When the first wave of what was then known as the Wuhan virus hit in March-April 2020, medical attention was almost completely focused on management of the acutely ill patient. This was notable for its very high failure rate, particularly post-intubation. A handful of intrepid doctors, including Zev Zelenko in upstate NY and Didier Raoult in Marseille, France, addressed early outpatient treatment using repurposed existing drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). These physicians achieved remarkable clinical results, but instead of being embraced and emulated, they were censored and harassed. As should now be obvious to even the most naïve, Pharma and other stakeholders had to suppress successful, cheap remedies to pave the way for the rollout of the “vaccines” that were already developed.

How was this accomplished? By using the tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). “These treatments are not evidence-based!” they screamed. “Where are the randomized controlled trials (RCTs)?” they demanded. Kind of hard to have RCT data on a brand new disease, but so what. The authorities had spoken. In their excellent book, Tarnished Gold: The Sickness of Evidence-Based Medicine, Steve Hickey and Hillary Roberts write: “EBM encourages totalitarian medicine. It is displacing the doctor-patient unit as the ultimate decision-making authority. Peer review is used as censorship. EBM is a self-referential closed system, where critical appraisal means checking whether a study conforms to its rules. So-called evidence-based medicine wrongly claims the authority of medical and scientific gold-standards. EBM repackages and uses concepts from legal proof, in an attempt to impose a medical dictatorship.”

EBM is a movement that began in the early 1990s with the noble intention of incorporating high quality research into clinical practice. Over the last 20 years, EBM has steadily replaced traditional medicine, which depended on understanding pathophysiology and pathology (i.e. basic science), along with careful patient management including following response to treatments. EBM was quickly hijacked by industry to promote the use of their products through clinical practice guidelines, which are based on little more than a consensus of “experts,” the majority of whom receive financial support from industry. Ironically, many guideline recommendations are based on low quality, or no evidence.

EBM arrogantly claims for itself the mantle of “science,” but is actually pseudoscientific. It relies heavily on studies of large populations and therefore statistics, which are inherently unreliable and easy to manipulate. The conceit of EBM is that the results of large population studies can and should be used to dictate treatment of individual patients. It exalts metanalyses, statistical compilations of many studies, that can be created to support almost any pre-conceived idea. The vast majority of physicians are unable to understand, let alone deconstruct, the statistics used in most studies. “Evidence” is not science. Evidence can always be found to support any hypothesis, no matter how absurd. Remember that according to the “evidence,” Paul McCartney has been dead since 1966!

Whoever controls the “evidence” controls “the science” and through the bogus and corrupt guideline process, controls clinical practice. EBM creates an arbitrary hierarchy of evidence, with RCTs and metanalyses at the top and clinical experience, insultingly called ‘anecdotes,’ at the bottom. This is absurd on its face. The logical conclusion is that clinical experience is not needed to practice medicine! Just buy a guideline cookbook and go out there and heal! Perhaps that’s where things are headed. Or perhaps we are already there. If hundreds of thousands of patients die unnecessarily, their doctors will not be held responsible. “I was just following the guidelines” has replaced “I was just following orders.”

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Yes, scary. Very.

Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Integrate Into The Genome (Pnas)

Continuous or recurrent positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR tests have been reported in samples taken from patients weeks or months after recovery from an initial infection. Although bona fide reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 after recovery has recently been reported, cohort-based studies with subjects held in strict quarantine after they recovered from COVID-19 suggested that at least some “re-positive” cases were not caused by reinfection. Furthermore, no replication-competent virus was isolated or spread from these PCR-positive patients, and the cause for the prolonged and recurrent production of viral RNA remains unknown. SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-stranded RNA virus.

Like other beta-coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus), SARS-CoV-2 employs an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to replicate its genomic RNA and transcribe subgenomic RNAs. One possible explanation for the continued detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the absence of virus reproduction is that, in some cases, DNA copies of viral subgenomic RNAs may integrate into the DNA of the host cell by a reverse transcription mechanism. Transcription of the integrated DNA copies could be responsible for positive PCR tests long after the initial infection was cleared. Indeed, nonretroviral RNA virus sequences have been detected in the genomes of many vertebrate species with several integrations exhibiting signals consistent with the integration of DNA copies of viral mRNAs into the germline via ancient long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) retrotransposons.

Furthermore, nonretroviral RNA viruses such as vesicular stomatitis virus or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) can be reverse transcribed into DNA copies by an endogenous reverse transcriptase (RT), and DNA copies of the viral sequences have been shown to integrate into the DNA of host cells.

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47% after five months. Better get back in that jab line.

New Lancet Study Confirms Plummeting Vaccine Effectiveness (DS)

A study appeared in the Lancet this week confirming that vaccine effectiveness against infection is fading fast. The study involved 3,436,957 people over the age of 12 who are members of the healthcare organisation Kaiser Permanente Southern California. It sought to assess the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions for up to six months, with a study period covering December 14th 2020 to August 8th 2021. Comparing fully vaccinated to unvaccinated, and controlling for confounders such as prior infection, the researchers found that effectiveness against infection plummeted from 88% (95% confidence interval 86-89%) during the first month after double-vaccination to 47% (43-51%) after five months. The variation by age (depicted above) was largely within the margins of error.

Among sequenced infections, the researchers found vaccine effectiveness against Delta infection was 93% (85-97%) during the first month after double-vaccination but dropped to 53% (39-65%) after four months. Effectiveness against infection from other variants the first month after double-vaccination was 97% (95-99%), but declined to 67% (45-80%) at 4-5 months. Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions for Delta infection held up at around 93% (84-96%) for the six months across all ages. However, the researchers note that the latest data from Israel “suggests that some reduction in effectiveness against hospital admissions has been observed among older people (65 years and over) roughly six months after receiving the second dose of [Pfizer]”.

One question that’s arisen recently is to what extent vaccine effectiveness estimates are affected by whether more people who have been previously infected decide not to be vaccinated. According to this study the answer is: not very much at all. Among the unvaccinated, 2.3% had one or more previous positive PCR tests, only slightly more than the 2% of the double-vaccinated who did.

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“..NIH’s ongoing compassionless guideline of doing virtually nothing until COVID-19 patients are so sick they require hospitalization..”

GOP Senators Demand More Early Treatment Options For Covid-19 (JTN)

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and 21 other Republicans are pressuring the Biden Administration to offer more early treatment options for COVID-19 to the American Public. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have not only ignored potential early treatments, but at times seem to have participated in an aggressive campaign against the use of specific early treatment options,” the group’s letter to officials stated. The letter was addressed to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration.

“Even though a basic tenet of medicine is: early detection allows for early treatment which produces better results; your agencies have overtly discouraged the use of cheap and widely-available early treatments like ivermectin in favor of expensive new drugs like Remdesivir (which costs more than $3,000 per treatment),” the letter said. The group charged that the Administration a “strong bias” against ivermectin and “other potential early treatment drugs.” The letter from the Republican senators comes as the Biden administration started capping how many doses of antibody treatments it would be giving to states.

“We strongly believe you should explain to the American people why your agencies have failed to sufficiently examine and ensure access to a growing list of drugs being used by doctors who have had the courage to ignore NIH’s ongoing compassionless guideline of doing virtually nothing until COVID-19 patients are so sick they require hospitalization,” the group wrote. Sen. Johnson previously held two hearings on early treatment of COVID-19.

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Sweden: people under 30. Denmark: people under 18.

Do they really think no-one will notice?

Sweden Halts Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Younger Adults (RT)

The Swedish Public Health Agency has decided to suspend offering Moderna’s Covid vaccine to anyone born in 1991 and later for precautionary reasons, citing the slightly increased risk of heart inflammation following inoculation. On Wednesday, the agency issued a statement announcing that it will pause dishing out Moderna’s jab, marketed as Spikevax, to people under 30. Instead, the Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech will be offered to this age group. Announcing the suspension, the agency said data pointed to an “increased incidence” of heart inflammation diseases myocarditis and pericarditis – mainly in younger men and adolescent boys – “in connection with vaccination against Covid-19.”


The notice stated that “new preliminary analysis from Swedish and Nordic data sources indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose.” Younger Swedes who have already received their first dose of the paused jab, estimated to be around 81,000 people, will now be unable to receive the second shot of that vaccine as per its usual delivery regimen. The health agency said it was looking for the best alternative to offer this group. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, said that those who have been vaccinated recently, either with their first or second jab, should not worry about the risk, noting that it is very small. He added though that Swedes should be vigilant for symptoms of the two inflammatory conditions. Nordic neighbor Denmark also stopped the use of Spikevax on Wednesday, although only for minors under 18, citing similar concerns of rare side effects such as myocarditis.

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So you take that difference between 18 and 30 years above, and then ask: what age are most people in the army?

And… Here We Go (Denninger)

Ah, the rumor is real. “STOCKHOLM, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Sweden will pause the use of Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for people born 1991 and later after reports of possible rare side effects, such as myocarditis, the Swedish health agency said on Wednesday. The health agency said data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults that had been vaccinated.” That’s anyone under 30 years old. Ok folks, how many people did we screw here in the US with mandates, with “strong recommendations” and similar?


How many businesses, along with all of their directors and officers need to be completely destroyed as a consequence of mandates? Oh, and what percentage of the MILITARY active duty are under 30? Threatened with a dishonorable discharge for refusal to put your cardiac health at risk of permanent harm eh? Note that Sweden previously approved the Moderna shot for anyone over 12. That turns out to be wrong. They claim the risk of being affected is “very small.” Would you quantify “very small” please? No? Gee, why not? Incidentally on the data that we have available the Pfizer jab, which Sweden is still willing to use in young people, also has the same potential adverse effect.

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“[M]erely drawing different conclusions based on consideration of scientific evidence does not render the Vaccine Policy arbitrary and irrational..”

It should make it subject of discussion. And that’s what’s being suppressed.

Covid Commissars Financially Squeezing, Blackballing Dissenting Doctors (JTN)

Medical professionals are facing threats to their careers and livelihoods for challenging COVID-19 orthodoxy, while an oft-censored Harvard Medical School professor is facing his latest Big Tech kerfuffle. The University of California put psychiatrist and bioethics professor Aaron Kheriaty on “investigatory leave” after he sued the university system for refusing to recognize natural immunity such as his among exemptions to its COVID vaccine mandate. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Kheriaty had previously invoked the post-Nazi Nuremberg code in urging universities to abandon their mandates. In his personal newsletter Wednesday, Kheriaty said he’ll lose half his income while on so-called paid leave, because he’s banned from “seeing my patients, supervising resident clinics, and engaging in weekend and holiday on-call duties.”

His contract also bans him from working as a physician outside the UC system to recoup his revenue loss. “The University may be hoping this pressure will lead me to resign ‘voluntarily,’ which would remove grounds for my lawsuit,” Kheriaty wrote. UC’s action came a day after a court refused to issue a preliminary injunction, functionally declaring a draw between each party’s scientific arguments about different forms of immunity and what risk vaccination poses for the recovered. “[M]erely drawing different conclusions based on consideration of scientific evidence does not render the Vaccine Policy arbitrary and irrational,” U.S. District Judge James Selna wrote. Protecting “a campus community of more than half a million students, faculty, and staff from a deadly infectious disease … far outweighs any harm Kheriaty may face” from choosing between vaccination or his job.

The only remaining defendant now is UC President Michael Drake, after Kheriaty agreed to drop the regents this week. The professor disclosed he filed another natural immunity federal lawsuit last week, this time against California’s vaccine mandate for health professionals. Just the News couldn’t find that lawsuit in the docket, and Kheriaty didn’t respond to a request to share it or explain how his investigatory leave may affect his UC lawsuit, such as a new retaliation claim. Canadian physician Charles Hoffe has also lost half his income while under investigation for sharing government data on the COVID recovery rate with patients, who are mostly First Nations members, according to his lawyers at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).

British Columbia’s Interior Health Authority had already warned Hoffe to stop promoting “vaccine hesitancy” after it learned he had been telling colleagues about his patients’ adverse reactions to the Moderna vaccine — one death and nine “disabling long-term side-effects.” A dozen European countries had pulled the AstraZeneca vaccine around that time for its association with blood clots, and Hoffe’s own investigation found “strong evidence” his patients had the same problems. A provincial health official referred Hoffe to a vaccine safety specialist who dismissed his concerns as “coincidences,” according to JCCF.

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How does this improve health care? 1000s of professionals are being thrown out.

Ontario Doctor Resigns Over Forced Vaccines And Falsehoods (LSN)

Dr. Rochagné Kilian recently resigned as an emergency room and family practice physician due to her concerns that the Ontario health system and Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS) crossed ethical lines throughout the pandemic. In a virtual meeting that included GBHS CEO Gary Sims and other staff members, Dr. Kilian asked Sims a series of questions about what she believes is unethical behaviour on behalf of the Ontario health system at all levels. Sims appeared to be unprepared for difficult questions pertaining to the ongoing rollout of vaccination mandates and vaccine segregation restrictions the Ontario heath system is championing. Kilian estimated that 80 percent of the patients she saw in the ER during the past month who had inexplicable symptoms were “double vaxxed.”

Dr. Kilian relocated to Owen Sound – a small city in Grey County, Ontario – from South Africa after previously working in British Columbia. When she resettled in Owen Sound with her family, she expressed to a local paper how happy she was to live there: “Our recruitment to Owen Sound might have been by chance, but our choice to settle here was definitely not. Our four months in Owen Sound have been blessed. A little town with lots of soul, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, filled with welcoming residents and businesses, and exciting festivals, programs and activities. We truly feel fortunate to raise a family here.”

The first issue that Dr. Kilian brought up during the meeting was informed consent regarding the COVID jab and what she considered to be a coercive mentality of pressuring people to accept medications that she pointed out are still in “clinical trials.” An GBHS administrator did not answer her question directly, but instead passed the buck to the provincial government and stated they do not have “oversight or input” regarding consent mechanisms presented to patients. Kilian added that having more input into what patients are consenting to is something that GBHS “should consider,” especially in light of enacting the government-recommended vaccination mandates with their own staff. Referring to informed consent and mandating experimental vaccines that been linked to thousands of deaths and injuries, Sims explained that because of the “pandemic,” certain procedural normalities will not take place.

[..] Dr. Kilian pressed Sims about claims that protocols of informed consent can be skirted due to an emergency, and clarified that the Tri-Council Policy Statement stipulates that an emergency situation does not warrant skirting protocols that protect the population from being put at risk due to medical experimentation. The Tri-Council Policy Statement is a Canadian guideline for the ethical conduct of research involving humans and/or human biological materials. As the vaccinations are still technically under experimental trial, they are being implemented under a research-based framework on the population.

It was Kilian’s opinion that the ethical framework is being ignored, thus health workers and citizens are being forced to take something against their will that is not proven to be safe or effective in the long term, as a result of vaccination mandates. Sims reacted sharply to Kilian and said, “Nobody is forcing you to do this, you have a right to say no, but the reality is the government has the right to say that you’re not employed.” “When the law looks at it, the law is saying you have the right to do it [enforcing vaccine mandates],” he added.

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“Conscription didn’t end because it was a breach of human rights, it ended because the public pressure was just too much.”

Mandatory Vaccination Is A Human Rights Violation (Spec.au)

Mandating or coercing COVID vaccination is one of the most important civil liberties issues of my lifetime. It’s a fundamental breach of human rights allegedly guaranteed by a number of international conventions and Australian law, as well as our long tradition of liberal democracy. Nowhere is the legal case against put more clearly than in a judgment of the Fair Work Commission published on Monday. It says, in a dissenting judgment, that because the vaccines are part of a clinical trial, coercing someone to take them breaches The Nuremburg Code, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Siracusa Principles.

The judgement also holds that vaccine mandates also breach Australian law as the Australian Human Right Commission Act 1986 (Cth) gives effect to Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 7 which provides “…no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation”. So the issue isn’t whether it is a breach, but how great a breach, and whether that will have any practical consequences. In my view, it is in the top tier of breaches – much worse than infringements on free speech, but not as bad as conscripting someone to war (the most serious breach I have seen). Unlike many abuses of human rights, in this case there are physical risks and benefits to taking the vaccines, some of which are “known unknowns”, or perhaps even “unknown unknowns” to borrow Donald Rumsfeld’s taxonomy of knowledge.

However, on “known knowns”, the US CDC estimates, using the VAERS database that the risk of death is .021 per thousand. That would be 525 deaths from the vaccine if everyone in Australia was vaccinated. And for what? We also know that a percentage of those vaccinated will also die from COVID. Another way of measuring the severity is to ask what individual Australians will put at risk to avoid the vax. The answer to that is that thousands have protested on the streets, risking fines in the thousands, and others are about to protest silently by losing their jobs and livelihoods, a price greater than any of the current fines.

What that adds up to one can only guess, but it will be significant, not only to the individuals but to the country as well as expertise is taken out of the system, perhaps never to return. Of particular concern must be that a significant proportion of these are health professionals. This will increase the stress on our hospitals at the moment when they are likely to be hit by a wave of illness from the Delta wave. In the end, the individual will is more important than the legalities. Conscription didn’t end because it was a breach of human rights, it ended because the public pressure was just too much.

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The sheer insanity. Move to a red state?!

Colorado Hospital Set To Deny Kidney Transplant For Unvaxxed Woman (ZH)

Now that vaccines are widely available and 56% of the US population is vaccinated (significantly missing President Biden’s Jul. 4 target of 70%), a little less than half of the country is unvaxxed and subjected to shocking and dehumanizing discrimination, making life very stressful. Across the country, the hot-button subject entering the fall is COVID vaccination passes for restaurants and football stadiums in certain cities, counties, and or even states. This has made life painful for the unvaxxed (as planned by the administration) who can’t go to their favorite eatery or cheer on their favorite sports team. However, the latest discrimination story of an unvaxxed person is terrifying.

A Colorado woman with stage 5 kidney failure is scrambling to find a new hospital because she and her donor are unvaxxed, and the hospital system has given them 30 days to get vaccinated or be taken off the transplant list. UCHealth, a healthcare system headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, adopted new transplant rules requiring patients to be fully vaccinated. “Here I am, willing to be a direct donor to her. It does not affect any other patient on the transplant list,” Jaimee Fougner, Leilani Lutali’s kidney donor, told Colorado-based news station CBS4. “How can I sit here and allow them to murder my friend when I’ve got a perfect kidney and can save her life?” Fougner said.

Lutali received a letter from UCHealth last week explaining she and Fougner had until the end of October to begin the vaccine process, or they would be removed from the transplant list. “I said I’ll sign a medical waiver. I have to sign a waiver anyway for the transplant itself, releasing them from anything that could possibly go wrong,” said Lutali. “It’s surgery, it’s invasive. I sign a waiver for my life. I’m not sure why I can’t sign a waiver for the COVID shot.” In August, UCHealth told Lutali that being vaxxed wouldn’t be a requirement for the surgery. “At the end of August, they confirmed that there was no COVID shot needed at that time,” she said. “Fast forward to Sept. 28. That’s when I found out. Jamie learned they have this policy around the COVID shot for both for the donor and the recipient.”

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“If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude..”

That Untraversed Land (Greer)

I think that in retrospect, the decision to lock down entire societies to stop the coronavirus will end up in the history books as one of the most spectacular blunders ever committed by a ruling class. Partly, of course, the lockdowns didn’t work—look at graphs of case numbers over time from places that locked down vs. places that didn’t, and you’ll find that locking down societies and putting millions of people out of work didn’t do a thing to change the size and duration of the outbreak. Partly, the economic damage inflicted by the lockdowns would have taken years to heal even if the global industrial economy wasn’t already choking on excessive debt and running short of a galaxy of crucial raw materials. But there’s more to it than that.

If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude, in which they can think about what they want out of life and how little of it they’re getting from the role you want them to play. It’s an especially bad idea to do it so that they have no way of knowing when, or if, they will ever be allowed to return to their former lives, thus forcing them to look for other options in order to stay fed, clothed, housed, and the like. (We can set aside the question of vaccine mandates for now—that’s another kettle of fish—but of course those feed into this same effect.)

So there’s a labor shortage, and it’s concentrated in exactly those jobs that are most essential to keeping the economy running. These are also the jobs most likely to have lousy pay and worse conditions. This isn’t accidental. It unfolds from one of the most pervasive and least discussed features of contemporary economic life: the metastatic growth of intermediation. Let’s unpack that phrase a bit. The simplest of all economic exchanges takes place between two people, each of whom has something the other wants. They make an exchange, and both go off happy. If what one of the people brings to the exchange is labor, and the other person brings something the first person wants or needs in exchange for labor, we call that “employment,” and the first person is an employee and the second an employer, but it’s still a simple exchange.

So long as there’s no overt or covert coercion involved on either side, it’s a fair trade. What happens as a society becomes more complex, however, is that people insert themselves into that transaction and demand a cut. Governments—national, local, and everything in between—tax income, sales, and everything else they can think of. Banks charge interest and fees on every scrap of money that passes through their hands. Real estate owners drive up the cost of land so that they can take an ever larger share of the proceeds in rent and mortgage payments. Then you have a long line of other industries lobbying government for their share of the take.

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“He has ordered me to pay millions to Chevron to cover their legal fees in attacking me, and then he let Chevron go into my bank accounts and take all my life’s savings because I did not have the funds to cover these costs. Chevron still has a pending motion to order me to pay them an additional $32 [million] in legal fees..”

The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State (Hedges)

Donziger and his lawyers have two weeks to appeal the judge’s order that Donziger be sent immediately to jail. Preska denied Donziger bail claiming he is a flight risk. If the Federal Court of Appeals turns down Donziger’s appeal he will go to jail for six months. The irony, not lost on Donziger and his lawyers, is that the higher court may overturn Preska’s ruling against him, but by the time that decision is made he will potentially have already spent six months in jail. “What Judge Preska is trying to do is force me to serve the entirety of my sentence before the appellate court can rule,” Donziger told me by phone on Monday. “If the appellate court rules in my favor, I will still have served my sentence, although I am innocent in the eyes of the law.”

Donziger, his lawyers have pointed out, is the first person under U.S. law charged with a “B” misdemeanor to be placed on home confinement, prior to trial, with an ankle monitor. He is the first person charged with any misdemeanor to be held under home confinement for over two years. He is the first attorney ever to be charged with criminal contempt over a discovery dispute in a civil case where the attorney went into voluntary contempt to pursue an appeal. He is the first person to be prosecuted under Rule 42 (criminal contempt) by a private prosecutor with financial ties to the entity and industry that was a litigant in the underlying civil dispute that gave rise to the orders. He is the first person tried by a private prosecutor who had ex parte communications with the charging judge while that judge remained (and remains) unrecused on the criminal case.

“No lawyer in New York for my level of offense ever has served more than 90 days and that was in home confinement,” Donziger told the court. “I have now been in home confinement eight times that period of time. I have been disbarred without a hearing where I have been unable to present factual evidence; thus, I am unable to earn an income in my profession. I have no passport. I can’t travel; can’t do human rights work the normal way which I believe I am reasonably good at; can’t see my clients in Ecuador; can’t visit the affected communities to hear the latest news of cancer deaths or struggles to maintain life in face of constant exposure to oil pollution. In addition, and this is little known, Judge [Lewis A.] Kaplan has imposed millions and millions of dollars of fines and courts costs on me. [Kaplan is the judge for Chevron’s lawsuit against Donziger; Preska is his handpicked judge for the contempt charges.]

He has ordered me to pay millions to Chevron to cover their legal fees in attacking me, and then he let Chevron go into my bank accounts and take all my life’s savings because I did not have the funds to cover these costs. Chevron still has a pending motion to order me to pay them an additional $32 [million] in legal fees. That’s where things stand today. I ask you humbly: might that be enough punishment already for a Class B misdemeanor?”

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“..a “rarely invoked” law that allows police in Iceland to detain someone considered to be in the middle of crime spree..”

Key US Witness Against Assange Arrested in Iceland (Lauria)

A key U.S. witness in the conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge against imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who earlier this year admitted to fabricating evidence he gave to the FBI, has been arrested in Iceland, according to a report in the Icelandic newsmagazine Stundin. Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson was arrested in Reykjavík on Sept. 24 after returning from Spain under a “rarely invoked” law that allows police in Iceland to detain someone considered to be in the middle of crime spree, Stundin reported. Thordarson “was brought before a judge after police requested indefinite detention intended to halt an ongoing crime spree. The judge apparently agreed that Thordarson’s repeated, blatant and ongoing offences against the law put him at high risk for continued re-offending,” Stundin said.

Thordarson admitted in an interview with Stundin last month that he was engaged in ongoing criminal activity. Thordarson admitted in an earlier interview with Stundin in June that he lied to the FBI about Assange directly ordering hacking operations — a key element of the U.S. computer charge against the WikiLeaks founder. Thordarson was granted immunity by the FBI against prosecution in exchange for becoming an FBI informant in a sting against WikiLeaks in 2010. It is not clear if Thordarson recanting his testimony is related to his recent arrest. In his September interview Thordarson said the FBI promised not to reveal to Icelandic authorities any crimes he committed in Iceland in exchange for his cooperation.

Stundin reported: “It is not clear to what extent the Icelandic authorities were informed about these arrangements, if at all. Indeed Thordarson claims he was assured by the FBI that no information would be shared with the Icelandic police about crimes he committed in Iceland, particularly the hacking attempts against Icelandic institutions. Siggi: ‘My worry was that if I told them who was hacked and how, like Landsvirkjun and the government’s website and all that, I would become a target of Icelandic authorities.’ Reporter: ‘Why?’ Siggi: “Eventually I asked if they [Icelandic authorities] would get access to the data I talked about and they [the FBI] just said no, that would never happen. That was the only discussion I had with the FBI about Icelandic authorities.’” But Thordarson also said if he lied to the FBI the immunity deal would be off.

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Celente

 

 

 

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Jun 162021
 
 June 16, 2021  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow II 1916

 

Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA (STD)
WHO ‘Highly Compromised’, Unfit To Lead COVID-19 Investigation – Redfield (ZH)
Sen. Johnson Shares Letter From Grateful Constituent About Ivermectin (JTN)
Biden Aides Lower Expectations Ahead Of Putin Summit (NYP)
Empire Of Clowns Versus Yellow Peril (Escobar)
Bipartisan Support For A Government-backed Digital Dollar (MW)
The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt (Lacalle)
New Study Proves Hawking Was Right, Black Holes Only Get Bigger (RT)
AG Merrick Garland Raises As Many Questions As He Answers (Turley)
Julian Assange: The Man Who Knew Too Much (LAP)

 

 

 

 

Vaccines and infections

 

 

 

 

Gene therapy after all? Talk about scary. And if this doesn’t do it, try watching Dr. Fleming.

Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA (STD)

In a discovery that challenges long-held dogma in biology, researchers show that mammalian cells can convert RNA sequences back into DNA, a feat more common in viruses than eukaryotic cells. Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA. Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division.

The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers therefore noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses — the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand. In a series of elegant experiments, the researchers tested polymerase theta against the reverse transcriptase from HIV, which is one of the best studied of its kind. They showed that polymerase theta was capable of converting RNA messages into DNA, which it did as well as HIV reverse transcriptase, and that it actually did a better job than when duplicating DNA to DNA. Polymerase theta was more efficient and introduced fewer errors when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages, than when duplicating DNA into DNA, suggesting that this function could be its primary purpose in the cell.

Dr. Richard Fleming on mRNA

Read more …

Remind me: why did he leave?

WHO ‘Highly Compromised’, Unfit To Lead COVID-19 Investigation – Redfield (ZH)

The World Health Organization is “highly compromised” and unfit to lead an investigation into the origins of COVID-19, according to former CDC head Robert Redfield. “Clearly, they were incapable of compelling China to adhere to the treaty agreements that they have on global health, because they didn’t do that,” Redfield told Fox News on Tuesday. “Clearly, they allowed China to define the group of scientists that could come and investigate. That’s not consistent with their role.” In March, Redfield told CNN that he doesn’t believe the natural origin theory which posits that COVID-19 jumped from a bat to a human through a yet-to-be determined intermediary species.


“I think they were highly compromised,” Redfield said of the World Health Organization (WHO), which ‘investigated’ the origins of the pandemic in what was nothing more than political theatre conducted by a highly conflicted group – one of whom, Peter Daszak of NGO EcoHealth Alliance, worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and was funded to the tune of millions of dollars by Anthony Fauci’s NIH. Redfield slammed Fauci during the interview, saying that while he supports the lab-leak hypothesis, “Other individuals, Tony Fauci, for example, would say that he prefers to support that it evolved from nature.” “Now, why would that be?” asked Redfield, adding that “sometimes scientists when they bite into a bone on a hypothesis, it’s hard for them to move on.” “I guess if I’m disappointed about anything about the early scientific community it’s that there seemed to be lack of openness to pursue both hypotheses,” he continued.

Read more …

“..I was finally able to connect with a Green Bay doctor that provided my wife real treatment — Ivermectin and other support prescriptions. Within an hour of taking Ivermectin, her headaches were gone..”

Sen. Johnson Shares Letter From Grateful Constituent About Ivermectin (JTN)

Sen. Ron Johnson’s name was invoked on Monday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert during a segment in which Jon Stewart indicated that he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China. “I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science,” Stewart said. “There’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab.” The Wuhan Institute of Virology is located in Wuhan, China. During the segment Colbert invoked the name of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin: “And how long have you worked for Senator Ron Johnson?” Colbert asked.

“This is not a conspiracy,” Stewart said. Johnson tweeted on Tuesday that he enjoyed the pair’s discussion on the show and the lawmaker shared a letter from a constituent who had written to say that Ivermectin greatly helped his wife who had suffered significantly with COVID-19. “@jonstewart @StephenAtHome enjoyed your Late Show Wuhan virus discussion. Since I was mentioned, let me share this email I got from a constituent. Open minds can save lives,” Johnson tweeted. “I am writing today to thank you for your leadership in Wisconsin as it relates to COVID and alternative treatments. My wife and I watched Dr. Pierre Kory testify before the Senate Committee about ivermectin, Dec. 8, 2020, and we were utterly dumbfounded that this treatment was not readily available as treatment and prevention to the general public,” the constituent wrote.

The letter explained that the woman later became ill with COVID-19 in May and suffered significant symptoms. “Her case was quite severe; she will report that she has never experienced the severity of headaches and body aches in her lifetime as well as severe nausea and high temperatures,” the letter noted. “As the days progressed, she grew so weak that she was not able to walk without assistance.” “As her symptoms worsened, I remembered the hearing you hosted and Dr. Kory. Through your leadership on this issue, I was finally able to connect with a Green Bay doctor that provided my wife real treatment — Ivermectin and other support prescriptions. Within an hour of taking Ivermectin, her headaches were gone,” the person told Johnson.

Nasal-spray Ivermectin for C19

Read more …

Less than zero then?

Biden Aides Lower Expectations Ahead Of Putin Summit (NYP)

The White House on Tuesday lowered expectations as President Biden arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — with a senior Biden administration official telling reporters they are “not expecting a big set of deliverables” from the Wednesday talks. Biden’s own tone changed ahead of the meeting when he downplayed past descriptions of Putin as a “killer” who has “no soul” and told reporters Monday at the NATO summit in Belgium that Putin actually is a “worthy adversary” who is “bright” and “tough.” White House officials for weeks said Biden will seek to forge a new understanding with Putin that would allow for a more predictable US-Russia relationship. And Putin aides told reporters they still believe there may be a joint statement.

Biden and Putin are expected to arrive at the meeting site in Geneva around 1 p.m. local time Wednesday. The senior US official said meetings could last four to five hours, but that there will be “no breaking of bread.” Then Putin, followed by Biden, are expected to give solo press conferences, the official said. The lack of a joint press conference will allow Biden to avoid embarrassing moments that make him appear weak or hypocritical. Putin aides suggested he will advocate for the “human rights” of Capitol rioters during the summit. The senior US official said “nothing is off the table” for the talks, which are expected to include discussion of recent cyberattacks against Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods by criminals suspected of living in Russia.

Biden has struggled during press interactions on his first foreign trip, which also included stops in the UK and Belgium, with lengthy pauses and saying he must stop talking lest he “get in trouble” with his press handlers. The Geneva summit is expected to kick off with an initial meeting between Biden and Putin. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and translators also will be in the room, the senior US official said. There’s scheduled to be a brief press availability when Biden and Putin first sit down — though on Monday, the White House scrapped a similar “pool spray” at the start of Biden’s meeting with Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leaving frustrated US reporters dependent on Turkey’s government for information.

[..] Lavrov said ahead of the talks that Putin is prepared to flip the script on Biden if he brings up sensitive issues, such as human rights including the case of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who last year survived poisoning attempts. “We will be ready to answer the questions that the American side will raise. This also applies to human rights,” Lavrov said. “For example, we are following with interest the persecution of those persons who are accused of the riots on January 6 this year.”

Read more …

“..the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total.”

Empire Of Clowns Versus Yellow Peril (Escobar)

It requires major suspension of disbelief to consider the G7, the self-described democracy’s most exclusive club, as relevant to the Raging Twenties. Real life dictates that even accounting for the inbuilt structural inequality of the current world system the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total. Cornwall was at best an embarrassing spectacle – complete with a mediocrity troupe impersonating “leaders” posing for masked elbow bump photo ops while on a private party with the 95-year-old Queen of England, everyone was maskless and merrily mingling about in an apotheosis of “shared values” and “human rights”. Quarantine on arrival, masks enforced 24/7 and social distancing of course is only for the plebs.

The G7 final communique is the proverbial ocean littered with platitudes and promises. But it does contain a few nuggets. Starting with ‘Build Back Better’ – or B3 – showing up in the title. B3 is now official code for both The Great Reset and the New Green Deal. Then there’s the Yellow Peril remixed, with the “our values” shock troops “calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms” with a special emphasis on Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The story behind it was confirmed to me by a EU diplomatic source, a realist (yes, there are some in Brussels). All hell broke loose inside the – exclusive – G7 room when the Anglo-American axis, backed by spineless Canada, tried to ramrod the EU-3 plus Japan into an explicit condemnation of China in the final communiqué over the absolute bogus concentration camp “evidence” in Xinjiang.

In contrast to politicized accusations of “crimes against humanity”, the best analysis of what’s really going on in Xinjiang has been published by the Qiao collective. Germany, France and Italy – Japan was nearly invisible – at least showed some spine. Internet was shut off to the room during the really harsh “dialogue”. Talk about realism – a true depiction of “leaders” vociferating inside a bubble. The dispute essentially pitted Biden – actually his handlers – against Macron, who insisted that the EU-3 would not be dragged into the logic of a Cold War 2.0. That was something that Merkel and Mario ‘Goldman Sachs’ Draghi could easily agree upon.

Read more …

Presented as defending your privacy …

Bipartisan Support For A Government-backed Digital Dollar (MW)

Members of a House Financial Services Committee task force largely expressed support for experiments to create a digital form of the U.S. dollar, citing the need to keep pace with China and to enable a larger swath of the U.S. population to access the digital economy, during a hearing Tuesday morning. Neha Narula, the director of MIT’s Digital Currency Project, explained to the committee the benefits of a digital dollar, describing the U.S. electronic payment system as suffering from “high fees and limited access” because it has not evolved fast enough to keep pace with the demand for online digital payments.

Narula, whose group is collaborating with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to study a potential Fed-backed digital dollar, added that while private cryptocurrencies may evolve to solve these problems, they also present risks including “the immaturity of the technology and its ability to provide widely available, highly secure and scalable payment transactions.” That’s why, according to Narula, that dozens of central banks across the globe, including the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China, are experimenting with digital forms of their own currencies. Warren Davidson of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the task force, was quick to embrace Narula and the other panelists’ support for designing a digital dollar with consumer privacy as a major priority.

“I’m very encouraged about this dialogue…and by your passion for privacy.” Davidson told the panel. “If we get this structure right, we can really move past this sad part of American history where Americans essentially surrendered their privacy in the late 1960s, early ’70s with respect to financial matters.” Davidson was referring to the the so-called third-party doctrine, which was developed by a series of Supreme Court cases in the ’60s and ’70s and says that citizens do not have a legal right to privacy with respect to information that a person willingly gives to a third party, including banks and other financial firms. A digital dollar has the potential to protect the financial privacy in a way that private companies do not, he said.

Read more …

“A minimum global corporate tax. Why not an agreement on a maximum global public spending?”

The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt (Lacalle)

Historically, meetings of the largest economies in the world have been essential to reach essential agreements that would incentivize prosperity and growth. This was not the case this time. The G7 meeting agreements were light on detailed economic decisions, except on the most damaging of them all. A minimum global corporate tax. Why not an agreement on a maximum global public spending?

Imposing a minimum global corporate tax of 15 percent without addressing all other taxes that governments impose before a business reaches a net profit is dangerous. Why would there be a minimum global corporate tax when subsidies are different, some countries have different or no VAT rates (value added tax), and the endless list of indirect taxes is completely different? The G7 “commit to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights, with market countries awarded taxing rights on at least 20 percent of profit exceeding a 10 percent margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises.” This entire sentence makes no sense, opens the door to double taxation and penalizes the most competitive and profitable companies while it has no impact on the dinosaur loss-making or poor-margin conglomerates that most governments call “strategic sectors.”

The global minimum corporate tax is also a protectionist and extractive measure. The rich nations will see little negative impact from this, as they already have their governments surrounded by large multinationals that will not suffer a massive taxation blow because subsidies and tax incentives before net income are large and generous. According to PWC’s Paying Taxes 2020, profit taxes in North America already stand at 18.5 percent but, more worryingly, total tax contributions including labor and other taxes reach 40 percent of revenues. In the EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association), profit taxes may be somewhat smaller than in North America, but total taxation remains above 39 percent of revenues.

Some politicians mention corporate technology giants as the ones that pay no taxes and use an effective tax rate where they put together loss-making companies with those making a profit thus reaching an artificially low effective tax rate. Technology giants will not pay more under this new agreement, because their taxable base will not change, their profit and loss account will remain similar and, more importantly, the deductions on large investments, which are the cause of their apparently small tax payments, will not change either.

Read more …

“..entropy or disorder can’t decrease over time..”

New Study Proves Hawking Was Right, Black Holes Only Get Bigger (RT)

Physicists have said that they have proven, by analyzing gravitational waves from space, a theory developed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s, which states that black holes cannot decrease in surface area over time. In a study published on Monday, scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cornell University shared their findings from a research project which analyzed ripples in spacetime created by two black holes that spiraled inward and eventually merged into one bigger black hole. The ripples studied were the first gravitational waves ever identified, detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in 2015. Splitting the gravitational wave data into time segments before and after the black holes merged, the researchers calculated the surface areas of the black holes in both periods.


The physicists found that the surface area of the new black hole was actually greater than the two initial black holes combined. The finding confirms a prediction made by famed scientist, Stephen Hawking, in the 1970s, in which he stated that black holes cannot decrease in surface area as it mirrored a rule in physics, that entropy or disorder can’t decrease over time. Hawking’s law states that the surface area of the black hole won’t increase on its own, but when things enter it, it gains mass and correspondingly its surface area increases. While incoming objects can make the black hole spin, which decreases surface area, the size increase due to the additional mass will always be greater than the size lost to spinning.

Read more …

Turley defends Assange.

AG Merrick Garland Raises As Many Questions As He Answers (Turley)

In his testimony before Congress, Garland stressed that he intends to create new protections for the media to allow “journalists to go about their work disclosing wrongdoing and error in the government. That is part of how you have faith in the government, by having that transparency.” But what is a journalist? Does it include bloggers or citizen journalists? There is general agreement that this is a case of investigative journalism. After all, Pro Publica has won six Pulitzer Prizes and bills itself as a nonprofit investigatory group committed to exposing “abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.”

That sounds a tad familiar. WikiLeaks was founded as a nonprofit “to bring important news and information to the public … to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.” In 2013, WikiLeaks was declared by the International Federation of Journalists to be a “new breed of media organization” that “offers important opportunities for media organizations” through the publication of such nonpublic information. If Garland is going to implement protections for the media in the use of leaked material, he will have to address the continued prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the DOJ. The Justice Department is still fighting to extradite Assange. It is using the same tactic that was used in the Rosen case by treating Assange not as a journalist but as a criminal co-conspirator.

DOJ insists that Assange played an active role in his correspondence with and advice to the hacker. Yet, Assange would not be the first journalist to work with a whistleblower who is prospectively or continuing to acquire nonpublic information. I have previously written about the Assange case as potentially the most important press freedom case in 300 years. (For full disclosure, I also advised the legal team of Julian Assange in England on our criminal justice system and the free press protections under the Constitution.) Both Pro Publica and WikiLeaks could claim that these disclosures serve the public interest. Pro Publica wanted to expose an unfair tax system. WikiLeaks wanted to expose how public figures were lying to the public on subjects ranging from foreign wars to campaign issues.

Both the rights of free speech and the free press require bright lines to flourish. For the free press, one bright line is to bar reverse engineering in leak investigations and the targeting of publishers or recipients of information in the media or Congress. Another is to require a higher showing (and higher authorization) for any searches of the records of journalists. That, however, will take us inevitably to the questions that the government and frankly some in the media have avoided for years. What is a journalist, and what to do with Julian Assange?

Read more …

… and shared what he knew…

Julian Assange: The Man Who Knew Too Much (LAP)

Millions viewed the “Collateral Murder Tape” online, as well as interviews with one of the soldiers who rescued the children – Ethan McCord recounts how it impacted him, and the wider PTSD forever wars inflict on our soldiers. In our fog of war reliable count of the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan remains elusive. Those who prefer such dark reveals remain buried see Assange as someone to destroy. US military budgets remain on crescendo. The world’s top five arms dealers, and twelve of the top twenty-five, are American. Assange is bad for business. “Someone’s not going to like this” was predictable. Assange stepped into the crosshairs of fame, targeted by powerful disinformation systems.

Politicians and media pundits, some of the latter still joined at the hip with America’s military/intelligence/industrial complex, chimed in. Some called Assange a traitor – never mind he’s Australian – and high tech terrorist, even calling for his assassination. So dark was the picture painted that even sympathetic writers feel obliged to begin with “Whatever you think of Assange…” When Wikileaks revealed the DNC gamed the 2016 Democratic Party primaries, the punditry judged democratic derailments not newsworthy when the higher good was resistance to Trump. Media ran faster with narratives ripping Assange than questioning or correcting them.

Claiming Assange is outside publishing boundaries is a conceit that who, what, when, where, why and how requires formal training, or an official imprimatur. Never mind the international journalism awards Wikileaks quickly garnered, the uncovered bedrock for important stories that enabled accolades to news organizations building on Wikileaks revelations. A decade ago Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed government lies about the Vietnam War by leaking the Pentagon Papers, told me government’s objective going after him was a UK-styled Official Secrets Act that undermines First Amendment protections. Beyond criminalizing leaking classified materials, it would criminalize seeking and publishing them.

Read more …

 

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Oct 192019
 
 October 19, 2019  Posted by at 7:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Landscape With the Rest on the Flight into Egypt 1647

 

Hmm, energy. Is it a good idea I be drawn back into the subject? We used to do so much on the topic, Nicole Foss and I, in the first years of The Automatic Earth, and before that at the brilliant Oil Drum, where we had all those equally brilliant oil professionals to guide us on. So why revisit it? Well, for one thing, because a friend asked.

And for another because things -may have – changed over the past 15 years or so. Not that I think the peak oil idea, which is that we reached the peak in 2005 or so, changed. Yeah, unconventional oil, shale, fracking etc., came about, but that has nothing to do with peak oil. Just look at the EROEI (energy return) you get from shale. You go from 100:1 to, if you’re lucky, 5:1. You can’t build a complex society on that.

It’s not an accident that shale oil firms are going broke all over; even ultra low interest rates can’t save them. But all that still doesn’t come close to scratching the surface of our energy -or oil, for that matter.- conundrum.

 

I’ve never understood what the idea behind the Extinction Rebellion is. Or, you know, that they know what they’re talking about. Do they know the physics?

The general idea, yeah, but not how they aim to reach their goals. Far as I can tell, it’s about less CO2 -and methane, supposedly- emissions, but I don’t get how they want to achieve that. I’ve read some but not all of their theories, and it’s not obvious. It feels like they want less of various things, only to replace them with something else. Like they think once oil is gone, you can put wind and solar in its staid, and off we go. Tell me how wrong I am. Please do.

I have the same with the various Green New Deals. What do they want? How do they aim to achieve their lofty goals? I looked at the Wikipedia page for a Green New Deal, and it tells me it’s an American thing, “invented” recently by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and some other people. But I know that’s not true, because other people had the same idea with the same name in the UK 10-12 years ago.

And then Yanis Varoufakis also has a thing he labels “Green New Deal”, a global one no less, but in a recent article, I didn’t get many specifics of that either.

Let’s go with AOC and friends’ points as Wikipedia lists them:

“Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”

What’s not to love?

“Providing all people of the United States with (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”

I’m in.

“Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States.”

Sure, Why only the US though?

“Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

Now, wait, there are no zero-emission sources. And none that are fully renewable.

“Repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible.”

Okay, yeah. But what does “The Infrastructure” mean? Is that just power lines, or does it include all roads, highways etc.?

“Building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and smart power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity.”

Right. Great. Sounds good. Where would the electricity come from, though? From so-called zero-emission sources., which don’t exist?

“Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.”

Not sure I like the term “Electrification” in there, but yeah, bring it on. The term “Upgrading” is not what we use, however, we say “Retrofitting”.

“Overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.”

Now you’re getting serious. But what does this mean? We already covered the zero-emission thing, that’s obvious nonsense, but how about public transportation? Do you envision closing down cities to cars? Or do you actually think electric cars are zero emission? Alternatively, do you know they’re not but you use the word regardless?

“Spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible.”

Sure, if you want to clean up your environment, “Spurring Massive Growth” is just what you want to hear. Good lord.

“Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

Call me nuts, and I have no reason to believe you haven’t already, but the no.1 thing that has to vanish from US Ag is not pollution or emissions but the chemicals used to kill all other life so that your lettuce can grow. And don’t get me started on antibiotics or the creatures they are used on.

 

That, Green New Deal, may be your biggest fault line. But you know, overall, you give me the idea that you don’t understand the territory you’re operating in. You’re just saying stuff that you think people will believe in and follow. Like Trump or Hillary or any politicians do.

 

Best rest assured, we haven’t even started yet. There’s still the trifle little matter of how all systems, all organisms, deal with energy (sources). Now, according to Alfred J. Lotka and Howard T. Odum, in what they and others have labeled the 4th law of Thermodynamics, all systems and organisms of necessity (DNA/RNA driven) seek to maximize their use of energy, for pure survival reasons: the one that’s most efficient in its ability to exploit and utilize -external- energy sources will survive. (another word for this is: Life)

And then you say you must use less energy? Or you want to shift from oil to energy sources with less density, like solar or wind? Be careful, because this says you’re putting your odds of survival at risk.

This is what my teacher Jay Hanson, who tragically died earlier this year before I ever had the chance to meet him, said about this in 2013:

Today, when one observes the many severe environmental and social problems, it appears that we are rushing towards extinction and are powerless to stop it. Why can’t we save ourselves? To answer that question we only need to integrate three of the key influences on our behavior: 1) biological evolution, 2) overshoot, and 3) a proposed fourth law of thermodynamics called the “Maximum Power Principle” (MPP). The MPP states that biological systems will organize to increase power generation, by degrading more energy, whenever systemic constraints allow it.

Biological evolution is a change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. Individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic (DNA/RNA, etc.) material from one generation to the next.

“Natural selection” is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and drift. Natural selection explains the appearance of design in the living world, and “inclusive fitness theory” explains what this design is for. Specifically, natural selection leads organisms to become adapted as if to maximize their inclusive fitness. The “fittest” individuals are those who succeed in generating more power and reproducing more copies of their genes than their competitors.

You’re in tricky territory, guys. Reversing the history of (wo)mankind or the system that gave birth to her/him is not easy. Perhaps not impossible, but certainly very hard. You’d have to go against the DNA/RNA embedded in you, and then rephrase it at a molecular level. Like you all, I have certain -perhaps illogical- hopes that it can be done, but my hopes are not high. How do you beat nature? And would you really want to if you could?

There’s so much more to say on the topic of energy, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave it at this for now. I’ll get back to it soon. Of course I understand that the jump from Greta and AOC to “Maximum Power Principle” is a big one, but for some people perhaps that’s just what they need. And for others it’s not, I get that. But it’s still what it is.

 

Note: nowhere in the Green New Deal et al do I see that we should do less, use less, move less, but shouldn’t that be the no.1 priority? Build gadgets, cars, homes, cities, that use much less energy? Retrofit everything to use 90% less energy?

The thing about that is, however, that it appears to violate the Maximum Power Principle. See what I’m getting at?