Dec 032022
 


Salvador Dali Neo-Cubist Academy (Composition with Three Figures) 1926

 

Elon Musk Releases THE TWITTER FILES (ZH/Taibbi)
Russia’s Lavrov Repeats: US is Participant in War (Celente)
Russia Withdraws From The Western Project (Khramchikhin)
Stop the Empire’s War on the World (Batiushka)
The Bleak Reality Of Service With Ukraine’s ‘International Legion’ (Livshitz)
Finland PM Sanna Marin Says Europe Is ‘Not Strong Enough’ Without The US (G.)
Russian Strikes In Ukraine ‘A Response,’ Putin Tells Scholz (RT)
Scholz Wants Post-conflict ‘Agreements’ With Russia (RT)
The Goldilocks War (Dmitry Orlov)
EU’s Oil Cap May Result In ‘Violent’ Price Spikes – The Economist (RT)
NATO’s Handling Of Ukraine Crisis May End In Disaster – Clare Daly (RT)
Switzerland Considers Electric Vehicle Ban To Avoid Blackouts (OP)
Trudeau Denounces China for its Failure to Allow Covid Protests (Turley)
Rand Paul: Fauci Caused 7 Million People To Die (SN)
Edward Snowden Awarded Russian Passport (Az.)

 

 

 

 

Yoel Roth

 

 

 

 

Suddenly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1598569139630739456

 

 

 

 

Tucker Malhotra

 

 

 

 

Elon Musk gave the files to Matt Taibbi, who turned them ito a 42-tweet thread. More to come. James Woods is gold.

Elon Musk Releases THE TWITTER FILES (ZH/Taibbi)

The release was telegraphed one week ago, when Musk acknowledged that revealing Twitter’s internal discussions surrounding the censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 US election is “necessary to restore public trust.” Recall that the Post had its Twitter account locked in October 2020 for reporting on the now-confirmed-to-be-real “laptop from hell,” which contained still-unprosecuted evidence of foreign influence peddling through then-Vice President Joe Biden – including a 2015 meeting with an executive of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma. Users who tried to share the link to the article were greeted with a message saying, “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.”

Then, days after Musk’s tweet, Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth, admitted it was a ‘mistake’ to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story. In his first public appearance since becoming an ex-employee, Roth suggested that the Hunter Biden laptop story was simply ‘too difficult’ for Twitter to verify. Alternatively, the company could have perhaps simply trusted the Post, one of America’s oldest publications that doesn’t have a reputation for fabricating bombshell stories – like Twitter does with countless anonymous bombshells from other major publications. “We didn’t know what to believe. We didn’t know what was true. There was smoke,” Roth said during an interview at the Knight Foundation conference, as noted by the Epoch Times. “And ultimately for me, it didn’t reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content from Twitter.”

“It set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 ‘hack and leak campaign’ alarm bells,” he said, referring to a notorious team of cyberspies affiliated with Russian military intelligence. “Everything about it looked like a hack and leak.” When asked whether if it was a mistake to censor the story, Roth replied, “In my opinion, yes.” Would Roth have suppressed the story if it was a Don Jr. laptop full of incriminating evidence?

Finally, it will be very interesting to see which “independent”, “impartial” and “objective” members of the Mainstream Media cover the Twitter Files, which unlike all that Russia collusion bullshit, was a real and actionable attempt to interfere with US democracy by covering up one of the most explosive political stories of a generation, not to mention an event that would have swayed the 2020 presidential election.

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WWIII.

Russia’s Lavrov Repeats: US is Participant in War (Celente)

Russia’s top diplomat said Thursday what The Trends Journal has been saying for months: that the U.S. and NATO are parties to the Ukraine War by providing intelligence, weapons, and training to keep the war going in hopes Moscow emerges a weaker country. Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, told reporters in a video call that it was inaccurate to say that the U.S. and NATO are not “taking part in this war.” “You are directly participating in it,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “And not just by providing weapons but also by training personnel. You are training their military on your territory, on the territories of Britain, Germany, Italy and other countries.”

The U.S. and NATO allies have been pumping Ukraine’s military with an historic amount of artillery. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a former Raytheon board member, told reporters early in the war that it is his hope “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” In September, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council and the former Russian president, has been critical of NATO’s nearly unlimited support for Ukraine’s war effort. He said it is inevitable that the “military campaign” in Ukraine will move to another level if the support continues. Medvedev took to Telegram and said eventually “everything will catch fire.”

He said the West is intent on weakening Russia by proxy and won’t be able to sit it out. Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, told state television that Moscow has “repeatedly warned the U.S. about the consequences that may follow if the U.S. continues to flood Ukraine with weapons,” The Associated Press reported in September.

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“The West still has some purely quantitative advantage over today’s Russia in the living standards and quality of life, but even that can be claimed only with very large reservations.”

Russia Withdraws From The Western Project (Khramchikhin)

Half a century ago, the West, with its classical democracy, was qualitatively superior to the then Soviet Union in all respects – both in terms of the living standards and quality of life, and in terms of democratic freedoms (competitive elections, real pluralism of opinions, equality of all before the law). If a Soviet person had the opportunity to emigrate, only two things could stop them – patriotism (in relation to the country and its culture, and not to the system) or sincere adherence to communist ideology (although there has been no smell of communism in the USSR for a long time). Today the situation has changed radically. The West still has some purely quantitative advantage over today’s Russia in the living standards and quality of life, but even that can be claimed only with very large reservations.

As far as the level of democratic freedoms is concerned, the West and we have now became practically equal, and in some ways, perhaps, we even surpassed the West. Therefore, today there are only two rational reasons for emigration – the guaranteed availability of a well-paid job in the West, or a fanatical adherence to the left-liberal ideology with its tolerance, the cult of “identities” and such things as the “cancellation culture” that have nothing to do with the real democracy. So, the Western model (even if taken independently of the current state of relations with the West) can no longer serve as a model or guide for Russia, thus reconciliation with the West becomes meaningless. At the same time, the reconciliation also became impossible due to the intellectual degradation of the Western political elites (which we will discuss later), due to their feminization and a significant presence of the representatives of sexual minorities.

Who are, in fact, hired according to the quotas – as it was practiced in the USSR for workers and peasants. Feminists and the representatives of sexual minorities make negative contribution to the politics of those states where they are allowed into the power structures. Moreover, all such people view Russia not so much as a geopolitical, but as an ideological adversary, reconciliation with whom is fundamentally impossible.In addition, the West has absolutely inadequately assessed its “victory” in the Cold War, assuming Russia was a country which lost and which has to to acknowledge its defeat and live with that knowledge forever, giving up protection of its national interests.

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“One of the reasons for centuries-old Russophobia, the Western elites’ unconcealed animosity toward Russia, is precisely the fact that we did not allow them to rob us during the age of colonial conquests..”

Stop the Empire’s War on the World (Batiushka)

For millennia, civilisations have lived side by side. As we have said, they have from time to time spontaneously clashed and clashed violently about ethnic identity, territory and resources. However, Western Civilisation is quite unique. Western Civilisation, which has basically existed for a thousand years (meaning that it is quite recent in comparative historical terms) is the only one which claims to be unique and which has consistently implemented its supposed infallibility and resulting intolerance on a systematic and institutionalised basis via organised violence throughout its millennial existence. Thus, we had the First Crusade (1096-1099), which began by massacring and robbing Jews in the Rhineland and then went on to massacre Orthodox Christians and Muslims, shedding blood, which flowed up to their knees in what they claimed to be the ‘holy’ city of Jerusalem. Should we mention the Inquisition or the Spanish and Portuguese atrocities in what we now call Latin America?

Of course, in fairness, we cannot avoid mentioning the Protestant-Catholic European ‘Wars of Religion’ (sic), in which millions died. The Protestant sects also fought with each other, no doubt in order to prove which was the nastiest-minded and most bigoted. The Protestants, not the Catholics, had witch-hunts, in which they burned to death thousands of poor women, old and young. This was a form of social bullying of those who were in some way different. The Protestants went on to massacre the natives of North America and park the survivors in concentration camps, which they elegantly masked under the name of ‘reservations’ and enslave millions of Africans to work in their labour camps, which they called ‘plantations’. After all, ‘Arbeit macht frei’, ‘Work makes you free’. Though not if you are white, which is why you kindly allow non-whites to work for you.

Much of the witch-hunting goes back to the Protestant hatred and fear of women and so its obsession with sex (‘the only sin’), which it directly inherited from Papacy-imposed obligatory clerical celibacy in eleventh- and twelfth-century Western Europe. Today the old Puritanism of persecuting women has been transformed into the ‘green’ movement. Here, instead of abstention from sexual uncleanness, we now have the equally fanatical abstention from material uncleanness, sexual purity is replaced by environmental purity – ‘green is clean’, the only sin is not recycling. This is just the new Puritanism of such as the clearly clinically depressed and neurotic Greta ‘Funberg’. (What a laugh she is; it must be the dark Swedish nights). However, the ultimate deviation is the legitimisation of homosexuality: what could be more woman-hating than sodomy?

The great difference between the West and all other civilisations is its unique intolerance because it is convinced that it is infallible. (Papal infallibility may have been dogmatised only in the nineteenth century, but it had already been proclaimed by Hildebrand/Gregory VII in the eleventh century). The West has to impose. Conversely, President Putin accepts all, as did the USSR, as did the Russian Tsars. Listen again to two parts of his speech on 30 September this year: ‘What, if not racism, is the West’s dogmatic conviction that its civilisation and neoliberal culture is an indisputable model for the entire world to follow? ‘You’re either with us or against us’…. One of the reasons for centuries-old Russophobia, the Western elites’ unconcealed animosity toward Russia, is precisely the fact that we did not allow them to rob us during the age of colonial conquests and we forced the Europeans to trade with us on mutually beneficial terms. This was achieved by creating a strong centralised State in Russia, which grew and got stronger on the basis of the great moral values of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, as well as Russian culture and the Russian world that were open to all’.

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“..the greatest mystery of all is why he was hired by the International Legion in the first place, let alone sent to the front line on his very first outing..”

The Bleak Reality Of Service With Ukraine’s ‘International Legion’ (Livshitz)

It’s been confirmed that Trent Davis, a 21-year-old US citizen who travelled to Ukraine to fight in the International Legion, has been killed in combat. The tenth American known to have met their end in the conflict, his premature death highlights the enormous dangers facing foreigners joining Kiev’s fight. Davis was an army veteran, having enlisted at just 17. However, he had no actual combat experience, having served as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defense specialist, before leaving in December 2021. He reportedly travelled to Ukraine in March to join the Georgian Legion, a unit so notorious for executing Russian prisoners of war that even the Western media has been forced to acknowledge its savagery. The foreign mercenaries, however, considered Davis incompetent and insufficiently experienced to take part in hostilities, so he was sent home two months later.

Davis returned in October, and two weeks later was overjoyed to inform his mother that he had signed a contract and was now officially part of the International Legion, created on 26 February by Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to attract foreign fighters. “Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians,” Zelensky said in a statement at the time, in which he eased visa restrictions to facilitate their arrival. Davis told his mother he would soon be heading out to fight in a counteroffensive in the south of Ukraine. His mother and father never heard from their son again. On 8 November, he was killed on his very first mission, as Ukrainian forces attempted to recapture Kherson.

The details of how Davis died are murky, although the greatest mystery of all is why he was hired by the International Legion in the first place, let alone sent to the front line on his very first outing. Officially at least, combat experience – which he of course lacked – and a “belief in freedom and democracy” are the basic requirements for enlistment in the unit. When contacted by the Military Times, the International Legion declined to comment on why Davis was sent to the front, only remarking that “recruiting decisions are made by officers in western Ukraine,” and amazingly alleging: “no commander takes on inexperienced soldiers who did not have the appropriate training and skills.” Clearly, a commander did in respect of Davis. And there is no reason to believe he is in any way unique.

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Poor girl.

Finland PM Sanna Marin Says Europe Is ‘Not Strong Enough’ Without The US (G.)

Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin has called for Europe to build its own defence capabilities in the wake of the war in Ukraine, saying that without US help it is not resilient enough. “We should make sure that we are stronger,” Marin said in Sydney on Friday. “And I’ll be brutally honest with you, Europe isn’t strong enough. We would be in trouble without the United States.” Her remarks came in response to a question about China’s responsibility to “rein in Russia”. Marin said that while China could play a role, “We shouldn’t only rely on that.” Marin insisted Ukraine must be given “whatever it takes” to win the war, adding that the United States had been pivotal in supplying Kyiv with the weapons, finance and humanitarian aid necessary to blunt Russia’s advance.

“We have to make sure that we are also building those capabilities when it comes to European defence, the European defence industry, and making sure that we could cope in different kinds of situations,” she said. Marin said that when Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, the priority of most Finns changed “overnight” to security. Until Russia invaded Ukraine, Finland’s priorities were to have working bilateral relations with Russia and be close partners with members Nato, but not be a member, she said. “That was the best way to secure our nation.” Finland and Sweden applied to join the alliance in May, but are waiting on Turkey and Hungary to ratify their requests, which have been approved by the other 28 nations in the group.

In June, Putin warned that if Nato installed military infrastructure in Finland and Sweden, Moscow “would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us”. Asked what the likeliest scenario was in terms of threats posed by Russia to Finland, with which it shares a 1,300km border, Marin said: “We have extensive military forces, so we’re not expecting them to engage in that account and we’re not seeing any military action near the Finnish border.” “But of course we are prepared for different kind of hybrid attacks that we might see.” “We are preparing for different kinds of cyber-attacks … we’re preparing for different kinds of hybrid attacks, for misinformation.”

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Scholz is a mental midget representing a once great nation.

Russian Strikes In Ukraine ‘A Response,’ Putin Tells Scholz (RT)

Russian precision attacks against Ukrainian infrastructure are a necessary response to Ukrainian sabotage on Russian soil, including the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, President Vladimir Putin has told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The two leaders spoke on the phone on Friday at Berlin’s request, according to a statement released by the Kremlin. Putin explained the logic behind Russia’s military operation against Ukraine and stated that the Western policy of arming and training Ukrainian troops was “destructive,” according to the readout. “It was noted that the Russian Armed Forces had been refraining from conducting precision missile strikes on certain targets in the Ukrainian territory for a long time, but now such measures have become necessary and unavoidable as a reaction to Kiev’s provocative attacks on Russian civilian infrastructure, including the Crimean Bridge and energy facilities,” the Kremlin said.

The “terrorist attack” against the Nord Stream undersea pipelines “stands in the same category” and requires a transparent investigation that would include Russia, Putin told the German leader. Scholz’s office said the conversation lasted for about an hour and that the “chancellor condemned the Russian airstrikes against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and stressed Germany’s determination to support” Kiev. Russia changed its military tactics in Ukraine days after a powerful bomb damaged the Crimean Bridge in early October. Russian investigators accused Ukrainian military intelligence of masterminding the attack, which killed three people, including the driver of the truck that carried the disguised bomb.

In retaliation, Russian forces started targeting Ukrainian energy facilities, which the Defense Ministry believes to be instrumental for Kiev’s military logistics. The damage forced Ukrainian authorities to introduce rolling blackouts. The Ukrainian government and its Western backers accused Moscow of using terrorist tactics. The blasts that damaged the two undersea Nord Stream pipelines happened in late September, severing links that would have enabled Germany to get natural gas directly from Russia. Moscow said the obvious beneficiary of the sabotage was the US, which had long sought to force Berlin to reduce its energy trade with Russia and replace Russian fuel with more expensive liquified natural gas produced by American companies.

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Parroting Biden, he wants Russia to leave Ukraine and THEN talk. Never going to happen.

Scholz Wants Post-conflict ‘Agreements’ With Russia (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has declared that peace in Europe depends on the revival of post-Cold War security agreements with Russia. Despite his apparent willingness to work with Moscow in the future, Scholz ruled out a return to the “partnership” of the past. “We have to go back to the agreements which we had in the last decades and which were the basis for peace and security order in Europe,” Scholz said at the Berlin Security Conference on Wednesday, according to a Times report. The chancellor explained that there was a “willingness” in Berlin to discuss arms control and missile deployment treaties with Moscow, but that building this “peace order” would depend on Russia making some significant concessions. Chief among these would be an acceptance that “there is no aggression coming from NATO.”

Moscow has argued since the 1990s that the eastward expansion of NATO threatens Russia’s security, and that Ukraine’s membership in the alliance – which Kiev insists will happen and NATO has not ruled out – presents an existential threat to the Russian state. Scholz also declared that Germany will “support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” a phrase that US, EU, and NATO leaders have repeatedly used when referring to their multibillion-dollar arms shipments to Kiev. The chancellor admitted that Germany will likely never return to the “strong partnership” it enjoyed with Russia before the conflict in Ukraine. This partnership – in which German industry achieved Europe-wide dominance with the help of inexpensive Russian gas – was scuppered first by Berlin’s backing of the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions regime, and then by the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, which preclude an easy return to the pre-conflict status quo.

Citing Germany’s economic reliance on Russia, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed last month that when Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine in February, the German government reckoned “it would be better for the whole thing to be over quickly, and for Ukraine to fold.” While Berlin has since written Johnson’s claim off as “utter nonsense,” Germany is currently paying a stiff cost for abandoning its partnership with Russia. Unemployment and energy costs have risen, and the German economy is forecast to enter recession next year. With an immediate return to pre-conflict relations with Russia off the cards, Scholz admitted on Wednesday that the EU’s continued support for Ukraine “will mean major adaptations for all of us in Europe.

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“..these Western organizations did whatever they could to drive the Russian people toward eventual biological extinction and replace them with a more docile and less adventurous race.”

The Goldilocks War (Dmitry Orlov)

[..] allow me to introduce Goldilocks with her three bears and her porridge not to hot and not too cold. What Russia seems to be doing is keeping their special military operation moving along at a steady pace—not to fast and not too slow. Going too fast would not allow enough time to cook the various fish; going too fast would also increase the cost of the campaign in casualties and resources. Going too slow would give the Ukrainians and NATO time to regroup and rearm and prevent the proper thermal processing of the various fish. In an effort to find the optimal pace for the conflict, Russia initially committed only a tenth of its professional active-duty soldiers, then worked hard to minimize the casualty rate.

It opted to start turning off the lights all over the former Ukraine only after the Kiev regime tried to blow up the Kerch Strait bridge that linked Crimea with the Russian mainland. Finally, it called up just 1% of reservists to relieve the pressure from the frontline troops and potentially prepare for the next stage, which is a winter campaign—for which the Russians are famous. With this background information laid out, we can now enumerate and describe the various ancillary objectives which Russia plans to achieve over the course of this Goldilocks War. The first and perhaps most important set of problems that Russia has to solve in the course of the Goldilocks War is internal. The goal is to rearrange Russian society, economy and financial system so as to prepare it for a de-Westernized future.

Since the collapse of the USSR, various Western agents, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, various Soros-owned foundations and a wide assortment of Western grants and exchange programs have made serious inroads into Russia. The overall goal was to weaken and eventually dismember and destroy Russia, turning it into a compliant servant of Western governments and transnational corporations that would supply them with cheap labor and raw materials. To help this process along, these Western organizations did whatever they could to drive the Russian people toward eventual biological extinction and replace them with a more docile and less adventurous race.

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That wasn’t the plan?

EU’s Oil Cap May Result In ‘Violent’ Price Spikes – The Economist (RT)

As the European Union’s sanctions on Russian oil are about to kick in next week, the measure could result in price shocks on the global market, The Economist reported on Friday. The EU has agreed on a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil. According to the report, European insurers and shipping firms have long had a “vice-like hold” on energy markets. Fully 95% of property and indemnity insurance for all oil tankers has been handled by firms from the UK and the EU. This appeared to be a lever with which the West could control the sale of Russian oil globally. However, if Russian oil fails to make it to the market, then global oil prices may spike, hurting Western consumers, the outlet writes.

“Hence America’s Treasury Department has since devised a cunning plan to water it down: to let European firms continue to offer their services, provided the oil involved is bought at a suppressed price set by the West.” Everything depends on how Moscow responds, according to the Economist report, which warns the Kremlin could cut its oil exports, relying on a smaller group of non-Western tankers and insurers, and sending global prices spiraling. “The other uncertainty is how much power the West will ultimately wield over global oil markets.” The report noted that countries such as China, India and Indonesia want to avoid participating in Western sanctions and embargoes.

They are reportedly seeking alternative sources of day-to-day insurance–and, because the ban was announced six months ago, “have had time to prepare.” According to The Economist, the “true balance of power” in oil markets will become apparent after December 5, with a “violent price spike” possible. “Just as financial sanctions have energized attempts to evade the Western banking system, so the war will lead China, India and others to circumvent the West’s energy infrastructure. As weapons, sanctions and embargoes have their limits–and a finite shelf-life,” the outlet concludes.

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You don’t say…

NATO’s Handling Of Ukraine Crisis May End In Disaster – Clare Daly (RT)

Irish MEP Clare Daly accused NATO of bringing “terror, death, lawlessness [and] rape” to Libya, and claimed that the US-led alliance’s strategy in Ukraine will yield similar results. Daly made her declaration after voting against a resolution calling for greater EU involvement in Libya. Daly, along with fellow Irish leftist Mick Wallace, voted last week against a resolution that called on the EU to play “a more active role” in rebuilding war-torn Libya, including by setting up police and military units under the command of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). While the EU as a whole supports the GNA, the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) has the backing of France and has reportedly hired private military contractors from Russia to bolster its forces.

Amid this ongoing power struggle, Daly sees NATO’s 2011 bombing campaign as the root of Libya’s problems. “I voted against this report,” she declared, in a video posted to her Twitter page on Wednesday. “Its timing is pretty appropriate coming, as it does, a few short weeks after the 11th anniversary of the day Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed during the NATO assault on Libya: sodomized with a bayonet and shot in the head.” “The NATO intervention in Libya, carried out in the name of protecting freedom, democracy and human rights, is one we’d do well to remember as NATO plays out its proxy war in Ukraine in the name of, you’ve guessed it, freedom, democracy and human rights,” she continued.

Gadaffi was deposed and tortured by NATO-backed militants in October 2011, with his mutilated corpse left on display in a meat market in the city of Misrata. Once an oil-rich and prosperous nation, Libya descended into anarchy following his murder, with an Amnesty International report earlier this year describing conditions there as “hellish.” “What happens after NATO intervenes in your country on this basis?” Daly asked EU lawmakers. “Terror, death, lawlessness, rape, poverty, starvation.” “Libya is a country riven by conflict, its economy shattered, its population – formerly the wealthiest in Africa – ridden and mired in poverty,” she continued. “Migrants are bought and sold in slave markets. It’s a country of mass graves, of crimes against humanity. This is NATO’s legacy.”

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Coming soon to a town near you. This will be a big story. First in Europe.

Switzerland Considers Electric Vehicle Ban To Avoid Blackouts (OP)

Switzerland could limit the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in cases of electricity supply shortages this winter under a new four-step plan to prevent power cuts and blackouts. To ensure energy security this winter, Switzerland could become the first country to limit the driving and use of EVs, German daily Der Spiegel reports, citing multiple media reports on the Swiss four-stage action plan to avoid blackouts. Driving EVs could be banned in Switzerland unless in cases of “absolutely necessary journeys” in stage three of the power conservation plans. The country also plans a stricter speed limit on highways in the recently proposed action plan, which has yet to be adopted. Switzerland typically imports electricity from France and Germany to meet all its power demand, but this year supply from its neighbors is constrained.

In France, the nuclear fleet availability is much lower than usual, which has led to the country becoming a net importer of electricity after decades of being a net exporter. The French electricity grid is at higher risk of strained power supplies in January 2023 than previously estimated due to lower nuclear power generation. The country could face the risk of power cuts this winter when electricity supply may not be enough to meet demand, Xavier Piechaczyk, the head of grid operator RTE, said earlier this week. In Germany, the situation is similar, as utilities are having to make do with no Russian pipeline gas supply.

Switzerland’s power supply remains uncertain for the winter and troubles with enough electricity capacity cannot be ruled out, the Swiss Federal Electricity Commission, Elcom, said as early as in June. Due to the expected lower availability of French nuclear power generation and of France’s power exports to Switzerland, the Swiss imports of power generated in France is likely to be much lower this winter compared to previous winter seasons, Elcom said. Therefore, Switzerland may need to cover its electricity import needs of around 4 gigawatt hours (GWh) from imports from its other neighbors Germany, Austria, and Italy. However, the power export availability of those countries would heavily depend on the available fossil fuels, mostly natural gas, according to Elcom.

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Trudy, like Fauci, should henceforth only be allowed to speak in a courtroom. Under oath.

Trudeau Denounces China for its Failure to Allow Covid Protests (Turley)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left many of us gobsmacked this week when he denounced China for its crackdown on protesters. Many of us denounced Trudeau for his authoritarian crackdown on truckers protesting Canada’s Covid policies. Trudeau used terrorist laws to freeze bank accounts, treat truckers as terrorists, and treat trucks as effective weapons. This is a continuation of Trudeau’s utter lack of self-awareness (and the media continuing lack of objectivity). He previously was praised for his stance against Cuba’s crackdown on protesters. Trudeau told the media Tuesday, “Obviously everyone in China should be allowed to express themselves, should be allowed to, you know, share their — their perspectives, and indeed protest. We’re going to continue to ensure that China knows we’ll stand up for human rights, we’ll stand with people who are expressing themselves.”

That is coming from the man who invoked the 1988 Emergencies Act for the first time to freeze accounts of truckers and contributions by other Canadian citizens. It was entirely unnecessary and, while the media is largely supportive of Trudeau, the powers have been condemned by civil liberties groups in Canada. The 1988 law is meant to address the greatest national threats when existing laws are insufficient. However, there are ample laws allowing the clearing of roads and bridges. Trudeau is using the Act to intimidate not just the truckers but anyone who supports them. That includes sending lists of names to banks for accounts to be frozen and going to court to prevent donations from reaching the truckers. Ironically, it was Trudeau’s father, who used the predecessor to the Act for the first time in peacetime to suspend civil liberties.

Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act on Oct. 16, 1970, after separatist terrorists calling themselves the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross and Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. The prior Act had never been used in peacetime and only twice before during prior wars. Justin Trudeau, like his father, has never been a strong supporter of free speech. Indeed, he has more often championed its limitations. He previously declared that “freedom of expression is not without limits . . . we owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily injure those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet.”

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“..Fauci appeared in a fawning Washington Post interview, where he was labeled a “hero,” complained about being a victim, and couldn’t think of anything he did wrong.”

Rand Paul: Fauci Caused 7 Million People To Die (SN)

Senator Rand Paul asserted Thursday that Anthony Fauci is directly responsible for funding dangerous research that likely killed millions of people, and that he “won’t get away.”“Likely there is no public health figure who has made a greater error in judgement than Dr Fauci,” Paul declared in a Fox News appearance, adding “the error of judgement was to fund gain of function research in a totalitarian country.”Fauci funded “research that allowed them to create super viruses, that in all likelihood leaked into the public and caused seven million people to die,” Paul declared.“This is right up there with decisions, some of them malevolent or military to kill millions of people,” The Senator further urged.

The Senator made the comments after Fauci appeared in a fawning Washington Post interview, where he was labeled a “hero,” complained about being a victim, and couldn’t think of anything he did wrong. Paul further noted that “It goes to judgement, talk about errors, you think he might apologise to the world… to support that kind of research then look the other way and say nothing to see here, and to cover it up.”“For the last two years he’s been covering his tracks, but we’ve caught him red handed and he won’t get away,” Paul asserted, adding “historically [Fauci] will be remembered for one of the worst judgments in the history of modern medicine.” Paul also commented on efforts he is leading to overturn the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for military personnel.


“They deserve to have their religious freedom, as well as their medical choices and freedom to decide what goes into their body,” Paul noted.He continued, “We know this, and this is a scientific fact, the vaccine does not prevent you from getting an infection, it doesn’t prevent you from transmitting an infection, and for young people there isn’t significant evidence to show that it reduces the severity or hospitalisation.” “The military has become so ‘woke’ and they’re demanding you get a vaccine that you don’t need, so something’s got to change,” the Senator further urged.

Ryan Cole

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Think of the contrast with Julian.

Edward Snowden Awarded Russian Passport (Az.)

Former NSA (National Security Agency) employee Edward Snowden took an oath and was granted a Russian passport, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told TASS on Friday. “Yes, he received a passport. He took the oath,” Kucherena said in a response to a question as to whether Snowden has been given a Russian passport, adding that he personally met with Snowden yesterday. The lawyer also said that Snowden’s spouse is currently submitting the required documents for Russian citizenship as well. Snowden and American acrobat and blogger Lindsay Mills married in Moscow in 2017. Snowden’s US passport was annulled in 2013, but the White House explained back then that it was a routine legal procedure following the issuance of an arrest warrant and his citizenship status remained unchanged.


In late September, a Russian presidential decree was published stating that Snowden was eligible to be granted the Russian citizenship. In 2013, Snowden leaked information on the electronic surveillance methods used by American intelligence services, including illegally eavesdropping on foreign leaders’ conversations. Fleeing punitive consequences from US federal authorities, Snowden sent requests for asylum to several countries, including Russia. On August 1, 2014, he obtained a temporary Russian residence permit and later was granted an open-ended residency permit. Back in the United States, Snowden is facing two counts of violating the Espionage Act, and he risks up to ten years in prison on each count.

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Tucker Max Keiser 2,3

 

 

 

 

Nakamura

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 032022
 


Kazimir Malevich Woman torso 1932

 

The Dark Continent: How ‘Green’ Power Insanity Will Black Out Europe (TCW)
Europe: How to Become Poor Peasants Again (Ugo Bardi)
How The US Planned The War And Energy Crisis In Europe (ND)
Nord Stream Pipelines Can Be Restored – Moscow (RT)
Scientists Warn Of Cold Winter In Europe (RT)
The War Has Just Begun (Big Serge)
Russia’s Top Court Rules On Donbass, Kherson, And Zaporozhye Accession (RT)
Putin Introduces Bills On Accession Of New Russian Regions To Parliament (RT)
NATO In The Horns Of A Dilemma (Scott Ritter)
US Promises To Help Ukraine Retake Territory (RT)
Nine Countries Announce Support For Ukraine’s NATO Bid (RT)
Biden Must Know He’s Losing His Mind (Rice)
Italy’s Election Winner Giorgia Meloni States Top Priority (RT)
Snowden Didn’t Flee to Russia: Obama Trapped Him There (McGlinchey)
Germany Spends €2.5 Billion on Bivalent Boosters, Nobody Wants Them (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Nurse Ursula Ratched

 

 

Alasdair Macleod: Credit Suisse is not the only major bank whose price-to-book is flashing warning signals. The list is of all G-SIBs with PtBs of under 40%. A failure of one of them is likely to call the survival of the others into question.

 

 

 

 

Erdogan

 

 

Brennan

 

 

 

 

“The European electricity grid, he writes, is a modern miracle [..] Most importantly, ‘it is built on physics, not ideology’.”

“..the European grid is increasingly unable to supply enough power to meet demand.”

Simple: supply must be very close to demand, or the grid fails. “It must be kept within very narrow bounds; a failure to do so would lead to damage to infrastructure or even the complete shutdown of the system.”

The Dark Continent: How ‘Green’ Power Insanity Will Black Out Europe (TCW)

The European electricity grid is hurtling towards disaster, a new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation warns. Countries are closing reliable nuclear and fossil-fuelled power stations while hoping interconnectors – cables linking different grids – will make up the deficit. But they won’t, according to the paper’s author, Alexander Stahel, a Swiss-based commodities expert. He explains that the European grid has relied on French and German power surpluses for many years. However, with nuclear power in both countries being wound down and the two likely to soon become net power importers – and with fierce international competition for scarce gas supplies – the whole continent is now left hoping for Scandinavian hydro power and occasional surpluses of UK wind to save it.

According to Stahel, the numbers just don’t add up, and he warns that restrictions on fossil fuel investment are making things dramatically worse. ‘Fossil fuels are currently vital for keeping the lights on, but we are undermining the industry’s viability,’ he says. ‘It needs 300 billion US dollars of re-investment every year, for oil and gas alone, just to maintain current production levels. ‘However, convinced by policymakers that investments in production will become “stranded”, it is not even investing half this amount.’ Stahel says Europe must simply accept that its decarbonisation targets are not achievable. The European electricity grid, he writes, is a modern miracle – the largest synchronous electrical grid (by connected power) in the world. It interconnects 520 million end consumers in 32 countries, including several that are not EU members, such as Morocco and Turkey. Most importantly, ‘it is built on physics, not ideology’.

The generation of alternating current that flows through the grid must match consumption, because electricity largely cannot be stored. This simple fact is critical, says Stahel, for understanding the problem that faces it. ‘In order to ensure that supply meets demand across Europe, electrical load is constantly being forecast, in blocks as short as 15 minutes long, and thousands of generators bid to meet that demand. ‘The network frequency is the key measure of the health of the grid. Measured locally, but of supra-regional significance, it is the first indicator of an imbalance between supply and demand. ‘It must be kept within very narrow bounds; a failure to do so would lead to damage to infrastructure or even the complete shutdown of the system. Frequency deviations – incidents – happen for many reasons, but have become more common as the share of wind and solar on the grid has increased.

‘Renewables are not dispatchable – their output cannot be increased minute to minute to meet a shortage of supply – so from a grid perspective they are unreliable. The impact of their widespread deployment is clear from the fact that frequency incidents have increased from 33 hours in 2020 to over 52 hours in 2021, an increase of more than 50 per cent in just one year. ‘In 2021 alone, the European grid had two major (Scale 2) incidents, for which final explanatory reports had to be prepared by an expert panel at the grid operator, Entso-e (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity). The underlying issue is that the European grid is increasingly unable to supply enough power to meet demand.’

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I have some bones to pick with Ugo here (sorry, man) . He seems to suggest fracking can compete with “traditional” oil. It can’t. It’s far more expensive in terms of EROEI. Never mind the cost in dollars. Same goes for LNG vs pipeline gas.

And also: “..a strong push toward renewable energy may help Europeans a lot.” No. “Renewable energy” is a pipedream, when it comes to replacing oil and gas. You can add some wind and solar, but you can’t run anything on them.

“Renewable energy”, or its even worse misnomer, “clean energy”, is western society’s way to accelerate its own demise.

Europe: How to Become Poor Peasants Again (Ugo Bardi)

During the past 10 years or so, the development of fracking led to a reversal of the static or declining production trend of fossil fuels that had been ongoing in the US for about 40 years. The result was that the American producers could reappear in the global market as exporters of both oil and gas. A potentially lucrative area where to expand was Western Europe. The problem was that the European market was in the hands of Russian producers, who had established a network of pipelines that could export natural gas at low prices to Europe. “Liquefied natural gas” (LNG) from the US just could not be competitive with pipeline gas because of the costs of liquefaction, transport, and regasification.

In the manuals of economics it is said that, in a free market, the cheaper product always wins against the more expensive one. In the real world, though, markets are far from being free. As every mafia boss can tell you, the cocaine market is not just a question of prices: you have to defend your turf if you want to prosper in the business. And not just that: sometimes, you can expand the area you control by friendly (or not-so-friendly) interactions with neighboring competitors. That’s sometimes called “arm-twisting,” but it may involve much more drastic and painful methods than just dislocating a shoulder. Similar considerations hold for fossil fuels, a market in which states normally behave exactly like mafia families.

During the past few months, we saw a case of a not-so-friendly interaction aimed at expelling Russia from the natural gas market in Europe. The war in Ukraine is mostly a sideshow: the real thing is the market of natural gas, and the critical point was the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline. Whoever did it sent a clear message to everybody, not unlike finding the severed head of a horse in one’s bed: the European gas market is now the turf of another mafia family. That does not mean that Russian exports of gas to Europe will immediately cease. Completely replacing the Russian gas would require increasing the exports from the US to Europe by about a factor of 10. Maybe not impossible, and other gas-supplying countries may step in to help. But it is not something that can be done in a short time.

The EU states import some 150 billion m3 of gas from Russia and only about 15 from the US. The US has a total export of more than 100 billion m3, but most of it goes to Canada and Mexico via pipelines. Hopefully, Russia will not stop sending gas to Europe using the existing pipelines. Then, a strong push toward renewable energy may help Europeans a lot. But the market is likely to behave exactly the way they say it should in the textbooks: a situation of scarcity leads to higher prices. In other words, with Europe desperate to get enough gas, producers are going to have a great time. Don’t expect them to be kind to the poor Europeans: why should they be? Mafias are not supposed to be charitable institutions.

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This from Sweden’s Nya Dagbladet is from September 15, commenting on RAND Corp’s Jan. 2022 doc: “Weakening Germany, strengthening the U.S.”. We mentioned it at the time, but it seems appropriate to revisit it 3 weeks later. Note: RAND has denied it’s their doc.

How The US Planned The War And Energy Crisis In Europe (ND)


Germany’s minister for foreign affairs Annalena Baerbock, in a meeting in May with Nato and U.S. officials.

RAND Corporation’s think tank, which has a huge work force of 1,850 employees and a budget of $350 million, has the official aim of “improving policies and decision-making through research and analysis”. It is primarily connected to the United States Department of Defence and is infamous for having been influential in the development of military and other strategies during the Cold War. A document signed RAND, under the opening heading of “Weakening Germany, strengthening the U.S.”, suggests that there is an “urgent need” for an influx of resources from outside to maintain the overall American economy, but “especially the banking system”. “Only European countries bound by EU and NATO commitments can provide us with these without significant military and political costs for us.”

According to RAND, the main obstacle to this ambition is the growing independence of Germany. Among other things, it points out that Brexit has given Germany greater independence and made it more difficult for the United States to influence the decisions of European governments. A key objective that permeates this cynical strategy is, in particular, to destroy the cooperation between Germany and Russia, as well as France, which is seen as the greatest economic and political threat to the United States. ”If implemented, this scenario will eventually turn Europe into not only an economic, but also a political competitor to the United States.”, it declares. In order to crush this political threat, a strategic plan, primarily focused on destroying the German economy, is presented.

“Stopping Russian deliveries could create a systematic crisis that would be devastating for the German economy and indirectly for the European Union as a whole”, it states, and believes that the key is to draw the European countries into war. “The only possible way to ensure that Germany rejects Russian energy supplies is to draw both sides into the military conflict in Ukraine. Our continued actions in this country will inevitably lead to a military response from Russia. Russia is clearly not going to leave to the massive Ukrainian army’s pressure on the Donetsk People’s Republic without a military response. This would make it possible to portray Russia as the aggressive party and then implement the entire package of sanctions, which has already been drawn up”.

The green parties in Europe are described as being particularly easy to manipulate into running the errands of American imperialism. “The prerequisite for Germany to fall into this trap is the dominant role of green parties and European ideologies. The German environmental movement is a highly dogmatic, if not fanatical, movement, which makes it quite easy to get them to ignore economic arguments”, it writes, citing the current foreign minister of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, and the climate minister, Robert Habeck, as examples of this type of politician. “Personal characteristics and lack of professionalism make it possible to assume that it is impossible for them to recognise their own mistakes in time. I will therefore be sufficient to rapidly form a media image of Putin’s aggressive war – and make the Greens into ardent and tough supporters of sanctions – a ‘war party’. This will make it possible to impose the sanctions without any obstacles”.

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You don’t build a $10 billion pipeline without an option to repair it.

Nord Stream Pipelines Can Be Restored – Moscow (RT)

Russia may be able to fix the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which were damaged earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Sunday. “There are technical possibilities to restore the infrastructure, it requires time and appropriate funds. I am sure that appropriate opportunities will be found,” Novak told Russia 1 TV. According to the official, however, the first step should be to determine who is behind the incident. “As of today, we proceed from the fact that it is necessary, first of all, to figure out who did it, and we are sure that certain countries, which had expressed their positions before, were interested in it. Both the US and Ukraine, as well as Poland at one time said that this infrastructure is not going to work, that they will do everything to make sure of it, so, of course, it is necessary to seriously look into it,” Novak stated.


Citing German security services, Der Tagesspiegel newspaper earlier reported that the damaged routes could be permanently out of use if they are not repaired quickly, as salt water could cause corrosion. The Danish authorities reported leaks on both the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines on Monday after a local pipeline operator noted a loss of pressure following a series of undersea explosions in the area. The Danish Energy Agency reported earlier on Sunday that the pressure on the Nord Stream 1 is stable and the gas leakage is over, while on Saturday, it said the Nord Stream 2 also stopped leaking gas. The incident is widely considered to be the result of sabotage. Russia has called it a terrorist attack. While those behind it have not yet been identified, Moscow has blamed the US.

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Storm. Perfect. Murphy. Law.

Scientists Warn Of Cold Winter In Europe (RT)

European countries may be about to face a colder than usual winter, the head of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) predicted on Sunday. This forecast comes as the continent is struggling with an energy crunch spurred by the sanctions the West has slapped on Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Speaking to the Financial Times, ECMWF Director-General Florence Rabier said that early data suggest that in November and December Western Europe may face a period of high pressure. This, she noted, may bring in colder weather with less wind and rainfall, which may reduce the amount of power generated by renewable power sources.

“If we have this pattern then for the energy it is quite demanding because not only is it a bit colder but also you have less wind for wind power and less precipitation for hydro power,” Rabier told the outlet. The ECMWF chief went on to say that while in the short term Europe may experience milder weather due to the recent hurricanes in the Atlantic, an atmospheric phenomenon called La Nina may bring in colder weather later on. This usually occurs due to periodic cooling of the Pacific Ocean, which triggers ripple effects on weather across the globe and can change wind and precipitation patterns. Rabier noted that Europe just experienced one of its hottest summers in history. While this proved to be a bonanza for solar power, it also led to a decreased share of wind and hydro power in the EU’s energy mix.

Various Western officials and public figures have warned of the desperate situation the EU may find itself in this winter. On Thursday, Microsoft founder Bill Gates claimed that in a few months the continent may face a “very scary situation” as many people could be unable to heat their homes. In late September, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson also predicted that this winter “will not be easy,” but adding that next winter “will be even more difficult.”

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“..these four oblasts will become part of Russia’s minimum definition of state integrity – non-negotiables, in other words.”

The War Has Just Begun (Big Serge)

The keystone event at the heart of recent escalation was the announcement of referenda in four regions (Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson) to determine the question of entry into the Russian Federation. The implication of course was that if the referenda succeeded (a question that was never in doubt), these regions would be annexed to Russia. While there were some rumors circulating that Russia would delay the annexation, this was never really plausible. To allow these regions to vote in favor of joining Russia only to leave them out in the cold would be monumentally unpopular and raise serious doubts about Russia’s commitment to its people in Ukraine. Formal annexation is a certainty, if not on September 30th as rumored, then within the next week.

All of this is rather predictable, and completes the first layer of annexations which I noted in previous analysis. The reasoning is not particularly complex: clearing the Donbas and securing Crimea were the absolute minimum Russian objectives for the war, and securing Crimea requires both a land bridge with road and rail connections (Zaporizhia oblast) and controlling Crimea’s water sources (Kherson). These minimum objectives have now been formally designated, though of course Ukraine maintains some military activity on these territories and will have to be dislodged. I think, however, that people lost focus as to what the referenda and the ensuing annexation means. Western talking points focused on the illegitimacy of the votes and the illegality of any annexation, but this is really not very interesting or important.


The legitimacy of annexation is derived from whether or not Russian administration can succeed in these regions. Legitimacy, as such, is merely a question of efficacy of state power. Can the state protect, extract, and adjudicate? In any case, what is far more interesting than the technicalities of the referenda is what the decision to annex these regions says about Russian intentions. Once these regions become formally annexed, they will be viewed by the Russian state as sovereign Russian territory, subject to protection with the full range of Russian capabilities, including (in the most dire and unlikely scenario) nuclear weapons. When Medvedev pointed this out, it was bizarrely spun as a “nuclear threat”, but what he was actually trying to communicate is that these four oblasts will become part of Russia’s minimum definition of state integrity – non-negotiables, in other words.

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In accordance with Russian law.

Russia’s Top Court Rules On Donbass, Kherson, And Zaporozhye Accession (RT)

The treaties on the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, to Russia are in full accordance with the constitution, the country’s top court ruled on Sunday. The Russian Constitutional Court separately examined the four treaties after they were signed by President Vladimir Putin on Friday. The next step is for the documents to be ratified by both houses of parliament. The lower house, the State Duma, plans to vote on ratification on Monday.


The DPR and LPR broke off from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions declared independence from Ukraine after they were seized by Russian troops during Moscow’s military operation in the neighboring country, which was launched in February. The four territories voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in referendums held between September 23 and 27. Kiev along with Western countries consider the accession illegal and have vowed not to recognize it.

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“Lawmakers are expected to vote on the treaties on Monday.”

Putin Introduces Bills On Accession Of New Russian Regions To Parliament (RT)

President Vladimir Putin has sent the treaties on the accession to Russia of four formerly Ukrainian regions to the State Duma for ratification. The residents of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining Russia at referendums in September. Earlier on Sunday, the four treaties were approved by the Russian Constitutional Court. The documents must now be approved by the two chambers of the Russian parliament, the State Duma and Federation Council. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the treaties on Monday. Putin has also provided Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his deputy Evgeny Ivanov with special powers for the period of accession of the new territories.


The two officials have been designated special presidential envoys to the country’s parliament for this period, according to a new presidential decree. The LPR and DPR declared independence from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev and the civil war in the country’s east that followed it. Kherson Region and most of Zaporozhye have been under the control of the Russian military since March. Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

Peace conference

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“Russia didn’t just change the rules of the game – it changed the game itself.”

NATO In The Horns Of A Dilemma (Scott Ritter)

The purpose behind the NATO infusion of weaponry into Ukraine was straightforward – to empower Ukraine to not only lengthen the conflict, but also to undertake offensive military operations designed to evict Russia from what Kiev and its backers consider occupied Ukrainian territory, including the Donbass and Crimea. The counteroffensive in Kharkov in early September underscored the serious consequences of NATO’s actions – even though, given the massive loss of life and material suffered by the attacking Ukrainian forces, made the Kharkov victory Pyrrhic in nature, it was a Ukrainian victory, and one which compelled a Russian retreat. By transforming the Ukrainian army into a NATO army which was manned by Ukrainians, the US-led bloc had, in fact, changed the nature of the game from a straightforward Russia-versus-Ukraine “special military operation” into a“Russia-versus-the collective West” struggle where the military resources originally allocated by Moscow to the fight were now insufficient to the task. Advantage, Ukraine/NATO.

Russia, however, was not taking the game-changing actions of NATO standing still. Responding to the new reality on the ground in Ukraine, Russian President Vadimir Putin opted not to simply up the ante in this new NATO-driven game of increasing military power but change the game altogether. Not only did he order the partial mobilization of some 300,000 Russian reservists to reinforce the troops currently committed to the SMO, Putin also approved referendums in the four territories where Russian forces are presently fighting – Kherson and Zaporozhye (formerly occupied Ukrainian regions), and Donetsk and Lugansk (former regions of Ukraine, de-facto independent since 2014). These referendums asked the citizens of these four territories one simple question—do you wish to become part of Russia?

After five days of voting, the results from all four territories were clear—by an overwhelming majority, the participants in the referendums approved the proposition. Shortly thereafter, they were incorporated into the Russian Federation. What was once Ukraine has now become Mother Russia. Russia didn’t just change the rules of the game – it changed the game itself. Instead of Ukrainian forces fighting Russian forces on the territory of Ukraine, any future combat carried out by Ukraine against Russian forces will represent an attack on the Russian homeland itself.

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“..regain control of its territory”, by force if necessary”.

But we’re not involved…

US Promises To Help Ukraine Retake Territory (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba that Washington would help Ukraine “regain control of its territory”, by force if necessary. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly stated that his goal is to seize all lands claimed by Russia, including Crimea. “The United States will always honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and…will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of its territory by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically,” Blinken told Kuleba on Saturday, according to a readout of the call provided by State Department spokesman Ned Price.

US President Joe Biden issued the same statement verbatim on Friday, after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed accession agreements to start the process of bringing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson, into the Russian Federation. However, neither Biden nor Blinken has announced any major change in US policy to help Ukraine retake these lands. The latter stated that US arms deliveries – including a $1.1 billion package announced earlier this week – would continue to flow as they have since February.

Zelensky responded to Putin’s move on Friday by declaring that he would never negotiate a peace settlement as long as the Russian president remains in power, and also by signing an application demanding “accelerated” admission to the NATO alliance. Zelensky’s application was rebuffed by NATO and US leaders, however, with the White House declaring that Ukraine’s potential membership in the alliance “should be taken up at a different time.” Zelensky has repeatedly declared that his forces would retake all Russian-held lands, including Crimea, which voted to join Russia in 2014, by “any means that we consider correct.” Still, according to Vladimir Putin, once the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson are formally incorporated into Russia, they would be defended with “all means available.”

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No northern Europe, no western. Just former Soviet Union neighbors.

An alternative headline says: “9 NATO countries call to increase military aid to Ukraine”

Nine Countries Announce Support For Ukraine’s NATO Bid (RT)

The presidents of nine NATO countries came together on Sunday to express their support for Ukraine’s membership bid and also to urge all allies to “substantially increase” their military support to Kiev. The statement came two days after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced his country’s intention to apply for fast-track NATO membership. “We firmly stand behind the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit decision concerning Ukraine’s future membership,” the presidents of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia said. At the Bucharest summit, the alliance members welcomed the “aspirations for membership in NATO” of Ukraine and Georgia but didn’t provide any time frame for these countries’ accession.

“We support Ukraine in its defence against Russia’s invasion, demand Russia to immediately withdraw from all the occupied territories and encourage all Allies to substantially increase their military aid to Ukraine,” the statement said. Referring to the impending inclusion of four former Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation, the leaders said that they would “never” recognize “Russian attempts to annex any Ukrainian territory.” Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, commenting on Zelensky’s NATO bid, emphasized that “any decision on membership has to be taken by consensus” of all thirty members.

Stressing that NATO “has an open door policy,” Stoltenberg said that currently the top priority of the bloc is “to support Ukraine,” both militarily and financially. He believes that this is also“the best way to respond” to Russia’s actions. Stoltenberg’s remarks echoed a statement made earlier by the White House. Speaking on Friday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan claimed that the best way now is to provide Ukraine with “practical” support, while “the process in Brussels should be taken up at a different time.” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna, meanwhile, revealed on Sunday that Kiev’s NATO application “is already on its way to Brussels.”

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“Our President is suffering from dementia” is, in fact, a story..”

Biden Must Know He’s Losing His Mind (Rice)

The conspiracy to ignore Biden’s obvious dementia is almost as large as the conspiracy to conceal the fact the “vaccines” are dangerous and ineffective. Certainly every reporter who covers the president and the White House knows his condition. But just like all the “off-limits” Covid truths, it’s taboo to mention the emperor has no brain. We’ve all probably known a loved one who had dementia. Knowing this, we all know this condition never improves. It gets worse, often in rapid fashion. So at some point, one assumes, one “adult in the room” will take President Biden aside and convince him he has to resign. When this day happens, the press is going to HAVE to report the real reason our president decided to belatedly exit political stage left …. probably after first wandering off toward stage right, which – bad joke or not – has actually happened several times.

I can’t wait for this day if only to see how the press spins the fact it covered up this story for years. (“Our President is suffering from dementia” is, in fact, a story). When this day arrives, I hope more than a few Americans ask our truth-seeking journalists one question: Why didn’t you cover this story? And then an even more important question: What other important stories have you refused to investigate and report? Truth be told, the Biden-has-dementia unreported story ties into all the other unreported stories. The real scandal is that America is “served” by a watchdog press corp that seemingly exists to cover-up real scandals, especially when they involve politicians and leaders on “their team.” The Biden dementia story also probably gives us one reason the press corps will never expose all the Covid scandals and lies.

If the mainstream press did belatedly report this, they’d be admitting they covered up or ignored a massively-important story for years. Not going to happen. It actually strikes me as cruel that so many people who ostensibly care about President Biden won’t do anything to help him. It’s also malfeasance or an abdication of some moral or ethical duty that these people allow a man who could start a nuclear war to remain in office. One day someone will write the White House tell-all of all tell-alls and the public will belatedly learn how severe President Biden’s cognitive condition really was. Until that day, we’ll continue to live in the surreal world depicted in the Peter Sellers’ cult classic “Being There.” In that movie, the simple-minded gardener hadn’t been elected president yet. So America did get there.

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“It does not mean having a negative attitude towards others, but a positive attitude to ourselves.”

Italy’s Election Winner Giorgia Meloni States Top Priority (RT)

Italy will make its own interests a top priority, Giorgia Meloni, who is expected to be the country’s next prime minister, said in her first major speech on Saturday after last week’s election victory. “Italy’s attitude must return to defending its national interests in order to find common solutions. And it is something that will change in the coming months,”Meloni, who leads the conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, said in a speech in Milan. “It does not mean having a negative attitude towards others, but a positive attitude to ourselves.” Meloni stated that tackling soaring energy prices is one of her most pressing goals. “I am in constant contact with the outgoing government, which is engaged in a very complex negotiation to seek solutions at the European level,” she said.

Italy is among the countries pushing for an EU-wide energy price cap, while Germany opposes such a measure. Meloni also said that the Italian economy needs to be less reliant on outside suppliers. “We need a serious approach to the issue of supply chains. We have realized today that we depend on everyone for everything,” she said, adding that Italy and the EU should “rethink” their strategy on the matter. Western media has compared Meloni to Italy’s World War II-era fascist leader Benito Mussolini and highlighted that one of FdI’s predecessors was a party with ties to Mussolini’s government. Meloni, however, called such comparisons “nonsense.”

“The Italian right has handed fascism over to history for decades now, unambiguously condemning the suppression of democracy and the ignominious anti-Jewish laws,” she said in a video address in August. The FdI, which received the most votes on September 25, is expected to form a coalition with the other right-wing parties, Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Forward Italy). The snap election was called after Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet collapsed due to disagreements over measures to fight inflation and Covid-19 recovery programs.

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“Seemingly tired of the spectacle, Putin granted Snowden asylum, and he’s been in Russia ever since.”

Snowden Didn’t Flee to Russia: Obama Trapped Him There (McGlinchey)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday, the news revived a long-simmering debate about the propriety of his revelations of U.S. government secrets. At the same time, it prompted reiterations of a widely-embraced falsehood: that Snowden “fled to Russia.” That disinformation-trafficking wasn’t limited to random people on social media. Among others, The New York Times, The Guardian, ABC, Christian Science Monitor and Canada’s CBC all asserted in the past week that Snowden “fled to Russia” in 2013 after revealing that the United States government had created a mass surveillance regime targeting its own citizens, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

What many people don’t realize — and what some people both inside the government and out of it purposefully ignore — is that Snowden wasn’t traveling to Russia, but merely through it. When he left Hong Kong after meeting with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras and turning over hundreds of thousands of stolen files, Snowden’s ultimate destination was Quito, Ecuador. It’s important to note that Snowden says that, before leaving, he destroyed his cryptographic keys that provided him access to the files, and didn’t bring any copies of the files with him. At the time, the Ecuadoran government was providing political asylum to Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange at the country’s London consulate, and Snowden hoped Ecuador would provide him asylum as well.

Snowden’s itinerary was arranged such that he wouldn’t land in countries that would extradite him to the United States. Nor would he cross U.S. airspace along the way. He was to make four flights in all, taking him from Hong Kong to Moscow, then Havana, Cuba; Caracas, Venezuela and finally Quito. However, upon arriving in Moscow, Snowden was escorted by Russian security officials to an airport conference room, where they informed him that, while he was flying to Moscow, the Obama administration had invalidated his passport. He’d spend the next 40 days at the Sheremetyevo airport, during which he applied to 27 countries for political asylum.

“Not a single one of them was willing to stand up to American pressure,” Snowden wrote in his memoir, Permanent Record, “with some countries refusing outright, and others declaring they were unable to even consider my request until I arrived in their territory — a feat that was impossible.” Seemingly tired of the spectacle, Putin granted Snowden asylum, and he’s been in Russia ever since. The essential point, however, is that Snowden is in Russia because the Obama administration deliberately trapped him there.

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“Only 85 people had themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 on Thursday in Fürth in Middle Franconia, a district with 120,000 inhabitants.”

Germany Spends €2.5 Billion on Bivalent Boosters, Nobody Wants Them (Eugyp)

The German government has ordered 100 million doses of BA.1 and BA.4/5 bivalent vaccines at a cost of 2.5 billion Euros, and almost nobody wants them. An amusing Welt article chronicles the scenes unfolding at our deserted regional vaccination centres, which for some reason are still open: “Michael Hubmann did not expect that so few would come. Only 85 people had themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 on Thursday in Fürth in Middle Franconia, a district with 120,000 inhabitants. “We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for people,” says Hubmann, a paediatrician who is coordinating the vaccination campaign. He explains that vaccinations were offered simultaneously in two shopping centres, a bus, a home for the elderly and in a former shop in the pedestrian zone. “Yet hardly anyone wanted to have the fourth dose.”

The medical bureaucrats are baffled, just baffled: “Unfortunately, interest in the fourth dose has been pretty low so far,” says Markus Beier, Chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners. At the same time, he says it’s important that people over 60 and those with previous illnesses in particular protect themselves with a further dose. “There is uncertainty among the population as to what further vaccinations will achieve. But they still strengthen protection against severe outcome.” Meanwhile, vast quantities of vaccine are expiring. At the end of August alone, 3.9 million doses of Moderna and another 700,000 doses of Novavax had to be binned.


The chart above tells the whole sordid story of our recent experiment with mass vaccination. Demand for this snake oil was highest in the beginning, before anybody had any direct experience with it; and in the Fall, when the government tied vaccination to specific social privileges. As overt vaccinator coercion has faded and millions of people have tried these doubtful elixirs for themselves, interest has all but entirely evaporated. This is the ultimate vindication for all those who have been saying that the vaccines are lousy overhyped pharmaceuticals with a bad side-effect profile. A safe and effective product would only gain momentum with the population. It took less than two years for these to wear out their welcome.

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Struggle against reality

 

 


Energy projection mix of the German government in 1974

 

 

Octopus

 

 


The telescopefish has large-lensed forward-pointing eyes—which are adapted for optimal binocular light collection and help them to better judge the distance of prey

 

 

Woody

 

 

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Oct 232021
 
 October 23, 2021  Posted by at 7:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Autumn landscape 1885

 

Sweden Suspends Moderna Shot Indefinitely (TTC)
Pfizer, BioNTech Announce Their Vaccine Is Useless After 11 Months (Berenson)
CDC Considers Changing Definition Of “Fully Vaccinated” (JTN)
More Americans Getting Boosters Right Now Than First Vaccine Shots (Hill)
Biden Vaccine Mandate Not In Effect, Not Enforceable – Republican AGs (JTN)
Strain Of Delta Variant Causing Panic In UK Has Been Found In US (ZH)
Southwest Airlines Says It Won’t Fire Workers Who Don’t Get COVID Vaccine (ET)
Accountability (Denninger)
“What Am I Doing?” He Asks (Kunstler)
Nunes: ABC News HQ should move to Disney’s Fantasyland (JTN)
NATO Unveils Master Plan To Defeat Russia In Nuclear War (RT)
Magnesium Shortage Threatens To Paralyze Global Car Production (AD)
Chief Justice of England & Wales Joins Bench for Assange Hearing (CN)

 

 

Scary numbers. Among 40-49, infection risk for unvaccinated down some 15%, vaccinated up over 50%.

 

 

“..to anyone under 31..”

Sweden Suspends Moderna Shot Indefinitely (TTC)

New concerns are being raised about side effects from the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus. Swedish health officials have now decided that a moratorium on giving the Moderna vaccine to anyone under 31 will be extended indefinitely, the U.K. Daily Mail reported. The pause on the Moderna shots had been scheduled to end on Dec. 1. Finland, Iceland and Denmark have taken similar steps. Norway is encouraging men under 30 not to get the Moderna shot, but is not mandating it. For months, the Moderna vaccine has been under scrutiny because of data that shows young men who receive it are at increased risk for myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac around the heart.


[..] The decision comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is putting Moderna’s plans for a shot aimed at the population from age 12 to 17 on hold due to concerns over risks of the ailments, according to The Wall Street Journal. Although a federal CDC panel on Thursday approved boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johson vaccines, there were some cautions raised, according to CNBC. Dr. Tom Shimabukuro said there is an increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, in particular after the second dose of the vaccines. According to the Daily Mail, the data indicated the risk was 13 times greater for those getting the Moderna vaccine than for those who got the Pfizer vaccine. Sweden’s Public Health Agency said the unpublished data linking the Moderna vaccine with the two conditions means there is “an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium.”

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Not sure where he gets the 11 months. I think it might be 6.

Pfizer, BioNTech Announce Their Vaccine Is Useless After 11 Months (Berenson)

Well, that’s not how they phrased it. But it is the only reasonable way to read their press release claiming that the booster is 95% effective. Remember. The booster is given to people who have RECEIVED the vaccine. (That’s why it’s a booster, right?) And when they tested a booster against a placebo in those people, they found a 95% reduction in disease in people who received the booster (for a total of 11 weeks after they received the booster, excluding the first week, because science – by which I mean because including that week would not help their results). 95%! Where have you heard that figure before? Oh yeah, it is EXACTLY the same relative risk reduction they claimed in the pivotal trial last year, when they tested the INITIAL dose against placebo.


The only reasonable read is that the booster is providing (temporary) protection similar to the first two-dose series (temporarily) did AGAINST PLACEBO. But these are VACCINATED people. So where’s the protection from the initial two doses? There is ONE difference, though. The ABSOLUTE risk appeared at least two to three times higher in the vaccinated people in this trial than in UNVACCINATED people in the initial trial – 110 infections in 5,000 people in 10 weeks, compared to 162 infections in 20,000 people in about the same period. Because vaccines work. If you are vaccinated, get ready to take boosters forever. By the way, the press release includes NO specific safety data. Yay Pfizer!

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Worst kept secret.

CDC Considers Changing Definition Of “Fully Vaccinated” (JTN)

The U.S. could change the definition of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday. The definition might be changed as booster shots become more prevalent, the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters in a briefing. “We have not yet changed the definition of ‘fully vaccinated.’ We will continue to look at this,” Walensky said. “We may need to update our definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ in the future. If you’re eligible for a booster, go ahead and get your booster and we will continue to follow up.”


According to The Hill, the term “fully vaccinated” applies to people who have received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. According to the White House, more than 70 million Americans qualify for a booster shot, while predicting another 120 million Americans should become eligible in the coming months. Currently, the CDC estimates about 58% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the virus, while nearly 68% is only partially vaccinated.

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All under informed consent, we may presume?

More Americans Getting Boosters Right Now Than First Vaccine Shots (Hill)

The number of Americans getting their booster shots is outpacing those who are getting their first vaccine dose, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the latest data, 190 million people are fully vaccinated in the U.S. and 12 million people have received their booster dose since it was authorized in August. An average of roughly 340,000 people are getting a booster shot on a daily basis, compared to a daily average of 157,605 who received their first vaccine shot for the week ending Tuesday, government data shows, according to The Washington Post. The disparity isn’t particularly surprising given the demand for booster shots among the vaccinated population, and the fact that the unvaccinated population has had months to get a shot but has not so far.

But it points to how even with boosters available, a stubborn minority of Americans are likely to not take initial vaccinations or boosters. It is much easier for the coronavirus to spread the larger that population is. An Axios-Ipsos poll published in August found that 20 percent of Americans said they either are not very likely or not likely at all to receive a vaccine. There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, after the CDC on Thursday approved both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters. “These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement on Thursday.

“The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe – as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating delta variant,” Walensky said.

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A superbly weird game is being played. As long as it’s not in effect, the White House can’t be sued. There are dozes of court cases pending.

Biden Vaccine Mandate Not In Effect, Not Enforceable – Republican AGs (JTN)

President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring private employees to get the COVID-19 shots hasn’t gone into effect and therefore isn’t enforceable, argue several Republican attorneys general — and if and when the regulation does go into effect, they vow, they will immediately sue to stop it. “No such rule or regulation is currently in effect,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote in an open letter to all Montanans, and “there has been a great deal of confusion” since Biden announced his mandate Sept. 9. The letter was released the same day as an announcement made by Biden, who said, “The Labor Department is going to soon be issuing an emergency rule for companies with 100 or more employees to implement vaccination requirements.”

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration only last week submitted the initial text of the mandate’s regulatory language to the Office of Management and Budget for review. This is the first of several steps in the regulatory process. OSHA will implement, oversee and enforce the Biden mandate, which it has yet to do. It plans to do so under an obscure authority known as “emergency temporary standards” that has been used only a handful of times. [..] The mandate was a reversal of policy advocated by the White House just five months earlier. On April 6, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: “The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

However, after Biden’s Sept. 9, mandate, numerous companies issued vaccine mandates requiring employees to provide proof of vaccination status in order to remain employed. Some companies issued fines for employees who chose to not get the shots. Some rejected religious exemption requests, others rejected exemption requests from those who could prove they have natural immunity after they got the coronavirus. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argues the mandate is unconstitutional, and in response to pushback throughout the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued his own mandate prohibiting all entities in Texas from issuing vaccine mandates as a condition of employment. Knudsen says his office is “preparing to immediately challenge and enjoin this federal overreach on a variety of grounds when the Biden administration issues its announced rule.”

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor also announced that no federal rule mandating employers to require their workers to get the shots exists. He’s instructed employers — and Oklahomans — to ignore Biden’s order. “I urge Oklahoma employers to disregard the Biden Administration’s wishes to the contrary,” O’Connor said in a statement. “In the event federal emergency rules are issued that place such an unlawful demand upon employers, our office will be joined by other state Attorneys General across the country to quickly sue and seek an injunction against any implementation or enforcement.”

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Let me guess: mostly found among the vaccinated?

Strain Of Delta Variant Causing Panic In UK Has Been Found In US (ZH)

A mutated version of the delta variant that has caused panic in the UK has been detected in several states in the US, the CDC revealed this week. AY.4.2, a subtype of the highly transmissible delta variant which has become informally known as “delta plus”, accounted for 6% of all sequenced samples of the virus. Its emergence has coincided with a rebound in COVID cases in the UK. To be sure, right now, the strain is still rare in the US and accounts for “well below 0.05%” of cases sequenced, the CDC says. So there’s no reason to panic. “At this time, there is no evidence that the sublineage AY.4.2 impacts the effectiveness of our current vaccines or therapeutics,” the CDC said. “Vaccination remains the best public health measure to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the likelihood of new variants to emerge.”


Around 16,830 AY.4.2 cases have been detected around the world across at least 28 countries, according to data from Outbreak.Info. Jeffrey Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the U.K., told Newsweek on Thursday that it’s still unclear whether the subtype is helping drive rising case numbers in the UK. “We are one of the groups that has observed a [roughy] 10 percent growth advantage compared to other Delta.” “I’d say we can’t say for sure yet that that is a true biological advantage, as opposed to a bit of epidemiological ‘luck’ for this lineage, but the data are now accumulating week-by-week in favor of a small growth advantage.”

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Still trying to hide the reason why. Still the weather.

Southwest Airlines Says It Won’t Fire Workers Who Don’t Get COVID Vaccine (ET)

Southwest Airlines’ CEO said the company will not fire employees who do not get the COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 9 following a Biden administration mandate that was announced last month for federal contractors. In a statement to news outlets Friday, the Dallas-based carrier confirmed to Fox News it does not want to “lose any employee” over President Joe Biden’s mandate, adding that firing a worker over the vaccine “makes no sense.” It came a day after Southwest CEO Gary Kelly made a similar announcement during an earnings call. “This is an evolving process working with the government in terms of what they expect, and very clearly, we wanted our employees to know that nobody is going to lose their job on December the 9th if we’re not perfectly in compliance,” Kelly said, according to news reports.

“It is a work in progress, and we’re going to continue working in good faith to meet the requirements of the executive order. But I’ve already said, and I’m sure you’ve heard, we’re not going to fire anybody who doesn’t get vaccinated,” he continued. Biden’s mandate will start on Dec. 8, requiring federal contractors to make sure their workers are vaccinated. Employees can be granted a medical or religious exemption. But Kelly’s and Southwest’s announcements this week mark a reversal in the carrier’s vaccination stance. Earlier this month, Southwest stated that workers would have to be fully vaccinated or receive an exemption to “continue employment with the airline” after it conducted a “thorough review of President Biden’s COVID Action Plan and determined that the carrier’s contracts with the U.S. government require full compliance with the federal vaccination directive.”

Also on Thursday, Southwest said in its quarterly results that it lost some $75 million after thousands of flights were canceled and delayed earlier this month. The firm blamed the weather and unspecified staffing issues, although there was widespread speculation that pilots and other employees walked out over the vaccine requirement.

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Sometimes I suspect Karl is a faster typer than I am.

“Whether said reprogramming is good, bad, effective or not isn’t the question; it is the claim that such constitutes a “vaccine” that is medically and scientifically false..”

Accountability (Denninger)

That the current jabs are not vaccines is not in question; it is truth. The government has changed the definition of a “vaccine” but you cannot change something that is false into something that is true by making a claim that it is so. A vaccine is a preparation that causes or mimics actual infection but is either attenuated or killed so that it will not harm you. The current “clot shots” are genetic programming designed to alter the core processes of your cells. That the intended outcome of this is to produce an immune response protective against a pathogen does not change the fact that they are not vaccines and that we have discovered the direct result of said programming is pathogenic is not in scientific question either; it is, and is almost-certainly responsible for all the adverse effects of same.

A therapy alters the core processes of your cells to combat a disease; every drug in the pharmacy does this in one form or another. Whether said reprogramming is good, bad, effective or not isn’t the question; it is the claim that such constitutes a “vaccine” that is medically and scientifically false, and no matter how many people believe it, whether that number is zero or 100% of the population does not change the falsity of the statement. That there has never been a successful vaccine — an actual vaccine — against a coronavirus in man or beast is also fact. That is not due to the lack of attempt; there have been many attempts. All have ended in failure; either the protection is non-durable and thus becomes a “required subscription” or worse, it turns on the inoculated individual member of the population and potentiates illness, severely injuring or killing them. Attempting to force that model on the human population through lies or worse, mandates, marks every person involved in advocating or attempting to impose same worthy of immediate imprisonment or even execution as they are wild-eyed extortionists at best or even mass-murdering psychotic criminals.

That every respiratory pandemic in history has progressed into an endemic disease is scientific fact. If it was not, even once, every single one of us would not exist because somewhere before our birth humans would have all been dead. Yet here we are, which is scientific proof that any claim that Covid-19 would not follow the same pattern absent our intervention was and is false. That is not to say that certain pathogens haven’t been worse than others; there have, of course. But the trend toward endemicity and immunity from serious outcome via infection or the mimicry of actual infection, not genetic engineering which only now exists as possible, is fact. Thus my commentary, which I have repeated relentlessly: We are all going to get this thing, there’s nothing we can do about that, and we ought to work on personal resistance to serious outcomes which we know we can have positive impact upon. Indeed, were Covid-19 to have occurred prior to our obsession with obesity and “healthy at any size” it is probable that 99% of those who have died from it in the US would have successfully fought it off and it would have been less serious than seasonal influenza.

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“The Obama-led claque behind all the White House fakery wants to cram this down the country’s craw before things go so far south that Americans start to think they’re living in Tierra del Fuego.”

“What Am I Doing?” He Asks (Kunstler)

The Leader of the Free World wandered the stage, sometimes oddly circling his interlocutor, Anderson Cooper of CNN, who had to step in and rescue the maundering “Joe B,” when he lost himself in thickets of talking points that no amount of rehearsal could avail to untangle. “What am I doing?” he asked more than once, but no one on the scene volunteered to remind him. The “president” frequently assumed poses that signified some kind of gross cognitive dysfunction: head turned down to the floor with his eyes shut… strange, mincing steps in the direction of a fugitive thought… fists balled like a two-year-old resisting some simple instruction… There was a robotic quality to the act, too, as “JB” repeated his place-holder phrase “Here’s the deal” to preface each flight into the murky jargon of Build Back Better.

It fell short of convincing anyone about who was in charge of the nation’s affairs at a very sketchy moment in history, and at the end Ol “Joe” just ran down like a three-dollar gyroscope. In his most lost moments, such as when AC inaptly tried to prompt him on the border crisis — “I guess I should go down,” he admitted dolefully — the “POTUS” directed the cameras to his wife in the audience, saying, “Jill’s been down there!” We were supposed to conclude that she’d fixed all that for us.

The exercise was also obviously designed to turn up the heat on the two renegade senators, Joe Manchin (WVA) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) who are disinclined to vote for the trillions of dollars in pending proposed legislation to drop money from helicopters all over the land and save the economy — and impose all manner of janky surveillance measures and vote-rigging scams on the country. The Obama-led claque behind all the White House fakery wants to cram this down the country’s craw before things go so far south that Americans start to think they’re living in Tierra del Fuego.

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“[T]hey’re not falling for this,” he replied. “There’s something more nefarious going on — ABC News to put something out like that is just bizarre.”

Nunes: ABC News HQ should move to Disney’s Fantasyland (JTN)

Following an ABC News interview with Christopher Steele, author of the discredited Steele dossier used in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said the media outlet’s headquarters should move to Fantasyland at its parent company’s Walt Disney World. “[I]t’s a little bit of an embarrassment for ABC News and Disney Corporation,” said Nunes, who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was instrumental in exposing the Trump-Russia narrative as a political dirty trick funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC in 2016. “I’ve been kind of half joking, but really half not, because you wonder if ABC News is gonna move their headquarters to Fantasyland at Disney World,” Nunes quipped. “It’s such a joke.”

Nunes alleged that the network’s hour-long documentary “Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier,” released Monday on Hulu, is “entirely fiction.” “[I]t’s really about what was left out,” he said. “And then the lack of clarity on the folks who are … kind of posing as actors in this — you know, they’re supposedly journalists.” Steele was the one “peddling Russian disinformation and the whole hoax early on,” but in his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos “he’s sitting there going, ‘Oh, we just don’t know if this is true or not,'” observed Nunes. “[I]t’s basically misinformation or disinformation by omission,” he said. Nunes was asked if he was surprised the media is still falling for the Russia collusion narrative five years later.

“[T]hey’re not falling for this,” he replied. “There’s something more nefarious going on — ABC News to put something out like that is just bizarre. “So I have no idea, you know, what’s behind this — the timing, the release of this. That anybody would be defending Steele or those dossiers … at this point is an absolute joke.” While Nunes believes that Special Counsel John Durham is “doing a real investigation” of the Russia collusion hoax, he is concerned about the prosecutor’s ability “to continue this investigation, because we know DOJ is completely politicized.”

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NATO is done. And not a minute too soon. They can’t even win a game of backgammon. But then again that’s been true for the US for many decades too. Just because they can’t win at anything doesn’t mean they can’t be a major nuisance.

NATO Unveils Master Plan To Defeat Russia In Nuclear War (RT)

Top defense chiefs from NATO member states have given a green light to a new grand strategy on how to beat Russia in any potential all-out conflict, as Moscow says the move proves the US-led bloc isn’t open to improving relations. On Thursday, ministers met in Brussels to sign off the scheme, named the “Concept for Deterrence and Defense in the Euro-Atlantic Area.” According to NATO’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, it is part of efforts to “continue to strengthen our alliance with better and modernized plans.” The bloc’s officials insist they don’t believe an attack is imminent, but that it is worthwhile being prepared in any case.As part of the plan, NATO troops would fight against Russia’s forces in both the Baltic Region and across the Black Sea.


The battle plans also focus on non-conventional warfare, including the use of nuclear weapons, cyber-attacks and even conflict in space. However, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov hit out at the adoption of the strategy on Friday, saying that it shows there is no prospect for turning around rock-bottom relations with the bloc. “There is no need for dialogue under these conditions,” he argued, saying that the adoption “of such a concept by NATO confirms it once again.” According to him, “this alliance was not created for peace, it was conceived, designed and created for confrontation.”

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Google translate from Dutch.

“If the supply of magnesium stops, the entire auto industry may be forced to shut down.”

Magnesium Shortage Threatens To Paralyze Global Car Production (AD)

The automotive industry is already having a hard time due to the shortage of chips and semiconductors, causing many factories to shut down. There is now a threat of a new crisis in Europe due to a magnesium shortage. Magnesium is essential for aluminum production. That material is needed on a large scale for building cars. It is used in gearboxes, steering columns and brakes, seat frames, at fuel tanks, in the bodywork and for many other parts. About 85 percent of global magnesium production comes from China and much of that comes from Yulin City in Shaanxi Province. But due to an energy crisis, production restrictions have been imposed on many factories there. Of the fifty magnesium factories, only fifteen are still active.


They also run at half power to meet the energy requirements. It will remain that way at least until the end of the year. Analysts warn in The Financial Times that stocks of magnesium in the rest of the world are dwindling rapidly. The German and European car industry, almost entirely dependent on China for magnesium, threatens to get nothing in November. “There are no alternatives to aluminum production,” said Barclays analyst Amos Fletcher. “If the supply of magnesium stops, the entire auto industry may be forced to shut down.” In that case, consumers will have to wait even longer for their new car, while the shortage of semiconductors has already doubled or even tripled delivery times.

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He blocked the Lauri Love extradition.

Chief Justice of England & Wales Joins Bench for Assange Hearing (CN)

Ian Duncan Burnett, the most powerful judge in England and Wales, will join Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde on the bench next week for the two-day U.S. appeal in the extradition case of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange at the High Court in London, according to a spokesman at the Royal Courts of Justice. Burnett, known as Baron Burnett of Maldon, was the High Court justice who on humanitarian grounds overturned a lower court ruling that British activist Lauri Love should be extradited to the United States. Burnett ruled in February 2018 that Love’s extradition would be “oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition.” Burnett and Mr. Justice Duncan Ouseley said in their decision that, “We accept that the evidence shows that the fact of extradition would bring on severe depression, and that Mr. Love would probably be determined to commit suicide, here or in America.”


Instead they recommended that Love be tried in the United Kingdom on charges of hacking into U.S. government computers. Unlike Love, Assange is accused of no crimes in Britain. But like Love, he has been deemed (by the magistrate’s court) at high risk of suicide if he were to be extradited to the United States. The U.S. is appealing the lower court’s decision not to extradite Assange to the U.S. based on his propensity for suicide. The U.S. is arguing that Assange is not too sick to be sent to the U.S. and that he is a malingerer. Holroyde is the High Court judge who on Aug. 11 reversed an earlier High Court order limiting the U.S. from appealing Assange’s medical issues.

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Snowden

 

 

 

 

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Oct 222021
 
 October 22, 2021  Posted by at 7:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  60 Responses »


M. C. Escher Still life and street 1937

 

Covid Vaccines Will Keep You From Acquiring Full Immunity (Berenson)
Vax Fight is On and Not Stopping – Gerald Celente (USAW)
NIH Changes Story, Confirms It Funded Wuhan Gain-of-Function Experiment (JTN)
Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics (F.)
India Administers A Billion Covid Jabs (F24)
Over 300,000 Unvaxxed Australia Supermarket Workers To Lose Their Jobs (Sky)
Striking Hospital Staff Hold Protest In Athens (K.)
DeSantis Calls Special Session To Ban Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates (UPI)
The Real Reasons for the Congressional 1/6 Committee (Greenwald)
Jen Psaki Hates You (Klavan)
Edward Snowden: ‘If You Weaken Encryption, People Will Die’ (TNW)
Assange to Get Same Judge Who Sided with US on Appeal (Lauria)

 

 

Adverse reactions
https://twitter.com/i/status/1451159900940226564

 

 

Masks on kids

 

 

 

 

“I feel like I’m being groomed by an abusive partner.”

 

 

They’ll do much more than that.

Covid Vaccines Will Keep You From Acquiring Full Immunity (Berenson)

Don’t take it from me, I don’t even get to tweet anymore. Take it from a little place I call the British government. Which admitted today, in its newest vaccine surveillance report, that: “N antibody levels appear to be lower in people who acquire infection following two doses of vaccination.” (Page 23) What’s this mean? Several things, all bad. We know the vaccines do not stop infection or transmission of the virus (in fact, the report shows elsewhere that vaccinated adults are now being infected at much HIGHER rates than the unvaccinated). What the British are saying is they are now finding the vaccine interferes with your body’s innate ability after infection to produce antibodies against not just the spike protein but other pieces of the virus.


Specifically, vaccinated people don’t seem to be producing antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, the shell of the virus, which are a crucial part of the response in unvaccinated people. This means vaccinated people will be far more vulnerable to mutations in the spike protein EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND RECOVERED ONCE (or more than once, probably). It also means the virus is likely to select for mutations that go in exactly that direction, because those will essentially give it an enormous vulnerable population to infect. And it probably is still more evidence the vaccines may interfere with the development of robust long-term immunity post-infection. Aside from that, everything is fine.

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“This is the beginning of a civil war. There are going to be states seceding from the Union, and they are going to push for it..”

Vax Fight is On and Not Stopping – Gerald Celente (USAW)

Gerald Celente, a renowned trends researcher, is back this time to talk about the unrelenting full blown “Vax Wars” he predicted many months ago. Many people are being told “no vax, no job,” and now it’s really heating up. Celente explains, “The fight is on. The people that are not going to get it are not going to get it. They’re done. The fight is on. From the very beginning, I said about the ‘Covid War,’ it’s going to be anti-vax, anti-establishment, anti-immigration parties forming. This is the beginning of a new populous movement like we have never seen before. It is just the beginning. Remember, ‘it does not take a majority to prevail, but an irate tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the hearts and minds of men,’ said Samuel Adams. . . .

‘Vax Wars,’ this is bigger than the Vax Wars. This is a war about freedom, and it’s going to rage around the world. Look what happened in Italy last week. Looks what’s going on in France. In the United States, it’s going to happen as well. This is the beginning of a civil war. There are going to be states seceding from the Union, and they are going to push for it. What they are doing is totally unconstitutional, un-American and un-Godly.” (as in God the Father.) All of the unions that usually support Democrats are up in arms about the coerced vax mandates. Is the DNC going to lose a huge segment of its base? Celente says, “Yes, they are. They are not the Democrat Party. They are not the Republican Party. It’s a crime syndicate. These are criminals. They are murderers and thieves. How much more proof does anybody need. . . .

Yes, the unions are going to run from the Democrat Party. There are going to be new forming parties. I say by their deeds you shall know them. Hey, you are too big to fail. The banksters, the Federal Reserve pumping in $29 trillion (in 2008 and 2009 to bail out their buddies.) . . . .They are murderers and thieves, and we are going to have a new political movement. You know what’s going to have to be behind this movement? Self-sustainability, it has to be a self-sustaining U.S. without supply chain backups. Why are we buying all that crap from China? . . . Why aren’t we making things in the United States? Because lowlife Democrat and Republican pieces of crap sold us out to get the products made overseas so they could mark up the prices when they brought them back.”

On the economic front, Celente says the trend is inflation and a coming collapse. What going to set that off? Celente says, “When they raise interest rates, this thing goes down — end of story. If they can’t put that monetary methadone out there for the money junkies for free anymore, this thing goes down. Inflation is going to make them raise rates. It’s going to make them start tapering. This is not a capitalist society, it’s fascist. They are buying $120 billion a month of government and corporate bonds. They are buying corporate bonds? Oh yeah, and junk bonds too. . . . That is a merger of state and corporate powers. That’s what Mussolini called fascism.” Celente says this is going to end badly, and he’s talking about “the greatest financial crash in history.” The little guy, meaning “We the People,” should prepare, and time to do that is running short. Celente says, “Prepare for the worst. If the worst doesn’t happen and you are prepared, you lose nothing. If the worst happens and you are not prepared, be prepared to lose everything.

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“Knowingly. Willfully. Brazenly.”

All of a sudden, lying to Congress is no longer a serious offence.

NIH Changes Story, Confirms It Funded Wuhan Gain-of-Function Experiment (JTN)

Two weeks after National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins announced his retirement, his agency has complicated congressional testimony by Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci about alleged gain-of-function virus research sponsored by the U.S. Both officials have denied approving grants for such research through the EcoHealth Alliance and Wuhan Institute of Virology, but a letter Wednesday from NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak to House Oversight Committee ranking Republican James Comer describes an unforeseen experimental result that calls the denials into question.

The letter shows that “NIH — and specifically, Collins, Fauci, and Tabak — lied to Congress, lied to the press, and lied to the public,” Richard Ebright, lab director at Rutgers University’s Waskman Institute of Microbiology, tweeted Wednesday night when sharing the letter. “Knowingly. Willfully. Brazenly.” The final progress report submitted by EcoHealth in August described a “limited experiment” in which a modified bat coronavirus made mice “sicker” than than original virus, Tabak told Comer. “As sometimes occurs in science, this was an unexpected result of the research, as opposed to something that the researchers set out to do.”

NIH determined the proposed research didn’t meet the standard for “enhanced pathogens of pandemic potential” because it wasn’t shown these bat coronaviruses could infect humans. But “out of an abundance of caution” it required EcoHealth to “immediately” report “a one log increase in growth” if it happened, which would trigger a secondary review of the research by NIH. EcoHealth didn’t do that, Tabak wrote, and it now has five days to turn over “any and all unpublished data” from the research to NIH. The letter repeatedly emphasizes the viruses studied under the EcoHealth grant and “subaward” to the Wuhan lab “could not have become SARS-CoV-2” because the “sequences of the viruses are genetically very distinct.”

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How much do Pfizer, Moderna pay him?

Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics (F.)

In a January article published at Forbes, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found that Dr. Anthony Fauci was the highest paid federal employee, earning $417,608 (2019). Dr. Fauci is still the top-paid federal employee earning $434,312 in 2020. Fauci is the Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and current Chief Medical Advisor to the President. Fauci out-earned the U.S. president ($400,000); four-star generals in the military ($282,000); and roughly 4.3 million other federal employees. Now, new documents released via our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the NIH tell us a lot more. Dr. Fauci received a big pay hike for his biodefense research activities. In other words, Fauci was paid to prevent future pandemics.


The documents released to our non-profit organization OpenTheBooks.com reveal that Dr. Fauci was approved for a “permanent pay adjustment” in excess of his regular salary in December 2004, during the George W. Bush Administration. From 2004 through 2007, Fauci received a 68-percent pay increase from $200,000- to $335,000-a year. This award was permanent and carried forward through 2020. Fauci’s permanent pay raise was to “appropriately compensate him for the level of responsibility… especially as it relates to his work on biodefense research activities.” However, critics say that Fauci was funding research that was actually creating pandemic pathogens in labs that, if leaked or if fell into the wrong hands, might create the very human pandemic they were trying to prevent.

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Abusing the success of ivermectin to jab more people.

India Administers A Billion Covid Jabs (F24)

According to the government, around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated. However, hundreds of millions of Indians under 18 — who make up some 40 percent of the population — have not had a single shot. India suffered a huge spike in cases in April and May, reporting more than 400,000 infections and 4,000 deaths per day, with many hospitals unable to cope and crematoriums overwhelmed. Cases have since fallen sharply, with fewer than 20,000 infections per day, and most activity has returned to normal. Mumbai, one of India’s myriad teeming cities, recently reported zero deaths in a day for the first time since the pandemic began.

The government was reportedly set to celebrate the milestone with Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking health workers, special announcements at railway stations and airports and monuments lit up in the national colours. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted: “Congratulations India! This is the result of the visionary PM Modi’s able leadership.” Only China has administered more doses — the Chinese government says it has given more than 2.3 billion shots. India began vaccinations in January and after a slow start, it is now administering around eight million jabs per day. “During the first wave, I remember hearing people talking about whether coronavirus was real or not,” said Reham Ali, a 49-year-old taxi driver in New Delhi who said he has had one shot. “Now, people know that it is and there is less hesitancy. The second wave was an eye-opener.”

Exports of vaccines — halted earlier this year — have tentatively resumed, with officials saying the “pharmacy of the world” will be back in full swing again in 2022 Most restrictions on activity have been lifted, with crowds celebrating India’s main religious festival season — an important time for the battered economy — for the first time in two years. This has sparked concerns about a new wave of infections and a renewed push by the government to push people to get their second shots. Media reports last week said an expert panel of India’s drug regulator recommended the use of the homegrown Covaxin — one of seven Covid-19 vaccines approved in India — for under-18s. “I think it is unlikely that we will see a third wave that in any way resembles the second wave,” said Dr Gangandeep Kang, from the Christian Medical College, Vellore.

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Really? Where are they going to find 300,000 others?

Better grow your own food.

Over 300,000 Unvaxxed Australia Supermarket Workers To Lose Their Jobs (Sky)

More than 300,000 workers across Australia’s largest supermarket chains have been warned they will lose their jobs without a valid reason for not getting vaccinated. Woolworths employees in New South Wales, the ACT, the Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia have until January 31 next year to get vaccinated with a March 31 deadline set for workers in the remaining states. “If they don’t have a valid reason, we will engage with them, make sure they get the best possible advice and availability to vaccines,” Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said. “But if they don’t have a valid religious or medical exemption, their employment at Woolworths will be terminated.”

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“..to protest staff shortages and compulsory coronavirus vaccinations..”

The two are closely related.

Striking Hospital Staff Hold Protest In Athens (K.)

Hundreds of state hospital workers marched Thursday through central Athens as part of a 24-hour strike to protest staff shortages and compulsory coronavirus vaccinations. About 500 protesters demonstrated in the center of the capital, heading past parliament toward the health ministry chanting slogans and holding up banners. Unions representing the doctors, nurses and other medical staff are protesting government plans they say exacerbate staffing shortages and lead to long working hours while undermining workers’ rights. Medical workers are also seeking to be included in the list of professions receiving extra hazard pay for “heavy and unhealthy” work. The unions have also objected to the suspension of unvaccinated health care workers, saying this only leads to further staff shortages.


Faced with rising infections and reluctance by many to get vaccinated, the government has introduced a series of incentives and penalties to encourage Greeks to get their anti-Covid-19 shots. Vaccinations have been made mandatory for health care workers and those working in care homes for the elderly, with those who refuse being suspended from work. Just over 60% of the country’s population of around 11 million people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The unions say that while they support vaccinations, individual staff members should have the right to choose. Greece has seen a spike in coronavirus infections this summer, and new daily cases stand at around 3,000. On Wednesday, the country saw 3,279 new cases and 38 new deaths, bringing the total confirmed cases to over 704,000 and the total death toll to nearly 15,500 in the country of nearly 11 million.

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What was normal all through our lives is now revolutionary.

DeSantis Calls Special Session To Ban Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates (UPI)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday called a special session of the Florida Legislature to pass legislation banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Speaking from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Hangar, he announced the special session would take place in November. He called for lawmakers to provide protections for workers whose employment is threatened by vaccine mandates. “Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” DeSantis said. “When the vaccines first came out, we worked very hard to provide it, particularly to our elderly, but we said from day one: We will make it available for all, but we will mandate it for no one because ultimately we want individuals to make the determinations about what is right for them.

“I want a state in which people are able to maintain their livelihoods, earn a living, and provide for their families. And if the federal government or big corporations are hurting people, then we have a responsibility to step up and lead.” DeSantis was joined in the press conference by Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “The governor has made it clear: Florida will not stand by and allow hard working citizens to be subjected to unemployment because they are being forced to show vaccine documentation, especially those who have remained on the front lines of COVID-19 for nearly two years now,” Ladapo said. “The Department of Health will continue to protect Floridians through multi-faceted and data-driven solutions, not overreach.”

In addition to banning mandates, DeSantis called for employers to be held accountable if an employee becomes sick or injured from taking a mandatory vaccine. Ahead of the press conferences, members of DeSantis’ staff handed out signs to attendees featuring an alligator on a yellow background reading “Don’t Tread on Florida.”

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“The endorphin-producing fantasies on which they fed for years [..] were way too viscerally arousing for them to simply forget that none of it happened.”

The Real Reasons for the Congressional 1/6 Committee (Greenwald)

Underlying so much of the anger and resentment surrounding 1/6 is the complete dissonance between the narrative fed to the citizenry by Democrats and their media allies on the one hand, and the legal realities on the other. It must be infuriating and baffling to a large sector of the population to have been convinced that what happened on January 6 was an unprecedentedly dangerous insurrection perpetrated by an organized group of seditious traitors who had plotted to kidnap and murder elected officials, only for the Biden DOJ to have charged exactly nobody with any criminal charges remotely suggesting any of those melodramatic claims.

This was the same frustration and confusion that beset a large portion of liberal America when they were led to believe for years that Robert Mueller was coming to arrest all of their political enemies for treason and criminal conspiracy with Russia, only for the FBI Superman to close his investigation without charging a single American with criminal conspiracy with Russia and then issuing a report admitting that he could not find evidence to establish any such crime. How to keep the flock loyal when the doomsday prophecies continue to be unfulfilled, as the World-Ending Date comes and goes without so much as a bang, let alone an explosion?

Adam Schiff’s new book — which essentially claims that Mueller is senile and was suffering from pitiful dementia — is obviously intended to provide some solace or at least a framework of understanding for disappointed liberals to keep the faith, but deep down, they know what they were expecting. The endorphin-producing fantasies on which they fed for years — of Trump and Trump, Jr. and Jared and Bannon and Ivanka being frog-marched out of the White House by armed, strapping FBI agents — were way too viscerally arousing for them to simply forget that none of it happened.

A repeat of this disorientation and disillusionment when it comes to 1/6 could be quite dangerous for Democrats. It could be devastating to the media outlets which survive on serving the Democrats’ messaging and feeding dramatic conspiracy theories to the beleaguered liberal flock. In the days and weeks following 1/6, liberals really thought that dozens of members of Congress — from Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz to Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene — would be not just expelled from Congress but summarily imprisoned as traitors by a newly righteous Justice Department. They were led to believe that, with Bill Barr out of the way, Trump and his mafia family would finally pay for their crimes.

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“Jen Psaki, sneering avatar of an aristocracy that regards working Americans as less than dirt.”

Jen Psaki Hates You (Klavan)

Let us now praise Jennifer Rene Psaki—English major, sorority girl, mother of two. Let us praise her seemingly endless supply of monochrome crew-neck blouses and pencil skirts, the way she peels her mask off after striding to the lectern. Jen Psaki has been briefed by her 11 staffers; she has had her coffee (and her bagel, if it’s Wednesday); she is freshly armed with the latest talking points and she is not going to take any of your guff today. Jen communicates just how on top of things she is by nodding ceaselessly throughout every question, interjecting an “uh-huh” or a “yep” to show she has not been caught off guard since the last clause of the reporter’s sentence. This is a patented bobblehead technique she perfected as a commentator at CNN in between the Obama and Biden Administrations.

What she is saying or listening to is less important than what she is communicating with her demeanor at all times: that she is serious, that she is informed, that she is the adult in the room. We have all met someone who behaves like this: someone who has done the homework and wants you to know it. Someone whose politeness is so aggressive that it can only be read as a kind of challenge. Jen Psaki dares you to find her off-putting. Why would you? She is smiling. She even had a joke written down that she made at the appropriate juncture. See? It says “laughing time” right here in the schedule from 5:01 to 5:03 PM. Then laughing time is over, and it is time for the lies and the jabs and the polite little smirks. Jen Psaki is frankly disappointed that you would stoop so low as to question Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s right to paternity leave during a supply chain “crisis.”

It’s not really a crisis, anyway: “people have more money, expendable resources, more people are working than they were a year ago.” The economy is getting built back better, says Jen, and our ports runneth over. What are you, some kind of Peloton slut who can’t wait five extra months for your new treadmill? This is what Trump’s critics meant when they said we needed to restore “civility” to the White House: they meant we need the right kind of disdain for the right kinds of people, expressed in the right kinds of ways. Gone are the mean tweets, the off-color jokes, the rough pugilism. Now instead we have Jen Psaki, sneering avatar of an aristocracy that regards working Americans as less than dirt. People are straining to put food on the table and gas in their cars; they increasingly fail to see the point in going to work at all. Psaki’s response is that of the anointed class she represents: shut up and take it.

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“This year alone, after the fall of the government of Afghanistan, we saw how crucial encryption is in keeping ordinary people safe.”

Edward Snowden: ‘If You Weaken Encryption, People Will Die’ (TNW)

Our online privacy faces growing threats. Governments around the world are calling for encryption backdoors that would enable access to personal information. They argue that encryption protects criminals. But it also protects activists, dissidents, persecuted groups, and ordinary citizens. Edward Snowden is among the most prominent beneficiaries. The whistleblower’s first messages to journalists were made with encryption. They resulted in revelations that millions of Americans had been under illegal mass surveillance. “If you weaken encryption, people will die,” said Snowden in a statement. “This year alone, after the fall of the government of Afghanistan, we saw how crucial encryption is in keeping ordinary people safe.” Snowden has joined the Global Encryption Coalition to launch a campaign to protect encryption.

The group of civil society organizations and tech firms warns that undermining encryption will leave people more vulnerable to crime and surveillance. “I have seen first-hand how governments can abuse the power they have to access the personal data of innocent people in the name of national security,” said Snowden. “Weakening encryption would be a colossal mistake that could put thousands of lives at risk.” End-to-end encryption would make it harder to implement spy programs like the one Snowden exposed — which may be one reason why governments want to circumvent it. It would not be the first time that lawmakers have undermined our privacy in the name of fighting terrorism. Politicians assert — with justification — that criminal gangs and paedophiles use encryption.

But so do racial justice protestors to avoid police surveillance, LBTQ+ people in countries where their sexual orientation is criminalized, and even some of the politicians who have called for Snowden to be put in jail. Reporters also rely on encryption to protect their sources. “Now more than ever, journalists are facing digital threats to their work and safety,” said Lisa Dittmer, advocacy officer for Internet Freedom, Reporters Without Borders. “Encryption plays a critical role in protecting journalists and their sources, enabling them to share information even in the most dangerous environments. Yet as the need for encryption grows, so do the efforts to weaken it. Governments from India to Australia are calling for tech companies to build backdoors into their end-to-end encrypted systems.

In the UK, new regulation could make service providers criminally liable for the acts of users if law enforcement can’t access their encrypted data. Their proposals, however, could actually make people more vulnerable. Any encryption backdoor may be a target for criminals. The information they access could threaten both national security and individual privacy. “Encryption makes us all safer,” said Snowden. “From families protecting photographs of their kids, to personal healthcare information, encryption keeps our private information private.” We all have private conversations that we don’t want overheard. Encryption backdoors would give malicious actors another way to access them.

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“Nothing in this case is proceeding as it should do.”

Assange to Get Same Judge Who Sided with US on Appeal (Lauria)

Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde, the High Court judge who reversed an earlier court order to bar the U.S. from appealing Julian Assange’s medical issues, will preside over the substantive U.S. appeal hearing at the High Court next week. In January, lower court Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused the U.S. request to extradite the WikiLeaks publisher because of his high risk of suicide and the conditions of U.S. prisons. The U.S. applied to appeal that decision, which was granted by the High Court in July. The court allowed three of five grounds of appeal, excluding the matter of Assange’s health. The U.S. challenged that ruling and in an Aug. 11 High Court hearing, Holroyde overturned the earlier court decision, siding with the U.S. argument that Baraitser’s finding on Assange’s health could be appealed.

That will be the central argument in the two-day hearing beginning next Wednesday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The U.S. says Assange is not too ill to be extradited and has accused him of being a malingerer. Joining Holroyde on the High Court bench will be Dame Judith Farbey, who remained silent during the Aug. 11 hearing. It is highly unusual for a judge who has already ruled in favor of one party to continue on the bench, according to Consortium News legal analyst Alexander Mercouris. In most cases, fresh judges would be brought in who have had no part in earlier rulings for either side.

After the Aug. 11 hearing, Mercouris said Holroyde’s “comments made it clear” that he would not be part of the appeal panel. “If he does turn up on the panel then that would be an extremely serious development,” he said, adding that it would be “open to legal challenge if he did.” It is not known at this time whether Assange’s lawyers will challenge Holroyde’s appointment to the case. After learning Holroyde would indeed oversee the hearing next week, Mercouris said it was “extremely disturbing news” and “very worrying. Nothing in this case is proceeding as it should do.”

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Soy Cuba

 

 

 

 

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 September 1, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  88 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Ward in the hospital in Arles 1889

 

Who’s Really Being Hospitalized? (Margulis)
60% of Those Older Than 50 Who Die From Covid Are Double Vaxxed (Mercola)
‘Get Sicker’: Anatomy Of A Failed Policy (Pfeiffer)
There’s An Off Ramp – But It Has A Price (Denninger)
The Case For Covid Vaccine Passports Was Just Demolished (Fee)
Key Vaccine Leaders Departing FDA As Covid-19 Booster Questions Linger (FPhar)
Greek Health Ministry Bracing For ‘Great Exodus’ (K.)
Pharmacy Customers Refuse To Say What Ivermectin Prescription Is For (G.)
Zero Covid, A Once Wildly Popular Ideology, Quietly Faces Extinction (Subs)
Singapore Gives Up Goal of Zero Covid Despite High Vaccination Rate (Gizmodo)
Obama Officials’ Lies About Edward Snowden and Russia (Greenwald)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stories are collapsing.

Who’s Really Being Hospitalized? (Margulis)

After a battery of testing, my friend was diagnosed with pancreatitis. But it was easier for the hospital bureaucracy to register the admission as a COVID case. Let me explain. This patient had none of the classic symptoms of COVID: No shortness of breath, no fever, no chills, no congestion, no loss of sense of smell or taste, no neurological issues. The only COVID symptoms my friend had were nausea and fatigue, which could also be explained by the surgery. However, nearly three weeks earlier, a COVID test had come back positive. The mainstream media is reporting that severe COVID cases are mainly among unvaccinated people.

An AP headline from June 29 reads: “Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated.” Another, from the same date: “Vast majority of ICU patients with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, ABC News survey finds.” Is that what’s really going on? It’s certainly not the case in Israel, the first country to fully vaccinate a majority of its citizens against the virus. Now it has one of the highest daily infection rates and the majority of people catching the virus (77% to 83%, depending on age) are already vaccinated, according to data collected by the Israeli government. After carefully reviewing the available data, including the safety and efficacy profiles of the mRNA vaccines, my friend had taken a cautious approach. Though a medical doctor who gives vaccines in the office every day, my friend opted to wait and see.

According to WebMD, a “huge number” of frontline hospital workers have also chosen not to get the vaccine. Indeed, various news reports, from California to New York, confirm that up to 40% of health care workers have decided the risks of the vaccines do not outweigh the benefits. After admission, I spoke to the nurse on the COVID ward. She was suited up in a plastic yellow disposable gown, teal gloves, and two masks underneath a recirculating personal respiratory system that buzzed so loudly she could barely hear. The nurse told me that she had gotten both vaccines but she was feeling worried: “Two thirds of my patients are fully vaccinated,” she said. How can there be such a disconnect between what the COVID ward nurse told me and the mainstream media reports?

For one thing, it is very hard to get any kind of accuracy when it comes to actual numbers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have publicly acknowledged that they do not have accurate data. As reported by the Associated Press, “The CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.” At the same time, data collection is done on a state by state basis. In most states, a person is only considered fully vaccinated fourteen days after they have had the full series of the vaccine. This means that anyone coming into an American hospital who has only had one dose, or who has had both vaccines but had the second one less than two weeks prior, will likely be counted as “unvaccinated.”

So when the South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control released a report about COVID severity on July 23, 2021, they reported higher morbidity and mortality rates in the “not fully vaccinated.” Are these people who have had one vaccine and gotten sick, two vaccines and gotten sick, or no vaccines at all? Without more details, it is impossible to know what is really going on. “We don’t have accurate numbers,” insists Dr. James Neuenschwander, an expert on vaccine safety based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But what we do know, Neuenschwander says, is that the vaccines are not as effective as public health officials told us they would be. “This is a product that’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to stop transmission of this virus and it’s not doing that.”

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“…breakthrough cases are now multiplying at breakneck speed. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate..”

60% of Those Older Than 50 Who Die From Covid Are Double Vaxxed (Mercola)

The oft-repeated refrain right now is that we’re in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” meaning those who have not received the COVID jab make up the bulk of those hospitalized and dying from the Delta variant. For example, August 20, 2021, England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty tweeted: “Four weeks working on a COVID ward makes stark the reality that the majority of our hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated and regret delaying. Some are very sick including young adults. Please don’t delay your vaccine.” Curiously, if you take the time to actually look at the data, you’ll find that this blanket statement is rather deceptive. Here’s a graphic published in the Evening Standard, sourced from Public Health England:

As you can see, as of August 15, 2021, 58% of COVID patients admitted to hospital who were over the age of 50 had actually received two doses of COVID injections and 10% had received one dose. So, partially or fully “vaccinated” individuals made up 68% of hospitalizations. Only in the 50 and younger category were a majority, 74%, of hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. Whitty, however, completely neglected to differentiate between the age groups. The same applies to deaths. Unvaccinated only make up the majority of COVID deaths in the under-50 age group. In the over-50 group, the clear majority, 70%, are either partially or fully “vaccinated.” It’s also unclear whether hospitals in the U.K. (and elsewhere) are still designating anyone who is admitted and tests positive with a PCR test as a “COVID patient.” If so, people with broken bones or any number of other health problems who have no symptoms of COVID-19 at all might be unfairly lumped into the “unvaccinated COVID patient” total.


In Israel, where vaccine uptake has been very high due to restrictions on freedom for those who don’t comply,4 data show those who have received the COVID jab are 6.72 times more likely to get infected than people with natural immunity. The fully “vaccinated” also made up the bulk of serious cases and COVID-related deaths in July 2021, as illustrated in the graphs below.8 The red is unvaccinated, yellow refers to partially “vaccinated” and green fully “vaccinated” with two doses. By mid-August, 59% of serious cases were among those who had received two COVID injections,9 mirroring the data coming out of the U.K.

In an August 16, 2021, Science article,10 Israeli Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz is quoted saying the nation has entered a “critical time” in the race against the pandemic. Horowitz allegedly was given a third booster shot August 13, 2021, the day they began offering a third dose to people over the age of 50. From Public Health England’s data, it seems clear that the COVID shots are failing to protect people over the age of 50 in the U.K. as well, so it’s probably only a matter of time before booster shots are rolled out there too. And, provided the COVID injections are the same irrespective of country, there’s every reason to assume the same trends will emerge in other countries, including the U.S.


According to Science magazine, breakthrough cases are now multiplying at breakneck speed. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology told Science. Nearly 1 million Israelis over the age of 50 have now received a third booster of Pfizer’s mRNA shot. Time will tell whether this will worsen the rate of breakthrough cases or tame it. Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at the Israel Institute of Technology doesn’t seem very hopeful, telling Science the surge is already so steep, “even if you get two-thirds of those 60-plus [boosted], it’s just gonna give us another week, maybe two weeks until our hospitals are flooded” again.

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“Existing drugs could have relegated COVID to a manageable outpatient disease by the first half of 2021.”

‘Get Sicker’: Anatomy Of A Failed Policy (Pfeiffer)

Throughout COVID, the media has stepped into line like good soldiers in a war on disease, failing, in the process, to do its job. It gave government a pass on the dearth of outpatient care. It fostered the fiction that aggressively treating COVID is a right-wing construct. It dismissed vaccine side effects as rare. It enabled vast censorship. News outlets might be excused for initially minimizing falling vaccine efficacy in this dynamic situation. But it cannot be excused for its politicization of and disdain for generic early treatments. As a mainstream community journalist for decades, with two books and many awards, I am appalled at what this profession has become.

Existing drugs could have relegated COVID to a manageable outpatient disease by the first half of 2021. We have promising generics: ivermectin primarily but also fluvoxamine, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide and protocols that employ them with zinc, Vitamin D and the like. They have been suppressed around the globe, as countries – mainly, but not all, in the first world — have caved under pressure to conform to the U.S.-hatched strategy. In the white-hot frenzy of pack journalism, doctors’ licenses have been threatened, and reputations imperiled, including of a prison doctor who used ivermectin and kept inmates out of hospitals. Will nursing home practitioners, who told me of their own ivermectin success, be next in this witch hunt? Indeed, somehad used it to control scabies and found a remarkable drop in COVID.

As the globe is buttressed by new variants, vaccine efficacy is being tested and so is that of ivermectin. Leading proponents are adjusting doses and adding to treatment cocktails as part of a logical ongoing effort: Use emerging science and clinical experience to learn what works. Although off-label use of approved drugs is well established — accounting for 21 percent of office prescriptions and half of oncology drugs – doctors have instead been told to follow only a few, patented, government-sanctioned treatments, available only in hospitals. Who could blame them, in this heated environment, for not practicing medicine but following orders? Nonetheless, the forces of commerce and incompetence that have pushed a false narrative and demonized treatment for COVID must be held to account.

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“The fifth jab would put the risk of getting screwed at ten percent, which is approximately the rate of death from the original SARS and the sixth would be odds-on as literal suicide.”

There’s An Off Ramp – But It Has A Price (Denninger)

[..] all of the current vaccines deliberately produce that spike protein, which by itself causes disease, specifically clotting-related disease, in your body. Deliberately causing your body to produce that pathogen (which then elicits the antibody response) is how all of them work. This means there is no safe way to vaccinate against this disease because introducing the spike into your body, no matter how you do it, inherently runs the risk of serious clotting-based disorders. You might or might not get nailed but there is no avoiding the risk. That same risk is what kills you, most of the time, if you actually get Covid-19 and die but the premise that you avoid that risk when taking a jab is a lie.

You cannot; the risk is inherent in introducing the spike into your circulation and there is no way around that with an IM injection because the muscles of the body are very well-perfused (that is, there’s a lot of blood flow in them) even if the person who performs the injection does not hit a blood vessel, and they might. These facts are not up for debate on a scientific basis any longer. They also fully explain the myocarditis, pericarditis and myriad other so-called “rare” events that occur with these jabs such as strokes, heart attacks and other clotting-based disorders. In addition the data is that the 2nd shot in the 2-shot series is much more dangerous than the first, which implies an exponential expansion of risk. Whether that expansion of risk bleeds back off over a couple of months or so is entirely unknown as it has not been studied.

Without a data set of hundreds of thousands (so as to get statistical significance) and both baseline and follow-up d-Dimer testing, at minimum, we will never be able to put numbers on this, nor get a decay rate on the risk if it decays, and nobody is doing those studies. That’s the bad news; if you take repeated shots and the risk does not bleed off then eventually you will kill yourself. If, for example, the risk on the first shot is 1/100,000 (extremely rare), on the second 1/10,000 (that’s a bad pattern) and the risk does not bleed off over the space of three or four months then the risk from the third is 1/1,000 (that’s 0.1% and quite nasty) while the risk from a fourth jab rises to 1% at which point you’re in the ballpark for a severely morbid person when it comes to Covid-19 infection itself killing them.

The fifth jab would put the risk of getting screwed at ten percent, which is approximately the rate of death from the original SARS and the sixth would be odds-on as literal suicide. How many jabs did you say you’re willing to risk taking again? You cannot get your health back if you ruin it by being stupid. The younger you are the worse the risk is in terms of years of enjoyable life lost. To take that sort of risk when you’re 85, fat, diabetic, you have an almost-10% risk of death in the next year from all causes and the Coof is 10% likely to kill you is very different than to take that same risk to your health when you’re 17, male, have a BMI under 25, there’s not a damn thing wrong with you medically, your all-cause risk of death (most of it by violence) is 7/10,000 and your risk, by the CDC’s numbers, of Covid-19 killing you if infected is approximately 1/100,000.

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Never was one.

The Case For Covid Vaccine Passports Was Just Demolished (Fee)

A newly published medical study found that infection from COVID-19 confers considerably longer-lasting and stronger protection against the Delta variant of the virus than vaccines. “The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a ‘Don’t try this at home’ label,” the Scientific American reported Thursday. “The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.” Put another way, vaccinated individuals were 27 times more likely to get a symptomatic COVID infection than those with natural immunity from COVID.

The findings come as many governments around the world are demanding citizens acquire “vaccine passports” to travel. New York City, France, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and British Columbia are among those who have recently embraced vaccine passports. Meanwhile, Australia has floated the idea of making higher vaccination rates a condition of lifting its lockdown in jurisdictions, while President Joe Biden is considering making interstate travel unlawful for people who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccine passports are morally dubious for many reasons, not the least of which is that freedom of movement is a basic human right. However, vaccine passports become even more senseless in light of the new findings out of Israel and revelations from the CDC, some say.

Harvard Medical School professor Martin Kulldorff said research showing that natural immunity offers exponentially more protection than vaccines means vaccine passports are both unscientific and discriminatory, since they disproportionately affect working class individuals. “Prior COVID disease (many working class) provides better immunity than vaccines (many professionals), so vaccine mandates are not only scientific nonsense, they are also discriminatory and unethical,” Kulldorff, a biostatistician and epidemiologist, observed on Twitter.

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Very odd moment: boosters.

Key Vaccine Leaders Departing FDA As Covid-19 Booster Questions Linger (FPhar)

Two key vaccine leaders will leave the FDA this fall, just as the agency faces key decisions over COVID-19 booster shots and as variants take a bite out of the shots’ efficacy. FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review Director Marion Gruber, Ph.D. and Deputy Director Phillip Krause, M.D. will depart the agency. Both have been with the agency for decades and have been pivotal in the United States’ effort to authorize COVID-19 vaccines to fight the pandemic. The news was first reported by Biocentury. Gruber will leave the agency on Oct. 31 and Krause’s last day will be sometime in November, according to a letter shared by the FDA with Fierce Pharma. The letter was signed by Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, under which the vaccine research office sits.

Marks will serve as acting director of the OVRR for now as a search begins for a new chief. An acting director will be announced later. “[Gruber’s] contributions throughout her career have been immeasurable, but never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Marks said. “Her leadership in the center’s efforts to authorize three COVID-19 vaccines, and more recently to approve one of those vaccines, ensured that the vaccines met the high standards the public has come to expect from FDA, and has positively impacted the public health in the U.S. and across the globe.” [..] For his part, Krause was responsible for liaising with public health officials around the world to “address critical vaccine-related issues,” according to Marks. “His keen insight and experience in addressing a wide variety of challenges will truly be missed,” the letter said.

The departures are the latest high-profile officials to leave the key federal agency that still lacks a permanent leader. Janet Woodcock is leading the agency on an acting basis and will not be considered for the commissioner job permanently. Nevertheless, the FDA expressed confidence that the vaccine work would go on. “We are confident in the expertise and ability of our staff to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines,” an FDA spokesperson said. Gruber and Krause are leaving the agency following criticism of the White House’s decision to leap frog over the agency to recommend COVID-19 booster shots. The move to start boosters next month has been blasted by the World Health Organization, which questions the data to support the need for a third shot—especially as poorer nations continue to struggle with getting first shots to people.

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Note: in the top article, WebMD is cited as saying in the US, up to 40% of health care workers have chosen not to get the vaccine. But Greece claims “more than 90% of the doctors and 80% of the nurses had been vaccinated”.

Greek Health Ministry Bracing For ‘Great Exodus’ (K.)

With the deadline for the mandatory vaccination of health workers expiring on Wednesday, the Heath Ministry is preparing for an imminent “great exodus” of staff due to the suspensions that will ensue with a wide array of preemptive measures to fill the gaps and to ensure that services are fully operational. These measures include a reshuffle of healthcare workers within hospitals, mergers of clinics and departments, the replacement of those suspended with auxiliary staff and partnerships with the private sector for support services such as catering, care etc. Wednesday is the last day for staff to get at least the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 so as to avoid suspension as of tomorrow. The government has insisted the relevant legislation for mandatory vaccinations will be strictly implemented.


Those who are exempt from the precepts of the legislation are obviously those that have already been vaccinated and workers who have been infected with the coronavirus within the last six months. Those who do not fall into these categories and have not received approval for exemption due to health issues by the competent committees will be suspended. Moreover, as clarified by the former deputy minister of health, Vassilis Kontozamanis, based on the payroll system in the public sector, which provides advance payment of earnings every two weeks, the government will request that they return this amount of salary as unduly paid. Speaking on the radio station 9.84 on Tuesday, Secretary General of Health Services Yiannis Kotsiopoulos estimated that about 10,000 health workers will not continue working in the National Health System. According to the most recent data, more than 90% of the doctors and 80% of the nurses had been vaccinated against Covid-19, while the percentages are lower for the rest of the staff.

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The Guardian campaign vs ivermectin. Check the picture they use.

Pharmacy Customers Refuse To Say What Ivermectin Prescription Is For (G.)

Australian pharmacists have reported an increasing number of people arriving with prescriptions for the drug ivermectin, but refusing to say what it will be used for. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia said its members were encountering resistance from some customers when asked why they were seeking ivermectin. “PSA is aware that some pharmacists have experienced an increase in presentations of prescriptions for ivermectin, including where the patient is unwilling or unable to discuss what they are being used for,” a PSA spokesperson said. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Monday said there had been a shortage of Stromectol 3mg ivermectin tablets in August.


The drug is typically used in humans for treating river blindness, scabies and roundworm infections, but has increasingly been sought as a treatment for Covid-19, despite not being approved for that use in Australia. The TGA also noted there had been a tenfold increase in detections of the drug being imported into Australia, prompting the regulator to warn against using the drug for Covid-19 treatment, stating there is “insufficient evidence” that it works and it may be dangerous to health. The university behind the initial lab trial for ivermectin used to treat Covid-19 has also warned against people self-medicating with the drug or buying drugs meant for livestock. Much of the initial focus on the drug as a Covid-19 treatment stemmed from an April 2020 lab trial at Monash University in Melbourne, where ivermectin was found to have killed the Covid-19 virus in a cell culture within 48 hours.

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“New Zealand is fully trapped in the Zero COVID death spiral, and it has no way out of it for the foreseeable future.”

Zero Covid, A Once Wildly Popular Ideology, Quietly Faces Extinction (Subs)

The Zero COVID ideology began with a Chinese government lie. Zero COVID once recruited almost unanimous advocates in world governments, “global health” organizations, and “public health experts” far and wide. Yet today, just 18 months after its first implementation, the Zero COVID ideology is so rare and so unpopular that you have to travel to remote parts of Oceania or within the confines of an elite American liberal arts university in order to find it. Zero COVID, the idea that demands the total elimination of a virus from a nation state, was spawned as part of a disinformation operation by the Chinese Communist Party in Wuhan, China. In early 2020, Chinese authorities declared the virus that causes COVID-19 had been successfully eliminated from the population through brute force restrictions such as lockdowns, masks, and using the power of a Police State to force people to stay inside their homes for an indefinite period of time.

When COVID-19 spread far and wide, almost every nation in the world (other than rare holdouts such as Sweden and Belarus) implemented the aforementioned draconian policies in an attempt to “stop the spread” and eliminate the virus from the world. In the beginning, even questioning these baseless, pseudoscientific ideas was tantamount to being something of a bioterrorist. Through much of 2020, yours truly was constantly castigated by actors across the political spectrum for asking about the wisdom of using the power of government to wage an elimination war against a submicroscopic infectious particle. Zero COVID was science. Zero COVID was truth. Zero COVID superseded every constitutional protection out there, because no right was too important when a virus was out there.

In 2020, COVID Zero’s membership roster was probably in the billions. Now, the adherents of the COVID Zero ideology are facing imminent extinction. The 18 month effort to contain COVID-19 was not only unsuccessful, it brought unprecedented economic and societal disaster in addition to the unconstrained virus problem. Today, few, if any governments have fully owned up to their failures. Most have taken the scapegoat approach, and without evidence, have blamed “the unvaccinated,” the “highly contagious” Delta variant, or some combination of the two to justify their catastrophic blunders. Over the past few months, the remains of the Zero COVID damn broke in the few nation state holdouts where rulers still adhered to the Zero COVID ideology.

In Australia, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, and elsewhere around the world, the lid on the pressure cooker came flying off, and local populations saw skyrocketing COVID numbers. Now, every country in the world but one has quietly, through their own policies, accepted the failure of the “global elites’” Zero COVID virus elimination strategy. Read some of the media stories that lauded Zero COVID “success story” nations, and you’ll find that they’ve come to age like months-old milk. New Zealand, the one Zero COVID country that remains, is currently under another hard lockdown, which has recently been extended until at least mid September. The country is now almost 2 years into its self siege, in which the government has decreed that the vast majority of citizens cannot enter or exit the country. As for a reopening timeline, Auckland no longer has one. New Zealand is fully trapped in the Zero COVID death spiral, and it has no way out of it for the foreseeable future.

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Bit late.

Singapore Gives Up Goal of Zero Covid Despite High Vaccination Rate (Gizmodo)

Singapore has decided to give up on the dream of covid-zero and will instead learn to “live with the virus,” according to the country’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday. The decision comes despite the fact that Singapore has one of the highest covid-19 vaccination rates in the world, with 80% of the adult population fully vaccinated—second only to the country of Malta’s 82%. Singapore, a country of roughly 5.7 million people, has been among a handful of countries that have pursued a strategy of completely eliminating covid-19, rather than just suppressing the virus. Other covid-zero countries over the past year have included New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Australia.

“It is no longer possible to bring covid-19 cases down to zero, even if we lock down for a long time. Therefore, we must prepare for covid-19 to become endemic, like the flu or chicken pox,” Lee said on Sunday during a speech to commemorate the country’s National Day, according to a transcript from the Strait Times. “Fortunately, with vaccination and added precautions, we can live with the virus and become ‘Covid resilient’,” Lee continued. Singapore has done exceptionally well during our global health crisis, reporting roughly 67,000 cases of covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, and just 55 deaths. And Singapore was reporting fewer than 30 cases per day for much of 2021 until a surge of cases in July that saw the country averaging 150 cases per day.

But Loong promises his government isn’t giving up on suppressing the virus, they’re just abandoning the covid-zero model. “We may have to tap on the brakes from time to time, but we want to avoid having to slam on the brakes hard. So in the next phase, we will move step by step. Not in one big bang like in some countries but cautiously and progressively, feeling our way forward,” Lee said. That “big bang” is likely a veiled reference to countries like the UK, which celebrated a “freedom day” in July where all covid-19 restrictions were lifted, only to see a surge in cases and deaths. Case numbers in the UK have started to plateau again, thanks largely to the vast majority of people in the region having covid-19 antibodies either through vaccination or previous infection, but cases are still very high at roughly 25,000 per day. The U.S. has also seen a surge of infections recently, with a seven-day average of about 157,000 new cases each day.

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“It is hard to overstate how dispositively Rhodes’ own book proves that Obama officials generally, and Rhodes specifically, lied blatantly and cavalierly to the public about what happened..”

Obama Officials’ Lies About Edward Snowden and Russia (Greenwald)

Ever since Edward Snowden received asylum from Russia in 2013, Obama officials have repeatedly maligned his motives and patriotism by citing his “choice” to take up residence there. It has long been clear that this narrative was a lie: Snowden, after meeting with journalists in Hong Kong, intended only to transit through Moscow and then Havana on his way to seek asylum in Latin America. He was purposely prevented from leaving Russia — trapped in the Moscow airport — by the very Obama officials who then cynically weaponized his presence there to imply he was a civil-liberties hypocrite for “choosing” to live in such a repressive country or, even worse, a Kremlin agent or Russian spy.

But now we have absolute, definitive proof that Snowden never intended to stay in Russia but was deliberately prevented from leaving by the same Obama officials who exploited the predicament which they created. The proof was supplied unintentionally in the memoir of one of Obama’s senior national security advisers, Ben Rhodes, entitled The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. It is hard to overstate how dispositively Rhodes’ own book proves that Obama officials generally, and Rhodes specifically, lied blatantly and cavalierly to the public about what happened: a level of sustained and conscious lying that can be explained only by sociopathy.

The memoir of Rhodes, now appropriately an MSNBC contributor, is an incredibly self-serving homage to himself that repeatedly attempts to demonstrate his own importance and accomplishments. The passage about Rhodes’ conduct regarding Snowden is very much aligned with those goals. While repeatedly emphasizing how traumatic the Snowden revelations were for the Obama administrations, Rhodes boasts of the crucial role he played in preventing Snowden from leaving Russia as the NSA whistleblower was desperately attempting to do so — exactly the opposite of what people like Rhodes and Hillary Clinton were telling the public about Snowden.

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Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Jul 282021
 


Blu Mural Rome, 2015 (click for more)

 

CDC Warns Covid-19 May Be A Few Mutations Away From Evading Vaccines (NYP)
Higher COVID Rate Found In Some Counties With Higher Vaccination Rate (CBS)
Booster Vaccines Could Be Offered As Soon As September (NT)
“Zero COVID” Experts Put Grandkids At Risk (ZH)
Unvaccinated Diners Only: California Restaurant (RT)
America, A Nation Which Once Championed Free Speech (Sinclair)
The Price of Conscience – Daniel Hale Sentenced to 45 Months (Chris Hedges)
Biden DOJ Wants Identity Of NoVA Woman’s Employer Kept Secret (Patch)
The Insecurity Industry (Snowden)
Julian Assange Stripped Of Citizenship By Ecuador (G.)

 

 

Does this say that even if a drug will be found to treat COVID19 the contract cannot be voided?!

 

 

 

 

So why would anyone want to get vaccinated now? Why not wait? “You’ll make it worse!” Me? On my own?

CDC Warns Covid-19 May Be A Few Mutations Away From Evading Vaccines (NYP)

COVID-19 may be “just a few mutations” away from being able to evade vaccines, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Tuesday. Walensky said the current vaccines are effective against severe cases of the coronavirus, including those caused by its known variants, but its continuing spread could allow the disease to mutate beyond the immunizations’ protection. “The largest concern that I think we in public health and sciences are worried about is that virus and potential mutations … [have] the potential to evade our vaccine in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death,” Walensky said at a press briefing.

“Right now, fortunately, we are not there. These vaccines operate really well in protecting us from severe disease and death. But the big concern is the next area that might emerge, just a few mutations potentially away, could potentially evade our vaccines.” The agency chief said the possibility is even more reason for people to get vaccinated — so that the virus can finally be off at the pass before it mutates into something that requires another vaccine. The CDC on Tuesday issued new indoor mask guidelines designed to help slow the spread of the virus in places experiencing surges in cases.

“In areas with substantial and time transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant and protect others,” Walensky said, referring to the highly contagious strain that comprises an estimated 83 percent of new cases nationwide. Health officials have stressed that rising coronavirus case numbers in the US are being driven by unvaccinated Americans. Currently, people who are not vaccinated are responsible for around 99.5 percent of COVID-19 deaths and 97 percent of hospitalizations, officials said.

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CBS Sacramento. The ways the story is “massaged” is a sight to behold.

Higher COVID Rate Found In Some Counties With Higher Vaccination Rate (CBS)

State workers and health care employees will now be required to show proof of vaccine or get tested for COVID at least once a week. The governor announced the new guidance today and is urging private employers to “replicate the example.” This comes as the highly contagious Delta variant is now dominant in the state and COVID rates have skyrocketed in the month since California officially reopened, including breakthrough cases among vaccinated Californians. A new analysis finds several counties with above-average vaccination rates also have higher COVID case rates, while case rates are falling in counties with below-average vaccination rates.

Statewide data analyzed by the Bay Area News Group found five counties, Los Angeles, San Diego, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco, have both a higher percentage of people who are fully vaccinated than the state average and a higher average daily case rate. Compare that to these five counties: Modoc, Glenn, Lassen, Del Norte, and San Benito, which have below-average vaccination rates and decreasing case rates. However, UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Phillip Norris clarifies that the data doesn’t mean the vaccine is not working. He notes, first, the counties referenced with higher vaccination and case rates are more densely populated. “If there are a lot of people around you’re more likely to bump into one who has COVID,” Norris explained.

He, like other infectious disease experts, warns that vaccinated people may be unknowingly spreading the virus. Julie: A lot of people think if they’re vaccinated, they can’t transmit. Is that true? Phillip: So, originally we thought that might be true. But he says that’s no longer the case, thanks to the Delta variant. He points to preliminary data from China that indicates the viral load in the nose from the Delta variant may be 1,000 times higher than previous variants. “If that’s the case, even a little bit in somebody who’s vaccinated could be a lot,” he explains.

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Ireland. If I were me, I’d first want to know what’s in those booster shots. Different spike proteins perhaps?

Booster Vaccines Could Be Offered As Soon As September (NT)

A COVID-19 vaccine booster programme could get underway as soon as September, the Health Minister says. Stephen Donnelly says it will be done in conjunction with the flu vaccine, which is usually done in early autumn. It’s believed boosters will be offered first to people at high risk of illness or exposure to COVID-19 – in particular those who were vaccinated early in the rollout. Stephen Donnelly says we’re also likely to see “pop-up” vaccination centres in the coming weeks, to make it as “easy as possible” for young people to get vaccinated. He was speaking after NIAC and the Government gave the green light to extend vaccination to everyone aged 12-15. Around 70% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated against the virus, with nearly 85% having received at least their first dose.


Minister Donnelly told Newstalk Breakfast work is underway to figure out the best way to extend the vaccine programme in the coming weeks. He said: “My priority for some time has been children with underlying conditions. He said teenagers with underlying conditions may be able to book an appointment with their GP. However, it may ultimately be quicker to allow everyone in the age group to register at the same time for appointments in the mass vaccination centres. This weekend will also see the opening of the country’s first walk-in vaccination centres. Minister Donnelly said: “It’s this bank holiday weekend… it’s mRNA vaccines, so Pfizer or Moderna. Anyone over the age of 16… can just walk in.” He said it doesn’t matter if someone has already registered via the vaccine portal – they can still attend the new centre if they haven’t had their first dose yet.

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Zero covid is a thing of the past that hampers effective reactions.

“Zero COVID” Experts Put Grandkids At Risk (ZH)

The need to act on climate change is the fundamental moral imperative of our age, animated by the idea our sacrifices today will save the planet in the future. Yes, energy costs may be higher and some people will lose their jobs, but it’s worth it for the grandkids. Curiously, the grandkids haven’t been given much thought in our response to Covid-19. Our generation has foist extraordinary costs on future generations in a vain attempt to save lives from a disease that is lethal to a few. “The great majority of people … even in their 80s … will survive,” Britain’s chief scientific adviser Chris Whitty said in March last year, before collective psychosis took hold.

“Even in the most vulnerable, oldest groups, in a very stressed health service … the great majority of people who catch the virus – and not everyone will – survive it,” he told a parliamentary committee, having analysed the data from China and Italy. That was true then and it’s true now. Covid-19 was never an existential threat. After 18 months about four million people have died from or with Covid – most of advanced age apart for some tragic exceptions – in a world with a rapidly growing population of almost eight billion people. Sixty million people die every year. But we have behaved like it was, racking up trillions in extra debt and trashing norms of liberal democracy that might not quickly, if ever, return.

The idea that Sydney would be locked down in September 2021 or that American pediatricians would insist anyone over two years old wear a mask outside, to anyone living in February last year would have seemed ridiculous. Yet both, seemingly, are true. On this trend, silencing different scientific opinions or mandating individual tracking devices, all in the name of “saving lives”, may no longer be considered far-fetched. At the end of 2019 the federal budget papers forecast net debt of $361bn by June 2023. The latest budget papers forecast $835bn for the same period, rising to $980bn by mid-2025. Put another way, by 2030 the government’s gross debt burden is forecast to be more than 51 per cent of GDP, compared with 15 per cent forecast in 2019, according to the Intergenerational Report released last month.

By 2060, interest payments on federal debt will have doubled as a share of the economy, if interest rates start to return to more normal levels, it forecasts. A warmer planet won’t be the only burden we’re leaving for the grandkids. Future taxes will need to be higher, and expenditures on other goods and services lower, commensurately, than they otherwise would have been. We will have fewer resources to invest in cancer and dementia research, for example, much greater threats to welfare than Covid-19. “The Covid-19 pandemic and associated containment measures, however, have profoundly affected Australian society and the economy, and are likely to shape the future in ways that are not yet apparent,” the Intergenerational Report says. Who would have foreseen, for instance, a surge in babies being admitted to hospital in New Zealand for an “immunity debt” potentially caused by the government’s closed border policy?

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Of course not, or it would be no fun:

“An employee told the Los Angeles Times that the restaurant is not actually checking patrons’ vaccine status.”

Unvaccinated Diners Only: California Restaurant (RT)

A California restaurant has refused to back down after being bombarded with negative press and customer reviews for posting a sign demanding that all diners provide proof that they have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. With vaccination status increasingly becoming a prerequisite to participate in many ordinary activities, one Huntington Beach eatery has decided to take a slightly different approach to granting privileges based on personal medical decisions. On its storefront window, Basilico’s Pasta e Vino taped a sign reading: “PROOF OF BEING UNVACCINATED REQUIRED. We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity. Thank you for pondering.”

The restaurant’s owner, Tony Roman, said that the unorthodox policy is designed to get people thinking as some Southern California businesses begin asking customers for proof of vaccination. “With the new and aggressive push for mandatory vax policies, we couldn’t resist, so we are sending a message of our own. Hopefully most are smart enough to read between the lines. Otherwise we will just sit back and have fun watching their heads explode over it,” Roman said in a statement to local media. An employee told the Los Angeles Times that the restaurant is not actually checking patrons’ vaccine status. The restaurant previously declared itself a mask-free zone and refused to shut its doors when eateries were ordered in March 2020 to curtail indoor dining as part of Covid restrictions.

Some appear to appreciate the intended message behind the odd measure. A vaccinated woman who cuts hair at a nearby barbershop told local media that she didn’t feel slighted by the no-vaxxed-allowed policy. “You got other places that want you vaccinated to come in. No different, right?” she noted to a local ABC affiliate. However, many others were furious over the move. The restaurant has been pelted with negative reviews on Yelp. One comment said that the provocative rule was a “slap in the face to all those who died from Covid-19.”

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Good idea, so-so rendition:

America, A Nation Which Once Championed Free Speech (Sinclair)

The elites of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill act as the true overlords of Western thought, guarding the borders of allowable speech. How on earth did we allow this to happen – and what can be done now? America has changed beyond recognition over the past few years, and performed a rather rapid about-face on the issue of free speech, a notion it once championed. The source of this is no longer merely the apparatus of Silicon Valley and its desire to control information flows (which it is meant to merely shepherd without bias). The same pressure has come from the superstate structure of America itself, particularly (and ironically) the politically ‘liberal’ faction, as well as from an overarching pressure from the consumer interests of Western-backed global finance.

There appears to be a mass consensus among American money-powers (and thereby state powers) to tightly control information, and to abandon utterly their so recently lauded values of free speech. The FBI in particular has seemingly transitioned into an institution of speech-referees and political oppressors, on guard primarily against America’s own citizens. Ironically, this has not halted America’s saber-rattling about political and informational oppressions from its geopolitical rivals in the east, which find themselves in the reverse role of shocked concern at the willingness of the American superstate to silence its political and moral enemies. Even to the extent of performing show trials.

[..] Facebook has led an initiative to officially create ‘snitches’ among its users, creating their own ‘social credit scheme’, along the lines of China’s. Again, in an act of unbridled obliviousness to the utter reversal of values they held as core only a few scant years ago, and while complaining out of the corner of their mouths about a Chinese variation of the same system. The nation which championed ‘free speech’ will now ban you from the public space and force you out of your job for the crime of ‘misgendering’. Among those who support the hard turn away from free speech, you will find devoted imbibers of neoliberal media, (CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NYT, etc). It is possibly here where you will find these attitudes are ‘created’ before being disseminated downstream among the elites of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill.

Once in consensus with the latest media buzzwords, these three may be considered part of a closed feedback loop. From there the true overlords of Western thought are those newly emerged sentinels who guard the borders of allowable speech. Today American citizens are tracked, monitored, and generally threatened more than ever before. Even my writing of this article, what would have been considered an innocuous expression of free political criticism only five or so years ago, might today be considered controversial to the new ‘American Stasi’. We in the West now live behind what we might call a new ‘iron curtain’ – and for those living behind this curtain, there is no longer any illusion of free speech, it is simply no longer talked about.

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Hale was caught because the Intercept got involved.

The Price of Conscience – Daniel Hale Sentenced to 45 Months (Chris Hedges)

Daniel Hale, a former intelligence analyst in the drone program for the Air Force who as a private contractor in 2013 leaked some 17 classified documents about drone strikes to the press, was sentenced Tuesday to 45 months in prison. The documents, published by The Intercept on October 15, 2015, exposed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. For one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The Justice Department coerced Hale, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, on March 31 to plead guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act, a law passed in 1917 designed to prosecute those who passed on state secrets to a hostile power, not those who expose to the public government lies and crimes. Hale admitted as part of the plea deal to “retention and transmission of national security information” and leaking 11 classified documents to a journalist. If he had refused the plea deal, he could have spent 50 years in prison. The sentencing of Hale is one more potentially mortal blow to the freedom of the press. It follows in the wake of the prosecutions and imprisonment of other whistleblowers under the Espionage Act including Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison for exposing the routine torture of suspects held in black sites.


Those charged under the act are treated as if they were spies. They are barred from explaining motivations and intent to the court. They cannot provide evidence to the court of the government lawlessness and war crimes they exposed. Prominent human rights organizations, such as the ACLU and PEN, along with mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and CNN, have largely remained silent about the prosecution of Hale. The group Stand with Daniel Hale has called on President Biden to pardon Hale and end the use of the Espionage Act to punish whistleblowers. It is also collecting donations for Hale’s legal fund. The bipartisan onslaught against the press — Barack Obama used the Espionage Act eight times against whistleblowers, more than all other previous administrations combined — by criminalizing those within the system who seek to inform the public is ominous for our democracy. It is effectively extinguishing all investigations into the inner workings of power.

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US woman kills someone on UK motorway, her fault, flees the country. US calls diplomatic immunity of sorts, no extradition. The US attorney who makes that case happens to be the same who tries hard to get Assange extradited the other way around.

Biden DOJ Wants Identity Of NoVA Woman’s Employer Kept Secret (Patch)

Radd Seiger, adviser and spokesperson for the Dunn family, said in a statement Monday that “as any parent might imagine, losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to you.” “But having to deal with the U.S. Government’s abuse and denial of justice as Harry’s family have had to since he died is unprecedented for us here in the U.K.,” he said. “Their conduct is and continues to be frankly unAmerican and against the core values of decency and compassion that we know most Americans hold dear to their hearts, including those who work for the intelligence agencies, many of whom have come forward to us privately to tell us how ashamed they are of their employer.”

Among the Justice Department officials who signed the motion for a protective order was Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and an appointee of the Biden administration. In an ironic twist, Parekh supervises hundreds of Justice Department attorneys, including many who are seeking the extradition of foreign nationals to the United States. The most prominent case currently under Parekh’s direction is the U.S. government’s attempt to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, from the U.K. to the United States to face charges under the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917. David Davis, a Conservative member of the U.K. Parliament, wrote in an op-ed on Saturday that his government appears to have a one-sided relationship with the United States on the issue of extradition.

“[T]he UK is one of most amenable nations in the world to the surrender of its citizens to overseas courts — but we do not insist on corresponding arrangements with other governments,” Davis wrote in his July 24 column for the Daily Mail. [..] Sacoolas is scheduled to be deposed by the Dunn family’s lawyers on Aug. 24 as part of the lawsuit against her and her husband. Dunn’s parents were deposed in the civil proceeding in early July. At Sacoolas’s deposition, “she will be questioned regarding her activity as she drove from the base to the accident scene, and Plaintiffs are deeply concerned that the Government’s motion will needlessly thwart a legitimate inquiry on this and other relevant subjects,” the Dunn family lawyers wrote in their court filing on Monday. Seiger, the spokesperson for the Dunn family, said the July 23 motion filed by the Justice Department “is not an attempt to protect state secrets or national security.” “It is an attempt to keep Harry’s family from the truth and minimize what happened to him,” he said.

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“The first thing I do when I get a new phone is take it apart.”

The Insecurity Industry (Snowden)

The first thing I do when I get a new phone is take it apart. I don’t do this to satisfy a tinkerer’s urge, or out of political principle, but simply because it is unsafe to operate. Fixing the hardware, which is to say surgically removing the two or three tiny microphones hidden inside, is only the first step of an arduous process, and yet even after days of these DIY security improvements, my smartphone will remain the most dangerous item I possess. Prior to this week’s Pegasus Project, a global reporting effort by major newspapers to expose the fatal consequences of the NSO Group—the new private-sector face of an out-of-control Insecurity Industry—most smartphone manufacturers along with much of the world press collectively rolled their eyes at me whenever I publicly identified a fresh-out-of-the-box iPhone as a potentially lethal threat.

Despite years of reporting that implicated the NSO Group’s for-profit hacking of phones in the deaths and detentions of journalists and human rights defenders; despite years of reporting that smartphone operating systems were riddled with catastrophic security flaws (a circumstance aggravated by their code having been written in aging programming languages that have long been regarded as unsafe); and despite years of reporting that even when everything works as intended, the mobile ecosystem is a dystopian hellscape of end-user monitoring and outright end-user manipulation, it is still hard for many people to accept that something that feels good may not in fact be good. Over the last eight years I’ve often felt like someone trying to convince their one friend who refuses to grow up to quit smoking and cut back on the booze—meanwhile, the magazine ads still say “Nine of Ten Doctors Smoke iPhones!” and “Unsecured Mobile Browsing is Refreshing!”

In my infinite optimism, however, I can’t help but regard the arrival of the Pegasus Project as a turning-point—a well-researched, exhaustively-sourced, and frankly crazy-making story about a “winged” “Trojan Horse” infection named “Pegasus” that basically turns the phone in your pocket into an all-powerful tracking device that can be turned on or off, remotely, unbeknownst to you, the pocket’s owner.


The microphones inside my actual phone, prepped for surgery

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Officially stateless now? Nice. What says Australia?

Julian Assange Stripped Of Citizenship By Ecuador (G.)

Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who is currently in a British prison. Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalisation in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s foreign ministry. A naturalisation is reconsidered when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud. Ecuadorian authorities said Assange’s naturalisation letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues. Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, said the decision was made without due process and Assange was not allowed to appear in the case.


“On the date [Assange] was cited he was deprived of his liberty and with a health crisis inside the deprivation of liberty centre where he was being held,” Poveda said. Poveda said he will file appeals asking for an amplification and clarification of the decision. “More than the importance of nationality, it is a matter of respecting rights and following due process in withdrawing nationality.” Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed attempt by the government of then-President Lenín Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to get him out of its embassy in London. On Monday, the Pichincha court for contentious administrative matters revoked this decision. Ecuador’s foreign ministry said the court had “acted independently and followed due process in a case that took place during the previous government and that was raised by the same previous government”.

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Jun 182021
 


Roy Lichtenstein Crying girl 1964

 

Kids, Adults Have Similar Seroprevalence (HT)
Avalanche of Numbers (D’Eramo)
VAERS ID: 1026783 (OpenVaers)
Hong Kong Pays Off 3 Patients Who Suffered “Adverse” Reaction To Vaccines (ZH)
Vaccine Passports: Business Rights vs Personal Freedom (Smith)
Scientist Backing Probe Into Wuhan Lab: We Waited Because Of Trump (DW)
The Real B3W-NATO Agenda (Escobar)
Swexit (Streeck)
The Role Of Public Debt And Private Debt In The Next Crisis (Steve Keen)
Lifting The Mask (Edward Snowden)

 

 

 

 

Biden + Kamala vaccines
https://twitter.com/i/status/1405804353240420353

 

 

Dr. Byram Bridle

 

 

Has India reached herd immunity?

Kids, Adults Have Similar Seroprevalence (HT)

The exposure of children to Covid-19 has been similar to adults’, a serological surveillance study spearheaded by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has found, addressing fears that a third wave of Covid-19 could disproportionately affect children. The seroprevalence, presence of virus-fighting antibodies against Sars-CoV-2, among children was 55.7% across five study sites, in comparison to 63.5% among adults — the difference was judged to be statistically insignificant. In Delhi, which was one of the five sites for the study, the researchers found that 74.7% of the population – both children and adults – had been exposed to the infection. This is much higher seroprevalence than the state government’s survey from January where 56.1% were found to have antibodies against the virus.

The samples for the AIIMS study were collected between April and May, and would not have detected antibodies of those who got the infection during the second wave. There was also an urban-rural divide in prevalence in Delhi-NCR. As compared to the 74.7% in urban settlements of South Delhi, the prevalence was 59.3% in villages of Delhi and Ballabhgarh. “Results show that a large majority of the population had already been infected by the time we conducted the study at Delhi urban site which belongs to lower and middle socioeconomic strata population and very congested neighbourhood,” the study said. With all locations other than Delhi being rural, the average seroprevalence in rural areas stood at 58.8% as per the study. The highest seroprevalence was found in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where 87.9% of the people had been exposed to the infection.

More importantly, the seroprevalence among children and adults in the same regions were similar. “Wherever the prevalence of antibodies was high among the adults, it was high among the children, busting the myth that so far children have been less affected. The thing is, the binding of the virus to the human cell receptors is not very good in children and hence they mostly develop either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infection,” said Dr Sanjay Rai, one of the authors of the study and the head of the department of community medicine at the AIIMS. He added, “People have been saying that after the young, the third wave will impact children more. The fact is most of them have been already exposed to the infection along with their families. And, numerous studies have now shown that natural infection can provide better and longer protection against a second infection.”

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More India.

Avalanche of Numbers (D’Eramo)

In the last few weeks, a report has been circulating in the online fora of the ultranationalist Indian diaspora. Its author, Shantanu Gupta, an ideologue closely associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatya Janata Party, ‘tracked the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in India of 6 global publications – BBC, the Economist, the Guardian, Washington Post, New York Times and CNN – via web search results over a 14-month period’. His argument is that these outlets have distorted and exaggerated the effects of coronavirus in India. On what does Gupta base this thesis? On the fact that all these sources have used absolute numbers rather than cases per million. By the latter metric, we are told, ‘India is one of the better performing countries on the global map’. Here he is undoubtedly correct.

Countless times this spring we’ve seen the dramatic, record-shattering daily death counts from India, as it reportedly became the country with the third highest Covid deaths in the world. A quick look at these records: deaths in India reached their highest level on May 18th, with 4,525 per day. The USA topped this morbid leaderboard on January 12th with slightly lower numbers: 4,466. The UK reached its peak on January 20th, with 1,823 daily deaths; Italy on December 3rd with 993.

The problem is, India’s population stands at 1.392 billion. The USA’s is just 332 million, while the UK and Italy have 68 and 60 million respectively. If, then, we were to count the number of deaths per million inhabitants, ranking the highest daily death count yields quite different results: the UK holds a strong lead, with 28 deaths a day per million inhabitant; Italy is in second place with 17; the USA follows with 14; and India comes last, with just 3 per million inhabitants. Regarding the total number of deaths per million since the beginning of the pandemic, each country is almost identical, the only change coming at the very top: Italy clinches gold with 2,091 deaths per million, the UK 1,873, the USA 1,836, and India just 243.

One might argue that Indian statistics are unreliable (a fair objection, no doubt), due to the impossibility of accurately recording deaths in slums and other deprived areas. We now know that the true Covid death count in Peru was around triple the official figure. But multiply the Indian death count by four and it would still be inferior to that of more developed countries with far higher per capita incomes such as the USA, UK and Italy.

So has the pandemic in India been a bed of roses, as Modi has repeated for around a year, and as Gupta still maintains? Not at all. Try selling this to the families brought to ruin buying oxygen tanks on the black market or rooms in facilities with ventilators, or to the millions of precarious workers sent back home on foot, without a penny or subsidy to speak of. Even if, epidemiologically, Covid has not hit India more violently than other countries, it nonetheless spelled catastrophe for the health service and the wider economy. The numbers presented to underscore India’s Covid ‘tragedy’ in reality told an entirely different story. They were a testament to the brutal inequality of Indian society and the awful state of its health service: underfunded, staffed with underpaid workers, and lacking all kinds of vital equipment.

Malone

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Can vaccinated pilots be trusted to fly a plane?

VAERS ID: 1026783 (OpenVaers)

AGE: 33| SEX: M|State: MS. i noticed a headache in the very top of my head within an hour of getting the vaccine. i thought it was normal because everyone i know said they got a headache from it. over the next few hours, the pain moved down the back of my neck and became a burning sensation at the bottom of my skull. the pain was not excruciating but was constant. i thought it would eventually go away. i’m a pilot and fly for a living. two days after receiving the vaccine i flew my plane and immediately noticed something was wrong with me. i was having a very hard time focusing. approximately 2 hours into my flying i felt sudden and extreme pressure in my head and nearly blacked out.

i immediately landed and stopped flying. two days later i tried flying again and the exact same thing happened again after 20 minutes. the burning in my neck intensified and was now accompanied by dizziness, nausea, disorientation, confusion, uncontrollable shaking, and tinkling in my toes and fingers. i immediately went to my hometown doctor and he diagnosed me with vertigo. he prescribed me meclizine on friday 02/05/2021. i took the medicine as prescribed all weekend with no relief. monday 02/08/2021 i made an appointment for that wednesday at the institute.

during wednesday 02/10/2021-02/11/2021 i had roughly 10-15 test performed on me including balance, eye and hearing test, ct scan, mri, and measured my spinal fluid pressure. the physician determined on 02/11/2021 that i had an allergic reaction to the pfizer covid vaccine the severely increased the pressure in my spinal cord and brain stem. that pressure causes my vision problems and ultimately ruptured my left inner ear breaking off several crystals in the process. i cannot fly with this condition. i’m currently taking diamox to reduce the pressure in my spinal cord and brain stem.

BA pilots

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Vaccination Indemnity Fund.

Hong Kong Pays Off 3 Patients Who Suffered “Adverse” Reaction To Vaccines (ZH)

For the first time since its mass-vaccination campaign kicked off three months ago, Hong Kong’s vaccination indemnity fund has paid out a total of HK$450,000 ($58,000) as compensation for patients who suffered particularly severe reactions to inoculation against COVID. Out of more than 3MM doses of vaccines that have been administered in the city-state since February, HK’s Food and Health Bureau said it had received 74 applications for compensation as of June 10, 58 of which were still being processed. As of Sunday, 3,605 people had reported an adverse reaction to their jabs, roughly 0.12% of all vaccination recipients. Only 1.2MM, or 16.3% of the city’s population, has been fully vaccinated.


Awards were given to patients whose reactions were deemed especially severe. “The principles of severity assessment include fairness to applicants, prudent use of public funding, transparency to the public, and based on medical science,” the bureau said in a statement. “Severity of individual cases is subject to case-by-case assessment according to their circumstances.” The compensation figures were revealed while authorities also confirmed a new imported case from Sri Lanka, which brought the city’s official tally to 11,881, with 210 related deaths. So far 21 deaths have been recorded involving people who received a jab two weeks before dying, although no connection has been made between he vaccination and the deaths, according to the state authorities.

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“Do private property rights and free markets extend to them as well, even if their goal is the destruction of the very principles of freedom we hold dear?”

Vaccine Passports: Business Rights vs Personal Freedom (Smith)

The formation of totalitarianism is often insidious in that it is almost always sold to the public as “humanitarian”; a solution for the greater good of the greater number. But beyond that, tyrants will also exploit the ideals of the target population and use these principles against them. Like weaknesses in the armor of a free society, our ideals of freedom are not necessarily universally applicable at all times and in all circumstances; we have to place some limits in order to prevent oligarchy from using liberalism as a tool to gain a foothold. This battle for balance is the defining drama of all societies that endeavor to be free. It might sound hypocritical, and your typical anarchist and some libertarians will completely dismiss the notion that there should be any limits to what people (or companies) can do, especially when it comes to their private property.

But at what point do private property rights encroach on the rights of others? Is it simply black and white? Does anything go? The bottom line is, in the wake of covid controls and mass online censorship, it is time for those of us in the liberty movement to have a frank discussion about where the line is for the rights of businesses. The problem went mainstream initially a few years back when Big Tech companies that control the majority of social media sites decided that they were going to start actively targeting conservative users with shadow bans and outright censorship. Here’s the thing: If we are talking about smaller websites run by private individuals, then yes, I would argue in defense of their right to remove anyone from their site for almost any reason.

Their website is their property, and much like their home they can do whatever they want within it. Denial of access to an average website is not going to damage the ability of a person to live their normal lives, nor will it fundamentally restrict their ability to share information with others. There are always other websites. But what if we are talking about massive international conglomerates? Should these corporations be given the same free rein to do as they wilt? Do private property rights and free markets extend to them as well, even if their goal is the destruction of the very principles of freedom we hold dear? And, what if a host of small businesses in a given place decide they are going to implement freedom crushing mandates along with major corporations? What if they are all manipulated by government incentives or pressure? What if governments do not need to implement totalitarianism directly at first because businesses are doing it for them? Do the dynamics of private property change in this case?

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“..a xenophobic cousin to climate change denialism and anti-vaxxism..”

Scientist Backing Probe Into Wuhan Lab: We Waited Because Of Trump (DW)

A scientist that signed onto a letter recently backing a probe in the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology admitted in an interview this week that she and other scientists did not come forward sooner to back the possibility that the pandemic originated in a lab because they did not want “to be associated with Trump.” NBC News reports: Chan was one of 18 scientists who published a letter in the journal Science last month calling for a more in-depth investigation into the virus’s origin that takes into account theories about both natural occurrence and laboratory spillovers. The letter helped kick-start a new round of calls to investigate the “lab leak hypothesis,” including demands from President Joe Biden and several leading scientists.

The report noted that numerous experts in the field have said that little-to-no evidence has emerged over the last year or so and that the only thing that has changed is the “context and circumstances” around the debate of the pandemic’s origins. The report continued: “Chan said there had been trepidation among some scientists about publicly discussing the lab leak hypothesis for fear that their words could be misconstrued or used to support racist rhetoric about how the coronavirus emerged. Trump fueled accusations that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research lab in the city where the first Covid-19 cases were reported, was connected to the outbreak…” “At the time, it was scarier to be associated with Trump and to become a tool for racists, so people didn’t want to publicly call for an investigation into lab origins,” Chan claimed in the interview.

Scientists rushed to downplay the possibility that the pandemic could have originated in the lab by publishing a letter in The Lancet that cast it “as a xenophobic cousin to climate change denialism and anti-vaxxism,” Vanity Fair reported. “The Lancet statement effectively ended the debate over COVID-19’s origins before it began.” “To Gilles Demaneuf, following along from the sidelines, it was as if it had been ‘nailed to the church doors,’ establishing the natural origin theory as orthodoxy,” the report added. “‘Everyone had to follow it. Everyone was intimidated. That set the tone.’” Former CDC Director Robert Redfield said this week that he believes that the pandemic originated in the lab and that those who moved to shut down the lab leak theory were “very anti-science.”

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It’s all one big movement.

The Real B3W-NATO Agenda (Escobar)

For those spared the ordeal of sifting through the NATO summit communique, here’s the concise low down: Russia is an “acute threat” and China is a “systemic challenge”. NATO, of course, are just a bunch of innocent kids building castles in a sandbox. Those were the days when Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay, NATO’s first secretary-general, coined the trans-Atlantic purpose: to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” The Raging Twenties remix reads like “keep the Americans in, the EU down and Russia-China contained”. So the North Atlantic (italics mine) organization has now relocated all across Eurasia, fighting what it describes as “threats from the East”. Well, that’s a step beyond Afghanistan – the intersection of Central and South Asia – where NATO was unceremoniously humiliated by a bunch of Pashtuns with Kalashnikovs.

Russia remains the top threat – mentioned 63 times in the communiqué. Current top NATO chihuahua Jens Stoltenberg says NATO won’t simply “mirror” Russia: it will de facto outspend it and surround it with multiple battle formations, as “we now have implemented the biggest reinforcements of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War”. The communiqué is adamant: the only way for military spending is up. Context: the total “defense” budget of the 30 NATO members will grow by 4.1% in 2021, reaching a staggering $1.049 trillion ($726 billion from the US, $323 billion from assorted allies). After all, “threats from the East” abound. From Russia, there are all those hypersonic weapons that baffle NATO generals; those large-scale exercises near the borders of NATO members; constant airspace violations; military integration with that “dictator” in Belarus.

As for the threats from China – South China Sea, Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific overall – it was up to the G7 to come up with a plan. Enter “green”, “inclusive” Build Back Better World (B3W), billed as the Western “alternative” to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). B3W respects “our values” – which clownish British PM Boris Johnson could not help describing as building infrastructure in a more “gender neutral” or “feminine” way – and, further on down the road, will remove goods produced with forced labor (code for Xinjiang) from supply chains. The White House has its own B3W spin: that’s a “values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership” which will be “mobilizing private-sector capital in four areas of focus – climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equality – with catalytic investments from our respective development institutions”

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“..that a foreign court with foreign judges should be allowed to overrule a majority of the Swiss people proved incompatible with the Swiss idea of democracy..”

Swexit (Streeck)

On May 26, the Swiss government declared an end to year-long negotiations with the European Union on a so-called Institutional Framework Agreement that was to consolidate and extend the roughly one hundred bilateral treaties now regulating relations between the two sides. Negotiations began in 2014 and were concluded four years later, but Swiss domestic opposition got in the way of ratification. In subsequent years Switzerland sought reassurance essentially on four issues: permission to continue state assistance to its large and flourishing small business sector; immigration and the right to limit it to workers rather than having to admit all citizens of EU member states; protection of the (high) wages in the globally very successful Swiss export industries; and the jurisdiction, claimed by the EU, of the Court of Justice of the European Union over legal disagreements on the interpretation of joint treaties.

As no progress was made, the prevailing impression in Switzerland became that the framework agreement was in fact to be a domination agreement, and as such too close to EU membership, which the Swiss had rejected in a national referendum in 1992 when they voted against joining the European Economic Area. There are interesting parallels with the UK and Brexit. Both countries, in their different ways, have developed varieties of democracy distinguished by a deep commitment to a sort of majoritarian popular sovereignty that requires national sovereignty. This makes it difficult for them to enter into external relations that constrain the collective will-formation of their citizenry. Britain of course partly solved this problem by becoming the centre of an empire, as opposed to being included in one, defending its national sovereignty by appropriating the national sovereignty of others; while Switzerland became forever neutral and ready to defend itself, as de Gaulle had put it for France, tous azimuts.

Constitutionally, British popular sovereignty resides in a parliament that is not bound by a written constitution and can therefore decide everything with a simple majority, no two-thirds or other supermajority ever required. Also, there is no constitutional court that could get in Parliament’s way, nor can the second chamber, the House of Lords. That a supreme court like the EU Court of Justice should be entitled to overrule the British parliament was always fundamentally incompatible with the British idea of democracy-cum-sovereignty, and became a major source of British popular discontent with the EU, leading to Brexit and undoing Brentry. Similarly, that a foreign court with foreign judges should be allowed to overrule a majority of the Swiss people proved incompatible with the Swiss idea of democracy, standing in the way of Swentry and thereby making a future Swexit dispensable.

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Private debt is the ignored killer.

The Role Of Public Debt And Private Debt In The Next Crisis (Steve Keen)

Their roles are opposite in any crisis, like two sides of a see-saw: private debt causes crises, and public debt, to some extent, ends them. But conventional economic theory gets this completely wrong, by ignoring private debt, while seeing government debt as a problem rather than a solution. The conventional economic argument is firstly, that private debt simply transfers spending power from one private person to another—the debtor has more money to spend when money is borrowed, the creditor has more to spend when debt is repaid. In the aggregate, this cancels out: the borrower’s spending power rises when debt is rising and falls when it is falling, but the lender’s spending power goes in the opposite direction. They claim, therefore, that changes in the level of private debt have very little impact on the economy.

As Ben Bernanke put it in his book Essays on the Great Depression, “pure redistributions should have no significant macroeconomic effects” (Bernanke 2000, p. 24). On the other hand, they see government debt as “crowding out” the private sector, by competing with private borrowers for the available stock of “loanable funds”, and thus driving up the interest rate—the price of borrowed money. Excessive government deficits add to the demand for money, drive up interest rates, and therefore reduce private investment, and hence the rate of economic growth. As Gregory Mankiw puts it in his influential textbook, “government borrowing reduces national saving and crowds out capital accumulation” (Mankiw 2016, pp. 556-57).

This is why the Maastricht Treaty put limits on government debt and deficits, but completely ignored private debt and credit. Spain shows the impact of this conventional attitude to debt: while government debt halved from 72% to 36% GDP from the introduction of the Euro until just after the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, private debt almost trebled, from 88% of GDP to a peak of 227% of GDP in 2010.

The USA shows a similar pattern—unrestrained growth in private debt until the crisis, government debt growing after it in response to the collapse of demand as credit turned negative.

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Snowden wants to make the internet have integrity again.

Lifting The Mask (Edward Snowden)

Since 2013, it feels as though the world has accelerated, when really only the rate of opinion has — through the sheer speed and volume of bite-sized algorithmically “curated” social media. On Facebook, and especially on Twitter, plots and characters appear and vanish in moments, imparting emotions, but never lessons, because who has time for those? The only thing that most of us manage to take away from social media, besides the occasional chuckle, is an updated roster of villains — the daily roll-call of transgressors and transgressions. This is the reality of the fully commercialized mainstream internet: our exposure to an indigestible mass of shortest-form opinions that are purposefully selected by algorithms to agitate us on platforms that are designed to record and memorialize our most agitated, reflexive responses.

These responses are, in turn, elevated in proportion to their controversy to the attention — and prejudice — of the crowd. In the resulting zero-sum blood sport that public reputation requires, combatants are incentivized to occupy the most conventionally defensible positions, which reduces all politics to ideology and splinters the polis into squabbling tribes. The products of the irreconcilable differences this process produces are nothing more than well-divided “audiences,” made available to the influence of advertisers, and all that it cost us was the very foundation of civil society: tolerance. For this reason, I’d like to do my part in encouraging a return to longer forms of thinking and writing, which provide more room for nuance and more opportunity for establishing consensus or, at the very least, respecting a diversity of perspective and, you know, science.

I want to revive the original spirit of the older, pre-commercial internet, with its bulletin boards, newsgroups, and blogs — if not in form, then in function. The utopianism of these blogs might seem as quaint today as the sites’ graphics (and glamorous MIDI audio), but whatever those outlets lacked in sophisticated design, they more than made up for in curiosity and intelligence and in their fostering of originality and experimentation. They were, when it comes down to it, not curated and templated “platforms” so much as direct expressions of the creative primacy of the individual.

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Mar 022021
 
 March 2, 2021  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Acrobat 1930

 

“Did You Agree To This? Everybody’s Locked Up” – Edward Snowden (ZH)
Coronavirus Crisis Unlikely To Be Over By The End Of The Year – WHO (G.)
WHO Panel: Hydroxychloroquine Should Not Be Used To Prevent COVID-19 (Hill)
Data On Long Covid In UK Children Is Cause For Concern, Scientists Say (G.)
A Return To Normalcy Seen In November (K.)
Party Like It’s 1984 (Jim Kunstler)
US, EU Set To Impose Sanctions On Russia (NBC)
Duckworth Calls For Russian Bounties Intelligence To Be Declassified (Hill)
Stefan Halper’s Role In Crossfire Hurricane Larger Than Previously Known (ET)
Halper Reports Reveal Wider-Ranging Operation To Spy On Trump Campaign (JTN)
Bernie Sanders Vows To Force Vote On $15 Minimum Wage (Hill)
Joe Biden Says His Hands Are Tied On $15 Minimum Wage. That’s Not True (Sirota)
Finance As Culture (Luttig)
Mob Justice May Be Poetic Justice, But Cuomo Deserves Due Process (Turley)
Cuomo Swears He Always Kept Mask On While Sexually Harassing Women (BBee)
Odyssey Banned for Violence, Sexism; Is this the End of World Classics? (GR)

 

 

Update: as you may notice, we’re experimenting with ads a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word!

“Did You Agree To This? Everybody’s Locked Up” – Edward Snowden (ZH)

A new video montage of recent interviews with former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden exposes how the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns – which have been particularly severe and far-reaching in Western countries like the UK, Canada, and in a number of major US cities – coupled with the already immense power of Silicon Valley and its allies in the national security state, has served to keep individuals and entire populations ‘gated off’ from one another. “This is just the beginning,” Snowden warns of these unprecedented times. “All of these things today have consequences which we are not informed about.” “I would say this is sort of unusual… we’re all spread all over the world in different rooms, everybody’s locked up… but for me this is how I’ve always lived.”

He narrates that so much of our life is “intermediated by the screens.” Increasingly our lives are “intermediated by these screens. We spend less time outside and more and more time staring into glass or through glass to connect with that larger world – something beyond ourselves.”Ultimately he poses the following questions as a warning in the video entitled, “Edward Snowden 2021: The Most VICIOUS HONEST 10 Minutes of your LIFE!”… “Increasingly it feels something distinct from us, something apart from us – something that we are witnessing rather than participating in. Ask yourself: Is this your will? Is this what you want? Did you agree to this? Is this consistent with the vision of the future you want to see?

Snowden continues, “The institutional powers of our day… which have assumed for themselves some mandate – whether to conduct business, whether its to govern the lives of others, whether it’s to make war, .. these institutional powers don’t seem to particularly care about your answer to that question: is this what you wanted? Is this OK? Did you agree to it?” The answer is frequently “you don’t have a choice” as to whether you agree or not… “because they have the gun, they have the baton. And Facebook would say ‘Click OK to continue’ – and if you don’t you can’t do anything…”

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the “virus is very much in control”…

Coronavirus Crisis Unlikely To Be Over By The End Of The Year – WHO (G.)

Despite the spread of Covid-19 being slowed in some countries due to lockdowns and vaccination programs, it is “premature” and “unrealistic” to the think the pandemic will be over by the end of the year, the World Health Organization’s executive director of emergency services has said. Speaking at a press briefing Geneva, Dr Michael Ryan said while vaccinating the most vulnerable people, including healthcare workers, would help remove the “tragedy and fear” from the situation, and would help to ease pressure on hospitals, the “virus is very much in control”. “It will be very premature, and I think unrealistic, to think that we’re going to finish with this virus by the end of the year,” Ryan said.


“If the vaccines begin to impact not only on death and not only on hospitalisation, but have a significant impact on transmission dynamics and transmission risk, then I believe we will accelerate toward controlling this pandemic.” The number of new global infections rose last week for the first time in almost two months. Reported cases increased in four of the WHO’s six regions: the Americas, Europe, south-east Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. “This is disappointing, but not surprising,” said the director general of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We’re working to better understand these increases in transmission. Some of it appears to be due to relaxing of public health measures, continued circulation of variants, and people letting down their guard.” He said while vaccines would help to save lives, “if countries rely solely on vaccines, they’re making a mistake”.

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Meawhile in Greece…

A Return To Normalcy Seen In November (K.)

Greek authorities’ main concern is now the timeline for a return to normalcy, after a year of the pandemic. The economy cannot withstand many more months of lockdowns and increasing coronavirus fatigue is gripping the population. Experts say the return to normalcy will happen when “herd immunity” is achieved. For that to happen, they say, 70% of the population must be vaccinated. Then, of course, there are questions of how long the immunity lasts, whether the disease will recur, and so on. According to a team of researchers at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki who have developed a Covid-19 risk evaluation model, the vaccination of 70% of the population, and thus herd immunity, will be achieved in November, provided there are 1 million vaccinations per month.


Under this caveat, the percentage of the vaccinated population, now standing at 9%, will reach 30% at the end of May, 38% in June, 46% in July, 54% in August and 62% in September. By the end of May, a “wall of immunity” for the most vulnerable groups – the elderly and those suffering from serious underlying diseases – will have been built, the researchers say. “[The wall] doesn’t mean complete freedom but at least means the likelihood of lockdown becomes remote,” says Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, professor of environmental engineering at Aristotle University.

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Ok, let’s see the trials.

WHO Panel: Hydroxychloroquine Should Not Be Used To Prevent COVID-19 (Hill)

The anti-inflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine should not be used to prevent COVID-19, according to a new recommendation from the World Health Organization. Multiple clinical trials of more than 6,000 people showed the drug had no meaningful effect on death or admissions to the hospital in people who had no prior exposure to COVID-19. The trials showed a “moderate certainty” that not only did hydroxychloroquine have no meaningful effect on laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection, it also probably increased the risk of adverse effects.


The WHO’s recommendation was published in The BMJ, a medical journal. A WHO expert panel is studying different drugs that could be used to prevent COVID-19 infection, and the hydroxychloroquine recommendation is the first that the panel has published. “The panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should be used to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent COVID-19,” the WHO said in a statement. The recommendations are meant “to provide trustworthy guidance on the management of COVID-19 and help doctors make better decisions with their patients,” the WHO said.

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No word on how many children are affected. If it’s just five, maybe they should tell us.

Data On Long Covid In UK Children Is Cause For Concern, Scientists Say (G.)

Scientists have warned that emerging data on long Covid in children should not be ignored given the lack of a vaccine for this age group, but cautioned that the evidence describing these enduring symptoms in the young is so far uncertain. Recently published data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has caused worry. The data suggest that 13% of under 11s and about 15% of 12- to 16-year-olds reported at least one symptom five weeks after a confirmed Covid-19 infection. ONS samples households randomly, therefore positive cases do not depend on having had symptoms and being tested.

With schools in England poised to reopen on Monday – Prof Christina Pagel, a member of the Independent Sage committee and director of clinical operational research at University College London – in a Twitter post suggested that although emerging data on long Covid in children was uncertain, it should not be ignored, particularly given there was no licensed vaccine for these age groups, and there probably won’t be until the end of this year or early next year. Although children are relatively less likely to become infected, transmit the virus and be hospitalised, the key question is whether even mild or asymptomatic infection can lead to long Covid in children, said Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London.

[..] Some children are initially asymptomatic or have mild symptoms but then it might be six or seven weeks before they start experiencing long Covid symptoms, which can range from standard post-viral fatigue and headaches to neuropsychiatric symptoms such as seizures, or even skin lesions. At the moment there is no consensus on the scale and impact of long Covid in adults, but emerging data is concerning. For children, the data is even more scarce. Recent reports from hospitals in Sweden and Italy have generated concern, but this data is not from national trials – they are single-centre studies – and include relatively small patient numbers, said Sir Terence Stephenson, a Nuffield professor of child health at University College London.

Stephenson was awarded £1.36m last month to lead a study investigating long Covid in 11- to 17-year-olds. “I don’t have a scientific view on what long Covid is in young people is – because frankly, we don’t know,” he said.

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Of course, steers and cows are easier to push around than bulls, and the technology for transforming bulls into steers — or men in to eunuchs — is not that complex or nuanced..

Party Like It’s 1984 (Jim Kunstler)

Chalk up a fatal blow to The Patriarchy. That avatar of toxic masculinity, Mr. Potato Head has been dumped into the same humid chamber of perdition where the ghosts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Theodore Bilbo, and Phyllis Schlafly howl and squirm — liberating the billions of potatoes world-wide from the mental prison of binary sexuality. The move by Hasbro (bro? really??) may yet disappoint the legions in Wokesterdom as a-bridge-not-far-enough while they await the debut of Transitioning Potato Head, complete with play hormone syringe and play scalpel, so that the under-six crowd can begin to map out their own gender reassignments without the meddling of Adult 1 and Adult 2, formerly known as Mommy and Daddy.

Was it mere coincidence that the action in Toyland happened the same week that one Rachel Levine was grilled in hir Senate confirmation hearing for the post as Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services? The hearing tilted toward transphobia when Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked zie, a little too aggressively, if they were in favor of pubescent children opting for sexual reassignment in opposition to xyr parents. The nominee, who hirself transitioned from “male” to “female” in 2011, answered that transgender medical issues are “complex and nuanced.” True (perhaps). And probably more than a Senator who transitioned from ophthalmologist to politician might appreciate.

Such are the great preoccupations of American leadership in these late days of empire. Are their any “historic firsts” left for Progressives to achieve in the march to a transhuman nirvana? An “undocumented” president? Animal representation in the House and Senate? A-I “entities” qualifying for public office — Governor Smartphone? Let’s face it, the pitiful old school humans in charge of things for so long are making a hash of our affairs. A cash register could probably do a better job as Chairman of the Federal Reserve than the always-waffley Jerome Powell. And a MacBook Pro might make a better president than Joe Biden in the brief daily operational hours before his managers a “call a lid.” We’d have to come up with some new personal pronouns for them, of course.

Pundits and observers-of-the-scene have warned us that all this artificially-generated turmoil over the sex-of-things is but one part of the prelude to a “Great Reset” in which people the world over are to be herded into corrals of ultra-regulated behavior. Of course, steers and cows are easier to push around than bulls, and the technology for transforming bulls into steers — or men in to eunuchs — is not that complex or nuanced. The question is: will enough American men submit to castration, either chemical, financial, political, or literal? Maybe not.

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Oh, cut it out already.

US, EU Set To Impose Sanctions On Russia (NBC)

The U.S. and the European Union are expected to impose coordinated sanctions on Russia as early as Tuesday for the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his arrest and detention that followed, three sources familiar with the planning said. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not otherwise authorized to speak to the media. The sanctions will be the first to target Moscow since Joe Biden became president and opened a comprehensive review of U.S.-Russia policy, including the Kremlin’s actions against Navalny, interference into the U.S. election, the Solar Winds hack and reported bounties offered to Taliban-linked groups to target U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The Trump administration declined to take action against Russia for the attempted assassination of Navalny.

The U.S. is expected to use legal authorities to impose sanctions on Russia for its use of a chemical nerve agent against Navalny in August, said a senior administration official, a congressional aide and a Western diplomat. Toxicology tests conducted in Germany, France and Sweden and by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found that Navalny was poisoned with a novel form of the Novichok nerve agent in violation of the international Chemical Weapons Convention. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the attack. Upon his return to Russia in January, Navalny was arrested and sentenced to more than two years in jail. He has been transferred to a penal colony. The E.U. has taken action against Russia for poisoning Navalny, restricting travel and freezing the assets of six Russians in October, but this week’s sanctions would be the first issued under the E.U.’s new human rights regime.

E.U. Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told the Atlantic Council last week that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had asked the E.U. to coordinate with the U.S. on the new sanctions. The E.U.’s procedural vote to formally adopt the sanctions will close at noon Tuesday Brussels time. “I wouldn’t want to speak to any measures that we may have coming, but suffice it to say that we have coordinated very closely,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday about the cooperation between the U.S and the E.U. Price did not elaborate on the timing of the sanctions but added, “We’ve been working on it as an urgent challenge.” An investigation by U.N. experts released Monday found that the attack against Navalny falls within a wider trend, observed over several decades, of arbitrary killings and attempted killings of Russian citizens and government critics, both within Russia and extraterritorially.

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I said cut it out!

Duckworth Calls For Russian Bounties Intelligence To Be Declassified (Hill)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Monday called for the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to reports that the Kremlin offered bounties to Taliban forces for targeting U.S. troops in Afghanistan. “While any intelligence assessment on this matter is understandably sensitive, the American public, and Gold Star Families in particular, have a pressing need to know if there is any truth to these claims,” Duckworth wrote in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines first obtained by Politico. “I believe such a finding may be presented while protecting classified information.” The intelligence, first reported last year, was dismissed as a “hoax” by then-President Trump.

Last September, Gen. Frank McKenzie, who oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan, said the military was still investigating, adding that the report “has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me.” Haines has been tasked with reviewing intelligence on recent Russian activity, including the alleged bounty initiative. In her letter, Duckworth asked for Haines to publish an unclassified report to “provide urgently needed transparency on this grave matter.” Duckworth, a veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, was one of the leading voices calling for action in response to the report last year. In July, she led a letter from Senate Democrats asking to see the then-president’s intelligence briefings relating to the alleged bounties.

“Despite my persistent attempts to bring transparency to these alarming reports, the Trump administration failed to provide an official response to basic questions: did the United States Government or our partners assess the likelihood of the existence of the GRU bounty payment activity, and did the United States Government find evidence indicating correlation or causation between GRU bounty payments and deadly attacks on U.S. troops by Taliban-linked militants?” Duckworth wrote in the letter on Monday, referring to Russia’s secretive military intelligence agency.

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Always thought his role was quite substantial.

Stefan Halper’s Role In Crossfire Hurricane Larger Than Previously Known (ET)

Newly released FBI documents shed light on two meetings between FBI Agent Stephen Somma and FBI source Stefan Halper, providing further insight into the wide scope of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign—and the active role played by Halper, who acted as a confidential human source (CHS) for the FBI. Although Halper was not considered an official CHS for the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation prior to these meetings, Somma had known Halper since 2011, according to the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on FISA Abuse. Additionally, Somma had served as Halper’s handler from “2011 through 2016” as part of Somma’s “regular investigative activities.”

The FBI’s meetings with Halper on Aug. 11 and 12, 2016, were done at the proposal of Somma, who said he “lacked a basic understanding” of political campaigns. Somma said that he selected Halper because he knew that Halper had been “affiliated with national political campaigns since the early 1970s” and “might have information about, and potentially may have met, one or more of the Crossfire Hurricane subjects”—Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Somma said that he did not initially tell Halper that there was already an open FBI investigation or who the subjects were, nor, he told the IG, did he tell Halper of the conversation between Papadopoulos and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, which was the FBI’s claimed reason for opening Crossfire Hurricane.

Somma was proven to be prophetic, as Halper already had direct knowledge of two of the three people considered subjects of Crossfire Hurricane. And Halper would later fashion a meeting in London with Papadopoulos, the one person he didn’t already know. Halper also managed a meeting with Sam Clovis from the Trump campaign. Additionally, based on the FBI documents obtained by Just The News, it appears that Halper was responsible for pushing Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as a “person of interest” to the FBI with what appears to have been a false story that the FBI failed to immediately verify—and then later failed to correct as the story gained traction in the media during a crucial period of the Trump presidency.

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Problem remains: who will investigate the investigators?

Halper Reports Reveal Wider-Ranging Operation To Spy On Trump Campaign (JTN)

Once-secret reports show the FBI effort to spy on the Trump campaign was far wider than previously disclosed, as agents directed an undercover informant to make secret recordings, pressed for intelligence on numerous GOP figures, and sought to find “anyone in the Trump campaign” with ties to Russia who could acquire dirt “damaging to Hillary Clinton.” The now-declassified operational handling reports for FBI confidential human source Stefan Halper — codenamed “Mitch” — provide an unprecedented window both into the tactics used by the bureau to probe the Trump campaign and the wide dragnet that was cast to target numerous high-level officials inside the GOP campaign just weeks before Americans chose their next president in the November 2016 election.

Among the revelations, the memos make clear that: Almost immediately after the FBI opened a Russia collusion probe on July 31, 2016 narrowly focused on the foreign lobbying of a single Trump campaign aide named George Papadopoulos, agents pressed Halper for information on more than a half dozen other figures, including future Attorney General Jeff Sessions, foreign policy adviser Sam Clovis, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, economic adviser Peter Navarro, future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser Carter Page. Halper provided significant exculpatory evidence to the FBI — including transcripts of conversations he recorded of targeted Trump advisers providing statements of innocence — that was never disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that approved a year of surveillance targeting the Trump campaign, and specifically Page.

While current FBI Director Chris Wray has insisted the bureau did not engage in spying on the Trump campaign, Halper’s taskings include many of the tradecraft tactics of espionage, including the creation of a fake cover story (he wanted a job at the Trump campaign), secret recordings, providing background on targets, suggested questions to ask and even contact information for potential targets. But the memos’ most explosive revelations are the sheer breadth of the FBI’s insufficiently predicated dragnet targeting the Trump campaign, and the agents’ clearly stated purpose of thwarting any Trump campaign effort to get dirt from Russia that could hurt his Democratic rival.

“The Crossfire Hurricane investigative team is attempting to determine if anyone in the Trump campaign is in a position to have received information either directly or indirectly from the Russian Federation regarding the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton,” one of the early FBI electronic communications (ECs) from Halper’s undercover work stated. Ordinarily, FBI counterintelligence investigations that target Americans legally must be predicated on specific allegations that narrowly focus the bureau’s spy powers on limited targets to avoid unnecessary infringement of privacy and civil liberties. But the Halper documents reveal a large, unfocused FBI search with little substantiation of alleged wrongdoing, and significant evidence that undermined the core allegations, experts told Just the News.

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Bernie vs Ol’ Joe.

Bernie Sanders Vows To Force Vote On $15 Minimum Wage (Hill)

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says Democrats should “ignore” the recent ruling of the Senate parliamentarian and is vowing to force the Senate to vote this week on an amendment to set the federal minimum wage at $15 an hour. Sanders on Monday declared he would not back down on his signature wage initiative after Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled last week that a provision setting the federal minimum wage at $15 an hour would not be eligible under special budget rules Democrats are using to avoid a filibuster while passing their coronavirus relief bill. “My personal view is that the idea that we have a Senate staffer, a high-ranking staffer, deciding whether 30 million Americans get a pay raise or not is nonsensical.


“We have got to make that decision, not a staffer who’s unelected, so my own view is that we should ignore the rulings, the decision of the parliamentarian,” Sanders told reporters. Sanders added, “Given the enormous crises facing this country and the desperation of working families, we have got to as soon as possible end the filibuster.” “We cannot have a minority of members define what the American people want,” he said. Sanders said he will force a vote on an amendment raising the federal minimum wage this week. “To the best of my knowledge, there will be a vote on the minimum wage, and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I intend to offer the bill that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and we’ll see how the votes go.” “If we fail in this legislation, I will be back,” he warned. “We are going to keep going. “We are going to raise that minimum wage very shortly to $15 an hour,” he said.

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LBJ did it.

Joe Biden Says His Hands Are Tied On $15 Minimum Wage. That’s Not True (Sirota)

When a Republican is president, Democratic politicians, pundits and activists will tell you that the presidency is an all-powerful office that can do anything it wants. When a Democrat is president, these same politicians, pundits and activists will tell you that the presidency has no power to do anything. In fact, they will tell you a Democratic president cannot even use the bully pulpit and other forms of pressure to try to shift the votes of senators in his own party. A tale from history proves this latter myth is complete garbage – and that tale is newly relevant in today’s supercharged debate over a $15 minimum wage. In that debate so far, we have seen Democratic senators prepare to surrender the $15 minimum wage their party promised by insisting they are powerless in the face of a non-binding advisory opinion of a parliamentarian they can ignore or fire.

That explanation is patently ridiculous and factually false, so Democratic apologists are starting to further justify the surrender by suggesting that even if the party kept a $15 minimum wage in the Covid relief bill, conservative Democrats such as Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would block it anyway. The White House itself is now falling back on the idea that it doesn’t have the votes to do much of anything, insinuating that Joe Biden – who occupies the world’s most powerful office – somehow has no power to try to change the legislative dynamic. And this spin is being predictably amplified across social media. [..] it is laughable and preposterous to argue that a newly elected president has zero power to even try to shift the dynamic.

And yet, whether you call this all deliberate deception or learned helplessness, this fantastical myth of the Powerless President will inevitably be used to shield Biden from criticism for abandoning his pledge to fight for a $15 minimum wage. The apologism is particularly absurd because unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, who was a relative newcomer to politics, Biden’s major selling point was that he knows “how to make government work”. The guy explicitly pitched himself as the best Democratic presidential candidate by suggesting that in an era of gridlock, he knows how to make the Democratic agenda a reality and Get Things Done™, like master of the Senate Lyndon Baines Johnson. That’s where LBJ himself comes in to destroy the narrative that Democratic presidents in general – and Biden specifically – are inherently helpless.

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Memes “R” Us.

Finance As Culture (Luttig)

In practice, what does financialization look like? We’ve all heard the institutional narrative. The US stock market has nearly tripled in the past 10 years. The FIRE sector (finance, insurance, real estate) now accounts for 20% of US GDP, versus 10% in 1947. S&P buybacks nearly doubled in the 2010s. IPOs grew 2.5x in 2020. But financialization is no longer purely institutional; it has seeped into our culture. A combination of low interest rates, a historic tech bull run, and the resulting torrent of fomo has tethered us to our monitors to watch candlestick charts. The financialization of culture has manifested in two primary ways: lottery culture and equity culture. We’ve always had lottery culture, in which people trade assets hoping to make money without understanding or conviction of their fundamental value.

In the summer of 1929, for example, Joe Kennedy’s shoe shine boy gave him stock tips, signaling the market peak. But lottery culture has exploded in the past few years. Robinhood has achieved its vision of democratizing access to financial markets, boasting over ten million monthly active users and exponential growth. Retail investor trading as a percentage of stock market volume has more than doubled since 2010. When “stocks only go up”, people realize the stock market is a casino with much better payouts. Gamified trading has tethered us to our phones and bank accounts. Through GameStop, even protest became financialized. At the peak of the GameStop saga, millions of Americans owned GME, arming themselves against hedge funds.

This was part protest, part nihilistic hail mary to get rich. The number of subscribers to the wallstreetbets (WSB) subreddit certainly spiked in 2021, but the exponential compounding for years beforehand implies a degree of inevitability. Memes took lottery culture to new heights. Stocks popular among a retail audience, like Apple, have historically traded at higher multiples than others in their category. Tesla accelerated the divergence between retail excitement and fundamentals: TSLA revenue grew 50% over the past two years, but meme culture helped its market cap grow by 12x. GameStop completed the meme-fundamentals duality: investors don’t even pretend that the company’s fundamentals will ever substantiate its market cap.WSB revealed where Robinhood culture was headed all along: a nihilistic lottery. It was historically viewed as a disorganized and degenerate mob, but the mob has evolved into a laser-focused and motivated militia.

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So do the people who died in care homes.

Mob Justice May Be Poetic Justice, But Cuomo Deserves Due Process (Turley)

In 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before at Northwestern University Law School to announce President Obama’s “kill list” policy, under which he reserved the right to unilaterally order the death of any American deemed an imminent threat. After all, Holder explained, “the Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.” The response was as chilling as the message: The audience of judges, lawyers and law students applauded an attorney general who just told them that any of them could be killed tomorrow on the president’s order. Some of us denounced the “kill list” policy, which foreshadowed what has become a campaign against due process. In our hair-triggered culture of Twitter attacks and “canceling” opponents, due process is treated as hopelessly arcane and inconvenient.

Our political discourse must now be tweet-worthy — less than 280 words — and delivered in a news cycle measured in minutes. Due process, like free speech, is rarely valued until its loss becomes personal. Take Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.). Cuomo advanced his political career by positioning himself at the front of every mob pursuing political rivals, as during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Before hearing the defense of now-Justice Kavanaugh, Cuomo described the allegations against him by Christine Blasey Ford as presumptively true. He not only effectively called Kavanaugh a rapist, without any due process, but demanded that Kavanaugh take a polygraph as a condition to be believed. Cuomo was not alone. Many Democratic leaders insisted that “women must be believed” when raising sexual harassment allegations and declared Kavanaugh guilty before hearing any testimony.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) dismissed due process concerns for Kavanaugh, adding: “When we talk about … due process and justice, it must focus on the victim.” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said Kavanaugh was not entitled to a presumption of innocence and that men should “just shut up” and accept the allegations. Last year, when Lindsey Boylan’s allegations went public, I wrote a column asking if Cuomo would presume himself guilty, absent a polygraph. Now, after Boylan added details of Cuomo’s alleged kissing and propositioning her, many are struggling with his (and their) prior positions against due process. While CNN, MSNBC and other networks blacked-out the story or barely covered it, others — including many on the right — have declared Cuomo to be guilty and dangerous.

Cuomo deserves due process, despite loudly denying it for others. Simply because Boylan made the allegations is not proof of guilt. Both sides have a right to be heard — not a right to be believed solely on their word. Due process allows us to determine who is a victim — not, as AOC suggested, to vindicate one party as the declared victim. [..] Of course, as Gov. Cuomo has learned, one can lead a mob one day only to be pursued by the mob on the next. It would be easy to leave him to the mob and call it poetic justice, but that is not justice of any kind. Cuomo should receive all of the due process he denied to others — not because he deserves it, but because he embodies the costs of ignoring it.

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He’ll be arrested any day now.

Cuomo Swears He Always Kept Mask On While Sexually Harassing Women (BBee)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized this weekend for his long-standing habit of sexually abusing young women he holds power over. And while that all sounds quite bad, Governor Cuomo did make it clear to the public that he always wore a mask and socially distanced during these interactions– a fact that has some folks saying he should get off free. “I have the greatest respect for my employees,” Cuomo explained during a press conference. “Especially the girls—we’ve got a lot of young girls on staff who do a really good job.” Cuomo paused for a moment and seemed to wink at someone offscreen.


“And I can guarantee you right now, sure I might be a sexual predator, but not once did I remove my mask, never once broke the six-foot rule during conversations with my girls– at least in 2020. Isn’t that right, Kelly?” Cuomo went on to explain how some of his sexual jokes may not have landed with the women since they couldn’t see his facial expressions. He also claimed that the women may have misheard him since his words were muffled by his mask and they were standing so far apart. “Do I regret making those comments?” Cuomo asked as he stood up to leave the press conference. “No. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got some strip poker, er– I mean poker, to play.”

Read more …

Ban the Bible!

Odyssey Banned for Violence, Sexism; Is this the End of World Classics? (GR)

Odyssey, Homer’s classic of world literature written in the time of Ancient Greece, was recently banned in Lawrence, Massachusetts for portraying ideas that do not conform to modern norms of behavior. The move, reported recently by the Wall Street Journal, appears to stem from a “social justice” movement, created by Twitter users, called #DisruptTexts. Its proponents believe that any world literature that does not portray the norms that they hold today in terms of gender roles, violence and racial equality must be banned in the interest of shaping a new generation that will not be allowed to come into contact with concepts that they consider repugnant — or even just outdated.

Penelope, sitting at her loom patiently for twenty years while hubby Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan War, is not the model of female behavior that teachers who espouse this new type of book banning want their students to emulate. But not only do they not want their students to emulate these behaviors — they want to ban books that contain they want to ban books that portray violence, traditional gender roles and racism, making sure that future generations will never learn about the many adventures of Odysseus and his companions as they made their way across the sea, fought against Troy and wended their way back home after twenty years away.

Books such as this, which provide a treasury of historical references and form the basis of educated peoples’ understanding of the Classical world, naturally contain violent images of battle and strife and portray the social milieu of the day. Until recently, however, teachers would focus on the tremendous literary and historical merit of the world of Homer and other ancient writers, leaving their students to come to their own conclusions as to whether or not they would like to wage warfare or alternatively sit at home weaving while the husband is away at battle.

[..] But the politically-correct rush to judgment, which began in recent years with the banning of American classics such as Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and even more recent works such as How to Kill a Mockingbird — for the use of the n-word — has come back to bite society now that the floodgates have been opened. Originally, the pendulum swung the other way, and it was conservative Americans who were originally guilty of banning books — despite the freedom of speech and expression explicitly enshrined in the Constitution. The first book to be officially banned in America was Thomas Morton’s “New English Canaan,” published in 1637.

A massive, three-volume work, it contained not only Morton’s insightful observations about Native Americans, but also — raising the ire of those who had settled Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Company — a biting satire of the Puritans. As the centuries went on, it wasn’t just political positions that drew the ire of book banners, it was more often portrayals of sex that attracted the eye of censors and caused works of literature to come under scrutiny. And the list of banned books in America is shamefully long, including Peyton Place,The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Beloved, and The Lord of the Flies.

Read more …

 

 

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Tulsi Syria
https://twitter.com/i/status/1366391821362819077

 

 

 

 

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Dec 152020
 


William Merritt Chase Back Of A Nude 1888

 

Biden Lashes Out At Trump In Post-Electoral College Speech (ZH)
Republican Electors In Five Disputed States Cast Votes For Trump (JTN)
Offstage Noises (Jim Kunstler)
Barr Steps Down As AG, Decries ‘Frenzied And Baseless’ Russia Allegations (JTN)
The Case For Pardoning Edward Snowden By President Trump (Greenwald)
Left and Right Unite in Calls for Snowden Pardon (MPN)
Trump’s Last Chance to Snub the Deep State (SCF)
Democrats Make Wreck of Covid-19 Relief Negotiations (Taibbi)
Stimulus Bill Bails Out Defense Contractors, Denies Families Payments (DP)
Fauci: Masks, Social Distancing Likely Needed Until ‘Early Next Winter’ (JTN)
The Covid-19 Data is a ‘Travesty’ (OffG)
Venezuela’s Guaido-Led Opposition Holds Alternative Vote, Burns Ballots (RT)
Sunday Times Claims Navalny Was Poisoned Twice (Robinson)

 

 

Hats off to Jimmy Dore.

 

 

Me, I fear for the future of the country.

Biden Lashes Out At Trump In Post-Electoral College Speech (ZH)

Joe Biden lashed out at President Trump Monday night, saying in a 14-minute speech following his win in the electoral college that Trump’s ongoing challenges to the 2020 election are “an unprecedented assault on our democracy,” and that claims of widespread fraud are “baseless” – despite the fact that the Supreme Court elected not to review the merits of various cases. “Every single avenue was made available for President Trump to contest the results. He took full advantage of each and every one of those avenues.


“President Trump was denied no course of action he wanted to take,” Biden added – also slamming the 17 GOP Attorneys General and 126 GOP Congressmembers who challenged the results of the election as well. Biden implied Trump has both abused – and won’t let go of power, saying “In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them,” adding “The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing — not even a pandemic or an abuse of power — can extinguish that flame.”

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“It’s our duty to the people of Michigan and to the U.S. Constitution to send another slate of electors if the election is in controversy or dispute, and clearly it is..”

Republican Electors In Five Disputed States Cast Votes For Trump (JTN)

Republican electors in four states said Monday that they would cast their procedural votes for President Trump from the Nov. 3 elections, and Michigan sent two separate slates of electors to Capitol Hill, 16 electors for Trump and 16 electors for Democrat Joe Biden. “It’s our duty to the people of Michigan and to the U.S. Constitution to send another slate of electors if the election is in controversy or dispute, and clearly it is,” said Meshawn Maddock, Republican at-large national elector. Michigan state Rep. Daire Rendon said: “What it comes down to is this: have the secretary of state, director of elections, and election officials proved to you that the election had accuracy and integrity? They have not. And because of this, the election is in dispute.”

Under the Constitution, state legislatures have plenary power over their respective elections. Because there is an ongoing dispute over the Michigan 2020 general election, members of the Michigan legislature have called on Washington, D.C., to not count Michigan electors until further action from the Michigan legislature, according to a press release about the Michigan effort. Congress will count electoral votes Jan. 6. The Trump campaign embraced the alternate slate of electors’ actions, saying it preserved legal options before the Jan. 6 deadline. “We applaud the Republican electors in those states for showing up and casting the votes,” the campaign’s senior legal counsel Jenna Ellis told Just the News.

The Republican electors in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona all said they voted for Trump. It comes as their states formally appointed Democratic electors who voted for Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, according to the Epoch Times. The Pennsylvania GOP said in a news release that electors met at the state capital to “cast a conditional vote” for Trump and Pence “at the request of the Trump campaign.” Democratic electors voted in the Pennsylvania Electoral College for Biden and Harris.

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“If Dominion vote tabulation machines all over America are not allowed to be hooked up to the Internet, how can they be a network? And why would they need a server?”

Offstage Noises (Jim Kunstler)

President Trump’s 2018 Executive Order 13848 requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), John Ratcliffe, to report forty-five days after the election on foreign election interference. That’s this Friday. What might Mr. Ratcliffe know? Well, supposedly everything. Except both the CIA and the FBI must be considered undependable now, with RussiaGate prankster Gina Haspel in charge of the CIA, and Christopher Wray slow-walking every requested declassified FBI document for years. So, Mr. Ratcliffe must be receiving more dependable intelligence from others, most likely Defense Intelligence. Many readers may have heard about a supposed raid on the CIA cyber-warfare station in Frankfurt, Germany, and the seizure there of the Dominion computer servers by US Army special ops personnel.

Forty-five days was probably enough time for Defense Intelligence to run forensic analysis on those servers, if, in fact, they existed and the raid actually happened. Standing by on that. We just don’t know. But if so, then Mr. Ratcliffe must have some results by now. What nobody has asked is: in the first place, what on earth would the Dominion servers be doing in Frankfurt, outside the USA, in possession of the CIA? Is the CIA monitoring the vote tabulation… or assisting in it? This raises another question no one has addressed: Servers serve computer networks, which operate via the Internet. If Dominion vote tabulation machines all over America are not allowed to be hooked up to the Internet, how can they be a network? And why would they need a server? If I’m missing something there, please discuss in the comments section.

Which raises another question: Is there not sufficient evidence to see that the use of computers has completely screwed up our election process? Is this not a classic Joseph Tainter style quandary of overinvestments in complexity producing diminishing returns — which, when enough of them pile up, gets you to the collapse of civilizations? Are we going to allow further screw-ups by letting the State of Georgia conduct their January 5 senate run-off election on the same Dominion machines that they used on November 3? Apparently, that’s exactly what Georgia intends to do.

Read more …

Did Bill Barr just make room for Trump to pardon Assange and Snowden?

Barr Steps Down As AG, Decries ‘Frenzied And Baseless’ Russia Allegations (JTN)

William Barr has decided to step down as attorney general before Christmas, ending a tumultuous tenure that saw his department clear President Trump of Russia collusion and crack down on violent gangs, Chinese spies and religious liberty violations. Trump announced the departure Monday evening on Twitter shortly after meeting with Barr, ending a tense week in which the president and his allies criticized the attorney general for both failing to reveal the existence of a Hunter Biden probe before the election and taking little public action to punish those who perpetrated the false Russian collusion narrative, “Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!” Trump tweeted. “As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family.”

“Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General. Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General. Thank you to all!” the president added. In his letter, Barr revealed his last day will be Dec. 23 and that the purpose of his meeting with the president Monday was to brief the president about his department’s efforts to investigate voter fraud. Barr also went out of his way in the letter to decry the “frenzied and baseless” narrative of Russia collusion that hampered the first two-plus years of the Trump presidency.

“Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the face of relentless, implacable resistance. Your 2016 victory speech in which you reached out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic no matter how abusive and deceitful was out of bounds,” Barr wrote. “The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust your administration, with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia,” he added.

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Calls for pardons are getting loud.

The Case For Pardoning Edward Snowden By President Trump (Greenwald)

A U.S. appellate court in September unanimously ruled that the NSA’s program of mass domestic surveillance was illegal, as well as likely a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The court, and the broader public, knew about this illegal mass surveillance program created by the NSA only because Edward Snowden, while working inside that agency, discovered its existence and concluded in 2012 that the American public has the right know about what was being secretly done to them and their privacy by their own government. Upon making the decision to blow the whistle on this security state illegality, Snowden delivered the documents relating to that program and other then-unknown systems of mass online surveillance not by dumping them indiscriminately on the internet or selling them or passing them to foreign governments, but by providing them to journalists (including myself) with The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news outlets.

The documents Snowden provided were accompanied by requests to report them responsibly. He thus relinquished the power entirely to make decisions about which documents would and would not be published, leaving those decisions exclusively to news outlets. That meant that Snowden himself never made a single document publicly available; every document that was reported was the result of decisions by newsrooms around the world that their publication would be in the public interest and would not endanger innocent people. That method of whistleblowing chosen by Snowden — patterned after the one Daniel Ellsberg used in 1971 to make the public aware of years of lying to the American public by the U.S. Government about the Vietnam War, when he gave the top-secret Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and asked them to report it in the public interest — enabled journalists to inform the American citizenry about illegal and unconstitutional spying by the U.S. Government in the most responsible manner possible.

Indeed, the very first program we reported — on June 6, 2013 — was the mass domestic spying program which the appellate court just ruled was illegal and likely a violation of the constitutional rights of all Americans. That first article we published revealed a top secret court order under which “the National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers,” and required major telecommunications carriers “on an ‘ongoing, daily basis’ to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.”

The months of reporting that followed, all singularly enabled by Snowden’s courageous whistleblowing, triggered so much vital public debate about privacy and mass surveillance, and fostered so many legal and technological privacy reforms around the world, that the reporting earned virtually every award journalism has to give, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. For those who have not seen it, the 2014 documentary by Laura Poitras about the work Snowden did with journalists, Citizenfour, which received the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary, shows much of the Snowden story in real time and can be viewed on YouTube; the feature film “Snowden,” available on Netflix and other platforms, separately explores the trajectory which Snowden traversed from enlisted U.S. Army soldier, CIA contractor and NSA expert to one of this generation’s most consequential whistleblowers.

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“I support pardons for Snowden, Assange and especially Chelsea Manning. All exposed the criminality of the Bush-Obama/Biden period.”

Left and Right Unite in Calls for Snowden Pardon (MPN)

Amid mounting speculation that President Trump is about to announce a list of presidential pardons, calls for — and against — NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s name to be included are growing louder. In November, as is customary, Donald Trump pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving. Now, in the lame duck session of his presidency, he appears to be making a customary list of people to pardon as well. Influential and well-connected publication Axios reported, in a scandalized tone, that he is planning to hand out pardons “like Christmas gifts” to “every person who ever talked to [him].” In August, the president was asked about Snowden specifically, responding by saying that, “I’m going to take a very good look at it. I’ve seen people that are very conservative and very liberal and they agree on the same issue…I’m going to take a look at that very strongly.”


Now, a host of figures are calling in unison for Trump to follow through on the proposal. “President Trump is listening to the many of us who are urging him to pardon Snowden. It’s the right thing to do,” Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz said yesterday. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul agreed, slamming former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in the process. “Clapper brazenly lied to Congress denying that the Deep State was spying on all Americans. Snowden simply revealed Clapper’s lies and exposed unconstitutional spying. He deserves a pardon from Donald Trump,” he wrote. Those calls were joined by a number of voices on the left, including former Green Party vice-presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, who said, “I support pardons for Snowden, Assange and especially Chelsea Manning. All exposed the criminality of the Bush-Obama/Biden period.” The American Civil Liberties Union, who have previously described Snowden as a “patriot,” concurred, stating, “Edward Snowden blew the whistle on illegal government activity kept secret for years. Our democracy is better off because of him.”

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“Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the anti-Deep State candidate? Now’s his chance to prove it.”

Trump’s Last Chance to Snub the Deep State (SCF)

The Trump administration calls the International Criminal Court a kangaroo court. He refuses to allow any U.S. soldier to be brought before the court for purported war crimes in Afghanistan. None of the court investigators or judges will receive visas to enter U.S. territory. Any property or bank accounts they have in the U.S. will be confiscated. If any court is a disingenuous kangaroo court it is the extradition trial against Julian Assange, in London. The first magistrate who sat in judgment of possible extradition to the U.S. for alleged violations of its Espionage Act, is a subject in Wikileaks’ revelations. Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, and her husband, James Arbuthnot, who was a defense minister for procurement, have “earned” money from two companies exposed by Wikileaks.

During the August-September extradition hearings, Arbuthnot “stepped down” to be supervisor of the new magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser. During three weeks of hearings, Baraitser looked at her laptop to read decisions she had written before defense lawyers had made their arguments, or witnesses had testified. I am not the only one hoping that Donald Trump will do the right thing with Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden too. The last president, one Trump hates, first put Assange’s key whistleblower in prison, in isolation, under torture. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years. Obama leaving office with a gesture of “goodwill”, commuted Chelsea’s sentence once she served seven years. She was later jailed for another year for not snitching on Julian.

Tulsi Gabbard, the only Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 who wasn’t a war hawk, is asking Trump for goodwill. She tweeted tagging Trump, “Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” and named Assange and Snowden for him to drop charges. The proposal for Trump to pardon Assange was also endorsed at this recent webinar which included speakers Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Law Professor Marjorie Cohn, Consortium News editor-in-chief Joe Lauria. If Trump did the honorable thing of halting the persecution of Julian Assange, it would be a blow for freedom and a middle finger to the Deep State including Obama and Clinton. Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the anti-Deep State candidate? Now’s his chance to prove it.

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“They totally caved..”

Democrats Make Wreck of Covid-19 Relief Negotiations (Taibbi)

A senior Democratic congressional aide is irate tonight. “The Democrats,” the aide seethed, “have just done the worst negotiating in modern history.” At issue: a pair of new Covid-19 relief bills, just submitted by a bipartisan group of Senators. Republican Senator Susan Collins gushed that a“Christmas Miracle” allowed the two parties came together on the twin bills, which the press describes as totaling $748 billion and $160 billion, respectively. “Bipartisanship and compromise is [sic] alive and well in Washington,” clucked West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. It sure is. With the election over, the Democratic leadership in the space of a few weeks somehow negotiated against themselves, working with Republicans to push the total amount of a Covid-19 relief deal further and further downward, to the point where previous plans offered by the likes of Mitch McConnell and Steve Mnuchin now look like LBJ’s Great Society.

Democrats ultimately settled for less than a third of what they had set as a baseline for state and local aid, accepted a package without any $1,200 direct payments, and signed off on a plan that, after offsets, includes less than $350 billion in new money, well below a slew of pre-election proposals rejected by Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer as being too low. “They totally caved,” the aide says. Back in May, the Democrat-led House passed the HEROES Act, a $3.4 trillion relief package that was pitched as the bill Democrats really wanted. It contained $413 billion new dollars for $1,200 direct payments to citizens, as well as $437 billion in additional unemployment benefits, and a whopping $1.13 trillion for state and local governments.

Trump said the bill was “dead on arrival,” McConnell blasted it as a “$3 trillion left-wing wish list,” and the anti-spending group Taxpayers for Common Sense seethed that Democrats unrealistically put “everything they could think of” in the bill. Still, Democrats insisted this was the right amount, at the right time, a moral necessity. “The House has passed a major bill dealing with COVID,” Schumer said in May, blasting his Senate Republican colleagues for a “pause” in negotiations. “We have done nothing.”

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Meanwhile, what a mess.

Stimulus Bill Bails Out Defense Contractors, Denies Families Payments (DP)

Earlier this year, Republican senators slammed the idea of spending money to pay Americans not to work during the pandemic. Only a few months later, a group of GOP senators has signed onto stimulus legislation that would authorize the government to pay idle defense contractors to not work, even as those contractors’ rack up big profits during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the same bill excludes bipartisan provisions authorizing direct payments to millions of Americans struggling to survive. The stimulus legislation released by Republican and Democratic senators this afternoon includes an extension of a program to replace the wages of certain government contractors who miss work due to COVID-19.

The program, Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, allows federal agencies to reimburse contractors who are unable to work in person due to the pandemic, and whose jobs do not allow telework, for up to 40 hours per week of lost wages. In effect, the program uses government money to reimburse defense contractors for giving paid leave to their employees. The provision was added to the last page of the 525-page bill after defense contractors sent a letter to congressional lawmakers lobbying for the language. The same bill does not authorize direct payments to millions of Americans — nor does it reimburse small businesses for providing paid leave benefits to their workers.

While the bill would fund $300-a-week in new federal unemployment benefits, that’s half as much as Congress distributed under the CARES Act — and millions of people will still see their unemployment benefits lapse on December 26, as it will likely take weeks to reprogram state unemployment systems. “This is about need and not greed,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., one of the Democratic sponsors of the bill who has called new direct payments to families “a bad idea.” Nearly 12 million U.S. renters will be behind $5,850 in rent by January, according to the Washington Post. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have been pushing lawmakers to include language in stimulus legislation giving $1,200 stimulus checks to millions of families. That was not included in the same stimulus that includes the subsidy program for defense contractors.

In July, Senate Republicans introduced a stimulus package which included $11 billion in appropriations to reimburse defense contractors for payments made under Section 3610, following lobbying from the defense industry. “Section 3610 provides authority for agencies to cover from existing funds certain contractor costs and keep key personnel and skilled workers in a ready state,” lobbying groups and executives from representing defense contractors and other government contractors wrote on December 11.

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How is it possible that in so many countries that failed so miserably in their pandemic fights, all the same faces hold on to all their same jobs?

Fauci: Masks, Social Distancing Likely Needed Until ‘Early Next Winter’ (JTN)

As the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine gets underway, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the American public should anticipate likely needing to wear masks and socially distancing through next winter. Fauci was asked Monday when he thinks society will be able to get back to pre-coronavirus normality. “I think we will know when we see the level of infection in the country at a dramatically lower level than it is right now that we can start gradually tiptoeing towards normality,” Fauci said during a discussion hosted by the Center for Strategy and International Studies. “I don’t believe we’re going to be able to throw the masks away and forget about physical separation and congregate settings for a while, probably likely until we get into the late fall and early next winter, but I think we can do it. The numbers will guide us.”


Fauci also said that having a vaccine distributed before the end of the year was “unimaginable” at the beginning of the pandemic. He referred to Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership implemented under the Trump administration, as a “success story,” given that a “group of vaccines” for COVID-19 have been produced. “I think Operation Warp Speed, putting hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, into facilitating the technical aspects of the trial, the clinical trial, the pre-purchasing of hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine is unprecedented,” he said. “So it’s really quite a success story, I must say.”

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We should have this down by now. We don’t.

The Covid-19 Data is a ‘Travesty’ (OffG)

If we turn our attention back to the Covid death data, just because someone has tested positive for Covid-19 and died sometime after (even if we put aside for a second that some tests are known to give false positives), that does not mean that Covid-19 caused that person to die. Yet, the main figure certain countries around the world are using to express Covid-19 deaths is simply recorded, or coded, as essentially any death involving a positive Covid-19 test within 28 days of death. Because correlation does not equal causation, simply recording Covid-19 deaths as any deaths involving a positive Covid-19 test within a given period of time is an extremely poor way to measure how many people have died. For instance, in the UK, the main figure being used for Covid-19 deaths is coded, as stated on the official Coronavirus website, as the…

number of deaths of people who had had a positive test result for COVID-19 and died within 28 days of the first positive test. This completely ignores the problem of causality, and thus, produces a much larger death toll than there actually is. For instance, if someone has had an underlying heart condition for 10 years, and has a heart complication and dies, their death was most likely mainly caused by the heart condition that has plagued them for a decade. However, if that person had tested positive for Covid-19 for the first time within 28 days of them dying, that person could be included as a Covid-19 death in the UK, if all is required to be categorized as a Covid-19 death is simply a positive test result.

For those who understand that the way you code deaths dramatically changes the number of deaths you get, the UK authorities kindly illustrate this for us. There is a second number recorded by UK authorities which codes deaths as… people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes. By coding deaths this way, there are thousands more Covid-19 deaths compared to when deaths are coded as… people who had had a positive test result for COVID-19 and died within 28 days of the first positive test. Despite the UK authorities having two ways to code Covid-19 deaths however, none of them are particularly accurate in my opinion. This is because the positive test figure does not deal with the issue of causality, and the death certificate figure only mentions Covid as needing to be “one of the causes” of death, rather than “the primary cause,” in addition to the death certificate figure not explicitly demanding the need for a positive Covid-19 test result.

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Right on cue, Guaido and Navalny are back in the western news, two people who play no role whatsoever in their own home countries. What’s the mechanism behind this?

Venezuela’s Guaido-Led Opposition Holds Alternative Vote, Burns Ballots (RT)

Venezuelan opposition led by US-backed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido has held “popular consultations” to demonstrate rejection of the nation’s government after boycotting parliamentary vote but ended up burning ballots instead. The so-called “popular consultations” organized by the supporters of the self-styled “interim president” started online on Monday and concluded with an in-person participation on Saturday. The move was held after an official election held earlier this month handed control over the Venezuelan National Assembly to President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialist PSUV party. As it was during the 2018 presidential elections that handed victory to Maduro himself, most of the opposition boycotted the official vote.

After losing what was considered its last institutional stronghold, Guaido’s supporters decided to demonstrate the scale of the alleged popular rejection of the Venezuelan government they continue to call illegitimate. Although the turnout for the official election was not particularly high, Guaido’s initiative has hardly faired any better since, according to the organizers’ own estimates cited by Reuters, just under 6.5 million out of roughly 17.5 million eligible voters took part in the “consultation,” including some 845,000 people living abroad. The outcome of the “consultation” did not seem to affect the political situation in the Latin American nation hit by strict US sanctions targeting its oil sector and exacerbating a prolonged economic crisis.

Maduro himself brushed off the opposition’s initiative by saying that “no internet consultation has constitutional status” or any “legal value.” In 11 out of 24 Venezuela’s states, the law enforcement sought to disrupt the in-person participation in the “consultation” by removing the informal voting sites, the organizers complained. Still, they themselves ended up destroying all the traces of the “consultation”, at least at some of the improvised polling stations. A video published on the social media shows a pile of ballots and voting records burning on the floor at one of such sites in the northern Miranda state. The organizers claimed they did so to protect the identities of the participants.

Read more …

“..the murder of Grigory Rasputin in December 1916 proves “Russia’s penchant for poisoning”

Sunday Times Claims Navalny Was Poisoned Twice (Robinson)

This weekend’s article in the Sunday Times is probably meant to undermine the doubters. In reality, it’s likely to have the opposite result. For its claims are so outrageous that many thinking people will react with laughter, and then perhaps start questioning the poisoning story as a whole. According to the Sunday Times, Navalny wasn’t poisoned by a nerve agent smeared on his water bottle, as has previously been asserted, but rather was attacked by means of his underpants. Moreover, he wasn’t poisoned once, but twice, and despite Novichok’s reputation for extreme deadliness, both attempts failed.

When examined, though, these claims don’t amount to much. The Sunday Times story is nearly 4,000 words long, but 95 percent of it is irrelevant filler, including the comical assertion that the murder of Grigory Rasputin in December 1916 proves “Russia’s penchant for poisoning” (because, of course, nobody other than Russians ever poisoned anyone). The allegations regarding the attack on Navalny take up a mere 100 words of the 4,000-word total. As well as being brief, they are to say the least unproven. The Sunday Times says: “Vladimir Uglev, a retired Russian chemist who developed nerve agents, believes Navalny’s poisoners would have been instructed to place novichok on the elastic waistband of his pants, where it would come into contact with his skin. … A German laboratory later found traces of a nerve agent on the surface of one of the water bottles. Uglev, the retired chemist, believes that this is because Navalny touched it having got novichok on his fingers after putting on his underpants.”

In other words, the underpants story is just what a single Russian scientist, unconnected to the case, happens to think. Nothing more. Does Uglev provide any evidence to prove his assertion? No. He just “believes” it. Yet, this is sufficient for the Sunday Times to treat the story as essentially true, leading off its article with the claim that, “Navalny was exposed to a nerve agent – not, as initially believed, when he drank a cup of tea in the departure lounge but when he got dressed that morning.” This is not exactly good reporting. If the underwear story smells a little off, so too does the claim that Russian secret agents tried to murder Navalny not once, but twice.

As evidence, the Sunday Times says that, “German security sources have told their associates in the UK that the attackers struck again as Navalny lay in an induced coma before being put on a medical flight to Germany. ‘This was with a view to him being dead by the time he arrived in Berlin,’ one source said.” To put it another way, an anonymous person (probably a member of the British intelligence or security services) told a journalist that some other anonymous person believes that this is so. In other words, it’s not just hearsay, but anonymous hearsay. One can believe it if one wishes. But there’s no particular reason why one should.

Read more …

 

 

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Dec 142020
 


Adolphe Yvon Genius of America c1870

 

Data Shows Ample US Hospital Capacity Nationwide (JTN)
‘Autoantibodies’ May Be Driving Severe Covid Cases (G.)
‘Like Nothing Happened’: Sydney Restaurants Are Bustling (AFR)
Ivermectin May Improve the Prognosis of Patients With COVID-19 (Science)
Sen. Manchin: Bipartisan COVID19 Relief Plan To Be Released On Monday (JTN)
Electoral College Voting Is Slated For Monday (JTN)
China’s Global Power Tops The US? New Measures Say No! (Brands)
Major Leak Of Members ‘Lifts The Lid’ On The Chinese Communist Party (Sky.au)
Expect the Most Evictions in History as Ban Expires (Mish)
Iowa Autopsy Report: DNC Meddling Led To Caucus Debacle (Pol.)
Hillary So Far Finds No Role On Team Biden (JTN)
Britons Told Not To Stockpile Food Ahead Of January (BBC)
President Trump Open to the Idea of Pardoning Edward Snowden (LH)

 

 

 

 

Too much panicking about this. To know if a system is overwhelmed at any given point, you must know what its normal occupancy rate is. 90% capacity sounds scary, but not if it’s always at that capacity this time of year.

Data Shows Ample US Hospital Capacity Nationwide (JTN)

As fears persist of overwhelmed medical systems and at-capacity hospitals nationwide, data indicate that ample hospital space remains available for both COVID-19 patients and other medical needs, with one official at a major hospital network stating that the country is “managing pretty well” the latest surge of COVID-19. For most of 2020, rising positive test results of COVID-19 have brought with them fears of swamped hospitals, overwhelmed medical systems, emergency patients being turned away, and COVID-19 patients being triaged, suffering and dying in hallways and vestibules. Much of that fear crystallized in the early stages of the pandemic, when parts of the northern Italian medical system were put under significant strain due to a crush of COVID-19 patients.

In response, leaders and medical officials around the world suspended elective surgeries and constructed emergency medical facilities to cope with anticipated waves of COVID-19 patients. In many cases those facilities were eventually shuttered for lack of patients, even after millions of dollars had been invested in their construction. In Chicago, for instance, the city spent $120,000,000 on four facilities to treat a total of 38 patients. The latest spike in positive COVID tests has brought renewed fears of hospitals straining under an influx of COVID-19 patients, with some facilities across the country reporting difficulties managing large numbers of patients, either from a dwindling number of scarce beds or not enough medical officials to man them, or both.

Yet federal government data compiled from state-level reports suggests that hospitals nationwide have considerable space left to deal with both routine medical issues and COVID-19 patients. The Department of Health and Human Services offers on its website estimates of hospitalization rates across the United States. The data, the department says, is “estimated from hospital submissions, either reported through their state or reported through HHS Protect,” which the department describes as “a secure data ecosystem … for sharing, parsing, housing, and accessing COVID-19 data.” The HHS numbers belie forecasts of impending collapse of the U.S. medical system. As of Saturday, the department estimated that hospitals nationwide were at about 75% capacity. ICU beds were even lower, at 63.5%. Patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 occupied just under 15% of all beds nationwide.

Even in areas that have recently posted huge surges in positive COVID tests, the numbers were largely similar to the national average: In New York, 76% of hospital beds (and 61% of ICU beds) were taken. Dr. Joanne Roberts, the chief value officer of Providence St. Joseph Health system, told Just the News that “a well-functioning hospital probably runs about 85% capacity on an average day.” The problem, she pointed out, is that a virus like COVID-19 can “quickly overwhelm that last 15%” due to its virulency and ability to send a significant number of patients to the hospital at once.

Read more …

“Because antibodies can persist for a long time, it’s conceivable that they may contribute to the development of long-Covid diseases..”

‘Autoantibodies’ May Be Driving Severe Covid Cases (G.)

Dramatic levels of “friendly fire” from the immune system may drive severe Covid-19 disease and leave patients with “long Covid” – when medical problems persist for a significant time after the virus has been beaten – scientists have said. Researchers at Yale University found that Covid-19 patients had large numbers of misguided antibodies in their blood that targeted the organs, tissues and the immune system itself, rather than fighting off the invading virus. The scientists compared immune responses in patients and uninfected people and discovered scores of aberrant antibodies in the former.These blocked antiviral defences, wiped out helpful immune cells, and attacked the body on multiple fronts, from the brain, blood vessels and liver to connective tissue and the gastrointestinal tract.

Further tests revealed that the more “autoantibodies” patients had in their blood, the worse their disease. The Covid-19 patients had more antibodies that had turned on them than people with lupus, an autoimmune disease caused by similar wayward antibodies. “Covid-19 patients make autoantibodies that actually interfere with immune responses against the virus,” said Aaron Ring, an immunobiologist at Yale and senior author on the study. Numerous other autoantibodies attacked parts of the body that are known to become damaged in those with the disease. “We certainly believe that these autoantibodies are harmful to patients with Covid-19,” said Ring, adding that the harmful effects may well continue after the infection has abated, leaving patients with longer-lasting medical problems. “Because antibodies can persist for a long time, it’s conceivable that they may contribute to the development of long-Covid diseases,” he said. Ring partnered with Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale, to screen 194 patients and hospital workers with varying severities of Covid infection for autoantibodies that targeted nearly 3,000 human proteins.

Antibodies disable viruses by latching on to proteins on the virus surface, but autoantibodies are the wrong shape and mistakenly bind to proteins that are on, or have been released by, human cells. Writing in the study, which has yet to be peer reviewed and published in a journal, the scientists describe how Covid patients had “dramatic increases in autoantibody reactivities” compared with 30 healthy hospital workers who did not have the virus. While certain autoantibodies in some patients were apparently present before Covid-19 infection, others appeared and ramped up as the disease progressed. More than 5% of hospitalised patients had autoantibodies that weakened a key arm of the immune defence that is orchestrated by proteins called interferons. These patients were unable to control the amount of virus in their bodies and so developed more serious illness.

Read more …

Has the word “ivermectin” been banned on social media? I see people spell it as iv3rm3ctin.

Ivermectin May Improve the Prognosis of Patients With COVID-19 (Science)

Dear Editor:
The pandemic coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been spread rapidly worldwide with considerable morbidity and mortality. COVID-19 patients have various clinical presentations: asymptomatic, exhibit mild flu-like symptoms, be severely ill or death. In addition to elder age and comorbidities, higher levels of D-dimer and C-reactive protein (CRP) and lower levels of lymphocyte and eosinophil as well as a cytokine storm are associated with disease severity in COVID-19 patients. The virus load may be a main determinant underlying the pathological diversity in COVID-19 patients.

Thus, an effective antiviral treatment is essential to improve the prognosis of patients with COVID-19.7 In the absence of specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents, various drugs with antiviral potential are now used to contain the virus in COVID-19 patients. Ivermectin, a US FDA-approved anthelminthic, has garnered enormous interest for treating COVID-19 as it is safe and cheap and has strong antiviral activities against board ranges of viruses including SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Despite the widespread use of ivermectin, to our knowledge, there is currently no published clinical reports of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients. Here, we assessed the clinical efficacy of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients.

This retrospective study enrolled a total of 325 consecutive patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of nasal swabs in SK hospital, a unit dedicated to COVID-19 at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH), Mymensingh, Bangladesh, from April to June 2020. Of these, the present study included 248 adult COVID-19 patients free from any other serious pathological conditions: 115 received ivermectin plus standard care (SC), while 133 received only SC. Remaining 77 patients who were under 18 years of age or transferred from other facilities and received different management approaches including partial hospital stays or treated with different therapeutic agents prior to hospital admission were excluded from the analysis.

The two groups were compared in terms of time to SARS-CoV-2 negativity, disease progression (develop pneumonia to severe respiratory distress), duration of hospital stays, and mortality rate. Ivermectin was given once at dose of 12 mg within 24-h after hospital admission. SC was provided as required and included antipyretics for fever, anti-histamines for cough, and antibiotics to control secondary infection. The study was approved by MMCH and informed consent was obtained from all patients or their relatives before starting treatment. Categorical variables are shown as frequencies and percentages and continuous variables as the median and interquartile range (IQR). Differences with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed to show the level of certainty. Paired t-tests or Pearson Chi-square test were used to analyze statistical differences. All calculations were performed using SAS, version 9.4 (Cary, NC, USA).

Read more …

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world…

‘Like Nothing Happened’: Sydney Restaurants Are Bustling (AFR)

At lunchtime in Barangaroo in downtown Sydney, it’s as though the pandemic never happened. Restaurants and cafes are bustling, and Matias Munoz, assistant manager at Bel and Brio, says the Italian restaurant has been flat out from open to close. “I think it’s because they’ve had a really tough year and they want to celebrate. That’s what the customers say to me,” Mr Munoz said. The NSW government on Monday lifted a public health order requiring employers to let staff work from home in the hope of bringing customers back to struggling city businesses. New mobility data shows residents in most capital cities are driving more than ever, with Sydney 17 per cent above the benchmark set in January before the pandemic lockdown.

Capacity on NSW’s public transport is being boosted as the government rolls back health restrictions and social distancing requirements. Most employers do not plan to bring workers back to their desks until early next year, and consumer data shows hospitality venues in central business districts have been gutted. But tell that to Mr Munoz, whose restaurant reopened in July after the first lockdown. “We reopened and it looked like nothing happened. People were coming like normal,” he said. The restaurant is handling 400 bookings per day. Trade lulled during the early days of Victoria’s second wave as even Sydneysiders stayed home before quickly recovering.

“Compared to the last year, we’re doing the same numbers,” Mr Munoz said. Even on a Monday, typically their quietest day, the restaurant is packed. Joseph Le, manager at nearby Lotus, was overseeing a full house and said it was good to be back to normal after the worrying he experienced during the early days of the pandemic. “[I thought] am I going to lose my job? How can I pay my bills?” Mr Le said. “I’m so happy and lucky to be here.”

Read more …

Better get it done, and done well. It’s Christmas time.

Sen. Manchin: Bipartisan COVID19 Relief Plan To Be Released On Monday (JTN)

Senator Joe Manchin during an interview on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace said that a bipartisan group of lawmakers’ proposed COVID-19 relief legislation will be released on Monday. Wallace asked if a $908 billion compromise plan is off the table, and if there were a chance that Congress would leave Washington for the rest of the year without passing a COVID relief bill. Manchin responded that “the plan is alive and well,” and he shot down the concept of Congress skipping town before approving any relief. “We’ll have a bill produced for the American people tomorrow, $908 billion dollars,” the West Virginia Democrat said about the proposal that will be shared. “We’re trying to get through the toughest first quarter of our country that we’ve ever faced.”


Manchin said he could not guarantee that the legislation would pass. “But I can tell you one thing: What’s the alternative? What are you going to do? We’ve given one month, day and night, our staffs have worked around the clock,” he said. “We’ve done everything we can to put an all-inclusive product together. Pick whatever parts you like, whatever parts you don’t like. Put it all together or take it as a whole. We’re gonna give it to you the way we think the American people need it. In an emergency situation, we need this legislation.”

Read more …

Sidney Powell announced 4 major cases to go before SCOTUS. We’re not done yet, but we’re getting there.

Electoral College Voting Is Slated For Monday (JTN)

Members of the Electoral College will cast their votes for president on Monday, with Joe Biden expected to receive 306 electoral votes compared to just 232 for President Trump. A candidate must secure 270 to win the presidency. The step comes as President Trump has so far chosen not to concede to Biden, filing a host of lawsuits alleging that fraud tainted the 2020 election. The U.S. Constitution provides that each state will have a quantity of electors equivalent to the combined number of senators and House members that the state is entitled to have in the nation’s legislature. Thus, states with larger populations have more electoral votes than states with smaller populations. The candidate who wins the national popular vote does not always win the Electoral College vote.

But the Electoral College vote, not the national popular vote, determines which candidate wins the presidential contest. The Associated Press reported that the Electoral College does not meet in one central location, but electors for every state and the District of Columbia gather at a location selected by their own legislature. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all of their Electoral College votes to the winner of the state’s popular vote. Nevada and Maine divide their Electoral College votes between the statewide winner and the victor in each congressional district. “Maine awards two of its four electoral votes to the statewide winner, but also allocates an electoral vote to the popular vote winner in each of its two congressional districts,” according to CBS News. “Nebraska gives two of its five electoral votes to the statewide winner, with the remaining three going to the popular vote winner in each of its three congressional districts.”

“In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner,” the AP reported. “Electors almost always vote for the state winner anyway, because they generally are devoted to their political party,” the outlet noted. On Jan. 6, Vice President Mike Pence will preside over a joint session of the U.S. Congress and the votes will be counted. If a minimum of one lawmaker from each chamber of the nation’s bicameral legislature objects via writing to some electoral votes, each chamber would debate the matter separately. “An objection to a state’s electoral vote must be approved by both houses in order for any contested votes to be excluded,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

Read more …

How to measure power.

China’s Global Power Tops The US? New Measures Say No! (Brands)

Traditionally, measures of power focused on attributes such as population, energy consumption and production of steel or other indicators of industrial strength. In the information age, these indices tell us relatively little about whether a country can get its way in world affairs. It is still common, though, to assess power through blunt measures like GDP or military spending. Analysts who argue that Beijing is overtaking the U.S. habitually note that China’s GDP may soon surpass America’s. But GDP is a snapshot of activity rather than a measure of overall wealth. Some countries that spend massively on military power, such as Saudi Arabia, are quite useless in projecting it. So how can we determine the balance of advantage in a long rivalry? The groundbreaking academic work is giving us better answers.

The first category focuses on refining our grasp of economic and military might. Michael Beckley of the American Enterprise Institute (where I am also a fellow) has developed a model that measures net power rather than gross power by accounting for things such as security costs (“the price a government pays to police and protect its citizens”) and production costs (how much it costs, in material and environmental degradation, to build that coal power plant). He finds, not surprisingly, that the U.S. fares far better than China, an authoritarian state with vast internal security costs and a prodigiously wasteful approach to stimulating growth. Similarly, it is critical that American per capita GDP dwarfs China’s, because that means the U.S. has more wealth left over, after it feeds its population, to pursue global influence. Other work has better accounted for the way wealth accrues over time, and found that the U.S. will still have far more overall economic power than China even after China’s GDP eclipses America’s.

The second category better captures the reality of “network power.” In a landmark paper published in 2019, Abraham Newman of Georgetown University and Henry Farrell, my colleague at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, argue that the centrality of the dollar to international financial networks — which persists, despite decades of handwringing about its decline — gives the U.S. outsized coercive leverage. Scholars have also affirmed something that policymakers have long understood: America punches far above its own weight in global affairs, because of the network of military, economic and diplomatic partners it leads. China has nothing equivalent.

The third category accounts for less tangible forms of power. For decades, analysts have grasped that soft power — the degree of admiration and emulation a country inspires — matters enormously. An intriguing study by Ted Hopf of the National University of Singapore, Bentley Allan of Johns Hopkins and Srdjan Vucetic of the University of Ottawa demonstrates that, even though America’s global favorability ratings have plummeted under President Donald Trump, there remains strong global support for democracy and free-market economic policies. That’s a body blow for an authoritarian, mercantilist China, which, the authors predict, “is unlikely to become the hegemon in the near term.” It also helps explain why European states are systematically turning away from Beijing even amid enormous turbulence in their relations with the U.S.

Read more …

A lot of interest in China these days.

Major Leak Of Members ‘Lifts The Lid’ On The Chinese Communist Party (Sky.au)

A major leak containing a register with the details of nearly two million CCP members has occurred – exposing members who are now working all over the world, while also lifting the lid on how the party operates under Xi Jinping, says Sharri Markson. Ms Markson said the leak is a register with the details of Communist Party members, including their names, party position, birthday, national ID number and ethnicity. “It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world,” the Sky News host said. “What’s amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the communist party, and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the US to the UK,” Ms Markson said. “But it’s amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping”.


Ms Markson said the leak demonstrates party branches are embedded in some of the world’s biggest companies and even inside government agencies. “Communist party branches have been set up inside western companies, allowing the infiltration of those companies by CCP members – who, if called on, are answerable directly to the communist party, to the Chairman, the president himself,” she said. “Along with the personal identifying details of 1.95 million communist party members, mostly from Shanghai, there are also the details of 79,000 communist party branches, many of them inside companies”. Ms Markson said the leak is a significant security breach likely to embarrass Xi Jinping. “It is also going to embarrass some global companies who appear to have no plan in place to protect their intellectual property from theft. From economic espionage,” she said.

Read more …

In a pandemic. Is there a worse idea possible?

Expect the Most Evictions in History as Ban Expires (Mish)

“Millions of U.S. renters face the prospect of eviction in January unless federal officials extend protections put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. That month is when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on evictions is set to expire. The moratorium protects tenants who have missed monthly rent payments from being thrown out of their homes if they declare financial hardship. The CDC ordered the halt on evictions under the Public Health Service Act, which allows the federal government to enact regulations that help stop the spread of infectious diseases. Between 2.4 million and 5 million American households are at risk of eviction in January alone, and millions more will be vulnerable in the months after, according to estimates from the investment bank and financial-advisory firm Stout Risius Ross.

Landlords have already filed more than 150,000 eviction petitions during the pandemic in the 27 cities tracked by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. Many of those tenants have lost their cases, and are now on the hook for all their back rent.” ‘I don’t see how it’s possible that we’re not going to see more evictions on Jan. 1 than we’ve ever seen in a month,’ said John Pollock, staff attorney at the Public Justice Center It’s easy to sympathize with tenants but what about landlords who cannot pay mortgages? Are we to postpone evictions forever while landlords lose their property? There has been no discussion in any of the recent Covid packages for further moratoriums nor aid to landlords who have not been paid for months. So unless there is specific aid sufficient aid in the bill to allow tenants to catch up, millions of evictions are on the way.

Read more …

After protecting the DNC for years, the press suddenly wake up?!

Iowa Autopsy Report: DNC Meddling Led To Caucus Debacle (Pol.)

Democratic National Committee meddling, combined with missteps by the state Democratic Party, were the primary drivers of the chaos that torpedoed the Iowa caucuses earlier this year, according to a new audit commissioned by the state party. The report, which was distributed to the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee at a meeting Saturday morning and obtained by POLITICO, identified a series of errors made by the DNC, IDP and the technology company contracted by the state party to build a reporting app to collect caucus results. The February caucuses were overrun by foul-ups: The state party was unable to report a winner on caucus night, the mobile app to report results failed to work for many precinct chairs, the back-up telephone systems were jammed and some precincts had initial reporting errors.

The state party chair, Troy Price, resigned in the wake of the debacle, which put Iowa’s status as the first in the nation nominating contest in serious jeopardy. But the report pins the blame squarely on the DNC for the heart of the problem on caucus night — the delay in the reporting of the results. According to the report, the DNC demanded the technology company, Shadow, build a conversion tool just weeks before the caucuses to allow the DNC to have real-time access to the raw numbers because the national party feared the app would miscalculate results. The DNC’s data system used a different database format than Shadow’s reporting app, which caused multiple problems.

“Attempting to graft an entirely new software element onto the back-end reporting system at the proverbial eleventh hour is likely always going to be problematic, and it was ultimately the cause of a major problem on caucus night,” the report concludes. “Furthermore, the IDP was not involved in the development of this tool. The IDP simply permitted the DNC to direct the IDP’s vendor.” The audit states the conversion tool had coding errors that spit out inaccurate numbers and caused confusion about the accuracy of the results, eventually leading to delays in reporting. But the state party’s app never malfunctioned nor was hacked, the report concludes.

“When the DNC’s database conversion tool failed to work correctly, it caused the DNC to wrongly stop the IDP from reporting its results, and the IDP’s entire planned reporting process was thrown into disarray,” the report says. “The DNC’s interjection was the catalyst for the resulting chaos in the boiler room and in the IDP’s attempts to manually collect and confirm caucus results by hand. If the DNC had not interjected itself into the results reporting process based on its erroneous data conversion, caucus night could conceivably have proceeded according to the IDP’s initial plan.”

Read more …

But Samantha Power is back in, it appears.

Hillary So Far Finds No Role On Team Biden (JTN)

Have you noticed? Hillary Clinton is suddenly — and finally — nowhere to be found. Well before she lost the 2016 presidential election to President Trump, the former first lady pushed a conspiracy theory that eventually grew into a major, two-year investigation: Trump had colluded with the Russians in order to alter the outcome of the race. That didn’t pan out, but Hillary had other excuses. For months — which turned into years — she blamed FBI Director James Comey, Russia, computer bots, WikiLeaks, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Facebook, Joe Biden, fake news, Twitter, voter ID laws, the vast right-wing conspiracy, sexism, Barack Obama, ageism, child sex pervert Anthony Weiner, white women, xenophobia, black people, the Electoral College, the Democratic National Committee, misogyny, women cowed by their husbands, and even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (how America’s Mayor caused Clinton to lose Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan and Florida is anybody’s guess).

But the mainstream media despises Trump, and Clinton was a reliable gadfly, so she stayed in the news regularly. She even made millions hawking her book, “What Happened,” her take on why she lost the election. Yet it’s been more than a month since Election Day 2020, and Americans haven hardly heard a peep out of her. What’s more, the former secretary of state for President Barack Obama has been given no role in a prospective Biden administration, even though at 72 she’s younger the 78-year-old Biden. It’s not like Biden hasn’t made room for others from former administrations. After all, he found room as climate czar for John Kerry, who served as secretary of state from 2013 to 2017 under Obama. But so far, nothing for Clinton.

Clinton’s omission is odd, given that she won nearly 66 million votes in 2016. She also represents a powerful wing of the party — albeit an old and fading faction — along with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who remains extremely popular with the rank and file of the party. And she’s got the bona fides: Secretary of State, two-term senator, and architect of a planned overhaul of health care that eventually morphed into Obamacare. As Biden made room for Kerry on climate, he could give Clinton a role on health care. And the former vice president could tap Hillary’s decades of experience, even if just as an adviser, whether formal or informal.

Shortly after Election Day, rumors circulated that Biden was considering Clinton for a role in his administration, perhaps as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The move “would be a way for Biden to highlight the importance of that position in his administration, and that placing her there would raise the prestige of the U.N. itself at a time when global cooperation and the U.S. role on the world stage, has ebbed,” sources told the Washington Post. But a few weeks later, Biden picked Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year veteran of the foreign service who oversaw the Bureau of African Affairs during the Obama administration, for the slot.

Read more …

Yes, you got that right. The day after the UK government tells supermarkets to stockpile food, they now tell their citizens to do the opposite. Sweet Jesus.

Britons Told Not To Stockpile Food Ahead Of January (BBC)

Households have been warned not to stockpile food and toilet roll ahead of 1 January when the UK stops trading under EU rules. On Sunday, the UK and the EU agreed to extend a deadline aimed at reaching a deal on post-Brexit trade. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said ongoing uncertainty made it harder for firms to prepare for the New Year. But it said shops had plenty of supplies and shoppers must not buy more food than usual. “Retailers are doing everything they can to prepare for all eventualities on 1 January – increasing the stock of tins, toilet rolls and other longer life products so there will be sufficient supply of essential products,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.


“While no amount of preparation by retailers can entirely prevent disruption there is no need for the public to buy more food than usual as the main impact will be on imported fresh produce, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, which cannot be stored for long periods by either retailers or consumers.” Supermarkets are now used to dealing with anxious shoppers. During the first lockdown earlier this year to stop the spread of the coronavirus, grocers introduced limits on goods such as toilet roll, dried pasta and UHT milk after panic buying by Britons. There are fears shoppers might think disruption at ports after 31 December could lead to shortages in shops as the UK transitions to new trading rules with the EU.

Read more …

Of course Snowden has urged him to pardon Assange.

President Trump Open to the Idea of Pardoning Edward Snowden (LH)

The push to have President Trump pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is heating up as a group in Congress has been urging the President to do the right thing and free this patriot. There have been a growing list of Republicans and Democrats that are pushing the outgoing President to do the right thing and grant a full and complete pardon of Snowden so he can return home to the United States. Edward Snowden is famous for declassifying an NSA program that was used to spy on the American people. He has been hunted for years by the federal government and has sought asylum in multiple countries.

Currently he resides in Russia where is viewed in Liberty circles as a patriot for his act to expose the governments attempt to pry into the lives of ordinary Americans. He deserves a pardon and Trump needs to use one of his last acts as President to make history right. Call your Congressman and women and urge them to put pressure of the White House. Contact the White House as well using this link.

Read more …

 

 

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Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.