Nov 182021
 
 November 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  142 Responses »


Francisco Goya Witches’ Sabbath 1797-98

 

OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Biden’s Vaccine Mandate (NR)
FDA Asks Judge to Grant it Until 2076 to Release Pfizer Vaccine Data (Siri)
Fauci Says Covid-19 Booster Might Become New Standard For Being Vaccinated (NYP)
Hospital Files Motion to Dismiss Dr. Paul Marik’s Landmark Case (FLCCC)
37% of US Truckers Will Not Comply With Vaccine Mandate (CTH)
“T-Cell Priming” Vaccine Could Provide Better Immunity Than mRNA Vaccines (Salon)
The US Is A Powder Keg (Tucker)
Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Moves For A Mistrial With Prejudice (AT)
The Steele Dossier and the End of Shame In American Politics (Turley)

 

 

 

 

John Campbell references the same German vit. D study I did several times, last in The End of Mass Vaxx.

 

 


Germany now has more deaths per day than 1 year ago, despite 85% of the adult population vaccinated

 

 

Lost.

OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Biden’s Vaccine Mandate (NR)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has suspended implementation and enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private employers after a federal court blocked the measure. The OSHA website page dedicated to the COVID Vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) reads: “While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.” Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit fully blocked Biden’s executive order requiring companies with over 100 workers to mandate vaccination for their employees after temporarily staying it on November 12.

The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the vaccine mandate “until further court order.” By its mandate, the Biden administration is claiming that the federal government, through congressional legislation, has regulatory power to issue a medical mandate for the sake of public health and therefore general welfare. However, since the directive was announced, many legal scholars have challenged its constitutionality, given that the legislation it relies on for authority explicitly states that an ETS can only be issued when employees are exposed to a “grave danger” that necessitates immediate action. That case is becoming increasingly difficult to argue, given the fact that some vaccinated individuals can transmit the disease and that treatment options for COVID infections are expanding.


As of Tuesday, the Biden administration is planning to purchase 10 million doses of Pfizer’s antiviral medication to treat patents with COVID. Some lawmakers and pundits have speculated that Biden’s strategy with the vaccine mandate recognized that the order would likely be indefensible in court but hoped that its chilling effect would pressure employers to comply in advance of any litigation. After the federal appeals court first issued a motion to stay the order, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki still urged employers to implement coercive measures to increase vaccination numbers among their labor forces, although without the teeth of government enforcement.

Read more …

It took 108 days to approve the vaccine. It will take over 20,000 days to tell us why.

FDA Asks Judge to Grant it Until 2076 to Release Pfizer Vaccine Data (Siri)

The FDA has asked a federal judge to make the public wait until the year 2076 to disclose all of the data and information it relied upon to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. That is not a typo. It wants 55 years to produce this information to the public. As explained in a prior article, the FDA repeatedly promised “full transparency” with regard to Covid-19 vaccines, including reaffirming “the FDA’s commitment to transparency” when licensing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. With that promise in mind, in August and immediately following approval of the vaccine, more than 30 academics, professors, and scientists from this country’s most prestigious universities requested the data and information submitted to the FDA by Pfizer to license its COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA’s response? It produced nothing. So, in September, my firm filed a lawsuit against the FDA on behalf of this group to demand this information. To date, almost three months after it licensed Pfizer’s vaccine, the FDA still has not released a single page. Not one. Instead, two days ago, the FDA asked a federal judge to give it until 2076 to fully produce this information. The FDA asked the judge to let it produce the 329,000+ pages of documents Pfizer provided to the FDA to license its vaccine at the rate of 500 pages per month, which means its production would not be completed earlier than 2076. The FDA’s promise of transparency is, to put it mildly, a pile of illusions.


It took the FDA precisely 108 days from when Pfizer started producing the records for licensure (on May 7, 2021) to when the FDA licensed the Pfizer vaccine (on August 23, 2021). Taking the FDA at its word, it conducted an intense, robust, thorough, and complete review and analysis of those documents in order to assure that the Pfizer vaccine was safe and effective for licensure. While it can conduct that intense review of Pfizer’s documents in 108 days, it now asks for over 20,000 days to make these documents available to the public. So, let’s get this straight. The federal government shields Pfizer from liability. Gives it billions of dollars. Makes Americans take its product. But won’t let you see the data supporting its product’s safety and efficacy. Who does the government work for?

Read more …

What happened to the story of puppies eaten alive?

Fauci Says Covid-19 Booster Might Become New Standard For Being Vaccinated (NYP)

COVID-19 booster shots may become the new standard to be considered fully vaccinated, according to the nation’s top doctor. Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the impending need for hundreds of millions of Americans to roll up their sleeves and get the jab during a pre-taped interview that aired at the 2021 STAT Summit in Boston this week, according to ABC News. “I happen to believe as an immunologist and infectious disease person that a third shot boost for an mRNA [vaccine] … should be part of the actual standard regimen, where a booster isn’t a luxury,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reportedly said.

“A booster isn’t an add-on and a booster is part of what the original regimen should be. So that when we look back on this, we’re going to see that boosters are essential for an optimal vaccine regimen,” Fauci told the audience, according to the network. The remarks came as New York City and several states expanded booster shot eligibility to all adults who were vaccinated against COVID-19 at least six months ago this week. Until then, the jabs were only available to people 65 years of age and over and those in high-risk situations. The guidance from the president’s chief medical advisor came as Moderna filed an application with the FDA seeking emergency use authorization of vaccine booster shots for all US residents 18 and older. Pfizer last week asked federal regulators to expand its booster shot eligibility to all Americans.


Some 31.5 million Americans had already received a booster shot on Wednesday, according to CDC data. More than a third of the recipients were over 65. The number of vaccinated US residents stood at 196 million people, according to the agency — which noted that more than 40 percent of the country was not fully inoculated. The push for booster shots came as the seven-day rolling average of cases increased by 27 percent since Oct. 25, US data showed. Fauci had said over the summer he was “certain” Americans would need additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Read more …

They, too, have a deal with Pfizer.

Hospital Files Motion to Dismiss Dr. Paul Marik’s Landmark Case (FLCCC)

On Friday, November 12, 2021, Sentara Hospital System in Virginia submitted a motion to dismiss the complaint filed against it earlier in the week by Dr. Paul Marik—co-chief medical officer of the FLCCC, tenured professor, and the Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Dr. Marik filed suit seeking a temporary injunction to lift the ban Sentara Healthcare System had placed on a range of highly effective COVID-19 treatments used by Dr. Marik to save critically ill COVID-19 patients. These components, including IV vitamin C, dutasteride, fluvoxamine, finasteride, and ivermectin, had previously been successfully used—with the exception of ivermectin, the use of which Sentara never permitted —to reduce COVID deaths in the ICU by as much as 50 percent. The result of the prohibition has been a sharp increase in mortality at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

The hospital’s motion to dismiss Marik’s lawsuit rests on their claim that Dr. Marik has “lack of standing” to bring the lawsuit against the hospital. According to the hospital, “The alleged causes of action against Sentara, if any, reside with the patients in the hospital, not those patients’ attending physician.” The hospital also asserted in its motion that Virginia’s Advance Directive Statute and/or the Health Care Decisions Act do not “afford the patient the ability to specifically direct or demand his or her course of treatment by a physician or hospital.” But Dr. Marik’s complaint argues that “Sentara’s prohibition of these medicines is causing needless deaths, because it violates patients’ rights to informed consent, and because it contravenes Virginia’s Health Care Decisions Act.”

Under Virginia law, Dr. Marik, as the “attending physician” of his patients in the ICU, is personally and legally responsible for the exercise of professional skill and judgement in determining what a patient under his care receives. Because Dr. Marik is prohibited from giving his patients medications that are potentially lifesaving—and have been demonstrated as such in peer-reviewed studies—he is forced to abandon his professional duty. His actions are regulated by the hospital in such a way that it causes him to violate the rights of his patients.

The hospital’s motion to dismiss or continue the hearing — scheduled for Thursday, November 18 at 1PM ET in Norfolk — also argues that Dr. Marik has lack of standing to bring the lawsuit because he has not been “injuriously affected” by the prohibition of the medications since he himself was not a patient who was denied “the alleged” lifesaving treatment. Yet, if Dr. Marik were to violate the hospital’s prohibition, he would be subject to revocation of his hospital privileges. Furthermore, due to Sentara’s prohibition, he is the one who faces potential legal liability for failing to provide his patients with the medications which, in his professional judgment, had the capacity to save their lives. Therefore, Dr. Marik has solid standing to seek vindication of the rights of his patients and of himself as treating physician.

Read more …

Think there’s a supply chain issue now? Just wait.

37% of US Truckers Will Not Comply With Vaccine Mandate (CTH)

A very interesting interview with Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association. During a House Transportation Committee hearing on supply chain issues, CEO Chris Spear shares an internal survey showing that 37% of truck drivers “not only said no, but said hell no” to the Biden vaccine mandates. To give some perspective of the downstream consequence, the ATA President noted that “if just 3.7 percent, not 37 percent, just 3.7 percent” of the drivers left the industry, there would be over a quarter million vacancies resulting in a “catastrophic” collapse of the U.S. supply chain. Mr. Spear also shared his opinion the OSHA rule is completely unworkable and unlawful.

The consequences are grave if just 3.7% did not work. However, if ten times that many, 37 percent of truck drivers, stopped hauling products because of the Biden vaccine requirement, American civic society would collapse within days as panicked citizens took to the streets. Desperate Americans would be clamoring for scarce products, and the impact on society could not be measured. As we have continued to point out, a federal vaccine mandate might sound like a good idea on a think tank, academic or white paper policy level of consideration; but on a practical level, wiping out a large percentage of your most productive workforce over a vaccine mandate is unworkable, and might even end the operation of the entire business.


It is important to note the recent NBC poll on this issue amid the outlook of the vaccine mandates. A majority of the country do not support the vaccine mandates, and worse still, the number of unvaccinated workers is essentially unwavering in the past six weeks. Remember, the number of Americans who willingly quit their jobs increased to 4.3 million in August, and then increased again to 4.4 million in September. People are not f**king around now.

Read more …

Challenging the spike protein monopoly?

“T-Cell Priming” Vaccine Could Provide Better Immunity Than mRNA Vaccines (Salon)

The development of mRNA vaccines, a long-promised and much-touted biotechnology, is regarded as a great victory of medical research spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowadays, millions of people have been inoculated with these novel vaccines, which comprise both the Pfizer/BioNTech shot as well as Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Yet mRNA vaccine technology is not the only immunological innovation that may emerge from the pandemic. Now, a company based in the United Kingdom called Emergex is preparing to test a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine based on a radical new technology. Unlike the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — which inject a bespoke strand of messenger RNA that generates Spike proteins within the human body — this new vaccine technology is delivered via a skin patch, and relies on T cells, which are white blood cells that are part of the immune system, to kill infected cells.

It is believed that a T-cell vaccine would incite a more rapid and durable response to fighting the infection. “Although current COVID-19 vaccines have made significant progress in reducing mortality and morbidity, challenges still remain, especially with the development of new variants,” said Professor Blaise Genton, Principal Investigator for the trial from the Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisante) at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. “This exciting new scientific approach to developing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 addresses the need to generate a T-cell response to elicit long term immunity.”


One of the constituent types of immune system cells, T cells play a vital role in fighting threatening foreign substances in the human body. Unlike some immune system cells, T cells do not attack any foreign body; rather, they are laser-focused only on specific pathogens. This trait, researchers believe, could be exploited such that their vaccine could instill a T-cell response in the human body — without actually giving their immune system the dangerous SARS-CoV-2 virus first. Emergex’s proposed vaccine would prepare T cells to remove infected cells from the body right after being infected. This would prevent the virus from replicating and progressing to COVID-19. By targeting and priming the T cells, this would also reduce the transmissibility between infected and non-infected people because it would stop the virus from replicating and prevent the onset of symptoms.

Read more …

Closer to exploding than almost anyone appears to think.

The US Is A Powder Keg (Tucker)

A USA Today poll shows that Biden’s approval has sunk to 38%. The trend line here is truly devastating. We can speculate why. Inflation plays a role. But also the vaccine mandate seems to have hit the Biden approval rating very hard. In the coming month, millions of jobs could be affected by this. The protests are growing in every city, and the people protesting are union members, city employees and even tech workers. They are furious that government would presume the right to tell people what medicines they must inject into their bodies. Some of the protesters are themselves vaccinated against their will. They are bitter and angry about it. The news of adverse outcomes from vaccination is leaking out through family networks and alternative news venues, though it continues to be suppressed by the media. So this mandate is now being seen as a direct threat to individual health.

That’s something that will inspire people to take to the streets. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay against OSHA’s mandate on businesses. The Biden administration attempted a response, but the result was lame. It just said that it stands by the mandate on health grounds, period. Perhaps this won’t surprise you, but the president himself instructed businesses to go ahead and proceed, essentially advocating that they ignore the court ruling. In other words, the Biden administration has gone completely lawless, not just ignoring the U.S. Constitution but also advocating that businesses ignore the courts. That’s dangerously close to announcing that we now live with dictatorship. It’s no wonder that even Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is talking about secession from the union. If he is saying this, I truly cannot imagine the kind of anger there is among the citizens.

If you wanted to live in exciting times, you chose a great time to be alive. The conditions are ripe not only for continuing electoral bloodbaths but more street protests, explosive town halls, hate-filled school board meetings and much worse. A more divisive and destructive policy is hard to imagine. Sadly, these policies are dividing friends and family. Some people with vaccinations don’t see the big deal here. Just get the jab, they say, and then you can be free. Others find this idea to be outrageous, an immoral acquiescence to power that can only lead to even worse outcomes. I just watched several hours of testimony from big shots at the NIH and the CDC. It might as well have been a paid advertisement from Moderna and Pfizer. Nearly every word out of the bureaucrats’ mouths was structured to push the vaccines that most everyone knows by now have failed to live up to their promise.

Indeed, if they were as good and safe as they say, government would not need to mandate them. The mandates, ironically, undermine public confidence. It’s hard to imagine that public confidence in everything could fall further, but it will. To top it off, making all the above much worse, the vaccination is now coming for the kids. Mandates will surely follow. You want revolution in this country? This is a good way to foment one. The current regime has another year of unchecked power. It seems unfathomable. So far, they have not been deterred by anything, not the courts, not public opinion, not even sinking election prospects. The U.S. has become a powder keg.

Read more …

The prejudice will be needed, or the whole circus can start again.

Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Moves For A Mistrial With Prejudice (AT)

During the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, the prosecution argued that Kyle provoked the men who attacked him by waving his gun. To prove this, during the trial, the prosecution gave the defense fuzzy drone footage. There was a great deal of argument about what could be extrapolated from that fuzzy view. It turns out that the prosecution had within its possession a high-quality video that it played for the judge after the trial ended. On this, and other evidentiary grounds, the defense moved for a mistrial with prejudice. The defense motion states the facts with sufficient clarity that I’m going to reprint them here verbatim:

“On November 5. 2021, the fifth day of trial on this case, the prosecution turned over to the defense footage of a drone video which captured some of the incident from August 25, 2020. The problem is, the prosecution gave the defense a compressed version of the video. What that means is the video provided to the defense was not as clear as the video kept by the state. The file size of the defense video is 3.6 MB and the state’s is 11.2 MB. Further, the dimensions on our video are 480 x 212, the state’s, 1920 x 844. The video which was in the state’s possession, wasn’t provided to the defense until after the trial concluded. During the jury instructions conference, the defense played their version of the video for the court to review. The state indicated their version was much clearer and had their tech person come into court to have the court review their clearer video. The video is the same; the resolution of that video, however, was not. The state did not provide their quality video to the defense until Saturday, November 13, 2021, and only did so upon specific request by Attorney Wisco — two days before closing arguments and after the evidence had been closed.”


Under Wisconsin law, when the defense makes a demand, the prosecution must provide to the defense “[a]ny physical evidence that the district attorney intends to offer in evidence at the trial” and “[a]ny exculpatory evidence.” That’s Wisconsin Stat. § 971.23(1)(g) & (h). I don’t have the time to research the law, but my bet is that if Wisconsin’s appellate court ever had before it the question of whether the prosecutor may get away with producing bastardized, degraded versions of the requested evidence, it would say emphatically not. The motion for a mistrial with prejudice also raises the fact that, when Kyle Rittenhouse took the witness stand, the prosecutors improperly accused him of keeping silent after his arrest. That right, of course, is enshrined in the famous Miranda rights warning that all arrestees in America receive: “You have the right to remain silent …” The corollary to that right is that this silence cannot be used against the defendant in a court of law, but that’s exactly what the prosecution tried to do.

Rittenhouse videos
https://twitter.com/i/status/1461035214977777674

Read more …

“Schiff’s spin is enough to cause permanent vertigo.”

The Steele Dossier and the End of Shame In American Politics (Turley)

The famous philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal once declared that “the only shame is to have none.” The problem with shame is that it requires a sense of guilt over one’s actions. In the age of rage, there appear fewer and fewer actions that are beyond the pale for politics. Take Adam Schiff and the Steele dossier. While even the Washington Post has admitted that it got the Russian collusion story wrong in light of the findings of Special Counsel John Durham, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is still insisting that he was absolutely right to promote the discredited Steele dossier. Schiff’s interview on NBC’s Meet the Press may be the final proof of the death of shame in American politics.

Schiff was one of the greatest promoters of the Steele dossier despite access to briefings casting doubt about Steele and the underlying claims. However, Schiff recently has attempted to defend himself by claiming that Steele was a respected former spy and that he was lied to by a Russian source. Schiff told host Chuck Todd: “I don’t regret saying that we should investigate claims of someone who, frankly, was a well-respected British intelligence officer. And we couldn’t have known, of course, years ago that we would learn years later that someone who is a primary source lied to him. [Igor] Danchenko lied to Christopher Steele and then lied to the FBI. He should be prosecuted. He is being prosecuted. And I’ll tell you this, if he’s convicted, he should not be pardoned the way Donald Trump pardoned people who lied to FBI agents, like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn. There ought to be the same standard in terms of prosecuting the liars. But I don’t think there ought to be any pardon, no matter which way the lies cut.”

Schiff’s spin is enough to cause permanent vertigo. Some of us have spent years being pummeled for questioning the obvious problems with the Steele dossier, including the long-denied connection to the Clinton campaign. Schiff was the main voice swatting down such criticism and his endorsements were treated as dispositive for media from MSNBC to the Washington Post. After all, he was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and assured the public that our criticisms were meritless and the dossier was corroborated. Schiff’s spin, however, continues to deny the obvious about the Russian collusion scandal.

First, many would guffaw at the claim that Steele was and remains a “well-respected British intelligence officer.” Soon after the dossier was shopped to the FBI, British intelligence flagged credibility problems with Steele. The FBI severed Steele as an asset. Even his own sources told the FBI that Steele wildly exaggerated information and distorted intelligence. Most recently, Steele went public with a laughable claim that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former counsel, was lying to protect Trump despite spending years trying to get Trump charged criminally.

Second, Schiff ignored repeated contradictions in Steele’s dossier as well as evidence that the dossier was paid for and promoted by the Clinton campaign. In 2017, even fired FBI agent Peter Strzok admitted that “we are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials” and “Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his subsource network.” Schiff would have had access to some of this intelligence. Indeed, while the Clinton campaign was denying that it funded the dossier, American intelligence knew that that was a lie. Indeed, until the Durham indictments, Schiff continued to defend the Russian collusion investigation and the Steele dossier.

Third, Schiff attempts to portray the sole problem with the Steele dossier as Russian analyst Igor Danchenko. That is simply not true. Schiff was long aware that there were allegations of misleading or false information given by the FBI to the secret court. Indeed, the first Durham conviction was of Kevin Clinesmith, the former FBI agent who pleaded guilty. Schiff was aware that President Barack Obama was briefed in 2017 that Hillary Clinton was allegedly planning to manufacture a Russian collusion scandal — just days before the start of the Russian investigation. The dossier was riddled with disproven allegations. Fourth, Schiff states that he merely sought to investigate allegations. However, Schiff was one of the most active members fueling the Russian collusion allegations. Indeed, when the Mueller investigation found no proof of Russian collusion, Schiff immediately went public to claim that he had evidence of collusion in his committee files. It was meant to keep the scandal alive. Schiff has never produced his promised evidence of collusion.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Kill the Bill

 

 

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

 

Nov 152021
 
 November 15, 2021  Posted by at 9:43 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  85 Responses »


Francisco Goya Fire at night 1793-94

 

Is Vaccine Efficacy A Statistical Illusion? (Fenton)
What They Didn’t Tell You (Denninger)
New Pfizer Drug and Ivermectin (Campbell)
COVID-19 Vaccine-Myocarditis Paper To Be Permanently Removed: Elsevier (RW)
Delta Variant Displays Moderate Resistance To Neutralizing Antibodies (bioRxiv)
Patient Trajectories Among Hospitalised Covid-19 Patients (medRxiv)
The Media’s Epic Fail On The Steele Dossier (Axios)
Alan Dershowitz: Kyle Rittenhouse ‘Should Be Acquitted’ And Sue Media (JTN)
Was Rittenhouse’s Possession of the AR-15 Unlawful? (Turley)

 

 

The 1905 SCOTUS case Jacobson v Massachusetts held that mandates can only be considered to “prevent the spread of contagious disease.”


As all studies show the shots don’t stop transmission, Covid mandates are obviously illegal.

 

 

The Miracle Vaccine Nobody Will Talk About: Covax-19

 

 

 

 

Can’t catch it well in this format, do read it. He shifts reporting of deaths by just a week, and the world looks entirely different.

Norman Fenton is Professor in Risk Information Management

@profnfenton: “Turns out that, simply by delayed reporting of deaths by 1 week, it’s inevitable a placebo will appear to reduce mortality in those who receive it compared to those who don’t..”

Is Vaccine Efficacy A Statistical Illusion? (Fenton)

Suppose we want to examine and compare the mortality rates of the unvaccinated and vaccinated cohorts based on the data in Table 2. Figure 1 shows this comparison, and we can see that the mortality rate is consistently lower for the vaccinated than that for the unvaccinated throughout the roll out of the vaccination programme and it reduces as soon as vaccination nears population saturation at close to 100%.


Figure 1 Reported weekly mortality rates vaccinated against unvaccinated

We might conclude that those who remain unvaccinated look to be suffering much higher levels of mortality than the vaccinated. The reporting delay therefore creates a completely artificial impression that the vaccine must be highly effective. In fact, it looks like a magic ‘cure all’ wonder drug! The fact that the mortality rate of the unvaccinated peaks when the percentage of those vaccinated peaks should ring some alarm bells that something strange is going on (unless there is independent evidence that the virus was peaking at the same time).


While the placebo vaccine example was purely hypothetical, Figure 2 shows the vaccinated against unvaccinated mortality using the data in the latest ONS report mortality in England by Covid-19 vaccination status (weeks 1 to 38)[1], complemented by NIMS vaccination survey data (up to week 27 only). Here we show other-than covid mortality to remove the virus signal.


Figure 2 Reported weekly other-than covid mortality rates for vaccinated versus unvaccinated for 60-69 age group for weeks 1-38 2021

Note that we see the same features as the shifted graph in Figure 1. In other words, a perfectly reasonable explanation for what is observed here could be that there is no difference in mortality rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated and the mortality differences are simply a result of a delay in death reporting. Moreover, given we have removed covid deaths (which were only a small percentage of all-cause deaths in the reported data) we get a near identical result for non-covid mortality to that which would result if the vaccine were a placebo! Thus, we appear to have created a statistical illusion of vaccine efficacy.

If this is not a statistical illusion how is it possible that the unvaccinated are dying from non-covid causes at a higher rate than vaccinated? Also how is it possible that, at the time vaccination rates are ramped up to nearly 100% of the population, the nonvaccinated are dying from non-covid deaths at almost twice the rate of those who are vaccinated?

These same patterns are also observable in the 70-79 and 80+ age groups (with the mortality peaks for the unvaccinated appearing at different weeks because these age groups received vaccinations earlier). This strongly suggests that what we are observing is a genuine statistical illusion unexplainable by any real impact of the vaccine on mortality rates. There could, of course, be reasons other than just delays in death reporting or misclassification. For example, any systematic underestimation of the actual proportion who remain unvaccinated would lead to a higher mortality rate for unvaccinated higher than that for the vaccinated, even if the mortality rates were equal in each category.

Read more …

“It can’t happen if there are no susceptible people. But it is. So there are susceptible people. How did they become susceptible when they weren’t before in any material size? We jabbed them.”

What They Didn’t Tell You (Denninger)

This study is a bit dense — but has been peer-reviewed, and makes clear that indeed, what I hypothesized was true — and had to be, given the circumstances with Diamond Princess and elsewhere, in fact validates by scientific fact. “In summary, RTC regions like polymerase, expressed in the first stage of the viral life cycle, are highly conserved among HCoV and are preferentially targeted by T-cells in pre-pandemic and SN-HCW samples. A subset of T-cells from donors able to abort infection could cross-recognise SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV sequences at individual RTC epitopes, pointing to prior infection with HCoV as one source of pre-existing cross-reactive T-cells. ” “SN-HCW” are health-care workers who were repeatedly exposed and while they did not get sick or seroconvert “(SeroNegative)” showed very rapid response to Covid-19 from cross-reaction as a result of other coronavirus exposures.

Remember that Diamond Princess only had about 20% of the population on board that got sick despite all of them being confined together over an extended period, and even more-telling, there were multiple instances where one member of a cabin pair (husband and wife, usually) got seriously ill while the other did not only not get ill they did not test positive either. This also occurred among a couple I know early in the pandemic; one (the husband) was killed by the virus, the other (the wife) never got sick. What’s even more damning is that by May of this year about 20% of the population, according to a NEJM study that I wrote on, had seroconverted. This strongly implies that statistically everyone who could get Covid-19 and have a serious problem with already had done so.

So how is that we had a “surge” this summer and continue to see infections this fall? It can’t happen if there are no susceptible people. But it is. So there are susceptible people. How did they become susceptible when they weren’t before in any material size? We jabbed them. The CDC and hospitals do not count someone who gets Covid before 2 weeks after their last jab as “vaccinated.” So if you have a cycle of 28 days from first to second from the first jab to a period of time six weeks later if you get Covid-19 you’re considered “unvaccinated.” Every place where we’ve had very high vaccination uptake as the uptake occurred we have seen material spikes in infection contemporary with the jabs, even out of regular season with normal respiratory viral patterns.

Why? The reasonable hypothesis is that the jabs are destroying pre-existing resistance that formerly was sufficient to prevent significant, seroconverting infections in about 8 out of 10 people, but post-jab that resistance is suppressed either temporarily or permanently and thus they are able to get significantly infected.

Read more …

‘No one’s saying that the information [about ivermectin’s efficacy] has been deliberately hidden away while millions of people have died’

New Pfizer Drug and Ivermectin (Campbell)

Read more …

Lots of Pfizer ads? How many millions on a yearly basis?

COVID-19 Vaccine-Myocarditis Paper To Be Permanently Removed: Elsevier (RW)

A paper claiming that cases of myocarditis spiked after teenagers began receiving COVID-19 vaccines that earned a “temporary removal” earlier this month will be permanently removed, according to a publisher at Elsevier. As we reported last week, the article, “A Report on Myocarditis Adverse Events in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in Association with COVID-19 Injectable Biological Products,” was published in Current Problems in Cardiology on October 1. Sometime between then and October 17, the article was stamped “TEMPORARY REMOVAL” without explanation other than Elsevier’s boilerplate notice in such cases:


“The Publisher regrets that this article has been temporarily removed. A replacement will appear as soon as possible in which the reason for the removal of the article will be specified, or the article will be reinstated. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy.” In an email to co-author Peter McCullough, Elsevier publisher Diana Goetz said that “the journal is not willing to publish the paper.” Here’s the entire email:

Goetz did not respond to requests for comment from Retraction Watch about whether a retraction notice explaining the move would appear. Elsevier’s policy on such matters has changed slightly over the years, but the central lack of transparency on their “withdrawals” has been the subject of our coverage since 2013. Jessica Rose, the other author of the paper, told Retraction Watch: “We are very motivated to get the information in our paper to the public: pediatricians, parents and policy-makers alike. This is why we decided to publish in the first place. It is extremely frustrating for us to face such censorship when professionals are in need of scientific data and discourse on the subject of myocarditis in children in these very strange times.” Rose’s affiliation on the removed version of the paper is the Institute of Pure and Applied Knowledge’s Public Health Policy Initiative, and McCullough’s is the Truth for Health Foundation in Tucson.


As we noted in our previous post, IPAK is “..a group that has been critical of vaccines and of the response to COVID-19 and has funded one study that was retracted earlier this year… Last month, Baylor Scott & White obtained a restraining order against McCullough — whom Medscape says “has promoted the use of therapies seen as unproven for the treatment of COVID-19 and has questioned the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines” — for continuing to refer to an affiliation with the health care institution despite a separation agreement. “Since the Baylor suit, the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and the Texas Christian University (TCU) and University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) School of Medicine have both removed McCullough from their faculties,” Medscape reported at the time.”

Read more …

Variants of variants.

Delta Variant Displays Moderate Resistance To Neutralizing Antibodies (bioRxiv)

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage variants, Kappa (B.1.617.1) and Delta (B.1.617.2, AY) emerged during the second wave of infections in India, but the Delta variants have become dominant worldwide and continue to evolve. The spike proteins of B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, and AY.1 variants have several substitutions in the receptor binding domain (RBD), including L452R+E484Q, L452R+T478K, and K417N+L452R+T478K, respectively, that could potentially reduce effectiveness of therapeutic antibodies and current vaccines. Here we compared B.1.617 variants, and their single and double RBD substitutions for resistance to neutralization by convalescent sera, mRNA vaccine-elicited sera, and therapeutic neutralizing antibodies using a pseudovirus neutralization assay.

Pseudoviruses with the B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, and AY.1 spike showed a modest 1.5 to 4.4-fold reduction in neutralization titer by convalescent sera and vaccine-elicited sera. In comparison, similar modest reductions were also observed for pseudoviruses with C.37, P.1, R.1, and B.1.526 spikes, but seven- and sixteen-fold reduction for vaccine-elicited and convalescent sera, respectively, was seen for pseudoviruses with the B.1.351 spike. Four of twenty-three therapeutic neutralizing antibodies showed either complete or partial loss of neutralization against B.1.617.2 pseudoviruses due to the L452R substitution, whereas six of twenty-three therapeutic neutralizing antibodies showed either complete or partial loss of neutralization against B.1.617.1 pseudoviruses due to either the E484Q or L452R substitution.

Against AY.1 pseudoviruses, the L452R and K417N substitutions accounted for the loss of neutralization by four antibodies and one antibody, respectively, whereas one antibody lost potency that could not be fully accounted for by a single RBD substitution. The modest resistance of B.1.617 variants to vaccine-elicited sera suggest that current mRNA-based vaccines will likely remain effective in protecting against B.1.617 variants, but the therapeutic antibodies need to be carefully selected based on their resistance profiles. Finally, the spike proteins of B.1.617 variants are more efficiently cleaved due to the P681R substitution, and the spike of Delta variants exhibited greater sensitivity to soluble ACE2 neutralization, as well as fusogenic activity, which may contribute to enhanced spread of Delta variants.

Read more …

Hard to speak in clear terms when you’re scientists, but:

“We observed no difference in [..] odds of in-hospital death between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.”

Dr Anthony Hinton: “Norway Study Finds ZERO Vaccine Effectiveness Against Death for Covid Hospital Patients. The Pfizer trial never made this claim they only claimed symptom reduction.”

Patient Trajectories Among Hospitalised Covid-19 Patients (medRxiv)

Objectives With most of the Norwegian population vaccinated against COVID-19, an increasing number and proportion of COVID-19 related hospitalisations are occurring among vaccinated patients. To support patient management and capacity planning in hospitals, we estimated the length of stay (LoS) in hospital and odds of intensive care (ICU) admission and in-hospital mortality among COVID-19 patients ≥18 years who had been vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine, compared to unvaccinated patients.

Methods Using national registry data, we conducted a cohort study on SARS-CoV-2 positive patients hospitalised in Norway between 1 February and 30 September 2021, with COVID-19 as the main cause of hospitalisation. We used a Cox proportional hazards model to examine the association between vaccination status and LoS. We used logistic regression to examine the association between vaccination status and ICU admission and in-hospital mortality.

Results We included 2,361 patients, including 70 (3%) partially vaccinated and 183 (8%) fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated patients 18–79 years had a shorter LoS in hospital overall (adjusted hazard ratio for discharge: 1.35, 95%CI: 1.07–1.72), and lower odds of ICU admission (adjusted odds ratio: 0.57, 95%CI: 0.33–0.96). Similar estimates were observed when collectively analysing partially and fully vaccinated patients. We observed no difference in the LoS for patients not admitted to ICU, nor odds of in-hospital death between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.

Conclusions Vaccinated patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in Norway have a shorter LoS and lower odds of ICU admission than unvaccinated patients. These findings can support patient management and ongoing capacity planning in hospitals.

Read more …

Axios: “A reckoning is hitting news organizations for years-old coverage of the 2017 Steele dossier, after the document’s primary source was charged with lying to the FBI.”

The Media’s Epic Fail On The Steele Dossier (Axios)

A reckoning is hitting news organizations for years-old coverage of the 2017 Steele dossier, after the document’s primary source was charged with lying to the FBI. Why it matters: It’s one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history, and the media’s response to its own mistakes has so far been tepid. Outsized coverage of the unvetted document drove a media frenzy at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency that helped drive a narrative of collusion between former President Trump and Russia. It also helped drive an even bigger wedge between former President Trump and the press at the very beginning of his presidency.

Driving the news: In wake of the key source’s arrest and further reporting on the situation, The Washington Post on Friday corrected and removed large portions of two articles. To The Post’s credit, its media critic, Erik Wemple, has written at length about the mistakes made by The Post and other media outlets in their coverage of the dossier. BuzzFeed News, which made waves in 2017 by publishing the entire dossier, says it has no plans to take the document down. It’s still online, accompanied by a note that says “The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” Ben Smith, who was BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief at the time and is now a media columnist at The New York Times, told Axios, “My view on the logic of publishing hasn’t changed.”

BuzzFeed defended the decision in a 2018 lawsuit by arguing that because the FBI opened an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the dossier itself was newsworthy, whatever the merits of its contents turned out to be. It won that case. Other outlets that gave the document outsized coverage have so far been less forthcoming. CNN and MSNBC did not respond to requests for comment about whether they planned to revisit or correct any of their coverage around the dossier. Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn began reporting about the dossier prior to the 2016 election. Asked by Wemple whether he planned to correct the record, Corn said,” My priority has been to deal with the much larger topic of Russia’s undisputed attack and Trump’s undisputed collaboration with Moscow’s cover-up.”

The Wall Street Journal told Axios, “We’re aware of the serious questions raised by the allegations and continue to report and to follow the investigation closely.” Axios was among the outlets that did not publish the dossier or original reporting based on its contents. What to watch: The Steele screwup will undoubtedly cause an even bigger rift in trust between Democrats and Republicans.

Read more …

“It’s CNN who is involved in vigilante justice. It’s The New Yorker that’s guilty of vigilante justice.”

Alan Dershowitz: Kyle Rittenhouse ‘Should Be Acquitted’ And Sue Media (JTN)

Alan Dershowitz, the famed Harvard law professor emeritus, said Kyle Rittenhouse “should be acquitted” of injuring a man and killing two others in Kenosha, Wis., and sue media outlets that are claiming he’s guilty of vigilante justice. “If I were a juror, I would vote that there was reasonable doubt [and] that he did act in self-defense,” Dershowitz told Newsmax on Saturday.”Then he’ll bring lawsuits, and that’s the way to answer… vigilante justice is what CNN is doing, not what a 17-year-old kid under pressure may have done right or wrong. It’s CNN who is involved in vigilante justice. It’s The New Yorker that’s guilty of vigilante justice.”


Dershowitz referenced then-Kentucky high school student Nicholas Sandmann and how he sued and settled with CNN and The Washington Post for defamation as they accused him of being racist following viral videos of an encounter he had with a Native American activist in Washington, D.C. “The idea is to make the media accountable for deliberate and willful lies,” he said. Dershowitz added that “the left-wing media … is attacking this judge for trying to be fair. They want an outcome. They want a result and if they don’t get their results and you know this seeps through to the jury, and I worry that the jury could be influenced by the fear that if they vote to acquit, they’ll be called racist and they’ll be attacked.”

Read more …

Judge: “I have been wrestling with this statute with, I’d hate to count the hours I’ve put into it, I’m still trying to figure out what it says, what’s prohibited. I have a legal education.”

Was Rittenhouse’s Possession of the AR-15 Unlawful? (Turley)

In covering the motions hearing last week in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, I noted a surprising comment from Judge Bruce Schroeder that he had “spent hours” with the Wisconsin gun law and could not state with certainty what it means in this case. The statement could effectively knock out the misdemeanor gun possession count — the one count that could still be in play for the jury after the prosecution’s case on the more serious offense appeared to collapse in court. A close examination of that provision reveals ample reason to question not just its meaning but its application to this case. The unlawful possession of the gun has been a prominent fact cited not only by the prosecutors but the press. At trial, however, prosecutor Thomas Binger at points seemed to be learning the governing law from Rittenhouse.

For example, he pressed Rittenhouse on why he did not just purchase a handgun rather than an AR-15. Rittenhouse replied he could not possess a hand gun at his age. Binger then asked in apparent disbelief that the law allowed him to have an AR-15 but not a handgun and Rittenhouse said yes. Binger then moved on after seemingly drawing out a point for the defenseThe exchange was all the more baffling because it drew attention to the fact that one of Binger’s alleged “victims” was an adult named Gaige Grosskreutz who also decided to bring a handgun to the protests and pointed his .40 caliber Glock at the head of Rittenhouse when he was shot in the arm. However, the most damaging moment came outside of the presence of the jury when the judge drilled down on the law.

He told the prosecutors “I have been wrestling with this statute with, I’d hate to count the hours I’ve put into it, I’m still trying to figure out what it says, what’s prohibited. I have a legal education.” He added that he failed to understand how an “ordinary citizen” could understand what is illegal. It is hard to understand how the count could be given to the jury without a clear understanding of what it means. It is also hard to instruct a jury on an ambiguous statute. Criminal laws are supposed to be interpreted narrowly. It is called the “rule of lenity” and has been around in the English system for centuries. For example, in 1547, the court was faced with a law making it a felony to steal “Horses, Geldings or Mares.” Given the use of plural nouns, the court ruled that it did not apply to stealing just one horse.

The problem with the Wisconsin statute is not a problem of pluralization but definition. It is not clear that the statute actually bars possession by Rittenhouse. Indeed, it may come down to the length of Rittenhouse’s weapon and the prosecutors never bothered to measure it and place it into evidence. In Wisconsin, minors cannot possess short-barreled rifles under Section 941.28. Putting aside the failure to put evidence into the record to claim such a short length, it does not appear to be the case here. Rittenhouse used a Smith & Wesson MP-15 with an advertised barrel length of 16 inches and the overall length is 36.9 inches. That is not a short barrel.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Nov 052021
 
 November 5, 2021  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Ernst Haas Greece 1952

 

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Released, 84 Million Workers Face Jan. 4 Deadline (ET)
OSHA Signals to Employers to Hide Vaccine Side Effects Reporting (BN)
Rand Paul Decries Firing of Frontline Workers Over Vaccine Mandates (ET)
A Credibility Blow To Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine (Demasi)
Report of Problems With Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Being Investigated (ET)
Are You ****ed? Maybe. But.. How Bad? (Denninger)
Are Vaccines Driving Excess Deaths in Scotland ? (DS)
Here’s The Real Reason Comirnaty Is Not Available (Kirsch)
How Covid Can Render You Indecisive For The Rest Of Your Life (RT)
Arrest Of Steele Dossier Source A “Seismic Development” (ZH)

 

 

Peter Doshi, BMJ

 

 

 

 

CO2

 

 

The continued and escalating litigation can start only after the “mandate” is officially part of the Federal Register. It will be torn to shreds before Jan 4. Merry Christmas.

“Texas Attorney General @TXAG: Biden just announced his plan to wield OSHA to mandate vaccines on private businesses. And I’m announcing my plan to sue him once this illegal, unconstitutional regulation hits the Federal Register.

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Released, 84 Million Workers Face Jan. 4 Deadline (ET)

The Biden administration has released the new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring 84 million private sector workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The administration has also announced its rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Assistance (CMS) requiring 17 million healthcare workers participating in federal health programs to be vaccinated. The White House is also pushing back the deadline for workers in those sectors, as well as federal contractors, to get fully vaccinated to Jan. 4, 2022, according to a senior administration official. “We wanted to do this because we’re really aligning it to make it easier—to make it as easy as possible for businesses to implement these requirements and for workers to comply,” said the official, when asked about pushing back the deadline.

The Biden administration had received multiple letters from industries requesting the deadline for vaccination be moved back until after the holiday season. The OSHA rule requires employers with 100 or more employees to put vaccine requirements in place for all staff, or face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. The agency is allowed to put into place an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) when it determines workers are at “grave risk.” Under the rule, workers who are not vaccinated are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test at no expense to their employer. Unvaccinated workers are also required to wear masks when on the job. Health care workers do not have the testing option. The ETS requires employers to determine and keep record of the vaccination status of each employee and report all COVID deaths and hospitalizations to OSHA.

The rule takes effect immediately upon publication, scheduled for Oct. 5, in the federal register. White House officials say the new ETS is well within OSHA’s authority under the law and consistent with OSHA’s requirements to protect workers from health and safety hazards, including infectious diseases. Officials claim there is well-established legal precedent for OSHA’s authority to evaluate existing scientific evidence and apply data to develop safety and health standards. The ETS says it preempts state and local laws that ban or limit an employer from requiring vaccination, face covering, or testing. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Oct. 11 banning Texas businesses from requiring vaccines for employees, or customers.

And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis filed suit Oct. 28 against the Biden Administration’s order requiring employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated. Several Republican governors and attorneys general have vowed to fight the new OSHA rule in court.

Read more …

JUST IN – “OSHA will consider expanding the vaccine mandate to smaller businesses with fewer than 100 employees during a 30-day comment period, according to the U.S. Labor Department.”

OSHA Signals to Employers to Hide Vaccine Side Effects Reporting (BN)

While President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate was announced in September, the OSHA regulation actually compelling qualifying federal contractors and business with over 100 employees to force workers to be vaccinated for Covid-19 has not been formally issued. But OSHA is making it clear that it does not want to know about vaccine side effects, because it has suspended employer reporting requirements. “DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations,” the health agency says on its official website. “OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination at least through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.”

However, employees who have claimed injury from vaccines can still file a report with their employer under OSHA’s whistleblower regulations. “Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 USC 660(c)) prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for exercising a variety of rights guaranteed under the law, such as filing a safety or health complaint with OSHA, raising a health and safety concern with their employers, participating in an OSHA inspection, or reporting a work-related injury or illness,” OSHA notes. “Additionally, OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the provisions of more than 20 industry-specific federal laws protecting employees from retaliation for raising or reporting concerns about hazards or violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities, tax, antitrust, and anti-money laundering laws. Also see the anti-retaliation provisions in the Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare.”

“If you believe you have suffered such retaliation, submit a whistleblower complaint to OSHA as soon as possible in order to ensure that you file the complaint within the legal time limits, some of which may be as short as 30 days from the date you learned of or experienced retaliation,” OSHA adds. “An employee can file a complaint with OSHA by visiting or calling his or her local OSHA office; sending a written complaint via fax, mail, or email to the closest OSHA office; or filing a complaint online. No particular form is required and complaints may be submitted in any language.” “OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, 29 CFR 1904.35, also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses,” it adds.

“The purpose of this provision is to improve the completeness and accuracy of injury and illness data by allowing OSHA to issue citations to employers who retaliate against their employees for reporting an injury or illness and thereby discourage or deter accurate reporting of work-related injuries or illnesses.” While OSHA is seeking to bury vaccine side effects reporting in relation to the still-unissued federal mandate, the Biden administration has quietly authorized damages to be settled with coerced vaccine takers if they suffer serious side effects. The clause was buried deep in documents in a Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation bulletin issued earlier in October.

“On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccination for most Federal employees,” the document states. “The order directed each agency to implement a program to require COVID-19 vaccination for all of its employees, with exceptions only as required by law.” “The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) covers injuries that occur in the performance of duty,” the bulletin goes on. “The FECA does not generally authorize provision of preventive measures such as vaccines and inoculations, and in general, preventive treatment is a responsibility of the employing agency under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7901. However, care can be authorized by OWCP for complications of preventive measures which are provided or sponsored by the agency, such as adverse reaction to prophylactic immunization.”

Read more …

“It’s a great disservice to fire people—nurses, doctors, firemen, policemen—who put their life at risk when there was no vaccine at all..”

Rand Paul Decries Firing of Frontline Workers Over Vaccine Mandates (ET)

Firefighters, nurses, and other so-called frontline workers are being fired or facing termination across the country for not complying with COVID-19 vaccine mandates. That’s wrong, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says. “It’s a great disservice to fire people—nurses, doctors, firemen, policemen—who put their life at risk when there was no vaccine at all,” he told NTD’s “The Beau Show.” Officials in New York City and other locales that have imposed vaccine requirements say they will help decrease community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, though the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines against infection has dropped sharply in recent months. “In terms of COVID, we are one of the safest places in America, because we have one of the highest levels of vaccination,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, told reporters on Wednesday.

Paul disagrees, particularly because many mandates lack opt-outs for those who have had COVID-19 and recovered. That means they have some level of protection against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, many studies have shown. “Many of them got COVID while taking care of people. The doctors and nurses caught COVID from their patients. Most of them survived, fortunately. They now have immunity and all the science—102 studies—show that you have immunity if you’ve had the disease naturally,” he told NTD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges natural immunity, or protection bestowed by having COVID-19, but asserts even those with it should get a vaccine for an extra boost.

“We do know that after nearly all infectious diseases, you have some protection from getting that infection again, but we don’t really know how long that lasts or how robust it is,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s head, told reporters on Wednesday. Critics argue those points are largely the same for vaccines and note that many of the studies suggest the level of protection is similar to or even superior to vaccination. “What kind of discriminatory policies do we have in place that are excluding someone like me from the workplace when I’m 99.8 percent protected against reinfection, whereas someone who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by the company’s own data that they submitted to the FDA, is 67 percent protective against COVID infection?” Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, who was suspended by the University of California, Irvine for not getting a vaccine, told The Epoch Times last month.

Read more …

The BMJ report is rattling some windows.

A Credibility Blow To Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine (Demasi)

When the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine arrived on Australian shores, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt proudly announced that we could all be confident the vaccines had undergone “rigorous, independent testing” to ensure they were “ safe, effective, and manufactured to a high standard.” As of 24 October 2021, approximately 21 million doses of Comirnaty (Pfizer) have been administered to Australians aged >16 years, with the understanding that drug regulators and public health officials have done their due diligence on the data. Pfizer has promised that “every clinical trial is planned, conducted and reviewed according to the highest scientific, ethical and clinical standards.” This week, however, a whistle-blower has lifted the lid on breaches in research integrity and safety involving one of Pfizer’s most pivotal mRNA vaccine trials.

An investigation by the BMJ has reported that a company called Ventavia, tasked with running a trial site for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine study, “falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events”. The whistle-blower has revealed that she was fired after complaining about the company’s poor research practices, evidenced by dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails. The trial in question was Pfizer’s phase 3 study, involving around 44,000 participants in three groups aged 12-15yrs, 16-55yrs and >55yrs. The complaints included the mislabelling of laboratory specimens, vaccines not being stored at proper temperatures and a lack of timely follow-up of patients with adverse events, all of which were verified by two former colleagues.

Where was the regulatory oversight? The FDA was notified of a complaint filed by the whistle-blower but failed to action any audit of the company. One of the former employees characterised the data that had been generated for Pfizer’s mRNA trial as “a crazy mess”. Paul Thacker, the investigative journalist who broke the story for the BMJ, is incredulous that these types of violations are allowed to occur. “There were credible allegations of problems at this research site, the FDA did nothing and Pfizer hired the company [Ventavia] again,” said Thacker. “Why is the FDA not inspecting clinical research sites when they are getting credible allegations about corruption? Where is the FDA office of criminal investigations? Where is the FBI healthcare fraud unit? They’re nowhere to be seen.”

“Instead, we just get told it’s science, science, science. If you say it enough times, it must be true,” he joked. In what should have been international news, this latest whistle-blower case has barely registered in the mainstream media. “We have a lot of science-cheerleading reporters,” Thacker said, “Pfizer has such a huge PR machine, they have basically captured the media, they’ve hypnotised the media”. Pfizer has a history of deceptive practices, including illegal marketing, covering up drug harms and more recently, the company was accused of “bullying” governments in COVID-19 vaccine negotiations. Pfizer announced that it expects to earn US$36 billion in revenue from its vaccine this year, the same week the Centres for Disease Control Prevention signed off on emergency use authorisation of the vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Read more …

“Jackson said she alerted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the problems she witnessed and was fired within hours of doing so.”

Report of Problems With Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Being Investigated (ET)

The alleged problems with a major clinical trial examining Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial are being probed, a contract company involved in the research has confirmed. Ventavia Research Group operated several of the trial sites in the fall of 2020. Brook Jackson worked for the company during this time. She told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that the trial was riddled with issues, including the falsification of data. Jackson said she alerted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the problems she witnessed and was fired within hours of doing so. Ventavia confirmed to The Epoch Times that it employed Jackson for two weeks last year. Lauren Foreman, director of business development and communications, said in an email that Ventavia is investigating the allegations from Jackson.

“Ventavia takes research compliance, data integrity, and participant safety very seriously and stands behind its important work supporting the development of lifesaving vaccines and is conducting its investigation accordingly,” she said. The FDA appeared to confirm it was aware of the matter. “Although the agency cannot comment further at this time in this ongoing matter, FDA has full confidence in the data that were used to support the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine authorization and the Comirnaty approval,” a spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email. Ventavia worked on the trial that led to emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s jab. The FDA later approved the shot, though many or all of the doses being administered in the United States continue to be the EUA-version.

Jackson, who worked with clinical trials for over 15 years, told the BMJ she repeatedly raised concerns with her superiors about what she was witnessing, including patient safety concerns. She began to feel her reports were being ignored and began taking photographs using her phone. One photograph apparently showed that needles were discarded in a plastic bag instead of a box, while another was said to have showed packaging materials that revealed trial participants’ identification numbers, signaling they may have been unblinded. Jackson listed 12 concerns she had in a Sept. 25 message to the FDA, including participants not being monitored after receiving an injection and vaccines not being stored at proper temperatures. She also alleged that Ventavia staff members were targeted by higher-ups for reporting problems. Jackson said the FDA sent her an email acknowledging receipt of the list and she received a call from an FDA inspector, but has heard nothing from the agency since then.

Read more …

“So to “evade” the risk of Covid-19’s serious outcomes you deliberately damage the immune response for at least some period of time against all manner of other things, some of which are at least as dangerous as Covid-19 is.”

Are You ****ed? Maybe. But.. How Bad? (Denninger)

“Here, we report, besides generation of neutralizing antibodies, consistent alterations in hemoglobin A1c, serum sodium and potassium levels, coagulation profiles, and renal functions in healthy volunteers after vaccination with an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Similar changes had also been reported in COVID-19 patients, suggesting that vaccination mimicked an infection.” That is very bad. In fact its catastrophically bad. Vaccination is supposed to trick your immune system into thinking your body is being attacked without producing the bad outcomes that the actual disease can produce. You get the protection, but not the potential bad outcomes from infection itself. That is the entire point of vaccination; to evade the possible bad outcomes from infection.

Since a traditional vaccine (which this is; inactivated whole virus) cannot replicate it should never produce the bad impacts from disease itself. That is, the only “dose” your body gets from an inactivated vaccine is what is in the syringe; no more, no less. Unfortunately what this study shows is that a material number of these bad effects from infection come from vaccination as well. That’s unexpected and hideous, especially some of the markers that showed up — including most-specifically A1c. It is of particular note that A1c did not return to baseline over 90 days post jab. In fact, it remained elevated with some formerly-healthy people now being in the “pre-diabetic” category. This cannot be understated in terms of what it means: Diabetes is arguably the most-serious morbid condition you can contract. To take a person with a healthy A1c level and turn them into a pre-diabetic by telling them to take the jab is criminally insane.

If you are healthy and thus not at any special risk from Covid-19 you’d be out of your damned mind to accept that risk with certainty by taking the shot and if you are coerced into it the proper response is to be placed right between the coercing party’s eyes. Diabetes is that serious folks. Additional durable deterioration was found in both potassium (electrolyte balance) and creatinine, which is a kidney damage marker. I remind you that unlike your liver which can regenerate you only have two kidneys and if they fail you’re ****ed. What’s particularly ugly is that if you get hammered with a so-called “breakthrough” infection later on these deteriorations, which appear to be durable, may well screw you down the road. Both are serious co-morbid factors that radically increase the risk of getting screwed if you get Covid-19.

Now to be fair this study is on a whole, inactivated vaccine. It therefore may — or may not — generalize to the mRNA jabs. We do not know. But don’t you think we should know? Indeed since the jabs used in the US (and Europe) all “program” the body to produce the spike protein, and we know the spike is pathogenic, it is entirely reasonable to believe that these impacts not only exist with mRNA and viral vector jabs they may in fact be materially worse than those from whole, inactivated virus. More to the point shouldn’t we have run this sort of testing and thus known, by published studies, before we jabbed 200 million Americans and threatened the rest? If this sort of durable damage does happen how often does it happen and how-severe is it?= Folks, the change in immune markers along with creatine and A1c is flat-out nasty. Let me quote from the study itself:

“This is a comprehensive investigation of the pathophysiological changes, including detailed immunological alterations in people after COVID-19 vaccination. Results indicated that vaccination, in addition to stimulating the generation of neutralizing antibodies, also influenced various health indicators including those related to diabetes, renal dysfunction, cholesterol metabolism, coagulation problems, electrolyte imbalance, in a way as if the volunteers experienced an infection.” And while some of those returned to baseline over the subsequent 90 days renal dysfunction and diabetes markers DID NOT. “Together, these data suggested that after vaccination, at least by day 28, other than generation of neutralizing antibodies, people’s immune systems, including those of lymphocytes and monocytes, were perhaps in a more vulnerable state. “So to “evade” the risk of Covid-19’s serious outcomes you deliberately damage the immune response for at least some period of time against all manner of other things, some of which are at least as dangerous as Covid-19 is.

Read more …

What differs between the two years? The glaringly obvious answer is the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination.

Are Vaccines Driving Excess Deaths in Scotland ? (DS)

Your first explanation is that the summer excess deaths recorded as non-Covid are actually due to Covid, but have not been certified as such. I see that you yourself are not convinced by this explanation given the level of testing that has taken place. However, let us suppose this to be true. In that case the Scottish Government’s public health measures that have been put in place in summer 2021 to prevent Covid have been far worse than those put in place in summer 2020 – indeed they have been disastrous.

Your second explanation is that the non-clinical responses to COVID-19 put in place by the Scottish Government (mask-wearing, social isolation etc.) have had unintended deleterious consequences on public health and have dramatically increased the rates of death in the Scottish population. This is an admission of abject failure of the Scottish Government’s public health response to Covid. Public health policy is all about balancing the benefits and risks of interventions to achieve the lowest possible impact during a health emergency. It is pertinent to remember that no benefit-risk assessment of non-clinical interventions on the physical and mental health of the Scottish population was conducted before these interventions were enforced.

Your third explanation is that there has been a problem with access to health and social care services, and patients have not received the care they required from the NHS. Access to these services over the past 20 months has been under the control of the Scottish Government, so if this explanation is correct, then the Scottish Government is culpable for increasing the death rate in Scotland. Numerous policies have been deliberately pursued to dramatically reduce GP face-to-face consultation, to cancel appointments and operations in hospitals etc., so the evidence to support this, as at least a partial explanation, is overwhelming.

Your fourth explanation is that individuals who are in poor health have not referred themselves to health and social care services as they would at other times. To some extent this would be confounded with Scottish Government policies of restricting health care provision discussed above. However there has also been a concerted and relentless media campaign by the Scottish Government to increase fear in the public, particularly fear of hospitals where they may catch Covid. This has meant that they have not gone for treatment when it was necessary. Whatever the proximal cause of failure to seek medical attention, the ultimate cause and responsibility lies in Scottish Government policy.

Your final explanation for the dramatic rise in excess deaths in summer 2021 is that there is some other cause that has not yet been identified. As noted earlier the phenomenon of excess deaths in the presence of a Covid epidemic was not seen in summer 2020, but is seen in summer 2021. What differs between the two years? The glaringly obvious answer is the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination. There was no COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2020, but there was rollout of Covid vaccinations in a sequential way to increasingly younger age groups in 2021, a pattern that we see in the manifestation of excess deaths. All of the COVID-19 vaccines are novel and experimental with no long-term safety data. They are now associated with a wide range of serious side-effects (blood clotting, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome) whose likely frequency in the wider population was not assessed in the small-scale phase one and two trials that included only a subset of healthy volunteers. The Yellow Card adverse events reporting system, that capture only a fraction of events, has already recorded over 1,700 deaths in the U.K. population associated with the COVID-19 vaccines. There is therefore a prima facie case for COVID-19 vaccination being a contributing factor to the dramatic rise in summer excess deaths in Scotland in 2021.

Read more …

“..they used a more effective vaccine to show efficacy (in the trials they completed), then they get the FDA to approve the drug but with a change in formulation, then the product with the new buffer will go out to the public with the lower efficacy, but better safety.”

Here’s The Real Reason Comirnaty Is Not Available (Kirsch)

The reason Comirnaty isn’t available is because those shots would expose the company to liability since the fully-licensed product doesn’t have the liability waiver of the EUA product. But once the Pfizer vaccine is fully approved in kids, then Pfizer gets liability waiver on all age groups due to a “feature” in federal law for child vaccines (NCVIA). At that time, they are done. They can market the COVID vaccine products under full approval for all age groups and face no liability when it kills or disables you. This is why they are focused on the kids. This is why there is a reformulation at a 1/3 dose and they changed the buffer and the storage conditions (low temperatures not required). All of these will weaken the protection, but result in a safer vaccine (since it is ineffective).

But for the clinical trials on the 5-11 year olds, they did not use the formulation they approved in the meeting. This is known as bait and switch. So they used a more effective vaccine to show efficacy (in the trials they completed), then they get the FDA to approve the drug but with a change in formulation, then the product with the new buffer will go out to the public with the lower efficacy, but better safety. This is because they don’t want to jeopardize any adverse events happening until they are fully approved. So they basically use formula 1 for safety, get approval for formula 2 (safer, less effective), then roll out formula 2 under EUA.

They also arrange with the FDA and CDC to make sure no early treatment drugs get approved or recommended. This is why there is no movement on fluvoxamine, ivermectin, etc. since that would blow the EUA. Fluvoxamine is the best drug ever for COVID with a mortality reduction of 12X when taken early. It’s the best drug to date for COVID, but the CDC and NIH are deliberately burying it until the vaccines are fully approved. Then they’ll say, “ok, we have all the data.” So at the end, Pfizer gets a fully approved vaccine with full liability protection. At that time, then the NIH can recognize other treatments. This is how it is wired to go. Let’s be honest about it. This is why nobody wants to debate our team about what is going on.

Read more …

Don’t know what to wear? Blame it on Covid!

How Covid Can Render You Indecisive For The Rest Of Your Life (RT)

A new study has found that one unlikely result of the pandemic for many has been Panic Disorder – an increased inability to make inconsequential decisions due to the constant need for risk assessment in everyday life. If you’ve found yourself struggling with making minor decisions recently, you’re not the only one. A new study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association found that nearly one-third of US adults (32%) are having difficulty making basic daily decisions, such as what to wear or eat. The survey also showed that, while 70% of respondents were confident that everything would work out fine once the coronavirus pandemic ended, and 77% felt like they were doing well overall, more than one-third (35%) said it has been more stressful to make major life decisions, around half (49%) said the pandemic has made planning for the future seem impossible, and 61% said the last 18 months have made them rethink how they live their lives.

Those results are not surprising in and of themselves. We’ve all read the headlines about the general anxiety and feelings of dread that people have experienced throughout the pandemic, as well as the stories about people completely re-evaluating their lives thanks to all of the free time for self-reflection. Deciding whether or not to quit your job and move to Missouri is always stressful, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on. But the statistics about anxiety over minor daily decisions struck me as new and interesting, not least because I’ve been experiencing this myself. sI’ve always been a relatively antsy overthinker, but I have never been reduced to beads of sweat over whether or not to do a yoga class, as has recently been the case. I can spend an entire afternoon debating whether or not to go to a party. My boyfriend has taken to simply ordering for me at restaurants, like I’m a baby. I know, on a rational level, that none of these decisions are A Big Deal, but they feel like The Biggest Deal Ever in the moment, and knowing that they’re not simply makes me annoyed at myself on top of everything else.

This type of anxiety – in which you can have a panic attack over something relatively small – is known as a Panic Disorder. You might even recognize that debating whether to go to the gym or straight to work is not worth the agony it’s causing you, but you still feel like you’re in an airplane that’s about to crash into the ocean. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 4.7% of US adults experience panic disorders. Based on this new survey, it seems like quite a few more of us are suffering from them now. The survey blames this new surge of anxiety almost entirely on the pandemic. “For many, the pandemic has imposed the need for constant risk assessment, with routines upended and once trivial tasks recast in light of the pandemic. Many people ask, ‘What is the community transmission in my area today and how will this affect my choices? What is the vaccination rate? Is there a mask mandate here?’ When the factors influencing a person’s decisions are constantly changing, no decision is routine.”

Read more …

Recap: Steele promised to get the goods on Trump from Russia. But Steele hadn’t been to Russia in at least a decade. He needed an inside source. That became Danchenko, but he too was in the US (Brookings Institution). Danchenko asked some buddies to deliver the hot info, and they got him stories and -later- admitted they had made it all up under the influence of copious amounts of booze. He also apppears to have been fed fat tales by Dem associates. By then the Steele Dossier had become a important political tool in DC.

Arrest Of Steele Dossier Source A “Seismic Development” (ZH)

Shining further light on today’s arrest of Igor Danchenko – the primary source for the debunked Steele dossier – is constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who calls it a “seismic development.” The office of Special Counsel John Durham has confirmed that Igor Danchenko, a key source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele, has been arrested. This is the third arrest by Durham who is moving toward the prosecution stage of his investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion scandal. Durham is variously described as either painfully methodical or positively glacial as a prosecutor. But he is widely credited with being a dogged and absolutely apolitical prosecutor. Danchenko’s arrest is a seismic development and confirmed Durham is far from done with his investigation.

Washington was recently rocked by the indictment of Michael Sussman, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, for his alleged role in spreading a false Russia conspiracy theory. Now Danchenko is being charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Danchenko is widely referenced as the sub-source for former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for his controversial dossier. That dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Danchenko told the FBI that the dossier was “unsubstantiated” and said that Steele asked him to look for any “compromising” information on Trump.

Mr. Danchenko worked for the Brookings Institution, a liberal Washington think-tank that often produced reports critical of Trump. Danchenko is not someone who immediately comes across as an apex defendant — the highest target in an investigation. He was a key source used by others to advance false or unsubstantiated claims against Trump. He is the type of defendant that prosecutors pressure to flip against those who retained him or used him in this effort. In other words, he strikes me as someone who can be used as a building block to apex defendants. Potential apex targets above him in investigation range from Steele himself to Clinton general counsel Marc Elias to Clinton campaign officials. There is no indication if Durham has possible evidence of criminal acts by those figures but there is every indication that he is not done by a long shot with this investigation.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 


Betrayal – Mario Sánchez Nevado

 

 

Grewal

 

 

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

 

Apr 012021
 


Pablo Picasso Jacqueline in Turkish costume 1955

 

Biden Unveils $2T Infrastructure Plan, Tax Increases (OAN)
Emergence Of Dominant Selective Immune Escape Variants (Vanden Bossche)
Therapeutics and COVID-19: Living Guideline (WHO)
Judge Demands That Belgium Scraps All Corona Measures Within Thirty Days (AD)
France Headed For New National Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge (ZH)
Outdoor Mask Decree Met With Dismay By Spain’s Tourism Industry (G.)
Washington State ‘Vaccine Breakthrough’: 100s Get Covid Weeks After Jab (JTN)
15 Million Doses Of J&J Vaccine Ruined By Ingredient Mix-up (DM)
Bipolar Corona-Politics Positive? (OffG)
Russiagate Prober Couldn’t Verify Anything in the Steele Dossier (RCI)
US Dollar’s Status as “Global Reserve Currency” Drops to 25-Year Low (WS)
Ron Paul: Gold and Bitcoin Are At Risk Of Government Crackdown (Kitco)
Journalists Are “Centering” Their “Trauma” To Acquire Power (Tracey)

 

 

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
— Elie Wiesel

 

 

Tucker Greenwald Vaccine passports
https://twitter.com/i/status/1377095450440785924

 

 

The problem with such schemes in the US can be summarized in one word: pork.

Biden Unveils $2T Infrastructure Plan, Tax Increases (OAN)

Joe Biden has unveiled his massive infrastructure plan, projected to cost roughly $2 trillion in taxpayer money. Dubbed the American Jobs Plan, the details of it were made public during an event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday. “So today, I’m proposing a plan for the nation that rewards work, not just rewards wealth,” Biden said. “That builds a fair economy and gives everybody a chance to succeed, and it’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world.” The plan’s largest proposed investment is $621 billion devoted to transportation, with a heavy focus on transitioning to so-called “green energy,” followed by $400 billion to home care services, $300 billion to manufacturing and $213 billion to housing. It would also allocate funds to digital infrastructure, schools and workforce development.

Biden claimed the package would modernize the American economy and boost job creation. “It will create millions of jobs, good paying jobs, it will grow the economy, make us more competitive around the world, promote our national security interests, and put us in position to win the global competition with China in the upcoming years,” Biden stated. Yet despite Biden’s grandiose claims of an American revival brought about by government spending, conservatives have balked at the huge price tag attached to his plan, and how he intends to pay for it. The package proposed a reversal of the Trump administration’s 2017 cut to the corporate tax rate, raising it from 21 to 28 percent. It would introduce a minimum tax of 15 percent on book income, the income reported by companies to their investors rather than the IRS.

Additionally, it would increase the global minimum tax on international subsidiaries of U.S. corporations from 13 to 21 percent, regardless of where their profits were made. This last point is notable, as it creates a strong incentive for U.S. companies to reincorporate abroad and ultimately bypass the higher tax rates the Democrat administration wishes to levy from them. This has prompted leading Republicans to heavily criticize Biden’s plan for using infrastructure as a smokescreen to sneak in tax hikes favored by Democrat politicians. “I think the Trojan horse will be called infrastructure, but inside the Trojan horse will be all the tax increases that Senator Scott and others have talked about,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “They want to raise taxes across the board and the only way I think they could pull that off would be through a reconciliation process. They have one more of those available to them.”

Read more …

Vanden Bossche is not giving up.

Emergence Of Dominant Selective Immune Escape Variants (Vanden Bossche)

Mass vaccinaton of vulnerable groups does not abrupt viral transmission chains but increasingly redirects transmission events to asymptomatic carriers (i.e., vaccinated subjects as well as not yet vaccinated young and healthy people, several of whom experienced asymptomatc infecton without mounting long-lived Ab titers2 ). As ongoing mass vaccinaton campaigns are shifing the ‘reservoir’ of viral transmission to asymptomatcally infected subjects (whether vaccinated or not), the likelihood for unvaccinated, previously asymptomatcally infected subjects to experience re-infecton with Sars-CoV-2 while being endowed with suboptmal and short-lived ant-S Abs substantally increases.


This is to say that within the populaton that is now most actvely involved in viral transmission, new, spontaneously emerging S variants have plenty of opportunity to train under suboptmal immune pressure such as to ultmately adapt to the human host and become part of the dominant circulatng Sars-Cov-2 populaton. This is how – afer inital breeding of viral variants as a direct result of infecton preventon measures – subsequent mass vaccinaton campaigns will drive enhanced circulaton of additonal, more infectous viral S variants. ‘Training’ of such more infectous immune escape variants is thought to be refected by the plateau that follows the vaccine-mediated decline in cases and the height of which exceeds the one following the previous wave of cases.

Read more …

They test for those things that are most likely to fail.

Therapeutics and COVID-19: Living Guideline (WHO)

This fourth version of the WHO living guideline addresses the use of ivermectin in patients with COVID-19. It follows the increased international attention on ivermectin as a potential therapeutic option. While ivermectin is also being investigated for prophylaxis, this guideline only addresses its role in the treatment of COVID-19. Ivermectin is relatively inexpensive and accessible, and some countries have already witnessed its widespread use in the treatment of COVID-19; in other countries, there is increasing pressure to do so (14).

In response to this international attention, the WHO GDG now provides recommendations on ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic agent that interferes with nerve and muscle function of helminths through binding glutamate-gated chloride channels (15). We currently lack persuasive evidence of a mechanism of action for ivermectin in COVID-19, and any observed clinical benefit would be unexplained (see Section 5).

[..] Benefits and harms: The effects of ivermectin on mortality, mechanical ventilation, hospital admission, duration of hospitalization and viral clearance remain uncertain because of very low certainty of evidence addressing each of these outcomes. Ivermectin may have little or no effect on time to clinical improvement (low certainty evidence). Ivermectin may increase the risk of SAEs leading to drug dicontinuation (low certainty evidence). Subgroup analyses indicated no effect modification based on dose. We were unable to examine subgroups based on patient age or severity of illness due to insufficent trial data (see Section 5). Therefore, we assumed similar effects in all subgroups. This recommendation applies to patients with any disease severity and any duration of symptoms.

Certainty of the evidence: For most key outcomes, including mortality, mechanical ventilation, hospital admission, duration of hospitalization and viral clearance, the panel considered the evidence of very low certainty. Evidence was rated as very low certainty primarily because of very serious imprecision for most outcomes: the aggregate data had wide confidence intervals and/or very few events. There were also serious concerns related to risk of bias for some outcomes, specifically lack of blinding, lack of trial pre-registration, and lack of outcome reporting for one trial that did not report mechanical ventilation despite pre-specifying it in their protocol (publication bias).

Read more …

Google translate

Judge Demands That Belgium Scraps All Corona Measures Within Thirty Days (AD)

The Brussels court of first instance orders the Belgian government to end the corona measures within thirty days, on pain of a penalty of 5000 euros per day. According to the judge, the current measures are based on laws that cannot serve as the basis for the ministerial decisions by which the corona measures are issued. The ruling follows a lawsuit brought by the League for Human Rights and has been confirmed to the Belgian media by the lawyers involved. The League is an independent Belgian foundation that fights “injustices and arbitrary attacks on the rights of the individual or the community”. The court finds that the measures taken by the governments to prevent the further spread of the corona virus are illegal. According to Lackner, the court actually says that the legal basis on which the ministerial decisions are based is not valid.

According to the court, the measures in Belgium to prevent the further spread of the corona virus are illegal. The measures are based on the 2007 Civil Security Act and two other laws, De Standaard writes about the case. That law came after a major train disaster in Ghislenglien to be able to act quickly and with urgency after such disasters. The court finds that this basis is not sufficient for the imposed corona measures. The judge gives the Belgian state thirty days to provide a solid legal basis on pain of a penalty of 5000 euros per day that that term is exceeded, up to a maximum of 200,000 euros. The Belgian Ministry of the Interior is said to be studying the verdict. An appeal is possible against the decision.

Belgium announced last week that it will continue to be locked, because the number of hospital admissions and infections with the corona virus continue to rise. The non-essential stores may only open by appointment and the very large stores for a maximum of fifty people at a time. The non-medical contact professions such as hairdressers also have to close again for the time being for four weeks. The number of people with whom Belgians are allowed to meet outside their families in the open air will be reduced from ten to four people. A number of corona measures remain, such as the curfew. Non-essential journeys from Belgium will also remain prohibited until April 19. According to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, a “short period of pain, an Easter break” has been chosen in the hope of reducing the virus.

Read more …

It’s just sad.

France Headed For New National Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge (ZH)

Despite expanding lockdown measures to cover more than one-third of the country (including Paris and other major cities) earlier this month, and other areas French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel by imposing strict new nation lockdown measures as Europe’s “third wave” of COVID cases intensifies. France has seen COVID cases (adjusted for population) surge to the highest level in Western Europe, while only hard-hit ex-eastern bloc countries like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have it worse than France, as the chart below shows. This has inspired Germany and Spain to restrict travel from the country.

Bloomberg reports that President Macron is planning to announce during a national address on Wednesday evening that he will impose new nationwide measures to contain the spike, and that these measures could include school closures and a ban on inter-city travel. The new national edict would mark the end of the “regional” approach that France has relied on all year. Although he declined to elaborate, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Wednesday after a defense council meeting that “decisions have been made” regarding new lockdown measures, but he declined to elabroate. Macron will address the nation at 2000 local time (1400ET). If Macron follows through with the school closures, that would also mark a major reversal for France, which had insisted on keeping schools open over the past year, unlike many of its European neighbors.

Macron has so far been “unapologetic” about his resistance to more restrictive measures, according to Bloomberg. As the EU vaccination push lags for a number of reasons (primarily a shortage of supplies, and widespread skepticism) more than 8MM people have received at least one jab of the vaccine, which represents more than 10% of the population. The target to vaccinate all French adults willing to get the jab by the end of the summer remains in place. Notably, Macron ignored the advice of his health minister who began advocating for more restrictive measures earlier this year. Instead, the government imposed a nationwide curfew, closed malls and expanded travel curbs – but didn’t go all in on a national lockdown. The hope was that the most pessimistic forecasts wouldn’t become a reality – but they have.

Read more …

On the beach.

Outdoor Mask Decree Met With Dismay By Spain’s Tourism Industry (G.)

The Spanish tourist industry has reacted with dismay to the government’s decree that face masks must be worn in all outdoor spaces, including beaches and swimming pools, even when it is possible to maintain social distancing. “We’re going through hell with thousands of jobs and businesses threatened and now they want to turn the beaches into open-air field hospitals,” José Luis Zoreda, vice-president of Exceltur, the umbrella organisation that represents Spain’s tourism industry, told El País newspaper. Industry representatives complain that they were not consulted over the decision, which was announced in an official state bulletin on Tuesday. “We’ve already given up on Easter as a lost cause,” said Zoreda. “Now we have to put our hopes on summer.”


He said the “improvised measures” did not inspire confidence on the part of the foreign visitors whom the struggling industry is desperate to bring back. Tourism accounts for about 12% of Spain’s GDP. Masks have been obligatory indoors and out in Catalonia since last July and in Valencia since early this year, despite claims by scientists that there is a very low risk of contagion in the open air. Earlier this month Fernando Simón, head of Spain’s coordination centre for health emergencies and alerts, said: “I don’t believe that masks are the key to reducing transmission. It’s not necessary for everyone to wear one. What’s important is that people who are infected wear one, although we don’t know who is infected and who isn’t.” Simón added that they should be obligatory in enclosed spaces.

Read more …

Building trust.

Washington State ‘Vaccine Breakthrough:’ 100s Get Covid Weeks After Jab (JTN)

The state of Washington is investigating what officials are calling a “vaccine breakthrough,” after roughly 100 cases of people testing positive for the virus about two weeks after being vaccinated. Epidemiologists report evidence of 102 breakthrough cases in 18 Washington counties, among millions of vaccinated residents. Two patients who received the vaccination died after becoming infected with the virus. “DOH is investigating two potential vaccine breakthrough cases where the patients died. Both patients were more than 80 years old and suffered underlying health issues,” officials said in a news release.


The health department also said the majority of those vaccinated who tested positive experienced mild symptoms, but at least eight have been hospitalized. “It is important to remember that every vaccine on the market right now prevents severe disease and death in most cases,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, the states’s health secretary. “Finding evidence of vaccine breakthrough cases reminds us that, even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask, practice socially distancing, and wash your hands to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others who have not been vaccinated.”

Read more …

“..poorly trained employees, cracked vials and mold around one of its facilities..”

15 Million Doses Of J&J Vaccine Ruined By Ingredient Mix-up (DM)

The Biden administration knew more than a week ago that 15million doses of Johnson & Johnson had been ruined by its contractor – potentially causing significant delays in the vaccine rollout, senior administration officials said. Two senior officials on the government’s Covid-19 response team told Politico that it was clear there were serious problems at the West Baltimore plant of Emergent BioSolutons, a little-known company at the center of the vaccine supply chain. A third official said the Department of Health then found out last week that Emergent had ruined 15 million doses of vaccine by adding the wrong ingredient. ‘It was no secret that Emergent did not have a deep bench of pharmaceutical manufacturing experts,’ that official told Politico.

The news finally became public on Wednesday when Johnson & Johnson said that a batch of vaccine made by Emergent at its Baltimore factory, known as Bayview, can’t be used because employees accidentally swapped in an ingredient meant for a different vaccine into the J&J shot, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The Emergent BioSolutions plant is also manufacturing doses for AstraZeneca, and apparently used an ingredient for the UK firm’s vaccine in a batch of J&J’s. The gaff occurred two weeks ago and will delay tens of millions doses of J&J’s shot slated to ship next month while the FDA investigates.

The company at the center of quality problems that led Johnson & Johnson to discard 15 million doses has a had string of citations from U.S. health officials for quality control problems. Emergent, which was key to Johnson & Johnson’s plan to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. by the end of May, has been cited repeatedly by the Food and Drug Administration for problems such as poorly trained employees, cracked vials and mold around one of its facilities, according to The Associated Press.

Read more …

“He trusts the government would only deliver a safe, effective vaccine.”

Bipolar Corona-Politics Positive? (OffG)

I had a patient this morning. More precisely, I telephoned him. He suffered a myocardial infarction last year and is on anti-hypertensives. His last few BP measurements showed very good, stable control. He barricades himself in his home against the rogue cold virus each time the government locks-down. He expressed terror about the link between hypertension and an enhanced Covid-19 risk. I would say he is, like the government, somewhat delusional about it or at the very least harbours some fixed false beliefs towards it. Hence, he measures his blood pressure many times a day. It fibrillates up and down with the propaganda. Masks are not enough for him. He refuses to leave his home until Johnson and Hancock lift lockdown. He asks me to increase his medications without seeing him.

The easy cure might be to turn off his TV and smartphone. But, there is more bipolarity, more paradox, more human folly. He refuses to come out for a hypertension review until he receives his Covid-19 vaccinations. I ask him how he suggests doing that? Perhaps he could find it reasonable to specifically come for his vaccine and have an opportunistic BP? He pauses, and then refuses. Classic Joseph Heller, Catch-22. Nothing surprises me these days in medical practice, so without a pause I remind him that we are not currently offering a bespoke domiciliary vaccination service. He remains insistent. As his doctor, I try to reassure him he is not at any great risk. I remind him we pay great lip service to all the viral psychological interventions such as porous ill-fitting mask, alcohol gel and … polythene apron.

Rather selectively, he dismisses these sacred verses of the government propaganda. As if to out-fox me, he replies in denouement, ‘Okay, I won’t come in, then.’ I leave it open for him to come back to us. It is not only the rule of law, but also the practice of medicine which has succumbed to hysteria. He is the ideal citizen of the corporate pharmaceutical Gods. Open to suggestion, vulnerable to propaganda, crouched with bayoneted rifle in trench against an unavoidable, invisible particle. Always willing to go above and beyond the unreasonable demands of tyrants. He trusts the government would only deliver a safe, effective vaccine.

Read more …

“..without the dossier, the warrants could not have been obtained.”

Russiagate Prober Couldn’t Verify Anything in the Steele Dossier (RCI)

For the past four years, Democrats and the Washington media have suspended disbelief about the Steele dossier’s credibility by arguing that some Russia allegations against Donald Trump and his advisers have been corroborated and therefore the most explosive charges may also be true. But recently declassified secret testimony by the FBI official in charge of corroborating the dossier blows up that narrative. The top analyst assigned to the FBI’s Russia “collusion” case, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, admitted under oath that neither he nor his team of half a dozen intelligence analysts could confirm any of the allegations in the dossier — including ones the FBI nonetheless included in several warrant applications as evidence to establish legal grounds to electronically monitor a former Trump adviser for almost a year.

FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten made the admission under questioning by staff investigators for the Senate Judiciary Committee during closed-door testimony in October. The committee only this year declassified the transcript, albeit with a number of redactions including the name of Auten, who was identified by congressional sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. “So with respect to the Steele reporting,” Auten told the committee, “the actual allegations and the actions described in those reports could not be corroborated.” After years of digging, Auten conceded that the only material in the dossier that he could verify was information that was already publicly available, such as names, entities, and positions held by persons mentioned in the document.

His testimony, kept secret for several months, is eye-opening because it’s the first time anybody from the FBI has acknowledged headquarters failed to verify any of the dossier evidence supporting the wiretaps as true and correct. As one of the FBI’s leading experts on Russia, Auten was highly familiar with the subject matter of the dossier and the Russian players it cited. He also had a team of intelligence analysts at his disposal to pore over the material and chase down leads. They even traveled overseas to interview the dossier’s author, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and other sources. Still, they could not corroborate any of the allegations of Trump-Russia “collusion” in the dossier, and actually debunked many of them — including the rumor, oft-repeated by the media, that Trump attorney Michael Cohen flew to Prague in the summer of 2016 to secretly huddle with Kremlin agents over an alleged Trump-Russia plot to hack the election.

They determined that Cohen had never even been to the Czech Republic. Yet Auten and his Crossfire teammates — who referred to the dossier as “Crown material,” as if it were valuable intelligence from America’s closest ally, Britain — never informed a secret surveillance court that the dossier was a bust. Instead, they used it as the basis for all four warrant applications to spy on Carter Page, a tangential 2016 Trump campaign adviser. Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who personally signed and approved the final application, has testified that without the dossier, the warrants could not have been obtained.

Read more …

But I see the remarkable strength of the USD. Yes, the euro has taken a few percent, and so has the yen. So what?

US Dollar’s Status as “Global Reserve Currency” Drops to 25-Year Low (WS)

Two decades ago, when the dollar had a share of about 70% of reserve currencies, a presumed competitor became day-to-day reality: The euro, which combined the currencies of the member states into one currency, thereby combining their weight as reserve currency. Since then, the dollar’s share has dropped by 11 percentage points. By contrast, between 1977 and 1991, the dollars share had dropped by 46 percentage points – with huge plunges in 1979 and 1980 possibly linked to US inflation which was threatening to spiral out of control, peaking at nearly 15% in 1980. The plunge bottomed out in 1991, with inflation more or less under control. And the dollar’s share then surged by 25 percentage points until 2000:


The euro’s share had since been in the range between 19.5% and 20.6%, but it Q4 it broke out of the range and rose to 21.4%, the highest in the data. The ECB’s holdings of euro-denominated assets that it acquired as part of its QE are not included in the euro-denominated foreign exchange reserves. The rest of the reserve currencies are also-rans – the spaghetti at the bottom in the chart below. This includes the Chinese renminbi, the bold red line at the bottom:

The renminbi’s share is still only 2.25%, despite the magnitude and global influence of China’s economy, and despite the hype when the IMF elevated the renminbi to an official global reserve currency in October 2016 by including it in the basket of currencies that back the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). But the renminbi’s share has been creeping up ever so slowly. At the rate it has been gaining momentum over the past two years (+0.36 percentage points in two years), it would take the renminbi another 50 years or so to reach a share of 25%. Clearly, other central banks are still leery of the renminbi and its implications, and are not eager to dump their dollars all at once in exchange for renminbi; easy does it.


To see what’s going on with the spaghetti at the bottom of the above chart, I magnified the scale and limited it to the range of 0% to 6%. This takes the dollar and the euro out of the picture, and allows for a detailed look of the other reserve currencies. What sticks out is the surge of the yen, the third largest reserve currency. This includes a 2.0-percentage point gain since Q4 2016, which blew away the 1.15-percentage point gain over the same period by the renminbi. With regards to the yen, the renminbi is losing ground.Despite Brexit and all the scary hoopla around it, the pound sterling (GBP), the fourth largest reserve currency, has not given up any share.

Read more …

“I was banking committee for all those years, I couldn’t even go to the Open Market Committee meeting. There was no way that would be permissible..”

Ron Paul: Gold and Bitcoin Are At Risk Of Government Crackdown (Kitco)

The best way to protect against economic turbulence is with hard assets like precious metals and real estate, but even these are under threat from the government, said former Congressman and host of The Liberty Report, Ron Paul. “The government is a threat,” Paul said. “They will crackdown because they have the ability to do it. We had a taste of [a free society]. If you don’t know where to start, just start with the Constitution, that might give you an idea of what a free society is all about.” Paul noted that this “crackdown” could take the form of taxes. On President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill, Paul said that its outcome would be “worse than average.”

“Most likely it will do what those kinds of programs always do, they spend a lot of money, they’re inefficient, they always cost more than they thought they should. Besides, it’s built on some mystical belief that you shouldn’t have any concern about the deficit…everybody’s just in a dream,” he said. During Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress last week, Republican Senator John Neely Kennedy from Louisiana questioned whether or not the central banks around the world are still “independent” entities, or if they’ve already become intertwined with politics. Paul commented that “independence” was never the objective of central banks to begin with.

“This whole idea of independence…I just don’t believe they’re interested in secrecy because I don’t think of the Treasury or the Federal Reserve and the fiscal people in Congress as really representing a whole lot. I think about the people in the shadow government, in the Deep State, because there’s people pulling strings that have a lot of power and clout. I was banking committee for all those years, I couldn’t even go to the Open Market Committee meeting. There was no way that would be permissible,” he said.

Read more …

Virtue signalling in overdrive.

Journalists Are “Centering” Their “Trauma” To Acquire Power (Tracey)

On March 28, Washington Post journalist Felicia Somnez posted a Twitter thread describing the intense trauma she said she’d endured over the past year. An editorial policy imposed by the paper’s management had greatly exacerbated this trauma, she alleged, causing her to burst into tears during a recent therapy session and frequently lapse into spells of “vacant staring.” Somnez, a Harvard graduate in her 30s who holds one of the most prestigious journalism jobs in the country, spoke of being “silenced” by her editors, which in turn kicked her “trauma response” into overdrive and worsened her condition further. She declared that the new crop of young journalists now beginning at the Post “deserve better” than how she’d been treated, particularly on account of their being so “diverse, talented and relentless in their fight for equity.”

If any of these buzzwords and/or phrases sound familiar, it’s because their usage now dependably instigates a swift capitulatory reaction from the people who run legacy media institutions. The editorial policy adjustment that Somnez had demanded be effectuated did in fact get effectuated, within a matter of hours. Her elaborately confessional Twitter thread — a well-worn tactic by this point — worked fantastically. Whatever the merits of the proposed policy adjustment at issue (and she may well have been on sound footing in demanding it), no one can dispute that her chosen self-advocacy approach achieved what she set out to achieve. Because increasingly, as this episode once again demonstrated, the key to coaxing stodgy old editors into acquiescence is to publicly “call them out” using a now-familiar punchy, emotionally inflammatory rhetorical style.

We can just take Somnez at her word and grant that this professional adult journalist genuinely did undergo the debilitating trauma she described, vacant staring spells and all. It’s impossible to judge the precise veracity of these trauma-related claims anyway, given how inextricable they are with the interior mental state of the individual in question. So we’ll have to just accept that Somnez being “attacked online,” as she put it, really did result in the kind of extraordinary psychological turmoil she says she experienced. What can be judged, however — and what has to be judged given its rapidly increasing prominence in public life — is the wider impact of the rhetorical style used so adroitly by Somnez. Because it very clearly gets results. Call it therapeutic trauma jargon.

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

Lagarde

 

 

Engineered food

 

 

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

 

Jan 122021
 


Alfred Wertheimer Elvis 1956

 

New Covid “Super Strain” is a Game-Changer for Schools and More (Parramore)
WHO Warns Of ‘Highly Problematic’ New Covid-19 Variants (F.)
An Epidemic of COVID Positive Tests (John Hunt)
Lockdown ‘Ineffective’ Against Spread Of Covid-19, May Even Increase Risk (RT)
French Government “Shocked” at Twitter Banning of Trump (SN)
Twitter Has Suspended More Than 70,000 Accounts Since Friday (ZH)
The Big Tech Backfire (Miller)
We Need a New Media System (Taibbi)
Insurrection Versus Insurrection (Kunstler)
The Rise and Fall of the ‘Steele Dossier’ (Maté)
Assange Is Still In Prison. And America’s Principles Are Still At Stake. (NBC)
50 Countries Commit To Protection Of 30% of Earth’s Land and Oceans (G.)
Economic Failures of the IPCC Process (Steve Keen)
Dutch Officials Seize Ham Sandwiches From British Drivers (G.)
‘Let’s All Remain Peaceful,’ Says Trump In Clear Incitement To Violence (BBee)

 

 

The B.1.1.7 COVID variant is starting to look as scary as the social media giant censorship.

 

 

A call on the US to close its borders to the UK. At present, dozens of flights arrive from London every day.

“I’ve never seen an epi curve like this. The B.1.1.7 variant is spreading like wildfire in the UK and Ireland. If it spreads here, it will make an already-bad situation even worse.”

 

 

Lynn Parramore taks to Phillip Alvelda, a former NASA & DARPA technologist.

New Covid “Super Strain” is a Game-Changer for Schools and More (Parramore)

LP: New, fast-spreading “super strains” are raising a lot of concerns, such as more infection among young people. You’ve been studying the U.K. variant, which has shown up in the United States. What do we need to know?

PA: We saw the U.K. strain coming for some time. All of a sudden there began to be dramatic upticks in infection rates, even without material changes in individual behavior en masse or the abatement measures enacted and observed. England has not been the most Johnny-on-the-spot responder to the coronavirus, and there has been a lot of confusion about what abatement measures should be observed, in which areas, etc. Of the developed nations, the U.S. and the U.K. have struggled the most as societies to communicate, plan and observe reasonable measures that other countries have more successfully applied. The U.K. variant, which has now spread across Europe and into several U.S. states, has what appear to be a couple of important mutations in the spike protein, which allows the virus to attach to the receptors in the lungs. Apparently, the new variant is stickier – better at binding to the receptors. That means that it takes less of the virus to get you sick, or the same viral load gets you sicker.

A big change is that the U.K. variant appears be somewhere between 40 and 70% more infectious. For a person who has this variant, they’re likely to infect 40% to 70% more people. If you think about what we have done to reduce the effectiveness of transmission, getting people to wear masks has been a successful campaign. But some masks are better at protecting people than others. A well-fitted N95 and KN95 masks will filter 95% of the virus particles from coming into your lungs, but there are also terrible masks that don’t protect people much at all. If you average mask-wearing over the population, it seems that the mask mandates reduce the infectiousness of the virus by about 40 to 50%. To put the U.K. variant in perspective, with its faster spread, we are effectively put back to where we once were without masks — even when we’re now wearing masks!

LP: The idea of young people under 20 getting infected at high rates is alarming, though there have been conflicting reports as to why those numbers are higher, such as behavior patterns. What’s your take?

PA: There is no doubt that the U.K. strain is infecting more young people than any prior variants. I think the conflicting reports may have more to do with where that variant is prevalent and where it is not. It would not be true to say that all of the hospitals in the U.K. are being overrun by younger patients. But in those regions where the new variant is prevalent, the hospitalization and case data now show that more than ever before, young people are having almost as many cases and hospitalizations as the older people. That is a substantial change. With older variants, symptoms were usually not bad enough to even bring the kids in to test — and we know there were a lot of asymptomatic carriers that were never tested or acknowledged.

With the new variant, symptoms are bad enough that kids need the testing and they’re being hospitalized. It’s probably premature to speculate on the lethality. There is some hope, for example, that the U.K. variant could be more infectious but less lethal. But we just don’t know. It’s likely going to be weeks before the case trend that is now beginning to translate into the hospitalization trend will translate into the mortality trend. Unfortunately, given what we’ve seen in the past from the virus, it’s our expectation that if the case data is showing more young people infected, and the hospitalization data is showing more of them hospitalized, in a matter of weeks we will see more deaths.

Read more …

They’re talking again about “immunity” provided by vaccines. But have we seen any proof of that?

WHO Warns Of ‘Highly Problematic’ New Covid-19 Variants (F.)

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday issued a dire warning about the new variants of Covid-19 that are emerging across the globe, noting that because those variants can be more contagious, the surge in cases they’re likely to cause could further stress hospitals and health workers already stretched to the brink. During a press briefing Monday, Ghebreyesus said that more contagious variants of the coronavirus “can drive a surge of cases and hospitalizations, which is highly problematic for health workers and hospitals already close to the breaking point.” The added strain on hospitals puts other essential health services at risk, he added, meaning that critical surgeries or procedures may become more difficult because hospital resources are more limited.

While these variants have been found to be more contagious, experts say they don’t appear to cause more severe sickness or increase the risk of death. Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned last week that the U.S. is “close to a worst-case scenario” because of the rapid spread of a new, highly contagious strain of Covid-19. New variants of Covid-19 have been found in the United Kingdom, the United States (where 63 cases have been detected), Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria, among other countries, the CDC says. Japan’s health authorities announced over the weekend that they had detected a new variant of the virus in four travelers from Brazil, Reuters reported.

Scientists are keeping track of new mutations as they emerge and studying how they will impact the effectiveness of vaccines. “I’m quite optimistic that even with these mutations, immunity is not going to suddenly fail on us,” Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told the healthcare publication STAT. “It might be gradually eroded, but it’s not going to fail on us, at least in the short term.” A recent study from the University of Texas and pharma giant Pfizer found that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is still effective in protecting against new variants of the virus.

Read more …

Excellent analysis: “The more it is used wrongly, the more misinformation ensues.”

An Epidemic of COVID Positive Tests (John Hunt)

How does this same 95% sensitive/95% specific test work in this screening setting? The good news is that this test will likely identify the 5 people out of every 1000 with Relevant Infectious COVID! Yay! The bad news is that, out of every 1000 people, it will also falsely label 50 people as COVID-positive who don’t have Relevant Infectious COVID. Out of 55 people with positive tests in each group of 1000 people, 5 actually have the disease. 50 of the tests are false positives. With a Positive Predictive Value of only 9%, one could say that’s a pretty lousy test. It’s far lousier if you test only people with no symptoms (such as screening a school, jobsite, or college), in whom the up-front likelihood of having Relevant Infectious COVID Disease is substantially lower.

The very same test that is pretty good when testing people who are actually ill or at risk is lousy when screening people who aren’t. In the first scenario (with symptoms), the test is being used correctly for diagnosis. In the second scenario (no symptoms), the test is being used wrongly for screening. A diagnostic test is used to diagnose a patient the doctor thinks has a reasonable chance of having the disease (having symptoms like fever, cough, a snotty nose, and shortness of breath during a viral season). A screening test is used to check for the presence of a disease in a person without symptoms and no heightened risk of having the disease.

A screening test may be appropriate to use when it has very high specificity (99% or more), when the prevalence of the disease in the population is pretty high, and when there is something we can do about the disease if we identify it. However, if the prevalence of a disease is low (as is the case for Relevant Infectious COVID) and the test isn’t adequately specific (as is the case with PCR and rapid antigen tests for the COVID virus), then using such a test as a screening measure in healthy people is forcing the test to be lousy. The more it is used wrongly, the more misinformation ensues. Our health authorities are recommending more testing of asymptomatic people. In other words, they are encouraging the wrong and lousy application of these tests.

Read more …

“The proportion of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in nursing homes was often higher” under tough restrictions “rather than under less restrictive measures.”

Lockdown ‘Ineffective’ Against Spread Of Covid-19, May Even Increase Risk (RT)

A Stanford University study claims mandatory stay-at-home orders and business closures have “no clear, significant beneficial effect” on Covid-19 case growth and may even lead to more frequent infections in nursing homes. Researchers at Stanford University in California aimed to assess how tough lockdowns influence the growth in infections as compared to less restrictive measures. They used data from England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the US, collected during the initial stages of the pandemic in the spring 2020. They compared the data from Sweden and South Korea, two countries that did not introduce tough lockdowns at that time, with that from the other eight countries.

They found that introducing any restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions’ (NPIs) such as reduced working hours, working from home and social distancing helped curb the rise of infections in nine out of 10 study countries, except for Spain, where the effect was “non-significant.” However, when they compared epidemic spreads in places that implemented less restrictive measures with those opting for a full-blown lockdown they found “no clear, significant beneficial effect” of the latter on the number of cases in any country. The research goes on to suggest that empirical data from the later wave of infections shows that restrictive measures fail to protect vulnerable populations. “The proportion of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in nursing homes was often higher” under tough restrictions “rather than under less restrictive measures.”

It also says that there’s evidence suggesting that “sometimes under more restrictive measures, infections may be more frequent in settings where vulnerable populations reside relative to the general population.” The research admits that lockdowns in early 2020 were justified because the disease was spreading rapidly and overwhelming health systems, and scientists or medics did not know what the mortality data of the virus was. However, it points at the potential harmful health effects of tough restrictions, such as hunger, health services becoming unavailable for non-Covid diseases, domestic abuse and mental health issues, and the effects of these on the economy mean that the benefits of the tough restrictions might be overrated and need to be studied carefully.

Read more …

“..social media giants shouldn’t have the power to decide who has the right to free speech…”

French Government “Shocked” at Twitter Banning of Trump (SN)

The French government has echoed Angela Merkel’s sentiment in saying it is “shocked” at Twitter’s banning of President Trump, asserting that Big Tech is a threat to democracy. Junior Minister for European Union Affairs Clement Beaune said the decision to silence Trump proved the need for Big Tech platforms to be tightly regulated. “This should be decided by citizens, not by a CEO,” he told Bloomberg TV on Monday. “There needs to be public regulation of big online platforms.” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also said that “the digital oligarchy” was “one of the threats” to democracy and should be reigned in by the state. As we highlighted earlier, the German government also warned that Big Tech’s deplatforming of Trump set a very dangerous precedent.

Communicating via a spokesman, Chancellor Angela Merkel called the move “problematic,” adding that social media giants shouldn’t have the power to decide who has the right to free speech.

“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms,” said the statement. While Republicans were completely toothless in their efforts to control Big Tech during Trump’s administration, Poland could be set to pass a law that would fine social media companies $2.2 million a pop for censoring lawful free speech. “In the event of removal or blockage, a complaint can be sent to the platform, which will have 24 hours to consider it. Within 48 hours of the decision, the user will be able to file a petition to the court for the return of access. The court will consider complaints within seven days of receipt and the entire process is to be electronic,” reported Poland In.

Read more …

Anyone setting up a better alternative will be crushed.

Twitter Has Suspended More Than 70,000 Accounts Since Friday (ZH)

In a Monday night blog post, Twitter lays out all the latest details of a historic purge that started with the suspension of president Trump and has escalated into the ban of tens of thousands of conservative voices, or as Twitter puts it, “steps taken to protect the conversation on our service from attempts to incite violence, organize attacks, and share deliberately misleading information about the election outcome.” Odd how none of those considerations emerged during the summer when US cities were literally burning as a result of countless violent protests and frequent riots, but we digress. In any case, In twitter’s own delightfully ironic words, “It’s important to be transparent about all of this work as the US Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021, approaches.” Which is a probably a good idea in the aftermath of the biggest censorship purge in twitter history, one which sent Twitter stock tumbling. So this is what how twitter justifies “the purge”:


We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon. And with tens of thousands of accounts suspended (most of them permanently), banned, or merely disappeared, it will hardly be a surprise that according to Tiwtter, “more than 70,000 accounts have been suspended”. What is the justification? “These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service.”

Read more …

“Sunlight has always been the best disinfectant as a way of fighting radicalization.”

The Big Tech Backfire (Miller)

Some are excusing Big Tech’s foray into massive censorship by arguing that these are private companies and can choose who they provide service to. Anyone who has a problem with their behavior, they reason, should just create their own platforms. But that is exactly what Parler did, and it was subsequently crushed. Unfortunately, because Big Tech companies have grown so large and monopolistic, the only real way to have a viable competitor is to create an entirely new internet. Amazon’s hypocritical justification for banning Parler shows that these companies will do basically anything in order to destroy the competition. Amazon claimed that Parler is responsible for the content that it allowed users to publish, which is the exact same argument made by people who wish to remove Section 230 protections for social media companies.

Amazon thus introduced a moral and legal standard for a potential competitor that it would resist tooth and nail if applied to itself. The company notably used Section 230 as a defense in a recent court case to try to avoid liability for selling defective products. It’s worth noting that many conservatives do not believe that social-media companies should do away with all content moderation. The problem is that platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and now Amazon, do not enforce their policies equally. After suspending Trump, Twitter was still hosting virulent anti-Semites, Chinese Communist party propaganda, vaccine conspiracists and antifa glorification accounts like the New York Times. If these companies only enforce policies against accounts with certain political leanings, it will radicalize a base of the population even more.

The people who are targeted online by Twitter and Facebook’s increasingly wide nets will simply find deeper and darker holes to communicate. Sunlight has always been the best disinfectant as a way of fighting radicalization. Deleting the account of someone with a radical opinion does not stop that person from holding that opinion; in fact, it may cause them to dig in even deeper in retaliation. Meanwhile, people who are unfairly targeted by social media platforms may start to sympathize with the radicals.

Read more …

“Drifting apart into two separate tribes, with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share.”

We Need a New Media System (Taibbi)

The moment a group of people stormed the Capitol building last Wednesday, news companies began the process of sorting and commoditizing information that long ago became standard in American media. Media firms work backward. They first ask, “How does our target demographic want to understand what’s just unfolded?” Then they pick both the words and the facts they want to emphasize. It’s why Fox News uses the term, “Pro-Trump protesters,” while New York and The Atlantic use “Insurrectionists.” It’s why conservative media today is stressing how Apple, Google, and Amazon shut down the “Free Speech” platform Parler over the weekend, while mainstream outlets are emphasizing a new round of potentially armed protests reportedly planned for January 19th or 20th.

What happened last Wednesday was the apotheosis of the Hate Inc. era, when this audience-first model became the primary means of communicating facts to the population. For a hundred reasons dating back to the mid-eighties, from the advent of the Internet to the development of the 24-hour news cycle to the end of the Fairness Doctrine and the Fox-led discovery that news can be sold as character-driven, episodic TV in the manner of soap operas, the concept of a “Just the facts” newscast designed to be consumed by everyone died out. News companies now clean world events like whalers, using every part of the animal, funneling different facts to different consumers based upon calculations about what will bring back the biggest engagement kick.

The Migrant Caravan? Fox slices off comments from a Homeland Security official describing most of the border-crossers as single adults coming for “economic reasons.” The New York Times counters by running a story about how the caravan was deployed as a political issue by a Trump White House staring at poor results in midterm elections. Repeat this info-sifting process a few billion times and this is how we became, as none other than Mitch McConnell put it last week, a country: “Drifting apart into two separate tribes, with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share.”

Read more …

Jim holds on to the last straws.

Insurrection Versus Insurrection (Kunstler)

Mr. Trump is still president, and you’ve probably noticed he has been president for four years to date, which ought to suggest that he holds a great deal of accumulated information about the seditionists who have been playing games with him through all those years. So, two questions might be: how much of that information describes criminal acts by his adversaries — most recently, a deeply suspicious national election based on hackable vote-tabulation computers — and what’s within the president’s power to do something about it? I guess we’ll find out. Or, to state it a little differently, it is impossible that the president does not have barge-loads of information about the people who strove mightily to take him down for four years.

At least two pillars of the Intel Community — the CIA and the FBI — have been actively and visibly working to undermine and gaslight him, but you can be sure that the president knows where the gas has been coming from, and these agencies are not the only sources of dark information in this world. Also consider that not all the employees at these agencies are on the side of sedition. By its work this weekend, starring Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Zuck (Facebook), Tim Cook (Apple), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon and The WashPo), you know exactly what you would be getting with The Resistance taking power in the White House and Congress: unvarnished tyranny. No free speech for you!

They will not permit opposing voices to be heard, especially about the janky election that elevated America’s booby-prize, Joe Biden, to the highest office in the land. Now there’s a charismatic, charming, dynamic, in-charge guy! He’s already doing such a swell job “healing America.” For instance, his declaration Tuesday to give $30-billion to businesses run by “black, brown, and Native American entrepreneurs” (WashPo). Uh, white folks need not apply? Since when are federal disbursements explicitly race-based? What and who, exactly, comprise the committee set up to operate Joe Biden, the hypothetical, holographic President?

Read more …

If anything calls for a Special Counsel, it’s Russiagate. But with the Dems back in power, the chances are zero.

The Rise and Fall of the ‘Steele Dossier’ (Maté)

On January 10, 2017, BuzzFeed News published the “Steele dossier,” the collection of DNC-funded reports alleging a high-level conspiracy between Trump and Moscow. The catalyst had come four days earlier, when then–FBI Director Jim Comey personally briefed Trump on the dossier’s existence. Their meeting was then promptly leaked to the media, giving BuzzFeed the news hook to publish the Steele material in full. Despite its outlandish assertions and partisan provenance, Steele’s work product somehow became a road map for Democratic leaders, media outlets, and, most egregiously, intelligence officials carrying out the Russia investigation.

According to Steele, Trump and the Kremlin engaged in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation.” Russia had, Steele alleged, been “cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years,” dating back to the time when Trump was merely the host of The Apprentice. Russia, Steele claimed, handed Trump “a regular flow of intelligence,” including on “political rivals.” The conspiracy supposedly escalated during the 2016 campaign, when then–Trump lawyer Michael Cohen slipped into Prague for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers.”

This purported plot was not just based on mutual nefarious interests but, worse, outright coercion. To keep their asset in line, Steele alleged, the Russians had videotaped Trump hiring and watching prostitutes “perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show,” in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room. This “kompromat” meant that the leader of the free world was not only a traitor but also a blackmail victim of his Kremlin handlers. If the Steele dossier’s far-fetched claims were not enough reason to dismiss it with ridicule, another obvious marker should have set off alarms. Reading the Steele dossier chronologically, a glaring pattern emerges: Steele has no advance knowledge of anything that later proved to be true, and, just as tellingly, many of his most explosive claims appear only after some approximate prediction has come out in public form.

Despite his supposed high-level sources inside the Kremlin, it was only after Wikileaks published the DNC e-mails in July 2016 that Steele first mentioned them. When Steele made the headline-consuming claim that “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue” in exchange for Russian help, he did so only after a meaningless Ukraine-related platform change at the RNC was reported (and mischaracterized) in The Washington Post. When Steele claimed that former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was offered up to a 19 percent stake in the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft if he could get Trump to lift Western sanctions, it was only after the media had reported Page’s visit to Moscow.

In short, far from having access to high-level intelligence, Steele and his “sources” only had access to news outlets and their own imaginations.

Read more …

Support that comes way too late.

Assange Is Still In Prison. And America’s Principles Are Still At Stake. (NBC)

The Justice Department’s case against Assange raised serious press freedom concerns from the outset. This is partly because so much of the indictment is devoted to describing activity that journalists engage in routinely — like cultivating government sources, communicating with them confidentially, protecting their identities and publishing classified secrets. In defending the indictment, Justice Department spokespeople have insisted that the case does not implicate press freedom because Assange himself is not a journalist and because WikiLeaks, which Assange founded, is not a media organization. But this defense misses the point. The point is that Assange is being prosecuted for activities that national security journalists engage in every day — and that they need to engage in if they are to serve as a meaningful check on government power.

Of particular concern are three counts in the indictment that charge Assange with having violated the Espionage Act merely by publishing classified information. As the Justice Department knows, publishing government secrets is an important part of what American news organizations do. The Washington Post disclosed classified information when it revealed the CIA’s network of black sites. The New York Times disclosed classified information when it exposed the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program. The truth is that there is no way that American news organizations could report responsibly about war, foreign relations or national security without sometimes disclosing classified information. Max Frankel of The New York Times famously made this point in an affidavit filed 50 years ago in the Pentagon Papers case, and the point is even more true today.

The ruling issued in London on Monday by Judge Vanessa Baraitser will forestall the Justice Department, at least for now, from pursuing Assange’s prosecution in U.S. courts. This is a significant thing. While the indictment certainly has a chilling effect on national security journalism, a successful prosecution of Assange under the Espionage Act would be even more oppressive — indeed, it would likely compel U.S. news organizations to radically curtail some of the most important work they do. The problem with Baraitser’s ruling, from the perspective of press freedom, is that it rejected the extradition request only because of concerns relating to Assange’s mental health and the conditions in which he would be imprisoned were he handed over to the United States. This aspect of Baraitser’s ruling appears to be well supported by the evidence, but, significantly, its protection does not extend beyond Assange.

Read more …

Really? The UK goverment will protect the planet? And Prince Charles makes a cameo? Fool me once, shame on you.

50 Countries Commit To Protection Of 30% of Earth’s Land and Oceans (G.)

A coalition of 50 countries has committed to protect almost a third of the planet by 2030 to halt the destruction of the natural world and slow extinctions of wildlife. The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, which includes the UK and countries from six continents, made the pledge to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans before the One Planet summit in Paris on Monday, hosted by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
Scientists have said human activities are driving the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth, and agricultural production, mining and pollution are threatening the healthy functioning of life-sustaining ecosystems crucial to human civilisation.

In the announcement, the HAC said protecting at least 30% of the planet for nature by the end of the decade was crucial to preventing mass extinctions of plants and animals, and ensuring the natural production of clean air and water. The commitment is likely to be the headline target of the “Paris agreement for nature” that will be negotiated at Cop15 in Kunming, China later this year. The HAC said it hoped early commitments from countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Pakistan and Canada would ensure it formed the basis of the UN agreement. The UK environment minister Zac Goldsmith said: “We know there is no pathway to tackling climate change that does not involve a massive increase in our efforts to protect and restore nature.

“So as co-host of the next Climate Cop, the UK is absolutely committed to leading the global fight against biodiversity loss and we are proud to act as co-chair of the High Ambition Coalition. “We have an enormous opportunity at this year’s biodiversity conference in China to forge an agreement to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. I am hopeful our joint ambition will curb the global decline of the natural environment, so vital to the survival of our planet.”

Read more …

A feature not a bug?!

Economic Failures of the IPCC Process (Steve Keen)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the premier international body collating the scientific assessment of climate change, and proposals for mitigation. A joint creation of the United Nations agencies the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it brings together scientists from myriad disciplines to assess and summarize the current research on climate change, collating knowledge that is then used to inform governments and politicians. The scientists work on a volunteer basis. The IPCC relies upon its member governments and “Observers Organizations” to nominate its volunteer authors. This means that, subject to their willingness to volunteer, the most prestigious individuals specialising in climate change in each discipline become the authors of the relevant IPCC chapter for their discipline.


They then undertake a review of the peer-reviewed literature in their field (and some non-peer-reviewed work, such as government reports) to distil the current state of knowledge about climate change in their discipline. A laborious review process is also followed, so the draft reports of the volunteer experts is reviewed by other experts in each field, to ensure conformity of the report with the discipline’s current perception of climate change. The emphasis upon producing reports which reflect the consensus within a discipline has resulted in numerous charges that the IPCC’s warnings are inherently too conservative. But the main weaknesses with the IPCC’s methodology are firstly that, in economics, it exclusively selects Neoclassical economists, and secondly, because there is no built-in review of one discipline’s findings by another, the conclusions of these Neoclassical economists about the dangers of climate change are reviewed only by other Neoclassical economists. The economic sections of IPCC reports are therefore unchallenged by other disciplines who also contribute to the IPCC’s reports.

Given the extent to which economists dominate the formation of most government policies in almost all fields, and not just strictly economic policy, the otherwise acceptable process by which the IPCC collates human knowledge on climate change has critically weakened, rather than strengthened, human society’s response to climate change. This is because, commencing with “Nobel Laureate” William Nordhaus, the economists who specialise on climate change have falsely trivialized the dangers that climate change poses to human civilization. In his 2018 Nobel Prize lecture, William Nordhaus described a trajectory that would lead to global temperatures peaking at 4°C above pre-industrial levels in 2145 as “optimal” because, according to his calculations, the damages from climate change over time, plus the abatement costs over time, are minimised on this trajectory.


He estimated the discounted cost of the economic damages from unabated climate change — which would see temperatures approach 6°C above pre-industrial levels by 2150 — at $24 trillion, whereas the 4°C trajectory had damages of about $15 trillion and abatement costs of about $3 trillion. Trajectories with lower peak temperatures had higher abatement costs that overwhelmed the benefits. In a subsequent paper, Nordhaus claimed that even a 6°C increase would only reduce global income by only 7.9%, compared to what it would be in the complete absence of global warming.

Read more …

“Welcome to Brexit, sir, I’m sorry.”

Dutch Officials Seize Ham Sandwiches From British Drivers (G.)

Dutch TV news has aired footage of customs officers confiscating ham sandwiches from drivers arriving by ferry from the UK under post-Brexit rules banning personal imports of meat and dairy products into the EU. Officials wearing high-visibility jackets are shown explaining to startled car and lorry drivers at the Hook of Holland ferry terminal that since Brexit, “you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff.” To a bemused driver with several sandwiches wrapped in tin foil who asked if he could maybe surrender the meat and keep just the bread, one customs officer replied: “No, everything will be confiscated. Welcome to Brexit, sir, I’m sorry.”

The ban came into force on New Year’s Day as the Brexit transition period came to an end, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) saying travellers should “use, consume, or dispose of” prohibited items at or before the border. “From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to bring POAO (products of an animal origin) such as those containing meat or dairy (eg a ham and cheese sandwich) into the EU,” the Defra guidance for commercial drivers states. The European commission says the ban is necessary because meat and dairy products can contain pathogens causing animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth or swine fever and “continue to present a real threat to animal health throughout the union”.

Dutch customs also posted a photograph of foodstuffs ranging from breakfast cereals to oranges that officials had confiscated in the ferry terminal, adding: “Since 1 January, you can’t just bring more food from the UK.” The customs service added: “So prepare yourself if you travel to the Netherlands from the UK and spread the word. This is how we prevent food waste and together ensure that the controls are speeded up.”

Read more …

“Let’s all remain peaceful,” he said, which clearly meant, “Go burn down the Capitol Building.”

‘Let’s All Remain Peaceful,’ Says Trump In Clear Incitement To Violence (BBee)

A review of Trump’s statements last week made it clear that he was inciting violence, as he very clearly told people to “remain peaceful” and not carry out any violence. The dangerous cult leader encouraged his followers to protest at the Capitol, but to remain peaceful, which is an obvious instance of inciting violence, according to leading language experts and journalists. “Let’s all remain peaceful,” he said, which clearly meant, “Go burn down the Capitol Building.” “No violence!” added the deranged lunatic, which, according to the New York Times, was a dog whistle for “Minions, attack!” “Go home,” he added, which meant, “Keep pressing the attack! We will not be defeated! Blow stuff up!” At publishing time, Trump had said, “I’ve always encouraged peaceful protesting,” which meant he wanted his followers to go ransack an Arby’s.

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in 2021. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Nov 082020
 
 November 8, 2020  Posted by at 4:22 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  14 Responses »


Jasper Johns Three flags 1958

 

 

Since the US has no official institution to call an election soon after the polls have closed, and people want a result fast, it has befallen on the media to make the announcement. And by and large, this hasn’t been that big a deal. But when those same media have for 4 years relentlessly hounded one of the two candidates, it should be obvious that this “system” should not be applied. If only because it has no legal status whatsoever.

However, people both in the US and abroad don’t appear to be aware of this. So when the New York Times et al declare a winner, this is seen as an “official” announcement. It is not. That won’t come until the Electoral College gathers in December (8-14th?!). And at least until then, Trump will have every right to contest the election in court. Still, “world leaders” are congratulating the “next president”. Do they really not know how this works?

The idea behind it all is obvious, of course: to make Trump look like a sore loser, and Biden the president-elect, a title the media claim they can bestow upon him. Do remember that both Biden’s and Kamala’s campaign were considered dead in the water at one point, before they were magically resurrected by the party machine, which ensured that =two people very unpopular in their own party now lead the ticket. Be careful what you wish for.

In that light. I found this intriguing. Twitter adds a warning to this Trump tweet: “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted”. I haven’t seen one instance where they attached the same warning to tweets about Biden winning and being President Elect. But wouldn’t that be the same thing?

 

 

No, I don’t particularly mind Biden winning, Washington is a shit hole whoever occupies the White House and other posts, but this is not about Biden. It’s about the people behind him. About the people who elected him to be a candidate, and that’s not his voters; it’s the DNC, the FBI and media that made him possible.

Everyone in the MSM is talking about Trump’s alleged lies, as they have for 5 screeching years, main news networks on Thursday even cut off/short a speech by the President of the United States -that must be a first-, but nobody reflects on the 5-year neverending constant lies they have all told ABOUT Trump, on the entire Russiagate episode, the Mueller report based on only lies, the whole shebang.

The DNC that paid for the Steele dossier without which there would never have been a Mueller special counsel, commissioned by Rod Rosenstein when he was Deputy Attorney General, which was based on lies, exclusively, the FBI that used the Dossier to falsify FISA applications, people like Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler and Nancy Pelosi who kept on lying about having evidence of Russian collusion.

And still these are the people accusing Trump of lying. And they feel they can get away with it, because their media also incessantly repeated their lies, and is still doing that. Forget for a moment about what you think about Donald Trump, and tell me how you feel about an attempt to unseat an elected American president with nothing but lies.

Do you think that will be a one-off? If so, you’re blind. If Joe Biden and his handlers ever get into the White House, respect for the Office of the Presidency will still be gone, and it will be for a long time, decades. That’s the price the American people pay for the attempt to unseat Trump based on lies only. Do you really feel that’s a price worth paying? I suggest you give that some serious thought.

 

 

With Biden you don’t get Biden, you get the entire cabal that went after Trump, the Democratic Party, the media, the intelligence agencies. And yes, Biden was and is very much part of that cabal. How people do not find that a whole lot scarier than Donald Trump is beyond me.

If -and no that is not when- Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20 2021, that cabal will take over the country. And we’ve seen plenty indications that they intend to make it impossible for the Republicans to ever get one of their own elected as president again. Moreover they will not be investigated for what they concocted over the past 4-5 years.

How the Hillary campaign and the DNC leaked things to the FBI, and the FBI to the MSM, how they lied in courtrooms to get FISA applications on Trump campaign people like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. How they set up Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn so he wouldn’t be Trump’s National Security Adviser, because Flynn knew too much.

It’s a scheme so full of illegal actions that it will be devastating for the entire American political system if it is never investigated, or even if it isn’t investigated very very thoroughly, by an impartial party. And it won’t be if Biden becomes president.

The cabal wants you to think this is about Trump, and any given way to get rid of him is justifiable no matter what, but that is a very dangerous way of thinking. If crimes have been committed, they must be brought into daylight and before a court.

Problem is, of course, that at least half the nation has no idea of what’s been going on. Because they get their news and information from those media that are in on the whole deal. They won’t know that the DNC paid for the Steele Dossier, or that is was just a bunch of lies, or that the FBI knew this even before Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Counsel. All that has been kept away from them.

 

 

And yes, 4 years ago Trump said he would fight the swamp, but landed right in the middle of it. Early in his presidency he found himself surrounded by the likes of McMaster, John Kelly, Tillerson, and many other swamp creatures, and today he still has people like Mike Pompeo. But at least Trump is an outsider, and if anything can ever be done to drain the swamp, it will have to come from an outsider. That it may take more than 4 years is something we have to take for granted.

The swamp has fought back, and they may yet win. Joe Biden is the face of that. But people who celebrate that victory should think again, whether they like Trump or not. The swamp is not good for you, and it’s not good for your country, your rights, your freedoms. Its entire MO is to take all these away from you. This is not a partisan thing; the fat ass of the swamp easily fits and sits across the divide.

Joe Biden is not Joe Biden, the man doesn’t stand for anything other than holding on to power while getting richer off that power. He’s done it for 47 years. Term limits are desperately needed in Washington, but the only people who can make that decision are those who profit most from not having term limits. If there’s one area where McConnell and Schumer and Pelosi and Lindsey Graham agree, it’s that.

And meanwhile, Trump, unlike Joe Biden, is just Trump. He doesn’t represent a cabal, or a swamp. Even if he’s surrounded by them. Trump is not the biggest threat to America, that’s just something they’ve been wanting you to think for the past 4 years. Successfully, too, for millions of Americans.

The swamp is the biggest threat, whether their handpuppets come in a Democratic or Republican disguise. But to recognize that, you would have to be able to think for yourself, and if you read or watch the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, you simply can’t do that. You just think you can.

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

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

 

Oct 132020
 


Giotto Legend of St Francis, Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo c.1297-1299

 

Declassified FBI Spreadsheet Exposes Folly Of Steele Dossier (JTN)
Steele Dossier: Media Reports On FBI Reports Of Media Reports (sundance)
Team Obama Invented The Whole Russiagate Scandal (NYP)
The Truman Show Election: The Public Is Left In The Dark (Turley)
What’s Behind No-Show Joe (Jim Kunstler)
Coup Who? (Hemingway)
Kidnapping Dissent: The Whitmer Plot and the End of Freedom (MPN)
IMF Seizes on Pandemic to Pave Way for Privatization in 81 Countries (MPN)
CDC: 85% of COVID19 Patients Report ‘Always’ Or ‘Often’ Wearing A Mask (JS)
Johnson&Johnson Covid19 Vaccine Study Paused Due To Unexplained Illness (STAT)
Economists Are More Like Storytellers Than Scientists (Benack)

 

 

Imagine if the MSM had refused to report on Watergate. That is what is happening now. And this is starting to feel a whole lot worse than that. Not sure “folly” covers it.

Declassified FBI Spreadsheet Exposes Folly Of Steele Dossier (JTN)

An FBI spreadsheet that evaluated the credibility of Christopher Steele’s dossier found almost no corroborating evidence from official intelligence reporting, leaving analysts to grope after flimsy sources like a Democratic operative, a Russian propaganda news site and U.S. news media story leaks that amounted to circular reporting.In one entry, FBI analysts tried to evaluate one of Steele’s most lurid claims — later debunked — that Trump was videotaped committing lewd sex acts with prostitutes at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow. “There is no confirmation that Trump stayed here,” they found. “There is no ‘Presidential Suite’ currently listed.”

[..]Another entry encapsulated much of the FBI’s assessment of Steele’s reporting: It seemed based on Internet rumors that could never be corroborated.”Other than open source speculation, the only reporting that mentions this is the Steele Reporting from 5 July 2016 and 2 August 2016,” the analysts wrote about a claim in the dossier that the Russian spy agency known as the FSB had a “pervasive and sophisticated” operation focused on Trump. Other entries dinged the Steele dossier for sloppiness like misspellings of key names, or for making claims that were debunked by official travel records like passport entry records.

“There doesn’t appear to be any record of Trump visiting Baku or the presidential palace,” one entry read, knocking down a claim the future president visited the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. Added another: “There is no record of Trump personally organizing a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) visit to Baku.”Likewise, one of the most famous claims of the now-discredited dossier — that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen flew to Prague in summer 2016 to help cover up a Russia-Trump plot — was debunked by analysts. “The CROSSFIRE HURRICANE team has been unable to verify travel by Cohen to the Czech Republic in August 2016,” analysts wrote.

With little formal intelligence reporting to back anything Steele had offered the FBI, analysts often turned to suspect sources, such as biased actors connected to the Democratic National Committee or leaked news media stories that could be traced back to Steele and his boss, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. “On September 23, 2016 Yahoo News published an article claiming Carter Page was under investigation by the FBI and US intelligence due to his ties with Russia,” analysts wrote, citing that source as the only piece of evidence corroborating former Trump adviser Carter Page’s alleged meeting with a senior Russian official. The FBI later determined the meetings never happened.

Read more …

They are hoping to bury it all after the election.

FBI agents getting paid by the press for leaks.

Steele Dossier: Media Reports On FBI Reports Of Media Reports (sundance)

CBS News Catherine Herridge has obtained a 94-page spread sheet showing dates of media reports, dates of Steele reports on the same material, and the FBI effort to verify or validate the circular process. In essence this is evidence of the process we initially shared almost three years ago; only now we know the names. Former SSCI staffer Dan Jones, former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, and Simpson’s crew at Fusion-GPS, pitched and planted phony Trump-Russia evidence with the media and simultaneously gave those fake points to Chris Steele to supplement the dossier. Using the same method of Ezra Klein’s “JournOList” replication, Dan Jones and Fusion-GPS paid the journalists to run the stories.

Steele then used the same information from Jones and Fusion in his Dossier and cited the planted media reports; as evidence to substantiate. The Dossier is then provided to the FBI. The journalists then provide *indulgences* to the FBI as part of the collaboration. The FBI, specifically Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and public information office Mike Kortan, then leak the outcomes of the FBI Dossier investigative processes to the same media that have reported on the originating material. It is all a big circle of planting and laundering the same originating false material; aka a “wrap up smear.” Michael Isikoff highlighted the level of how enmeshed media is with the Fusion team in February 2018 when he admitted his reporting was being used by the DOJ and FBI to advance the political objectives of the intelligence community.

Additionally, FBI investigator Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page were shown in their text messages to be leaking stories from the Clinton Investigation, the Trump investigation and the Mueller investigation to journalists at Politico, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was busted by the Inspector General leaking stories to the media and then lying about it to INSD and IG investigators. FBI Director James Comey admitted to leaking stories to the New York Times, and even hired his friend Andrew Richman (off-the-books), gave him access to FBI and NSA databases, and then leaked information to Richman along with another friend Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare blog.

Lest we forget, the IG report on how the FBI handled the Clinton investigation revealed that dozens of FBI officials were actually taking bribes from the media for information: IG REPORT – “We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. Attached to this report as Attachments E and F are two link charts that reflect the volume of communications that we identified between FBI employees and media representatives in April/May and October 2016. We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.”

Read more …

” In notes also released last week, Brennan describes telling Obama about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 28 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to villify [sic] Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”

Team Obama Invented The Whole Russiagate Scandal (NYP)

In mid-2016, the FBI got word that Russian intelligence believed Hillary Clinton’s campaign was planning to frame Donald Trump as colluding with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hack her computers. Yet somehow, the crack agents never connected the dots when handed the Steele “dossier” commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign that claimed Trump was colluding with Putin. Instead, the Justice Department used that dossier as a pretext to spy on at least Trump aide Carter Page as it investigated the clearly spurious charges. Justice also distorted the facts about Page’s past relations with the CIA to suggest he had a history of working with Russian agents when his actual record involved turning them in. Meanwhile, it buried the fact that Steele’s main source was himself a suspected Russian agent.

Nor did it connect the dots to another “Russiagate” lead, the third-hand rumors passed along by a Clinton-allied diplomat that supposedly implicated another Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. The news of the 2016 intel comes from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s gradual release of Russiagate records — which show that the true scandal was the investigation itself. Maybe the Russian analysis was mistaken. But the info should have prompted far greater skepticism on all the Clinton-connected “dirt” on Trump, none of which ever panned out, despite years of investigation. From Justice to the CIA, the Obama administration politicized a host of nonpartisan institutions to stain the Trump campaign and then sabotage the Trump administration. And, with selective leaks to major media, the plotters managed to convince much of the country.


The info was credible on its face: US intelligence “obtained insight” into the Russian analysis using highly classified methods (which are redacted in the now-public documents). The Russians had determined that Clinton wanted to blame Trump for the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails to distract from the growing scandal over her use of a non-secure home-brew server for official business as secretary of state. The US intel community found it was authentic Russian analysis, though it couldn’t judge the veracity of the claim. And President Barack Obama was briefed on it, per his CIA director, John Brennan. In notes also released last week, Brennan describes telling Obama about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 28 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to villify [sic] Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”

Read more …

“All of this recent evidence happens to tie in to other earlier facts, from the Clinton campaign lying about funding the dossier to Steele misrepresenting his sources and his conclusions.”

The Truman Show Election: The Public Is Left In The Dark (Turley)

As news emerged that United States Attorney John Durham uncovered some serious and possibly criminal conduct in the Russia investigation, Democrats demanded that he not release his report before the election. Indeed, the federal rules tell prosecutors to avoid timing “investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting an election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party.” However, major cases often do affect elections, and they are not sealed in amber until the votes are counted. The investigation by Durham is focused on conduct in the election four years ago. His subjects of scrutiny are not candidates on this ballot but rather federal officials involved in the investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign in 2016.

This proved to be unfounded. Ultimately, there was no evidence of collusion, let alone anyone who committed crimes related to collusion. Indeed, disclosed evidence shows the FBI was told early on that the allegations were not only dubious but possibly disinformation from Russia. In recent weeks, we learned that the primary source used by Christopher Steele in his now infamous dossier was believed to be an agent of Russia. Recent declassified material also showed that in 2016, then CIA director John Brennan had briefed President Obama on an alleged plan by Hillary Clinton to tie then candidate Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” The handwritten notes from Brennen would seem extremely serious on their face. Indeed, the allegation was sufficiently serious to brief the president.


It reflected intelligence reports given to the FBI and then director James Comey. When asked last week about the report, Comey simply said it did not “ring a bell.” What rings his bell is precisely what the investigation by Durham could reveal. All of this recent evidence happens to tie in to other earlier facts, from the Clinton campaign lying about funding the dossier to Steele misrepresenting his sources and his conclusions. There are arguments for delaying the release of the report by Durham this close to the election. But there is a lack of assurances that we would ever know the findings after the election. If Democrats control both chambers of Congress, it is unlikely they will have hearings on the report. Democrats on the intelligence committees have said they want the investigations into 2016 to end so we can all “look ahead rather than back.” If Biden becomes the next president, the Justice Department could shut down or curtail the investigation, or even classify its final report as privileged.

Read more …

“Criminal liability may even extend into the news media itself — though they may only be named as unindicted co-conspirators.”

What’s Behind No-Show Joe (Jim Kunstler)

Something even stranger and more sinister than the Covid-19 virus is creeping across the USA: Joe Biden’s Flying Dutchman campaign which, like the ghost-ship of legend, plies the vasty electoral seas with a skeleton crew and no hope of ever landing. Late last week, the candidate blew into Yuma, AZ, for a rare, joint appearance with veep pardner Kamala Harris and, guess what, absolutely no civilians (i.e. voters) showed up at the event, though the local TV news had publicized it. Weird, a little bit? Face it: we’re living in the days of fantastic high-tech information mischief. Virtually all of the traditional news media, plus the powerful new social media, plus the news media of foreign lands, and scores of other embeds in the federal bureaucracy, are behind the story that Ol’ White Joe and his understudy, Ms. Harris, are way ahead in the polls.

Do you ask yourself, as I must, whether this is all a gigantic psy-op? And why would it be? All right, I know that many readers are cross-eyed to the point of nausea over the Barr-Durham investigation, especially the failure to deliver indictments before the election. The complete absence of leaks from that outfit has been crazy-making itself for many. But I take that as a sign of the profound seriousness of the investigation. Durham’s crew is methodically making a case for the worst and largest seditious conspiracy in US history. It requires the most extreme care. They are not going to blow it by allowing any suspicion that it is being used as a campaign ploy on behalf of Mr. Trump.

Sometime after the election and before the 20th of January, a great big hammer is going to come down on the people who organized the RussiaGate op and many of its spinoffs. As the late Tom Petty observed, the waiting is the hardest part, and not only for those in the Counter-resistance who have already connected the felonious dots based on publicly available documents, but also for the targets of the Barr-Durham RussiaGate probe, the Resistance itself — the long log of Obama Admin officials, Clinton campaign minions, and even senators who worked to prevent Donald Trump’s election by foul means and then tried to disable and overthrow him when it didn’t work, in order to cover up their criminal culpability.

You understand that the targets of Barr and Durham are almost all lawyers, Democratic Party-connected lawyers, that is. And so, what they are doing in the shadows of Joe Biden’s ghost campaign is attempting to mount a last-ditch lawyers’ assault on their antagonists, who have regained control of a rogue Justice Department. Thus: Lawfare. If RussiaGate was the most dastardly crime of government against itself ever in US history, then the final result will be the most awful roundup and prosecution of disgraced former officials ever seen in the history of the world’s great nations. Criminal liability may even extend into the news media itself — though they may only be named as unindicted co-conspirators.

Read more …

“Should you remain silent, you will be complicit in a coup d’état.”

Coup Who? (Hemingway)

In August, two retired military officers published a piece in Defense One which literally encouraged America’s top military leadership to have the 82nd airborne to descend on Washington in the event of a disputed election and escort President Trump out of office. “In the Constitutional crisis described above, your duty is to give unambiguous orders directing U.S. military forces to support the Constitutional transfer of power,” they write. “Should you remain silent, you will be complicit in a coup d’état.” In other words, the military must prevent a coup by staging one of their own. Thankfully, the Pentagon publicly condemned John Nagl’s and Paul Yingling’s musings.

In some regards it is unremarkable in a nation with millions of military veterans that two of them would have some kind of Clockwork Orange-style MSNBC viewing party and put crayon to paper long enough to come up with this violent fantasia. However, the problem isn’t so much that Nagl and Yingling gamed out this scenario – every election that I can remember for the last 30 years has featured fringe voices expressing concern that the current occupant will refuse to leave. The real problem is that, for once, a respectable media outlet went ahead and published it. If anything, the Defense One op-ed was just the most explicit example of the anti-Trump coup pornography that’s become a staple of mainstream media.


And when the media is not baselessly fretting Trump will refuse to leave office, they’re outrageously and falsely characterizing Trump and his administration in ways that justify his violent removal. The Washington Post recently ran an “analysis” in the business section, quoting a bunch of academics warning that Trump was leading America into autocracy. The article ended with this kicker quote from a Swedish political scientist, Staffan I. Lindberg at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg: “‘if Trump wins this election in November, democracy is gone’ in the United States, [Lindberg] says. He gives it about two years. ‘It’s really time to wake up before it’s too late.’”

Read more …

“..all of the individuals charged in the plot had been under intense scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation months prior to the scheme being hatched..”

Kidnapping Dissent: The Whitmer Plot and the End of Freedom (MPN)

Stoked for decades by an extremist capitalist oligarchy which has slowly and methodically disabled the levers of democracy to achieve its interests, the latent racial tensions that haunt America’s collective psyche are being exploited in ways never before possible with the advent of online disinformation mashups, like QAnon, Antifa, BLM and others along the spectrum of modern-day social media constructs. As we near the 2020 presidential election, the skeletons in America’s closet are being dressed in the latest fashion and paraded before a terrified citizenry, whose health and peace of mind is under siege as a result of the pandemic crisis while simultaneously bombarded with apocalyptic scenarios of societal collapse and civil war, like the alleged conspiracy to kidnap and murder Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer as part of a larger plan to storm the Michigan State Capitol with hundreds of armed men.

But, considering the fact that all of the individuals charged in the plot had been under intense scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation months prior to the scheme being hatched, it is not surprising that suspicions of entrapment by the FBI have begun to swirl around the high profile case, which was filed before the U.S. District Court of Western Michigan last Tuesday.

[..] Prior to the 2018 midterm victory that put her in the governor’s mansion, Whitmer had served in the Michigan state Senate from 2006 until 2014. More recently, she had assumed the role of interim Ingham County prosecutor in 2016 after the serving prosecutor had to resign over a lurid sex scandal. Whitmer beat Republican Bill Schuette to take the governorship and after just one year in office, she came into the national spotlight for the first time when she was selected to deliver the Democrats’ response to the Trump’s last State of the Union address in February, which also coincided with the start of the FBI’s investigation into her would-be kidnappers.

In August, Whitmer again garnered national attention amid speculation that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was going to choose her as his running mate. By then, the FBI had compiled hours of conversations between the ragtag crew of convicted criminals and U.S. Marines, who in June, allegedly targeted Governor Whitmer as part of a grand plan to storm the Michigan State Capitol with 200 men and take hostages before the upcoming presidential election. The group’s motivation is said to come from Whitmer’s “unilateral” lockdown policies, extending the state’s coronavirus emergency measures beyond the original April 30 cut-off date through executive order.

The move elicited an immediate reaction from conservatives in the state and the very influential Koch-funded Mackinac Center, which filed an injunction against the governor’s executive action in May. After challenges to the governor’s orders were struck down in lower courts, the Republican-majority Michigan Supreme Court last week added fuel to the fire by ruling Whitmer’s executive orders to be unconstitutional and setting off a firestorm of controversy on the same day FBI agents murdered Eric Mark-Matthew Allport in Detroit and just before the FBI decided to submit their affidavit against the Whitmer plotters.

Read more …

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

IMF Seizes on Pandemic to Pave Way for Privatization in 81 Countries (MPN)

The enormous economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique opportunity to fundamentally alter the structure of society, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if using the crisis to implement near-permanent austerity measures across the world.76 of the 91 loans it has negotiated with 81 nations since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic in March have come attached with demands that countries adopt measures such as deep cuts to public services and pensions — measures that will undoubtedly entail privatization, wage freezes or cuts, or the firing of public sector workers like doctors, nurses, teachers and firefighters.

The principal cheerleader for neoliberal austerity measures across the globe for decades, the IMF has recently (quietly) begun admitting that these policies have not worked and generally make problems like poverty, uneven development, and inequality even worse. Furthermore, they have also failed even to bring the promised economic growth that was meant to counteract these negative effects. In 2016, it described its own policies as “oversold” and earlier summed up its experiments in Latin America as “all pain, no gain.” Thus, its own reports explicitly state its policies do not work.


“The IMF has sounded the alarm about a massive spike in inequality in the wake of the pandemic. Yet it is steering countries to pay for pandemic spending by making austerity cuts that will fuel poverty and inequality,” Chema Vera, Interim Executive Director of Oxfam International, said today. “These measures could leave millions of people without access to healthcare or income support while they search for work, and could thwart any hope of sustainable recovery. In taking this approach, the IMF is doing an injustice to its own research. Its head needs to start speaking to its hands.”

Read more …

Wouldn’t many say that so they look like good citizens?

CDC: 85% of COVID19 Patients Report ‘Always’ Or ‘Often’ Wearing A Mask (JS)

An underreported, recently-published CDC study adds to the pile of evidence that cloth masks or other forms of mandated face coverings only contribute negatives to our COVID-19 problem. The study also displays — despite the constant accusations of widespread misbehavior from public health officials — that Americans are adhering to mask wearing, but mask wearing is not doing us any good. The CDC study, which surveyed symptomatic COVID-19 patients, has found that 70.6% of respondents reported “always” wearing a mask, while an additional 14.4% say they “often” wear a mask. That means a whopping 85% of infected COVID-19 patients reported habitual mask wearing. Only 3.9% of those infected said they “never” wear a face covering.


The study offers insight into the reality that tens of thousands of Americans are acquiring COVID-19 on a daily basis despite overwhelming adherence to mask wearing. Masks simply aren’t working to “slow the spread” or “stop the spread.” The study also dismisses “public health experts’” claims from individuals such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and others that Americans are not following the guidance being disseminated by the CDC and other disease control agencies. Americans are following the CDC guidance. It’s just not working.

Read more …

These trials all have problems.

Johnson&Johnson Covid19 Vaccine Study Paused Due To Unexplained Illness (STAT)

The study of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine has been paused due to an unexplained illness in a study participant. A document sent to outside researchers running the 60,000-patient clinical trial states that a “pausing rule” has been met, that the online system used to enroll patients in the study has been closed, and that the data and safety monitoring board — an independent committee that watches over the safety of patients in the clinical trial — would be convened. The document was obtained by STAT. Contacted by STAT, J&J confirmed the study pause, saying it was due to “an unexplained illness in a study participant.” The company declined to provide further details.

“We must respect this participant’s privacy. We’re also learning more about this participant’s illness, and it’s important to have all the facts before we share additional information,” the company said in a statement. J&J emphasized that so-called adverse events — illnesses, accidents, and other bad medical outcomes — are an expected part of a clinical study, and also emphasized the difference between a study pause and a clinical hold, which is a formal regulatory action that can last much longer. The vaccine study is not currently under a clinical hold. J&J said that while it normally communicates clinical holds to the public, it does not usually inform the public of study pauses. The data and safety monitoring board, or DSMB, convened late Monday to review the case.


J&J said that in cases like this “it is not always immediately apparent” whether the participant who experienced an adverse event received a study treatment or a placebo. Though clinical trial pauses are not uncommon — and in some cases last only a few days — they are generating outsized attention in the race to test vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Given the size of Johnson & Johnson’s trial, it’s not surprising that study pauses could occur, and another could happen if this one resolves, a source familiar with the study said. “If we do a study of 60,000 people, that is a small village,” the source said. “In a small village there are a lot of medical events that happen.”

Read more …

Fairy tales.

Economists Are More Like Storytellers Than Scientists (Benack)

When you listen to an economist, chances are you’ll hear a lot of statistics. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the National Association for Business Economics on Oct. 6 is a case in point. In the first two minutes alone he referred to a dizzying range of economic indicators: growth, unemployment rate, personal consumption expenditures inflation, labor force participation, productivity gains, real wage gains and so on. But if you watch the speech, you may notice that he rarely cites the actual numbers. That’s because Powell, and economists generally, tend to be more interested in the direction in which the numbers are going rather than the numbers themselves. Is unemployment high or low? Is the Dow up or down? Is GDP growth trending upward or downward?

In other words, Powell is telling you a story. And although economists have historically wanted their field to be associated with the so-called hard sciences – a conjuring act exemplified by the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences – I’ve come to see it as having a lot more in common with literature, especially novels, than physics or chemistry. As a literary scholar researching economics and its history, I have found that being aware of the similarities between economists and novelists helps us to better evaluate the claims they make. Both are telling stories. Understanding that empowers us to judge the credibility of what they’re saying for ourselves. The notion that economics shares a lot with fiction may seem counterintuitive. That feeling is not incidental.

Ever since the inception of economics in the late 1800s, economists have sought to associate their discipline with the very opposite of fiction: the natural sciences. Unlike economics, which deals with human relationships, the hard sciences study phenomena in the natural world. As such, a claim by a natural scientist reflects a different kind of truth than one by an economist. For example, the law of gravity describes an immutable physical fact; the law of supply and demand describes a relationship between people. What we know as mainstream economics today began with the concept of marginal utility, which posits that individuals make purchases by considering how much happiness they will derive from each additional unit of a good or service.

What attracted many economists to the concept was that it provided a way to make economics more mathematical. The concept of marginal utility allowed economists to turn sensations into quantities. Happiness was imagined as a pile of many little units of pleasure, which some economists actually believed could be physically measured. Francis Y. Edgeworth even conceived of a “psychophysical machine” to do precisely that in his beautifully titled book “Mathematical Psychics.” This is to say that, in the 19th century, the resemblance of economics to the natural sciences fooled even some of its own practitioners.

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

“Medieval man was a cog in a wheel he did not understand; modern man is a cog in a complicated system he thinks he understands.”
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

 

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

 

Jan 312020
 
 January 31, 2020  Posted by at 10:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Walker Evans Waterfront in New Orleans. French market sidewalk scene 1935

 

WHO Declares International Health Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak (RT)
Spate Of Anti-Chinese Incidents In Italy As Two Cases Of Virus Confirmed (G.)
Hillary Clinton Refuses To Be Served Tulsi Gabbard’s Defamation Lawsuit (NYP)
Major Blow For Democrats At Trump Trial (BBC)
Warren Questions Roberts ‘Legitimacy’ Without Trial Witnesses (Fox)
Was The Bolton Leak Too Perfect? (Turley)
Simon & Schuster Won’t Back Down On John Bolton’s Memoir (NYP)
Steele Trump-Russia Dossier Was “Completely Fabricated” (SHTF)
UK Brings Down Curtain On EU Membership After 47 Years (Ind.)
Ambassador Warns That Trump Will Put US Firms First In UK Trade Talks (G.)
Welcome To The Trump Recession (Ind.)
Justice Department Drops Demand For Jail For Flynn (Turley)
Government and Media Are Prepping America for a Failed 2020 Election (Webb)
Greece Plans To Build Sea Barrier Off Lesbos To Deter Migrants (G.)

 

• 2019nCoV death toll rose from 170 to 213 today. (deaths over past seven days: 15, 15, 25, 25, 26, 38, 43)

• 9,821 confirmed cases worldwide, 98 abroad, the rest in China

• 25,060 probable cases

• 15,238 new suspected cases

• 102,427 Chinese under observation

• Recovered: 171

 

 

Jim Bianco posted these graphs tracking mortality and infections, respectively:

 

 

WHO is as late as China and the US. Maybe that’s why they’re complementing China: that way their own failure gets obscured.

WHO Declares International Health Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak (RT)

The World Health Organization has declared a “public health emergency of international concern” over the outbreak of the 2019nCoV, or the Wuhan coronavirus. The international body didn’t recommend travel and trade restrictions. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the coronavirus “a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak” at a press conference on Thursday, but said the WHO was not recommending restrictions of trade or travel with China, where the virus originated. Tedros pointed out that the declaration was “not a vote of no confidence in China,” but made out of concern for other countries, with “weaker” healthcare systems.


China’s response to the outbreak has been “very impressive,” the WHO chief added. “So is China’s commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries.” China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response. While the majority of coronavirus cases have been registered in China, the WHO confirmed there were 98 confirmed cases elsewhere in the world – including eight cases of direct transmission in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the US. The “vast majority” of cases outside of China have either traveled to Wuhan or been in contact with someone who has, the WHO officials noted. “The only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation,” Tedros said. “We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.”

Read more …

Inevitable. Wait till the first people start dying in countries such as Italy.

Spate Of Anti-Chinese Incidents In Italy As Two Cases Of Virus Confirmed (G.)

Chinese people in Italy have been the target of racist abuse as paranoia mounts over the spread of the deadly coronavirus, as the first two cases of the virus were reported in Rome. Two Chinese tourists tested positive for the virus and are being treated at Rome’s Lazzari Spallanzani national institute for infectious diseases. The couple are reported to be from Wuhan and arrived in Milan on 23 January. The prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said on Thursday night that there was “no reason for panic or alarm”. He added that close checks were being carried out trace the tourists’ movements in Italy in order “to absolutely avoid any additional risk”.

Flights between China and Italy have been stopped, Conte said. There have been several incidents of xenophobia and calls to avoid Chinese restaurants and shops amid the coronavirus outbreak. Roberto Giuliani, the director of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory, one of the oldest music institutes in the world, was criticised by colleagues on Wednesday after telling students from China, Japan and South Korea not to come to class until after a doctor visits their homes to ensure they have not contracted the virus. Similarly, another music institute in Como told students returning from China after the lunar new year to stay at home for 14 days.


Fears over coronavirus have affected Chinese populations in other countries too. On Wednesday the mayor of Toronto condemned racism against Chinese Canadians. There have also been reports of anti-Asian racism in the UK. In France, Chinese residents have been sharing their experiences using the hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (I am not a virus). Other episodes reported in Italian media include two Chinese tourists being spat at by a group of children in Venice, and three Chinese tourists being insulted in a restaurant in Turin.

Read more …

Not unexpected. If Hillary would sue Tulsi, would her Secret Service detail do the same?

Hillary Clinton Refuses To Be Served Tulsi Gabbard’s Defamation Lawsuit (NYP)

Hillary Clinton has now twice snubbed a process server attempting to deliver the defamation lawsuit filed against her by Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, according to Gabbard’s attorney. “I find it rather unbelievable that Hillary Clinton is so intimidated by Tulsi Gabbard that she won’t accept service of process,” the congresswoman’s attorney, Brian Dunne, told The Post. “But I guess here we are.” Dunne said their process server first attempted to effect service at Clinton’s house in Chappaqua on Tuesday afternoon — but was turned away by Secret Service agents.


The agents directed the server to Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, who on Wednesday claimed at his Washington, DC, firm, Williams & Connolly, that he was unable to accept service on Clinton’s behalf, said Dunne. Gabbard sued the former secretary of state for $50 million last week for calling her a “Russian asset.” Clinton has refused to retract the statement. Dunne said his team was weighing next steps.

Read more …

Schiff will carry this straight into the election. But they have to find a viable candidate. Schiff, Hillary, Bloomberg?

Major Blow For Democrats At Trump Trial (BBC)

US Democrats have been dealt a major blow in their efforts to call witnesses at President Trump’s impeachment trial. They needed four Republicans to vote with them to allow witness testimony, but one of the few wavering senators said he would not support the measure. Lamar Alexander said the Democrats had proved Mr Trump acted inappropriately but it was not an impeachable offence. The announcement paves the way for the possible acquittal of the president by the Senate as early as Friday. The Democrats had especially wanted to call former National Security Adviser John Bolton who reportedly said Mr Trump told him directly that he was withholding US military aid to Ukraine until it agreed to investigate his rival, Joe Biden.

In a statement late on Thursday after a long question-and-answer session at the Senate, Mr Alexander, who represents Tennessee, said the Democrats had proven that Mr Trump’s actions were “inappropriate”. But the 79-year-old said: “There is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offence.” He added: “The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.”


[..] Each side is expected to present closing arguments in Friday’s session, before the Senate votes on hearing witnesses. If the vote were to end in a tie, it would mean that the motion had failed unless US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, decided to break it, which is unlikely.

Read more …

A pivotal moment yesterday for me: Roberts reads question that says some claim Trump didn’t pay Giuliani, so who did? Schiff comes on, says he doesn’t know, but still takes the full 5(?) minutes to repeat for the 1000th time his schtick about Ukraine.

Warren Questions Roberts ‘Legitimacy’ Without Trial Witnesses (Fox)

Chief Justice John Roberts seemed visibly irritated when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., formally asked a question during President Trump’s impeachment trial Thursday that referenced him and questioned the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and Constitution in relation to the proceedings. In accordance with Senate rules, the chief justice of the United States must read aloud the questions posed by senators to the impeachment managers and the president’s counsel. Roberts formally recognized Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, who then submitted her written question to a clerk. Roberts read her question from the card — which referenced him.

“At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?” Roberts read from the card handed to him by the clerk. When he finished reading the question — explicitly posed to the House Impeachment managers — Roberts pursed his lips and shot a chagrined look.


After a moment, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead impeachment manager, appeared at the dais to answer the question — standing mere feet in front of Roberts. Schiff appeared to try to distance himself from Warren’s question, offering a short answer to the question before speaking at length about a tangential exchange. “I would not say that it leads to a loss of confidence in the chief justice,” Schiff said, adding that Roberts has thus far “presided admirably.”

Read more …

Nice take: ” It felt like the sudden discovery of a gun near the victim at the scene of a police shooting.”

Was The Bolton Leak Too Perfect? (Turley)

It was the seeming Perry Mason moment of President Trump’s impeachment trial. Just after the White House team presented its defense denying any quid pro quo over Ukrainian aid, former national security adviser John Bolton jumped up from the gallery to scream, “He did it!” Not really, but close. A few hours after the start of the president’s defense, details from Bolton’s forthcoming book leaked, including his account of Trump asserting that $391 million in military aid would be withheld until Ukraine announced investigations into the 2016 election and the Bidens. If that seems a tad contrived for either an episode or an impeachment, that is because it is.

In responding to a defense built around Trump’s insistence that his call was “perfect,” this leak was perfect to a fault. Perfect timing. Perfect content. It was so perfect that there is little doubt that the Senate is being played. The leak happened at the exact time that it would inflict the most damage on the defense and throw the trial into disarray. It occurred hours after the White House team gave opening statements that seriously undermined critical points made by the House managers, including the assertions that Trump never previously raised corruption in other countries or that this type of hold on aid was uncommon. It felt like the sudden discovery of a gun near the victim at the scene of a police shooting.

That does not mean the leak will not succeed. The disclosure about Bolton’s book could well make the difference in securing the four Republican votes needed to obtain witnesses. But it could also succeed too well if it leads senators to plunge into the unknown of calling witnesses such as former vice president Joe Biden or his son Hunter. There are already indications that the leak may have secured the four votes for witnesses, while even Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) has said the Senate may need to subpoena the book draft itself.

[..] Trump has never denied asking for the investigations, but insisted that they were meant to deal with his concerns over ongoing corruption in Ukraine. Moreover, the first of the two investigations could not be a basis for impeachment. Trump asked for assistance in investigating allegations into the 2016 election — matters that were currently being investigated by U.S. Attorney John Durham. It is the Biden investigation that raises legitimate questions, but it comes down again to a question of intent. Finally, the leak refers to the freeze on the funds but does not indicate that Trump was prepared to hold the aid past the deadline at the end of September. (It was released on September 11th.).

Read more …

It has lost all relevance though. Good luck.

Simon & Schuster Won’t Back Down On John Bolton’s Memoir (NYP)

Despite the uproar surrounding John Bolton’s new memoir, publisher Simon & Schuster is standing firm on its intended March 17 publication date. An S&S spokesman declined to make an official statement amid blowback from President Donald Trump, saying only that there is “no change” in the publication date for “The Room Where it Happened.” Trump has called for his former national security adviser’s memoir to be blocked, claiming that it contains classified material.


The yet-to-be-published manuscript played a central role in Senate impeachment discussions this week after the New York Times late Sunday reported that Bolton’s claims that Trump told him in August 2019 that he was withholding $391 million in aid to Ukraine until he had a promise that the powers that be there would launch investigations into Joe Biden, whose son had ties to Ukraine. Trump on Monday denied he said it. “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” he said. Bolton lawyer Charles Cooper said he does not believe “The Room Where It Happened” contains classified material but is pushing for an expeditious decision from the National Security Council on its content — even as it remains possible for Bolton to be called to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

Read more …

I forgot to include this in earlier Debt Rattles, but it should be read. We must wonder, and investigate, how the dossier became the pillar on which Russiagate rested when it was such obvious nonsense.

“Some of the most glaring mistakes were those such as treating one particular source as an expert in three entirely different fields or making up the existence of the Russian consulate in Miami, Florida. The source in question starts out as a middle-manager at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, but is later described as an expert on cyber warfare, and later yet as an expert on money-laundering by Russian immigrants in the US, West explained.”

Steele Trump-Russia Dossier Was “Completely Fabricated” (SHTF)

In some not so surprising news, a spy expert has come out saying what most of us already knew: the Steele dossier was completely “fabricated.” Nigel West, one of Britain’s leading experts on espionage, was hired to examine the dossier written by his friend Christopher Steele. He concluded it was all manufactured falsehoods. West, hired to examine the dossier back in 2017, quickly concluded that “there is… a strong possibility that all Steele’s material has been fabricated,” according to the Sunday Times. “Steele’s scandalous document, which claimed extensive ties between the then-US President-elect Donald Trump and the Kremlin, was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017 and quickly became the cornerstone of “Russiagate.” Media talking heads insisted that much of it had been corroborated. In fact, nothing was.” –RT

It took West a long time to come out with the information that the dossier was an utter fabrication. It isn’t clear why he waited so long to reveal what most already knew anyway. Even the FBI director at the time, James Comey, described the dossier as“salacious and unverified” in testimony to Congress. But the fact that this dossier was “unverified” did not stop Comey from signing an application for a FISA warrant that the Bureau used to spy on the Trump campaign via one of its advisers, Carter Page. Steele himself was paid purely above-board, of course: by Fusion GPS, which was a client of the law firm Perkins Coie LLP, on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, at the direction of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.


West told RT that he was surprised Steele made such obvious errors in the dossier. Some of the most glaring mistakes were those such as treating one particular source as an expert in three entirely different fields or making up the existence of the Russian consulate in Miami, Florida. The source in question starts out as a middle-manager at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, but is later described as an expert on cyber warfare, and later yet as an expert on money-laundering by Russian immigrants in the US, West explained. “On the face of it, it looked inherently improbable that this single source was as proclaimed.”

Read more …

Hardly any celebrations. What happened?

“A light display beamed onto the frontage of No 10 will be visible only to a few journalists and security staff inside the black gates of Downing Street. And a pre-recorded video message risked going unseen by TV viewers, due to a spat with broadcasters”

UK Brings Down Curtain On EU Membership After 47 Years (Ind.)

Britain brings down the curtain on 47 years of European Union membership on Friday with little in the way of official ceremony to mark the historic moment. Some 1,317 days after the 2016 referendum vote to Leave, the formal departure from the 28-nation bloc will take place at 11pm UK time – midnight in Brussels. Boris Johnson, who served as the figurehead of the Vote Leave campaign and last Friday signed the withdrawal treaty after its passage through parliament, said the day would signal “the dawn of a new era”. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the country stood at “a crossroads” with many of the most important decisions about its future relations with the EU and the wider world yet to be made.

And Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, is expected to say that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against the wishes of the “overwhelming majority” of its people, in a speech setting out the next steps in her battle for an independence referendum. Downing Street made clear the prime minister will not be making any public appearance to celebrate the moment of withdrawal. After chairing cabinet in Sunderland – the city whose vote for Brexit was the first sign of Leave’s victory on referendum night – the prime minister will return to London to attend an evening reception with staff behind closed doors. A light display beamed onto the frontage of No 10 will be visible only to a few journalists and security staff inside the black gates of Downing Street.


And a pre-recorded video message risked going unseen by TV viewers, due to a spat with broadcasters who objected to No 10’s insistence of filming the footage itself rather than following the normal practice of inviting in a pool camera from one of the television companies.

Read more …

Who could have predicted that?

Ambassador Warns That Trump Will Put US Firms First In UK Trade Talks (G.)

Donald Trump will put the interests of corporate America first and demand that the NHS pays higher prices for US drugs in a free-trade deal with the UK, the outgoing British ambassador to Washington has told the Guardian. Kim Darroch, in his first interview since his resignation from his post in July, from where he spearheaded attempts to grow trade with the US, insisted that Trump would reward his backers in drug firms and farming communities by opening up British markets, while questioning where the UK’s gains would be found. The former British envoy, who left Washington after a leak of his confidential cables to London, said it was doubtful whether the UK had the resources for parallel negotiations with the US and the EU, a strategy championed by Downing Street as a way to give British negotiators leverage in Brussels.


Darroch, who said that similar warnings on the US’s trade demands had been made to No 10 during his tenure in Washington DC, also said it was “impossible” for a deal to get through Congress by the end of 2020 and that it appeared to be “a narrow and rocky path to get to where they [the UK government] want to be”. He said: “I know what the US will be pitching for when they negotiate a free-trade deal with us. They will pitch for massively greater access for agricultural products. People talk about chlorinated chicken – it is a lot more than that. Farmers in America vote for Trump, pretty much all of them vote for Trump … “They also want us to pay the same for American pharmaceuticals as they pay in their own market. Do they want us to pay more for their pharmaceuticals? Do the pharmaceutical companies want to use this leverage? Of course they do.”

Read more …

Dems’ final weapon? For now the article feels contrived.

Welcome To The Trump Recession (Ind.)

Donald Trump won’t have to run his re-election campaign amid a 2020 recession — but numbers now emerging are bad enough, and their shape is bad enough, to show he won’t be running a Morning in America campaign either. New government data Thursday showed the economy’s GDP grew at a 2.1 per cent annual rate in the fourth quarter — the second straight quarter at that tepid number, closing out the weakest year of Trump’s presidency. Worse, the slowdown is aimed straight at Trump’s base, including a decent-sized manufacturing recession. It’s based directly on the failure of Trump’s policies. And the details belie the idea, popular in Washington, that consumer confidence is high and that such confidence begets confidence in the president.

Let’s walk through this fairly complicated argument one step at a time. First, the economy really didn’t do well in the last nine months of 2019, even if the stock market thinks it did. Thursday’s report marks the third straight quarter where the economy grew at 2.1 per cent or less, since the second quarter of the year saw only 2.0 per cent growth. Forecasts for the first half of 2020 are a little worse: Consulting firm IHS Markit expects first-quarter growth at a 2 per cent annual rate, and High Frequency Economics thinks it could go as low as 1.2 per cent as Boeing attempts to solve its 737 Max safety issues. “Welcome to 2016, when it was one quarter after another of roughly 2 per cent growth,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors.


“We have had three consecutive quarters right about that level. And sifting through the data, there is no reason to think that will change significantly in one direction or the other.’’ The details, though, are nastier than headline numbers. Consumer spending grew only 1.8 per cent annualized, down from 3.2 per cent in the third quarter — which Naroff attributes to slowing income gains. Private investment — investment was supposed to surge because of a 2017 tax cut focused on corporations and small business owners — was down 6.1 per cent. Imports were way down — which propped up short-term growth, given the technical details of how economists measure growth. But exports of manufactured goods were also down.

Read more …

They got scared. Time for Sidney Powell to go into full attack mode. Go after Comey, McCabe, Strzok.

Justice Department Drops Demand For Jail For Flynn (Turley)

The Department of Justice has dropped its demand for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to serve time under his plea agreement. Flynn was attempting to withdraw his plea after the Justice Department set out in what was an overtly vindictive campaign against him in court. The Flynn case remains a troubling matter for those who have followed the Russian investigation. He pleaded guilty to a false statement that seems relatively minor in comparison to false statements made by Justice officials like Andrew McCabe or leaks by figures like James Comey. Only a few weeks ago, the Justice Department was demanding up to six weeks of jail time. Some of us have questioned the case for years. Prosecutors threatened to go after Flynn’s son and to bankrupt him if he continuing to assert his innocence. Flynn broke with his prior lawyers and accused them of giving him poor advice.


He now maintains that he did not lie to two FBI agents in 2017. His recent filings slam the process and the charges. He wrote “One of the ways a person becomes a 3-star general is by being a good soldier, taking orders, being part of a team, and trusting the people who provide information and support. Lori and I trusted Mr. Kelner and Mr. Anthony to guide us through the most stressful experience in our lives, in a completely incomprehensible situation. I have never felt more powerless.” The position of the Justice Department seemed wholly at odds with other cases, including the light sentences received by individuals sentenced as part of the Russian investigation. He was also the subject of a bizarre hearing with Judge Emmet Sullivan where he was accused of things outside of his charges or the record. He is due to be sentenced on Feb. 27.

Read more …

US intelligence has taken over, writes Whitney Webb.

Government and Media Are Prepping America for a Failed 2020 Election (Webb)

[..] what is particularly odd about this narrative surrounding imminent “chaos” and meddling in the upcoming 2020 election is the fact that, not only have the instruments of said meddling been named and described in detail, but their use in the election was recently simulated by a company with deep ties to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. That simulation, organized and run by the Israeli-American company Cybereason, ended with scores of Americans dead, the cancellation of the 2020 election, the imposition of martial law and a spike in fear among the American populace.

Many of the technologies used to create that chaotic and horrific scenario in the Cybereason simulation are the very same technologies that U.S. federal officials and corporate media outlets have promoted as the core of the very toolkit that they claim will be used to undermine the coming election, such as deep fakes and hacks of critical infrastructure, consumer devices and even vehicles.


While the narrative in place has already laid the blame at the feet of U.S. rival states China, Russia and Iran, these very technologies are instead dominated by companies that are tied to the very same intelligence agencies as Cybereason, specifically Israeli military intelligence. With intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Israel not only crafting the narrative about 2020 foreign meddling, but also dominating these technologies and simulating their use to upend the coming election, it becomes crucial to consider the motivations behind this narrative and if these intelligence agencies have ulterior motives in promoting and simulating such outcomes that would effectively end American democracy and hand almost total power to the national security state.

Read more …

They’ll simply use another route, another island.

Greece Plans To Build Sea Barrier Off Lesbos To Deter Migrants (G.)

The Greek government has been criticised after announcing it will build a floating barrier to deter thousands of people from making often perilous sea journeys from Turkey to Aegean islands on Europe’s periphery. The centre-right administration unveiled the measure on Thursday, following its pledge to take a tougher stance on undocumented migrants accessing the country. The 2.7km-long netted barrier will be erected off Lesbos, the island that shot to prominence at the height of the Syrian civil war when close to a million Europe-bound refugees landed on its beaches. The bulwark will rise from pylons 50 metres above water and will be equipped with flashing lights to demarcate Greece’s sea borders.

Greece’s defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, told Skai radio: “In Evros, natural barriers had relative [good] results in containing flows,” referring to the barbed-wire topped fence that Greece built along its northern land border with Turkey in 2012 to deter asylum seekers. “We believe a similar result can be had with these floating barriers. We are trying to find solutions to reduce flows.” Amnesty International slammed the plan, warning it would enhance the dangers asylum-seekers and refugees encountered as they attempted to seek safety.


“This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores,” said Massimo Moratti, the group’s Research Director for Europe.“The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesbos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

Read more …

 

 

 

Include the Automatic Earth in your 2020 charity list. Support us on Paypal and Patreon.

 

Dec 122019
 


Harris&Ewing President Hoover lights Nation’s Capital community Xmas tree Dec 24 1929

 

Why Is Jeremy Corbyn Seen As So Unelectable (Abc.au)
Ideology or Popularity: How Will Britain Vote? (CP)
The Steele Dossier Was Always a Joke (Taibbi)
The Hidden Hand (Faddis)
The Global Auto Market Collapse (ZH)
EU Lauds New Green Deal As Europe’s ‘Man On Moon Moment’ (DW)
“Afghanistan Papers” May Be A Game Changer For Tulsi Gabbard (IDS)
Vatican Caught Using Charity Donations To Cover Budget Shortfalls (ZH)
‘She Was So Dangerous’: Where In The World Is The Ghislaine Maxwell? (G.)
Assange’s Father Hopeful Of Son’s Release (9News)

 

 

Because of articles like this?! Because of how the BBC reports on the election?

Why Is Jeremy Corbyn Seen As So Unelectable (Abc.au)

Jeremy Corbyn is railing against “cuts, closures and poverty”. He’s campaigning to build more homes, and to fight fewer wars. He’s condemning the Tories for creating a “divided and unequal society”. But these are snippets not from his 2019 bid for Downing Street. They were his slogans in 1983, when he first ran for Parliament.The simple fact is the Labour leader has never changed his views. In the late 1970s and 1980s he and his staunch left-wing colleague John McDonnell, now the shadow chancellor, promised a revolution to upend the Western capitalist order. And yet, in 2015, as he was fighting to take over the leadership of the party, he was pledging the same: “Capitalism is in its death throes!”


It’s not mere sloganeering. His policy agenda over the past year has been: renationalise British utilities and trains, cap all wages, and force large companies to transfer 10 per cent of their equity to their employees. It says something about the depths of the austerity cuts in Britain that Mr Corbyn was not only backed into the Labour leadership, but went on to gain the largest increase in the party’s share of the vote in the 2017 election since World War II. And in the torrid political climate that followed, many would have expected Labour to romp home this time around. Over the past three years, the Conservative Party has imploded, with grave wounds struck to much of its credibility. Once Theresa May was torn down and replaced by Boris Johnson, a man with a public reputation as a liar, perhaps in any other generation of politics Labour would have been a shoo-in. But this time around, Mr Corbyn has been found deeply unelectable.

Read more …

The antisemite slur has worked miracles. Ley me repost the graph that shows 0.08% of Labour members are.

Ideology or Popularity: How Will Britain Vote? (CP)

It’s not news that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t a popular figure. It’s also not news that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies are hugely popular with the British public. Why should the first of these appear to matter more than the second? [..] The secret to the Tories’ possible success seems to be to focus less on the issues, and not at all on their own leader (who can’t be bothered to turn up for an interview or a debate). Instead, they are focusing on Labour’s unpopular leader. And the odd thing is that it seems to be working. The muckraking includes calling Corbyn an anti-semite, but it doesn’t stop there. (Somehow the fact that Boris Johnson has a habit of making racist comments is irrelevant; Labour is an anti-racist party and therefore must be held to a higher standard.)

A new book by Tom Bower paints a portrait of a power hungry anti-semite who regularly hangs out with Muslim extremists. Anyone with an ounce of sense will struggle to find the Labour leader in this description; for his part Bower had the sense not to source his allegations so there’s no way to check up on which of these might be true and which are blatant fabrications. For anyone interested, Peter Osborn has a thorough debunking. The advantage of mudslinging is that it sometimes sticks. Many British voters can’t say exactly why they don’t like Corbyn, but they know that they don’t like him. Even if these allegations were defendable, Corbyn’s Labour party has effectively won the debate on austerity.


Both parties are promising to protect the NHS from privatization, but only one party is actually selling NHS data to private companies like Amazon. That should matter a lot more than whether or not the British public would like to go on holiday with Jeremy Corbyn. Whatever the outcome, this is one of the most fascinating elections on record. Arguments for the status quo – that the rich should see the biggest gains when capitalism works and the poor should pay when it doesn’t – aren’t working. Demonization of one’s opponents has always been a part of electoral politics, but in this election that’s pretty much the only tactic in play, at least for the Tories. Their victory would be a huge triumph of the British propaganda system. It would also be a huge failure for democracy.

Read more …

Just not a funny one.

The Steele Dossier Was Always a Joke (Taibbi)

The Guardian headline reads: “DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser.” If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was. Like the much-ballyhooed report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Horowitz report is a Rorschach test, in which partisans will find what they want to find. Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz’s conclusion that there was no evidence of “political bias or improper motivation” in the FBI’s probe of Donald Trump’s Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had “authorized purpose” to conduct.

Horowitz uses phrases like “serious performance failures,” describing his 416-page catalogue of errors and manipulations as incompetence rather than corruption. This throws water on the notion that the Trump investigation was a vast frame-up. However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose “serious” procedural problems and omissions of “significant information” in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president). Officials on the “Crossfire Hurricane” Trump-Russia investigators went to extraordinary, almost comical lengths to seek surveillance authority of figures like Trump aide Carter Page. In one episode, an FBI attorney inserted the words “not a source” in an email he’d received from another government agency.


This disguised the fact that Page had been an informant for that agency, and had dutifully told the government in real time about being approached by Russian intelligence. The attorney then passed on the email to an FBI supervisory special agent, who signed a FISA warrant application on Page that held those Russian contacts against Page, without disclosing his informant role. Likewise, the use of reports by ex-spy/campaign researcher Christopher Steele in pursuit of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authority had far-reaching ramifications. Not only did obtaining a FISA warrant allow authorities a window into other Trump figures with whom Page communicated, they led to a slew of leaked “bombshell” news stories that advanced many public misconceptions, including that a court had ruled there was “probable cause” that a Trump figure was an “agent of a foreign power.”

Read more …

Make sure it’s no longer hidden. Put the spotlight on Brennan and Clapper to start with.

The Hidden Hand (Faddis)

The essence of a coup, which some might refer to as covert action, is the hidden hand. One does not announce that a foreign power is overthrowing the government and installing a new government. One pulls strings as if from behind a curtain, making events that are all part of a carefully orchestrated plan appear disconnected, spontaneous and serendipitous. As I read through the recently released IG report for the second time, as someone with a great deal of experience in military and intelligence matters, I see that hand everywhere. Per the IG report, a single report is delivered to the FBI in the summer of 2016. It concerns a meeting between a cooperative contact of a foreign intelligence service and a junior level employee of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos.

The report relates what are frankly very amorphous comments by Papadopoulos concerning the Russian government and its alleged possession of information on Hillary Clinton. On any other day this report would command no attention whatsoever. The source in question has no track record of any kind with the FBI. Papadopoulos has been employed by the Trump campaign for perhaps 90 days at this point, and there is no reason to believe he has contacts of significance in the Kremlin. Not on this occasion. This one report from a foreign intelligence service goes directly to the top of the FBI. The Director himself, James Comey is briefed. A full investigation is launched. Multiple confidential human sources are tasked. Wiretaps are ordered. A task force is organized. Crossfire Hurricane is born.


There is a problem, though. This hand, perhaps because it is controlled by individuals who have made their bones riding desks in Washington, DC and not in the field running actual operations, is clumsy. The information regarding Papadopoulos provided the needed pretext to start an investigation, but most of the people who will now form the investigative team are not in on the plot. They will have to be led to the pre-ordained conclusion, so that it appears that they did so without outside interference. And these investigators have a pesky habit of actually doing their jobs.

Read more …

Bad for automakers and Big Oil. Other than that, though…

The Global Auto Market Collapse (ZH)

It is no secret that the auto market worldwide has been mired in recession that looks to not have any plans of decelerating anytime soon. We have covered, at length, the collapse of auto sales not only in the U.S., but in leading global markets like China and Europe over the last 18 months. We have also covered how the “silver lining” of EV sales and investment in electric vehicles, may not be enough to stoke a recovery in the industry, especially with major cities like Beijing starting to shy away from purchase subsidies. The contagion has spread, and a new article by Bloomberg includes four charts that show just how damaging the effects have been globally. The first shows that global auto sales peaked two years ago at slightly under 86 million on an LTM basis. In October, that number stood at 78 million, a decline of about 9%.

The second chart shows trends from across the globe, noting that since China’s market is so big, that it is been obscuring falling trends elsewhere in the world. The chart shows China, Asia ex-China, North America, Europe, Latin America and Africa/Middle East all in steep downtrends.

Read more …

Europe’s “new growth strategy.” Oh boy…

EU Lauds New Green Deal As Europe’s ‘Man On Moon Moment’ (DW)

The European Commission signed off on President Ursula von der Leyen’s “European Green Deal” on Wednesday in Brussels, with a promise of money for EU nations that are lagging behind. The European Green Deal will still need to be approved — by the leaders of the EU’s member states and the European Parliament — for the climate policies to be implemented into law. The climate change resolutions will be considered by the leaders of EU countries at their meeting in Brussels on Thursday. Von der Leyen, who has put climate issues at the center of her presidency, described the plan as Europe’s “new growth strategy.”


“We do not have all the answers yet, today is the start of a journey, but this is Europe’s man on the moon moment. The European Green Deal is very ambitious, but it will also be very careful in assessing the impact and every single step we’re taking.” Von der Leyen said an economic growth plan based on fossil fuels and pollution was “out of date and out of touch.” “The European Green deal is on one hand about cutting emissions, but on the other hand, about creating jobs and boosting innovation.”

Read more …

Can she stay out of the debate and still win?

“Afghanistan Papers” May Be A Game Changer For Tulsi Gabbard (IDS)

Three very interesting things happened today in Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the US Presidency. First, there was a huge story in The Washington Post about the so-called “Afghanistan Papers,” which reveal thousands of pages of confidential interviews with hundreds of key US government officials telling how the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations lied to the American public about the prosecution of the 18-year US war in Afghanistan—how successive US administrations manipulated data about the war to paint a much rosier picture of US and Afghan government achievements throughout the conflict. How big is this story? Think “Pentagon Papers.” Daniel Ellsberg. Think Vietnam big.

The story should suck up a lot of oxygen over the next few weeks, and it is one that should produce some unusually positive coverage for Tulsi, given that the issue of the failures of US military interventionism overseas has been the primary focus of her campaign. The second interesting thing is the story has the potential to tie into another story involving a management consulting firm called McKinsey & Company that performed confidential contract work in Afghanistan and Iraq. The reason McKinsey could be relevant to Tulsi’s campaign is that one of her main rivals for the nomination, Pete Buttigieg, happened to work for McKinsey from 2007 to 2010. Pete has indicated that his stint with McKinsey involved working on “war zone economic development to help grow private sector employment” in Iraq and Afghanistan.


In plain language, Pete appears to have been part of broader effort by the US government to transform Afghanistan into some sort of a mini capitalist democracy—not unlike the silly US plan to create a Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq. Now, there may be nothing to the connection between the first and second stories. However, during Tulsi’s town hall this evening in Nashua, New Hampshire, it is curious that Tulsi specifically mentioned McKinsey in referencing how most of the hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars that have been spent in Afghanistan have not gone to fight terrorism but rather to enrich US defense contractors such as the “McKinsey group.” She very slyly slid in McKinsey and moved on.

Read more …

Gee, we’re surprised…

Vatican Caught Using Charity Donations To Cover Budget Shortfalls (ZH)

While Pope Francis has long preached about the ills of economic inequality and sins of capitalism, the Catholic church has been robbing Peter’s Pence to the tune of over $50 million annually to plug holes in their out-of-control budget – after paying over $3 billion in pedophile priest settlements around the world over several decades. According to the Wall Street Journal, most of the roughly $55 million the church takes in annually goes towards “plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget, while as little as 10% is spent on charitable works.” “The little-publicized breakdown of how the Holy See spends Peter’s Pence, known only among senior Vatican officials, is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican’s financial management under Pope Francis.” -Wall Street Journal

Of note, Peter’s Pence is an annual collection event held every June, billed as a fundraising event for the needy. It is described as a “gesture of charity, a way of supporting the activity of the Pope and the universal Church in favoring especially the poorest and Churches in difficulty. It is also an invitation to pay attention and be near to new forms of poverty and fragility.” “A section of the website dedicated to “works realized” describes individual grants, such as €100,000 in relief aid to survivors of last month’s earthquake in Albania or €150,000 for those affected by cyclone Idai in southeastern Africa in March.” -WSJ


“The purpose of the Peter’s Pence Collection is to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster and disease,” according to the website of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Except that for at least the past five years, just 10% of the money collected (over $55 million in 2018) – actually goes towards the types of charitable causes advertised for the collection, according to ‘people familiar with the matter,’ who added that approximately 2/3 of the funds have been used to help plug the budget shortfall at the Holy See – which consists of the central administration of the Catholic Church as well as the global papal diplomatic network. Last year, the budget deficit reached around $78 million on total spending of around $334 million.

Read more …

The FBI know where she is.

‘She Was So Dangerous’: Where In The World Is The Ghislaine Maxwell? (G.)

Maxwell and Epstein’s relationship seems to have been complex. Sarnoff says Maxwell once told her she wanted very much to marry Epstein. “Maxwell is very clever,” Sarnoff says. “In spite of her personal insecurities, as a result of her father’s death and financial challenges, I believe she nevertheless knew exactly what she was doing when she agreed to solicit girls on his behalf. However, I don’t think that phase of their relationship began until she understood Epstein would not marry her.” Farmer says Maxwell told her they were married. In another interview, this time with the Miami Herald, which has doggedly investigated Epstein, Giuffre alleges Maxwell had asked her to have a child with Epstein and hand the baby over for Maxwell and Epstein to raise; she would be paid an allowance of $200,000 a month.

Ransome, who says she was kept for six months on Epstein’s private island and claims she was raped several times a day, said: “They were never like a couple. Jeffrey and Ghislaine were best friends, or like brother and sister. Never holding hands or kissing. And she wasn’t his employee.” When Maxwell found that Farmer had spoken out, she made threatening calls – Farmer says she has been in hiding “for many years”. “Ghislaine kept threatening my life. She found out where I was living, and she would send messages to me or I would get a call and I would have to move again. Most of her threats were veiled, like: ‘You better look over your shoulder because there’s someone coming for you.’ She told me she was going to burn all my paintings, my career was burned.” In 2015, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation, after Maxwell said she was lying about the allegations she had made.


The case was settled out of court and Maxwell began retreating from public view. She was no longer seen in public with Epstein after his 2008 conviction for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. [..] Kaiser says he has not been able to serve Maxwell with legal papers “because she’s off hiding somewhere”. Does he have any idea where she is? “No, I wish I did. We’ve looked various places so far to no avail. We thought we had a lead in some compound in Colorado, a very good friend of hers, a wealthy family – we thought she might be there, but we’re not sure. I expect the FBI knows exactly where she is. They may be building a case. I don’t believe they’ve given up on pursuing some of [Epstein’s] enablers and I have to believe that would include Maxwell.”

Read more …

Is there a media shift? There does seem to be a small one in Oz politics.

Assange’s Father Hopeful Of Son’s Release (9News)

The father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is confident a tide of public opinion is turning in support of the Australian languishing in a UK cell. As Assange awaits an extradition hearing which could eventually result in him facing criminal charges in the US, his father John Shipton is campaigning for his diplomatic release. The 75-year-old has visited about eight countries this year raising support for his son’s release During that time his son has won increasing support from politicians on all sides both at home and overseas. The Australian group concerned about Assange’s health and potential extradition includes conservative MPs George Christensen and Barnaby Joyce, independent Andrew Wilkie and Green politicians.

“Basically the malice and spite demonstrated by the United Kingdom and Sweden is of concern to every Australian,” Mr Shipton told AAP. “We are working towards the government involving itself diplomatically to ensure Julian’s return home to Australia and the prosecution stopping immediately.” He said filmmaker James Ricketson and journalist Peter Greste were both brought back to Australia from Cambodia and Egypt respectively via diplomatic intervention and Assange’s case was no different. “There’s no difference whatsoever,” Mr Shipton said. Mr Shipton said the media played a part in a decline in support for Assange while he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for almost seven years.


“The mobbing and smearing (of Assange) is only possible with the permission, participation, of the media,” he said. “But it seems to have stopped and is reversing itself as the media realises their position is subsequently very tenuous. “What will happen if Julian is dragged away in a yellow jumpsuit with chains around him is the prestige of every journalist in the western world will fall to zero.” Despite the persistence of the UK and US and what he describes as “procedural malfeasance and abrogations of all Julian’s human rights”, Mr Shipton remains optimistic about his son’s release. “I think we’ll win,” he said.

Read more …

 

 

 

Please put the Automatic Earth on your Christmas charity donations list. Support us on Paypal and Patreon.

Top of the page, left and right sidebars. Thank you.

 

 

 

Apr 252019
 


M. C. Escher Relativity Lattice 1953

 

From Twitter:

Remember Spying on Trump was called “Crossfire Hurricane”? Well now it’s renamed to “Crossfire Boomerang”. BOOM. Karma!

 

 

From the moment the Special Counsel investigation into Trump-Russia collusion began, we’ve been presented with a portrait of Robert Swan Mueller III as a man of unassailable character, a straight shooter, as impartial as can be. But Mueller was director of the FBI for 12 years (2001-2013), he was the king of the spies.

Does anyone really have the idea that the people who work in US intelligence are the country’s straightest shooters? Not everybody does. For instance, not Mike Pompeo, who bluntly stated: We lied, we cheated, we stole; It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

So why should we believe Mueller is a man of such unassailable character when he rose to one of the very top ranks in intelligence? It doesn’t make much sense, except of course it’s what politics and media – and intelligence- want us to believe. It may not make sense, but boy, does it work.

And then at some point obviously you have to wonder why Mueller got the Special Counsel job on May 27 2017. Because of that unassailable character, we were told at the time. But if that doesn’t apply to Pompeo, why would it be true of Mueller? And why Mueller while there were strong links to US intelligence that would obviously have to be probed by the counsel (but were not).

That brings us straight to the next question: The main issue, post-report, is not whether Trump tried to stop the Mueller probe. The main issue instead is why it was instigated to begin with. Yes, US intelligence. CIA. And then there’s yet another question: When did Mueller know there was no collusion? Not just 1 or 2 weeks before presenting his report, that’s for sure.

So when? 6 months ago? A year? Did he ever really think there was collusion? If so, based on what? The almost entrirely discredited Steele dossier? Did he have faith in that? The Mifsud-Papadoloulos-Downer connection ‘engineered’ by CIA asset Stephen Halper? Did he have faith in that? Or was the whole thing goal-seeeked from the start?

It appears very silly to assume that Mueller did not start his job with an agenda, because of the heavy involvement of his former employees and colleagues and his best friend James Comey, whose firing by Trump was one of the main reasons to start the investigation. Sounds like a very hard one to sell, but the media did a great job. Everybody bought into it.

And then the whole thing collapsed. Yes, collapsed. Because this was never about finding the truth, it was always about digging for dirt. On Trump. Think Mueller wasn’t aware of that? I own a bridge….

 

Mueller was forced to find Trump and his team not guilty on conspiracy or collusion -and obstruction. This is because he would have had to prove this, and couldn’t. But he’s left the accusations against the Russian government and Julian Assange stand. Not because he has evidence for that, but because he doesn’t have to prove them.

Nobody believes a word any Russian says anymore, thanks to the MSM and US intelligence campaign against them. As for Assange, it’s obvious what Robert Mueller has done. He’s completely ignored the one person who could have helped him find the truth -just not the dirt-. and let him rot in hell. Here’s wishing for that same hell to befall Mueller and all of his family.

There is zero chance that Mueller didn’t know his buddy and successor James Comey prevented Assange from talking with the DOJ in 2017. Neither wanted Assange’s evidence to become public, because that would have killed the Russia narrative as well as the WikiLeaks one. And then what?

Let’s make one thing clear. All that proof of Russian hacking and Russian Facebook ads? It doesn’t exist. The entire story is fictional. How do we know? Because the only source that says it is true is US intelligence. And they can not be believed. As Mueller’s investigation once again shows.

Mueller and Barr, like all of Washington -it’s a bipartisan effort-, want the narrative to remain alive that the Russians hacked and meddled in the US elections in favor of Trump, and that Julian Assange was in cahoots with them. None of which Mueller has any evidence for. And Mueller at all have no problem sacrificing Assange and Chelsea Manning while they’re at it.

Assange is not the only expert source who is silenced. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -VIPS- also can’t get their voice heard. People who ran US intelligence for decades are being silenced by those who succeeded them. As if they don’t exist. As if their expertise is worthless.

The evidence they offer simply doesn’t rhyme with the official narrative promoted by their successors and the CIA and FBI. Remember: Mueller only dropped in his report what he would have had to provide evidence for. The rest is still there, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

 

One VIPS member is Larry Johnson, “former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, (ret.)”. Trump referenced him the other day on Twitter:

“Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration Spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.” @OANN WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!

And sure enough, the Guardian today described Johnson as a “conservative conspiracy theorist”. This stuff is predictable. But at least we know that while Mueller et al ignore the VIPS, Trump knows at least something about them. A few excerpts of a letter they sent to Trump last week (which he hasn’t seen, undoubtedly):

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President. SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment

[..] the Mueller report left unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, you have him to thank for becoming president.

Mueller has accepted that central-but-unproven allegation as gospel truth [..] Following the odd example of his erstwhile colleague, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller apparently has relied for forensics on a discredited, DNC-hired firm named CrowdStrike, whose credibility is on a par with “pee-tape dossier” compiler Christopher Steele. Like Steele, CrowdStrike was hired and paid by the DNC.

[..] In Barr’s words: “The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks.

Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election.” We are eager to see if Mueller’s report contains more persuasive forensic evidence than that which VIPS has already debunked.

“But They Were Indicted! “Circular reasoning is not likely to work for very long, even with a U.S. populace used to being brainwashed by the media. Many Americans had mistakenly assumed that Mueller’s indictment of Russians — whether they be posting on FaceBook or acting like intelligence officers — was proof of guilt. But, as lawyers regularly point out, “one can easily indict a ham sandwich” — easier still these days, if it comes with Russian dressing.

 

The VIPS mention a few times they can’t get heard. They sent Barr a letter 5 weeks ago, and never got an answer. Here they say: “.. specialists will have a field day, IF — and it is a capital “IF” — by some miracle, word of VIPS’ forensic findings gets into the media this time around.”

 

The evidence-impoverished, misleadingly labeled “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6, 2017 had one saving grace. The authors noted: “The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation — malicious or not — leaves a trail.” Forensic investigators can follow a trail of metadata and other technical properties. VIPS has done that.

If, as we strongly suspect, Mueller is relying for forensics solely on CrowdStrike, the discredited firm hired by the DNC in the spring of 2016, he is acting more in the mold of Inspector Clouseau than the crackerjack investigator he is reputed to be. It simply does not suffice for Mueller’s former colleague James Comey to tell Congress that CrowdStrike is a “high-class entity.” It is nothing of the sort [..] Comey needs to explain why he kept the FBI away from the DNC computers after they were said to have been “hacked.”


And former National Intelligence Director James Clapper needs to explain his claim last November that “the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done.” What forensic evidence? From CrowdStrike? We at VIPS, in contrast, are finding more and more forensic evidence that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked by the Russians or anyone else — and that “Guccifer 2.0” is an out-and-out fraud. Yes, we can prove that from forensics too.

 

No Russian hacking. No Guccifer 2.0. But Mueller mentions both a lot.

Again, if Mueller’s incomplete investigation is allowed to assume the status of Holy Writ, most Americans will continue to believe that — whether you colluded the Russians or not — Putin came through for you big time. In short, absent President Putin’s help, you would not be president.

Far too many Americans will still believe this because of the mainstream-media fodder — half-cooked by intelligence leaks — that they have been fed for two and a half years. The media have been playing the central role in the effort of the MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank) complex to stymie any improvement in relations with Russia.

We in VIPS have repeatedly demonstrated that the core charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election are built on a house of cards. But, despite our record of accuracy on this issue — not to mention our pre-Iraq-war warnings about the fraudulent intelligence served up by our former colleagues — we have gotten no play in mainstream media.

Most of us have chalked up decades in the intelligence business and many have extensive academic and government experience focusing on Russia. We consider the issue of “Russian interference” of overriding significance not only because the allegation is mischievously bogus and easily disproven. More important, it has brought tension with nuclear-armed Russia to the kind of dangerous fever pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Russian provocation was real — authentic, not synthetic.

 

[..] We recall that you were apprised of that Memorandum’s key findings because you ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to talk to William Binney, one of our two former NSA Technical Directors and one of the principal authors of that Memorandum. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney by explaining the genesis of the odd invitation to CIA Headquarters: “You are here because the president told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you.”

[..] Binney, a plain-spoken, widely respected scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. [..] As we told Attorney General Barr five weeks ago, we consider Mueller’s findings fundamentally flawed on the forensics side and ipso facto incomplete. We also criticized Mueller for failing to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

You may be unaware that in March 2017 lawyers for Assange and the Justice Department (acting on behalf of the CIA) reportedly were very close to an agreement under which Assange would agree to discuss “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” in the leak of the DNC emails and agree to redact some classified CIA information, in exchange for limited immunity. According to the investigative reporter John Solomon of The Hill, Sen. Mark Warner, (D-VA) vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learned of the incipient deal and told then-FBI Director Comey, who ordered an abrupt “stand down” and an end to the discussions with Assange.

Why did Comey and Warner put the kibosh on receiving “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” [read Russia]? We won’t insult you with the obvious answer.

Assange is now in prison, to the delight of so many — including Mrs. Clinton who has said Assange must now “answer for what he has done.” But is it too late to follow up somehow on Assange’s offer? Might he or his associates be still willing to provide “technical evidence” showing, at least, who was not the culprit?

 

VIPS can’t get their voices heard. Everyone ignores them. These are highly experienced veterans of US intelligence, whose successors, and politics, and media, simply act as if they don’t exist. And while it’s curious to see how they go out of their way NOT to create the impression that Mueller makes his “mistakes” on purpose, the gist is just that.

What this adds up to is not just that Mueller has come up with nothing in his $20-30-50 million investigation, but that he has purposely left things in his report that he has no evidence for but also doesn’t have to prove, because those he accuses cannot defend themselves. Note also that Mueller has never indicted Assange, he has only smeared him.

Mueller doesn’t just have nothing, he has less than nothing. What is left of his “findings” once the collusion and obstruction elements are gone, are things that either he himself (his team) or US intelligence has concocted out of thin air. And have you seen even one ‘journalist’ who has questioned these fantasies?

I see only ‘reporters’ more than willing to heap their own fiction on top of the report’s. They’ll grudgingly accept there’s no collusion only to run away with what can still be construed as obstruction, but not a single one questions the Russian hacking or emails or Facebook ads anymore or Assange’s involvement, though Mueller offers zero proof for any of these things. Ditto for Guccifer 2.0.

The GRU (Main Directorate of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces, formerly the Main Intelligence Directorate) is a very advanced operation. When they hack something they leave no traces. US intelligence is just as capable of leaving GRU “traces” as the GRU itself is of NOT leaving them. The CIA is not smarter than the GRU. That’s what we’re looking at here.

How many Americans do you think there are who think this is the way to conduct investigations ostensibly aimed at truth-finding? You know, if only they knew?!

The only thing perceived as reality in America today is a bunch of fantasies designed to hide the truth. What truth there is, is left to rot in hell. What a place -and time- to live.